Words & selections by Balearic Mike.
For the last few days my entire social media feed has just been a constant tribute to Andrew Weatherall.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have met Andrew on many occasions over the last 30 years, but I wouldn’t be arrogant enough to pretend we were close friends or anything. I heard him DJ in 1989 and was smitten, and after his remix work for Happy Mondays and Primal Scream, proceeded to buy everything the man touched (or remixed) for the next couple of years.
It probably wasn’t until the early `90s in Manchester that I actually got to chat to him, and we had an amazing week in Ibiza in ’94 where our paths crossed again. Then, in the last decade, when fortune meant that we were both visiting the clubbing paradise of the Croatian coast for the Electric Elephant and Love International festivals, we saw each other on a regular basis, and that’s the closest we became.
I will let the people who knew and loved him the most write more personal tributes, but he was someone who, even when you weren’t into what he was doing, you were somehow reassured by the fact that he was doing it. He was interested in everything, and open to ideas, and contrasting sharply with the Boys Own fanzine that he was an integral part of, a total optimist and constant source of positivity.
Going through my records, it struck me that I probably have a similar amount of records that Andrew was involved with – as either artist, producer, or remixer – as I have records by Bowie, The Beatles or Prince – and those 3 are pretty important to me.
So here are a few records that I haven’t posted about already, spanning the 30+ years of Andrew’s career….
The Orb – Orb In Dub (Perpetual Dawn [Ultrabass 2 Remix]) – Big Life 1991
In those first couple of years after Loaded I bought everything with Andrew’s name on it, and most of those records are still firm favourites of mine 3 decades on. This is a total throbbing, dub-heavy beast of a remix, with that brilliant, repeated Misty In Roots vocal sample.
Big Hard Excellent Fish – Imperfect List (Rimming Elvis The Andy Weatherall Way) – One Little Indian 1990
This is still one of my all-time favourite Weatherall remixes. One of his earliest remixes, arriving fresh from the success of Loaded. It seems to sum the man up perfectly as well. It’s funny, strange, original, brilliant. Simple and so effective. It obviously helps that the song already shares most of those characteristics as well, but it’s a wonderful thing, right down to excellent title of the remix.
I noticed that my dear friend, Jolyon, posted about this record the other day in his own tribute to Andrew. My copy seems like it’s in much better condition than his though. You see, you all laugh about my plastic sleeve obsession, but it works! 32 years I’ve owned this!
Confidence Man – Bubblegum (Andrew Weatherall Remix) – Heavenly 2016/17?
I thought I’d choose a more recent piece of musical brilliance for the last record. Kelvin Andrews put me onto this incredible remix of the Brisbane comedy electro punk combo, Confidence Man. It’s a funky, sexy, gurgling acid funk freak of a remix. Originally only available digitally, I was playing it to death via the magic of memory sticks for ages before Heavenly decided to do the decent thing and put the thing on vinyl. I recall a particular gig in Athens when it seemed to do some really serious dance-floor damage.
“I wish I had, someone to rub my body on…”
Well, quite, who doesn’t!
Fail we may, sail we must…Thank you for the music, Andrew.
I was sad to hear of the passing of Bappi Lahiri last week, an absolute musical giant …
Bappi Lahiri, Anjaan – Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki OST (feat. Come Closer) – His Masters Voice 1984
Known as the ‘Disco King of Bollywood’, Bappi Lahiri must be one of the most prolific soundtrack composers ever. I have a very small collection of Bollywood soundtracks, and other Indian records, but his name is on almost all of them.
Bappi is credited with bringing disco into the Bollywood genre, and his musical output through the late `70s and `80s is remarkable for its use of cutting-edge electronics, such as drum machines and synths, that often created a sound not dissimilar to Italo-disco or early techno.
I chose this particular album for the absolutely beautiful track Come Closer, sung by Salma Agha. It’s a gorgeous, gentle, sexy number, which slinks along on the back of a rubbery bass-line, breathy vocals, and not much else. There aren’t even any drums. It’s a total stunner of a song, which I never seem to tire of playing. So much so that Moon, Ian and Leon did toy with the nickname ‘Bollywood Mike’ for a brief time.
If you want to explore some of his music, I’d highly recommend visiting Andy Votel’s Finders Keepers Records. There’s an excellent compilation called Bollywood Bloodbath which is chock full of Bappi’s compositions.
Thank you for the music, Bappi Da.