Photographers: Peter Ashworth; Marisa Privitera; Valerie Phillips.
Back for their second round of this long-running curated megamix, indie pop superstars Belle & Sebastian spin a characteristically warm and exciting cross section of pop-informed sounds from all over the map on Late Night Tales, Vol. 2. As is a tradition with the series, the selectors record an exclusive cover and include it somewhere in the mix. Belle & Sebastian's take on the Primitives' high-speed '80s hit "Crash" transforms the song into a comparatively woozy midtempo jaunt. Despite the somewhat saloon-ready reading, this slightly lethargic rendition retains the bright, beaming quality of the original even when stripping away the urgency and energy. The rest of the mix is a pleasant patchwork of eclecticism, ranging from '70s deep-groove funk instrumentals from Dorothy Ashby and Roland Vincent to 2010s indie dream pop electro from Gold Panda and Toro y Moi. The entire mix is strong and widely varied, but some standout moments include the pre-industrial piano crunch of the Pop Group's "Savage Sea," an aggressive dub mix of Buzzcock Pete Shelley's solo hit "Homosapien," and several bursts of '60s sunshine pop taken directly from 45s. Broadcast make two appearances, opening the set and again in the middle with the moody instrumental "Chord Simple." It's one of many instrumental cuts that bridge the other tunes over the mostly well-flowing continuum of the mix. In the extensive liner notes by B&S bandmembers, they talk about their inspirations or memories about some of the selections, generally nerding out pretty hard about the lineage of way-out pop sounds that they themselves have become mired in. ~ Fred Thomas
Uncut (magazine) (p.98) - "[T]he selection is as eclectic and excellent as their first..."