AMOR are a new project from the Glasgow underground that brings together different artists, with vastly differing disciplines.
Consisting of a member of Franz Ferdinand, a Turner Prize nominee, and more, the four-piece blend disco, free jazz, punk, and more.
Debut single 'Sinking Into A Miracle' is out now on the city's Night School imprint, and it's a fascinating belch of sound.
Rough Trade's Album Of The Month, Clash gave its verdict on this fascinating record HERE.
Intrigued, Clash invited the varied members of AMOR (and their label boss!) to name a few Influences...
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Dinosaur - 'Kiss Me Again' (As picked by Luke Fowler)
My influences are all over the place - many indirect and subconscious. It could be a machine/synth/FX box I'm exploring, a book, a method for recording or playing, an idea - whatever - it’s hard to put your finger on one absolute influence that underpins the AMOR project. But if I had to mention one it would be disingenuous of me not to mention the club Optimo and the dance music of Arthur Russell.
I think I was reading Tim Lawrence's book when I was thinking about the AMOR project - I definitely recall highlighting passages in it! But Tim's book wasn't my first encounter with Russell - I got into clubbing when I was underage - I used to go to techno parties like Pure, Club 69, Terry&Jason, slam, TEST, My Machines at the art school etc. but it was a Sunday night club started by Twitch and Wilkes called Optimo Espacio at the sub-club where I felt most at home... for a start they mixed live bands with DJing - and they had totally omnivorous taste.
I always remember them teasing the audience with the intro for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' for what felt like an hour and then mashing it up to fuck when it did eventually drop. There was one weird song/voice that was an Optimo anthem, it went "every step is moving me up, moving, moving me up... this is how we walk on the moon" and then this completely mad trombone melody.
Truth be told it didn't grab me at first, at the time I was probably more into the No Wave/NDW stuff they were playing, so getting into Arthur was a bit of slow burner for me... but when Soul Jazz brought out their comp I bought it and though I liked it, for sure, it wasn't until I bought 'Kiss Me Again' that I GOT and fell in love with his disco music. For me 'Kiss Me...' is one of the greatest disco tracks ever. I've never found a song that matches the goose bumps, the energy and emotion that song produces.
Some time after devouring all the Russell disco there was to be heard, I asked Keith and some other pals if there were any other 'disco auteurs' i needed to hear... I'm still searching but I've not found anyone quite as singular as Arthur Russell.
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Baba Stiltz - 'Are You Mad? Cause I’m Not Mad' (As picked by Paul Thomson)
This track came up as a reference as we were mixing, you get the feeling it’s a dub version, occasionally there are little reveals of what may be another song that disappear as soon as they pop up and in that way it harks back to the very early days of the twelve inch disco mix; just keep the rhythm running and really explore every corner of the track.
It’s in no way naive though, Baba knows what he’s doing and knows where he’s taking us, every drop, however off kilter never fails to quicken the pulse.
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Pharoah Sanders - 'Summun Bukmun Umyun' (As picked by Michael Francis-Duch)
After discovering John Coltrane’s 'A Love Supreme' and 'Meditations' as a young bass player in Norway, I immediately started searching for similar American free jazz recordings from the 60s. I was 18 at the time and came in touch with the Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love who suggested that I should listen to Pharoah Sanders.
'Thembi' was my first meeting with Sanders’ recordings under his own name. 'Black Unity' and 'Karma' followed, and I guess all the Impulse! albums I could get my hands on: Alice Coltrane’s 'Journey In Satchidananda' and 'Ptah', 'The El Daoud', and of course Archie Shepp’s 'Fire Music'.
More than 20 years later the bass lines from these wonderful recordings from the sixties and early seventies still are very much present in most music I play: being rock, free jazz or in this case, experimental disco music.
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Gaelic Psalms From Lewis - 'Martydom' (As picked by Richard Youngs)
I first heard psalm singing from the Outer Hebrides as a teenager on an Open University television programme sometime before sunrise. I had nothing to relate it to, and this was wildly exciting. In a pre-internet age it took me some time to discover there was an album of this music: Gaelic Psalms from Lewis.
I still have my copy from the 1980s. It is loose yet cohesive, otherworldly yet from almost my doorstep. The multi-tracked backing vocals on the album’s 'Full Fathom Future' are a home recording of me attempting a wordless version of Gaelic psalm singing.
Without the faith, the language, and the context, it is inauthentic in the extreme. But, the harmonic intervals and loose arrangement of the vocal parts sit with the other elements of the track in a way that hopefully excuses the cultural appropriation.
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Bauhaus - 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' (As picked by Michael Kasparis)
The band nominated me to throw a track in and I suppose this track is pertinent to me right now. I remember picking this up as a teenager and being blown away by the space in it, it's a seven minute song that's both funky, terrifying, experimental, catchy... it's a feat that few have really managed before or since.
I've been listening to it a lot recently and I think there are similarities in AMOR's spacial awareness - though not the terrifying part: minutes can go by on an AMOR track where there's just simple percussion and effects, it feels so brave but also just so right.
On 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' the band were clearly thinking "yeah yeah just the drums and with that bit of scratching on the guitar strings that sounds brilliant!" and I can imagine AMOR doing that in the studio, bugging out endlessly on a single bongo loop.
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'Sinking Into A Miracle' is out now on Night School.
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