Mixcloud Select 72: Strictly’s New Year Homework Pt.1 10/01/1999

MS72 NY homework BoxRecorded over the Xmas break of ’98/99 (where PC and I went to LA to play at a disastrous New Year party which ended in multiple hospitalisations from a bad drugs batch and police shut down). This sounds like a live set recorded at home, possibly on three decks and is full of contemporary electronica, jazz, library and that end of the millennium weirdness where there wasn’t any dominant scene happening.
A blast of Tape Beatles opens before The Karminsky Experience Inc. and Dynamic Syncopation bring the fast breaks and soundtrack vibes in. People were increasingly becoming interested in OSTs and library tracks at the end of the 90s with lots of bootlegs and a few licensed comps floating around. Air‘s ambient classic on Fax continued this but in a more downtempo vein, not to be confused with the French band of the same name despite using a French title, this was a Pete Namlook alias.
Bruce Haack’s ‘Word Game’ beams in, completely from another galaxy with its chugging Moog groove, only to be superseded by Grooverider‘s excellent ‘Where’s Jack The Ripper’. I felt D’n’B was going through a dull patch at the time with all the dark No U-Turn type stuff not really floating my boat but this had that funk to it that had been lost over the last few years. The Boards of Canada Peel Sessions were out and they always got a lot of love from me on the show so I couldn’t resist halving the tempo and then mixing Grooverider in again over ‘Aquarius’. Followed is Slag Boom Van Loon‘s ‘Poppy Seed’, a track Boards would soon remix for the Planet Mu label.

Part 2 next week!

The Tape Beatles – Intro
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – The Hip Sheik
Dynamic Syncopation – Closer To The Line
Air – Je Suis Triste Et Seul Ici
Bruce Haack – Word Game
Grooverider – Where’s Jack the Ripper
Boards of Canada – Aquarius
Slag Boom Van Loon – Poppy Seed
The Tape Beatles – Outro

Mixcloud Select 71: Strictly Kev – Solid Steel Final BBC LDN show (edit) 21/10/2002

MS71 CD Here’s a silly little set from the last show we broadcast on Radio LDN, part of the BBC network, on a Monday nights in the early 00’s.
BBC London could never make up it’s mind around the turn of the millennium; after 18 years of being BBC Radio London and another 12 of Greater London Radio (GLR) they decided to switch to BBC London Live just as we joined the station in 2000. A year later and they changed it again to BBC LDN and then further to BBC London around the time they got rid of most of their specialist programmes in favour of talk radio.

We were part of this cull along with other DJs like Ross Allen and Dr Bob Jones and it came out of the blue, one week we were on, the next we had one show left. I found out from another presenter who casually mentioned “sorry to hear about your show”, whilst I was covering for the others solo one time. Seeing the puzzled look on my face, she realised her faux pas and explained that the station had axed all but two of their late night specialist music shows in favour of a more talk based radio station. We had one week’s grace and that was it but we really made use of that week…

But let’s start with how we came to be on the BBC in the first place: after leaving KISS in Feb ’99 (before we were pushed – big changes were ahead) Solid Steel set up home online, streamed via the Ninja Tune homepage every week, still maintaining it’s 2 hour format, uncertain as to how many people were listening. With DK now firmly in the producers chair, syndications to overseas stations had been instigated and we were looking around for a ‘home’ on a London station. There was a pilot show for GLR on 27/06/99 but the first regular slot was 27/03/2000, the week the station relaunched as BBC London Live. We had a midnight until 2am slot on a Monday night which suited us fine, no playlist, minimal fuss or bother from the powers that be and a proper studio to broadcast from.

The big drawback was that the studio was more geared to CDJing than turntable mixing and the decks there were more of an afterthought than an integral part of the set up. Out went the live mixing and in came the pre-prepared, home studio mixed sets, something that did no end of good for the quality control threshold but which sounds odd at times when listening back as we had to leave instrumental gaps for talking and tracklists in the selection. Another revelation was no adverts other than the occasional station sting for an upcoming event or show – yes! More uninterrupted mixes and less stop / start nonsense.

Initially we took over after Ross Allen‘s Destination Out show which was perfect as we caught a lot of his audience but he moved on to two separate nights of the week as his star rose. Generally two of us would present the show live whilst playing that week’s selection of mixes and we also had the means to take calls for competitions where we gave away tickets to shows or CDs in return for answers to ridiculously easy multiple choice questions. The BBC had a full online streaming web presence too so we were beamed live worldwide and, on occasion, we got calls from overseas for the competitions, including one from New Zealand! Being ‘on the BBC’ also afforded us instant credibility when asking for high profile interviews and both David Axelrod and Herbie Hancock were recorded using their facilities.

MS71 PRS

But all good things must come to a (tr)end and 21/10/2002 was the last show we did at the station, but we weren’t going out without making a statement and Matt, Jon, DK and I were all determined to make it one to remember. I kicked things off with plenty of loaded spoken word and songs aimed at the Beeb – Has It Come To This?,  It’s All Over Now,  The Show Must Go On, Fool If You Think It’s Over, It’s Just Begun – you get the idea. I must apologise firstly for the cheesiness of some of the tracks (a worrying amount of Queen) but mostly for the tuning on some of the mixes – oh my ears! This recording is the original studio mix without talking, not the live broadcast with the ridiculous competitions, shout outs and studio banter. I’ve actually edited this down as some of the tracks really laboured the point and some were in there for us to talk over so sound odd without it. Plus there’s a Stones track in there and Charlie Watts died this week (RIP).

After this (but not included here) Matt turned in a storming old school ultimate breaks and beats cut up using the Street Beat compilations in Ableton Live. Jon waded in with possibly the first BBC jingle and presented a set of mashed up hip hop acappellas, ending with Monty Python‘s phone in sketch. DK ran through some of the show favourites from the last few years, the tracks getting the most plays from the variety of DJs over the course of our tenure, flagged up some of the high profile jingles we’d recorded and ended appropriately with The Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’ as the final word. It was sad to go but we had no choice and it wasn’t as painful as the KISS departure because we had the internet support fully set up by this time, still it was great to be part of the BBC for a while.

Track list:
The Streets – Has It Come To This? (Hi Contrast Remix)
The Who – My Generation
The Rollings Stones – It’s All Over Now
RJD2 – The Final Frontier
Queen – The Show Must Go On
Mr Guder – Super Guder Breaks 3
Chris Rea – Fool If You Think It’s Over
Jimmy Castor Bunch – It’s Just Begun
Studio Housten – It’s Not Right But It’s OK
Blackalicious – Chemical Calathenics
DJ Food – Turtle Soup (Wagon Christ Remix)
Geoff Muldaur – Brazil
The Carpenters – It’s Only Just Begun
Joni Mitchell – Parking Lot
Jackson 5 – Never Can Say Goodbye

Mixcloud Select 70 – Strictly’s Childhood Faves 30/11/00

MS70 CD This is an odd one because the first 10 minutes or so is an involved multi-layered affair with 2 or 3 tracks overlaid simultaneously in a way that would be virtually impossible with turntables. I can only assume that this section was an early idea for the first Solid Steel mix CD, Now, Listen.
The Aphex Twin/ DJ Food combo is frustratingly slightly out of time at the start and the tuning is a bit off too. Neotropic’s ‘Beached’ is in there and the only track to make it to the aforementioned mix CD and works well with Aphex and the Orb remix of Material ‘Mantra’ although it’s a long, laboured mix and wouldn’t have stood up on the CD. Cornershop’s ‘Easy Winners’ part 1 is such a killer beat, I remember Kid Koala in particular used to cut two copies of this up. It doesn’t quite work with the sombre tone of Neotropic in the background but Mantra rumbles along nicely in there.
After this section we get into some contemporary releases of the day with Andy Votel’s ‘November’ from his and Cherrystones’ excellent 10” EP ‘The Amazing Transplant’. A tempo switch mid-track see the unlikely addition of Hijack’s ‘The Badman Is Robbin’ but one I’m sure Andy would appreciate as it bridges the Cherrystones track from the same EP and they compliment each other for a while. A track from the lone Papa Blue EP on PUU features, still a lost classic and so beautiful and this is another 3 tracks at once mix which makes me think there may have been some computer overdubs going on. Back into another Votel/Cherrystones track and then the mallet instruments continue with Syd Dale’s excellent theme to Screen Test, ‘Marching There & Back’ on Trunk. Incidentally there’s a fabulous compilation album just out celebrating 25 years of the label which is pretty essential if you’re a fan of all things Trunk-related.
Continuing the wacky theme tunes that no doubt gave this mix its name we have an odd 7” on Acupuncture from around this time by Black Lodge that chopped up the ‘Pink Elephants On Parade’ song from Pinocchio to good effect. I think this was the first release on the label and was associated with a shop of the same name, Black Lodge went on to release material in the dying days on Mo Wax. The final track is 9 Lazy 9’s ‘Brothers of the Red’ overlaid with a fictitious listings read by an unknown narrator from Chris Morris’ Blue Jam album and still stands up although who could have predicted that Cerys from Catatonia would end up as a DJ?MS70 PRS

Track list:
Aphex Twin – Untitled
DJ Food – The Sky At Night
Material – Mantra (Preying Mantra Orb remix)
Neotropic – Beached
Cornershop – Easy Winners part1
Andy Votel – November
Hijack – The Badman is Robbin’
Cherrystones – A Pattern Emerges
Papa Blue – Luna En La Pampa
Andy Votel + Cherrystones – A Pattern Emerges
Syd Dale – Marching There & Back (Screen Test Theme)
Black Lodge – Pink Elephants On Parade
Chris Morris – Club News (9 Lazy 9 – Brothers of the Red)

New 45 Live DJ Food mix

DJ Food 45 Live Mix 8th 2021 web
Does what it says on the tin, all vinyl 45s, a mix of Freestyle, Hip House, Acid & Bleep circa 1989-91 – a very fertile time for the dance music scene with the initial euphoria of acid house giving way to the first generation of bedroom producers with affordable samplers. Debuts Friday night/Saturday morning US/UK time August 20th on the 45 Live show with Greg Belson via Dublab.

MS69 DJ Food Solid Steel 07/06/98 Pt.2

MS 69 DAT 2The second mix on this DAT and radio show, I remember this as I think I’d come back from Europe and found an odd record with snippets of old gangster films in Germany, one of the clips was Humphrey Bogart, the same sample The Herbaliser had used on ‘The Real Killer’. Kicking off with the almighty MBM and one of my favourites of their colossal back catalogue, ‘Acid Again’. Few were making music like this in the late 90s but Jack Dangers and co. never did much of what others were doing. How good is that Wai Wan track? Had totally forgotten about that but it’s a bit of a monster. No idea how The Imperial Brothers wormed their way in here, maybe I had just picked up the 12” as this sounds like it could be a dub mix maybe?

‘Shack Up’-sampling from Rare Force aka Robin from Hexstatic precedes a football-themed Depth Charge tune and another I don’t remember by Schneider TM from one of his earliest releases. Cartel Productions sounds like a Kirk DeGiorgio production but is actually Dave Kempston aka Clatterbox on the short-lived Clear label offshoot, REEL Discs. Mixing rather uneasily into this is the intro to major label years era Wagon Christ’s ‘Rendleshack’ on 33rpm before being catapulted up to the correct speed and bookended by the Bogart sample I alluded to at the beginning.

Part 2
Meat Beat Manifesto – Acid Again
Wai Wan – Nightmare
Imperial Brothers – We Come To Rock
Rare Force – Back On The Streets
Depth Charge – Romario (Rio Percussion Unit mix)
Schneider TM – Up-Tight
Cartel Productions – Park Central
Wagon Christ – Rendleshack

Mixcloud Select 68: DJ Food Solid Steel 07/06/98

MS 68 DATThis show was requested a while back but I didn’t have a copy, luckily DK found it in his archive and transferred it direct from the DAT. This sounds like it was recorded up at Ahead Of Our Time studios in Clink St. probably with Ali Tod at the controls. I had to look up Zend Avesta as I don’t remember that at all but it was an early record by Arnaud Rebotini. The Tipper mix of DJ Rap was a club banger at the time with that bass breakdown, must dig that out again. Dynamic Syncopation‘s debut, ‘Closer To The Line’ still stands up as a bit of imaginary 70s soundtrack homage from the late 90s.

Bushflange always produced quality material but are virtually forgotten today it seems, around this time, Pete Herbert from the group had a record shop in Soho that I used to frequent regularly for new releases. This track sounds like a mix of David Holmes and Tipsy and came from their final single, Style Wars Vol.2. Bel Air Project is another I don’t recognise but Neotropic’s ‘Visicous Blooms’ is another mini classic from her second album, Mr Brubaker’s Strawberry Alarm Clock. It’s odd to hear an unknown band called Groove Armada’s debut, ‘At The River’ mixed in and out of Autechre, but who knew?

Part 2 next week

Part 1
Zend Avesta – Queen of Siam
DJ Rap – Bad Girl (Tipper mix)
Dynamic Syncopation – Closer To The Line
Bushflange – Foot Thought
Bel Air Project – Chimix
Neotropic – Visicous Blooms
Groove Armada – At The River
Autechre – Unknown

We Buy Records podcast

We Buy Records

I can’t recommend this podcast enough if you like anything to do with vinyl (including the bad bits), delighted to be asked on as a guest.
Paul and Tim are great hosts and produce a fine nerdy show for fans of vinyl in all it’s forms. Find out the 3 items in my collection that I treasure the most and more on the great We Buy Records podcast Summer Special pt1.
Also Gareth tackles new vinyl & Brighterdayvnl shows us his fancy bits. Plus warping vinyl, indie label chat & a pop quiz.

Mixcloud Select 67: Radioworx 28/07/2003

MS66:67 PRS sheetDebuting almost exactly 18 years ago today, this downtempo wander through the less club-friendly side of electronica is peppered with one of those stoic announcers talking about radio waves, probably taken from the Internet Archive. After Mackay’s classic ‘Take Me Over’ there’s an odd spoken word cut up called ‘Cokeboy’ featuring a rabid raver babbling away under the influence by Kids With Toyz. This weird one-off was released during the mash up craze with a version of ‘One Nation Army’ and nothing else was ever released under that name. From the same scene, Loo & Placido were one of the better purveyors of the genre and they fuse The Beatles and Aretha Franklin to make something that goes further than a cool acappella over the unlikeliest of instrumentals. Prefuse 73 features from the excellent ‘One Word Extinguisher Outtakes’ CD as does the beautiful Boards of Canada remix of Boom Bip’s ‘Last Walk Around Mirror Lake’.

I don’t remember this Bola track at all but it’s sublime, I really must check his stuff out again. I was wracking my brains to work out what the track N.A.G – demo no.4 was and finally I twigged, it was a program that pulled random spoken word from the web and mashed it together in random collages of sound. I did a bunch of experiments with it and must have overlaid it on the Bola track before the beats kick in. It’s still archived here
The Boards of Canada track that follows was from the ‘A Few Old Tunes’ tape that was doing the rounds on the web around this time. ‘Murmuring Mermaids’ is another one I have no memory of, originally listed as Lunz, but Discogs tells me that it was a project between Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Tim Story and that Lunz was actually the title of the album(s) they made.

NOTE: The date on the above PRS sheet was wrong, it was the 28th of July, not the 25th, the mix listed above was uploaded to Mixcloud last week as No.66 in this series.

Mackay – Take Me Over
Kidz With Toyz – Cokeboy
Prefuse 73 – Suite For The Ways Things Change
Loo & Placido – Safari Love
Boom Bip – Last Walk Around Mirror Lake (Boards of Canada remix)
Bola – Aguilla
Various – N.A.G – demo No.4
Boards of Canada – Finity
Hans-Joachim Roedelius & Tim Story – Murmuring Mermaids

Mixcloud Select 66: Darkside! 18/08/2003

MS66 CDRWatch your bass bins because we’re about to go Darkside! I was definitely channelling the heavier side of my music tastes on this one, sometimes you need some good old fashioned nastiness to get the accounts done. Amen Andrews – a rave/jungle hybrid from Luke Vibert – kicks things off and Killing Joke’s excellent Seeing Red awkwardly tries to mix out of it. Jagz Kooner did an amazing remix of this track which is even more brutal. The P Brothers are well known for some of the heaviest production in hip hop and here they put Dick Hyman’s cover of Give It Up & Turn It Loose through a barrage of gunshots. Then things crank up a gear with Amon Tobin and Jeff Waye’s retooling of Slayer’s Angel of Death, complete with Satanic messages overdubbed, I think I might have been putting this through my old CDJ FX unit too – like I said, brutal.

Love Marilyn Manson, although this was from probably his last great record – Broadcast need no introduction, neither does The Bug, remixed by Aphex Twin no less. Evil Twin was one of those mash up artists who came and went in the blink of an eye, I checked Discogs and the only mentions of him are in mixes of mine. Here heard replaying Justin Timberlake to the tune of Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express. Poj Masta stuck around a bit longer, a young guy on the mash up scene who had some serious production chops, I wonder what he’s doing now? He cuts Girls Aloud’s debut Sound of the Underground to bits although it’s strictly mp3 quality. The Evolution Control Committee are arguably one of the groups responsible for kicking off the mash up movement with their 1996 Whipped Cream Mixes 7” which got a repress in 1999. Here they cut together the title lyric from dozens of songs, which I’m sure was as much a statement from me about the contents of this mix as it was from them.

The date on the CD isn’t one that corresponds with a Solid Steel show, there was one I featured on on the 18th that seems most likely so I could have mislabeled the disc. The PRS sheet says 25/08/2003 for this mix but I don’t feature on that week on the solidsteel.net site.
*UPDATE – Anton tells me it was the 18th – the Solid Steel oracle has spoken!

Amen Andrews – Fear
Killing Joke – Seeing Red
The P Brothers feat Mr 45 – Showstopper Pt2
Player – Angel of Theft
Marilyn Manson – Doll Dagga Buzz Buzz Ziggety Zag
Broadcast – Violent Playground
The Bug feat Daddy Freddy – Run The Place Red (AFX mix)
Evil Twin – The Lady & The Lake
Girls Aloud – S.O.T.U (Poj Masta mix)
Evolution Control Committee – I Don’t Care

Mixcloud Select 65: The Openmind Collective debut on Coldcut Solid Steel 11/07/1993

MS65 tape

28 years ago last week I was heading back into London from my Dad’s 50th birthday party to the Holloway Road to meet Matt Black at KISS FM. This was the first time I ever appeared on Solid Steel, alongside old DJ partner Mario Aguera as part of the Openmind collective. Mixed totally live on air on 3 decks and a CD player (the old rack mounted ones) with a few Coldcut jingles being thrown in off of 8 track-style carts by Matt (Jon wasn’t in the studio for this session).

I’ll never forget it, the nervous countdown to 1am in the quiet studio, both of us shitting ourselves as we were going to be live on the radio for the first time and it was on Solid Steel! The news ending and Matt triggered the intro jingle, and we were off with the luxury of 3 turntables layer up the mix with. It was a seminal moment in my DJ career and I’m eternally grateful to Matt for inviting us on and giving us a chance as it was like getting a foot in the door or the first rung of the ladder. If I’d never done another Solid Steel again I’d have been happy but of course he asked us back again and again.

Looking at the track list I’m pleased that it all still stands up and a few long-term staples were in there; Kraftwerk, Aphex, ZTT, Jungle Brothers and The Irresistible Force. The mix is mostly tight, the odd stumble here and there but no disasters – not bad for a first go live on 3 decks although there was way too much George Carlin in the mix.

Mario took over after  the Barbarella track, we shared a house at the time and pooled our records when playing out as I was only just out of college and he had a full-time job so could afford to buy more new records than me. Along with Chantal Passamonte (now Mira Calix) and David Vallade, a fellow graphic designer who has done covers for Clear, Reflective, Worm Interface, Ninja Tune and many more, we did the Telepathic Fish chill out parties. One day I’ll get a little site together with all the mixes, photos, magazines and flyers I have stored up from those years…

Thanks to Steve Norgate many years ago for the superior audio and track listing as the quality is superior to my own D90 cassette and I doubt a DAT recording of this exists.

Track list:
Sequential – The Mission (Live From the Outer Zone
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome to The Pleasure Dome 12″ intro (on 33rpm)
Sexy Selector – Original Rockers
St Etienne – Your Head My Voice (Voix Revirement by Aphex Twin)
Jungle Brothers – Ultimatum Jungle Beats + unknown African chanting
LS Diesel & Launch DAT – Rougher Than A Lion
Psychic Warriors of Gaia – Maenad (The Valley) + Hear This! spoken word
Kraftwerk – Home Computer
Seefeel – Minky Starshine
Nightmares On Wax – Nights Interlude + George Carlin – God
No-Man – Heaven Taste
21st Century Aura – Disorientation
DJ Spike – Outer Land (part one)
Grace Jones – The Crossing (Ohh The Action…)
Kraftwerk – Morgenspaziergang
Dreamfish – School Of Fish
Barbarella – Barbarella (Irresistible Force Mix) + George Carlin – Nursery Rhymes

Mixcloud Select 64: Strictly’s Sombre Session 10/06/1999

MS64 Sombre DAT A telling peek back at the end of the 90s when the musical roller coaster of the decade was winding down after the relentless innovation of multiple genres. I remember finding it harder to find music that excited me around the last couple of years of the decade, not that there wasn’t good stuff out there but the sheer flood of great music released throughout the 90s every year as new scenes exploded was sometimes overwhelming. The post-rock scene is in evidence here with Isotope 217, Fridge and Rothko as well as trip hop/hip hop from Dynamic Syncopation, Major Force and Jadell. Four Tet and Add N To X point to an analogue electronica in thrall to Krautrock and Plaid and Anjali kick things off with a beautiful downbeat pair of tracks which set the mood for the mix title.

MS64 Sombre PRS
Track list:
Plaid – Ralome
Anjali – Astra
Isotope 217 – Hodah
Dynamic Syncopation – Ground Zero (acappella)
Fridge – Fbad Ischl
Major Force – ?
Archive – The Way You Love Me (Super Collider remix)
Rothko – Rivers Become Oceans
Four Tet – Glasshead
Add N to X – This Is The Flex (Lo Fi mix)
Jadell – Come & Get Some

Mixcloud Select 63: Openmind vs Scanner 27/01/1995

MS63 Scanner vs Openmind set 27:01:1995 tape
Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner joined us on Solid Steel at the beginning of 1995, Robin and I taking it in turns to do two sets each with Matt Black on the mic and jingles. This is all I have of my two sets combined.

The opening spoken word piece is from the 25th anniversary of LSD album on Source Records, Autechre’s ‘Vletrmx’ is hidden as the last track on their Garbage EP, an ambient classic from the mid 90s. The Human League track is the long version, on the B side of the ‘Girls & Boys’ single (I think) not the version on Reproduction, one where they got close to Kraftwerk. Going from ambience to trip hop with Plaid’s mix of UNKLE and very early Wall of Sound from Mekon’s Phatty’s Lunch Box debut. A snatch of Spiritualized’s Phase Tones album before an unknown breaks tune – anyone recognise it? Wagon Christ from his Throbbing Pouch album, bit more Mekon and then another ambient staple, Sheila Chandra’s ‘Mecca’ before an ad break and a return to something faster.

The DnB track that opens this section I cannot recall for the life of me, anyone know? Spotify has nothing despite a pretty upfront vocal. I like the fact that I was mixing super fast acid into drum n bass 25 years ago and the Air Liquide tune here is almost gabba in style. The track that comes next is a mystery though, possibly from one of the Caustic Visions 12” of the mid 90s though except I can’t find my copies to check and Discogs has no previews. Playing us out in ‘Pillar’ by Locust, a Mark Van Hoen alias on R&S who made some excellent records but seems to have disappeared from electronic music history since.

Track list:
R.H. – Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
Autechre – VLetrmx
Unknown – Bleeps
The Human League – Toyota City (long version)
Scorn – Slumber
UNKLE – Sassafrass (Plaid remix)
Mekon – Last Breath
Spiritualized – Phase Tones
Unknown – unknown
Wagon Christ – Free Bass
Mekon – Phatty’s Lunch Box
Shelia Chandra – Mecca
Unknown jungle track
Air Liquide – Unser Elektronischer Mikrokosmos
Unknown – unknown
Locust – Pillar

Mixcloud Select 62 – Openmind Mixxx, 12/02/1995

MS62 OM Mixxx tapeAn early ’95 set for Solid Steel with Jon More and PC, lots of trip hop, hip hop, acid and a bit of drum & bass on the wrong speed. Coming out hard and heavy with RSW and FSOL and a couple of Wagon Christ tracks from one of my favourite eras of Luke’s work, the Throbbing Pouch album and satellite singles. Hustlers of Culture were a short-lived act on early Wall of Sound, Mantronix everyone knows, Art of Noise make an unexpected entry, slightly derailed by Jon having to read the KISS competition. This was the bane of the show, having to do ads was bad enough but there would be promo spots to read out sometimes that DJs were obliged to do to be on message for the station.

Back to the music, Ninja business from 9 Lazy 9 with a remix from Marden Hill who were a Mo Wax affiliate which was a big deal at the time. 4E’s Temple Traxx was a staple of my record box for years as it grooves along at hip hop tempo with acid squiggles, it was a side project of Khan as in Khan & Walker and he made several releases around the mid 90s. Andy Weatherall’s incredible dubbed-out remix for Galliano was another monster cut that was always on hand of which Studio Pressure aka Photek slides out of, on 33rpm instead of 45. A short snatch of Tusken Raiders aka Mike Paradinas aka Muziq plays us out to the news.

Track list:
Renegade Soundwave – Blast ’Em Out
Future Sound of London – Snake Hips
Wagon Christ – Yeah
Wagon Christ – How You Really Feel
Hustlers of Culture – Herbs & Spices
Mantronix – King of the Beats
Art of Noise – Close Up
9 Lazy 9 – Train (Marden Hill remix)
Jungle Brothers – Jungle Beats
4E – Temple Traxx
Galliano – Skunk Funk (Cabin Fever mix)
Studio Pressure – Touching Down… Planet Photek
Tusken Raiders – Gaderffi Stick

Brian Eno – The Lighthouse radio station

The-Lighthouse-Station-Artwork

Brian Eno has teamed up with Sonos – the speaker company – to launch a radio station of his unreleased music, 30 years worth. The station is called The Lighthouse and is available on Sonos Radio HD which is a subscription channel of the brand. There is the first of three preview shows up with Brian talking about some of the tracks featured, check it out.

Mixcloud Select 61: DJ Food at The Reverb, Toronto, 27/01/2001

DJ Food Reverb flyer 2001
I have no tape or CD-R of this set, only a digital file, and no idea where it came from. I do recall there was a video online, filmed with multiple cameras for a local TV show of this set or a similar one in 2000. But it’s an example of my club DJ sets at the start of the millennium and was recorded on tour in North America at the Reverb in Toronto according to the file title. The first section reprises part of the Xen Cuts 10th anniversary set I made the previous autumn, complete with wobbles, pushes and pulls – remember, this is all coming off vinyl. I

Amazingly I had the flyer for this show so can confirm the date and venue is correct but, trying to find info on the web about this, I found this review on NME.com of all places. It was dated as Sept 2005 so I can only deduce that it was posted later on, possible from elsewhere. I can guarantee you that I wasn’t in Toronto in Sept 2005 though as my kids were about to be born.

DJ Food: Toronto The Reverb Ninja Tunes stalwart rips up the jazz-hop breaks…
By NME 12th September 2005

Tonight, a courageous young gentleman in the audience is decked out, perhaps unreasonably, in full ninja regalia. It’s a cartoonish, obscenely intricate costume – one quite obviously modelled after the pesky record-flinging mercenary that makes up the Ninja Tune logo. This, you see, is indicative of the kind of unabashed devotion that DJ Food and labelmates Fink and Dynamic Syncopation will bask in this evening.

For his part, the chain-smoking Fink performs admirably, wheeling off an expertly constructed set of electroid bleeps and rapid-fire, stuttering breaks. And although they’re questionably occupying the closing slot, Dynamic Syncopation are also wholly dependable, weaving together a heady pastiche of ’70s funk and retrograde hip-hop.

But the night quite obviously belongs to Food, who are on this occasion solely represented by the venerable Strictly Kev. His set is, in a word, fierce. Piecing disembodied remnants of rejigged classics together with more contemporary reference points, Kev’s got the audience in rapture. By the time he gets round to spinning a handful of re-Tuned swing numbers, they’re engaged in the kind of frantic, hands-up revelry normally reserved for someone about to be saved by a gasbag televangelist.

A storming evening then – even Kev walks offstage with a bemused smile. And why not? If it’s good enough for the ninja, surely it’s good enough for the rest of us.

Mark Pytlik  https://www.nme.com/reviews/reviews-nme-3935-328553

Track list:
The Herbaliser – Mr Chombee Has The Flaw
The Cinematic Orchestra – Channel One Suite
Mr Scruff – Fish
Neotropic – 15 Levels of Your Stealth
Up, Bustle & Out – Revolutionary Woman of the Windmill
Cabbage Boy – Bean (To This World)
Amon Tobin – Sordid
The Herbaliser – Mrs Chombee Takes The Plunge (DJ Food remix)
Quantic – Lie In The Rain
Jurassic 5 – Swing Set
Wagon Christ – Get Your Head Down
Breakestra – Live Mix Part 2
Colour Climax – Plug It In
Rufus Thomas – The Funky Bird
LL Cool J – Illegal Search (Keep On Searching’ Mix)
Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – Pump Me Up
Art of Noise – Beatbox (Diversion One)
Westbam – Alarm Clock
Banbarra – Shack Up
The Beatmasters – Boulevard of Broken Dreams
De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays
K. Scope – The Set Up
Major Force – The Re-Return Of The Original Artform (Cut Chemist mix)
Jungle Brothers – Beyond This World (acappella)
Unsung Heroes – Daily Intake
LB – Ashes To Ashes
Wagon Christ – Cris Chana
Massive Attack – Safe From Harm
Photek – Complex
Quincy Jones – Soul Bossa Nova

Mixcloud Select 60: Strictly Bites The Big Apple 03/06/2002

MS60 CD In the Spring of 2002 I went to NYC for 10 days and stayed in Manhattan on a working holiday. The plan was to visit the Children’s Television Workshop and go through their archive for a compilation, visit Steinski at his studio and work on a track together and, of course, do some record shopping. I also visited Double Dee in his studio with Stein and DK who was also in town for a couple of days (jet-setter that he is) and we recorded an interview with them both for Solid Steel. The interview with Douglas and Steve was great fun, two personal heroes who were instantly at ease in the studio as I repeatedly cocked up my intro spiel, cracking us all up and breaking what little ice there was.

CTW was amazing, I sat in a small studio for a few days with access to a console with a searchable database of clips and shows from the early 70s through to the 00s and watched old clips all day, making notes of the ones I wanted transferred later for the music and video content. This was all pre-YouTube so that kind of access was a goldmine and a unique form of digging. I was also given a huge pile of records to go through from their archive from all different countries, many I’d never seen before. Steinski’s studio was far less successful, full of wonderful records and memorabilia as it was, we had far too good a time hanging out although we did get a chorus of a song made but little else. Oh, and the tapes for the uncompleted Lesson 4 came up in conversation which I got to re-edit for the interview and the duo later finished and released last year.

But the record shopping was great, as you can imagine, even though I didn’t venture outside of Manhattan and most of this mix was bought on the trip although I chucked in a few New York-centric tracks to flesh out the theme too. It’s a decent mix of then contemporary hip hop, vintage funk with a few cut ups and pop songs for good measure. RIP Duke Bootee. There are several tracks, listening back to the set, that I’d completely forgotten about, one being Si Begg’s ‘It’s the Weirdest Thing’, which I cannot for the life of me remember the origin of. I have to apologise for the Frank Sinatra mix near the end, not sure what I was thinking.

UPDATE: Si Begg tells me it was from Noodles Discothechque Vol.4

MS60 PRS

Various – Back from NY intro
Tino – H-Bomb
Steinski – NY, NY
Tino – Jazz Overload
Blackalicous – Chemical Calisthenics
Baker Brothers – Paste
Natural Self – Raise The Game
Emil Richards – Garnet (January)
Otto Von Schirach – Smelly Mustard
Kenyon Hopkins – Hard Latin
Ursula 1000 – Ooops There Goes the Crowd
Adam & the Ants – Deutscher Girls
The Osmonds – My Drum
Mr Lif – Fulcrum (Edan remix)
Duke Bootee – Broadway
J-Live – Like This Anna
Lighthouse – Love of a Woman
Si Begg – It’s The Weirdest Thing
Odyssey – Native New Yorker
Paul Humphrey & Cool Aid Chemists – Baby Rice
Frank Sinatra – New York
Harlem Underground Band – Smokin’ Cheeba Cheeba

NB: written on the bottom of the PRS sheet was this multiple choice question – presumably, who directed ‘Jubilee’? (because of the inclusion of Adam & The Ants’ ‘Deutscher Girls’ from the soundtrack)

MS60 comp

Mixcloud 59: Solid Steel – Audio Adventure’s in Africa

Africa Adventure BoxThis one may divide people and lose me a few subscribers as it’s not your regular mix set. A few weeks ago Ninja Tune re-shared a small red packet of Ninja Rizlas on their social media from my new Openmindesign Instagram page where I post my artwork and Ninja ephemera. The customised packet had the ‘Rizla’ logo replaced by ‘Ninja’ and a separate tab pasted in with details of a gig in South Africa that Amon Tobin, Kid Koala, PC and I did in 1999.

Ninja Rizla
Promoters Ralph Borland and Adam Lieber bought us out and South African promoter living in Montreal, Victor Shifman came out with us to tour manage and show us around. Whilst out there I had a handheld tape recorder and recorded all sorts of things during our long stay out in Cape Town and Johannesburg. As a result the sound quality is pretty bad but it’s a moment in time that I’m happy I recorded, this is the nearest thing to being on tour and at shows with us back then.

Airport crew
On the bus to the plane: Victor, Amon, Ralph, Adam, Eric, PC

Ralph and Adam
Ralph and Adam
Roadside breakdown
Worse places to break down

As you will hear, we were all watching The Fast Show a lot and had got Kid Koala into it as well. You’ll hear in-flight banter, improvised scratch demos at a youth club, unknown bands jamming at restaurants, gig excerpts with technical problems and running tour gags. The Johannesburg show was plagued with technical problems at the start and we were playing in a disused prison in the open night air, it was awesome but by 5am we had to stop or we weren’t going to catch our flight back to Cape Town in time to which the crowd roared their displeasure. Eric had started to do his ‘Drunk Trumpet’ show piece around this time although I’m not sure it had a title at that point but it was a show-stopper.

Kid in Joburg
Johannesburg gig in an open air ex-prison

Record shopping at the Treasury
The Treasury in Johannesburg, a 5 story warehouse, this was one floor, insane amounts of records. Treasury 12

We were lucky to have several days off and went up mountains to see the sunsets, drove round the coast to see Penguins on the beach, went to outdoor markets, did a free performance in a youth club, met all sorts of great people, an amazing trip which I’ll never forget.

Airport farewell
Airport farewell: Eric, Victor, Amon, Kev, PC, Ralph centre, Adam kneeling

Part 1 of this was broadcast at the end of the 02/05/99 show but part 2 has never been heard. Normal service will be restored next week…

Africa Adventure DATPart 1: Cape Town
KLM voice over – Take off
Kid Koala, PC, Strictly, Reddy D – Cape Town Turntable Jam Pt. 2
skit – Amon’s table
Unidentified  bar band 1 – unknown
skit – How old is Eric San?
Kid Koala, PC, Strictly, Reddy D – Cape Town Turntable Jam Pt. 1 inc. technical problems
skit – Suits you
Unidentified bar band 2 – unknown

Part 2: Jo’Burg/Cape Town
KLM voice over – in flight banter
DJ Food – 1sr set intro – Summertime sound problems
skit – Some words with Amon Tobin
Kid Koala – Techno set
Eric San – this week…
DJ Food – 2nd set intro – Yussef meets Jeru
skit – More words with Amon Tobin
DJ Food – Plastic Neotropic Gangstarr
DJ Food – Scruffy
Kid Koala – Easy now chair (Drunk Trumpet)
KLM voice over – Landing

Africa Adventure PRS

Mixcloud Select 58: All Killer! 31/05/2004

fullsizeoutput_2ce5This week’s upload is the 2nd version of a mix, the first of which didn’t make the grade because I felt it wasn’t good enough, this happened sometimes during the years when we could pre-record and edit at home. Most of the first half of this has elements of my DJ box at the time including a routine with the Spiritual South remix of Max Sedgley’s ‘Happy’ with acappella’s by the Beastie Boys and Ty overlaid. After an intro by another competition entry by Strikes it launches in an unexpected Theme From Happy Days paired with various cuts from David Shire’s ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ aka one of the greatest soundtracks ever recorded.

The keen-eared will spot the connection here as Sedgley’s ‘Happy’ enters the mix – the original samples said soundtrack and the Happy Days theme refers to the title – still not sure if it was a good idea but I probably thought it was hilarious in its wrongness at the time. The Spiritual South mix plays out and was always a really exciting one to play out as the increasing tempo changes add that spice in the club and the singalong acappellas push it into carnival territory – RIP Ty. More uptempo breaks follow in the 160bpm area by the end with DJ Zinc, Skalpel and First Born’s excellent Northern Soul-esque ‘The Mood Club’ parts 1 & 2. This excellent 7” has another great tempo changer of a mix, this time slowing down before speeding back up, always fun.

To my surprise, sandwiched in-between these two is The Jam’s ‘Funeral Pyre’, probably my favourite song by the trio, mainly for Rick Buckler’s incredible drums and it slides quite nicely in. Then back to the acappella’s with PWEI over RJD2, a snatch of ‘The Message’, a current Breakestra tune and Jane’s Addiction’s ‘Been Caught Stealing’ which would later turn up on DK and I’s ‘Now, Listen Again’ mix CD three years later. There really was little rhyme or reason to this selection, some of the tracks were evidently current releases but mixed up with old favourites in a party style. One that really stands out for me is The P Brothers with Cappo – their loping, almost slo-mo disco beat with that metallic noise just kills me. What is it? Some metallic Gang of Four bass guitar or weird percussion sample ? Whatever, I love it and Cappo’s flow over the rhythm surely marks this as one of the more progressive hip hop collabs of the time.fullsizeoutput_2ce1

After this we get into a reconstructed version of the mix that got trashed before with a slew of mash ups, odd cover versions or just plain wrongness that should bring a smile at least. It’s amazing how an edit, losing a track here and there and a reshuffle can make something a lot better and that’s what it’s all about as a selector, where you place something can make all the difference. I have no idea who attempted the mix ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Holy Thursday’ and ‘Saturday Love’ together but it works in places even if the quality is terrible. Ace of Clubs was Luke Vibert under yet another pseudonym and Autechre’s polyrhythmic collision with the acappella of Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Microphone Fiend’ was taken from a live performance. It’s worth it for the drop into the vocal and the unexpected turn it takes.

Two very early covers of Boards of Canada by a band called The Mathletes follow but I have no idea where I got these from, probably downloaded from the web. What follows was probably ill-advised but could form an earworm if you’re not careful, you have been warned. The final track always makes me laugh as Pitman takes a spot on satirical swipe at The Streets on his Soot FM radio show.

* Dates on the CDR refer to when the mixes were recorded, the PRS sheet says 28th, Solid Steel.net says 31st.

Track list:
Strikes – Solid Steel intro
Pratt & McClain – Theme from Happy Days
David Shire – Mini Manhunt / Goodbye Green / Hello Garber
Max Sedgley – Happy (Spiritual South remix)
Beastie Boys – Hold It Now, Hit It (acapulco)
Ty – Wait A Minute (acapella)
DJ Zinc – Voodoo
Skalpel -1958
First Born – The Mood Club Part 1
The Jam – Funeral Pyre
First Born – The Mood Club Part 2
RjD2 – Exotic Talk
PWEI – Radio PWEI (acappella)
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message
Breakestra – Show & prove
Janes’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealin’ (remix)
P Brothers feat. Cappo – Crazy Man
Mutant Miscreation – Grenadier’s Message
Unknown – Weekday Mix
Dick Hyman – Give it Up Or Turn iIt Loose (Carl Craig re-edit)
Baudolino  – Prince Voodoo Sex
Ace of Clubs – Ace of Clubs
Autechre / Rakim – Microphone Fiend (live)
The Mathletes – Bocuma
Unknown – Fill Me Jobim
The Mathletes – Roygabiv
Pitman feat. The Roads – Live on Soot FM

New ‘Above The Clouds’ guest Mix for Jonny Cuba radio show

JONNY01_FOOD_LISTEN

Long time friend and music ally, Jonny Cuba – of Dynamic Syncopation / Soundsci / Other Mirror and more – invited me to make a mix for his new radio show / podcast via the Jason Charles podcast network. Each show is themed with a different guest choosing the theme and providing a 30 minute – this episode’s is ‘Above The Clouds’.

JONNY_PREMIERE_previewDJFOOD

The Bureau of Lost Culture: The Comix Underground with Tony Bennett

1835756-knockabout_4
I had the absolute pleasure to spend an afternoon recently at Soho Radio with Stephen Coates and special guest Tony Bennett, the founder of Knockabout Comics  – underground and alternative publisher since 1975. We chat to Tony about his history in the counter culture, publishing some of the greats of the genre from Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Alan Moore, Hunt Emerson and more including his run-ins with the law, customs officers and trials for obscenity.

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It’s hard to think of another publisher who has done more in the underground comics medium in the UK and Tony was a delight to chat to. He bought along a whole pile of books for Stephen and I including a copy of his very first self-published and very hard to find comic, Trip Strip from the early 70s. Pictured above are just a handful of the comics Knockabout have printed and distributed over the years – for more check their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/knockaboutcomics/

Trip Strip