Mixcloud Select 48: DJ Food – Warp 100 mix 05/07/1998

MS48 Warp DAT

During the summer of 1998 Warp Records put out their 100th release, a compilation of new tracks from all artists entitled ‘We Are Reasonable People’, which also celebrated their 9th anniversary. I put together a mix of all the tracks on Solid Steel although don’t be expecting a Blech pt.3 as this definitely isn’t as involved as that. I think I had to do it as the vinyl sides let me over the 3 discs, pairing up tracks from different sides plus a copy of the 4 track promo 12”. (I may have had double copies actually listening to the N.O.W. section)

As it says on the DAT cover, it’s pretty pedestrian in the way it’s put together although (my mix that is, not the contents). There’s a very odd mix of the Mark Bell track out of Jimi Tenor – how to get a banging techno tune into a slow lounge number? Put it on 45 so it’s double time, mix together then turn down to 33. Sometimes you’re better off leaving a gap but I was young and determined to find a way to mix EVERYTHING together. If you just want to listen to the comp without too much interference then this is one way to do it. Just look at that line up! All tracks were exclusive to this comp at the time and several still aren’t available anywhere else.MS48 Warp Box

Part 1
Plaid – Ilasas
Squarepusher / AFX – Freeman Hardy & Willis
Red Snapper – 4 Dead Monks
Broadcast – Hammer Without A Master
Plone – Plaything
Nightmares On Wax – Fishtail Parker
Part 2
Boards Of Canada – Orange Romeda
Jimi Tenor – Wear My Bikini
Mark Bell – A Salute To Those People Who Say Fuck You
Mira Calx – Umchunga Locks
Two Lone Swordsman – Circulation
Autechre – Stop Look Listen

 

Mixcloud Select 47: Hip Hop ABCs/ TV is the new religion 01/04/2002

MS47 disc Going back almost 19 years to April Fool’s Day 2002 and a thing titled ‘Hip Hop ABC / TV is the new religion’ this week although the date on the CD and tracklist here is most likely when it was recorded rather than transmitted. Opening with DJ Shadow’s excellent ‘Mashin’ On The Motorway’ (with edited swearing for the radio) from ‘The Private Press’ LP, an album that suffered from far too many comparisons to ‘Endtroducing’ at the time despite being amazing. Given that the album came out in June 2002, it’s early to be playing this track but I do remember versions leaked online around this time.

There’s a lot of Sesame Street spoken word throughout this mix as I was in the middle of a big Children’s Television Workshop collecting phase, compiling material for the later ‘D Is For Dig’ mix – I have to say the segue from Grover into KRS-1 is quite inspired. The first half of this mix is heavy on current hip hop of the time erring towards the independent side of things with both UK and US talent featured. I always wondered if Black Twang were hoping for some kind of football TV syndication with ‘Kik Off’ but maybe not with those lyrics. How good is that Zeb Roc Ski track featuring Blade? Big Two Hundred was an alias of Andrew Meecham aka The Emperor Machine, Bizarre Inc. Chicken Lips and more who made one album for DC Recordings, very much in the Liquid Liquid post punk style.

MS47 PRS

Halfway we switch to a mixture of funky rock and religious spoken word from Jonny Trunk & Martin Green’s excellent ‘Resurrection’ compilation, a record that sparked an interest in religious records that I’m still exploring today. The end breakdown of Mountain’s ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ was of course the theme to LWT’s ‘Weekend World’ news programme during the 70s and 80s and brings us into the TV themes, covers and library cues section with a heavy bias on old BBC shows. The secret of library music had been out since the late 90s and many labels were reissuing fantastic comps of all the big hitters, there was a nostalgia for our 70s youth being stirred up that would eventually manifest itself into the hauntology genre with labels like Trunk helping fuel the fire.

Another thing fanning those flames were sections of the mash up community fusing old TV themes to new pop acappellas for laughs, hence the ‘Dad n Bass’ extract featured here which I must have found on the web somewhere. This scene was just starting to get into gear and I always thought the best mash ups were the ones that made you laugh at the ridiculousness of their pairing. This one is just that, if anyone knows who did it then please let me know. The daddies, Coldcut, close the show with an example from the late 80s of just this, showing they were, as ever, ahead of their time. This recording seems to be from a Capital Radio broadcast with Mick Brown and the mix was later featured on the July ’88 DMC mix album which was the only place you could find it until the Cold-Cut-Outs compilation.

DJ Shadow – Mashin’ On The Motorway
Kela – Crop Circles
Antipop Consortium – Tuff Gong
Cannibal Ox – The F Word (RJD2 remix)
KRS-1 – Get Yourself Up
Edan – Mic Manipulator
Blak Twang – Kik Off
Sir Beans OBE – How Would You Put This
Zeb Roc Ski feat Blade – On The Run (Junk’s UK remix)
Big Two Hundred – Replaceable Head
unknown – The Sun Worshippers Speak
Roger Limb – Alien in the Family
Ted Taylor Organisation – He Who Would Valiant Be
Neil Merryweather – Eight Miles High
Mountain – Nuntucket Sleighride
Ronnie Hazelhurst – The Two Ronnies Theme
Heavy Action – Superstars
Martin Cook & Richard Denton – Tomorrow’s World
Dudley Simpson – The Tomorrow People
unknown – Dad ‘n’ Bass
Coldcut – Off To Work

Mixcloud Select 45: Strictly Solid Steel Pt.2 19/10/97

MS46 tapeHere’s the second of two parts from late 1997. I don’t think I’ve heard this since it was broadcast, pretty sure this is taped from the radio broadcast as it has that lovely KISS FM compression across it and part of an ad at the end. This was my second set from the first hour of the show with PC providing the second hour.

A Reminiscent Drive made some lovely ambient / classical records on F Comm, more Plaid, Stereolab from career high ‘Dots & Loops’, oh how spoilt were we back then. No idea why I thought MC Shan would work after them but it just about does, crazy to think there’s now a documentary about this song. Wonderful Quincy Jones from his ‘Guala Matari’ LP into a way more funky, out there Hot Butter album cut than I remember, must dig that out again, it’s not all about ‘Popcorn’. Ending with Billy Cobham and ‘Storm’, part of a 4 section ‘sound portrait’ called ’Spanish Moss’ from ‘Crosswinds’, one of his increasingly electronic 70s LPs.

Track list:
A Reminiscent Drive – Footprints
Plaid – Rakimou
Stereolab – Refractions in the Plastic Pulse
MC Shan – The Bridge
Quincy Jones – Hummin’
Hot Butter – Space Walk
Billy Cobham – Storm

Mixcloud Select 45: Strictly Solid Steel Pt.1 19/10/97

MS45 tape
*The date on the post is correct going by other sources, the date on the tape above is wrong, no idea why.

A shorter mix this week after last week’s hour+ special. Here’s the first of two parts from late 1997. I don’t think I’ve heard this since it was broadcast, pretty sure this is taped from the radio broadcast as it has that lovely KISS FM compression across it and part of an ad was at the end. This was my first set from the first hour of the show with PC providing the second hour.

Kicking off with Skylab, the great Mat Ducasse / Major Force West collaboration from a clear 7” on Eye Q Records – I loved everything Mat did with his Skylab project and told him so when we met later in life. He said he was inspired by listening to Solid Steel so the circle was complete, everything is getting a reissue now so no excuse if you missed it first time round. The #1 LP and ‘Oh! Skylab’ EP are essential and this track comes from the #2 LP era https://skylab.bandcamp.com/

Brandi Ifgray made the ‘Le Mutant’ LP on Puu, an offshoot of Finnish label Sahko Recordings, home of Jimi Tenor, Metri, Pansonic and more. The next three tracks I barely remember but Plaid’s ‘Not For Threes’ LP was obviously new around this time. I always felt Laika could have gone the same way as Broadcast as this is from a pretty experimental 12” with Cabbage Boy (Si Begg) and Luke Vibert among the featured remixers.

Juryman (Ian Simmonds) and Spacer (Luke Gordon) were always excellent both recording together or apart and this comes from the one collaborative LP they made. That V/Vm track? I think it may have been from the Skam Records ‘0161′ compilation? New Flesh on Big Dada, early on when Part 2 still rapped and they hadn’t dropped the ‘4 Old’ from their name, really bold UK hip hop, full of ideas.

Part 2 next week!

Track list:
Skylab – Bite This!
Brandi Ifgray – Bumble Bee
Plaid – Extork
Laika – Shut Off/Curl Up (Cabbage Boy remix)
Juryman vs Spacer – Personnel Wanted
V/Vm – Asymetric
New Flesh 4 Old – Electronic Bombardment

Mixcloud Select Exclusive 01: Lynch Party Mix 2

DJFood MSX-01In my first exclusive new mix for subscribers I’ve chosen to make something that’s been on the ‘to-do’ list for an astonishing 10 years (!) Back in June of 2011 I made an hour long mix for Solid Steel entitled Lynch Party Mix from some of the remixes of Brendan Lynch and Martin ‘Max’ Heyes aka the Lynchmob. Working together and sometimes going by Lynch Mob (but never to be confused with the rap group of the same name) they made some of the most psychedelic, dubbed out remixes and productions of the 90s. You can find that here in the second hour.

Working primarily with Paul Weller after stints around the Acid Jazz/Talkin’ Loud camps in the late 80’s/early 90s, Lynch oversaw Weller’s return to the limelight as a solo artist, working with him on the final Style Council LP, ‘Modernism’, which initially didn’t see the light of day due to record label indifference.

With Lynch as producer and Heyes as engineer they worked on Weller’s 90’s run of albums, the self-titled debut, ‘Wild Wood’, ‘Stanley Road’, ‘Heavy Soul’ and ‘Heliocentric’ plus all points in between, Lynch even co-writing on songs like The Changingman, Sunflower and Wild Wood. Where they really excelled though was in deconstructing the songs for B sides, stretching them out and using all manner of sonic tricks to twist them inside out.

The Lynch Mob Bonus Beats mix of ‘Kosmos’ is an early example and was perfectly in tune with the then current trip hop movement. Taking that style and using it on Primal Scream’s trilogy of albums, ‘XTRMNTR’, ‘Vanishing Point’ and ‘Evil Heat’ was the next step and they also worked on several of the remixes under the band’s name for the likes of Asian Dub Foundation and Massive Attack. Remixes as the Lynchmob followed for Air, ADF, Dr John, Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene with Heyes also working on a couple of tracks with Weller drummer Steve White and ex-Councillor Mick Talbot.

If the Lynch Party Mix covered the more downtempo, dubby side of their output then part 2 picks up where that left off and slowly builds in tempo to a galloping blues rock crescendo. It includes a 6 minute megamix of various versions of the aforementioned ‘Mathur’ as well as two remixes of Weller’s ‘Brushed’ only issued as a promo. The ‘Lynch Mob Bonus Beats’ and ‘Acid Dub’ mixes came from an acetate obtained from someone who worked in the industry at the time. I love the freeform nature of all these mixes, they’re full of backwards guitars, reverb-heavy drop outs and copious amounts of delay, even if it can get a bit full on at points. I can only imagine they achieved this by doing live mixes on the desk and then editing down the results to get a modern psychedelic sound without resorting to cliché. Also it’s HEAVY, they get a big, chunky sound that recalls some sort of acid trip where the music warps and moves in and out of your headspace.

*A word about the mix – there’s some extreme panning, feedback and distortion going on throughout, this is part of the original recordings and intentional, just be careful on the volume.

I’ve used dialogue from a drug information film called The Mindbenders throughout the mix to give it a running theme, it seemed appropriate and this concludes the Lynchmob mixes. I always intended to do two as I had plenty of material for them and it feels good to finally get this one down. There will periodically be more exclusives as I go through my list of themed mix ideas and tick them off, I can’t say when but this gives me a good excuse to finally get round to doing them.

Track list:
Paul Weller – Sunflower (Lynch Mob Dub)
Primal Scream – If They Move, Kill ‘Em (12” Disco Mix edit)
Asian Dub Foundation – Free Satpal Ram (Primal Scream & Brendan Lynch Mix – DJ Food Edit)
Ocean Colour Scene – Falling To The Floor / 100 Mile City
Ocean Colour Scene – July (Forza Moderna Mix)
Indian Vibes – Mathur (Discovery of India mix / Adbhuta / Extended mix / Lynch Mob beats DJ Food re-edit)
Paul Weller – So You Want to Be A Dancer
Talbot / White – Off the Beaten Track (4-1 Dub mix)
Paul Weller – Brushed (Lynch Mob Acid Dub / Lynch Mob Bonus Beats DJ Food edit) (acetate)
Primal Scream – Burning Wheel (DJ Food edit)
Ocean Colour Scene – Flood Tide Rising
Deus – Sun Ra (Lynchmob Dub)
Paul Weller – From The Floorboards Up (Lynch Mob Instrumental Remix)

Mixcloud Select Exclusive Mixes

DJFood MSX-01I’ve decided to start doing occasional exclusive mixes this year for subscribers to my Mixcloud Select channel, ticking off that to-do list of themed mixes I’ve been meaning to do forever but never got round to. We’re currently at 99 subscribers and once we hit 100 I’ll post the first of these – a follow up to the 2011 Lynch Party Mix that featured various remixes and productions by Brendan Lynch & Max Heyes aka the Lynchmob.
That means a lot of tripped out 90’s era Paul Weller, Primal Scream, Asian Dub Foundation, Ocean Colour Scene.. no, wait! come back! – these guys made them sound so good and it includes a couple of unreleased Weller remixes too.
For £3 a month you get a weekly archive Solid Steel mix or similar from my archives dating back to the early 90s, full track list, detailed notes and stories from the era. Future exclusives will include an Eno remix collection, the infamous unreleased Sesame Street ‘D Is For Dig’ compilation remastered and at least 2 more Kraftwerk Kover Kollections.
All brand new mixes will be exclusive for at least a year before being made public. Hit the purple button to subscribe, Friday 10.30am GMT is usually the drop time so, if one more person subscribes by then, the first exclusive goes up.

Mixcloud Select 44: Openmind Solid Steel mix 21/01/95

MS44 Openmind mix tape

I’ve been asked for more mixes from 1995 so here’s one from the start of that year that I barely remember, it’s from a show featuring PC and I, possibly Jon More also did a mix too as he’s on the mic at one point but I only have Patrick’s and my mixes. I’m not too sure where this was recorded as there are additional FX in the mix that suggest it was a studio mix outside of KISS FM and we were using Coldcut’s old studio DJ mixer with inbuilt sampler that could pitch shift samples and loops via a trigger button. You can hear me getting way too excited with it at certain points. I can’t remember if Ninja Tune was situated in Clink Street at this point but there was a point where we were doing some work out of Jon’s home studio in Herne Hill as I remember working on bits for ‘A Recipe For Disaster’ there and this may have been one of those sessions. Or it may have been in the Clink St studio as I’m sure we recorded the DJ magazine mix there and that came out late 1994 I think?

Anyway – details, how much of it really matters? There are some great tracks here that I’d forgotten and the front half is loaded with hip hop beats and scratches whilst the second half is more acid, electronic and slowed down jungle beats. There’s at least one mix that is in time but the wrong part of the bar which wrong foots you a bit from the flow of things, I would do this sometimes, get lost in rhythms and lose where the 1 was.

We kick off with a white label promo mailed out at the time with just ‘Lynch Mob Beats’ stamped on it featuring a tripped out psych guitar and FX jam that I loved and realised was the work of Brendan Lynch who went on to produce and mix for Paul Weller and Primal Scream as well as the classic Indian Vibes track, ‘Mathar‘. This was your typical major label trying to get one over on the dance DJs trick of having a white label with no info so as not to prejudice opinion. It was Lynch working over Weller as he would do repeatedly to excellent effect and I couldn’t have cared less who the original artist was but you have to remember that Weller was at a career low in the early 90s and ‘Wild Wood’ was the album that bought him back after years of critical bashing with The Style Council and his early solo work. To me, Lynch is one of the unsung producers of the early to mid 90s who had a unique sound and completely psychedelic production techniques that few else came close to. I’d love to know how he did his mixes, I’m presuming they were free form jams that were edited down later but he dubs a mix up like no other. I put a load of his mixes together 10 years back under the name Lynch Party Mix and there’s enough for a part 2 lurking on the hard drive (I must do that, maybe a subscribers exclusive).

The first of two tracks from the freshly-minted Clear label turns up in the form of Mike Paradinas’ Tusken Raiders ‘Beatnik #3’ and then into Gunshot and a trio of Jazzy Jeff scratch tracks where I get way too excited with the sampler. Jon had hipped me to Trouble Funk’s ‘The Beat’ so I threw that in and then into a couple of Fax label tracks after the break. You can already hear that the ambient content of the early Openmind mixes on Solid Steel are diminishing to be replaced by more trip-hoppy beats and early strains of drum n bass with the electronic content still there via artists like Plastikman, Autechre and Air Liquide. Jon refers to me as ‘Telepathic Kev’ so maybe the Strictly part hadn’t stuck yet. I was still very much finding my feet in the Ninja camp at this point but ’95 would be the year when I really consolidated that position with the design and DJing as well as studio work as I’d left my full time job in a book shop and just worked at weekends at Ambient Soho records.

If anyone can identify the track after DJ Crystl I’d be grateful as it’s alluding me, there aren’t many track lists surviving for most Solid Steel mixes pre-’98 so I have to make these from a combination of memory, Discogs and Shazam and the latter isn’t coming up with anything. It doesn’t help that I’m playing it on the wrong speed either as we used to do with early drum n bass like Photek, Crystl, Smokin’ Drum Recordings and such. Bit of a throwback to the late 80s with Bam Bam and Bomb The Bass, nothing changes there and then playing out with Jedi Knights on Clear which sadly stops abruptly as the tape runs out.

Track list:
Paul Weller – Whirlpool’s End (Lynch Mob Beats)
Tusken Raiders – Beatnik #3
Gunshot – Colour Code
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – A Touch Of Jazz
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – Hip Hop Dancer’s Theme
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – A Touch Of Jazz
Trouble Funk – The Beat
Plastikman – Lasttrak
Air Liquide – Combat Zone
Pulsation – Pulsar
Ongaku – Mihon
Autechre – Bronchusevenmx
DJ Crystl – Let It Roll
Unknown – Babylon
Bam Bam – Where’s Your Child?
Bomb The Bass – Beat Dat (Freestyle scratch mix)
Jedi Knights – Intergalactic Funk Transmission

Mixcloud Select 43: Strictly Kev’s US Shopping Trip Pt.2 21/01/2002

MS 43 CD Last week I posted a 30 minute set made from records bought on a 2002 tour to the States and Canada with DK, Four Tet and Bonobo. Given that this was the great tour where we shipped kilos of records back to the UK mid-tour (detailed in part in Stevie Chick’s Ninja Tune history book) and we only had 30 minutes to play with, I had loads more records to plunder so this week’s upload is an hour long part 2 of the shopping trip that aired two weeks after the first. Above is a home made CD label version of the mix which aired in the second hour of the Jan 21st 2002 Solid Steel show. After last week’s upload I was told the sad news that Bop Street in Seattle (where some of these records came from) had to close due to the pandemic. I dug out some photos from the tour including the basement underneath and I think the shot of me in from of a wall of 45 boxes is also from there.

Bop Street Basement

Some great tracks in here, not just from the tour but new promos and oldies too. More Jazz Club samples from The Fast Show in the intro into the Pointer Sisters ‘How Long and a mash up by Matmos of Missy’s ubiquitous at the time ‘Get UR Freak On’. They did it a little differently by sampling the sounds of coins to make the beats I seem to remember and there’s a nice little back and forth between the tracks at one point over the ‘I know you got a chick on the side’ refrain. The same happens between the Bill Cosby and Curtis Mayfield tracks where Cosby is having an imaginary conversation with someone on his track where you can only hear his side, talking about someone called Freddy who died. By chopping in Mayfield’s ‘Freddie’s Dead’ I could make the two tracks have a conversation even though the tuning is a little off in places.

Sidney Pointier made several spoken word albums in the 60s, his voice reminiscent of Rosko or Ken Nordine, reciting poetry over jazz and he flows into a curious 7” picked up in Toronto by The Casuals. ‘Moonbound’ is a novelty trip to the moon travelogue with a stewardess delivering the journey’s progress over a lovely easy listening ditty. When I met my current partner nearly 15 years later she was the only other person I’d ever met who had a copy. At the time the show went out, the first promo from the forthcoming Boards of Canada album, ‘Geogaddi’, had turned up, untitled. I now know that this was the track ‘Alpha & Omega’ and weirdly, I put some recordings of children from a Tony Schwartz album over parts of it only to find out later that the Japanese CD of the BoC album had a bonus track sampling voices from the same record.

kev digs

Kousik’s debut 45 had been given to me by Kieran on tour, released on his Text label and that slips easily into Edan’s excellent ‘Adrenalin Rush’ – beautifully capturing the original excitement of 80s golden era hip hop without sounding retro. After this the mix bounces all over the place through jazz, electronics, spoken work and soundtracks. The David Pritchard track is from a great but odd Canadian electronic experimental album I’d picked up called ‘Nocturnal Earthworm Stew’, which has since been reissued and you can find here https://davidpritchard.bandcamp.com/
One of the phone messages is from Malachi aka Flying Fish and now head of the Dynamite Cuts reissue label although I don’t remember the mix he’s talking about. Spot the DJ Food samples in ‘The Stripper’Nervous Nervous made loads of novelty singles and ‘Dig’ had to be bought just for the vinyl collecting connection.

More Jazz Club over an excellent cover of ‘So What’ by George Benson way before his smooth 80s soul period and then into electric Bo Diddley with ‘Bad Trip’ – so good! I have no idea why there are two Adam & The Ants tracks at the end as I most definitely didn’t buy them on tour, ‘Zerox’ was the first record I ever bought so maybe these two were filling up the hour and I know DK has a thing for this era of the Ants too.

MS43 PRS

Track list:
Solid Steel intro
Pointer Sisters – How Long
Dry Hustle – Do It Very Sloppily
Bill Cosby – I Know I Can Handle It
Curtis Mayfield – Freddie’s Dead
Sidney Poitier – Only The Brave Are Wise
The Casuals – Moonbound
Boards of Canada – Alpha & Omega
Koushik – Battle Rhymes For Battle Times
Edan w. Skillz Ferguson – Adrenaline Rush
William S. Fischer – Electrix
Bob Keeshan – A Child’s Guide to Jazz
David Pritchard – An Admission of Guilt
Cosmic Sounds – Taurus
Ken Thorne – Car Chase
John Keating – The Unknown Planet
Werner Muller Orchestra – The Stripper
Nevous Norvus – Dig
George Benson – So What
Bo Diddley – Bad Trip
Adam & the Antz – Zerox
Adam & the Ants – Ants Invasion

Mixcloud Select 42: Strictly Kev’s US Shopping Trip Pt.1 07/01/2002

MS42 CD Prompted by a message from Martin (kudrnacek79) who was looking for a track ID from this set I dug it out and the memories flooded back. Above is a home made CD label version of the mix, below is one of the official CDs made for licensees of the radio show back in the 00s.

We began the new year in 2002 with a stonker of a show on Solid Steel, comprising the best vinyl finds of a recent tour to the States and Canada. Food & DK’s ‘Solid Steel: Now, Listen’ was released in September 2001 and Darren and I embarked on a trip stateside in November, accompanied by Bonobo and Kieran Hebden who, although not on Ninja Tune, had just released his ‘Pause’ LP on Domino and was looking to tour. Everyone hit it off immediately and it soon became obvious that record shopping was the order of the day during downtime. Several spots still linger in the memory – The Princeton Record Exchange (pictured below), a store in a mall in Ottawa whose name I forget and Bop Street in Seattle. This last store has two big rooms, the owner’s private office with the pickings for eBay and a huge basement that runs under the shop and next doors’ too, full of thousands of records.

Princeton x3

On returning to the UK, we all agreed we should commemorate the occasion with something on the show as soon as possible. The brief was simple: make a 30 minute mix of the best records you bought on the tour and come into the studio to present your section. I’m not going to lie, I was seriously trying to impress and pulled out all the stops for this set going to extra lengths to chop, scratch, re-edit and overdub tracks and make it as exciting as possible with the records I had.

Kicking things off with an answerphone message from Dom Smith, a Ninja employee who later went on manage Flying Lotus and join the Cinematic Orchestra, I think there was a party going on and they needed more content but it’s a hazy memory. A Busta Rhymes/Queen mash up over the Solid Steel theme (remember this was 2002, it was all going off for bootlegs around then) leads into a host of funky rock breaks, Beatles and Led Zep cover versions, jazz, spoken word and… Britney Spears. Now there had been a thing for Britney during the tour as ‘Slave 4 U’ was just out – produced by The Neptunes on a roll at the time – and three of the four of us bought copies (for the instrumental you understand).

MS 42 CD 2

Kieran had hipped me to several of the original sources for his classic ‘Glasshead’ track which we’d featured in our set each night and I rather ham-fistedly strung them together. Shopping still involved hoovering up jazz, electronics, soundtracks, spoken word (I finally managed to score a copy of Ken Nordine & Robert Shure’s ‘Twink’ on this trip) and dipping my toe into funky rock. Aynsley Dunbar was picked up because of the Frank Zappa connection and contains the excellent ‘Watch n Chain’ and the Fred Astaire LP was bought for a feature by Ken Nordine but contains this little skit on the beat. We were still all about buying vinyl for beats both to sample and play out and you can hear that The Fast Show’s ‘Jazz Club had debuted in British TV by the inclusion of a sketch mid-mix taking samples from it, “nice!”.

IMG_9090 IMG_9091

The Bill Cosby had been on the wants list for a while and I tracked down a copy in Seattle at Bop Street – the whole album is Bill doing skits on different drugs with a very odd cover where his head appears to be pasted on to the photo. “Oh, that’s a thunderous break, a beautiful break!” it cries in the middle which was pulled from The Crepitation Contest LP which is basically a farting contest on vinyl. Listening back to this mix it encapsulates part of what Solid Steel was always about for me, aside from showcasing the latest tunes it was also about digging and chopping things up to make new forms, sprinkled with humour and nods to other records or scenes. Lord knows how long I spent on this 30 minutes but I had more time in those days, pre-kids and with the downloading downturn of the music industry not yet making itself felt.

IMG_9093IMG_9089

MS42 PRS

Given that this was the great tour where we shipped kilos of records back to the UK mid-tour (detailed in part in Stevie Chick’s Ninja Tune history book) and we only had 30 minutes to play with here I had loads more records to plunder so next week’s upload will be an hour long part 2 of the shopping trip.

Tracklist:
Strictly Kev – Solid Steel intro (new year remix)
Busta Rhymes – As I Come Back (instr.)
Queen – We Will Rock You
CCS – Whole Lotta Love
Elephants Memory – Madness
Drum Drops – Intro
Aynsley Dunbar – Watch ‘n Chain
Bud Shank – Blue Jay Way
Fred Astaire – The Afterbeat
Lincoln Mayorga – Peace Train
Norman Harris – Zach’s Fanfare
Dexter Wansel. – Theme from the Planets
Jean Vanesse / Miroslav Vitous – Thanks Billy
Bob Keenan – A Child’s Guide to Jazz
Ken Nordine/Robert Shure    – Clock
Paul Bley – Gesture Without Plot
Robert Kenyatta – Werewolf / Gypsy Man
Britney Spears – I’m A Slave 4 U
Grace Jones    – Operattack
Bill Cosby – Dope Pusher Song
Hair – Coloured Spade
Stanley Myers – End Title
Ken Nordine/ Robert Shure – Blotter

Mixcloud Select 41: Strictly’s 2 hr Rub 10/08/97 Pt.4

DJFoodMixcloudSelect41After the hip hop and turntablism of Pt.2 and the heavy beats and Drum n Bass of Pt.3 we take this down a bit for the last section. Paul Jason Fredericks was a friend of Riz ‘Neotropic’ Maslen and collaborated with her on a number of things on both her records and Council Folk label as well as putting this solo EP out on Oxygen Music Works. We all went to play at one of the first Coachella festivals in the US around this time and he did guest vocalist during Riz’s set. I’ll never forget him coming out onto the stage in an amazing kind of long drooping ballgown tutu, we were all sweating so much as the heat was insane and he didn’t seem to care one bit.

Another track from the only Ntone release by Tom Withers (aka Klute) in his Override guise comes next and then we’re into jazz territory with Freddie Hubbard’s classic, ‘Red Clay’. When I supported the Beastie Boys in 1998 at the Brixton Academy I remember them doing a track that sampled the famous riff from this throughout but, to my knowledge, it’s never been released. Maybe they had sample clearance problems or maybe it was just a tour thing? The theme to ‘Midnight Cowboy’ by Ronnie Aldrich precedes a short interlude track that I just can’t identify then another tune from Paul where we hear his stunning voice again.

Depeche Mode’s ‘Home’ plays out which is a very odd choice for me although I used to get sent promos for their singles all the time as they were always keen to get contemporary remixers of the day to do versions. Did you know that the song was produced by Tim ‘Bomb The Bass’ Simenon and was remixed by Air, LFO, Skylab, The Jedi Knights and Grantby? This version is the original though.

Thanks very much to Mr Armtone for helping me with this last section as I only had a portion of it in my archives, it’s nice to complete the set.

Track list:
Paul Jason Fredericks – Monday Morning
Override – Tubular Barriers
Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay
Ronnie Aldrich – Midnight Cowboy
Unknown interlude
Paul Jason Fredericks  – From Where He Stands
Depeche Mode – Home

Mixcloud Select 40: Strictly’s 2 hr Rub 10/08/97 Part 3

DJFoodMixcloudSelect40I don’t remember half the tracks on this mix save for the Journeyman, Coldcut and Attica Blues tunes. Journeyman’s ‘Rusty Beats’ is SO heavy, I think that was from his second album on Ntone, I have no idea who 2nd Gen is so had to look it up, it was from an EP on Flo (Flo 001 no less) called ‘Noise Sculptures’, seems he signed to Novamute the next year. The Override track came out on Ntone and was an alias of Tom ‘Klute’ Withers and you can hear that Photek / Bukem influence. I have Aquasky ‘Opaque’ down as the track midway through the mix, maybe something from the LP ‘Orange Dust’ that I may have had a promo of with no titles. The Animals on Wheels track is hard as nails too, this was from a 10” EP on the iLL label.

How scary / familiar does the Jello Biafra rant over Coldcut sound now? Who knew 23 years ago? Jello’s inclusion of course comes from the spoken word extract we used on the Coldcut Journey’s By DJ mix a couple of years before. Matt & Jon thought it would be good to remake it with Jello for real and one day he arrived at Ninja HQ in London Bridge. I was in upstairs with Jon Voda, in the mastering suite on his floor, working on the Coldcut/Grandmaster Flash collaboration track I think and Jello appeared at the door as he was to use the vocal booth to record his part. Jon introduced me, ’this is Strictly Kev, from DJ Food’. ‘From DJ Food or IS DJ Food?’ boomed Jello in his distinctive west coast drawl. And that’s my meeting Jello Biafra story…

Part 4 next week….

Track list:
Journeyman – Rusty Beats
2nd Gen – Statutory Angels
Override – Hungry
Aquasky – Orange Dust
Animals on Wheels – F.Y.A.
Coldcut – Every Home A Prison
Attica Blues – Enter

Mixcloud Select 39: Strictlys 2 hr Rub 10/08/97 Pt.2

DJFoodMixcloudSelect39Rifling through tapes for this week’s upload I found this mid ’97 show which came in 4 parts. Part 1 was actually an excellent Autechre radio mix that was a promo for ‘Chiastic Slide’ but which they allowed us to air. If you want to assemble a full show then it’s listed on Discogshttps://www.discogs.com/Autechre-Radio-Mix/release/17922

Part 2’s track listing caught my eye though because the second track is M.F. Doom‘s debut single on Fondle ‘Em records, a Scooby Doo-sampling minor classic that first bought his new alias to the world, post-KMD.

Obviously with his shock passing announced in the closing hours of 2020 I thought it would be a little nod to include this set. I see these are now going for an insane amount on Discogs, not that my copies are for sale. His ‘Operation Doomsday’ album is a bonafide classic and would include a re-recorded version of this track.

The bulk of this mix though is taken up with the full length ‘invisibl skratch piklz vs da klams uv deth’ turntable routine from Q-Bert, Shortkut and Mixmaster Mike that blew everyone away when it debuted and won them the team title in the DMC championships in the mid 90s. The Underdog remixes Massive Attack and Steinski’s collaboration with Coldcut, ‘I’m Wild About That Thing’, is featured from their ‘Let Us Play’ album which dropped around this time. I probably picked the Doom and Piklz 12”s up in the States on tour with them that summer. I have to admit, the mix is pretty pedestrian but the content is great.

Part 3 next week…

Track list:
Pt.1
Autechre    Radio mix (Not featured here)

Pt.2
The Invisibl Skratch Piklz    vs da Klams uv Deth
M.F. Doom – Hey!
Massive Attack    – Rising Son (Underdog mix)
Coldcut – I’m Wild About That Thing

Mixcloud Select 38 – DJ Food – The Sounds of Christmas 13/12/2004

TSOC front I performed as part of Christian Marclay’s ‘The Sounds of Christmas’ in December 2004 in a tent erected outside the Tate Modern gallery in London. Marclay was in town with his collection of Christmas records and invited various artists to come down, rifle through the racks, pick a selection and then improvise a set with them. I joined Matt Black, Janek Schaefer, Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Ergo Phizmiz, Matt Wand (Stock, Hausen & Walkman), Paul Hood and The Bohman Brothers.

It was a tough gig, there were two performers per night and I forget who I was paired with but I bought my Line 6 delay pedal to loop things up with. Marclay had hundreds of Christmas albums and I was working largely with no knowledge of what any of them would contain so went for stuff that looked funk, jazz or electronic-based. I remember pulling a great Lou Rawls album, a Jacksons LP, The Beach Boys and some sort of electronic synthesized carols LP.

Rushing through piles of LPs during soundcheck I made notes on each one, which tracks were good and discarded the ones I felt I couldn’t use. The crowd filed in and the tent filled up, it was freezing cold being mid December and I think I had to wear a coat and hat while I wrestled with the vinyl and delay pedal to construct some sort of Christmas soundscape / DJ set out of records I’d only heard snatches of an hour or so before. Apparently Marclay also used a Line 6 pedal and was heard to exclaim, ‘oh wow, he actually knows how to use it!’ :)

TSOC back

I’ve not heard the set for a good 10 years before digging it out again and it’s rough around the edges and barely holds together in places but has a kind of charm of its own and was probably the earliest example of a kind of turntablism that I’d later explore on the forthcoming New Obsolescents record and my Infinite Illectrik releases. Also, earlier this year, I discovered that Marclay had actually put out a record compiled of selections from the performances himself, mixing everything into his own collage and including locked grooves on the B side. I remember signing a release form when agreeing to the gig but never heard anything about a physical release but there it is. A beautiful embossed snowflake adorns the plain white cover and there’s my name on the back in the line up.

TSOC text

I’m not sure if this went out on Solid Steel at all, I have a feeling it did because I found an extended version with extra Xmas-related content edited onto the end marked as Dec’05 but the Solid Steel site has no track lists to check. It’s also very hard to do a tracklist for this as I have none of the records and it’s very chopped up. I’ve included an excellent Doors parody medley Christmas themed lyrics as a coda as it’s so well done.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to everyone, thankyou so much for subscribing, it means a lot. There are many more hours of mixes and stories to fill 2021 and beyond. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts and discovered some great music along the way. I have at least three physical releases in production for release in 2021 including a reissue of ‘Kaleidoscope’ with an extra double album of unheard music from 20+ years ago. See you on the other side…

Kev

Mixcloud Select 37 – Bendy Uptempo Funk + The Rocket 14/02/99

Bendy : Rocket : Chicago

Special request upload for Anton Kibeshev: an early 1999 mix that was part of a show with Funki Porcini on Solid Steel although, sadly, the Funki Porcini part is missing as he must have recorded it elsewhere. I transferred these mixes from a DAT earlier in the year but part of the first mix is missing, there was something else on the tape recorded over it (part of an Autechre live set I think). It’s only the first track and a half but it bought the first mix – titled ‘Bendy Uptempo Funk’ – in at 24 minutes so I thought I’d couple it up with the second set – ‘The Rocket’ to make it to nearly an hour. Next week is Xmas so I’ll dig out something suitably themed.

There’s a lot here that I don’t recall, most of it would have been current buys/releases and I always seem to recall that the end of the 90s was a bit patchy after the yearly new genres that the rest of the decade had sprung on us. There’s plenty to digest here though, First Born ‘The Mood Club’ still gets plays out from a great little 7” with a variety-speed mix on the B side., Klute’s ‘Blood Rich’ has aged well, The Fantastic Plastic Machine remix was from a Japanese remix album of anime soundtracks I think.

310’s ‘Prague Rock’ EP is something I return to annually, 5 tracks of classic British Prog Rock chopped and sliced into polyrhythmic soundscapes on the Leaf label, all totally illegal samples from giants like Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. It’s fantastic, every track a winner and I’ve never heard anything else come close aside from some early DJ Shadow productions. The record is easy to find and sells for around £2 on Discogs and was only ever a promo because of the samples. ‘The Voice of Britain’ is a Genesis cut up and the video on YouTube just adds to the weirdness, honestly, this is one of my all time favourite sample records ever, still sounds fresh 21 years later and 310’s own productions are nothing to be sniffed at either, amazing skills. You can hear and download it for free via their site including 2 remixes not on the 12”

Bendy DAT

‘Trama Nella Metropoli’ is one of the only old tracks here but it was new to me via a compilation that the Karminisky Experience Inc had given to me of old I Marc 4 tracks, this was one of the first legal library compilations out there and they still drop this track to this day. Apologies for my abstract / awful scratching into Q-Bert’s ‘Redworm’, I was so into this kind of turntablism in the mid to late 90s, unfortunately this kind of 100% purism rarely formed into anything other than a technically impressive but rather mediocre arrangement. Tracks like ‘Bear Witness’ were a far better showcases of exceptional Q-bert’s skills.

Part 2 is called ‘The Rocket’ – I have absolutely no idea why. Dodo kicks it off who was a quirky producer affiliated with the Digidub collective for a while I think who seemed to make a couple of singles and an album and then disappear. Roots Manuva’s excellent ‘Motion 5000’ sounds so good, loved this era of Rodney’s music but this Black Dog track I have no memory of. Tom Tyler made some great records for D C Recordings for a while and it looked like he was going to go the same way as The Cinematic Orchestra but it seems like he’s not made a record for 15 years according to Discogs. DJ Vadim finishes things off with the first single from his then second album which reminds me of a story connected to this date.

Valentine’s Day 1999 – I was living in the basement of a converted mental hospital in Camberwell, sharing with The Herbaliser’s Ollie Teeba and had gone to Sunday dinner with my girlfriend at her parents’ place in South West London. Midway through the afternoon her dad burst into the room, ‘It’s Ollie on the phone, you’ve been burgled, they’ve taken everything’, he deadpanned. Just like that, I didn’t know whether to be shocked at the message or his directness, it was a terrible piece of news to receive so we drove back to South East London to find that they hadn’t actually taken everything but had had a good root around and made off with a fair bit.

My decks and mixer went, that was gutting, not only because I needed them but because they were my first Technics, bought with money my late grandmother had left me when I first came to London. As a student, Technics were out of my price range and I wasn’t so foolish as to spend my grant on them and live off toast for the rest of the year. I wanted the money she left me to mean something so invested it in a pair of secondhand decks as I knew they would repay themselves several times over. One of them had been customised too with a black and yellow reverse switch, so if you ever come across a 1210 with an extra switch near the on/off button then it was probably mine. So this mix here is the last one made on my original turntables.

My Mac computer, monitor (one of the super heavy blocks, pre-iMac), money and a camera also went. Luckily I had an internal door lock on my room so they couldn’t actually get into the rest of the flat so Ollie’s room escaped untouched but my first thought was the work that was on the computer. One of the projects was the artwork for this Vadim single and forthcoming album as well as early designs for The Herbaliser’s ‘Very Mercenary LP. Another thing was an external drive under the table that had all my work for the ‘Kaleidoscope’ LP so far on it, luckily they’d ripped the wires out and left it, just taking the monitor and tower. That was an unhappy Valentine’s Day.

Bendy PRS

I’ve not included the ‘Unreleased Chicago Connection’ set as it was fairly minimal and was mainly taken up with Bundy K Brown‘s 18 minute Ariel M remix, all the material came from a DAT he sent me at this time when we were working on ‘Full Bleed’ for the aforementioned DJ Food album. The Chicago Underground Trio track has long since come out although I’m not sure if the Red Red Meat track ever made it.

Part 1 – Bendy Uptempo Funk
The Isolationist – Intro (from original tracklist, missing here)
Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra – Daunerfisch
Klute – Blood Rich
Firstborn – The Mood Club
Fantastic Plastic Machine – Theme From Lupin the 3rd (FPM Reconstruction mix)
310 – The Voice of Britain
I Marc 4 – Trama Nella Metropoli
Q-Bert – Redworm

Part 2 – The Rocket
Dodo – Iridium
Ian Simmonds – N.V.Y.
Third Eye Foundaion – Fear Of A Wack pPlanet
Roots Manuva – Motion 5000
The Black Dog – Babylon (Blue mix)
Tom Tyler – Swing Children
DJ Vadim – Friction

Mixcloud Select 36 – Strictly’s Home Economix Part 2 31/05/1998

MS36 Kev:Riz 18:01:98 PRSIt seems apt to kick off with UNKLE’s Silver Apples-sampling ‘Rock On’ seeing as Simeon Cox passed away a few months back. DJs were catching onto krautrock, moog, library and psychedelia by the end of the 90s as new avenues from the by this time well-depleted soul, funk and jazz sample staples of much hip and trip hop. London was awash with bootlegs from the US and Italy of all sorts throughout that decade with many spurious compilations appearing laden with choice treats plucked from closely guarded digger’s secrets, sometimes with fake names. I think I chanced upon a boot of the first Silver Apples album around this time, the originals were out of my prices range but no matter, the music was there and this was still before sites offering copious such treasures for free download. In a way, the piracy of the physical form was killed by mp3s and the like in the Wild West Web of the 00s although there were still some doing the respectable thing and licensing library compilations like Jonny Trunk, Martin Green and Mark B.

Of the tracks here, only UNKLE, David Holmes and Red Snapper still seem to be active, The Sons of Silence were an interesting group on the Leaf label who put out a great cut up promo 12” with a B side called ‘The Golden Age of Men’s Music’, you can find it very cheap and it samples some very big names as well as another mysterious 12” called Black Helicopters which cuts up Led Zeppelin and Kenneth Williams. Cartel Productions I’d completely forgotten about, this was from a Clear Records side label called REEL Discs and sounds very like Kirk Degiorgio to me but is actually Dave Kempston aka Clatterbox. The Trolley Dollies was something to do with DJ Harvey and samples Mort Garson’s ‘Hair Pieces’ extensively I think. At the time he was doing his Black Cock re-edit boots with Kraftwerk and Dick Hymen cut ups that were big in clubs. Not sure what Buddy Rich and Tom Jones were doing in here, probably big club records at the time, Rich having been sampled by All Seeing I and Jones having a nice breakdown. David Holmes remixes Red Snapper to finish, pre-empting his later alias, The Free Association, with all manner of psychedelia, he must have done his Essential Mix around this time where he surprised everyone by pulling out a crate of funk, rock and psych instead of the techno he was known for.

NB: – the DAT and box pictured above isn’t the same one that this session came from, I did two separate shows with Riz from Neotropic and, although this was one of them, the other is on the DAT pictured. I’m 99% certain the date on this show is correct.

Track list:
U.N.K.L.E. – Rock On (Nutcracker mix)
Depth Charge – Romario (Rio Percussion Unit mix)
Sons of Silence – Vibra Slap (Ronnie & Clyde mix)
Cartel Productions – Park Central
The Trolly Dollies – Spacecake
Buddy Rich – The Beat Goes On
Tom Jones – Looking Out My Window
Red Snapper  – Bogeyman (David Holmes remix)

Mixcloud Select 35 – Strictly’s Home Economix 31/05/1998

MS35 Strictly Home Economix pt.1 DATThis is an odd set although I’m enjoying discovering some forgotten gems in these end of the 90s sets recently. The track list was labeled ‘Strictly’s Home Economix’ which suggests (to my mix-titling logic) that it was recorded at home. It came off a DAT originally and has none of the Solid Steel jingles or chat on it so bears out this theory and the levels are all over the place which also suggests that it was recorded straight to portable a DAT player that I had around the end of the 90s.

When we recorded sets at KISS or the Ahead of Our Time studio there would always be someone on hand to watch the desk levels and even things out or the signal would go through some sort of limiter. Some of the mixes here are pretty slack too so I wasn’t yet into the mix/edit stage of my Solid Steel sets that I’d begin around 1999/2000 – this is all still one-take, slips and slides and all. There was no date on the track list or the DATbut it was part of a show with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic and I remember we did a couple together around this time, one was at the studio but this one can’t have been. DK had the answer in his Solid Steel PRS archive, it was from 31/05/1998.

There are 3 parts on the DAT, with one very ambient / illbient / deep jazz set of nearly 30 minutes that I’ll spare you because A) it’s not that interesting and B) it has some nasty distortion on some of the tracks. It’s highly likely that it was never transmitted for just that reason. Regardless, there are two other parts that bear repetition on the tape, the first of which is here.

Part 1 kicks off with a recording of Company Flow – featuring El-P – doing a freestyle session over an MF Doom instrumental for Solid Steel and name-checking Coldcut(s). This was cheekily recorded and pressed up by DJ Vadim for a now very rare release on Mark B’s K’Boro label. I think it only came out as a white label and a quick check on Discogs reveals it’s one of 31 TPs and now goes for around £30! I actually designed some labels for it as I was doing lots of Jazz Fudge and some K’Boro artwork at the time and later on we get a Mark B & The MUD Fam track from the same label.

A mix of hip hop and trip hop from Ninja Tune and MoWax makes up a lot of this set plus Autechre remixing Stereolab, The Cinematic Orchestra’s Jason Swinscoe remixing Ryuichi Sakamoto and the Psychonauts reconstructing label mate, Money Mark. One half of King Kooba was Charlie ‘6 Ft’ Tate who also worked with The Herbaliser on occasion and Mr Quark was a producer from France I think who did some very twisted and hilarious trip hop-ish tracks that remind me of Sukia or Kid Koala. Excuse the mix of the loose 6/8 time Arsonists out of J Swinscoe’s even looser jazz mix, should have escaped from that a lot earlier. The mix of ‘Turtle Soup’ into ‘Chat ‘Bout’ is inexcusable though, should have got a red card, really not sure what’s going on there.

Part 2 next week!

Track list: Part 1
Stereolab – Refractions in the Plastic Pulse (Autechre remix)
King Kooba – Brown Blood (Campaign mix)
Ryuichi Sakamoto – Salvation (J Swinscoe remix)
Arsonists – Geembo’s Theme
Money Mark – Push the Button
Mr Quark – Am I Really Different?
DJ Food – Turtle Soup (Wagon Christ remix)
Mark B & The M.U.D. Family – Chat ‘Bout
Money Mark – Maybe I’m Dead (Psychonauts remix)

Mixcloud Select 34: Strictly Kev – Solid Steel 03/06/1995

MS34 Strictly Kev - Solid Steel 3:5:1995 tapeThis is one of my favourite sessions from the 90s, KISS FM, Friday night (we often pre-recorded then and it was broadcast ‘live’ 1-3am Saturday), Matt, Jon, PC and I piled into the tiny studio on the Holloway Road with a bunch of new records, the word treasure jingle CDs that housed all the various samples we’d ’slurp’ over each other’s mixes and no plan but to record 2 hours non stop.

There’s another hour that precedes this that PC should be putting up on his Sound/Mixcloud soon where it’s his turn and possibly Matt Black before him. There’s also a missing 20 minutes at the end of my mix which may well have been Jon finishing off the set. This is a classic trip hop selection taking in blunted beats, turntablism, downtempo electro and hip hop B sides, a bit of ambience and spoken word thrown in and some new Ninja productions at the end.

Things were getting busy and exciting on all fronts in 1995, the year that the label finally broke through with the first Ninja Cuts compilation and solidified things with Coldcut’s Journeys By DJ mix, our first overseas tours and the start of the club, Stealth. Gigs around the UK and Europe were becoming more and more regular and I was designing everything Ninja Tune could throw at me. It was a slow build, not some overnight sensation, things just grew and continued to grow for the next few years, maybe slowing somewhat by 1998 but then we were at the 10 year anniversary by the year 2000.

If anyone can tell me what the opening track is I’d be grateful, Shazam has nothing, I have no record of the set list but I’m thinking it might be something from the New Breed label maybe? DJ Smash? Something from one of the Fat Jazzy Grooves comps? You can tell it’s the 90s with those kind of names. The Ken Nordine sample makes me think it’s from the US as few had sampled him by 1995. *UPDATE: Edward has come through with the answer, it was JazzadelicMessage From Outer Space, he also pointed out that the date was 3rd of June 1995, not May – thanks Edward. The Prunes track that follows is definitely from that label, still quite underrated/forgotten over in the UK, there’s all sorts of great trip hop on that label going back to 1992.

DJVadim_NonLat_12_label

I had a trick that I used to do, it’s an old hip hop thing that DJ Vadim showed me with a roll of gaffe tape and a turntable, you can see it illustrated on the cover of his first Ninja Tune single. You place the roll of tape on the platter, sit a record on top of it, making sure it’s as central as possible, unscrew the headshell of the tonearm and slot it back in upside down. Tip the tonearm weight back as far as it will go and then place the needle on the underside of the elevated record so the needle is facing up. Put it in the middle of the record, not the edge, as the grooves will be carrying the needle from the inside to the outside of the disc once the platter is rotating. Press start on the deck and the sound comes out reversed as the needle is tracking it backwards now. I would do this in clubs and it would always get a great response as it’s such a visual trick, you had to do it with something recognisable and that didn’t change too much plus it was hit and miss where you got the needle but you could get it in time in the mix with a bit of push and pull. I did this with the 45 King’s ‘900 Number’ during this show to general amazement as I don’t think the others had seen it done before.

We get a scratch-fest of DJ Cheese, the Jeep Beat Collective (shout out to Dave the Ruf and DJ Mark-One) and 2 Live Crew’s Mr Mixx before some more downtempo beats from The Prunes and Mike Paradinas alias, Jake Slazenger. I must have just got his album as two tracks feature in quick succession here. Early Wall of Sound makes an appearance in the form of Mekon from the first Back To Mono compilation and then it’s the evergreen Solid Steel staple of Forrest Ackerman’s ‘The Tin Age Story’ from Music For Robots. New Coldcut/Food collab ‘The Worm Turns’ leaps in before we close with a fresh-out-the-studio DJ Food remix of Nobukazu Takemura from the Japan/Germany-only Child’s View Remix album which, if you haven’t heard it, is excellent and features amazing remixes by Aphex Twin and Wagon Christ.

Such fond memories of this time, people and music, not a care in the world.
UPDATE!
PC has put his mix that preceded mine from this show up on his Mixcloud – check it out, there’s an unreleased DJ Food remix in there too – and give him a follow while you’re there
https://www.mixcloud.com/knobblyknee/solid-steel-030695/

Track list:
Jazzadelic – Message From Outer Space
The Prunes – Vinyl Anal
45 King – The 900 Number
Spacepimp – K9 Law
Word of Mouth feat DJ Cheese – King Kut (Dub)
Jeep Beat Collective – Nah, Nope It’s Dope (Scratch Mix)
Anquette – Ghetto Style (instrumental)
The Prunes – Somethin’ Funky
Jake Slazenger – Megaphonk
E.A.R. – Sub Aqua
Jake Slazenger – ERP
Mekon – Minnie’s Broken Arm
Forrest J. Ackerman – Music For Robots
The Illuminati of Hedfuk – The Worm Turns
Nobukazu Takemura – Crescent (DJ Food remix)

Mixcloud Select 33: Strictly’s Adventures in Wonderland Pt.2 05/12/99

DJFoodMixcloudSelect33I mistakenly listed last week’s mix as Part 2 for some reason, probably because it was that way wrong on the PRS sheet despite an opening sample starting, “tonight on Solid Steel we have… “. Anyway, tonight we have a lesser known Boards of Canada remix from Funkstorung’s Michael Fakesch’s first solo single, ‘Demon. 1’ opening the show. It flows into a Pilote track I’d completely forgotten but am very glad to be reminded of (bit out of tune but have you ever tried mixing Boards with anything melodic? Virtually impossible).

The Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia track is one of my very favourite techno tracks of the 90s, as you can hear by my attempt to mix the whole thing in and under Four Tet’s ‘Glasshead’ despite the latter being loose as hell and the tuning being off, bass lines fighting etc. Trevor Jackson’s Output label was really firing on all cylinders around this time, his Skull EP, Kieran’s 12” and 7-Hurtz’ first release, all top drawer material and we’d hadn’t even got to the DFA connection yet.

Part 2:
MICHEAL FAKESCH  – SERFAISE (BOARDS OF CANADA MIX)
PILOTE – JUNIOR
PSYCHIC WARRIORS OV GAIA – OBSIDIAN
FOUR TET – GLASSHEAD
7-HURTZ – 7-HURTZ THEME
PSYCHIC WARRIORS OV GAIA – OBSIDIAN

Mixcloud Select 32: Strictly’s Adventures in Wonderland Pt.1 05/12/99

Adventure in Wonderland DATWe’ve had a lot of the ’00’s recently so I thought I’d reach back into the 90s a bit and pulled these from the DAT files, a couple of mixes from the same show near the end of ’99. Both are quite different so I’ve split them up as the part 1 and 2 that I recorded them as. We kick off with a hip hop-heavy half hour full of crashing beats and samples from a time when R’n’B hadn’t quite started to invade hip hop and the underground scene was in rude health.

Trevor Jackson’s Skull alias kicks the door in and crops up later too, there’s a healthy UK/US crossover with The Herbaliser collaborating with Latyrx on ‘8 Point Agenda’. I can hear a few samples that were floating around during the making of ‘Kaleidoscope’ in this and we would have been finishing it around this point. The computer ‘ghost voice’ also appears, programmed from an app and used as a presenter for the mixes as we’d left KISS FM by this time and were either recording mixes up at Ninja HQ in Ahead of Our Time studios or at home. There was no way to talk on the mic in the studio and, freed up from the need to play ads and ‘reads’ for the station, we just got on with the music. Streaming in a basic form was being explored by Matt Black via the Ninja Tune website ‘Pipe’ and track lists could be posted but this was early days and only a few were engaged on that level. This was sort of a wilderness period when we weren’t officially on the radio, just the web but we never stopped recording a show each week. Coldcut were very insistent that we keep going and not stop the weekly routine as something would come up, and it did in the form of the BBC a year down the line.

Porn Theatre Ushers’ ‘Me & Him’ is an under recognised classic and Public Enemy had made a decent enough single to get featured after a string of so-so releases. I first heard the second Skull track appearing here at a gig I was doing with DJ Vadim somewhere, he played the track from the beginning and let it run to an increasingly puzzled crowd, once the beat dropped everyone was on board though and I had to know what it was. The looseness and uniqueness of the production really made you stop in your tracks and pay attention. Finishing off with Shadow’s Lifer’s Group remix which got bootlegged at some point in the 90s along with the Zimbabwe Legit mix, this is pretty straight up but leads us into a more mellow late night techno excursion next week.

Part 1:
SKULL – SPAZTIK
THE HERBALISER – 8 POINT AGENDA
D.I.T.C. – GET YOURS
STEADY – TRICKNOLOGY
PORN THEATRE USHERS – ME & HIM
SKULL – CRASH
PUBLIC ENEMY – WHAT WHAT
LIFERS GROUP – THE REAL DEAL (DJ SHADOW REMIX)

Mixcloud Select 31: Strictly Kev – Just A Phase (extended version) 02/04/2001

31 CD DiscMy archive disc says this is an extended version and it clocks in at 69 minutes so there’s an extra 9 minutes that wouldn’t have been on the Solid Steel broadcast.
The lovely sax sample used in the intro is from Stan Getz‘s ‘Soul Dance’ that also crops up in full later and he features twice here. That track reminds me so much of pillaging the easy listening bins for Command, Project 3 and others on North American tours. The Jim Backus record (the voice of Mr. Magoo and also God on a recent rock opera I found) was absolutely scratched to bits but I managed to clean it up. Who knew that that Bonobo remix of Pilote would wind up on a phone advert and he’d go on to become not only one of the biggest Ninja artists but one of the biggest on the world stage? Ah, this Neotropic stuff slays me every time, her best album of the era, ‘La Prochaine Fois’ is an electronic folk masterpiece, great memories associated with that one.

I think the comedy inserts throughout about the car starting and the radio DJs are from a Robert Klein comedy album, Child of the Fifties’ (also check his ‘Mind Over Matter‘ release). He was a comedian who also did a radio show in the late 70s and early 80s, some of which were syndicated and pressed onto vinyl. So much great stuff in here that I’d forgotten, the Groop track, ‘Moonbase‘, a nice slice of psych on Jazzman offshoot, Stark Reality, Ian O’Brien‘s beautiful ‘Midnight Sunshine’, cLouddead‘s ‘Jon Abercrombie-sampling ‘Jimmy Breeze’. Sixtoo‘s ‘Work In Progress’ is still some kind of crazed masterpiece, shame about the tuning in the mix! I remember going to his apartment in Nova Scotia before he moved to Montreal and him playing us demos of forthcoming tracks, telling tales of neighbours banging on the door complaining about the noise (something he recorded for a future release). We went digging with Dynamic Syncopation and Fink in the freezing weather on a Sunday with huge icicles hanging off gutters and spent all afternoon in a local record store with condensation steaming up the windows, when we emerged hours later it had snowed and the whole street was covered in fresh powder. The second appearance of Stan Getz features my favourite song of his, ‘Bonjour Tristesse’, a beautiful track from his ‘Communications ’72’ album and something I ended up featuring in my live turntable re-score of The Monkees’ ‘Head’ film around this time.

31 PRS

As you can see from the sticker accompanying the tracklisting, this was from the period when Solid Steel was on BBC London, or LDN as they rebranded it. After Stan we have the extended content including another great lost artist, Broadway Project, who also samples the same track as cLouddead earlier. I believe he largely writes for film and TV these days although has recently upped loads of work to Bandcamp. The ‘William Tell Overture’ version I have no recollection of but looking it up, it’s from the Zachariah soundtrack which has some superbly weird moments as I recall. Tony Mottola‘s smoother than smooth version of ‘Spinning Wheel’ plays us out, coupled with more Robert Klein. This was definitely a phase I was going through.

Track list:
Phase 3
Jim Backus & Friend – Delicious
Pilote  – Turtle (Bonobo remix)
Neotropic – Still
Neotropic feat. Shorti – Memories
Groop – Moonbase
Mike Sharpe – Spooky
The Allies – D-Day
Ian 0’Brien – Midnight Sunshine
Stan Getz – Soul Dance
Phase 4 
cLOUDDEAD – Jimmy Breeze
Tortoise – Seneca
Dakota Oak – How Danny’s Friend Became A Force For Good
Neotropic – Je Suis
Sixtoo – Work in Progress
Stan Getz – Bonjour Tristesse
Broadway Project – Life of a Refugee
Jimmie Haskell – William Tell Overture
Tony Mottola – Spinning Wheel