Slowdive – Morningrise

Morningrise was released before Just for a Day.  It is a simple yet powerful single, and defines the transition between the first two albums.  The vocals are less defined and become just an addition sound to add to mood of the individual song.

The title track shows some more ambient leanings, It would have felt disjointed if  it was included on Just for a Day.  It shows that Slowdive were moving towards a much more atmospheric sound, before the release of the debut.

She Calls was a favourite from their live set.  It is the only Slowdive song that I know with rolling drums.  This contrasts with the shimmering guitars and vocals that are awash with reverb.

Losing Today is Slowdive’s first outing in the more ambient regions of shoegaze.  It is a haunting soundscape, in which Rachel’s vocals are barely audible.  The lyrics, if you can make the out, are melancholic and fraught with depression.

In a corner
She sits and waits
She’s waiting for
Her heart to break
It says it all
Don’t lose today

Slowdive : Morningrise Slowdive.Morningrise.2

She Calls
Losing Today

Interestingly remixing duty on the first two tracks is by Alan Moulder


Slowdive – Outside Your Room

Outside Your Room is the fourth EP by Slowdive, release two week prior to their second album. Its title is taken from the lyrics of the lead song Alison.  Alison is probably one the best known Slowdive songs ever, yet it is not the best song on here.  It seems to hark back to Just For a Day, and they have come so far since then.

So Tired has a love/hate relationship with most Slowdive fans.  I am inclined to think that this would have been a decent closing track to Souvlaki Space Station. With it’s droning reverbed guitar, if there was such a genre it could be called gothgaze.

Souvlaki Space Station is as blissed out dreamy wash.  Then Moussaka Chaos attacks the listener with a more trippy, spaced out dubby version of Souvlaki Space Station.

Slowdive : Outside Your Room

So Tired
Souvlaki Space Station
Moussaka Chaos

Slowdive – I am the Elephant, you are the Mouse

slowdiveI used to think that only Spacemen 3 and Mogwai should do instrumentals. I was wrong, I am the Elephant, you are the Mouse is a film which Slowdive made the soundtrack to, and it contains instrumentals. It is a very mature work with a lot of depth.  The album sounds remarkably like the Cranes. In 1993 Slowdive and the Cranes toured Europe together. It is rumoured that Alison was written about Alison Shaw of the Cranes, and it is even said that she appeared in the video.

As far as I know the album has never been released. Which is disappointing as I would rate it as a great piece of work. As this is an unreleased work there is no apparent tracklisting or order.  I think that all versions of the album are essentially the same, but the songs have different names.  From example; sometimes a song is included called Ports Theme (Alternate Mix 1), on the version I have this song is not on there.  After listening to Ports Theme #1 on I Saw the Sun, I realised that that this sounded like Beginning, Part 2 on my version.  So it is likely that Ports Theme #1 and Beginning, Part 2 are the same song.

There is more mystery, is this a Slowdive or Mojave 3 release? There are conflicting ideas; “Mojave 3 arose from the ashes of Slowdive in 1994source, I am the Elephant, you are the Mouse was released as a film in 1994, Pygmalion (Slowdives last studio album) was released in 1995.  It is most definitely a Slowdive album, the song Cranium is a remixed collage of the song Blue Skied an’ Clear from Pygmalion.  There is also the link to the I Saw the Sun demos.  The sleeve notes in Pygmalion suggest that they were working on the soundtrack as soon as the were dropped from Creation.

Slowdive : I am the Elephant, you are the Mouse

Beginning (4 Parts)
Beginning, Part 2
I Believe
Cranium (Film Mix)
Like Up (Rough Mix)
Like Up
Painting / Lost
Riverman (Final Version)
Riverman 2#1
Riverman 2#2
Riverman 3#1
Riverman 3#2
Ambient (Alt. Version)
Watch Me (Film Mix)

Ummagma – Kiev Remixes

Ummagma 1Following the release of there collaboration with Sounds of Sputnik on New Born; Unmagma have unleashed the Kiev Remixes. The album features remixes from Copycat, Statickman, A Copy For Collapse, David Garcet, Mikael Fas, Haioka, Auxiliary tha Masterfader, Sounds of Sputnik and Mind Movies.  Nine different artists from nine different countries is a metaphor for the city of Kiev in the Ukraine, that experienced so much unrest recently.   Kiev is a message of hope, that amongst the chaos if we embrace diversity and beauty something wonderful will happen.

After listening to the album from start to finish, I was unaware that it was the same song.  This shows the level of reworking each mix has.

More about Ummagma here

Ride – Nowhere

One of the seminal shoegazing albums and genre defining moments in early nineties. Ride were described as ‘the House of Love with chainsaws,’ by Steve Lamacq. It opens with the psychedelic Seagull, hazy guitars that build to a cataclysmic finale. Just listen to the controlled chaos of Laurence Colbert’s drumming.There is an atmosphere about the album. Dreams Burn Down and In a Different Place, have an intensity that slowly burns inside you. It could make you cry. Walls of sound rise and fall throughout this album.

The closing song is Vapour Trail. When that is played I am transported back to being a curtained haired 16 year old shuffling around the local indie disco.

In shoegazing circles they had everything. The were accomplished musicians, they had the look, they were outrageously cool and Mark had nice hair. There was not a single indie kid who did not like Ride. They were extremely popular with the student fraternity. This was well publicised by the Mary Whitehouse Experience .  It came out in the short period of time, that was the golden era of indie music.

This edition has the Today Forever EP included, which is their best ever release, this was a stopgap release between Nowhere and Going Blank Again.

Ride : Nowhere

In A Different Place
Polar Bear
Dreams Burn Down
Vapour Trail
Here And Now

Chapterhouse – Sunburst

This is a mature sounding EP from Chapterhouse as this was one of their first releases. The lead track Something More was not produced by The Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie he did the softer version on Whirlpool. This is the heavy original that is as good as anything by Ride. Rumbling breakbeat drumming, dub bass line, with both droning and jangly guitars with angelic vocals on top of everything

Satin Safe, six minutes of noise that would be associated with Loop rather than Chapterhouse, saturated in feedback.  Rain is a Beatles cover, if you think of the fab four on a delay and reverb overload, that is about the size of it.  Feel the Same completes the EP and it brings the listener back to what are good at soft vocals and dynamic guitars.  Towards the end of the track there is a bit too much of a wig out, the Marychain would of been proud of this one.

Chapterhouse : Sunburst

Something More
Satin Safe
Feel The Same

Ride – Going Blank Again

This was when, very nearly, shoegaze went mainstream. This album still had indie creditability, but was palatable for the casual listener. The sombre tones of Nowhere were replaced with happier shinier lyrics. None of the, “dreams burn down and choke me every time” lark. I have to say that I am more of a Nowhere fan. Going Blank Again is not haunting enough . Was it named after the introverted performances in the shoegazing scene? Christopher Gunson with creating the cover art for the album. The portrait is reminiscent of the face of The Green Man, a figure of urban legend. A man so ugly that he used to just go out at night.

It came out in the classic year of 1992, when all the best albums came out. Andy and Mark take credit for individual songs, instead of the usual “written by Ride”.

It kicks off with Leave them all Behind, this is a classic. It is so good that I find it difficult to remember the rest of the album. Chrome Waves is a little brother of Sennen. Cool Your Boots has been paraded as a shoegazing classic in some circles; I would disagree. The vocals are painful and hollow, even the energetic guitar and drumming do not save it. Mousetrap has a good guitar intro but suffers from too much “aaa aaaaaa aaa” in the lyrics, this is prevalent throughout the album. Making Judy Smile has a nice 60s Kinks edge to it. OX4 is an Oxford postcode, and a great song very hypnotic.

Ride : Going Blank Again

Leave Them All Behind
Not Fazed
Chrome Waves
Mouse Trap
Time Of Her Time
Cool Your Boots
Making Judy Smile
Time Machine