Mixcloud Select: 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: 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)

XX book US edition and Celestial Mechanic EP release

XX US edition

The US release of Rian Hughes’ debut novel, ‘XX’ happened yesterday, the book, as mentioned before, is a sci-fi epic coupled with graphic design elements throughout. To mark the occasion we have a new 30 minute Celestial Mechanic EP out via Bandcamp with a 17 minute remix of ‘The Signal’ and several piano pieces created for the album but unused in the final mix.
Check it out here https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-signal-retransmission and if you like it there’s a whole album too, made by myself and Saron Hughes with contributions from Robin The Fog on tapes and Saron’s husband, Peter Harris on guitar.
Rian’s book is out on Overlook Press with a different cover, if you’re in the US you can order it here.
Also, Thursday night, Nov 12th, Rian is doing another web chat with writer Grant Morrison online and it’s free! Log on at 7pm Eastern Time, more details here

US DUSTJACKET AS EP COVER (Black)

New Celestial Mechanic EP

US DUSTJACKET AS EP COVER (Black)To celebrate the US publication of Rian Hughes book, ‘XX, A Novel, Graphic’ on Nov 10, we have a new 30 minute Celestial Mechanic EP out today, including a 17 minute remix of ‘The Signal’ alongside satellite piano variations made during the ‘Citizen Void’ LP.
https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-signal-retransmission

Celestial Mechanic is a new project I’m part of, directed by Rian Hughes and in collaboration with his sister, pianist Saron Hughes. Rian put us together and commissioned a soundtrack for his book earlier this year. In his novel “XX” he includes a review of a fictional album based on a mysterious signal of extraterrestrial origin. I and Saron were tasked with the job of taking this review and making the album a reality. In what may be a first, the review actually preceded the music.

“XX” is published by Picador (UK) August 20 2020, Overlook Press (US) November 10 2020.

 

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

Bandcamp Recommends November 2020

It has to be said, there’s a tidal wave of good music coming out on a near weekly basis now and a lot of artists are saving releases for Bandcamp Fridays which can be slightly overwhelming but let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth, great music is needed in such grim times so let’s get to it.

Groop Mod TM LPGroup Modular – Time Masters DL and very limited vinyl pre order (also vinyl coming any day now from Polytechnic Youth so follow them on Facebook or sign up to their mailing list)
A long time in the making but finally here, Markey Funk and Mule Driver‘s collaboration continues…
https://groupmodular.bandcamp.com/album/time-masters

Markey Funk 45

Markey Funk – Magic + Sparks Remixes 7″ (Delights)
Two old remixes for other bands make it to 45, if psych rock with distorted vocals and drums is your thing then you’ll love these https://delights.bandcamp.com/album/magic-sparks-apdlt016

Jane Weaver – Flock LP pre-order (Fire Records)
It’s going to be a long wait until March for this to finally arrive but on the strength of the single alone it will be worth it
https://janeweaverfire.bandcamp.com/

JW LP cover

US DUSTJACKET AS EP COVER (Black)Celestial Mechanic – The Signal: ReTransmission, An EP (Bandcamp)
*Self promo dept.* There’s a new 17 minute remix of ‘The Signal’ from Saron Hughes and my ‘Citizen Void’ LP to welcome the US release of Rian Hughes‘ book, ‘XX, A Novel, Graphic’, out today along with satellite piano variations made during the album that form a 30 minute EP.
https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-signal-retransmission

KGATLW KG LP

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – K.G. DL/LP (Flightless)
New album, vol.2 of the Flying Microtonal Banana series, ‘Honey’ in particular is beautiful. https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/k-g

also there’s a Live in San Francisco album from 2016 from the ‘Nonagon Infinity’ era https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-san-francisco-16

Scarred 2

Various Artists – Scarred For Life 2 DL/LP (Castles In Space)
The sequel to the original comp of themes to imaginary spooky TV shows that never were, all in aid of charity.
https://scarredforlife.bandcamp.com/

CiSSUBLib cardVarious Artists – Castles In Space Subscription Library – I may as well just open an account with Castles In Space – Oh I just did! 10 releases over the next year – how they’ll do it alongside the heaving schedule of the regular label I don’t know but it looks great! £8 digital or £15 vinyl subscription per month, first releases are a members library card and badge and a new Field Lines Cartographer LP (the last one is one of my favourite releases of 2020). All beautifully designed buy Nick Taylor too, lathe cuts, T-shirts and more to come, there’s a provisional list floating around the web but I can’t find it now…
https://cissublibrary.bandcamp.com/community

FLC LP
FLC LP 2

Stefan Bachmeier The Strange Worlds Of

Stefan Bachmeier – The Strange Worlds Of Stefan Bachmeier DL/LP (Spun Out Of Control)
Compilation of previously released works from the three LPs so far, wobbly analogue synth horror on vinyl rather than cassette now and wrapped in a lovely Eric Adrian Lee sleeve.
https://spunoutofcontrol.bandcamp.com/album/the-strange-worlds-of-stefan-bachmeier

6S4wzuss.jpg large

AI 21 cover

The Abyss Within Us – Life In A Circle LP (Astral Industries)
I love everything on this label, if 20 minute ambient pieces are your thing then you can’t go wrong
https://astralindustries.bandcamp.com/album/ai-21-life-in-a-circle

AI-04 LP
They’ve also repressed the fourth release on the label, long out of print, from Wolfgang Voight & Deepchord – up for pre-order today but be quick as the scalpers are out in force, buying them to flip on Discogs (what is wrong with these people?)
https://astralindustries.bandcamp.com/album/ai-04-colours-of-time-re-interpreted

In C David Harrow

David Harrow – In C
I’ve been on a bit of an ‘In C’ binge this year and David sent me his versions a while back, looks like he’s decided to release them now. https://rattle-records.bandcamp.com/album/in-c

A couple of recommends for fellow artists whose work I’ve always admired who don’t have new releases but have their catalogue on Bandcamp.

Screen Shot 2020-11-06 at 12.13.49

Vicki Bennett‘s People Like Us project, decades of cut and paste audio collage – dive in
https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com

Screen Shot 2020-11-06 at 12.14.23
Riz Maslen‘s Neotropic and Small Fish With Spine aliases plus selections from her Council Folk label
https://music.neotropic.net/music

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Penninsula – Constellation/Constelaciones LP zoetrope label


A quick rough and ready demo video of the zoetrope label I made for the Mexican/Canadian band, Penninsula earlier this year for their new album ‘Constellations/Constelaciones’.
Available now to order – remember 100% of Bandcamp sales goes to the artist today!

Pennisula LP labelPenninsula LP

Mixcloud Select 30: Strictly Kev – Going Through A Phase 26/03/2001

30 CD disc Subtitled ‘Canadian Vinyl Excavation series’, these two mixes were very much a result of going through the spoils of touring the US and Canada in 2000 and mixing in a sprinkling of new releases from the time. As I’ve no doubt previously mentioned, the international tours of the day were also excuses to go wild in record shops overflowing with vinyl post-CD boom, pre-vinyl resurgence, all cheap with a strong pound against a dollar conversion and an even better Canadian dollar rate. Regular day routines would be to travel to the next city, check in and either hit the record shops or do the soundcheck and try to squeeze in a dig before dinner. Days off were a free for all and the van or bus bays would fill up with bags of vinyl pretty quickly.

I’m using the trusty Line 6 FX pedal in some of this, it has a lovely long sustain on it and a gritty analogue sound, very versatile but a bit of a beast to control. This and next week’s mixes were based around the opening track by Vanilla Fudge whose concept album ‘The Beat Goes On‘ was split into four phases. Some great UK hip hop in here from Stylee C and Def Tex, both from the Son label, run by Al from the Ninja Tune office at the time. Some background on the Peter Cook & Dudley Moore track, a 1967 track that got put on a Beatles bootleg and led some people to speculate that it might be the band incognito. Dudley Moore wrote, “Regarding “The L.S. Bumble Bee“, Peter Cook and I recorded that song about the time when there was so much fuss about L.S.D., and when everybody thought that “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” was a reference to drugs. The exciting alternative offered to the world was L.S.B.!, and I wrote the music to, in some ways, satirize the Beach Boys rather than the Beatles. But I’m grateful if some small part of the world thinks that it may have been them, rather than us !”.

30 PRS

The Gil Trythall ‘Nashville Moog’ track was the last track on a frankly terribly Country Moog album I picked up but is a genuinely enjoyable piece of comedy filler. The Jonny Dankworth ‘Experiments with Mice’ is also a gem, fished out of a Toronto 45 bin, a fantastic retooling of the nursery rhyme in a jazz context, renaming the three mice after famous players and using their signature styles to flesh out the story, a kind of live mash up. At this point I’d been buying up jazz and soundtracks at a rate of knots for several years on tours, the costs being minuscule compared to UK prices, but was beginning to dip my toe into the psych rock pool with The Mothers of Invention and anything that said ‘psychedelic concept acid freakout’ on the cover. Of course I picked up a few duds along the way as many bands and artists cashed in on the summer of love but it made for some great sleeves. Apropos to nothing, the Quincy Jones track sounds like the Batman theme to me. That’s a very ambitious mix from The Mothers into Herbie Hancock, it just about holds together, the search for his ‘The Spook Who Sat Behind The Door’ flexi still goes on… For the final track I see I included Andy Summers & Robert Fripp, I have no recollection of this, or of ever owning any of their albums, although I’ve since become a Fripp devotee, very odd.

Parts 3 & 4 next week…

Phase 1
Vanilla Fudge – And The Beat Goes On
Stylee C – Old 3 Piece Suite
Mondo Grosso – MG2SS
Miroslav Vitous – Bassamba
The Soul Destroyers – Blow Your Top
Sandy Nelson – Bang That *%$£@+ Drum
Lord Buckley – Willie The Shake
5th Dimension – Good News
Def Tex – Sad Songs
Peter Cook & Dudley Moore – LS Bumble Bee
Gil Trythall – Nashville Moog
The Avalanches – Thank You Caroline (Andy Votel mix)
Phase 2
Jonny Dankworth – Experiments with Mice
Paul Horn – Interludium
Arthur Lyman – Taboo Tu
Quincy Jones – Boogie Bossa Nova
The Mothers of Invention – Help, I’m a Rock
Herbie Hancock – The Spook Who Sat Behind The Door
Fingathing – Slop
Sonny Terry – Blue’s Last Walk
Jack Nitzsche – No. 2
Andy Summers & Robert Fripp – Maquilage

Mixcloud Select 29: DJ Food – Rave New World 25/04/2005

I Love Acid

Approximately 12 years ago this weekend I played my first set at a Halloween-themed version of Posthuman’s I Love Acid parties (see graphic above I made for a DVD of visuals I compiled for the set). Whilst there’s no recording of that set that I know of, there are photos as I took my good friend, photographer Martin LeSanto-Smith, along with me and he ended up shooting countless nights of the parties for them afterwards.

_MG_4820

Roughly three and a half years earlier I’d put together a mix christened ‘Rave New World’ for Solid Steel, full of old late 80s and early 90s favourites which isn’t far off some of the Big Fish Little Fish or acid 45 sets I’ve been doing in recent years direct from only 7” vinyl. I’m not sure what prompted this collection of tunes at the time but I still stand behind each and every one of them.

29 Rave New World disc
The first track after the intro is from a clear flexi disc I’d traded with someone with no info at all on it (re-edited to say me name at one point) which I’ve since found out the origin of. Without Discogs to provide this valuable information I was in the dark for years but the full story behind this can be found here as part of my Flexibition entry of party and rave invites.

29 Rave New World PRS

A couple of notable debuts feature later in the mix in the shape of Aphex Twin (Pacman) and Autechre’s debut release, two slices of hardcore from before they found their voice. I don’t know what to say about any more of these tracks as I love them all so much – the set gets heavier and heaver as it goes on so you have been warned. There’s a short, mystery track unlisted at the end that I have no recollection of putting there and can’t remember who made, let’s just leave it that way.

Track list:
Redruth – Solid Steel intro
Strictly Underground – lllegal Rave II advert
808 State – Cubik
Doug Lazy – Let It Roll (accapella)
John & Julie – Circles (Spiral mix)
Bam Bam – Give it To Me
The Destroyer – Senses (Hooligan mix)
DJ Dick – Weekend
GTO – Listen To The Rhythm Flow (remix)
Future Sound of London – Papa New Guinea
Meat Beat Manifesto – Radio Babylon
Incubus – The Spirit
Eon – Fear: the Mind Killer
Hardfloor – Hardtrance Acperience
Meat Beat Manifesto – Mindstream (Orbital remix)
Pacman – Power Pill
Autechre – Cavity Job
Sulphuric – The Acid Chamber
Vapourspace – Gravitational Arch of 10
The Hypnotist – Hardcore U Know the Score (remix)
The Hypnotist – House Is Mine (GTO remix)
Wiseblood – Death Rape 2000
Amen Andrews – Fear
Squarepusher – Come On My Selector
Aphex Twin – Cock 10 (Delco Freedom mix)
Caustic Visions – cvthru202
DJ Redoo – Bulldozer

Mixcloud Select – Version Galore Deluxe 4/10/2004

fullsizeoutput_1cea I realised we hadn’t had anything from 2004 yet so went to find something from around this time back then. Just over 16 years ago the world was a very different but no less scary place, 9/11 had happened and the Iraq war was in full flow, as evidenced by some of the cut up speeches from George Bush Jnr. near the end of this mix. Despite that, this mix features an assortment of versions, covers and parodies of classic tracks as a running theme. From 60s pop to piano ballads, reggae mash ups (when they were still a new thing) and string versions. You can still hear the fallout of the bootleg craze and Armando Ianucci spoken word crops up throughout, possibly from Time Trumpet?

This mix is an odd one with virtually no contemporary tracks save for maybe the Depeche Mode remix and the M83 track at the end. It was also put together partly digitally as there are a lot of overdubs and extra touches. By the 00’s I was fully utilising the editing capabilities of Cubase to chop up and overlay mixes from the decks and construct sets that had a lot more going on in them than just a pair of records being played. The availability of more digital music via the web meant that songs could be edited in that I didn’t have physical copies of but this was still a year or so before I got Serato and was able to mix the two formats more easily.fullsizeoutput_1ce8

Incidentally, the mix opens with the winner of the Solid Steel intro competition – an online comp for people to record new intros to the radio show using only the famous bleeps as a guide. It was won by Tom Miller and Jules Green – who both went on to set up the Keep Up! label and later, Tom with Shapes of Rhythm – the ‘version galore’ sample in their intro gave the mix its title. Les Surfs, who start the mix proper, released a ridiculous amount of singles during the 60s including this version of ‘The Clapping Song’ which I was collecting copies of at the time. The two versions of ‘Wild Thing’ later on are both sides of a mid 60s 7” I picked up somewhere in North America, parodying two competing senators recording versions to win votes but both ‘wildly’ out of their depth. Regarding the role call of American actors and musicians and US Army speeches that bookend the M83 track – I can’t recall their origins but both most likely came from the web.

Track list:
Tom & Jules – Version Galore Solid Steel intro
Les Surfs – Clac Tape
Anita Harris – The Clapping Song
Josie & the Pussycats – Clapping Song
Goyte – Just Can’t Get Enough (Mothloop mix)
Depeche Mode – Clean (Colder remix)
Marilyn Manson – Personal Jesus
Unknown – Dr Who theme
String Quartet – Work It Out
Beyonce – Work It Out (a capella)
Leroy Sibbles – Express Yourself
The Killer Meters – Just Kissed My Baby
Hot Paste – Make It Busta
Grandmaster Melle Mel – The Message (Paul Nice bootleg mix)
Bumps Jackson – Funky In Jamaica pt.2
Senator Bobby – Wild Thing
The Party Party / RX – Sunday Bloody Sunday
Senator Everett McKinley – Wild Thing
M83 – Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts

Plus contributions from Beat Street, Mantronix, Armando Ianucci, George Bush Snr and Jnr

Mixcloud Select 27: DJ Food – XEN Tour pt.2 10/2000

27 Xen Tour 1+2 CD 30 years ago this month, Ninja Tune came into being and 20 years ago the label made it into double figures.  I made a Ninja-centric set for the occasion and this was recorded across various dates of a UK tour to support the Xen Cuts compilation album. At some point I put it down in two parts and the first 30 minutes of part 1 was played on Solid Steel 09/10/200 but the rest of this mix went un-broadcast I think.27 Xen Tour 1+2 CD back

Part 2 continues the theme – warning – some very shonky mixes in parts here, never try mixing heavily swung half time jazz with regimental double time drum n bass. Also – lots of scratching near the end, I had edited in some scratch jam from a set with Ollie Teeba and DK that I’d completely forgotten about, it goes on a bit but has some nice moments (only some, indulge me).27 Xen Tour CD 2 inside

What’s nice about this is that you can hear the crowd at points and, in the current climate, that’s not something we’re going to hear much of any time soon. Also, this is all vinyl, Serato wasn’t even on the horizon at this point so all the jumps and wonky pushes and pulls you hear are me wrestling with the records in real time. No cue buttons to jump back to the start of a track, no ‘relative mode’ so that when the needle skips you don’t hear it, no loop function… I don’t miss it at all :)

Happy Birthday 30th birthday Ninja!

Track list:
Mr Scruff – Get A Move On
DJ Food – Mr Quicke Cuts The Cheese
DJ Food – Ninja Walk
DJ Vadim – The Pimp Theme 126
Funki Porcini – Rocket Soul
Dynamic Syncopation – Closer To The Line
The Illuminati of Hedfuk – The Worm Turns
Neptune – Soul Pride
Up, Bustle & Out – Los Locos Cubanos (Snowboy mix)
Cinematic Orchestra – Ode To The Big Sea (Four Tet remix)
Cinematic Orchestra – Channel One Suite
2 Player – Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ remix)
Amon Tobin – Like Regular Chickens (Dillinja remix)
DJ Food – Scratch Yer Hed (Squarepusher remix)
Jungle Brothers – Jungle Beats
Dynamic Syncopation – Internal Affairs
Amon Tobin – Creatures
DJ Vadim – Friction feat. Iriscience
– Scratch jam w. Ollie Teeba + DK
Styly Cee – Here Comes Son
The Bar-Kays – Holy Ghost
KMD – Peachfuzz (Instrumental)
The Upsetters – Popcorn
Red Snapper – Hot Flush (Sabres of Paradise remix)
The Radiophonic Workshop – Dr Who Theme

Mixcloud Select 25: Openmind – Strictly session 09/12/94

25 Tape

This is the other side of the tape from week 15 (which was the week after this) and comprises a mix I did of 45 minutes which is all I have of this show. There may have been more but the cassette ran out. This is still billed as Openmind but Matt Black refers to me as ‘Strictly Kev on the mix’ at one point so this is somewhere midway to coming to the Solid Steel / Ninja fold and becoming a part of DJ Food.
Trip hop and electro is in full flow on this one with the first release on Clear – The Jedi Knights’ ‘May The Funk Be With You’, Afrika Bambaataa and an early Andrea Parker / David Morley production for the Apollo label under the name Two Sandwiches Short of a Lunchbox.

Jon More‘s (then) secret weapon – Forrest J. Ackerman’s ‘Music For Robots’ is deployed for spoken word effect (just wait until we got to Japan in a few years time…) and coincidentally (or maybe on purpose) the Yoshinori Sunahara track that opens the set is titled ‘Music For Robot For Music’.

After that the Art of Noise gets molested by Rick Rubin’s uber slow, ultra heavy ‘Dust Cloud’ from the Tommy Boy ‘Masters of the Beat’ compilation, it doesn’t always work but you can hear what I was trying to do. An early David Holmes mix for Justin Warfield and the Future Sound of London in their Far Out Son of Lung guise both dip their toes in psyched out trip hop with long, tripped out distorted beats and FX, this was the stuff I really loved (and still do) – weird, heavy, psychedelic beats and samples.

I think most people are hip to Justin’s LP debut LP by now, ‘My Field Trip To Planet 9’ – a trip hop classic before the term was even coined, if you’ve not heard it then check it out. The only other things like it at the time coming from the US were bits of Beastie Boys’ circa Check Your Head, some Divine Styler and maybe a bit of the DJ Muggs stable. UK remixes by Holmes, Ashley Beedle and The Dust Brothers (UK version, pre-name change). In a weird twist of fate Justin would soon feature on Bomb The Bass‘Bug Powder Dust’ single which would also sample DJ Food’s ‘Dark Lady’. Sadly he largely left hip hop for more rock-based bands for about 20 years after this although he made another rap album 20 years later and made this astute observation: “The only caveat being I didn’t know what to talk about, and since hip-hop is at it’s best a vehicle for an artist with something he or she has to say, a point of view given voice over beats, and that if you had nothing to say, well…then better to not say anything at all. (A point lost on some modern rappers, and more importantly, the ever-growing audience that gobbles it up).

Track list:

Coldcut – Solid Steel intro jingle
Yoshinori Sunahara – M.F.R.F.M. (Armed)
Boymerang – The Don
Forrest J. Ackerman – Music For Robots
Art of Noise – Moments In Love
Rick Rubin – Dust Cloud
The Jedi Knights – May The Funk Be With You
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force – Looking For The Perfect Beat (Bonus Beats)
DJ Food – A Little Samba
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force – Looking For The Perfect Beat (instrumental)
Two Sandwiches Short of a Lunchbox – Too Good To Be Strange
Justin Warfield – Live From The Opium Den (David Holmes Dub)
Future Sound of London – Far Out Son of Lung & The Ramblings of a Madman
Bandulu – Run Run

Mixcloud Select – Strictly’s Jazz Beatnik Hipster session Pt.3 25/10/1998

24 Homespun box

As we conclude our field trip with Mr Geets Romo and the hopelessly out of his depth square narrator, played by Del Close and John Brent on their ‘How To Speak Hip‘ album we continue down the electronic jazz path of the late 90s. The Death track came on a silver 12” with no labels but a skull sticker listing the components used to make it and I regularly used it as a rhythmic bridge between styles when DJing. Looking it up now I see that it was the only release under this name by Thomas P. Heckman who started making all manner of electronic records in the 90s including starting the Trope label which this is on. It’s great having the internet and Discogs now to look this stuff up, back in the 90s, although we had email and a vague version of the web, it was hard to find out about some of the more obscure releases that turned up in record shops unless they came with a press release or were featured in a magazine.

The Tortoise remix here is by Bundy K. Brown who I was keeping close tabs on after we’d met in Chicago on our first tour of the US and pledged to work together. I love his remixes, there’s something about the way he puts things together with both a musician and engineer’s mind that brings out unique results. I love the way he draws things out here, the groove and mood gently unfolding with minute changes. Also, this one is LONG, so much so that I play the whole of the next record over it and barely get time to mix another track in before that’s ended.

24 Homespun DAT

Those records being Jamie Hodge’s Born Under a Rhyming Planet alias and Kingsuk Biswas Bedouin Ascent with their takes on electronic, abstract jazz. Both were prolific in the mid 90s and then went quiet as the 00’s appear, neither having released any music for over a decade now. Kingsuk especially I thought could have been as big as Aphex or label mate Luke Vibert, his complex angular rhythms were like no one else’s. Following this we have a track from the rare MASK 400 12” from Gescom’s Skam label, which sees Grace Jones’ ‘Private Life’ remixed by Post which may have been an alias for Mike Williamson. We get another (very out of tune, mix wise) track from Papa Blue’s ‘En Velo’ 12” (remember, cheap over on Discogs) and ‘Proxima Session’ was from a 12” entitled Jazz Roux by Uriel who followed a similar pattern to others here by being super active in the mid to late 90s and then disappearing.

24 Jazz Beat PRS

Track List:
Del Close & John Brent – Field trip no.3
Death – Electronic Realisations 2
Tortoise – Find The One (Wait , Abstraction No.3)
Born Under A Rhyming Planet – Spasm Band
Bedouin Ascent – Internal Bleeding
Grace Jones – Private Life (Post remix)
Papa Blue – Luna en la Pampa
Uriel – Proxima Session

Rian Hughes’ XX book featured in Electronic Sound

ES XX spread

Very pleased to see Rian Hughes’ new book ‘XX – A Novel, Graphic’ featured so prominently in the new issue of Electronic Sound magazine with a double page of layouts.If you want an idea of what the book’s about then Sci-Fi Now has a very good review.

ES XX Right

The Celestial Mechanic album that I created with Saron Hughes and Robin the Fog soundtrack’s the novel and also gets a mention – you can hear that here https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com

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Cape Town Electronic Music Festival comp: Friends & Frequencies

Friends and Frequencies front
The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival
2020 is online only this year and, after a live stream last week they announced this Friends and Frequencies compilation. It’s a great selection of the many artists and friends who have played for them over the last nine years of running the festival. I’m very pleased to be kicking off the 137 track comp with the final song from 2012″s ‘The Search Engine’ album, the compiler’s felt that the spoken word on the track said what they wanted to say perfectly.
The compilation is designed to raise funds for all the artists involved as well as the industry supply chain so if you are in a position to pay more than the asking price please feel free to do so. Available here

F&F 1 F&F 2 F&F 3

Mixcloud Select 23: Strictly’s Jazz Beatnik Hipster session Pt.2

22 DATAnother chapter from Del Close and John Brent‘s ‘How To Speak Hip’ undercover field trip opens and closes  this week’s mix and leads into the extraordinary ‘Traveller’ by Talvin Singh, the strings on this are so gorgeous, I really thought this would be the one to put him up there in the spotlight, win him awards and such, and it did of a sort but he deserves way more recognition. You can hear jazz creeping in here and it was starting to become fashionable again, after hip hop producers had moved from funk, soul and rock to jazz in the early 90s. Techno producers like Kirk DeGiorgio had started espousing its delights and people were rediscovering electric Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock albums. A good example is the Papa Blue track – a solo 12” on the Finnish Sahko offshoot PUU label – home of Jimi Tenor before he signed to Warp. Apparently it was an alias of Jaakko Salovaara who records under the name JS16 and this was his only release under this name. Find a copy, there are 20 for sale very cheap on Discogs, it’s a lost classic of hazy, trippy jazz comedowns.
22 PRS

From one-off obscurity to the first Cinematic Orchestra single debuting here, who could have guessed how far they’d come over the next 20 years? Massive Attack get dubbed up by Alpha, DJs Shadow and Krush dual in fine style and a certain LA rapper who would later move into my building in London shows up – what was her name again? Ultramarine close the mix and don’t release another album for another 15 years.
* The Muppets + Coolio at start note refers to a recording at the start of the DAT of Coolio trying to teach The Muppets to rap taped from the TV in Canada in the late 90s on tour. It also features a section from KISS meets the Phantom of the Park film, a terrible cash-in film that plays out like a Scooby Doo cartoon featuring the masked rockers whose careers were on a high at the time.

Part 3 follows next week…

Track list:
Del Close & John Brent – Field Trip no.2
Talvin Singh – Traveller
Papa Blue – Matusalem
The Cinematic Orchestra – Continuum
Massive Attack – Inertia Creeps (Alpha mix)
DJ Krush/DJ Shadow – Duality
T-Love – What’s My Name?
Ultramarine – K/V

Dan Lish EgoStrip book Kickstarter finally here

EgoStrip cover
Regular readers of this blog will know I’m a big fan of Dan Lish‘s work, having featured him several times over the years. Ever since he started posting his work on the web people have been saying, ‘do a book, when are you doing a book?’. Last week he finally launched his EgoStrip book Kickstarter after years of drawing some of the greatest portraits of hip hop, funk and jazz musicians out there. Looking forward to this immensely and, at the time of writing he was less than £6k off his target with 25 days to go. Take a look here

EgoStrip bookEgoStrip spreadDanLish_Kraftwerk

DanLish_JazzyJ DanLish_Rammellzee DanLish_QBert

Mixcloud Select – Strictly’s Jazz Beatnik Hipster session Pt.1

22 Box

‘Come with us now…’ Having finally secured a copy of Del Close and John Brent‘s ‘How To Speak Hip’ LP after coveting it from the pages of the Incredibly Strange Music books I was keen to put its extensive spoken word passages to good use. Thus the Jazz Beatnik Hipster sessions were born, three half hour mixes that all aired on Solid Steel on 25/10/1998 (the 18th date on the inlay was when they were recorded). Using dialogue from the album to punctuate the sets and give them some continuity, I mined the album for nuggets before plundering it even further for ‘The Riff’ on Kaleidoscope. I always recall the end of the 90s as an odd time for music, after a decade of incredible dance music that seemed to mutate and spew forth a new genre each year, things seemed to be slowing down a bit. People started looking back for new things and the easy listening/moog scene was a notable example, the soundtrack reissue/bootleg market seemed to be booming and compilations of library music started cropping up for the first time.

Big Beat had taken over in the clubs and, after the initial excitement of The Dust/Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim‘s early singles, become seemingly wedded to lad culture and followed a formula that saw it get old pretty fast. Ninja and Mo Wax were now firmly established and no longer the hot new thing, both had broadened their palette with two of their more ambient/electronic signings featured here in Andrea Parker and The Irresistible Force whose ‘The Lie-In King’ is a bit of a lost classic. Another is an early Fink offering here, the same but very different sounding Fink who is now a world famous acoustic singer songwriter, but who started out on Ninja sub-label, Ntone. I remember touring with him in the late 90’s and he once casually mentioned that he wanted to win a Mercury Prize one day, we all looked at him as if he was mad but he’s not far off these days having worked with John Legend and Amy Winehouse over the years.

NT were a Scottish group who promised much with their first two singles but seemed to falter somewhere along the line and although an album exists as a CD promo I don’t think it came out properly, not sure what happened there. Independant hip hop labels like Rawkus and Fondle ‘Em where putting out the most interesting rap at this point in the US with Company Flow and MF Doom making their debuts. The Arsonists made some great 12″ singles too with this low slung track in 3/4 time. A Get Carter theme ensues for the end of the mix with UNKLE‘s sample sound-a-like and a track from Roy Budd‘s soundtrack followed by Stereolab‘s cover version of the main theme. The ‘Lab were in their golden period at this point, one of the coolest groups in the business, hopped up on Krautrock references, hook ups with Tortoise in the US and having people like Autechre, Luke Vibert and UNKLE remix them.

Part 2 follows next week…

Track list:
Del Close & John Brent – Field Trip no.1
Andrea Parker – After Dark
The Irresistible Force – The Lie-in King
Fink – The Fink vs DJ Ali-Cat
NT – Distances Dub
The Arsonists – Geembo’s Theme
UNKLE – Rabbit in Your Headlights (instr)
Roy Budd – Getting Nowhere in a Hurry
Stereolab – Get Carter

Bandcamp recommends Sept 2020

PD splatter
Proto Droids – Cybernetic World – New Correlations project – ‘LP exploring the unsettling themes of 1970s Sci-Fi via the dance floor driven sounds of mid 1980s synth stompers. Packed with throbbing bass lines, irresistible beats & slick synths of vintage Billboard chart bangers’ according to Bob Fischer – released via Spun Out of Control. There are two colourways with this pressing – robot sweat (leaking oil) and Short Circuit splatter and just look at them!
PD 2 col

Motorway cover 6
Funki Porcini – Motorway  Super brand new (literally finished this week) 4-track driving rhythms and ambience EP

Benge 13 Systems
Benge – 13 Systems – Thirteen different modular synths, one per track – worth it for track 12 alone. Huge back catalogue if you want more, his 20 Systems album is a classic.

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Celestial Mechanic – Citizen Void – My own modest effort, alongside Saron Hughes and interjections from Howlround, the soundtrack to Rian Hughes‘ new book, ‘XX – A Novel, Graphic‘ – only 2 weeks old.
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Also from the house of Food – my digital label, Infinite Illectrik, a place for my customised turntable experiments with locked grooves including a 25 minute remix of Four Tet.

Clipping Visions
Clipping – Visions of Bodies Being Burned (PRE-ORDER) A second album! due October, still no idea when the live album will be more generally available though.

DDD 12
DNGDNGDNG – Continentes Perdidos – New 4-track EP from the ever reliable On The Corner records. The sounds of as yet undiscovered futuristic tribes captured on record.

FLC LP

Field Lines Cartographer – The Spectral Isle – from the preview tracks, the first is a gorgeous ambience, somewhere at the intersection between Eno and Boards of Canada and the second is altogether darker, kind of Silent Servant without the beats. Artwork by Nick Taylor, I’d buy that just for the cover alone, on the always reliable Castles In Space label. UPDATE: This album is seriously good, one for the best of 2020 lists

KL vol2Kosmischer Laufer – Volume Two – Long-awaited REPRESS of possibly the best of the bunch so far.

RL Foclcore Impressionista

Folclore Impressionista – New Sensation: Music For Television – Brand new release from Russian Library of electronic 80’s-inspired library music

AC-007 AC-008
Two new Acid Cuts releases – 8″ clear lathe cuts of pure contemporary acid from Type 303 and Cleon

Trunk header
Also, did you know Trunk records was on Bandcamp? The whole catalogue isn’t up there but there are all sorts of little bits and pieces not available on vinyl.

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