Due to a spacing issue, my "Essential Five" tracks sidebar to the Claremont 56 piece didn't run. And so I thought I'd post them here instead:
Smith & Mudd - "Shulme"
Balearic Mike esteemed that when Claremont 56 dropped Smith & Mudd’s single-sided “Shulme” single, “they pulled out a modern classic as its second release, “ adding that “the label has somehow managed to get better and better: every single record is really considered and the label has gone from strength to strength.” Clear chiming guitars and rolling toms make for a sumptuous track that makes one think that all house music should feel like warm sand between the toes.
Smith & Mudd - "Vegetable Square (Pab's Got a Big One mix)" by Idjut Boys
Flip over the second 12” from Smith & Mudd and immerse yourself in the 22-minute “Version Idjut – Pab’s Got A Big One Mix.” An ever-drifting and expanding ocean of bliss (with just a pinch of darkness) from Dan and Conrad that harkens back to early 90’s ambient house and would make “Blue Room”-era Orb proud.
Mudd & Ahmed Fakroun - "Drago"
Teamed with the Libyan pop star Fakroun, who as Mudd recalls “heard ‘Scaffold’ and ‘Shulme’ and wanted to do a version of them. I suggested we write a new track and ‘Drago’ was born.” Mesmerizing and body-moving, it’s a fine meeting of East-West sensibilities with a groovy Brennan Green remix to boot.
Holger Czukay - "Ode to Perfume"
“Enjoy falling through the clouds of perfume. Only the last inch is dangerous,” warns the krautrock maestro. A limited 10-inch that captures Czukay’s live rendition (replete with keening new vocoder line) of this DJ Harvey-Prins Thomas dancefloor favorite, with a bit of the 1981 version that was left on the cutting room floor on the flip. Still sublime, poignant and intangible decades on.
Mudd - "54B" (Ray Mang version)
The first release on C56’s dancefloor-aimed sub-label is an outright classic, taking an album cut from Mudd’s 2006 Rong full-length and having Ray Mang toughen up and expand all the components. Sawing acid lines, gravity-free jazz keyboard chords, and layers of outer space violin that make all nine minutes feel revelatory.