This Too Shall Pass Away

I found myself humming this song to myself while at work earlier this week- not sure what that tells you. This Too Shall Pass Away was on World Of Twist’s 1991 album Quality Street, the 3rd track in after the magnificent opening one-two punch of Lose My Way and Sons Of The Stage. Fading in on some studio chatter and tons of echo and a bubbling bassline, it is a gently sung, swirly piece of psychedelic pop, FX and atmospherics courtesy of producers The Grid. This Too Shall Pass Away is a cover, one of two covers on the album along with their terrific cover of The Stones’ She’s A Rainbow (and also Sly Stone’s Life And Death on the cd version). It was originally by 60s pop combo The Honeycombs, who had a million selling number one with the Joe Meek produced Have I The Right?

This Too Shall Pass Away

Quality Street is often seen as a ‘lost’ album, a record that slightly missed the boat. The band lost momentum and broke up. Part of this was down to the failure of the album (and not having a massive hit single) which led to the band being dropped. The Manchester wave crested and broke. But it was partly down to the album itself (not that there is anything wrong with the songs or the production). It’s the mastering of the volume. It’s too quiet. Tony Ogden, who died in 2006, was interviewed about the record and said¬†‘We wanted to make the greatest psychedelic dance rock album ever and there was a lot of coke and E in the studio. But the album came out at half normal volume. We’d spent ¬£250,000 making an album with the smallest bollocks in pop history! The band just fell apart. We were smoking marijuana for breakfast and that led to communication problems. I didn’t wanna sing, the guitarist didn’t wanna play. When the company didn’t get a hit they threw us in the bin. I was devastated – I spent four years on smack watching Third Reich movies because the good guys always win. I’m really sorry for letting our fans down. But I’d ask anyone to play that World of Twist album 20 times with every dial on full. If it doesn’t rock, come and smash it over my head.’

 

I Want More

I recently acquired a copy of a 1993 12″ single by Ege Bam Yasi- thanks Ctel by the way- and have been coming back to it fairly frequently. Ege Bam Yasi was from Inverness, born James MacDonald, an early adopter of acid house and has been making records since 1986. He took his stage name from the famous Can album and in 1993 put out a cover of Can’s only hit single I Want More, recorded with Edinburgh’s Finiflex. There are 3 mixes on the 12″, each one based to a greater or lesser extent around the Michael Karoli guitar riff, and clearly intended as much for the floor as for home listening. This one has a vocal sample, the instruction ‘everybody listen’, that choppy riff, some flute and a crunchy Finitribe/Finiflex rhythm. After one minute thirty-ish it becomes increasingly acid house.

I Want More (Malcolm Eggs Mixegg)

Those Dreams Keep You Free

This song keeps appearing in short bursts on the TV, advertising a fragrance (Marc Jacobs). I feel I can say without fear of contradiction that this 1979 Suicide single is one of the peaks of late 20th alternative pop culture.

Dream Baby Dream

A Youtuber has uploaded Dream Baby Dream with this entrancing video…

January Mix

Early January. Well done if you actually know what day it is. My calendar tells me it’s Tuesday but you could tell me it was any day of the week and I’d probably believe you. Reality has a habit of snapping back in in early January- my commiserations if you’re back at work today.

This is a completely remixed version of Perpetual Dawn, done by The Orb themselves, for their 1991 remix album The Aubrey Mixes: The Ultraworld Excursion (the album was released and deleted on the same day). Starting out with a burst of noise and radio voices and turning down the reggae influences from the original mix, January Mix 3 transforms slowly, adding Gregorian chanting and finally gathering pace in the sixth minute, and ending with the screech of tyres. Good work Alex and Thrash, job done.

Perpetual Dawn (January Mix 3)

Morning Velvet Sky Drive

Two new Richard Norris remixes for your enjoyment at the start of the week. There’s a lot of new stuff out at the moment, from all over the place and a multitude of sources. It’s difficult to keep up.

This one is a new version of Morning Velvet Sky by Gulp, one that has gone down a storm recently with punters at A Love From Outer Space. Pulsing synth bass, echo on the drums, and then joined by a spaced out, slightly folky vocal. Blissful. Gulp contain one Super Furry Animal (Guto Pryce).

And this one is Richard’s remix of Drive by Halina Rice, a London based producer. It picks up where the previous one started/left off- whooshing synths, electronic arpeggios, Halina’s choral vocals and some space age flamboyance. Magical stuff.