One of the great AW treats of the last week has been Guiri’s Instrumental Comfort thread.
Some gorgeous pieces of music got posted.
Some common features of the instrumental tracks chosen were that they were often atmospheric, introspective, delicate, cinematic, sparse…. All rather like the artists on the ECM label. A big compliment in my book.
Not only did we get perennial AW faves like Ry Cooder, Toumani Diabate, Virginia Astley, Eno, J.J. Cale, Boards of Canada, but also new names ( to me) like Sarah Devaci, Martti Pokela, Susumu Yakota, William Johnson and Chuck Tylor.
Visit the thread. Enjoy. And add a few favourites of your own.
But that got me thinking about another kind of instrumental.
More extrovert, flamboyant, catchy, floorfilling, rowdy, attention seeking…
Back in the day, instrumentals could be enormous hits. And there were some absolute crackers.
The kind of….
tune that would get crinolines a fluttering and fill the dancefloor at the tearooms in Bath.
groove that would tempt the hipsters at Studio 54 to strut their stuff.
monumental , shuddering bassline that made everyone at the Carnaval feel thoroughly irie
sizzling riff that would fill the Roskilde moshpit in seconds
fiddling that would enthuse a ceilidh to Strip the Willow with vigour.
Now I want to hear about your favourite dancey instrumentals.
I hope you get the idea.
Anyway, to add a little zest to my quest, I’ve invited over a few artists to my place with a fine track record in producing instrumentals that hit the sweet spot.
And what a party we’ve got going on.
Acker Bilk is chatting about strangers, shores and Brighton with Fatboy Slim.
The Harry J Allstars, Frank Zappa, Duane Eddy are chatting at the bar.
Jimmy Shand is having a wee dram with Jimi Hendrix.
The Specials, Madness, the Tornados, the Spotnicks are getting on like a house on fire.
Tito Puente is nattering with Tangerine Dream
Mongo Santamaria is slicing up watermelon
Booker T & the M.Gs. are discussing the best kind of kitchen knives to use for cutting green onions with John Carpenter
The Chemical Brothers are shaking a tail feather with Lieutenant Pigeon.
Elias and his Zig Zag Jive Flutes are discussing rugby matches with the guys from Focus.
Mango Dibango is jamming with the Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band.
Time for you to get involved and suggest a favourite instrumental or two.
I definitely also want to hear about those slightly slower, romantic numbers where you can’t hear a pin drop. Rumour has it that, back the day, when Peter Green and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers launched into that lovely tune, The Supernatural, the entire audience would pull out their mobile phones and wave them in the air.
Isn’t pop music wonderful?