Caroline Hayes` super Spun Out Agency pays tribute to former client, Andrew Weatherall, with a compilation entitled More Of That Frightful Oompty Boompty Music. Acting as a showcase, or “sampler”, for Caroline’s dynamite DJ roster, the collection pulls together tracks produced by Andrew`s friends, and closely associated, musically likeminded, souls. Fine folks such as Autarkic, Scott Fraser, Benedikt Frey, Sharif Laffrey, Man Power, and Ivan Smagghe. If you’re going for the vinyl, what you basically get is two fistfuls of funky alternatives. If you also invest in the download, you better make that four.
In the main, this is dance floor gear that`s not for the faint-hearted, lightweights, those of a fragile constitution, or a nervous disposition. That`s not to say that there’s not range and variation here. At one end of the sonic spectrum you’ve got, say, Ruf Dug`s speedy skank, Manctalo Banger, which comes across like a lost `80s Italo “unclassic”, a forgotten fusion maestro trying his hand at pop, and which is also most definitely balearic. At the other, there`s the buzzing, banging, crashing teutonic trance of Naum Gabo`s Cold Sold. Most of the contributions, however, are dark, throbbing and pounding dystopian sci-fi shindig scores. Epic – clocking in at 8, 9, 10 minutes a piece – heavy, hallucinatory head-banging hybrids of techno and house. Festival, big room, stadium rave drum batteries, busy with dizzying details, electrified counterpoint, haunted by ghostly gated echoes, and gnawed at by gnarly acid. Texturally twinned, perhaps, with the output of New York label, Throne Of Blood. Body Hammer`s rumbling homage to early, pioneering, pummeling Chicago Jack channels the moody and magnificent Master C & J. Similarly, Paranoid London plug into the powerful, punishing, frantically flickering, old school, fractal frequencies of James “Jack Rabbit” Martin, in the truly authentic way that only they can. But I guess it`s the “outliers” that really caught my more eclectic ear.
Naum Gabo`s Jonnie Wilkes` Optimo partner, J.D. Twitch teams up with Chloe Sevigny, for The Ecstasy Of Saint Therese. A cut of cold wave meets bleep, where the prayer-like poetry adds a distinct occult edge. Fantastic Twins and Mehmet Aslan both make use of mysterious MENA melodies. The former`s Kali`s Tongue Was A Weapon weaves in chants, traditional hand-drums, and snaking, serpentine sequences. The latter`s Shizowaves mixes repurposed radio transmissions with serrated psyche 6-string shredding. Manfredas` live bass boasting Hfuhruhurr updates ESG`s post-punk funk grooves. Felix Dickinson’s Calling The Shots is decidedly lighter, euphoric even. Yeah, there`s a TB-303 in there, but it`s being seduced, swept off its feet by mirrorball distractions, solar flight synths, assorted latin percussion, and flashes of funky guitar. Justin Robertson`s Deadstock 33s` Dark Endless, though, might be my own personal pick – an extended collision of go-go and motorik. Where slightly sinister “found” dialogue is collaged above a great gurgling b-line, and clipped, chiming, axe riffs, and symphonic kosmische keys, colour its bumping Balearic Beat. Slotting in backwards sections, and subjecting everything to de rigor dubwise dropouts, trust me, the results are a lot more uplifting than my description might sound.
Many Weatherall obsessives will be after this package for the Hardway Bros remix of The Asphodells alone. While the original 2013 masters are rumoured to be currently “misplaced”, this “Scrutton Street Via Crucifix Lane” redux – is a racing riot of robo-disco. Ringing with rattling congas, distress signals, and alarms. A charge driven by spinning dervish, delirium-inducing dynamics, where Weatherall’s vocals are conversely slowed to a stoned spaced-out drawl. Andrew`s Asphodell`s bandmate, Timothy J. Fairplay, also sets the gold standard with the energized electro / EBM of Reality Rules. Its unforgiving, pulverizing, sledgehammer swing – check the recoil – recalls Front 242, Ministry, Nitzer Ebb, Severed Heads, and will have the veterans amongst you flashing back to Glory’s infamous White Isle “afters”. Off your gourd at 8 AM, like it`s the summer of `87 all over again.
The first vinyl installment of More Of That Frightful Oompty Boompty Music will be in shops on April 15th, while the second, coinciding with the digital release, drops on the 29th. You can purchase copies directly here.