‘Ruled by Passion, Destroyed by Lust’: The Asphodells
March 20, 2013 | by Faber Social
Last Spring, Andrew Weatherall released the aptly-named Masterpiece, a 3CD, near-to-five-hour mix of such range and addictive gungo-ho turntable joy it rekindled the dormant house music fanatic in me. It was a record and reflection of the regular low-key club nights Weatherall was hosting with Sean Johnston under the ‘A Love from Outer Space‘ banner. A reference back to the classic 1988 AR Kane record which appears as a cover on The Asphodell’s debut outing, these were (and continue to be) nights of echo-y abandon which perhaps back in the day may have been affectionately, and rather nostalgically called balearic. It’s been called narco-disco, sludge-rave, even drug-chug – because he and Sean, ever the raver-gentlemen, tailor their cuts to a 120bpm measure so the ageing (ageless), discerning clubber can keep apace … at least this side of 2am.
The euphoric original house sound of Masterpiece turned out to be a prelude to the brilliantly titled Ruled by Passion, Destroyed by Lust, Weatherall’s debut with Timothy J Fairplay, as The Asphodells. From the moment you press play, Weatherall’s guiding presence is evident. It is a record full of space and empty of clutter. Its landscapes are memorable; sometimes even ‘remembered’ and it feels like a visitation from the past, even though there isn’t a mark of retro nostalgia about it. For the first time, I think Weatherall takes on vocals; rather like Johnny Marr who has similarly discovered the inner front-man on his new solo outing. They’re back in the mix and modestly delivered but compliment the dub, electro, house and kraut sounds of the tracks elegantly. It’s not an album built for the iTunes generation of smash-n-grab select-a-track listeners. It’s an album which grows with each listen as a full narrative experience; its subtle architecture gathering authority track-by-track.
And so The Asphodells’ Ruled by Passion, Destroyed by Lust is Faber Social’s inaugural Album of the Month, a feature we will endeavour to fulfill over the coming who knows how many years. It is electronic music built on analogue principles from the original alternative to the superstar DJ; The Chairman whose Board has for years been the dancefloors of underground venues across the country. Long may he reign … and keep surprising us.
Ruled by Passion, Destroyed by Lust by The Asphodells is available on Rotters Golf Club.