Ah the 27 September 1996, I remember it well. A Friday I seem to recall, payday. It was, of course, the holiday of Meskel in the Eritrean Orthodox Church*, Uerdingen beat Mannheim 4-1 in Bundesliga 2 and, of course, an estimated 358,892 babies were born worldwide. Most importantly of all the Smurfs were at #4 in the UK Top 10 with ‘I Have A Little Puppy’.
I never quite got around to buying the Smurfs single, mea culpa and all that but I did go and treat myself to Howie B EP in HMV, Chester. I know this because like all normal human beings do, I put a little sticker inside it to remind me of these things.
I bought EP for three main reasons a) it was pay day b) ‘Butt Meat’ c) I was chasing that Mo Wax vibe that the tasteful cover hinted at. I had also heard of Glaswegian Howie B via his work with U2. But mostly I bought the 12″ because the first track is called ‘Butt Meat’.
Which it turns out is not too bad a gauge for buying new sounds, as yet unheard. ‘Butt Meat’ is an excellent track, a real deep builder – it tests the bass settings on my speakers quite like nothing else I own, a real Saab shaker; classy then, classy now. Fucked if I know what genre it comes under. There’s a swing and a deep groove (insert own jokes here) about it that I have found utterly irresistible for almost 23 years now, it never forgets to carry a tune in amongst all the beats and bassageistic rumblings.
Unfortunately the twin B-sides ‘Chewin’ Bacco’ and, especially ‘Undercover’ left their tunes at home. The former has a cool glide to it and some nice keyboard touches, it would have made a good few seconds of incidental film soundtrack – but I want more from 4 1/2 minutes of music. The latter was just a noisy beatfeast, all migraine no pop.
Which is why ‘Butt Meat’ is the only track I break out to listen to, regularly letting it shake my low end to oblivion. One day I’d like to be chic enough to frequent the sort of place that would play music like this occasionally, although I fear I might have to open it myself – 1537’s Bar & Vegetarian Grill, anyone?
So that was 27 September 1996 then.
PS: By popular demand:
*the celebration of Saint Helena’s finding of the True Cross**, you dummy.
**capital letters just seemed appropriate there.