Never Ending Playlist – #35

So Few Words – Archive (1996, Island Records)

‘So Few Words’ was the second single to be released by the London based trip hop and electronica act Archive.  I know very little about Archive, and this is only the song of theirs that I physically own.   It is all sorts of brilliant as well, six minutes of fat old beats, gorgeous vocals and a sneeringly excellent rap.

 Wikipedia tells me that they are still going after 25 years and have adapted their music more recently to adopt a more progressive rock and avant garde slant.   They have now released 12 albums.  I haven’t heard any of the last 11, largely because the Wikipedia told me that the music might contain progressive, avant garde rock.

Back when ‘So Few Words’ was released, Archive were essentially a four piece, containing Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths who did most of the music.  They recruited the Iranian singer Roya Arab as vocalist, and its her vocals you can hear wonderfully drifting through ‘So Few Words’.  What makes ‘So Few Words’ so brilliant is the rap by a chap called Rosko John, who I can find very little about on the Internet or indeed anywhere else, which is a shame because his rapping is marvellous.

‘So Few Words’ featured on the bands debut album, ‘Londinium’, the band split up before it was recorded, then they reformed, made the album and then split up almost straight after it was released.  Keeler and Griffiths then reformed the band in 1997, with a more melodic approach – and a different female vocalist.

‘Londinium’ was excellent and it contained some pretty cools samples as well like here, which samples Underworld, which is kind of like the gamekeepers turning poacher.

Skyscraper – Archive (1996, Island Records)

Mmm Skyscraper…..I Love You – Underworld (1993, Junior Boys Own Records)

The Never Ending Playlist – Week #5

25. Shudder/King of Snake – Underworld (1999, Junior Boys Own, Taken from ‘Beaucoup Fish’)

How are we all with snakes?  I know a few people who can’t even look at a picture of a snake without shrieking and hiding their eyes.  I remember a young lad at work showing people his holiday snaps of his time in Thailand and a woman literally yelling in horror as a picture of him with a massive snake around his neck appeared.

At a village fayre a few years ago there was a reptile show and I whilst I was sitting down and minding my own business, the owner of the reptiles stuck about four or five baby snakes shoved around my neck, like some sort of reptilian necklace.  I mean obviously they were all harmless but it still made me freeze, scared to move in case one bit me or swallowed me whole and then the whole lot went on to take over the world.  They were cold and I can still remember  them lightly constricting around my neck and shoulders. I wasn’t really comfortable but then I looked across at my daughter, who thought it was the funniest thing ever, but she also had a look of pride in her eyes. 

Anyway…Enough reptile fun…Let’s talk about ‘King of Snake’ the second single from Underworlds third long player ‘Beaucoup Fish’- which is as it happens, much more fun that having baby snakes thrown around your neck by a crap Terry Nutkins wannabe (ask your grandparents, kids).

In ‘King of Snake’, Underworld basically take a stolen bass loop (from ‘I Feel Love’ as it happens), force feeds it some incredibly strong drugs and then record what happens – the result predictably is utter bedlam.  It is a shrieking snarling beast of a record.  The vocals are as you expect from Underworld, random words cobbled together, “Game Boy!”, “Tom and Jerry!” and various other things.  Its superb.

There are a plethora of mixes of King of Snake’ out there, none are quite as good as the original but to save you the hassle I’ve picked two out – the first is the Dave Clarke Mix which will appeal to those of you who ‘love a filter’.

Dave Clarke Mix

The second one is the techno tastic Slam Mix – who,  to bring this piece full circle, must be scared of snakes because their version knocks seven shades out of the original before running off an hiding as the original comes blaring back into view.  Astonishing.

Slam Mix