ZTT Remastered Singles

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graham
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ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by graham »

Every Friday for the next few months there will be an upload of an 808 State single from the ZTT archives -Many of which have never been on the digital platforms before , These have been re mastered at Abbey Road .

First off it’s Cubik/Olympic.


Cubik Was Recorded in Feb 1990 at Square One Studios in Bury and first appeared on The Extended Pleasure Od Dance EP almost as a B side -A Riffing Rave Monster of a track made by using a Casio MIDI Guitar - It first gained some traction in The USA
when Tommy Boy added it to the U.S.version of our album 90 ,”UTD State 90”.
Tommy Boy Released Cubik as a single first in July 1990 aimed at specific New York Clubs - The UK followed in October 1990 due to the amount of U.S. Imports that were flooding back to Europe.
ZTT double A sided it with “Olympic” , a track made to assist Manchester’s Olympic bid launch ( to be 10 Years in the future at that point in the year 2000) - Olympic was later adopted by Channel Four’s “The Word “ TV show with a special mix being commissioned as its theme tune .

Cubik Olympic came in two editions The White one and the Black One (both designed by Johnson & Panas )
The black one had a mix by Tom Richardson & Eric Kupper called Tomix - Tom was our defacto A&R guy at Tommy Boy -We went over to New York in the summer of 1990 to play at the New Music Seminar - - When Tom took us out clubbing it was a baptism of fire ! -this guy knew how NY ticked !
We sadly only knew Tom for a short time as he passed away with AIDS the following year -But I always think of Tom when it comes to kicking Cubik in the back of the net .


Cubik -Original Mix

Cubik Pan Am Mix

Olympic -Flutey Mix

Olympic -Euro Bass Mix

Cubik - Tomix

Olympic - August 90

Lambrusco Cowboy

Olympic -Euro Bass Gate Mix
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Cubik/Olympic ZTT's official announcement:

Arriving for the first time on digital platforms today, Zang Tuum Tumb begins to mark the 30th anniversary of ex:el, the groundbreaking electronic album by 808 State, with Cübik/Olympic (and more to come…).

Originally released on 01 October 1990, all the remixes are included from this classic AA-side single. From the 12" A-side: the Original Mix and the Pan Am Mix of Cübik. And from the 12" AAside: the Flutey Mix and the Euro Bass Mix of Olympic.

We then present the remix 12" (ZANG 5TX) in its entirety, headed up by Tom Richardson & Eric Kupper's mesmerising 9-minute Cübik Tomix. It's the first time Tomix has been available on digital platforms, likewise the Pan Am Mix, Flutey Mix and the previously vinyl-only Record Store Day special Olympic (Euro Bass Gate Mix).

01: Cübik/Original Mix (00:03:33)
02: Cübik/Pan Am Mix (00:04:56)
03: Olympic/Flutey Mix (00:04:09)
04: Olympic/Euro Bass Mix (00:05:45)
05: Cübik/Tomix (00:09:29)
06: Olympic/August 90 (00:04:54)
07: Lambrusco Cowboy (00:03:57)
08: Olympic/Euro Bass Gate Mix (00:03:58)

Cübik/Olympic has been remastered in 2021 by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road studios, overseen by Graham Massey. And is brought to you by the Dream Department (compilation: Ian Peel, artwork remaster: Philip Marshall) at ZTT Records, the Organisation of Pop. With thanks to Nick King, Markus Arnold, The Fat Shadow, and the Pointy Head.

Cübik/Olympic is the definition of Zang Tumb Tuumb, number 5. "Welcome to the Thunderdome." Coming next: the pan-American excursion…

Stream / download.
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

In Yer Face

ZTT's announcement:

As Record Mirror said ahead of its original release on 28 January 1991, "In Yer Face reaffirms 808 State's ability to tread exactly where they like when they like, and their status as innovators." And for the 30th anniversary of 808's ex:el album the single finally goes live on digital today.

For the first time on digital platforms, hear the original Raagman rap version of Leo Leo, and the 3:28 In Yer Face 7" Edit, previously available on the Four States Of 808 box set for Record Store Day 2019. They’re backed up with the In Yer Face Mix (which, for those with an eye for the finer details, sits somewhere between the Mancunian Delight mix and the album version), the Poonchanting Instrumental of Leo Leo and, from the original remix 12" (ZANG 14TX), the Facially Yours Remix. Take it away:

01: In Yer Face/Edit (00:03:18)
02: Leo Leo/ft. Raagman (00:04:01)
03: In Yer Face/In Yer Face Mix (00:04:58)
04: In Yer Face/Facially Yours Remix (00:04:18)
05: Leo Leo/Poonchanting Instrumental (00:04:04)

In Yer Face has been remastered in 2021 by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road studios, overseen by Graham Massey. Compilation: Ian Peel, artwork remaster: Philip Marshall at the Dream Department @ ZTT Records, the Organisation of Pop. Thanks to Raagman and Michael "Spectacular" Haas.

This is the facial definition of Zang Tumb Tuumb, number 7.

Stream / Download.

Graham's notes:

This Friday’s Remastered 808/ZTT single is “ In Yer Face “

Looking back on the week of April 23rd 1990 ,808 State were ensconced at Square One Studios in Bury -working on Tunes Splits The Atom ,we were also completing a second mix of Olympic now with the heavy riff that became the theme tune to “The Word”. We were so pleased with this riff that we wrote a spin off track based on it to be used as a B side for the Tommy Boy release of Cubik (July 90) entitled “EuroTrack(In Yer Face Mix)” on the U.S.white label ,It became “In Yer Face (In Yer Face Mix/Mancunian Delight )” on the promo 12 inch- Confused ? you will be!
Let’s hear it again for B side culture! Because that freedom always gave bold results .Cubik also started as a B Side and bounced back as an in demand import from across the Atlantic.
In Yer Face was working well in our live set during the summer of 1990 and was tested out on the dance floor by The Spin Masters on Saturday nights at Manchester’s legendary Thunderdome club .
IYF would become the first single when Ex El album was released in February 1991 . The Video footage in the Promo for IYF was shot at The Ku Club in Ibiza at an event called ” Re Live The Dream” in September 1990 - You see even in 1990 there was an acid revival from the mid 80s !

The flip side ,Leo Leo was recorded at Revolution Studios in Manchester later that year when we were rounding off the Ex El album .
I remember we performed it on a local TV Christmas special sat on Bob Greaves bed with all the synths , A random choice of track ,probably because it was still warm out of the oven .
I believe the rap by Raagman was put on a bit later as an bonus for the single release .
Raagman was part of our crew from the early days ,you would have seen him as one of MC Tune’s dancers. If you go back to some of the early 808 State gigs from the late 80s ,Raagman ,Tunes and other rappers are voicing all over the acid music in a kind of experimental hybrid .

As was the norm back then ,we released a second edition of the 12 inch to bump the single up the charts - A new mix of “In Yer Face “ called “Facially Yours “ with the more melodic ending . And we included the original Leo Leo inexplicably relabelled “The Poonchanting Instrumental “ New language for a new music .

In Yer Face has been reborn in recent years with the Bicep remix ,which is way more functional in todays big room arenas -Our original is a War & Peace concept album crushed into 3 minutes that accidentally became a top 10 pop record.You must have been all off your heads!

The cover art is again by Johnson & Panas who designed so many great sleeves for Factory Records. It’s an homage to the glorious TDK SA90 - In fact it works best as the cassette single art work ! which happened to be the standard way of getting sound into your rave wagon back then ,you were posh if you had a CD player in your car at this point!
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Lift

ZTT:

Step into the “seductive dream state” of Lift, a double A-side delight from 808 State’s ground-breaking ex:el album, currently celebrating its 30th anniversary. Lift/Open Your Mind was originally released on 05 August 1991 and finally arrives on all digital platforms today.

The Open Mix of Open Your Mind and the 7” Mix of Lift make their digital debut, as does the Fon Mix of Open Your Mind – the first time this track has been available since it appeared on a 12” promo (SAM 839, mistakenly tagged as the Open Mix).

It’s the track – complete with 10-second subsonic intro – that marked the start of 808’s Fon Studios era. "There are not many studios up north worth bothering with," Graham Massey told International Musician in August 1991 when Lift was released (which, the magazine pointed out, was "a total rework of the album track"). "We had heard about it from people like Martin Moscrop out of A Certain Ratio, who had been working here and raving about it..."

01: Lift/7" Mix (00:03:16)
02: Open Your Mind/Sound Garden Mix (00:04:28)
03: Lift/Heavy Mix (00:04:42)
04: Open Your Mind/Open Mix (00:04:53)
05: Open Your Mind/Fon Mix (00:04:04)

Another 808:ex:el:30 release from the Dream Department at ZTT Records, the Organisation of Pop. Compiled by Ian Peel with artwork remastered by Philip Marshall. Audio remastered in 2021 at Abbey Road studios by Geoff Pesche overseen by Graham Massey. Thanks to Nick King, Markus Arnold, and *Record Mirror.

This is the most uplifting definition of Zang Tumb Tuum, number eight. Coming next: the first in an ongoing series curating 808 State’s Tommy Boy Remixes.

Stream / download.

Graham:

The third of our remastered 808 State /ZTT singles this month is Lift .
Lift was also the third single from our Ex EL album in August 1991 . A risky choice ,we perhaps knew it was leaning a little bit far out ,both as a pop record or as a club record.
It was n.t really in keeping with the recent harder vibe we had been peddling .Its title was a nod to muzak ,the kind of music designed to be played in lifts and waiting areas.
It has “easy listening” tones and almost references Percy Faith’s “Theme from a Summer Place “melodically speaking ,but set against a techno soul bounce.
Have you ever been on the M60 on a summers night looking for a party with you're head out of the sun roof with Love Unlimited Orchestra’s “Loves Theme” on the cassette player? you might start to understand this moment of madness if you had.
The album version of Lift contrasts this sweetness with some dark twists and turns ,feedback gui-tars ,Cello drops / fairground Moog breakouts . But in order to address the daytime radio we slicked it up and made it a neat little 7 inch, which has been digitised here for the first time.
For the 12 inch ”Heavy” Mix we adopted a more macho approach,adding break beats and testing a brand new synth out called the Roland JD 800 with its elastic and glassy textures.
I remember we had gone over to Ireland to play a rave in a cowshed in Cork.
On arrival back in MCR with a plastic carrier bag of cash we went straight to A1 Music on Oxford
Rd to buy this beast ! It took a day to read the thick paper manuals ,then we recorded the Heavy Mix back at Revolution Studios the following day.

For the B side we travelled over the Pennines to Sheffield’s FON studio . We had heard good things coming out of there such as LFO by LFO ,a new label called WARP had an office in the same building . FON had a big control room where you could lay out synths ,where as other studios were more geared to performance space with small control rooms at the time .
We would be clocking up the miles in our transit van travelling the “Snake Pass” to and from Shef-field for the next couple of years .A lot of great electronic music was brewed in that City at the time .Techno City UK.
Open Your Mind was a deliberate B side and again employs the JD 800 synth heavily.
We did 3 variations and in this remaster we have digitised the missing FON mix for the first time.
During our first sessions at FON we also did a remix of Owner Of A Lonely Heart for YES . Our record company boss Trevor Horn was keen for us to have a go , He had produced the original recording in 1983. We were probably feeling a bit full of ourselves at this point and only kept the snare drum from the original mix. There was a madness in the air that summer and Open Your Mind was to be the last thing we recorded as a four piece .The single came out in August 91 ac-companied by a video of us larking about at the newly completed “Siemens Building” in Manches-ter wearing PPE and masks like there was some kind of future pandemic going on .Some viral spirals were concocted on a machine called a Video Fairlight ,some have KLF written on them , thats another story !
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Cübik – The Tommy Boy Mixes

ZTT:

New York DJ/producers Tommy Musto and Frankie Bones deliver the Kings County Perspective and Kings County Dub mixes of Cübik (always remember the umlaut) which came hot on the heels of their two Pacific remixes released the previous year in 1989. (The Dream Department is dusting those tracks down right now for release later this summer.)

Originally released in October 1990 in the USA only via ZTT and the legendary Tommy Boy label, this set also includes 808’s own Pan American Excursion of Cübik, as well as what was the first ever airing of In Yer Face. Then subtitled Mancunian Delight, it eventually became known as (slightly curtailed) In Yer Face Mix when released in the UK three months later in January 1991 and, a couple of months after that, as the (even more slightly curtailed) album version found on the ex:el album. So here you have:

01: Cübik/Pan American Excursion (00:04:56)
02: Cübik/Kings County Perspective (00:06:00)
03: In Yer Face/In Yer Face Mix (00:04:54)
04: Cübik/Kings County Dub (00:04:52)

Cübik – The Tommy Boy Mixes has been remastered in 2021 by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road studios, overseen by Graham Massey. And is brought to you by the Dream Department (where there is a pattern emerging) at ZTT Records, the Organisation of Pop (curation: Ian Peel, artwork: Philip Marshall). With thanks to Tommy Musto, Frankie Bones, Nick King, and Markus Arnold. It’s the American definition of Zang Tumb Tuumb, number six.

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Graham:

Lets step back to 1989 when 808 State signed to the bespoke ZTT label .Was Zang Tumb Tuum an independent record label ? Well kind of ,sort of , It was actually part of Warner ,so it was a small team of thinkers that sat around a table in West London ,once they pressed go on an idea it would enter the Warners marketing machine (press ,radio ,TV ,distribution)
I think its been documented before but I remember the band all being in the head of Warners penthouse office in London having just put Cübik forward as a single and he described it as a tuned fart ,but to be fair he acquiesced to our hours of dedicated rave work at the time .

In order to launch our records in North America ,ZTT did a licensing deal with New York dance label Tommy Boy .We could not be more pleased ,they also had thinkers around a vibrant office table ,they had troops on the ground ,we trusted and respected their ideas and energy.
It was Tommy Boys idea to pluck Cübik off our UK release The Extended Pleasure of Dance and have it remixed for New York’s newly emerging rave clubs.
Who are they going to call on ? Tommy Musto & Frankie Bones were a great fit ,already established as solid club DJ s they were making tough records that fitted the hedonism of that summer. We would hear their records all the time in Manchester’s clubs ,and I know Martin Price was a fan of the Bones Breaks series with a section fully stocked at his Eastern Bloc record shop.
There are two Musto /Bones remixes here (shout out to Hugo Dwyer who worked on it too) under the moniker of Kings County Perspective & Kings County Dub .Kings County being another name for Brooklyn.
Here is a small You Tube doc on Musto & Bones/Brooklyn clubs in the early 90s.

I think these remastered versions of a U.S. tamed Cübik will work just fine on the club systems of today (Beatport download ,Do It ! ) They were refashioned at Axis Studios New York which was François Kevorkian’s kitchen cooking up records from Dee Lite & Madonna at this time.

Meanwhile in Bury Lancashire we also tried to tame Cübik for the dance floor by providing the “Pan American Excursion” It addresses the beat in a more solid way and is a celebrations of the Sequential Circuits Pro One Synth ,newly acquired from Johnny Roadhouse Music for £40 at the time. If your nerdy enough and would like to study the beats on this release in great depth there is a chapter on it in a book called Unlocking the Groove: Rhythm, Meter, and Musical Design in Electronic Dance Music by Mark J Butler .

Also included on the original Tommy Boy release was the first appearance of “In Yer Face “ in a full 5 minute jam subtitled “Mancunian Delight” also recorded in Square One Studio in Bury in early 1990 ,I think this is the mix were I had nöt finished editing the tape when I went on höliday and it just sent off anyway and so it feels to me like it goes on a bit at the end in a random way.
Cübik The Tommy Boy Remixes did really well as an import back in to the UK and Europe in the summer of 1990 and so Warners had to market the tuned fart to BBC Radio One and TOTP a year later as a UK release called Cübik/Olympic which we also remastered this month.
Talking of mastering ,I have only just mastered the key command for the umlaut !
Thats Cubik with an ü not Cubik with a C but Cubic with a K cos Cubic with a K spells Cübik
I dont know why we bothered ,everyone that came in the shop asked for Egh Egh Egh Egh Eugh !
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Lift – The Tommy Boy Mixes

ZTT:

With Justin Strauss taking the controls on the remix, The Dream Department at ZTT closes out the 30th anniversary 808 State’s spine-tingling ex:el today with the digital restoration of Lift – The Tommy Boy Mixes.

Three of the tracks on this digital time capsule are appearing online for the first time ever: Justin Strauss’s Remix, Metro Mix, and Lift Up Dub, the latter of which – as Jamie Sefton once wrote in Outside World – “is the most radical departure from the original.” All three remixes, which were only ever released in the US via the Tommy Boy label, feature Eric Kupper on additional keyboards.

What is Lift - The Tommy Boy Remixes exactly? According to Billboard when these mixes were originally released, they’re "Percolating, synth-smart house instrumentals... covered with plush, cinematic strings, and subtle samples and sound effects." (And did you ever spot that comment on The KLF in the original video?). Listen in:

01: Lift/Justin Strauss Remix (00:06:50)
02: Lift/Metro Mix (00:04:48)
03: Lift/Lift Up Dub (00:06:42)
04: Open Your Mind/Sound Garden Mix (00:04:31)
05: Open Your Mind/Open Mix (00:04:53)

Lift – The Tommy Boy Mixes is brought to you by the Zang Tuum Tumb Dream Department: compilation: Ian Peel, artwork: Philip Marshall. It’s the stateside definition of Zang Tumb Tuumb, number nine. Coming next: May is Gorgeous.

Remastered in 2021 by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road studios, overseen by Graham Massey. Thanks to Justin Strauss and Eric Kupper, Nick King, and Markus Arnold.

Stream / download

Graham:

Lift the Tommy Boy Mixes coincided with 808 State’s first North American tour
The night before we were to fly out Martin Price our oldest group member announced
he would n’t be coming ,which was some what traumatic at the time .
We started on the west coast in September 1991 and finished up in New York in October to
play at The Limelight ,a converted church in downtown Manhattan.
Before the gig we went for dinner with the record company ,which sounds formal but really wasn't
They had invited some of their friends along that included Moby who was on the show with us that night , D’mitry from Delight and Justin Strauss . Justin had done a mix for us earlier in the year on Pacific and then 3 mixes for the current release of Lift .
Whilst meeting for the first time ,one of the things I found we had in common is that being around the age of 30 we had both entered music from the pre/post punk launch pad.
Justin started off as a singer in a glam rock band “Milk & Cookies” then started DJ ing at the famous Mudd Club in NY in the early 80s . nights at the Paradise Garage ,loft parties ,then getting established at the Limelite & the Ritz and many others.

An Interview with Justin Strauss here.

New York & Manchester have always throwing ideas at each other musically on the club scene
I think there is a trans Atlantic cable . Justin’s mixes brought a more stripped down NY sound and he worked with keyboardist Eric Kupper here, Eric plays on so many great club records , part of the Frankie Knuckles team for one thing .Eric had done some mixes for our Tommy Boy OOPS release with Bjork on vocals earlier in the year. Strauss & Kupper also did a couple of Pacific mixes -so this was our Team Tommy Boy at the time . Brought to you largely by Monica Lynch/Tom Richardson -nocturnal types !

Some of Eric's history here .

I think the Limelight gig was a pretty mad night - I can remember some crazy older dude down the front of the audience really going for it ! We were introduced to him upstairs afterward -turned out to be Eumir Deodato -Some of us went to his studio the following day ,we talked of may be a collaboration . Bjork and I use to bang on together about his string arrangements on Milton Nascimento late 60s LPs (nerds!).Once you tune into his credits he is everywhere -Sinatra ,Earth Wind & Fire ,Cool & The Gang and of coarse his funked up “Also Sprach Zarathustra” that I had on 7 inch in 74. We were back at the Limelight a couple of months later to headline a New Years eve show hosted by Leigh Bowery -That was messy !
Next month May will be Gorgeous !
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

TimeBomb

ZTT:

Remastered at Abbey Road, detonate the TimeBomb – the first in a new series celebrating the singles and remixes from 808’s acclaimed fifth album.

808’s first single from the much-loved 1993 album, Gorgeous saw them re-emerge as a trio. Arriving almost a year to the day after the final single from ex:el, TimeBomb was a larger-than-life, thundering rave classic. But it was also a three-track EP, housing the symphonic Nimbus and the existential Reaper Repo.

We’ve remastered all three tracks for this digital edition, and taken it up to a six-track EP by looping in the Oldham Mix of TimeBomb and the full-length Nimbus and Reaper Repo from the 12” edition, with the Fon Mix of TimeBomb, the 7” Mix of Nimbus and the Short Mix of Reaper Repo from the 7”. The latter three are all arriving on digital platforms for the first time ever.

If anything, it was Reaper Repo that set the tone of 808's things-to-come. As Melody Maker said at the time, "Under no pressure to be overtly modern, it undergoes a complete present-day bypass, linking the past and future in a cat's-cradle of echoing keyboards, echoing percussion and echoing vocal samples. Off-kilter, off-key, off its head."

01: TimeBomb (Oldham Mix)/00:03:53
02: Nimbus/00:04:34
03: Reaper Repo/00:08:28
04: TimeBomb (Fon Mix)/00:02:57
05: Nimbus (7" Mix)/00:03:42
06: Reaper Repo (Short Mix)/00:04:23

May is Gorgeous and TimeBomb are brought to you by the Dream Department at Zang Tuum Tumb. Compilation: Ian Peel, artwork: Philip Marshall. Remastered in 2021 by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road studios, overseen by Graham Massey. Thank yous: Nick King, Markus Arnold. A definition of Zang Tumb Tuumb, number 10.

Stream / download

Graham:

May Is Gorgeous ! This weeks 808 State /ZTT remastered single is Timebomb
Im shocked to notice there is a full year between Lift (August 91) and Timebomb (August 92)
In last weeks episode I explained that elder statesman Martin Price opted out of our U.S.tour
and on return the matter went further and there was a lot of legal hows your farther when a member wants to leave the band. I cant go into it too deeply here .
The remainder of 91 into 92 we also set up a new HQ in the centre of Manchester .
Urban Splash was a new property company set up by Tom Bloxham who used to sell band posters
above Martin”s Eastern Bloc shop in Affleck’s Palace ,They had renovated a former underwear factory into office units and we were their first tenants along side Simply Red .
This took a chunk of time while we built our writing studio and office and started to work toward a new album.
We still went to commercial studios to record properly with our Canadian engineer Mike Haas .
Timebomb (Oldham mix) was the first attempt at Vibe Studios in Oldham ,Then we went to Fon Studios Sheffield to have another go . We were trying to write a “banger” to go in our live set
We had some new toys courtesy of a synth freak /airline pilot known to us as Captain Techno
He worked for Monarch Airlines out of Manchester International -He would pick up second hand analogue synths in Canada and the U.S. ,renovated them and sold them to the likes of Vince Clarke and The Human League.
Fortunately we lived nearer to the airport and got first dibs. Timebomb features the 2 ton Oberheim Four Voice ,we had it modified to drill through concrete.
Both mixes of Timebomb are brought together in this weeks release.
We were aiming at releasing the single in June 92 , Im not sure what happened to delay it .
We did get a headline slot at Glastonbury in June 92 ,it was pretty last minute ,some one dropped out (U2?) and thats why we aren't on the poster. The release timing would have been nice to coincide with our biggest show ever. There was no TV coverage at that point , I ve never even seen a photograph of us doing it -so it remains dreamlike in my memory ,But we will have premiered Timebomb that Sunday night on the NME stage. closing the festival..
There was some behind the scenes argy bargy at the record company when the BBC would nt playlist it because it had “bomb” in the title
During the first Gulf War the BBC did a lot of this kind of thing , remember when Massive Attack became simply “Massive” .Well that was a set back !

https://reprobatepress.com/2021/02/15/the-bbcs-banned-songs-of-the-gulf-war/

The single was more like an EP and it’s the second cut “Nimbus” that sound more like a war movie theme to me .The first LP I owned at the age of 11 was “Big War Movie Themes “on the MFP label from the Co Op supermarket. - Ron Goodwin was my spirit animal on Nimbus ! It fell out of another of Captain Techno’s synths “The Memory Moog” fastened up to a new bit of kit called an Oberheim Cyclone Arpeggiator ,(way too complicated did nt go near it again) . There is a You Tube clip of us doing Nimbus on local news program Granada Reports (I think they had adopted us ) Filmed at Liverpool’s Albert Docks ,which was handy as we were at Amazon Studios on Bold St Liverpool to record a lot of the Gorgeous LP .Amazon was a posh new studio with the only SSL desk in the North at the time .I think Genesis had set it up originally ,The old studio was on an industrial estate in the middle of nowhere ,it felt like a Dr Who UNIT era set .We d go and get multi tracks copied there ,no one else had 2 machines in one room north of London.

Reaper Repo was in the spirit of B sides a big tangle of Latin and Indian rhythms and one insistent stacked note from the Memory Moog.The melody is played on another
Capt' T drop off “The Oscar “(synth nerds say Oooh !) A rare British analogue from the makers of the Wasp. Some where there is a 20 minute live Reaper Repo we did at Wembley Conference Centre for a trade show ,it goes into an acid version of Bitches Brew (Miles Davis tune)
A bit of searching and wobbly uncertainty sums up 92 as the dance music scene was settling into more of a mainstream establishment . The gig list for that year is largely taken up with DJ sets What would have been a follow up USA tour became a radio tour to promote Timebomb ,we hopped on short haul flights around North America with our hardcore radio promotions guy Mike for about a month - Daz & Andy did DJ club spots in the evening , or you could find us giving sex advice with Dr Drew on KROQ radio .Of coarse Daz & Andy we were pretty good on the radio having run the 808 Show for a couple of years at that point . I personally felt I could have been doing something else (I had began working on Bjork's “Debut “ early sessions around this time)
I did not do the club DJ ing apart from one traumatic night where we got double booked and I had to do a full on Saturday night at the Palace in Hollywood ,an anxiety dream that re runs to this day.

I would point out that we were self managing at this point , a lot of help from ZTT and Mandy our Office /Tour manager /den mother did a great job ! -Something more strategic was needed after the initial euphoric energy that had launched the Rave scene..
Timebomb did feel like a UXB at the time but it has remained in our live set over the decades as an air punch mainstay . am I over sharing ? Probably .
markus
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Plan 9

ZTT:

Featuring Ian McCulloch and the theme from The Word, this week’s 808 State digital rewind is a six-track edition of Plan 9

As Melody Maker said in 1993, Plan 9 “amply illustrates how ambience can be fun…” It also illustrates the sonic detours that 808:92 Team were able to take in the Gorgeous era, with – as DJ mag put it – “the tinkling guitar in both Choki Galaxy Mix and the Guitars On Fire Mix, coupled with an exciting, skittery, bleeps-stabbed 127.5bpm reworking of their enduringly popular Olympic.”

This new six-track remaster from The Dream Department at ZTT kicks off with Trevor Horn’s Radio Edit of Plan 9 – originally DJ promo-only, it then resurfaced on the now- deleted compilation, The 808 State Blueprint. The Word Mix of Olympic is here (although sadly footage of the band performing the track on the show itself has yet to reappear on YouTube, it seems).

We then close out with the two wide-screen 12” remixes of Plan 9 and the highlight of Gorgeous’s Disco Disc, Nbambi (The April Showers Mix). Sandwiched right in the middle is the previously-unreleased (save for a hyper-rare US promo CD on Tommy Boy Records) 7” Remix of Moses, featuring Ian McCulloch.

May is… Gorgeous. So listen in:

01: Plan 9 (Radio Edit)/00:03:42
02: Olympic (The Word Mix)/00:04:57
03: Moses (7" Remix) ft. Ian McCulloch/00:02:48
04: Plan 9 (Guitars on Fire Mix)/00:04:42
05: Nbambi (The April Showers Mix)/00:04:18
06: Plan 9 (Choki Galaxy Mix)/00:04:43

Plan 9 was six-tracked by The Dream Department at Zang Tuum Tumb. Compilation: Ian Peel, remastered artwork: Philip Marshall, remastered audio Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road studios, overseen by Graham Massey. The eleventh definition of Zang Tumb Tuumb, quite simply. Thank yous: Nick King, Markus Arnold.

Stream / download

Graham:

The 3rd single preceding the album “Gorgeous” in early 1993 .
I think the album was ready to go as early as August 92 .
Our previous single "One in Ten" had got to number 17 in the Christmas pop charts .Also that December we played one of our only ever French raves at Trans Musical -Rennes with The Orb and Underground Resistance ,That was a nice gig !The following couple of weeks we were squeezed on the bill on Madness’s Xmas tour along with Liverpool group The Farm . These were big stadium gigs and I guess the idea was to hit a wider audience and get a Christmas number 1 with a song about being unemployed , cheery Dickensian stuff ! . The reality was we were largely unwelcome ,not by Madness who were really lovely . There was some kind of riot in Edinburgh where we were barricaded in the dressing room ,men with golf clubs in the audience! ,but largely it felt like a Christmas Jolly. For instance at the Brighton Grand Hotel we had an impromptu breakfast with Mr Zulu from Star Trek (George Takai) who was in Pantomime , Its was all tinsel & show business !
Plan 9 had its origins in a remix we had done the previous summer of Planet Rock by Africa Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force. It must have been a hot summer , we heated that robot vibe up with some lovely warm chords , we had to recycle those . In fact we took ithis new off shoot totally Balearic by playing some Spanish Guitar over it and flooding it with sun ripened fruity Memory Moog (a posh lush synth).
For the 1 in 10 video we had frozen our assets off filming in the Crescents of Hulme and Blackpool Promenade in the pissing rain .This time we were going to film somewhere warm ,how about Death Valley ? We tipped up in Vegas and bought $25 worth of props from an army surplus store then drove out to Zabrinskie Point where we made a wide screen Star Trek episode with these two Soho Steinbeck jockeys called Wayne & Badger .
The sand dunes were so sound absorbent that it was like a huge anechoic chamber. One could talk quietly to each other over great distance and hear your blood pumping in your neck.
The landscapes were Gorgeous and like all our other videos we shuffled through the frame from right to left like a stop frame Czech animation.
There are 3 mixes of Plan 9 here, the radio edit was razored up by Trevor Horn . We have included another of Trevor 's radio edits that was possibly going to be a single at the time
“Moses “ our collaboration with Ian Mc Culloch from Echo & The Bunnymen. I think it was our lighting engineer Lee who set up a meeting with Ian when we were recording on Bold Street Liverpool early in 92 . We all pilled into his house one afternoon and played him some tracks. It was a few months later that we recorded Ian in Sheffield- As a lead singer it is traditional to turn up with no lyrics .We all sat in the pub while he pulled the song out of the either and onto a beer mat.
Ian came and performed Moses on the Madness tour with us ,have you ever tried to get hairspray on an industrial estate in Wembley ? the immortal lines “No Hairspray ,No Show !“ we still use today .
The other track that we had rattled off as a B side was a heavier mix of Olympic ,as this was now well known as the theme to Channel 4 s The Word ,hence the affix.
Im very fond of the little weird B side track named “Nbambi" , which sounds somewhat Disneyesque with its Wurlitzer raindrops , more Spanish guitar .The whooshing wind /chip pan effects are straight out of the ARP2600 patch cord book .The art work on Plan 9 was by Mark Farrow who had previously done the artwork for the album 90 .You will know many of his classic sleeve designs for Manics , Pet Shop Boys ,Spiritualised etc.
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

10 x 10

ZTT:

Raise the feeling! ZTT is back with an album-length edition of 808 State’s blistering soundtrack to the final days of rave: 10x10. Eight tracks – six of which are new to digital – plus the flipside analogue bubblebath that is La Luz

10x10 first leaked from 808 State Laboratories in 1991 with the infamous Vox/Beats 12” promo. Then another 12” promo followed, La Luz, under an even greater level of secrecy pressed as it was under the pseudonym of MacMillan & Wife.

But what could have easily remained a series of underground experiments went very overground in 1993 when 10x10 became the fourth and final single from the Gorgeous album – picking up Radio 1 airplay and critical acclaim from Billboard to Melody Maker.

For The Maker, 10x10 was "another throbbing dance delight... 808 State, crafty buggers, know that minimal is magnificent..." As for Billboard's review? They were all about the tie-in Tommy Boy mixes. So come back soon week for more on that, and to find out where 10x10 went next...

Every UK mix of 10x10 is here (save for that initial 12” promo, which is a whole other story in itself). And it’s the first time that tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 have appeared on Spotify or any digital platform.

With 10x10, May is Gorgeous:

01: 10x10 (Radio Mix)/ 00:03:27
02: 10x10 (Trans-Disco Express)/ 00:04:14
03: 10x10 (Black Eye Mix)/ 00:04:17
04: 10x10 (Rockathon Mix)/ 00:04:19
05: 10x10 (Vox Mix)/ 00:04:09
06: 10x10 (Beats Mix)/ 00:04:05
07: La Luz (Chunky Funky Mix)/ 00:04:58
08: La Luz (Acid Mix)/ 00:05:35

10x10x08 has been delivered by The Dream Department at Zang Tuum Tumb. Compilation: Ian Peel, remastered artwork: Philip Marshall, remastered audio Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road studios overseen by Graham Massey. Thank yous: Nick King, Markus Arnold. The definition of Zang Tumb Tuumb, #12”.

Stream / download

Graham:

Raise The Feeling ! this weeks 808 State /ZTT Friday Drop is 10 x 10

I think this was one of the earlier tunes to be written for the Gorgeous album in 1992
I remember we were still at our Industrial unit behind Mc Donalds in Longsight .
We had an office in one part of the business park and then a big unit that we used for the studio ,you could park our Transit Van in the studio if we needed to ,it took about half an hour to unlock the unit , it was assumed that it would be robbed daily .
One grey Monday morning Darren brings in Start by The Jam already cut up on a floppy disc.
Over the weekend I had been watching Kirk Douglas in the Vikings ,and you know once you've got the horn ? Anyway these 2 elements were put in the Akai sampler cauldron and melted down .
At the bottom of my man bag lived a load of old cassettes ,one of which had the 10 x 10 x 10 monologue by Dr Morbius recorded off the TV, He's talking about a Krell Computer we just had an Atari at the time.
Our live sound engineer Pablo lived near by and would often drop in ,I pretty sure it was his suggestion that we should listen to a young local girl singer that he had heard recently .
Rachel came along with her mentor Barrington Stuart who I already knew from many sessions at Spirit Studios ,I had done a college project with Barry and Denise Johnson a few years earlier ,a weird electro version of a Barry White tune. Barry was like a vocal “fixer” around the studios of MCR . He would be in a different group every other week , Loopzilla being one around this time.
Rachel says Barry made her stand in front of us and sing Amazing Grace .Once we peeled our self off the back wall we needed to figure out a song for her to sing with her gospel trained latitude in mind. It also needed to refer to Krell maths .
If you went out to the Hacienda on any given night in 92 ,you would hear a lot of piano driven tracks with gospel derived vocals , I m pretty sure we called it Garage at the time ,Sasha had become the rising star and that was his flavour . I think in trying to include Rachel in a track we knew we were flirting with those dance floor trends. A bed of piano was fitted to the Jam sample
The piano is a JD 800 synth ,you could cheat a bit by tuning intervals that made you sound more
confident than you were at the ivories.
Its interesting listening to these various mixes as the piano gets removed from most of them ,It was important support to sing to , but deemed a little bit cheesy to live on as we tried to bend it back to our 808 synth heavy sound. We always played the Black Eye and Rockathon mixes in our live set back then.
As far as I remember we recorded the vocals in FON studios ,Barrington came along as vocal coach ,but ended up layering him self in to the arrangement , He knew how to build a choir sound.
There is an accapella of 10 x 10 where you can hear what is going on clearly.The lyrics were finished under pressure in the studio (a fine old tradition) . Then we white labled 2 mixes as early as 1991 . We could nt find those mixes for this re issue , they had a fault in the vinyl so are very ltd.
But there are 6 mixes here ,and a number of different studios as we tried to find what we wanted from it. Eventually being released as a single in June 93.
When we toured the Gorgeous album ,we took Barry & Rachel with us , they also sang 1 in 10
(whats with the numerology) and Give Me Shelter .Why did a rave band have a cover of a Rolling Stones tune in the set ? We had done a version of Give Me Shelter as part of a charity record for the homeless charity Shelter. We could choose any studio and a collaborator , we chose Robert Owens ,who was a legend to us from all those Trax records , Mr Fingers etc , And the studio I really wanted to visit was The Manor where so many of my favourite 70s records were recorded. We went directly to Oxford after landing back from our Death Valley trip.
As we travelled the world promoting Gorgeous ,Rachel stole the show every night ,she was offered various recording contracts but she held back until she was ready - Number ones followed ,staring roles in the West End . Ill just drop her biog here https://www.rachelmcfarlane.com/about/
And here is her recollections of working with 808 State. https://youtu.be/rrgqrv5zWC8
Barrington died in 2011 ,his funeral at The New Testament Church Of God was one of the best gigs Ive ever been to, I d never really considered that so much of the the talent that was nurtured in the churches of Manchester ended up in secular club /pop/rave culture . He was a big character ,I remember him from outside of music , from parties and late nights ,he always had a hustle ,but he was well loved and a great connector of musicians. https://www.last.fm/music/Barrington+Stewart/+wiki
Just a few words about the B side ‘La Luz “ It was named after the night club in the soap opera “Brookside” but that does n’t mean it s not Balearic. We released this track on a blue vinyl white label under the pseudo name Mac Millan & Wife ,Not sure why
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

10x10 - The Tommy Boy Mixes

ZTT:

One of the final ZTT x Tommy Boy collabs, Mike 'Hitman' Wilson's US remixes of 808 State's 10x10 are an uplifting house assault, summed up best by the team at Billboard as “a lush Chicago diva-house transformation oozing with peak-hour drama…” Listen/hear:

"Venerable English ambient/acidhouse-meisters” – to quote that review in full – “undergo a lush Chicago diva-house transformation thanks to the astute remixing hand of Mike 'Hitman' Wilson. He fills the track with glorious grand-piano lines and pushes the pre-existing flourish of gospel choir vocals to the forefront of the arrangement. Oozing with peak-hour drama..."

All of elements of the original remain, of course: that Start bassline courtesy of The Jam, the powerhouse vocals of Rachel McFarlane and the late Barrington Stuart and, at least to Mixmag's ears, "a New Order keyboard riff thrown in for good measure."

All the Tommy Boy mixes of 10x10 are here, all of which are brand new to digital platforms. And one of which - the Hitman's Club Mix Edit - only ever appeared on a short run promo CD in New York. Raise the feeling:

01: 10x10 (Hitman's Club Mix)/ 00:05:50
02: 10x10 (Hitman's Instrumental Mix)/ 00:05:50
03: 10x10 (Hitman's Acappella Mix)/ 00:05:10
04: 10x10 (Hitman's Club Mix Edit)/ 00:04:02
05: La Luz (Acid Mix)/ 00:05:35
06: La Luz (Chunky Funky Mix)/ 00:04:58

10x10xTommyBoy was been uploaded by The Dream Department at Zang Tuum Tumb. Compilation: Ian Peel, artwork: Philip Marshall, audio remaster Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road studios overseen by Graham Massey. Thank yous: Nick King, Markus Arnold. The definition of Zang Tumb Tuumb, number thirteen.

Stream / download | Discography page

Graham's notes:

Hello , This weeks 808 ZTT Remastered single is 10 x 10 The Tommy Boy Remixes
Quite a hard one to expound on as I covered most of the background on last weeks post.
The chosen remixer on this release was Mike ‘Hitman “ Wilson . Someone who I know little about ,perhaps someone out there knows a little more about the Hitman ?
I know he was in the original wave of Chicago House producer /DJ s and obviously some one at our American label had suggested him for the job and we trusted their knowledge.
Its probably the least 808 State sounding releases in our back catalogue as little of our original music remains other than the singing .
Some karmic forces at work here as we were often guilty of this practise.Its like getting an interior designer in who takes out your interior walls , puts a new roof on and glazes over your lawn.
I notice with a lot of these U.S. Remixes that a whole team
of engineers and keyboard players come into the credits , I ‘ve only just noticed that Neil Howard plays keys on this reconstruction ,his” To Be Or Not To Be “ was one of my early House record purchases.
10 X 10 was released to coincide with our second U.S. Tour in the spring of 1993 ,it was a little late as I remember we made the video for it whilst on the tour filming some initial live footage at a gig in Atlanta at a club called The Masquerade ,a massive Tudour-bethan Barn.
The one thing I remember is it had a Launderette next to the club and that was a cause for celebration at this point of the tour A few weeks in and scurvy , dysentery ,fleas and tapeworms had affected the crew of the ship and the tour manager had walked the plank. Some further filming of Barrington & Rachel singing with some S & M rubber clad roller skaters took place in Chicago at a film studio on the day we played at The Metro. I remember we had a late sound check due to Prince having done one of his famous after shows there the night before .
The Mike Hitman Wilson Mixes also came out that summer on a ZTT Promo in the UK and eventually on a limited 10 inch Blue Vinyl . The official Tommy Boy release of 10 x 10 is a Trans Atlantic Brundelfly collection of mixes and including Mike’s Accapella .(thats not a mix ,thats just subtraction !)
The U.S .Gorgeous tour rolled on into May where we finished up in L.A. at The Shrine with The Plan 9 all night rave ,It certainly felt like a celebration as we said goodbye to our companions and tour mates Meat Beat Manifesto and The Supreme Love Gods This had been a 3 Bus tour and we were all quite close by that point . The tour was n't over for us as we were due in Tokyo for a series of gigs at the end of May .Some genius managed to get us a small residency at The Garage in Honolulu to kill some time on the way over the Pacific. This was some what of a dream come true for a collector of all things Hawaiian such as me.
Back in my youth when I first moved in to bedsit land at the end of the 70s ,I used to house/dog sit for my friend Graham Clark’s parents 2 doors up .They were using their pensions to jet of to Hawaii on a couple of occasions.
Les Clark was a musician and had done cruises and casinos in the 50 s and 60s after coming out of the Army /WW2 .He had a magical record collection and his house felt the far east section of the British Museum to me. It was just short of shrunken heads and probably more Tretcikoff in reality.
Les and Es also had the only Beta Max top loader in the neighbourhood and Les kept an extensive video nasty collection that we watched in the afternoon with a can of Double Diamond
whilst he brewed up dark mysterious curries far beyond Vesta !
He had tales of the South Seas and could illuminate on Martin Denny /Arthur Lyman records
I was evangelical about these then rare exotica recordings in the 80s ,(see Ken Hollings https://www.thewire.co.uk/.../epiphanies_life-changing... for My Martin Denny initiation day)This magic trash saved me from the grinding doldrums of the early 80s .And even to this day my neighbours will vouch to each day beginning with Arthur Lyman’s extensive back catalogue ,its some kind of audio valium to me.
On the back of each Lyman record are some technical notes about tape machines and microphones and a picture of a geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller in the grounds of the Hawaiian Hilton Hotel, a magical futurist temple with acoustics that gave these records its reverberant sound. Well we dump our bags in the Waikiki Islander and head to the beach as the sun goes down ,the air is warm and full of sea and jasmine (probably some other herbals) .We turn a corner and there is The Henry J Kaiser Aluminium Dome ! Waaaaaah ! A mega Mecca moment!
https://www.mixcloud.com/massonix/hawaii-ransacked-vol-two/
Martin Denny the king of exotica had a residency at the Shell Bar in the Hilton in the 50s but its was all modern now .However we did manage to stumble upon the last days of “The Tahitian Lanaii" ,a fabulously salt stained rotting Tiki lounge in the Hiltons Lagoon. 808 fans might notice that we carry a portrait of Denny into every studio over the years ,a talisman.
Our gig was just off Waikiki Beach ,it felt like such a luxury to leave the stage set up fora number of days.
One had to check the keyboards for insect life each day ,grubs in your floppy drive ,bat shit on your black notes. Whilst in the islands we kept seeing 808 State bumper stickers on vehicles ,thinking that we must have made an impact here.
We were kind of adopted by the local radio station Radio Free Hawaii and were invited over for an interview.
They explained that 808 State referred to the Island’s dialling code . I swear we had never heard of this when naming our band
, besides we were originally called State 808 ,it was only down to ambiguous sleeve graphics and John Peel getting it wrong that we became 808 State. But here was sweet serendipity !
808 State in the 808 State.
Of coarse due to this clash of names we compete daily with Hawaii on social media ,it keeps us in touch .
A gig was also arranged later that week on the Island of Maui ,a more rural vibe , not sure how we squeezed into the Blue Tropix night club in Lahaina with the lazers and all that ,but safe to say we blew the roof off ! We spent the following day on a catamaran with flying fishes as wing men . Man it was a happy time ! On the last day I received the news from home that Mrs Clark had passed away suddenly , I went for a walk ,just out of the hotel on the main road was a shutter board church with a school aged choir singing on the lawn , I cant emphasise how poignant and transcendent that moment felt . To be in this knot of dream geography ,music dreaming and its fragile magic. When Les passed away a few years later he went out to the strains of Arthur Lyman’s Kalua ,complete with conch shell fanfare .
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by Pacific503 »

Cubik (Pan American Excursion) was my introduction to 808. South Beach in Miami was a very different place in 1990-93. A superb place to go clubbing..it was still our predominantly gay,gritty,hard-edged dirty secret. This was before Madonna discovered it and it began to explode into the Club Disneyland it is now. Warsaw was the center of the club universe on South Beach in 90/91. David Padilla was an amazing DJ that embraced all manners of house and techno. Cubik was a staple, and he used it as a tool to truly mess with our heads. He would have a happy soulful house vibe going on and then turn us upside down with the sudden opening stabs of Cubik. That was always the sign that the night had taken it's turn for the darker deeper side of things. Those that had just been dancing to Blackbox ran for the doors, while the headstrong took another vitamin...Cubik became iconic with Warsaw, the dance floor would roar, and the night truly began. Incredible memories.
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Sawnoff Dali

ZTT notes:

The Thoughts Of Don Solaris Number 2:
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of 808 State’s abstract classic, Don Solaris with a certain selection of early mixes: The Sawnoff Dali EP.
#TheDreamDepartment have it live on all digital platforms from today:

It’s a new month, a new era and another new 808 State. This month marks the 25th anniversary of 808 State’s monument to the infinite possibilities of Nineties electronic music: Don Solaris. And the story starts off with Sawnoff Dali, originally released – in a strictly limited, non-retail fashion – on 17 May 1996.

And while all four ‘songs’ on this release would eventually appear on the finished album, the versions of Jerusahat, Mooz (featuring Ragga Gísla) and Banacheq are unique to this EP – and all available on digital platforms for the first time ever, the EP having only ever been initially pressed on CD and 10” vinyl. As Ian Peel wrote in Long Live Vinyl magazine in 2018:

“In the mid-Nineties, vinyl was starting to die out and 10" singles were one of the first casualties. One of the last great examples from this time in my collection is 808 State's Sawnoff Dali, a two-disc gatefold promo for the group's sixth album, Don Solaris. Designed by Matt Maitland and with sleevenotes by an uncredited Paul Morley, it was possibly the last time a record label spent any serious budget on a 10" or invested in it as an art form.”

Thought 1: Bond (Single Version) @ 5:27
Thought 2: Jerusahat @ 5:26
Thought 3: Mooz ft. Ragga Gísla @ 4:43
Thought 4: Banacheq @ 5:22

Sawnoff Dali has been restored and re-curated by The Dream Department at Zang Tuum Tumb (Marshall/Peel) with an audio remaster at Abbey Road (Massey/Pesche). Thank (King/Arnold) you. Thought 2 is the ZTT’s definition 18. Coming next: Bond. Will. Return.

Stream / download | Discography page

Graham Massey's notes:

This month marks the 25th anniversary of 808 State’s 4th ZTT album Don Solaris
Continuing our 808 /ZTT singles remaster series with “Sawn Off Dali “You probably missed this EP at the time because it was never officially released.
Its a double vinyl 10 inch promotional item and CD referred to in the Don Solaris vernacular as‘ A certain selection of music from the 808 State album Don Solaris"
.It came with 3 post cards Close up of Man , Close up Of Cock Eye and Close up of Cock Foot .
Whats going on ? Well Paul Morley had returned to ZTT at this juncture ,we had presented an art work idea based on a poster on our studio wall of a Crowing Cock at Sunrise .
The Solaris word came from this poster /Tarkovsky film and I remember the Don bit coming together as we were walking down Market St like a eureka moment ! Paul then came up with all this ‘ The Thoughts of Don Solaris “concept .It was really nice to have a wall like Paul to bounce off .It was Morley that had courted us over to ZTT back in 89 , It almost seemed a bit painful at the time I could n't really read him. Something must have been going on as he left the company almost immediately after we joined , which felt very odd . But yes ,a nice energy to get him back and we had a young A & R guy called Neil who was very present and enthusiastic ,Jill Sinclair was the boss at ZTT ,no doubt about it , she was all business ,except i think she was kind of fond of us northern urchins by this point ,if you could grab a moment to talk about real life she would soften, I once had a pasty with her in Greg's . Best power lunch ever .

We had completed the album over the winter of 95 still using our trusty Atari 1040 computer.
The official handing in of an album used to trigger a publishing advance ,which I duly dropped on an Apple Mac Quadra/Pro Tools system .
It was probably the price of a nice car at the time. It had an external hard drive that boasted half a gig of space ,incredible real estate back then.
The opening track on Don Solaris “Intro” is effectively an overture , made on this new system like taking it for a ride around the block. in fact the new smell of the hot hardrive I can recall. The other thing that this new Mac Quadra enabled was the world of Photoshop!
All the Artwork for Don Solaris is classic early Photoshop , the over use of stock filters and garish colour pump ups .Look at the cover of Sawn Off Dali ! Its like the visual equivalent of flanging !
Matt Maitland did most of the artwork with Paul Morley’s wording ideas ,in house at Warners.
A chicken & egg concept from fallopian tubes to wishbones.

Sorry I should talk about the music . It starts with Bond . Actually I’m not going to talk about Bond as its coming up in its own right as the first single off this album next week.

Next is Jerusahat , very much an album piece, to me its a huge summer landscape painting using an acoustic pallet of harp ,armadillo guitar & berimbau .I think Daz had been shopping at Yanks (famous discount record warehouse in MCR) and came in with some fresh floppies .
Add some Harmonium and sitar from the stock Indian library .There is a human drone sample ,do you know when you've had a good few nights out and your voice drops another octave like second puberty ? I actually had a sampler by the side of my bed at the time and had to capture it . Add to this some Oberhiem Four Voice and Fender Rhodes electric piano,lashings of fruity ARP2600 and you are basically channelling Weather Report. (again)

Mooz -I don't think would make it as a single but is a vocal track featuring Icelandic singer Ragga Gisla .(get your Bjork comparisons out of the way ) We were introduced to Ragga through our new manager at the time Caroline.
As I remember at this stage of our career we had been manager free since Ex El and were on the look out for help as the climate was changing .We had various meetings one of which was Fruit Management.
Fruit were an all female company who were handling Tricky and Portishead at the time They also produced films/videos. The night before this meeting I had had my tarot cards read by Bjork’s mum who told me there would be a significant female taking control of my destiny . Im not saying we based the decision on that but I think I based my decision on that! (residual hippy tendencies) Fruit represented Ragga and also Alison Goldfrapp who came and sang with us on some live dates in 1996.
Ragga was a force of nature and seemed to be able to navigate around our synthscapes like a rally driver. Ragga brought the otherness we had hoped for I found her singing almost scary/supernatural in the studio probably enhanced by watching her on a fuzzy black and white monitor between rooms.
There was a new physical modelling synth from Korg at the time called a Prophecy that we used a lot ,interesting textures from that here .Also from Korg was a G5 bass synth pedal ,so thats real bass guitar with sub squelch doing the lower end. The beats are very 95 ,a lot of drum and bass nights out were having an influence but we knew we should n't just jump overtly to that style ,but the running at double-time /half time and more chopped micro beats are creeping in. Also the trip hop style was in the air and we knew we had to be weary of that too ,but some of it becomes vocabulary non the less. And its organic and I like to think we probably proposed some of the seeds these styles along the way.

The final track is Banacheq . A misspelling of Banacek ,not sure what the 70s TV Polish lawyer has to do with this ,cant find any samples here, may be there was and they got left out. Quite a high energy unhinged funk work out that turns into a psychotic episode. Again with the bass guitar this time with a big muff . The tour buss CD award that year went to Beastie Boys “Check Your Head” and I would say it did influence this tune . Another weapon of choice was another New York pawn shop find The Moog Liberation Keytar .A huge strap on that had a ribbon controller that meant you could do guitar style hammer ons ,a sync function that made it scream ,especially when you ran it through a broken parametric foot pedal with every frequency pumped up and then through a marshall cab . Always a lot of fun live ,it was around this time we started using real drummers on stage .
Starting with my old high school mucker and fellow Biting Tongue Colin Seddon ,also Myke Wilson and in fact on some occasions both of them .I remember doing Banacheq at Heaton Park on a big stage where the two drummers were running around swapping kits while pyrotechnics nearly took out MC Fonzo’s man hood - never wear shorts near confetti cannons !
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Bond

ZTT notes:

The Thoughts Of Don Solaris Number 88:
#TheDreamDepartment at Zang Tuum Tumb continues the 25th-anniversary celebrations of 808 State’s expansive Don Solaris project today with a new digital release of June 1996's Bond.

Rumour has it that this churning, challenging piece - that couldn’t be any more removed from the world of "rave" if it tried - was originally conceived relatively soon after the Gorgeous album for the Bond film GoldenEye. But when it eventually appeared as a single - almost 25 years ago to the day - it had taken on a new life thanks to a captivating lead vocal from Mike Doughty.

"It was so excellent to work with the 808 guys," Doughty remembers. "Even in the clubs of New York, Manchester was regarded as some kind of mystical land, and they’re the dons of Manchester music. The track was fantastic, and maybe the best part was when they brought me to Manchester to do a big show — me and Louise from Lamb were two of the guest vocalists on Don Solaris — I got on the mic and yelled, ‘Manchester, let me hear you scream!’ Amazing."

All the mixes are here -- the 7" Mix, the 12" Mix (a/k/a Bonded), the bubbling B-side Chisler and the 12" dance extension of Don Solaris' Joyrider courtesy of Sure Is Pure:

Thought 1: Bond Radio Version @ 5:07
Thought 2: Bonded @ 5:51
Thought 3: Chisler @ 5:49
Thought 4: Joyrider Sure Is Pure Remix @ 11:02

Bond has been restored and re-curated by The Dream Department at Zang Tuum Tumb (Ian Peel, Philip Marshall) with an audio remaster at Abbey Road by Geoff Pesche with Graham Massey. Thought 88 is No. 19 in ZTT’s Definition Series. Coming next: Azura.

Stream / download | Discography page

Graham Massey's notes:

The Trouble is a single atom , shot at random ,random fire

BOND was the first single released from 808 ’s 4th ZTT album Don Solaris 25 June’s ago.
https://808state.ffm.to/bond
I think its one of 808 s best collaborations ,this time with vocalist /writer Mike Doughty

Doughty fronted the band “Soul Coughing” ,a band that was born out of New York’s Knitting Factory /John Zorn experimental scene in the 90s .
It was Andy & Darren that came across their set at Glastonbury 95
They also played Manchester the same year - Their Keyboardist Mark Deli Antoni was like the Liberace of the Akai sampler ,playing collages of sound freehand ,a one man hip hop orchestra , Doughty was an engaging and wordy frontman.
The collaboration took place at a transatlantic distance where by we sent him the backing track
and he recorded his vocals with engineer Danny Kadar at Baby Monster Studios in New York.
We received the song back on a DAT tape ,vocals on one side of the stereo , music on the other .
We then fed each line into our Akai Sampler in order to place them musically on the multitrack tape. These days thats an easy job on the computer , back then it was a phaff and a half. we then adjusted the arrangement around his words.
https://soundcloud.com/massonix/bond-evolution-808-state
I recently found some early versions of Bond -as it evolves out of a primordial swamp ,first as a jam on a really old Yamaha synthesizer called a CS 50 .I was given it at A1 music stores on Oxford Rd , such was the climate for redundant tech back in the early 90s. It was really heavy and it only worked for 10 minutes before it faded away to a crackle . Came up with something that was very Mo Wax , current listening at the time. ,
Then thought twice about that and changed the beat to something more industrial with cross rhythms with a giant clanking cowbell motif . Then after attending Depeche Mode at the GMex Stadium in Manchester , a twangy guitar riff was inserted . Songs of Faith & Devotion was a tour bus favourite earlier that year, just check out” I Feel You” ,similar vibe right ?. The Yamaha did n’t survive the official recording ,the opening keyboard sounds is in fact a backward Melodica (wind instrument with a keyboard ).The guitar sound is made from a sandwich of acoustic guitars , fuzz guitar and a Guild Starfire for extra twang( $75 Florida Pawn shop find) .There are a number of passes of Roland JD 800 synth playing piano and choppy organ tones plus the melodic stringy thingy. Extra Americana comes from a harmonica , actually it is probably trying to channel "When The Levee Breaks" .I had a battered little blues harp in the wrong key ,so it was played live through an Eventide Harmoniser to get it in key. Apart from a Sooty & Sweep xylophone ,the harmonica would have been my first instrument ,me and my mate mastered Also Sprach Zarathustra on our Xmas harmonicas back in 1970 so I was ready !
I think Bond was recorded as early as the end of 1993 at FON studios with Al Fish being our new engineer (ex Cabaret Voltaire and Hula Drummer). I think we put the vocals on over a year later completing it at The Woolhall Studio in Somerset where we had
top notch engineer Al Stone help with mixing it.
When it came to making a video for Bond ,Doughty flew over for a week and we all went to an ex military airfield in Long Marston .There was a wall of Fire in a hanger that cost a lot of money , A heat sensitive camera , that cost a lot of money , an oil tanker lorry , that cost a lot of money .
A young actress (sorry I don't know her name)was employed to be the lorry driver /love interest whilst Doughty sang of romantic meta physics. Well if you watch this video ,this is actually the moment where art imitates life and these two star crossed lovers connected and went on to live together for a number of years .
Im just watching it again on You Tube , someone is suggesting we sampled Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence with great certainty - No No No you were not there and you dont know this !. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZX1kyKCvQY

The second track on this release is BONDED -a complete re record of Bond with less vocals- Its just the idiot riff with howling feedback and a funkier beat , I guess this was the time of Big Beat and fits right in that genre . -We played it a lot on stage with out the vocals , through a big PA its was stupidly fun ! Doughty came over again for the album launch party at Castlefield Bowl and did a great job .That gig was recorded via ISDN line to a radio station in Paris ,such was the internet at the time ,why didn't we just record it on a cassette and send it in a Jiffy bag ? Because we were CUTTING EDGE !

The Chisler was thrown together at the last moment as a B side .We had been finishing and re doing some mixes at Olympic Studios in Barnes with Al Stone .We arrived with all our kit to this historic studio where The Stones , Led Zeppelin and Hendrix recorded , I was very exited to be in the place where Bowie did some of Diamond Dogs ,These were the last years of these
grand temples to music.In a few years we would be all clicking away on our laptops and slashing the budgets.
Anyway on arrival at Olympic we had to wait while Al Stone was finishing off some pop thing ,we were most derogatory about it in a cheeky corrosive mancunian way of coarse.
It turned out that” Wanna Be” by The Spice Girls , being birthed while we impatiently and set up camp for a few over nighters. I think we had a bunch of half baked tracks that we carted around on the big 2 inch tapes. Its an unusual track in that its running at two speeds simultaneously ,well it amused us at the time. I think we only had a few hours left on the clock and when I hear it now I am still traumatised by the exhaustion of that all nighter. There are a few tracks that do that to me , every cell in my body remembers and winces . The Chisler had started out at Planet 4 Studios back in MCR , Sometimes we would book a day to do a remix for somebody and finish it by tea time then not wanting to waste 3 or four hours start writing something for our selves. Planet 4 was owned by Chris Joyce the original drummer from Simply Red .Actually the original ,original drummer in Simply Red was Eddie Sherwood who I was in Biting Tongues with for many years - they poached him then fired him for being too ugly - imagine being fired by Mick Hucknall for being too ugly !
Chris was really a generous host , he once flew us all to Italy for a weekend of nightclubbing and polenta . Across the street from Planet 4 near Atlas Bar was Pete Waterman’s studio PWL North
We started using that around this time - People forget how busy these places were at the time .You had to travel and squeeze in time when you could as deadlines were always looming .

The next track is Joyrider -Sure is Pure Mix .
Sure Is Pure were the two brothers Danny Spencer and Kelvin Andrews . Danny was in a group called Candy Flip when he was about 17 - he looked about 12 , Candy Flip had a massive hit with Strawberry Fields done in a rave /baggy style . Danny was a bright star at The School Of Sound Recording (SSR) at Tariff St /Spirit Studios where we recorded all the early 808 State records. I was on the engineering coarse there in 87 and Danny taught me all about drum machines and Ataris , he was a student too but was very generous with his knowledge. I always remember Candyflip being like a Jackson Five /Osmonds cartoon with spirals and stars following them down the stairs ,or if you spotted them on the dance floor late at night they glowed in an ultra violet paisley fog. They certainly lived it ! Danny was from Stoke after all. Stoke & rave go together like chips & gravy.
Kelvin ,Danny’s older brother was and is an amazing DJ . I remember doing an extra curricular free improv gig with my mate Graham Clark at The Wheatsheaf pub in Stoke around the time of Don Solaris , and Kelvin said he would DJ as a favour The night was transformed into a proper dancing on tables affair and on a Tuesday night ! Consequently we asked them to remix Joyrider off the album .I remember we were recording in Ancoats at Phil Kirby’s studio (Zombie) ,and Danny had one of the rooms in there , I think they shared it with Tony Martin (remember Hypnotone?) - Sub Sub had a room there that burnt down then they became The Doves . Sub Sub/ Doves were managed by Dave Rofe who at one time was an 808 State tour crew member and ex Biting Tongues sound engineer , He also ran DFM records ,DFM put out Denise Johnson and Fifth of Heaven records .Dave and I had a club night at South around this time ,it was exclusive , a bit too exclusive ,again it was something like a Tuesday night
and you could play what you wanted on a great system. Man this is an eco system , shall I edit this down ? no look at the glorious tangled weave ! This studio complex in a Victorian ice factory had been changing hands since the 70s when it was Relentless Studios then Out Of The Blue, now of coarse it is luxury apartments over looking a piazza with outside dining.
, back then it overlooked your smoking car on bricks .
Anyhow Sure is Pure did an excellent job- Again we did that weird thing of putting it out as a one sided 12 inch under a pseudo name of Two Fat Ladies And A Duck (Bingo slang for 808 )which kind of buried it .But we present it here for completists . Hope your enjoying the collection .This is number 11 in the series.Here is a close up of the Cock Eye.

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markus
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Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Azura

ZTT notes:

The Thoughts Of Don Solaris Number 91: "Let me, let me be the sun and the moon for you."

It's Friday. 808 State and The Dream Department are here for you. Your soundtrack for the week? The (Digitized) Azura.

Looking back for the 808 State blueprint, Graham Massey remembered Azura as a turning point. "(By then) I personally was pretty sick of dance music. It had become so mainstream. We’d go out and do tours where we’d be in clubs every night and it had all gone a bit stale for me and we wanted to make a move that was a bit more out of that."

Andrew Barker – "Everyone turned into an expert on dance music (in the mid-90s) where they said ‘You can’t do that, oh you’re not allowed to do that. It’s not part of the rules.’ If that hadn’t happened, by now there’d be some crazy music coming out… If there weren’t any pigeon-holes and there weren’t any rules, I don’t know what the music would sound like now…"

Azure is now a six-track set, including three that have never been available on digital platforms before: the 808 State and Radio mixes, as well as the Paranormal Mix of Balboa. Think it through:

Thought 1: Azura 808 State Mix @ 05:50
Thought 2: Azura Dillinja Mix @ 6:18
Thought 3: Balboa Paranormal Mix @ 6:14
Thought 4: Azura Radio Edit @ 3:50
Thought 5: Goa Pagan Mix @ 4:07
Thought 6: Joyrider Natural Mix @ 6:58

Azura is brought to you by the Dream Department at ZTT Records (Ian Peel and Philip Marshall) and remastered at Abbey Road by Geoff Pesche with Graham Massey. Thought 91 is No. 20 in ZTT’s Definition Series. Coming next: Lopez.

Stream / download | Discography page

Graham's notes:

This weeks 808 State /ZTT remaster is Azura
https://808state.ffm.to/azura
Released in August 1996 as two 12 inch discs or CDs
As was common practice back then you would lead with a radio version and follow up after a week or two with a more club orientated set of mixes to try and keep it hanging in the charts.
Well thats the way ZTT were rolling at the time.
The original album version of Azura on Don Solaris runs at 5.30 minutes-The radio edit slashes it to 3.50 ,but is still in cinemascope.
The version that is labelled 808 State MIx was from the second 12 inch and is more of a DJ tool.

Azura was a collaboration with Louise Rhodes and it came about whilst she was looking for collaborators for what was to become the group Lamb ,they set up a studio in Ducie House where
there was a musical community developing including our Studio 101 .
Lamb took the Attic ,a pokey little bolt hole where some of the Black Grape album was done (has the the Grape Tapes ever come out past VHS ?)) .I dragged my vibraphone up there to play on their single” Gold” ,
I also hooked them up with bassist Jon Thorne ,though Paddy Steer on the first single Cotton Wool.
Gerald (A Guy Called) had a studio just up the corridor and he did a remix on that 12 inch.

The backing track for Azura is titled “Nicolette” on all the tapes at the time,that is because we had intended it as a collaboration with Nicolette from Shut Up & Dance ,who Id met a few times in London through Leila Arab & Plaid. We had recorded the track first at FON and then the Woolhall . We really liked the steel drum motif and in fact we had another collaboration on the go with Billie Ray Martin that also used the JX8P steel drum preset with a similar atmosphere. That track still resides in the vaults . At the time I did have an obsession with the album “Holiday For Pans” ,a posthumous steel pan record by Jaco Pastorious .Some one found the multitrack tapes in a van that he had been living in . No one would put up the money for him to finish it while he was alive , Some Japanese people rescued it from obscurity and had it mixed ,thank God ! Fragile all this music archive stuff !

Talking of lost tapes Ive just found two “Club” mixes of Azura that were done at Olympic studios , wrongly labelled and tossed into a drawer. Louise put the vocals down at Olympic in December 95 The 808 State mix (sometimes called the Ultramarine mix) was done at the last minute back in Ancoats at Zombie Studios and is deliberately a bit rough round the edges. We also knocked off a straighter version of Balboa for DJ use at the same time. Balboa features the Korg Prophecy Synth that could do exotic tunings giving it a North African vibe.

Azura probably our most Drum & Bass sounding track , well it was 1994/95 and and most nights out seemed to go that way at the time ,especially in camp Bjork if I was in London .The first time we went to see Goldie DJ at the YMCA on Tottenham Court Road was an epiphany, I felt the
floor fall from under me , my head had nothing to hold on to .The shock of the new ! Then Sunday nights at Metal Heads etc, all pretty heady stuff that summer. Consequently we were well chuffed to get Dillinja to do a mix for this release . His version had a life of its own,our original version would never get a club outing but it does fit perfectly into the album landscape.

Goa was a spare track that we included in the Japanese/U.S only singles /outtakes/summing up collection from Don Solaris called “Thermo Kings” . Planet 4 where we laid the track down had a great synth collection belonging to Roger Lyons from the group Lion Rock .Some rare pieces like a Roland SH02 , a Chroma Polaris and a Moog Source. Here is my mate Graham Clark again -I think we were going out for a drink after the studio but he had his violin with him ,so we blended that in with the synth strings.
I think Graham played in Lamb for a short time ,also in Elbow ,Oldham Street in Manchester was starting to be a blur of musical experiments around this period .

My favourite track in this collection is the remix of Joyrider known as the Natural Mix - On the album it has my soprano sax as the melody - On this version it has Dan Lipman from Bjork’s live band on Alto flute (deeper flute than usual) .It also has my old chum Colin Seddon on Brazilian percussion. Colin had spent sometime in the Samba schools of Rio and wrote a book on it.
He also ran Manchester’s own “ Inner Sense Percussion “ for many years .One of the first known UK samba groups .It seems now every village in the country has one ! A special dispensation for the use of a Djembe drum was granted . Colin joined 808 ’s live show as our drummer for the Don Solaris tour.
One of the first gigs being The Free Jazz Festival in Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro .
We actually met up with Colin over there as he had gone to stay for a bit in advance . It was pretty trippy to be playing in Brazil alongside some of our musical heroes .I had to hold back my personal Beatlemania when I was in a lift at the hotel with Micheal Brecker ,Dave Holland ,Don Alias and Jack De Johnette.
Isaac Hayes remembered our sound engineer Pablo from a gig at Belle Vue back in the 70s so we did photo bomb him (pre phone cameras) ,George Clinton was on the bill !
Not really sure why we were on at a Jazz festival ,it might have been at Bjork’s request. She was headlining. I think I mentioned before that Alison Goldfrapp sang Azura and other songs on that trip. But what a joy to be playing in Brazil with my compadre Colin ,Brazilian music had meant so much to us growing up.
I remember Colin and I bashing on vegetable oil cans at Burnage High School ,we had a special cloakroom called “The Wonkavator” filled with junk percussion ,lunchtime concerts for12 people in a telephone box . We carried that tradition on into our Post Punk years, bashing cans and sheet metal was very fashionable in the early 80s along with “shit trumpet” .We once did a 3 day installation gig at The Cornerhouse Cinema in Manchester where we played all day on various sculptural percussion set ups - I was on “tapes & treatments “ using Amstrad record deck with a roll of sellotape making loops and probably a bit of shit trumpet ,again about 12 of us this time with an Arts Council grant. Colin carried on down the line bashing stuff professionally , I had discovered machines that bashed automatically .
But yeah I really wanted to be Airto when I left school. A colourist .
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airto_Moreira
Im still available for shit post punk trumpet ,speak to my agent.
markus
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Joined: 23 Mar 2002 01:00
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Contact:

Re: ZTT Remastered Singles

Post by markus »

Lopez

ZTT notes:

The Final Thought Of Don Solaris

Our Dream Department rounds out the 25th anniversary of 808 State’s Don Solaris with an expanded edition of Lopez, featuring the voice of James Dean Bradfield and the remixes of Brian Eno.

Here’s what the NME had to say of Lopez back in 1996…

"Ver State producing, the Manics' James Dean Bradfield singing and The Propellerheads remixing - what more could we want? Short of God as vibesmeister, not much...

"James sounds like Roddy Frame on this neat demolition derby. 808 State break away from the Noel Gallagher/Chemical Brothers formula by actually building around the melodic possibilities of the singer, rather than smashing it up. James is extraordinarily powerful now; he can inject so much emotion into the least portentous line. So when he's allied, as he is here, to Nicky Wire's lyrics and a boss electronic act, the effect is deadly."

Lopez is now a seven-track digital single, remastered at Abbey Road, with Tracks 4-7 all new to digital platforms:

Thought 1: Lopez Original @ 4:33
Thought 2: Lopez Metaphorically @ 6:25
Thought 3: Lopez Hard On @ 6:47
Thought 4: Lopez No Regret @ 3:39
Thought 5: Lopez Unregrettable @ 5:14
Thought 6: Lopez Hard On Edit @ 3:16
Thought 7: Lopez Metaphorically Edited @ 3:50

The (Digital) Don Solaris was rethought by The Dream Department at Zang Tuum Tumb (Ian Peel, Philip Marshall) with all audio remastered at Abbey Road by Geoff Pesche and Graham Massey. This final thought is No. 21 in ZTT’s Definition Series. Coming next: 808 on Special Assignment.

Stream / download | Discography page

Graham's notes:

The dawn chorus and its Friday already , This weeks 808 State remaster of the ZTT singles is Lopez
Such a summer record ,it sounds like dappled sunlight in a Balearic olive grove ,yet as Christmas singles are written in Californian Augusts ,Lopez was written in drizzly old Manchester & Sheffield
in the Winter of 94 . It was quite a fruitful writing period following a few months of touring.
Being on stage every night rekindled my love of guitar ,I had picked up a brand new Les Paul Studio model in aquamarine blue from House Of Guitars in Rochester New York and I could nt put it down .I think also this is when a guitar FX pedal called The Whammy had just come out .
The Whammy allowed accurate note bending via your feet ,Lopez is all about bending a musical interval of a 2nd. ,it gives it that country feel of pedal steel and B benders.
Its not that bussing through the wide American landscapes had converted us into Country music
fans , it just that new pedal threw up the sound of that Eno/Lanios record Apollo ,(more of Eno shortly) Apollo was a soundtrack that pitted ambient country music against footage of the Apollo Moon missions ,after all many of the Moonwalkers were from rural America and took their indigenous sound with them.Certainly that record is an influence here.
The starting point was this lopsided break beat , looped in 5/4 time by accident Lopez was a descriptive title as the beat loped like a dancer on crutches.. There is a synth atmosphere made on a Korg Wavestation that brings the heat haze.A Jupiter 8 synth does some blobby alien raindrops. There are numerous passes of guitar that is in an open tuning ,I had picked up a book on Hawaiian Slack key playing that inspired this. The lead guitar uses the Russian Big Muff that had just picked up and is obviously chasing a Robert Fripp vibe of snaking overblown fuzz.. Well it all fell in to place very easily and I thought it was a nice instrumental like a contemporary version of Albatross by Fleetwood Mac.
A few month down the line when we were deep into finalising the Don Solaris album Darren had the idea that James Dean Bradfield from The Manic Street Preachers would sound ideal on the track (his wife loved the manics so they were on in his car a lot). I must say I was a bit grumpy about this , I thought it was finished . As it happens Neil Cranston our A & R man happened to be visiting us while we were at The Woolhall in Somerset mixing .Neil had worked for the Manics at some point and it turned out they were near by at Real World Studios.
Tapes were exchanged and Nicky Wire set about writing the words.
It was a few months after that that we went in Sarm Studios near Portobello Rd with James Dean Bradfield .We all seemed to click together quickly . He was very experienced in producing his vocals and he wrung him self out in the delivery and I must say it was interesting to witness his emotional finesse. He also managed to dance around all the guitar melodies with out taking anything away from that . So we we all happy with the result.
.
Sarm West Studios and ZTT records were in the same block in West London ,It was probably one of the best studios in the world at that point .You might know it from all that Band Aid footage .We sort of avoided Sarm when we signed to ZTT ,it seemed like they would give you an advance and then you would give it them back by going in their studio while renting one of their flats that they had across the street .A very good system ! But more and more we acquiesced as time was ticking and being pre internet working face to face with ZTT was important . We did rent their flat occasionally .We once woke up a very scary Nick Cave after returning from nightclubbing at 5 am with no keys , you only do that once !
Sarm was always full of pop stars ,in the canteen you might be sharing a baked potato with members of Yes and George Michael (wearing a shell suite with cowboy boots !!) The ZTT offices were low rise in an old muse building , at this point The Pet Shop Boys had one of the rooms there .Andy & Darren did day time Radio One when the Pet Shops did a take over ,they were always interested in what we were up to . Sarm was an old wax works that was converted into a studio by Island Records in the 70s . That area of West London was a hot bed of musical activity in the 70s , In fact when i was a teenage noise musician in the 70s we would go and stay at Here & Now’s squat on Lancaster Gate , hang out at Rough trade and Vernon Yard ,Go for breakfast at the Mountain Grill in the hope of catching our counter culture heroes like Hawkwind and Gong. Robert Wyatt had lived on St Lukes Muse were ZTT was . ENO recorded all his great solo albums at Island Studios there. Now in the 90s Eno still lived in the area . Paul Morley went and dropped a copy of Lopez off with him and he took up the gauntlet. The second mix in this collection “Metaphorically” is Eno’s take on the piece. This was a busy time for ENO in his U2 /Passengers phase. He turned it over quite quickly and got in musicians to redo the drums and guitar with a surfing vibe and throbbing 4/4 timing . Its a great mix almost a different piece of music and such an honour if you had grown up on his work.
Meanwhile in the night clubs “ Big Beat “ was the thing . The Wall Of Sound compilations were always on in the van at the time . Again our erstwhile A&R man about town Neil had been playing tracks to The Propellor Heads . They came up with a couple of banging breakbeat versions in ‘Hard On “ and “No Regret” .Again these mixes were spread over the weeks on 2 editions and so we came up with a last minute low rent remix “Unregretable an F.U. Mix By 808 State” I think this is a complete re record at Zombie Studios back in Ancoats .
The single did nt come out until at the beginning of 1997 when we were about to set off on another UK tour. In order to promote a single back then you had to somehow get on Top Of The Pops or the more important slot was the Saturday Morning Chart Show on ITV .
So we set about planning a video through our management “Fruit “ who were producing a lot of videos at the time . They had a great in demand guy lined up with a whole storyboard and everything was ready to go when who ever it was had a bit of a life crisis the night before .
So some how favours were pulled and we got …. to step in at the midnight hour and set off to Tarifa in Spain with no script . Tarifa is a windy surf hang out facing the Atlantic .James Dean Bradfield met us their in an out of season hotel . Classic 808 video where we hang around looking lost in an stylised cinematic aftershave/ciggy advert , it was a brave effort and James at least pulled a performance out of it . Back to Soho last minute editing and some one from Warners strong armed it on to the Chart Show just in time .
It scraped into the top 20 . We had a lot of faith in it as it was both beautiful and emotional ,so we were a bit disappointed that it did nt catch on at the time. Its a unique piece that Im very fond/proud of.
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