KING CHAMPION SOUNDS – Lucky 7
LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…
Today is the return of a popular Velvet Sheep hero and musical polymath, Ajay Saggar with one of his amazing cerebral punk-psych bands KING CHAMPION SOUNDS having just released a genius new album “To Awake In That Heaven of Freedom”.
Ajay has mixed for some of indie rock’s most legendary bands be it My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, Mogwai or Sebadoh, and he’s also managed to get many of his mates to play on the new album including J Mascis, Mike Watt (Minutemen/fIREHOSE/Iggy & The Stooges) and the underrated Mick Derrick of PROLAPSE. With a bunch of mates like that how difficult is choosing a LUCKY 7 ?- time to find out…
Ajay, a social media mate and fellow The Fall fan (fair to say Ajay is a Fall nut) chose a “song for ewe” earlier in the year and it was fair to say that his choice of King Tubby “Weatherman Skank” has been one of my favourite “songs for ewe” since we started (with only Duke Garwood’s “Ali Baba” by John Holt coming close)…
So, it’s great that Ajay’s also made one of my albums of the year, a sprawling musicologists dream that’s like all the Dave Bush era Fall meets PiL via ethereal poetry and superfuzz shoe gaze. My fav so far is “A Foggy Day In Rotterdam” but this is not so much a slow-grower that reveals its charms like a dial-up web page slowly peels off its pixels, not so much a slow-burner as a deliberate incendiary device.
It’s fitting that Ajay should choose one of our mutual favs first! Over to the main man – the brain behind the KING CHAMPION SOUNDS that are SOFA KING great!…
1. The Fall – “Kicker Conspiracy”
Standards must be reached and maintained. To do that you need benchmarks. Das Gruppe are the greatest band that ever existed…..and probably will ever exist in the history of rock’n’roll. Saw them for the first time in 1981 at York University and have been obsessing about them ever since. My life and that of certain members of King Champion Sounds revolves around The Fall. Millions of other lives around the world revolve around the band. YES. They ARE that important!
2. Cocteau Twins – “Wax & Wane”
I chose this live clip as it shows the band as a raw and pure form of energy and love. I could have chosen their entire catalogue for this selection, but I went for a live clip as people forget what a fantastic live act they were. I saw them with Will Heggie and later, off course, with Simon on bass. The point is that this band had a vision on making music that broke all boundaries and were entirely visionary and carried the listener to a higher place. John Coltrane, Billie Holliday, Sun Ra, Nina Simone, Albert Ayler, Cocteau Twins…..celestial magnificence.
3. Albert Ayler – “Spirits Rejoice”
Music as a healing force. Music as form of free expression and pure freedom. Music as a means to spread love and energy. This is what we should constantly search for and hopefully find to make our lives that little bit better. Listening to Albert Ayler makes my life better. Listening to Albert Ayler makes me want to make music that speaks of freedom and provides universal healing. All praise Albert Ayler.
4. King Tubby – “King Tubby Meets Roots Radic…Up Town Special”
The dubmeister, the extra member of any band that he mixed, the electronics genius with a mastermind musical brain, the sorcerer, the magician. All hail Osbourne Ruddock. Creating spaces in space, building up the bass, and taking us to a holy place. He was the king. King Tubby.
5. Kaleidoscope – “Sky Children”
A track to be added to the tracklist for your funeral march / pyre. Don’t shy away from the fact that you will die one day, and in preparation of that, you better have a killer set lined up for all the weeping ones left behind. This ones definitely in there….you can cry at the memories and yet still carry a smile forwards to the beautiful future that still beckons. We love psych jams, and this one is absolutely one of the best.
6. John Mwale – “Shirikisho la Afrika”
I was born in Kenya in 1965. I left there to go to the Uk in 1976. My youth was coloured by songs from Kenya. Beautiful joyous, life affirming songs of joy and freedom. I would learn songs from the 7 inch singles that my mum and dad played and sing along with my nanny. My mum and dad had tons of Indian film albums as well from the 60s and 70s. Wild adventurous sounds, psych tinged, crazy mama beats, beautiful melodies. Why can I only choose 6 songs. 600 would be just a little bit easier…..but still not enough.
7. King Champion Sounds – “Ghetto of Eden”
A freaking killer track. The Fall meets Motown at a Crass rally. D’ya dig?
THANKS AGAIN AJAY! KING CHAMPION SOUNDS “TO AWAKE IN THAT HEAVEN OF FREEDOM” IS AVAILABLE NOW, HERE’S A LOOK INTO HIS CRAZED GENIUS…VIA SOUNDCLOUD…