Impulse Begin

Some forward thinking electronica from 1982 from the combined talents of Chris And Cosey, then fresh out of Throbbing Gristle and enjoying the freedom of their independence. Chris Carter pioneered the use of all kinds of equipment, not least the Roland 303 bassline synth and Roland 808 drum machine, back before most people had even heard of either.

Impulse

They’ve never really stopped and in recent years have made some wonderful remixes. This one is a case in point, a sweetly euphoric version of a Tim Burgess and Peter Gordon collaboration from 2016.

Begin (Carter Tutti Remix)

I’m part way through Cosey Fanni Tutti’s autobiography, titled art sex music, and without giving too much away she has lived an eye-opening life, a life lived as art, and in the 1970s put up with some very shitty behaviour from Genesis P. Orridge.

Face It Tiger

I was sifting through a box of cds found on top of a cupboard recently- various bits of decorating and reorganising have been taking place which will eventually lead to a new storage solution for the overspill of records that has been taking place in the back room for a few years now. The box contained either cds I’d made myself or cds that came free with magazines. Some didn’t the survive the process. Some got refiled in the box (but more neatly). Some got taken to the car. On the way to work on Tuesday morning I put a cd called Change The Beat into the player, a compilation that came free with Mojo in 2015 subtitled ’14 tracks from Madonna’s New York scene’. This came blaring out of my car’s speakers and for 4 minutes and 13 seconds I was convinced it was the best song I was going to hear that day.

Coup

Everything about it is the maximum it could be- that taut, funky as fuck bassline (pinched by The Chemical Brothers at a cost for Block Rockin’ Beats), those chanted backing vox, the horns, the timbales, the gunshot samples. Magical stuff from 23 Skidoo back in 1983. You just hit the jackpot.

To Fly Free You Must Fly Alone

Back to 1990 today and a hands in the air piano rave moment from N-Joi. The vocal track on the original version of the song was made up of samples from 3 different sources- Gwen Guthrie, Soul II Soul and Darlene Davis- which singer Saffron mimed for TV and sang live for performances, as seen here on Top Of The Pops…

Anthem

Saffron went on to find fame as the singer of Republica, a group that included a former member of Flowered Up (Tim Dorney on keyboards) and a former member of Soul Family Sensation (Jonathan Male on guitar). Back in the late 90s I wrote some reviews and articles for a Manchester based magazine and got to interview Saffron (on the phone not face to face). I don’t think the Saffron interview was published (probably because my interviewing skills were limited and the whole thing was a bit uncomfortable). Later on I co-interviewed Bez in a bar called The Temple Of Convenience. He was promoting his book Freaky Dancing. This interview went much better. Bez offered to take us out for the night with, and I quote, ‘some classical music fella and the King of Cumbia squeezing fuck out of a massive squeezebox’. His opening gambit when we all sat down was to tell me that I looked like ‘I smoked loads of smack’ (which I didn’t I hasten to add). Good fun and highly entertaining. Happy days.

Flame On

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief and creator of hundreds of characters including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The X Men, Black Widow, The Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, Thor, Ant Man and Daredevil, has died at the grand age of 95. It’s fair to say that a lot of our childhoods would have been very different without Marvel Comics and their cast of brightly coloured superheroes (and their flawed, all too human alter-egos). RIP Stan and Make Mine Marvel.

There’s been a little resurgence of The Dream Syndicate in blogs in these parts this year kicked off I think by my post back in April, a film of Andrew Weatherall playing in Italy last year and dropping The Dream Syndicate’s John Coltrane Stereo Blues into his set. Watch it here, it’s fifty minutes you won’t regret. Drew posted some Dream Syndicate, CC has posted some and I think The Swede too. So here’s some more from Steve Wynn and co, the second song from their full length debut, an album inspired by 1966 and 1977 in equal parts.

Defnitely Clean

Where Were You?

In 1989 Big Hard Excellent Fish, a duo of Josie Jones and Jake Walters, were asked to write a piece of music for the punk ballet dancer and choreographer Michael Clark. Josie asked her then boyfriend Pete Wylie to help out and they recorded Imperfect List, with Robin Guthrie of The Cocteau Twins producing. It was released in 1989 and then again a year later with remixes by Andrew Weatherall (subtitled Rimming Elvis The Andrew Weatherall Way). I’ve posted the Weatherall remixes before (or at least a couple of them, there are four on the 12″ single). This is the original version.

Imperfect List

In Imperfect List Josie lists 64 things that her and Wylie hated starting with Adolf Hitler and taking in various other named or famous people from Terry and June to Bonnie Langford to ‘fucking bastard Thatcher’ to Stock, Aitken and Waterman, some unnamed people (macho dickhead, accusing ungrateful mate, weird British judges, tasteless A&R wanker and the dentist), some daily irritants (lost keys, neighbours- or is that Neighbours?), some entirely appropriate late 80s targets (the Tories, Hillsborough, Heysel, the poll tax, apartheid, acid rain, Clause 28, Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment) and some universal hates (cancer, miscarriage, loneliness, hunger, murder, gut wrenching disappointment, the Sun newspaper) and plenty more besides.

‘Where were you?’ Josie asks at the end, leaving the question hanging and unanswered.

Second Surfer

A new two track release (digital and 12″) from Toby Tobias, Second Stimulus and Syncro Surfer using up all the S alliteration. Second Stimulation is an eight minute journey through staccato synths and a machine pulse with intermittent bass. Syncro Surfer is a Detroit-esque rush of sirens and hi-hats, clattering percussion and bleepy pulses. This sort of thing is really pushing my buttons right now.

Past Bedtime

I found a cd I made many years ago, a compilation of early Warp bleep ‘n’ bass records, futuristic techno from Sheffield- Tricky Disco, Tuff Little Unit, LFO, Kid Unknown, all that sort of thing. It sounds fantastic on the car stereo (and it’s not even a very good car stereo), the bass making things vibrate and rattle, the bleeps loud and the vocal samples reverberating around my car on my way to and from work. I am especially struck with this one at the moment, the B-side to Tricky Disco’s Tricky Disco 12″ from 1990, where the bleep ‘n’ bass is pitted against Gregorian chanting.


Tricky Disco (Past Tricky’s Bedtime Mix)