01 RADIO PRAGUE
02 RAY STEVENS “Everything Is Beautiful” From Single A Side May 1970
03 RADIOHEAD “I Am A Wicked Child” From Single B Side August 2003
04 THE AVALANCHES “Frontier Psychiatrist” From Single A Side February 2001
05 VELVET UNDERGROUND “Rock And Roll” From Loaded August 1970
06 CHI-LITES “Have You Seen Her?” From Single A Side October 1971
07 SHUGGIE OTIS “Aht Uh Mi Head” From Inspiration Information September 1974
08 MOGWAI “Punk Rock” [Cava Sessions] From Come On Die Young March 1999
09 THE FALL “Frightened” From Live At The Witch Trials January 1979
10 MARK STEWART & THE MAFIA “Liberty City” From Learning To Cope With Cowardice May 1983
11 TRICKY “Hell Is Round The Corner” From Maxinquaye February 1995
12 LUKE HAINES “How To Hate The Working Classes” From Christie Mairy’s Own Double Entry June 2001
13 THE SEA AND CAKE “Sound And Vision” From One Bedroom January 2003 (Non-Exclusive Cover Version)
14 MASSIVE ATTACK “Inertia Creeps” From Mezzanine April 1998
15 THE CONSTRUCTUS CORPORATION “Wakey Wakey” From The Ziggurat June 2002
16 EVERIT HERTER “Boys Were Made For Girls” From Single B Side July 1960
17 EELS “World Of Shit” From Souljacker September 2001
18 LIVING LEGENDS “Moving At The Speed Of Life” From Legendary Music June 2006
19 THE THE “Armageddon Days (Are Here Again)” From Mind Bomb May 1989
20 BJORK “All Is Full Of Love” From Single A Side June 1999
21 ART OF NOISE “Robinson Crusoe” From Below The Waste September 1989
22 MICHAEL FRANTI (DISPOSABLE HEROES OF HIPHOPRISY) “Music And Politics” From Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury March 1992 (Non-Exclusive Spoken Word Piece)
Over a decade ago now, I began compiling a mix CD based on the vivid nightmares I’ve been suffering since I was a little kid. So horrific were they in the mid-eighties, that when all around me were trippin’ the light fantastic, apart from a brief flirtation with the mystic shroom, I steered clear of hallucinogens because what was going on in my head every night was mind blowing enough.
Working on a compilation is a fantastic way to delve deep into your music collection and your inner psyche simultaneously so such a project was supposed to act as some kind of self-help therapy. But as ever, distracted by the minutiae of everyday life, I put it away in a drawer, fully intending to finish it off sooner rather than later. And that’s where it stayed until recently when I was listening to the latest edition of Late Night Tales and it occurred to me that nightmares are the most interesting late night tales of them all so I retrieved it from its hiding place, blew off the cobwebs, and decided to use it as the foundations for my own edition of the fabled series.
Now, just in case you haven’t got the faintest idea of what I’m talking about, what makes the Late Night Tales series so unique is that each of its artist curated compilations are constructed specifically for the wee small hours before sleep. The inclusion of a unique cover version and a spoken word piece to finish off are also compulsory. Similar to the cassettes and CD’s we used to handout to friends as a way of expressing our musical taste in one, easily digestible dose, occasionally Late Night Tales more artful curators do seem intent on demonstrating their admirable breadth of musical knowledge above all else, but hey, that’s the inherent danger of any compilation.
For my own edition, having dusted off my original playlist, once I’d added ‘Punk Rock’ with Iggy Pop telling it like it was, the first half was more or less complete. From then on in, trawling through my proverbial digital archives dominated my every waking moment; hour after hour, adding and deleting, honing and sequencing. I became obsessed with selecting tracks not just because they were important to me but because of how they fitted together, putting as much thought into the changeovers and overall palette of sound as I did the track choice.
My regular touchstones (The Velvets, The Fall, Mark Stewart, Tricky, Bjork) and the music collection curiosities I’d been hoarding for years (‘Everything Is Beautiful’, ‘Have You Seen Her’, ‘Wakey Wakey’, ‘Boys Were Made For Girls’, ’Robinson Crusoe’) picked themselves. In addition, as the one artist who saved me from teenage suburban hell I just had to reference Bowie, although I was reluctant to include the man himself. Thankfully, The Sea And Cake’s sublime take on ‘Sound And Vision’ solved not only that tricky conundrum but also provided the requisite cover version. As for the spoken word piece; that was becoming an almost insurmountable problem until the random shuffle on my iPod struck gold with Michael Franti’s brutally honest ‘Music And Politics’; a track I’d completely forgotten about but one that still resonates even now.
Inevitably, as so often happens when trying to portray such a defined, fairly dark narrative, somewhere along the way I inadvertently strayed into more significant territory, the final mix working just as well as a condensed, mini soundtrack to my life as an audio dream diary. Not so much welcome to my nightmares as welcome to my life; from boy child to middle aged man in 22 tracks and 90 minutes.
A deeply personal, labour of love these Late Night Tales may not be music to nod off to in the traditional, snoozy, chill out sense, but then my late nights have never been that restful.