Things In The Shadows

More dark, acid tinged, electro goodness today in the form of synths and drum machines from Warriors Of The Dystotheque, music and voices bent out of shape by remixers Tronik Youth. You could stick it on a compilation CD/playlist with Sean Johnston’s recent A.M.O.R. release, some Future Beat Alliance, Mythologen, Stiletto Ana, a couple of the long Duncan Gray tracks from recent times and the Shunt Voltage tracks I posted on Saturday for a intense and beat driven commute.

Down By The Sea

Last Monday Drew posted a cover of The Velvet Underground’s Ocean, a version done by Sunray (played on and produced by Sonic Boom), thirteen minutes of drone rock bliss from 2007. It’s here. Back in 2014 there was an extensive remastering job on a lot of The Velvet’s material for the 45th anniversary of one of their albums. Ocean never saw the light of day when the band existed and eventually surfaced via Lou Reed’s 1972 solo album, the 1969 live album and 1985’s VU record. Here it is, in all it’s 1969 via 2014 glory.  Lou and Sterling’s guitars on Ocean are such a treat and the build up to the ending with the crashing drums and organ is superb.



In 2009 Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve released a compilation album rounding up their remixes and re-animations of a bunch of artists- The Chemical Brothers, Franz Ferdinand, Late Of The Pier, Peter, Bjorn and John, Tracey Thorn, Badly Drawn Boy, Goldfrapp, Midlake, Dust Galaxy, Real Ones, Simian Mobile Disco and Findlay Brown. At the same time that album was released Erol Alkan and Richard Norris were asked to mix all their versions together into a single, hour long set for a special download edition. They went back to their versions, took some of them apart again, re-assembled them and then stitched the whole thing together. A decade later it has re-appeared online for your enjoyment, an hour of psychedelic, electronic, time shifting, retro- futuristic exploration. There should be something in this for everyone to enjoy.


Maybe This Can Last Forever

I found this the other day via a Facebook group a friend added me to, a four track release from the middle of last year from a label called Giegling, based in the German town of Weimar (a place with some pertinent 20th century political history but not necessarily renowned for house and minimal dub techno). The e.p. was/is vinyl only and apart from their appearance on streaming media the four tracks contained within the grooves of the 12″ don’t seem to be available on any download sites. Some copies of the vinyl are advertised for sale at Discogs, starting at £66.67 and heading all the way up to €250 so I don’t expect to getting my mitts on a copy any time soon.

Maybe by Kettenkarussell is sublime- lush washes of synth and deep house drums, rising and swelling before the snare rattles in at around a minute and then the vocal, a repeated phrase borrowed from Love Like This by Faith Evans, and perfectly nails that point between happiness and sadness, darkness and dawn, coming at you in waves. Heady, spine tingling stuff.

After that the tracks that make up the rest of the e.p. are a little more abstract, revealing themselves over time, subtle and nuanced and less immediate than Maybe but just as capable of worming their way into the brain. Schlange by Ateq is breakbeat led, minimal techno, understated Teutonic machine funk. Tecsol by Edward is squiggly, loopy acid that breaks down into something quite serene after three minutes thirty-five and then heads off again for six more minutes of synth- mangling adventure. Moment Of Youth by Map.ache is glitchy, minimal techno, built around insistent drums, a twinkling riff and a Gang Starr sample.


Hoga Nord must be the most reliable record label in the world at the moment, putting out gem after gem. This is by Mythologen and came out back in May on an album called Antisocial Background Music 2017- 2019, a fine album title I think you’ll agree. And it really hits the spot.

Lewi’s Dub

Duncan Gray, as blogged about here in August, has been drip feeding long chuggy ALFOS dancers through the Bandcamp page of the tici taci record label. This one is a lost track, recorded in 2014, played by Weatherall and Johnston at their A Love From Outer Space nights and then sitting gathering dust on a hard drive. For the princely sum of £1 you get six and a half minutes of slow motion, electronic dub disco, all drums, weird noises and lovely bass.

Monday’s Long Song

Robert Frank died last week aged ninety- four. In 1957 he published a book of his photographs called The Americans, a collection of pictures taken across the USA over a two year period in the mid 1950s. The photos showed a different US from the one portrayed on TV, in the cinema and the magazines, the brightly coloured, neon lit America of the Eisenhower years- Frank’s America was the lives of people at the margins and shots of the places most people passed by or through. Arriving in the USA in 1947, an immigrant escaping post- war Europe, the son of a German Jew who lost his citizenship in the 1930s. He began to see the USA as a bleak and lonely place for those excluded by poverty.

The Americans had an introduction written by Jack Kerouac, whose own travels across the continent mirrored Frank’s. He shot his pictures using only his Leica and the light that was available, and what his pictures show more than anything to me is that the key thing needed to take good photographs isn’t a piece of equipment but the eyes. Frank saw a different America and photographed it. He looked at it from another angle. He saw that he could frame scenes differently. An article at The New Yorker in the wake of his death said ‘ Frank’s nakedness to what was to him an alien land terrified us, and we were joyous. In a way, this amounted to a callow extension of American exceptionalism—postwar national hubris, only negative. Tragedy with its foot to the floor. We were special, all right. Also fucked. Sure.’ R.I.P. Robert Frank.

Anyway, back to the music- a long song for Monday and completely unconnected to the above. This is some lengthy progressive house from 1992 by The Aloof remixed by Fabio Paras. Paras was one of the original DJs on the London scene in 1988, playing in Ibiza and then at The Astoria and Flying. Fabio’s remix of On A Mission opens with drums and percussion, huge tribal beats building before the chopped up vocal comes in.

On A Mission (Fabio Paras Remix)

Monday’s Long Song

This is rather gorgeous and at just under nine minutes pretty long too- banks of cosmische synths, waves of warm sounds, insistent drums. It’s by GLOK and called Pulsing, appropriately.

There’s a very limited edition cassette of a seven track album already sold out but fear not, the album is out digitally in early July and opens with a twenty minute epic called Dissident. GLOK, it turns out, is Andy Bell, the guitarist from Ride (who also have an album out later this year).  This is by some distance the best thing that any former member of Oasis has been involved in.

Together More

Together More is the latest release on Andrew Weatherall’s Bird Scarer label- BS007 if you’re keeping a count- from Scott Fraser and vocals from Louise Quinn, a slow burning, deep house rumble, a track with a kind of dark energy. The flipside of the limited edition 12″ is an Andrew Weatherall remix and in a weird and unexpected turn of events I’m digging the original version more than the remix at the moment.

Back in 2012 Scott Fraser’s A Life Of Silence was the second Bird Scarer release, a 12″ that is one of the best releases of its kind of the last decade. That may sound like hyperbole but it’s a magnificent beast- nine minutes plus of juddering, synth led beauty with a bassline like prime mid 80s Peter Hook and a choppy guitar part.

A Life Of Silence (Timothy J. Fairplay’s ‘Fall Of Shame’ Remix)