Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Flying Assholes

Manitoba - Ach Who

In the period between ‘Start Breaking My Heart’ and Snaith’s second album ‘Up In Flames’ he recorded a 12” for Leaf, amusingly titled ‘If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport’. It was released in January 2003, just a few months before the psychedelic magnificence of ‘Up In Flames’, but was a massive curve ball in terms of the direction he was heading musically.

‘If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport’ picked up where the remix of ‘Dundas, Ontario’ left off, with the title track and b-side ‘Ach Who’ consisting of mashed, frenetic two-step breaks, sub-low basslines and squealing brass. There's a brief momemt of respite during 'Ach Who' where the beat drops and we get an interlude of pretty, twinkling melodies. But it's not long before Snaith gets bored and shovels the beats back to the forefront. This was proper (experi)mental breakbeat gear, representative of the music Snaith was playing out when he DJ’ed. Having settled in London, Snaith (along with Four Tet, who also explored his love of grimey two-step garage on the 'Glasshead / Calamine' 12" from 1999) was probably influenced by the sounds he would have heard banging out of London’s pirate radio stations. Maybe it was something he needed to get out of his system. Whatever the reason, this was brutal, futuristic rave music, and a million miles away from the unique proper songs and live instrumentation of ‘Up In Flames’, which I’ll be moving onto tomorrow.

Seelenluft - Manila (Manitoba Remix)

I’m also posting the Manitoba remix of Seelenluft’s ‘Manila’, released around the same time. The original was a rather charming number, featuring a surreal rap from 12-year-old Compton resident 'Mike Master' Michael Smith. For some reason, Snaith saw fit to unleash the rabid dogs of mutant two-step breaks and deranged jazz experimentation to tear the original to shreds. The bit where he uses the vocal sample sounds like opening the door on the rehearsal room of a pissed up experimental jazz orchestra tuning up. Then someone turns on 11,000 hoovers and the beat drops back in, along with the filthiest of bass lines. Sick, Sick, Treble SICK!!!

Buy Caribou from Norman Records
Caribou website
Caribou My Space
Seelenluft at Klein Records