Facility 4

This appeared out of the blue this week, fifteen minutes of lo-fi, wobbly, out there, ambient- acid, a sonic treat from Weatherall and Walsh aka the Woodleigh Research Facility. The visuals, including Silbury Hill, add a prehistoric vibe to the already fairly shamanic sounds.

11:11

A couple of weeks ago Nina Walsh announced the release of a second album by the late Erick Legrand (following 2017’s Second Machine From The Sun). The new release, a fifteen track album titled 11:11 is available at Bandcamp and well worth the £8 being asked for it.

The songs, largely instrumentals, take in a variety of styles from the dramatic rat-a-tat drumming, woodwind and horns of opener Last Tango to the twangy guitars stomp and theremin sounds of Nina Is Camping, from the jazzy, 60s thriller vines of Killing Moi, the Hawaiian guitars of Doing It to the dub techno of Mekanik to the filmic, Motorik chug of album closer Mad. It all hangs together really well, sounding like one piece of work, the soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist (to use the classic interview quote of the mid-90s electronic artist). Highly recommended.

I don’t know much about Erick- the Bandcamp page for this album describes him as ‘a turbulent creative force’ and gives a selective timeline of his solo work, starting as head barman at the Camden Falcon between 1989 and 1991 to recording with Headcleaner and running the recording studio Bedlam in the 90s. In 2007 he produced an album for Nina Walsh (from the dates I think this must be her folky Bright Lights And Filthy Nights album) before recording solo compositions between 2009 and 2011. He claimed to be ‘one of the most sacked drummers in London’. Martin Willis from Headcleaner wrote a tribute to Erick to accompany the first set of solo recordings which you can find here. Other than that I don’t have much to go off but give over part of your day or this evening to 11:11 and you’ll find that the music speaks for itself.

Necronomicon

Sometimes the internet is a wonderful thing. Someone posted this on Facebook and I’ve been mildly obsessed with it for a few days now. In 1994 Nina Walsh launched Sabrettes, a record label that was an offshoot of the Sabres Of Paradise record label (she also registered the Sabrettes tartan seen above with The Scottish Register Of Tartans but that’s a side issue here).

Innersphere made techno. In 1994 they released an album called Outer Works and three 12″ singles. One of them, Necronomicon, was remixed by Sabres Of Paradise on one side and David Holmes on the other. This is the David Holmes remix but played at 33 rpm rather than 45 but then pitched up to +8, stretched out for over eleven minutes. It is head nodding heaven and totally absorbing- a looped bassline, some long keening sounds, a wiggly acid squiggle, all very hypnotic. You can lose yourself inside it very easily.

Just for comparison here’s the Holmes remix played at the intended speed, 45 rpm- still good but considerably more banging in tempo and 1994 attitude.

Blue Bullet

Here’s the A-side of the forthcoming Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh 12″, a piece of heavy dub with a bassline that reverberates around the memory long after the track has finished playing. The B-side, another dubbed out track but with Ride’s Andy Bell playing guitar on it, was posted here last week.

Making Friends With The Invader

I was mucking about with the effects and filters on my phone’s camera and managed to do this to the picture I took of the forum at Pompeii. I was quite pleased with it- it looks a bit like a place where Captain James T. Kirk would fight a rubber alien and then meet a girl and explain to her that ‘on earth we call this kissing’.

Andrew Weatherall, mentioned once or twice in these parts recently, has a new e.p. out at the end of the month on the Byrd Out label titled Blue Bullet. It includes this mighty and exploratory dub influenced excursion featuring none other than Andy Bell (of Ride) on guitar. Apparently he’d popped into the studio where Weatherall and Nina Walsh were at work to try out a Les Paul that was for sale and was then asked to contribute to the track. The results are out of this world.

Janis Joplin’s Mum

Above, left to right- Seth, Janis and Dorothy Joplin.

An obscure oddity for Wednesday from the combined talents of Alex Paterson and Nina Walsh, united as Rootmasters. It came out as part of an Orb compilation called The Orb Presents Tundra And Snowflakes (for a Russian label and bar, Ketama),  a double album containing all sorts of oddities, rarities, cast offs and wastrels. The track came out originally on a Rootmasters e.p. from 2007 called Push Once.

What’s it like? It’s a beguiling piece of spooky, downtempo music, full of echo, crackle and hiss, built around a descending chord pattern. A sampled voice instructing us to open our eyes. Doors creak open and shut, accompanied by eastern instruments. Occasionally Nina’s voice surfaces singing ‘only the good die young’. Then it fades out again. More crackle.

Janis Joplin’s Mum

Moine Dubh Journey

Another long one today, a tad over an hour’s worth of folky freakery for you. Back in September Andrew Weatherall guested on 6 Music’s Freak Zone and played a load of unreleased songs from his Moine Dubh label. The first bunch of songs were released as part of a 7″ vinyl subscription a year ago, five singles for fifty quid. The follow up, which is what I’m assuming this will become, is in this big mp3 file.

A Journey Into Moine Dubh (6 Music Freak Zone)

There’s a mixture of Moine Dubh artists here, old and new. Frank Alba and Barry Woolnough both appeared in the first singles club or at the live night at Crystal Palace, Woolnough with the spooky song of loss Great Spirit Father In The Sky. Fireflies, Echowood and Lowroad did too. Nina Walsh, who is in this mix a few times including twice solo with some sparkling acoustic guitar songs, is half of the Woodleigh Research Facility and a long time musical partner. Rootmasters, Jessica Cahill, Eva Eden and Kave are all new ones to me. Over the course of an hour there’s some strange modern British folk, some weird psych and some killer tunes.