Sean Dickson – you’ll remember him from his time as main man with C86-era Glasgow act the Soup Dragons.
Since then, he’s become a rather well-known DJ and has gathered some famous acquaintances along the way.
And, he’s persuaded a host of these fellow musicians and, let’s face it, downright celebrities to contribute to his new album, ‘Ft.’
Here he explains who he has on his album, and now on earth he managed to persuade them…
We all know Crystal from the house classics like ‘Gypsy Women’ and ‘100% Pure Love’. I have always loved the unique soulful voice of Crystal, she reminds me of the singers that used to be on all those great independent soul records that came from the US, which we know of as Northern Soul here in the UK. We decided from the moment we started talking that it had to be a 3 minute classic track with a fade like sticking on a 7”. Testify is the ultimate way to start an album, that immediate rush of the journey
Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub)
I grew up in my hometown of Bellshill (just outside of Glasgow) with Norman. He wrote the song about me living on the 18th floor in London over looking the city and falling in love again. The lift in my block even makes a guest appearance on the track too. It was this track that brought Norman and I musically close together again and we plan to work on some more projects in the future.
It is such a privilege to have Yoko perform on my album. The track was based around a speech I once heard her give. I asked her if she could add it as a monologue on a track with a pulsing slow groove, but with baroque strings to really add drama to her amazing words. The words are simple, but so beautifully direct and to the point. It also has a lot of Omnichords which are a musical fascination of mine. In fact, my previous album was called ‘The Omnichord album’.
David McAlmont (McAlmont & Butler)
David is one of my favourite all time singers. He has the most beautiful voice. He based this track on being weightless in space and in one communication back to NASA he said, “I am going to gyrate like Josephine Baker”. An American-born French dancer, jazz, pop music singer, and actress. Who came to be known in various circles as the ‘Black Pearl’, ‘Bronze Venus’, ‘Jazz Cleopatra”, and even the ‘Creole Goddess’. I could record all day with David his voice really inspires me to make wonderful music.
Paris Grey (Inner City)
Paris is the singer on all of those amazing house tracks by Inner City. I had this track which was likely the most dance floor house style track of the whole album, so there was only one person who I thought would suit the slight melancholic, but euphoric vibe of the track and that was Paris.
Dave Ball (Soft Cell)
I think Dave Ball’s synthesiser playing is the most unique and individual style of any keyboard player I know. This track is about the first laser disco in Glasgow which was called ‘Ultratheque’. It was the first big disco I ever went to as a teenager in Glasgow. It was perfect for his keyboard stye. I added some vocal to this as Dave is an instrumentalist. He has made some of my favourite electronic music and it is a huge honour to have worked with him on this ode to my Glasgow disco memories.
Fred Schneider (The B-52’s)
Fred from B-52’s is such a special vocalist. He has totally his own sound and style and it was perfect for this song, which is an ode to convoy style movies and basically having fun with trucker CB radio jargon. We do a duet on this which was such a amazing moment to do one with someone who you are a huge fan of and have all their records in your collection. ‘Whammy’ is one of the best electronic rock’n’roll albums ever.
Jean is someone I know from Glasgow (back in the band days) and I have always adored her voice. I was over the moon after all these years that we finally got to work together on this beautiful track. She was in a band called the Honeymooners and we always used to bump into each other in clubs and concerts. It is a song about that feeling you get when you wake up, or are still awake when the sun rises on a Monday morning, and how gorgeous Monday morning sunshine can be.
There is no one like Annie. She is the most amazing artist who has this dark and warm glow about everything she does. This track is like Germanic techno beats meets torch song baroqueness. This is the point on the album where progressively it gets darker and more twisted. Annie on stage live is the most captivating experience musically you can have. You have to check her out and her back catalogue – a living legend in my books!
Billie Ray Martin (Electribe 101)
I was sitting next to Billie playing her some music, when she sang this song as an idea. Literally every hair on my body stood on end. Her vocals on this are sublime. Another amazing vocalist with more soul in her little finger than most ‘faux soulful pop’ singers I know these days.
Maggie K De Monde (Scarlet Fantastic / Swansway)
Maggie is a joy to work with. One of the most beautiful souls you can meet with a devilish sense of humour too. I was joking with Maggie that the song sounded like a heartbreak house track as it was mainly minor key and very sad. She then went away and actually wrote the song based on that being the title, which is genius. A dark and moody song with dulcimers and strange percussions, with the most silk velvet like vocals by Maggie.
Alan Vega (Suicide)
Seminal is an over used word, but it is a word that described the band Suicide. I knew that the last track on this album had to be a huge menacing but beautiful and euphoric piece, even before I started to write it. I love Alan Vega and Suicide were a big influence on a lot of my productions. I said, why don’t we make the first half electronic, but then slowly descend into an orchestral piece like a soundtrack to a war movie and end the album on something that sounds like the end. Sadly Alan passed away recently before the release of the album. It was my honour to have worked with such an amazing artist and I am proud to have this piece of music as his parting statement.
Ft. is available now via hifisean.tmstor.es