Mixcloud Select 15: Openmind – Wizard of Oz – Coldcut Solid Steel 04/03/94

15 CD imageTrack notes:

What an embarrassment of riches this mix holds, a very special time musically as you will hear over the course of the hour. I’m fairly certain that this was probably my third ever appearance on Solid Steel, still as part of Openmind and not yet DJ Food. You can hear the chill out scene still going strong, but the beginnings of trip hop emerging and the Artificial Intelligence era of techno in full swing. Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works II must have just come out as he gets a huge six tracks played, Autechre get two, Global Communication also weave in and out with Locust and Drome. Tricky, Justin Warfield and the Beastie Boys signpost the tripper end of hip hop gaining momentum.

I think we recorded this live on air on a Saturday night at KISS FM, it was myself and Mario Aguera from Telepathic Fish (who did the second hour after I did the first) and Matt Black from Coldcut on the mic and various samples. We were still new to the radio studio and it was nerve wracking knowing that we were live on air with Matt watching and listening. A couple of my mixes are a bit wonky to say the least and I remember Matt would always shout ‘escape!’ if he thought a mix was going out too wildly, still makes me smile when I think of it. I decided to weave bits of the soundtrack from The Wizard of Oz in and out of the mix to give it some continuity, hence the mix title.

Track list:
Coldcut – Strange music jingle
Edgar Frose – Ngc 891
Wizard of Oz – intro
Beastie Boys – Namaste
Chapterhouse – Blood Music: Pentamerous Metamorphosis – Beta Phase (Global Communication retranslation)
Tricky – Aftermath
Chapterhouse – Blood Music: Pentamerous Metamorphosis – Beta Phase (Global Communication retranslation)
Justin Warfield – Tequila Flats (inc Hidden Material, Ghosts of Laurel Canyon)
Autechre – Lowride
Aphex Twin – Untitled from Ambient Works II
Justin Warfield – B-Boys On Acid
Aphex Twin – Untitled from Ambient Works II
Wizard of Oz + Whale noises
Aphex Twin – Untitled from Ambient Works II
Drome – Age of Affordable Retina
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick
Reload – The Biosphere (Global Communication Remix)
Insides – Skinned Clean
Wizard of Oz – Tin Man
Aphex Twin – Untitled from Ambient Works II
Locust – Lust
Autechre – Basscadet
Aphex Twin – Untitled from Ambient Works II
Wizard of Oz  – outro

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Almost Jazz Funk & Soul Festival online event

Almost_Announcement
Birmingham’s Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival, like so many others, is under threat and they are putting on a fundraiser online and a virtual event to raise funds to keep the wolves from the door. I played last year and it was one of my favourite gigs of the summer. Tune in for a special audio visual mix by myself and DK based on our Now, Listen Again mix sets and if you can please consider donating to this good cause.

Mixcloud Select 14 – Steinski vs Strictly Sevens for Solid Steel 12/08/2005

fullsizeoutput_191fTrack notes:
Steinski was coming to the UK, cut up collagist and all-round nice guy legend that he is. We’d known each other since 1998 when we played together in Brighton for a night Krafty Kuts had put on and had kept in touch ever since. He was visiting the UK for a holiday with his wife and we asked if he would play unannounced at our monthly Solid Steel night in London to which he agreed.
The night had a policy of never announcing who the guests were, it was DK and myself as residents and you paid £3 on the door and found out who was on the bill when you got downstairs to the basement where the club was. This meant that people genuinely wanted to be there and felt part of something when they could say they saw Four Tet or Diplo or Luke Vibert the night before in a sweaty basement in central London for less than a fiver.

So Stein comes over and hangs out and has made two special mixes for the night too, which he gracefully let us play on Solid Steel a few weeks later. Not only that, I’d bought a box of 45s on eBay a few months before but the seller only shipped them within the US. I got them sent to Steve’s place in New York and he bought them over. There were a couple a quite rare Christian spoken word 7”s in the box, one including John Rydgren but there was plenty of other good stuff too. This mix is made up of the contents of the box plus a few random flexi discs I also added to the mix. Add in Steinski’s two mini mixes and you have an hour of very random beats, bits and bobs.

There’s a lot of drug messages in this as several of the records were about that. The Fenella Fielding flexi disc is a classic and Jonny Trunk swears that she farts at one point in it. The Kenny Everett and Michael Aspel disc, ’On Love’ is very strange, Kenny seems pissed or high, Michael makes an inappropriate confession about his daughter and Kenny confesses to unrequited love with someone called Henry which, given that this was made way before he was out of the closet, is another one for the list of now obvious clues he dropped throughout his broadcasting career.

Track list:
Steinski – Ruby Lo mix 1
Dr Donald B. Louria – Is Marijuana really habit forming?
Rhythm Heritage – Theme From Rocky
Dr Donald B. Louria – Does LSD Increase creativity?
Marc Hamilton – Tapis Magique
Everyday People – I Like What I Like
Guitar Self instructor For the Very Beginner
The Cousins – The Robot (Madison Twist)
John Rydgren – The Butterfly
Steinski – Ruby Lo mix 2
Doobie Brothers – Listen To The Music
Grand Funk – Destitute and Losin’
Cliff Richard – A Personal Message To You
Kenny Everett & Michael Aspel – On Love
Love Unlimited Orchestra – Sweets Moments
Fenella Fielding – Limber Up with…
Elton John – Bennie & The Jets
Dr Donald B. Louria – Are people using other potent hallucinatory drugs?
John Rydgren – The Lord Is My Shepherd
Dr Donald B. Louria – Is Marijuana really dangerous?
John Gibbs & the US Steel Orchestra – Steel Funk
Jerry Samuels – Who Are You To Tell Me Not To Smoke Marijuana?
Kenny Everett & Michael Aspel – On Love

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Mid year summary

In-Sect collage 3 I’m very aware that this blog seems to mostly be mixes at the moment so I thought I’d update people with what else has been happening these past few months. Since lockdown and the loss of all gigs I’ve been super busy, firstly trying to adjust as we all have to this new weird order, and working on lots of projects.

I started a Mixcloud Select channel 13 weeks ago (as you can’t fail to have noticed if you read this blog) – weekly uploads from my tape archive for the price of a cuppa a month.

I also started a digital-only label on Bandcamp, Infinite Illectrik, for my turntable experiments and other non-DJ Food projects. I’ve been working on several collage pieces (examples seen here) which will eventually result in a comic to be included with another project I’ll be recording for the label, The In-Sect, no release date for that yet, probably next year.

In-Sect collage 4

An old collaboration with Howlround has been resurrected and completed under the name The New Obsolescents, I’m listening to the masters of the album as I type and preparing the handmade covers over the next few weeks, it will be different and the sleeve will be very special indeed. More info very soon…

PC and I compiled three Kaleidoscope companion mixes to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album we made in 2000. We’re currently assembling a proposed release for it, i’ll let you know what becomes of that.

I’m currently in the middle of composing a soundtrack to a book that’s being published this summer, again collaborating with a few different people, that should be getting a CD and digital release this year too.

In-Sect collage 1

Graphic work largely ground to a halt during lockdown including a trilogy of albums for The Real Tuesday Weld and a zoetrope project for another artist. That work is slowly picking back up it seems and I hope to finish these as well as starting another zoetrope job for a huge act next week.

In-Sect collage 2

I then have a mix for 45 Live to do, a live stream audio visual mix of my Kraftwerk Kover Kollection airs on July 18th and there’s another very special mix which I’ve yet to record that will be getting a physical release at some point too but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Mixcloud Select 13 – Strictly Session – Coldcut Solid Steel 05/05/1996

13 Tape Track notes:
Firstly, this tape actually dates from 1996, not 1995 as it says on the label. I know this for sure because not only did most of the records played come out in ’96 but I remember taping this on my then girlfriend’s stereo as it was broadcast. She later became my wife and we hadn’t even met on this date in 1995 (my birthday funnily enough) so I’m pretty sure I labelled it wrongly.

Anyway, this was a good one, a proper headfuck of a mix, lots of trip hop – heavy beats, scratching, trippy sounds, electronics, tape loops and weird spoken word – that’s trip hop in my book. Trouble Funk and As One bring the groove, Camping Gaz & Digi Random (actually from Spain, not Italy as Jon More says) bring the comedy and Scala (a little remembered offshoot of Seefeel with Locust’s Mark Van Hoen producing) bring a distorted slice of filth called ‘VDT’.

Richard Dorfmeister appears twice, remixing Alex Reece with partner Peter Kruder and in his Tosca guise, DJ Shadow gets a whole side of his Mo Wax Excursions release played, accompanied by frenzied scratches via a Bionic Boogie Breaks record and Kirk Degiorgio crops up again at the end. The As One tracks were from his album for Clear, ‘The Message In Herbie’s Shirts’ which, I had an unlabelled test pressing of at the time so I didn’t know the titles. I even impressed myself by playing Pauline Oliveros in 1996, her track ‘I of IV’ is from the same record as Reich’s ‘Come Out’ which is then sampled in UNKLE’s remix of Tortoise’s ‘Djed’.

The Up, Bustle & Out track is a real oddity, actually a remix by Gwen Jamois and a pre-Cinematic Orchestra Tom Chant who recorded under the name The Sycophants, they remodel it entirely into a skronky jazz track! Squarepusher shows up under his real name in the lesser-heard ’Squeak’ from the Worm Interface 12” ‘Bubble & Squeak’. This was on the shop Ambient Soho’s label and there are three versions of it out there, a colour screen printed cover and B&W cover with crayons stuck to it, both my fellow Openmind designer, David Vallade. Then there’s a third version designed by me with photos provided by Tom.

Track list:
The Groove Robbers feat. DJ Shadow – Hardcore Instrumental Hip Hop
The Groove Robbers feat. DJ Shadow – 1/2 Bonus Scratchapella
The Groove Robbers feat. DJ Shadow – Last Stop
Steve Reich – Come Out
Tortoise – Died (UNKLE Bruise Blood remix)
Req – Req’s Garden
Trouble Funk – The Beat
As One – The Kiss
Pauline Oliveros – I of IV
Camping Gaz & Digi Random – Camping Gaz (Calliphora Vomitoria Mix)
Scala – VDT
Alex Reece – Jazz Master (Kruder & Dorfmeister mix)
Tom Jenkinson – Squeak
Tosca – Fuck Dub
Up, Bustle & Out – ‘Revolutionary Woman of the Windmill’ (OestroGwen mix)
As One – A Short Track About Love

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Mixcloud Select 12: DJ Food – Mixed Bag – Solid Steel 09/06/2003

MS12 SS CD Track notes:
Going through my CDRs this week to make them easier to sort, I tried to find a show that was close to this week’s date. Worryingly there seems to be a batch of CDs yellowing around the edges so I should get them encoded before the CD rot sets in further.

This mid 2003 set from 17 years ago seems to have several links from some sort of meditation record which for the life of me I don’t remember. Musically it’s the era of great chart hip hop, reggae, silly mash ups and garage-y club bangers. Also there seem to be a couple of Marilyn Manson tracks nestled in there which I remember caused a few raised eyebrows at Ninja back then. The funk 45 craze was still unearthing treasure and the show opens with Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier’s incredible ‘La Horse’ which had just been reissued as part of DJ Oof’s Cinemix project.MS12 CD+tracklist

Nestled in the middle of the mix is a mash up I made under my Flexus alias called ‘Bite My Salami’ (there’s a whole album’s worth of these which I used to make for DJ sets). It layers  Justin Timberlake’s ‘Rock Your Body’, Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and Pepe Deluxe’s ‘Salami Fever’ and sort of works but really needs some of the guitar from Timberlake’s tune. At the time you couldn’t get the a cappella for this so I ended up buying the CD single and using the phase insertion trick with the vocal and instrumental versions to cancel out everything but the vocal. Then Sean Paul gets overlaid with a version from The Bug, it was a different time…MS12 SS front

Track list:
Serge Gainsbourg/Jean Claude Vannier – La Horse
Geezers of Nazareth – Loving the Pole (pt 1)
HIM – The Way the Trees Are
Cardinal Offishall – Belly Dancer
Trashman – Got To Get Ya
Connie Prince – The Badger
DJ Format – Here Comes the Fuzz (Quartertones remix)
Prince Paul feat. Chubb Rock, MF Doom, Wordsworth – People, Places and Things
Marilyn Manson – Baboon Rape Party
Amon Tobin – Hot Korean Moms
Flexus – Bite Your Salami (demo mix)
The Bug – Slew Dem (version)
Sean Paul – Get Busy (acapella)
Massive Attack – Butterfly Caught (Jagz Kooner remix)
Marilyn Manson – Thaeter
Camping Gaz & Digi Random – Circus World (Skamping Gaz Simphony 2)
Jammin’ – Tonka
Tubbs – 5 Day Night (Baloo mix)
Instrumental – All Shook Up

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Mixcloud Select 11- DJ Food – Osy Kicks It Off – Solid Steel 04/03/2002

MS11 CDThis week’s upload was requested by never_be_game_over who cited it as one his favourites. Titled ‘Osy Kicks It Off’ in reference to Osymyso who starts the show with a recording culled from another show at the time, XFM’s The Remix. Why was I pulling audio from another programme? At this point in 2002 the bastard Pop / bootleg / mash up scene was in its early stages with a handful of physical bootleg records available but the majority of these creations existing purely online through sites like Boom Selection (run by a 14 year old school kid called The Dr but that’s another story).

Eddy Temple-Morris and James Hyman’s XFM show, The Remix, quickly became the place to showcase a lot of these tracks and host mixes by the leading lights of the scene, Osymyso being one of the originators alongside The Freelance Hellraiser and Cartel Communique who started the first London club exclusively playing mash ups. Originally named ‘King of the Boots’ before changing to the much more direct ‘Bastard’, this was a monthly event in a tiny, sweaty basement under a newsagent just off Tottenham Court Road in London’s West End and were some of my favourite clubbing experiences ever. There’s a brief clip of it at the start of this Swiss TV piece featuring Osy and myself DJing at Bastard, just look at that pre-mobile phone crowd.

Anyway, Osy’s Intro-Inspection was a megamix made completely from intros of famous pop songs and the recording I pinched was the only way of getting it as it hadn’t been pressed yet. It didn’t occur to me to actually ask him for a digital copy even though we’d met years before and have since become great friends but I heard it and thought it was so brilliant that it had to be the show opener. You can hear Osy (Mark Nicholson to his mum) and James Hyman at the end and James even names checks Coldcut as being up next which is odd as I don’t think they ever had an XFM show, maybe it was a guest mix, either way I thought I’d leave it in.
MSfront
The rest of the show is a mix of current hip hop, both UK and US, which is in rude health by all accounts, mixed with trip hoppy experiments by the likes of Sirconical (on the then new Twisted Nerve label), Sixtoo, Money Mark and the first fruit from DJ Shadow’s second LP, the incredible ‘Monosyllabik’ track, allegedly made from only two samples. Lightening the mood are more mash ups from Girls On Top feat The Sugarbabes (later to be a UK no.1), Pitman’s take on Pharaoh Monch’s ‘Simon Says’ and Wevie Stonder’s sound effects guessing game. Whilst the US rap scene was embracing RnB and having crossover pop hits with the likes of The Neptunes and Timbaland the underground had gone back to the old school and was pioneering a much rawer composite of back to basics sampling exemplified by The P Brothers and their Heavy Bronx sound in the UK and Edan in the US. The early 90s was a golden age for music magazines too with the likes of Big Daddy and Wax Poetics picking up the baton land down by the Beastie Boys’ short-lived Grand Royal mag and doing in-depth interviews with scene pioneers even as the music industry plummeted into the abyss of file sharing.

MS11 inside

Track list:
Osymyso – Intro-Inspection (part two 48-101)
Sirconical – Spank
Ultramagnetic MCs – Poppa Large (accapella)
Wevie Stonder – Kenkeneb
Midnyte – Nott’s Rep
DJ Shadow – Monosyalabik
Sixtoo – Camino
Girls On Top/Sugarbabes – We Don’t Give A Damn About Our Friends
P Brothers – Science
Jehst / Jzone / Harry Love – Staircase To Stage
Dr Dre (feat Nocturnal) – Bad Intentions
RJD2 – The Proxy
D Stroy – Roll Out
P Brothers (feat Cappo) – Nottingham Bronx
Pitman – Pitman Says
Edan (feat Mr Lif) – Rapperfection
Blade – Survival of the Hardest Working
Money Mark – Soul Drive 6th Avenue DJFoodMixcloudSelect11

Infinite Illectrik featured in the new issue of Electronic Sound magazine

ES turntable

My customized turntable – the Quadraphon as I sometimes call it – is featured in the opening spread of this month’s Electronic Sound magazine including a piece I wrote about it. Once again, the magazine is full of so much it’s hard to know where to start – Suzanne Ciani, Sonic Boom, a tribute to Florian Schneider and a peek inside Neil Arthur’s memorabilia collection as well as tech news, tons of reviews and an exclusive Suzanne Ciani 7″ if you subscribe to the double bundle each month. It’s also still one of the best designed mags on the shelves.

But with a lot of major newsagents and record shops closed they’re relying on subscriptions and mail order right now so if you’ve been meaning to take out a subscription then now’s the time. There are also plenty of back issues and other vinyl in their online shop but those bundles sell out pretty fast.

ES cover ES CianiES Ciani 2 ES Florian ES lathe

De:tuned DE:10 Interview and mix for WAV radio

DE10 Ltd Col Vinyl web

I’ve got an exclusive mix of the De:tuned label’s 10 year anniversary tracks airing on Belgian station WAV (We Are Various) tonight between 8pm-9pm (CET – 7pm in the UK) plus here’s an interview about the mix & designing for the label. It should be on Soundcloud after so I’ll add it in once it’s premiered. UPDATE and here it is…

Mixcloud Select #10 Openmind – Daydreaming at Night (Float 1 side B) 1993

10 Openmind - Daydreaming At Night tape

Track notes:
Side B of a mixtape created for a Floatation Centre in Brixton called Aquatonics who wanted a mix of continuous ambient music and sounds to play to their customers that would aid their floatation trips. Recorded live on two turntables and a basic CD player with no pitch control direct to this cassette in the house I shared with fellow Openmind associates David Vallade, Mario Aguera and Chantal Passamonte (later Mira Calix). The title was coined by David and was also used as a track title on Chantal’s debut album for Warp.

This week I’ve dug out one of the original flyers used to advertise this in the Ambient Soho record shop, this was an incredibly early computer design by yours truly, probably one of the first. I think this was done on Mario’s computer at his work as we didn’t yet have one at the flat. He was a computer game programmer at that point (working on a game for Queen (the band) I seem to remember) and later worked with Hex creating visuals and animation for a game they were working on. Float A5 flyer frontThe music selection is a pretty good representation of what we were playing at the Telepathic Fish parties at the time: The Orb (of course), Future Sound of London, Dreamfish (Mixmaster Morris & Pete Namlook), Sven Vath and a few side steps like ambient sections from ZTT and 4AD releases. We used to play bits of This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Grace Jones and there’s even a bit of U2 in there (!) There’s also a fair bit of stuff that I just cannot work out in amongst the layers so if anyone spots anything I’ve missed then please comment.

There is one particular moment that makes me cringe on this side – at the end of an Orb mix of whale noises I’m playing over the ‘Return’ mix of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Warriors of the Wasteland’, suddenly a fairground Wurlitzer strikes up the opening notes of ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’. I wasn’t paying attention whilst mixing with three decks and this caught me off guard, quickly being faded out before it could launch into full flow. It may have ruined a few floats… I used to have two copies of the Frankie tune and the intro to this mix is a lovely ambient piece before going into the full song, I would crossfade them together three of four times to extend the intro, sometimes at different speeds or pitches.

Track list:
The Orb – Back Side of the Moon
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Well…
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Warriors of the Wasteland (Return)
Grace Jones – The Crossing (Ohh The Action…)
Sven Vath – Caravan of Emotions
U2 – Mysterious Ways (Apollo 440 Magic Hour Remix)
Brian Eno – Lantern Marsh
System 7 – ?
The Orb – O.O.B.E.
This Mortal Coil – Filigree & Shadow
Kraftwerk – Europe Endless
Dreamfish – School of Fish
This Mortal Coil – Firebrothers
Future Sound of London – Papa New Guinea
Sven Vath – Caravan of EmotionsFloat A5 flyer back

Four Tet in Sixteen Locked Grooves by Quadraphonic Stylus Ensemble

Using the Quadraphon turntable, a customised deck with three additional arms, I remixed side D of Four Tet‘s ‘Sixteen Oceans’ album which contains only locked grooves. These grooves play one revolution infinitely, looping the sound, and played in multiple combinations with added FX you can create endless remixes. I call them ‘Phonomontages’ – two are released today via my label, Infinite Illectrik https://infiniteillectrik.bandcamp.com/

ii08 cover colour web

Mixcloud Select #9 Openmind – Floatation Space Station (Float 1 side A) 1993

09 Openmind - Floatation SS tapeTrack notes:

As I recall (although the memory is vague) this mix was created for a Floatation Centre in Brixton called Aquatonics, they had one in Notting Hill as well apparently. I was approached by the guy who ran it (Mark, maybe?) who wanted a mix of continuous ambient music and sounds to play to his customers that would aid their floatation trips. This was whilst I was working at the Ambient Soho record shop on Berwick St. in London and it’s possible he came into the shop to enquire. I certainly remember designing an A5 flyer that gave you £2 off your first float that we would hand out in the shop, part of which forms the inlay for this tape.09 Float 1 inlay

The selection is a pretty good representation of what we were playing at the Telepathic Fish parties at the time: The Orb, The Irresistible Force, FSOL, the Fax label, Global Communication, bits of This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Eno, even Grace Jones, U2 and Frankie Goes To Hollywood crept in as my meagre student budget demanded that any corner of the collection was game.

Recorded live on two turntables and a basic CD player with no pitch control direct to this cassette in the house I shared with fellow Openmind associates David Vallade, Mario Aguera and Chantal Passamonte (later Mira Calix). There are some moments that make me cringe at their out of tune-ness but mixing in key was something only Mixmaster Morris did back then, I was still very much learning my craft after years of playing hip hop and party music. I never went for a float so have no idea how this went down but they asked for a follow up mix which will appear sometime in the future no doubt. The B side of this tape, ‘Daydreaming At Night’, follows next week.

Track list:

DJ Spike – Outer Land (Part One)
Sequential – The Mission (Live From The Outer Zone)
The Orb – The Blue Room
S’Xpress – Coma
The KLF – Justified And Ancient Seems A Long Time Ago
Sven Vath – Drifting Like Whales In The Darkness
The Shamen – Re:Evolution (Accapella Vox)
The KLF – Madrugrada Eterna
This Mortal Coil – Tarantula
Clytus Gottwald & Stuttgart Schola Cantorum – Lux Aeterna
John Barry – Theme From The Deep
Yellow Magic Orchestra – Tong Poo (The Orb House Of Bright Colours Mix)
Unknown – Unknown
Brian Eno – Tal Coat
The Shamen – Re:Evolution (Accapella Vox)
Blue Pearl – Mother Dawn (Orb Bucketeer Mix 2)
The Irresistible Force – Mountain High (live)
Mystic Institute – Ob-Selon Mi-Nos (Repainted By Global Communication)
The Shamen – Re:Evolution (Accapella Vox)

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Mixcloud Select #8 Coldcut & DJ Food – Shibuya FM session 1996

08 Shibuya FM tapeTrack notes:
A live multi-deck and laptop set recorded at Shibuya FM in Toyko whilst on tour in Japan, 1996. Messy, scratchy, improvised turntable decknology mixing up ambient, jazz, drum n bass, electronica and other beats as only the Solid Steel crew can.

This was recorded on the evening of October 28th from my tour itinerary and ended a day of interviews. The itinerary says we did two sets which explains why it says Pt.1 on the tape. Not sure where Pt.2 went but I think I’ve seen the DAT of the whole thing somewhere, if I find it, it will appear here if it’s any good. The set was fun and furious and Japan was a revelation as anyone who’s been there will tell you.

08 Japan itinerary 96
This particular recording comes from a tape of a Solid Steel once we got back to the UK so I’d date the UK broadcast as somewhen in November 1996.

Track list:
Morton Subotnick – Silver Apples Of the Moon
Spacetime Continuum – Flouresence (on 45 rpm)
Photek – Rings Around Saturn
Miles Davis – Fast Track
Photek – K.J.Z.
DJ Food – Scratch Yer Hed (Squarepusher remix)
Kruder & Dorfmeister – Shakatakadoodub
The Herbaliser – A Mother (For Your Mind)

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Mixcloud Select #7 – Strictly Kev – Magic Transistor Radio Pts. 1&2 10.04.00

07 Magic Trans Radio CDI have this down as the first set I made for Coldcut Solid Steel in its new home at BBC London Live on 10th April 2000 – a busy month what with the release of ‘Kaleidoscope’ just a week before. We’d left KISS FM a year ago when they announced an impending overhaul of the roster, jumping before we were pushed basically. I’m sure it hurt Matt & Jon more than the rest of us as they had been with the station over 10 years and seen it come up from a pirate to a legal entity. As with everything, things had changed there as commercial concerns took over but it was strange not to suddenly have a weekly show broadcasting around London to go to.

All was not lost though, over the previous five years studio editing technology and CD-R burning had become more commonplace and we were all in the position to either record in our home studios or in Coldcut’s Ahead of Our Time set up at Ninja Tune. We’d been doing this since the KISS studios became unavailable and Matt had already set up Ninja’s first website (Don’t Believe The Pipe) and investigated early streaming technology, keen for us not to lose our weekly flow. Streaming wasn’t what it is today though, you had no idea if anyone was listening, the sound quality was terrible and the technology unreliable – it didn’t feel like being on the airwaves of a ‘real’ radio station. But, as in a lot of instances, Coldcut forged ahead and were early adopters, dragging us into the future with them.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD cover

When Ninja HQ moved from Clink St. to Kennington at the turn of the decade the studio set up changed so, more often than not, I would record sets at home and bring DATs or CD-Rs into the office for Darren ‘DK’ Knott who was now officially producing the show each week. He would organise who was playing when, co-ordinate guests, assemble each 2 hr show in time for Friday and mail out CD-Rs to stations around the world who subscribed to the weekly sessions.

When we first found out we’d got the London Live slot we were overjoyed that we’d finally, officially, be back on the airwaves. Reborn from GLR (Greater London Radio) and later rebranded as Radio London, then Radio LDN, they were having a mini renaissance with DJs like Dr Bob Jones and Ross Allen in early evening slots that were capturing the 20-30 something club goers.

Our joy was slightly curtailed when we got to the BBC studios to present the show and discovered a rather pedestrian set up with turntables over a meter apart and a broadcasting mixer fitted into the desk between them – definitely no turntable gymnastics with that set up. KISS, being a dance music station, was set up for club DJ-style sets, the mixing desk and mic one side and a table with Technics and DJ mixer the other, plenty of room and maneuverability if you wanted to plug in extra FX or move things around.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD backIt was decided that the best way to keep doing what we did was to prepare the mixes beforehand, that way we could be as radical as we liked and not have to worry about any technological limitations. This also meant we could be a lot more creative, didn’t have to rely on one take mixes thus keeping things tighter and also overdub other tracks if need be. Things could be edited but it also meant that things generally took longer as they could be more complex than before. The mix format suddenly opened up to me because of this and I think I did some of my best work in the next decade.

By this time I was getting increasingly into themed mixes or a set with a connecting or recurring factor, I also started naming the sets as I now had years worth under my belt for Solid Steel, only identifiable by date. The theme for this mix was Brian Wilson’s odd 7” single that came free with the Beach Boys Holland LP,. I was deep into my BB obsession at this time, hoovering up the late 60s and 70s LP and mining them for the gems they mostly contained until they went full-cheese as disco took hold. ‘Magic Transistor Radio’ is a children’s fairy tale about a pied piper who lives inside a radio and is Wilson is full blown la-la land mode. I threaded excerpts from it throughout the mix as it was so apt, being that it took part inside a radio.

There are so many great tracks here, Broadway Project’s LP is a forgotten classic IMO, David HolmesOrganisation-sampling ‘Living Room’, early DJ Format, Tommy Guerrero (arguably the last great record on Mo Wax), Sirconical on Twisted Nerve, 7-Hurtz on Output, Broadcast

But I’ve gone on WAY too long with this one, have a listen and see what you think. One more thing, I was so enthused I even made a CD cover for this one, I’m sure I intended to do this with all the mixes but only managed two like this. Turn on, tune in and freak out to the Magic Transistor Radio.

Kev

07 Magic Trans Radio CD + PRS

Track list:
Part 1
Brian Wilson – Mount Vernon & Fairway
Broadway Project – Sea of Change pt2
7-Hurtz – Stokes Motor (version)
DJ Format – Extra Lesson
Sirconical – Choppy
Timmy Thomas – Funky Me
Broadcast – Minus 1
Tommy Guerrero – So Blue It’s Black
A.L.O. Orchestra – The Last Time
Brian Wilson – Magic Transistor Radio
David Holmes – Living Room

Part 2
Brian Wilson – I’m the Pied Piper
Meat Beat Manifesto – Oblivion/Humans
Speedy J – Balk Acid
Recloose – Get There Tonight
Family Values – Last Days & Time
Freeform Arkestra – ?
She 1 – Kwaidan
Broadway Project – Clouds
E.A.R. – Sputnik
Gershon Kingsley – The Sound of Silence
Brian Wilson – Radio King Dom

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Circles In Squares record collecting film now online

Circles In Squares from Adam Bell Film on Vimeo.

A film about the different aspects of record collecting that I appeared in some years ago, ‘Circles in Squares’ has just been made available to view online. Unfortunately, one of the contributors, Naoki E-Jima recently lost his battle with cancer and any proceeds from the pay per view stream will go to Naoki’s family. It’s £4 for a 48 hr viewing window and it’s a really well made little film https://vimeo.com/ondemand/circlesinsquares

Circles In Squares poster

Mixcloud Select #6 – Openmind – Coldcut Solid Steel 16.12.94

Openmind - Coldcut Solid Steel 16.12.94 tape

Track Notes:
Very much from a golden age of electronica (The Black Dog’s ‘Spanners’ on Warp, Gescom’s debut EP, Anthony Manning on Irdial) and trip hop (Skylab, DJ Krush, 9 Lazy 9). The spoken word that lays across Skylab’s opening track in this mix is from an odd German test pressing I found back in the 90s, full of spoken word from old gangster films. I spotted the famous Lauren Bacall line, sampled in part by Double Dee & Steinski on ”Lesson 3′ but also later used as a KISS FM jingle with the ‘blow’ substituted for ‘kiss’, and thought it would be a nice nod.

The Anthony Manning track, ‘Untitled’ (track 3) is from his excellent album, ‘Islets In Pink Polypropylene’ on Irdial, there was nothing quite like it at the time and I’m not sure there’s been much since, a lost gem. The Gescom track is from the first ever release on Skam records, which I incidentally designed the labels for, and the 9 Lazy 9 track was from their second LP which was the first cover I ever designed for Ninja Tune.
The Eon track, ‘Inner Mind’, is played on 33rpm rather than 45 intentionally :) as it and the track preceding it – something by Kris Needs apparently which I just can’t identify – both use the same sample.

Track list:
Coldcut – ‘Welcome, I am your genie’ sample jingle
Skylab – River of Bass
Sheila Chandra – Nada Brahma
The Black Dog – Raxmus
(There’s what sounds like a short snatch of The Jedi Knights’ ‘May The Funk Be With You’ in between these two tracks)
Ronnie Jordan meets DJ Krush – S**t Goes Down (But I Got Phunked Up Mix)
Gescom – Sciew Spoc
Anthony Manning – Untitled (track 3)
Kris Needs – Unknown
Eon – Inner Mind (Freebase Mind) (on the wrong speed)
9 Lazy 9 – Electric Lazyland

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Mixcloud Select #5 – Strictly Solid Steel Side A – Bundy Mixes 21/12/97

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I held off a day posting this seeing as my social media feed was crammed with Bandcamp posts, didn’t want to add to the noise. But on that note I’ve started a label on the platform, digital-only for the moment, for my multi-armed turntable experiments with. locked grooves + FX. 1st releases are up now including a couple of pay what you want freebies.

https://infiniteillectrik.bandcamp.com/artists

Anyway, here’s Side A to last week’s side B – the ? in the title on the tape refers to me originally not knowing the date this went out and I’ve tracked it down to approximately 21/12/97 via a series of PRS sheets I have with track lists.

This set sports two amazing remixes by Bundy K Brown – the ones with the long Cheech Wizard subtitles, a thing of his back then. Bundy (by then ex-Tortoise) was someone we’d met on our first tour of the US when we showed up in Chicago and we had enough time to hang out a bit and do some record shopping. I really rated him as a producer mainly for his stand out remix on Tortoise’s ‘Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters’ mini album and we bonded over similar musical tastes.
He turned me onto a lot of electronic jazz and used to work in the Dusty Groove record store so was steeped in digging culture. I put him up for the ‘Timber ‘remix and we resolved to work together on something (‘Full Bleed’ on the Kaleidoscope LP). I just really like his off-kilter rhythms and the cyclic nature of what he does, maybe it’s because he’s a musician approaching sampling from an engineering perspective, whatever it is he has a unique ear and years later I found out Four Tet was a fan too.

This set is such a typical mash up of the times, lots of sample-based material that flits from jazz to electronica to downright huge dirty beats by the end for Skylab and Techno Animal. Bearing in mind this was going out between 1-3am I think we sometimes pushed things to extremes but it was (and still remains) anything goes – the Broadest Beats in London, right?

Kev

BTW: the Techno Animal/Nav Katze mix at the end really goes on too long and the bass distortion near the end is on the tape.

Track list:
The Sea & Cake – Sporting Life (The Cheech Wizard Meets Baby Ultraman In The Cool Blue Cave (Short Stories About Birds, Trees And The Sports Life Wherever You Are)) (Thrill Jockey)
Small Fish With Spine – High Fibre (Oxide)
Frederic Galliano – Espaces Baroques Pt.1 (F Communications)
Coldcut & Hexstatic – Timber (The Cheech Wizard’s Polythump Requiem For The Ancient Forests Mix) (Ninja Tune)
Skylab – Nickers of a Girl (Eye Q)
Techno Animal – Demonoid (City Slang)
Nav Katze – Wild Horses (Global Communications mix) (Dedicated)

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Mixcloud Select 04 – Strictly Solid Steel Side B – 3/4 DnB – 21.12.97

IMG_5313I don’t remember much about this session except that the tape states ‘3/4 DnB’, meaning Drum n Bass in 3/4 time. Looking at the track listing it states no less than three tracks in a row from DJ Suv from his Freebeat EP on Full Cycle which seems to be credited as one of the first to feature rhythms in 3/4 time within the genre. We were obviously taken with it to have played three in a row. The opening track is credited to DJ Food as ‘Parp, Thump, Crack ’n’ Hiss’ which I recognise at a typical PC joke. The opening sounds like PC and I messing about with all manner of FX and vinyl over the top and I’m definitely getting a bit carried away with it all.

I think about this time I may have had a mixer with a little loop sampler and FX built in so maybe I bought that into the studio to mess about with but I’ve not idea if this was made up at KISS FM or at Ahead of Our Time studios in the Ninja Tune offices at Clink Street. Either way, the first 10 minutes of this mix are a bit crazy.

Track list:

DJ Food – Parp, Thump, Crack ’n’ Hiss
DJ Suv – Output (Full Cycle)
DJ Suv – Free By Four (Full Cycle)
DJ Suv – Everyone Plays The Same (Full Cycle)
Danny Breaks – The Ratio (Universal Language)
Acustic – No 2 (April Records)
Toshinori Kondo & DJ Krush – Fu Yu (Sony)
Mr Scruff – Fish (Ninja Tune)
Kensuke Shiina – Ring of Fire (Salon Kitty remix) (Pussyfoot)

P.S. Side A next week…

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Above is a scan of the tape inlay, an old photo from a US tour I did with Coldcut around the time of their Let Us Play album, – they took their own projection screens and played from laptops for the first time to the amazement of many. In the background you can see Rob Pepperell, part of Hex who controlled the visuals, Coldcut’s Jon More is to my right. On screen you can see the Vestax PMC 06 mixer in between the decks, a super-thin 2 channel mixer popular with scratch DJs at the time due to its tiny size, bringing the turntables closer together to make juggling records easier.

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