Chris Coco & Luca Averna / Underwater / DSPPR – Reviewed By Dr. Rob

While the album that this single is lifted from, Sueno Mediterraneo, takes its cues from the “loved-up” Italian house of the early 1990s – all loon birds, warm pads, and serene, dream-like, synth washes – Underwater is actually much more of a tribal thumper. Where twisted ambient techno tones, and big, bold, pulsating bass, do friendly battle with conga rattle, cowbell, and carnival whistles. The muted brass, and vocals – provided by London-based singer / songwriter, Louis Vann Johnson (last heard on the previous Chris Coco-coproduced composition, Superstars) – had me thinking of Arthur Russell – in particular Arthur’s truly magical masterpiece In The Light Of A Miracle – and especially on Chris` spaced-out 11 and a half minute mix. Boasting more breakdowns, Art Of Noise / Fairlight-like outbursts, and with Louis` falsetto peaks signaling showers of cascading sequences – shooting star like shots of spirit lifting sonic sunshine – the tune heeds Russell’s request, “Let`s go swimming”, and fashions an extended deep dance-floor dive. 

 

chris coco underwater cover

Chris Coco & Luca Averna`s Underwater is out now, on DSPPR. 

Dr. Rob`s Remedy / 2022_ 03_05

All of the following selections are based around the The Summerisle Trio`s Willows Song, something released a few weeks ago on Golden Lion Sounds. The Summerisle Trio are Sean Johnston (Hardway Bros, ALFOS), Duncan Grey (Sons Of Slough, Tici Taci), and Sarah Rebecca, and they also have a top 12 due on Is It Balearic? The label was spun out of Golden Lion pub, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, during the pandemic, as a means of raising funds to try to keep the important music venue afloat. This single, like all of their releases, disappeared in a blink. Fingers-crossed they’ll consider doing a comp at some point. 

Sonically speaking this an ethereal electronic cover of a song taken from the soundtrack to Robin Hardy`s seminal `70s British folk / horror flick, The Wicker Man. In the film it`s sung, well mimed, by a butt naked Britt Ekland as she seduces, casts her spell over, a virginal Edward Woodward. 

summerisle trio willows song

Back in 2009 Finders Keepers put together a damn fine collection of traditional pieces that inspired the music in the film – Will O`the Wisp whispers and gently rubbed “jingalos” – of which Lodestone`s Willows Theme is one. All woodwinds and strings, serene, and certainly not sinister, it could even be a Cafe del Mar / sunset crossover. 

Willows Songs

The Summerisle Trio`s twanging guitar chords conjure the vibe of TV, film, Italian Giallo, scores, and in doing so also recall the similar homages to cult cinema made by Stereolab, and especially, Broadcast. 

Broadcast Daves Dream

Dave`s Dream is one of my favourite Broadcast tracks. It was originally released on their Extended Play E.P. in 2000, and then collected on the Future Crayon compilation in 2006, Trish Keenan`s sweet, maybe slightly eerie, at the very least strange, vocals are off set by Joe Meek-like electronics and underpinned by some damn funky drumming. Its bleeps positioning it somewhere between Stereolab and Aphex Twin. The track taps into the weirder end of `70s library music, and arguably spearheaded that whole folk horror / hauntological thing, now honed to perfection by Jim Jupp and Julian House`s label, Ghost Box. 

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders

One of Broadcast`s influences was Luboš Fišer`s soundtrack to Jaromil Jireš` cult Czech erotic horror, Valerie A Týden Divů (Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders). The score was unreleased at the time, so initiates and devotees would carry VHS copies of the movie around in their coat pockets. It became essential viewing at select in-crowd after parties. Finders Keepers, again, did the decent thing and finally issued Fišer`s “cues” 36 years later – in 2006. The Magic Yard is the one that does it for me – a truly “enchanted” (and to be honest, creepy) suite of children’s choirs, harpsichords, and snatches of music box chimes. The melody carried by alternating reeds and tinkling keys.

When I’m waffling on about harpsichords, Roy Budd`s Hallucinations always comes to mind. Taken from Mike Hodges` brilliant, dark, gritty, and damn bleak, Michael Caine-starring `70s British gangster flick, Get Carter, it`s a slice of stoned, psychedelic funk to rival David Axelrod`s work with The Electric Prunes – their medieval madrigal-edged movers like Holy Are You and General Confessional. Plus it`s also got some lovely delay drops. 

Roy Budd Get Carter

The soundtrack was originally only available in Japan (?), and then actually missing Hallucinations. It wasn’t until 1998, when Cinephile did a deluxe, expanded reissue, that this classic cut was made officially available. DJ Harvey then included it in his scene-shaking mix, Sarcastic Study Masters Volume 2. Since then its been repressed a few times – most recently by Dynamite Cuts. 

While we’re on Get Carter, I have to mention Jah Wobble`s tabla and, of course, bass-tastic take on the film`s main theme. A skanking, moody, deep headphone meditation, an almost raga-like mantra, serenaded by wistful, weeping violin. It`s the 10” on Pressure Sounds that you need. 

Jah Wobble Get Carter

Following Trish Keenan`s tragic death in 2011, two bands who`ve picked up the baton from Broadcast are the Cathy Lucas-led Vanishing Twin and Swedish duo, Death & Vanilla. 

Vanishing Twin

It Sends My Heart Into A Spin was initially a digital bonus included with Vanishing Twin`s debut LP, Choose Your Own Adventure. It was later pressed up on a 10” for Record Store Day. I love everything the group`s done, but this was the song which had me hooked – and it`s possibly their most “balearic” number, due to the sampled chants, and great bass-line, which resembles Stereolab`s marvelous  Metronomic Underground. 

Death And Vanilla

Death & Vanilla`s early retrospective LP, titled EP, released in 2013, collected all of their recorded work to date onto vinyl for the first time. Piecing together self-published files and CDs, and assorted one-offs produced for other labels. The, again, harpsichord haunted, The Dödens Vaniljsås Theme is Joe Meek`s Tornados meet the river boat / dream sequence in Charles Laughton`s The Night Of The Hunter, while Ghosts In The Machine, goes in heavy with that spooky David Lynch / Angelo Badalamenti / Twin Peaks tremolo guitar. Running in parallel to the Liminanas` tributes to the French rock`n`roll, ye-ye sound, and / or David Holmes` “noir” Unloved project, plus stirring in super nostalgic stuff such as John Barry`s The Persuaders! TV theme (which was coincidently also covered by Jah Wobble).

For more musical musings, from Dr. Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, Adam Turner, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton.

Please don’t forget that Chris and Matt from The Chillout Tent takeover London’s Spiritland, in Kings Cross, this Sunday as part of their fortnightly residency. Do join `em if you can.

Dr. Rob`s Remedy 2022_ 03_01

I played a few tunes on the radio in tribute to singer / songwriter, Mark Lanegan, who sadly passed away on February 22nd. Over at Ban Ban Ton Ton, I’ve gone on at some length about Mark`s brilliant collaboration with Isobel Campbell, Ballad Of The Broken Seas, about how special, important, that particular album is to me…

However, here are two more tracks…

Soulsavers – Revival – V2 – 2007

Mark Lanegan - Soulsavers

Mark supplied guest vocals to Soulsavers` 2007 set, It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land, from which this epic, organ-led shot of gospel is taken. Those keys conjure classic Muscle Shoals, and the drums are fit to break a levee. The production feeding Bob Dylan and The Band through Primal Scream`s Screamadelica. Lanegan`s scorched, seared, singing summons a protagonist who’s both walked on gilded splinters, and filled his brains with poison. Full of regret, and reaching for redemption. “Trying to get my hands clean in dirty water”, is such a great line. 

Revival just happens to be one of the 90 odd songs / essential sonic treasures jotted down in Andrew Weatherall`s Black Notebooks

Mark Lanegan Band – Beehive (Andrew Weatherall Dub) – Heavenly – 2017

Mark Lanegan - Weatherall

So here’s Mr. Lanegan remixed by Mr. Weatherall – part of a package entitled Still Life With Roses, which saw tracks from the album, Gargoyle, also reworked by Adrian Sherwood, Not Waving, and Pye Corner Audio. Weatherall transforms this slice of stadium rock into big room techno-not-techno – as if bashed out by a speeding skiffle band, Wild Billy Childish and his Blackhands on woodblocks and a packing case kick drum. Lightning-like sky-scoring shards of guitar soar above a b-line that vamps around Coltrane`s A Love Supreme. As the 9 nearly 10 minutes reach their climax, these are joined by a mad, manic strum. Originally released in an extremely limited vinyl edition, this was recently made available / affordable to mere mortals on the Heavenly Recordings remix collections, Volumes 3 & 4. 

Mark Lanegan Rest In Peace.

For more musical musings, from Dr. Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, Adam Turner, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton.

Dr. Rob`s Remedy / 2022_02_24

Hugh Mundell – Ital Sip – Message – 1978

Hugh Mundell - Ital Sip

One of a pile of records that I bought the last time I went physically digging in Tokyo – Africa Must Be Free By 1983 just got washed and a given a final lighter fluid polish. Robbie Shakespeare on bass, produced by Augustus Pablo, and mixed by Lee Scratch Perry – probably at Randys, which was Perry`s favourite studio, where he did all of his work with Bob Marley and The Wailers, until they upgraded the mixing board he was prompted to build his own studio, The Black Ark. This a super strong LP with Hugh singing as Mundell, and DJing as Jah Levi across classics, like Lets All Unite, Book Of Life, Run Revolution A Come, Day Of Judgment, and this, the dub of Jah Will Provide, entitled Ital Sip. A prodigy who wrote and recorded this LP when he was only 16, Hugh was tragically shot dead at the age of 21. 

Earl Zero – City Of The Weak Heart – Jah Fingers – 2018

Earl Zero - City Of The Weak Heart

Originally a super rare 7” from 1976, on Tommy Cowan`s label, Arab, reissued by Jah Fingers with its cracking King Tubby`s version and 1975 smash, Please Officer, on the flip. A dynamite tune, which was a Dub Vendor recommendation. Do yourself a favour and sign up to their Instagram, because every Friday they post clips of fire like this. They are clearly people who are passionate, in love, with music. 

Betty Davis – If I`m In Luck I Might Just Get Picked Up – Light In The Attic – 2002

Betty Davis – Anti Love Song – Light In The Attic – 2002

Betty Davis - Anti Love Song

Two terrific chunks of way raunchy funk, spun in celebration of, and in tribute to, the legendary Betty Davis – who sadly passed away on February 9th. Both tracks are taken from Betty’s self-titled debut album – released on Just Sunshine Records in 1973, and reissued by Seattle`s Light In The Attic. I’ve written more about Betty over at Ban Ban Ton Ton. 

We have two of Betty’s contemporaries next. Both Annette Peacock and Ruth Copeland also pioneered that intersection of jazz, funk, and psyche – though neither, it has to be said, boasted anything quite like Betty’s “no prisoners” stage persona. 

 Annette Peacock – Pony – Future Days Recordings – 2012

Annette Peacock - Pony

I’ve cherry-picked Pony from Annette’s solo debut album, I`m The One – originally released in 1972 RCA Victor, and then reissued by Light In The Attic off-shoot, Future Days Recordings, in 2012. Married for a while to jazz bassist Gary Peacock, and a long-term creative partner of pianist Paul Bley, Annette was one of the first folks to get to grips with Robert Moog`s synthesizer (around the same time that Eno was at the controls for Roxy Music). Annette is another one of those artists where everything she’s recorded – if you can find a copy – is well worth picking up. This peacock constantly pushing the envelope stretching in new and novel directions. Pony is grinding, groovy, slow and sleazy – notable I guess for the strange, strung-out voice-processing. There’s a story, I’m not 100% sure if it`s true, that David Bowie, suitably impressed, asked Annette to join his touring band, but she politely knocked him back. 

Ruth Copeland – Gimme Shelter – Invictus – 1971

Ruth Copeland

Ruth Copeland was member of the Funkadelic family / inner circle, and as such co-wrote several of the groups` early `70s songs with bandleader, George Clinton. I Am What I Am was her sophomore solo album, and it`s basically Funkadelic fronted by Ruth (Eddie Hazel, Tiki Fulwood, Billy Nelson, and Bernie Worrell, had actually momentarily split from Clinton, due to questions over who was getting paid). The LP contains a couple of Stones covers, but my favourite track is the Copeland original, Cryin` Has Made Me Stronger. It`s the sort of testifier that I imagine to have been played on the Primal Scream Screamadelica tour bus. Here, though, Eddie shreds his way through Gimme Shelter. I mean, man, what’s not to like? Chapeau doffed to Ashley Beedle, `cos this is an old Heavy Disco tip. 

For more musical musings, from Dr. Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, Adam Turner, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton.

Dr. Rob`s Remedy 2022_02_21

A dynamic duo of cuts from the brilliant comp, Buntús Rince: Explorations In Irish Jazz, Fusion And Folk 1969-1981, put together by Allchival in 2019. Allchival being the archival / reissue arm of Dublin institution, All City Records. 

Buntús Rince

Grannys Intentions – Nutmeg, Bitter Sweet – Allchival – 2019

Grannys Intentions were “born” in 1965. Hailing from Limerick, success took the 5-piece first to Dublin and then London – where they were signed to Decca`s psychedelic offspring, Deram. Featuring beat group picking and mod organ flashes, the flute-led folk / jazz swing of Nutmeg, Bitter Sweet once found favour with, and radio airplay from, Andrew Weatherall. 

Rosemarie Taylor – Mister Sleep – Allchival – 2019

This is taken from Rosemarie Taylor`s sole solo LP, Taylormaid, released on Dublin’s ID Records in 1977. It`s a great groovy ballad, with a freaky, phased, middle section. 

A big thank you to Jeff Beckett for the heads-up on the compilation. Also check the label`s reissue of  Micheal O`Shea`s magical modified electrified dulcimer recordings, which has just been repressed.

Four Tet – Dreamer – Text Records – 2019

Four Tet - Dreamer

The frantic looped jazz / techno flip of Teenage Birdsong, but played at 33. Pitched down into something chunky and chugging. The busy circuitry chatter now bubbling bucolically. 

Nuron – Minutes – Likemind – 2021

Nuron - Minutes

Lifted from last year`s Likemind 06 double-pack retrospective focused on the work of Nurmad Jusat, this slice of serene, syncopated techno dates from 1995. Romantic ripples of piano ride broken breaks, that are a clear precursor of drum & bass. 

Plaid – Spudink – WARP – 1997

Plaid - Spudink

As part of Black Dog, Andy Hanley and Ed Turner were flag-bearers for that sophisticated UK techno sound. As Plaid they burned the blueprints they’d helped to put in place, and took electronic dance music somewhere altogether more idiosyncratic. Their rhythms, asymmetric, angular, non-repetitive, and seemingly abstract. Their melodies, bright, shiny, and impossibly pretty. Spudink is the B-side of the 1997 single, Undoneson.

For more musical musings from Dr. Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, Adam Turner, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton.

Mother Earth – George Solar & Chris Coco

Open mind for a different view: zooming out from that strictly Balearic island phenomenon focus for the sake of the bigger picture, Chris Coco & George Solar are all about hailing “Mother Earth” upon their return – widening horizons in order to assist finding a new approach towards the world we’re living in (& on). About time. Mother should I trust the government?

Channelling both their inner Larry Levan AND Lee Scratch Perry for that matter, the “left field dub disco with an Arab twist” sort of outcome made the boys smile more than once during the creative process – and that’s despite the fact that the higher cause in this particular case for sure is a rather serious one. “In my language, we call her Mother Earth” the voice keeps saying. There’s joy in repetition. And a bit of politics as well, of course.

So while we are at it with smiles, dance floor, politics, a more global approach from an Ibiza point of view and that slight desert vibe, the duo decided on beaming up the talented selector Sadeedo to the commando bridge for this universal mission: not only is it his very own father on vocals for the original – Sadeedo also shares remix duties with his Dubtropical buddy George Solar for the mandatory (and rather special) version excursion. A match made… on Mother Earth. Ibiza soil, to be precise. With a masterful mixdown crafted in London by Mr Coco himself on a really good day. That is precisely why “Mother Earth” is a proper balearic team effort for a better Pachamama. Global medication for the nation!    

Dr. Rob`s Remedy / 2022_02_15

Based high up in the Japanese mountains, Dr. Rob runs the Ban Ban Ton Ton music blog / website, and writes for Faith Fanzine and Electronic Sound. He has a long running local FM radio show, The Remedy, and is also part of Music For Dreams Radio`s weekly roster. “Live”, he is a member of Tokyo`s Lone Star crew.

Eblen Macari – Arce – Silent River Runs Deep – 2021

Eblen Macari - Ambar

Amazing acoustic acrobatics from Mexican guitarist / composer Eblen Macari. Canada`s Seance Centre reissued his 1987 LP, Música Para Planetarios, a little while back, and last year Japan’s Silent River Runs Deep, with assistance from Kuniyuki Takahashi, remastered 1997`s Ambar for vinyl. While Música Para Planetarios captured a performance for guitars, synths, percussion, and choir, Ambar leaves Eblen`s 6-strings largely unadorned. The playing elegant and emotive, delicately dancing somewhere between Pat Metheny`s ECM stuff – Au Lait, Sueno Con Mexico – and Paco de Lucia`s fiery flamenco flame. 

Sebastien Tellier – La Ritournelle (Session) – Record Makers – 2021

Sebastien Tellier - La Ritournelle (Session)

That piano riff plays and my life sorta flashes before me. It`s a huge nostalgic cue. Championed by Moonboots at Manchester’s Aficionado, where it became an anthem, I put La Ritournelle on mixtapes that I made for everyone I knew. All of them called – or texted – stopped in their tracks the moment they heard it. Consequently it carries a whole lot of personal cache. It reminds me – big time – of my last few months in the UK, the tangled mess I managed to “weave” before I flew. 

Originally released in 2003, how on Earth did they get Tony Allen on drums? This version is taken from acoustic sessions, issued on CD in 2006. I first heard it on a Phil Mison mix. Last year it finally got pressed to vinyl. 

Caribou – Stevie – Trad Vibe – 2021

Caribou - Stevie

Groovy French jazz-funk / fusion released in 1977 by Alain Mion of Cortex – the folks behind the classic Mary et Jeff. This is the kind of gear that I`d expect my Mind Fair mates – Dean Meredith and Ben Shenton – to discover / uncover and spin on their Rotation Sound System. Just like the Nino And Radiah album they turned me onto. 

Bunny Scott – Kinky Fly – Freestyle – 2021

Bunny Scott - Kinky Fly

A buzzing, fuzzed, Lee Scratch Perry production from 1975 – that sounds as if the whole backing track has been bounced down through a Blaxploitation score wah-wah pedal. Recently pressed on 7” by Freestyle, it`s taken from the album, To Love Somebody, which also features the classic, What’s The Use?

Mutabaruka, I Rainy, Simbad – Catch, Loot, Steal – Rainy City Music – 2022

A mix of modern dub and deep house from Manchester’s Rainy City Music crew. Some serious skanking, with melodica, and poetry from the mighty Mutabaruka – of Dis Poem fame. 

Mutabaruka I Rainy Simbad

Lydia Tomkiw – Hot June Evening – Bureau B – 2021

Lydia Tomkiw - Hot June Evening

Poetry of a different kind, but still sorta dub. Chicago poet, Lydia Tomkiw, with cut of meditative, marimba`d, very classy cold wave ambience – culled from Toulouse Low Trax`s super cool, Bureau B, Kiosque Of Arrows 2 comp. 

Cocteau Twins – Three Swept – Fontana -1993

Cocteau Twins - Three Swept

The B-side to the 1993 single, Bluebeard – an outtake from the sessions for the LP, Four Calendar Cafe. Kinda rare, and a Phil Mison Cafe del Mar spin, this a characteristic Cocteaus breathless loved-up float. Their`s is an inspirational sound, often aped but never quite equalled. Like the Durutti Column record I mentioned last time (Fidelity), this is a little more electronic than their earlier stuff. 

Janko Nilovic – Drug Song – P Vine – 2021

Janko Nilovic - Drug Song

If you’re a vinyl fan / fiend then one of the (many) perks of living in Japan, is that Japanese labels, like P-Vine, are in the habit of regularly pressing hard-to-find classic soul and jazz cuts onto bespoke 45s. This is a fairly recent example – wicked wah-wah-ed flute-driven funk – lifted from the 1975 LP, Soul Impressions. Janko was born in Turkey, but is based in France. His Xenos Cosmos is also a scorcher. 

Large Plants – La Isla Bonita – Ghost Box – 2021

Large Plants - La Isla Bonita

A heavy rock romp, Black Sabbath-esque thrash, through Madonna’s 1987 pop smash, La Isla Bonita. In stark contrast with not only the OG`s Balearic-isms, but also the label, Ghost Box`s usual electronic, hauntological, output. It sounds like it could have been lifted from Dominic Thomas` dynamite Dreams Of San Antonio comp, and is the very opposite of The Cardigans covering Ozzy Osbourne`s Mr. Crowley.

Johnny Clarke – Warrior – Tuff Scout – 2022

Johnny Clarke - Warrior - Tuff Scout

A previously unreleased vocal cut of Aswad`s anthem, Warrior Charge, produced by Mad Professor. The OG is such a South London youth club classic / call to arms / soundtrack to SUS laws and resulting race riots that initially I wasn’t  sure about this new version. However, it`s really grown on me and is actually a cracking “cover”. Perhaps lacking a little of the anger and the dread but still deep and boasting a super nice dubbed-out second half, plus a cool trombone solo. 

Wendell Harrison & Phil Ranelin – What We Need – P Vine

Phil Ranelin - What We Need

P-Vine shine again by pressing Wendell Harrison & Phil Ranelin`s What We Need on a 45. Taken from their 1972 album, Message From The Tribe, it`s a chilled conscious, cooking, Civil Rights, groove. It`s both sad and absolutely mind-blowing that 50 years later the song`s sentiments are still relevant today. Also check Wendell’s Peace Of Mind, and Phil`s Vibes From The Tribe. 

Syl & Brenda Johnson – All I Need Is Someone Like You – Grapevine – 2003

Syl & Brenda Johnson - All I Need Is Someone Like You

Legendary Deep South singer, Syl Johnson, sadly passed away on February 6. His 1967 track, Different Strokes, is one of the most sampled breaks in hip hop, but this is proper “Balearic back room / acid house afters” soul. I’ve no idea when it was recorded, but it was released in 2003. 

Lars Bartkuhn – I Meditate Every Morning – Rush Hour – 2021

Lars Bartkuhn - I Meditate Every Morning

Lars Bartkuhn was part of house trio Needs – whose music from the turn of the millennium to mid-2000s, coincidently, is lined up to be reissued. Solo he recorded the marvelous Massai, for Utopia, in 2017. Teaming up with Jan Henning in 2020, he went ambient adventuring on The First Minute Of A New Day for Seance Centre. I Meditate Every Morning pops and percolates, mid-tempo`d and totally modern, but invoking the vibe of a mid-80s White Isle sunset / sunrise. Cosmic jazz-funk, like the offspring of, say, Herb Alpert`s Rise or Rotation. Buff with birdsong and with a pinch of La Ritournelle-esque piano.

For more musical musings, from Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton.

The Chill Out Tent x Spiritland

We’ve found our home from home. A new fortnightly residency at the iconic Spiritland in London starts on Sunday 20th February. It’s a daytime session starting at lunchtime. Beyond excited to play on the world class sound system and to meet friends old and new. We’ll have DJ’s the Chill Out Tent regulars Chris Coco, Matt Nearest Faraway Place and surprise guests. Superb food & drink of course. See you there…

Dr Rob’s Remedy / 2022-02-10

We’re really happy to welcome Dr Rob as a very special guest writer here at the Chill Out Tent, he’s a busy guy and we really appreciate him making time to share his thoughts with us, enjoy his first post. Thanks Rob!

Based high up in the Japanese mountains, Dr Rob runs the Ban Ban Ton Ton music blog / website, and writes for Faith Fanzine and Electronic Sound. He has a long running local FM radio show, The Remedy, and is also part of Music For Dreams Radio`s weekly roster. “Live”, he is a member of Tokyo`s Lone Star crew. 

Alice Damon – Windsong – Morning Trip – 2021

Alice Damon - Windsong

Recorded in 1981, privately pressed in 1990, there`s no trace of the OG of this album on Discogs. It was discovered by Douglas McGowan – now A&R at Numero Group –  who included the track, Waterfall Winds, on his 2013 Light In The Attic comp, I Am The Center. Morning Trip reissued the whole LP in the fall of last year, and honestly it`s magical, a meditative marvel of ethereal, multi-tracked vocal new age. 

Coil – Teenage Lightning (Guitar) – Infinite Fog – 2021

Coil - Loves Secret Domain

Loves Secret Domain is supposed to be Coil’s Acid House album. It, of course, sounds nothing like Acid House, but it does draw inspiration and energy from Rave, the ritual, mass trance-n-dance, and the drugs. Austrian label, Infinite Fog Productions, released a deluxe three LP edition in 2021, that includes outtakes and alternative versions, of which this is one. It`s the isolated recording of classical Spanish guitarist Juan Ramirez – who worked with Mark Almond (a close friend of Coil) on his 1990 LP, Enchanted. On the final version of Teenage Lightning Ramirez `s flamenco flourishes are completely shredded, but here they’re left intact and full of Paco de Lucia-like passion. 

Coil have a few other “Balearic” moments, such as Weatherall favourite, Windowpane, and The Gay Man’s Guide To Safer Sex. 

Erik Van Den Broek – Primerose – De:Tuned – 2019

Erik Van Den Broek - Primerose

Music out of The Netherlands released by Belgium`s De:Tuned. I’m not sure when this track was actually produced – since the imprint do a sterling job of unarchiving previously unheard treasures – but its “composer”, Erik Van Den Broek, has been making music since the early `90s, under countless different names. One of the first was the duo Shiver, who were responsible for the Sabresonic classic, Phobos. Erik is a contemporary of Wladimir M, Stefan Robbers, Eevo Lute Muzique, and a scene that grew from Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia`s extremely well stocked record shop in Tilburg. Primerose wears its joint influences of Detroit techno and Chicago jack proudly. It`s pace-y, but not pounding, instead pretty and introspective, running in parallel to the UK`s so-called IDM (Intelligent Dance Music). A TB-303 tickling the electro-tinged beats. 

Eighth Ray – Axis Of Love – Emotional Rescue – 2017

Eighth Ray - Axis Of Love

This one came up in a conversation with Stuart “Chuggy” Leath, of Emotional Rescue / Response. I`d posted an interview with Spectrum / Land Of Oz DJ Roger “The Hippie” Beard, in which Roger talks about the first dance tents at Glastonbury. Turns out that Chuggy was there when Roger played, in 1991, as were Nick The Record and Felix Dickinson, and this was one of the big tunes – a record that was very popular with free festival folk, such as the mighty DiY Soundsystem. 

The spoken intro had me thinking that was European, from Spain or Italy – but it was actually co-produced by Jahkey B (the man behind the classic house act, Lovebeads – do you remember “It`s a vibe-atory thing”?) and released on New Jersey label, Dancefloor. With its hook of swirling, spiraling synths, it`s a lot more “rave-y” than most stuff coming out of the States at the time. A soundtrack perhaps for the Bridge & Tunnel crowd who partied at Peter Gaiten`s Limelight – danced to DJs like Moby, and bought their X from Michael Caruso. Chuggy licensed it for ER a few years back. 

Atypic – Henkhisesui – De:Tuned – 2019

Atypic - Detuned

More from De:Tuned, and a track by Atypic – an alias of Andy Turner and Ed Handley of Black Dog / Plaid. Fidgety, complicated, music that owes something to Detroit`s electronic innovators, but to be honest I don’t know exactly where it comes from. Often their kinetic double time rhythms are tethered to a dub bass-line – so reggae’s in there somewhere too. It`s the kind of thing that Colin Dale would play on his Outer Limits Kiss FM radio show (back when Kiss was a pirate), and which to me then sounded like the perfect nocturnal urban score – futuristic and alien. Busy and yet conveying a meditative calm, I`d fight for copies of this sort of stuff while stood at the counter in FatCat Records. 

Creole – Walls Of Jericho (Dub) – Chin Africa – 2021

A high, high, quality, previously unreleased mid-late-70s dub, produced by Jo Jo Hookim at Channel One. Unless you’re an expert – which I most certainly am not – when listening to dub after dub after dub it can be hand to pick a standout. However, spinning something like this on its own, in isolation, the genius is immediately apparent. Compared to a lot of modern music, or other music full stop, the sheer stripped back physicality of it, not just the bass but the energy of the fiend on the faders, can be quite a shock. 

Creole Walls Of Jericho

Two Lone Swordsmen – Nostik – CPij – 2000

Cpij - Nostik

Dub of a different kind from Keith Tenniswood and Andrew Weatherall. Its mutated Mo`Wax / DJ Shadow beat is willfully lo-fi and raw. A rude, clanking skank, smothered in Joe Meek inspired “homemade” sound-effects. The keys however, take the track somewhere new – somewhere moving and emotive. Label founder, Nina Walsh, recently discovered a few copies of the 45 when relocating her studio. It was first come, first served, and I was one of the lucky ones. 

Durutti Column – Grace – Les Disques Du Crépuscule – 2019

Durutti Column Fidelity

More cool, classy, IDM, but from the fucking Durutti Column. Floating and fragile with Vini Reilly`s famous guitar playing nowhere to be heard, this is taken from the 1996 LP, Fidelity. Finally pressed onto vinyl for a Record Store Day, I have DJ / digger Matthew Timms to thank for my copy. 

Vini has created countless albums and while he for sure has a characteristic sound, each of them contains something unique and essential. Fidelity however, is like little else that he’s done, based as it is on beautiful bubbling machine melodies. The only thing that comes close is 1990`s dubby  Obey The Time. 

Tony Kinsey – Kaleidoscope – Cavendish Music Library – 2021

Tony Kinsey - Kaleidoscope

Lush, library music. Recorded in 1979 for an anonymous but sought after album o cinematic cues, this is now out on a 45. Horns, strings, fantastic, fully orchestrated funk. Folks`, myself included, love of this stuff doesn’t seem to fade. 

Trees Speak – X Zeit – Soul Jazz – 2021

Trees Speak Posthuman

Modern library inspired grooves from the super prolific duo of Damien and Daniel Martin Diaz, aka Trees Speak. Rooted in jazz, and influenced by `70s kosmische, their album, Posthuman, pays heavy tribute to the classic Italian horror and giallo scores of Goblin and Giuliano Sorgini. Synthesizing incredibly authentic sonics, this is one of two albums that the brothers released last year. The other being the equally excellent Vertigo Of Flaws.  

Dr Lonnie Smith – Why Can`t We Live Together – Blue Note – 2021

Dr Lonnie Smith Breathe

Dr Lonnie Smith, master of the Hammond B3, who we sadly lost last year, teams up with Iggy Pop for, in my opinion, a very Cafe del Mar take on Timmy Thomas` Why Can’t We Live Together. Iggy doing his best, broken, cracked, Chet Baker croon. 

I love Iggy. He’s like this savant straddling high and low art. One minute incredibly erudite, the next catatonic, surrendering to the void. Here, he’s wheezing and whistling a little, just like the junkie jazz icon did after the mobsters he owed money smashed out all his teeth. 

For more musical musings, from Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton. 

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