Airborne, Travelling

We got back from camping tired but largely dry having had a cracking weekend in the Ulverston area, no wifi, no signal. My hay fever went a bit mad last week and I felt really shitty on the Friday night but recovered to enjoy Saturday. It was not even spoiled that much by listening to England lose to Italy on a tiny radio while sitting around a camp fire. Next stop- defeat to Uruguay, followed by defeat to Costa Rica. Drew- I have no expectations of England winning at all. And in a way, I don’t mind, if they at least play well while losing.

Ellis Island Sound’s Regions album is one of my favourites of this year, along with the ones from Pete Molinari and Hollie Cook. Regions is laid back, funky and from somewhere midway between krautrock and Afrobeat (or an English version of those). The lead single Intro, Airborne, Travelling had a couple of remixes. This one by Scott Fraser (from Mr Weatherall’s Scrutton Street axis) toughens it up and stretches it out.

Intro, Airborne, Travelling (Scott Fraser Remix)


Ellis Island

                                                                   Russian immigrants, Ellis Island, early 20th century

The new lp from Ellis Island Sound is quietly turning into one of my favourites of this year so far. One half of Ellis Island Sound is Pete Astor (The Loft, The Weather Prophets) but there’s nothing remotely 80s Creation about Regions. This is rhythm led and takes it’s influences from all over the place- skittering drums, horns borrowed from ska records, African sounding guitar parts, some dub bass, steel drums, glockenspiel, reminiscent of 1980 Talking Heads in tone. The single Intro, Airbourne, Travelling is excellent and out now. Posting any one single song doesn’t really give an idea about how varied this album is either but try this one.

We Do Not

Out Of The Loft

Pete Astor has featured at Bagging Area before as head honcho of 80s indie bands The Loft and The Weather Prophets and 90s/00s ambienty act Ellis Island Sound. As well as becoming a lecturer in Popular Studies he’s got a new album out called Songbox- 2 cds, one of new songs and the other cover versions of his songs by others. It comes in a very nice cardboard box. Pete’s an underrated songwriter but a good one, as this swinging, bluesy song demonstrates, and the woodwind instruments make this as good a way as any to start the working week.

Spine Bubbles

In 1999 Warp celebrated their birthday slightly less expansively and expensively than they have this time around. There were some compilation cds and a load of remixes. This track is about as laidback as Two Lone Swordsmen ever got. Spine Bubbles was a track from their 1999 Stay Down album -the one with the lovely cover painting of Deep Sea Divers, and many of the tracks had a bassy, submerged, underwater feel. When Warp got a load of remixes together for the Warp 10+3 cd Spine Bubbles was remixed by Ellis Island Sound. Somewhat improbably Ellis Island Sound included Pete Astor, formerly of Creation records 80s indie kings/flops The Weather Prophets, and before that The Loft. Ellis Island Sound released a whole album of understated, ambient, instrumental subtleness. I’ve got it downstairs and apart from the fact I know I liked it whenever I last listened to it, I really can’t remember any of the songs. But that’s kind of the point of the ambient end of things- wallpaper music to wash over you without leaving much of a trace. Now I come to think of it the Warp remix cd also included a decent stab at remixing the Sabres Of Paradise wonderful Wilmot by Red Snapper. I better go and have a look hadn’t I?

This remix, as I started out saying, is laidback and lovely. It hangs around for a bit, bubbling and chirruping, patter patter drums, and then fades away. Nice stuff for a Friday evening if you’re not doing fireworks and have had one of those weeks.