Impulse Begin

Some forward thinking electronica from 1982 from the combined talents of Chris And Cosey, then fresh out of Throbbing Gristle and enjoying the freedom of their independence. Chris Carter pioneered the use of all kinds of equipment, not least the Roland 303 bassline synth and Roland 808 drum machine, back before most people had even heard of either.

Impulse

They’ve never really stopped and in recent years have made some wonderful remixes. This one is a case in point, a sweetly euphoric version of a Tim Burgess and Peter Gordon collaboration from 2016.

Begin (Carter Tutti Remix)

I’m part way through Cosey Fanni Tutti’s autobiography, titled art sex music, and without giving too much away she has lived an eye-opening life, a life lived as art, and in the 1970s put up with some very shitty behaviour from Genesis P. Orridge.

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)

Face It Tiger

I was sifting through a box of cds found on top of a cupboard recently- various bits of decorating and reorganising have been taking place which will eventually lead to a new storage solution for the overspill of records that has been taking place in the back room for a few years now. The box contained either cds I’d made myself or cds that came free with magazines. Some didn’t the survive the process. Some got refiled in the box (but more neatly). Some got taken to the car. On the way to work on Tuesday morning I put a cd called Change The Beat into the player, a compilation that came free with Mojo in 2015 subtitled ’14 tracks from Madonna’s New York scene’. This came blaring out of my car’s speakers and for 4 minutes and 13 seconds I was convinced it was the best song I was going to hear that day.

Coup

Everything about it is the maximum it could be- that taut, funky as fuck bassline (pinched by The Chemical Brothers at a cost for Block Rockin’ Beats), those chanted backing vox, the horns, the timbales, the gunshot samples. Magical stuff from 23 Skidoo back in 1983. You just hit the jackpot.

To Fly Free You Must Fly Alone

Back to 1990 today and a hands in the air piano rave moment from N-Joi. The vocal track on the original version of the song was made up of samples from 3 different sources- Gwen Guthrie, Soul II Soul and Darlene Davis- which singer Saffron mimed for TV and sang live for performances, as seen here on Top Of The Pops…

Anthem

Saffron went on to find fame as the singer of Republica, a group that included a former member of Flowered Up (Tim Dorney on keyboards) and a former member of Soul Family Sensation (Jonathan Male on guitar). Back in the late 90s I wrote some reviews and articles for a Manchester based magazine and got to interview Saffron (on the phone not face to face). I don’t think the Saffron interview was published (probably because my interviewing skills were limited and the whole thing was a bit uncomfortable). Later on I co-interviewed Bez in a bar called The Temple Of Convenience. He was promoting his book Freaky Dancing. This interview went much better. Bez offered to take us out for the night with, and I quote, ‘some classical music fella and the King of Cumbia squeezing fuck out of a massive squeezebox’. His opening gambit when we all sat down was to tell me that I looked like ‘I smoked loads of smack’ (which I didn’t I hasten to add). Good fun and highly entertaining. Happy days.

Green World Blue Realm

Back at the start of the decade I downloaded this song from a music blog (Davy H’s now defunct The Ghost Of Electricity).

Another Green World (The Blue Realm Remix)

Mojo Filter takes Brian Eno’s Another Green World, the Arena theme tune for those of a certain age, and gets it all loved up. The voice in the song says ‘L-O-V-E love’ and that’s largely what it sounds like. This is a piece of music so glorious, so uplifting, so beautifully out there, it should  be posted on an annual basis. As it is, I haven’t posted it since May 2012, for which I can only apologise. May 2012 seems like another world entirely doesn’t it? Six short years ago but a world away in many ways. You don’t need me to spell it.

Back in the mid 80s Alan Moore took Swamp Thing, a minor DC comics character and wrote a series of stories that redefined what comics could tackle. Illustrated by Steve Bissette and John Totleben it was a weird trip into all sorts of places comics didn’t really go including inter-species sexual relationships. In the edition from April 1984 Swamp Thing had to come to terms with the realisation that he wasn’t human, that he had lost his humanity and lived in the Green. Moore peppered his writing with pop culture references- this issue’s title was Another Green World. There’s a full account of the story of Swamp Thing #23 here. When I finally sold all of my comics Swamp Thing was one of a handful that I hung on to.

Today also happens to be my Dad’s 80th birthday. Happy birthday Dad.

Flame On

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief and creator of hundreds of characters including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The X Men, Black Widow, The Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, Thor, Ant Man and Daredevil, has died at the grand age of 95. It’s fair to say that a lot of our childhoods would have been very different without Marvel Comics and their cast of brightly coloured superheroes (and their flawed, all too human alter-egos). RIP Stan and Make Mine Marvel.

There’s been a little resurgence of The Dream Syndicate in blogs in these parts this year kicked off I think by my post back in April, a film of Andrew Weatherall playing in Italy last year and dropping The Dream Syndicate’s John Coltrane Stereo Blues into his set. Watch it here, it’s fifty minutes you won’t regret. Drew posted some Dream Syndicate, CC has posted some and I think The Swede too. So here’s some more from Steve Wynn and co, the second song from their full length debut, an album inspired by 1966 and 1977 in equal parts.

Defnitely Clean

Do Not Attempt To Speak! It Will Serve No Purpose…

‘…since I know why you have come! But your quest is in vain! You cannot save your world from being ravished by Galactus!’ The colour, vibrancy, movement and energy in these Jack Kirby frames is something else.

The opening track from 808 State’s 1989 album 90 is the first track on the memory stick in the family car at the moment. I can’t get past it, hitting replay time after time while running around- the melodic intro, then the breakbeat and busy bass, synths in technicolour and Vanessa’s spoken/sung vocal…. ‘come with me and have no fear, just close your eyes and disappear’. Dead stop.

Magical Dream