Conquistador

Through the magic of social media I spent twelve minutes last night listening to this unexpectedly. It popped up in my timeline and now I’m passing it on again.

Conquistador (Sabres of Paradise Mix 3)

This is a big file and the file host will probably say there was a problem playing it as a result but it should be fine to download.

The bit at seven minutes with the wire stretching noises followed by the increased tempo sounded particularly good. As was often the way in 1993 Weatherall, Burns and Kooner turned in three remixes of Conquistador for the 12″. I’ve posted Mix 1 before back in 2012 so here’s the other one.

Conquistador (Sabres of Paradise Mix 2)

Shorter, chunky progressive house and with squiggly bits but liable to get you going if you like this kind of thing.

Espiritu were Vanessa Quinones and Taplin from Frazier Chorus, signed to Heavenly (a label that continues to put out top quality music to this day). Espiritu combined house with Latin beats and put out two albums and multiple singles. It became a one woman show after a while and more recently Vanessa has formed a band called Vanessa And The Os with James Iha (x-Smashing Pumpkins) and more recently still has been making French pop as Allez Pop.

At roughly the same time this popped up in my timeline too.

This is a picture of Jagz Kooner’s Roland TR 808 which he is/was selling. In the accompanying blurb Jagz wrote that this is the actual machine that many Sabres Of Paradise songs and recordings were done using as well as some of Primal Scream’s recordings (Swastika Eyes, some of XTRMNTR, some of Evil Heat). That’s an actual piece of musical history. I considered having a whip round and getting part shares in it but couldn’t raise the funds in time (offers above £3750).

Advertisements

Tow Trucking

I’m trying to fight the blogger’s feeling that you should comment on every death in rock ‘n’ roll and have something to say about it. Chuck Berry died over the weekend- he invented rock ‘n’ roll, he invented the riff and the lyrical concerns of the song. Mrs Swiss and myself danced to You Never Can Tell at our wedding back in 1995 (we were both in our mid 20s so it wasn’t quite the teenage wedding of the song). Other than that there isn’t much I have to say about Chuck Berry. He was by all accounts an appalling person but in music we often have to separate the artist from the art, as unpleasant as that can be.

1995 was also the year that Sabres Of Paradise put out a series of remixes by other artists of songs from Haunted Dancehall, released the previous year. Chemical Brothers, LFO, Nightmares On Wax, In The Nursery and Depth Charge all had goes at reworking the work of Weatherall, Kooner and Burns. This Depth Charge version sounds very 1995- dusty, wired and with a big beat.

Tow Truck (Depth Charge Mix)

Holmes

Friday- and thank fuck for that. It’s been a long and trying week. I’ve got my computer back and it seems to have survived the experience despite the best efforts of the staff at the shop who were borderline incompetent, had no customer service skills whatsoever and didn’t even seem to think an apology was due when I listed the multiple let downs in service they’ve provided me with over the last four weeks.

Today’s tune to lift the spirits is a follow on of sorts from Drew posting LB Bad’s New Age Of Faith last week, the starting point for Sabres Of Paradise’s  1993 classic Smokebelch. David Holmes took Weatherall and co’s track and added a tumbling house piano guaranteed to set the hairs on the back of the neck up straight and a majorette style drumming section. Breakdowns and build ups, and end the of the night has come too soon.

Smokebelch II (David Holmes remix)

If you haven’t yet heard Holmes’ Late Night Tales compilation you really should do so as a matter of urgency, whatever your current tastes. It is much more than a mix cd or compilation. It is an expertly put together and seemless mix of songs to guide you through the small hours, taking in psyche, folk, the weirder end of rock and roll, a children’s choir, ambient and found sounds, the spoken word and some songs recorded by Holmes specifically for this album. It takes in the words of Seamus Heaney, the music of strange bedfellows like BP Fallon, Jon Hopkins, David Crosby, Buddy Holly, The Children Of Sunshine and Moine Dubh’s Barry Woolnough. It tracks a journey through life, complete with loss and love and redemption. It is quite magical and proves that light always finds its way through the dark.

The two covers are kind of the inverse of each other aren’t they?

Swordplay

I’m just going to return to Sabres Of Paradise if that’s alright. The live set I posted on Monday was pretty well received and has been flying around other sites too. I pulled out some Sabres cds to play in the car this week and that included two cd singles, Theme and Wilmot, both released in 1994. I didn’t buy cds then, being an uptight vinyl purist. Cds were clearly an attempt by The Man to destroy vinyl, resell everyone their record collections, make vast profits at our expense and stomp all over our culture, our entire way of life. Something like that. Some years later I softened my approach after cds began to infiltrate my household via the front covers of music magazines- a gateway drug to a shiny, silver state of mind. I succumbed. Years after that ebay began to offer opportunities to fill in gaps caused by my vinyl purism and at rock bottom prices. Hence, at some point I bought the cd singles of Theme and Wilmot for a couple of quid. If you don’t know Theme orWilmot (and I’m sure most of you do) then please go  and listen to them.Theme is a massive, crunchy, swirling thing with hip hop drums, a horn fanfare and spiralling guitars and can make you feel like you’re in a film. Wilmot is a delicious, delirious skank. Coming hard on the heels of 1993’s Smokebelch they make up a brilliant threesome demonstrating the outer limits of Weatherall, Koons, and Burns’ imaginations. The vinyl releases had B-sides- Theme came with dubby Return Of Carter and Edge 6, both later compiled on Sabresonic II and both much loved round here. Wilmot was backed by Rumble Summons, eight minutes of a man kicking a bin. But, to get to the point, the cd singles had extra B-sides, filling in a little more of the Sabres Of Paradise story. Theme’s fourth track was Theme III, a deconstruction or version that sounded a little like a Metal Box track played really slowly. Wilmot had a Scruff remix and also Siege Refrain, an instrument or something totally distorted playing a little riff with some drums so laden with echo they sound like they’re coming from the bottom of a swimming pool.

Theme III

Siege Refrain

Crossed Swords

In 1994 Andrew Weatherall put together a live band version of Sabres Of Paradise who played several sets around the country, Weatherall standing at the back twiddling knobs and smoking while Gary Burns, Jagz Kooner and Phil Mossman dealt with the live bass, keys, guitars and percussion. Until now no recordings of these live sets have existed on the interwebs.  Herbal Tea Party have found and uploaded a recording of Sabres Of Paradise playing live in 1994 at one of their nights in Manchester. The motherlode. The first half hour is Andrew Weatherall playing a down tempo, laid back set. Then Sabres join in and work their way through Bubble And Slide II, Tow Truck, Theme and a pounding, bent out of shape Smokebelch. Those of you who are Weatherall/Sabres fans will understand the excitement this recording causes.

Audrey In Dub

A chance back-to-back playing of two Weatherall tunes on the pod in the car led me to thinking about what an Andrew Weatherall dub compilation album might look like. Much of his work is to a greater or lesser degree informed by dub and dub production but from his earliest remixes through Sabres Of Paradise and into the recent solo work and the Asphodells there are plenty of pretty much pure dubwise tunes that work really well together burnt onto a disc or compiled on a playlist. These ones work at the moment for me and in this order.

S.O.P ‘Ysaebud’ (a one sided 7″ single from 1994, credited as S.O.P. From The Vaults)
Saint Etienne ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ A Mix Of Two Halves
Sabres Of Paradise ‘Edge 6’ (B-side of Theme 12″)
New Order ‘Regret’ Sabres Slo ‘n’ Lo Mix
Sabres Of Paradise ‘RSD’
The Orb Perpetual Dawn Ultrabass II
Sabres Of Paradise ‘Return Of Carter’ (B-side of Theme 12″)
Steve Mason ‘Boys Outside’ Dub Mix 1
Madness ‘The Death Of A Rude Boy’ Andrew Weatherall Remix
Group Rhoda ‘King’ Asphodells Remix
Two Lone Swordsmen ‘As Worldly Pleasures Wave Goodbye’ (from Stay Down- this isn’t really dub per se, it’s just a lovely way to close the album)

Ysaebud

King (Asphodells remix)

The Mighty Ming

As this is turning into a Sabres remix themed week some of you may cheer and some may quietly close the page and go browsing elsewhere but my compilation cd also threw up this track, a remix of Brothers Love Dubs, who were Alan Bremner, Dave Seaman and Steve Anderson. I can’t tell you anything else about them except the Dave Seaman isn’t the former ponytailed England and Arsenal goalkeeper but a relatively well known dj and editor of Mixmag. This remix is excellent.

The Mighty Ming (Sabres Of ParadiseRemix)

And this one is too.

The Mighty Ming (Sabres Of Paradise Slow Mix)

Would kids today sit and watch the 1930s version of Flash Gordon on their Saturday mornings? We did, constantly. Ming the Merciless was played by Charles Middleton, accompanied in the picture by Princess Aura (Shirley Deane).