Monday’s Long Song

Another Monday, another Weatherall remix. This one came out in 1995, a Sabres of Paradise remix of Fun>Da>Mental. At seven and a half minutes long it’s in no rush to get anywhere very quickly and has some very dusty and lazy sounds floating on top of the stoned groove. In fact, the title Mother In India (Sabres At Dusk Mix) is a pretty accurate description of what it sounds like.

Mother India (Sabres At Dusk Mix)

It was coupled with the eight minute Sabres At Dawn Mix, a similar but less sleepy version.

Mother India (Sabres At Dawn)

The sleeve listed inspirational mothers, sisters and daughters throughout history that Fun>Da>Mental wanted to pay tribute to, from Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto to Boudica, Marie Curie, Betty Shabazz, Joan of Arc, Miriam Makeba, Mahalia Jackson, Emily and Sylvia Pankhurst, Angela Davies, Harriet Tubman, Coretta Scott King and Alice Walker.

This remix was one of the last Sabres of Paradise ones and I’m sure I read somewhere recently that it was the first tie that Andrew and Keith Tenniswood really worked together one to one so in some ways the Two Lone Swordsmen were born here. In 1995 the Sabres studio was above a dry cleaners in Hounslow, on the Flightpath Estate and I can hear some of the sound of the first Two Lone Swordsmen album, 1996’s The 5th Mission (Return To The Flightpath Estate), in these two remixes.

To come bang up to date the fifth monthly Woodleigh Research Facility three track ep came out on Friday, a set of songs called Karra Mesh. Sonically and thematically the title track fits in very well with the two Fun>Da>Mental remixes above, the sounds he was exploring two and a half decades ago still circling.

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Tactical Support

Two remixes by artists of each other’s work from the tail end of the 20th century for today. Two Lone Swordsmen remixed Kenny Hawkes, the Brighton based DJ and producer who kickstarted Girls FM, an important London pirate radio station, and who played at several London club nights including Space at Bar Rhumba. Sadly, Kenny died in 2011 following an illness.

Ashley’s War opens with some amusing vocal samples at the start the TLS remix of Ashley’s War settles into a laid back, languid groove with no particular end in sight, just some downtempo head nodding from late 1999.

Ashley’s War (Two Lone Swordsmen Mix)

In return Kenny remixed a track from Two Lone Swordsmen’s Stay Down album, their 1998 experimental, dub techno excursion into underwater minimalism. Kenny’s remix appeared on a 12″ single Two Lone Swordsmen Receive Tactical Support which coupled Kenny’s remix with the C-Pij remix of Big Clapper (C-Pij being a Nina Walsh pseudonym) and Silicon Scally’s remix of Black Commandments. Just another obscure and high quality release hidden away in the Andrew Weatherall back catalogue. Kenny’s remix of Hope We Never Surface is propelled by a clattering drum beat and some dark synths along with the crackle and hiss of late 90s Two Lone Swordsmen.

Hope We Never Surface (Kenny Hawkes Remix)

Monday’s Long Songs

It would have been Andrew Weatherall’s 57th birthday today. Around the internet there are artists offering tracks they recorded with Andrew or that were remixed by him as freebies and, natch, there are plenty of long songs to get your teeth into while raising a glass to the man’s birthday tonight.

Being is/was the name adopted by Edinburgh based Dave Paton. He has an extensive back catalogue. In the 90s Being found himself in Weatherall’s orbit, releasing music on the Emissions Audio Output label. Emissions replaced Sabres Of Paradise as Weatherall’s own label and was split into several sub- labels- Emissions Echoic, Emissions Lo- Fi, Emissions Static, Special Emissions and New Emissions- all to put out slightly different takes on the sound from ‘dark, stripped down, derelict house music’ to ‘experimental and ambient dance music’. A full breakdown of the different sub- labels and their releases can be found at Discogs. The logos were nicely minimal and looked good on the generic Emissions sleeves and t- shirts.

Being’s records came out on Special Emissions in 1995 and 1996, minimal scratchy, ambient electronic dub records with weird noises, echoes, hiss and lots of s p a c e. In 1996 the Two Lone Swordsmen and A Being record came out, three tracks long- Craterplay, Pallor and Thruxton Circuits. The release was only on white label, limited edition and came in a resealable plastic bag with a photocopied A4 insert. Rare and now very collectable. The 12″ single plus the remix he did of Two Lone Swordsmen’s 1996 tracks Azzolini and The Branch Brothers (both originally part of the first two Lone Swordsmen record, The Third Mission, out on Emissions Echoic in April 1996) are available from Being’s Bandcamp as a free download. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea but sharing these emissions from the margins is part of what blogging is all about. Let’s leave no stone unturned.

More recently, 2018, Andrew remixed Marius Circus’ I Feel Space track.  I Feel Space is Marius’ take on the track that kicked off the whole Scandi disco scene back in 2005- Lindstrom’s tribute to I Feel Love, an warm, uplifting, dreamy Italo- house synth record. Marius’ cover and the two Weatherall remixes are both available for free, if you haven’t got them already. Both remixes are spaced out, cosmic disco chuggers with plenty of those long, keening sounds that are littered throughout his work from the last decade. The unreleased dub is, er, dubbier and probably the pick of the pair to these ears.

Monday’s Long Song

One thing Andrew Weatherall did from the earliest days of his own remixes and productions was scatter clues for you to follow. He worked with One Dove producing their debut album Morning Dove White, a much delayed album and one which was mucked about with by the record company who wanted a pop hit. Fallen came out in 1992, ahead of the album which didn’t appear until autumn 1993, and the eight minute version on the A- Side was this-

Fallen (The Nancy And Lee Mix)

The chugging intro and those huge timbales are heavenly even before the first appearance of Dot’s breathing. After a minute Dot’s speaks, her voice very close up, and says ‘I don’t know why I’m telling you any of this, one thing is don’t ever told anyone I told you this, don’t save me, just forgive me’ and then we have lift off into blissed out ambient- tinged dance music.

After Andrew’s death in February One Dove member Ian Carmichael posted his memories of the making of the album on Facebook-
‘The day Andy Weatherall came to Glasgow to work in my studio, I slept in.
When I arrived, breathless and sweaty and terrified, I was thinking I’ve kept this VIP DJ waiting outside on the doorstep for 20 minutes; he’s going to be so pissed off and I’m the biggest jerk in the world.
He was sitting reading NME. Smiling. Smiling BIG. The reviews of Screamadelica had just come out that day. The NME saved my life.
As friendly and happy as he was, I was still intimidated by him, and his way of working was so unconventional I felt that I was playing catch-up the whole day. His first instruction on the remix was to change the time signature of the track – EVERYTHING had to be reprogrammed. I was a nervous wreck.

And then we started to commit to tape the tracks as he wanted them played – starting with just the rhythmic breaths – and he would add elements in and we’d just record it to tape and build the track up bit by bit. Back then that meant editing a 1/4″ reel to reel.
I had bits of tape all of the floor, around my neck, across the mixing desk – I couldn’t remember what any of them were. I had razor cuts on my fingers and my hands were sweating so much I couldn’t hold the tape. I wouldn’t even get halfway through an edit before Andy would be giving out instructions on the next part of the track. All I could see in front of me were the red LEDs on the tape machine screaming OVERLOAD! I wanted to die.
It was one of the worst days of my life.
And one of the best.’
The Nancy And Lee Mix was named after Sinatra and Hazlewood. I wasn’t particularly familiar with Lee Hazlewood’s work in any depth at that point although I knew his name at least in part from a Thin White Rope e.p. I’d bought in 1988 where the Paisley Underground/ desert blues group covered Some Velvet Morning. My Mum had been a Nancy Sinatra fan and there were some of her records at home- Nancy In London and Boots were both around (I’m sure they still are, she doesn’t throw much away).
Some Velvet Morning is a strange, dark, psychedelic pop song with strings, rattling snares and shifting time signatures, sugar spiked with LSD. Nancy and Lee duet, Nancy as Phaedra playing off against Lee’s baritone. The lyrics suggest an acid trip- ‘some velvet morning when I’m straight/I’m gonna open up your gate’- but Lee said later on he didn’t know what the words meant. He said they were inspired by Greek mythology and that Phaedra had ‘a sad middle, a sad end and by the time she was 17 she was gone. She was a sad- assed broad, the saddest of all the Greek goddesses, so bless her heart, she deserves some notoriety, I’ll put her in a song’. Nancy, recently one of Trump’s biggest and most frequent online critics, said in the 1990s ‘I’ve been singing this song for over 20 years and I still don’t know what the darned thing means’.

Some Velvet Morning

But the clues and references are dropped for you to follow so the names in brackets on a remix send you off on a quest down the rabbit hole to fill in the gaps. Second hand records from the 1960s were easy to get hold of in the early 90s, second hand record shops and charity shops filled with dumped collections and I found a copy of Nancy And Lee without too much much trouble. Nancy’s Greatest Hits as well (with the gatefold sleeve).

Andrew Weatherall would return to Some Velvet Morning in 2003 when Primal Scream recorded a version of it for their Evil Heat album, Kate Moss duetting with Bobby. The 12″ single had a Two Lone Swordsmen remix, Andrew and Keith weirding it out in disco dub style.

Some Velvet Morning Disco Heater Dub

The Hidden Library

A reader request today from someone called Boshed who found my Hidden Library post from 2012 and asked if the songs could be re- uploaded. First some background. Back in the early 21st century Andrew Weatherall had a short run of limited 7″ single releases under the name Hidden Library. At the time there was a Rotters Golf Club website with a virtual club house you could explore and poke around in using your mouse and dial up internet connection. In the library there was a secret door which took you through to the hidden library from where a pair of singles could be ordered, limited to 500 copies. They were among the first things I ever bought off the internet and my ineptitude meant that I bought two copies of one of them and couldn’t work out how to change my order. This was in the days when Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood were deep underground, making seriously purist electronic music. Breakbeats via turntables and laptops, abstract electro with a heavy whiff of skunk in the air.

The first single, Hidden Library 001, doesn’t exist. Apparently it was mispressed and binned. Weatherall has said on the radio that he has a couple of OK copies that he’ll sell on the internet when times are hard. The first release was Hidden Library 002. Both sides of the single are untitled but written and produced by Weatherall and Tenniswood.

Hidden Library 002 A

Hidden Library 002 B

Hidden Library 003 was a cover of Hawkwind man Robert Calvert’s 1985 song Lord Of The Hornets. Both sides of the single are credited to Jnr. Poon. Eventually it came to light that Jnr. Poon, who made only these two songs, was Duncan Gray and Jim Wren. Duncan Gray has recently been releasing a slew of excellent, long chuggy monsters, some of which have been posted here and here.

Lord Of The Hornets is a buzzing, wired, electronic killer of a track, worth the price of admission alone.

Lord Of the Hornets

The B- side is scratchy and dusty with a stark drumbeat, sounds a bit like it was recorded in an underpass beneath a dual carriageway at night, and has Weatherall on distorted spoken word vocals. Unfortunately the use of the word ‘retard’ really hasn’t aged well.

My Backward Cousin Mark

 

Monday’s Long Song

Over on social media this weekend a friend posted a Beth Orton song from 1996. Touch Me With Your Love was on Beth’s debut album Trailer Park and was also released as a single in January 1997. The production and mixing was by Andrew Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood, then Two Lone Swordsmen.

This sent me back to Trailer Park where Weatherall and Tenniswood contributed to three other songs including the otherworldly and breathtaking ten minute album closer Galaxy Of Emptiness, a song that unfolds gently, is in no great hurry to get anywhere quickly and all the better for it. Beth sings ‘Won’t you please knock me off my feet for a while?’ and this song does just that.

Galaxy Of Emptiness

I’m Still Dreaming

One of Primal Scream’s finest post-Screamadelica moments is this one, Autobahn 66 (from 2002’s Evil Heat album). Ignore the title, the song’s a beauty, a shimmering krautrock groove, ticking and hissing drums and a cooler than fuck bassline, spacey synths and melodies beamed in from out there. Over this Bobby whispers his stream of consciousness- dreaming, always dreaming, dreaming my life til the day that I die, colours so beautiful, softer than silk. It’s no surprise that the desk was being manned by Weatherall (with then fellow Swordsman Keith Tenniswood).  My virtual friend Chris Mackin laid down the bass part and then in his own words ‘went out til 5 am celebrating’.

Autobahn 66 (album version)

According to Discogs there was a promo release of Autobahn 66 that had a 7 minute 26 second instrumental version. If anyone’s got it, I’m right here. The single version I bought contained the Radio Edit and an Alter Ego remix of Autobahn plus Substance D. This is a top notch single release, well worth whatever I paid for it 16 years ago. Alter Ego are a duo from Dramstadt in Germany and their remix is less cosmic, more mechanical, and yes, more Teutonic.

Autobahn 66 (Alter Ego Remix)

Substance D is Weatherall’s remixed version of the album track A Scanner Darkly (also from Evil Heat and produced by himself and Tenniswood). Substance D is deliciously dirty mutant funk built around the same drum machine that powers Autobahn 66.

Substance D

Swimming Not Skimming

I pulled out Two Lone Swordsmen’s 1996 double album Swimming Not Skimming at the weekend, a record I haven’t played for a long time. SNS was a mixture of new tracks from Weatherall and Tenniswood and some remixes. The vinyl always confused me- the tracklist and disc labelling was unclear and I wasn’t sure what the different tracks were called until I became acquainted with the cd version and then later the internet could confirm which track was which. Additionally the cd had 10 tracks to the vinyl version’s 7. Both formats have the same couple of remixes of stand-up bass tour de force Rico’s Helly, almost worth the price of admission on their own. I was half tempted to post the whole thing but it is still available to buy digitally so decided against it. Here’s a couple of tasters, one from the vinyl/cd and one from the cd alone.

This is the one that grabbed me most at the weekend. Blu Jack And Florence is extremely high quality machine funk, riding in on a mechanical rhythm. The bass hits at fifteen seconds and then the keyboards play around over the top. Wait for the synth strings come in at around 3.30. Hair-raising. The drums doubles up and it powers forward unrelenting.

Blu Jack And Florence

In The Nursery Visit Glenn Street was only on the cd (along with the lovely ambient opener Azzolini Ad the Branch Brothers Meet Being), a remix by In The Nursery (who had previously done a lovely, slightly spooky remix of Haunted Dancehall). Klive and Nigel Humberstone pull out the bassline and some ambient bubbling and add sweeping strings, a cinematic and celestial track to counter Blu Jack And Florence’s more earthbound, booty shaking appeal.

In The Nursery Visit Glenn Street

Paisley

I don’t know if this is an idea that could run or not but…

This song off Prince’s 1985 album Around The World In A Day came up recently and knocked me sideways a little- genuine lightfooted brilliance, a mid-80s funked version of 60s pop-psychedelia about the joys of childhood.

Paisley Park

‘Admission is easy, just say you
Believe and come to this
Place in your heart
Paisley Park is in your heart’

In 1996 the first full length Two Lone Swordsmen album, The Fifth Mission (Return To the Flightpath Estate), contained this track as its closing statement, a loopy, stoned trip through the aforementioned flightpath estate at dawn. The synth chord sequence just after two minutes, and then recurring throughout the eight minutes plus, is rather wonderful.

Paisley Dark

Swordsmen On The Road

Back in the middle of the last decade Two Lone Swordsmen mutated into a live garage rock ‘n’ roll band with Andrew Weatherall on vocals, Keith Tenniswood on guitar and a bunch of friends helping out including Chris Mackin (Chris Rotter) on guitar and Nick Burton on drums. I saw them play at Sankey’s but have no photographs. Who took pictures at gigs in 2007? Not me. These two live songs from when they played Brighton have come my way recently and thought some of you might be interested. First up is their speedy cover of the Gun Club’s Sex Beat, which in studio version was on The Double Gone Chapel album.

Sex Beat (Live in Brighton)

Feast was on the Big Silver Shining Motor Of Sin ep, a four track vinyl release in 2004, a scuzzy, amped up tale of handing over cash to the doctor, over a building wall of sheet metal guitar noise. ‘Ein, zwei, drei, vier…’

Feast (Live in Brighton)