Boomkat Product Review:
Genius reworks of pioneering Irish post-punk Stano - and, incidentally, Michael O’Shea! - by Norwegian house-not-house deity DJ Sotofett. Finally available after five years fermentation.
Famously produced by Planxty’s Donal Lunny and long hailed a landmark of ‘80s experimental music from Éire, Stano’s ‘Content to Write in I Dine Weathercraft’ earned its cult status for a mix of brittle drum machine grooves and an enigmatic jankiness that sets it apart from the crowd. It was the first solo album by the singer from Ireland’s first post-punk band, The Threat, whose sole 7” contains the more-relevant-than-ever bullet ‘The High Cost of Living’, as highlighted on Cache Cache’s crucial comp, ‘Strange Passion’ (2012). Circa the original 2018 reissue of Stano’s landmark solo side, Dublin’s ace Allchival crew roped in mutually offbeat soul DJ Sotofett for a remix, which soon turned into this full rework suite; dubbing out six of its gems in a faithful style that could have practically come out at the same time and if we hadn't known better we’d be none the wiser.
They’re all cracking examples of a cross-generational handshake between outsider soul, but we’re particularly drawn to the two featuring Michael O’Shea - two of his only features on other records aside his eponymous holy grail released by Dome. We’re sure Sotofett knew he was working with precious material and beautifully highlights O’Shea’s hybrid zither strings in the poltergeist-playful dub swirl of his ’Newseance’ mix to ’Seance of a Kondalike’, and on a subtler, grooving tip in his extended mix of ‘A Dead Rose’, both highlighting how O’Shea’s strings foreshadowed Balearic movements, and should have been given legendary status in the ‘90s, like Vini Reilly, if he’d lived to work with others and his gear was more accessible.
Back to Stano! Sotofett treats the pioneer’s material with a mix of due reverence and daring, colouring in space in Lunny’s original, Factory-esque recordings to turn ‘Room’ into a propulsive, melodramatic goth banger, while very carefully getting inside the headspace on the Dublin bedsit keen of ‘Melting Grey’ [Grey Room Mix] and likewise ‘Emma Wild and Whale’ with an echoic ‘Overdubble Mix’, which benefits from extra percussion by Stiletti-Ana that also peppers the sashaying sway of his ‘Lite Drum Mix’ of ‘Out of the Dark Into the Dawn’.
It’s worth getting a wee bit excited about, this one. Totally unexpected and brilliant with it, it’s testament to how Sotofett gets right inside his thing, replete with his own cut-up artwork sourced from irish fanzine ‘Vox’. Huge tip!