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
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
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
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
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
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.
Two Lone Swordsmen – Nostik – CPij – 2000
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
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
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
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, 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.