Dr. Rob`s Remedy / Horace Andy: Midnight Rocker 

Veteran reggae vocalist, Horace Andy, has released a new LP, Midnight Rocker, care of Adrian Sherwood’s legendary label, On-U Sound. To celebrate, I thought I`d pick a few personal favourites from Horace`s 5 decade-spanning career….

Horace Andy – Watch Over Them – On-U Sound – 2022

Horace Andy Midnight Rocker

Horace Andy – Praise Him – Joe Gibbs – 1981

Horace Andy - Praise Him

Produced by Joe Gibbs, I pulled this from a Jah Shaka play-list. The DJ is Michael Coburn aka Jah Mike. 

Horace Andy – Don’t Think About Me – Randys – 1973

Horace Andy - Don’t Think About Me

Produced by Keith Hudson, and recorded at Vincent Chin`s Randy`s, at 17 North Parade, Kingston,  in 1973. This track was included on the classic compilation of Hudson’s work, Studio Kinda Cloudy, which came out in 1988 (and was name-checked by Saint Etienne on their single, Filthy). The song contains the line, “The time you take to check me, check yourself”, which everyone would do well to heed. 

Horace Andy – Ital Vital – Rhythm – 1974

A cool cut of Freddie McKay`s Rockabye Woman that was issued on Horace`s own label, Rhythm. I think that the DJ here is Woolton Harrison aka Jah Bull. 

Horace Andy – Fever – Studio One – 1973

Horace Andy - Fever

Produced by Clement “Coxsone” Dodd and backed by Cedric Im Brooks – billed for some reason as Im & The Agg. It was Coxsone who gave Andy his break, taking Horace under his wing in 1969. 

Horace Andy – Problems – Santic – 1975

Horace Andy - Problems

Produced by Clive, son of Vincent, Chin at Randy`s, and engineered by Errol E.T. Thompson, for Clive`s label, Santic. The story goes that Horace wrote the lyric in 2 hours after first hearing the rhythm. 

Horace Andy – Love Hangover – Bullwackies – 1983

Horace Andy - Love Hangover

A cool cover of Diana Ross` `76 hit, produced by Lloyd “Bullwackies” Barnes, in the Bronx, New York. To my ears, it`s tunes like this – the mix of stoned stripped back dread and a sweet love song – that directly influenced Massive Attack, the ground-breaking Bristol band that Horace would famously, later, join. 

Horace Andy – You Are My Angel – Jackpot – 1973

Horace Andy - You Are My Angel

Produced by Bunny Lee, and backed by The Aggrovators. One of the tunes that Horace radically reworked with Massive Attack for the album, Mezzanine, in 1998.

Horace Andy – Skylarking (A Better Version) – Jackpot – 1975

Horace Andy - Skylarking (A Better Version)

In 1972 this song was Horace`s first big bit for Coxsone at Studio 1. Featured on the Jamaica Today LP, it was picked up and played by both Sir George and Tipperone Sounds. This version was, again, produced by Bunny Lee, with The Aggrovators, and given a serious dub mix by the then Prince, now King, Jammy`s at King Tubby`s studio on Drumalie Avenue. Filtered, phased and full of severely mistreated spring reverb lightning and thunder. 

Horace Andy – Mr Bassie (Discomix) – Hungry Town – 1978

Horace Andy - Mr Bassie (Discomix)

Mr. Bassie was one of the first songs that Horace penned himself, while still at Studio One. It`s a piece that he’s frequently versioned, for a variety of producers – perhaps most famously for Everton Da Silva, in Queens, New York, for Da Silva`s Hungry Town imprint. It is a definite, definitive, Andy “signature tune”. The 12 is super expensive. Those after a vinyl copy – on a budget – should instead shell out for the brilliant Good Vibes comp.

Horace Andy – Careful – On-U Sound – 2022

Horace Andy Midnight Rocker

Horace Andy’s Midnight Rocker is out now, care of On-U Sound. 

Dr. Rob`s Remedy / Music For Ukraine

I’ve written about this in more detail over at Ban Ban Ton Ton, but I`d just like to highlight a few projects, that have been put together by friends, associates, and musically likeminded souls, to help raise funds for humanitarian aid in war torn Ukraine. All the proceeds from these compilations are being donated to charities such as UNICEF`s Emergency Appeal and The Red Cross. 

Music From Memory’s Music For Freedom features 17 exclusives from artists with releases on either the label, or its sibling, Second Circle. These are largely mellow, ambient affairs, but Adam Oko`s High Press and Giuseppe Leonardi`s Angelo head straight for the dance-floor. 

Test Pressing`s The Sound Of Now collects a dozen cool, previously released jams – some of them highly sought after – from a long list of imprints closely associated with the website: Claremont 56, Deewee, ESP Institute, Futureboogie, Highwood Recordings, Lexx Music, Mysticisms, Phantom Island, and World Building, all contribute cuts, that in general are more uptempo than the MFM set. I guess the big coup, though is the until now unissued collaboration between Trevor Jackson and Billy Ray Martin, No Control. 

Thirdly, Wrekin Havoc are three Midlands-based friends, self-confessed “music fiends”, diggers of very rare vinyl, re-editors of European, Brexit-busting, Balearic pop, who have donated 5 prime pieces of their handiwork to charity. 

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.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑