Gran Paradiso

It’s so dark at the moment- dark in the mornings, dark from the late afternoon and murky throughout the day- that some musical sunshine is required to try to burn though the gloom. This track came out in 2017, a blast of Italo, cosmic Balearica with a touch of acid thrown in. Prins Thomas did an official edit of a Rusty track called Everything’s Gonna Change and when that was released by Hell Yeah Recordings he added two extras, one of which was this one, Gran Paradiso. Straight from the off a blaze warm and loud washes of synth, drum pads and some chirruping sounds with a spluttering synthesised bassline coming in. Four minutes of summer.

Gran Paradiso

Monday Long Song

I found this on Friday night, an ALFOS road tested release fresh out on Phantasy. Terr is a Brazilian born, Berlin based DJ and producer. Her original track Tale Of Devotion is a wide eyed homage to the disco-synths of Georgio Moroder, a seven minute pulsing joyride with sweeping strings. The Prins Thomas Diskomiks is nine minutes and four seconds of undulating cosmic disco with Terr’s vocal layered over some wild synth action, guaranteed to pick you up and spin you round. Single of the week (as they used to do in the NME/Melody Maker).

 

Häxan

Prins Thomas, Norwegian producer and DJ, has been on these pages twice since last Friday, remixing A Man Called Adam and Doves. In 2017 he released an album titled Häxan which comprised a series of recordings he’d made while completely reconstructing an album made by Swedish psych-rock band Dungen. They had recorded the songs originally to accompany a 1926 film called The Adventures Of Prince Achmed. Thomas took the analogue tapes an d rebuilt them from the bottom up, sometimes keeping little of the original track, largely removing the heavier guitar parts, adding his own instruments and loops, building something new out of something else (in his own words the album was ‘Recorded, Remixed, Rearranged, Chopped, Screwed, Glued And Partially Reproduced With Love By Prins Thomas’). Over the ten songs on Häxan (Swedish for witch apparently) Prins Thomas conjures up extended proggy cosmic instrumentals, space rock heading outwards. Try this one.

Achmed Flyger (Version 1)

Grow The Revolution

This graffiti appeared on a footbridge that crosses the M61 a little while ago. The photograph was taken by someone I follow on Twitter, Paul Wright. I drive underneath it every day on the way to and from work but haven’t been able to photograph it due to my hands being needed to drive and it being dangerous and all that, so I’m glad Paul got a shot of it (and I hope he doesn’t mind me using it here). On the other side of the bridge, heading away from Manchester, there is another piece of graffiti by the same writer that reads ‘burn fuel don’t care we all breathe the same air’, something I think about often as my car goes underneath it.

Wilmslow’s favourite sons Doves are back and are playing some festivals this summer. They’re playing Heaton Park in June but going to see them there would mean shelling out for a Noel Gallagher gig, something which I’m reluctant to do. After that they’re in Glasgow and at Bearded Theory Festival, Tramlines in Sheffield, Kendal Calling and Somerset House in London (all during term time). A smaller gig somewhere in Manchester would be nice (I’d settle for Castlefield Bowl if need be).

Doves have been well served by remixes in the past.  The original version of Black And White Town from 2005 is an uptempo northern soul inspired stomper. David Holmes slows it right down, puts the descending bassline at the centre with some organ, with the vocals in the distance occasionally, echoing in.

Black And White Town (David Holmes Remix)

Their last album was Kingdom Of Rust in 2009 with various remixes surrounding it across various single releases including this monster from Andrew Weatherall, a bass heavy version, kicking off with shouts and reverb, and then a crunchy drumbeat, a remix that crackles with electricity and ideas. This remix was a sign that Weatherall was finding his groove again, the start of a purple patch that has lasted a decade now.

Compulsion (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

There was also this eight minute gem, a Diskomiks of the title track by Prins Thomas, a 12″ promo of which I found in a local charity shop yesterday for £1.99 and which sounded really good in the early April sunshine.

 

Lose Yourself

A Man Called Adam’s new album Farmarama is proving to be a popular one round here, four sides of joy and fun, both reflecting their late 80s Balearic origins and sounding pretty current too- laptop beats, BBC Radiophonic Workshop melodies and Sally’s impressionistic lyrics. The closing song is this one, Paul Valery At The Disco, the one I keep skipping the needle back to the start of…

Paul Valery was a French poet, writer and philosopher- ‘poems are never finished, just abandoned’ is his most famous quote (see also: ‘poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking’). The track Sally and Steve have married his name to is a trippy disco tinged thumper which Sally said was inspired by the death of David Mancuso, his New York club The Loft and his party philosophy, Paul Valery dropped in for good measure. A song that extols the virtues of dancing, living and losing yourself on the dancefloor.

There’s a remix 12″ coming out for Record Shop Day including a Prins Thomas version of this which means I may have to venture into the vinyl scrum in Piccadilly Records after all.

Lovesick

This track combines two of my current musical favourites, Scandinavian dance music and the remixes of Keiran Hebden as Four Tet. Lovesick (Four Tet Remix), by Prins Thomas and Christabelle, was originally a 2010 release, and is now part of a massive three hour, three cd mixed set (or double vinyl) celebrating twenty five years of Prins Thomas. Slow motion 21st century Norwegian disco.

Arpa

There’s something glum about early December, the lights and trees are too soon, the relentless terrible songs when the event is still over 3 weeks away and there’s a lot to get through before you can step off the work wheel for a while. It’s wet and dark and cold. This song came out in September last year, some Scandi-disco from Bjorn Torske and Prin Thomas. Torske and Thomas are both veteran producers and DJs in the Norwegian house scene where disco drums, space synth melodies and a krautrock devotion to repetition are to the fore. Just what is needed to beat the December blues.

Arpa (12″ version)