There is always so much debate when it comes to the past and the present. No matter what the art form, a nostalgic battle between the two remains ever present. Time is littered with comments such as, “aye, but it’s not as good as the original.”
A concept exists within the urban landscape of Belfast that pulls the beautifully constructed radicalism of newly discovered sounds of the past with tasteful and contemporary elements of today’s modern soundscape. Black Bones is an idea that would prefer you do some digging to get to the bottom of it. Two disco dads from Belfast are the dudes behind it; both sharing an obsession for crate digging and a mutual love for sharing these sounds with others.
“When we started getting into music we didn’t have access to computers and the internet”, explains one of the minds behind the idea. “All we had were hand written lists of obscure labels and productions that we wanted to try and find. This has been lost a little in this day and age and sometimes it’s nice not to know everything about were the music you like comes from.”
There’s something that’s still so exciting, even today, about stumbling across a forgotten vinyl. Today’s hipster-era has threatened to label anyone with a record player as a self obsessed Insta-slut, but to the true enthusiasts amongst us the passion and adventure of discovery still runs deep.
Passion and adventure is something that this pair certainly hasn’t lost. Between them they boast a staggering forty years of collecting music. It’s only natural that minds so sonically educated would create an event to display such knowledge.
This has been achieved through a handful of different avenues. One, is through the Black Bones website, where a Feel My Bicep-esque blog distributes forgotten gems and culturally impactful sounds to those who wish to learn. Another is the launch of the Black Bones label. Launched at the beginning of the year, the concept’s first 12” sold out within forty eight hours and received warm praise along the way.
“The first two records were completely edits of stuff we love but next year we have plans to remix a a great synth wave act and on releasing at least one original record as well as keeping the edits side going. It’s looking like its going to be a busy year.”
The final avenue is one close to all of our hearts – the party. The first Black Bones event was thrown in one of Belfast’s most beloved underground venues, The Menagerie. The second will be thrown at one of the city’s newest venues for lovers of the subterranean, The Art Department; a small and intimate setting that seeks to be a sustainable environment for varied sounds and ideas.
We asked the disco dads themselves to contribute six tracks that they feel perfectly represents the ethos of the Black Bones concept. The art of discovery lives on.
Black Bones – ‘Malukayi’
This is actually the first edit we worked on and one that’s notched up multiple plays on NTS. We love African music as much we love synths, so the marriage of both on the original is bliss. We created a new arrangement, changed the tempo then added extra percussion and fx to make it more DJ friendly.
Black Bones – ‘Roller’
Taken from the second 12” is this ghost train disco number that is heavily influenced by the Idjut boys DJ sets and DJ Harvey’s Black Cock label.
Black Bones – ‘It’s Happened’
This original of this always bugged us a little, a great cover that was way too short and to us the arrangement was kind of the wrong way around. So we reworked it into a more lengthy sunshine record.
Chris and Cosey CTI – ‘Elemental 7’
A perfect track to kick a night off from partners Chris & Cosey here, recorded in the early 80s ahead of the acid house explosion.
Cesaria Evora – ‘Angola (Carl Craig Mix)’
The live percussion, a great Latin vocal, the intense synths & overall looseness on this remix from Carl Craig really ticks a lot of boxes for us and always seems to bring the house down.
The Slits – ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’
All female punk band The Slits with an amazing part punk, part funk cover of Marvin Gaye that’s just a perfect lights up tune.
Black Bones’ second outing will take place on Friday 13th October at The Art Department, Belfast.