Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Filthy Trains and a Euphoric Belch

Penthouse - White Coal (The Lo Fi's Meet Penthouse At The Brain Farm)

A couple of remixes for you today - well, the Lo-Fidelity Allstars’ reinterpretation of Penthouse’s ‘White Coal’ is not so much a remix as a live jam between the two bands, or as the Lo-Fi’s lead singer Dave ‘The Wrekked Train’ Randall puts it – “The Lo-Fidelity Allstars soiling Penthouse… in a room full of gear…”. I’m not sure if by gear he means musical equipment or bags of brown powder, but either way, this track is dirtier than a couple of unwashed skag heads wrestling in a pit of human shit. Named after the upmarket porno mag, Penthouse were purveyors of sick subterranean blues, once described by Kerrang as, “…the sound of Elvis shitting out lumps of hot lava before dying.” The Lo-Fi’s were signed to Skint, and made a decent fist of reanimating the fetid corpse of Big Beat, with the surreal vocal talents of the Wrekked Train, and the superlative keyboard skills of The Many Tentacles. Yes, they all had stupid names too.

This demented meeting of minds from 1998 sees the Wrekked Train transform himself into a PCP-ed up Tasmanian Devil, barking out the words with increasing levels of incomprehensibility and madness. The disembodied moaning of Penthouse vocalist Charlie Finke is somewhere in the mix of cavernous drums, backwards guitars, sleazy brass and organs, urging a collaborative game of trains between two lovers, where “You can be the driverrrrr…”. It’s disturbing and filthy and very, very, very wrong. You should probably take a shower after you’ve listened to this.

The Sabres of Paradise - Smokebelch II (David Holmes Remix)

Twos up, we have a very different animal indeed - David Holmes’s fantastic reconstruction of the Sabres of Paradise’s timeless classic ‘Smokebelch II’. Over 14 minutes, Holmes transforms Weatherall and co’s magnificent techno opus into a euphoric ‘hands in the air’, end of the night MONSTER. It’s a proper musical journey of staggering proportions, and can cause anyone within earshot of its majestic, tumbling, melodic piano arpeggios to break down in tears and start hugging complete strangers. Winding acid lines and a frenetic conclusion consisting of live whistle posse mania and a full-on military snare rush, ensures this track keeps on delivering until the needle hits the final groove. It’s a blinding reminder of just how good acid house can be, and is still destroying dance floors to this very day. Sublime. And Col, if you’re reading – this one’s for you…

Buy the Penthouse remixes 12" from Norman Records
The Lo-Fidelity Allstars website
The Lo-Fidelity Allstars discography
The Lo-Fidelity Allstars at My Space
Penthouse obituary
Buy the David Holmes remix of 'Smokebelch II' from eBay
All things Andrew Weatherall at the Rotters Golf Club
The Sabres of Paradise discography
David Holmes at Wikipedia