Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Mellowtrons - 'Rhythmwide / Resolution 9'

This is a double A side piece of vinyl by Lee, an old mate from Salisbury. Lee is a bit of a dark horse - when you meet him, he seems slightly scatty and hyper, but underneath that slightly mad disorganised outer shell is a slightly mad but much more organised inner being. I know he's more organised then his outer persona suggests, because he's toured as a techie with Orbital, and I don't imagine you get to do that unless you really know your stuff.

I have lots of vivid memories of time spent with Lee: we turned up at the house of Jack Dangers (of Meat Beat Manifesto) and he played us the final mix of their latest album 'Satyricon' live off his home studio desk: he introduced me to Phil Hartnoll (of Orbital) just before their Manchester Academy gig in 1995 - Phil just said 'awright mate' as I stood there overawed at meeting this colossus of techno. He seemed a bit smaller than I expected, although to be fair to him, he'd have had to have been an eight foot tall robosonic cyborg to have actually lived up to my expectations.

My favourite memory of hanging out with Lee was a night out in London - I forget when, but it may have been the night before I attended the cut of the first Speakerfreaks EP. We were heading to a club with a bunch of his vegan mates, and I realised that I hadn't eaten enough for a night out. I stopped and grabbed a hot dog from a street seller, which sent a couple of his vegan mates a bit nuts. I remember one of them getting right in my face, going 'that's right shove it in', and generally making me feel bad about eating a tube of mechanically recovered meat, with onions and ketchup.

Musically, this is all over the shop. Lee was great at building soundscapes from obscure samples, slapping a funky beat over it (that's funky as in 'on the one') for 90 seconds, then breaking it down into slightly too much sprawling ambience, before hoofing a beat back in again. But give him his due - Chill Out were THE label to be on in 1995.

Tracks: Rhythmwide. Resolution 9.

Catalogue Number: CHILL12010

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