'What the fuck are they up to now?'
This is what Andrew Weatherall
and Keith Tenniswood expect you to think when you play their new album. That's Weatherall singing. And Tenniswood playing guitar and bass, while a number of drummers take their turn on an old kit that was left for safe keeping in the basement studio. For Weatherall there was a dawning sensation that he wanted to break free from sterile, heavily processed, intellectual techno and electronica floating around and make something with more direct communication and soul. And whenever Weatherall starts feeling like's he had enough of techno, he always goes back to his roots in rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and dub. He understands that the visceral energy of any good dance music -- his specialties being electro and techno -- is the same as in a good rockabilly song. The same gut feeling that reacts with your head or feet. It's about making music WITH machines, not by machines. Andrew Weatherall
has always been good for a quote. From the deep, dark days of early acid house to the deep, dark days of the modern-day Two Lone Swordsmen
if you're looking for an opinion on the largely insipid world of dance music then Andrew's always had that happy knack of cutting straight to the chase delighting and upsetting in roughly equal measures.
The swaggering original moody DJ. The pop star producer. Bastion of the underground. One-time (ahem) Balearic figure-head. Electronic experimentalist. Peerless explorer of the minimal techno sound. Arch grumbler. Londoner. Honorary Yorkshireman. All these notions have been bandied about by punters and critics alike in a bid to pin down Weatherall's role in music. Yet none of them quite fits the bill. And even when they do hit the mark they're often far too paradoxical to make much sense. In the dull as ditch-water world of dance music personalities Andrew Weatherall
comes across as a refreshing and involving character. This has always been reflected in all his musical output since those formative days remixing Primal Scream's rocky original into the pivotal 'Loaded'.
Weatherall's history goes back far to the beginning of the British acid house scene having swung gigs for himself at Danny Rampling
's legendary Shoom night off the back of the sort of sounds recently showcased on Andrew's compilation for Nuphonic entitled 9 O'Clock Drop. Subsequent to this his connections with the original Boys Own record label (and fanzine) led to artist releases, remixes and a string of legendary London clubs such as Blood Sugar, Circulation, and of course Sabresonic (where the fledgling David Holmes
cut his teeth). It was through Primal Scream though that Andrew first made his name. As the producer of Screamadelica he took The Primals, twisted them (best not to ask how) and in turn created the Hybrid
of narcotically challenged rock and acid house now seen as a generation-defining release.
It was through the club Sabresonic and Andrew's remix productions that he tied in with Jagz and Burns forming the live/ studio Sabres of Paradise band. More often than not shows would see Andrew standing at the side of the stage possibly doing fuck all other than smoking fags. No one was quite sure. What is certain is that these experiences drew Andrew away from the Screamadelica-inspired lime-light that beckoned and back into the subterrain to develop the dark, experimental sounds he has subsequently become known and respected for.
After the demise of Sabres (and the record label inspired by the outfit) following a string of albums and singles (on Warp) Andrew teamed up with fellow Sabres cohort Keith Tenniswood to form Two Lone Swordsmen
. Keith himself has a string of prior musical convictions working with The Aloof, David Holmes
and Red Snapper. More recently he has made really fucked electro breaks to wrong-foot the dancefloor under the name Radioactive Man
for the Andrew's new label R.G.C. Keith's ear for the production of low-end frequencies is unrivalled.
Quietly toiling away in their Rotter's Club studio the pair honed their own brand of lo-fi emissions delighting experimentalists equally frustrating the folk waiting for Andrew to stop being up his own arse and get on and knock out more of those dubby Balearic tracks he initially made his name with. Thankfully this never happened. Instead Fifth Mission - Return to the Flightpath Estate was released, a sprawling, dense double CD soundtrack lurching between Leftfield
dancefloor and your fucked head all shot through with an alarming disregard for genre or expectations. As if to confound admirers further Andrew also made deep house releases as Lino Square, Rude Solo and a whole host of yet to be discovered pseudonyms. After a couple more releases on his own Emissions label Andrew and Two Lone Swordsmen
re-signed to Warp and became quietly prolific with a string of releases such as 'Sticky/ Gay Spunk', 'A Virus With Shoes' and 'A Bag of Blue Sparks'. Then back to Primal Scream taking the track 'Stuuka' and re-writing it as a supremely morbid piece of reggae-heavy electro. Then there was the second TLS album `Stay Down', its title as revealing as it was succinct. The third album `Tiny Reminders' and then a fourth `Further Reminders' when once again Andrew [and Keith] threw the cat amongst the pigeons making music with machines like no one else.
All the while Andrew has been maintaining his output through various alternatives projects. A mix CD in the Heavenly Social series with Richard Fearless took the dark route to the heart of the dance floor.
The new album Two Lone Swordsmen
"From The Double Gone Chapel" [Warp] will be released on May 17th. The album features vocals by Andrew Weatherall
himself, Keith Tenniswood on bass and guitar, plus various live drums and keys. Revisiting the murky London Underworld
evoked by classic Sabres of Paradise like Haunted Dancehall , the album is full of the Swordsmen's many influences - dub, country, industrial, electro, punk and more.