The Afghan Whigs – Algiers (2014)

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

From Morocco to Algeria …

The Afghan Whigs are one of my favourite bands of all time making great records for 25 years or so (they are still responsible for the definitive reading of Prince’s “When Doves Cry”!)

Taken from their 2014 LP Do To The Beast, “Algiers” is right up there with the best records they’ve ever made. A “Be My Baby” intro, a wall of guitar noise, a pummelling bass, pounding drums and Greg Dulli’s punk/soulman vocals soaring over the top. What’s not to like?

Dream your sins away

Sin your dreams away

The official video and then a stunning live version in the studio at KCRW.

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The Chameleons – Intrigue In Tangiers (1985)

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

From Ethiopia to Morocco (no, really …)

I loved The Chameleons while living in Manchester in 1984-1985. My other half and I saw them live at their home town gig at the Ritz in Manchester around this time and they stood out from most bands of the period with their rare combination of aggression and contemplation.

I’ve previously posted their debut single “In Shreds” here (what a stupendous song that is!)

“Intrigue in Tangiers” is taken from The Chameleons second LP What Does Anything Mean? Basically.

The LP version, the Peel Session and then a spine-tingling live performance from 1984! The somewhat muted reaction of the audience probably a consequence of the track not having been released yet!

 

Tesfa-Maryam Kidane – Heywete (late 1960s/early 1970s)

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

From Senegal to Ethiopia.

Difficult to find out too much about this record. It appears on Volume 10 of the peerless Ethiopiques series of CDs (I’m almost a completist, though we are now up to 30 volumes!)

A wonderfully laid-back and evocative instrumental with Kidane’s saxophone holding the whole thing together – understated bass and percussion underpin the melody.  a piano fills in the spaces until a stunning guitar solo prompts the bass to move into Afro-funk perfection! Beautiful.

Mansour Seck – Quinze Ans (1994)

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

I’m kicking off a series of posts tonight that are going to have an increasingly tendentious African theme …. I can already imagine the breaths that will be bated as my not exactly legion band of followers (you know who you are sir, and thank you!) await the melodic twists and turns that will be served up.

However, let’s start with a stone cold classic. I stumbled upon this on Mansour Seck’s N’der Foota Tooro Volume 1 CD released in 1994. Blind and hailing from Senegal, Mansour was a regular collaborator with his fellow countryman Baaba Maal.

Precise, metronomic guitar, impassioned vocals and a great call and response chorus. A perfect record.

The Stooges – T.V. Eye (1970)

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

How has it taken me this long to elevate this to the pantheon of the bestmusicofalltime?

Iggy Pop and The Stooges make most of what became before or after irrelevant. Relentless, focused, stripped down to the minimum input required to achieve maximum effect.

It gets no better than this and the Sex Pistols et al were still at school!

Sometimes I wonder why I bother listening to anything else …..

The Fall – Wings (1983)

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

The Fall at close to the peak of their powers. Taken from the seminal double 7″ single “Kicker Conspiracy”, “Wings” finds Mark E. Smith channeling his inner Stooges. Relentless guitar, a pounding bass and lyrics worth an effort to decipher …

Ended up under Ardwick Bridge.
With some veterans from the U.S. Civil War.
They were under Irish patronage.
We shot dead a stupid sergeant,
but I got hit in the crossfire.
The lucky hit made me hit a time lock.

Nope, me, neither.

Great video!

Aphex Twin – Rhubarb (1994)

October 9, 2017 Leave a comment

A great companion piece to the John Cage track posted earlier tonight. “Rhubarb” is taken from Aphex Twin’s classic Selected Ambient Works Volume II released on Warp Records in 1994. If I recall, most of the tracks are untitled but have been named according to the various pictures that accompany them.

This is a beautiful piece which reminds me a lot of Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent)” from 1983 previously posted here. That is, in itself, no bad thing!

Perfect ambient techno.

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