Tag Archives: Andrew Weatherall

obligatory year-end list part one

so, since i promised, here is the first half of my non-arbitrary list of songs that meant a lot to me over the past year.

The Juan MacLean – The Station

the future will come was my favourite album of the year, and for a time tonight was my favourite track thereon. the station edged forward for a number of reasons. its lyrics, all about the lack of communication between a man and woman, resonated with personal fears about my own perceived lack of communcation skills and the way i approach my own relationship. unlike some reviewers, i thought the dynamic between juan‘s cold, robotic utterings and nancy whang’s passionate, driven vocals lent the album, and this song in particular, a pathos so often lacking in modern music. this song also holds a special place in my heart as it was the first track i ever played at transmission back in august, something which has come to define the year for me.

Stevie Nicks – Stand Back (Eli Escobar Disco Mix)

the next song i played in that first set back in august was this delightful re-edit of a stevie nicks song done for money lotion by one eli escobar. the isolated strands of guitar licks, the fuzzy synths, the completeness of it all – it’s one of few songs out there that you can listen to, on repeat, for a whole seven minutes and never get bored – everything about this track is respectful to its forebear without being stuck in the past. of course, it is an 80s song, but it fits in perfectly with that resurgent strand of, for want of a better genre-title, nu-disco. but we must bear in mind that it wasn’t just re-edits that eli did this year…

Eli Escobar – Glass House

yes, i’m talking about him yet again. more than anyone else, his work has had a profound effect on me this year. his remixes have been wowing be for a few years, but finally he came out with some original tracks – the dark, relentless groove of glass house contrasted greatly with the euphoric party vibes of good time – both are superb but it’s the title track that edges it for me. the 80s percussion, the heavily-reverbed claps, the brooding bassline, it sounds like a nightmare but it’s more like a dream. compounded with this insane video, it was no doubt one of the most epic releases of 2009.

Joe and Will Ask? – Fabric of Win (ft SaintSaviour)

having met these guys in preston back in may, i’ve been keen to promote and celebrate their work. their latest effort, dewdrops with kris menace, calls to mind binary finary – and joe knows that i only mean that in a good way – but it was fabric of win, with the vocals of saintsaviour, that helped define the latter half of my year. for four months in a row at transmission it found its way into my sets. as joe said of saintsaviour before the track’s release, “she’s an awesome dance music writer, she does it in a kind of cool, edgy way, it’s not bland or boring, like ‘let’s just stick a blonde babe singing something about the weekend’.” this track had the signature beats of a joe and will ask? tune, but bypassed their harder techno sound for a more approachable, housey sound. either way, the boys look like they’ll be around for some time if this is anything to go by.

Curses! – The Deep End (Holy Ghost! Day School Dub ft Nancy Whang)

to be honest, i know i first heard this in early december 2008. that doesn’t matter – it was released in 09. win! it’s kind of hard to be objective on this one. there’s something so deeply moving about all of the different elements of this track – the whining synth, the pummelling bassline, the evocative piano chords, that theme which is essentially just a distorted bass riff – it’s the saddest club track ever written. probably why i’ve never played it out. i remember hearing it played between bands at now wave in manchester when i was waiting for the juan maclean, and i texted a friend saying “have you heard this track? because if you haven’t you should”. i was listening to andrew weatherall’s 6 mix back in may and, as usual, looked at the tracklisting to see if i recognised anything – i didn’t. so it was to my great delight to hear this familiar beat kick in half-way through the mix. of course, “Deep End – Unknown” hadn’t caught my attention 😉 wevvers used all eight minutes of this beautiful track in his half-hour mix, a fitting tribute to a song that requires attention from the first second to the last.

scrapes and capers through dance music history

i really splashed out last week – i’ve been commenting of late on the fact that i don’t spend money on cds like i used to. a) because the price has generally come down, and b) because i’m always keen to find a bargain. one collection jumped out at me however, and i was more than happy to shell out €20 for it.

scrapesandcapers

this compilation brings together a host of tracks from the famed junior boy’s own stable. it’s a really british label, and so it’s a really british compilation. i don’t mean that in a bad way whatsoever. some of (if not) the best people in british dance music history feature on this comp – underworld, the chemical brothers, pete heller, and of course, the granddaddy of british techno, andrew weatherall. you’ve also got acts like the happy mondays and primal scream, proving that the whole dance/rock crossover is nothing new, and it was far better before the days of ironic indie boys and pointy haircuts.

i was but a nipper when most of these tracks came out, and a lot of them are completely new to me. i know the whole nostalgia thing is completely clichéd and this release could well be seen as just a cash-in for the label big-wigs, but for me it’s a delight to get a chance to listen to this collection right now, at a time when the electronic spectrum seems completely caught between two generations, neither of which is keen to budge.

this is reflected by the recent appearance of an article on resident advisor article titled “the esoteric art of the opening dj” – an article which has provoked discussion on all of the major dance forums i frequent. everyone seems to agree that warming up is an essential part of a given night and that lashing out anthems as soon as the door is open just doesn’t work – so why do people still do it? one theory i have is that a lot of people who are trying to get into the dj world right now just don’t know their history, or, if they do, they don’t respect it. dance music hasn’t been around that long, and at the moment everyone seems far too concerned with having something brand new and fresh, rather than just playing good music, irrespective of age. this is compounded by the fact that, in today’s climate, something from way back in 2007 will sound ugly and dated, while something from the mid to late 90s will still fit into any set with relative ease.

as in my last post, i seem to be coming off all cantankerous, which is silly. i’m 24. i just see a whole load of problems in this scene, and even thinking about trying to reconcile urgency with respect and reverence with excitement clearly causes a major headache. to return to what started this whole tgv of thought, releases like this seem to serve two distinct purposes: to remind people of the so-called classics, or to introduce young’uns like myself to tracks they should really know already. if there was any justice in the world it’d fly off the shelves and onto the ipods of every budding dj out there. i guess you can’t have everything.

Happy Mondays – Hallelujah (Club Mix)
Sunscreem – Perfect Motion (Boys Own Mix)
Pete Heller – Big Love (Eat Me Edit)

through the shadows

when i was in london last month for field day, i paid my first visit to the fabled phonica records on poland st. embarrassingly enough i had to ask a “bobby” for directions – he had a map in his pocket, which i thought was hilarious, but hey, it worked for me. when i got there i picked up some cheap promos and one record, loudeast‘s shadows from 2006. the only other time i came across this guy was through his track lights off, which featured on two great compilations in autumn 2001 (funny how that year figures so much in my electronic musical history): hernan cattaneo‘s funky deep ‘n’ tribal mix for ministry magazine, and deep dish‘s second yoshiesque compilation. its beats were solid yet funky, pounding while at the same time infused with a breezy lightness. it was marked as progressive, but i thought it was much funkier than most of the droning ploddish muck that was given that tag. have a listen for yourself – but ignore the vocal over the track throughout. it’s actually from luzon’s the baguio track.

when i saw this record on sale for a measly 99p, i couldn’t resist. not only did the tracks have cheesily accurate titles such as “jackin’ dub mix” and “acid rain mix”, the cover was just a huge acid smiley face. as it happens, i left the record in my friend’s place and only got around to getting it back this week. i wasn’t disappointed. the-a side features two trippily acidic slices of prog, both of which feature the best bits of each style: they go on for ages, and, well, they’re really acidy. meanwhile the b-side is taken up by a slow-burning nine-minute dub mix by alexkid, whose work i first discovered on wevvers‘ awesome fabric mix.

i feel a bit daft writing about this when fellow bloggers are writing about tunes that were written this morning, exported this afternoon and emailed ten minutes ago, but i just really dig these tracks. it just goes to show that bargain-hunting in record stores can still reap its rewards – and to be honest i’ve enjoyed this experience much more than any time i’ve stumbled upon some thirty second clip on beatport. whether or not i’d be able to play them out at transmission is another story. maybe i’ll slot one of them into this running mix i keep on thinking about making. plod plod plod (but in a good way…)

Loudeast – Shadows (Loudeast Jackin’ Dub Mix)

proper

no doubt you keep hearing about this whole nu-disco thing. beard house. fusco. whatever. everyone is jumping on the band-wagon. well for this mix of the weekend i’ve decided to direct you towards a proper no-nonsense jackin’ house disco mix from the legend that is andrew weatherall. one hour taken from his set at rockness last month, i know i’m a bit late, but good music never goes out of date. i’m not going to lie – i don’t recognise any of this. it’s deep, dark and funky as hell, and if you enjoyed his 6music takeover back in may you should enjoy this. in fact if you like proper “dance” music you’ll love it.

Andrew Weatherall – Live at RockNess 2009 (link courtesy of ripped in glasgow)

claude von stroke – fabric 46

i had my first nctj exam today – newswriting – and i think it went well. i can’t really call it, i think i got everything in on the news pieces, and i answered the online questions word for word what they asked for in all the marking schemes i saw. so that much is assured. as for the rest, well, we’ll see. public admin tomorrow and law on thursday, and then it’s all done. i think shorthand is the only thing i really have down, everything else is a bit iffy. oo-er.

cvsfabric46

anyway after the exam finished i put on claude von stroke’s new mix, fabric 46. i’ve always enjoyed what i’ve heard from cvs, like the ubiquitous who’s afraid of detroit? and the whistler, which of course featured in that t-mobile ad, but i’ve never had the chance to see him, bar a few minutes in pod when i took a break from the tag team assault of djs mehdi and a-trak. generally the fabriclive mixes tend to be upbeat, frantic party mixes (spinbad, diplo, craze etc) while the fabric mixes are much more techy and minimal (andrew weatherall, ewan pearson). this one is definitely on the right side of the fence, but it’s the kind of mix that has a smile on its face and a glint in its eye. from claude’s yabadabadooza with bootsy collins and the sexually charged robag whrume remix of peter lauer’s free entry for girls, it’s got drippings of twisted vocals throughout, and the dirty bird layers completely disparate tracks together, lending melody and personality to otherwise bleepy minimal. the best example of this is the pairing of dinamoe‘s maceo and clara moto‘s silently, as alone each track sounds bare and almost simplistic, while this collision gives both a sense of warmth and excitement.

while most fabric releases are of a solid standard without being stellar, it looks like this one will be buzzing in my ears for months to come. it’s even sent me digging for more tracks by the artists on the mix, and it has me keen to hear cvs next time he plays anywhere near me. you can’t really ask for more than that.