Monday’s Long Song

‘What were the pies like when you were young?’ someone asked on Twitter on Friday night to which the answer could only be what Rickie Lee Jones replied to a very similar question…

“They went on forever, they, when I w- we lived in Arizona, and the skies always had little fluffy clouds in ’em, and, uh… they were long… and clear and… there were lots of stars at night. And, uh, when it would rain, it would all turn – it- They were beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact. Um, the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire, and the clouds would catch the colours everywhere. That’s uh, neat ’cause I used to look at them all the time, when I was little. You don’t see that. You might still see them in the desert.”

Skies mind not pies.

Little Fluffy Clouds is getting on for thirty years old and is one of the cornerstones of ambient house and never sounds old. On this track The Orb (at this point Alex Paterson, Thrash and Youth) borrowed heavily from Steve Reich, Ennio Morricone, Harry Nilsson and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry along with the vocal from Rickie and the snippet from John Waite at the start about ‘the traditional sounds of the British summer’. These two mixes aren’t too dissimilar despite their names and taken together give you almost a quarter of an hour of Little Fluffy Clouds to kick off your Monday.

Little Fluffy Clouds Ambient Mk.1

Little Fluffy Clouds Dance Mk. 2

Like A Ripple

Steve Mason started the year with a new album, About The Light, an album recorded with Stephen Street which brought all the Steve Mason songwriting chops together with gospel backing vox, Magic Bus guitars, soaring choruses, anger about Grenfell- an accessible, big sounding album. He’s about to release a 12″ single/ep called Coup d’etat, three new songs and a remix of America Is Your Boyfriend by Tim Goldsworthy. The first came out on the internet on Friday, Like A Ripple., built around a low slung bassline, fast, frenetic drums and growly vocals. There’s some fat synth bass noise and a touch of New Order at around three minutes plus, backing vox and choppy guitars and everything powering onward. The lyrics of Like A Ripple start ‘every time you talk about the same things every day/ I can’t talk it’, which taken along with the coup d’etat of the title of the ep may or may not be related to our current Prime Minister. We could do with some decent political pop.

A Street Light Cavort

A long mix for Sunday from Rude Audio, South London’s finest purveyors of dubby, cosmic Balearic disco. This is three hours of excellence taking in some of their own work alongside tracks from the likes of Bedford Falls Players, Lord Of The Isles, LCD Soundsystem, Jono Ma, Silver Apples, Rich Lane and someone called Andrew Weatherall. Press play and enjoy the groove, ‘a cavort with the wrong sort, uptown’. Tracklist can be found here.

Rude Audio have got an eight track release out soon, hot on the heels of their Rude Redux e.p. in October last year. Street Light Interference has four new ones and four remixes. The lead track is here, Repeat Offender, bouncy bass and beat, dub echo pinging around, and some keyboard lines wandering in from a John Carpenter film. After four minutes things start to get quite fizzy and more urgent. This can only improve your day, your weekend and your summer.

You Don’t Really Need Me

This is from a new e.p. by Dan Wainwright, a resident of these parts apparently, a slice of cosmic, Eastern tinged, progressive chug which at some point in the fourth minute when the soft multi-tracked vocal comes in reveals itself to be a cover of The Supremes classic Keep Me Hangin’ On.

The e.p. then takes a turn into darker territory with a Hardway Bros remix, a moody, low slung groover, the appropriately titled Swamp Dub, which sounds just like a sweaty basement after hours. In a good way.

There’s a third track too, The Endless Process Of Release, starting out with synths and coo’d breathy backing vox, some lovely sequenced bass and then a mid-tempo beat gently pushing things forward, various percussive sounds reverberating round the mix, more roof terrace in the sun than cellar rave, until it all starts to build for the last few minutes, twinkling arpeggios and rushing bleeps.

Monday’s Long Song

This is ten minutes of bliss from 2017, a Steve Cobby remix of a track from Tempelhof and Gigi Masin’s Tsuki album. The song sets out at a leisurely pace with xylophone, synth strings and pattering drum pads and isn’t in any kind of hurry to get anywhere.The vocal floats over the top, the words just so slightly indistinct that you can’t quite make them out. If only the sun would come out and we didn’t have to go to work, this would be the perfect way to start the week.

Rainford

May must be a prime time for throwing your art out into the world, this is the fourth new music post in less than a week here. Today’s new music alert is from Lee Scratch Perry who has an album out at the end of the month, recorded with Adrian Sherwood at the controls. Rainford is a personal, autobiographical record recorded in bursts over two years in London, Jamaica and Brazil. Sherwood describes it as the strongest set of Scratch songs for years and set out with the intention of doing for the Upsetter what Rick Rubin did for Johnny Cash. The lead single Let It Rain goes some way to fulfilling those aims, catchy as you like and sounding like a song for the summer. The album can be pre-ordered at Bandcamp.

Scratch is on Twitter. On Sunday he Tweeted ‘ALTHOUGH WE’RE IN THE END TIMES, WE ARE NOT AT THE END OF THE TIME. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU LISTEN TO.
SATAN IS RAGING NOW BECAUSE HE KNOWS THE TIME IS SHORT DON’T LISTEN TO GLOOM AND DOOM. IT IS TRICKERY DESIGNED TO DRAG YOU DOWN. WE SHOULD BE REJOICING AT WHAT GOD IS BRINGING FOTH! And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Transient Truth

Dot Allison was here yesterday, providing the vocals on a King Of Woolworths song. That song was posted as part of a long discussion at a One Dove forum/Facebook group about the Sabres Of Paradise mixes of their 1992 dub- house masterpiece Transient Truth (with group member and founding member of One Dove Ian Carmichael chipping in). The 12″ release came with two remixes, the Old Toys Mix and the Old Toys Dub, both credited to Andrew Weatherall, Gary Burns and Jagz Kooner (collectively Sabres Of Paradise). The first keeps some of Dot’s vocal and picks up the pace halfway though, the second more abstract and dubbier. Both are pretty high tempo and fairly full on reworkings.

Transient Truth (Old Toys Mix)

Transient Truth (Old Toys Dub)

There was a second vinyl release, a promo 12″ in a plain sleeve, collecting four further remixes. I hope I’ve got all these labelled correctly- all the mixes are here but I apologise in advance if any are wrongly titled or the links are mixed up. Inevitably there’s a lot of repetition and parts that appear and re-appear (the synth part, various drum and percussion sounds, Dot’s vocals, the bassline)- but they’re all worthy of release and it’s clear to see why Weatherall wanted the four on the promo out as well as the Old Toys versions. The other four mixes are the Paradise Mix, the Sabres Fuzz Dub, the Squelch Mix and the Death Of A disco Dancer Mix.

The Paradise Mix starts slow, then builds with that Sabres timbale sound, fragments of Dot whispering ‘listen’, lots of percussion and some melodica as a top line. At ten minutes plus it’s the longest of the remixes.

Transient Truth (Paradise Mix)

The Fuzz Dub is thumpier and sparser with an intermittent buzzy, fuzz line, giving it its name.

Transient Truth (Sabres Fuzz Dub)

The Squelch mix is pretty far gone, noises flipping between the speakers, a bit of Dot, reverb heavy timbale, a long, slower trip, more melodica- dubbed out dub- house, a dub of a dub.

Transient Truth (Squelch Mix)

The final one starts with a kick drum and clatters away with the familiar synth riff fading in and out and the descending bass part to the fore. I don’t know why it’s called Death Of A Disco Dancer Mix- I can’t find any obvious reference to The Smiths song of the same name.

Transient Truth (Death Of A Disco Dancer Mix)

Stick all of them on a cd or a playlist and lose yourself in a slice of 1992. After a while, listening to them one after the other, a zen-like calm kicks in, time and space slip away , transience becomes the natural state. Or something. Even if a One Dove/Sabres inspired transcendence is not achieved, it’s a nice way to spend forty-five minutes.