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.

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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 26: DJ Food – XEN Tour Pt.1 10/2000

26 Xen Tour CD130 years ago this month, Ninja Tune came into being and 20 years ago the label made it into double figures. To celebrate there was a run of dates in London, starting on a Thursday night in three separate bars around Hoxton. Plastic People, The Strongroom Bar and The Pool bar played host to various DJ combos as a warm up for the weekend.
The newly opened 93 Feet East played host on Friday – so new there was still wet paint in places – with Amon Tobin, Hexstatic, Coldcut, Kid Koala & P-Love, Fink, Neotropic, Mixmaster Morris, Mr Scruff and myself with visuals by The Light Surgeons.

x gigs flyer back

The Scala saw a big funk and hip hop line up on the Saturday with The Herbaliser, DJ Vadim, Dynamic Syncopation, Kid Koala & P-Love, Luke Vibert & Blu Rum and a Big Dada Room with Roots Manuva, Mike Ladd, Gamma, Ty and New Flesh For Old.

Mercifully, Sunday saw a mellow come down at Ronnie Scott‘s as we all nursed out hangovers and witnessed intimate sets from DK, Clifford Gilberto, Chris Bowden and The Cinematic Orchestra.

26 Xen Tour CD inside

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 you can hear that the Mr Scruff – Ug/DJ Vadim – The Terrorist mix we put on the first Solid Steel mix CD originates from here. 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.

Part 2 to follow next week. Happy Birthday 30th birthday Ninja!

Track list:
Steinski – The Xen To One Ratio
The Herbaliser – Mr Chombee Has The Flaw
The Cinematic Orchestra – Channel 1 Suite
Mr Scruff – Fish
Neotropic – 15 Levels
Dynamic Syncopation – Bahian B-Boy
Up, Bustle & Out – Revolutionary Woman of the Windmill
Cabbage Boy – Planet
Amon Tobin – Sordid
The Herbaliser – Mrs Chombee (DJ Food remix)
Funki Porcini – Let’s See What Carmen Can Do
Mr Scruff – Ug
DJ Vadim – The Terrorist (acapella)
DJ Food – Turtle Soup (Wagon Christ remix)
The Herbaliser feat. Latyrx – 8 Point Agenda (acappella)
DJ Shadow & The Grooverobbers – Hardcore Instrumental Hip Hop
Quantum – Blue Flames
DJ Shadow & The Grooverobbers – Hardcore Hip Hop
Latyrx – Say That
Amon Tobin – 4 Ton Mantis
Saul Williams – Elohim
Dynamic Syncopation feat. Mass Influence – 2 The Left
9 Lazy 9 – Electric Lazyland
Roots Manuva – Fever
DJ Food – Sexy Bits (Autechre remix)
Dynamic Syncopation feat. Mass Influence – Ground Zero (acappella)
Big Dada Allstars – Showtime
Dynamic Syncopation feat. Mass Influence – The Plan
DJ Food – Dark Lady
Luke Vibert – Get Your Head Down
DJ Food – Freedom (Fila Brazillia mix)
Animals On Wheels – Modular Existence
DJ Food – Consciousness (Ashley Beedle Unconscious Dub)
Up, Bustle & Out – Bicycles, Flutes & You

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

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

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

The Life of Barney Bubbles podcast

IMG_6460 I’ve highlighted The Bureau of Lost Culture podcasts before and in the latest instalment Stephen Coates interviews writer and biographer Paul Gorman about the life of designer Barney Bubbles. Paul wrote the definitive (and only) book about Barney’s work, Reasons To Be Cheerful and recounts his fascinating but ultimately tragic story.

Paul has also recently set up a Barney Bubbles Estate Instagram account where he’s posting examples and rarities from his collection. Even if you’re not familiar with his name, you may well be familiar with his work.
There have recently been a slew of great interviews from The Bureau, focussing on Hawkwind, the history of Goth, Biba, groupies, The UFO club and more. The easiest way to listen to them is via their Soundcloud page

IMG_6467 IMG_6468 IMG_6469 IMG_6470 IMG_6471 IMG_6472 IMG_6473

Ambient mix for the Soundwave podcast

Soundwave 22
Joseph Aleo runs a music podcast called Soundwave and recently asked me to contribute a mix – I turned in an hour’s worth of new ambient music that’s been floating my boat recently including an exclusive track from the forthcoming New Obsolescents LP I made with Howlround. The mix also includes Robert Fripp, Jon Brooks, Steve Hauschildt, Celestial Mechanic, Clocolan, Deepchord, LF58, Squarepusher and BUNKR.
Listen here Soundwave : 22

Mixcloud Select 20 – Strictly’s Dark Star set Pt.2 – The Bomb 14/09/97

20 DAT box
More space age shenanigans with part 2 of the Dark Star set with an odd mix of (then) current electronica and old moog-y bits plus a trio of Stereolab side-project cuts from the Turn On album sitting somewhere in the middle. This was the period where the band were really getting interesting, leaving their indie guitar roots behind and embracing krautrock and electronica more and I was hoovering up everything they touched. They appear again in a remix capacity on the Microstoria track and early Air crops up (the French version). Another track from George Harrison’s Electronic Sound LP appears and there’s a huge chunk of the bomb scene from Dark Star to finish.

Part 2 – The Bomb
Turn On – Ru Tenone
The Electronic Concept Orchestra – Rock Me
Mr Mahoney – Harmonica Storm
Microstoria – Microlab: Endless Summer (Stereolab remix)
Air – Le Soleil est Pres de Moi
Lalo Schifrin – Commando Opus
Turn On – Delimiting
Turn On – Glangerous
Autechre – Krib
George Harrison – Under The Mersey Wall
excerpt from Dark star – Bomb Speech
Dick Hyman – Moon Gas

Strictly’s Dark Star set Pt.1 – 14/09/1997

20 DAT tapeThis is part 1 of two mixes, The Sphere and The Bomb – both share excerpts of spoken word from Dark Star and John Williams’ ‘The Conversation’ from Close Encounters of the Third Kind joins them. The original name on the box was ‘Strictly’s Dark Star sci-fi sex-up‘ – not sure what that was about. The Bomb follows next week…

I think my obsession with 70s sci-fi started around this time, we’d caned the Dark Star original soundtrack on the Blech cassette mix for Warp and there was so much mileage still left in it. Jack Dangers had, of course, got there first and peppered parts of it throughout the excellent Meat Beat Manifesto album, Satyricon as well as sampling a small flute and and strings loop from somewhere on the track ‘Placebo’.20 DAT box

This is where I first heard the riff from Dudley Moore’s ‘The Millionaire’ from the soundtrack to the film, Bedazzled. Ollie Teeba was a huge fan and identified it from the short skit and then the hunt was on for a decent copy of the LP, rare by any standard in the 90s. I eventually found one a year later in the Cinema branch of the Music & Video Exchange in Notting Hill and paid a lot of money for it (some of it was in vouchers actually). Anyway, it was one of the few records I’ve shelled out big money for but I then sampled it on ‘Nocturne’ on the Kaleidoscope album and it’s proved quite popular over the years.

There’s some distortion on this recording, mainly on the Si Begg and 2 Player tracks which were overloaded on the recording. I’ve tried to smooth this over as best I can with the tools now available, this would have been one of the first shows I recorded at home with a portable DAT player. Before this we would record at KISSFM or at Ahead of our Time studios in Clink Street, the home of Ninja Tune up until 2000.

It looks like I used the end of the tape to record a soundcheck of myself, Kid Koala and Ollie Teeba jamming on 4 decks in Vancouver on tour which was later used in part on my remix of Coldcut‘s ‘More Beats & Pieces’. 1997 was super busy with recording and touring and I was asked by Jon & Matt to remix the track just before I went off on tour. Knowing I’d be sharing stages with other great scratch DJs I bought along copies of the DJ record of parts that had been made to give to remixers and we recorded various soundchecks and also did a session at Kid Koala’s flat at the end of the tour as well.

Track list:
Neil Norman – Dark Star
Kirsty Hawkshaw – Sci-Clone (Raw Dog mix)
Spiritualized – C Phase
George Harrison – No Time Or Space
Si Begg – Sing Circle System
Turn On – Electrocation of Fire Ants
excerpt from Dark Star – Listening Pleasure
Meat Beat Manifesto – Placebo
Beck – Strange Invitation
2 Player & DJ Vadim – White Painted Roads
John Williams – The Conversation (from Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

Mixcloud Select – US Vinyl Excavations Pt. 3 Strictly’s Dial-A-Dirty-Joke

A Pause in the Disaster LP
Track notes:
Continuing the selection of music I found in the US in 2000, no new music here. You can hear a snatch of something we later used in the intro for the first Solid Steel Now, Listen mix in 2001, the little string motif that starts Rod McKuen’s ‘The Mud Kids’. I adore this song, the whole nostalgia-fest feel of it, I added in Marshall McLuhan commenting on Batman in the mid section as it just worked so well, also the long sustained note of the last horn over the Charlie Byrd song, there’s so much detail in some of these mixes that I’d forgotten.

The Dial-a-Dirty-Joke sketches that give the mix its name is a recurring riff from the album ‘A Pause In The Disaster – The Satire of the Conception Corporation’, something I bought on tour with Dynamic Syncopation and that sketch turned into a running joke throughout the tour. Whenever there was a pause in the conversation one of us would start up, “A chicken, is standing on a corner…”. The vamp of The Cannonball Adderly Quintet’s ‘Book-Ends’ is one of my favourites from his catalogue and it was written by David Axelrod who produced a number of his albums in the 70s. Not sure if needed my added echoes though!

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The ‘Kevin is rocking’ it’ message over the Buddy Rich & Alla Rakha track is from Seven of Chocolate Industries who was after my track for the comp of graffiti-inspired songs. The female messages are from T-Love, the LA rapper who I went on to design the album cover for after she moved to the UK for a bit at the end of the 90s. She lived downstairs from me for a couple of years in an old converted mental asylum in Camberwell where my half of Kaleidoscope was recorded and mixed and the ‘project’ she was enthusing about was that album, newly released.

Track list:
intro – Plan 9 from outer space
Rod McKuen – The Mud Kids
Charlie Byrd – I Don’t Have To Take It
Roland Shaw & Orchestra – Diamonds Are Forever (reprise)
Cannonball Adderly Quintet – Book-Ends
Quincy Jones – Threadbare
Yussef Lateef – Technological Homosapien
Beaver & Krause – Walkin’
Buddy Rich & Alla Rakha – Rangeela
Quincy Jones -Threadbare
The Beatles – What’s The New Mary Jane
outro – plan 9 from outer space

Mixcloud Select – US Vinyl Excavations Pt.2 – Magoo’s Hi-Fi

18 CD Back at the start of 2000, PC and I went to the US and Canada to do some gigs and a load of press for the Kaleidoscope LP which was due out in April – imagine that, flying to America to meet journalists face to face for interviews in magazines!. While we were there we bought a lot of records as you do. On returning, we of course played lots of them on Solid Steel. I made three ‘U.S. Vinyl Excavations’ mixes although I’m not sure where part 1 is right now, I think it’s on DAT somewhere as I switched over to using CDRs to archive in 2000 after trying DAT for a bit and cassettes before that.

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There’s way too much echo on this (a common trait for me back then) and the set is a mix of breaks, cover versions, soundtracks, easy listening, jazz, spoken word and future sample fodder. It was also the first time I delved into the psyche rock genre, buying Mothers of Invention, Rare Earth and the like. The Yussef Lateef I’d been hunting for a while after hearing it sampled on a Meat Beat Manifesto LP. On tour with Kid Koala and his then sidekick, P-Love, we returned from a digging session and were showing the spoils and he’d scored a copy. I’m not sure whether I swapped it with him or managed to get a copy later but I seem to remember that this was the one he found. The record shopping was so good back then, visiting cities across the States and Canada you’d have a mental wants list of stuff and could pick up virtually whole discographies in one two week period.

Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Yussef Lateef, Billy Cobham, George Duke, Zappa, Blue Note and Command records, they were everywhere and cheap. I also bought a lot of music that would later crop up in my rescore of The Monkees’ film, ‘Head’, some of which you can hear in these sets. The first mix is themed around a comedy stereo test record with Mr Magoo which crops up throughout and there are a clutch of personal answerphone messages near the end which I used to record and re-use back in the day. Part 3 next week and I’ll try and find part 1…

Part 2 – Magoos Hi-Fi – 07/08/2000
Track list:
Richard Rodney Bennett – Love Scene
Memphis Underground – Eleanor Rigby
Susan with the Children’s Chorus – ABC song
A Special TV Record – Wild Drums
Quincy Jones – Hangin’ Paper
Jimmy Castor Bunch – Creation (prologue)
Mothers of Invention – King Kong Pts 1,2 & 3
John Simon – Beach Music
Yussef Lateef – Sister Mamie
Jerry Garcia – Spider Gawd
Al Hirt & Hugo Montenegro – After Mass On Sunday
The Groovin’ Strings and Things – The Fool On The Hill

interspersed with selections from Mr Magoo’s ‘Magoo in Hi Fi’ – RCA Victor

New 45 Live mix – Aug 6th PST on Dublab

DJ Food 45 Live Mix 2020 web
It’s that time again, my now annual guest mix for the 45 Live radio show hosted by DJ Greg Belson on Dublab premieres on Aug 6th PST which will be early in the morning of Aug 7th in the UK. This mix is a trip through the incredibly fertile years during and after the second summer of love and the fallout from acid house. The fast-moving dance scene is splintering with influences cross-pollinating into indie, hip hop and techno. Early signposts to rave and hardcore can be heard and Mr Fingers‘ evergreen ‘Can You Feel It’ seems like it comes from a different time.

It comes with a touch of sadness too, just as I’d finished the mix and after I’d taken this shot of the records used, I heard the sad news that Denise Johnson had died. A vocalist for A Certain Ratio, New Order and Primal Scream at various points among many more, this was the era where she came to public prominence for perhaps her most well known feature on ‘Don’t Fight It (Feel It)’ from the latter’s ‘Screamadelica‘. I quickly reworked the intro of the mix to include this classic which sits perfectly in the set as it was a staple of the turn of the decade club scene. RIP Denise.

PS Spot the one track from 2020…

DJ Food – Words With The Voda – Solid Steel 06/10/2003

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Track notes:
I was intrigued to pull this set out because I don’t remember much about it, especially the Henry Rollins track at the end, so curiosity got the better of me. Around 2002/3/4 I was pretty productive on the Solid Steel front and probably put more hours into some of these mixes than at any other time. This was pre-being a parent so the hours were there and this is what I’d call a proper mixed bag style wise, veering from break-led cut ups to electronica and 80s synth pop as the mash up era continued with Richard X now in the charts.
Lots of the usual suspects on the list of labels played, Stones Throw, Output, Twisted Nerve, Skam and of course Ninja who were still on a creative roll after the tenth birthday three years before even through the record industry was slowly falling apart around our ears due to downloading.

‘Words With The Voda’ in the title refers to a sample about a computer that’s used throughout the mix although I can’t remember where I got it from. But John ‘Voda’ (actual name John Moore – not the Jon More from Coldcut) was the name of the guy who mastered a lot of Ninja Tune’s records over the years. He started off in a little studio in the Canary Wharf building that also housed Ninja, Hex/Hexstatic, artist Shiv and the Hydrogen Jukebox label and slowly progressed to the whole of the top floor. When we moved out of London Bridge at the turn of the century he moved into the middle of Soho and had a full mastering and repro operation going and I remember going there to master the ‘C Is For Cookie’ and ‘Pinball Number Count’ release. A quick google reveals virtually nothing of his current whereabouts – anyone know what happened to him?17 PRS sheet

There’s some buried treasure on here for sure – Alex Attias’ version of Sun Ra’s ‘Nuclear War’ (with my reversed expletives for radio), Mu’s ‘Chair Girl’, Goldfrapp’s remix of Marilyn Manson… Ah yeah and I remember that Rollins sketch now, it’s worth the wait, “evil woman, look out!”

Track list:
Kid Koala – Skanky Panky
Bonobo – Pick Up (Four Tet remix)
Charles Mintz – Give A Man A Break
J Rocc – Junkies  Pick
Mu – Chair Girl
Luke Vibert – Propertronics
J Rocc – Junkies  Pick
Alex Attias presents Mustang – Nuclear War
Akufen – Hawian Wodka Party 1
Secondo – It’s Ok, I’ve Overstood
dncn – bwdm remix
The League Unlimited Orchestra – Things That Dreams Are Made Of
Richard X feat. Kelis – Finest Dreams
Marilyn Manson – This Is The New Shit (Goldfrapp Remix)
Forss – Jazz For Nerds
Quinoline Yellow – mystery track
Henry Rollins – Breaking Up

Mixcloud Select 16 – DJ Food – Solid Steel Twisted Nerve mix 15/01/01

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Some things never change, nearly 20 years on I’m still playing Luke Vibert, Boards of Canada and loving Ken Nordine and Sesame Street spoken word. But some things most definitely do, Chocolate Weasel only made one record for Ninja Tune, Photek never quite scaled these heights again and the Twisted Nerve label morphed into the wondrous reissue venture, Finders Keepers. This set is from a run where Solid Steel had moved to Radio LDN at Bush House (as explained in previous posts), each time you arrived you had to sign in and get a stamped sticker and wear it so that security knew you were OK.

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The first half of this set is full of tricky time signatures from the off, the wrong-footing Ski Oakenfull track, the Chocolate Weasel tune which I still can’t work out the time signature of, the switch from the 120bpm of Luke Vibert to the 80 of Boards and then 160 on Photek. Then our ‘Looking Glass’ track mixed at 160bpm instead of 120, it shouldn’t work and it doesn’t really but it’ll make you hear it in a different way and sometimes that’s what DJing is about. Future Ninja signing (MC) Sixtoo crops up on the end of part 1 guesting on Aquasky‘s ‘Shamen’, I remember pushing for Ninja to sign him around this time and he made a couple of excellent records for the label in the 00’s.

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The second half presents a mix of the then relatively new Twisted Nerve label and surrounding artists, a love that still endures nearly 20 years later and a catalogue that’s still fascinating. You couldn’t have a much starker contrast between the two halves if you tried. Even though there’s no distortion I was quite surprised to see a lot of brick wall compression going on in the mix, not sure what I was putting it through when recording or mixing down but there’s a lot of rectangular blocks with no dynamics in the original recording. We live and we learn don’t we?

Track list:
Part 1
Ski Oakenfull – Fifths (Jazzanova 6 Sickht mix)
Chocolate Weasel – Music For Body Lockers
Luke Vibert – Chris Chana
Boards of Canada – Zoetrope
Photek – Seven Samurai
DJ Food – Looking Glass
Aquasky feat MC Sixtoo – Shamen

Part 2
D.O.T. – Say Your Prayers
Andy Votel – Diode
Cherrystones – We Three Kings
Sirconical – Pumpfarm
Mum & Dad – Swinchiard
Alfie – James’ Dream Pt 2
Jane Weaver vs Doves – Seven Day Smile
Dakota Oak – J Saw The Figure Five
Andy Votel – Spooky Driver
Pedro – Abacus
Sirconical – Moondance

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

15 CD imageTrack notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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