It Overtakes Me – The Flaming lips (Slow Lane Mix)
It’s a huge cosmic sigh, the sound of a man staring into space trying to make sense of it all, and also the sound of me in the bath (stop laughing please, this is serious) imagining new layers to a stark track which needed some starlight. Originally the second half of the single It Overtakes Me, which you may remember from the famous beer commercial (Beck’s 4-Step), The Stars are so Big…I am so Small…Do I Stand a Chance? was the celestial second act which contrasted so much with it’s brother. I took the acoustic guitar from the end and built the whole track around it, taking samples of vocal and making them echo in the style of 10cc’s I’m Not in Love. I also played the flute over most of the song, resulting in richer, warmer layers of sound. As far as I know, I’m the only person to remix this track.
Since I Left You, the iconic album by The Avalanches is about to get the ‘Deluxe Reissue’ treatment this year, setting the stage for the release of the mythical second Avalanches album which is rumoured to drop in 2012. This is my compilation of the very best bits of the many Avalanches DJ sets which have emerged over the years. I’ve gone for all the ‘up’ stuff and cut most of the shouty rap. Continue reading →
Many years after The Devious Corporation had faded to a private joke, I started using the name as an umbrella term for my mixing and messing with music and video. After hearing Goldfrapp’s Black Cherry in 2002, I decided to have a go at the new craze for ‘mashups’, where someone like Britney is dragged screaming onto a laptop with the likes of Dead or Alive, or the Doors get spliced with Blondie. The discovery that Song to the Siren by This Mortal Coil was the perfect match for Black Cherry was a happy accident.
Alison Goldfrapp herself has described Black Cherry as ‘personal stuff,’ coming from a ‘bleak place.’ It’s a ballad built on bony despair, child-like and almost catatonic. Ultimately, the understatement is ignited by real emotion, but I felt that a sprinkle of Elizabeth Fraser might add some lush Eastern mystery to soften the stark sentiment. Song to the Siren was written in 1967 (a very good year!) by Tim Buckley and was covered by several artists since his death. The definitive version is a spectral piece by This Mortal Coil, liquid and dark, a deadly warning mistaken for a distress call.
I had a great deal of fun doing this, and it came together surprisingly quickly. It may be the best thing I’ve done. Listen to the two songs dovetail in and out of each other and let me know what you think in the comments box!
Long ago in the mists of the nineties, I formed a band with David Crimes. We were called Pluto for a while, and then the media revolution hit Manchester. It was all mobile phones and paninis. People would actually strut up and down Canal Street with head-mikes and clipboards. Being important. We became The Devious Corporation, teaming up with singer Neil Roberts. For five years we toured the city, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Boy George and George Michael. Rumour has it we almost signed to Sony for an obscene figure, but pulled out at the last minute due to a crisis of conscience. The other rumour is we were crap.
Our best known track was a cover of a bluesy old soul number by Yazoo, called Midnight. Alison Moyet wrote the tune, and Neil Roberts sings on our version. Judge for yourself…
The real reason we never got signed to a major!
Inevitably, scandal stained our reputation. Unfortunately, during our Pluto incarnation, we plastered indelible stickers over every available surface in town, and fell foul of Stella Blanchflower, who ran a gown shop in Sale. She had this to say:
Stella Blanchflower Goes To War
I don’t like to name drop, but it took us a while to work out that Ms Blanchflower was a wind-up. A nom de fume. It was none other than Tony Warren, MBE, creator of Coronation Street.
From The Manchester Evening News. They spelt my name wrong. And David’s! What a trip…
Still averse to name-dropping, but Sir Ian McKellen requested we donate our song Free to The Albert Kennedy Trust to use as their anthem which was an honour. We were produced by Ritchie Birkett who polished Pet Shop Boys, Mary J Blige and K-Klass (remember Rhythm is a Mystery? If I say saxophone solo and piano-in-a-tumbledryer you will.) Boy George threw our 12″ single over his shoulder when we asked him to feature it in his DJ set. Again, an honour. And I bumped into George Michael during our live transmission for BBC Music Live. He wasn’t actually in attendance – I literally bumped into him as he rushed to Mash & Air next door for a baguette.