Andrew Weatherall

drinking-in-the-griffin

text by Logan

As one of the pioneers in uk dance music, 20 years ago Mr Andrew Weatherall has charted a singular course through its ever changing face, always remaining at the cutting edge, never repeating himself, and never selling out.

I have had the good fortune to witness many great highlights in his career, firstly as a young wide-eyed boy on the dancefloor, to the present day where i am honoured to count him as a friend. There are many well worn tales and interviews just a google away from you, dear readers, but today i’d like to share with you some highlights and maybe some insights that aren’t so well documented elsewhere. So get your dancing shoes, turn up the volume and follow me as we enter the eclectic world of one of the UK’s best musical exports.

BOY’S OWN

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“In the Beginning there was Jack. And Jack had a groove. … And while one day viciously throwing down on the spot, Jack boldly declared, “Let There Be House!”

Created in 1986 in the lead up to the first Summer of Love by Terry Farley, Andrew Weatherall, Steve Mayes and Cymon Eckles, the Boy’s Own fanzine soon became a bible for the acid house and Balearic scene, combining elitist rants on football, music, booze, drugs and comic illustrations. This introduced the guys to the scene and gave Farley and Weatherall their first dj’ing opportunities.

Deliberately steering clear of the by-now corrupt rave scene of the early nineties, the Boy’s Own parties sprang into the national headlines when one was organised in Northamptonshire on HM the Queen’s property, spawning headlines along the lines of `Ravers Hold Acid Party On Royal Land’.

It’s a little known fact that a certain Quentin Cook of band The Housemartins had his first taste of dance music at a Boy’s Own party. This led him to eventually leave the band and forge a new musical direction as Norman Cook,but we’re not going to blame Weatherall for that!

Steve Hall, one of the Boy’s Own crew says about the parties,
“The first one we did was in an old barn in Guilford. It was a barn in the garden of this guy’s farm. It was the early ecstasy thing, and it was a little bit too much for everyone. There’d be a lot of collapsed bodies lying about. The police didn’t have a clue what was going on. They hadn’t even heard of ecstasy. There was all these people smiling, going up to the police and chatting, offering them Lucazade. One of the policemen looked around and said, “I think we can leave this lot: they’re a silly old bunch of cunts, aren’t they?” and left.”

THE EARLY REMIXES

Weatherall gained notoriety after he remixed Primal Scream’s `Loaded’ in 1989 crediting his work to Boy’s Own and inspiring the move towards a record label, (which after Weatherall left became Junior Boys Own). This also led to string of other indie-dance remixes for acts such as James, My Bloody Valentine, Happy Mondays, New Order and Flowered Up. It’s funny for me when this generation call Erol Alkan the creator of the indie-dance crossover, as it happened 15 years earlier, with Weatherall.

SABRES OF PARADISE

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Whilst club culture exploded in the UK, his DJ counterparts (Oakenfold, Rampling, Tong etc) moved into the new and corporate funded Super-club arena, headed by the likes of Ministry Of Sound. Weatherall on the other hand swam against the tide, preferring to remain underground, where he felt the real passion and energy of the scene lay. In 1993 he left Boy’s Own, to set up Sabres Of Paradise with Jagz Cooner and Gary Burns. The Sabres Of Paradise released two albums Haunted Dancefloor and Sabresonic II on Warp, one of the UK’s most respected and dedicated electronic record labels. The music had mutated into a more dub and techno influenced sound, reflecting Andrew’s love of Dub Reggae and leftfield electronic pioneers of the late eighties. He was quoted as saying that a Prince Tubby dub record sounded similar to a Ritchie Hawtin record in his mind.

The breakthrough track from this period was Smokebelch, but not many people know that the serene melody of this track was taken from an obscure LB Bad tune from seminal New York House label Nu-Groove.

Weatherall continued to lurk in the shadows launching many underground events in London, such as Circulation, Blood Sugar and of course Sabresonic, playing a deeper, relentless type of house and techno found on labels such as Relief, Red Planet, Dance Mania from the US, and Electro from The Hague collective in Holland. He also spawned many dance labels providing an outlet for the flourishing UK techno scene with labels such as Emissions and Sabrettes, which he ran out of a cramped office above a seedy strip club in London’s vice capital, Soho.

TWO LONE SWORDSMEN

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1996 was to be the year he started to collaborate with Keith Tenniswood of Radioactive Man fame, which was to become an enduring studio relationship which still survives now. They released albums on Warp as well as their own Emissions label, including the Throbbing Gristle influenced Double Gone Chapel, an album of post-punk influence, released well before post-punk became in vogue again. As well as the Throbbing Gristle influence the live drums on this album were recorded on a drum kit that used to belong to Jah Wobble, the bass player in John Lydon’s band P.I.L., another great influence in Weatherall’s world.

THE MOUSTACHE

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Andrew’s moustache is modelled on Kaiser Wilhelm, the last German emperor and king of Prussia, whose bellicose policies helped to bring about World War One!

TATTOOS

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One other vivid characteristic of Weatherall’s appearance are his multitude of tattoos. He got his first tattoo done when he was 18, a swallow, which was the final act of of a rebelious childhood, resulting in him being kicked out of his parent’s house.

THE RICARDO VILLALOBOS DEXTER REMIX

Two Lone Swordsmen were asked to remix Ricardo Villalobos’ Dexter track, but never received the musical parts to it. When Andrew asked Villalobos for them, he was told he didn’t have them and should just sample the record! The swordsmen didn’t think this was a good idea, so instead of a remix they created a live reworking of the track.

SINGING

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Not content with DJ’ing, producing and remixing, the last Two Lone Swordsmen album and his latest (and first solo album “A Pox To The Pioneers“) see Andrew singing on some of the tracks. Many people found this surprising, but few of them know that before his DJ’ing career took off he was the lead singer in a band called A Fractured Touch.

NICKNAMES
As a musician Andrew has released music under aliases such as Lino Squares, Lords of Afford, Rude Solo, Klart and Klunk, but in his manor of East London we call him Lord Sabre or just “The Chairman” :)

So there you have it, a few lesser known facts about the legend that is Andrew Weatherall, a dj who still remains fresh and ahead of the pack after 20 years in the game. Check him out this friday, for his Romanian debut at a Chestionabil Joint, Control Club, this friday.

Wikipedia / Discogs / Rotters Golf Club

Posted in art.ist, special guests on November 11th, 2009 by de-dans | 18 Comments

18 Responses to ' Andrew Weatherall '

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  1. on November 12th, 2009 at 12:36

    [...] Ne intersectam, pe 13, la Control. Bine ca vineri nu pica marti si ca nici DJ Boru sau Teengirl Fantasy nu lipsesc din peisagiu, ba chiar il echilibreaza. Logan inchide, pentru toata lumea, cu haules sau cu baules, cum stie el mai bine inca din poze cu mustata bine calibrata pe mijloc, asa cum a povestit, deja, cum sta treaba cu Andrew, pe FreshGoodMinimal. [...]

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