Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tiny Tremors Volume Two

Welcome to the in depth, descriptive and pictorial accompaniment to the TTV2 2011 mix. It is here that you will find all the fascinating facts about the tracks featured this year... and more! For starters - if you have just arrived via the power of QR codes then a big HELLO to you! And here is a special bonus download track just for you:

Cat - Blank Space

On to the mix:

Nik Raicevic and John Laws - Head Sweat (edit)
Flairck - Variations on a lady (extract)
Nana - Codajas
Don Harper & Denny Wright - Surf (edit)
Fever Exploration - Kabiwa
Erwin Halletz Orchestra - In Frankfurt sind die nachte heiss
James Wright & His Orchestra - Crane
Bobby McFerrin & Bob Dorough - Friday the thirteeneth
Slickaphonics - Horseradish
Dwight Twilley Band - Sleeping
Batteaux - Mirror
Jerry Jeff Walker - Moon Child
Jonathan Edwards - Morning Train
Tom Newman - Penny's Whistle Boogie
Eynesbury Giant - The 24th of February
Steeleye Span - Slingo Maid
Jean-Yves Labat - U-Boat
Thomas Leer - Hear what I say
Thompson Twins - Lama Sabach Tani
John Romero - Dr Who
Shades Ltd - Frog hunt on Mars
Bobby Darin - Softly, as in a morning sunrise
Sidsel Endresen - Truth (extract)

This is work in progress - I'm trying to write up one track each day..... starting with:

CANABIS SATIVA (part) - ART OF SPACE (used in opening track Head Sweat)

This gurgling early moog synthesizer workout is from 1970 on Buddah. It consists of three long tracks whose titles somewhat hint at the mood they were going for: Cannabis Sativa, Methedrine and last but not least Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. On the back cover we are advised: "The sound of numbers for soaking in soft dreams. Sweet moments and private notes making a rhyme into a habit. An album that creates the ultimate environment for the smoke generation. Taste it." Composed and created by Nik Raicevic under the name Art In Space. Comes with a surreal booklet of drug induced sketches.... The trouble is, for all it's unique electronic qualities you do rather wish there were some drums on it - in fact someone should just add a percussion track to it, but in the meantime - it does make a rather charming backing track for....


Rather odd recording in which Mancini provides musical score to John Laws' rather macho musings on love and togetherness from 1977. John Laws, a famous Australian radio broadcaster comes across rather on the creepy side at times - but some of his verses are worthy of a larger audience! The music is pretty laid back - not vintage Mancini by any means, but taken as a whole and as an oddity, it's worth tracking down. A couple of John Laws' linking monologues have been extracted for your delectation.


It was a personal quest - to find something a little different in the Thompson Twins catalogue. Whether I have found it is perhaps open to debate, but here's an almost totally instrumental, Indian sitar inspired groove, found on the B-side of their early single release 'Make Believe (Let's Pretend)' from 1981. The band featured in the photo on the back cover (above) is somewhat expanded from the later 3 member outfit. Although I do rather enjoy 'We Are Detective', I'm curious to know what the band would have become if they'd stayed as seven piece band. I need to pick up their very first album - A Product Of...(Participation), recorded when they were living in a Lambeth squat, which has a few good tracks. When playing live in the late 70s / early 80s, they invited the audience up on stage to bash the hell out of lots of metal junk - how very industrial!


Kabiwa was the King of Surinam and he had seven daughters whose chosen names all began with the letter V, except the youngest who was named by Sofia, his Queen. She was called Juliette which caused the King so much annoyance that he packed her off to her uncle and aunt (Eugene & Florence) who happened to live in Santa Barbara....... and so Serge Prisset created a 1970 concept album of sorts (though 'Instrumental Super Pop' is the somewhat librariesque title), each track named after a member of the extended royal family or settings for the drama. Kabiwa is the stand-out track - one of those that on first hearing I assumed was some lounge floorkiller that I should have been aware of already. Drum break... enter guitar groove.... bongos.... female vocal chant.... hammond and repeat. vocal scatting....end. Perfection. Serge Prisset was and is a prolific French composer and songwriter, writing, in the 70s, for many famous French acts (such as Mireille Mathieu, Sylvie Vartan, Nicoletta, Hervé Vilard and Charlotte Julian). Now out of the limelight, he writes bespoke 'Gift Songs' for weddings.


Thomas Leer is a proper DIY synth pioneer self releasing the rather marvelous first single 'Private Plane in 1978:

This was followed by a sequence of really interesting synth-pop tracks through the 80s. The double 12" LP 'Contradictions' was released by Cherry Red Records in 1982, and this is the opening track. I think he impeccably understands the dance groove and this one got a few feet tapping at Brillo last year. He also knows how to write a hook - a tune - and pop lyrics too - and that squelchy synth keeps the whole thing warm and organic rather than icily detached. It was a toss up between this track and the equally fantastic 'Soul Gypsy' - I urge you to check that out too! Thomas Leer went on to form the decandent duo 'Act' with Claudia Brücken on ZZT, releasing four singles (one recalled due to illicit sampling of an Abba track).


JJ Walker was the classic drifter of the 60s and 70s - busking around the states, especially fond of Texas, playing classic folk songs, befriending soulmates Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Willie Nelson on the way . Briefly in New York he formed a band - Circus Maximus - who produced two albums on Vanguard - in the vain of the Byrds - psychedelic folk rock.

The founders drifted apart - one going jazz, and JJ heading back to the folk circuit. He is now best known for his song Mr Bojangles - covered by all sorts - and defining his music as Cowjazz, which I particularly like. This track is from his 1972 self-titled album, which he sub-titled - The Continuing Saga Of The Classic Bummer. Apparently Moon Child was a response to his favourite movie - Black Orpheus. It is a gorgeously simple song and melody that shambles along with loose shaggy band accompaniment. I only wish it lasted longer. He's now settled in Texas and his birthday is celebrated with an ever growing annual shindig which often attracts the high and mighty from the folk and country worlds.


If you read the rather marvelous Electric Eden by Rob Young, you'll know why I had to pick this album up. In one of the stranger chapters of the book we are told a story about Puck, a cottage built into a rocket, about to take off, and it's occupants and interior - all very odd, but basically a surreal tale based around the cover image of the album, summing up the state of folk music and the nation at that time. When describing this later (1976) work he introduces the rather lovely concept of disco-folk: "There are production flourishes courtesy of Mike Blatt - disco drumming on 'Orfeo', dub weightlessness on 'Fighting Strangers' and Shaft-style wah-wah on 'Slingo Maid'....." That was enough for me to go hunting. It of course doesn't quite live up to the promise, but is interesting all the same - a bit of a one-liner and a bit repetitive, not really going anywhere, it still has a unique quality and that's enough for it to find it's way into the tiny folk section of the mix.

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