The Listening List

11/12/2016 – 21/12/2016

Milan W. – Intact
Antonio Carlos Jobim – Wave
William Basinski – 92982
Gala Drop – II
Naytronix – Mister Divine
Matthew Bourne – Moogmemory
Anstam – Names
Swans – The Glowing Man
Baumann / Koek – Baumann / Koek
Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left
Harmonia & Eno 76 – Tracks and Traces
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
The Cult – Dreamtime
The Cult – Love
The Cult – Electric
Svjatoslav Richter – Rachmaninoff, Klavierkonzert Nr. 2 In C-moll · Piano-Concerto No. 2 In C Minor – 6 Preludes
Roots Manuva – Slime & Reason
The Police – Outlandos D’amour
Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise

 

Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 24)

Roots Manuva – Slime & Reason

Slime & Reason is the sixth studio album of original material by Roots Manuva. It was released on 1 September 2008 on the Big Dada label. Hip Hop Connection magazine named it Album Of The Year 2008. I picked up a copy at a record fair in Leamington Spa in the summer, which had a slightly damaged cover on the rear, although I didn’t notice it at the time, it’s one of those where the printed section has come away from the card beneath but inside a plastic cover it was barely noticeable, outside the plastic cover it looks a bit crap. The good news is that the vinyl itself is pretty nice and I didn’t pay too much for it.

I have no idea when I started listening to Roots, or why, but I do know that I like the Britishness of it, which is evident from the opening track. ‘Again & Again’ reminds me so much of what was happening in the Midlands back in the late 70’s with the Ska revival, it’s dancehall, reggae and an MC with a British voice and I think that link to the past, that sound, that feeling, is what drew me to it.

[Chorus]
Again and again and again, we come fi improve ya
(Oh hear we, oh hear we!)
Again and again and again, we bust a big groove Manuva
(Lord!)

A lot of people don’t know about Smith
How I came to the scene, and came to uplift!
Eradicatory sanctions of righteousness
Pentecostal son, coming from the heartlands
With every breath and every noun
We dare not stop burning Babylon down
With every penny, every pound
Reflective of the rebel heart and the rebel sound
Dedication to dem life and dem causes
I did dem tours and settled those scores now
I’m back at the drawing board
And I’m sketching out two plans with two crystal balls
I see the future and the culture looks corroded
Lose that chap, man. But them dudes are just posers
I don’t know where to show this
So I’m about to bring that back
Whether we chant, rap or sing that back
It go

[Chorus x2]

Anytime we chant that ting, you know we rap that ting!
We just might clap that ting, but
We ain’t on some boasting about
We gotta make moves, no loafing about!
He ain’t got no clout, she ain’t got no clout
Still they wanna come here, come run up their mouth!
They wanna know what Manuva’s about:
Check my catalogue, you’ll see with no doubt!
We don’t sell out, but we sell a tune or two
Beaten by a wooden spoon or two
But the pain that break me is the pain that make me
And the pain that take me is the pain that help me maintain
Life ting in the frame you know
We’re straight kicking the bin – it go
I don’t know where the soul is
So I’m about to bring that back
Whether we chant, rap or sing that back
It go

[Chorus x2]

Food? Well
And clothes? Well
His style? Well
His skin? well
His shoes? well
Manuv’s? And well
Well, baby, yeah baby
Oh yes, Roots Manuva, the talk of the town
So watch all the people ?sending come fi yuh the run?
Fi anywhere we go, we have the man and control
Roots Manuva is the star of the show
You know-oh

[Chorus x4]

I don’t often include lyrics, but I felt like it today. For me, that’s got hit single written all over it, but I don’t get to decide these things, unfortunately. If I were in charge I would have replaced any of the tracks in the below 2008 chart with ‘Let The Spirit’ from this album, I think it’s a better track than all of them. That’s one of the problems with singles charts in particular, it is not a gauge of quality but of how generically appealing something can be.

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Here is ‘Let The Spirit’, Am I right?

There are a lot of styles across the tracks on this album, popping up here and there, and there are a lot of catchy numbers, top among them for me being ‘Let the Spirit’ which was a single but didn’t trouble the charts much, in fact, side A & B are chock-a-block with them. C & D are a little darker perhaps, but still really good tracks,

Hip Hop Connection magazine named it Album Of The Year 2008, and they know better than me.

Tracklist
A1 Again & Again
A2 C.R.U.F.F.
A3 Let The Spirit
B1 Do Nah Bodda Mi
B2 Kick Up Ya Foot
B3 A Man’s Talk
B4 Buff Nuff
C1 2 Much 2 Soon
C2 Do 4 Self
C3 The Show Must Go On
D1 It’s Me Oh Lord
D2 I’m A New Man
D3 Well Alright
D4 The Struggle

If you liked either of the tracks above then do seek out more, Roots Manuva is brilliant at what he does.

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LEAMINGTON RECORD FAIR 18/06/2016 – PART 2

I did a nice little video of my walking into the town hall, up the stairs and into the main hall, except it appears that after 3 seconds of filming I accidentally switched the recording off. I wasn’t about to go outside and do that again so I filmed a lap of the hall instead, and here it is:

Now on to other things I picked up. My music tastes are quite eclectic so there’s always a lot that I’m on the look out for and I was quite surprised to find ‘Slime and Reason’ by Roots Manuva.

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In my excitement at finding it, it’s not rare but I’d never seen it used before, I missed that the cover was a bit knackered at the back. No matter though, the vinyl plays fine and it wasn’t expensive, more importantly, it’s a great album.

I picked up a couple of Bob Dylan albums that I didn’t have on vinyl, these two:

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The vinyl needs a clean but I think they will be ok. They are both re-pressings, nothing original or rare, but I’m not bothered about that really.

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Next was Squeeze from 1978, just because it was there really and because I have a vague idea about getting more XTC and more Squeeze albums. I only really know ‘Take me I’m yours’ from this but I did have a listen to the whole album and it’s pretty good overall.

Back in the early eighties my very bestest friend in the whole wide world (he insists I call him that even though he’s really more of an acquaintance) Dave had his older brothers ( Pete) albums that we sometimes used to listen to, which is why I bought an album by ‘Greenslade’.

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I don’t remember much about them, I was more interested in ‘Gentle Giant’ but I thought they were worth a go. The album is ‘Spyglass Guest’ from 1974, it very much sits in the Prog Rock camp and on first listen I felt it started a little cheesy but it soon picked up and was much more interesting. I need to give it a few more listens to be honest.

I sold my copy of ‘Floodland’ by The Sisters of Mercy years ago and was pleased to be able to get a replacement copy for £3.75. I also had a load of 12″ singles that I sold off, but I can’t see myself replacing them any time soon.

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Finally, the last thing I bought I just spotted from afar and made a bee line for it. I’ve been listening to the Mood Mosaic albums for years but have never bought one on vinyl and there was the first one at the front of a clear plastic crate. I bought it. Of course. This does not bode well as there are 14 of them and I know I’m going to now want the rest. They are a 14 album series of lounge music, TV Themes, bits from films and other bits and pieces. It’s a bit like a mix tape that somebody with a huge record collection made for you, here’s the tracklist of Volume 1:

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01 BOB CREWE – Pygar’s Persecution/The Black Queen’s Beads
02 KLAUS DOLDINGER – Sitar Beat
03 SERGE GAINSBOURG – En Melody
04 MICHEL LEGRAND – Marins, Amis, Amant Ou Maris
05 NELSON RIDDLE – Lamento
06 GARY McFARLAND – Love For Sale
07 GABOR SZABO – Sophisticated Wheels
08 PHIL MOORE III – Batucada
09 LUIS ENRIQUEZ – Mas Que Nada
10 GEORGE GARVARENZ* – Hascisch Party
11 SHOCKING BLUE – Ackta Raga
12 CLAUDE DENJEAN – Kiss This
13 GEORGE SHEARING – Aquarius

Here’s an example of the sort of thing that’s on this first album, and it’s brilliant:

Well this should have ended here, but there may be a part 3 as I went to the record shop afterwards, my bad.

 

Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 19)

Record Store Day 2016

Well, I was a little underwhelmed by Record Store Day this year as it seems to me that Record Stores are doing quite well nowadays actually and the reason for it’s existence is somewhat diminished. I did pick up two records, of 5 or 6 that I wanted, so a reasonable percentage. They were, PIL live at the O2 Sheperd’s Bush Empire, which is a double on clear vinyl:

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The other was Roots Manuva, Switching Sidea, a long 12″ single i that it has 5 tracks on each side, the same tracks, but side 2 is remixes of side 1:

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Apparently it’s limited to 500 copies, which is nice.

What I didn’t get but wanted were three re-issues by Kings of Convenience and number 1 on my list, the Mew album “And the Glass Handed Kites” which goes for £50 online but record store day has 2000 clear vinyl copies for £19.99 each, except I didn’t see one.

I went to Head records in Leamington Spa who had a fair bit in and I did arrive and hour after opening time so who knows what had gone by the time I got there. I headed off to Seismic Records at the other end of town via The Town Hall, which was hosting another record fair, but didn’t make it to Seismic, which is a shame as I like to support that shop.

This is from ‘The quietus’:

The whole event has become a record label promotion opportunity and nothing else. Record shops are merely the vehicle for a quiet time of the year marketing binge. From my point of view, as a record shop owner, RSD is damaging to us in the following ways:

1) The lead up to the day sees a dramatic fall in sales, and the post event effect is similar. Ask around. Do shops’ quarterly figures look any better whenever they take part in RSD? All the ones I know say no. New releases all but come to an end weeks before, and all promotional activities swing behind RSD.

2) The ‘underground’ or ‘niche’ nature of what indie shops provide is being watered down by dross releases with little artistic or cultural merit. It’s not about being a snob, it is about making sure the customer gets value for money. There is enough amazing music out there to change people’s lives without them being dragged into a bogwash of Abba and Status Quo re-issues (all of which sell on original black shit for £1 in my bargain bins).

3) Shops buy RSD stock on a cash-up-front basis, with no possibility of return. Who’s taking the risk here? The labels, the distro, or the shops? The risk is not fairly distributed amongst the players. Do any of these guys know what happens to our cash flow around RSD? I’ve heard of shops having to borrow money to buy stock. I mean for gods sake, how on earth is this helping! The big boys are the worse for this, but for distros like PIAS who continue to operate a no returned stock operation for their entire product, year round, there is little risk on sale from their side. This promotes poor quality. Labels are less likely to sell bilge if they see it all back in the warehouse three months later. Distros and labels like Cargo, SRD, Proper and Discovery operate SOR (Sale Or Return), consignment sales all year round. THIS IS SUPPORT. Expensive and risky on their part, they are working with shops, and this in turn changes the dynamic and it changes the quality (namely in an upward fashion).

4) All this stuff comes out on one day, so in the six month lead up to RSD, the pressing plants are choked full of RSD releases (as investigated by The Quietus here), and as a result the indie labels can’t get anything out in the interim. They’re forcing me to say it… CD is the new vinyl.

5) For many of the huge number of Bowie or Springsteen fans et al ad infinitum. the only option is to go online and pay an insane price for the special release they want from some eBay flipper. Thus encouraging this behaviour further (buying online). Now, as an internet seller I am not against the internet per se, but NOT ON RECORD STORE DAY.

6) Disappointment… perpetual disappointment. Shops will not have multiple copies of every release. As a result a significant number of customers get disappointed and disillusioned. Great…. a promotional event for record shops that leaves customer feeling disappointed and disillusioned. Well that’s just perfect.

The full article is here: http://thequietus.com/articles/19946-record-store-day-2016-shops-bad-reissues-bleugh

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I’m not against RSD, but one point does strike me as on the mark, I am a regular independent record store customer, I spend regularly in them, two in particular and the loyal customer is apt to lose out on RSD and, if you really want something you could very well pay triple the price from somebody who bought deliberately to re-sell at this inflated price, which is a shame.

I certainly was surprised , as the writer of the article mentions, to see Justin Bieber and Status Quo involved, and, to be honest, a load of Alan Partridge picture discs along with a few others which seemed like a waste of time, to me at least. There are great opportunities to re-release brilliant albums on vinyl, but it is not often taken, or so it seems.

Until next year I suppose.

 

Show 5 Video Playlist

Here is the opening playlist section of last weeks show (5) in video format.

The Infinite Playlist – More Tracks

Additions:

  1. DJ Shadow – Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt
  2. RJD2 – Ghostwriter
  3. Metaform – Crush
  4. UNKLE – Be There
  5. Flying Lotus – ….And The World Laughs With You
  6. Ghostpoet – Off Peak Dreams
  7. Roots Manuva – Stolen Youth
  8. Nosaj Thing – Aquarium
  9. The Flashbulb – Room 13
  10. Venetian Snares – Red Orange 2
  11. Funkstörung – Punk Motherfucker
  12. Romare – Work Song
  13. Paul White – Right On
  14. Igorrr – Biquette
  15. Bogan Via – Feelin’ alright
  16. The Golden Filter – Solid Gold
  17. Trust – Bulbform
  18. Vive la Fête – Nuit Blanche
  19. Karin Park – Restless
  20. Austra – Habitat
  21. Phèdre – Aphrodite
  22. The Presets – No Fun
  23. Telepathe – Fuck You Up

Full List: The Infinite Playlist