Second Machine From The Sun

I had scores of these science fiction novels as a kid in the late 70s and 80s. The Bruce Pennington art on the covers seemed overblown and semi-ridiculous then, as a kid, and more so now but they have a kitsch value I quite like again now. Retro-futurism.

Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh are currently encouraging us to listen to Erick Legrand. Legrand has been a big influence on the sound of the Woodleigh Research Facility. Erick died in 2011 and I don’t know too much about him but his album Second Machine From The Sun (which really needs a Bruce Pennington cover like those above) is on Bandcamp and may be about to get a vinyl release. The cd/download can be yours for £7.00. It’s in an electronic, soundtrack, film music area and worth giving some ear time too.

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Gardens

Back at the start of the year Andrew Weatherall- him again- released two albums, one under his own name (Convenanza) and one with Nina Walsh as the Woodleigh Research Facility. The WRF album, The Phoenix Suburb And Other Stories, is eight tracks of dubby instrumentals and is continuing to reeal is pleasures nearly a year on. About a year ago the good people at Rotters Golf Club sent out an mp3 to everyone who’d subscribed to the Mojne Dubh singles club by way of apology for a delay in pressing the first 7″. This was it.

Gardens Dub

Weathersmasher

Slab were Nina Walsh (Sabrettes label boss and currently one half of the Woodleigh Research Facility alongside Andrew Weatherall) and The Drum Club’s Lol Hammond. In the mid 90s they made a handful of techno records, often quite banging, in-your-face style techno. Their track Atomsmasher was remixed by Weatherall into a stripped back number with bleeps and bloops. It is equally laid back and intense, if that’s possible.

Weathersmasher

We Count The Stars

Just a month since the Woodleigh Research Facility album and now Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh follow it with a second record. Convenanza is out under Weatherall’s name but the personnel is pretty much the same as WRF. A couple of the tracks are sonically in that same groove, the dub bass and drum machine backing joined by some early ACR like guitar, some wandering trumpet and on Thirteenth Night a track that picks up almost exactly where Screamadelica’s Shine Like Stars left off. Weatherall’s vocals give this a more song based feel even if the musical backing doesn’t follow any strict verse-chorus structure, with phrases and lines plucked from his notebook. The Confidence Man sounds almost like a late period Clash remix, where a song turns into an extended groove. There’s a lot to enjoy in both albums, music from the margins (or South London) you can get lost in.

There’s an interesting interview with Andrew and Nina here if you’re after more background to the both records. There’s also a laid back but righteous hour long mix from Lord Sabrehere, made up of records unearthed when he was forced to relocate from his studio last year. Final thought- can we now expect a new Weatherall album on a monthly basis?

Aeronauts

I’m enjoying the new Andrew Weatherall project. No surprise there you might say. The Woodleigh Research Facility’s The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories) is eight songs spread over four sides of vinyl (download to follow in February from Rotters Golf Club). Weatherall and Nina Walsh’s sound is rhythm and bass led, guitars added by Franck Alba and on the final track by Youth. Entirely instrumental every song is long, up to nine or ten minutes, allowed to unwind fully, taking its time and in no rush to get anywhere. Not that they drift aimlessly either- there’s some of the Sabres Of Paradise dubbiness plus some of Two Lone Swordsmen’s abstractness. Going further and deeper.

There’s probably a few vinyl copies left if you hurry. As Drew and I discussed over Twitter the other night the only disappointment is the lack of a proper sleeve- two discs and a single card insert inside a plastic bag.

Taqiya

My continuing exploration of the musical adventures of Andrew Weatherall goes on. It’s not my fault really- he keeps putting new stuff out, has been in a purple patch for some time now and is the sort of artist the internet was made for. This is a newie from the forthcoming Woodleigh Research Facility album, recorded with former Sabrettes main woman Nina Walsh and on this song Youth. It’s long and dubby with distorted horn noises and a chuggy rhythm.

December’s Not For Everyone

Andrew Weatherall was back at the controls at NTS a few days ago with two hours of his customary wide-ranging brilliance Music’s Not For Everyone. It includes two new remixes (one less a remix, more complete destruction according to the man himself) and one from his new band with Nina Walsh, The Woodleigh Research Facility. You can listen to it here(Mixcloud won’t embed again for some reason).

Another Weatherall project is here, with the rarest vinyl remix he’s released yet. Lil Mo is a crowd funding project, an attempt to restore an Austin A60 Suntor camper van, the incentive being that for a £5 donation you get a Weatherall dub mp3. For a mere £250 donation a limited 7″ version of that dub is yours, one of only five copies. Hurry though- one has been claimed already. If you’re feeling really flush you could donate £500 and get for the 7″ single numbered 001. Despite my completist nature with all things Weatherall my contribution has been just a fiver for the mp3.

Finally we’ve now received three of the five Moine Dubh singles from the subscription only singles club and they are shaping up to be a very nice set- strange, dusty folk music. Random copies have a little patch of cloth, hand printed, initialed and numbered- I haven’t been lucky yet. Drew has (verdict… ‘a bit pish’). When the first single missed it’s release date, due to the newfound interest in vinyl pressing plants from the major record labels bumping little independents down the priority list, Moine Dubh sent subscribers an mp3 by The Woodleigh Research Facility. The album entitled The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories) is shaping up to be a cross between a bit of folk, a lot of strangeness and a bucket of dub and is due for release in January.