• Haruki Murakami discusses writing, running and records on his one-off radio show

    By | August 6, 2018

    Listen to a curious selection of the author’s favourite tracks, including Donald Fagen, The Beach Boys and Joey Ramone.

    Haruki Murakami has made his DJ debut, as his pre-recorded 55-minute show, Murakami Radio: Run & Songs, aired last night (5th August) on Tokyo FM.

    Read next: Take an interactive tour of Murakami’s record room

    For the show, Murakami selected ten tracks he enjoys running to, using them as starting points to discuss his approach to writing.

    As AP News reports, Murakami said: “Rather than learning storytelling technique from someone, I’ve taken a musical approach, while being very conscious about rhythms, harmony and improvisation. It’s like writing as I dance, even though I don’t actually dance. For me, writing tends to be a very physical process, and that’s my style. If you think my books are easy to read, perhaps we have something in common musically.”

    While Murakami’s fabled record room has upwards of 10,000 records and CDs, the author chose to focus on music contained on iPods he uses when running, each of which contain thousands of tracks. But anyone expecting an education in esoteric jazz would have been surprised instead to hear a selection of cover versions, easy listening tracks and a left-field rom-com soundtrack.

    Documented on the Murakami Radio website, his show began with the observation that it may have been the first time many of his readers and fans had ever heard his voice.

    He opened with Donald Fagen’s ‘Madison Time’, before diving into a selection of running music, for which Murakami insists rock with a simple, consistent rhythm is best. He started with Brian Wilson’s ‘Heigh-Ho / Whistle While You Work / Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)’ from the Beach Boy’s In the Key Of Disney album, and Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin’ USA’.

    He also played King Pleasure’s ‘D B Blues’, ‘Sky Pilot’ by Eric Burdon and The Animals, (which he admits he likes to sing along to in the car with the roof down), Joey Ramone’s ‘What A Wonderful World’, ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ by George Harrison, an arrangement of ‘Knockin ‘On Heaven’s Door’ by Ben Sidran, and the Hall & Oates’ cover of the O’Jays’ ‘Love Train’ from the soundtrack to sci-fi rom-com Earth Girls Are Easy.

    His final choice was a Helmut Zacharias violin-led cover of The Doors’ ‘Light My Fire’ from easy listening compilation On The Rocks. Quoting Sly & The Family Stone’s Sly Stone, he said: “I am making music for everyone, I want to make music that is understood by everyone, even idiots, so that no one is stupid anymore.”

    Murakami also answered a handful of questions sent in by fans, one of which asked what music he would have at his own funeral. According to AP News, Murakami said he would “rather go quietly”.

    Listen to a playlist of the ten tracks below and explore the show in more detail here.

    Murakami’s radio playlist:

    Donald Fagen with Jeff Yong & the Youngsters – Madison Time
    Brian Wilson – Heigh-Ho / Whistle While You Work / Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)
    The Beach Boys – Surfin’ USA
    King Pleasure – D B Blues
    Eric Burden & The Animals – Sky Pilot
    Joey Ramone – What A Wonderful World
    George Harrison – Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
    Ben Sidran – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
    Daryl Hall & John Oates – Love Train
    Zacharias – Light My Fire

  • Brian Wilson releases new anthology spanning 30 years of solo recordings

    By | June 23, 2017

    Playback touches on nine solo albums.

    Brian Wilson is releasing a new anthology collecting music from the last thirty years, including two previously unreleased tracks.

    Read next: How Bullion sampled Pet Sounds to create the ultimate J Dilla x Beach Boys mixtape

    The 18-track compilation, entitled Playback, begins with his eponymous solo debut for Sire in 1988 and includes music from nine of his following albums, spanning studio and live recordings.

    The two previously unreleased tracks are ‘Run James Run,’ written by Wilson for the anthology and ‘Some Sweet Day,’ from an unfinished project with Andy Paley in the early ’90s.

    Released on double vinyl, the collection will be available on 22nd September via Rhino. Pre-order yours here and see the tracklist below.

    Earlier this year, artist Jeff Hassey released Beach Boys House, a record pressed with the dirt from Brian Wilson’s childhood home.

    Tracklist:

    01. “Love And Mercy”
    02. “Surf’s Up”
    03. “Heroes And Villains”
    04. “Melt Away”
    05. “Let It Shine”
    06. “Some Sweet Day” *
    07. “Rio Grande”
    08. “Cry”
    09. “Lay Down Burden”
    10. “The First Time”
    11. “This Isn’t Love”
    12. “Soul Searchin'”
    13. “Gettin’ In Over My Head”
    14. “The Like In I Love You”
    15. “Midnight’s Another Day”
    16. “Colors Of The Wind”
    17. “One Kind Of Love”
    18. “Run James Run”

  • Pet Sounds In The Key of Dee: How Bullion made the ultimate Beach Boys x J Dilla mixtape

    By | June 22, 2017

    Bullion revisits his now legendary ode to J Dilla, ten years on.

    Ten years ago Nathan Jenkins aka Bullion sat down at his computer with an expanded box set of Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and began the painstaking task of cutting and pasting snippets from each track in J Dilla’s lazy, slung style.

    Jay Dee had passed away months earlier, and the resulting 25-minute mixtape became a legendary underground ode to the hip-hop producer – a sort of bedroom mash-up that Gorilla Vs. Bear praised as “a more adventurous version of The Grey Album, but with J Dilla and the Beach Boys standing in for Jay-Z and the Beatles” and gave Bullion 50,000 MySpace plays in a day.

    Much bootlegged, but never officially released, Bullion is now revisiting Pet Sounds – In The Key of Dee ten years on for a live show at Jazz Café and took the opportunity to dive back into the unassuming story behind the album and it’s unprecedented resonance.

    Expanding the set from 25 minutes to an hour has also resulted in the creation of new material, one track from which you can hear for the first time below while you read.


    I grew up listening to the Beach Boys through my Dad, I had a makeshift surf board that I’d bring out to impress my parents’ friends at dinner parties. Pet Sounds was the more sophisticated side of the Beach Boys that I didn’t get into until my late teens. MySpace was becoming a thing and a few tracks from Donuts went up on J Dilla’s page. I became obsessed with it like everyone else. It had everything I loved about rap, garage and pop music and got me hooked on mimicking that production style.

    I had a basic home set up for making music and got this Pet Sounds box set with all the studio sessions and Brian directing the musicians between takes. He sounds like he’s flying on something and he wants everyone to know how great the record’s going to be! I had a go at using some of the isolated parts to make a beat and before long had a few in the bag. I decided to do the whole album.

    I was working in the day as a “music librarian”, so evenings and weekends I spent painstakingly programming samples and drums, trying to channel that clever Jay Dee swing. I was quite inexperienced with production so I wasn’t bothering with EQs or designing my own sounds or anything. Just pop a compressor on the whole thing and hope for the best! One thing I was careful not to lose was the attention to harmony and arrangement in Pet Sounds. It’s sacred, that album. I didn’t want to just chop it to oblivion.

    Once all the tracks were finished, it made sense to sequence them as a seamless mix, the same as Donuts. With all the spoken samples I’d been collecting, this theme emerged of Brian Wilson and Jay Dee paying tribute to each other. Clips of people talking about the genius of Brian or Brian talking about his favourite Beatles albums turned into nods to Dilla and Donuts.

    I put it online and Gorilla Vs Bear who had a pretty big following picked it up; I remember thinking I’d hit the big time because I had 50,000 plays in a day on MySpace! I actually quit my job shortly after that in dramatic fashion and went on holiday to Spain for a few weeks, but had to fly home a week early because I ran out of money.

    The album was bootlegged on vinyl, either cut from mp3 or they took it off one of the CDs I gave away outside record shops. Whoever distributes it has done quite well according to numerous record shops abroad I’ve visited – “we just sold out of your Pet Sounds thing again!” I’ve finally had it banned from being sold on Discogs… The Beach Boys vs J Dilla isn’t even the right title!

    Jazz Cafe got in touch to ask if I’d perform the album on the 10 year anniversary. I spoke to my drummer friend Giles King-Ashong – who plays with people like Mica Levi, Sampha and Kate Tempest – and he, along with another friend and musical don Raven Bush, came up with the vision for how we could do it. They put a 10-piece band together full of brilliant musicians and Raven transcribed the parts into sheet music. I’m hugely lucky to be able to learn from them all. It’s an extended version of the album and there’s a fair bit of new material especially for the show.


    Bullion presents: Pet Sounds In The Key Of Dee Live will take place on 1st July at Jazz Café. Get your tickets here.

  • This new record is pressed with soil from Brian Wilson’s childhood home

    By | May 25, 2017

    One of the strangest projects you’ll see this year.

    Publisher, musician and artist Jeff Hassay has crafted a bizarre homage to the Beach Boys’ frontman Brian Wilson in new project Beach Boys House: Dirt Sounds.

    Read next: This tiny label is pressing the most obscure things into vinyl

    Using soil gathered from the plot of land where Brian Wilson’s childhood home used to stand in Hawthorne, California, Hassay and LeRoy Stevens hand-poured 100 clear resin records, cut with an 18-minute field recording of the location, featuring the sounds of neighbourhood animals, cars, planes, a helicopter and various gardeners’ power tools.

    Created over 6 months in silicon moulds, the records are each utterly unique and weigh between 400 and 600 grams, but honestly, we’re a little lost for words on this one.

    Dig around for yourself on the Small Worlds Records website.

  • Mike Love set to publish new memoir Good Vibrations: My Life As A Beach Boy

    By | August 10, 2016

    Original Beach Boy Mike Love tells his story.

    A founding member of the most popular band in US music history, Mike Love’s anticipated new memoir Good Vibrations: My Life As A Beach Boy is set to be published next month.

    First announced in 2014, the autobiography follows Love’s whole life, from his childhood and personal spiritual experiences, to the band’s prolific song-writing in the 1960s, for who Love was both lead singer and one of their principal lyricists.

    Speaking in a statement when the book was originally announced, Love said: “I’ve had an incredible life with a lot of triumphs, my share of heartbreak and some pretty amazing experiences… There are a lot of things I haven’t shared before, and I’m looking forward to opening up about my life and my work in this book. It’s a story about family, music, a country in transition, and audiences all over the world coming together in harmony.”

    Most interestingly perhaps, Love also delves into his complex relationship with cousin and band-mate Brian Wilson, with whom he is alleged to have fallen out over the musical direction of Pet Sounds and Smile.

    Mike Love’s Good Vibrations: My Life As A Beach Boy is published by Faber & Faber on 15th September. Pre-order your hardback copy here.

  • Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds reissued in mono and stereo vinyl editions

    By | March 24, 2016

    Brian Wilson’s opus gets 50th anniversary reissue.

    The Beach Boys’ 1966 album Pet Sounds is to be treated to a 50th anniversary reissue campaign that will see the classic album repressed on vinyl in both stereo and mono forms.

    Both new vinyl editions will be available alongside a 4CD and Blu-Ray collectors edition presented in a hardback book, featuring studio sessions outtakes, alternate mixes and unreleased live recordings from the era.

    Also celebrating its golden jubilee this year, The Beach Boys’ ‘Good Vibrations’ looks set to receive commemorative reissues this autumn as well.

    Pet Sounds was last reissued on vinyl in 2006 to mark the 40th anniversary of its release.

    Released on 10th June vie Universal you can pre-order the Pet Sounds CD edition here or follow the links for the vinyl in mono and stereo. [via Rolling Stone]

  • Criminal records: The 10 rarest (and best) bootlegs in existence

    By | September 2, 2014

    Bob Dylan_cover2

    Well, eleven actually. But then it wouldn’t do for a feature on bootlegs to promise exactly what is said on the tin. The Vinyl Factory’s Chris May tells the story of this cornerstone of the industry with a look at the most valuable ‘fakes’ on the market.


    Words: Chris May


    Bootlegging’s vinyl belle époque began 45 years ago this summer with Great White Wonder by Bob Dylan and The Band. Within a year, rock’n’roll was teeming with bootleg LPs and, for many enthusiasts, they remained essential complements to official releases for over a decade.

    Legitimate labels responded with allegations that the mafia was behind bootlegging. Organised crime was certainly involved in counterfeiting – making fake copies of legal releases. But bootlegging – the manufacture and sale of mainly-live recordings which would not otherwise be released – was largely the preserve of disorganised crime, music aficionados who came of age during the 1960s and who were regarded as cultural heroes by their peers.

    Many historically-important bootlegs have since been officially released on vinyl, cassette, CD and download. But the allure of the first-generation bootleg LPs continues to grow.

    Here are ten of the rarest and the best, from 1969 through 1990…


    Bob Dylan_great white wonder2

    Bob Dylan
    G.W.W. aka Great White Wonder
    (No branding, 1969, double LP)

    Released in July 1969, Great White Wonder was pressed and distributed by two Los Angeles-based, fringe-of-record-business hustlers, Dub Taylor and Ken Douglas, who went on to become the biggest players in the bootleg market. The album set a high quality-benchmark: great music, good audio. Like almost all bootlegs of the early 1970s, it came in a white cardboard sleeve with a rubber-stamped title but no artist name. The most talked-about G.W.W. tracks were those recorded with The Band in 1967, which were not officially released until 1975, as part of The Basement Tapes.


    rolling stones_liver

    The Rolling Stones
    Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be
    (Trade Mark of Quality, 1969, LP)

    In late 1969, Taylor and Douglas launched their Trade Mark of Quality label, which released around 250 titles over the next six years. Its best-known logo was “the smoking pig,” a cartoon-parody of the stereotypical, cigar-chomping, music biz mogul. This pig, however, was drawn smoking a joint. Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be was recorded on a concealed tape machine during the Stones’ November 1969 US tour, and the album was on sale in head shops before Christmas. Rolling Stone magazine’s contemporaneous review called it “the ultimate Rolling Stones album.”


    jimi hendrix_live

    Jimi Hendrix
    Live at the Los Angeles Forum 4-25-70
    (Rubber Dubber Records, 1970, double LP)

    Taylor and Douglas’ closest competitor was, briefly, fellow Angeleno Scott Johnson and his Rubber Dubber label. Rubber Dubber lasted barely two years. Unlike the discreet Taylor and Douglas, Johnson enjoyed being feted as a counterculture hero and, in summer 1971, an ill-advised interview with Rolling Stone led to his pressing plant being raided by the FBI. Johnson fled to Mexico and disappeared from history, as Scott Johnson, anyway. Live at the Los Angeles Forum is among the highpoints of the much-bootlegged Hendrix’s live recordings.


    bob dyland in 19662

    Bob Dylan
    In 1966 There Was…
    (Trade Mark of Quality, 1970, LP)

    Even in a list of ten, two Dylan bootlegs deserve entries. In 1966 There Was… created an even bigger splash than Great White Wonder. Sometimes mistitled Live at the Royal Albert Hall, the album was recorded by Dylan’s label, Columbia, at Manchester Free Trade Hall. The 1966 world tour was the first to feature Dylan with an electric band – The Hawks, later renamed The Band – for which he was heckled by traditionalist audience members: the famous “Judas!” shout is on this album. Somehow, TMQ got hold of a copy of the tape. The tracks were not officially released until 1998.


    the who_live at leeds

    The Who
    Live at Leeds
    (Track/Polydor, 1970, LP)

    A reminder of the credibility of bootlegs in the 1970s. Live at Leeds was actually an official release, but packaged to resemble a bootleg.


    van morrison_van the man2

    Van Morrison
    Van the Man
    (Highway High Fi, 1974, LP)

    In 1974, the Trade Mark of Quality partnership broke up and Douglas launched The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label. Over the next three years, TAKRL and its subsidiaries, which included Highway High Fi, released around 160 titles. Van the Man includes tracks taped at San Francisco’s Fillmore West plus an extended studio version of ‘Caledonia Soul Music’, a notable out-take from His Band and Street Choir.


    grateful dead_make believe ballroom

    The Grateful Dead
    Make Believe Ballroom
    (The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label, 1975, double LP)

    If you can’t beat them, join them. The Grateful Dead played around 2,300 live performances between 1965 and 1995 but are relatively under-represented on bootleg. The reason: to undermine commercial bootleggers, the band encouraged taping and tape-exchange by and between audience members. Reel-to-reel and, later, cassette recordings of most Dead gigs were freely available. This 1975 live radio broadcast from the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco was an exception.


    zed zeppelin_for badeholders only

    Led Zeppelin
    For Badgeholders Only
    (Dragonfly Records, circa 1979, 2 x double LPs)

    If you can’t beat them, beat them up. Led Zeppelin’s notoriously thuggish manager, Peter Grant, made no distinction between home-tapers and bootleggers. Anyone found recording gigs was threatened or roughed up and their equipment taken, and if Grant found band bootlegs in a record store he would demand they were handed over there and then, or else. A huge number of performances were bootlegged, however, and this 1977 Los Angeles date (featuring a guest appearance by Keith Moon) stands out. The album title comes from the band’s name for groupies, who Robert Plant frequently references between songs.

    By the early 1980s, many of the first wave of bootleggers had retired, burned out or been closed down by the FBI (bootlegging had remained essentially US-based). Simultaneously, cassette bootlegs, which were cheaper to manufacture and ship, started to replace vinyl. Bootleg LPs became increasingly niche, but treasures continued to emerge….


    kate bush_early years

    Kate Bush
    The Early Years
    (Wild Wind, 1987, LP)

    In 1986, a West German indie acquired this collection of 1973 demos, which includes several of Bush’s later successes in foetal form. Surprisingly, without informing Bush, her official German label, EMI-Electrola, licensed the album for release. When Bush found out, she had the album pulled, but not before test pressings had been produced. LPs on the short-lived bootleg label Wild Wind followed a year later. N.B. Not to be confused with a rare but legally released 1984 compilation on the East German label Amiga.


    prince_black album

    Prince
    The Black Album aka The Funk Bible
    (Various, 1988 – 1990, LP)

    Originally planned as the follow-up to Sign o’ the Times, but replaced by Lovesexy, Prince cancelled The Black Album a week before its scheduled release in late 1987. Several hundred promos were already in circulation, from which various bootleg editions were made over the next couple of years. The album was only officially released, in a limited edition, in November 1994 – when Warner Bros offered a free copy to the first 1000 people who sent back their bootlegs – and it was deleted three months later.


    smile

    The Beach Boys
    Smile
    (Vigotone, 1990, triple LP)

    The most bootlegged album ever? There have probably been more unauthorised pressings of this aborted 1967 Capitol release than there have been of any other disc. Material from the sessions appeared on around a dozen bootleg labels between the early 1970s and the eventual release of Capitol’s The Smile Sessions in 2011. Vigotone’s triple set, which contains alternate takes, is the most complete – and the rarest.

  • “A geeky little club for vinyl enthusiasts”: Django Django’s Dave Maclean on overcoming his fear of The Beach Boys, falling asleep to The Orb and being “borderline” addicted to vinyl

    By | May 30, 2014

    3S6A7019

    Fresh from compiling the latest in the superb nocturnal compilation series Late Night Tales, Dave Maclean of Django Django goes rummaging in his record box to pick out a few all time favourites that have accompanied him at different times of his life, from Beatles lullabies to garage bangers.

    Click HERE to watch our audio/visual slideshow featuring highlights of this interview.


    How did you go about picking the tracks for the Late Night Tales compilation?

    Well the whole point of it is that it’s an after hours mix and I think playing records at night time, in any context for me, has always been a great way to listen to music. When I was a kid I would put on records to go to sleep to and then when I was at college I would put on weird records to help the creative flow, if you know what I mean.

    What kind of records would you go to sleep to?

    Well I remember when The Orb album came out, U.F.Orb, I remember playing that a lot of go to sleep to. But before that when I was younger I would have the Beatles a lot, I was kinda of a Beatles obsessive when I was really young. I would make my own compilations and I would put all the sleepy Beatles songs on one tape and then that would be my bedtime tape for a while.

    The Beatles are very accessible to children, in a positive way.

    Absolutely, I remember getting in to them through the daft songs like ‘Maxwell Silver Hammer’ and ‘Octopuses Garden’, as a really young kid like 2 or 3 years old. And then, as I got older discovering how deep their songs went and how expansive their albums were and I remember reaching the point that I had heard all the Beatles songs so much I needed something new and that’s when I kind of took the plunge and bought a Public Enemy album and that blew my mind in a whole new way!

    But I had that again on tape and we’d listen to it at night and try to deconstruct it, because I didn’t really know what sampling was and I would just be baffled by the way they made the record. In my mind they had this orchestra somewhere playing a loop of a saxophone over and over again. That was always my thing, to listen and listen and just try to deconstruct how they made things.

    You mention sampling, and one of the tracks on your compilation is Nautilus by Bob James, one of the most sampled tracks of all time… Was it through hip hop that you got into Bob James?

    Yeah, definitely, he’s such a legend in the hip hop community and as with a lot of these things, if you see a photo of him it doesn’t quite add up. He look’s like a science teacher or an accountant, but makes these incredibly funky records. But I guess that is there because of Daytona 500, whatever the big sample was – was it Ghostface Killah? I can’t remember.

    It was something like that and as I got into hip hop as a teenager I got into scratch mixing and finding breaks and that kind of thing. I would say I had a slight obsession with tracking down samples for a while, and still kind of do. And when I buy a record and hear a sample it still kind of gives me a little joy.

    3S6A6891

    So you were always into buying records?

    Yeah, and I would DJ at this basement bar and we would all bring records and get together and three or four people would DJ, and most of the chat that evening would revolve around records and where you got them and how you could get them and who had them and who was selling a copy and it was kind of like a geeky little club for vinyl enthusiasts in Dundee.

    I still only DJ with vinyl, not out of a snobbery thing, I just love it, it sounds great, and I’m kind of borderline addicted to buying records and it’s a big part of my life and I would feel like I was cheating myself and cheating people if I turned up with a memory stick.

    It must have been harder to get records in Dundee than in London at that time.

    Oh yeah and I would come down to London and just be in awe at Black Market records, very intimidating trying to go in there and get a copy of whatever it was and trying to get through the 50 other people that were at the counter. But I guess there’s sort of a romance in that and it’s easy to sound like you’re stuck in the past and bitter about technology moving forwards. It’s great being able to go on Discogs and just get something rather than spending a month with a list of what you want.

    One of the joys of buying records is that gamble and getting it home and being like wow, this is killer. I will happily take a punt on a lot of stuff, but when you’re spending a lot of money it’s good to now what you’re getting into.

    Absolutely. Talk us through the records you’ve picked out today from the Late Night Tales compilation and what they mean to you.

    3S6A6918

    Gulp
    ‘Game Love’ from Game Love EP
    (E.L.K. Records, 2012)

    So one of the first tracks on the compilation is a band called Gulp who are a Welsh two piece and one of them was in the Super Furry Animals and he’s kinda gone on to start this new band and the other one is my cousin Lindsay Levan. When they sent me this, they told me they were starting this band – they’re a husband and wife team and I didn’t know what to expect from it. But I just fell in love immediately with the track and listened over and over again and it’s just become one of my favourite records to come out over the last couple of years. Nothing to do with the fact that they’re family, it’s just a really great record that feels strangely lost in time, you can’t quite tell.


    3S6A7011

    Seals & Crofts
    ‘Get Closer’ from Get Closer
    (Warner Bros. Records, 1976)

    It’s the one that Busta Rhymes sampled on ‘Put Your Hands Where Your Eyes Can See’, which is another great use of a sample. I remember when that came out, the Busta Rhymes record, thinking that I’ve got to track down that sample, it’s a genius sample.

    I didn’t know who Seals and Crofts were, I hadn’t heard of them. I guess they’ll sort of a Hall and Oates style duo, like the Ruttles of the Hall & Oates world, but pretty cool looking guys. You just don’t get style like that anymore. It’s a shame. It’s just a really good track and another nod to hip hop and sampling culture really, and also in itself an amazing tune.


    3S6A6941

    The Beach Boys
    ‘Surf’s Up’ from Surf’s Up
    (Reprise Records, 1971)

    I remember being a bit scared of the Beach Boys because I never quite knew what to make of them, They seemed a lot more preppy and I was slightly scared of barbershop harmonies and the whole thing seemed a little bit tennis club, if you know what I mean. And then I remember coming down to London and going record shopping with my brother, which I would do as a young teenager, maybe like 13 or 14 years old and he would take me round record shops in London. And he pulled this out of a bargain bin and said; “you need to own this record” and I said “nah, I’m not interested in the Beach Boys”, but reluctantly I bought it and I couldn’t believe how dark it was, and this before Pet Sounds or anything, was really my in road to the Beach Boys.

    What really hooked me in was how powerful and dark it was and how Brian Wilson could flip between melancholic and uplifting almost at the same time. Surf’s Up sums up that for me. It sums up what I love about Brian Wilson and his unequalled songwriting skills. I think the way that he writes songs is kind of almost a perfection for me. It’s experimental and funny and heartfelt and sad I don’t know. After I bought this album I went out and tried to get everything else they did and it became a huge, huge influence on me.


    Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 10.18.00

    Roy Davis Jr. ft. Peven Everett
    ‘Gabriel’ from Gabriel EP
    (XL Recordings, 1997)

    I think when this came out, I’d started DJing in my hometown in Dundee and going out clubbing a lot. This was getting played an awful lot in clubs and you would go out and hear it 2 or 3 times in a night and DJs in Dundee were just really into it. I remember hearing the first time and thinking it wasn’t really for me. I was more into Chicago House and tougher sounding house and Relief Records and stuff and this kind of seemed different, but then it really grew on me to the point where it became one of my favourite records to play out. It’s one of those records that just sort of transcends genre, it doesn’t really matter what it is, it’s just a great tune.


    3S6A6959

    Primal Scream
    ‘Carry Me Home’ from Dixie-Narco EP
    (Creation Records, 1992)

    Going back to the Wilson’s, this is a cover of Dennis Wilson, Brian’s brother, ‘Carry Me Home’ and I think this came out around the time of Screamadelica. When Screamedelica came along that was a huge thing me and my friends at school and a very exciting album and I remember buying this around that time and ‘Carry Me Home’ being a kind of stand out track and I actually, controversially, prefer it to the Dennis Wilson original. Bobby Gillespie has just got this amazing heavy heart-felt vocal on it and at the heart of it is this very bluesy, dub sound and it’s got these cellos at the end. A very sparse and beautifully recorded track, and in my opinion one the best things that Primal Scream has ever done and kind of sums up what’s great about Bobby Gillespie’s voice in all it’s raw glory.


    3S6A6967

    Timmy Thomas
    ‘Why Can’t We Live Together?’ from Why Can’t We Live Together?
    (Glades, 1972)

    This is something I bought recently, it’s an edit where they just extend the drums on the beginning. But originally I had it on one of those really cheap funk and soul compilations that were almost like Reader’s Digest style, Ktel or something they’re called and the tracks are like 3 milimetres, so when you play it out it sounds horrible. But nevertheless when I first bought it was at a car-boot sale in my home town and this was before Discogs or Ebay or anything like that so I would just play out the records I could get hold of to be honest.

    I played it to death off this terrible compilation and people would always come up and ask what it was. It still sounds really, really modern, it’s a bit of a cliché to say it still sounds fresh, but it’s so sparse, it’s just a drum machine and an organ and vocal but it’s one of the most emotive records that I own and that just comes down to the fact that it’s such an amazingly well written and well sung recording. It’s just a gem of a track and would kinda be in my desert island discs style top 10 if I was to do one.


    Django Django’s Late Night Tales compilation is out now.

    Photos: Jessica Kelly

  • Record Stories: Metronomy

    By | March 3, 2014

    Record Stories is our new series in which musicians, artists and collectors reveal the stories behind the records that hold particular significance to them.

    First up, with new LP Love Letters on the way, Joseph Mount of Metronomy gets into The Beach Boy’s Wild Honey and Diana Ross & The Supremes’ Let The Sunshine In, revealing how his passion for 60’s psychedelia has helped shape the sound of the new album.

    Earlier this year we featured Metronomy’s Love Letters in our preview of the 12 vinyl releases to look out for in early 2014.

    Metronomy’s Love Letters will be released via Because Music on 10th March. Click here to pre-order now or hold out for the double vinyl edition, due next week.

    Photo credits: Phil Sharp, Michael Williams, Steven Taylor, Guy Webster.

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