The third compilation by the label which has hosted a floating club of the same name for years in London, originally at the Wag Club on Wardour Street every Saturday, but now at many places and times. This compilation is described by them as "dancefloor classics from the legendary blow up club". There are 20 songs (5 per side spread over 2 LP's). Highlights of the 1st side: The song 'Blow Up A-Go-Go' by James Clarke sounds completely familiar to me, and makes your neck move, as most of the songs do (I guess it makes other things move if you're out on the dancefloor). Georgie Fame plays 'Somebody Stole My Thunder' which sounds like Jimi Hendrix singing for a Northern Soul band. The Coasters do their version of 'Love Potion No. 9" which really has it's beats. The 2nd side: The Jonny Otis Show plays 'Watts Breakaway' which is like a more rock'n roll'n soulful James Brown with nice lyrics. Spencer Davis Group does 'I'm a Man' which sounds like it was the breakaway point the Curtis Mayfield used for his 'Pusher Man' song on Superfly. Current band from Norway The Bobby Hughes Experience play one of their crackin B-3 Hammond driver instrumentals called 'Sahara 72'. The 3rd side: Karminsky Experience (the 2 principal Blow Up DJ's) play 'Exploration', which was a underexposed 12" a few years ago and deserves this wider attention. Karminsky Experience are the 2 DJ's who put together 3 great compilations for the Deram label in London ('Expresso Expresso', In Flight Entertainment', & 'Further In Flight Entertainment'). Buddy Rich fronts the cool co-ed version of Sonny & Cher's 'The Beat Goes On' and Andy Williams gives a cool 50's/exotic rocker 'House Of Bamboo'. Side 4: Shirley Ellis shows fine Northern Soul in 'Soul Time', Jacques Dutronc (the Frenchman who inspired the Billy Childish side project band 'Dutronc') lays 'Not Responsible' on us, The Kinks play 'She's Got Everything' from when they were Mod, and shadows Of Knight give us 'Shake'. And those were just my faves! Good comp.
January 18, 2000
German Pop Nouveau duo with a sound that won't be lost on any ears that love bands like Saint Etienne, One Dove, or Dot Allison. The vocalist has a really cool voice/accent. She is ice cool too. She even has a song called 'Snow Is Only Frozen Water'! I've read that they are an ex-Bungalow artist, but I can't figure in what capacity, never having seen anything from them save the 10" on the same label which preceded this CD by a few weeks. All I know is that this record sounds really accomplished and confident. World class. The songs have neat sounding parts, electronics and beats, good vocals, and that golden voice, like an icy Nico-esque version of Claudine Longet.
Llewelyn Morris Humphreys (later changed to Murray Humphreys) was born in Chicago in 1899 to Welsh parentage. In the late twenties he became Al Capone's agent in corrupting laundry money and trade unions. The terms "money laundering" and "being taken to the cleaners" are thought to originate from his work with al capone. While working for the mob he was given the nickname "Murray The Hump" Murry The Hump are a band from Wales which have been receiving lots of attention and good reviews. They don't have a full length out yet, but have several singles on labels such as UK's Shifty Disco. The first of the 5 songs here will catch you in a familiar but likeable way, in the way some foreign bands ape a US sound but have an inherently different sound that intrigues anyway. The second song almost reminds me of 80's popster Marshall Crenshaw, but it is actually my favorite song here; it is Murry The Hump's own. The song many might like best is the fourth song, which sounds very much like the Gun Club, probably without meaning too. Neat new band.
The Holland Pretty Things, according to WZBC's Pip. Their first 2 records are prime Tier 1 examples of the great sound the Pretties had pioneered in London. 'Revival' is the second Q65 LP, presented here with 7 bonus songs, for a total of 17 songs. Much of the stuff here is pretty incredible. There is a tremelo guitar song ('Ridin' On A Slow Train') that is completely my fave. Gear tune. Even reminds me of The Monks a bit with its strummed banjo in it. 'Sundance' is an experimental instrumental with crickets chirping, an etherial voice woooo-Oooohing like a singing saw over a bongo, a mantra-like rhythmic note from a guitar which sounds like it has a metal rod in it (a la The Ex), and a noodling electric guitar. But that song is the exception, along with the less sublime 'Voluntary Peacemaker' which sounds like Uriah Heep, and the cliche bluesy 'Ramblin' On My Mind', which reminds me of 2 Paul Roger-styled 70's rockers I saw last year singing an occapella/harmonica version of 'House Of The Rising Sun' in Krakow's Market Square for food money and chicks. Aside from those, we have a full basket of kicking tunes that are quite worth the money you'll lay our for this disc. Truly.
This is a five song collaboration between Hedeki Kaji and Hirohisa Horie http://www.i-radio.fm/c-h/neil_iraiza/profile_e.phpl . The sound is much more 'rock' than Hedeki Kaji's solo stuff, and has a bit of mayhem and psychedlia in it as well, parts reminding me a bit of the 'Funeral Pyre' era of The Jam. Some info on Hirohisa Horie, half of Escalator Records act Neil & Iraiza: After he played with the MODS band I SPY=STUDIO APES, he joined FREEDOM SUITE. He also plays keyboards for GREAT 3 and Plagues. He now works as a producer of a Japanese artist Kahimi Karie, Noriko Kato, and others. "Dots & Borders" is the unit he started with Hideki Kaji recently. In 1999 May, he produced an album "Hiromix`99" for Hiromix.
This band from Hull in the UK remind me a lot of another Hull band, Salako. Fonda 500 blend Salako's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-plus-Syd Barrett style with the scattered into chaos Kleenex Girl Wonder style, with a definite dose of The Rentals in the keyboard sound and the backing vocals. Here's a review of one of their live gigs. Here goes: " "This is a love song about bears" is probably the best introduction to a song ever, and tonight Fonda 500 have used it. Funny, but then Fonda 500 are a funny band. With a frontman who huddled over his discount keyboard comes across as a mix between Clint Boon and John Shuttleworth, they make a sound not dissimilar to the Super Furry Animals. Whether there's room on this planet for another Super Furries is another matter, but Fonda 500, with their songs about tape formats (see two minute opus 'Betamax') have enough individuality to hold their own in the 'wacky pop' market".
Hedeki Kaji is the undisputed king of Japanese pop: not the 'J-pop' sound so much in fashion now (he has one song on this CD in that style, the electronic/sample song "Tunafish Sandwich"), but the old fashioned pop style closest to something like early Tommy Keene, Mitch Easter's Let's Active, the dB's, or Scott Miller's Game Theory. Hideki Kaji bobs for apples in a bucket filled with these names and takes a solid bite every time. He has many releases, and even released a song with Sarah Cracknell joining him on vocals on an earlier record. Listening to this record after I wrote all this I fear I didn't do him justice. His songs sound great and very natural: not forced or "retro". He really is a master. I'd love to hear some of the earlier records to see if they're all this good.
Mint Royale put out what Rough Trade called "The best independently released dance record of 1999" in this CD, which was recently re-released to meet the demand for it generated by it's massive single "Don't Falter", which featured the vocals of ex-Kenickie frontwoman Lauren Laverne. Mint Royale just released another album track "Take It Easy" as their new single. It is a latin beat song that could easily fit on an Arling & Cameron record. Another album track "Shake It" is based on the song "Come Back & Shake Me" that Mark Wirtz his Orchestra and Chorus recorded in 1967, which can be found on the excellent 1996 CD on RPM Records (RPM 172), "The Go-Go Music of The Mark Wirtz Orchestra & Chorus". Mint Royale have 2 versions of this on the disc. Last year a Mint Royale EP was added to the playlist at WZBC. The Bollywood sounding "From Rusholme with Love" and kicking "Diagonal Girl" from that CD5 are on this too.
Spearmint's second CD is actually their first proper full length. Their first one (which we also have at WZBC) "Songs For The Colour Yellow" was a collection of the B-sides of their many early singles. "A Week Away" is a really great album which has the A-sides of their last 4 singles ("It Won't Be Long now", Sweeping The Nation", "We're Going Out", & "You Are Still My Brother") as well as 8 other songs. Spearmint bring together the best of The Wannadies and the Northern Soul styled songs of Comet Gain. Spearmint are not very Glamorous, but they may be the best pop band in their style in London, and their consistenvy level is amazing. Sadly, no US releases of any of their stuff, so this CD holds a special use and importance to me, and hopefully to you. In Parasol's description of the German Apricot Records version of this CD, they describe Spearmint as "Jangling guitars, energetic rhythms & melodies akin to recent outings by Sportique & The Windmills".