Isolation Mix Eight

An hour and five minutes of lockdown vibes and an attempt to lift the spirits and up the tempo a bit this week. This one is a global trawl of tunes taking in Dubwood Allstars and their splicing together of King Tubby, Dylan Thomas and Richard Burton, a classic 70s Lee Perry production from the Black Ark in Kingston, Jamaica, Moon Duo doing Black Sabbath in very laid back style, groove- based melodic noise from Scotland (Mogwai) and Norway (Mythologen), some funky 80s crossover dance pop from NYC, Natasha Khan and Toy as Sexwitch, Paris duo Acid Arab and South London’s Rude Audio, all on a Middle Eastern tip, and early 90s Balearic dub house majesty from Sheer Taft (Glasgow) and Underworld (Essex). Bank holiday weekend. Take it easy. Stay safe.

Dubwood Allstars: Under Dubwood

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Zap- Pow: Riverstone

Moon Duo: Planet Caravan

Mogwai: The Sun Smells Too Loud

Mythologen: Trust

Tom Tom Club: Wordy Rappinghood

Sexwitch: Ha Howa Ha Howa

Acid Arab: Club DZ

Rude Audio: Rumble On Arab Street

Sheer Taft: Cascades (Hypnotone Mix)

Underworld: M.E.


Things are weird at the moment- it goes without saying really- but despite now having got into a routine during the lockdown period and the weekly events becoming ways to mark the passing of time (weekends free of virtual and online/video work, Tuesday putting the bins out, Thursday night clapping) there are moments when the sheer otherness and scale of what is happening hit home. The community that is being fostered, especially on streets like ours where people live close to each other and while the sun has been shining people have been socially distancing in their front gardens, talking to each other across walls and hedges, is a definite feature of 2020. But there are times when it’s all a bit much. The silence outside. The absence of the people you’d expect to see every day. The strange atmosphere in supermarkets. The crossing the road to avoid people when out for a walk. The new normal seems normal and then something happens that makes you remember how un-normal this all is, how far from normal we are.

As I type this a hearse with a coffin in it and just two cars following has driven past my window.

I’ve seen several links to newspaper articles about people experiencing more vivid or more lucid dreams during the lockdown and I have found myself waking up suddenly, in a jolt, from some very vivid dreams. I don’t think the dreams themselves are especially strange- often they seem to be work dreams- but they do seem to be very real.

In May 1991  Creation’s dance act Hypnotone remixed The Lilac Time. Hypnotone remixed other Creation artists, memorably Primal Scream and Sheer Taft and had several great records at the time themselves. The remix of Dreaming is a lovely piece of dance pop, warm and open, ambient and bleepy, and the voice repeating ‘all the people on this earth… I am talking to you’. A record totally in tune with the shift that had taken place at that time.

Dreaming (Hypnowah Mix)


Following yesterday’s remix of The Lilac Time here’s some more Hypnotone. First that Primal Scream remix (first released as a white label and then as part of the Creation Keeping The Faith compilation, as essential a slice of 1991 as you’re going to find). Come Together was/is a masterpiece in its Weatherall ten minute mix and the Terry Farley flipside. Hypnotone’s version is more frantic, more bass-in-yer-face, more rave, a more tops off on the podium gurning at the lights kind of tune…

Come Together (TheHypnotoneBrainMachineMix)

The white label 12″ has a lesser known remix of the other side, a more ambient dub mix by BBG (Big Boss Groove, best known for their Snappiness and Some Kind Of Heaven singles, both out in 1990).

Come Together (BBG Mix)

Hypnotone were Martin Mittler and Tony Martin. Their 1990 album was recorded at Spirit Studios in Manchester and released on Creation. The vocals on Dream Beam and Potion 90 were by Denise Johnson and led to her getting the gig with Primal Scream and singing on Screamadelica. Dream Beam then gained two remixes of its own, one from Balearic legend Danny Rampling and other, a sparser version by Ben Chapman (both posted here previously). Until fairly recently I didn’t know that Dream Beam had a video but here it is in all its dayglo glory…

Hypnotone’s album opens with Dream Beam and has the essence of 1990 running through its grooves. Italia is Italian house via Tariff Street M1, house pianos, bouncy bass and a rattling 808. Vocals on this one are by Pauline.

The last track on Hypnotone was Sub, a very nice, end of night, coming down kind of tune with some sublime synths.

Somewhere Down The Road

Last week the Madchester Rave On blog posted up a 12″ single from May 1991, remixes of The Lilac Time’s Dreaming by Creation dance act Hypnotone. I’m not even sure I knew that these remixes existed and if I did I don’t think I’d heard them before. Hypnotone had a classic 1990 release on Creation, the magnificent, bleepy Dream Beam and an excellent eponymous album in the same year. They remixed Primal Scream and Sheer Taft. This remix of Dreaming is very 1991 and a very chilled, spaced out affair. The whole 12″, with the original song and a different version of the remix was posted by MRO here.

Dreaming (Wave Station Remix)

The Lilac Time started out in 1986, an indie/jangle-pop/folk band founded by Stephen Duffy (formerly Stephen Tin Tin Duffy) and his brother Nick who veered from major to indie in the 80s pitching up at Creation around 1990 and being managed by Alan McGee. In 1987 they released a beautiful, jaunty but melancholy single called Return To Yesterday, a song I never seem to get bored of and one I’ve posted before.

Return To Yesterday

The lyrics, written over 30 years ago now, seem to take on a new meaning in the light of our current political situation.

‘It was the day before the day before yesterday
When we thought everything would now go our way
We inherited a fortune of innocence
And they took it all away
We travel on the last bus from sanity
Through province town to cities of obscurity
And somewhere down the road it occurs to me
That I might have missed my stop
But I will not return to yesterday
Or smooth out the human clay
We’ll face this new England like we always have
In a fury of denial
We’ll go out dancing on the tiles
Help me down, but don’t take me back
I heard a lover calling to Saint Anthony
Sadly treating love like her property
Only battles can be lost and so it seems we do
But I’m hoping for a change
I left you at the bus stop in working town
Now the service has been cut re-named slumber down
I can see you on the bars of your brother’s bicycle
Now I hope you’re not alone
And all the politician creeps
I know they want them back
And the couturier weeps
She knows they won’t come back
And the lovers who seldom speak
I know they want them back
And me falling back into your half term kisses
No I will not’
Duffy seems to be writing about loss of childhood and how the future isn’t what it was promised to be, that adult life is emptier than it seemed as a child. I can’t help but feel Duffy is coming out against nostalgia here, he isn’t wanting to go back to childhood or teenage years, despite the lure of the half term kisses, but something has been lost.
Both sides of the Brexit argument could fit in to this, the Leavers who want to return to the mythical England of their imagination and the Remainers who feel they’ve been betrayed, sold out and ignored and who suddenly in 2016 found themselves in a country they didn’t recognise. The chorus- ”we’ll face this new England like we always have/in a fury of denial, we’ll go out dancing on the tiles”- speaks for itself.

Hypnotise Us

Two slices of early 1990s dance music to whisk us away from December and all those pre-Christmas irritations. First up is a song I’ve posted before but only recently saw the video for the first time.

Released by Creation in 1990 Dream Beam is a wonderful slice of house music, bleepy and spaced out with vocals from Denise Johnson. It was this song that got her the gig with Primal Scream and led to her singing on Screamadelica. Tony Martin’s production is perfectly in tune with the times- he put an album out too, also called Hypnotone, which is worth pulling out from the shelf or looking out for if this kind of thing is your bag. Dream Beam is also on Creation’s definitive 1991 Keeping The Faith compilation, along with Fluke, Weatherall’s MBV remix, World Unite, Sheer Taft, Love Corporation, Primal Scream and a couple of others. Keeping The Faith is among the very best things the label ever released.

I saw Hypnotone perform at a mini-festival in Sefton Park, Liverpool (I think it was summer 1990). Larks In The Park was an annual affair starting in the early 80s. Famously in 1985 The Stone Roses and The La’s played the same night. Hypnotone went on way after dark. We were on a grass bank across the boating lake from the stage and the bleeps came  from the bandstand, drifting across the water towards us, followed by Denise’s voice. Everyone was very chilled and happy. It was one of those moments.

Dream Beam (Danny Rampling Remix)

I posted Papua New Guinea by Future Sound Of London fairly recently, back at the end of August. August seems like a long time ago now. This is another video I’d never seen before until recently, FSOL playing Papua New Guinea on Top Of The Pops in 1991. And playing it live. Papua New Guinea is one of those records that takes you away from it all.

Weatherall’s remix takes things up several gears, a thumping kick drum over that throbbing synths and the rushing rewind sounds. Tom toms. Seagulls. Chanting.

Papua New Guinea (Andrew Weatherall Remix)


Sheer Taft, from Greenock, made one of 1991’s most brilliant dance records- Cascades (posted before here at least once). Cascades is a sunny, druggy, bubbling delight, sent from Greenock to Camden via Ibiza. It is superb. The version that was on Creation Records classic 1991 dance compilation Keeping The Faith was mixed/remixed by another Creation dance act called Hypnotone (who have also been here before with Dream Beam, possibly twice). Sheer Taft were a duo- Thomas Taft and Ingrid Kudos- who had a second single a year later, an Italo piano house song with vocals from Mito and the writing is co-credited to Hypnotone. It’s not as good as Cascades. But then, what is?


Sheer Taft also put out an album called Absolute Sheerness but I’ve never even seen a copy, never mind heard it. According to the internet Thomas Taft also did gig promotion, was a member of the extended Primal Scream family, disappeared to New Zealand for ten years and had a psychedelic rock band.

Brain Machine

 In recent years Primal Scream have taken to playing the two versions of Come Together together live, Come Together coming together. Opening with the Weatherall remix and then going into the Farley one.

There was a lesser known third remix of Come Together by Hypnotone (a Creation dance act who made the ace Dream Beam single), released as a white label and on the 1991 Keeping the Faith compilation. The Hypnotone remix is far noisier and ravier, more chaotic with distorted synths and shouty vocal samples. Love it. What Bobby and the band need to do now is work this version into the live show and stretch Come Together out even further, three comings together for the price of one.

Come Together (Hypnotone Brain Machine Remix)

In a handy piece of internet synchronicity Daniel Avery has just remixed the song for BT Sport, who are showing matches live from the new football season (irritatingly called the EPL by some numpties, otherwise known as ‘the greatest league ever in the history of football’). There’s a 25 second clip below which obviously is of little use to man or dog but longer and different versions apparently do exist.

>Hypnotise Us


I posted a different mix of Hypnotone’s Dream Beam ages ago, the Ben Chapman version with it’s huge bleepy intro. This version was by remixed Danny Rampling and on the Creation does dance Keeping The Faith compilation. Rampling keeps the big vocal, gives us synth stabs rather than pianos and a well Balaeric rhythm to hypnotise us, as the vocal sample says several times. A friend of Bagging Area reckons the over-riding thing about records like this one was the sense of possibility in them. He’s not wrong. I saw Hypnotone play Dream Beam at the Sefton Park festival in Liverpool in summer 1990, sitting by the pond in almost complete darkness. It’s stayed with me ever since. Tune, as people used to say.

Dream Beam(Danny Rampling mix).mp3

Sheer Taft ‘Cascades’ (Hypnotone mix)

A week or two ago I posted a couple of tracks from the 1991 Creation Records dance compilation Keeping The Faith. As chance would have it this came up on the mp3 player during this evening’s trek down three motorways to get home. Sheer Taft, according to discogs, were Thomas Taft of Greenock and Ingrid Kudos. They released another single Atlantis (which I havn’t got, and don’t think I’ve ever heard) and an album Absolutely Sheer (ditto previous bracket). This is Cascades, remixed by previous postee Hypnotone. Dubby, electronic, Creation house. Sounds pretty good to these ears.

Cascades(Hypnotone mix).mp3

Hypnotone ‘Dreambeam (Ben Chapman Remix)’

Following on from yesterday’s post about Keeping The Faith this is Hypnotone’s Dream Beam, not the version that appears on that compilation, but the Ben Chapman remix, probably the better version. In Sefton Park in Liverpool they used to hold a festival (Lark In The Park I think it was called). Not being a permanent resident of Scouseland I only went once, not the year the Roses and the La’s played unfortunately, but I do remember sitting by the pond/lake and the intro to this record bleeping and booming out across the night. It sounded huge.

Dreambeam (Ben Chapman Remix).mp3