Isolation Mix Seven

An hour and a minute of stitched together songs for Saturday. This one caused me a bit of a headache at times. It was an attempt I think at first to try to join some dots together in terms of feel or sounds, with a nod to Kraftwerk following Florian Schneider’s death last week. There was an earlier version that went quite techno/dance for the last twenty minutes but I then went back and did the end section again. I’m still not sure I got it quite right, and think I may have tried to cover too many bases stylistically, but my self imposed deadline was approaching so ‘publish and be damned’, as the Duke of Wellington said. Although he wasn’t dealing with the business of trying to get spaghetti westerns, indie dance, shoegaze and leftfield electronic music to sit together in one mix was he?

Ennio Morricone: Watch Chimes (From ‘For A Few Dollars More’)

David Sylvian and Robert Fripp: Endgame

Talk Talk: Life’s What You Make It

Saint Etienne: Kiss And Make Up (Midsummer Madness Mix)

Spacemen 3: Big City (Everyone I Know Can Be Found Here)

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve: Diagram Girl (Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Re- Animation)

My Bloody Valentine: Don’t Ask Why

Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens: Luminous Spaces

Kraftwerk: Numbers

Death In Vegas: Consequences Of Love (Chris and Cosey Remix)

Chris Carter: Moonlight

Simple Minds: Theme For Great Cities

Durutti Column: It’s Wonderful

I have a significant birthday fast approaching. A few months ago we had planned that today would be a day of celebrating with anyone who wanted to join us, starting with lunch and few beers in town and then a tram pub crawl southbound out of the city centre towards Sale, stopping off in Old Trafford (maybe) and Stretford (definitely) before some drinks locally in the evening. That obviously isn’t happening. I’ll have to re-schedule for my 51st.

Gone

This came as a slap in the face yesterday, the news that Florian Schneider, co- founder of Kraftwerk and as a result one of the most influential musicians in post- war Europe, has died at the age of 73. Kraftwerk’s importance cannot be overstated. Their pioneering music, use of machine rhythms, synths and keyboards, vocoders more or less invented the genre of electornic music. That they then popularised it with a mass market and continued to experiment makes their achievements even greater. Their influence on other artists from the 1970s onward is immeasurable. Florian Schneider met Ralf Hutter as students in Dusseldorf and it was Schneider who first purchased a synthesiser and said that was the direction they should pursue. Autobahn. Radio- Activity. Trans- Europe Express. The Man Machine. Computer World. Tour de France.

I saw them play at the Apollo in March 2004, one of the most memorable shows I’ve ever seen, from the four men- machines in lit up suits at their work stations across the front of the stage to the films projected onto three giant screens behind them, to the run through their greatest songs and the robots appearing from behind the curtain for the encore.

This is an impossibly beautiful song, the topline melody is heartbreakingly gorgeous. It is even better sung in German.

Neonlicht

R.I.P. Florian Schneider.

Equally sad (and equally pioneering) Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen died on April 30th of Covid 19 symptoms. I meant to do something about him sooner but things kept getting in the way so I’ll pay tribute to him here. His work with Fela Kuti in the 1970s combined his Nigerian native music, Juju, with jazz and highlife. Fela’s music and stance became increasingly militant especially with the Africa ’70 group which Tony was the bandleader of. Brian Eno and Talking Heads were in awe of him. This one is from 1973 Tony drumming with Fela Kuti. I can’t really do this music justice with a simple description. Just listen to it.

Jeun Ko Ku (Chop And Quench)

In recent times he worked with Damon Albarn in his The Good, The Bad And The Queen supergroup, his Africa Express project and Gorillaz. Following his death Damon released this Gorillaz song in honour of him, Tony Allen still the bang on those rhythms aged 79. This quote was put out with it-

“I want to take care of youngsters – they have messages and I want to bring them on my beat.” Tony Allen

R.I.P. Tony Allen

 

Party People

Inside this giant mobile mirror ball is Graham Massey, once/currently of 808 State. In front of the mirror ball are a New Orleans style marching band called Mr Wilson’s Secondliners accompanying him on brass and percussion as he spins house classics through the streets of Manchester, as part of yesterday’s Manchester Day parade. Now in its eighth year the parade was played out this year in standard Mancunian weather- blazing sunshine, thirty-odd degrees heat. Even just standing still was a sweaty business. As the parade finished in Exchange Square, Massey and his band kept the party going a little longer with a wonderfully ramshackle version of Planet Rock.

Planet Rock

To Dusseldorf City

…meet Igy Pop and David Bowie.

The title track to their March 1977 release Trans-Europe Express. Peerless and perfect, a sound in motion. Invented pretty much everything that came after it.

The Fatty Fatty Sound

Bagging Area loves the reggae and dub of Prince Fatty. He’s currently in the States with Hollie Cook (whose album from two years ago was a joy, as was the offspring dub version lp). Prince Fatty has a ton of stuff up at Soundcloud, including a stream of the full ska/surf/spaghetti Western lp he did with The Mutant HiFi, The Return Of Gringo. It is as good as that sounds, chock full of skank, twang and samples…

There’s also this, a mixtape by Dave Bongo, to celebrate the release of Fatty’s Supersize album back in 2010, including the man himself, Danny Ray, Dennis Brown, Barrngton Levy and Cutty Ranks and others…

Or how about this one, highly recommended, a recent 45 minute live set- amongst it all you get Hollie Cook singing reggae versions of Kraftwerk’s The Model and Amy Winehouse’s You Know I’m No Good, a cover of Cypress Hill’s Insane In the Brain and Eric B and Rakim chucked in the mix as well, free download…

There’s loads more at Soundcloud. Get searching, get skanking.

Tour De France

It’s about time a mod won the Tour De France isn’t it?
And while trying to ignore Murdoch and Sky’s role in all of this we could coo over the very lovely Bradley Wiggins X Fred Perry range of cycling/leisure shirts, available here, in pale blue, white and black. Pale blue for me I think.

With crushing inevitability, from their 2003 remake and remodel album, here come Kraftwerk.

Tour De France Etape 1

>Meet Iggy Pop And David Bowie

>
A hat-trick of German related posts, and a train related one too. In 2004 Kraftwerk toured. We saw them at The Apollo and it was stunning, not least the films that played with each song, the light up ties and the robots. This song is one of their best, Trans Europe Express, from the Maximum-Minimum live album that came out the year after the tour. A Kraftwerk live album seems a bit like a contradiction in terms doesn’t it? This song was recorded at the romantic sounding Budapest Sportarena.