For those who were slightly too young to get in on the ground floor of acid house, but old enough to know there was something going on under the surface, Glasgow three-piece One Dove were something of a gateway drug. They joined up a lot of the dots. Sorry. Punchline too early there.
The trio of Dot Allison, Ian Carmichael and Jim McKinven released a solitary album. There was apparently a second, but it never saw the light.
I came to One Dove via a convoluted pre-internet voyage of discovery. In the late 80s, I loved My Bloody Valentine, which is how I first discovered Andy “Andrew” Weatherall. His 1990 remix of ‘Glider’ put him firmly on my radar, but it was ‘Screamadelica’ (the track, not the album, that 10-minute remix on the 1992 ‘Dixie-Narco EP’, my word) and his extended mix of Flowered Up’s ‘Weekender’ that really chimed. The video for ‘Weekender’ painted a world I would become very familiar with. It’s little wonder One Dove stopped me in my tracks.
Weatherall would have been working with Primal Scream when One Dove joined his Boys Own label. Those now familiar dubby echoes, pings and low-slung grooves are all over ‘Morning White Dove’, but this is an album that’s so much more than ‘Screamadelica’ minus the rock throwback. It’s very much of its own time, not anyone else’s. The seven-minute opener ‘Fallen’ is a killer. The intro alone, with its sequenced stabs, timpani snaps and Dot’s breathy spoken vocal, is two minutes old before the growling bassline kicks in and off we go. ‘White Love (Guitar Paradise Mix)’ has a familiar shuffle, Electronic’s ‘Get The Message’ perhaps, and its wild MBV guitar howls are devastatingly vast. Those first two tracks last nearly 18 minutes.
It always struck me that ‘Morning Dove White’ was a proper album. Everyone had the tunes they’d reach for in the calm of the small hours when it was all back to yours, but One Dove seemed to galvanise the idea with a long-player that appeared purpose-built for the occasion. The first proper chill-out album? For me it was.
‘Morning Dove White’ wasn’t without its problems though. The version most people owned had two remixes tacked on the end of the original nine-tracker, radio mixes of ‘Breakdown’ and ‘White Love’. They sound out of place, because, well, they are. Following the release of a string of One Dove 12-inches, starting with ‘Fallen’ in 1991, Weatherall’s Boys Own label was bought out by London Records just as the album was about to drop. London liked One Dove, but sniffing hits, felt they needed a radio-friendly touch, drafting in Stephen Hague to do the honours. One Dove had little interest in being radio fodder and the whole project was delayed by year as a standoff between label and band played out. So if you’re reaching for Discogs to snap up a copy, go for the double vinyl, which is the original nine-tracker, without the radio mixes. You won’t be sorry.