Hullo. Firstly, I’m not going to dwell on the atrocities in Manchester earlier this week except to say music heals and the good will out. Love, light and peace to all those affected.
Ok. Something for everyone this week with Jazz, experimental electronica, a lost powerhouse of a vocalist and gay Canadian church folk on the menu. I’m sure that covers all your major food groups. And if not, then frankly you’re eating the wrong stuff.
The boy D’Cruz has plumped for another new-to-me act which is quite tasty too. It’s very rare, if ever, that my very good friend, bandmate and former Pineapple dance studios instructor brings meagre offerings to the table.
So, without further ado, eat yourself whole..
Track 1. Day Is Dawning by The Hidden Cameras.
I’ll soon be bidding a sad farewell to Leeds, the city I have called home for the last fourteen years as I’m returning to the homeland to be closer to friends and family. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing tracks that have sound-tracked my time in West Yorkshire, each one holding special memories of a place I will always be proud to call my second home. We begin with Canada’s The Hidden Cameras and a cut from their 2003 LP ‘The Smell Of Our Own’, one of the first records I bought after my relocation. This will always take me back to those first days of life in a new city, Our little flat in Horsforth, the number 50 bus which became my commute to town for that first year, and my first ever MP3 player which held about forty tracks, this album taking up ten of those allotted slots for the following year.
Track 2. You Can Have Him by Dionne Warwick.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of this weeks cover star, her distinctive tones were around from a very early age through the seemingly ubiquitous Bacharach and David songs which dominated seventies radio and are now rightly regarded as classics. This track is lifted from her fourth LP released in 1965 ‘The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick’ which was produced by B&D with seven of the eleven tracks penned by the prolific duo. This drum heavy beaut, however, was written by Bill Cook and released as a single, denting the lower reaches of the UK charts.
Track 3. Homage by Mild High Club.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
When I first heard Paulo’s Pick for this week I was struck with the similarity of the guitar sound and that of NL favourite Mac DeMarco. Turns out that Alex Brettin, for Mild High Club is he, is a former tourmate of the Montreal wunderkind. Brettin has also toured with another NL pick in the shape of Ariel Pink. Both those artists influences are apparent here on a track taken from his second LP, last years ‘Skiptracing’. If you’re fan of either of the acts mentioned, and you should be, then you’ll lap up this bright and bouncy slab of wonky summer pop.
Track 4. Milk Rock by Organisation.
I mentioned last week that I’ve currently got my sizeable schnozz buried deep in David Stubbs’ excellent in-depth study of Krautrock, Future Days. As you’d expect, there’s a large chunk given over to Kraftwerk and their transformation from bonkers folk rocky experimentalists to genuine icons of the twentieth century. This track represents the former incarnation and the beginning of Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider’s musical partnership. Produced by the legendary Konny Plank, it comes from the only LP they released as Organisation which pretty much sank without trace in 1969. Whilst more musique concréte than the pioneering electronica they made their names with, it’s easy to hear the first knockings of one of the most important acts of the last fifty years.
Track 5. American Dream by LCD Soundsystem.
Next, a welcome return to the playlist and indeed to music for James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem. Coming seven years after their last output, this is one half of the double A single released a few weeks back and the first fruits of the eagerly anticipated imminent fourth LP. Here’s hoping it gets a release sooner rather than later as there’s nothing quite like LCD in the summertime, and new LCD will make that sunshine seem even brighter.
Track 6. Dig Dis by Hank Mobley.
This is taken from the 1960 Blue Note LP, ‘Soul Station’ a record widely regarded as Mobley’s finest work. Accompanied by Art Blakey on Drums, Paul Chambers on bass and Wynton Kelly on piano, Hank’s tenor is a joy to behold. Whilst not as improvisational as Coltrane, he still has the chops to be considered one of the true bop greats, his melodic stye perfectly employed here on one of his own underrated compositions.
Track 7. Losing Something (Is Finding Something Else) by The Babe Rainbow.
This Australian trio have described themselves in turn as “God picking sunflowers” and “James Brown’s Beach Boys”. I’d certainly agree with the second statement to a point, the cosmic retro bubblegum that they ply has echoes of sunshine Wilson and the funkiness of the Godfather of Soul in its classic approach. This lazy piece of acoustic tinged merriment is from their forthcoming debut LP which is due to drop on June 2nd and will be another essential record for the forthcoming summer months. As for God picking sunflowers? Well..
Track 8. All My Loving by The Almighty Defenders.
The Almighty Defenders is a supergroup consisting of members from the Black Lips and The King Khan & BBQ Show who have so far released just the one, self titled LP in 2009. This is the opener from that record and it’s a storming garage rocker that prompted me to wind down the windows on a sun-baked drive home from work the other day. Beats the usual Kiss FM bollocks that you usually hear farting from a souped up Vauxhall corsa any day of the week.
Track 9. You Hit Me (Right Where It Hurt Me) by Alice Clark.
By now, regular readers/listeners will be well aware of my love for Alice Clark and in particular her one and only LP release 1972’s ‘Alice Clark’. If you haven’t heard this stunning record, I urge you to drop everything right now and give it a spin. Here we have probably her most well known platter which is a big hitter on the Northern Soul scene, for my money it’s up there with the LP. Why? That voice. Listen to how it strengthens as the track progresses. Marvellous stuff. Alice quit the scene shortly after she released the album and was never heard from again. A truly great loss as those pipes are up there with the soul greats.
Track 10. I Can’t Believe You Love Me by Barry White.
Soul slowie closer time and here we have the walrus of love with the ten minute track that closes side one of his 1974 masterpiece ‘Can’t Get Enough’. Shortly before his death in 2003, I had promised the current Mrs Orley that we would go to see Bazza on his forthcoming tour. Obviously, that never happened and it’s one of my regrets that I never caught him live. Anyway. This one’s for you Kim.
And on that soppy note, this weeks proceedings draw to a close. See you all at the same time, same place in seven days.
Until then, Keep it clean.