Friday, 24 December 2010


There aren't enough surprises in life anymore - but here's one for ya.

This is what I'll be listening to while unwrapping my pressies, and I'd like to share it with you, all in keeping with the spirit of peace and goodwill.

I'm not going to tell you what's on it - that's where the surprise element comes in - you'll just have to trust me on this one.
You do trust me, don't you...?

So grab yourself some fun: grab my alternative Christmas mix here
And have yourself a very merry Christmas.

I'll pop the track list in comments when I'm sober.

Nadolig Llawen!


Here's some tasty bites from the recent Electronica Concert held at London, Southbank's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The BBC Concert Orchestra along with an electronic ensemble made up of Moogs, Korgs, Rolands, ondes Martenots and theremins performed all manner of electronica from past and present, including a truly magnificent performance of Bernard Hermann's score for the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Gort is readily envisaged: pounding the city streets; the theremin, used to exhilarating effect, creating a creepy yet truly cosmic unworldliness.
Quite brilliant.

The concert was keenly MC'd by electronica enthusiast Jarvis Cocker; his preambles, some of which I have included, explain and inform much of the music played.

His discussion with composer and performer Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) is hilarious: you can hear their anoraks rubbing together.

Following the film music, is a performance of Johnny Greenwood's (Radiohead) ever so dissonant but totally compelling smear; the strings and synths really tear and shred the air and space.
Yeah, compelling.

The downbeat smear is followed by an uplifting premier performance of Will Gregory's Journeys Into the Sky, a work still in progress, not that you'd know it from what is heard: it all seems very tight, the electronica marrying-up with the orchestra in homogeneous and harmonious splendour.

The gig ends with a rousing rendition of Kraftwerk's The Model, arranged by Art of Noise founder and Oscar winning composer Anne Dudley.
You really get the sense that the musicians are having a great time, recognising that the music they are playing is one of the reasons they are performing: anyone interested in electronic music must surely fall at the feet of the Teutonic maestros.

So, if you want to get yourself a last minute Christmas present, you could do worse than go get yourself a theremin.
Imagine this: the theremin, spoons and howling dogs.
You couldn't get more Christmassy.
Dickens would just love it.

Electronica (6/10/10)

Performed by The BBC Concert Orchestra & electronic ensemble.
Directed & conducted by Charles Hazelwood.

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Bernard Hermann
smear - Johnny Greenwood
chat (Jarvis & Will)
Journeys Into the Sky - Will Gregory
The Model - Kraftwerk (arrangement: Anne Dudley)

Ripped from DVD captured radio broadcast @320kbs
Plug in here

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ooooh Weee Ooooh

As a supplement to the electronica pieces coming up, here's a tasty little radio doc that reveals the amazing story of Leon Theremin: electronic wizard, musician, spy, and inventor of the curious instrument that adopted his name.

With a contained enthusiasm, British musician, actor and comic, Bill Bailey, unravels Theremin's biography with some excellent clips and bites, as well as utilising the help of various talking heads from the worlds of music, electronics and espionage.

O yeah, and a poet.

With his sardonic take, John Hegley performs a theremin accompanied poem in homage to the wibbly-wobbly sound generator, bringing this entertainingly informative piece to a perfect end.

Good Vibrations: The story of Leon Theremin
Narrated by Bill Bailey (30 mins)

Ripped from cassette captured broadcast @320kbs
get here

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Radical Riddims

While listening to this album earlier while ripping, it struck me as to how relevant it still is, reinforcing the feeling that Britain has returned to a state comparable to the early nineteen-eighties: what with the rioting on the streets of London, right-wing attacks on public services, radical voices coming up from the street, and of course a right royal wedding.
Maybe we should all take to wearing leg warmers.

This recording also takes me back to that time as I saw Linton Kwesi Johnson and The Dennis Bovell Dub Band in St. Germans at one of Lord Eliot's Elephant Fayres in what I think was eightie-three [?], but bit vague there.

It was memorable enough though, for me to know that it was without doubt the best reggae show I ever experienced - only Misty in Roots came close - Johnson's wonderfully crafted dub-styled polemic poetry juxtaposed with Bovell's masterful arrangements and the band's musicianship made for the best way possible to spend two hours in a pitch field in the middle of Cornwall.

Talk about a light in the darkness; we were like moths to a flame; hanging on every word; every beat; homogeneous: unified.

Johnson often spoke about his use of 'reggae riddims' in his poetry; a way of capturing in language the rhythms and metre of Jamaican dub music; and they do work well when read a capella; the couple of examples on here exemplify this technique perfectly; and of course it allows in a live capacity for the musicians, and the audience, to have a bit of a rest and catch their breath.

But the addition of music adds so much colour and vibrancy to Johnson's poetry; often reinforcing his message; emphasising his anger and adding enormously to his emotional expression.

But most importantly, you can dance to it.

And in a sense, this is a real 'Best Of', so to speak; easily his greatest songs are included on here, capturing his first few albums, all of which are now classics of British reggae.

So get your big boots on; and whether you're on your way to a demo or a disco this makes for the perfect accompaniment.

See kids, politics can be fun.

Linton Kwesi Johnson & The Dub Band - LKJ in Concert (1985)

Five Nights of Bleeding
Dread Beat an Blood
Intro (chat)
All Wi Doin is Defendin
It Dread Inna Inglan
Man Free
What Fi Got Rave
It Noh Funny
Forces of Victory
Independent Intavenshan
Reggae Fi Peach
Di Black Petty Booshwah
New Craas Massahkah
Reality Poem
Wat About Di Workin Class
Di Great Insohreckshan
Making History

Decent rip from cassette @ 320kbs
There is a drop on one channel for part of 'Dread Beat and Blood', but it doesn't last long and soon repairs.
This is really scarce now, it seems; I attempted to find a copy - because of the aforementioned problem (yeah, anal, I know) - but couldn't find one; so let's cherish this.
Radicalise here

Friday, 10 December 2010

Macca Do

So here's some mainstream booty for y'all.

A few tracks gathered from one of the first big get-together charitee-type-affairs, collectively titled Concerts For the People of Kampuchea.

I've only got a small sample of what was put out, but I've been careful in my selection, as a lot of what was put out wasn't that great.

All the tracks were recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon back in 1979.

Included here are two tracks from The Who: a groovy rendition of 'Sister Disco' with tasteful, bluesy, dubby outro, and a well belted out - when Daltrey could still do it - 'Behind Blue Eyes'.

Two tracks from Dave Edmunds' Rockpile, including a guest performance by Planty, who lends vocal for a pub-rock version of 'Little Sister'.

Next up, a right blistering bender from Queen [!], their epic 'Now I'm Here', and they never sounded heavier or better, and I'm not even a fan.
(I only really like 'Get Down, Make Love' and 'Killer Queen' [O yeah, and 'Flash', that one's quite good]).

This eclectic bagatelle comes to an end with the song that apparently inspired John Lennon to get off his bed, turn off the television, and go and cut an album (Double Fantasy), raising him back out of obscure privacy and making him a popular figure and recognizable icon once more.

So in a way, Wings' 'Coming Up' could be said to be responsible for Lennon's death... in a way... if you know what I mean.

The Who - Sister Disco
The Who - Behind Blue Eyes
Rockpile - Crawling From the Wreckage
Rockpile (with Robert Plant) - Little Sister
Queen - Now I'm Here
Wings - Coming Up

Quality rip from cassette @320kbs.
Rock out here

Wot, No Foetus!

Suffering another attack from the DMCA - telling me that complaints have been made to Blogger; so posts have been removed, comments lost and links deleted - I presumed it would concern those such as Primal Scream or Oasis, but no: Black Uhuru and Foetus!

So now I have no Foetus on my blog (O I do hope you all managed to grab those out of print and well deleted 12" vinyl rips), and I empathise more with those bloggers who have given up; making music available through Pirate Bay or one of the other torrent platforms (Bah!).

Still, not gonna go on about it.


Friday, 3 December 2010


It was twenty years ago Primal Scream recorded their seminal album Screamadelica, and it was seven days ago they performed the album in its entirety at London's Olympia Stadium.

Thankfully the world's greatest PSB outfit, the BBC, broadcast it, allowing me to catch it, rip it and share it with you.

I've even made a cover!
(Who said Humanity's dead?)

Primal Scream live as an experience depends entirely on their somewhat unpredictable front man Bobby Gillespie.
But he was on his very best behaviour - I don't think he even swore - however, that didn't prevent the BBC announcer squeezing in a warning as often as possible alerting the listener that they may be confronted with 'the strongest of language and adult themes'!

(I know.
It did seem rather paranoid.
I'm sure BBC6's demographic could handle anything Gillespie mentioned.

Cem and I worked out that what the BBC were most anxious about was the overt drug referencing; but hey, that's the songs; and one would assume we've come a long way since the BBC banned 'A Day in the Life'.

Still, best to be cautious when it's a Murdoch associated Tory government deciding as to whether 'Auntie' continues to receive its funding....)

The other striking factor about Gillespie's performance is that he sounds exactly the same: still the breathy, staccato, Scottish/American [?], speed fueled delivery; although it is a little painful hearing him get through 'Damage'; but to be fair, it's probably not a song they regularly include in their set list.

Strangely, they played around with the order of tracks, breaking the continuity the audience is so familiar with.
But this did allow for an enormoulsy upbeat ending, as the band closed with the two anthems 'Loaded' and 'Come Together', leaving the listener dizzy but undoubtedly aurally gratified.

Lots of bands are doing this now: taking to the road with their albums as set lists.
Some are even taking to the road with other band's albums as set lists; and I'm not just talking lookalikees or soundalikees.
More evidence, perhaps, that recorded music is moribund; over and done with; on a commercial level, at least.

But while these bands are still standing, they'll keep playing.
I mean, what else can they do...?

Primal Scream - Screamadelica Live, Olympia, London. 26/11/10

Movin' On Up
Slip Inside This House
Don't Fight It, Feel It
I'm Comin' Down
Shine Like Stars
Inner Flight
Higher than the Sun
Come Together

Ripped from DVD recorded digital broadcast @320kbs
Get Primal here

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cocaine Knights

If you take the elements mentioned in my previous two posts:

a heap of Beatles
a dollop of Slade
a dash of Sweet
a hint of Bolan,

add just a pinch of Neil Innes,

and you arrive at Oasis.

Their Knebworth gig brought closure for me as far as the band's output was concerned.

The gig summed them up. Crystallized them.
Everything that was good about Oasis was played out in that one night.

To me they were a two album band, and their monster Knebworth gig was really an homage to those classic albums.

This is not the bootleg version of the gig. That comes from a DVD rip, and you'll be very lucky to find it at a higher rate than 128.
No, this is a recording capturing BBC Radio 1's live broadcast; ripped from cassette @320.

It is quite different to the more familiar boot; it certainly has a richer depth of sound, and of course as a 320 rip you can really crank it up.

You also get to hear why Liam apologises to his mother ('Sorry, Mam'): a little bit of banter that was omitted from the DVD - and therefore the boot - a little bit of banter that no doubt omitted a sliver from the BBC license payers' pot.
But hey, rock n roll....

My recording begins with 'Acquiesce', but on the night, they began with 'Columbia'.
I don't know why my recording excludes that opening track; either I wasn't ready to hit the record button in time - which is possible - or the BBC weren't ready - more likely - and for whatever reason that track wasn't broadcast.

So I have included it here - ripped it off from the previously mentioned boot - and it does make an interesting comparator for sound quality.

For me, Bonehead was really the driving force behind the Oasis sound; he was the engine: the one man wall of sound - think Malcolm Young (AC/DC) - a steady foundation; one strong and bold enough to withstand copious amounts of noodling that Noel built up on top of it.

Yeah, once Bonehead was out of it they were/are [?] a different band; a band that often sound like they're struggling to recreate something they once had.

But then again, aren't we all....

Oasis - Knebworth House, Stevenage. 11/8/96

Some Might Say
Roll With It
Slide Away
Morning Glory
Round Our Way - Up in the sky
Cigarettes and Alcohol
Whatever - Octopus' Garden
Cast No Shadow
The Masterplan
Don't Look Back in Anger
Live Forever
Champagne Supernova
I am the Walrus

*Columbia @128kbs, from 250,000 Fans Can't Be Wrong
All other tracks ripped from cassette captured live radio broadcast @320kbs

Grab a slice of history here

Sunday, 28 November 2010


Raised by a retro Ted and a woman infatuated with 'Elvis the Pelvis'; it was rock n roll, 'The King' and The Beatles that made up the incidental music of my early life.

The first music I discovered for myself - and it really was mine as my parents hated it - came through accessing contemporary pop.
Fortunately the pop music of the time was very, very exciting; especially to those like me, in a state of burgeoning pubescence.

Sweet and Slade - as well as Suzi Quatro, but for somewhat different reasons - were the bands who totally enthralled me.

They puzzled me: they were odd, strangely theatrical, a little scary, but they could really belt it out; and they were fantastic.

Even then, in my state of innocence, I realised that they weren't 'puffs' as the old man would have it; no, these guys were very much 'men': blokey men; there was nothing effeminate about them.
The members of Sweet and Slade were obviously blokes who dressed up, whereas Marc Bolan wasn't.
Bolan was Bolan.
Brian Connolly and Noddy Holder were very different animals.

'Brickies in drag' was a common description from the time, and in a way, it was kind of fitting; not only were they obviously blokes, but they were working class blokes.

(Slade's film, Slade in Flame - a rock film Mark Kermode (credible British critic) considers to be the best in its genre - delineates the band's working class roots effectively: shot in a naturalistic socio-realist manner, it makes for the most downbeat, Ken Loach styled rock movie you'll ever see.
The band even insisted on getting Johnny Shannon (a real life gangster turned actor who first came to attention in his role as Harry Flowers, the Mr. Big who hunts down Chas in the film Performance) to play the crooked manager, adding to the film's strong but bleak verisimilitude.)

But at the time working class men didn't wear eye liner; nor did they wear groin high, flesh hugging, silver stacked boots; something was being challenged; and it didn't have much to do with sexuality.

There has always been a tradition within the working classes to use gender play as an act of subversion.
It was there in music hall, variety and penny operas.
But the idea, the concept, has its roots in radical politics.

Members of The New Model Army would often 'drag-up' before ambushing Royalist supporters in the street. The idea being that the Cavaliers would be humiliated because it seemed they were being duffed up by women.

The Rebecca Rioters, those who tore down toll gates in nineteenth-century West Wales, were aggrieved agricultural workers who donned womens' clothes while attacking the oppressive taxation on the freedom of movement.
They also covered their faces in soot - one wonders if that was purely to disguise themselves or to add an extra humiliation to the land owners of the time: not only to be overpowered by 'women', but 'black women'.

Of course Dave Hill never blacked up - although I'm sure if he'd thought it might have shifted a few more copies of Slayed he may have done - but Slade were very quick to change their image in an attempt to gain attention.

Encouraged by the mercenary and Machiavellian managerial tactics of Chas Chandler, they moved from their psychedelic rock look (while Ambrose Slade) to a skinhead look.
Chas thought it was going to be the next big thing.
They played a few skinhead venues apparently, but as soon as Jim Lea got his violin out to fiddle along to their version of 'Martha My Dear' [!] the audience would bottle them off.
Not surprising really.
I mean, just look at Dave Hill in this pic.
Does he really look like a skinhead?

So they grew their hair long, again, changed their clothes and jumped on the glam-bandwagon.
And I for one am ever so glad they did.

(Although it must be said, my favourite album of Slade's is Play It Loud (1970), the album where they are represented as a skinhead band; but it's more of a hard rock nuggets styled album; there's certainly no ska or Oi!
And they'd thankfully dropped 'Martha My Dear' [probably brought back nasty memories...].)

Sweet came to Glam from a slightly different angle.
They'd been playing around with garage styled pop for a few years, but became lighter and lighter, ending up in bubble gum territory.
It was only after several line-up changes that the band found a sound they could actually sell, and before they knew it they were cutting edge: massive.

Not that it did them much good.
Another working class attribute they adopted was live fast and... well, you know the rest.

Slade, however, did manage to keep it together, although Noddy retired from music - concentrating on his nuts and various panel games and chat shows - stating that the business was bent: run by crooks and gangsters; begging the question: how real and autobiographical was the representation of the business shown in their movie?

Anyway, here's a couple of great shows from both of the bands' peak periods; proving that these outfits were a lot more than merely fronts for studio based products.
They could really do it.

Man, I'd hate to be an adolescent now.
Have you heard the state of pop lately?

Sweet - Berlin Blitz (recorded: 1976; release date unknown)

CD rip to mp3s.
Get Sweet here

Slade - Young Vic, London, 1975 (release date unknown)

Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing
The Bangin' Man
Gudbuy T' Jane
Far Far Away
Thanks For the Memory
How Does It Feel?
Just Want a Little Bit
O.K. Yesterday Was Yesterday
Raining in my Champagne
Let the Good Times Roll
Mama Weer all Crazy Now

CD rip to mp3s
Get Slade here

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


As mentioned in my previous Beatles' post, there's an enormous glut of material out there.
Sifting through it all is one heck of an investment, even for the most ardent of fans.

I have tentatively dipped my cyber-toe but soon withdrew; overwhelmed by mop-top sludge, poor recordings, recycled 'rarities', rubbish (not something one would readily associate with the Kings of EMI), and collections of alternate takes: often of the same track (you know the kind of thing: 'on this version John's breath is more prominent during the harmonica solo...')!

I mean, I'm sure there are those out there who revel in a collection of twenty-five different takes of 'Help' or thirty versions of 'Strawberry Fields', but they're probably people who count out grains of rice into a bowl before serving, making sure everyone gets the same amount.

If you're not one of those types, but like a bit of Beatles, and maybe want to hear something a little outside of the ever-so-famous canon, try this.

It truly does what it says on the tin; it gives an 'insight into The Beatles' creative process', and it does this in a most informative and entertaining way.

There are complete versions of songs on this album, all of which are alternate takes: all more interesting than the released versions.
But the best tracks in this collection are those that are made up from extracts of different takes spliced together; allowing the song's history to be revealed.

The track may start somewhere near demo or early rehearsal stage (The Beatles recorded everything [which is why they're so heavily bootlegged, of course]), but soon segues into a more developed take; eventually melting into the released version.

It sounds a bit gimmicky (which it is), but actually makes for a fascinating listen.
The creator, bootlegger, whoever, allows the listener to appreciate the song's journey; to take in the song's development and change through time.
This is best exemplified by 'Good Morning, Good Morning', which begins merely as the animal sfx track that accompanies the piece (most prominently heard at the end of the released track - this freed-up version sends my dogs berserk!), joined by an early hard rock styled-version of the song, and then segueing, seamlessly, into the finished, familiar version.

As I've already said, it is gimmicky, but it's compelling.
And despite the fact that it is a kind of documentary of sorts of the songs, it's gratifying enough to be played again and again.

The sound quality is also superb throughout.

And if you are interested in The Beatles' music, another reason to grab this is for the track 'Sour Milk Sea'.
A song I know nothing about.
It's simply beautiful.
It sounds like a George song - I think George sings it.

Definitely the most interesting and thrillingly new, to me [fuck, I'm a Chuckle Brother!], Beatles' song I have so far discovered.
I have no idea why it isn't known or why it wasn't released.

But I'm sure there's someone out there who does...

The Beatles - Men & Horses, Hoops & Garters (2001 [?] )

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
With a Little Help From My Friends
Glass Onion
And I Love Her
She Loves You
Eight Days a Week
She's a Woman
Good Morning, Good Morning
I Me Mine
Honey Pie
It's Only Love
Get Back
Sour Milk Sea
I Am the Walrus
Old Brown Shoe
Why Don't We Do It In the Road
What You're Doing
Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey
Across the Universe
Let It Be
Isn't It a Pity / Hey Jude
Her Majesty
King Lear Speech
Sour Milk Sea

CD rip to mp3s; artwork included.
Get this most essential of Beatles' boots here

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Prêt à Punk

Groovy old punk sampler from seminal French record label Skydog Records.

It's all in here to be heard; The Clash, The New York Dolls and of course: Iggy.
But there's also a smattering of blues; capturing the true gestation of punk and the live scene of the late nineteen-seventies.

Skydog were really all about the Stooges; although they did have many other interesting artists visit their stable, but essentially Iggy was where they were at.
And Iggy, at the time, was very punk indeed.

When Iggy was punk.
Remember that?
Included here is a fascinating version of the Stooges' 'Open Up and Bleed', with Iggy-styled preamble; I'm not sure if this version was released anywhere else; but I know the album that was to be titled with the same name was never released - although there's bound to be out there somewhere something those who are pragmatic and motivated enough to do such things have put together.
Bound to be.

It's funny how Sean Tyla always managed to get in on the act (he appears on this compilation both with his own band and with Ducks Deluxe), being regularly grouped, or lumped in with punk and new wave bands - The Tyla Gang were included on the classic compilation Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival (1977), along with XTC, Steel Pulse, Dr. Feelgood and, er, Dire Straits [!].

It's not that I'm down on Sean Tyla; far from it; he was truly a great songwriter and performer (I still think The Tyla Gang's Moonproof (1978) is one of the best albums of its genre from the period).
I just never got the association.
He even looked wrong: long hair and bearded, flare-wearing, obvious stoner; yet there he was, doing his rock n roll thing alongside The Stranglers and 999.

I know Peel liked them - it was his show that introduced me to the band - so maybe that made The Tyla Gang cool.

All in all, this sampler, as all samplers are, is very evocative; crystallizing the time perfectly.

Bon Appétit!

Various Artists - La Creme De Skydog (1978)

Flamin' Groovies - Jumpin' Jack Flash
Ducks Deluxe - Here Comes the Night
Tyla Gang - It's Only Rock n Roll
Titus Williams - Talkin' About You
Fantomes - I Wanna Be Your Dog
Fantomes - High School
1984 - Dirt
1984 - Flesh Kaput
Iggy and The Stooges - Open Up and Bleed

Excellent 320 vinyl rip, from a not that well pressed record.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

El Residentes, innit

Right strange one this.

First off, this is not the Balearic beat as we all now know it: this is a very different animal.
And secondly, a compilation featuring such diverse artists as The Residents, The Woodentops, Nitzer Ebb and Mandy Smith (remember her? Think Bill Wyman, yeah, you got it) is hard to imagine; especially one titled Balearic Beats.

All rather bizarre; but somehow, rather good.

Up to a point.

The liner notes boldly suggest that despite the Balearic beat being born in Ibiza, it was actually conceived in South London, or more precisely: The Shoom Club, as well as a little foreplay going on down the road at The Future.

Well, it was the eighties....

Of course the highlight is without doubt The Residents' 'Kaw-liga', alone well worth the download: it's really stomping; dreadfully infectious, and just makes you want to go and listen to a lot more Residents.
And why not?

There are some other interesting pieces on here though, it's not just a one trick pony by any means.
Nitzer Ebb's 'Join in the chant' has much of a 23 Skidoo vibe about it, and Beats Workin''s 'Sure Beats Workin'' is reminiscent of Jah Wobble's late-eighties' sound, and includes some gorgeously blended Moorish flavours.

So despite the strange combination and odd juxtaposing within this collection, it does work.
It's bouncy, upbeat and just oozes eeeeeeeeeeee.
All in all, very evocative of that late-eighties club vibe.

Two up on the pacifier!

Various Artists - Balearic Beats: Vol 1 (1988)

Electra - Jibaro
Code 61 - Drop the Deal
Beats Workin' - Sure Beats Workin'
Enzo Avitabile - Blackout
Mandy Smith - Mandy's Theme (I Just Can't Wait)
The Residents - Kaw-liga
The Woodentops - Why Why Why (live)
Nitzer Ebb - Join in the Chant
Fini Tribe - De Testimony
The Thrashing Doves - Jesus on the Payrol

Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs
Go "Kaw-ligaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" here

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Kula Shaker.
Remember them?

They're still doing it apparently.
Not that anyone would know it...

They seemed to come from nowhere back in 96; they were really hot, ubiquitous: steaming!

But they created a bit of a dead end for themselves.
What with all the incense burning; the Hindu iconography and their psychedelic boogie/Asian mix, they just couldn't go anywhere.

They'd turned themselves into Sadhus and then wondered why no one took too much interest when they suddenly appeared daubed in eye liner and looking rather like Green Day.

Crispian Mills also suffered from some very prejudicial music press.
He was never liked.
'Little Lord Fauntleroy' Noel Gallagher - who could speak or do no wrong in the eyes of the NME and the like at the time - dubbed him; and the press seemed to take real umbrage that he came from an established family of actors (John [granddad] & Hailey [mother]) and was so obviously bourgeois and not rock n roll.

They were out to get him.
And they did.
Claiming he was a Nazi because of his adoption of the swastika symbol - a Hindu symbol, of course - which is kind of weird, considering nobody accused Jordan or Siouxsie Sioux of being Nazis, despite their deliberate provocative use of the emotive icon....

What with all that going on, Kula Shaker were short lived (although now resurrected), and I consider them to be a one album band (although their most recent album, Pilgrims Progress, is apparently impressive [memo to self: must get a copy...]); and there's no doubt about it: their first album was really, really good.

Fortunately, this performance from early 97 is all about that first album; and it is a superb performance.
Here, they're really hot, as I said: steaming!

'303', what I think has to be their best song, has got something of the energy of The Gaye Bykers about it; Kula Shaker could really kick-ass boogie when they wanted to.
And they do a lot of that here.
And this is what the band should be remembered for.


Kula Shaker - Live at Aston Villa Leisure Centre, Birmingham, U.K. 27/1/97.

Baby You're a Rich Man
Knight on the Town
Grateful When You're Dead
Jerry Was There
(Raagy One) Waiting For Tomorrow
For This Love
Drop in the Sea
Smart Dogs
Start All Over
Hey Dude
Hollow Man (parts 1 & 2)
Into the Deep
Govinda/I Feel Fine

Excellent rip from cassette captured FM recording @320kbs.
Originally broadcast live by BBC Radio 1.
Finger cymbals at the ready here

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Deja Vu

A little lazy of me I guess; but I thought I'd re-post this gem, as it is a post that still attracts a fair bit of traffic and interest; and what with the time of year an' all....

So in case you missed it; or never bothered: this is well worth checking out; especially if you, like myself, are a fan of the original soundtrack, as this makes the perfect accompaniment.

Features new ad-free link. Enjoy!

[...] here is a wonderful collection of spooky beats that will go down well at any spooky gathering: Allhallows' Even or not.

Now deleted, this album really came about due to a renewed interest back in the late nineties of Jesse Franco's movies and in particular the way the soundtrack to Vampyros Lesbos was being used by many DJs as part of their sets (a wonderful piece of lounge/mondo jazz created by Hubler and Schwab back in 1968 - very available across the net: seek it out it's well worth it).

So this is not a soundtrack album, neither is it a remix of the original movie's soundtrack; but it's an album that was inspired by the movie and its original soundtrack.
With the likes of Rockers Hi Fi; Dr.s Rockit (no relation) & Israel; DJs Wally & Hell; and the wonderfully monikered Witchman, here are some fantastic variations and subversions of the original tunes all accompanied by downbeat, trip-hop and jungle beats mixed up with new grooves and original movie samples - including some wicked screams that create some really neat crescendos.
The album is dedicated to the memory of Soledad Miranda, who was Franco's muse.
She died in a car crash in 1970, not long after the release of this now cult movie, apparently en route to meet Franco about discussing a contract for a new series of films they were to make together.
With that in mind, this is a great album to drive to...
It certainly keeps me awake on those long motorway drives; the beats meet the white lines perfectly, and those screams make sure you don't find those lines too mesmerizing or hypnotic.

Various Artists - The Spirit of Vampyros Lesbos (1997)

Minus 8 - Spirit of Vampyros Lesbos
Higher Than God - Stroemberg
Rockers Hi Fi - The Lions and the Cucumber (bigga bush's Transylvania boogie mix)
Dr. Israel - Vampya Killa
Dr. Rockit - The Lion and the Cucumber (the doctor and the rockit remix)
Project Pollen - Frauleinsuppe
DJ Wally - Necromix
Witchman - Les Boss Electros (return of the big man)
Cristian Vogel - People's Playground (Soledad Mix)
DJ Hell - Nadine De Uskudar
Two Lone Swordsmen - Morpha
De Chico - Future Fruit
Alec Empire - The 6 Wisdoms of Aspasia

Get this collection of creepy beats here, includes CD artwork.
So whatever you do this Halloween: have a good one!
And for those real freaks out there: Happy Samhain!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Did You Hear Something...?

Here's one to drop in to your late night set or creepy mix.

Can't really imagine why anyone would want to download this for any other reason (although there's a heck of a lot of stuff like this out there in Blog-land, so I assume there's a demand...)... unless, like me, you like to sit back at the end of a tiring day, settle down with a gallon of something or other and tune in to the emulated sounds of decapitation, bones breaking, maniacs laughing, or, my absolute favourite: 'The Mad Gorilla'!

Pretty much what it says on the tin, really.
It's all done with vegetables, a meat cleaver, a solid lump of wood and a large wet-fish.
But you never know...
How would you?
BBC Radiophonic Workshop - Sound Effects: Death & Horror (1977)
Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs

I'm afraid I have only split the album up into the titled six bands; life's too short to turn a three second audio clip into an mp3; unless you're Napalm Death of course.
Get the horrors here

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Frank Expressionism

Not exactly a household name is H. K. Gruber, but please don't let that put you off (as if...).

I first encountered this 'piece' many years ago, encouraged to listen by one of those 'this'll really blow your mind' types.

I must admit he came close; but there was a little extra added assistance to my appreciation; which has always made me wonder as to how weird it really was.

So I was well-chuffed recently as BBC's Radio 3 broadcast the 'piece' live; narrated and performed by Gruber himself.
Now I could find out whether my tripped-out perception of the 'piece' was for real or merely reliant upon accessories.

It wasn't.
It isn't.

Frankenstein!! (1978) is the Austrian composer's 'Pandemonium', his own little monster mash-up in sound; and it lives: 'IT'S ALIVE!'.

All manner of creatures, and their creators, are conjured up, many instantly recognizable, all of them in their own way diabolical: all of them monsters.

The narrative is created by Gruber's spitting out, in a most sinister, and slightly lascivious manner, mutant styled nursery rhymes, which I must say seem to have the touch of ergot running through them; something dark; otherworldly; like Grimm's Tales: somehow of the forest; primeval; frightening.

As well as the narration Gruber plays double bass, all manner of percussion and bizarre instruments: his favourite being children's versions of instruments; although he plays a wonderful solo on what I think is a comb and paper, although it could be a carefully constrained kazoo.

But watch out for all manner of whistles, shouts, explosions, bangs, cracks and pops; accompanied throughout by a full orchestrated score; supplied in this instant perfectly by the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Chamber Choir.

So think 200 Motels x4.
Kurt Weill on acid.
And you're somewhere in the right area.

It's a hodge-podge, a musical cut-up, surreal, macabre, alternative, funny, surprising and challenging; but challenging only in the way that it doesn't necessarily conform to our expectations of what a 'piece of music' should be.
In fact, if it's allowed to merely be, it's incredibly entertaining.

Okay, okay.
It's not for everyone.
But I've never watched The Sound of Music.
And you know what.
I have no fucking intention to.

H. K. Gruber - Frankenstein!!

Performed by H.K. Gruber ('Nali'): voice, double bass, percussion and various sound making implements and paraphernalia,
The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,
& The Manchester Chamber Choir.

Recorded at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 22/10/10.
Immaculate Rip from DVD captured digital broadcast @320kbs.
30 minutes, includes info.
Give life to the creature here

I have included Radio 3's intro and outro to the performance; they're very informative and do create a sense of meaning, some anchorage in which to hang on to while you're trying to make sense of the piece.

But I do encourage you to take the plunge.
See what you make of it.
Listen to the intro and outro afterwards; compare notes, so to speak....
Anyway, hope you enjoy.
And if you're at all hesitant... go for it: after all, what's five minutes of bandwidth?
And hey. Listen with the lights out...