Today’s entry is probably nepotism run amuck, but not without merit. I first mentioned my good friend Shockman last year, and how we both worked, some years ago, at a big electronic music rag. Two sarcastic Jews with an almost autistic knowledge of arcane music trivia cooped up in a tiny room 24/7 had all the trappings of a good sitcom.
While during the day Shockman is still the mild mannered but prolific music scribe, he is also known quite well in the Bay Area where he is the Don Gorgon at the crux of where reggae, bass, hiphop and electronic music meet. As a artist/producer he was creating dubstep as far back as 2001 and today still continues to push dub into new electronic frontiers (via the Voltage label). As a DJ he has been known to spin alongside such greats as Andrew Weatherall, Thievery Corporation, Jack Dangers, Fila Brazilia and DJ Z Trip as well as compiled albums for prodigious reggae label SelectCuts. I brought him into the fold for our 4th expecting a straightforward reggae cover versions comp, instead I got the inner wirings of the Shockman; a selector who truly knows how to flex his savvy with an eclectic covers mix of esoteric 80s, dark dub and other Jamaican niceties.
Here is his mix:
VERSIONS GALORE 4TH ANNIVERSARY GUEST MIX N° 7:
And here is what he had to say:
Jerusalem – Mark Stewart (William Blake/Sir Hubert Parry)
UK outer-dub producer Adrian Sherwood helps the Pop Group frontman destroy Parry’s Great War adaptation of mad free-loving mystic’s paen to England.
Kangaroo – This Mortal Coil (Big Star)
4AD supergroup peels the beats out of the Memphis proto-alt band’s dire mash note. “I saw you breathing/I saw you staring out in space”
Tainted Love – Coil (Gloria Jones)
The now-deceased queer-obscura pairing of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and Geff “Jhon Balance” Burton dirges out Marc Bolan’s girlfriend’s Northern Soul classic as part of their debut 12″ EP, the first AIDS benefit music release.
Ring of Fire – Wall of Voodoo (Johnny Cash)
Two years before instant stardom via “Mexican Radio,” the L.A.-based quintet quotes the theme to Our Man Flint during their synthy take on the Man in Black’s ode to June’s ring.
Don’t Look Back – Busty Brown (The Temptations)
Clancy Eccles presages Peter Tosh’s take with Mick Jagger over a decade later by throwing Count Busty in front of the mic. “You can’t run, you can’t hide…”
Let it Be – Soulettes (The Beatles)
Coxone Dodd gets Bob Marley’s girl group to cha-cha their way through a rocksteady take on Paul’s reassuring vision of his Mom.
All You Need is Love – Echo & the Bunnymen (The Beatles)
While they’re at it, Mr. Echo and crew quote Elvis, Dylan, James Brown, and others in their stoney swing Live at Eric’s.
Cease to Exist – Red Cross (Charles Manson)
The McDonald bros of Hawthorne ably glam up Charlie’s tribute to never learning not to love.
Viva La Rock ‘n’ Roll – Savage Republic (Alternative TV)
Tribalist post-punkers take a Dick Dale-inspired crack at ATV’s appreciation of “the city of the dead hero”.
Guns of Brooklyn – Santigold (The Clash)
With the help of golden boy Diplo, our Santi relocalizes the universal Ivan’s struggle. “You know it means no mercy…”
Sound of Silence – Current 93
Finally, Dave Tibet and his spectral crew weave in some herbs and Eliot into their acapella take on the nice boys’ bit of prophesy.
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