Isolation Mix 15: Songs The Lord Sabre Taught Us Part Two

Two weeks ago I posted my fourteenth Isolation Mix, The Songs Lord Sabre Taught Us, an hour of music from Andrew Weatherall’s record box, as featured on his radio shows, playlists, interviews and mixes, mixed together seamlessly (vaguely). Today’s mix is a second edition, fifteen songs he played, raved about or sampled, most of them first heard via him (I was listening to Stockholm Monsters before I was a fan of Mr Weatherall, a long lost Factory band who made a bunch of good singles and a fine album called Alma Matter and also the best band to come out of Burnage). It’s a tribute to the man and his record collection that there are so many great records from his back pages to sift through and then sequence into some kind of pleasing order. Rockabilly, dub, Factory, post- punk, krautrock legends, Weller spinning out through the Kosmos…

Cowboys International: The ‘No’ Tune
Sparkle Moore: Skull And Crossbones

The Pistoleers: Bank Robber

The Johnny Burnette Trio: Honey Hush

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze: Dubwise

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry: Disco Devil

African Head Charge: Dervish Chant

Big Youth: Hotter Fire

Colourbox: Looks Like We’re Shy One Horse

Stockholm Monsters: All At Once

Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble and Jaki Liebezeit: How Much Are They?

White Williams: Route To Palm

Paul Weller: Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus Beats)

A R Kane: A Love From Outer Space

Chris And Cosey: October (Love Song) ‘86


I’m launching into what may be an ill conceived Friday series here at Bagging Area. Last Friday I posted several songs about honey- songs by Death In Vegas, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Pastels and Spacemen 3. Today’s musical foodstuff is sugar, delicious, addictive, lipsmacking sweet stuff (that a report recently said is the real cause of the modern obesity crisis in the western world). A quick search of my hard drive reveals I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to sugar.

The lightest song on The Stone Roses debut album from May 1989 was about a girl, a sugar spun sister, opening with John Squire’s crystalline guitar chords and Ian’s softly sung vocals. The chorus turns things a little in what seems on the surface to be a fairly simple love song- the sky going green, the grass blue, M.P.s involved in solvent abuse- all these things would happen before she is happy with him. There’s a bit after the second chorus where there’s a pause and in the gap Ian sings ‘my hands….. are stuck to my jeans’ which is very nicely done (and which for years I misheard as ‘stuck to my dreams’). The sugar analogy is back at the end as Squire winds things up- she is the candy floss girl, he the sticky fingered boy.

(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister

In 1997 Yo La Tengo put out a career highpoint, the double album I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, an album which is a masterpiece of its kind. Sugarcube was in the middle of side 1 and later released as a single, 3 minutes 21 seconds of New York dreamy, soft noise perfection.


Lyrically it’s a bit more oblique than The Stone Roses sugar spun song but I think it’s about the same thing ultimately…

‘Whatever you want from me
Is what I want to do for you
Sweeter than a drop of blood
On a sugarcube
And though I like to act the part of being tough
I crumble like a sugarcube
For you’

More sugar vicar?

AR Kane’s sugar song came out in 1989 and is a lilting, off-kilter song, acoustic guitars and odd tunings and another case of sugar being a female who’s a little too sweet.


There’s loads more sugar on my hard drive- The Orielles have a song from last year (with an Andrew Weatherall remix to boot) called Sugar Tastes Like Salt, Slowdive’s recent triumph gave us Sugar For The Pill, there’s some Balearic Sugar Water from Kamasutra, Echo And The Bunnymen’s glorious 1987 single Lips Like Sugar and Secret Knowledge’s Sugar Daddy, a 1994 epic from Kris Needs and Wonder. I think I’ve posted all of these before at some point. There’s plenty more sugar in my record collection too but I’ll wrap this up with one more sugary delight before our teeth fall out. Four years ago Timothy J Fairplay released a 12″ in his Junior Fairplay rave guise, a back to the old skool circa 1990-1 retro-rave track that I love to pieces. Created using solely a breakbeat and a Korg 1, a vocal whoop and a stacatto ‘yeah!’, and then released on one sided purple vinyl, it is fun bottled, the future backwards. Sugar Puss.

Now go and clean your teeth.


Jumping forward slightly from the last three day’s posts to 1989 with a pair of dreads from East London, Alex Ayuli and Rudy Tambala. As AR Kane they made some bewildering and beautiful music, combining guitars with synths and breakbeats and what would become shoegaze. The pair used the term dream pop to describe their music, and the ambient, dubby swirl give many of their songs a dreamlike state. They released two albums- in 1986 their debut 69 followed in 1988 by ‘i’, both on Rough Trade. In 1990 they put out an e.p. of remixes from ‘i’ called rem’i’xes, with Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie providing three new versions and AR Kane themselves three more. This one is lilting and sweet but off kilter and experimental too.

Sugarwings (AR Kane Remix)

With Colourbox (as MARRS) they they would make Pump Up The Volume, an experience neither band enjoyed and wasn’t repeated, but which resulted in an international hit for MARRS and 4AD. The A-side, a number one single, is an amazing record, a groundbreaking piece of UK house music, laden with samples and a propulsive rhythm. There were so any problems with sample clearence that different versions were released in different countries. Pump Up The Volume was mainly the work of Colourbox and DJs Dave Dorrell and CJ Mackintosh. AR Kane’s contribution was pretty much solely a guitar line. The B-side was largely an AR Kane song but with drum programming from Colourbox’s Martyn Young and while not sounding much at all like Pump Up The Volume is a great track in its own right.

Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance)

Audrey’s Half Century

Today, April the 6th, is Lord Sabre Day, Andrew Weatherall’s birthday- and today he turns 50. The top picture shows him djing in the early 90s. I’m fairly certain it was taken at Cream during the Sabres Of Paradise tour (note gear borrowed off Sandals).

Two decades later…

Having followed him since his earliest vinyl adventures, I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the last twenty odd years tracking down, buying, listening to, and more recently surfing for, his music. I think he’s one of British music’s genuine mavericks, always interesting, always on the move and always worth listening to- on wax and in print. Always looking forward but with the past in view. His remixes from the last few years are among the very best stuff he’s done and The Asphodells album is a contender for album of the year so far. This is a bumper selection of  fairly randomly chosen Weatherall tracks from my hard drive to celebrate his half century…

Any brief internet/magazine biography always links Weatherall and Screamadelica. When the Scream put their collective boot on the monitor and released Give Out But Don’t Give Up many felt that it was a backwards step. It was. But proving you can make a dub purse out a sow’s ear, Weatherall reworked their Stonesisms into a heady twelve minute dub excursion that goes a little Screamadelica-esque in the final few minutes of this Sabres remix of Jailbird.

Jailbird (Weatherall Dub Chapter 3 Mix)

Similarly you get all the references to the artists he remixed in the early 90s. This one took that main keyboard refrain from James’ second best known song and sent a thousand indie kids sprawling across the dancefloor. Confusingly there are two different names for this remix but they are I think the same mix.

Come Home (Weatherall Skunk Weed Skank Remix)

Lino Squares was one of many aliases and pseudonyms Weatherall used during the late 90s, outside Two Lone Swordsmen. As Lino Squares he put out a six track vinyl pack of minimal, electro-oriented  music. These days it’s more linocuts than Lino Squares.


The first piece of vinyl to bear the Weatherall name as a solo artist was an e.p. entitled The Bullet Catcher’s Apprentice- the lead track Feathers was sold to sell cars, the Ford Tipp-Ex according to Weatherall. This song featured vocals from Weatherall and lists many things that are possible- but how one should never make disco without a Stratocaster.

You Can’t Do Disco Without A Strat

And he followed it with a wonderful solo album- A Pox On the Pioneers- a couple of years ago, drawing on glam, rockabilly, and post-punk. This was a dub of Fail We May, Sail We Must (from the Japanese version of the lp).

Fail We May, Dub We Must

Two years ago he remixed Clock Opera. I’m not sure I know much about Clock opera but remember reading a so-so review of their album. In fact I’m not even sure I’ve listened to the original track despite owning the 12″. But the Weatherall remix is a gem, one of many remix gems from recent times. This is a superb piece of electronic music, crisp beats, lovely synths and a fantastic repeated bit where everything goes all wonky.

Once And For All (Weatherall Remix)

In the last few years there have been a shedful of podcasts and mixes on the internet. This one, for Fact Magazine, remains one of the best, joining the dots over the course of an hour between (amongst others) CircleSquare, Dum Dum Dum, Bert Weedon, Wayne Walker, The Monks, Stockholm Monsters, Mogwai, Durutti Column, Dennis Wilson and The Mighty Wah! Proper stuff this.

Fact Mix 85 (September 09)

Weatherall and Fairplay’s Asphodells lp, Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust, has been sent out to the remixers. This one sees their cover version of AR Kane’s A Love From Outer Space get remixed by Mugwump- spaced out.

That should be enough to keep you going. I could have doubled the size of this post and still only scratched the surface. I don’t what a luxuriantly bearded, Edwardian clothes-wearing, heavily tattooed, dancefloor and leftfield legend does for his 50th birthday but I for one will be raising a glass in his honour tonight, somewhere  in a caravan in north Yorkshire. Happy 50th birthday sir.

Dangerous Groove That Does Not Redeem The Plunge

…is the Google translation from Japanese into English from the record label- Beatink- that is plugging Andrew Weatherall’s forthcoming album. Other translation gems; Rudy techno Banchou eternal, new electronics unit progression, rudy techno continue to rock the floor forever.

As well as drinking tea at festivals Andrew Weatherall and current musical partner Timothy J Fairplay (The Asphodells) have completed their first album and are releasing it in Japan on the 3rd of November.  It’s called Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust. Here’s hoping we get a similar release date. The lucky Japanese market gets two bonus tracks. Read all about it and get more amusing translations here, as well as a listen only sneak at the song A Love From Outer Space (Version 2), The Asphodells cover of an AR Kane song, who by happy coincidence have a compilation out soon also. This is from an AR Kane remix e.p.

Crack Up (Space Mix)

Him Of The Big Wheel

Andrew Weatherall djing recently in a pod on the London Eye, promoted by the makers of some sticky fluid. Can’t imagine there was much room for dancing. No track listing and I haven’t listened to it all but the opening ten minutes sound great, dreamy, krauty synth stuff.

Edit- also includes Weatherall’s own cover of AR Kane’s A Love From Outer Space and what I think is his remix of The Horrors.

>MARRS Attacks


Pump Up The Volume by MARRS is surely one of the greatest singles ever made and a number one single to boot. From 1987 it was a one-off collaboration between members of AR Kane and Colourbox, both Bagging Area favourites, with extra input from djs Dave Dorrell and CJ Mackintosh. Does it sound twenty four years old? I’ve lost track of how things should sound after that amount of time. Made up mainly of samples it still shakes dancefloors- well, the floor in my front room anyway. I don’t know if anyone would play it in a proper club anymore. This is the B-side Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance), made up of an AR Kane track with Colourbox programming the drum machine.

A Love From Outer Space

Hugely influential, much loved by Melody Maker, dream-pop/shoegaze/acid house/whatever, from AR Kane, who made two albums, 69 and i, and a load of singles. A Love From Outer Space was their poppiest moment. AR Kane were also half of MARRS, whose Pump Up The Volume was a number 1 smash and one of the first British entirely sample-made records.

A Love From Outer Space.mp3