Tristessa

On Saturday night while The Chemical Brothers were block rocking the Other Stage at Glastonbury talk on Twitter turned to the then Dust Brothers 1994 Xmas Dust Up, a cassette given away free with the NME in December 1994. The tape was mixed by Ed and Tom, a window rattling, volume- all-the-way-up, seven song mixtape.

Side 1
The Dust Brothers- Leave Home
Bonus Beats Orchestra- Bonus Beats
The Prodigy- Voodoo People (Dust Brothers Remix)
Depth Charge- Shaolin Buddha Finger

Side 2
Renegade Soundwave- Renegade Soundwave (Leftfield remix)
Strange Brew- One Summer (‘Lektrik Dawn Dub)
Manic Street Preachers- La Tristessa Durera

Image result for dust brothers xmas dust up

Just looking at the sleeve and reading the tracklist transports me back to this cassette causing difficulties for the speakers in a red Nissan Micra back in 94/95- it used to get played a lot for a while.

Bonus Beats Orchestra was Tom and Ed Dust/Chemical under another name. Depth Charge were ace, the 9 Deadly Venoms album was trip hop and big beat before either really got going, and chock full of samples from martial arts films and horror movies. I’ve posted Renegade Soundwave before and the Leftfield remix is particularly good. Strange Brew were a duo from Manchester, one half of whom, Jake Purdy, lived down our street when we were kids. We’d long lost touch by the mid 90s but used to knock around in a gang all the time in the mid 80s. Funny to have a little childhood, local connection with a free NME cassette. Helpfully someone has transferred their copy of the tape digitally and uploaded it to Youtube. The beats sound quite timelocked but as a whole this still sounds fairly fresh I think.

The Dust Brothers would become The Chemical Brothers not long afterwards. Their remix of La Tristessa Durera was done while still Dust and isn’t subtle-  squealing noises from the start, various samples from Ed and Tom’s pile of odds and ends, lots of sirens and James’ vocal. La Tristessa Durera- the sadness endures forever- was written by Richie taking the point of view of a war veteran wheeled out once a year on Poppy Day as a ‘cenotaph souvenir’, poverty causing him to sell his medal. It is one of the best early Manics songs, showing behind the eyeliner, shock quotes and bluster there was some genuine talent.

La Tristessa Durera (From A Scream To A Sigh) (Chemical [Dust] Brothers Remix)

And May You Always Have No Shoes

With No Shoes, the opening song from the Charlatans 1997 album Tellin’ Stories, has been buzzing around my head recently. It’s a song that is blatantly in thrall to mid 90s rock ‘n’ roll, a post-Britpop shuffle and with Gallagher-esque vocal tics. It opens with some harmonica and a burst of wah-wah guitar and then drum loops supplied by a Chemical Brother (Tom Rowlands I think). Stoned and groovey. The album was released following the death of Rob Collins but he played on much of it.

With No Shoes

I’m sure I read somewhere that Tim’s lyrics were inspired by The Stone Roses legendary 1989 intro tape, a trippy and slightly menacing piece of music- a rolling bassline, lolloping drum loop and screeching sound (all sampled from a 1987 hip hop record, Small Time Hustler by Dismasters). It apparently also contains a voice whispering ‘with no shoes’. It is a valuable addition to your ever-growing mp3 collection.

The Stone Roses 1989 Intro Track

Small Time Hustler

Which also gives me an excuse to post this picture of Ian, Mani and Reni on that tour of 1989, when they were capable of blowing ecstatic heads wide open and also of turning up to play to audiences of a couple of dozen.

Life Is Sweet

Today is the first day of my summer holidays- school finished yesterday and now seven weeks off beckons, with a fortnight in France coming up. I’m starting a completely new role in September so will have to go in for a few days here and there but still, seven weeks off.

This Chemical Brothers with Tim Burgess song from Exit Planet Dust has been getting repeated plays round here this week- cracking rhythm and noise and Tim’s nasal vocal. Tim went on to work with Ed and Tom several times, best perhaps on The Charlatans’ One To Another single.

Go Brothers Go

The new Chemical Brothers album (Born In The Echoes) is out today and being praised as a return to form. This single, Go, came out at the start of May and has already been viewed close to five million times on Youtube which would suggest they’re got a pretty healthy surviving fanbase. Go is funky, synthy and fun with Q Tip providing the hip-house vocals- the album also has Beck, St Vincent and Cate Le Bon on microphone duties.

I was in the car the other day and Block Rockin’ Beats came on. It’s the most blindingly obvious Chemical Brothers song (Hey Boy Hey Girl excepted maybe). Massive breakbeat. Big borrowed bassline. Hip hop vocal sample from Schoolly D. SIRENS! Totally in your face. No subtlety. No nuance. It’s completely stupid. And brilliant.

Block Rockin’ Beats

Due to ongoing issues with Boxnet this is via Mediafire but I seem to recall people having some problems with it before. Is Mediafire any use?

Bring The Pain

I was never too  fussed about Wu Tang Clan. Nothing against them, I just fell out with hip hop around this time. And it seemed like I needed a wallchart to keep track of all the members and their offshoots and solo projects. But I bought a 12″ of Method Man and Mary J Blige doing You’re All I Need (To Get By) and the B-side was this Chemical Brothers remix of Bring The Pain. When I mentioned this remix to my hip hop obsessed sibling he said ‘What the fuck’s a chemical brother?’

Bring The Pain (Chemical Brothers remix)

Kylie’s Gonna Work It Out

Kylie Minogue’s Slow remixed by The Chemical Brothers. What does it sound like? Exactly like Kylie remixed by The Chemical Brothers should.

Typing the words Kylie and Minogue into Google Image are a surefire way to lose some time.

Slow (Chemical Brothers Remix)

Sunshine Underground

Back to work. Harrumph.

I spent some of last week listening to The Chemical Brothers 1999 album Surrender while driving here and there in the car. Dance music can date easily, especially dance music from fourteen years ago- drum sounds, pre-sets, software- all can often quickly sound like that year. On reflection I didn’t think Surrender had dated much at all, and in some ways I was never a massive Chemical Brothers fan, but there are some belters on it (if we ignore Noel Gallagher’s umpteenth attempt to re-write Tomorrow Never Knows and the still a little over-familiar Hey Boy, Hey Girl). The guest spots work – Bernard Sumner, Hope Sandoval, Jonathan Donahue from Mercury Rev, the co-write with Missy Elliott- sounding like songs actually written together and not just guest vocal moments. This song is eight and a half minutes of 60s psychedelia crossed with 90s dance mayhem, building with several arms-in-the-air moments and though it may be Private Psychedelic Reel part 2 it is still a blindingly good track.

The Sunshine Underground