Dart #58: Blue Orchids “The House That Faded Out”

Blue Orchids “The House That Faded Out”
Single
1981
Rough Trade

Been flying a bit under the radar of late whiling away at a record but treat your ears to this Labour weekend special. Blue Orchids would be one of the only post-Fall outings to really stick, and it’s exactly what you’d expect from the formative minds behind the Fall’s unmistakable aesthetic minus Mark E Smith. Guitars clamour and stutter and drums unspool out of time to the manic staccato of the Count Dracula keys line, while Martin Bramah envisions a world where Smith could hold a note. Enjoy your festival weekend, and remember orange juice helps.

Dart #57: A.K. Klosowski & Pyrolator – Dahomey

A.K. Klosowski & Pyrolator – Dahomey
“Home Taping Is Killing Music”
Ata Tak
1985

Released on the lator’s own label Ata Tak, the vanguard of the New German Wave, “Home Taping Is Killing Music” is a revelation of early experimentation with sampling technology. Like with Byrne and Eno on “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts”, it’s baffling how good Klowsowski and Pyrolator are at converting raw audio into rich sonic collages with such primitive equipment. But where “Bush of Ghosts” displayed a newfound maturity in its ex-punk authors, K and P are still blazing the trail of insolence. The album title is a cheeky crack at the music’s industry’s first attempt to thwart the world’s favourite past time: not paying for shit.

Dart #56: Sleeper – French Toasty

Sleeper – French Toasty
“Seagulls/French Toasty”
2017
Chestplate

Sleeper hit the ground running this year with “Seagulls”/“French Toasty”, and where ‘Seagulls’ is a solid but straighter dubstep release, hip hop instrumental “French Toasty” stands out as the more inventive of the two. Packing Wu-Tang/jungle horror samples, a splash of grime bass and enough swing to make Kendrick Lamar blush, you’ll half expect the laconic drawl of Tricky to come puckering in at the 1 minute mark. Nice to hear the sinisterness of modern grime/dub finds its way onto a hip hop track too.

Dart #55: Richenel – I Won’t Bite

Richenel – I Won’t Bite
La Differencia
2017
Music From Memory

The first time I heard this tune I had two thoughts: ’Is this a female or male vocalist?’ and ‘This is an unusually faithful eighties throwback for 2017’. Turns out Richenel is a Dutch disco vocalist from the eighties famed for his androgynous appearance. So there you go. Great to hear an old hand keeping their game several decades later, particularly one from a notoriously ephemeral period for musicians. Like most pop house classics ‘I Won’t Bite’ has it all, and by all I mean very little – just a bassline, a lovely voice, and a hilariously dated pick up line repeated ad nauseum.