Big Mouth podcast – 10th April

I was asked back as a guest reviewer on Andrew Harrison and Sian Pattenden‘s excellent Big Mouth podcast this week. If you want to hear me getting tongue-tied and being largely less eloquent then Andrew, Sian and other guest Michael Hann, then hit the link. The film, Nomadland, TV series, Wellington Paranormal and new albums from Raf Rundell and Matthew E. White all get reviewed.

Mixcloud Select 50: Coldcut Solid Steel 13/05/1995 JDJ warm up

MS50 Coldcut Solid Steel 13:05:1995 JDJ

If there’s one mix that I’ve found that’s the genesis of my main contributions to the Coldcut Journey’s By DJ mix then it’s this one. This was my set from a Solid Steel show, recorded at the Ahead Of Our Time studios inside Ninja Tune HQ at Clink St, London and fans of the JDJ mix will recognise many of the tracks here. There’s no finesse of the finished mix and several inclusions that didn’t make the final version (I seem to remember Public Enemy was refused) but here are some of the building blocks. Apologies for the quality, this was recorded from the radio broadcast so it’s a little ‘fluffy’ around the top end, just on the edge of distortion.

The Sabres of Paradise mix of Red Snapper was a huge tune at the time, here not yet embellished with the Dr Who theme by PC’s hand – always a supremely melodic mixer, listening for musicality over the adrenalin rush of a heavy drop. I first heard The Octagon Man being played by Rob Hall of Gescom in The Sound Shaft at Heaven for one of the Thursday night Megatripolis sessions we would sometimes play at. I knew J Saul Kane’s Depth Charge moniker but this weird electro/techno hybrid full of crazy machine gun drum programming. I found a copy as soon as I could.

The Jedi Knights were kicking off the Clear label’s mission to reinstate electro into clubland with their superb ‘Noddy Holder’ and covered several musical bases in the process. When in doubt, pull out Bam Bam’s ‘Where’s Your Child?’, I seem to have played this a lot more than I remember across sets over the years but then it is one of the greatest acid tracks of all time. Keeping with acid of a (then) modern nature is Ritchie Hawtin’s Plastikman with Coldcut’s ‘More Beats’ on 45 mixed over the top.

Depth Charge proper comes after, we really wanted this to kick off the mix but it was refused so we cheekily took the beginning spoken word only, figuring it was a sample anyway. The PE mix into it is pretty shoddy and also the 2 Player remix out of that – still learning about the different swing of beats in the mix, just because they’re the same tempo doesn’t mean they’ll slot together cleanly. The Wagon Christ remix was a no-brainer because we were all so excited about it and being on Ninja it was a dead cert, obviously it turned up elsewhere in the final mix.

Vapour Space was/is a great tune but was used as a bridge here for a tempo change to Autechre and friends under their Gescom guise. ‘Mag’ (sampling Ultra Magnetic MC’s) is still such a killer tune with that huge breakdown. I’m glad we didn’t go into the Chemical Brothers in the final mix as it changes the tone quite a lot, it would sound great in a club though. You can hear the sample, ‘This Is just the beginning, we’re just getting started’ at one point which was later used to finish the ‘Now, Listen’ Solid Steel mix, flown in from one of Coldcut’s ‘Word Treasure’ compilations of spoken word made for the radio shows. After a word from Lord Buckley from the same CD it’s PC’s turn to step up and he performs his Junior Reid/Truper mix before the tape ends, sadly I don’t have the rest of the show.

Coldcut’s brief for the mix was always that we just do what we do on the radio show but the best we’ve ever done it. To those who tuned in every week the released mix wasn’t maybe anything new but to many it seemed to be a revelation that this many different styles could be so easily mixed together on one disc.

Red Snapper – Hot Flush (Sabres of Paradise remix)
The Octagon Man – The Demented Spirit (Okugai Eigakan)
Jedi Knights – Noddy Holder
Bam Bam – Where’s Your Child?
Plastikman – Fuk
Coldcut – More Beats
Depth Charge – Depth Charge (Han Do Jin)
Public Enemy – Mi Uzi Weighs A Ton
2 Player – Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ remix)
Vapour Space – Gravitational Arch of 10
Gescom – Mag
Chemical Brothers – Leave Home
Lord Buckley – The Bugbird (The Raven)
Junior Reid – One Blood
The Truper – Street BeatsVol.2

Mixcloud Select 49: Openmind mix 21/05/1995 + 23/06/1995

MS49 Openmind mix 21:01:1995 + 23:06:1995

If there’s one mix that I’ve dug up so far that encapsulates the moment and excitement of the Ninja Tune label finally coming into its own and starting to release what are now considered classics of the era then it’s this mix. From early 1995 this Solid Steel set showcases track after track from the label that bring the memories flooding back, lots of these would have been played from white labels and I would have been designing the artwork for them at the same time, playing our first gigs and tours around the UK and Europe. There was also the work on the DJ Food ‘A Recipe For Disaster’ album and Coldcut’s Journeys By DJ mix (more of that next week), the first Ninja Cuts compilation and, later on, the first Stealth nights at the Blue Note.

1995 was a vintage year, I’d quit my day job at a book shop on Oxford St, was still working some weekends in the record shop Ambient Soho on Berwick St. in between gigs away with Coldcut, PC and The Herbaliser and was designing whatever Ninja Tune could throw at me. Solid Steel shows were usually pre-recorded Friday evenings at KISS FM on the Holloway Road or in Coldcut’s newly constructed Ahead of our Time studio in Clink St. This mix was the former and you can hear Matt on the mic at one point saying ‘Ninja Tune blowing up in ’95’ as there was a sense of excitement and direction at the label with lots of new signings and singles from The Herbs, Funki Porcini, London Funk Allstars, Up, Bustle & Out, Neotropic and Food of course.

Coupled with the label’s new visual identity, lexicon (see the Ninja Skinz inside notes) and the sense of purpose around the groups all working on debut albums, it made for a friendly but competitive environment. A small trickle of press interest had happened following Mo Wax’s emergence as the forerunner of the trip hop sound plus new labels like Wall of Sound and Skint were starting. The mix kicks off with a truncated beginning unfortunately as we’re into the latter half of The Herbaliser’s original version of ‘Repetitive Loop’ before plunging into the Autechre mix of DJ Food’s ‘Sexy Bits’ (basically the samples at the end of the Jazz Brakes albums).

The electronic side of things was also in fine form with three mixes from Autechre in this set alone, Disjecta (Seefeel’s Mark Clifford) and more than I can’t identify from ailing memory or Shazam, if anyone can fill in the gaps please let me know. I’m surprised to hear a snatch of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ at the end here as I didn’t think I bought a copy until later than this but it was probably from a compilation from around this time.

I have three dates for mixes on this tape and it’s likely that this mix is actually two sets from different dates, as the other side of the tape is definitely one set. At around the 14 minute mark, after the Beastie Boys, there was definitely an advert break because I remember it. After this, the mix may well be from another session, possibly at the AOOT studio. The dates I have are 13/05/1995 + 21/01/95 + 23/06/1995 but my good friend, Solid Steel collector and historian Anton Kibeshev tells me that I’ve mistakenly labelled one part and it should be 21/05/95. I’m going to peg the first half of this mix as 21/05/95, then 23/06/1995 as the second. Next week – for the 50th upload – will be 13/05/1995 which is where the JDJ mix comes in…

Track list:
The Herbaliser – Repetitive Loop
DJ Food – Sexy Bits (Ae9V mix)
Heights of Abraham – 700 Channels
DJ Vadim – Live From Paris
Beastie Boys – Something’s Got To Give (live)
The Herbaliser – Scratchy Noise
Simon Harris – 95 bpm breakbeat
Akasha – Mescalin
Up, Bustle & Out – Revolutionary Woman of the Windmill (La Bandolera Del Molino)
Depth Charge – Five Deadly Venoms
Unknown – unknown
Scorn – Falling (Autechre FR 13 mix)
Disjecta – Vistic
Autechre – VLetr mx
Unknown – unknown
Terry Riley – In C

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The KLF – Solid State Logic 2

The third upload by The KLF / JAMs / Timelords debuted on March 23rd with Solid State Logic 2 – extended 12″ mixes, B sides, obscurities and also a new ‘trailer’ for Jarvis Joins The JAMs – the version of Justified & Ancient that was performed during the festivities in Liverpool a few years back. An added bonus was also the ‘Rites of Mu’ film in stunning quality which didn’t initially seem to be part of SSL2 but appeared as well.

KLF SSL2

KLF posters 2

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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

 

King Gizzard Fuzz Club Bootleg series

KGLW Asheville
Like many others last year King Gizzard raided their tape archives and pumped out live sets via their Bandcamp page to fill the void of cancelled gigs. Of course these were digital only releases and they later offered the recordings to anyone who wanted to press them up on the condition that they sent them a portion of the stock to sell. Fuzz Club have stepped up and taken eight shows plus a demos set and a teenage pre-Gizzard collection and made some of the best looking releases I’ve seen in a while. Grab these quick if you want them, they’re selling out fast, some independent shops have them on pre-order like Norman Records, and Resident Music. King Gizzard have form on this, giving away their ‘Polygondwanaland’ album to everyone to do their own versions in 2017, there are nearly 300 versions on Discogs as I write.
KGLW Auckland KGLW Brussels KGLW London KGLW Paris KGLW Rats Live KGLW TeensKGLW Demos 1 KingGizzardDemo_24

The New Obsolescents LP repress

TNO comp 4
It was a surprise to see The New Obsolescents‘ album sell out in 25 minutes a few weeks back when it went up for pre-order and it’s been even more heartening to see people posting photos online once they received them. Inevitably though there’s a small downside in the people who missed out and the buyers who immediately put copies on Discogs for anywhere between £130 to £300. You can’t stop people doing this but Castles In Space are very good at tracking who these buyers are and striking them from any future sales from the label.
The good news for those who missed out is that a repress is on the way although it won’t be a foil version like the first run because those stocks are now depleted. It’s taken a while to source something that could measure up to the Dufex covers and I’ve gone a different route. The good news is that the new sleeve will be back and front rather than just a panel that I have to stick by hand on 300 copies! Prints tests were done in the last week from various samples and now stocks are being readied, vinyl pressed (in a different colourway too) and the 2nd edition will be with us as soon as the pressing plant can press it up. There may also be a number of badges to accompany it too. Here I’ve collected the various photos posted online and at the bottom is a sneak peek of the repress tests results.

TNO comp 3 TNO comp 2 TNO comp 1 TNO Comp 5 TNO comp 7 TNO comp 8 TNO comp 9 TNO comp 6TNO 2nd Ed test

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

Resonance FM fundraiser 2021

TNO StarburstIt’s that time of year again for the Resonance FM fundraiser, this independent radio station relies on donations to keep the lights on and having just had to relocate after what seems like years of waiting, they need it more than ever. They’re not doing the usual eBay auctions this year so Robin the Fog has taken it upon himself to put three special records up there with a little help from the Castles in Space label.
I’d like to bring your attention to a ‘Starburst’ edition of our The New Obsolescents LP, officially released today but totally sold out, this one was held back for just this occasion. Bid on this here

If you want to hear what it sounds like and maybe buy a digital copy then head to Bandcamp

HWLRD cover

Also a secret 31st edition of Robin’s last Bandcamp Friday Howlround lathe cut 7″ EP ‘Rec & Ruin’ – again, made specially. Go here to bid
HWLRND labelHWLRND back

Also available is a full package of CiS goodies in the form of Field Lines Cartographer‘s recent ‘Leaving In Storms’ 7″ test pressing with all the trimmings. Bids away!  All proceeds go towards Resonance FM

OriginalPhoto-632998857.178352

And if you have these already or they’re just not your bag but you want to help the station out then you can donate here  https://resonancefm.com/donate

 

The Making of Christmas Rappin’

Kurtis Blow cover

Noah Uman‘s Music Archives Ltd Instagram is a treasure trove of hip hop memorabilia and he’s expanded into the real world with a small A5 sized booklet, written by Bill Adler, about the making of Kurtis Blow‘s rap classic, ‘Christmas Rappin’. The story of what was essentially seen as a novelty record is fascinating and you realise what a groundbreaking record it was. The booklet is full of flyers, live photos and more and breaks down the circumstances behind how it was recorded, signed and promoted. You can find copies here and it comes with two badges.

Kurtis Blow 1 Kurtis Blow 2 Kurtis Blow 3 Kurtis Blow 4 Kurtis Blow 5 Kurtis Blow 6 Kurtis Blow 7

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.

New King Gizzard ‘LW’ LP and single

I really don’t know how these guys do it – new video, shot and edited in 24 hrs and a new LP,  ‘LW’ out in 7 days! The single sounds like a return to ‘Polygondwandland’ mixed with a bit of the microtonality of ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ of which the previous album, ‘KW‘, was also a part 2 of. Looking at the new title and sleeve, this seems to be volume 3.

LW

I Photoshopped the two LP covers side by side (because I’m that kind of nerd)  and they match exactly.

KGLW

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Lateral or Literal? The KLF Re-Enactment Society

lateral literal
The KLF have just thrown a new curveball in the shape of the KLF Re-Enactment Society and a long tract that seeks to get fans to choose sides in how they express their fandom now that the band have returned to activity.

For those who need to get up to speed; after the Welcome To The Dark Ages event in Liverpool in 2017 and the People’s Pyramid / MuMufication / Toxteth Day of the Dead project the duo largely fell silent. On January 1st this year they announced a five part streaming series starting with their best known hit singles. In tandem with the release of an altered version of their ‘Chill Out’ album earlier this month, The KLF Re-Enactment Society appeared on the web. Some fans took exception to the new version of an old classic (all the major samples had been removed and replaced) and a long response was posted on February 12th that reappraises past history and the fandom associated with the band during the last 30 years.

By recontextualising acts of fandom, tributes (the Wanda D episode in particular) and the duo’s own past actions and dividing these into lateral or literal responses they’ve invited fans to take sides in how they interact with the group and display their affection for their work. Fandom can be a Catch 22 situation with some factions clinging on to every tiny detail and connection from the past whilst anticipating unheard material or revelations to emerge to sate their thirst for the artist in question. This literal kind of adoration is usually steeped in nostalgia and the feelings they originally felt decades past, something that can never be re-enacted as the world, people and places they first transpired in have long since changed.

KLF RES

The literal fans are the historians and gatekeepers of the legacy, preserving the past where the band may not be keen to, guardians of the exhibits, ensuring the collection is complete and in the best quality possible. The literal fan is always searching for something new but complains when a reissue arrives with nothing they haven’t already seen or heard, choosing to then compare and contrast the tiniest of details between the original and new versions. Discogs comments are littered with people talking about the pressing and sound quality merits of multiple versions of the same record rather than the music.

Give the literal fan a new version of a beloved release and chances are they will also complain that the original was better / the new version is inferior / the artist has raped my childhood etc. (see Star Wars fans especially on this front). Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. What they seemingly refuse to accept is that times have changed, people with them, both the artist and the fan themselves. The feelings and shock-of-the-new that they felt the first time round just cannot be recreated but the lateral-thinking artist will try to find new ways to create those moments using the tools of today, just as they used what they had decades before.

Witness the new version of Chill Out, now retitled ‘Come Down Dawn’, shorn of Elvis, Acker Bilk, Fleetwood Mac and more – most likely due to copyright restrictions. 1990 was still open season for sampling although doors were starting to close, an underground, pre-hits, pre-internet band like The KLF could easily fly under the radar with snatches of these artists incorporated into their work. Not in 2021, with audio fingerprint algorithms detecting copyright violations upon upload to any major streaming platforms. The irony of the band’s acronym sometimes standing for Kopyright Liberation Front was not lost on some.

The lateral fan views things with fewer constraints, today’s output and movements don’t have to fit the age-old accepted narratives, concepts can be expanded, changing as the narrator has changed over time. Few of us are the angry, arrogant young people we were 30 years ago and we accept the contradictions – to use a Bill Drummond phrase. The lateral fan will take elements of the artist they admire and make their own versions, tributes, remixes, art and events, referencing with a nod and a wink to the originators, hoping to maybe attract the attention and approval of said artist in the process. The KLF have seemingly added a whole heap of these projects, tributes and re-imaginings onto the Re-Enactment Society website, acknowledging – if not always praising – these past efforts whilst throwing their own recent efforts into the same ring.

In an echo of an old K Foundation poster the duo may have thrown down the gauntlet to those unwilling to move on from the past and invited fans to ‘Divide & Kreate’ – embracing the new versions they’re carving from the old. I’m reminded of Bill’s instructions on preparing my DJ set for the closing party of Welcome To The Dark Ages at the Invisible Wind Factory

DJ Food Bill brief

The New Obsolescents LP cover process 2 – Cover assembly

TNO Printed stack

For the first part of this process and a little back story, see Part 1

TNO selection

Once Jonas Ranson at paperHAUS had screen printed each panel during the summer of 2020 it was down to me to assemble them. Each sheet was 18″ x 18″, sadly not large enough to fold round into a full LP sleeve, so each panel had to be trimmed to a 12” x 12” size and painstakingly glued to each already printed sleeve – 300 of them.

TNO cutting

I’d specified that the designs be printed dead centre of each pattern to take advantage of the symmetrical nature of the cover graphic so there were lots of offcuts (which will be used somehow on future projects).

TNO offcuts

This was all done sometime during the Autumn of 2020 in my studio while we waited for the vinyl to come back from the pressing plant. The original plan had been for Colin at Castles in Space and I to then rent a bigger space for a day and glue the foil panels to each sleeve but I quickly realised that this just wasn’t going to be possible in such a short time. The next lockdown put a stop to any thoughts of that anyway.

Eventually the vinyl turned up and Colin arrived one evening with 17 boxes of covers in the back of his car and, in a socially distanced handover, I hauled them up to my studio.

TNO plain

Just after the Xmas period, during the 3rd lockdown, I began the extremely long task of gluing a panel to each sleeve, padding every cover out with a card square then laying them between newsprint sheets to avoid anything sticking while drying. The glue would start to curl the card within about a minute as it dried and started to contract so it was imperative to press them flat under weights.

TNO sticking beginsTNO sticking 2

I could average two boxes of 17 a day in two shifts by the end; one box first thing in the morning then leave to dry. Once stuck they were inspected for marks, sleeved in PVC outers and then boxed. Clean the area, do another box before bed and leave to dry in a stack overnight. By the end I could do one box in under 50 minutes, below is the last box on the 8th or 9th day.

TNO Last boxTNO Boxes done

As a nod to the site of the original performance recordings at the Museum of London, with moon rock bean bags and a space travel theme, we decided on a silver and black hybrid moon surface effect for the vinyl. The whole process of making the sleeves probably took longer than the whole album but I couldn’t be happier with the results, I doubt it’ll see a repress in this state as I’m told the foil stocks are virtually gone now but it was worth it.

TNO Hyperspace
Hyperspace

TNO Spiral
Spiral

TNO Starburst
Starburst

TNO Cross
Cross

TNO Curls
Swirls

TNO Back

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

Mini CDs #4: Yazz & The Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up

Coldcut Only Way is front
This US CD single is unfortunately missing part of its cover, it was part of a long box as can be seen in the bottom photo. The extended UK mix and the Bam Bam remix feature from both of the UK 12″s but the most interesting thing about this release is the Acid Dub mix by Justin Strauss and Murray Elias which was exclusive to the US releases and not featured on any European editions. It all starts getting interesting around the 3.50 mark

Coldcut Only Way is back Coldcut Only Way is disc TOWIU long back

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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