Isolation Mix Ten

I started compiling this one in my head when the sun was shining and it was hot enough to sit in the garden at night until it went dark without the need for a coat or sweatshirt. Since I started actually putting it together the sun has vanished and the temperature has halved but I’ve ploughed on anyway. It’s a ten song mix with sunshine and balmy nights in mind from the political/ absurdist post- punk/ dub of Meatraffle, the finger picked acoustic guitar and Mellotron magic of Steve Cobby, some chuggy Scandi- disco/house, 80s heroes The Woodentops, a blissed out re- edit of Brian Eno, Andrew Weatherall spinning Toy into a chilled krautrock groove, some Belgian New Beat from 1989 and Grace Jones backed by Sly and Robbie.

Meatraffle: Meatraffle On The Moon

Steve Cobby: As Good As Gold

The Woodentops: Give It Time (Adrian Sherwood Mix)

Brian Eno: Another Green World (The Blue Realm) Mojo Filter Edit

Fjordfunk: Exile (Hardway Bros Remix)

LAARS: None (Full Pupp)

Paresse: Rosarita

Chayell: Don’t Even Think About It

Toy: Dead And Gone (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Grace Jones: Walking In The Rain

Isolation Mix Six

I got this dramatic shot of the sky over the Mersey on Thursday night. One habit I hope I manage to maintain once this is all over, whenever that is, is taking regular walks. You miss so much sitting inside and even the most familiar and mundane places can look different when caught at a particular time. This week’s Isolation Mix is a dubwise and post punk excursion from The Clash, some dubbed out Joy Division covers, Bauhaus, The Slits, Killing Joke remixed by Thrash, a bunch of Andrew Weatherall dub versions and some On U Sound from Dub Syndicate.

The Clash: The Crooked Beat

Steve Mason: Boys Outside (Andrew Weatherall Dub 2)

Jah Division: Dub Will Tear Us Apart

Jah Division: Dub Disorder

Bauhaus: Bela Lugosi’s Dead

The Slits: I Heard It Through The Grapevine

Dub Syndicate: Ravi Shankar Part.1

Sabres Of Paradise: Ysaebud

New Order: Regret (Sabres Slow ‘n’ Lo)

Lark: Can I Colour In Your Hair (Andrew Weatherall Version)

Killing Joke: Requiem (A Floating Leaf Always Reaches The Sea Dub Mix)

Pounding System

Not far to the north of where we live lies the River Mersey. The riverbanks on both sides are walkable and when you cross by the footbridge up near Ashton- on- Mersey golf club there are a maze of paths that wind their way through floodplains and fields, either east to the water park and then Chorlton or west through to Urmston. Much of this land is known as an Ees- Stretford Ees, Chorlton Ees and Sale Ees. Ees is an archaic word meaning a piece of land liable to flood or water meadow. The footpaths cut their way through the Ees, surrounded by trees, hedges and meadows. The M60 and its link roads are all interwoven but are very quiet at the moment. Usually from our back garden you can hear the M60. At the moment you can hear the birds and the occasional rattle of the tramline, a mile in the other direction. Our daily bout of exercise sometimes takes us along the riverbank, especially in the evening when it’s much quieter and social distancing is easier and less fraught, and through these lanes and pathways. As the sun dips out west beyond Irlam and Warrington you can sometimes get to witness a spectacular sunset. This is one of the positive things lockdown is giving us- finding local moments of beauty, even in our fairly unromantic and ordinary parts of south west Manchester, and this is now life in 2020- taking the time under these restrictions to appreciate what’s on your doorstep.

Here is some dub splendour to match the sunset above from Dub Syndicate, a key part of the On U Sound stable. I was going to post the majestic, far out sounds of Ravi Shankar (Pt 1) but it turns out I’ve posted that before, back in 2017. Pounding System was the opening track on their 1982 album The Pounding System. The bass and drums/percussion are so precise but so loose in Sherwood’s hands. The horns seem to rise up from the mixing desk, levitating. Skanking guitar parts pop in and out. Every element in it’s own space and with room to breathe.

Pounding System

Y2K

On U Sound have a long tradition of budget priced label samplers, a series called Pay It All Back, dating back to 1984. In March 2019 they released Volume 7, eighteen tracks from recent years with Adrian Sherwood at the controls including some previously unreleased tracks and some alternate mixes. It’s a fantastic record with heavy dub, roots and reggae vibes from Lee Perry, Roots Manuva, Horace Andy, Denise Sherwood, Mark Stewart, LSK, Congo Natty, African Head Charge, Little Axe and loads more. This one is the one that caught my ear when I was playing it recently.

A’- Live In Dub

Fast, heavy rhythm, crashing noises, strings being stretched and bent, distortion, cymbals echoing and bouncing round, rim shots- five minutes of exhilarating, motorik, dubwise chaos. The group is Nisennenmondai which meant nothing to me at first. On digging a little deeper I discovered they are a Japanese trio, three women, formed in Tokyo in 1999 and named after the Japanese word for Y2K millennium bug.

There’s Something Wrong With Human Nature

A record purchase made on a whim and a coincidental sequence of posts on social media have sent me down a rabbit warren of On U Sound recently. The record purchase was On U Sound’s Pay It All back Volume 7, a budget price double album of recent releases from Adrian Sherwood’s dub stable. Not long after someone posted Human Nature, the 1991 single by Gary Clail, produced by Sherwood, a massive club and chart hit in 91 and inescapable for a while.  Weirdly I do not own Human Nature in any format- vinyl, cassette, CD or mp3. I have plenty of On U Sound, several mp3s of Gary Clail tracks and Beef on 7″ but no Human Nature. Here’s the video.

 

Clail’s impassioned vocal over the dub/ indie- dance rhythm track and that keyboard riff, the piano part and Lana Pellay’s ‘let the carnival begin…’ chorus are all obvious highlights, much of the music being David Harrow’s musical handiwork (the keyboard riff, as I’m sure you all know, was used on the titles Snub TV, the much loved BBC 2 music programme). This being 1991 there were remixes and the Steve Osbourne Perfecto mix is a banger.

Originally the song included a Reverend Billy Graham vocal sample which couldn’t be cleared for release and Clail recorded the part it himself. Some promo copies of the single made it into record shops though. You can hear it here courtesy of blogging legend stx.

In 1989 Gary Clail released an album called End Of The Century Party produced by Sherwood and  featuring an all star cast- members of Tackhead, David Harrow, Bim Sherman, Jah Wobble and Keith Levene. This one is a dubby affair with Bim on vox alongside Clail and is infectious like flu.

Two Thieves And A Liar

 

Here Come The Warm Dreads

Coming out hot on the heels of his latest album Rainford, recorded with dub supremo Adrian Sherwood, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has now put out a dub version of that album, with some new Scratch- Sherwood tracks, titled Heavy Rain. If all that weren’t enough the new album has a collaboration with Brian Eno, Here Come The Warm Dreads, a dubbed out Eno version of the track Makumba Rock. And that is your Friday soundtrack and earworm ordered and booked.

Rainford

May must be a prime time for throwing your art out into the world, this is the fourth new music post in less than a week here. Today’s new music alert is from Lee Scratch Perry who has an album out at the end of the month, recorded with Adrian Sherwood at the controls. Rainford is a personal, autobiographical record recorded in bursts over two years in London, Jamaica and Brazil. Sherwood describes it as the strongest set of Scratch songs for years and set out with the intention of doing for the Upsetter what Rick Rubin did for Johnny Cash. The lead single Let It Rain goes some way to fulfilling those aims, catchy as you like and sounding like a song for the summer. The album can be pre-ordered at Bandcamp.

Scratch is on Twitter. On Sunday he Tweeted ‘ALTHOUGH WE’RE IN THE END TIMES, WE ARE NOT AT THE END OF THE TIME. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU LISTEN TO.
SATAN IS RAGING NOW BECAUSE HE KNOWS THE TIME IS SHORT DON’T LISTEN TO GLOOM AND DOOM. IT IS TRICKERY DESIGNED TO DRAG YOU DOWN. WE SHOULD BE REJOICING AT WHAT GOD IS BRINGING FOTH! And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Strike The Balance

Some On U Sound heaviness for Friday, from 1989’s Dub Syndicate album Strike The Balance, a masterpiece of late 80s Sherwood dub production. This song is proper rootsy dub, all bass and echo and delay with Bim Sherman singing and a freaked out metallic Dalek vocal running through it. Towards the end some woodwind floats over the top. The rest of the album rocks too, the chanting of Hey Ho, a cover of Je T’Aime with Shara Nelson and closer I’m The Man For You Baby. Like most of Adrian Sherwood’s back catalogue, it is worth shelling out for.

Mafia

Sherwood

Tuesday brings a pair of Adrian Sherwood mixes for your listening pleasure. The first is his dub mix of Monkey Mafia’s after hours classic from 1998, their cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song As Long As I Can See The Light. Echo, delay, melodica, the full Sherwood dubbed out business. A lovely way to start the day.

As Long As I Can See The Light (Adrian Sherwood Dub Lighting)

My own personal Woodentops revival continues- the band haven’t been far away from my stereo for most of 2018. Sherwood remixed several of Rolo and co’s songs. This is my favourite, vocals up front, crunchy guitars dropped in and out and frenetic pace maintained.

Love Affair With Everyday Living (Adrian Sherwood Mix)

Duffed Up

I was listening to Primal Scream’s Echo Dek album on Monday as the sun started to heat the day up and blue skies appeared for the third day running. In 1997 Bobby and co. gave Adrian Sherwood the tapes to their Vanishing Point album and let him do what he wanted to them. Echo Dek is largely stunning, full of thundering bass, heavy rhythms, static and hiss, echo and delay and door bells ringing. The second track on the album is a reworking of Get Duffy, a Martin Duffy keyboard led groover from the source album. Duffed Up heads into a dub/skronky jazz soundtrack area with a horn section and harpsichord. Massive Attack and Mad Professor’s No Protection pulled off the same trick in 1995, experimental mid 90s dub funded by major labels (and the Oasis millions).

Duffed Up