This was originally posted in 2016, but I didn’t finish the research. I kind of doubt there was data, but I was getting false flags from somewhere. I don’t know in the end, but I wasn’t tempted to go back and try and figure it out as it was all kind of exhausing.
If there are any readers still out there, they may note that Richard D. James has been kind of prolific of late, new album 2 years ago and some other bits and pieces since then. Lately though, there was a release of something called Cheetah, and since I’m one of those oddities that still covets cassettes I was eager to acquire a copy of the tape version.
Fast forward a few weeks post release and I finally get round to listening to the tape, however on tugging the tiny plastic thread that released memoric endorphins and the delicate smell of plastic on the tape box I note that the title of the first track is CHEETAHT2 [Ld spectrum]. And it made me think, he’s a bit of a prankster when afforded the opportunity. And it’s a cassette, and if I were Richard, and I was releasing a cassette, I’d hide data on that tape. (And, of course there is the whole being subtitled Ld Spectrum thing which is a bit of a clue.) On the other side is a track subtitled Колхозная, which seems to be Kyrgyzstan for jumping tractor or farming collective.
For readers that aren’t familiar with the Spectrum, it was a home computer that was insanely popular in the UK during the 1980s, and various versions of it were launched across the world. Here’s one from Russia, which I believe was called the Companion.
Hope you’re well! Not much to report here, finally got a Home Taping Is Killing Music tattoo.
Got an email reminder about some SQL gubbins today and I found this half finished post. I’m just going to post it anyway. Would have been more timely 2 years ago, but, hey. Look at that, this blog is nearly 10 years old.
From about 6 years old I read 2000AD religiously, if you’re of my age (and that’s a distinct possibility) it’s probably had some influence on your own childhood even if it’s only due to the quite awful Sylvester Stallone movie (although this has since been somewhat diminished by the excellent Dredd of late).
My favourite comics though were the one picked up on the corner of Buchanan Street & Argyll Street, a street vendor sold newsstand copies of US comics and other those I had a particular fondness for DC Comics. More specifically I really enjoyed the alternative takes on the heroes such as those from Earth-2 or some other parallel universe where Batman wore the colourful costume of Zur-En-Arh or Superman was made of gold and lived in the Sun or you know, something that was grounded in this reality but slightly warped and alternative.
To go back to 2000AD, the Glaswegian writer Grant Morrison did some work for the comic, perhaps most famously the Superhero saga, Zenith. And again, the most enjoyable chapter of this for me was the war of heroes with many alternative takes from parallel dimensions on long forgotten and not forgotten characters such as an Acid House interpretation of Robot Archie or a grown-up Billy Whizz. All very silly, but I’ve always appreciated a sharp take on alternative histories or the Sci-Fi staple of the Mirror Universe.
Which ultimately brings me to this.
This is the back of the Dayglo Maradona – Rock Section sleeve, a tie-in record to Julian Cope’s novel, One Three One, a Time-Shifting Gnostic Hooligan Road Novel. I’d love to tell you more about the novel, but I think I bailed out after about 100 pages as it was a bit too What the Fuck for me.
Anyway, I just wanted to draw attention to the sleeves of the contemporary singles, which I understand were designed by Avalon Cope, and are wonderfully evocative of the era.
edit, 2023, some of this music was recorded other than Rock Section, I’m not sure how easy it is to find but I’ve added Bandcamp & Youtube where I’ve found or added it. Seems to have been mostly issued in 2017 around the time of The Trip Advizer tour and I aimgine it’s out there somewhere in more specialist Julian Cope forums, but I’ve not found them. Anyway, see the Lord Yatesbury label on Discogs for more information.
Once I bought what I thought was a nice vinyl jacket thing (for a human) from Esprit a few years ago, it’s like a suit jacket made out of vinyl. Anyway, I employed a new guy in my department who turned out to be a rather flamboyant gay man, and at one point he mentioned that he thought my jacket was a bit over the top. I figured that when the most fabulous gay man I’ve ever met considered my clothing was too much for him then I might want to reign my sartorial flare in somewhat.
Anyway, anyone reading might be interested in this at Boomkat, it’s a limited collected cassette of the HATE 12″ singles from about 4 years ago. HATE are G.H., Andy Stott and Miles Whittaker and the music is really good, it’s a great revision of Junglish sounds from 2008 via 1998.
(BTW, the full of wasps comment was because I stopped wearing the jacket as it was far too fabulous, and it lingering in our loft area where the wasps had take nover so I assumed it had been lost to them at the time. It was binned at least 5 years ago).
I step away from this and weeks turn into months, there are a couple of drafts here but are mostly only collections of unrelated words which may have been meaningful to me 9 months ago but emerge blinking into my editor confused. Any ideas I had for posts have turned to dust and symbols, A draft title of Mashed Potatoes stares up at me, and I can only guess at what it’s referring to although it could have been used for this post. I could apologise for not posting, but as I’m probably writing mostly for myself it would merely be cathartic so I won’t. I only suggest to myself that I should at least try to post more than once a year.
I was thinking about sound. Also about other things which have distracted me from writing more, but sound was my main focus of late. In parallel I’ve been back to my teenage home more times in the past 9 months than I had been in the last 9 years. I say home, but it’s kind of alien to me now. The landscapes, the colours, the people, the sounds. On one visit I tried to retrace footsteps of how I once spent days, I planned to travel from Glasgow’s Hillhead Subway then down to Argyll Street, hopefully passing shops which might have had old records or CDs. The flaw in my plan is that these places mostly exist only in my memory these days, only Oxfam Music seemed to be doing any trade and it was too full of others for me to realistically do any browsing. The reason that there were some many other people in the store was possibly one other significant Glasgow phenomenon. The rain.
By the time I’d walked down to the lower end of Byres Road my coat was soaked through and I was thoroughly frustrated with myself for my fool’s errand. The rain in Glasgow is markedly different from that compared to rain elsewhere, it’s heavy, relentless and cold. The streets are in pretty poor condition these days too so it didn’t make for a pleasant soujourn. In addition I had somehow stood on a fritter so had the added joy of cold wet potato stuck to my boots.
I continued on to the Brewdog pub instead, as I was close to Kelvin Hall at this point. In here I was able to sit, have a beer and play Galaga on an arcade cocktail table thing.
You know, I would have preferred if I could have played Sinistar or Bubble Bobble but I’ll take what I can these days. Having had my mood somewhat improved I though I’d continue on my journey but with a slightly different purpose, I figured I’d head on to the Treasure Island arcade which I used to frequent. As a 14 or so year old I fondly remember going there and drinking in the dayglo colours of Marble Madness, Peter Packrat, Missile Command et al. (as well as the smoke) and wondered what was in it these days to keep it open. Also my anti-Putin beer had run out and I only had euros which I didn’t want to sacrifice to an unhealthy exchange rate behind the bar.
I made my way further in the cold and wet that I’ve never missed since leaving and wandered through the backstreets of the city. I found my way down to Treasure Island to find only lurid TV influenced money stealing Fruit Machines/One Armed Bandits/Puggies and a single cabinet multi emulator similar to the one I had left, but this one hoped for coins. At this point it was clear my time travelling wasn’t going to happen in the fashion I hoped for and I shruggedly wiped the remainder of the now mashed potatoes from my boots.
(I should probably point out that Glasgow still has a number of record shops, just not ones that were on the path I had taken. I would have liked to gone to Monorail for instance but it was just a step too far.)
The one time capsule that did exist was in my parents loft, a collection of 7″ singles in a crate. Mostly covered with dust and grime of the age but uniquely dynamic in a sense that is lost, and that brings me back to the original point of this post. When it come to music delivery the world has changed, one of the singles I found was The Eurythmics – Sexcrime. To hear this I either had to listen to the radio hoping it might be played or I could save my money to buy it from a local shop. I seem to remember we had a small record shop in Cardonald, a branch of a small chain which also existed in Paisley. I think it was the Record & Card Center but my memory may not be up to snuff on that one. The Cardonald branch shut and I remember my dad returning from it one day with some posters he’d been given. One of which featured Devo and this was a rather bewildering sight to me at the time. Nowadays you can download everything that Dave & Annie every recorded in a manner of seconds to your phone if you’re technologically adept enough, otherwise youtube probably has their scattered works for listening to in a tinny buffering staccato.
But if you’re of my age, and with a similar upbringing you’ll probably remember the anticipation of listening to the record you bought that weekend, admiring the picture sleeve (if there was one) on the bus home, opening the sleeve with the static release of the smell of freshly pressed vinyl and eventually getting home to your turntable to hear the needle drop onto the virgin vinyl to enjoy the ~4 minutes of sound you’ve just purchased. It was more than just a song, it was an object. It’s a picture sleeve and a label, typeset and designed by someone.
But of these, it is of course the audio that’s the important part. And nowadays it isn’t quite the same. I have Gigabytes of lossless audio at home, mostly self-ripped from the decaying media tomb that is my basement. But recently I’ve been less and less interesting in hearing any of this, there’s a sterility to this sound.
I have a turntable connected to my computer and I’ve used this to record audio in the past. You might have listened to some of it before. Among communities centred on vinyl preservation there is a consideration that the highest audio format is 24 bit audio recorded from vinyl with a good turntable and amp setup but one of the steps in this process is to remove the pops and clicks of surface noise as unwanted and I’m increasingly forming the opinion that this is missing the point although I might be tilting at windmills. The watmm forum was recently putting together a kickstarter to acquire a thought lost Aphex Twin album and there was discussion about how to capture the audio as best as can be and I can’t help but think at this stage it would make more sense to attempt to licence the digital source from Rephlex considering the amount of money that’s become involved in this venture. (Actually I’ve just checked and it seems a more sensible direction has emerged with this record going to a professional studio for recording instead. I’d still imagine a D>D>D version would be better than D>A>D version that’s going to be produced.)
However that’s solely my tuppence worth.
Finding my turntable a little wanting of late I went to one of the local charity shops and found an old Sanyo turntable as well as a Pioneer tape deck and this combination has inspired me a little to try something I’ve not done in quite some time.
I made a mix tape. I sat and recorded a bunch of records on to tape from vinyl, only pressing pause between discs. I could probably have sequenced tracks better but a couple of hours on a Sunday evening going back to my roots has proved to be really quite fun and I’d like to share the resulting output. I’m not planning to send out cassettes to anyone that requests them so I’ve recorded the tape back on to my computer and encoded it as an mp3 to try and avoid losing the experience too much. I did create a flac, but it was kind of massive.
Click the pic for the files.
Gary Clail – Human Nature (Original Billy Graham version) Olimax & DJ Shapps – Feelin’ Luv The Grid meets Timothy Leary – Origins of Dance (Electronic Future mix) The Orb – Suck My Kiss Mix Tyree – Turn Up The Bass (Hip Hop remix) Pop Will Eat Itself – Dance of the Mad (Feet on Heat) Happy Mondays – WFL (Vince Clarke remix) Vic Reeves – Abide With Me (12″ Mix)
Apollo XI – Peace In The Middle East (Sea of Tranquility mix) Renegade Soundwave – The Phantom (Remix) Stereo MC’s – Connected (Future Sound of London remix) Depeche Mode – Policy of Truth (Trancentral remix) The Associates – Club Country Club Jesus Loves You – Generations of Love (The Ambient mix) Westbam – Back To Future World of Twist – Sweets (Barrat 200 Mix) Lil Louis – Blackout (Temperamental Dub)
This has been on my todo list for a while, but I always had some problems finding the right version of the disc. My discogs adventures would inevitably turn up the wrong version, which was an easy mistake to make as I didn’t know how to tell one version from the other until a wonderful soul noticed a difference on the runout groove. On the bright side I’ve got a few generic Perfecto sleeves if I wanted to paper the wall or something.
Anyway, the track in question is Gary Clail & On-U Sound System – Human Nature. And before you turn and run, the reason for my digging for this is that the track originally didn’t feature vocals from Gary, rather from the firebrand American preacher Billy Graham. Now, I don’t think Billy was too hot on his speech appearing on the original demo with Tackhead and when it came to a commercial release it sample usage was denied. Which was a bit of a shame as I think that the original is more muted and consequently more powerful but Gary & his megaphone probably made for a greater commercial potential.
Billy Graham came to my then hometown of Glasgow in 1991, he had previously condemned it as the most unholy place ever or something. It’s not hard to disagree with that to be honest.
And if GARY CLAIL isn’t your thing, here‘s a lost Lionrock B-Side from an old 7″ single given away with Jockey Slut many moons ago. That’s a disappointingly anachronistic sentence these days.
Something shorter today. I do hope you’ll excuse the odd indulgence as I’m trying to keep up momentum but don’t always have suitable content at the point of posting.
This was the first single on Heavenly Records. A collaboration between Sly & Lovechild named “The World According To…”. Remixed by the inevitable Andrew Weatherall. Have realised this was made available in a lossless version last year on Richard Sen’s This Is Chicago compilation so I’ll link to that on Spotify instead. BTW, if anyone objects to linking to Spotify please let me know but I’m beginning to find some oddities I’d like to link there instead of using my own bandwidth.
Eh, fuck Spotify. I realise that isn’t a lossless rip, but it’ll do.
Hmm, that’s still there acording to the hover text.
Also of possible note, and perhaps posted previously : Big Hard Excellent Fish – The Imperfect List is surprisingly up on Spotify. In all of the Rimming Elvis The Andrew Weatherhall (sic) Way versions.
And moving to pretty much the entire opposite side of the spectrum, Sunn O))) have put their back catalogue up on Bandcamp for streaming/purchasing. Just in case you needed your ears deeply cleaned out.
Spotify is kind of neat, isn’t it? It takes mere seconds to find Pinball Cha Cha, Nlogax, the Cinematic Orchestra’s fabulous Late Night Tales session or Blanck Mass without having to journey down to the archive. Which is admittedly about 5 steps over there and 15 steps downstairs but it’s the principle that counts. From an artist point of view it doesn’t seem to be all that fair, each play probably nets you about 0.000003 pence per play which is about as much exposure as you get from some guy on the Internet posting the tracks you hoped were in the permanent bin.
(BTW, it’s worth pointing out that there’s a stream of the new BoC album tonight over here. I am kind of looking forward to this and hope it helps remove the disappointing Dad House feeling I got from the Daft Punk album. The Moroder track is pretty great, it’s a wonderfully rewarding labour of love but the rest of it isn’t so much fun. IMO.)
edit, 2023, Spotify turned out to be the devil.
Anyway. Enough complaining. Let’s music.
It’s hard not to get emotional listening to Billy Mackenzie, he had an astonishing voice that I don’t think anyone came close to until Antony Hegarty. And not to mention Billy’s writing, his collaborations with Yello in particular led to perhaps one of their best known tracks with vocal duties fulfilled by Dame Shirley Bassey. Billy sadly committed suicide in 1997, but left a legacy of some work which I’d encourage anyone reading to further investigate. That’s not however the point of this posting, if there is indeed one.
The post today is about an EP released in part to promote a 1990 singles collection, Popera was the album and Poperetta was the EP. The EP focuses on two versions of two tracks, Waiting For The Loveboat & Club Country. All four tracks were remixed by Thomas Fehlmann, a well known staple of the Berlin music scene and frequent collaborator with The Orb.
Club Country is one of my favourite Associates tracks, but to be honest, the versions here are not that great. Club Country Club updates the track for a more 90s dancefloor that it didn’t really need.
The Time Unlimited version is a bit of a mashup of Billy Mackenzie with samples of Tricky Disco, maybe also D-Shake – Technotrance, GTO – Pure, and 808 State – Cobra Bora. And a bit of whoo-yeah from Tricky Disco to cap it off.
Waiting For The Loveboat comes off a little better in the Extended Voyage mix which didn’t make it to the compilation. Judge for yourself.
It’s probably been nearly two years since I’ve posted anything so I guess it’s about time I changed that. What I wanted to achieve with this blog was to share music that hadn’t been heard in some time or only by a limited audience, so I did that for a while but couldn’t find the momentum to go on and kind of gave up.
So, anyway, here’s something I intended to post a while ago but never got round to it. Lil’ Louis & The World – Blackout (Original Version)
Lil’ Louis & The World – Blackout (Tempramental Dub)
Some might remember these tracks but probably haven’t these particular versions as they was only available on a limited run promo 2x 12″ with I Called U in 1989 and not made available in any other form (that I know of, nor can discogs shed any light on this). There were four version of I Called U & four of Blackout, but only two versions of Blackout (Phase 1 & Phase 2) saw release. The versions here seem to have been expanded into Phase 1 & Phase 2 respectively, but there’s not quite as as much of the dub version used. All of the mixes of I Called U made it to retail as it was the lead single, although the third 12″ in the set of three led with the Over The Edge version of the track and it’s a little under 3 minutes, which wasn’t even the average length of a 7″ single back then. The rest of the single was made up of US version of French Kiss, which seemed a little odd at the time as Blackout was downplayed in favour of I Called U as Blackout was considered by some to be too similar to French Kiss.
As was usual, the corresponding US single was a Maxi running just under 40 minutes (this was before reforms of the single rules for the UK charts which allowed up to 40 minutes on an EP/CD Single) with 5 versions of I Called U instead (some of which are still likely to be hear if one still goes out clubbing or dances round your computer speakers during a boiler room session or whatever kids does these days). Blackout didn’t see a general release on vinyl in the US until 2006 with Phase 3 on Mathematics Records.
“Either invented by Tyree Cooper and friends or the Beatmasters, one sideline sound of 1989 was exemplified by heavy use of the “Whoo, yeah!” sample from Lyn Collins – Think! among other abuse of the People Records catalogue.
I had such a crush on Manda Beatmaster when I was young.