Tuesday, 20 September 2011

I'm a Sucker for a Finger Cymbal

Kula Shaker weren't the only white folk looking to the East for inspiration during the nineteen-nineties.
Paul Weller - no less! - was also prone to donning a kaftan (or dhoti), sitting cross-legged and readily swapping the ax for something a little larger; something with a few more strings.
And why not?
He'd already found inspiration in Lennon and McCartney's music, so why not seek out George's muse? Why not play the sitar?

Mind you, you have to look pretty close at the liner notes to find his name; it's almost as if he wanted to be invisible....

But then it is a departure. It's a long way away from The Jam, Style Council or his solo work.
In my no doubt contentious opinion this is by far one of the better things he's done (I've never been a fan... I have no Jam or solo work, and I certainly have no Style Council [it actually pains me to write those two words]... dunno, Weller just never did it for me).

The title track, with it's electric sitar riff riding high over a psychedelic wash and downbeat drum n bassy rhythm, always brings to mind the opening credits of a light-hearted 'Summer of Love' styled movie; maybe one staring Peter Sellers....

The beats are turned up for the other mixes (mixes they maybe: to me they sound like completely different pieces), the mood changes somewhat, a much darker atmosphere is created; discordant sax's are suddenly part of the mix ('Scream Team Mix'); there's more of a dubby flavour ('Richard Fearless Mix'); and even a kind of imagine if The Beatles were still with us what would they do with something like this mix ('Adbutha-Lynch Mob Beats').

So, check this out whether you're a Weller fan or not.
If you are: you'll want this!
If you're not - like me - give it a go. It's actually really good.

Indian Vibes - Mathar (1998)

Mathar - Radio Edit
Mathar - A Genuine Scream Team Mix
Mathar - Richard Fearless Remix
Mathar - Adbutha-Lynch Mob Beats
Mathar - Extended Mix

CD rip to mp3s.
Journey East of Surrey here

Monday, 19 September 2011

Hed Shaker

Blisteringly bombastic, ball-breaking set from bohemian ragga-muffin toffs Kula Shaker.

Here at their height; at their best; performing numbers for Mark Radcliffe's Radio 1 show.
Their quality was soon to be undermined, unfortunately by Mills himself, who became deeply unpopular with his peers - the intro to 'Start All Over' hints at why that was.
Crispian's then attempt at reclaiming the swastika kind of sealed it: their fall was inevitable.

Still, they had their moment.
As we all should.
Revel in it.

Kula Shaker - FM Radio 1 Session for Mark Radcliffe (1996)

Hey Dude
Start All Over

Excellent rip from cassette @320kbs.
Go on and Shake here

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Get It On

Gong manifested itself in many forms over the decades: Planet Gong, Mother Gong, Here & Now Gong, New York Gong, Hillage's Gong (without Allen), Pierre Moerlen's Gong (without Allen or Hillage), in fact maybe it's easier to look at their history in diagrammatic form:

Gong Maison, as the diagram informs us, brought previous Gong inhabitants back together, including the original captain, Allen, and his bizarre first officer Didier Malherbe.
With those two at the helm the listener is reminded of the foundations of sound created by the original Gong; and it's the earlier material that makes up the majority of this tasty set.

Allen goes right back to his anarchic roots in a masterful performance of the Situationist inspired 'Dynamite'.
It sounds so punk, vital, dead real.
Amazing how Allen changed his persona so readily: one minute he was the bonkers king of Banana Land or Lord of the Pot Head Pixies, the next he's spitting vitriol, threatening to tear down the state.

The playing during this recording is very hot; Allen especially - who seems to have a really good time, totally wigging out - is exceptional, but he's well backed up by Keith the Bass, Graham Clark (fiddle), Shyamal Maitra (drums) and of course Didier (various wind & keys).
And despite this stripped down version of the Gong Band this is classic stuff.
This will definitely have you dancing with the pixies.

So, warm the pot.
Assume the position, and spend the next hour and ten minutes drifting away to Planet Gong.

Gong Maison - Live, Fridge, Brixton, London (5/5/91)

Pretty Miss Titty
Om Riff
Esque Je Suis
Radio Gnome
Oh Mother

Excellent rip from VHS @320kbs
Bang a gong here

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Notes For Guns

Apologies for the recent lack of activity; up to my 'nads in stuff... o, you know how it is....

However, to break from the monotony of obligation, I felt compelled to share and put this back out there, as I've been listening to little else of late.

'Back out there' as this beautiful recording was originally offered as a free download by The Guardian newspaper;
now withdrawn.

Despite its freebie origins this has readily become my favourite recording from Tinariwen's tasty canon.
I've been waiting for a decent live recording since Amassakoul; this has made the wait very worthwhile.

Gorgeously recorded, the band perform almost unplugged: the guitars are acoustic but the bass remains plugged in, adding a Jah Wobbley kind of dub tinge to the mesmerisingly rhythmic camel gait driven blues Tinariwen typify.

So if you missed it, or knew bugger all about it, grab this.

Tinariwen - Live at Bouffes Du Nord, Paris (2011)

Asuf D Alwa
Djegh Ishilan
Imidiwan Ma Tenam
Tamiditin Tan Ufrawan
Kud Edazamin
Iswegh Attay
Takest Tamidaret

Excellent recording @320kbs.
Mali masters here