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Track list and transcript
Welcome to Episode Four, Miscellania, or songs for these times.
So in March, this year, two days before lockdown, I moved house and one of the things that you have to do if you collect records is move the damn record collection and it's always a horrible thing. And despite getting rid of hundreds of records that I never really listened to before I moved it was still a huge undertaking. So doing the previous shows was actually quite tricky because I was digging through all sorts of weird piles looking for records.
One of the things I did when I started putting them on the shelves was naturally discovering things that I haven't listened to for a long time. And also things that I hadn't given enough attention to because they were new and I had only perfunctorily listened to them and hadn't had time to go through them properly.
So these are just some that popped out at me that I hadn't listened to for a while or ones that I think deserve some attention. So I hope you enjoy them.
Toshifumi Hinata - Midsummer Night - Music From Memory (2019)
Toshifumi Hinata - Broken Belief
Transcript: We are listening to Midsummer Night by Toshifumi Hinata from a compilation of works of his from the 80s that came out on Music from Memory last year called Broken Belief. Toshifumi Hinata is a Japanese multi-instrumentalist. He spent time in the United States and the United Kingdom and attended Berklee College and you can hear those Western influences in his music.
Transcript: This is a beautiful album comprising lovely ambient piano pieces. I highly recommend checking it out. Music from Memory is generally a great label so it's well worth investigating the catalogue.
Shelleyan Orphan - Anatomy of Love - Rough Trade (1987)
Shelleyan Orphan - Anatomy Of Love
Transcript: So this crackly 45 is by Shelleyan Orphan. It's called Anatomy of Love and it's from 1987. Shelleyan Orphan were the singer Caroline Crawley and instrumentalist Jemaur Tayle and they formed through a mutual admiration of the Romantic poets, obviously, Percy Bysshe Shelley, as seen in the name. They signed to Rough Trade, a pretty well known indie alternative label that's still going strong.
Transcript: This track appeared on their Helleborine album which is named after an orchid. They mostly used traditional string instruments and things like that. They also toured with The Cure and formed a new band with members of The Cure after Shelleyan Orphan disbanded.
Transcript: Caroline Crawley unfortunately died a couple of years ago. She had a really incredible voice. She also appears on This Mortal Coil's Blood with some really amazing tracks there. I really recommend checking out both the Helleborine album and Century Flower albums. Both of those came out in mid to late 80s.
This Mortal Coil - Kangaroo - 4AD (1984)
This Mortal Coil - Kangaroo
Transcript: It's another dusty 45. This time This Mortal Coil from their first album, It'll End in Tears. This is Kangaroo, cover of the Big Star track which was on the third Big Star, unsurprisingly called Third from 1975. If you don't know big star recommend checking them out.
Transcript: The singer on this is Gordon Sharp who now goes by Cindy sharp. She has a band called Cindytalk that moved around the same axis as people like Chris Connelly and Kathy Acker and bands like the Revolting Cocks, and things in the UK centered around Psychic TV and Nurse with Wound, Coil and so on. The first Cindytalk album Camouflage Heart is an incredible piece of work and I highly recommend you check that out if you don't know it. It's quite hard to get into but once you get drawn into it it's really a heartfelt experience and Cindy Sharp's voice is just amazing and so powerful. She would appear again under the name Gordon on This Mortal Coil's final album Blood and also Filigree and shadow. Strong connection there between 4AD as a label and Cindytalk. Worth checking all those things out.
Cocteau Twins - Lazy Calm - 4AD (1986)
Cocteau Twins - Victorialand
Transcript: Speaking of for 4AD, this is the Cocteau Twins and it's the opening track on their fourth album Victorialand. It's called Lazy Calm. It's absolutely my favorite album of theirs. It's unique in their discography I think because they ditched the drum machines and bass a little bit for this one. And it's really just something that you put on and just drift off. All these adjectives are used to describe the Cocteau Twins like celestial and heavenly and blissful and all those kinds of things, and they're kind of cliched, but that was absolutely true. It's a beautiful record.
Transcript: I think this was reissued recently. 4AD seem to be on a bit of a reissue kick. Also check out the singer Elzibath Fraser's solo work. It's also really worth tracking down.
David Sylvian - The Boy With the Gun - Virgin (1987)
David Sylvian - Secrets Of The Beehive
Transcript: David Sylvian's, The Boy With The Gun from his fourth solo album after leaving Japan. He formed Japan with his brother Steve Jansen, Mick Karn and Richard Barbieri in the late 70s, and they released five albums. That's a band worth getting into if you don't know them. There's a really good compilation of theirs called Exercising Ghosts which is a really great introduction to their work.
Transcript: David Sylvian has this amazing voice. It's unusual, as in not like general voices you hear in pop music. And Japan were generally a pop band. His voice is quite unique in that environment. His career has been long and fruitful releasing a lot of stuff and he collaborates with some really interesting people like Fennesz, Bill Nelson, Robert Fripp, Holger Czukay from Can and a whole range of people. This album Secrets of the Beehive, for example, is done in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra and various other things and they've done a lot of work together.
Transcript: If you aren't familiar with Sylvian's solo work I recommend starting with this album as it's maybe the most accessible one. A lot of the other ones are really dense in particular Blemish, which to my mind is his masterpiece, but it's maybe not one to get started with as it's really, I wouldn't say dark, but very emotional as it documents the disintegration of his marriage and relationship with singer Ingrid Chavez and it goes to some "difficult" places.
Young Marble Giants - Searching For Mr Right - Rough Trade (1980)
Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth
Transcript: So that was a Young Marble Giants from their only album called Colossal Youth. It's the opening track Searching for Mr. Right. Such an interesting band. This was released in 1980 at the height of kind of post punk and people being really noisy and making a lot of loud sounds and big drums. They ditched that entirely and just went with guitar and bass. And then occasionally there's a weedy sounding drum machine that appears in some of the tracks but absolutely stripped down and minimal. The voice is Alison Staton who would go on to sing in Weekend.
Transcript: This is one of my favorite albums ever. Just amazing. What's really interesting about it is that it's so angry when you listen to the words. There's this fury behind them. But Alison Statton presents that in such an offhand way that makes it super interesting. And there's this quietness to it as well. I think someone described it as negative space in the sound. A band that wasn't around for very long but they left behind an incredible album.
Jessy Lanza - I Talk BB - Hyperdub (2016)
Jessy Lanza - Oh No
Transcript: I Talk BB from Jessy Lanza's second album on Hyperdub. I'm such a huge fan. She's got a new album out actually. On order, of course, I should get it soon and it's as good as the last two.
Transcript: She really has a unique approach to things. Obviously, she's massively influenced by 90s R'nB and she talks about that in interviews as well. And you can hear that in her voice, the inflection, the lyrics. It's kind of like a next level R'nB stuff and obviously her production is amazing. It's interesting that she's on Hyperdub as well, which is more known for dubstep and whatnot. The embraces all these kind of contemporary musical forms, like footwork, but really makes it her own.
Denitia and Sene - Breath.Scream.Dream. - Snow Dog Records (2013)
Denitia And Sene - His And Hers.
Transcript: That's Denetia and Sene with Breathe. Scream. Dream. from their debut album, His and Hers. This came out on Snow Dog records. I think it's a limited edition. I managed to get hold of a copy which I consider myself very lucky to have. It's a really wonderful album. There's an effortless synchronicity between the two of them and it just sounds natural when they sing together and collaborate. So not forced in any way. And this alone really draws you in. Recommend their second album too. All available on Spotify.
Jorja Smith - February 3rd - FAMM (2018)
Jorja Smith - Lost & Found
Transcript: It's February 3rd from Jorja Smith's debut album Lost and Found. This was a birthday present in 2018. Thanks for the present you know who you are. 🙂
Transcript: I chose this track on the album because it, in a sense, is a reflection of the entire release. The "I'm constantly finding myself" line and I think there is both a sense of self assurance but also wondering and questioning to this album. She was only 20 years old when she made it and you can hear this kind of questioning going on inside it in the lyrics and also the the way that she articulates her voice. Musically it's definitley influenced by 90s trip hop, Massive Attack and Portishead and so on and maybe some Mo Wax things and the downtempo beats that were prevalent then.
I think she's got some new stuff coming out. To be honest, I haven't really kept up with it. But this is a really great, great album.
Garrett - Gotta Get Thru It - Music From Memory (2018)
Garrett - Private Life II
Transcript: Gotta Get Thru It by Garrett AK aka Dam funk. It's another release on Music from Memory. It's kind of like a Dam Funk record without the rhythms. There's just this lone high hat in this track. A lot of the tracks are completely ambient. I guess sunkissed is the word. This is from Private Life II. There's also Private Life I. Both worth checking out.
Yasuko Agawa - LA Night - BBE (2005)
Various - Strange Funky Games And Things
Transcript: This is LA Night by Yasuko Agawa a Japanese singer. From the 80s it was on an album called Gravy I think. Around 1984.
Transcript: Yasuko Agawa was born in the 50s and has releasing records since 1980 or so. Still is as far as I know. So this I have on a compilation called Strange Funky Games and Things which came out on BBE records in the early 2000s, maybe sometime around there 2005 or something. It's got a whole bunch of hip hop funk and soul records on it. To be honest, I actually bought the whole damn triple album just to get this record because the single is so stupidly expensive. There have be a couple of versions of it, and reissues and whatnot, but it's still ridiculously expensive.
Transcript: This was written a dn arranged by Augie Johnson who was in the group Side effects. He wrote LA Night and also a famous track that was done by Light of the World called London town, which were huge hits in the rare groove scene in London and the UK.
Saint Etienne - London Belongs to Me - Heavenly (1991)
Saint Etienne - Foxbase Alpha
Transcript: London Belongs to Me from Saint Etienne's debut album "Foxbase alpha" which to my mind is the ultimate pop album of all time. And it's just perfect, isn't it? They don't put a step wrong on it.
Transcript: Obviously, Saint Etienne come from a love of pop music going all the way back to the 1960s and that's really apparent in all the things that they do.
Transcript: They have released loads of albums but to my mind they've never quite reached the heights of this one, in the same way that I think Massive Attack's best album by far is Blue Lines and they never quite managed to to reach those heights again. I feel the same way about Foxbase Alpha. I could have chosen any track from this. They're all really really quite amazing. In a just world Saint Etienne would be the most famous band that exists but of course they aren't. Because the world is not just as we know.
Spacetime Continuum - Only One Sky - De:tuned (2019)
Various - DE:10.07
Transcript: In the mid 90s in Cape Town I was involved in running an ambient club, although it wasn't strictly ambient as in NO BEATS ALLOWED. Space Time Continuum AKA Jonah Sharpe was one of the artists that I played a lot. This is is a newish one that came out on De:tuned in 2019, as part of their 10 years of De:tuned series.
Transcript: Jonah Sharpe is a really incredible electronic musician. He's the founder of Reflective Records, which released some really incredible things in the 90s. But most important for me was Spacetime Continuum where he released a bunch of albums in the 90s -- Alien Dream Time, Sea Biscuit, Emit Ecaps, and Double Fine Zone -- as well as a whole bunch of singles. I recommend that you track them all down.
Transcript: He's also in Reaganz with Move D, who have released two remarkably good albums and loads of live stuff that's available on Soundcloud, The Mulholland Free Clinic with Move D and Jordan Czamanski of Juju and Jordache and has collaborated with the likes of Terence McKenna, Tetsu Inoue, and Bill Laswell.
Transcript: To my mind, a highly influential figure in the ambient scene and then also in this kind of style, which is referred to as deep techno. This another beautiful track by him. Just Check out everything he's done. It's all amazing.
Derek Carr - Athenia - Craigie Knowes (2018)
Derek Carr - Pioneers EP
Transcript: A track from one of my favorites contemporary techno artists, Derek Carr. He's been doing this kind of thing for about 20 years now. This is on the Craigie Knowes label and it's from the Pioneers EP.
Transcript: So, Derek Carr, you can hear his influences. It's kind of a post Detroit techno I guess. He's from Ireland, I think, I don't know Ireland or somewhere in the UK. You can hear a lot of that early 90s Uk techno in his sound, Nu Era, Black Dog, As One, Stasis and those kinds of people in the sound. This track is called Athenia and it's one of his more adventurous kind of tracks going beyond just a normal techno 4/4 floor thing. definitely influenced by those early 90s Uk artists.
Peggy Gou - When Round, They Go (Terekke Remix) - Rekids (2016)
Peggy GOU - Art Of War (Part II) EP
Transcript: So this is the Terekke remix of Peggy Gou's When Round, They Go. It came out on Rekids in 2016, so it's quite old now. So to speak. It's from The Art of War Part Two EP. The original is all right. Kind of a techy house kind of track. Not tech house. Please note. No one wants that nonsense.
Transcript: I'm a big fan of Terekke. His first album Plant Age on L.I.E.S. is amazing. Please check it out if you haven't already. Wonderful, wonderful slice of ambient and dub and deep house and all that all those good things. So on this remix, he just really takes the original which is quite slow already and stretches it out and puts loads of space in it makes it all languid. Reminds me a little bit of the Canadian stuff that's coming out from Vancouver and things like that. I'll do a show on that stuff some other time. But yeah, this is definitely the highlight of this EP.
Rings Around Saturn - Decompression - Voyage Recordings (2019)
Rings Around Saturn (2) - Circling Architecture
Transcript: We are listening to Decompression by Rings Around Saturn on Voyage Recordings from 2019. This is an Australian label. Rings Around Saturn has released things on Albrecht La'brooy's Analogue Attic Records which is an incredible label to check out. Everything that they've ever done is amazing. I will say that without fear of contradiction. He's also released records on Unthank and Paper Cuts. It's beautiful instrumental stuff, he does ambient things as well and he's also actually released a really great jungle record, despite what I said last time about contemporary jungle, under the name Pickleman with a fantastic Tim Reaper remix that's also worth checking out if jungle and drum and bass are your thing.
Primal Code – Mutara Speech - Hypnus Records (2019)
Primal Code - Caimano Tribe
Transcript: This is Mutara Speech by Primal Code on the Swedish label Hypnus Records which came out in 2019. It's a four track EP - techno for want of a better word. It reminds me a little bit of Objekt in particular Object #4, one of my favorite records, which is of course, TJ Hertz, probably the best DJ around at the moment. Musically, this is a great EP, a tribal take on techno, deep and hypnotic, cerebral I guess.
Transcript: The cover's a bit dodgy though not sure how I feel about that.
Dan Curtin - Flight Lush
Dan Curtin - The Lush Network
Transcript: The great Dan Curtin with Flight Lush from The Lush Network EP that came out on Dolly Dubs in 2019. Dan Curtin's been making amazing records since the early 90s. I think his first release was in 1992, something like that. I have quite a lot of those early records of his on labels like Peacefrog, Sublime, Metamorphic, etc. He's released a bunch of albums, Art and Science being my favorite.
Transcript: He's just one of those people who has a unique sound, he crosses genres, and he has a real way with melody. You listen to the stuff over all these years, a career spanning almost 30 years, and he has just this unique take on techno. I highly recommend just searching out everything he's done and familiarising yourself with the man's work if you aren't already familiar with him. It's an amazing body of work. And it's for listening and the dance floor equally, there's no distinguishing between the two.
John Beltran - In Static (Original Mix) - Wewillalwaysbealovesong (2019)
John Beltran - The Musical Storm EP
Transcript: To some extent a contemporary of Dan Curtin this is John Beltran, from his 2019 Musical Storm EP on the We Will Always Be A Love Song label. John Beltran is from Michigan and grew up near Detroit. He released his first album in 95 on R&S, one of the greatest labels of all time, as I'm sure we all know. He followed that up with the classic Ten Days Of Blue on Peacefrog in 1996, which is just a wonderful album of techno and ambient tracks. My copy is absolutely battered and pretty much unplayable I've listened to it so much.
Transcript: He has also released on Carl Craig's early label, Retroactive, notably the Aquatic EP as Open House featuring Placid Angles, which is a classic techno record.
Transcript: He too has he has a unique sound. A strong, strong melodic sensibility but also a kind of melancholy feeling in his tracks. If you don't know Ten Days Of Blue you you really want to check that out. Amazing, amazing piece of work.
Miles Atmospheric - Our Future - FireScope (2019)
Miles Atmospheric - SkyHealer
Transcript: We're listening to Our Future by Miles Atmospheric off the Sky Healing EP which came out on the Firescope label. Miles Atmospheric is a pseudonym of Miles Sagnia under which he releases more ambient stuff. He also releases house records on his own Atmospheric Existence Records with some really nice, deep house 12"s in the last 10 years or so.
Transcript: This is just a really nice ambient track. Firescope Records mostly release techno stuff. It's owned by Steven Rutter, who founded B12 the seminal techno outfit in the early 90s. Check them out too!
Overmono - Le Tigre - Poly Kicks (2019)
Overmono - Le Tigre / Salt Mix-
Transcript: To end, Overmono with Le Tigre on their label Polykicks. Overmono is two brothers Tom and Ed Russell. They've been releasing records as Overmono since around 2016 or so. Breakbeat techno is their thing. Ed Russell is also known as Tessela. And Tom Russell is also known as Truss. They produce breakbeat and techno stuff in their own right.
Transcript: They released my favorite record of 2018 which was Raft Living, specifically the Daisy Chain track, which is an amazing break beat, techno, breaks whatever record. I got to play that at Modular last year some time at one of my (extremly) rare DJ appearances which was a lot of fun.
Transcript: So this track reminds me a lot of early Floating Points particularly The Shadows EP and I was wondering why that is and then it was of course, it's the arp. The shuffly house beats also reminded me so much of Floating Points and I couldn't quite figure out why until recently. Then of course there's this amen break that pops in and out linking it to their earlier work. It's just a great techno record.
Transcript: So that brings us to the end of show four. I hope you enjoyed the rather random selection. Next time we will be delving into the world of Carl Craig, in particular his single releases and remixes.
Times We Used To Spend is a two hour ramble through my record collection making connections between eras, genres, melodies and rhythms.
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