Gadji Beri Bimba Clandridi

June 2018 is a gift that keeps on giving in terms of images. In the picture at the top Diego Maradona celebrates Argentina finding some form of redemption against Nigeria (who didn’t deserve to lose to be honest). Diego danced with a Nigerian fan, celebrated Messi’s goal in ecstatic style, flipped double birds at fans below on the 86th minute winner and then had a health scare in the concourse. He is disappearing in a blizzard of coke. I love Diego in many ways but I fear for his health. In the picture below a resident of Mossley, in the Pennines east of Manchester, returns from the Co-op in a gas mask to protect from the moorland fires which have been out of control most of the week. The smell of burning peat hangs over the city.

Recently I have been a little bit obsessed with this song from Talking Heads in 1979. Byrne’s lyrics were adapted from a poem by the Dadaist writer Hugo Ball. The groundbreaking Afro-funk is the product of the band.

I Zimbra (12″ version)

It works well with this, out earlier this year from Sean Johnston’s Hardway Bros, a 2018 slice of Afro-funkiness.

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That Hit

Flash Atkins is here with some uplifting, locked groove, slinky, tech-house, and there’s some lovely soulful vocals from Charlie Sinclair- waiting for that hit. Night time music.

The single comes with a remix by Hardway Bros, Sean Johnston bringing the buzzing bass to the fore, stretching it out and sending it into sci fi techno territory.

The Laser

There’s a lot of new music out now or imminently. Hardway Bros will put out a new ep at the end of May, 4 new tracks led off by this one- Friedman Feedback Loop Revision- where Sean Johnston loops some magic over a hi-hat and some drums and then lays waste to your speakers.

Sean’s ep releases over the last few years for New York label Throne Of Blood have been uniformly excellent, especially the Pleasure Cry 12″ from 2016 (with Argonaut being among the best tracks of the year to Bagging Area ears). If you want to catch up with the back catalogue you can get it all digitally at Bandcamp.

Sunday Style

This two hour set Sean Johnston did at his kitchen table for Diggers Directory at Stamp The Wax is a delight- a slow motion but building selection of cosmische, cosmic disco, New Beat and ALFOS styled chuggers, controls set for the heart of the, um,  kitchen. Kitchen dancing is the best.

Sensation

Trax was the legendary Chicago label that put out early house records, tracks like No Way Back by Adonis, Jamie Principle and Frankie Knuckles’ Your Love, Can You Feel It by Larry Heard, Marshall Jefferson’s Move Your Body and Phuture’s Acid Trax- pretty much the records that invented the scene.

In 2011 with the involvement of Bill Brewster, a DJ and writer who knows his onions, they put out an album of re-edits. Seven years on the album is a bit hit and miss although some of the reworkings sound pretty good (it’d be difficult to make a complete mess consdering the source material). Some of the re-edits are a bit too safe, missing the weirdness and WTF-ness of the original tunes, too reverential. In most cases you’ll want to hear the original straight after, just to confirm its mid-80s brilliance. The re-edits also tend to sound a bit samey, using the same kit and software that was then the cutting edge in 2011. But there are some worthy efforts in the double cd. Ron Hardy was as much as anyone at the centre of the mid-80s Chicago house scene, DJing with twin turntables and a reel to reel tape-deck and producing tracks too. Richard Sen’s re-edit of Sensation is a juddering monster with synth stabs…

Sensation (Richard Sen Re-edit)

Toby Tobias and Sean Johnston’s Hardway Bros add some sparkle and shimmer to Adonis’ We’re Rockin’ Down The House…

We’re Rockin’ Down The House (Toby Tobias and Hardway Bros Re-edit)

Theatre De La Mer

After a few years of holding the annual Convenanza festival inside the castle at Carcasonne this year’s Convenanza moved to the coast and and the port town of Sete. Convenanza is a three day festival organised by Bernie Fabre with a line up of artists chosen by Andrew Weatherall and Bernie- this year’s festival at Sete took place in the outdoor theatre shown above, the Theatre de la Mer where the backdrop is the Mediterranean Sea. I can’t get to the south of France for a weekend during term time but I have online sources who were there and provided a running commentary of pictures, clips, tunes and reports over the weekend. The line up for this year looked like this…
As the weekend wound down one of my social media friends was raving about the impact this song had when played in the theatre outdoors after dark. It’s a lovely Balearic chugger from 2012 by Coyote with a vocal by Gavin Gordon, the sort of song that takes you up and brings you down…
There’s a very good acid tinged remix by Sean Johnston , the half of A Love From Outer Space that isn’t Mr Weatherall. The same roving reporter on the dockside also pointed us towards this one by Norway’s Laars, a mid-paced dj set track that goes a bit loopy in the middle and seems to have set hairs on the back of the neck on end and arms in the air…
The ALFOS dj set, Weatherall and Johnston back to back, on Friday night closed with This Mortal Coil’s spine-tingling cover of Song To The Siren, Liz Fraser’s voice drifting out from the theatre to the sea, ‘Long afloat on shipless oceans, I did all my best to smile’…

Bagging Area End Of Year Review

I saw a thing on social media recently which said ‘nobody cares about your end of year review’. Possibly true. But it’s a blogging tradition and so here it is.

2016 has been a wretched year in so many ways but there’s been a real glut of good music from start to finish, from Bowie’s astonishing and difficult to listen to Blackstar (and death) in January through to the very recent album from A Tribe Called Quest (also marked by the death of one of its makers, Phife Dawg).

Albums Of The Year

All of these have spent time on the Bagging Area turntable and/or car stereo…

David Bowie ‘Blackstar’// Andrew Weatherall ‘Convenanza’// Dinosaur Jr ‘Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not’// Unloved ‘Guilt Of Love’//Aphex Twin ‘Cheetah’// A Tribe Called Quest‘We Got It From Here…’//Beyonce ‘Lemonade’//Tim Burgess and Peter Gordon ‘Same Language, Different Worlds’//Toy ‘Clear Shot’//Underworld ‘Barbara Barbara We Face A Shining Future’//Echolocation ‘Empire Blood And Bones’//Sordid Sound System ‘Lux Exterior’//Cavern Of Anti- Matter ‘Void Beats’// Steve Mason ‘Meet The Humans’//Frank Ocean ‘Blonde’// Baltic Fleet ‘The Dear One’//Pete Astor ‘Spilt Milk’//Cobby and Porky‘Cities Below Future Seas// and the much played round here swansong from Iggy Pop ‘Post Pop Depression’

As well as all of these the three that have given me the most repeated joy are…

Woodleigh Research Facility ‘The Phoenix Suburbs (And Other Stories)
Beyond the Wizards Sleeve ‘The Soft Bounce’
Factory Floor ’25 25′

But the most jawdropping album has been a compilation which included new recordings along with old, mixed together perfectly, making something new that was a meditation on life, love, loss and death, and that is David Holmes’ Late Night Tales. So that’s my album of the year.

As a sampler for those that haven’t heard it it opened with Barry Woolnough’s tribute to his wife who died of cancer, a 7″ single on Moine Dubh…

This is Sung Sung’s spooked out cover of 10cc’s I’m Not In Love (not a song I previously particularly liked but this is just wonderful)

And this was a one take vocal performance by BP Fallon to his friend Henry McCullough (a pair of Weatherall remixes are due next year).

E.P. Of The Year

Hardway Bros (Sean Johnston) released a four track e.p. in the early summer and I can’t think of three songs that have sounded any better on one piece of vinyl than Pleasure Cry, My PNO and especially Argonaut. The sound of my summer. Still doing it in December too.

Songs Of The Year

Drew’s songs of the year from last Saturday crosses over with mine in many ways- our 2016 Venn diagram has a big overlapping section. Here are 24 songs from 2016. No rankings, think of this list as a suggestion of the order in which these songs could be played…

Steve Cobby and Rich Arthurs ‘Bushfarmer’
Cobby and Mallinder ‘Tumblefish’
Primal Scream ‘100% Or Nothing Dub (Bobby Selassie And Primal Jah)
David Bowie ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’
Wussy ‘Ceremony’
Pete Astor ‘Really Something’
Paprika Kinski ‘Kids Of Your Crime’
Iggy Pop ‘Gardenia’
The Hurt ‘Berlin’
Unloved ‘When A Woman Is Around’
The Liminanas ft Peter Hook ‘Garden Of Love’ (Lundi Mouille Mix)
Warpaint ‘New Song’
Woodleigh Research Facility ‘Taqiya’
Massive Attack ‘Ritual Spirit’
Andrew Weatherall ‘The Confidence Man’
The Xx ‘On Hold’
Beyonce ‘Hold Up’
Beyond the Wizards Sleeve ‘Diagram Girl’ (BTWS Re-Animation)
Craig Bratley ft Danielle Moore ‘Play The Game’ (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Circle Sky ‘Reveal’
Daniel Avery ‘A Mechanical Sky’
Death In Vegas ‘You Disco I Freak’
Andrew Weatherall ‘Ghosts Again’ (Scott Fraser Ghosts In The Piano Mix)
Hardway Bros ‘Argonaut’