Mikes thoughts on the new
I’ve resisted listening to these
for a long time. The analogy I
make is if you were asked to
review photographs of yourself
from around 20 years ago and
comment on the clothes and
haircuts you’d probably also find
It’s not that you intended those
things to be bad, or that you were
careless at the time, it’s just
the influence of the times, the
stage you were at in life and the
way we can judge from a safe
distance of two decades makes some
elements embarrassing or tedious.
But some elements you can still be
Anaesthetised with a small amount
of alcohol, I’ve written down my
comments as I heard the songs,
sometimes for the first time in a
decade or more.
Deep breath, here goes...
Miss universe. Oooh, I can hear
the LFO influence, and not the
teen band either: I like the
sounds a lot. This must have been
part of the first version of
Already, reminds me of being
locked in the Think studio in the
Food building in Camden, a hot
summer outside, long days and
nights inside, just me in the
studio running backwards and
forwards from control room to
As flawed as this is, an album
full of this stuff might just as
well have been released anyway. In
some ways I prefer it to the later
version of Already. But then I did
write that sentence before I heard
the final unnecessary verse.
Clearly my self-editing discipline
was sunning itself outside the
Together. It may not sound like it
but there's a strong Radiohead
influence in this - I heard The
Bends recently and it reminded me.
Hotei's guitar is great! Sounds
much rawer than the version I'm
used to. The vocals sound rougher.
The chorus is unpleasant, glad
that was re-recorded. Love the
tremolo on Hotei's guitar in the
middle, reminds me of the mid-90s
Britpop 60s thing.
Cartoon creature. Ah, AC/DC:
couldn't have been long until that
influence appeared. I remember
making an effort around this time
to show that strongly. A little
too successfully, I feel, it
sounds like a version where I had
yet to take out the most obvious
references and replace with
something of my own.
What strikes me is that there are
plenty of decent ideas but a lack
of focus. Nice outro!
Freaky people. This is a bit car
crash- I have to listen but I'm
horrified by what I hear. Again,
some nice ideas, decent riffs and
sounds, all jumbled up with some
horrors. I was clearly under the
influence of Jam and Lewis, Janet
Jacksons producers, it's a kind of
relative of Real Real Real a few
years too late.
Metambient. Oh God, if only I
could have sung like that. I love
this, it sounds so unlike me and
yet I know I created it even if
the best stuff comes courtesy of
more talented people. The Steven
Reich influence with the
falling-over, echoey piano was
prompted by a gift of his “It’s
gonna rain” album from my dad. I
like that I got that in there.
Nice weirdness in the dark
section. And the Amen breakbeat !
Good lord! Straight outta
Really enjoyed hearing that again.
Does it make it interesting for
the listener to hear this early
stage in its creation, or do they
lose respect? When it was made I
did it safe in the knowledge that
no-one else but me would hear it.
Saviour. This is fascinating. It
kind of rocks but once again it’s
about some good bits failing to
make a decent whole. My neighbour
genuinely did tell me he was
praying for me. I now think that
was very good of him. I still love
the sound of a distorted
303. Sounds like Warne
Livesey produced it, going by the
sound of the vocals, although its
possibly Coler & Richardson
As good as it gets. More
swingbeat. This is terrible.
Everything about it is horrible.
I'm fast forwarding, I can't take
Every little bit. Now is is more
like it. I like the melodrama of
the strings, I wished we'd used
that more. What intrigues me about
this is the lack of focus. I
clearly know my way around
instruments, technology and the
the rudiments of songwriting but
it never comes together as a
pleasing whole, like holding
something valuable in front of
your face and then not being able
to make anything of the detail
when it's moved further away.
Time of our own. What a lovely
instrument the santur is. The
scrappiness of this at this stage
shows the genius of Warne Livesey
and what he added to Perverse
later. Hearing this, I think in my
own defence a lot of the vocals
were recorded by and large as soon
as the lyrics were written. That’s
why they often sound so rough -
I’m still learning how to sing
Machine drug. Wow, this really is
the start of the 90s! I like the
chorus enough to make me suspect
it's a complete steal from someone
else but I can’t think who. I
enjoyed Jerry's cameo appearance.
Rushed and shoddy but exciting.
That seems to sum us up at that
point in time.
Zeroes. The Roland JD800, the
keyboard that shaped the sound of
Perverse. Clearly this was before
I tweaked that particular sound. I
like the bass line, always have,
love the way it makes this rock. I
guess for the listener this gives
an insight into how much or how
little a producer can influence a
song. This sounds like Warne
really only did mid-level
tinkering, unlike the major
surgery performed on Devil.
Meteor boy. More santur beauty,
not a sampled loop on this
occasion but a santur sound from
another keyboard I used around
this time, one that much of
Perverse was written on.
I'm really enjoying this and it's
not just hearing all those
wonderful singers- there's a nice
song inside here. What a shame I
didn't spend more time developing
it as a separate entity instead of
getting heavily into recycling.
Something about this makes me
melancholy. It's probably that
Don't believe it. Is this Coler
& Richardson? Woah! Where did
that beat come from? Loving this !
A nice shade of Joan Jett's Love
is Pain. A song, a version I don't
feel ashamed of. Well, apart from
Burning. Wretched piece of work
from well before the Jesus Jones
era. But I'm still a sucker for
the evil dead-style vocal.
Are you satisfied. There was a
time, children,when you could only
record on 4 tracks. Don't hate me
for this, it a never meant to be
heard by anyone other than me.
Couldn't listen to more than 2
Friend. This is interesting. How
odd, and not any good but clearly
an experiment into mucking around
with breakbeats that needed
something resembling a song to
justify it. This is a kind of
musical sketch pad with selection
of faintly related themes crammed
onto the same page. I hope my kids
never have to listen to this.
Set the scene. Getting fiddly with
sampled beats now are we? This is
clearly the start of me taking a
little more care over the basic
ingredients, probably as a result
of seeing Warne’s meticulous work.
It sounds to me like a warm up for
Saviour. I don't mind this.
"Should you look back, not now".
Intriguing. The are elements of
this that surprise me when I hear
it back and that makes this more
enjoyable than other tracks on
Info Freako, PWL version. Fish and
chips. We used to pop out for fish
and chips when recording the
original of this and the other
songs onto that seminal demo. A
tiny, subterranean studio.
I got fed up with this, staring
out of the window thinking about
fish and chips, at 4 minutes. A
real product of it's time, a