I was driving past Glasgow Airport the other day, the runway loaded with planes all set to jet off to weather better than we were presently experiencing. I had a flashback to a few years previously, to a time when I’d dropped my in-laws off there when they were going on holiday. On the way home, just as I had left the airport and was about to join the M8, a strange and beautiful coincidence took place.
The iPod, on shuffle, turned up a terrific Weller remix, just as a 737 raked itself into the sky directly above my head. Its skyscraping rumble, combined with the vapour around the engines and coupled with the low setting west of Scotland sun created a spectacular scene, all haze and shimmer and very reminiscent of the TV pictures I remember when Concorde took its first few flights.
Back then, those images were almost always accompanied by the mellow throb of Albatross, it’s faraway bluesy meander the perfect soundtrack to the aeroplane in flight. Here in the 2st century, what I was looking at was accompanied instead by a dubby, spacey, magnificent clatter, all bleeps and whooshes and laden with all manner of shiny studio effects.
The track in question was the Lynch Mob Bonus Beats remix of Kosmos and it was thrilling. Call it corny or whatever, but it was a perfect moment.
Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus Beats)
We have lift off.
Kosmos (SXDUB 2000)
Almost a beatless version to the busy Bonus Beats mix above.
Kosmos (Original album version)
This is a terrific version, the track that brought his first solo LP to a close. D. C. Lee is all over it, competing for space with some tasteful funk guitar.
Those Lynch Mob productions were a staple part of Paul Weller’s releases in the early-mid 90s. And unlike the artist himself, who these days is going for a look akin to Andy Warhol as played by Robert Carlyle, they’ve aged spectacularly well.
I’ve lived with his latest LP, Saturns Pattern (no apostrophe, tsk) since it’s release and to be honest I’m just not really feeling it. To these ears it’s a wee bit flat and one dimensional, trying too hard to be the equal of the last few LPs and spoiled by the odd mockney vocal and what ‘ave ya. In the cold light of day, it’s nowhere near as good as the kaleidoscopic sonic palettes evident on the preceding triptyche.
It has its moments – the angry man squall of White Skies, in itself an Asda priced sanitisation of all his recent best bits, Whole Lotta Love bass lines ‘n all, the chicken scratch Meters-lite Pick It Up and the fuzzy, meandering Phoenix, but while it’s not a bad LP, it’s not one of Weller’s finest. I’m sure, a year or so down the line when he looks back in retrospect, he’ll tell you the same himself.
Console yourself instead with another Lynch Mob-produced spacey remix from 1984.
Eye Of The Storm, b-side of the Peacock Suit single.