Boomkat Product Review:
One of the ‘90s greatest, most influential, if sorely unsung artists - regularly hailed the progenitor of trip hop - is subject to another career spanning anthology giving some measure of her iconoclast ouevre, covering classics from her groundbreaking debut as © and via collabs with Jon Hassell, Jay Glass Dubs, Jah Wobble, Diamond Version
According to John Peel, Winer is “the definition of a hidden gem” and who are we to argue? As evidenced by the 16 tracks on board, Winer effortlessly combined roles as poet, musician and vocalist in her releases, which were really only one facet of her enigma, which was also established by years hanging with Burroughs and Basquiat, and as a prominent model and muse to Valentino, Dior, Yohji Yamamoto and JP Gaultier, the latter of whom declared her “the first androgynous model.”
But back to the music, and ‘When I Hit You — You'll Feel It’ delivers a full taster menu of Winer’s releases since 1990/1993’s groundbreaking solo debut ‘Witch,’ including unreleased album session cuts plus sterling examples of how she’s continued to diversify her bonds while staying true to her sound over the years since, such as the darkroom electro of ‘This Blank Acton’ with Carsten “Alva Noto” Nicolai & Olaf Bender’s Diamond Version, grouchy dub with Jay Glass Dubs, and sanguine dream-pop with Kevin Mooney of Adam And The Ants.
Coming nearly ten years since The Wormhole’s ‘&c’ comp, which covers a lot of the same material, LITC’s comp is entirely remastered by Grammy-nominate engineer John Baldwin for assured quality, and includes newer material for updated context, showing how Winer’s work continues to inform a new generation such as JGD and Diamond Version, and how her progressive feminist politics begat contemporary standpoints with songs such as the rugged slug of ’N1 Ear’ and its lyrics ripped from the Women’s Liberation Broadsheet; “If I get raped it must be my fault / And if get bashed I must’ve provoked it / And if I raise my voice I’m a nagging bitch / And if I like fucking I’m a whore…And if I ask my doctor too many questions I’m neurotic and need pills / Because I still can’t get a safe birth control while some fucker’s roaming the moon.”
Long a preserve of those in the know, this set should help to frame Leslie Winer and her prescient work at its best for a new gang of keen ears, highlighting why the likes of Grace Jones and Sinead O’Connor have covered her music, while plugging a crucial gap in the shelves of anyone getting re/acquainted with their trip hop collections.