Camberwell Now from the ashes of This Heat

Camberwell Now’s The Ghost Trade and The EP Collection will be reissued next month on Modern Classic Recordings (Light In The Attic).

Charles Hayward, Stephen Rickard, Trefor Goronwy, and Maria Lamburn. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Charles Hayward, Stephen Rickard, Trefor Goronwy, and Maria Lamburn. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Camberwell Now featured This Heat’s vocalist and drummer Charles Hayward. He assembled a line-up comprising of Stephen Rickard, a former BBC sound engineer, on field recordings and tape manipulation and Trefor Goronwy on bass, vocals and ukulele.

Camberwell Now - The EP Collection

Camberwell Now – The EP Collection

“We had a very specific set of skills,” says Hayward, in new liner notes compiled for this long overdue reissue, “and it wasn’t immediately clear to us how best to bring them together so that we could play live.”

Their recordings take inspiration from seafaring and imperialism among other influences. The music was created within close proximity to the meridian line in Greenwich and the Meridian EP was the result. It was originally intended to be a project for This Heat. This Heat’s departing member Charles Bullen plays on the opening track, Cutty Sark.

The second EP, 1987’s Greenfingers, was their final recorded work. According to Hayward: “it’s possible to hear the group atomising and preparing to go its separate ways” within its grooves. Greenfingers is the only This Heat or Camberwell Now recording not to have been produced at Brixton’s Cold Storage studios and was recorded as a DIY exercise. Usually either group would be meticulous and laborious over their work. The EP also saw the addition of a new member, Maria Lamburn, primarily on sax, whose Element Unknown was inspired by her experiences in the nuclear protest camp at Greenham Common.

Camberwell Now - The Ghost Trade

Camberwell Now – The Ghost Trade

The EPs are also concerned with information technology, surveillance, propaganda and what Hayward describes as “day-to-day, hand-to-mouth survival” in a fractured Britain during the rule of Margaret Thatcher. These themes may also ring true in today’s fractured and isolationist times.

Thankfully, Camberwell Now dispersed after a final European tour in an amicable fashion and today Goronwy, Hayward and Rickard have all contributed to these new liner notes accompanying the two sides of vinyl.

Once again these reissues add to an archive of seminal “post-punk” or “art-rock”. It is a catalogue of one of the UK’s most important and creative musical legacies – This Heat, Camberwell Now and Lifetones are all available on Light In The Attic Records. Charles Hayward continues to tour.

Charles Hayward. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Charles Hayward. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

For more go to http://lightintheattic.net/

Trefor Goronwy, Charles Hayward, and Stephen Rickard. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Trefor Goronwy, Charles Hayward, and Stephen Rickard. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Interview: Mori Ra – European tour

Mori illustrationMori Ra of Japan has embarked on his European tour and WTM has spoken to him.

His forthcoming edit is of Black Pepper by Guyanese artists Yoruba Singers. The 1984 version of the track released in 1975 will be on a lovely 12″ reissued for the first time by Left Ear Records, alongside Mori’s edit. It follows up on Mori’s body of work for labels such as Macadam Mambo and Passport To Paradise.

WTM – How did the forthcoming re-edit for Left Ear come about? Was it a record you were already familiar with?

I was DJing in Melbourne last January. When I visited Melbourne, I met the owner Christopher of Left Ear Records. He gave me to guide the local record shops and I listened to a lot of records in his room, we shared a lot of music. He has the knowledge of a lot of records and he became a good friend. This release and doing the edit was offered by him, I listened at that time for the first time to the sound source. Of course, I accepted the offer immediately as it is such a great sound source.

WTM – What future projects are you looking forward to working on?

A new 12″ EP is scheduled for release with contributions from Berceuse Heroique later this year.
The Oriental Forest EP was sold out immediately when released in the spring of this year and is scheduled for reissue. There are other offers that I will work on after the EU tour. I am also looking forward to DJing at outdoor festivals, such as in Perth, Australia, in October of this year.

WTM – Where do you go digging for records?

I am mainly digging for records in my local Osaka used record shop. In Osaka there are a lot of good record shops. Osaka digging is so easy because the record shops are clustered nearby. I can find interesting records that keep up the curiosity and enthusiasm.

WTM – What is your working process when re-editing a tune?

First I listen to a lot of records. I have a lot of records that I want people to dance to, except they may be a little difficult to play at the club. So I will edit them to play. They are recorded on Pro tools running on Mac OS9.

WTM – who are DJs you dig at the moment?

In no particular order: Daniel Baldelli, Ponzu Island, Ruf Dug, Sacha Mambo, ASN.

WTM – How did you get into music?

I first heard punk. Is the time of high school students. Long journey of records from began there. It is still the middle. I have heard the record around the world. 90s alternative bands, grunge, lo-fi, scum, hardcore, intelligence techno, jungle, etc. ,, 80s around the world of the New Wave, especially German New Wave, recommended records, 70s psychedelic, progressive rock, especially krautrock, noise music, industrial music, dub, free jazz, sound art, contemporary music, minimal music, electronic music, proto-techno, Italo disco, disco, Library music. And I came back to Japan of music. I like music that there is anyway fresh discovery. Introduction moment hear the cool music that I thought please is a new discovery.

WTM – who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by the many records. I am inspired by recorded music and the various ages of the studio work, the originality and commitment, music that is not categorised by the genre.

Mori EU tour

Evolution: Tamam Shud’s cult surf soundtrack

Taman Shud’s psychedelic soundtrack to the cult Australian surf movie Evolution has been lovingly reissued by Anthology Records.  It was recorded live in 1968 – whilst the film was projected upon the studio wall due to budget constraints – and was released in 1969.

Tamam Shud evolved from an instrumental surf band called The Four Strangers, formed in 1964 in Newcastle, New South Wales. Eric Connell was on bass guitar, Dannie Davidson on drums, Gary Johns on rhythm guitar and Alex “Zac” Zytnik on lead guitar. They released a sole single called The Rip for Astor Records before Lindsay Bjerre replaced Johns on guitar and lead vocals. As The Strangers in 1965 they issued the single Sad and Lonely and then changed their name to The Sunsets. The Sunset’s tracks were used for two surf films – A Life in the Sun (1966) and The Hot Generation (1967) – both directed by Paul Witzig. Later that year Peter Barron replaced Connell on bass guitar and the group, now based in Sydney, changed their name to Tamam Shud. ARC019-Cover-hi-res-300x300 Bjerre found the Persian phrase “tamám shud” (translated as “ended”, “finished” or “the very end”) in the closing words of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, a 12th century poetry collection.

The phrase also features in one of Australia’s most enduring mysteries. The Tamam Shud case, also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, is the unsolved death of an unidentified man found dead at 6:30 am on December 1, 1948, on Somerton beach, just south of Adelaide, South Australia. A scrap of paper with the phrase was found in the man’s pocket. The death came during the escalation of the Cold War and the motive, the man’s identity, the cause of death and the piece of paper have baffled agencies from around the world to the present day.

Back to the music, this sounds like Four Sail era Love and moves through Syd Barrett era Floyd. There’s also bluesier territory reminiscent of Cream and Terry Reid. It’s a psychedelic trip alright.

ARC019-Back-hi-res-300x300For more on this and surf culture, visit http://anthology.net/music/

Jo’burg’s Okapi shares synth classics

Boston-based label Cultures of Soul is releasing a South African compilation selected by DJ Okapi – Boogie Breakdown: South African Synth-Disco 1980-1984. Famous for his Afrosynth blog – which has highlighted numerous treasures from the country – this selection of his homeland’s music is out in September.

Forthcoming on Cultures of Soul

Forthcoming on Cultures of Soul

Many of  the country’s best young musicians were guided by funk and the new synthesizers arriving there. A UN-sanctioned cultural boycott related to Apartheid meant much of the music remained domestic at the time. Together with Cultures Of Soul head honcho Deano Sounds this release will shine a light on six seminal acts from the era – Harari, The Cannibals, Neville Nash, Benjamin Ball, Don Laka
and Al Etto.

The music shows a period of innovation, exploration, as well as the context of isolation and political instability. Genres such as bubblegum and kwaito are the result, as well as reggae, disco and boogie fusions.

For more visit the Afro-Synth blog and the Cultures of Soul label website.

Boogie Breakdown tracklist:

A1. Cannibals – Hey Tonight
A2. Cannibals – We Keep On Keeping On
A3. Harari – Party
B1. Harari – Good Vibes
B2. Don Laka – I Wanna Be Myself
B3. Don Laka – Let’s Move the Night
C1. Neville Nash – Breakdown
C2. Neville Nash – Perfect Love
C3. Benjamin Ball – Flash A Flashlight
D1. Benjamin Ball – I Just Keep Dancing
D2. Al Etto – You’ve Got the Love
D3. Al Etto – Hold On to Love

DJ Okapi of Johannesburg

DJ Okapi of Johannesburg

“Jeff Swallom from CoS first approached me in November 2014 about putting together, and we’ve been working on it since then. The first year was about listening and choosing tracks, the second about getting the paperwork together.” There will be more in the future on WTM from DJ Okapi.

For now check out this WTM mix of kwaito, disco, boogie and more:

Digital delights of the West Indies

digi 2More priceless goodies for the tropical music movement and a great mix to boot.

This new project by DiggersDigest – with parisian label Heavenly Sweetness – is in collaboration with Afro/Antilles record expert Nicolas Skliris.

It’s honed towards cosmic dancing, while also showing an appreciative depth of the derivatives of Zouk music produced in the West Indies in the 1980s.

Their hybrid creations have been described as “proto-zouk”, “funky-zouk”, or “boogie-zouk” and shows the mind boggling results of merging downright swinging dancefloor futurism with traditional styles and other rhythm influences (from funk, disco, afro-beat, Latin, Brazilian and more). The heady brew of  synthesizers and drum machines is unique and captures another moment in time and space that will once again illuminate our collections. This special release is one of the best of the year so far, alongside Analogue Africa’s Cosmic Sound…Cabo Verde compilation last month. As you can tell, we’re pretty excited at WTM!

And this right on the back of the Heavenly Sweetness/DiggersDigest collaboration that brought other standout compilation Kouté Jazz from the French Antilles, exhibiting the masterpieces of the West Indian jazz scene that fused the traditional styles of Biguine, Gwo Ka and Tumbélé.

Diggersdigest is an independant online record store in Paris and was founded by Julien Achard in 2006. Their mixtape appeared on Soundcloud and was available in tape format in a limited run of 50 earlier this year.

The LP s is out now with artwork by Nicholas Motte:

DigiFor more go to: DiggersDigest  or Heavenly Sweetness website

WTM interview: Awesome Tapes From Africa (update)

Here’s a video from last month’s event:

Brian Shimkovitz started Awesome Tapes From Africa in 2006. He spoke to World Treasures Music – as part of a ten-year celebration of the blog at Outlaws Yacht Club in Leeds before his supreme DJ set for &/Or Emporium at Hifi nightclub – about becoming a world renowned DJ, label boss and paving the way for a range of African musicians to reach new ears and tour the world.

Here’s the interview:

&/Or Emporium is exhibiting tape cover art from the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog at Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York Street, Leeds, LS2 7DY, UK, until the end of July.

Click here for the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog.

Thanks to Raf Bogan, Joe Gill + Shaun Read and all the Outlaws crew, Hifi and FSN, and of course…Brian.