Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Stupid Ipod A-Z Idea - update

It's been a long time since I last mentioned anything about the Stupid Ipod A-Z idea. In fact it was in October and I'd gotten all the way to E. Well, amazingly, it's still going on. I'm currently mid way through S and having a bloody great time.

Along the way I've rediscovered a love of REM and had a particularly good time in P; Pixies, Polyphonic Spree, Propaganda. Around Christmas I hit L and downloaded a load of Leonard Cohen so Molly could hear what Hallelujah should really sound like. She preferred the Buckley version, but that was okay, as long as she didn't like the Xfactor abortion of a song.

Now we're onto the Shamen.
I know, I know.
Get the snickering out of the way now.

I heard Something About You, from their first album Drop on Peel or somewhere in 87, making me 16ish. Drop sounds nothing like anything they did subsequently; a mix of 60s psych pop and indie tunes from a 5 piece band. But what really made me sit up and start following them was Christopher Mayhew Says; industrial dance music with extensive samples of Christopher Mayhew on his LSD trip.

A quick trip into dance culture and sampling for In Gorbechev We Trust (1989). Will Sinnott (Will Sin) was on board and it became a bit of a two man operation for the best period of their work. Phorward (1989) got even more dance orientated and EnTact (1990) was where it all went a little more overground and mainstream. Still great, just really tapping into the dance culture at exactly the right time. Of course, it also saw the partial introduction of Mr C.

Disaster followed. Will Sin drowned in 91 just as ProGen was about to become a huge hit the second time round, MrC was all over everything and success just seemed to make it all just that little bit more bland. Boss Drum (1992) was okay at the time but It's almost unlistenable bar three or four tracks now. Ebeneezer Goode purely as stupid nostalgia, but Re-Evolution, the spoken word track from Terrence McKenna is still great. I had the best time watching them play Re-Evolution live at Glastonbury one year. I can't remember the year, in fact I can't remember much about the night apart from the great light and sound show. How much of that was on stage and how much in my own head - I have no idea.

I've not even heard anything after that. And I almost dread to do so. Maybe one day. But in their time, especially during the early years - they were great.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:47 AM

    How right you are - I too discovered them through Drop and quickly got their earlier stuff, I loved their later stuff and saw them live on the Synergy tour in 89, 90 then Entact came out and it went downhill from there. I just couldn't take to that irritating little blond man and the direction of the band suffered with the loss of Will.

    I still listen to their early stuff and recently got hold of the first gig of theirs that I went to "Subterania 1989"