Fear

Flaming June eh? How come it’s nearly half way through 2016 already? Today’s offering is a treat for noiseniks from 1998, Kevin Shields remixing Mogwai and their already fearsome Mogwai Fear Satan song. Shields goes for broke with this sixteen minutes long song, adding flute and what at one point sounds like bagpipes to the guitar feakery. The first play of this on 12″ when it came out made me wonder if the stylus or stereo were broken and although the breakdown section at around nine fifty is pretty beautiful it’s probably not best served at a family barbeque. Credit where it’s due, thanks to DH for his photo of a forest in the Lake District taken at the weekend.

Mogwai Fear Satan (My Bloody Valentine Remix)

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Slow

Just a year or so after making (yesterday’s) Strawberry Wine single MBV were going further and deeper, as this beauty from the You Made Me Realise ep shows- the bass riff is like, erm, trippy sex. The picture shows Kevin Shields’ guitar pedal board. I saw him when he played with Primal Scream once and on some of the songs his hand movements had no obvious relation at all to the sound his guitar and amp were making.

Just plug that in there, stamp on that knob and off you go…

Slow

Strawberry Wine

Oh dear, back to work. It’s only when you have time off and actually relax that you realise how consuming your worklife is.

It’s funny that My Bloody Valentine sounded like this in 1987- sing song and 60s and lightweight.

Strawberry Wine

Slowdive

I’m really enjoying the new My Bloody Valentine album- it soundtracked my commute to and from work for most of this week. The indie-dance drums of Only Tomorrow, the minimal organ and voice songs, the futuristic noise of Wonder 2, the riff attack of Nothing Is, superb all. One of the things that’s struck me most is the mix, the way that some of the instruments sound so far away and some so close, that it’s not got everything turned up loud for the radio sound. Loving it, it works in the car, and it empties my head on the way home from work.

After Loveless we got shoegaze, a whole slew of bands with FX pedals who were supposed to sound like MBV. None of them did really; none of them had Kevin Shields in their line up. There was some chaff among the shoegazers but there was some wheat too. Slowdive recorded some good songs and at least one very good album. Here’s their namesake song.

Slowdive

I’m also loving these Mike Disfarmer photographs.

MBV Blast

I’m sure you know this already but My Bloody Valentine slipped their first album for twenty two years out over the weekend. I can’t imagine it’s taken that long to come up with the title ‘mbv’ and I’ve not had a chance to listen to it properly yet, to really immerse myself in it, but the on the basis of a first hearing it’s not exactly a massive step forward from Loveless, more like more of the same. But given that Loveless is peerless, this isn’t really a problem. Those guitars, those disembodied voices, those drums, that headswimming noise. Sat here at the computer, with admittedly not great speakers, some of the songs- breathless fanboy alert- do sound amazing. Can’t wait for the vinyl. For the moment the dl will have to do, and will at least mean I get a change from The Asphodells lp which is pretty much all I’ve been listening to recently. You can stream mbv at The Guardian and buy vinyl, cd or download from My Bloody Valentine’s website.

Before Christmas Cat’s Eyes singer Rachel Zaffira released an album which contained this rather beautiful cover version of MBV’s To Here Knows When, done in a 60s acoustic chamber pop style.

To Here Knows When

The picture shows the cover of Blast!- Wyndham Lewis’s house magazine of Vorticism, with his own illustration on the cover. The mashing together of linocut art, Vorticism and music here recently has been a bit random but this cover seems to summarise MBV’s mbv blast quite well.

Don’t Ask Why

I’m not saying that Don’t Ask Why is necessarily any better than Soon or You Made Me Realise but recently when I’ve listened to this year’s remastered version off the My Bloody Valentine ep’s 1988-1991 compilation it seems like the perfect blend of narcotic, post-coital wooze, melody, distortion and noise. It is total MBV perfection.

Don’t Ask Why

Yo La Remix

I found this recently and was going to wait for autumn but frankly that involves planning- Yo la Tengo put out a career spanning double disc about a decade ago. Limited quantities came with a third disc, the main highlight of which was this- Autumn Sweater remixed by MBV’s Kevin Shields. Autumn Sweater is a beautiful, slow burning song of lost love, shyness, leaves turning brown and the need for an extra layer of clothing. Kevin Shields sidesteps that for a drum loop, a repeated organ part, an isolated and distorted vocal, an overloaded bass riff. Then he begins to add some other loops, all running on and on for just shy of nine minutes. Stunning.

Autumn Sweater (Kevin Shields Remix)