It was exactly one year ago to the day that The White Noise Revisited was born. Over the ensuing 12 months, myself and the sporadic team of scribblers I assembled have written 136 posts and uploaded almost 300 songs for your downloading pleasure. In that time I have interviewed one of my all-time musical heroes (Mark Gardener), we've been featured in The Guardian
and I have watched the amount of people visiting the site and downloading the music increase dramatically. I'm really proud of what we've achieved. OK, so it's hardly an original idea - I pretty much nicked this whole website from the venerable Spoilt Victorian Child
where I started my blogging career - but I think we write with enthusiasm and passion and aren't guided by any notion of following the zeitgeist. I absolutely love doing this, and probably do it as much for me as I do for any loyal readers we may be lucky enough to have on board. But it's the love that is all-important. I LOVE MUSIC. I don't know what I'd do without it. I know I tend to go on a bit but I hope that if I'm communicating anything at all it is this. I have no idea how long we'll be around for, but as long as I still enjoy doing it, I like to think there'll be a hole on the internet filled by The White Noise Revisited. Right, rant over - to the music...
I wasn't really sure what to do to celebrate our first birthday but in the end I decided to put together a 'Back to Mine'-style
compilation, featuring a handful of my favourite songs of all-time, along with a few more recent tracks that I've been enjoying. If you talk to anyone who's actually been back to mine after a night on the sauce, they'll tell you that I find it impossible to play songs in their entirety. About halfway through whatever song I’m playing I’ll suddenly think of a different song I’d rather hear, or it will remind me of another tune I’m desperate for my compadres to check, so I’ll leap up and change the record. I sometimes don’t even get past the intro! There’s usually a constant stream of chatter about each song as well, which I’m sure must get very annoying. My fallback option is often to stick on Spacemen 3's 'The Perfect Prescription' because, in my humble opinion, it is the greatest album ever recorded. I own a white label test pressing of 'TPP' and it ranks among my most treasured possessions; something I’d definitely try to save if my house was burning down.
For this 1st birthday selection, I'm not including any of the songs I've already posted, so certain tracks that you would definitely hear if you came round my house after the pub aren’t included. ‘Rez’ by Underworld or ‘We Come to Rock’ by the Imperial Brothers are a couple that springs to mind. This definitely isn’t a life defining compilation – far from it. In fact, I think most music obsessives would agree that your favourite songs change every single day, and are dependant on a complicated array of factors. ‘The White Noise Revisited: All Back to Mine’ is more a snapshot of the sort of songs that made me who I am today, whoever that may be. Rather than posting the individual songs, I’ve uploaded it as a 14-track zip file, so I hope those who want to can download it. It’s about 80MB. Let me know if you’re having trouble and I’ll see what I can do.
Download the compilation here -The White Noise Revisited: All Back to Mine1. Happy Mondays – W.F.L. ‘Think About the Future' The Paul Oakenfold Mix
This song represents the moment when my life really seemed to get going. It reminds me of tasting hedonism for the first time, and breaking away from the feeling my destiny lay with getting good A-level results and going off to university. When you’re off your head, none of that seems important. It was a time of outrageous fun and great indulgence - bunking off college and going down the three-in-a-row muzzy’s; driving down Rhododendron Mile in Russ’s Renault 5; spinning out in the back of Bob’s Bubble in various lay-bys; Boothy with his head in the fridge; playing Find the Stereo; parties in the garden of 1 Arbutus Close; pints in the Cellar Bar; squdigy black; purple ohms; Maximes... It’s a proper anthem for me and mine, and a great way to kick off any party. Plus, I’d forgive Paul Oakenfold any of his superstar DJ excesses for turning out this stomping mix.
‘W.F.L. ‘Think About the Future Mix’ – Mix by Paul Oakenfold’ is taken from the Factory 12” FAC232
. Buy it on eBay
now!2. Aleem - Confusion
Out of all the electro songs I could have picked this may seem like a strange one, but I’m picking it because it brings back such evocative memories for me. It reminds me of being at school and starting to be interested in girls. I’d be sat in my room doing my Maths homework or whatever, listening to ‘Electro 8’ and ‘Confusion’ would come on, and I’d suddenly start thinking about the girl I sat next to in English and whether I’d dance with her at the next school disco and if I did whether my mates would take the piss and disown me. Twelve is the weirdest, most confusing age I think, when you’re teetering on the brink of realising there’s more to life than kicking a football around with your mates. Of course, if I had danced with her, it would have been to a soundtrack of Wham! and Duran Duran, as they didn’t play Aleem at the school disco. The bottom line is that it’s an awesome, funky party track, like all the songs by the brothers Aleem, but while everyone else is grooving away, I’ll be reminded of my time spent as a tortured, lovelorn 12-year-old. Who needs Morrissey?
‘Confusion’ is taken from the NIA 12” NI-2147
. Search eBay
for Aleem. 3. Ultramagnetic MC's - Ego Trippin'
Keith Matthew Thornton aka Kool Keith is the greatest rapper to ever pick up a microphone and ‘Critical Beatdown’ ranks as one of the five best hip hop albums ever recorded. ‘Ego Trippin’’ was the crew’s debut single, released by Next Plateau in 1986, which featured on ‘Critical Beatdown’ in an edited, remixed form. This is the original full-length version. From Kool Keith’s bizarre, complex approach to rhyming, to the phenomenal production skills of the hugely underrated Ced Gee (also a mean MC), the track thunders along with the relentless lyrical flow, thumping bassy production, and the ‘Substitution’ drum break. This is five minutes of pure, classic hip hop. If an alien was to come to my house and ask me what hip hop is I’d play this. Plus, I know the words off by heart so it’s as close to karaoke as you’ll ever get round my house, with a biro for a mic, and wonky hand gestures aplenty.
‘Ego Trippin’’ is taken from the Next Plateau 12” NP 50051
. Buy ‘Critical Beatdown’ from Amazon
.4. Aaliyah - Try Again
I went through a phase at the turn of the millennium of loving R’n’B. It was around the time that Timbaland was getting into his stride, and R’n’B tracks by artists like Aaliyah were popping up on mix tapes by electronic artists, such was the futuristic mentalness of the production. I first heard Aaliyah because Plaid put one of her songs (‘Are You Feelin’ Me) on their legendary ‘Radio Mix’, alongside loads of cutting-edge electronic tracks and it sounded unlike anything I had heard before. I eventually picked up the ‘Romeo Must Die’ soundtrack and ‘Try Again’ was the standout track. Nowadays, all the R’n’B producers are trying to outdo each other with their crazy minimalist production skills and hip samples, but they will never do it better than Timbaland on ‘Try Again’. It still sounds like it was made in the future, with Terminator-beats and that insane, squelching acid line, with Aaliyah’s honeyed-vocal gliding in and out of the metallic grooves.
‘Try Again’’ was released as a single on Blackground Entertainment
in 2000. Buy the ‘Romeo Must Die’ soundtrack from Amazon
. 5. Ivor Cutler Trio - I'm Going in a Field
I never realised what a huge impact Ivor Cutler had on my life until a friend sent me a whole load of his songs shortly after he died. As I have documented many times on this website, like most music lovers of a certain age I used sit up all night recording songs from John Peel and more often than not, Peely would drop in a song or a session from the late, great Ivor Cutler. At the time, they went right over my head. “Who the fuck is this weird, old Scottish dude?” I used to think. However, when I actually listened to his songs in isolation I realised just how many of them I recognised, and how brilliant he was. He had seeped into my consciousness, and now I don’t feel any compilation is complete without him to jar your senses. ‘I’m Going in a Field’ is credited to the Ivor Cutler Trio and is taken from their 1967 album ‘Ludo’, which was produced by George Martin and released on Parlophone. ‘I’m Going in a Field’ is childlike, whimsical, weird and wonderful. There’s times when it comes on my iPod when I think it’s Boards of Canada, because of the warm, analogue synths that open the song.
‘Ludo’ was re-released by Rev-Ola
. Buy it from Cherry Red
. 6. Ride - Polar Bear
Like many a pretentious teen, I was really into J.D. Salinger
. I prided myself on having read outside of the GSCE stock text ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, so immediately picked up that the lyrics of Ride’s ‘Polar Bear’ were lifted from the Salinger short story, ‘Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters.’ I probably thought that facts like this would make me attractive to the opposite sex, but strangely enough, they didn’t. ‘Nowhere’ is a fantastic album, one that was an enormous influence on my life in so many ways. I kept most of the reviews from the time, and slipped them inside the sleeve of the vinyl. I think Ride were the first guitar band I felt a real connection with, coming out of the period of my life when all I would listen to was hip hop and electro. Consequently ‘Nowhere’ is a pretty good representation of where my head was at in 1990 and every single song reminds me of a specific moment from that time. I love the way the song builds from the phasing guitar and crashing cymbal intro, through Andy’s heartfelt lyrics, some trademark Ride harmonies and the pummelling conclusion – all these elements combine to make ‘Polar Bear’ an absolute gem.
‘Polar Bear’ is taken from the Creation LP ‘Nowhere’ CRELP074
. Buy it from Norman Records
.7. Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence
To me, this pop perfection, and if you’re throwing a party you need a few songs that everyone knows and loves. This is the 7” version, remixed by Mute head honcho Daniel Miller and some bloke called Phil Legg. None of that really matters, but this is the sort of information I feel the need to share. I wish I could stop. For once, I’m going to leave it at that, and let the music do the talking.
‘Enjoy the Silence’ is taken from the Mute LP ‘Violator’ CDSTUMM64
. Buy it from Amazon
.8. M.I.A. - Bird Flu
It’s time to drop something new, just to show this oldish head is still keeping up. I’m still not convinced that I actually like M.I.A., but if this mix is to be truly representative of the back to mine experience, ‘Bird Flu’ is a necessary addition. The track is so-called because M.I.A. felt the beats of the track were totally sick. I love hip hop, I love mental production skillz, and I love artists who chuck all their influences into one big cauldron with little regard for what genre-box the resulting mess can be pigeonholed in. I reckon M.I.A. ticks most of these boxes, and ‘Bird Flu’ sounds like a world music Adam & the Ants fronted by Roxanne Shanté, and that combo is something I’ve only ever heard in my dreams. Maybe she will be one I fall in love with in the end.
‘Bird Flu’ is taken from the XL Recordings album ‘Kala’ XLCD281
. Buy it from Norman Records
.9. Feedle - Song for Cats
By now at my imaginary post-pub party, everyone would be in a pretty bad way, spinning out on the sofa and making little sense. So I’d probably stick on something like this rather odd song from Feedle to wreck a few heads. Starting out with an intricately plucked, Oriental melody, a wall of what sounds like a thousand distorted gongs breaks like a huge wave over everything. Somewhere in the wall of noise the melody still exists. It’s very clever, incredibly beautiful and marks Feedle out as one of my favourite people making music in the world today. You won’t believe what he’s got up his sleeve…
‘Song for Cats’ is taken from the Illicit Recordings album ‘Leave Now for Adventure’ ILLCD009, which can be purchased from Norman Records
.10. Principal Participant - Principles
This is another new one. Once I hear this song by the mysterious Principal Participant, I feel strangely compelled to listen to it repeatedly, so it would definitely get a rewind or two at my party. It’s just so damned addictive, with that cyclical synth loop, jackin’ percussion and melodious acid tweakin’. Its genius lies in its repetitive simplicity. ‘Principles’ is guaranteed to get everyone still able up and dancing again after Feedle’s wall of blissful distortion has rendered them momentarily incapable.
‘Principles’ was released as a 12” by Part One earlier this year, and can be purchased from Phonica
.11. 808 State - Flow Coma
Acid house was my punk rock. Or something. You know how when punk broke, anyone who could play a couple of chords decided to start a band? Well, when acid house broke, the same rules applied, but this time an 808 and a 303 was all you needed. Of course I couldn’t even programme the microwave but that’s hardly the point. ‘Flow Coma’ is a seminal track from the acid house scene, recorded when A Guy Called Gerald was still in the group. Raw and complex, it sends minds into lysergic meltdown, while still ultimately being made with the dance floor in mind. An education and a mighty acid mindfuck all rolled into one.
‘Flow Coma’ is taken from ‘Newbuild’, the Creed Records LP STATE002
. It was re-released on Rephlex in 1999, and is available to purchase from Norman Records
.12. Black Dog Productions - Carceres Ex Novum
‘Bytes’ by Black Dog Productions is a masterpiece, possibly the greatest electronic album to be recorded during the hugely fertile ‘Artificial Intelligence’-period of the early 1990s. The album was released under the umbrella group Black Dog Productions, but each track was credited to individual artists. ‘Carceres Ex Novum’ was by Xeper, an alias for Ken Downie working on his own, away from fellow Dog’s Ed Handley and Andrew Turner who would go onto become Plaid after an acrimonious split. ‘Carceres Ex Novum’ is a haunting song - sombre yet still groovy, with a mashed-up break perfect for 3am when it’s time to start winding the party down. It’s a wonderfully textured song, apparently recorded in a short space of time after Downie woke up one day with the idea for the track, which indulged his fetish for Arabic melodies. There’s lots of people out there who think ‘Bytes’ sounds dated. They are wrong.
‘Carceres Ex Novum’ is taken from ‘Bytes’, released on Warp Records CD WARPCD8
. Buy it from Norman Records
.13. Spacemen 3 - Come Down Easy“Take it down , take it way down low…”
so says Sonic Boom and he’s right. It’s time for people to sod off home, or more probably, fall asleep on the sofa. ‘Come Down Easy’ does what it says on the tin. Taken from that aforementioned genius long player ‘The Perfect Prescription’, it’s a kind of acoustic waltz, with Sonic’s liturgical lyrics based on Led Zep’s ‘In My Time of Dying’ (nobody cares Joe, they’ve all passed out)… For those of you still with me, this version is the one from ‘Forged Prescriptions’, a double CD re-release from Space Age Recordings, which is slightly different from the original recordings as it features additional guitar parts Sonic discovered during the re-mastering process. I know this album so well that I would normally be a purist when it came to posting original recordings, but I actually think this is the better version.
‘Come Down Easy’ is taken from the Glass Records LP ‘The Perfect Prescription’ GLALP026
. ‘Forged Prescriptions’ is available to buy from Norman Records
. 14. Minotaur Shock - Primary
Now everyone’s asleep and dreaming and this is the last song of the night. I’d probably try to stay awake to hear it as it’s such a gorgeous piece of music. It’s a strange song as it feels so sad, but also full of hope - uplifting and desperate in equal measures. I’m not sure what the composer intended, but to me it’s one of the greatest last songs on an album ever and the perfect way to end the night.
‘Primary’ is taken from the Melodic LP ‘Chiff-Chaffs and Willow Warblers’ melo009
. It is currently deleted but occasionally pops up on eBay
For those of you who made it all the way down here, I'm also running a bit of a 1st Birthday competition. The prize will include an actual CD copy of the compilation. I'll knock-up some sort of artwork for it, so the winner will be the proud owner of a totally unique, homemade TWNR compact disc compilation. I'll also lob in a few other treats - not sure what yet but something good, promise. In order to get your hands on this prize (which will no doubt end up being worth an absolute fortune when I become famous) e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
, telling me your favourite last song of the night, and your reasons for choosing that particular song. If I get enough (or any) entries, I'll stick some of the best ones up. And I'm also looking for new writers, so if I really like what I read, I may well invite you on board!
I'll announce the winner at the weekend.
Before I go I just want to say thank you to Dave, Graham, Graeme, Domino and Simon, without whom... Joe x