It was on Monday 21 September that SWC sent over the e-mail with Part 3 of Burning Badgers Vinyl, with it dropping into the inbox less than 24 hours before the scheduled appearance of a posting of my own in which one of the songs featured. I reckon, if there is an afterlife, that Tim Badger is still chuckling away at all this…..
Over to SWC……
Here is a little known fact. Vanishing Point is Badger’s favourite Primal Scream album. He told me this whilst we were stuck in traffic on the M6 on the way back from a Stoke City football match, which for some reason he’d won tickets for (ghastly game Stoke City lost 1-0 l to his beloved Spurs and to all things a Danny Rose headed goal, it was worth it to watch Badger roaring with unbridled pleasure, surrounded by 2000 seething Stoke Fans, as Spurs scored).
About three years after that afternoon, and about three years ago from today, Tim Badger and his wife attended a function around my house. After everyone had left, Tim thought he would make himself useful and start to unload and reload the dishwasher, whilst the rest of us finished off the wine, rum punch and whatever else we could find.
It was about twenty minutes into that chore, when we heard a bump, a yelped ‘ow’, a muffled swear word, and an almighty crash and the unmistakable sound of breaking china. My daughter was first on the scene.
“Uh Oh” came her voice, slightly louder than it usually is. “That’s daddy mug, he’s going to be cross”. My ears prick up. I have three mugs that I consider to be mine. One is a German Amplemann Mug I picked up in Berlin the morning after a Mogwai concert, the second is my ‘British Tea Power’ mug bought by me from a British Sea Power gig about eight years ago (JC adds…..I’ve also got that particular mug!!!!) and the third, is a cup that I consider to be more important that nearly everything else I own, my Screamadelica mug bought from the 1992 Primal Scream Tour for £8. I cross my fingers and hope it’s the German Mug.
Of course, it’s the Primal Scream mug, anything else wouldn’t make sense given the topic of today’s piece.
When I get to the kitchen Badger is rubbing his leg…”I banged it on the dishwasher, it really hurt, the cup slipped…” his eyes drift to the floor, which is usually a kind of charcoal grey colour, now it’s a mixture of white, red, yellow and dusty china. “…Sorry, mate…” he says and gives me this goofy sort of grin, which makes me want to kick him in the leg even more than I do already, considering there is precisely no evidence of him actually hitting his leg at all.
I am devastated about the cup but my wife, after witnessing me moping about it for about an hour tells me to
“Cheer up you grumpy sod, its only a cup, if it helps the Badgers have invited us around next week and Lorna says you can break Tim’s Lego Deathstar which took him three months to make.”
I make a plan in my head to do exactly this. I never do it though, the Lego Deathstar is frankly a work of art and Tim, regardless of what he had done before, would have disembowelled me with a fork if I even moved once piece of it (it still has pride of place in the middle of the bookcase in the lounge).
All of which fun and games bring me to the point. The second record I pull out of the box was by Primal Scream. In fact the third and fourth records out of the box were also by Primal Scream and all three were immaculately kept 12 inch promo copies of three of the singles from the ‘Vanishing Point’ album. To be precise these three records in fact
If They Move Kill ‘Em
Which kind of backs up the opening paragraph of this piece. ‘Vanishing Point’ is according to Tim a record that is “way more ambitious than Screamadelica” and is a record “that he would definitely rescue from a burning building”. It is, he continues “massively underrated, and blends so many ideas together in this big smouldering pot of noise (dub, blues, Krautrock, indie rock n roll, Big Beat), and it is a record that only Primal Scream could have got anyway with”.
He is sort of right about ‘Vanishing Point’. It is underrated, certainly by me. It represents a time where the band were experimenting both musically and chemically with everything and everyone and the result of that is some incredible music, which, in a roundabout way, brings us to the remixes housed on these 12 inches.
Let’s be a bit like Nas and do this shit in reverse. If They Move, Kill ‘Em is a remix that is so good that the band put a version of it on their next album ‘XTRMNTR’, under a slightly different name ‘MBV Arkestra’. Basically, Kevin Shields takes the strutting wailing menace of the original and replaces it with pure violent noise and its insanely brilliant. It sounds perfect on ‘XTRMNTR’ as well.
The Chemical Brothers Remix of Burning Wheel is kind of what you would expect from late nineties Chemical Brothers. The Brothers replace the hypnotic and slightly psychedelic beats of the original version with massive filthy beats that bounce off the walls full of righteous fury and anger. Again, its insanely brilliant. Especially the bit about five and a half minutes in.
Finally, we come to the Automator Mix of Kowalski which sees this tiny, barely there, bassline simply blend the song together, with a few new samples and a dirty old beats pumping away (if that’s the right word to use!) behind Bobby’s whispery vocals. It’s the weakest of the three remixes but it’s still a marvellous five minutes.