“SONG FOR EWE”
with MARK EMMERSON of
THE LUCID DREAM
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is vocalist/guitarist/synth-ist? from The Lucid Dream, a band who’ve been around a bit, and who are about to release their fourth album “Actualisation” but who really feel like they’re hitting a moment and a nerve right now. Perhaps it’s the adversity of having had all their kit nicked after a show in Paris last year and having to crowd-fund replacements from fans, but also it could be the eschewing of the reliance on a trad backline for psychedelic rock tropes and the embracing of an SX1000 synth and exuberance for 808 and 303 powered acid house vibes that have breathed life into this waking beast of a band.
Like LFO they are back with lo-frequency oscillation. They could well be the best new old band in Britain, although they might have to arm wrestle The Nightingales. I’ve been lucky enough to hear “Actualisation” and it’s aggravated, energised and exciting, with deep bass sounds that could only come from post industrial Britain, except it’s not the Sheffield of Threads, it’s Carlisle. In terms of impact this could be The Lucid Dream’s “Dubnobasswithmyheadman” moment, and after the 808 State “Cubik” tone of “SX1000”, second single “Alone In Fear” has a real Karl Hyde meets “Open Up” attack, with all the spitting lyrical venom of Lydon encapsulated with the mesmeric motorik of Clinic’s Ade Blackburn. And there’s a touch of Clinic meets DEVO or CRIME (and of course Altern-8) in their new dust suit get-up. What is not to love. And after a very popular Lucky 7 with the band, choosing an absolute cracker, with a brilliantly erudite description, I’m chuffed to welcome back Mark Emmerson!
First off, check out “Alone In Fear” out on 17th September.
And if you’ve still got the constitution for another 12″ gut-busting barnstormer, here’s Mark’s “song for ewe”…
“Evolution – ‘The Experience Of Taking A Step Into Someone’s Dream’:
I discovered this track a few months ago via a mix by Andrew Weatherall at The Hacienda in 1993, which my brother put me onto. Andrew is without doubt in the top influences upon The Lucid Dream, just about everything that he DJ’s tends to be excellent, and we were acting like FA Cup winners when Andrew played our track (‘SX1000’) on his NTS radio show last month. Having Andrew get onto us finally ranks within the highlights for the 10 years of our existence so far.
This song absolutely blew me away, as did all this mix, but this track made the biggest connection. I know very little about it, other than that it is a German techno/house track from the early 90’s, but I like the fact that I know very little background information on it as it helps to retain the beauty and intrigue.
This song for me personifies all that psychedelia stands for. I think in recent times that psychedelia has incorrectly been interpreted as the need for a bunch of leather jacket/shades clad bands to mimic each other with delay/fuzz pedals, when really the components of this track have more in common with Spacemen 3 etc than any modern ‘psychedelia’ ever will.
This song gets under your skin by the repetition, whilst very intelligently and discreetly adding different aspects to the mix, whether it be a change in the programming, the frequency shifts of the 303, or bringing the signature keyboard chord-phrase back into the mix. I also love the fact that there is no singing or guitars, because it simply doesn’t need them. And, those eerie tuning shifts of the synths at the start of the track summarises what psychedelia sounds like! Unnerving in the right manner.
Judging by the modest YouTube viewing figures for this track it still remains a very obscure record, and I was lucky enough to pick it up for £5 on Discogs. I cannot urge people enough to check it out. I often try to envisage what it must have been like hearing this in the Hacienda the night Andrew Weatherall dropped it. I was 8 at the time so can’t claim to have been there, but can claim to be very envious of anybody who was!”
You’ve probably seen/heard this next one, but we don’t need an excuse for another rinse (nor it seems do 6Music whose Rad/Mac & Gideon Coe shows have been giving it a lot of love)….
GREAT THANKS TO MARK, AND A MIGHTY CHEERS TO JOHN ESPLEN OF WIPEOUT MUSIC
As mentioned, THE LUCID DREAM are on tour, including as support to the brilliant Wooden Shjips, check out the dates
31st August – Solfest
12th September – Glasgow St. Lukes (w/ Wooden Shjips)
13th September – Gateshead The Sage (w/ Wooden Shjips)
14th September – Liverpool Invisible Wind Factory (w/ Wooden Shjips)
15th September – Manchester Gorilla (w/ Wooden Shjips)
16th September – Birmingham The Institute 2 (w/ Wooden Shjips)
21st November – London Sebright Arms
22nd November – Brighton Green Door Store
23rd November – Todmorden The Golden Lion (SOLD-OUT)
24th November – Carlisle The Brickyard
“Actualisation” is out on 19th October on Holy Are You Recordings
and if you liked Mark’s choice, have another look at their acid house flavoured “Lucky 7” choices from earlier this year…