Five vocal The The songs from the last 10 years you should hear

Spiritland1 23-4-17With the release of ‘We Can’t Stop What’s Coming’ by The The, widely touted as the first new pop material from Matt Johnson in 15 years, it’s as good a time as any to highlight five vocal performances that HAVE seen the light of day in the last decade. After quietly ‘leaving’ the music business (without telling anyone) with two new tracks tacked on to the end of a singles collection and a one-off performance with JG Thirlwell of radically reworked versions of old songs at David Bowie‘s Meltdown Festival at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2002, it’s great to hear material in the traditional song format resurfacing. Over a decade of quietly making soundtracks for independent films has bought a wealth of material under the The The moniker, some as yet released, but not all of it has been instrumental.

The The – Mrs Mac (Lazarus) A download only single from 2007

The The & Deadly Avenger – Darkness Cannot Exist In The Presence of Light (Radio Cineola broadcast March 2010) Only available as part of a 15 minute podcast

The Inertia Variations – Various verses from John Tottenham’s writings, read by Matt, are scattered throughout the Radio Cineola broadcasts, an ongoing series of podcasts made from 2010-1012 containing works in progress, alternative mixes, interviews and archive songs. Only available from TheThe.com and now the title of a new documentary that details what Matt has been up to over the last few years.

DJ FoodGIANT feat. Matt Johnson (Ninja Tune) 2012 *cough*

The The – Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven (But Nobody Wants To Die) (Cineola / Death Waltz Originals) from the Hyena soundtrack, 2015. Brother Gerard Johnson has directed two films that have been scored by Matt now, this lyric-less track from the soundtrack nevertheless contains Matt’s distinctive voice.

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What a weekend part 3 – Spiritland

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The weekend ended with a 5 hour set at Spiritland in Kings X on Sunday evening, using their new rotary mixer for the first time, sampling some of their delicious food and seeing more friends along the way. I took far less music than before this time and still didn’t manage to play everything. In a nice coincidence the DJ before me was finishing with The The‘s ‘Uncertain Smile’ and I planned to open my set with the new single, ‘We Can’t Stop What’s Coming’. (above photo taken from around the day in 80 whirls‘ Instagram)
The full mix is here too, less than 24 hrs after I played :) Full tracklist (I think) below…

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The The – We Can’t Stop What’s Coming (Cineola)
Sterling Roswell – Kicks (Sterling Roswell London Recordings)
Blur – Out Of Time (EMI)
Neotropic – Sunflower Girl (Ntone)
The Stepkids – La La (Stones Throw)
Botho Lucas Singers und die Sound Masters – Zigarillo (Crippled Dick Hot Wax)
The Karminsky Experience – Summer Storm (Patterns of Behaviour)
Stringtronics – Tropicola (Peer)
Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood – Journey To The East
The Indo-British Ensemble – Yaman (The Colonel’s Lady (MFP)
Prophets Of Soul – Changing Things
Vanishing Twin – Oblique Smile (Sound Way)
The Soundcarriers – This Is Normal (The Great Pop Supplement)
Mordy Laye & The Group Modular – Hunters of the Coral Reefs (Audio Montage)
The Simonsound – Nautilus (First Word)
John Murtaugh – Slinky (Polydor)
Bobby Hutcherson – Rain Every Thursday (Blue Note)
Marc Moulin – Stomp (Counterpoint)
David Axelrod – Holy Thursday (Capitol)
Mike Samms Singers – He Who Would Valiant Be (Action Records)
Jayson Lindh – Your Own House
The Karminsky Experience – Everything Is Cool (Patterns of Behaviour)
Vanishing Twin – Truth Is Boring (Sound Way)
Tortoise – Wait (Bundy K Brown remix) (Thrill Jockey)
Fridge – Of (Dub) (Go Beat)
DJ Food – Consciousness (Ninja Tune)
Manuel Gottsching – E2-E4 (MG.ART)
Scarper – Afterglow (Plexus Records)
Ulrich Schnauss & Jonas Munk – (Azure Vista Records)
Remi/Rough – Unconventional (Va Va Records)
Pye Corner Audio – End of All Eras (Boomkat Editions)
Jan Hammer – Darkness / Earth In Search Of A Sun (Atlantic)
John Abercrombie – Lungs (ECM)
Neil Ardley – Prologue / Rainbow One (Gull Records)
Vanishing Twin – It Sends My Heart Into A Spin (Sound Way)
Jane Weaver – I Need A Connection (Bird)
Visioneers – Come And Play In The Milky Night (BBE)
Thundercat – Them Changes (Brainfeeder)
The Pattern Forms – Don’t Let Me Dream (Ghost Box)
The Stepkids – Suburban Dream (Stones Throw)
Izit – Stories (Jackanory mix) (Perfecto)
Andre Previn – Executive Party Dance
The Sandals – Nothing (Dub)
Leftfield – Release The Pressure (The Rough Dub) (Hard Hands)
Belbury Poly & Spacedog – Find Me (Ghost Box)
Billow Observatory – Plum (Azure Vista Records)
David Sylvian – Camp Fire (Virgin)
John Abercrombie – Timeless (ECM)
Thundercat – Show You The Way (Brainfeeder)
The Stepkids – Brain Ninja (Stones Throw)
The Stepkids – Suburban Dream (Stones Throw) (Yes, again, someone was talking to me and I got distracted)
Joe Walsh – Theme From Boat Weirdos (DJ Food re-edit) (Asylum)
The Dandelion Set – The Tone Garden (Children’s programme version) (Buried Treasure)
Steve Moore – The Moon Occults Saturn At Dawn (Ghost Box)
Ulrich Schnauss & Jonas Munk – Anywhere But Here (Azure Vista Records)
Future Sound of London – Viewed Through Apertures (FSOLDigital)
Kosmischer Läufer – Die Kapsel (Unknown Capability Recordings)
Floating Points – Silhouettes (I, II & III) (Pluto)
Marc Moulin – Inner City Blues (Counterpoint)
The Heath Brothers – Smilin’ Billy Suite Pt.II (Strata-East)
The Beatles – Goodnight (EMI)

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What a weekend part 2 – Record Store Day

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Saturday was Record Store Day 2017 and dragging myself out of bed and down to Rat Records in Camberwell was well worth missing a lie in for. The shop was heaving when I got there after 10.30am with one punter reportedly spending £1,400 already!! The bulk of a huge collection from a Scottish indie collector was making its debut in the shop and there were multiple copies of some sought after items flying out the store. I spotted the 10″ Rephlex 4×10″ Radiophonic Workshop compilation on the wall, a couple of copies of the JAMMs ‘1987′ LP and multiple 45s of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’. I ended up spending far too much and all of it secondhand, no official RSD releases at all. Sadly I don’t have any photos of that but it was a blast and it’s always a pleasure to chat to Philippe, Pete and a rare sighting of owner, Tom.

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After a quick lunch break it was over to West Norwood to The Book & Record Bar to score some new releases and play a set in store after Alex Paterson, Andy Higgs, Mr Parker, Dave Laine and Pete Williams. I decided to play something quite ‘up’ and plowed through a pile of beaty hip hop and classic house/acid/rave 7″s to a bustling shop. I also managed to score all my wants and start going through a small collection of German 45s that had just come into the shop before giving way to Oliver Sudden on the decks.

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All in all a fantastic day, not chasing crazy limited editions up in town but staying local and going to the record shops and hanging out in them which is what we should be doing first and foremost. People buying and selling records on the web are missing the point of RSD, it’s called Record STORE Day, go and support yours on more than one day a year. Shops like the ones above are hubs for people to come together and connect, form alliances and get creative, I’ve met so many good people through them, long may they flourish.

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What a weekend part 1 – The Orb at the RFH

OrbscreenRFH Friday saw myself and Pete Williams as part of the bill for the Orb‘s extravaganza at the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank, doing a test run for our Further event on May 6th. Upon being asked to play on the 5th floor balcony area by Alex Paterson, we decided to use a load of our equipment to projection all along the roof of the outside area overlooking the Thames. We got in around 1pm and were just about set up by 7pm when Michael from The Book & Record Bar and DJ Dadaist aka George Holt arrived. Teething trouble with getting the lights turned off or down so that we could see the projections were dealt with as were security who suddenly roped off the public space and would only let ticket holders for the gig in the main auditorium in. As the daylight faded and the projections along the balcony pointing across the ceiling appeared, everything clicked into place.

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Tons of friends turned up and we managed to get a lot of great photos and footage before the 11.30pm curfew. I even managed to see a bit of The Orb with Youth painting a huge canvas live onstage, walking in just as one of my favourite tracks, O.O.B.E. was playing. Strip down of the equipment took two hours by the time we were loaded out, then driving back to unload and retiring to our beds saw that it was 3am by the time I hit the sack. All worth it though, a very memorable night and a success in terms of what we wanted to achieve.
(Many thanks for the photos above: Martin Le Santo-Smith, and below: Mike Oscar)

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FourFromFoodFridays #17.16

FourFromFoodFridays 17.16Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things that have been doing it for me. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
Various Artists – Radiophonica – (Electronic Sound) CD – Unreleased / unheard Radiophonic Workshop gems both old and new – available only from the ES shop.
Various Artists – Electric Psychedelic Headswirlers (Rubble) 11xCD box – totally bootleg collection of psych wonders with sitar present in the mix
Andy Partridge – Powers (Ape House) CD – finally reissued, his alien soundworlds inspired by Richard Powers’ artwork.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (Heavenly) LP/CD/DL – Yep, still listening to this on loop, gets things done

ToiToiToi album on Ghost Box

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Up for pre-order and released next month, the latest on Ghost Box is from ToiToiToi – Sebastian Counts from Berlin who has previously had a single on the label’s Other Voices 7″ offshoot. Fans of the Ghost Box output won’t be disappointed, it’s a beautifully assembled work with layers upon layers to discover.

Label heads Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Julian House (The Focus Group and overall GB design) will be some of our guests at Further on May 6th at the Portico Gallery, West Norwood, where they’ll be playing an multi-projection AV set with a ton of label-related visuals. Tickets can be bought here

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Electronic Sound magazine ‘Radiophonica’ CD

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Who says CDs can’t look beautiful too? The Radiophonica compilation CD of new, old and unreleased Radiophonic Workshop material is a lovely piece of minimalist design, bound by a tiny tape loop – lovely touch. It’s only available with Electronic Sound magazine from their online shop, no more free cover mounts I’m afraid, but worth every penny. The 12-track album of never-before-heard collaborations, mixes exclusive to this collection of tracks from their forthcoming album of analogue improvisations, and some Delia Derbyshire archive material that has been worked on by the likes of Tom Middleton (Global Communication) and Dot Product.The same issue has a little ad for something only a few weeks away too…

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The Last Jedi trailer and poster

I’m sure it’s been noted all over the net as fanboy analysis videos pick apart ever inch of this trailer but it seems to mirror parts of the first Force Awakens trailer with the sudden ‘jolt’ appearance of an out of breath main character at the start, Vader‘s melted helmet replaced by Kylo Ren‘s and the flying craft skimming the surface shot. There may be more but those were the ones that stuck out to me. Not a lot to get excited about here at the moment for me, those new ships look a bit like B-Wings, is that Carrie Fisher from behind? Glad to see Phasma back, I hope they’ll actually use her this time. Nice nod to the original Star Wars poster in this teaser too.

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FourFromFoodFridays #17.15

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Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things that have been doing it for me. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
Eardrum – Last Light (Leaf) LP – recent rediscovery from the collection, love their 4th World percussion workouts
ToiToiToi – Im Hag (Ghost Box) LP – upfront pre-release of found sound hauntological excavations
Colin Towns – Dramatic Brass & Electronics (Chappell AV Series) LP – all about the track ‘Forest of Evil’ as sampled by Fridge on ‘Ark’
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (Heavenly) LP/CD/DL – driving psych where all the tracks seque into each other and then the whole album loops at the end – gets me through doing my accounts.

FourFromFoodFridays #17.14

FourFromFoodFridays 17.14Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things that have been doing it for me. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
The Allergies – Love That I’m In (Jalapeno) 7″ – 80s electropop summer banger
Remi/Rough – Symphony of Systematic Minimalism (Va Va Records) Free DL – soundtrack to his latest exhibition
Ulrich Schnauss & Jonas Munk – Passage (Azure Vista Records) LP/CD – first release from Jonas Munk’s new Ambient/Shoegaze label
Frank Zappa – The Lost Episodes (Rykodisc) CD – posthumous collection of career-spanning off cuts, outtakes and live bits hiding many treasures.

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Solid Egg 2017

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It’s that time of year again, when my friends Sarah & Leigh of Solid Egg fame – now into their 5th year – lay a new batch of chocolate creations on us, it’s enough to give the Easter bunny a hernia. A pure white one arrived last week, purely in the realms of research you understand, and they’ve outdone themselves this time. Every aspect of the packaging screams, ‘attention to detail!’, from the outer box to the accompanying tea towel to the paper the egg is wrapped in.

As ever, they’re not resting on their laurels and have a host of different flavours including a mega allergen-free one for those with complicated needs. You can buy them here in nine different varieties this year and they’re also available in the Cocoa Amore shop in Leicester. They’ve ramped up the online presence this year too with a bespoke site where you can read all about what’s in them at solidegg.co.uk, a Facebook page in case you want to ask any questions or show off your purchases and an Instagram account so you can peek behind the curtain and see some of the inner workings.

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Alessandro Alessandroni’s Afro Discoteca

alessandroni 26 webSad to hear of Alessandro Alessandroni‘s passing earlier this week, the Italian film and library composer probably most famous for the whistling on Ennio Morricone‘s theme tunes to ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ and ‘For A Few Dollars More’ scores and being the voice of Piero Umliani‘s famous ‘Ma-na mah-na’.

Weirdly I was listening to a very different type of Alessandroni the week before, this new release from Four Flies Records that collects unreleased music from his vault under the title,‘Afro Discoteca’. It’s a 4 track EP of library cues from the 70s that the title sums up perfectly with a disco beat underpinning congas and synths in equal measure. Sadly it was released only two days before his death. Jonny Trunk is dedicating the whole 2 hrs of his OST radio show to Alessandroni this week so tune in if you want to know more.

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FourFromFoodFridays #17.13

FourFromFoodFridays 17.13Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things that have been doing it for me. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
Steve Hillage – Green (Virgin) LP – mostly for ‘The Glorious OM Riff’
Billow Observatory – II- Plains-Patterns (Azure Vista Records) LP – newly released on El Paraiso Records’ ambient offshoot
L’Infonie – Vol 33 Mantra (Polydor) LP/CD – amazing version of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’
Frank Zappa – Mystery Disc (Ryko Disc) CD – Miscellaneous collection of Zappa/Mothers performances, outtakes, studio and tour chat originally included in The Old Masters box set

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The Beatles’ Revolver art & Klaus Voormann

Robert Freeman Revolver
A random web search threw up the image above, citing that it was a rejected cover for The BeatlesRevolver album. More searching revealed that it wasn’t by Klaus Voormann, whose classic black & white collage and line cover everyone knows, but by photographer Robert Freeman. The Beatles passed over it for Klaus’ work and googling that cover image brings up masses of variations of the final piece, as many by Klaus as by fans who have reworked it for their own ends. Voornman not only did many different versions before he arrived at the final but has revisited it many times over the years as well as creating several works centered around Beatles songs in the same style for various projects.

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The image below visualises ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, I’ve found some details so that you can see what’s going on a little more easily. There’s also a book, ‘Revolver 50’ that tells the story of how he made the cover.

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