12 February 2009

Dilemmas #64

Pungenday, Chaos 43 - Year of Our Lady of Discord 3175

I read on the intrawebs that the Amorphous Androgynous are going to be remixing the latest Oasis single, Falling Down. Apparently, Noel Gallagher has given Gaz, Brian and the rest of the A.A. crew 'carte blanche to do whatever the fuck we want' (quote from Gaz). I think the initial idea is to create a 22-minute psychedelic free-for-all...sitars, mellotrons, the lot.

Noel seems to have been very impressed with the 2-disc Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble mix, released toward the end of '08. M.P.B. began life as a 2-hour ISDN broadcast back in 1997, when the boys were still in their full-time guise as The Future Sound Of London. Back then, they were tiring of their persona as doyens of forward-thinking electronica..cutting-edge and looking to obliterate the past through technology. They created M.P.B. as a sort-of hommage to their rummages through LP boxes in market stalls and tiny record shops in London. I think the inital reaction to it was confusion amongst F.S.O.L.'s fan-base. As one reviewer put it, suddenly they were the "Antiquated Sound Of Pink Floyd". I would've have been shocked by it, as in the summer of '97, I was buying the We Have Explosive EP and listening to Fat Of The Land by The Prodigy and Dig Your Own Hole by The Chemical Brothers. As much as I love psychedelia, I wouldn't have grasped what F.S.O.L. were up to. I finally got to hear the original M.P.B. mix in 2004, as a bootleg, and I was blown away by it. For those interested in hearing those original radio mixes, they are available at FSOL's official site, in The Pod Room. The downloads are fairly cheap and you get a (somewhat small) cover art jpeg. I hope they continue creating them--they're up to volume 7 in the series so far. Gaz has indicated that another 2-disc official set will be released at some point...he's still trying to get clearance to use some of the tracks.

Which brings me to my dilemma...I want to hear A.A.'s remix of Oasis' track, but that may mean actually purchasing an Oasis single. I don't know if I'm up for that task. When you really consider it, Oasis haven't made a decent record since 1995. That's quite a long time making middling to mediocre albums. Sure, there were a few catchy tracks off of Don't Believe The Truth--but to my ears, that was only because they stopped ripping off The Beatles so much and ripped off The Rolling Stones and The Velvet Underground instead. It seems a shame, because Noel Gallagher seems like a pretty cool bloke (plus, he owns a mellotron--that definitely takes him up a few notches in my estimation)--it's too bad he can't raise his game with the band, beyond the plodding, 4/4 rhythms and anthemic choruses they trot out every couple of years. Maybe the A.A. remix will make an Oasis track...well, interesting.

It was the same a few years ago when Stereophonics released the Dakota single. It was damn catchy, but I couldn't help thinking "it's the Stereophonics, but it's a good tune". That sort of dilemma. Speaking of Stereophonics, do you remember in 2007 when the BBC2 decided to 'celebrate' the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's with a re-recording, featuring the most un-psychedelic bands they could gather? Travis, Razorlight & Kaiser Chiefs...urgh! I guess Spiritualized, Acid Mothers Temple and even Amorphous Androgynous were busy that week...shit, they could've even got The Verve in there. Would've been a lot more of a real tribute than having James Morrison show up with his faux-soul warblings. My mate Axl posted about cover versions and he makes a very good point about not whinging over bad cover versions of really good (and classic) songs. But dig this, I was watching a film that was made to coincide with the re-recording of "Pepper". Pretty cringe-worthy in itself...but then they get to the bit with Stereophonics. Now, the tune that they were to cover from the album was Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise). When they arrive at the studio, Kelly Jones actually says to Geoff Emerick (who was the recording engineer for the original "Pepper" and was producing the new sessions), that they "don't know that one". Oh dear....D'ya think maybe you could've coughed up enough bread for a copy of the album and listened to it all the way through at least once? I suspect that they were told which track they would be covering before they agreed to take part...and even if it was sprung on them the day of recording, you'd think they would've done a little bit of homework. I realise there's an opinion that holds the Stereophonics were being 'rock-n-roll' about the situation, but to me, it just seems like boneheaded ignorance.

I still haven't decided if I'm going to buy the Oasis single....