You’ve Got Style You’ve Got Class But Most Of All You’ve Got Love Technique

A New Order postscript- I meant to post this during last week’s extravaganza and forgot so it’s here as an extra. When Run 2 was released a buffed up version of Run (from Technique) was put out as a single in August 1989. The b-side was this, MTO (Made To Order apparently). The 12″ was limited to 20, 000 copies (’19, 000 in the Greater Manchester area and 1000 for everyone else’ was someone’s comment at the time but I don’t know if there is any truth in this). Peter Saville designed a very fetching sleeve inspired by washing powder packaging.

The band’s engineer throughout much of the 80s was Michael Johnson and according to Hooky he put together this track/medley from bits lying around in the studio, largely constructed around Bernard’s ‘you’ve got love technique’ vocal from Fine Time but also parts of  what sounds like Vanishing Point’s drum track. MTO was then remixed by Mike ‘Hitman’ Wilson. The 7″ version is the best- a kick drum, some acid squiggles, a rubbery synth bassline and that vocal line. The longer Minus Mix uses some different vocal parts but loses the nice acidic squiggles for some more clattering drums. Neither is going to be on your Best Of playlist or cd but for some reason I’m quite fond of MTO.

MTO

MTO (Minus Mix)

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Mind Of A Machine

Monday morning techno- the last Monday before Christmas techno too. Very festive.

Carl Craig’s 1995 album Landcruising is a Detroit masterpiece, a sleek glide around the city at night with machine beats and glacial synths. In 2005 Carl revisited it and tinkered, updating it and then re-releasing it as The Album Formerly Known As… As you can imagine some of the techno purists were aghast. Carl said that ‘some parts were dated so I wanted to make it again removing the dated parts and enlarging the good parts.’ Technology and software goes through changes and when out djing he found some tracks jarred when played next to more modern sounds. Largely it comes down to taste but ten years on from the remake both versions sound great to these ears.

This one is absurdly good, the bass thumping from the start. Even if you think you don’t like techno, you should let this one work its magic and hypnotise you.

Mind Of A Machine (2006 version)

On And On

I’m entering week four without my computer. No downloads I’m afraid but the words and the non-downloadable music continues.

The right wing are on the march again. Social media is a giant echo chamber of like minded souls throwing out brief statements towards their friends and followers, glimmers of hope, analyses of what’s gone wrong, occasionally funny comments on pictures of the new right wing overlords posing in front of gold plated lifts, racists gloating about how everything will soon be sorted when the immigrants are sent back/stopped from coming. It’s dark- in every sense. Dark when I get up to go to work, dark when I come home from work, dark when I open a newspaper or turn on the news.

We can fight this darkness in lots of ways. One small way is by sharing ‘up’ tunes, songs and tracks to raise the spirits, to put a smile on the face, a melody to whistle or hum as you go to work, songs that matter to one person and to many people. Fuck fascism (and that’s what we’re facing I fear, the beginnings of a new kind of fascism and a newly confident fascism)- let’s dance.

On And On is widely credited as the first house music track, created in Chicago by Jesse Saunders in 1984. Chicago’s warehouse scene was largely for and by young black and gay men, with music of transcendence, liberation and rebellion. Saunders, a Chicago dj, had the only copy in the city of On And On Megamix by Mach, his signature tune. One night it was stolen from his record box. Jesse and Vince Lawrence decided to make their own version with a Roland TR 808 drum machine, a Korg synth, a 303 bass synthesizer and some new lyrics from Vince. From this one record came a whole new movement that would cross the Atlantic, create the last true youth music revolution in the UK and the only kind of music that a British government has passed legislation to prevent (music ‘characterised by repetitive beats’ being listened to by more than 20 people, the Criminal Justice And Public Order Act of 1994). Let’s dance.

Sorry if that was a bit preachy.

Rude Audio

I  got an email on Friday, unsolicited music submission, from a man called Mark. The tone of the email kept me reading as did the sentence ‘Andrew Weatherall and Don  Letts have been playing them’. Four links provided and I replied saying I’d listen. And I’m glad did.

This isn’t really Monday morning music, it’s Saturday night stuff. It’s my Dad’s birthday today and he wouldn’t get these either. But there”s some rather excellent acid house going on here. Rude Audio are a south London and Geordie concoction, based in Peckham and Herne Hill. The first one I listened to was this, Crystal Pylons, a dancefloor stomper.

Knockemdub has been spun by Don Letts on BBC6, spaced out and dubby…

This one, User, was Weatherall’s pick, played on Music’s Not For Everyone back in April- a stuttering reggae style beat and echoey vocals, not too far from The Orb’s Ultrabass remixes.

Half Moon Lane Glitter takes us back to the dark back room of a club, some slo-mo action…

Rude Audio’s website asks the question ‘where are all those chunky, dubby, riffy, mind-melting, epic, progressive, Balearic tunes when you need them?’ Right here.

 

On Hold

I’ve got more and more out of The Xx as time has gone on. At first I thought they were impressive but easier to admire than to love. That’s changed over the years since their debut and its follow up, even more so after Jamie Xx’s solo album from last year. News came out on Friday that their third album will be released in January and in advance of it comes a single called On Hold.

The opening section with Romy and Oliver trading lines starts out sounding like an 80s power ballad but stick with it. The synth stabs coming in forty seconds and then the repetitive vocal sample (Hall and Oates) at fifty seconds take it elsewhere, into higher places.

While I’m in the Xx zone this Jamie Xx edit of Sunset off second album Coexist is a wonderful bass and kick drum led thing of beauty. The repeated guitar line building up to Romy’s vocal drop is magnificent use of tension and release and the end section is pretty amazing too.

Pulling Out Of Ricardo And The Dusk Is Falling Fast

I don’t know about you but I could do with a lie down in a darkened room for a little while.

The KLF’s Chill Out, forty four minutes and twenty seconds long, recorded in one go by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, and released in February 1990, is a mythical drive through the night up the Gulf Coast from Texas into Louisiana. Bill Drummond said at the time he’d never been to those places, it was all in his head. If you want more about the background, samples, recording, track titles and whatnot there’s more here. But maybe it’s best just to press play and let go.

It seems wrong to let today go by without a tip of the trilby to Leonard Cohen.

‘Now I bid you farewell
I don’t know when I’ll be back
They’re moving us tomorrow
To the tower down the track
But you’ll be hearing from me baby
Long after I’m gone
I’ll be speaking to you softly
From a window in the tower of song’

Remembrance

Some photos I took at the Somme and around Ypres this summer, one hundred years on from the Battle of the Somme. Ninety eight years ago from now the First World War came to an end. We still remember them.