Monday, 13 August 2012

Delving into the origins of House music

I like to think there's always been a dance element to this blog. This has been blowing my mind all week.  Incredibly, recorded in 1979 or something.  I find I can't get behind stuff like the Silver Apples and Delia Derbyshire, and perhaps this starts to betray its origins towards the end a bit, but really an early electronic track that doesn't embarrass itself at all.

Bruce Haack Stand Up Lazarus

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Art space continuum

The latest release from Spacemen 3. Its arrival on our doormat yesterday prompted some eye rolling from my wife, "Just look at it as an investment", I protested. It probably would be too, if only I didn't keep playing it. I'm not posting the music, just the sleeve art. Beautiful isn't it? Reminds me of this.

Other thanTransparent Radiation and Playing With Fire, I don't find their sleeves that inspiring, in fact the sleeve for my favourite album, the Perfect Prescription, is laughably bad.  But, I'm on a mailing list and a bit back they (every member of Spacemen 3 bar Jason Pierce) played a gig in Hoxton to promote an exhibition of Natty Brooker's artwork which included some of their sleeves.

The alert went out on the day of the show and I read about it at about the time it was taking place. I was a bit pissed off about that. However, in a slightly bizarre twist I did get to see the artwork. The thing in London was the penultimate show in an itinerary that had taken in Berlin, Los Angeles, Copenhagen and Glasgow.  So far, so hip.  The last show was in Sheffield and, by fluke, on a day that I was due to be up there.  Much as I love the place it seemed a slightly incongruous finale.

Anyway, I drove out to the sleepy suburb of Totley and eventually found the gallery.  It was full of watercolours of poppies and other Jack Vettriano-type stuff.  I thought I must have got the wrong place, but I hadn't seen any other, more psychedelic looking galleries on the high street. A young, pleasant but totally not into it assistant guided me to a shed in the back where I found Natty's pictures haphazardly propped up against the walls.  I've probably spent too long going on about this, but I just found it so weird. Like, why Totley?

Friday, 10 August 2012

Thai beat

From the excellent Thai Funk Vol 1.  This is track one, side one and my favourite track on the album.  Those opening four strums of the guitar, I think I could probably listen to that noise over and over for....quite a while (with the rhythm second playing in the background of course).

The rest of the album is far more disco and quite a bit weirder, tracks that stand out being cover versions of Funky TownRasputinAnother Brick in the Wall and an original track the title of which translates as May You Die In A Hail Of Bullets, or something like that.

Researching the post I discovered that the track should be credited to Louise Kennedy rather than Louis Kennedy and that it's basically a retread of Green Onions.  So I wonder just how authentically Thai the whole thing is.

Louise Kennedy Pu Yai Lee (Chief Lee)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Cool cover

It was always going to be Brazil for B.  Os Mutantes were the hot favourites until I found this album in a charity shop a few days ago.  I bought it for the cover really and a feeling I had that you can't go wrong with Sergio Mendes.  So apologies for being a bit predictable (and I've gone for the Beatles cover as well).

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 With A Little Help From My Friends

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

When I'm in charge pt. 934

It's depressing, looking out of a train window for the last five minutes of a journey, as it pulls into any English town, certainly Sheffield.  They've obviously spent a lot of money tarting up the station and the bit of town immediately beyond its doors.  But what's the point if along side the tracks running into the station there's a ton of discarded crap - giant plastic paint tubs, other mangled bits of plastic, split sacks of cement, and those over-sized cardboard bobbins.

If I were in charge the approach to the station (for a distance of a mile or so) would be something along the lines of the hanging gardens of Babylon - with waterfalls and stuff.  In fact the train could drive through a waterfall!  It'd look cool and clean the train at the same time.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Well then I guess I'm going to Yemen

One of the tricky ones (along with Qatar) as, since the demise of Yugoslavia, the only game in town. So, looking at it another way, an easy one I suppose.

The internet threw this up pretty quick so I can't say my research has been broad, but I was so taken with it I decided my search was over. This is from Qat, Coffee and Qambus, another of those compilations put together by intrepid individuals armed only with a portable record player, a lap top and some vinyl to MP3 software. Not content with plundering your mineral resources, now we come for your pop music as well.

Anyhow, a classic boy/girl duet, do I detect a slight undertow of sass to her vocals?  The same kind of timbre to the strings as Nick Drake, otherwise utterly different. Which is sort of the point of all this - so this track is probably the winner.

Bolbol Al Hejaz & Soni Ahmad Mushtaq

Monday, 6 August 2012

Pay it all back

A quick change from the round the world antics, you remember a bit back I was going on about tracking down half remembered tracks? Well, the other day I was walking along with a friend and he only started singing one of them.  This is it.

Macka B Invasion

You can't really argue with that can you?