Today as it's a case of needing to kick the habit, i still have a trio for your pleasure...and looking at last tuesdays interest for Sherwood's On-U Sound Crash Mix, which i admit triggered some for me aswell and has me posting three titles from the ON-U crews, first up Gary Clail he was the warm up at On U gigs and as it turned out had plenty to say about the politics of scarcity and he back his mouth sang about where his heart is and its befitting that currently he's doing just that what he sings about in the opening track of the album here, providing food clothes and shelter..he made 4 albums backed by the On-U Sound System (=TackHead) Emotional Hooligan is an apt title and crocodile eyes my favourite track....Next up Andy farley , he came the same way as Gary Clail..on the trail from Mark Stewart all from Bristol, Andy's distictive voice became big in Japan as his introductions to On U work were welcomed warmly..He like Gary Clail cared about the world and all the injustices going on, in the end he made one solo album Vertigo and after that slowly retreated towards Bristol where he died late into the nineties. Poet sensetiveties probably had much to do with that untimely death, but he left us his voice and safe mentioned contributions one 12"and an album.....finally the guys who backed the artists mentioned above, TackHead (=slang for homeboy) under the direction and production of Adrian Sherwood, never more so then here on the Sound Crash slash and mix by Sherwood, who was very exited and satisfied about the result, let your speakers go all out too...
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Gary Clail and On-U Sound System - The Emotional Hooligan (91 Flac 350mb)
Gary's preceding On-U life, held career in roofing, used cars, hanging round with gypsies before Mark Stewart introduced him, (as he did Andy Farley) to the On U scene. During the mid to late eighties Gary Clail became a regular warm-up for all types of On-U gigs - with his crowd calls This came both as a welcome relief for devotees of On-U Sound and also as an unexpected bonus. The real impact of Gary was to introduce and roadtest new On-U rhythms and tunes, and also to reversion old favourites. He usually lived in the studio when he was not on the road.
Gary made his first vinyl appearance back in October 1985 on the thinly veiled speed track "Half Cut for Confidence" By the following year Gary appeared on the World Label, the imprint was a venture between the TackHead boys and John Loder of Southern Studios, the tune was "Hard Left" with Gary taking the main credit. 1988 saw the release of "Reality" with the credits reversed and Gary as featured vocalist. Gary then went on to negotiate future material through Paul Oakenfold's Perfecto label. This union was to result in "a consummation devoutly to be wished", Gary's actual appearance on TOTP, together with the wonderfully over the top Alan Pillay, when "Human Nature" became a number 10 UK chart position (by far the highest placing for an On-U act in its own right).
The "End Of The Century Party" album was basically Tack>>head complemented by a few mates with Gary as lead vocalist. The name TackHead Sound System could no longer be used as the band were shaping up for their, eventually, abortive major label flirtation.. The On-U Sound System proved a good substitute as that was actually what Gary was doing in the first place! The album was a follow-up to "TackHead Tape Time" effectively a greatest hits compilation released the year earlier via Nettwerk. "Beef" opened up the set and was to be radically reworked for its appearance as Gary's first single on Perfecto.
Continuing Gary's long-running theme of delivering lyrics concerning socially concious current issues "Privatise Pts 1 & 2" was particularly hard-hitting. Indeed the issue of privatisation was at its height under the Thatcher administration with the question raised "where would it all end?". Gary Clail's presence on the On-U Sound scene from the late eighties certainly brought a new feeling of energy to the live gigs and although is vocal stylings can be objectively said to be limited, he certainly got the best out of his bag for these tunes and the earlier singles.
While Gary's time under the wing of BMG / Perfecto probably brought him his biggest commercial successes, helped in no small part by the remixing talents of Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne in giving some of his tunes more dancefloor friendly edges, the partnership was to be short lived. While BMG's first "Emotional Hooligan" album in 1991 sold well, a combination of Clail's unrealistic belief that he was now a fully-fledged pop star, coupled with a lack of new musicial direction and particularly his record companies increasing dis-interest in promoting him saw an acrimonious parting in 1993. In particular the almost complete lack of promotion of the following "Dreamstealers" album left a bitter taste of major label dealings in both Clail's and Sherwood's mouthes.
A new deal was struck with Yelen Musiques in France for 1995's album "Keep The Faith" which was generally well received and featured more of Clail's characteristic lambasts against injustices of the world before he slipped quietly out of the music scene in the late 1990s. He went on to buy a church in Penzance, England convert it into a guest house and then run it for several years. The most recent word is, however, is that he is living on a boat at Saltford, between Bristol and Bath, and is working at a hostel for homeless people in Bath.
01 - Food, Clothes And Shelter (4:18)
02 - Pt. 2 Monk Track (5:11)
03 - Escape (4:20)
04 - The Emotional Hooligan (3:43)
05 - Magic Penny (2:49)
06 - Human Nature (Oakenfold & Osborne On The Mix) (6:15)
07 - Crocodile Eyes (4:25)
08 - Rumours (4:40)
09 - Beef (The) (Oakenfold & Osborne's Future Mix) (5:30)
10 - Temptation (Parts 1 & 2) (9:58)
11 - False Leader (Parts 1 & 2) (8:42)
Gary Clail & On-U Sound System - The Emotional Hooligan (* 99mb)
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Andy Fairley - System Vertigo ( 92 Flac 248mb)
A somewhat mysterious figure, Fairley came to the attention of Adrian Sherwood at On-U Sound via the Mark Stewart and Gary Clail Bristol connection. During the 1989-1993 period his voice was a familiar feature of Sherwood productions for particularly Gary Clail, Dub Syndicate and Keith LeBlanc and numerous other one-off guest appearances. When not reciting his own verse in full, he was often sampled for use in-the-mix, often regaling the sonic qualities of the recording or giving a MC-like shout to the artist, On-U Sound or Sherwood personally. Andy Fairley was not so much a musician or a singer as a modern-day poet. A shrewd observer of the injustices and insanities of the modern world, his prose often tackled head-on issues of the moment such as the state of politics, privatisation and the plight of the underclasses.
The Japanese radio station J-Wave 81.3 at one time broadcast an exclusively On-U Sound show, Tunes From The Missing Channel, once a month. Sherwood and the On-U crew of the time consequently became very involved with providing fresh content and guest presenters for it. Fairley provided a whole series of samples exclusively for use on the show, and some of these went on to appear as linking sequences on the eternally hard-to-find 1993 spin-off "Tunes From The Missing Channel" compilation released only in Japan .
Andy was introduced to On-U Sound by Gary Clail in the mideighties, this lead to him making contributions(voacal samples) to the Tackhead tape Time album in the mideighties. This lead to further contributions, even writing credits on Keith Leblancs/Tackhead album Stranger Then Fiction. In 89 he featured on gary Clail's End Of The Century album a year later his first 12 " was issued , backed by DubSyndicate, Lack Of Education/Precinct Of Sound.
Andy's only credited 'solo' album was the underrated 1992 "System Vertigo" set (ON-U LP61) - essentially a collection of his writings set to solid rhythms built by Sherwood et al. at On-U Sound. Like so many On-U contributors before him, Fairley left the fold in the mid 1990s and vanished back into the Bristolian ether from which he had emerged. Sadly little else was heard from or about him until news of his death seeped out in 1999. An unmistakable, irreplaceable and much missed wordsmith had taken his last breath of the as yet unprivatised air.
01 - I Stopped The Clock (4:34)
02 - System Vertigo (4:23)
03 - Ghost (4:10)
04 - The Election (Part 1) (6:02)
05 - You Look At Life (4:56)
06 - Precinct Of System (2:17)
07 - Audio Visual Attack (3:58)
08 - The Election (Part 2) (2:15)
09 - A Nation Responds (0:30)
10 - Fun + Games (1:22)
11 - The Song Of The Phoenix (2:17)
12 - False Starts (4:28)
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Tackhead - Sound Crash (Sherwood's Slash 'n Mix) ( 06 Flac 340mb)
In the late 1970s, Wimbish, Leblanc and McDonald were members of the house band for the Sugarhill Records record label and the trio of hip-hop artists known as Sugarhill Gang. They were also the musicians playing behind DJ Grandmaster Flash's 1982 hit "The Message" (the vocal was by Melle Mel) and another hit "White Lines".
During a visit to New York City, to help with a remix, London-based producer Sherwood (already noted in the dub music scene) met Leblanc, and they began to collaborate. Soon the trio of Wimbish, Leblanc and McDonald were producing tracks on Sherwood's On-U Sound record label. One of their earlier collaborations was as "Mark Stewart and the Maffia", which featured Stewart, former member of The Pop Group on vocals and their first LP produced under that name As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade was amongst the most industrial, noise-oriented and uncompromising of the group's output.
Later to join forces with Tackhead, was Gary Clail, who as MC for the touring version of the On-U sound system would shout and rant over Tackhead's live playing, and both were then mixed live by Sherwood to produce a wall of sound effect that was highly novel for the mid-1980s. They released one LP Tackhead Tape Time in 1987 as "Gary Clail's Tackhead Sound System" and some of the most distinctive and well-known Tackhead tracks (some were released as 12-inch singles) date from this period particularly: "What's My Mission Now?", "Mind at the End of the Tether" and "Hard Left". These tracks combined funk basslines, hammerblow percussion and Sherwood's trademark sample-laden dub production and represent the defining Tackhead sound.
During this period Leblanc also produced two solo LPs: Major Malfunction (1986) (inspired by the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster) and Stranger than Fiction (1989), which although credited to Leblanc, featured all the rest of members of Tackhead. Around this time the group began to gell as a band, and started adding vocalists to what had been up until then a largely instrumental affair. On the first Tackhead LP, proper, Friendly as a Hand Grenade, vocalist Bernard Fowler joined the line-up and many older instrumental tracks re-appeared with lyrics. In 1990 Tackhead mounted a world tour which probably marked the zenith of the band's commercial success. The follow up album, 1991's Strange Things (the first on a major label, EMI), despite some praise for harder-edge singles such as "Dangerous Sex" and "Class Rock" was not as well received by critics. Many followers of the group were disappointed by the more restrained production, less industrial and more mellow R&B elements. Yet the album was still experimental enough that it did not gain as wide an audience as had been hoped and the band was dropped from their record label shortly after.
Despite not recording any new material as Tackhead since, group members continued to record as the backing band or along with various Sherwood-led On-U Sound productions artists such as Gary Clail's solo efforts, African Head Charge, Dub Syndicate, New Age Steppers and others. Subsets of the group have also appeared in various guises such as the Strange Parcels, Barmy Army and the blues-oriented Little Axe. In addition to continuing to collaborate with Sherwood and the On-U Sound record label, each of the other members continues to lead active solo careers. Wimbish has recorded solo material as well as forming the short-lived Jungle Funk, a live drum and bass outfit, and is in demand as a session bass player. McDonald leads the Little Axe project, and Leblanc runs a record label and plays with a jazz outfit, Noah Ground.
"It's so good, you're gonna cry." That's what Adrian Sherwood said when he finished mixing 'Tackhead Sound Crash', a compilation mix like the 'On-U Sound Crash' Adrian did for Beat Records in Japan. Adrian Sherwood considers 'Tackhead Sound Crash' to be a totally new record. "It's the best Tackhead thing ever", says Adrian. "It's wicked." He totally reworked
01 - Intro "Free" (0:48)
02 - Mind At The End Of Its Tether (1:30)
03 - What's My Mission Now? (2:06)
04 - Ghost (1:47)
05 -Mind At The End Of Its Tether Pt. 2 (1:07)
06 - 1/2 Cut For Confidence (0:55)
07 - Ticking Time Bomb (2:02)
08 - Heaven On Earth (0:44)
09 - Ticking Time Bomb Pt. 2 (0:12)
10 - Heaven On Earth Pt. 2 (0:47)
11 - Mechanical Movements Pt. 2 (2:21)
12 - I Stopped The Clock (0:53)
13 - Bop Bop (0:52)
14 - King Of The Beat (3:01)
15 - Move It (0:09)
16 - Body To Burn (0:16)
17 - D.J. Programme (3:42)
18 - Disconnection (2:51)
19 - Rochester (1:55)
20 - Audio Visual Attack (1:07)
21 - Man In A Suitcase (2:22)
22 - Dreamworld (0:57)
23 - Get This Beloved (0:36)
24 - Gamesmanship (1:52)
25 - Get Move Of This (1:38)
26 - Einstein Pt. 2 (2:18)
27 - Hard Left (1:59)
28 - No Hands On The Wheel (0:47)
29 - Listen Good Drummers (0:57)
30 - Free Again (0:46)
31 - This Is The Night (1:38)
32 - Bastard Son Of Fats (1:19)
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