Sunday, 16 February 2014

Argonaut Sounds - Dancehall Possie

Argonaut Sounds - Dancehall Possie by 7 Awkward Inches

Break out the tracksuits, diamond socks and bling for this month's Awkward instalment - a sub-rupturing trawl through the enviable crates of Glasgow's Argonaut Sounds, courtesy of Wayne Fortune.

With huge tracks from Courtney Melody, Malibu, King Kong and Conroy Smith, this selection of prime '80s and early '90s digital dancehall is begging for a ruthless cranking. Maximum bass, maximum volume, maximum results.

If you want to experience the weight of one of Scotland's finest sound systems in the flesh, The Poetry Club in Glasgow is the place to be. A wild opening night featuring Macka B has already set the tone for what looks to be one of the city's heaviest monthly parties.  Info on all future dates can be found here.

For a more frequent fix, you can find Argonaut Sounds dominating the 78 Cafe Bar every Thursday. The night's called The Dutchy Pot and it's definitely worth hitting. They're also in charge of Subcity Radio's longest-running radio show. Check it out - there's an insane amount of podcasts up there just waiting to be rinsed.

As if that wasn't enough, they've also started their own record label, Argonaut Sounds Production. They've got two releases under their belt so far, and you can cross their palms with silver over on Bandcamp.

This exclusive 7" session is an absolute banger, and (as ever) there's a full visual tracklist to go with it. If you want to know a bit more about the culture that eventually led to digital dancehall, Wayne has written a great two-part Introduction to Reggae, which you can cast your eyes over here. Dig in!

01. King Everald - Set Dancehall on Fire

02. Courtney Melody - Tell Them

03. Sugar Black - Just Like Magic

04. Malibu - Cuffen A Sound

05. King Kong - No Touch De Gorrilla

06. Johnny P - Fight Fi Old Bruk

07. Conroy Smith - Dancehall Possie

08. Leroy Gibbons - This Magic Moment

09. Chaka Demus - Vanity Crazy

10. Wendy Culture - Wheeling Don

11. Ugly Man - DJ Deh Ya

12. John Waye - No Run Nuh Risk

13. Little Twitch - Dollars A Do It

14. Roger More - The Gun

15. Derrick Parker - Joy Ride

16. Burro Banton - Boom Wha Dis

17. Screechie Joe - Labba Mouth

Monday, 13 January 2014

F. Clark - No Darkness

Fergus Clark, one of the most thrillingly unpredictable selectors in Glasgow, just dropped this reggae-heavy monster for 7 Awkward Inches and we couldn’t be more chuffed.  

The tracklist speaks for itself.  The biggest curveball here (Ghost’s massive lip-twitcher aside) is probably the total lack of curveballs - just straight Jamaican bangers, end to end.  Exactly how we like it.

If you’re in Glasgow and want to catch the man at work, head down to So Weit So Gut (Nice ‘N’ Sleazy) for a night of under-the-radar leftfield killers.  Keep an eye out for the Void nights around town as well – more of a 4/4 affair, but guaranteed to hand you your ass.

You can also tune in to 12th Isle Transmissions on Subcity Radio – nothing but scorching free jazz, psychedelic synth mangling, PCP-induced Christian biker rock and songs about plants.

Finally, No Repress is the place to be if you want to read the guy’s mind.  Holding forth on everything from Elaine Radigue to Antinote, his articles are more of a mandatory shopping list than anything else.

But for now, it’s nothing but the 7”s.  As ever, there’s a full visual tracklist for all the records used.

Crank it.

Leroy Wallace – Far Beyond (intro)
Milton Samuels – Red Hot
Rod Taylor – The Lord Is My Light
Sam Bramwell – Ruling Time
Makka Bees – Fire!
Errol Dunkley – Black Cinderella
Albert Malawi – Give Me Loving (Version)
Nora Dean – Angie Lala
Johnny Clarke – Blood Dunza
Junior Murvin – Make It And Set It
Wild Fire – The Dealer
General Plough – One More River
Courtney Melody – No Darkness
Zahair – Love Accident
Ghost – Come Back Again

Friday, 25 October 2013

Ship Canal presents 'The Rise Of Potato Fascism'

Ship Canal is the proprietor of Hand Loom Lament, a D.I.Y micro-label specializing in D.I.Y electronic-alcoholica for wage slaves, by wage slaves.
His first CD-R is Please Let Me Back Into Your House, released on Hacker Farm's 19F3 label last year. 

He comprises one third of the tramp-juice power trio, Ex-Servicemen.

He is a four-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, a three-time All Asia Tag League Champion (alongside Stan Hansenand a member of the Countryside Alliance.

This mix was named after his friend David Bell's essay, The Rhizome: A Potato Fascism.

Tercer Mundo – Intro
(Self-titled 7”, Cintas Pepe, 2012)

Sometimes a wee shot of subcultural lifestylism can be good. These folks are from Monterrey, Mexico.
White America might have seen it on the news. Involuntary crud punk that makes you want to dig out 
those '90s Latino HxC sides that changed your life. I mean, this is just the intro, but trust me.

The Residents – Sinister Exaggerator 
(Duck Stab!, Ralph Records, 1978)

All over the place, yet anchored by the very explicit feeling that they know exactly what the fuck 
they are doing. The absurdo-melody is basically a whacked-out Horse Rotorvator-era Coil reel 
on rubbish speed. Before Horse Rotorvator existed. And without the shitty “magick” arse. 

Nancy Seasay and The Melodaires – The Ballad Of Hong Kong
(C'est Fab, It’s War Boys!, 1982)

The first ever release on a label with whose output I identify with to an almost obscene degree. 
It’s War Boys! #1. UK D.I.Y Rosetta Stone. I might just stop making music altogether because, really,
what’s the fucking point when these bedsit bastards have scooped up every half-decent idea I've ever had
before I was even born? Like someone threw Else Marie Pade down the stairs 
straight into Basil Kirchin's sleazy, gaping bum hole and she formed a band with his small intestines.

Tubby Hayes – Voodoo Hayes
(Voodoo Session, Trunk, 2009 reissue)

Shepperton hard-bop stinker originally laid down for Freddie Francis's classic Amicus anthology, 
Dr Terror’s House Of Horrors. I like pretty much all the Tubbys - King, Smith, this bloke. 
I'm also a fan of Fatty Fudge from The Beano and I liked Fatty Arbuckle until ‘the incident’. 

Anyway, this is a sublime and deceptive little flouncer 
that even chucks in a nutsack-tickling wisp of a half-solo that, oh, so briefly recalls 
Coltrane losing his shit on Mr P.C. The little tease!

Violence and The Sacred – Now A God Dances Through Me
(Dull Knife Dull Life; Sharp Knife Short Life, Freedom In A Vacuum, 1988)

Kaffe Matthews – C
(Still A Slapper, Stitching Mixer, 2001)

Off-the-peg bullshit industrial bollocks that some chump 
from Blackest Ever Black will probably try and pass off as some lost classic 
(and used here for no other reason than I don't know how to mix 
and fancied including some portentous spoken word rubbish about cancer and the existential void
because, well, it’s the internet, innit), crossed with a genuinely ultra-focused concrète miniature 
that reveals about 1,000 microscopic scuttle loops on repeated listens. FUCK!

Tashi Wada – Gradient
(Gradient, De Stijl, 2012)

Tell a sound artist that Tashi is better than his Dad. See what happens. Live on the edge. 
Be like Steven Tyler in that respect.

Lincoln – Bench Warmer (Ship Canal Man Boobs Megamix)
(Two Headed Coin split with Hoover, Art Monk Construction, 1993)

‘90s emotional HxC is probably my favourite genre of music. 
In fact, I spent most of my time when I was 17 
talking to men much older than myself on MSN Messenger long into night 
about how best to go about making a template that I could use to accurately reproduce the words 
UNIVERSAL ORDER OF ARMAGEDDON on my Jansport bag using Tippex. 

They might have been paedos. They probably weren't, but with usernames like 
ELISE, YOU PUT YOUR TRUST IN ME, it really was hard to tell. Brb.

Kilgore Trout – Ablaze
(Stretcheads / Kilgore Trout flexi, free with Ablaze! #7)

Like half the tracks from a Dub Sex tune pasted over the top of Frank Sidebottom covering New Order 
on a disobedient Casio. I have no idea why or how I have this. 
I might have stolen it off someone in Glasgow while I was living there. 
I mean, that would make sense. Sorry.

Smith And Mighty – Brain Scan
(Brain Scan, Angel's Egg, 2003)

Japanese reissue of this incomprehensibly far-sighted half-breakbeat-but-not-really dub monster. 
This is 28 years old. Think about that. I refused to believe it for about three years after I first heard it. 
Halfstep charlatans pass off weaker shit than this in 2013. 
Those microdot swooshes at the end are just DARLING.

Kambo Super Sound – Kambo Super Dub
(Split 7” with Don Papa, Sex Tags Amfibia, 2010)

I never associate dub with the sun. 
To me, it’s piss-stained Hulme stairwells and sweaty as fuck basement parties 
in the only working class part of your city that hasn't been decimated by Urban Splash imperialism. 
What that has to do with a soundsystem crew from Norway, I have no idea.

Constant Pain – Shadow Of A Lonely Man
(Self-titled 7”, Carburetor, 1996)

Nasty little hermit bastard locks himself in a room and poops out hyper-dense alcho-folk 
over two sides of seemingly moss-encrusted vinyl. 
I'm a huge fan of music that is as depressing as humanly possible. 
I hope he didn't die, though.

Indian Summer – I Think Your Train Is Leaving
(Self-titled Indian Summer / Embassy split 7”, Slave Cut, 1994)

Tweez-humping HxC Americana buoyed by some of the most harrowing can-barely-be-arsed-to-scream
declarations of ineffectiveness I've ever heard. I sample them all the time 
and someone always thinks I'm using something that’s actually cool and hip to like.

Luke Fowler and Richard Youngs – Yellow Garden
(Yellow Garden, Fourth Dimension, 2012)

I would marry Richard Youngs if he didn't seem so shit at socialising. 
And if he seemed like he drank more and liked professional wrestling. 

Seriously, I don't usually care for people who release every single miniscule sound 
they happen to make on a given day (except for Prince. I'd definitely buy everything he has in his vault. 
Even stuff he's dropped in there by accident, like contact lenses and anti-depressants), 
but Youngs doesn't make bad records, just new Youngs records. 

Luke Fowler is an art man.

PQ - Louise On Earth 
(Louise On Earth / Countdown To Elise, Epanding, 2008)

I'm well into stuff that has kids singing on it. 
Like those terrifying Current 93 records about National Bolshevik horses that live under your bed. 
Or Human Skab. I bought this because I heard it had a kid singing on it 
and thought it might (it could, couldn't it?) sound like Human Skab.  

It sounded like washed out middle class bores deciding which Lemon Jelly CD to put on after dinner, 
so I put some FX over it and it still sounds rubbish. DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Duncan Harvey - Make Yourself Comfortable

While digging in the dusty 50 cent crates in The Record Store in Berlin, I came across a 7" that prompted me to write a note, which reads: “Chris' 45 blog - 'make yourself comfortable', open with Sarah Vaughan tune, with the theme being ‘schmaltz orchestral soundtrack’”. 

Much of what you hear in this mix was found either in Germany in the summer of 2013, or in Oxfam Music on Byres Road in Glasgow. The only exception to this is Rotary Connection's Turn Me On, which I bought in Sounds of the Universe in 2005 for the flip, which is a cover of Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone.

01.  Sarah Vaughan with Hugo Peretti & His Orchestra - Make Yourself Comfortable (Mercury, 1954)

02.  Quartetto Cetra - I Ricordi Della Sera (Ricordi, 1961) 

03.  Joe "Mr. Piano" Henderson - Love Is The Sweetest Thing (Cub, 1958) 

04.  Mr Acker Bilk with The Leon Young String Chorale - Cieilto Lindo (Atco, 1962) 

05. Roger Williams - Sunday, Monday or Always (Kapp)

06.  Fontane Sisters - If I Could Be With You (Dot, 1955) 

07.  Jane Morgan & The Troubadors - Fascination (Kapp, 1957)

08.  Larry Adler - Le Grisbi (Columbia, 1955)

09.  Cleo Laine with accompaniment directed by Johnny Gregory - Thieving Boy (Fontana, 1961)

10.  Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Summer Wine (Reprise, 1966)

11.  Francoise Hardy - Another Place (Pye, 1965)

12.  Scott Walker - Joanna (Phillips, 1968)

13.  Rotary Connection - Turn Me On (Cadet, 1967)

Friday, 14 June 2013

Splashy The Blame-Shifter - Size Matters

Everyone thinks of 7”s differently – the perfect format for a pure pop hit, the cheapest way to check out two bands for the price of one (pre-internet, anyway), a classy option for getting your demo/oddball ideas out there, throwaway shit destined for the charity shops, or the first place to go hunting for lost/hidden gems. 

This mix tries to fit all of that into 50 minutes.  From drugged minimal synth abuse, unearthly Mauritian psych and wild lo-fi sax action to unlikely Top Ten chart smashes, a Roland Rat record and Italian punks singing about sanitary towels, you’re never in the same place for long.  Size Matters sums up everything that’s fascinating, infuriating and totally unpredictable about spending an extended period of time with nothing but a box of singles.

Scroll down for a full visual tracklist.  Some songs get played out in their entirety, some only hang around for a few seconds, and a good few make more than one appearance – after all, there’s a wealth of sample gold in grindcore splits and language lesson records alike!

Lincoln Love Log – Chorizo (2007)

Lifted from the shittier half of a pretty shit split with Intestinal Disgorge, 
who I usually have an embarrassing soft spot for.   
On the list of my prouder affections are boiled German sausages, sweet mustard 
and horror movie samples used as intros for just about anything.

Hairy Diamond – Education (2000)

Came across this in my box one day, and my fiancée thinks it might be hers.  
DJ tool hell that only a price tag can justify, but it makes it sound like I can scratch.  
Which I can’t. 

The Residents – Constantinople (1978)

The best 7”s are usually either pure pop fodder or totally mangled wipe-outs.  
This one is both.  The Residents, eh? 

Kevin The Gerbil – Hawaiian Holiday (1984)

The cheapest bit of vinyl I own.  49 pence from Glasgow’s Oxfam Music.  
Years of contact mic/fork torture have been surprisingly kind to it.  

The Flying Lizards – Money (1979)

Much like The Residents, these guys sit on the fence and get no splinters.  
A bass playing the beat, a piano full of ashtrays and a big fuck you to Thatcher.  
God only knows what Barrett Strong thought, but it did make it onto Top Of The Pops.  
Number 5, no less.  Heady days. 

Noam Chomsky – Political Analysis (1991)

Old Noam keeping us up to speed on Iraq.  My favourite hardcore b-side ever.  
Hats off to Bad Religion – a total stroke of genius.

Muriel Young  Tabitha's Terrible Day (1966)

More Oxfam dross.

Rotten Masters – Tomorrow’s Story (2012)

Drum machine Discharge worship from Richard Youngs and Andrew Paine 
that comes on like an AmRep industrial ballad.  The first vinyl outing from the great Sonic Oyster label, 
and quite possibly Richard’s first ever fuck.  A keeper. 

Lincoln Love Log – Now Your BBQ (2007)

More grindcore horror hysteria.  
The best movie samples usually come from the worst bands, and this is no exception.

Years On Earth – My Death Waits (1979/2012)

Inexplicably overlooked UK bedsit minimalism.  As late-night-loner as they come, 
Years On Earth had one eye on the whole TG/Coil/NWW axis and one eye on the door.  
Vinyl-On-Demand did a great job getting the word out, despite their usual tracklist hatchet job.

Wolf Freesler  Your Holiday German (1962)

Those language lesson records are useless for anything other than sampling.  
Everyone knows it.

Arthur Doyle & Rudolph Grey – Ghosts II, Part One (1980/2010)

After hearing Noah Howard’s Black ArkI had to track down as much as I could 
by everyone involved.  One of those records.  And Arthur threw the gauntlet down like no one else.  
He’s at his best on his own, and Rudolph Grey could have just as easily sat this one out.  
Blowing down a Blue Human - no mean feat.

Junko & Michel Henritzi – Berlin, With Love (2013)

I’ve only ever heard the queen of Japanese minimalism working at her day job (Hijokaiden) 
or in the company of stony-faced conceptualists with too many books on political theory (Mattin), 
so this is a real treat.  Any Junko performance is going to be an emotional highwire walk, 
but this one goes straight for the heart strings and holds on tight.  
She’s basically been doing the same thing for 30-odd years and it hasn’t worn thin yet.  True romance.

Wolf Freesler  Your Holiday German (1962)

Endless treats on offer here.  It’ll crop up again, too.

Bruce Russell & John Wiese – California Front (2006)

Mail collaborations are usually a bit of flop, but this is dream-team territory.  
If only Wiese could get his fingers into The Dead C.  Bruce, if you’re reading… 

LVMM – Fever (2011)

Ultra Eczema have put out more single-song cover compilations than anyone needs 
(three to date – Popcorn, La Bamba and this one), but they’re always worth a look.  
This is the straightest cut by far, and it makes me think of striped shirts and sticky floors, 
but it’s pretty hard to resist.  A bonus 7” always goes down easy, too.    

Hairy Diamond – Education (2000)

That name has always grossed me out.


Lincoln Love Log – Now Your BBQ (2007) 

I don’t have many singles with spoken word samples on them, as you can probably tell.  
And only one packing a good scream.

Bruce Russell & John Wiese – California Front (2006)

Not many noise singles, either.

Wolf Fressler – Your Holiday German (1966) 

Who buys these things?

Tampax – Tampax (In The Cunt) (1979/2010)

As far as band names go, this one’s right up there.  Their side of the Hitler SS split 
was recorded in 15 minutes, and it shows.  A truly horrific guitar sound, pure rhythmic slop, 
a bassist on the brink and a throat-full of bloody contempt – pretty much the ultimate punk 45.

Patrick Fitzgerald – Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart (1977)

Unplugged punks are a grim proposition.  Still, this is worth sitting on the floor for.  
Not sure if it’s about domestic abuse or if it’s a genuinely honest, heartfelt love song, 
but what does that matter?  His rarely-mentioned full-length masterpiece, Gifts And Telegrams
is a whole other spoonful of sour and should be sitting on every record shelf out there.  
The world’s a funny place, though. 

Anne Bean & P.D. Burwell – Low Flying Aircraft (1979/2007)

Off-the-radar UK DIY made by an instrument builder and a performance artist 
with a serious jones for Burroughs.  Once they added a sculptor to the line-up, I got sceptical, 
but this is austere dancefloor experimentalism at an all-time high (in every sense).   

Timmy’s Organism – Toes In The Grass (2009)

I’m a sucker for a gatefold double 7”, but who isn’t?  Luckily, most of the music lives up to the marketing.
It’s the solo project of Timmy Vulgar of Clone Defects/Human Eye, so there’s a fair amount 
of disposable oddball garage on the go.  When the synths light up, though, 
you know you’ve picked a winner.

Karen Novotny X – Future On (1979/2010)

The story goes that these guys are first wave electro industrialists who recorded a bunch of tunes 
on Chris Carter’s gear, then just walked away.  30 years later, it all came tumbling out.  A nice idea,
although the Photoshopped gig fliers and high-end production job (more obvious on the superb full-length)
make it all seem a bit Jurassic Park.  Quite a tale, but there’s no hiding those holes.

Keith Fullerton Whitman – 
Variations For Oud and Synthesiser (2010)

I’d love to hear more 7”s from Keith.  Forced to shape his sprawling modular splatter 
into something more succinct, the end result here is a masterclass in concept, 
artwork and facial hair execution.  And it sounds great, too.  A white label labour of love, 
where everything just seems to click.  Shame I used so little of it.

Aaron Dilloway – A Funeral With Music (2009)

Noise goon turned 8-track architect, this former Wolf Eye has thrown up some of the finest long-form, 
time-killing minimalism of the last few years.  And his shorter shots are worth a go, too.  
His take on the Lucifer Rising soundtrack is what to pop for, 
but I’ve still got plenty of time for this one.  Again, blink and you'll miss it. 

Silvia Kastel – Take It (2012)

Refreshingly severe minimal wave from one half of the slightly over-sold Control Unit.  
The whole pre-set revivalist thing was dead before it started, and Silvia knows it.  
This is all blank space, carefully sculpted noise and the kind of snare sound you’d find 
on early Appleblim productions.  Who’s going to pass on that?

Noam Chomsky – Political Analysis (1991)

How could you not want more of that voice?

Pretty – Moustache In Your Face (1969/2012)

Not much to be said about this one, other than asking why it took over 40 fucking years 
for an official release to surface.  Psychedelic garage perfection.

Dawson – Biceps (Do You Wanna Feel Em) (1990)

Debut single from this wildly underappreciated Glasgow group.  
At their best, they could take the tight art-house horror of prime New York no wave 
and beat it into stunning hardcore pop.  At their worst, they were the greatest band in Glasgow.  
Seriously overdue on the reissue front.

Bruce Russell & John Wiese – California Front (2006)

Noise, noise, noise.

Lincoln Love Log – Now Your BBQ (2007) 

Getting pretty sick of the sight of this.  Last time around, though.

L’Orchestre Nationale de Mauritanie – La Mone (1973/2011) 

Mind-meltingly dosed Mauritian folk/psych, performed by the President’s official big band, 
produced in Beirut and written to ring in the country’s new independent currency (the Ouguiya) in 1973. 
This shit just does not happen any more.

Wolf Fressler – Your Holiday German (1966)

Mr Fressler asking that all-important question...

Horace – Waiting For The Moon (1971/2012)  

The sole recording from these loosely Atomic Rooster-related hash heads.  
If a less acidic Comus sounds like something you could soak in, then the heavy-duty gatefold, 
hand-drawn artwork and detailed liners should sway you as much as the sonics. 

Elti-Fits – Their Grip (1980)

It’s hard to find a drummer who hasn’t been in The Fall at some point, 
but if they played on Hex Enduction Hour, they’re worth hunting down - a theory borne out 
by this frustratingly under-sung stunner.  There’s a 7”, a Peel session and not much else, 
which only adds to the appeal, but that fantasy full-length still makes me sweat.

Amen Dunes – Ethio Song (2012)

Billed as Amen Dunes covering the songs of an unknown Ethiopian musician, 
this packs a heavy punch, despite the American indie-isms that shine through now and again.  
Full of all the shaking, ecstatic sorrow you could hope for.  More, please.

The Korgis – Waiting For Godot (1985) 

I love a good run-out groove, and grabbing one from this portentous mess of a record 
was the only way to go.  Without doubt, the sound of nothing there.