Attempting to recreate the golden yesterdays of Jose Padilla`s White Isle sunsets with the tunes of today.
In preparation for a chat with Ned Doheny, I pulled all his recordings from my shelves. Had them on rotation while I drew up a list of questions. So, I figured it it`d be silly not to include a personal favourite here. As a teaser for the interview. Take Me Faraway is a mellow moment, complete with classic Laurel Canyon harmonies, taken from the Be With Records` reissue of Ned`s 1973, self-titled debut.
I`m continuing to “rinse” of Bob Beldon`s cover of Prince`s The Question Of U. I`ve also included Heath Brandon`s acoustic reprise of Little Red Corvette. Both featured on Wargram`s Prince In Jazz. Brandon`s take now sounding like a sad tribute to all the “wild ones” that got away, youth`s passing, and The Purple One`s poetry.
“I guess I should have known by the way you parked your car sideways….”
Recent long-players by Hampshire And Foat, and Don Cherry, also get further examination. From H&F`s Library homage, Nightshade, Lost In Nostalgia, is wrapped in the sweet pain of remembering. Sax and strings singing the theme from a Period Romance that never was. An imagined movie, rivalling Redford in The Great Gatsby. Or Nicholson in Chinatown. While Art Deco takes Don Cherry`s trumpet for a Parisian stroll. Hand-in-hand with Left Bank accordion.
Also on a kinda Library Music tip are Gray. Ubiquity are poised to release a box-set of material from legendary `80s NYC, band. Promo-ing that still fairly secret event with a limited 45, containing two mixes of a track called Sweetness Of The New. Sounding uncannily like Gryningen`s Fran Andra Till Stranderna I Nice, thrift-store Jazz and Easy-Listening loops are augmented with horns and guitar. The Mudd Clubbers borrowing from Hip Hop and William S. Burroughs both.
Gray released nothing during their actual existence, with a few tracks surfacing on comps and bootlegs, and due to the personnel involved – Jean Michel Basquiat, Vincent Gallo, Michael Holman – the outfit have reached mythical status.
Ichiko Hashimoto`s whispered, hot, Bossa, Cinnamon And Clove is an Isabelle Antena-esque instant – similar in it`s jaunty, sophisticated Francophile air to Don Cherry`s – from her reissued Beauty LP. The album`s a mix of Electronics and acoustics. In the main, playful Classical. Where Wim Mertens and Seigen Ono join the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. And Haroumi Hosono and Wally Badarou cover Ravel`s Bolero.
WRWTFWW rescue another gem from Japan`s 1980s Avant-Garde. Continuing their repressing of Midori Takada`s back catalogue with Mkwaju Ensemble`s Ki-Motion. The title track is a a pretty, repeating, round of hammered chimes. Marimbas and vibraphones set vary-speeding, by the genius hands of Takada-San, and Yoji Sasanari. While the tribal rhythms of Zindo Zindo climax with electric Fusion solos, provided by Shuichi Chino on synths, and pieces, like Wood Dance and Angwora Steps, are driven by Shuichi Murakami`s drums. Hot Air is hovering heat haze. A mirage. An oasis of calm. A sonic study of Nature. A breeze through trees. A clockwork of insects. A humming of bees. Its ambience a ringer for Michael Brook`s Hybrid. But predating that landmark Eno & Lanois production by four years.
Not made in Japan, but Played In Japan, Fila Brazilia unearth a set recorded eighteen years ago, at the Fuji Rock Festival. Steve Cobby and David McSherry`s masterly downtempo studio productions taken to the stage by an six-piece band. Translated into Post-Rock Funk. Where rhythms switch between Drum And Bass inspired, and Northern Soul-styled stomps. Dub B-lines back bright brass arrangements, and Muscle Shoals keys, in Can-like jams. Wah-wah vies with trumpet within Happy Mondays` loose groove. Growling synth Psyche scores somewhere between Blaxploitation and Giallo.
Music For Dreams follow last year`s compilation of Dub Tractor AKA Anders Remmer`s tunes, Hello Ambient Wash, by restoring his Delay long-player, from 2000. Post-Basic Channel Dub Techno, whose glitches skip, click, and pop, like a summery, groovy Fennesz. Hip Hop-influenced Electronica, where machines whistle delicate music box melodies. Beats broken in the titular delay, and Pole-like static. Details echoing in subterranean caves. Winded woofers forced to suck vacuums. Stuff that was popular on labels like SKAM, Morr, and City Centre Offices, back at the turn of the millennium. Something like Rest sounds like it was made with Ibiza`s Cafe Del Mar in mind. Sitting on a sun lounger, sipping a cocktail, between Boards Of Canada and Cantoma.
I remember picking Delay up, upon its original release, from Small Fish on Old Street. Just round the corner from Fat Cat`s then new offices. Sitting, chatting, cramped between racks packed with white labels, test pressings, and hand-finished 12s from the Dave Howell-curated Split Series.
From Emotional Response`s Schleißen Series, there`s HOLOVR`s Mycomorph. A standout moment from recent instalments, 5-8. Where fragile, spiralling audio fractals recall Irresistible Force`s seminal rework of Coldcut`s take on Jazz standard Autumn Leaves. Like watching crystals form under an electron microscope. The world through a lysergic kaleidoscope.
Ned Doheny – Take Me Faraway – Be With Records
Bob Beldon – The Question Of U – Wargram
Hampshire And Foat – Lost In Nostalgia – Athens Of The North
Don Cherry – Art Deco – Wewantsounds
Gray – Sweetness Of The New – Ubiquity
Ichiko Hashimoto – Cinnamon And Clove – HMV Japan
Heath Brandon – Little Red Corvette – Wargram
Mkwaju Ensemble – Hot Air – WRWTFWW
Dub Tractor – Pull Dub – Music For Dreams
HOLOVR – Mycomorph – Emotional Response
Fila Brazilia – A Zed And Two Ls (Live At Fuji Rock) – Fila Brazilia