Andrew Weatherall – 13 Of The Best

1 Posted by - 19th February 2020 - 5 Of The Best, Features, Obituaries, Top Picks by 3DJ, Top Picks by G-Kush

3DJ & Gentleman Kush dig through the crates in tribute to one of the true greats.

The passing of Andrew Weatherall has seen one of the largest outpourings of grief and appreciation; producer / remixer, DJ and maverick genius, he towered over the intersection between bass music, dance music & rock music. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has a Weatherall production they like, even if they don’t know it. Only 56 and one of the undoubted greats of UK music, 5 of the best doesn’t get anywhere near it, we could probably fill 50 of the best such is the staggering quality of well over 30 years in the business. Our relationship with “The Chairman” or “The Guv’nor” was as massive fans, in particular when we were both discovering the power of bass. For those of us who came of musical age in the 1990s the influence of Lord Sabre is virtually unmatched.

We have one tiny tiny bit part in the story, playing a support set in the back room while he was in the main room for a LUV*JAM show in Wrexham in 2006. To have even been on the same flyer as him, only once, 14 years ago, feels like catching the briefest of sideways glances at the platonic realm. There have been some outstanding tributes written, we’d point you in the direction of Joe Muggs in Mixmag , Alexis Petridis in the Guardian & Lee Brackstone in The Quietus. For us, having spent the last few days listening to nothing but his productions and mixes, the best way we can document the passing of a true master is to share a clatter of our favourites. It’s not necessarily chronological, and there will be all sorts of omissions but “fail we may, sail we must”.

Dust Brothers – Song To The Siren (Full Sabre Mix) (1993)

Before they were the Chems, Ed Simons & Tom Rowlands were The Dust Brothers and Andrew Weatherall was in at the ground floor with this spectacular rework of one their early classics (straight out of the 3DJ record shelves):

Madness – Death Of A Rude Boy (Andrew Weatherall remix) (2012)

Bass and in particular a love of the intertwining dub, reggae and ska scenes was a bedrock of so many of his productions. In 2012 he turned a perfectly formed nugget from the Nutty Boys late career into a cavernous, wobbly, dub epic:

Two Lone Swordsmen – Solo Strike (2000)

For many The Two Lone Swordsmen perfectly represent the defiant outsider spirit of the man. In the 1990s he had the world at his feet, numerous production credits, a successful band, an unmatched series of remixes and a huge DJ reputation. But instead of embracing mainstream fame, he teamed up with Keith Tenniswood to make glitchy, twitchy, electro music. The Tiny Reminders album is an absolute fan favourite and this one kicks like a cantankerous donkey:

Sabres Of Paradise – Wilmot (1994)

The aforementioned band was of course Sabres of Paradise, formed in the early 1990s with Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns. The Haunted Dancehall LP was one of the touchstone albums of alternative culture in that decade, uniting tribes of so many stripes. This track in particular was the battle weapon for any occasion, the indie disco, the chillout room, the main room – a regular Funkdub opener over the last 15 years, it’s still unstoppable (and not forgetting the brilliant Mr Scruff remix), :

Ricardo Villalobos – Dexter (Two Lone Swordsmen remix) (2004)

The Fabric 19 mix from 2004 is a thing of wonder; squelchy, yet steely, precision tooled pulsating electronic music that demands dancing. Then, right at the back end, it takes the most remarkable of left turns, when Weatherall drops this, doom laden, bass guitar driven post punk monster. GK couldn’t believe it then, and still can’t believe it now:

Steve Mason – Boys Outside (Andrew Weatherall Dub) (2010)

Another perfect fit, Steve Mason always a perennial favourite at Funkdub HQ, making songs with guitars in the spirit of dance music. The original cross genre kingpin was enlisted, and re-cut the title track of Mason’s 2010 album into a deep sonorous dub:

St Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson (Andrew Weatherall Remix) (2015) / Big Hard Excellent Fish – Imperfect List (Rimming Elvis The Andy Weatherall Way) (1990)

Though seperated by 25 years these two come as a pair, because being North West dwellers it’s going to put someone’s nose out of joint if we include Liverpool but not Manchester or vice versa. Both cities got the Weatherall rerub treatment, with (3DJ favourite) Mike Garry’s ode to Tony Wilson being remixed when the Guvnor made a personal request. Meanwhile back in 1990 Pete Wylie’s one off side project got an “Andy Weatherall” rework on the 12″ release:

Beth Orton – Anywhere (Two Lone Swordsmen Remix) (2002)

Andrew Weatherall’s production work was vast and multifaceted, and like so much of his output never fits into a pigeon hole. For Beth Orton’s Trailer Park in 1996 he used an entirely different style and method to the famous reconstructions. 3DJ unearthed this TLS rework from an early noughties promo CD, and it’s an absolute belter:

St. Etienne~Only Love Can Break Your Heart [Andrew Weatherall’s ‘A Mix In Two Halves’ Remix] (1991)

This list could have been filled from top to bottom with the classic remixes from the 1990s – James, Happy Mondays, Leftfield, FSOL, The Orb, My Bloody Valentine . In the end, even though this has featured in many places elsewhere, there could only be one, St Etienne teaming up with The Chairman, for a version that *never* gets old:

Tracey Thorn ft Corinne Bailey Rae – Sister (2018)

The DJ sets, production and remixes never stopped and the quality never dipped. This glacial re-version of Tracy Thorn & Corinne Bailey Rae from 2018 is a late period masterclass, of which there are very many:

Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II (Beatless Version) (1993)

There’s little to say that hasn’t been said about this track, it’s beautiful, is rightfully regarded as *the* balearic classic, and it’s a track you’d happily play at your wedding service (and indeed a good pal of ours did exactly that!):

Primal Scream – Loaded (1990)

The effect Weatherall had on the artists he produced was unlike any other. For example the work he did on F*ck Buttons fabulous 2009 Tarot Sport album nearly made the cut, but in the end there was only one choice. A case could be made for virtually any selection on Screamadelica, but the sheer joyful, soul cleansing euphoria of this track is overwhelming. An anthem that everyone can get behind, and if you don’t like Loaded,…I don’t believe you:

RIP Lord Sabre

Chris & Sam February 2020

Tell us what we’ve missed…


  • Aidan 20th February 2020 - 11:57 am Reply

    A cracking list but when someone’s output is so vast, prolific and catholic it’s pretty hard to go wrong with Wevvers! Just for the sake of giving a bit of love to a few bits that I play constantly still I’d add his remix of Wooden Shjips – Crossing the disco dub of HAL’s Detachments and Rude Solo’s Vous Do Funk could go on all day with this though…

  • 3DJ 20th February 2020 - 5:22 pm Reply

    Hey Aidan – totally agree, thanks for the additions to the list too – we could go on all day couldn’t we – we normally do 5 of the best in this series, and had about 50 picked before whittling it down to a bakers dozen!

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