Island Earth Is A Happening Place

In the early 90s Sandals, a four piece from South London, signed to Acid Jazz and put out a series of 12″ singles and an album called Rite To Silence. They came up in conversation in a social media post a few days ago and I thought it was time to put some of their music back up here (the last time they featured was back in 2012).

Sandals came together from the club scene and various record stalls and clothes shops, eventually rehearsing in the storage room of a book/record/clothing shop they ran in London’s Trocadero. They mashed together a heady stew of beatnik spoken word poetry, soul, funk and jazz, lots of percussion and bongos, some heavy grooves and early 90s clubland sounds.

Debut single Nothing, from 1992, was produced by Leftfield and predates the trip hop sound by a year or two. Samples of voices, boom- boom- bap drums and whispered/stoned street poetry.

Nothing (Extended Version)

In the same year they put out a second 12″ single, produced this time by Gary Burns and Jagz Kooner of Sabres Of Paradise, with a more progressive house sound. It was remixed by DSS (David Holmes and Ashley Beedle). It opens with Country Joe’s Woodstock crowd participation exercise, ‘Give me an F! Give me a U! Give me a C! Give me a K! What’s that spell? What;s that spell?’ The techno drums come in and Derek Delves begins singing/chanting about the mess we’re in, war, the environment, general madness and bad times. It couldn’t be more relevant today, the best part of three decades later, if it tried. This being a 1992 progressive house remix it goes on for twelve minutes, never really letting up. Exhilarating stuff.

We Wanna Live (DSS Remix)

Also from 1992 was this one, A Profound Gas, which I played loads at the time and still sounds great today. Flutes, guitars, pan pipes, chunky drums, production from Leftfield and more beatnik poetry with some memorable lines and imagery.

A Profound Gas (Vocal Mix)

The group disbanded in 1996 having had a second album rejected by London Records. It was eventually released in 2009 in Japan. A copy came my way recently and when I’ve fully had a chance to listen to it, more Sandals will be coming this way.

Shake Your Brain, Shake Your Sandals

I love Acid Jazz, beat poet, house/techno, beardy types Sandals out of all proportion to their actual output or  the actual merits of their back catalogue. This one will make your speakers buzz and your head nod.

Shake Ya Brain

A Gas

Last weekend I posted We Wanna Live by early 90s Acid Jazz combo Sandals. In the comments box reader Anto and I agreed that their 12″ A Profound Gas was their best record. I see no reason to change that decision now. The hippy/beatnik lyrics in particular are a profound gas.

We Wanna Live

I always liked the post-acid house crossed with beat poetry records made by Sandals back in the early 1990s. Signed to Acid Jazz, produced at different times by the non-Weatherall parts of Sabres Of Paradise and one half of Leftfield, and over the twelve odd minutes of this head stomp of a single remixed by DSS, who if I’m not mistaken were The Disco Evangelists, a pseudonym for David Holmes. That list of names should not hide the fact this is an ace record.

Sandals ‘Feet’ (Dust Brothers Beatapella)

Enough is enough. I have too many shoes. They are spilling out of every available bedroom space. I am culling my shoes. So far the Going Pile contains five pairs of Clarks (different styles, some in poor condition, but including two pairs of desert boots), a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths, a beaten up pair of Adidas Gazelle, some DM shoes and a pair of black DM boots from years ago (always a little too small if truth be told), a pair of black boots that look like orthapedic boots (TK Maxx mistake), a pair of white (!) basketweave (!!) shoes, three pairs of shoes worn for work but now beyond hope, a pair of red Nike Air (no idea why I bought them), some Dunlop Green Flash (in blue, not very comfortable), a pair of hiking boot things, two pairs of Converse, one pair of black Nike Cortez (older than both of my children), a pair of dark brown wing tip Dr Marten’s brogues (much loved but past their best) and a pair of Caterpillar boots (hardly worn). All this is causing me some distress.

I won’t describe the Staying Pile (it’s bigger).

The Sandals were a post-house acid jazz/beat poetry combo. Very good in parts.

Feet (Dust Brothers Beatapella).mp3 – – online file sharing and storage – download