Thursday, March 06, 2008

Joe, Do You Hear Something?

Cine City - Plants, Animals, H20

For one reason and another, I know far more about deep house than the average man on the street. Now, while this wealth of knowledge has never really served me that well in winning friends, influencing people, or even scoring sneaky points at the local pub quiz, it does mean that my record collection is peppered with obscure vinyl gems from labels like Classic, NRK, Pagan and Paper that may not be found on everyone's shelves. Take this banger from Manchester's finest Paperecordings (home of the awesome Crazy Penis) - 'Plants, Animals, H20' was located on the flipside of a 10" released by the label back in 1997. Cine City (named after the oldest cinema in Manchester - now defunct) was one of many pseudonyms adopted by label owners Elliot Eastwick and Miles Hollway, perhaps best known for recording as Salt City Orchestra.

Under the Cine City alias, they drafted in fellow deep house-head Si Brad, who acted as producer. I'm not really sure if this track is all that representative of the deep house scene - I'd file it more at the funky end of the spectrum. No matter - opening with MC Tunes's proclamation from back in the glory days of baggy of "Man-chester, the dance capital of England" (from the risible Stone Roses-sampling 'Tunes Splits The Atom'), the needle is thankfully dragged across the record and an atmospheric sample from an unknown sci-fi or horror film crackles into earshot (I've tried but failed to find out where it's from). Then, from out of nowhere, a whipcrackin', ├╝berjackin' drum beat (if I'd programmed it, I'd be a skeleton, trapped in the studio still going mental) is fired up, a filthy bassline drops and we're plunged into Jedi Knights-style nu-school breaks territory. Dangerously veering towards future jazz at various points, the track is kept on track by a guest appearence from the mysterious Wai Wan on keys. Legend has it Wai was rehearsing in the next door studio, and popped in one afternoon for a cuppa, and ended up laying down some seriously pimping keyboard science all over the outro. Wonderful stuff. Paper sadly got pulped in 2003, but Eastwick and Hollway are still in demand as DJs, and, funnily enough, Eastwick also runs a legendary pub quiz. Any chance of a deep house round, Elliot?

The label also made a video for the A-side of the 10", 'Are You Sure Joe?', which you can feast your eyes on below. Paper tell the story:

When we first started paper, we managed to get hold of a Super8 camera and we all drove off onto Saddleworth Moors, just outside of Manchester and filmed our first video. It was the first lo-fi dance video and was filmed using paper beakers, shoestrings and magik eye dust. I'm sure you'll agree that no expense was spared and it was purely fuelled by passion, foolishness and belief in the music we were making in the North West of England. This video was found in a box in my loft on an old VHS, sent to be digitised in London and whacked up on YouTube for all to see. The orange coat is still knocking around and its stars all the peeps who set up Paperecordings. Andy filmed it and Elvis was there courtesy of rock n roll. Mmmm, slick isn't it? Fun though.... Love from Paper x

Buy Paperecordings mp3s from Paper
Elliot Eastwick's World Famous Pub Quiz at MySpace
Wai Wan MySpace