Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Our live radio gig: Listen, details & tech stuff

When presented with the opportunity to fill a two hour slot on the radio, we thought it would be a straight-forward task in terms of setting it up and performing, and to a certain extent it was. 

We had not done an entirely digital gig since the early 1990s, and back then we did it using 2 Alesis MMT8 sequencers, the Roland R8 drum machine and a Roland D110 synth plus some effects. This was entirely different. 
The Alesis MMT-8 Sequencer

I came up with five alternative methods of working with Ableton Live that we could use for the show, some were more complex and demanding, and some were basic and simple. We decided that simplicity should be at the core of the performance along with the ability to improvise, so our final choice of performance method lay somewhere in the middle.

We decided on two 40 minute sets (the rest of the available time on the show would be filled with DJing). The sets would be a selection of our best tracks along with some new material. Each set would be constructed in such a way that we would be able to manipulate the tracks as they played. Both of us would be able to add dubs to the channels we controlled and we would also be able to mute or delete things, and/or add new parts and sounds on the fly. This would give the set the live feel that we felt was essential and would provide a decent representation of the way that we create and improvise.

The way it would run would be very similar to the way that we generate new jams, with two laptops running Ableton hooked up wirelessly using the Mac's Airport ethernet connectivity. The analogue outputs from each Mac could then be sent to a mixing desk and then on to the computer running the radio station software.

All I needed to do to prepare things was take the Ableton project files from each track's final mix and divide it up into two, one for Andi and one for myself. Simple.

Not! Once I started this process it got instantly more complex. Once we had agreed upon the two set lists I decided to build each set by starting with the introduction and adding each song one by one. It soon became evident that things would not work out as simply as we had hoped. Each song had a unique build, which meant that there were few common elements across each set, so how to link the songs together for performance?

I decided that I should be thinking as though I were working with a live band at a live venue. I needed similar restrictions instead of the infinite possibilities of the digital realm. Often, when doing front-of-house engineering for live bands you have to compromise to meet the technical restrictions of the venue. There are only so many channels on a mixing desk, and only so much outboard equipment.

In our digital set-up, we have a huge amount of channels available (more than any hardware mixing desk), but to have every single one of the instruments, loops and samples that we used in each song on its own unique channel with its own unique processing would create a vast and unmanageable project. So, the idea of working more like a live band arose to simplify things and create a project we could realistically operate live.

I built a channel list, much like one that would be derived at a live venue, with a drum kit broken down into its separate elements (bass drum, snare, hat, toms, cymbals; the only difference with us is that we often use two or three bass drums, two snares and two hats, no toms and plenty of percussion), bass, guitar, synths and so on. Then there were channels for samples, field recordings and loops. Instruments and sounds would be put into the channel that nearest suited them.

For the live performance we would be working with the Korg NanoKontrol units again, so it made sense to try and build the two sets with around 8 channels for each of us, then we would have a direct correlation with the software and hardware, as well as keeping things relatively simple. The last thing you want at a gig is to have hundreds of settings and parameters to remember. Too many and things will definitely go wrong at some point.

Simon's Arrangement page 1:
(click to see larger)

Another issue was that Andi works with Ableton using a completely different method to me. I tend to line up a series of tracks (say, bass, drums, synth) left to right across the screen and process each channel with effects independently. Andi tends to pile up samples in one channel and send them through effects, then another group in another channel, so that different sounds get processed dependent on which track he hurls them at. We both use effects on the returns too (usually an echo and a reverb).

When I divided the sets into two (one for each of us) the two different working methods meant that I had a lot more channels than Andi, and Andi's effects could not be loaded in the same way for the set as he had for each song. The same was true for a lot of my channels. This is where the compromise began.

Andi's Arrange page 1:
(click to see larger)

For each track of each song I decided what its essential "movement" might be for the live aspect of the gig. What I mean here is that I might choose a filter's frequency parameter as the one that would be manipulated live across that channel for that song (and possibly for the duration of the set). There would be far too many to cope with otherwise. So, after that decision was made for each channel on each song, I would then export each track (or parts of it) as an audio file (with the other non-live effects included), then import that file back into Ableton and add the "live" effect to it's own channel. One or two effects were automated so that they would switch themselves on and off at the right time for specific tasks in a track, but nearly all of the essential (and most audible) effects were operated live.
FX notes

After a while of building the sets in this way a pattern began to emerge which enabled me to make a decision as to which effects would suit each channel for the entire set. I set up Andi's channels in a similar way, but left him to make his own decisions regarding effects choices.

Doing things this way also helped to reduce the load on each laptop's CPU during the performance, which was also an important aspect for us (my laptop is an aging Mac PPC iBook G4). The downside of this was that each song generated quite a number of these audio files, and very soon I began to realise I was eating hard drive space at an alarming rate, so each file was painstakingly converted to mp3.

Ableton Export: note Analysis button
If you decide to work this way, I can offer you an important tip here. Ableton likes small bits of audio (i.e. loops), but does not cope so well with large audio files, so when you export files for re-importing make sure that you export them with an "analysis" file too, because (as I found out to my cost) if you import a long audio file into your tune without the analysis file Ableton will make a stab at getting it in time with your song, but it will most likely make mistakes. What happens is that you get sections of your file unexpectedly time-stretched. Sometimes this can sound good (and I did leave one or two in, check out Brian's voice in "Brian"), but mostly it just sounds wrong. You can end up with large sections of your tracks being way out of time. If the analysis file is there, this problem does not arise.

After all the new files were in place, I then used the "crop" facility to get rid of any silent space on the audio files to further save hard drive space (or so I thought) and to help our ability to "read" the arrangement as it progressed through the set. We would be able to see where parts dropped in an out of the tunes.

The trouble with the hard drive space-saving idea was that although Ableton does get rid of the silent sections, it does it by creating a new WAV file. Arg! It did not know this until I began this method, so all the painstaking mp3 conversions were a  complete waste of time!

Eventually I had it all sorted. A Live set each for both performances. I had overlapped each song and created a tempo map so that as we went from song to song it would sound like it was being mixed like a DJ, but (different to DJ mixing) we could overlap a channel at a time (i.e. decide to have the bass part enter before anything else if we wanted, then a synth and so on) which meant far more creativity in the mix. We could improvise all the way through by using mute controls to silence parts (and enhance others) and use effects to twist and mutate things on the fly. Andi even decided to drop in loops as we played.

We did two rehearsals before the radio gig itself, and things went fine. The idea had worked. The computers coped fairly well, except for at one point losing time with each other (this led me to think that I should not totally trust Airport for sync purposes, it's reliability seems to change depending on where you are working. Connecting using an ethernet cable is probably safer).

We both set up our NanoKontrollers to do things the way we wanted. The faders and knobs controlled effects parameters, buttons controlled effects on and off and channel mutes. If we needed to operate other controls we just went for the trackpad on our laptops. I covered my controller in stickers so I could remember what did what.

NanoKontrol: stickered

I had decided to steer away from any live level alterations. This is where there is a real difference to a live gig. In the gig situation what you here from the PA system is what most of your audience is hearing, so you can make alterations with confidence. In our situation you are closer to mixing in the recording studio. Your audience will be listening on their own speakers or headphones wherever they are, so your mix levels have to be as near to perfect as you can get. I balanced all the levels on my studio monitors as best as I could beforehand, knowing that there would be some shift because of the live treatments we would apply, but hoping to contain any wild leaps in volume (that might be a caused by improvisation and effects) with limiting and compression set in strategic places. I did at times alter levels in the mix, but I knew this should be done with extreme caution, especially as we would be performing on monitors we had not heard before, so it would be impossible to judge frequencies (and therefore levels) correctly. We had to trust the monitor mix I had set up previously on the studio monitors I knew.

In the end it worked as well as we could have hoped for. It definitely felt like a true live performance, and technically there were no major faults. We had great fun. Cash and the children were filming with video cameras and moving lights about, David and Fred Aylwood turned up (old friends from the 1990s - David was in Baby Trio and used to play percussion sometimes with Best Foot Forward, now plays in "Blurt"; Fred performed as "Les" in Vic Reeves' Big Night Out) and gave us a positive boost. 

It turned out that there was a web cam there when we performed, so our audience got a slow lo-res view of us doing our thing. Not much to see though, two blokes twiddling knobs is not the greatest visual entertainment. We wrote things on bits of paper and held them up to try and liven it up a bit, but in future we must improve that side. Really we were too busy doing our musical thing, we need others to help with the visuals. We have been preparing some video, and hopefully we will have some VJ activity for the future. Any offers of help would be most welcome, so please drop us a line if you are interested or know someone who is.

The weirdest part was the silence afterwards. Normally when you do a live performance you get audience feedback. This was very different. There were one or two positive comments that came through on the live text thing on the radio station, and both of us received a couple of texts to our mobiles, but that was it. Silence. We have no real idea of how it all went down, or even if many people tuned in. Very strange. We felt it went well, and I suppose we have to cling to that.

We had ideas for the DJ side too. Originally we were going to play all home-made stuff, some of it going back some time, but I did not have the time to prepare alongside preparing everything else.

Another idea was to play music that reflected our influences or related to what we did as X-Amount somehow. We also needed to please the show's regular listeners, so another compromise was met. I played some recent electronic stuff, one home-made ("Spdaz", one of the Dazman's creations on the "Nicky's House" album of 2010) and some older tunes. "Rema Rema", one of Andi's favourites from the post-punk early 1980's. "Rema Rema" was put together by and featured Marco Pirroni, who went on to form Adam and the Ants. The Pop Group's "Thief Of Fire" from the brilliant "Y" album.

Mark Stewart

Andi and I are both long-time fans of Mark Stewart's work, you can see the influence of mad dub too (done here by genius Dennis Bovell). Can's "Vitamin C". Andi played me this and I have been hooked ever since, thanks to him and the Dazman. The first track in the mix is Four Tet's remix of Rocketnumbernine, and I discovered this through seeing this uplifting video:

With that, I leave you until next time. Many thanks for reading, I hope this was of some interest or use. Please e-mail us or leave a comment (you can do this anonymously if you prefer). We would appreciate some feedback.

Many thanks

Simon x

Monday, 30 January 2012

Download X-Amount live

Hello People. 

For those of you who missed it, and for those of you that would like to listen again, here is link to download and play the recording of last week's live 2 hour show we did on NakedBeatz.com:

We did two 40 minute live sets and a little DJing. 

We will also post the live sets shortly on MixCloud.

Thanks for listening

S & A

Thursday, 19 January 2012

X-Amount Live Gig on NakedBeatz - Jan 26th

We are very excited to be playing live on an internet radio station next week. We will be taking over NakedBeatz.com for 2 hours next Thursday January 26th from 8pm to 10pm (GMT).

We will play 2 live sets and also play some records. Don't miss it!

(Many thanks to Mr.Bloor).

Thursday, 12 January 2012

New track: I Told You Not To Eat That

X-Amount - I Told You Not To Eat That by X-Amt

The first new track from X-Amount this year. It's called "I Told You Not To Eat That" and, as usual, it's a free download.

This will be the first in a series of free tracks we will release in the next coming weeks.

The track is an edited version of an instrumental jam we had at Andi's place. The original was fifteen minutes long. I have cut it down to six, and only did some minor adjustments to complete it as it is now.

We did the usual thing, I had prepared some musical loops in Logic, and then we improvised some tracks using the loops and some field recordings in Ableton.

This time though we had some new bits of kit to try out. We had both bought the very cheap Korg NanoKontrol 2, which gave us a series of knobs and faders that we could assign to various digital controls in Ableton.

The Korg NanoKontrol 2

This is why the track ended up so heavy on the dubs. It was great fun. We set things up so that we had knobs on the NanoKontrol set to control delays, reverbs, filters and so on in Ableton. It was easier to fade tracks in and out using real faders (rather than fiddle with the cursor on screen). It was quite liberating and not only sped the workflow up but also enabled us to do things that we could not do before, controlling several parameters at once.

It meant that it freed up more space for creativity than having us bogged down in setting up (having said that, did have to spend a little time preparing first, choosing parameters for the jams and getting it all to work properly). This "freedom to create" is an Apple ethic, and one I firmly support.

In the days that Andi and I put together the tracks that became "Some Previous" and "Leakage" in the 1990s, it would take us hours, or sometimes days just to get the sounds set up. Programming samplers, synths with no memory, cabling everything together via hardware effects (that would sometimes need programming) into mixers, then programming beat-by-beat into an ancient version of  Cubase on the Atari STe and eventually (after having to rehearse the mix several times) recording it all to yet another device.

1990s X-Amount gear
Nowadays you are up and running in minutes or even seconds. Mind you, we hit some problems and found some of Ableton's shortcomings.

Any movement you make on the NanoKontrol (such as a knob, fader movement or button press) can be recorded by Ableton, or so we thought. It turns out that this is not the case with the solo buttons. We had jammed three tracks before we realised this, and Andi had gone to town with the solo buttons creating fantastic shocks and jolts in the arrangement whilst I caused mayhem with delays.

It all became apparent on playback. No recorded solo buttons. Furthermore, we found that there is no way to set this up either. We have since experimented with using one button to create multiple mutes, but have not managed to get this working successfully yet. Ideas anyone?

What it meant for the mix, is that I had to play the fifteen minute jam and sit with a notebook, writing down all Andi's solo movements and then programming them back in on the mute buttons in Ableton. Tedious.

Anyway, I think that the end result was worth the hassle. We hope you like it. Let us know what you think.. plus, if anyone has any ideas regarding the non-automated solo buttons in Ableton, please let us know. We love your comments!

Simon x


PS: The artwork photo at the top of the page is one in a series of scaffolding pictures by Andi.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Funky! The original 2001 mix: track by track

1: Orac Switch On / Orac Working / Orac Switch Off - Richard Yeoman Clark & Elizabeth Parker
This track is from "BBC Sound Effects Number 26 - Sci-Fi Sound Effects" and is by the Radiophonic Workshop. I had used this vinyl LP in my DJ sets since I had first began back at Ravensbourne Art College in the 1980's. Orac of course was the ship's computer thing on Blake's Seven. I thought he was an annoying little git with a condescending tone, but I always liked the noises he made.

2: Shirts - The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
The Bonzo's have always been and always will be a great source of entertainment. Viv Stanshall was one of the truly great British eccentrics. Check out his masterpiece "Sir Henry At Rawlinson End", either on the 1978 LP or the 1980 film.

Viv Stanshall
"Shirts" (its only Viv Stanshall's "interview" intro included here) comes from the third Bonzo's LP "Tadpoles" and was included as a reference to the fact that whenever performing I would always wear patterned shirts (Andi had had these beautiful shirts hand-made in Indonesia and on giving me one said "whenever you go to a crowded bar wearing one of these, you will always be served first", it worked too). One of the shirts also forms the artwork (I took one down to the local print shop and photocopied it).

3. The Mysterons Theme - The Barry Gray Orchestra
I love this tune. I have a copy of the 10" LP "No Strings Attached", which contains most of the best themes from Gerry Anderson's puppet TV programmes (so, no "UFO" theme, which is one my all-time favourites, but you do get Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, Aqua Marina and Stringray). I used to open every set with the Mysterons (usually there was no-one there).
4. It Ain’t No Fun To Me - Graham Central Station
This is where the funk begins. And this is serious funk. Larry Graham is simply one of the best and most inspirational bass players walking the planet. He was the original bass player for Sly & The Family Stone, and after leaving them he formed Graham Central Station. In recent times he has been playing with Prince (and you go to go some to be part of that band). His distinctive "thumpin' and pluckin' " (as he calls it)technique gave him the credit of inventing slap bass, but who cares about that when you here the funk and soul he generates. Powerful stuff indeed. This track is from the first Graham Central Station album which also includes the brilliant (and hilarious) track "Hair", which obviously appeals to me as a long-haired git. Look out for Graham Central Station gigs as the great man is still touring today with the re-formed band (he is scheduled to play the UK on April 4th 2012).
5. Sweet Sweetback’s Theme - Earth, Wind & Fire
Very early Earth, Wind & Fire. Before they became more famous with hits like "Boogie Wonderland", "September" & "Fantasy" and started dressing like Egyptian weirdos they were a fierce funk band. Actually, the funk is still there in there in the later hits, the long version of "Boogie Wonderland" is quite a work-out, and I played it many times to packed clubs. This track comes from a soundtrack album that they did in 1971. For more great early Earth, Wind & Fire, try "Moment Of Truth" and "C'mon Children" from their first LP.
6. It’s Alright Now - Eddie Harris
Another favourite, I discovered this track on the Mastercuts "Classic Funk Vol 2" album I got back in 1993. As an intro to decent funk, this album (and the Volume one) is not a bad place to start. Many, many good tracks. This track has great handclaps! I have really got into funky songs with great hand clapping, and sometimes will play several in a row, just to get people hand clapping! Apart from the claps, this is still a lovely slice of funk, with a gorgeous laid-back sexy feel, guitars intertwining with bass and Fender Rhodes. Perfect. "I heard that!".
7. Soul Power ‘74 - Maceo & The Macks
An indisputable funk classic, Soul Power '74 is an instrumental version of James Brown's "Soul Power", with horns by Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker overdubbed onto the original backing track with some other "samples" added to the mix, suggesting some of the political interests of the band (that's Martin Luther King I believe). This track not only pioneers early sampling, but has been sampled many times itself in hip-hop. I have always wondered too, what is that moaning in the background in parts of the track?
8. Dynomite - Bazuka
I don't know much about this track, other than it was the best selling track for A&M records in 1975 and stayed in the Billboard charts for two months. I found it on another compilation LP, and the first time I heard it I thought, "they're gonna love this one!". It's a daft bit of funk with hints of 1970's disco. 
9. Get Up, I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine - James Brown
OK, you all know this one. This is here partly because I wanted something on the mix that everyone would know (audiences always like something familiar after a while) and partly to kick the next track's arse. If you need a first album by James Brown then go for "Soul Classics Vol. 1". It is simply one of the great albums of all time.
10. Pick Up The Pieces - The Average White Band
James Brown hated the Average White Band. I think their name may have kicked it all off in the first place, but he also felt that they were ripping him off. Compare "Pick Up The Pieces" to "Pass The Peas" for example, or The AWB's "Cut The Cake" to "Gimme Some More".  And they were not doing it that well either. I have to sympathise with Mr.Brown. A Scottish funk band? It just doesn't quite cut it does it? I think you can hear it in the music too. Despite the fact that this was a great pop moment back in 1975, (I can remember hearing it whilst washing my Dad's car, and I had not noticed funk before, so I can at least thank them for that), and it is still a great dance track, yet if you look a little more closely, there are some weird musical moments that I suspect may not have come from a band with the funk might of the JBs. Count your way out of the guitar break and and you get lost. Where is the all important "1"? They do not have it. They must have been conducted to come back in like that.

Its no wonder James Brown was peeved. He certainly wasn't getting the distribution and airplay that the AWB were getting from being signed (with Eric Clapton's help) to Atlantic records. James Brown even formed a band called "The Above Average Black Band" and put out a track called "Pick Up The Pieces One By One", which was an overdubbed version of "Hot Pants Road", which in itself bears a striking resemblance to the AWB, but recorded four years prior to "Pick Up The Pieces".

11. I Know You Got Soul - Bobby Byrd
So following that familiar (but luke-warm) funk of the AWB, its back to the real thing with another indisputable funk masterpiece in "I Know You Got Soul". Produced by James Brown (you can hear him on backing vocals) Bobby Byrd is backed by the magnificent JBs. This is the funk. That drum beat, that guitar riff, that bassline and that voice. Those horns.. "Fred Wesley won't you blow one time", and how he does. The JBs horn arrangements are perfect every time. What a band. Bobby knows we got soul "if you didn't, the beat wouldn't move you". I say yeah.
12. Low Rider - War
Another familiar track, this time from War. I am not sure where I first heard this, probably on the radio in the 1970s, but I can also remember it in the Cheech & Chong film "Up In Smoke". It's got a great groove, mixing up elements of funk with latin styles, and that great low, low vocal. I had this on a battered 7" that I picked up in a charity shop, you can hear the crackles.
13. Got To Get Your Own - Rueben Wilson
A track I have played in many many DJ sets since I discovered it on a Charly Records compilation in the early 1990s. I since bought the Rueben Wilson and the Cost Of Living" album, which has this track on it and the hilarious "Stoned Out Of My Mind". Another fantastic groove, this time supported by Rueben Wilson's superb Hammond Organ playing. I said earlier that I loved a good hand clap, well I also am a sucker for great Hammond, and this is a prime example. After that sax solo, he soars. Also, in line with many great funk and soul tracks, we have lyrics that really hit home and make you feel like you are part of the song. You can dance to this and all those troubles that you identify with are lifted away. "Got to get your own, 'cos they sure aren't gonna give you none". Do it!
David Axelrod
14. Mucho Chupar - David Axelrod
I explored David Axelrod after his name just kept coming up in record searches and recommendations, I think it must have been about the time he started releasing his work again in 1993 after a ten year break. His work has been sampled many times by the likes of DJ Shadow and others, and it is no wonder why when you listen to his work. He was a pioneering producer and arranger (you can hear it on this track), and one of those genius types who never quite fall in with fashion, so remain on the outside of things until people finally (if you're lucky) 'get it'. Like the previous Rueben Wilson track, this has got fantastic keyboards driving it along. And what is that bass? Is it a keyboard bass? Possibly. I love the "eeee" vocals, something deliciously 1970s about them. This comes from Axelrod's 1974 album "Heavy Axe".
15. Got To Give It Up (part 1) - Marvin Gaye
"Got To Give It Up" is Marvin Gaye reluctantly relenting to disco. It was a huge hit when it came out in 1976 and is regarded as a hugely influential track, influencing, among others, Michael Jackson (check "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough"). It's another lovely track to dance to, and more than a bit bonkers. The vocal is most of the track, with the keyboard synth bass kind of meandering about behind it, and besides percussion, thats about all there is. Brilliant.
16. Give Me Some - L.A. Boppers
Another obscure track that I discovered on a Mastercuts compilation, this time "Rare Groove Vol. 2". This band didn't do to well commercially, by the accounts I have read, but this track clearly shows what accomplished musicians were in the band. Fantastic arrangements of wobbling bass and guitars mixing with horns and keys. Early 1980s funk that still sounds good to me, where most attempts from that time fail horribly. The funk survives.

17. Funky Granny - Kool & The Gang
Back to the 1970's and Kool & The Gang. Like Earth, Wind and Fire, Kool & The Gang were a great funk band before commercial success. This daft track comes from the brilliant 1972 album "Music Is The Message", which contains more great funk in "Soul Vibrations", "Love The Life You Live" and "Electric Frog". This track, although very silly (its about an old lady wearing yellow hot pants and purple boots who claims to be the "funky granny"), has a serious funk workout behind it. Its a raw recording, but it works. Lo-fi funk.

After a hefty party at the club, people would often pile back to my place to continue, and one night we played this track over and over. The next day, my neighbour knocked on the door to complain. I felt dreadful, she looked about 80 years old. I apologised profusely. "Thats all very well" she said, "but its not me you should be apologising to, its my mother". I felt even worse. She continued "come and see this". I went inside and she showed me where her Mum slept. Of course she was too old to be able to climb the stairs, so she slept on the ground floor. Where her head lay was next to the wall, exactly in the spot between my speakers on the other side of the wall. Of all the tracks I could have tortured her with, it was this one.
18. Burning Spear - S.O.U.L.
Something more laid back. I told you I was a sucker for handclaps, and for Hammond. Well, I am also a sucker for a funky flute, and this is as good as it gets. It even breaks down to just the flute and drums. And those drums are SO funky. Instrumental funk genius from a great 1971 LP with a great cover photo called "What Is It". S.O.U.L stands for "Sounds Of Unity and Love". Peace, brothers and sisters.
The J.B.'s
19. Blessed Blackness - The JBs
The best way to finish a funk set has to be with the best band of them all, the JBs. This is a mellow jam, and although not full-on funk, its a thing of great beauty to wind things down. And there's more flute! It reminds me a bit of childhood days in the summer holidays, Sesame Street, Casper comics and Zoom ice lollies. Superb drumming on this (check him out at the end, jazzing it up), and once again a brilliant arrangement. From the LP "Food For Thought", which also has "Pass The Peas" and "Gimme Some More".
20. Delta F - F.C.Judd
OK, some daft stuff to get you to leave the building now. This track is from a 7" EP entitled "Electronic Themes & Music Concrete" and is a rather lovely thing in all honesty. John Edwards gave me this record, I am not sure of the date of release, but it sounds like some early 1960s experimental work along the same lines as the Radiophonic Workshop.(F.C.Judd website) You get another blast of "Shirts" too.

21. Take Advantage - Bob Rogers & Playground
The not-so "secret" track at the end of the mix comes from a flexidisc that my great-aunt had had posted through her door by the Express Dairy man. What a track.. "let your milkman bring much more, express, to your door". The bit where it sticks at the end on the words "save yourself" is absolutely genuine. The flexidisc has a b-side too, called "Get Yourself Together", which has nothing to do with Express Dairies, and is a psychedelic workout with straight sounding Bob Rogers flipping his lid with mad wah-wah guitars.

And, finally, just in case you still don't get how funk to the JB's, check this out:

Keep the faith.. Simon x