Random Selections From The Shelves

On Boxing Day night sitting in the room with all the records in it we played the game where someone pulls a record at random from the shelves and we play it. First to go was my daughter, who had already said she didn’t like what my brother- in- law were listening to when she came in- ‘it’s not music, it’s just noises’ (Richard Norris’ Abstractions Vol. 2). She was given the first go and pulled out St Etienne’s 1994 12″ single Pale Movie.

Pale Movie is off Tiger Bay, the sleeve with a tiger on both front and back. I photographed the tiger above at Port Lympne safari park in Kent a few years ago. I don’t think keeping tigers in cages is a good idea (apart from the obvious conservation arguments) but the tigers at Lympne had a lot of room and seeing one close up and hearing it roar was pretty exciting. I digress. We played the single version of Pale Movie from the choice of four mixes on the single. Pale Movie is classic mid- 90s St Etienne, equal parts Eurobeat, Spanish guitar and Sarah singing lyrics about a boy and girl (‘he is so dark and moody/she is the sunshine girl’). Pete, Bob and Sarah went to Nerja in Spain to shoot the video.

I went back to the 12″ afterwards to re- listen to the other three mixes, all of which were worth giving a spin. Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, the man who mixed the song (and Hug My Soul from Tiger Bay as well), did the Stentorian Dub, a straightforward but effective clubby remix- plenty to enjoy in it with its bleepy synths and chunky drums.

Pale Movie (Stentorian Dub)

The longest remix was ten minutes from Kris Needs in his Secret Knowledge guise. It starts with an extended intro which builds into the first of several peaks. The Secret Knowledge Trouser Assassin mix goes pretty trancey with pummelling drums and Sarah’s vocals dropped in along with the kitchen sink. Kris Needs was a master of this kind of thing in the mid 90s.

Pale Movie (Secret Knowledge Trouser Assassin Mix)

Finally a remix by Underworld (credited solely to Rick Smith), the Lemonentry Mix, one that clocks in at just over four minutes, very short for Underworld at the time. Rick worked on Tiger Bay too, mixing and programming Like A Motorway, Cool Kids Of Death and Urban Clearway. The Underworld remix of Cool Kids Of Death is one I’ll come back to when I do a follow up to the Underworld remixes post from a week or two ago. The Lemonentry Mix is a slowed down, dubby affair, darker and moodier than the rest, with Sara’s vocal intact.

Pale Movie (Lemonentry Mix)

Just to show how random the following selections from the shelves were my niece followed St Etienne with Gnod and a song from their Just Say No To The Psycho Right Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine album. We played the opening song, Bodies For Money, a glorious piece of feedback guitar led noise, every instrument recorded with the needle tipping into the red and Gnod raging against late period capitalism.

Mrs Swiss then pulled out a six track maxi- single The House Sound Of Chicago and as Gnod’s noise dissolved we had Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk’s 1986 song Love Can’t Turn Around, featuring the sublime vocals of Daryl Pandy, a song that was the first US house track to hit the UK charts. It still sounds huge, crashing pianos, 808s and 303s. Magical.

Love Can’t Turn Around

Fun for all the family as I’m sure you can see.

Out Of Our Brains On The 5.15

Passing one of Sale’s many charity shops on Saturday I wandered in to peruse the box of vinyl. I left a few minutes later having rescued Secret Knowledge’s Sugar Daddy 12″ for the princely sum of £1.99. Yes, I’ve already got the original release but this one was in a different sleeve and had a different version (the Sugar Caned Mix) and another remix on it too (by Paul van Dyke, trancey). Secret Knowledge were Kris Needs (journalist, friend of The Clash and Primal Scream, legendary caner and crow’s nest hairdo owner) and Wonder (vocals, big voice). Sugar Daddy came out in 1993 on Sabres Of Paradise and is a long, thumping house track, a big club tune of the time. Also on this charity shop classic is an equally good remix by The Disco Evangelists (David Holmes and Ashley Beedle), with a nod of the head to Quadrophenia. It is a banger.

Sugar Daddy (Out Of Our Brains On the 5.15 Mix)

Jah Wobble (And Man Ray)

We love the bass here at Bagging Area Towers and never moreso than when being played by Jah Wobble. After a spell out of the music industry (partly spent giving gnomic announcements to commuters on the London Underground’s tannoy system) Jah came back with post-acid house outfit, The Invaders Of The Heart, resulting in the epic Visions Of You single and then in 1994 Becoming More Like God. What you have here is Secret Knowledge’s remix which clocks in at a nifty fourteen minutes and one second. A 12″ single where Kris Needs redefines expansive and epic. Hope it doesn’t wipe out the rest of my Boxnet bandwidth for this month.

Today’s Man Ray portrait is of another American lost in Paris, painter Karin Van Leyden. Well, you didn’t want a picture of Jah did you? Or Kris Needs?

Becoming More Like God (Secret Knowledge To Hell And Back Mix)