THE LUCID DREAM – 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 it’s a young (or should I say jung) band of sturm und drang from Carlisle. I have been reading the excellent autobiography by Will Caruthers (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized) “Playing The Bass With Three Left Hands” and hankering after some serious new psych, and here it comes in the fast and bulbous form of The Lucid Dream.
They’ve been going since 2008 and are on a 4th album (following up from 2016’s “Compulsion Songs”). Although they can definitely see for miles & miles, their new single “SX1000” (see below for the Lucky 7th tune) is a definite acieeeeed descendent of the Hacienda, putting them in the realms of other contemporary bleep and squelchers like Daniel Avery or Clark rather than Terminal Cheesecake or Spacemen 3 disciples as previous output may have suggested…The Lucid Dream are indeed the Phuture…
It’s through that prism, we see The Lucid Dream’s technicolour choices for their 303/808 infused Lucky 7…
1. The KLF – What Time Is Love? (Pure Trance 1)
This track was instrumental in forming the acid house vibe that runs throughout the forthcoming album, and even though The KLF have several versions of the song this 1988 original version is without doubt the definitive one.
I love the fact that there are no guitars or singing, yet it gets under your skin without needing those elements. Personally, I am becoming slightly bored of ‘guitar’ sounds (20 years on from playing) and I am finding a bigger buzz from hearing what synths can do. The programming is sublime and each time you listen you discover something new. It was no surprise that ‘SX1000’ was written a day after heavy rotation of this track and the ‘3AM Eternal (Pure Trance 2)’ singles.
2. Phuture – Acid Tracks
Quite often cited as the definitive acid-house track, and the one in which the Roland 303 really made its mark. I would urge the small minority who have dismissed ‘SX1000’ as the sounds of somebody messing with a drum machine/synth to check this track. Keep listening and listening, and tell me that this doesn’t command further attention every time, repetitive as it is. I can only imagine what it must have been like hearing this in Chicago/UK/European clubs in the late 80s. Completely ground-breaking.
3. Ability ii – Pressure Dub
I only discovered this track last May in the hotel before playing Manchester Deaf Institute. I was having a coffee with a house playlist on and this track came on, one of those special moments. I played it 3 times in a row walking to the gig, and it is now part of our pre-stage music. Dropping this track in before the ‘thank you’ Carlisle/Manchester shows was quite something, it felt like a rave.
This track has all the elements I love – dub, house, and psychedelia. Again, another guitar-free zone. This track went on to become one of the defining songs of British house/dub in the early 90s, and an original 12” will set you back around £100. Thankfully, I sourced a reissue from last year, which sounds brilliant.
4. 808 State – Ancodia
I will stick my neck out and say that 808 State are a British match to Kraftwerk. They probably get lumped in with ‘Madchester’ nonsense too easily but are far too intelligent and ahead of the game for that. They made astonishing use of the Roland 303/808 models, and on this track some genius sampling (something which I have been working a lot more with recently and will be a feature of the 5th album).
The album from which this is taken, ‘90’, is brilliant, and features the classic ‘Pacific State’ single. Between this album and the follow-up, ‘ex:el’ you will find some of the most essential acid house/techno ever made. Those who were into them upon their initial releases, no doubting that they’ve stood the test of time, ratch them back out!
5. Public Image Limited – Careering
P.I.L have been an influence since we formed, but given recent political events it probably made sense revisiting them again. I often get shot down for saying that I don’t get The Sex Pistols, but I think that P.I.L are 100 times the band. They in particular influenced a track of ours called ‘Alone In Fear’, which is on our next album. John Lydon became a force of nature on the ‘First Issue/Metal Box’ albums. Factor into that the best bass player ever, Jah Wobble, and Keith Levene’s unique guitar/synth attacks. This ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ version is probably one of the greatest live performances ever.
6. A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray
Probably seen as one of the main Hacienda tracks. Not an obscure choice but it is revered for good reason. This was made while Gerald Simpson was still a member of 808 State, and shows exactly the impact that you can have using just an 808, 303 and a sampler. No need for pondering over a studio microphone position for days on end. Beautiful and hypnotic, whilst being very minimalistic.
The Lucky 7th – The Lucid Dream – SX1000
Our latest single, the first taster from our 4thalbum, and the track that I am most proud of. I never dreamed when we formed in 2008 that we could ever make a track like this. It is completely different from anything we’ve ever done, anybody is currently doing and is another development of our sound. I’ve listened and listened and still can’t believe we went from borderline Spacemen tributes 10 years ago to this. A small amount of fans have hit back at us, ‘stick to what you know’, ‘where are the guitars?’, but music is there to be pushed.
We will never make the same record twice, and the fundamental elements of ‘psychedelia’ are to broaden your scope. We’ve found fans in this track via idols and people who previously never got us. That’s what it is all about.
Fear not, there ARE guitars on the new album, but not many. There doesn’t need to be. Those foolishly dismissing us already, tread carefully as you won’t be able to come autumn when the album arrives. .-)
THANKS TO THE LUCID DREAM, AND TO JOHN ESPLEN FROM WIPEOUT MUSIC
YOU CAN PRE-ORDER THE LUCID DREAM “SX1000” ON VINYL FROM HOLY ARE YOU RECORDINGS HERE…
AND CATCH THEM ON TOUR