WHO#03 - Leslie Winer &c.
Limited Edition CD in A5 Wallet, 500 copies
1: This Fat Pitch
2: Remote Viewing
3: He Was
5: N1 Ear
7: The Boy Who Used 2 Whistle
9: John Says
10: Dream 1
11: When I Was Walt Whitman
13: Movie Mother
14: Results More Like This?
15: I Sat Back
16: We See 3 Deer
Compiled by DCPM, with thanks to Gerard Forde. Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering, Isle of Skye, September 2012.
“Leslie Winer &c.” brings together tracks from the first two decades of Leslie Winer’s extensive yet little-known body of work. The earliest pieces, recorded in the late eighties, appeared on her debut solo album “Witch” [Transglobal/Rhythm King, 1993]. First issued as a white label pressing in 1990 and featuring Jah Wobble, Karl Bonnie and Helen Terry, the album earned Winer the distinction ‘grandmother of trip hop’.
After the official release of “Witch” in 1993, Winer all but disappeared from public view, making only sporadic guest appearances on releases by such varied artists as Jon Hassell (1994), Bomb the Bass (1995) and Mekon (2000). While she has continued to record throughout the nineties and noughties, little of Winer’s work has surfaced, until now.
Some of the material from the two albums she cut in the mid-1990s with Joe Galdo at South Beach Studios in Miami appeared in 2010 on The Tapeworm’s release “& That Dead Horse”. Other tracks from these projects and her collaborations with Vincent Gallo appear here for the first time.
Throughout her career Winer has worked with artists as divergent as Holger Hiller, Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Dale Cornish and her songs have been recorded by Sinead O’Connor, Boy George and Grace Jones. Her most recent collaboration with French musician and producer Christophe Van Huffel, Purity Supreme, resulted in a four-track vinyl EP “Always Already”, released last year by Ash International.
“Leslie Winer &c.” is a product of The Wormhole. Its release precedes the launch of Winer’s first volume of poems, “10 Pomes Fin (Irish Wristwatch)”, soon to be published by The Bookworm.
Other Music (US):
Frequent Update readers and Other Music shop regulars have heard me sing the praises of writer/musician/poet/former model Leslie Winer many times over; her 1990 album Witch is arguably my all-time favorite record, and I've long wished for a compilation as comprehensive and delicious as this new collection. The title, Leslie Winer &c, is a nod to her ferocious, seemingly determined anonymity after holding such a high profile as one of the first “supermodels" in 1980s international fashion; her Witch album was originally released not under her name, but was instead credited to a single copyright symbol, fashioned on the cover as an ouroboros encircling the letter C. That record has, over the years, become a cult classic, fetching high collector prices and causing puddles of drool under the chins of dub/dance/hip-hop connoisseurs thanks to her razor-sharp blend of dub-infused downtown avant-soul that fused together the likes of the Last Poets, Annette Peacock, Captain Beefheart and Public Image Limited. That album hinted at the innovations of the Bristol sound pioneered by Massive Attack's Blue Lines and Tricky's Maxinquaye, featuring significant bass contributions by Jah Wobble, and her relative silence after its release was deafening to those who'd fallen prey to its spells.
Leslie Winer &c brings together about half of the Witch album's tracks, many in previously unheard mixes, along with equally powerful material recorded both before and after, ranging from her earliest experiments in the late 1980s, through her two unreleased 1990s Witch follow-ups, into the 2000s, which saw her collaborate with the likes of Vincent Gallo, CM Von Hausswolff, and Jon Hassell, amongst others. The set concludes with the final track from last year's excellent 12" release as Purity Supreme, which I've reviewed in full on OM's digital site, and of which we also currently have copies. The music here is anchored in deep grooves, fractured loops, sensual textures, and most importantly, Leslie's razor-sharp lyricism, balancing softly sung looped passages with her inimitable nicotine-stained spoken vocals, uttered in raw cadences that balance world-weary wisdom with hallucinogenic stream-of-consciousness poetry striking comment on the politics of sex, war, commerce and community. I say without hesitation that this is easily my top archival release/reissue of 2012; it's a release that is beyond overdue and which paints a wide portrait of an artist who creates simply because she knows that she must. Money, fame, and recognition were never sought out — she simply understands that the voice is meant to be heard, and those who want to listen will find it reverberating somewhere down the path. In my world, this is essential listening, and I can't really give a higher recommendation than that, folks. -Mikey IQ Jones (December 6, 2012)
Leslie Winer &c. was later named as one of Other Music's Reissues of the Year 2012.
Aquarius Records (US):
A while back we reviewed a super limited tape of ultra obscure early nineties proto-trip-hop from a woman named Leslie Winer, who recorded much of her music under the mysterious symbol/moniker ©, and who was in fact a former model, a pal of William Burroughs and Jean-Michael Basquiat, not to mention a sometime guest vocalist on records by groups like Bomb The Bass. Apparently Winer ditched modeling, and soon dropped off the map, but not before making a record called Witch, considered to be an essential early chunk of skittery, hazy, woozy, trip hop style electronica, well before there really WAS trip hop. The record featured Jah Wobble among others, and was/is a gorgeous chunk of druggy, dubbed out minimal electronic murk that most obviously referenced Tricky, Massive Attack, even Portishead, but predated all of them (with much of Witch having been recorded in the eighties).
On this new cd collection, on the newly launched Wormhole imprint (and offshoot of the kick ass Tapeworm label that put out the Winer tape we first heard), that tape is expanded to include even more mysterious sounds from Winer's mostly unheard back catalogue, a sprawling selection of tracks recorded throughout the eighties and nineties, including several collaborations with Vincent Gallo which appear here for the first time. Long sprawling horn flecked dubscapes, rife with barebones rhythms, tripped out FX, warm muted chordal swirls, plenty of downtempo weirdness and creepy crawly late night shimmer. A dark skeletal avant dub, softly roiling morass of blurred sonics that underpin Winer's strange vocals, hushed and whispered, a sort of slow motion toasting, spoken one second, crooned seductively the next, occasionally multitracked into dreamy harmonies, but just as often slipping into something far more sinister. The tracks expanding into billowing clouds of thrum and whir, anchored by loping rubbery basslines, and wreathed in slowed down samples, fragments of reggae guitar, disembodied horns, all woozy and warbly, everything wrapped in a gauzy haze of record crackle, tape hiss, smeared psychedelic ambience.
Here and there the drums are cranked up into something more block rocking, but even then Winer transforms it into something more murky and surreal, the bass gets super distorted and fuzzed out (some dubstep foreshadowing for sure), everything wrapped around effected acoustic guitars, sampled, layered, recontextualized vox, Winer's vocals slipping easily into lower registers, and sounding a lot like Tricky, due in no small part to the rhythmic murk they're wrapped in, and throughout, strange little flurries of percussive filigree, all of these swirling abstract elements woven into a mesmerizing sprawl of shuffling tripped out, psychedelic downtempo moody muddy groove, that should definitely appeal to fans of witch house, as well as the warped fringes of modern downtempo electronica (Burial, Holy Other, Balam Acab, James Blake, How To Dress Well, etc.).
Super swank packaging to boot, an oversized A5 glossy cardstock insert, liner notes on one side, art on the other, as well as a fold out poster, everything printed in metallic silver ink, and all in a thick PVC sleeve.
As featured on their “top 10 records for 2012” list.
A semi-retrospective from a fashion model best known as one of the few women William S. Burroughs acted pleasant toward. But then, with her deadpan poetic utterances, she was beatnik through-and-through. What impresses is how the Massive Attack-steered the turn-of-the-1990s production genuflects toward the futurist feel of a decade previous, apt as the early 1990s were a cultural limbo. One whose influence dominates this list.
The Tapeworm’s charming new byproduct The Wormhole follows their tape issue of ‘& That Dead Horse’ with another batch of Leslie Winer's prototypical beats dating to the early '90s. The rogue model turned musician is responsible for ‘Witch’, an unduly overlooked and prescient album first issued in 1990 and later in ’94, causing the NME to title her “the grandmother of trip-hop.” She’s laid low pretty much ever since, save for intermittent appearances with Jon Hassell and Bomb The Bass, and most recently turned up on Ash International with the ‘Always Already’ EP in 2011. This compilation contains material written, recorded and remastered over the last 20 years and stars among other notables Vincent Gallo and Jah Wobble. Sparse, dub-rooted productions reminding of early Kevin Martin beats frame Leslie's cool-as-hell and slightly androgynous vocals, veering from almost Brenda Ray-like dub-pop to dark and sexy, HTRK-like industrial sleaze and Tricky-like jungle inversions, all with a quietly seething yet measured sort of dark and opulent pop spirit.
Leslie Winer was in den 70er Jahren ein sehr gefragtes Model, hat mit William Burroughs und Jean-Michel Basquiat gearbeitet und 1993 mit “Witch” ein zeitloses Trip-Hop-Album veröffentlicht. Letztes Jahr erschien auf Ash International ein Album zusammen mit dem Gitarristen Christophe Van Huffel, der auch bei der aktuellen Platte vertreten ist. “&c.” versammelt 19 zwischen 1989 und 2010 aufgenommene Titel, die stilistisch zwischen Folkgitarren, Dub, jazzigen Elementen, Jungle und Trip Hop liegen, durch Winers geraunten und geflüsterten Spechgesang aber wunderbar geklammert werden. Helfer und Mitarbeiter sind unter anderem Jah Wobble, ex-Renegade Soundwave Karl Bonnie, Mitglieder von Adam & The Ants, M-Sänger John Keogh und Culture Clubs Helen Terry/ Dunkel und manchmal irgendwie davidlynchesk.
Chain D.L.K. (US):
Before pre-millenium anxiety and pre-apocalyptic spiffs by Tricky, teardrops, adulterated milk and wantonness by Massive Attack and even before the embryonic maternal heartbeats by Smith & Mighty, a talented beautiful girl, who after a career as a bad-tempered supermodel forged her great artistic personality, put the foundations of that genre which has been labelled as trip-hop to such an extent that she has deservedly been defined as “the grandmother of trip-hop” in spite of the fact she objected to such a definition as she prefers to speak about a sort of mutual influence with above-mentioned musicians. But if you have a listen to this impressive collection which retraces the musical history of Leslie Winer and includes many tracks of the forerunning release “Witch”, whose original release date (1993 on Transglobal, featuring Karl Bonnie, Jah Wobble and Helen Terry) got delayed after a white label got printed in 1990 and didn't gained so much visibility just for limited budget, you will recognize both stylistical seeds and themes (including what it will be later labelled as “dazed and confused”) which got transmitted in many records in the aftermath as well as a vocal expressivity and a lyrical and poetical depth which haven't so many terms for comparisons yet. That remarkable album managed to stimulate brainwaves in many important musicians such as Bjork, Bomb The Bass, Bill Laswell, Mekon, Grace Jones, who succeeded in grabbing a collaboration with her. Compiled by DCPM and mastered by Denis Blackham in the enchanting set of Scottish Isle of Skye last August, this retrospect about sister Leslie as she got dubbed on the song “If” will be followed by “10 Pomes Fin (Irish Wristwatch)”, first volume of Winer's poems. Really unmissable gear.