Recovery. A Remix.

Recovery.
Syllabication: re·cov·er·y
Pronunciation: [ri-KUH-vuh-ree]
Part of Speech: noun

Selected Definitions
1. a return to a state of normalcy, in health, mind, strength or other tangible concerns.
“signs of recovery in the housing market”
synonyms: recuperation, convalescence
antonyms: relapse, deterioration

2. the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
“a team of salvage experts to ensure the recovery of family possessions”
synonyms: reclamation, redemption
antonyms: collapse, decline

The next few installments of Jukebox Heart will be concerned with the concept of Recovery. Each of us deals with recovery in one form or another throughout the majority of our lives; in health, wealth, and other things less tangible. Sometimes the process of recovery is so trivial that our bodies do all the work for us and we hardly notice. Other times, this process can be so comprehensive that it consumes all of our resources without any guarantee of success.

We begin this series on Jukebox Heart with selections from the long out of print and now highly sought after anthology aptly entitled “Recovery”. This is a boxed set of ten 7-inch singles, released in 2008 in a limited run of 500 sets on the Fractured Recordings imprint. Twenty artists were commissioned to select a song from the past that had great personal significance to each of them and create an interpretation of that song in the style in which they have built their reputations and repertoires.

Of the twenty sides contained within Recovery, three were chosen for presentation here. The three artists whose sides were selected represent the artists with the most personal significance to me, as I struggle through my own jungle of Recovery…

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Click here for BJ Nilsen

BJ NILSEN RECOVERS JOY DIVISION’S HEART AND SOUL

BJNilsen (b.1975, Sweden) is a sound and recording artist who since the early 90’s has been putting out work in various constellations. His music is primarily focused on the sound of nature and its effect on humans. He employs field recordings, often electronically treated, and in his work explores the perception of time and space as experienced through sound. His selection here is a wildly out of character sucker punch version of Joy Division’s Heart And Soul from which he strips all but the faintest whispers of text and context but recovers the urgency and rage of the original while creating a stomping dancefloor classic.

Selected Discography

(1999) North (Ash International)
(2000) Wood c/w Bridge/Field (Ash International)
(2001) Wind in collaboration with Chris Watson (Ash International)
(2003) Land (Touch)
(2006) “Sov Gott” appears on a split 12″ with Milan Sandbleistift (Licht-Ung)
(2007) The Short Night (Touch)
(2009) Man From Deep River in collaboration with Stilluppsteypa (Editions Mego)
(2010) The Invisible City (Touch)
(2010) Draught #1 cassette (Ash International)

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Click here for Christian Fennesz

CHRISTIAN FENNESZ RECOVERS A-HA’S HUNTING HIGH AND LOW

Austrian guitarist, composer, and electronic musician Christian Fennesz is recognized as a key figure and one of the most distinctive voices of electronic music today. His wide international reputation has been consolidated through his substantial contribution to new musical expression. The emphasis on the guitar texture and the burying of pop melodies under layers of effects are common features of Fennesz’s music. Ultimately, this is something that can be traced to the various Fripp & Eno collaborations of the 1970s; and the early guitar synthesis work of Chuck Hammer who recorded with Lou Reed and David Bowie. Also, the music of the Beach Boys has had an influence on Fennesz, as revealed by his cover of “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)” on the Plays EP. The Beach Boys influence is mentioned in a Pitchforkmedia interview, in relation to the album title, cover art, and melodic emphasis of his Endless Summer LP. His dissecton and recombination of this A-Ha anthem makes perfect sense, then, in the context of this discussion.

Selected Discography:

(1997) Hotel Paral.lel (Mego)
(1999) Plus Forty Seven Degrees 56′ 37″ Minus Sixteen Degrees 51′ 08″ (Touch)
(2001) Endless Summer (Mego)
(2004) Venice (Touch)
(2008) Black Sea (Touch)
(2010) Szampler (Tapeworm)
(2014) “Bécs” (Editions Mego)

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Click here for Ryoji Ikeda

RYOJI IKEDA RECOVERS AC/DC’S BACK IN BLACK

Ryoji Ikeda is a Japanese sound artist who lives and works in Paris. Ikeda’s music is concerned primarily with sound in a variety of “raw” states, such as sine tones and noise, often using frequencies at the edges of the range of human hearing. The conclusion of his album +/- features just such a tone; of it, Ikeda says “a high frequency sound is used that the listener becomes aware of only upon its disappearance” (from the CD booklet). Rhythmically, Ikeda’s music is highly imaginative, exploiting beat patterns and, at times, using a variety of discrete tones and noise to create the semblance of a drum machine. His work also encroaches on the world of ambient music; many tracks on his albums are concerned with slowly evolving soundscapes, with little or no sense of pulse.

Selected Discography:

(1997) +/- (Touch)
(1998) 0°C (Touch)
(1999) 99 [for 20′ to 2000] (Raster-Noton)
(2001} Cyclo. (with Carsten Nicolai; Raster-Noton)
(2010) Dataphonics (Dis Voir)
(2013) Supercodex (Raster-Noton)

Disco Sucks!: Hosanna

Some 35 years later, this one-hit wonder has become somewhat of an elusive mystery. Sure, it’s not hard to find…eBay usually has a copy up for five bucks. But inernet searches yield precious little information on this gem.

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Even when this came out, it was pretty difficult to obtain. I just remember one of my friends saying they saw it at the local disco record shop in Brooklyn (Wiz!) so I ran and grabbed a copy. They used to play it at the 2001 Odyssey. So much so that this *should* have been part of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Damn those Bee Gees!! Anyway, that’s all I can tell you about this. :) Feel free to add comments if you can give us some more info…

The label, Calla Records, on the other hand, is legend. Calla was a small, New York City-based independent black owned Soul record label run by Nate McCalla and active c. 1965 to 1977. It defined New York soul in the sixties, and artists who recorded for the label included J.J. Jackson, The Sand Pebbles, Little Jerry Williams (aka Swamp Dogg), Jean Wells, The Emotions, The Fuzz, Lonnie Youngblood, The Persuaders, and Geraldine Hunt among others. Part of Roulette Records, they were distributed by Shakat Records, then later by CBS.

Disco Sucks! Another new Jukebox Heart thing…

“Disco Sucks!” That was the secondary slogan of the streets. It was the common battle cry of my old Brooklyn neighborhood, a cry which separated all of us into a new generation of Sharks and Jets. Mods and Rockers. Us. Them. Just how long would it be till we were ordinary men? Disco at first seemed one possible alternative to bourgeois corporate rock, despite the fact that there were plenty of arcane options yet to be discovered. Disco was easy and ubiquitous, and until punk came along and changed everything, Disco reigned supreme.

And while disco marched on long after my interests were captivated elsewhere, it was certainly a plastic-fantastic couple of years. This new category on Jukebox Heart celebrates disco, as seen through the eyes of a 16 year old. You either loved it or hated it, there was no room for ambiguity, and certainly no room for overlap. The fence was a veritable continental divide…

So we start off with a legendary Disco 12″ 45 – the genre introduced the format – from 1976. Ja Kki, aka Johnny Melfi, and “Sun… Sun… Sun…”

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This track is famous for it’s cut-up mixes…snippets that seemed destined for b-sides of 45s or foreign presses. The segment segues can only be described in modern terms as “train wrecks” but for some reason, they worked together and provided a compelling listen that drew people to the dancefloor in droves. Johnny Melfi also wrote other disco-era hits such as Cameo’s “Find My Way”.

Screamer of the Day: Crown Heights Affair

Crown Heights Affair – Dreaming A Dream
(DeLite Records LP, 1975)

Jukebox Heart #13 is in the works, and the usual delays in getting it done are all at play. That’s the beauty of these Daily Screamers – I can keep you whetting your appetite until I’m ready for a new edition of Jukebox Heart.

While you are waiting, I thought I’d tell one of my favorite record collecting stories. It’s nothing particularly rare, but it’s one of those weird things that all collectors have with particular songs that keep crossing their paths with a weird kind of karma. For me, one of them is The Crown Heights Affair’s “Dreaming A Dream”. The next phase occurred this week.

I instantly fell in love with this record’s title track the moment I heard it the first time. But I’m specifically talking about the vocal track. I was 14 years old, and it was months before the more familiar instrumental track took the disco scene by storm and became a classic of the era. New York City’s WBLS was playing the vocal track exclusively, and none of the local record shops in my Brooklyn ‘hood were carrying it yet. So I got on the subway and rode all the way up to the 125th Street BMT station to get out and find a record store that had it. Bravery? Some would say naivete, but when I walked into the store and stopped the conversation dead as all eyes fell on this goofy fat white boy who obviously was far away from his Kansas home I knew I was way out of my league. All it took for me to break the ice was to ask for “Dreaming A Dream” and the smiles began to crack one by one and the clerk threw a copy down on the store’s sound system. I could go into a whole theory of how a young kid confronted two-way racism and used music to overcome it and set the standard for his entire life, but I’ve already expounded more on it than is necessary. It *was* a defining moment, however.

Anyway, so the story goes on. I got the record home and shared it with my friends. Two other friends, Sal and Manny, were in this band, also loved the song and got wind of the fact that I scored a copy. They ask to borrow it to learn the song for their band, and I loaned it to them. I never got it back. Eventually, I replaced it with a 45 of Dreaming A Dream, with the vocal track on one side and the more familiar instrumental on the other. By then, “Every Beat of My Heart” was getting some attention as well.

Years later, I tried to paly the 45 and it was so worn out from my horrible old Gerrard that my newer better turntable couldn’t even track the grooves. Gone were the days of taping a couple of quarters to the tonearm…

So, I located another copy of the LP. I get it home, and it has these hidden defects in the grooves that make it skip all over the place. Shit. Every copy I’d come across since had similar issues.

This week, I found a copy of a CD reissue of the album. I literally jumped when I found it, and I couldn’t wait to get into the truck to pop it in and hear my treasured vocal version.

WTF? First, the CD has additional tracks not on the original LP, a remix of Foxy Lady replaces the original version, the songs are in a different order, and the vocal version of Dreaming A Dream is different. I don’t know if the CD version of Dreaming A Dream was the original and edited down for the LP or what, but it has an extra verse, an extra chorus and the order of all the vocal pieces is different. Shit.

But with the miracle of Audacity and a couple of hours of labor, I’ve yielded a couple of interesting things.

I’ve always wished for an extended version of Dreaming A Dream, combining both Vocal and instrumental versions. Done.

I restored the vocal version to the version found on the LP.

So, I included all the tracks here for your Obsessive Compulsive enjoyment.

Dreaming A Dream – Jukebox Heart extended mix 2008

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Dreaming A Dream – CD version

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Dreaming A Dream – Jukebox Heart 45 mix

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Dreaming A Dream – Disco Hit!

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Evetry Beat of My Heart

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