25-07-2013 | 17.14
I remember hearing somebody say that house music is originally from Chicago. Back then I felt that that’s a silly statement and I still do. One could say Kraftwerk is the origin of house music, or Larry Levan, or Chic, or Can, you basically draw any line you want. Only thing you have to keep in mind, is that one of these lines has to point to Andrew Weatherall.
Last spring the VPRO broadcasted documentary about Screamadelica by Primal Scream, as part of the Classic Albums series. At the start we see Josh Homme, singer of Queens of the Stone Age, who states that rock bands being able to make people dance are a rarity. Primal Scream could make people dance for sure, and in the documentary the influence of Weatherall on this ability becomes clear; he has helped them to free themselves from the rules of pop music – the verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure and the excess of solos. It are exactly these rules that Queens of the Stone Age must recognize and as a result the music’s getting too messy – and one cannot dance to a mess.
After Screamadelica Weatherall got calls from a large amount of managers requesting remixes for the indie bands in their agency. He rejected most of the requests, with a particular reason: he had never seen the guys of these bands hang out in clubs. And why would you make a rave mix for a band that cannot rave? You know, of these bands that suddenly replaces their guitars for turntables. Like James Murphy sung in Losing My Edge:
I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables.
I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought guitars.
James Murphy gets away with this cynicism; as a hybrid he was always perfectly able to float between the worlds of guitars and turntables. Andrew Weatherall had and has the same ability. From bricklayer to tastemaker, from rockabilly to rave guru and from acid pioneer to one of the coolest deejays in 2013.
Happy Mondays – Hallelujah (Club mix) – 1989
Next to Joy Division, the Happy Mondays play a key role in 24 Hour Party People – a movie about Factory Records and the rise of rave culture in Manchester. Steve impersonates Tony Wilson – Factory Records’ head honcho – brilliantly and better than any documentary, he describes the rise of the rave.
And tonight something equally epoch-making is taking place. See? They're applauding the DJ. Not the music, not the musician, not the creator, but the medium. This is it. The birth of rave culture. The beatification of the beat. The dance age. This is the moment when even the white man starts dancing. Welcome to Madchester.
Even more than the originals, the club mix – a mix by Paul Oakenfoald and Andrew Weatherall – represents the sound of the rave culture. After more than ten years Mike Skinner (The Streets) – a successor of English rave culture – in Weak Become Heroes a tribute to rave culture – and a middle finger to the government.
Out of respect for Johnny Walker, Paul Oakenfold, Nicky Holloway
Danny Rampling and all the people who gave us these times
And to the government, I stick my middle finger up
With regards to the Criminal Justice Bill
For all the heroes out and on the way
We All Sing
My Bloody Valentine – Soon (Andrew Weatherall mix) – 1990
After My Bloody Valentine released Loveless in 1991, the album soon became a cult classic. Because of the enormous costs for the album their label went bankrupt, next their sound became the soundtrack of Lost in Translation, they became the heroes of shoegaze, they did legendarily loud tours and they worked for ten years on their highly anticipated – though dissapointing – follow-up.
The closing track of Loveless hides a dance beat, as a echoing rave that keeps you from sleeping after coming home on Sonday. In his remix Weatherall uncovers the beat and thus brings rave back to clubs.
Primal Scream – Higher Than The Sun (A Dub Symphony In Two Parts) – 1991
The original take of Higher That The Sun credits Alex Paterson of The Orb as producer; Weatherall as a remixer made the song rise even more. The anthem of a rave new world.
St. Etienne - Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Andrew Weatherall’s Mix Of Two Halves) – 1991
Coming of age-pop meets cooling down-house. The ultimate tool to bring slowdancing back to the club – I think I’ve tried many times.
The Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea (Andrew Weatherall remix) - 1992
Papua New Guinea was the mantra of the first XTC wave. On Youtube it has almost two million views – the replies on the video are close to poetry: Reminds me of passing out in a field when I was 20, and, Some undigested pills from the 90's immediately kick in. Weatherall’s remix brings the record back to earth.
The Sabres Of Paradise – Edge 6 - 1994
Together with Burns and Kooner, Weatherall composed nineties house for Warp – nowadays some people might call this kind of music drug dub. Their hit Haunted Househall even made it to a Café del Mar compilation.
Psychic TV - Re-United (Andrew Weatherall remix 4) - 1995
Generallygrievous in a reply tot his video two years ago: What can you say?The most original and innovative DJ of all time,another wicked piece of music that as usual highlights the fact that there is an alternative to the complete shite that seems to be the norm these days. How peaceful that lyrics of the record might be, the feeling the whole world is missing out on something goes rather deep.
Ricardo Villalobos – Dexter (Two Lone Swordsmen remix) – 2004
There’s this story that Villalobos asked Weatherall and Tenniswood for a remix, before he found out that he lost the different tracks of the record. In his lecture for RBMA he's rather modest about his version of the track; the bassline resembled Joy Division and so he decided to do a new wave cover and suddenly Dexter echoes A Forest.
Timothy J. Fairplay - Sleighride/Blizzard (Andrew Weatherall Remix) – 2012
Nowadays Andrew Weatherall and Timothy Fairplay – part of Death in Vegas and a contrary f**ker [CS8] – form the Apshodells. On Sleighride/Blizzard Weatherall remixed Fairplay.
The Asphodells – A Love From Outer Space – 2012
On the 26th of July Weatherall and Sean Johston play Trouw as A Love From Outer Space. All night long.
Text: Luc Mastenbroek