An Open Mind’s Excursion

I found the above photo while looking at Robert Frank photos on Google image search. It’s by Jakob Perlmutter from a series he did as a homage to Frank. The use of space framing the two people, lots of empty space, and the grey tones are all very Frank but the face of the girl could only be recent (the nose piercing particularly).

One Dove always seem autumnal to me, the days getting shorter, the creeping darkness and chill in the air. The 1993 remix of Breakdown by Andrew Weatherall is career highpoint for all involved- from the opening seconds as the chords fade in and the voice ‘against the black blue sky, the shadow of the dove’ as the Sabres dub production kicks in. Big rattling bass, a Shades Of Rhythm sample, chopped up acoustic guitar and melodica. Dot’s ‘na na na na’ refrain looped. A prime example of the art of the remix.

 

Transient Truth

Dot Allison was here yesterday, providing the vocals on a King Of Woolworths song. That song was posted as part of a long discussion at a One Dove forum/Facebook group about the Sabres Of Paradise mixes of their 1992 dub- house masterpiece Transient Truth (with group member and founding member of One Dove Ian Carmichael chipping in). The 12″ release came with two remixes, the Old Toys Mix and the Old Toys Dub, both credited to Andrew Weatherall, Gary Burns and Jagz Kooner (collectively Sabres Of Paradise). The first keeps some of Dot’s vocal and picks up the pace halfway though, the second more abstract and dubbier. Both are pretty high tempo and fairly full on reworkings.

Transient Truth (Old Toys Mix)

Transient Truth (Old Toys Dub)

There was a second vinyl release, a promo 12″ in a plain sleeve, collecting four further remixes. I hope I’ve got all these labelled correctly- all the mixes are here but I apologise in advance if any are wrongly titled or the links are mixed up. Inevitably there’s a lot of repetition and parts that appear and re-appear (the synth part, various drum and percussion sounds, Dot’s vocals, the bassline)- but they’re all worthy of release and it’s clear to see why Weatherall wanted the four on the promo out as well as the Old Toys versions. The other four mixes are the Paradise Mix, the Sabres Fuzz Dub, the Squelch Mix and the Death Of A disco Dancer Mix.

The Paradise Mix starts slow, then builds with that Sabres timbale sound, fragments of Dot whispering ‘listen’, lots of percussion and some melodica as a top line. At ten minutes plus it’s the longest of the remixes.

Transient Truth (Paradise Mix)

The Fuzz Dub is thumpier and sparser with an intermittent buzzy, fuzz line, giving it its name.

Transient Truth (Sabres Fuzz Dub)

The Squelch mix is pretty far gone, noises flipping between the speakers, a bit of Dot, reverb heavy timbale, a long, slower trip, more melodica- dubbed out dub- house, a dub of a dub.

Transient Truth (Squelch Mix)

The final one starts with a kick drum and clatters away with the familiar synth riff fading in and out and the descending bass part to the fore. I don’t know why it’s called Death Of A Disco Dancer Mix- I can’t find any obvious reference to The Smiths song of the same name.

Transient Truth (Death Of A Disco Dancer Mix)

Stick all of them on a cd or a playlist and lose yourself in a slice of 1992. After a while, listening to them one after the other, a zen-like calm kicks in, time and space slip away , transience becomes the natural state. Or something. Even if a One Dove/Sabres inspired transcendence is not achieved, it’s a nice way to spend forty-five minutes.

Doved

One Dove’s debut (and only) album, the majestic Morning Dove White, was delayed in being released for a year due to wranglings between the band (who favoured Andrew Weatherall’s dubby, post-Screamadelica mixes of their songs) and the record label London Records (who wanted Stephen Hague’s poppier mixes that might get played on daytime radio). A compromise of sorts was eventually reached. But at least Morning Dove White came out and is still adored by most of those people that heard it back then. Their second album never made it. The band’s Soundcloud page has some songs that were earmarked for it. This one, Kill Time, has all the familiar elements- Dot’s breathy vocals and that dubby, delay drenched space.

There are a few others on the Soundcloud page- their trippy cover of Simon Dupree’s Kites, Waltzbaby, the spectral and sparse Sister and this beautiful underwatery song called Drowning.

These songs are how they were when the band split, not necessarily final versions. Listening to them, it’s difficult to see why they were rejected by London Records other than MDW hadn’t sold and they thought this was more of the same. There are other bits and pieces floating around the internet- it’s probably too much to expect someone to put everything together in one place and release it properly but we can hope. Stranger, less obvious things have been released. Fansite onedove.net has a few mp3s of tracks recorded for radio shows. It hasn’t been updated since 2012 but all bar one of the mp3s are still working.

This appeared on Youtube earlier this year with a user made Blue Velvet video. What Can You Do To Me Now sounds more trip hop, a little indebted to Massive Attack, but fairly sumptuous all the same. However band member Ian Carmichael has said this one was not intended for the second album but was written after that and presented to the record company just before Dot left the band. It was, he says, the last song they all worked on together although he doesn’t recognise the mix posted.

If You Want To Know The Truth

More Sabres related stuff for Sunday. I was rooting through a box of cds (home made ones I burned and made covers for when I first started downloading mp3s, going back to 10 years ago). In the box was a cd of Sabres Of Paradise remixes of One Dove’s 1992 song Transient Truth, one of many standout songs from their Morning Dove White album. Sabres remixed Transient Truth not once but six times. Two of the versions were officially released, The Old Toys Mix and Old Toys Dub, on the 12″. The other four remixes turned up on a four track promo white label- the Paradise Mix, The Sabres Fuzz Dub, the Squelch Mix and the Death Of A Disco Dancer Mix. And that is how I soundtracked my journey to work on Wednesday and Thursday this week just gone, the variations of remixes making the miles pass by, repeated bits of bassline, synths and the Sabres rhythms and dub production flowing into one another. There are worse ways to spend forty minutes of listening time. The Paradise mix is possibly the pick, ten minutes and five seconds of 1992.

Transient Truth (Paradise Mix)

Straight To Your Heart

There was a time when I didn’t really see why One Dove’s beautiful and mysterious Why Don’t You Take Me needed remixing, even though it was Underworld (and Secret Knowledge) doing said remixing. Weatherall’s production and Dot’s vocal were so right mucking around with them or removing the vocal seemed wrong. But the first Underworld remix, a slow one and a long way from the usual throbbing pulsing Emerson sound, is really good, building slowly over eleven minutes with a repeated synth part.

Why Don’t You Take Me (Underworld Remix)

And the second one is nearly fifteen minutes of throbbing and pulsing and dark corners and dry ice- those hi hats and kick drums keep pushing it on and on.

Why Don’t You Take Me (Underworld Up 2 Down Remix)

And while neither of them are as wondrous as the original, they exist to do a different job.

I Want To Keep Hold Of This For You

The Vinyl Villain has been hosting a long running series where different contributors suggest a ten track Imaginary Compilation Album for an artist or band, running the gamut from The Smiths to Massive Attack, from Durutti Column to Captain Beefheart. Now totalling over one hundred posts I finally pulled my finger out and wrote an Andrew Weatherall ICA. I cheated- it’s a double disc compilation. You can read it here.

This One Dove song didn’t make the cut but probably should have.

White Love (Guitar Paradise Mix)

The Small Hours Are Hard To Face

I’ve no doubt I will keep coming back to One Dove as long as I have the strength to lift the arm onto the vinyl or press play. Morning Dove White is one of the 90s high points, one of Weatherall’s too. This was their poppiest moment, soft, sublime and enveloping- even Stephen Hague can’t ruin it. It doesn’t have as many of the gorgeous dub textures that are all over the album but it should have been a big hit. I don’t remember seeing the video before, Dot and the boys miming in a pub/club. The bit where they get projected onto the pool table is a tad dated but no matter.