Charles Hayward – ‘Smell Of Metal’ 2×12″ [Kemal]

An absolutely fantastic release this, pairing a label that I feel I’ll come to love and an artist I need to dig deeper to find more from. Charles Hayward, as a founding member of This Heat, has boasted his own following and stamp on the experimental scene since the band’s inception int he seventies. After This Heat he continued to compose and play his own brand of experimental rock, known for epic festival performances world over.

Kemal was christened earlier this year with the brilliant Music Of The Fire Walkers 2LP, reissuing live recordings from a village in Greece in 1979. The whole package is something to treasure, topped off by seven-minute Pete Swanson working on a separate plate stepping up well beyond what might be expected. This second release follows a similar format, though I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it.

Closer inspection since has revealed that the two originals on the first record of the double 12″ package are in fact reissues from a 1990 tribute to Mark Rothko released on the great Sub Rosa. Sticking that first plate on for the first time was mind-blowing. Hayward’s rhythms and sounds are other-worldly, in a classical music type of way. As much as you can draw comparisons to your favourite rhythm soloist, the chimes, cymbals and mids that he creates are equally in the vein of noise legend Marcus Schmickler’s classical album of bells and symphonic booms (who’s name escapes me right now).

Drummers naturally want to hit as much as possible, and Hayward’s title track ‘Smell Of Metal‘ is reflective of this, moving along at cracking natural pace, all focus on the percussion instruments, layered with crashing gongs and the occasional slow synth bass note. ‘Lopside’ slows things down a bit, settling in to more of a free jazz pocket with some end of the world ominous overtones, equally hectic with the industrial synthesiser given a slower but more felt role. With eleven minutes to play with on this one things evolve beautifully, keys are eventually introduced but again pushed to the background. The whole affair keeps you on edge, bouncing off each other in the way that only live loops of a track can.

Really dig both these cuts.

Flip it over and you’ve got some high-profile remixes from Maxmillion Dunbar and JD Twitch. Twitch delivers a beat generation remix of ‘Lopside’, adding some bounce and swagger to it, softening the intensity. The synths are more prevalent again, with the live drumming giving it Dilla’s Electric Circus as a reference point.

Where JD Twitch has shortened an eleven minute composition in to four, Max D has stretched ‘Smell Of Metal’ in to almost seven minutes of music, changing up gradually, blatantly more machine than the original but making much more use of the background instruments and sounds, amping them up to drive the track in to some form of dusty club music.

Brilliant stuff, check one of the originals below from the 1990 release, press release underneath that.

via Honest Jon’s
Charles Hayward formed This Heat in 1976, with Gareth Williams and Charles Bullen: an experimental mix of Can, dub, punk and industrial. (DFA is a glint in its eye.) He also drummed for The Raincoats and Crass. The Kemal selections here are from his tribute to Mark Rothko, released in 1990 by the wonderful Brussels label Sub Rosa: grooving, stripped, moody DJ assassinators, fresh as anything.

On the second vinyl, Maxmillion Dunbar is possessed by Photek disguised as DJ Premier. His favourite of his own remixes, according to a recent interview. And another hard-core CH fan, JD Twitch rocks up with a carrier of Giallo videos and New Beat singles, gobbling Goblin and Belgian acid.