C-Mon & Kypski’s More Is Less video

Video clipI’d never heard of this dutch group C-Mon & Kypski before until someone posted a link to their new video on the Ninja Tune forum. Besides loving the track – an mixture of ska, a sampled soul tune and synth bass more than a little reminiscent of Shadow’s ‘Mashin’ on The Motorway’ – the band are attempting to make their video online with the help of the general public.

The idea is very simple and anyone can take part as long as they have a webcam. They have already shot a basic video of the band larking about and you are invited to switch on your cam whereby one frame will be chosen at random for you to replicate. Strike a pose (they alternate your view with the chosen frame) take the picture (you have 5 seconds to get back into position) and they will add your image into the video. They already have over 6000 frames done and you can watch the video so far which is updated hourly.  Try it yourself

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DJ Food & DK – Now, Look & Listen 78 minute AV set

It is with great pleasure that DK and I finally bring you months of hard work with a mix comprising parts of our Video Turntablism sets from the last 12 months. Massive thanks to DK for really pulling out all the stops to get this thing realised from all the material we have, it couldn’t have happened without him.

[vimeo width=”635″ height=”480″]http://www.vimeo.com/8073574[/vimeo]

Strictly in Kiev and the DJ’s dilemma

[singlepic id=2040 w=320 h=240 float=left]

Sorry for the atrocious pun in the title but if I didn’t do it then someone else would have. I was in Kiev over the weekend and was overwhelmed by the sheer enthusiasm of the crowd there. As soon as I walked into the club I was asked for my signature including someone who had printed out the cover of the last EP on a sheet of paper for me to sign. The Ukrainians aren’t backwards in coming forward and I was passed many notes during my set as well as being asked to play tracks so I thought I’d show a few of them here.

I’ve been collecting these notes for years and plan to show more of them on here at some stage, they deserve their own little section really as some of them are brilliant. These show the different expectations of the crowd and also what they expect of ‘DJ Food’ – something I’m mindful of but which can change depending on territory and my mood. For instance, I don’t play much DJ Food material in my DJ sets, something I’ve been aware of for years and that will be rectified in 2010. But first on to the messages, the first one I got was:

IDM

Interesting take on what DJ Food is, I have nothing against IDM but I don’t play much of the genre unless the author is literally referring to it as Intelligent Dance Music – which could mean a number of things to many people. I started my set with some no-brainer breaks and beats to get things going without being too clever before I settled into a groove so I can take that one on the chin.

Next I got this from a girl who looked very exasperated when I told her ‘no’:

Kal

As much as I love the record (and I know others do) most of it just isn’t dancefloor material and the couple of tracks that are don’t have the sort of production that can compete with current music. I’m going to remix a couple of bits and beef up the production for my sets at some point though but I’ve played stuff before and it’s home listening headphone music for the most part. Tricky 3/4, 6/8 and 7/8 time signatures, spoken word and 80 bpm or lower tempos aren’t the kind of thing to set clubs on fire. I’ve always been a DJ before I’ve been a producer, subscribing to the Bambaataa, Flash, Double Dee & Steinski and Coldcut schools of DJing. This means mixing musical styles as well as beats, tempos and trying to add a twist of humour occasionally into the proceedings.

The more I play east of Europe I find that part of the audience is still expecting the DJ Food and Ninja sound of old in my sets -ie Trip Hop, breaks, Hip Hop and jazz-based sampled music. This forms a very small part of my sets at the moment as little of anything that falls into this category excites me and the bits that do are not always dancefloor friendly. I played very little electronic stuff in this set but maybe I should have tested the waters a bit more. Shortly after that I got this:

Hip hop

I really appreciate that people add please on the end, it really makes a world of difference. I got this just as I’d gone into drum and bass so I wasn’t about to about-face and revert to something else as jumping all over the place stylistically ruins the groove and pace of the night. So, the drum and bass went down pretty well with a portion of the crowd, especially with the obvious classics. Shortly after I finished with the d n b and the same guy pleaded with me again for Hip Hop, I got this note from him:

DnB

Well, he went home happy in the end but I suppose it looks like I’m not really playing what people expect! I chatted to several people after the set, who were all very complimentary, before heading off to the hotel for the night. The next day I had the opportunity to look around the city a little with my host Bogdan before heading off to Budapest. The bridge railings with all the padlocks and messages is a place lovers go to ‘secure’ their love for one another although apparently there have been several people jumping to their deaths as well! The house with the strange sculptures on the roof is the Secretary to the President’s house, originally built by an architect years before the revolution on land it was thought was un-buildable on.

Posted in DJ Food, Film, Gigs, Music. | 7 Comments |

Ninja goes to the Movies

Verity (Vez) Hoper used to work for Ninja Tune as press officer and her big passion was all things video and film related. She soon became commissioner for many of the videos being made for the label in the first half of the noughties and co-founded the monthly Antenna night at the NFT which set out to showcase the best new music videos being made. Along the way she befriended Edgar Wright, director of Spaced and later Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. She even appeared as a zombie extra in the former but possibly her biggest contribution was providing a number of rare posters from the Ninja archive to help dress the set of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost‘s house. Many of these were never made available to the public so eagle eyed Ninja fans have an extra treat when watching this excellent film. The biggest treat for me was seeing my Funki Porcini ‘Fast Asleep’ poster taking pride of place above the decks in the living room.

Big Ninjas on Tour poster from an old 90’s tour of Europe

Ninjas On The RoadAmon Tobin ‘Out From Out Where’ promo poster

Amon TobinYou can see the huge Funki Porcini ‘Fast Asleep’ poster in the background above the decks. To the left, a Canadian poster for an Amon Tobin / Kid Koala gig and a Amon Tobin / DJ Food / Kid Koala ‘Meals on Wheels of Steel’ tour poster.

Tour posters and Fast Asleep
Meals on Wheels of SteelA Herbaliser gig poster sits centre stage with a DJ Vadim Russian Percussion tour poster by Remi / Rough.

The Herbaliser / DJ VadimThe aformentioned Funki Porcini poster looming large in the background, to the left you can see a Big Beat Boutique poster with Cabbageboy‘s real name – Si Begg – not too far off Simon Pegg.

Funki PorciniBetter view of the Ninjas on the Road poster – this must have been from the first proper Ninja tour of the continent – mainly Germany and France – in ’96 being as it includes, Coldcut (Jon More), The Herbaliser (Ollie Teeba), DJ Vadim and DJ Food (PC and myself)

Amon Tobin / Ninjas on the RoadFog poster in the background

FogMike Ladd project The Infesticons‘ first LP ‘Gun Hill Road’ on Big Dada promo poster

InfesticonsPest single promo poster

PestNinja Tune label manager Peter Quicke‘s wife is a film set dresser and she was ‘lucky’ enough to be employed on the set of The Spice Girls’ ‘Spiceworld – The Movie’ back when girl-power was at it’s height. During the film (what do you mean you haven’t seen it?) the Girls do a number at the Ministry of Sound whilst Meatloaf, their driver, waits outside in the tour bus. After the song, Sporty Spice comes bounding out to wake him up and you catch a fleeting glimpse of a row of ‘Ninja Cuts : Flexistentialism promo posters, freshly pasted on the wall in the background.

Ninja Cuts in Spiceworld

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Videocrash 2

Videocrash2.1Well, the second Videocrash was on Saturday night at Koko in London with a line up of Hexstatic, Bomb The Bass, Cheeba, Octavcat and yours truly amongst others and it was a blast if a little bit of a shorter one than before. Seven acts on a bill, including two bands with drummers, is a bit much to cram into 8 hours which was cut down to 7 when the soundchecks overran.

Videocrash2.2Most sets were cut including ours and new Solid Steel member Cheeba‘s. Poor guy had travelled down from Bristol to soundcheck a full 12 hours before his set – he only had an hour and had the graveyard shift from 3 until 4am – only to get 30 minutes before closing time.

Videocrash2.3DK and I slashed nearly half of our set and added some new bits in we’d been working on the past week which worked pretty well. All photos here were taken by the inimitable Martin Le Santo (thanks again mate)

Videocrash2.4Now, back to the records…

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