Isolation Mix Thirteen

Lockdown ends today- at least, that’s how the government and the media have been portraying it with occasional reminders that social distancing and a 2 metre gap might be important. The government have largely dropped the daily infection figures and death toll from their bulletins. You don’t want to be depressing people at this stage of proceedings with doom and gloom, not when there are pints to be drunk! The media have been splashing stories about Super Saturday, Independence Day and the End Of Hibernation. It does look like they deliberately chose July 4th so they could call it an Independence Day. Meanwhile, Leicester is in lockdown, the R rate in London is apparently creeping above 1, there are Covid hotspots around the country, the deaths are still well over one hundred every day, and lots of people are talking about a second wave and a second spike without the people in charge actually wanting to do anything about it. We are still shielding, the medical advice we received this week is that due to our son Isaac being in the extremely vulnerable category we should stay in isolation until August 1st. Despite a few minor changes to our lockdown lives, we are still very much in isolation.

This mix is an hour and eight minutes of music with a folky, ambient, pastoral tinge with some Balearica and guitars thrown in, some old stuff and some brand new- some birdsong and synth ambience to start and finish, blissed out tracks from Seahawks, Apiento and Ultramarine, Green Gartside solo and as Scritti Politti, acoustic guitars courtesy of Nancy Noise, Michael Head and Barry Woolnough, some understated brilliance from The Clash and Sandinista!, Julian Cope covering Roky Erickson, Thurston Moore covering New Order and Jane Weaver’s cosmic/folky weirdness.

Tracklist-
Stubbleman: 4am Conversation

Seahawks: Islands

Nancy Noise: Kaia

Green Gartside: Tangled Man

Barry Woolnough: Great Spirit Father In The Sky

The Clash: Rebel Waltz

Thurston Moore: Leave Me Alone

Julian Cope: I Have Always Been Here Before

Jane Weaver: Slow Motion (Loops Variation)

Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band: Picasso

Scritti Pollitti: The Boom Boom Bap

Apiento: Things You Do For Love

Ultramarine: Stella (Stella Connects)

Stubbleman: 6am Chorus

Isolation Mix Five

Five weeks into these isolation mixes already- doesn’t time fly when you’re socially restricted? There is a higher BPM count on this mix but also some folky darkness and post punk dread from Nick Drake and A Certain Ratio respectively, some dance grooves from Ellis Island Sound and Scott Fraser, the ultra Balearic vibes of Richard Norris’ Time And Space Machine remix of A Mountain Of One, some 1990 class from World Unite when Creation Records went all E’d up and dancey, Andrew Weatherall remixing Moby and Wayne Coyne in epic style, half of The Clash with Frank Ocean and Diplo plus the West Los Angeles Childrens’ Choir (brought to you in association with Converse) from 2014 and a very long Seahawks remix of Tim Burgess, some headspinning ambient noise set against Harry Dean Stanton’s monologue from Paris, Texas. ‘Yep, I know that feeling’.

Tracklist:

Nick Drake: ‘Cello Song

A Certain Ratio: Winter Hill

Ellis Island Sound: Intro, Airborne, Travelling (Scott Fraser Remix)

A Mountain Of One: Ride (The Time And Space Machine Remix)

World Unite: World Unite

Moby Ft. Wayne Coyne: Another Perfect Life (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Diplo: Hero

Tim Burgess: A Gain// Stoned Alone Again Or (Seahawks Remix) v Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski and Ry Cooder: I Knew These Two People, Paris Texas soundtrack

Isolation Mix Two

A second Bagging Area mix for lockdown, an hour of tunes starting out ambient, taking a turn toward the Balearics and some fizzing electronics before the jetstream sends it back into more ambient, melancholic lands with waves and seagulls. Having the time and space to think about putting these together is one of the upsides of social distancing and isolation.

Private Mountain: Coming Back Home v Eric Cantona ‘When the seagulls follow the trawler…

Nils Frahm: Over There, It’s Raining

Steven Leggett: Bathhouse

Seahawks: Rainbow Sun

Peaking Lights: Beautiful Dub

Circle Sky: Ghost In The Machine

The Neil Cowley Trio: Echo Nebula (Vessels Remix)

Fila Brazillia: Midnight Friends

Mark Peters: Jacob’s Ladder (Ambient Innerlands Version)

Jan van den Broeke: Memories

A Man Called Adam: Easter Song (Gospel Oak FX)

Bjorn Torske: First Movement

Monday’s Long Song

Since posting Rainbow Sun by Seahawks in the middle of August I’ve been digging around their back catalogue, acquiring a 2016 album (Escape Hatch), some Prins Thomas remixes and a remix compilation called Deep Haul. Ecsape Hatch is a dreamy piece of work, ten songs that seem to be centred around the ebb and flow of Mediterranean with rhythms that occasionally make it to house music tempo but are usually much slower, saxophones drifting in from Bladerunner, piano and guitars lost in a haze of FX, lots of texture and sheen. Very easy to put on and then lose yourself in. Starways is just shy of twelve minutes long and is an excellent way to start the working week.

Starways

Rainbow Sun Electricity

I went back to this 2014 album recently and it fits into my current listening palette really well- Paradise Freaks by Seahawks. Opener Rainbow Sun, with guest vocalist Maria Minerva, is a beauty, fading in on wash of sounds and a synth part. When Maria’s voice comes in over a bouncing synth bassline it’s like the clouds parting and the sun breaking through.

Rainbow Sun

The rest of the album is lovely too, songs with titles about the sea, drifting, the moon, harbours and waterfalls, all filtered through an electronic haze, with live instruments from some of Hot Chip and production from Tom Furse of The Horrors plus guest vocals from Tim Burgess and Indra of Peaking Lights. Paradise Freaks works as an album too, a fifty minute drift, some tracks structured as proper songs and some textured, open ended soundscapes to wash over you.

Escape Hatch

An escape hatch is exactly what this 2016 track by Seahawks is, a combination of white noise and lush melodies that swirl about until the bongo and piano hit at around a minute in. After that, it’s another seven minutes of bliss. Even the saxophone, an instrument I can often do without, is a joy.

Look At The Sun

This is just the sort of thing for a Sunday morning, a blissed out, sun drenched song from Seahawks with Tim Burgess on vocals. When I first saw The Charlatans at a tiny venue in 1989 doing Indian Rope I wouldn’t have put much money on Tim Burgess still being around twenty-five years later but here he is, a survivor as has been said many times before, and doing stuff that is much better than many of his contemporaries are currently doing.

Video here, it won’t embed.

The Seahawks album is out in September, which might be a little too late to do much looking at the sun. Mind you, we spent two weeks in the Loire valley in August and we didn’t see too much sun there. This was the view from our tent more than once. Our neighbours were flooded out and started digging a levee before they were moved.

When the sun did come out it was lovely- this is the Medieval bridge at Beaugency. The Loire valley is beautiful and we met lots of very nice people on the campsite. French roads are amazing for cycling on- great condition, little traffic and motorists that don’t try to run you off the road. It’s just good to be away from home sometimes, especially when the wine, cheese and bread are so cheap.

The Loire valley is beautiful and we met lots of very nice people on the campsite. French roads are amazing for cycling on- great condition, little traffic and motorists that don’t try to run you off the road. It’s just good to be away from home sometimes, especially when the wine, cheese and bread are so cheap. We found the time to do a bit of exploring. This is Grande Pierre, a menhir in a farmer’s corn field in the middle of nowhere, north of Blois. Not everyone in our party got on the prehistoric tip. Our eldest refused to get out of the car to look at it and child number two was fairly unimpressed. ‘It’s just a stone in a field’.

And this is Special Sport, my favourite shop in the village of Mer. In France the shops open at about 9.30 and stay open as late as midday. Then everyone shuts up shop and takes a two and a half hour lunch break before ambling back to work at around three, going through until about half six. No-one looks particularly stressed out,, no-one rushes anywhere, things get done eventually. I think they may be onto something. Although I’m not sure Special Sport has survived the recession.

 

Oh No He Loves Us

Tim Burgess’ still-really-good-sounding album from last year Oh No! I Love You, co-written and recorded with Kurt Wagner from Lambchop, has already had some remixes released. I posted the Factory Floor and Andy Votel ones and there was a Django Django one I might have done too. Memory fails me at times. There are a few more just floating about the internet at the moment, and cos Tim loves us, they’re free downloads. I’m still trying to convince people that Tim’s solo album is worth their time- go on, give it a go.

Seahawks have done this slow, stately, ambientish one which hangs around very pleasantly for eleven minutes plus. Anton Newcombe from top underground rockers Brian Jonestown Massacre has done two, one of which- The Doors Of Then- is here. It is on a psychedelic tip.