Leslie Winer - &c.

CD - 19 tracks
A5 Wallet with A5 and A3 Inserts
Photography by Sébastien Chou

Track listing:
1: This Fat Pitch
2: Remote Viewing
3: He Was
4: Flove
5: N1 Ear
6: If
7: The Boy Who Used 2 Whistle
8: Battleporn
9: John Says
10: Dream 1
11: When I Was Walt Whitman
12: Tree
13: Movie Mother
14: Results More Like This?
15: I Sat Back
16: We See 3 Deer
17: Freewords
18: Tending
19: Dunderhead

Compiled by DCPM, with thanks to Gerard Forde. Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering, Isle of Skye, September 2012. Photography: Sébastien Chou.

“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, “Witch” has earned Winer the distinction ‘grandmother of trip hop’.

After its release, 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.

Christopher Shannon writes:

Her new album, ‘&c.’ is a total joy to behold, I was so excited when I realised it was going to be a physical release too, I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about a CD. I love the art direction – the packaging and design looks incredible. I was so eager to hear it... I was walking home with it on and ‘When I Was Walt Whitman’ came on, it sounded so good through my headphones I just kept walking around the house with my iPod on going about my business. The tweaks to these older tracks are great, and that’s hard when you love a song and might be aversed [sic] to it being tampered with. They're more like rethinks than remixes… kind of like cooking and tasting as you go, rather than aiming for the big, flashy Gordon Ramsay finish."


Aquarius (USA):

Amazing collection of dark and dubby, experimental proto-trip hop from this mysterious model-turned music maker, tripped out and psychedelic, minimal, murky and so good!! [One of the records of the week 7.12.12]

Boomkat (UK):

**Oversized fold-out poster sleeve with A5 art insert in poly wallet. Edition of 500** The Tapeworm's charming new byproduct The Wormhole follows their tape issue of 'Leslie & 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 Carl Michael Von Hausswolff's 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.

Other Music (USA):

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 vinyl copies in stock. 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. [IQ]

Titel (Germany):

Noch mehr 90er-Fame gefällig? Gerne doch: Leslie Winer ging nicht nur als Model in die Annalen der Popkultur ein, sondern konnte auch als Poetin und Musikerin moderaten Erfolg für sich verbuchen. Auf das offiziell 1993 erschienene Album WITCH ließ sie jedoch herzlich wenig folgen – vor Kurzem. Denn das sich in den Dunst der Anonymität (psst, nicht weitersagen, aber: Die haben was mit Touch Records zu tun!) kleidende Kollektiv um das Kassettenlabel The Tapeworm – auf dem vor zwei Jahren Aufnahmen Winers aus dem Jahr 1994 erschienen – und das daran angeschlossene Geschwisterlabel The Wormhole, welches den Fokus auf CD- und Vinyl-Releases legt, macht sich daran, den Output der Künstlerin der Öffentlichkeit nachträglich zugängig zu machen. &c. versammelt Aufnahmen, die bis in die 1980er Jahre zurückreichen und das Verdikt eines NME-Schreibers verständlich werden lassen, der Winer als »grandmother of trip hop« bezeichnete. Deren Liebe zu entspannten Rhythmen und der räumlichen Tiefe des Dub ist den 19 Tracks der streng limitierten CD deutlich anzuhören – nicht weiter verwunderlich, hat Winer doch in der Vergangenheit unter anderem mit Jah Wobble kollaboriert, eben dem jungen Wilden, der gemeinsam mit John Lydon aus dem Sex Pistols-Bannkreis ausbrach, um Public Image Ltd. zu gründen. Erstaunlich nur, dass die angeblich so alten Aufnahmen ein dermaßen klares High-Fidelity-Finish aufweisen. Musikalisch zumindest klingen sie aber wie aus der Zeit gefallen, greifen hier und dort Drum’n’Bass-Referenzen auf, spielen mit verrappten Vocal-Samples, fahren karge Chords und dicke Basslines auf. Schade nur, dass selbst Winers rauchige Stimme über die 80 Minuten der Sammlung nicht so ganz zu fesseln weiß. Zwischen der überwältigenden Vielzahl der Tracks blitzt zwar hin und wieder eine Perle wie die Power-Ballade John Says auf, eine strengere Vorauswahl der Tracks hätte dieses Release aber erst zu einer runden Sache gemacht.

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Leslie Winer - &c.

MP3 sample

Track 9:  John Says

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