Warm Beats For Warm People

Friday, February 29, 2008

A Mountain Of One

Wednesday, 27. February at Salon Des Amateurs - the Londoner Combo "A Mountain Of One" is playing a gig in front of an interested and homely crowd. Not sold out though - yet, I think.
Rough Trade describes AMO1, that consists of the three core members Mo Morris, Leo Elstob and Zeben Jameson, as a "drugged out" Fleetwood Mac, "the full 70's" Santana, Arthur Russel, Laurel Canyon, JJ Cale and Talk Talk. Vice Magazine already calls them a "Balearic Classic".
For me, as I don't really like this kind of comparisons, it is finally just great progressive music, hard to categorize. The drumming enchains you, singer Jameson's voice (he played keyboard for Travis before...) is intoxicating and even the endless guitar solos, during and between their songs, were fun.
Although they only played six or seven songs, the concert was beauteous and I'm glad that I got the chance to enjoy handmade balearic music at it's best.

I decided to upload Ride (appears on Collected Works), my favourite track and nightly highlight of the last weekends when resident DJ Tolouse Low Trax prepared his audience for the upcoming event and dropped it at peak.
I also took a video but the sound quality isn't that good.

A Mountain Of One - Ride


Monday, February 25, 2008

Captain Clark & Cevin Spacey Are Setting The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

1. Rare Bird - Vacuum

2. Halina Frąckowiak - Myśli twoje śnić zaczynam

3. White Noise - My Game Of Loving

4. Eberhard Schoener - Why Don't You Answer

5. Mudd - Speilplatz (Quiet Village Remix)

6. Justus Köhncke - Homogen (33 rpm)

7. Joachim Witt - Ich Fahr' Nach Afrika

8. Pink Floyd - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

9. Edgar Froese - Pizarro And Atahuallpa

10. David Sylvian - Backwaters

11. Fleetwood Mac - You Make Loving Fun

12. Joakim - Peter Pan Over The Bronx

13. Peter Baumann - This Day

14. Soft Machine - Etka

15. PiL - Go Back

16. JJ Cale - Ride Me High (Joakim Edit)

17. S.B. Devotion - Tender Silence Of The Night

18. Vangelis - Multi Track Suggestion

19. Space - Ballad For Space Lovers

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Savage Progress

Let's attend to another forgotten synth pop pearl from the eighties today! ...did I hear a sigh?:) Ok, the picture above deserves nothing else than the grade "trash", i agree on that. But this British band made some über-cool stuff in the olden days.
Savage Progress was founded in 1982 by Rik Kenton (who had been a temporary member of Roxy Music) and Glynnis Thomas. A friend of them worked at a studio and used some free time to record a bunch of songs with them. The result convinced the head of the studio, so that he offered the band a contract. Kenton and Thomas recruited Andrew Edge as a drummer, Carol Isaacs as singer and also Ned Morant as percussionist though he actually never really learned to play percussions. But he helped the band to get a more rhythmically based style which seperated them from many new wave bands of their time. Anyway, now they were a proper band and released some singles and an LP called Celebration on "Ten Records". They toured with the Thompson Twins before they unfortunately called it a day in 1985 after Glynnis had left the band. Ok, that would be the story of Savage Progress, shortly reproduced. Let's talk about the music.

The first track is "Heart Begin To Beat" which was also released as a single. This song is one reason that the band is still remembered these days as it is such a great "unclassic" and was used by the DJs of the arising house scene in the middle of the eighties such as Larry Heard/Mr. Fingers and Frankie Knuckles. The song has got such an incredibly cracking beat that it is no wonder that it was dropped oftenly in house clubs like the "Power Plant" or the "Muzic Box". I really love those mixes from that era. It was a time were the DJs created a unique style by searching the past for useful tunes they could play out next to the latest modern house tracks. It was a great mixture of old italo-disco songs, some decent disco classics, industrial and new wave-ish songs like "Heart Begin To Beat". The track is very unique in its concetration on rhythmical elements and the cold and "fey" voice of Carol Isaacs combined with a funky bass riff. You won't get the lines "begin to beat let my heart begin to beat, begin to beat let my heart begin to beat..." out of your head, trust me! This tune is still a killer on every dancefloor today. i found a copy of the 12" for 1€ on a flea market over here in düsseldorf. Quite a good find i guess.

The second track "Hip Parade" is taken from their LP Celebration. It's the standout track of the record for me. The song is unbeatable in its supercooled new-wave-extravaganza! Carol Isaacs sings like an original Snow Queen on valium over a straight beat with some nice synthesizer action going on. You can even here some nice ice wind echoes in the background if you listen intensively enough! I guess it's really Isaacs' distinctive voice which makes the music so cool. Also in the actual sense of freezing you, hehe.

Savage Progress - Heart Begin To Beat

Savage Progress - Hip Parade

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New York Recordstores

When I visited New York last weekend to escape from this great festivity called Karneval I used one day explore some of Manhattan's and Brooklyn's recordstores. In fact the ones I went to were tips from Andrew Hogge who I annoyed with emails a few weeks before.

The first destination on my list was Academy Records in Manhattan 12 W. 18th St. and being completely honest i didn't spend much time neither money in there. Academy is basically about classical music and even at the risk of coming out as a philistine I have to say that this was not what I was looking for.

My next stop was Academy Lps (415 E. 12 St.)
Just like Academy Records the East Village store is specialised. You predominantly find second hand jazz records next to some rock and pop. The atmosphere in there was kind of oppressing due to missing customers and aggressive instructions that told me how to touch the records which should obviously be funny but reminded me of overblown coolness.

A1 Records
(439 E 6TH St) was at 12:30am still closed so that I went on to "Other Music" at 15 E. 4 St. which serves almost every genre and is more commercial than the previous ones. They also sell Cds and the vinyl section is comparatively small. I finally made my way to the cash desk together with Kreidler's faboulos Weekend, Glass Candy's Miss Broadway, a 1 Dollar single that doesn't even have a name and two Justus Köhncke 12". I especially fell in love with his track "Homogen" which gains a lot if you play it on 33rpm.

I now went to Brooklyn to look for so called Dope Jam's (580 Myrtle Ave. Brooklyn). There was no subway station near so that I had to walk half an hour through a droll African-American quarter until i finally stood in front of the recordstores black door. I had to knock and wait till the owners opened. In there it was really dusky and frankincense smell that rapidly made me feel dizzy was in the air.
They carry loads of disco records which are partly second hand and partly re-released, some techno and house. After a long to and fro I decided for Tango-Saty by Klaus Schulze, the melancholic Multi Track Suggestion by Vangelis, Walking On Thin Ice, a Yoko Ono disco-track from 1981, Washing Machine and Got The Bug by Mr. Fingers, Cerrone's Where Are You Now and the long overdue 12" of Pilooski's Re-Edit of Frankie Valli's Beggin.

Klaus Schulze - Tango-Saty

Vangelis - Multi Track Suggestion

Yoko Ono - Walking On Thin Ice

Further Recordstores advised by Hogge are:

Halycon (57 Pearl Street,Brooklyn)
The Thing (1001 Manhattan Ave.,Brooklyn)