Monday’s Long Song

The new album from The Long Champs has been occupying chunks of my listening time since it arrived a week ago, eight songs that find the sweet spot between chuggy dance music, late 80s indie and shoegaze. Next Stop Nowhere opens the album in fine style with glistening peels of guitar, a filthy bassline and synth washes over a thumping rhythm, a streamlined, dancefloor facing Sonic Youth.

Across Straight To Audio’s next six songs the guitars are equal parts fuzz and shimmer, there are layers and washes of sound that trigger a range of emotions, all underpinned by the slow- mo, chugging drums. The closing song and title track pairs Ocean Rain era Will Sergeant tremelo with a lovely chilled out bassline and sets sail for somewhere on the horizon.

 

Isolation Mix Eeleven

This week’s mix is made up entirely of songs released during lockdown, since mid- March 2020. Some of them have been written and recorded during this period. I could easily have doubled the length of this so maybe I’ll come back to this and do a part two. This one has the trippy psyche of Sonic Boom, dusty funk desert blues from Ess O Ess, some dubby jazz (or jazzy dub) courtesy of Jah Wobble, Number’s post- punk dance stance, yet more excellence from Weatherall and Walsh’s Woodleigh Research Facility, Justin Robertson and Sofia Hedblom’s blend of Nigerian rhythms and electronic dub, Dan Wainwright’s pagan chug and some Balearic bliss from Joe Morris, Rich Lane, The Long Champs and a cover by Rheinzand. There’s one segue which is a bit of a mess but it’ll have to do. Life has surface noise and all that.

Sonic Boom: Just Imagine
Ess O Ess and Saul Richards: Totem (Swamp Crawl)

Jah Wobble: Lockdown 5 (Forbearance)

Number: Red Flag

Woodleigh Research Facility: Karra Mesh

Formerlover: Correction Dub

Dan Wainwright: A Blessing

Joe Morris: The New Dawn Will Come

Rich Lane: Barry Island (The Long Champs Dub)

Rheinzand: All By Myself

Isolation Mix Four

A bit of a change again for this week’s hour long isolation mix, this time a trip into more psychedelic and psyche areas, some guitars, a couple of cover versions, some remixes and a re-edit of an 80s alt- classic with an eye, a third eye maybe, on the cosmic and the blissed out. One of the segues is a little bit clumsy but I can live with it. I’ve had to move the host over to Mixcloud as I’d used up all my available space at Soundcloud without going to the paid for service.

Tracklist-
The Durutti Column: Otis

Wixel: Expressway To Yr Skull (Long Champs Bonus Beats)

Moon Duo: Stars Are The Light

Curses: This Is The Day

Le Volume Courbe: Rusty

Sonic Boom/ Spectrum: True Love Will Find You In The End

Mogwai: Party In The Dark

The Liminanas: The Gift (Anton Mix)

Goldfrapp v Spiritualized: Monster Love

Julian Cope: Heed Of Penetration and the City Dweller Head Remix by Hugo Nicholson

Edit Service 8 by It’s A Fine Line: The Story Of The Blues (Talkin’ Blues)

The Early Years: Complicity

 

Barry Island

This is new from Rich Lane, Newcastle under Lyne’s Balearic chug overlord, and it’s a beauty. Laid back and easy going, slinky and filmic in scope, it hits the spot from the moment those synths fade in at the start and the windwood brings the melody.

A friend on Facebook said it sounds like driving down the Amalfi coast in a convertible, wind in the hair, sunglasses on, sun dipping in the sky, the tide coming in, the evening ahead of you. It’s all those things. And even though all those things are imaginary at the moment the music makes them almost close enough to touch. There are two top class remixes, the Long Champs dub is lovely, an unwinding and stripped down take on the original while Duncan Gray Ambient Mix is gorgeous, opening with the sound of the tide coming in and some synth bleeps before the strings take over. Buy all three for £1.50.

Expressway

There’s an album of acoustic guitar cover versions of Sonic Youth songs, all texture and ambience and small hours vibes, by Belgian artist Wixel. It came out back in 2008 and lives on in Wixel’s Bandcamp page (Wixel doesn’t seem to have released anything since 2013). Welsh outfit The Long Champs have taken Wixel’s cover of Expressway To Yr Skull and blissed it out, turning it into a gorgeous, shimmering, meditative haze, perfect for this time of the year. I can’t recommend this highly enough, it’s sublime. If you move quickly- and I appreciate moving quickly two days after Christmas may be relative- there’s a free download.

Wixel’s cover versions are worth some of your time too.