ANDY WEATHERS ALL
You should never judge a book by its cover, especially when that cover is a pastiche of old pulp and sci-fi paperbacks that always promised more than they delivered. In the case of Andy Weatherall's 'Sci.Fi.Lo.Fi', though, it's safe to raise your expectations.
"I gave a graphic artist the compilation and said 'think naked women and Martians', and that's exactly what he did," says Weatherall of the distinctive cover for his spin-off from Soma's Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi series. "The compilation is rockabilly, rhythm and blues, punk and post-punk mixed into modern electronic stuff. But it's not eclecticism for eclecticism's sake, you know? A lot of the tracks on there are quite sleazy, and that's what links it together. I just like sleazy, sexy music. I like dark music, but not horror movie dark - not blood splatter darkness, but shadows down an alleyway darkness."
Like it or not, 'eclectic' is probably the best adjective one can use to describe Weatherall's career trajectory so far. From his DJ sets at Fabric to his remix work for New Order and Happy Mondays - via his recorded work as Sabres of Paradise and the rocking Two Lone Swordsmen - all the way through to his legendary status as the producer of Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica', Weatherall has been many things to many people â€¦ not that some record execs wouldn't prefer him to pick one and stick with it.
"There's loads of pressure to replicate 'Screamadelica', but you can't. That was like a big gang that were given a big laboratory to experiment with, and we were all sitting around pouring chemicals from one bottle into another. We were all there, and we all know what the chemicals were, but I'll be fucked if any of us can remember how to put them together again! And that's the beauty of it!
"Many people have tried to work out the formula for it, but they can't, because the people who wrote the formula have long forgotten it. It's weird, because that music really captures the era beautifully well, but it's also timeless. That's what makes it a great record. It captures a time and a place, but it transcends it as well, and still resonates today."
Through a varied career filled with pop triumphs and indie acclaim, Weatherall has always had a wary relationship with popular culture.
"Sometimes the music of pop culture annoys me, but I love the throwaway nature of it. People go on about manufactured bands, but it's not a new thing. That's how it was done in the fifties! Pop music has always been manufactured and throwaway, and that's what I like about it. I like high art and low art, in every aspect of my life. I just don't like the horrible mid-range."
Andy Weatherall plays Barsoma on January 13. 'Sci.Fi.Lo.Fi.' is available now through Soma.