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- Witch by Leslie Winer
8/10 Brian Staff review, 06 June 2014
Why isn't there a copyright 'c' on keyboards? I'm glad this re-issue is now available under the artist's proper name Wesley Liner or I'd be stuffed here. So yeah, "difficult" NY model/profound wordsmith lady makes early 90's art-dance-poetry album and it's a classic, seminal disc by all accounts. The ever-hysterical NME called her "The Grandmother of Triphop" once and the sticker in the corner proclaims this to be a recording for fans of Vincent Gallo to savour. NME. Vincent Gallo. Oh God. My morning ruined. Actually, no. Hang on!
Essentially a dub-smeared experimental downtempo record with a great deal of pensive spoken word loops scattered throughout its languid, sensual grooves, 'Witch' works on many levels. It's an original album in as much that the various ingredients are often from disparate camps such as the superb, stand-out early ambient techno of 'Flove' which pre-dates the congotronics remixes of the likes of Mark Ernestus by two decades. This style finds her aligned with the pioneering likes of the UKs Seefeel, Renegade Soundwave (of whom a member collaborates on some numbers here) or Meat Beat Manifesto. Serious deep bastard bass on this track, her dreamy vocals obviously an influence on contemporary players such as LA Vampires and Maria Minerva.
'N1ear' finds us in Tackhead land. Still carried by some meaty grooving low-end, this track is cursed by dated mechanical beats that I struggle to enjoy these days. Very mid-80s. Some of the mingling vocal tracks and queer samples make it an interesting listen so it's more than worthwhile however! 'The Boy Who Used 2 Whistle' is absolutely marvellous though......not dated one iota! How can it tho' with such a sultry stream-of-conciousness vocal and this sort of Grace Jones sleaze-funk swagger meets tribal 'Drop It like it's Hot' erotic groove. Mega sexy track, I would so love to DJ with this gem. I do not understand the strummed acoustic tune at the arese end of S1, not that It's rubbish but it would have made a suitable ending to the album. It's 3pm at a family festival stuff really...ethereal, folksy and hippyish but still a very sweet thing indeed. Like a female-fronted Woo perhaps.
Well you've the gist of moods here. Some tracks sound pretty boxfresh, others a little wilted by virtue of this being an early nineties record. Apparently beloved of John Peel at the time, I could well have had a track from this on tape at the time. So, an important record for sure and one that will easily find loving ears in the company of you reading. Yes YOU.
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