Etienne De Crecy’s ambient house masterpiece Super Discount was one of those game changers for me. And it still holds up. This white label promo of ‘Prix Choc’, featuring different mixes by La Funk Mob and De Crecy himself, is nowhere near as essential, but still makes for lovely chilled listening. The former (‘Ultrabright Mix’) is almost unrecognisable while the latter (‘Ultradark Mix’) relies even more heavily than the Lp version on a Bob Marley sample for its groove. £2 at Pilgrim’s Hospice in Canterbury today.
The CD fightback continues apace with this Sunday Wincheap bootfair purchased Gorillaz bonanza. I’ve always like G’z singles and so this lot will do for an unrivaled computer playlist. My younger son already has third Lp Plastic Beach. Included are albums Gorillaz, Demon Days as well as compilations G-Sides, D-Sides (2 CDs) and Spacemonkeyz versus Gorillaz’ Laika Come Home. I also got Albarn’s Chinese Monkey opera. All for 50p a pop.
But what’s the deal with the simian thing?
Thanks to blogger and one-time musical partner Gutterbreakz, I developed an uncharacteristic jonez for the Dubsteps long about late 2005. I say uncharacteristic since, not only am I a gentleman of a certain age who should leave such racket to the yout’, but my electronic music library/understanding is relatively small and uninformed. Nonetheless, something about the music touched me (perhaps its links, sonic and physical, to dub reggae and Bristol, respectively) and, over the next 4 years I set about regularly buying Tectonic plates, Punch Drunks, white label refixes, etc., etc., entertaining myself with lonely bass weight sessions in the stereo room at Chez Asbo. None of my contemporaries or neighbours were interested. The few times I ventured into DS club nites were certainly musically edifying (the punishing volume adds impact, weight and substance), but socially less so.
Anyway, I often wondered when I would make my first Dubstep-Charity Shop purchase. And so it has come to pass. Of course, in my reveries, the buy involved copies of the first ten DMZ 12″s, but a £1.25 cd from The Shelter in Hythe of Will Bevan’s woodblock bothering second (and, at present, last) album which sent Boomkat into such paroxysms half a decade ago will do. (Other reveries involve finding J. Coltrane’s complete Impulse! oeuvre, so let’s say my daydreams don’t hew very close to reality–still, I get chills thinking about the possibility). I already own Untrue on 2xLp, but the cd, in decidedly oldskool fashion, has four tracks not on the vinyl. I hesitate to call them bonus tracks since, interestingly, the cd’s playlist has been given a reshuffle, offering a different listening experience to this unique, crepuscular record.
This quote from Derek Walmsley in The Wire explains Burial better than I can: “Inspired by the darkside drum’n’bass of the Metalheadz label, Burial decided at the outset to avoid at all costs the rigid, mechanistic path that eventually brought drum ‘n’ bass to a standstill. To this end, his percussion patterns are intuitively arranged on the screen rather than rigidly quantized, creating minute hesitations and slippages in the rhythm. His snares and hi-hats are covered in fuzz and phaser, like cobwebs on forgotten instruments, and the mix is rough and ready rather than endlessly polished. Perhaps most importantly, his basslines sound like nothing else on Earth. Distorted and heavy, yet also warm and earthy, they resemble the balmy gust of air that precedes an underground train.”
Someone paid mucho dinero for these in 1982–my handy-dandy historic inflation calculator reckons almost £18 ($27) in 2013 money. Was it worth it? Well, these party anthems have little going for them in terms of tune, but a lot by way groove and atmosphere. So let’s say you lose on the extras, but still get by on the percentages. For music with no greater ambition than engendering the shaking of booties, this counts as a moral victory. And let’s not forget that I only paid 50p a pop yesterday for these beauties.
LOCAL DJ FAILS TO REVIVE DANCEFLOOR HEART ATTACK VICTIM LAST NIGHT Latest Disco Tragedy Leads To Calls For Mandatory Disc Jockey Life Saving Training
(Huddersfield, West Yorkshire) — “I couldn’t think,” recalled a stammering Huddersfield disc jockey DJ Smile when confronted with the prostrate body of Jayne Watson lying on the dance floor at Gaunt Street night club Mr. Huddle’s yesterday evening. It was apparent that Watson had suffered a heart attack, but no one, least of all the DJ, was able to save her. The tragedy has led to appeals from some Labour MPs to compel DJs to attend life-saving courses.
“If a DJ can save the life of one woman,” said Labour leader Ed Milliband, “DJ CPR legislation will have been worth it.”
But the Conservative minister for Culture, Media and Sport Hugh Robertson labelled the proposals, “typical Labour Nanny State-ism” quipping that “DJs should stick to bangin’ chunes, not bangin’ chests.”
AREA MAN CAN’T FIND EXACTLY RIGHT MUSIC TO LISTEN TO
(Clintonville, Ohio) – Despite owning almost a thousand compact discs, twice as many vinyl albums and 7″’s, an I-Pod with 1,400 hours of music, as well as access to a score of digital radio stations featuring all manner of musics, Clintonville resident Alan Wiess was unable to locate music that precisely suited his mood.
“I want something modern sounding. Not too far out, yet not too commercial either,” Weiss explained from his Brighton Ave. duplex in north Columbus. “It has to sound electronic, without sounding flavor-of-the-month, and nothing self-consciously retro.”
Weiss pulled several albums out of his collection, including Daft Punk’s Human After All, Ride Da Rhythms 2 by various dancehall artists, Missy Elliot’s Under Construction, Flying Lotus’ Los Angeles, Mungo Hi-Fi’s Sound System Champion, Intrusive Incidentalz Vol. 1 by Ekoplekz and a CD-R compilation of late 90s/early 2000s ragga 7″ singles originally released on Jamiaca’s Xterminator label, which he’d recently received in the post from a fellow music fan he’d contacted on the Blood & Fire message board, only to replace them all.
Nonetheless, Weiss remained dissatisfied and concerned.
“Obviously, I need to get a lot more music to avoid this kind of situation in the future,” Weiss said, citing the new Bowie album, the vinyl re-issue of Ned Doheny’s Japanese-only Prone, the Freedom Jazz France compilation and several soul LPs as items that would, at least temporarily, plug the gaping hole in his music library and distract him from the infinite spiritual void in his soul.
…SAID NO-ONE EVER — POP EDITION!
Directions: Using only your smart-assedness and knowledge of classic rock lore, attribute an unlikely quote to a popular musician. Like so…
- “I’m sorry, if Bill Wyman quits, I quit too,” said Keith Richards. “It’s just not the Rolling Stones without him.”
- “Favourite Beatles song?” said George Harrison. “Definitely either ‘Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand’ or ‘Sie Liebt Dich.'”
- “Thanks, no,” said Keith Moon. “I’ve already had one and I’m driving,”
- “We should give Mick Taylor writing credit on this one,” said Mick Jagger.
- “Okay, now it’s time to record one of your songs Artie,” said Paul Simon.
- “I don’t think it’s quite far out enough,” said Mike Love. “Bring the upside down water cooler bottles much higher in the mix.”
- “Can we do another take,” said Carlos Santana. “I think I may have overplayed a bit on that last one.”
- “Eno’s a clever fellow, but he can’t really play anything,” said Bryan Ferry. “What he does, he does very well but it’s necessarily limited music.”*
- “Turn my amp down for me, will you,” said Richie Blackmore.
- “Before we start the next number,” said Sid Vicious. “Give me a moment to tune my bass.”
- “Marijuana’s alright,” said Bob Marley. “But not when I’m working. I need a clear head.”
- “No, Colonel Parker,” said Elvis Presley.
- “I think we’ll let the music sell the album,” said Madonna.
- “I will defer to you on that decision, Rick,” said Roger Waters.
- “Yes, Mojo, do come in–we’ve much to discuss,” said Van Morrison.
Now you try! It’s fun, it’s easy and it doesn’t cost a penny, only the withering of your already bitter and atrophied heart and the wasting of what precious little time you have left on Earth!
*whoops, Ferry actually did say that.
Editor’s note: I bought You Can Dance when it came out on cassette. An odd bespoke remix/singles hybrid, there is a percussion and keyboard thread that runs thought this segued Lp giving it continuity.
Hello (says he, peeping his head sheepishly round the door at Thrifty HQ). I’m the fella that started this blog a few years ago. Remember me? I was the one who posted all those stupid easy listening and K-Tel records.
Well, it seems that I haven’t posted anything here for over a year, so I thought it was about time I got my thumb out of my ass and did something about it. It’s not that I haven’t the time to blog, but I haven’t really been on the vinyl hunt much in recent times, so haven’t had much to report. But going through some records in my stash recently, I realised there were quite a few interesting artifacts I had yet to document here. So here’s the first of (hopefully) several new posts from Yours Truly.
So, what we have here is the splendidly titled ‘Disco-Rough’ compilation from Celluloid Records, released in 1982. Only six tracks on the platter, but at least you get a reasonably decent, loud-ish pressing. Celluloid was established by the Frenchman Jean Karakos in Paris, so perhaps its no surprise that the record opens with the minimalist rockabilly of Alan Vega’s “Juke Box Babe”, which (it still amazes me to say) was a bit of a hit in France. Vega’s tremulous Elvis-Iggy delivery is up there with some of his best vocals, and the track retains the relentless repetition associated with his work as one half of Suicide, although here he trades in Martin Rev’s synth-noise for the guitars of Phil Hawk. Not my idea of ‘Disco’ in any shape, way or form, but a welcome opener nonetheless.
Another name that might be familiar is that of Material, who contribute two tracks. “Secret Life” is their pulsing synth-disco ‘classic’, whilst “Upriver” is a mash-up of latin percussion, funk horns and southern-blues-rock, with a nice twangy guitar that puts me in mind of some mid-period Captain Beefheart.
The remaining tracks are filled by lesser known acts Elli & Jacno and Mathematiques Modernes who each contribute some perfectly listenable alternative dance music of the era. Quite pleased with this purchase.