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Was it all just a dream?… An indie radio station for London with a radical music stance. A late-night show – The Carve-Up – that wasn’t so much left field as outside the field altogether. A presenter – Keith Cameron – who in following his considerable instinct begged our trust in him, and received it implicitly. Yes, an X-tremely F-ine M-andate all round. Couldn’t last; could it?
They decided to take it over. They didn’t like the mix. They sacked Keith Cameron. They changed the content back to the usual F-eeble M-onotony. A jolly Capital idea if ever there was one. This truly essential collection allows us to revisit the fleeting glory that was - The Carve-Up on XFM 104.9. The protests are largely a distant memory now but the music and the message lives on…
Eclectic? Eccentric? Electric? You got it! Selected from all tangents - yet disarmingly complimentary – the album contains some exclusive performances and also represents the first time on CD for a slew of previously hard to find recordings. Mudhoney’s ‘Fuzzgun ‘91’ – which served as both theme tune and wake up call – makes an incendiary opener with its ‘60s style garage, instrumental freak-out. Er, repairs anyone? No chance as Bomb 20’ s 90 miles-an- hour in-yer-face drum’n’bass hits with ‘Made Of Shit.’
The pace may slacken but the quality lingers on throughout. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds contribute a special acoustic version of ‘The Mercy Seat’ – dark mutterings for the dark hours; Arab Strap offer an equally special, obliquely confessional, version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Changes’ – add on the affecting melancholy of Mogwai’s instrumental tribute - ‘Nick Drake’ - and the lack of resemblance to any of those slackly conceived, oh so tired, various artists compilations is manifest.
Norway’s Motorpsycho rock-out relentlessly on ‘Psychonaut.’ Low make like an obtuse version of the Everly Brothers – all impossibly sweet harmonic perfection – on ‘Joan Of Arc.’ The Pernice Brothers – a plaintive sound picture of stately, chiming beauty on ‘In Plain Sight.’ If you want Scotsmen reciting odes to bridges, there’s Jock Scot’s ‘Farewell To Ferodo.’ Furious sampling?… DJ Scud: ‘In The Charts Again.’ Edgy, but humorous, punky power pop?… The Queers: ‘I Enjoy Being A Boy.’ Rap poetry?… Saul Williams: ‘Elohim.’
Is all musical life beyond the mainstream here? Definitely not… but there is enough to explain the devotion to the show.
Are Keith Cameron’s friends electric? Yeh, and eccentric, and eclectic… though not such an exception to the rule as they think.
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