Perusing the catalogue of Andrew Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood’s much prized ‘Two Lone Swordsmen’ project
As we sailed past the third anniversary of the untimely passing of UK Electronic Music legend and legionnaire Andrew Weatherall (RIP) a few weeks ago. It felt somewhat fitting to spend some time, taking a dig back through his immense and somewhat overwhelming catalogue. To appreciate the colossal contribution he gave to the world in musical terms over the best part of 3 decades.
Of particular interest of late, has been his long running duo with close friend and sparring partner Keith Tenniswood (better known as Radioactive Man to Electro purists), under the banner of ‘Two Lone Swordsmen’. A rich and fruitful partnership spanning more than 20 years, it’s hard to underestimate just how influential their music has been for generations of ravers and listener aficionados alike. Encompassing everything from IDM, twisted Ambience, Deep House, Techno, Electro and New Wave to Indie Rock – all served with a healthy side of Dub and experimentalist outlook.
They first commited their recorded work to a “Fresh Emissions” compilation in 1995, on Weatherall’s sought after Emissions Audio Output imprint. Without further ado, the following year proved highly fruitful in terms of releases, clocking up several EPs and an album. It suffices to say that Weatherall and Tenniswood’s TLS project expanded both vertically and horizontally within a short space of time. Finding themselves signed on the dotted line to WARP records in 1998, they established themselves as a production powerhouse that went on to rack up a total of 8 albums, 20+ LPs and countless remixes.
For those of you who are less familiar with their pre-Warp work, we hope this introduction will give you an insight and flavour of just how good their early material and take on stripped down dance music could be at its most instinctively creative.
Forever evolving their style, they went on to make an Ambient masterpiece in the form of ‘Stay Down‘ and then onto the deliciously glitchy ‘Tiny Reminders’, within the space of a few years of each other. Yet, you can also argue this was where there sound had also only just began. For the record, it mostly emanated in a studio above a drycleaners where they breathed in the fumes and wrote music about it. Which no doubt only further influenced their explorations and led them to inhabit their latter years in the nether regions of Punk-tinged New Wave dub, all knitted together with the healthy hum of less than prestine machines.