Sunday, 18 May 2014
PORTISHEAD REMIXES & GONGA
So no one who comes to this blog should be surprised by my eclectic taste in music however as you know I do tend to try and blog the rare,obscure and original but there are a few "popular" bands that I really do like a lot and I have taken some stick from people for this, for example, I'm a huge fan of Radiohead, Gorillaz and Portishead to name but a few and when I do take stick from people my answer is always the same and that is that sometimes bands are hugely popular not because of current trends or because Radio 1 or whoever says these are the bands you should like but because they are simply REALLY fucking good! All 3 bands i mention in my opinion fall into that category.
I was introduced to Portishead by a friend around the time of their stellar Mercury Music Prize winning and double platinum selling album "Dummy" when i first heard the album i really didn't know what to make of it the "Trip Hop" genre was in it's infancy and there really was little to compare it to but upon repeated listens it just really got me and I've been a huge fan ever since and would definitely place "Dummy" highly in my all time top list of favorite albums. However not only are these guys great but they are probably the least prolific band in history having issued just 3 studio albums and a live album in their 20 years to date as a band the last album being some 6 years ago now! There are countless EP's which mainly contain variations of album tracks but apart from the official albums you would be lucky to find maybe 3 songs on these numerous EP's that are not on the albums. So as far as these guys are concerned there really is not a lot of their music to listen to, so whilst doing some research on Portishead at my most beloved of holy temples online discogs.com just to be 100% sure there was no more music to be had by this band other than what I owned I came across this release (see picture at top) it was listed under the "unofficial" releases category but the cover looked so professional and if you know the cover of "Dummy" you will understand why it caught my eye! So i had a look and it turned out to be, from what my research tells me, a complete collection of their remixes to date. However being an unofficial collection it was not available for purchase nor available to download anywhere but being the complete trainspotter that i am I have managed to assemble this 20 track collection track by track and even managed to find a bonus alternative remix version they have done giving you 21 tracks in all! This has all been meticulously tagged and ordered to match the information on the release page where I found it (see the full in depth details HERE) so if you decide to download this then it will appear under album artist Portishead and all the tracks will have the individual artists as "contributing" artists so there's no worries about having 21 tracks by 20 artists all over your chosen media player!!
Now it has to be said the remix is a bit of a minefield it's also a damn convenient cop out for a lot of artists that just can't be arsed to actually give you some original work and just enlist some name to rework one of their tracks and to be honest it's a culture that has been done to death and is ultimately in the main part boring but occasionally there are remix artists of such high caliber that treat the act of remixing seriously and whilst utilizing elements of a track leave their stamp on it so much that in some cases it may as well be one of their own tracks ( Justin Broadrick is another master of this kind of remix and most definitely falls into that category see my post on his collected remix works HERE ) and the majority of these remixes on this collection firmly carry the sound of Portishead.
It is quite a collection as well featuring big hitting artists such as Paul Weller, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack and Gabrielle!!! Yeah THAT Gabrielle I know, I know bet you never expected to see that name on my page but stay with me here! To bands so obscure that you wonder how they ever managed to get remixed by Portishead!! Baby Namboos? Machine Gun Fellatio?? But it also features some of their very earliest work for the Mo Wax label which I think predates even "Dummy" I'm not gonna gonna go into a big description on each remix here they are varied and different and above all interesting and the variety of artists here is quite, well, not eclectic really but definitely unusual and a set of artists you're unlikely to see compiled together anywhere else. All I'll say about this collection is if like me you find Portishead's sparse and brilliant beats, atmosphere and film noir-esque music as irresistible as i do and like me you have done their 3 albums to death then you will absolutely love this double CD collection. I also wanted to put this up here because anyone else who may come across this, what is effectively a "bootleg" the same way as I did will not have to spend hours sourcing each track individually cos I have already done it! And beleive me this collection is NOT available anywhere else on the net at least not presented in it's entiritey like this. Enjoy
Portishead Remix Collection - Mediafire
So..... going to the absolute opposite end of the musical scale (see what i did there ) I was on my facebook page the other week there and right at the top of my newsfeed was a youtube video from cult nation with the heading "SICKEST Black Sabbath cover you will ever hear" was I intrigued?? You have to ask???!!! This was Gonga Featuring Beth Gibbons : "Black Sabbeth" (Now you see what THEY did there?) my favorite song? by my favorite band? sung by Beth Gibbons? (Portishead's astounding vocalist in case you didn't know or wondered what relation this part of the post has to the first) so after i stopped shaking and twitching I hit play...... But before we get to that after hitting play I did some research turns out Gonga are a stoner rock band from Bristol and having some 3 albums behind them and are known for having previously featured vocalist Joe Volk who is now a renowned solo artist he left after their 1st 2 albums and they are now an instrumental band. For this years record store day they record a stunning and faithful rendition of "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath and enlisted the services of Beth Gibbons to sing it (Portishead if you didn't know are named for their hometown Portishead a satellite town of Bristol so Bristol stoner band/Bristol based female vocalist makes sense?) and released it as a lushly packaged highly limited 12" single backed by "Calumet Altar" from their recent album "Concresence" So seeing as this post is about Portishead remixes and poor Beth Gibbons barely gets a look and as she is one of the best contemporary female vocalists on the planet and because i don't have a record player and so I therefore HATE "record store day only" releases and mostly because it's BLACK FUCKING SABBATH!!! sung by Beth Gibbons I figured this would be a neat little addition to this post! so here you go Gonga's "Black Sabbeth" 12" feat Beth Gibbons an absolute fucking stroke of genius and believe me it is REALLY good!!! Oh and take a look at the foldout lush packaging (Fucking Record store day BAHHHH!!!)
Gonga : "Black Sabbeth" 12" - Mediafire