Stayed up last night well past my bedtime. I get into a habit sometimes of switching on the BBC channels and invariably there is a documentary about one of my favourite forms of music, favourite bands, musicians and songwriters. A well of informative documentaries is to be seen at the most unGodly of hours known to man. Don’t they realise that we have beds to go to. Then just as it nears the end of a very interesting story about all kinds of music you love…this voice interrupts you as you reach for the remote to turn off the TV… “If you enjoyed that …here in session on BBC4 is a rare previously unseen gig that only 3 people in the world have seen…you can’t go to bed now or you’ll miss it!!!!!!”
Let me say that I’m a sucker every time for these moments. Usually they are always right. There must be a group of people in BBC4 who think up schemes in the scheduling of programmes to upset the staus qou of ordinary people’s sleep patterns. Oh..but the wonders Iv’e seen…bands I thought I’d never see again…wonderful music that feeds the soul…reaching into you inner being to regenerate those moments in your youth when you listened to all kinds of new music for the first time! There are always moments in ones life when you hear something for the first time…there has to be a first for everyone…..those unshakeable moments that change you forever. I had my hand in every pie when I was that age. I wanted to listen to all kinds of stuff. I wasn’t willing to be pigeon holed into one kind of music….a jack of all trades you might have called it.
I remember there was a guy in my class who listened to death metal and all that kind of stuff. “Do me a tape, why don’t you!” And thats exactly what he did…little drawings and unexplained signs were graffiti’d onto the inlay card to give a feel of the culture that came with the music. I never forget these little ditties on inlay cards….especially when you know that this person lives and breathes this kind of music. I was an addict for doing tapes for people. I felt a need to share what little knowledge I had of music at the time…to let people in on the secret of what I thought might change their perspective. You might say there was a whole underground movement among my friends. “Have you heard this new band out…you have to hear it!.”…”Do me a tape!!”
It was the only way for us to quickly and most of all cheaply distribute in a quick and semi-professional way the music of the day!
What song will I start off with…don’t want to be too pretentious…must try to slip something in that is really obscure halfway through to throw them off balance!! It was the closest that I would ever get to being a producer of any kind. When I saw the movie “High Fidelity” a few years later, it captured how I felt at these moments. I’d pepper the tape with little soundbites from the depths of my record collection…..an early form of KLF’s “Chill Out”!
Now and again there would be a tape issued to you that would open up doors that were previously shut tight. It made me realise that no matter how well you think you may be in your knowledge of music, there is always someone else who is listening to something else….something really out there but just as satisfying. I’ve come across plenty of people who have unlocked these doors for me. Music can be like a cave that never ends with a series of tributaries leading you through narrow spaces that you may have to crawl through…. only to see a chink of light in the distance….your curiosity making you crawl on just a little more till you feel a light breeze on your face ……the light gets stonger and the cave gradually opens up to reveal a wonderland that takes your breathe away….only perseverence and a thirst for something new drove you on to this place!!! That is how I have always felt throughout the years…waiting for that monumental discovery…Ifelt like that when I heard dance music for the first time….a vast eclectic array of interconnecting types of music that amazed me. The amount of dance tapes I used to have in my collection…..a mish mash of recordings from the radio and from other people…there was always something new on the horizon in the early 90’s when the dance music explosion came to the fore. I just loved all types of dance music….I also loved all types of folk, rock, alternative, ska, reggae, dub, metal, the list goes on!!!
One of the bands that had a seminal affect on me at this time was KLF…not the poppy stuff but the unheard of “Chill Out” album…..combined with a lot of experimentation, this just hit the buttons. Here’s a taste….