follow us in feedly
The ‘Hypno-Psych Voodoo Groove’ of Golden Teacher

There’s just not enough analog dance music nowadays. And I don’t mean analog as in made on real instrurments. No, if you happen to stumble across a “live” dance act these days, the chances are that more effort has gone into making it sound immaculately tight than making it irresistibly funky or attractively odd.

That’s where Golden Teacher comes in, a new all-live disco-not-disco band, as influenced by Arthur Russell’s tangental looseness as by Giorgio Moroder’s synthesized precision.

Hailing from Glasgow (seemingly the home of all things musically interesting in the UK), Golden Teacher are a super group formed around the nucleus of two other acts, Silk Cut and Ultimate Thrush, who I have blogged about here before. In what is almost a scarily perfect meeting of minds, Golden Teacher has been released on Optimo Music, label of the club night Optimo (Espacio), another act I have mentioned here.

Scary, because no other band I have heard have come closer to representing the Optimo “mentality” (if such a thing exists) of playing absolutely anything as long as it gets the people up and dancing, and for seeing genre not as a boundary but something to be pushed and experimented upon.

More info on Golden Teacher from the Optimo Music website:

Golden Teacher started life as a studio collaboration between Glasgow’s noise punk trio, Ultimate Thrush and Glasgow’s all analogue house duo, Silk Cut. The results of their collaboration turned the ears of all who heard them, not least Twitch who after one listen asked if he could release the project on Optimo Music label.

Recorded live, direct to tape at Glasgow’s legendary Green Door studios with minimal overdubbing and editing, the tracks feature various associates of the band contributing vocals and additional percussion. It’s a little hard to describe Golden Teacher’s sound (always a good thing in our book) but imagine Arthur Russell’s Dinosaur L jamming with Bobby O, K Alexi Shelby, Liaisions Dangereuses, Imagination, some voodoo drummers and Sly & Robbie. It is in our opinion one of the most original and wildest records to come out of anywhere in 2013. We like to call it hypno-psych voodoo groove.

This is one for all the dance-heads who are attracted to the unusual, and all the noise-niks who just like to get down every so often.

Details on where to pick up the limited edition, silk-screened, 5-track debut 12” of Golden Teacher are here, but hurry, there are only 250 copies being pressed.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
100 mins of Adrian Sherwood’s best dub productions

Dub fans and post-punks take note: Glasgow’s Optimo dj team/production unit have just put out another of their excellent podcasts, and this time it’s a whole hundred minutes of the best and most spaced out dub productions by Adrian Sherwood.

According to JD Twitch, who compiled the mix and skillfully blended the tracks together, it “covers music from the years 1979 - 88 and focuses on Adrian Sherwood’s dubwise productions, most of which were released on his ON U Sound label.”

Twitch also interviewed Sherwood after a recent gig in Glasgow, and the dub maestro talks at length about his introduction to reggae and dub music, and to djing, production and running labels:

How old were you when you were working for and running labels, Carib Gems and Hit Run?

I used to go to a reggae club in the town where I lived called the Newlands Club or the Twilight Club. I think Dave Rodigan did his first ever gig there. I was DJing there when I was really young. The owner of the club, a Jamaican guy, was like my dad. He looked after me. My dad had died when I was very young and I had a step-dad but I wasn’t close to him so this guy took me under his wing and I started DJing in there when I was at school, on Saturday afternoons… Then eventually Sunday afternoons and then moved up to doing the early evening stints. I worked there with Emperor Rosco a couple of times and lots of other Radio 1 DJs and Judge Dread, who came down and did a PA in the club. I used to play early evenings before the sound systems. It had been a funk a soul club… Then in around 72 or 73 or something, it was a really, really hot summer and no-one was going to the club for months. The only people going were the reggae fans. It suddenly just turned into this reggae club whereas it had been a lot of soul drinkers prior to 72 or 73… So it went from a group of people who drank a lot and listened to soul to a group of reggae fans who would only want to drink one beer and smoke lots of weed. So it was only a matter of time before the club went bust. I was doing it from the age of 13 – 15, then the club went under. I had became good friends with the owner and his wife so when the club went under the owner, who had previously ran Pama Records, restarted the label and I got a little job doing promotions for them. Then we started our own distribution company out of the Pama office. That pre-dates Jet Star, Jet Star started after we had left. They basically copied the model we had created.

Do you think any of the music on your early labels will ever get re-issued?

There was a bootleg a couple of years ago of a Carol Kalphat record. That was a fucking character! I had to send a message asking not to bootleg any more of my tunes. The real problem with releasing that stuff is that if I start re-issuing it begins to bring people out of the woodwork which isn’t always worth it. I think it’s actually better that they are there and available as collector’s items and that’s it.

If you are new to Sherwood and ON U Sound, then that interview (on the Racket Racket site) is a good place to start, as is this mix. Even if you’re not it’s well worth checking out: just over 100 minutes of non-stop, heavy, psychedelic dub, the perfect soundtrack to an evening in relaxing. Or tripping out.

As usual, Optimo have withheld the tracklist, and have promised to follow up this podcast with another focusing on Sherwood’s more dance-based productions from the late 80s and the 90s. That will be called part one, and here, confusingly, is part two:

   Optimo Podcast 12 - Adrian Sherwood On U Sound mix part 2 (dub) by JD Twitch
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Don’t call it ambient: Optimo Fact 214 Mix

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Don’t call it Ambient: Optimo FACT 214 Mix
05:12 pm



If you enjoyed those slowed down versions of the Jurassic Park theme and Justin Beiber, and I know some of you did, I think you will like this mix by UK ‘s Optimo (Espacio). It’s a lovely, if slightly unsettling collection of beatless and atmospheric tracks, old and new. JD Twitch, one half of the influential Scottish DJ/production duo says:

I’d say this mix is beatless rather than ambient as a definition of ambient is ‘a background music without rhythmic elements’. That applies to some of the selections here but several of the tracks are definitely rhythmic in that they pulse or move forward without the need of a kick drum to propel them.

FACT mix 214 - Optimo (Jan ‘11) by factmag

Odd Machine – Phase In (edit)
Cindytalk – Our Shadow, Remembered
Alvo Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Morning
This Mortal Coil – Song To The Siren (JD Twitch Reversion)
Zoviet France – The Decriminalisation Of Country Music
Sun City Girls – Come Maddalena
Forest Swords – The Light
Oneohtrix Point Never – Young Beidnahga
No Man – Days In The Trees
Tomita – Clair De Lune
Conrad Schnitzler – Ballet Statique
Peter Baumann – This Day
Reichmann – Wunderbar
Duet Emmo – The First Person
Carol – So Low
Zoviet France – Vienna (extract)

This mix is available to download for another two weeks only. The full interview is here.




Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment