Can You Feel Your Hands? Can You Feel Your Feet?

Can you feel the rhythm?

Some songs that are ten minutes long fly by and some feel like they are ten minutes long, a journey to wherever the artist intends to take you. Screamadelica, the title track that wasn’t on the album of the same name, was recorded in Memphis with Weatherall and Nicholson at the controls and released on the Dixie Narco ep in 1992. It is ten minutes of blissful Balearic house accompanied by Denise Johnson’s vocals- ‘spaced out, star child, screamadelica’- and an array of found sounds and other voices. Slip inside.

Screamadelica

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Higher

Last weekend BBC4 showed the Screamadelica classic album programme, an hour long celebration of 1991’s best album with contributions from many of those involved. One of the discussion points was whether Higher Than The Sun should be on the album in its edited or 12″ form, shorter or longer. Andrew Innes went for the shorter one for the sake of the flow of the record and everyone agreed this was right, with the proviso that the 12″ was the one for full tripped out enjoyment. Alex Paterson, who produced it as The Orb, reckons along with Little Fluffy Clouds it is the best thing he’s done. But there’s also another version of Higher Than The Sun, which goes further, a little bit longer, a little but higher, a little bit further out…

Higher Than The Sun (Higher Than The Kite)

New Year’s Eve

Right then, New Year’s Eve, an over-rated excuse for an enforced piss up if ever there was one. But staying in watching Jools, waiting for the clock to run down, is no good either.

Like many of you (us, the whinging, metropolitan, liberal elite out to deny the democratic voice of the British people) I won’t be too unhappy to see the back of 2016, a downer of a year in many ways. 2017 promises more of the same (in the shape of Trump if nothing else). All we can do is continue to rage against the dying of the light with good music, people we like and trust and a hope that things may get better. To celebrate seeing the back of the year here’s some tunes….

Durutti Column first, the combined talents of Vini Reilly and Martin Hannett, and a song to see the winter out- it’s getting a bit brighter every day and has been since December 21st. That’s something to cheer about.

Sketch For Winter

Some more guitars, this time the squealing, distorted and overloaded kind courtesy of James Williamson and Mr James Osterberg’s Stooges. The start of this song is phenomenal, like the engineer pressed the record button a fraction too late but the band went for it anyway.

Search and Destroy (Mono)

Now some proper four-on-the-floor house music from Chicago in 1987. It contains a spoken word section that has some of the best kiss off threats to the other girl ever recorded (see below)

You Used To Hold Me

It’s all about midnight, count it down. There, done.

Peaking Lights with some chilled out midnight dub sounds to ease 2017 in.

Midnight Dub

And to finish, because all nights should finish with this…

Come Together (Weatherall Mix)

Spoken word section from You Used To Hold Me…

Now honey let me tell you something about my man.
You know he’s a good looking sweet lil’ thing.
That man knows how to satisfy a woman
You know what I’m talking about?
Girlfriend let me tell you,
He bought me this fur coat
A brand new car and this 24 carat gold diamond ring
Ain’t it pretty?
Girfriend you know how it is,
When you got a good man,
You start doin’ things like wearing those high heel shoes
And the lace pocket with the garter belt,
And putting on that sweet smellin’ seductive perfume.
Hm hmm
But you know what?
I’m gonna have to put some lame brain in check honey
Cause she got her locks on my man.
But baby I ain’t givin up on this here good thing not for nobody.
Cause what that dorky chick got wouldn’t satisfy a cheese stick let alone my baby
She better take her big long haired butt and move on ’cause he’s mine all mine

Bobby Selassie And Primal Jah

Primal Scream’s Chaosmosis album from earlier this year didn’t really do too much for me- it was alright but nothing special. This however is the best thing they’ve put their name to for a long time. Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre has remixed 100% Or Nothing into a nine and a half minutes long psychedelic dub odyssey, spaced out with dubby bass, disjointed backing vocals, a melodica wending its way through and lots of echo…echo…echo. It’s coming out on limited edition clear vinyl on Friday. Really good.

Rama Lama Lama Fa Fa Fi

Released twenty five years ago this month Primal Scream’s fourth Screamadelica single was Don’t Fight It, Feel It. Where Loaded had been one of the key indie-dance triggers and Come Together was Weatherall’s gospel masterstroke and Higher Than The Sun was just so far out and gone, Don’t Fight It, Feel It was pretty much the closest they came to making house music (maybe Slip Inside This House shares that). DFIFI is wobbly house but house music nonetheless with a shuddering bassline, Denise Johnson’s wonderful vocals and bleeps and bloops and all manner of dancefloor sounds. The various single versions came with remixes including the even housier and barnstorming Scat Mix where Weatherall and Hugo Nicholson twist their own track inside out and upside down.

Don’t Fight It, Feel It (Scat Mix)

The song and others on Screamadelica caused ructions in the group no matter what Bobby told the press, guitarists walking out of studio sessions and people’s egos threatened by not being on certain tracks. They worked it all out for the live shows. This TV appearance on The Late Show shows how they got a guitar-led version of DFIFI going, with Throb working his way around house music on a Les Paul and Bobby sharing the vocals with Denise. Good stuff. And unlike The Stone Roses, they didn’t blow the sound meter and then shout abuse at Tracy McLeod.

A State Of Mind

I’ve flip-flopped around with Primal Scream’s RSD cover version of Mantra For A State Of Mind, starting off thinking it just sounds lazy, then liking it more (Jason Pierce’s guitar probably making the difference). The original S’Express version (from 1991) is pretty wonderful, discofied and then a housier last few minutes. As Craig at Plain Or Pan pointed out, it isn’t a million miles from Don’t Fight It, Feel It.

Mantra For A State Of Mind (Club Mix)

And just because I’m kind to you this is the Weatherall remix of Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em, Forget ‘Em, a loved up, piano and synth driven excursion with heavy breathing and airhorns, also from 1991.

Find ‘Em Fool ‘Em Forget ‘Em (The Eighth Hour Mix)

Ivy Ivy Ivy

This was the song I was going to post yesterday before I got distracted by Paperclip People and by coincidence Primal Scream posted it on social media yesterday with the instruction ‘check Throb’s yellow flying V’. Ivy Ivy Ivy was the lead single off their second album and the moment Primal Scream went rock- leather trousers and long hair replacing anoraks and bowl cuts. To be honest, it doesn’t sound as rock as it did back in 1989 and Bobby’s vocal is straight from their indie phase. I think it is pleasingly trashy though. The sleeve is dominated by Throb’s crotch. I saw them on the tour to promote this single in a tiny cellar venue in Liverpool called Planet X. There weren’t too many more people in the audience than on the stage and I don’t think anyone there would have predicted that within months they would be transforming again into loved up acid house heroes thanks to Loaded.