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Monthly Archives: July 2007

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. To say that I’m kind of ambivalent towards Glasgow these days is probably as much as you need to know to understand how we felt about each other when I left. It’s heartening to hear someone like John Smeaton on CNN talking in a dialect that must sound like binary to the rest of the world, but for every banjoing dealt out to international terrorism there’s an Orange Walk through the city and I sigh again.

One thing Glasgow has going for it is the music scene, of which I spent a lot of time hovering around the fringes during the early 90s before jumping on the internet career path. In the late 80s we had a few clubs, places like Tin Pan Alley, Hollywood Studio & Joe Paparazzi tried to keep ahead of trends by playing the top Hi-NRG hits or whatever was the popular R&B/Soul hits from the edge of the charts and fat titted peroxide blondes smoking menthol cigarettes tried to cup the DJ’s balls during the extended edit of Alphabet Street.

At this time the music scene was changing, and House was beginning to filter through. Previously pretty much unknown outside of late night Radio Clyde via Segun or similar, it became fairly clear this was a sound to remember. If I remember correctly, Slam started at Tin Pan Alley one night and eventually became one of the dominant musical forces in Glasgow at the time. The other was a rocker’s haven of import records called 23rd Precinct. If I go back to my Raintown memories the highlights were John Peel and the Friday Rock Show with Tommy Vance. I never really got the Friday Rock Show even though I listened to it, my friends at the time were into rock music, but I didn’t see eye to eye with their tastes. We did go to 23rd Precinct together while wandering the streets of the city centre for sun on a Saturday afternoon just before we would head to the Barras to buy the latest C64 & Spectrum backups. They would look at the latest Lita Ford posters or those of a similarly shock haired titilating vixen, and I’d wander through the back to the dance section where I’d hear Soul II Soul – Keep On Movin’ or at worst a bootleg of the same with an incomphrensible Italian babbling over the top of it. Or maybe even a version of it with Edie Brickell’s What I Am overlayed, pre-empting mashups by at least good 10 years.

Anyway. Slam went on to operate out of the Sub Club, easily one of the greatest club venues ever created and developed their own record label, Soma. 23rd Precinct created their label, Limbo records and had a minor success with M’Boza on Top Of The Pops. The track was based around a Lionel Richie sample, and the surname combined with the M’Boza moniker brought a smile to the various denizens of that scene.

Possibly the biggest success story from Soma or Limbo went to a French fellow by the name of Thomas along with his friend Guy-Manuel that formed one of the best known electronic music bands. They are Daft Punk, and they submitted Alive to Soma Records before being snapped up by Virgin.

Slam – Eterna. Based on an Edith Piaff sample, if drunken shouting with Sub Club employees were to be believed. One year at Christmas the “Hey” at 2:50 almost tore the roof off the place. A double acheivement considering the club was underground.

Slam – Intensities In Ten Cities.

Slam – Dark Forces(Kenny Larkin remix). I also played a lot of Star Wars FPS in 1995.

Jean Michel-Jarre – Chronologie Part 6(Slam Mix 2). Slightly beardy.

Phuture – We Are Phuture(Slam remix). Respect is due.

Slam vs UNKLE – Narco Tourists(UNKLE remix). Kind of disappointing IMO. This is the best mix of the set.

Havana – Schtoom(Slam remix)

I was once friendly with someone that lived in a flat with Dot Allison, and a supposed running joke with that Dot would relabel the boxes of crackers with her name so that the box would state Dotz Crackers instead. This was apparently quite hilarious to anyone else in the flat as Dot allegedly wasn’t the most popular of members. At least she went on to have a career, not end up with his life anecdote being he nearly got a gig with Leo Sayer at Butlins as a drummer.

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(One) Dove – Fallen.

A dove was a popular variety of, err, Disco Biscuit in Glasgow at that time.

One Dove – White Love(Slam remix 2).

How JD Twitch remembers it.

Slam items on ebay. That Botany 5 disc wasn’t very good, IIRC. Mind you, the LFO mixes were a bit too out there.

I’d love to play you Lionrock(Roots & Culture), which was my introduction to Justin Robertson’s ragtag collective. However, I can’t seem to find it so you’ll need to make do with the A Side, Lionrock(Most Excellent) instead for the interim.

In a career path that would have earned Nick Hornby millions for the screenplay rights, Justin Robertson somehow managed to travel a path from working in a record store(Manchester’s acclaimed Eastern Bloc records) to leading a band. Along the way he went from acclaimed remixer to all round musician, culminating in releases under his own name in 2001.

Carnival(Are You Ready To Testify?) – The second single, and it’s an MC5 rant set to music. A good start to anyone’s career.

Packet of Peace(Jeff Mills remix), a fairly nonsensical rap featuring MC Buzz B, but by this time the band was expanding and MC Buzz B became a full time member, along with Roger Lyons replacing the previous member Mark Stagg.

Tripwire(David Holmes remix) – The original was a single somehow.

Soundtrack in a Palace of Delights. From a Tribal Gathering CD, which was a big ravestock event that happened during the mid to late 90s. Their biggest coup was having Kraftwerk play before the Tribal Gathering brand dissolved into fighting about the name.

Nevermind, that’s not entirely true. It’s from a CD called Serious Road Trip from 1994, a charity compilation from the late lamented Melody Maker. The NME has pretty much always paled in comparison, but there wasn’t room for two music papers. Or three. Or four. It’s a shame that the poorest written one had the strongest brand. Anyway, I digress.

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Remixes:

Erasure – Snappy. From the Chorus 12″.

New Order – 1963.

Finitribe – Forevergreen(Forevermostexcellent).

Rachid Taha – Voila Voila. part of the Going Global series for ffrreedom/Barclay, the one you might remember from this series would be Yeke Yeke remixed by Hardfloor.

Lisa May – The Curse of Voodoo Ray. I mentioned Voodoo Ray and it’s checkered past previously.

Consolidated – This Is Fascism.

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Alan Moore’s Curt Vile strips for Sounds.

Buy Lionrock items on ebay.

When I was at Stow College, I used to walk back down towards my bus stop at the top of Renfield Street. Every so often I would miss my bus and have to wait 15 minutes for the next one. There were a couple of shops here, a restaurant and an amusement arcade, but one of the shops was more of a temptation than Bubble Bobble & Salamander ever were.

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This was where the first Fopp! store was located. I would find myself drawn in to rifle through the 12″ singles while wasting time, and walking out with the Lionrock remixes of Saint Etienne’s Nothing Can Stop Us, or What Time Is Love or Hello by the Beloved, or The Ballad of John and Yoko by Teenage Fanclub, but invariably I would walk out with something. And usually miss my bus again.

Possibly realising that the top of Renfield Street wasn’t the greatest of locations, the firm shut their store there and concentrated on one in Edinburgh and one in Byres Road student land in Glasgow. They prospered like a virus, opening in particular a great store on Union Street in Glasgow that killed Tower Records. Until last week when the company went into receivership.

I won’t miss the stickers though. They were difficult enough to remove from CDs, and depending on the cover of your album/single it would usually destroy those.

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Anyway, one of my most favourite purchases from there for 3 quid was a Sugarhill Records remixed album and that’s where the following comes from, leading into the band of the day the weekend this post, Red Snapper.

Trouble Funk – Hey Fellas(Red Snapper remix)

Red Snapper were from the same rough collective that brought you The Aloof & Sabres of Paradise, so I don’t think I really need to say anymore about their pedigree other than they were one of Warp’s biggest sellers while around.

Red Snapper – Get Some Sleep Tiger(Plaid remix)

Coldcut – Reboot The System(Red Snapper remix)

Sabres of Paradise – Wilmot(Red Snapper remix)

David Holmes – Gritty Shaker(Red Snapper remix)

Red Snapper – Hot Flush(Sabres of Paradise remix)

Ruby – Paraffin(Red Snapper remix)

Ruby were comprised of Leslie Rankine and Mark Walk. Leslie was previously a member of Silverfish and also worked/hung out with Chris Connelly and Al Jourgensen. She was supposedly recording with Jourgensen under the name Revolting Pussy, but nothing seemed to come of that.

Silverfish – Big Bad Baby Pig Squeal(From the Fuckin’ Driving Or What? EP).

Buy Red Snapper items on ebay.

Red Snapper on Snopes.