This second mix can be considered an extended tribute to the Weird & Funky World cassette, that Andrew gave to Chris Galloway back in 1998 / 99. Around a third of the tracks here can be found on that tape: Electric Prunes` General Confessional, Alain Goraguer`s Dehominisation, Roger Roger`s Safari Park, King & Matthews` Pots & Pans, Nino Nardini`s Tropical, and Manfred Mann`s Love Theme – from the `60s “kitchen sink” movie, Up The Junction. An ace David Axelrod-produced psyche-rock nugget, a super sought-after Sci-Fi score. Funky exotica, romantic, tropical honeymoon, tender tiki lounge vibes, and abstract electronic experiments – machine-generated gurgling underpinned by jazz syncopation – that somehow managed to also retain the funk.
Les Baxter’s harmonica-led Hogin Machine and Hot Wind are lifted from Hells Belles, a biker exploitation flick. Their guitars ringing with some Sergio Leone / Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western fuzz, and their breaks sampled by Wagon Christ, Towa Tei, Eminem, Dr. Octagon, DJ Krush, countless hip hop and rap records. The Animated Egg are an act – “freakouts” fashioned by Los Angeles axe man Jerry Cole – that I’ve also seen play-listed by DJs as “musically diverse” as Bill Brewster and Chee Shimizu. Marrying groovy mod organ grind to sinister, slithering, treated 6-string effects, coupled with proto-heavy metal chords. I guess even Carl Craig was sampling creaking and groaning Goblin / giallo and championing / rocking Lalo Schifrin soundtracks back then.
Giuliano Sorgini`s John Dalton Street is one of those tunes where it feels like I’ve heard it million times before – etched somewhere deep in my subconscious – despite never having seen the film that it`s taken from, The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue. I`m sure that it`s been used as the basis of a dark nu disco biscuit, but right now I can’t quite put my finger on it. Something by Richard Sen and Neil Beatnik`s Padded Cell, perhaps?
There are tunes pinched from an XFM mix, made to promo the 2 Lone Swordsman LP, A Virus With Shoes, in April 2000 – perhaps indicating just how much this `70s library and cinematic stuff was influencing the music that Andrew and Keith Tenniswood were making. Cecil Leuter`s Pop Electronique No. 1, Roger Roger`s Frantique, and Roy Budd`s The Plant. Musique concrete compositions and currios, curated and complied by connoisseurs like Jazzman Gerald and Johnny Trunk. Dusty dramatic cues accompanied by wistful woodwinds, cool contrabass and dubwise delay drops. The Professionals` haunted take on the Theme From The Godfather, a tremolo`d tug on the heartstrings, highlights the Belize showband`s performance-honed skills. Howard Wales` Karnaval, from his 1976 long-player, Rendezvous With The Sun – a loping groove that fades into field recordings and chants, light years ahead of its time (1). Wales was a sometime Grateful Dead collaborator, and almost certainly no stranger to psychedelics and altered states. Abaco Dream`s Cat Woman is a similarly lysergic-ally wired late `60s Sly Stone-penned oddity, cowritten by electro-acoustic / Moog pioneer, Eric Siday. Placebo`s moody, magnificent, and also Moog-y Balek is a blast of trad jazz that’s been squeezed through a modular synthesizer. It resurfaced, in 1996, care of German label, Compost, and an E.P. titled, Nitrogen: Trip Hop Sources From The Past (2).
For a while, musically, this is where I resided. Recuperating, rehabbing kinda, trying to make sense of 89-94, collecting quirky sides, that I had no grand scheme for – I don’t think I ever played any of these bits and pieces out. I was just fascinated by the futuristic nature of these old records. Blown away, in the same way as – book-wise – I was when I first read Henry Miller. As shocked and surprised as when I picked up Tropic Of Cancer, written in 1934, and saw the word “cunt” on the opening page. I was also fascinated by sample sources, where things came from. I still am.
Music that got lumped with the dreaded “trip hop” tag, the missives on Mo`wax, and those made by Ninja Tune`s DJ Food, all took “inspiration” from everywhere, and made everyone dig harder and deeper. “Indie” bands, like Broadcast and Stereolab were lifting from old library albums – vinyl relics that were celebrated by outfits like Add N To X – and incorporating these influences, samples, or copies there of, into their songs. Momentarily aligning them with artists such as Luke Vibbert and Aphex Twin, who were doing the same. Looking for the odd and unique. Where record shopping had been a Saturday in Soho, the day after the night before, still high, stopping for pints – to take the edge off – in places like Riki Tik`s between stores, for what were really random purchases, I`d just disappear, solo, for the whole day, way over west to vinyl shrines like Honest Jon`s. I`d taken an academic post at The Middlesex Hospital, just off Oxford Street, flush with a golden handshake from big pharma, and would spend my lunch-hours up and down Berwick Street, Selectadisc, Reckless, Daddy Kool, Ambient Soho, Mr. Bongo on Poland Street, Soul Jazz, when it was still on Ingestre Place, The Rough Trade under Slam City Skates in Neale`s Yard. Visiting somewhere different everyday, but probably all of them each week. For me personally, this was before the kids, and at a point where I`d become unshackled from Balearic Beats and dance`s 4 / 4 in general. I ended up with a lot of groovy gear, eccentric, otherworldly, alien.
Only a couple tracks date back to those Kiss FM “Giving It Up” shows – Jericho Jerk and Teen Tonic – both from Pierre Henry & Michel Colombier`s Les Jerks Électroniques De La Messe Pour Le Temps Présent Et Musiques Concrètes Pour Maurice Béjart. Brief bursts of of mutated easy-listening, electric exercises in adventurous editing and jump-cut collage. Shorts where seasoned session men are shredded and shot into outer space amidst crazy cartoon effects. The Parisian pioneers fiddling with frequencies. Turning, twisting those knobs. Testing to see just how far they would go.
A marvelous mix for Dummy Mag in 2013 gave tuned-in, turned-on fans the genius of Harry Roche Constellation`s Spiral, and Francois Roubaix. The second that I heard both of these I had to find and have them. The first is a racing, muzak rollercoaster, over 10 minutes of big band – 15, 16, 17, players – bang, captured in quadrophonic 4-D, while Roubaix`s pukka piano-roller La Fete Des Dieux Avions – whose processed percussion mimics the beat of a flock of birds wings – felt to me like a nod back toward the Balearic daze of old, when sides like Mystic Moods` Cosmic Sea would get select spins (3). Some of these tunes would later reappear in the R.G.C. Archive Hours – mixes posted on the short-lived Rotters Golf Club blog, that were often themed and sort of genre “best ofs”.
Can`s Shikako Maru Ten is a lesser known 45 b-side from the ground-breaking Cologne-based crew. Something that was played in a back-to-back burner, by either Andrew or David Holmes. Gerry Rooney and DJ Harvey`s Black Cock edit of Dick Hyman`s striking Stylophone-esque shredding of James Brown`s Give It Up, Turn It Loose – very likely purchased from Damon, Paul and Ross, in Streatham`s Inner Rhythm – was part of the warm-up at the Blood Sugar bashes, held at Hoxton`s Blue Note.
Finally there are trio of tunes from Andrew`s sorely missed Music`s Not For Everyone monthly NTS transmissions. On Todos O Ninguno, Uruguayan hombres La Logia Sarabanda conjure cops chasing robbers, scenes of heists gone horribly wrong, while Sam Spence`s wonderful Waterworld is a wedding of field recordings and wild wah-wah, rescued from obscurity by the fabulous Finders Keepers. Kramford Look`s, then brand new, Belly Dance, is an authentic recreation of a BBC Radiophonic Workshop theme for Children’s TV show that never was. Jolly and jaunty, juxtaposing circuitry chatter with summery strum, topped off by a kazoo climax. Proof, not that any was ever needed, that Mr. Weatherall continued to search for, and successfully find, the funk in the most far-out places.
(1) Issued on a 7” in 1999, was later used by DJ Harvey in his scene-shaking Sarcastic Study Masters Volume 2 mix.
(2) The E.P. also features Michael Bundt`s bonkers The Brain Of Oskar Panizza, which Chris assures me was an end-of-the-night last record spin at Bloodsugar.
(3) This quadrophonic masterpiece got covered by Ariel – Tom Rowlands pre-Dust /Chemical Brothers band – and remixed by Justin Robertson.
Electric Prunes – General Confessional
Alain Goraguer – Dehominisation
Stereolab – Iron Man
Abaco Dream – Cat Woman
Cecil Leuter – Pop Electronique No 2
Giuliano Sorgini – John Dalton Street
Pierre Henry – Teen Tonic
Can – Shikako Maru Ten
Animated Egg – I Said, She Said, Ah Cid
Logia Sarabanda – Todos O Ninguno
Mystic Moods – Seventh Plane
Quincy Jones – Sahara Stone
The Professionals – Theme From The Godfather
Roger Roger – Safari Park
Placebo – Balek
Animated Egg – Sock It My Way
Francois Roubaix – La Fete Des Dieux Avions
King & Matthews – Pots And Pans
Sam Spence – Waterworld
Roger Roger – Frantique
Roy Budd – The Plant
Nino Nardini – Tropical
Kramford Look – Belly Dance
Les Baxter – Hogin Machine
Les Baxter – Hot Wind
Harry Roche Constellation – Spiral
Manfred Mann – Love Theme 2
Pierre Henry – Jericho Jerk
Dick Hyman – Give It Up, Turn It Loose
Howard Wales – Karnaval