Tuesday, 28 March 2017

'Watch The Ride' revisited.

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I've been having a bit of a trawl back through my record and CD collection looking for some overlooked gems recently. As such, this definitely doesn't fall into that category but is most definitely worth revisiting if you've not had a listen for a while!
Famous for it's laissez faire attitude towards mixes and following a run of breaks, house and three straight drum 'n' bass volumes, Weatherall's installment of the 'Watch The Ride' series, released back in 2008, was always going to be something a bit different. Taking in rock, disco, indie and a smattering of electronics it came as something of a shock to those who were expecting a straight up techno/electro mix when it landed. Right from the very start with the moody ambiance of  Ray Montgomery's 'London is swinging by his neck' monologue, WTR set it's stall out as something clearly a bit different. Steering us through now famous names such as Simian Mobile Disco, Alloy Mental and a sublimely unsettling rearrangement of Siouxsie’s 'Into A Swan'. The churning, spaghetti-dub, punk joyride reaches a heavenly peak with Saturn 5’s 'Oscillation' and Silver Apples’ 'I Have Known Love' it is as close to the sound of England after dark as it got in 2008, in reality or otherwise. More than any other British DJ, Weatherall has consistently produced mixes that managed to reflect the mood and feel of a country while still being able to champion the diverse as well as making you dance! His most enduring and endearing trait has always been the element of surprise, from production to DJing and the 'Cut the Crap' mix in the mid 90's had all the energy, but most importantly the snap and crackle, of a vibrant dance scene, whilst his journeys into rockabilly and dub where more reflective as a youth scene grappled with post ecstatic adjustment. But for me this piece best captures the mood of the late noughties in British music culture. It's the sonic equivalent of a Martin Amis or Will Self novel from the same time, moving from bedsits in Victorian mansions to crazy clubs, onto haunting early morning streets and the inevitable mad encounter on the way home. Ending in such a jaunty fashion is proof that in the ears of anyone who's ears are as open as their mind, good music is good music, whatever the genre, and here he’s simply letting fly with a killer selection of dance music, showing his uncanny knack for presenting the right records in the most toupee-whisking fashion.
The challenge is to blend it so beautifully into an hour long piece. As always, the best judge of a mix is how it sounds after a lengthy lay off. Having played this today for the first time in a good 4 or 5 years, it felt like the first time I'd ever heard it and as good it did when new.

Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X

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