Fanfare Of Life

Looking back at my posts over the last week shows a fair amount of dub influenced music. Today’s song is in that vein too, a magnificent piece of 90s dub-house from Neil Barnes and Paul Daley.

Song Of Life was a 1992 single and also on Leftfield’s 1995 album Leftism, a rousing enough piece of progressive house in itself but for my money the Fanfare Of Life version from the 12″ release was the one (later on it appeared on the first volume of the Cafe del Mar series, an essential 90s compilation, one I played through from start to end last weekend when the sun shone). Fanfare Of Life takes a dubbier approach, a slower build, synths that give goosebumps and the looped vocal sample of Bulgarian singer Yanka Rupkina). The introduction of the drums at 1.36 is a moment but the breakdown not long afterwards into the dub bassline is tremendous too.

Fanfare Of Life

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Various Artists

I’ll try to delve a little further than early 90s dance music compilations at some point but it is the various artists groove I am currently in for this series. Cafe del Mar, a series of albums named after the famous bar in San Antonio, Ibiza, gave birth to that most derided of genres, chill out. The compilation album series runs all the way up to Volume Twenty (released in 2014) but chill had eaten itself long before then.

The first album is a genuinely great compilation, on double vinyl, a round up of songs to listen to as the sun sinks into the Med and as the drugs begin to kick in, compiled by the legendary Jose Padilla himself. The tracklist for Volumen Uno has several tunes I’d take anywhere, among them Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s Music For A Found Harmonium, William Orbit’s The Story Of Light, Underworld’s long builder Second Hand, A Man Called Adam’s wonderfully up Estelle and the skyscraping Beatless Mix of Smokebelch II by Sabres Of Paradise. Plus these two, first up a dubby version of Song Of Life…

Fanfare Of Life

And this one, the closer by Tabula Rasa. Not so much a song, more a feeling.

Sunset At The Cafe Del Mar

I have never watched the sunset at the Cafe del Mar. One day it’ll happen…

Release The Horns

Rummaging through a box of records at the second hand record shop the other, a box labelled House/Dance/Ambient I found a pristine copy of Leftfield’s Song Of Life (Remixes) ep for only £2. So I bought it. Two of the three tracks are the Underworld remixes of Song Of Life which are excellent. The third is Leftfield’s own remix of Release the Pressure, premium grade skanking dub techno.

Release The Horns

Leftfield

Final Lydon post this morning- it would be silly to move on without mentioning Open Up, his collaboration with Leftfield from 1993, a high octane, pummeling piece of progressive house with a paint stripping vocal from John complaining about Hollywood’s refusal to cast him in its films. Brilliantly, as the song was released Los Angeles was on fire.

Leftfield’s Neil Barnes had known Lydon from North London and they approached him tentatively about vocals. Lydon leapt at it. The single came with a handful of remixes including the Sabres Of Paradise I Hate Pink Floyd Mix and a Dust (Chemical) Brothers remix.

At a later date (some royal anniversary or other) Leftfield returned the favour and remixed God Save The Queen. Not strictly necessary but I once heard this in a club and it sounded immense.

 

My Mind’s Wide Open Baby

This is another song I’ve posted before, back in 2011 which is practically neolithic in blogging terms. I’ve long been partial to the Balearic dance-pop of A Man Called Adam. Barefoot In The Head is a staple of chill out compilations but that shouldn’t prejudice you against the song- it is a beautiful record. Sally Rodgers and Steve Jones made up A Man Called Adam but Paul Daley worked on this too, before leaving for Leftfield.

Barefoot In The Head (12″ Mix)

Sally Rodgers wrote the lyrics by cribbing pagan translations of the poetry of Robert Graves (or so it says at both the Museum of British Pop Culture and wiki). It also turns out that…

‘Rodgers is conducting doctoral research in modern poetics at the University of St Andrews and Jones recently gained an MSc in sound design from the University of Edinburgh. Together they continue to work as sound designers on museum, film and theatrical commissions, notably the BME – a museum charting the history of British music from the end of World War II, and The British Museum’s major new exhibition Journey to the afterlife: The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Their music continues to be licensed all over the world for film, television and release.’


You don’t get that from ex-members of Oasis. 

Unrehearsed Let The Bubbles Burst

Just imagine- a time when the cover of the NME meant something and there was the possibility of an in-depth interview written for adults.

I’m still getting used to the fact, after a couple of weeks of on-off listening, that John Lydon has made a necessary album. The new PiL album, despite one or two mis-steps, is a real grower. The song One Drop is proof on its own- vital, angry, alive, stomping stuff. Go and find it somewhere, you won’t regret it (I’ve already posted a song off it so shouldn’t really do another). The interview clips on Punk Britannia showed he’s still got it as well- sharp and witty. A real one-off is John. The last time he sounded anywhere near as good was in the mid-90s with this still thrilling collaboration with Leftfield, the number one piece of punk-house.

Open Up

I Hate Pink Floyd

Oh go on then.

Leftfield.
John Lydon.
Sabres Of Paradise.
Open Up I Hate Pink Floyd Remix remix.

Strangely, for a Weatherall remix I don’t think it’s as good as the original.

I do hate Pink Floyd though. Except the Syd Barrett stuff, obviously.

Open Up (I Hate Pink Floyd mix).mp3