Mixcloud Select 130: Solid Salena vs Strictly 01/06/1997

Kev Crimson
Drunken shenanigans reigned last Friday night at The Book & Record Bar’s Stick It On night where we were all having so much fun no one noticed that it was approaching 2am and Michael, the shop’s owner, only has a license until 1. The monthly night takes place on the first Friday of the month after the shop closes and the idea is to bring your own records, put your name on the board and then play three tunes when your turn comes up. I ran out of records and started pulling stuff from the racks that I wanted to hear. Michael unearthed a huge box set of disco, soul and funk classics and proceeded to make us act like the drunken idiots we were.

Stereolab

Saturday was a site recce in the morning and then Stereolab at EartH in Dalston which was nice but we missed most of the supporting acts due to bad timing and trains not running. After a shaky start they rocked it.

WOL FX cassette
Monday was a visit to Neil Rice out of town for tea, a demonstration of how polarising slides work, a trip up to his packed loft of light show equipment and a lot of chat. He had the Optikinetics FX Cassette featured on the cover of my book too. I came home full of inspiration… the rest of the week has been writing and battling a cold I must have picked up at some point during all that lot. Last night was going to be Warrington Runcorn Town Development Plan (or WRTDP to those too lazy to write it) and Pye Corner Audio at Corsica Studios but I felt too rough to attend. But, as the Mighty Boosh always say, “on with the show”…

MS130 Solid Salena vs Strictly tape 01:06:1997

The earliest track lists we have in a digital format thankfully reside with Marcus Maack of BTTB – Back To The Basics who maintained the PRS information when he was one of the first to license Solid Steel for German radio station FSK in the late 90s. As a result we have some track lists and sometimes DJ info from early 1997 through to the end of the decade by which time DK had arrived as show producer and things were better organised than us scribbling on huge sheets of paper at KISS FM in between mixes. There are still the usual mistakes and typos, gaps and unknowns but now we have Discogs, Shazam and the Internet to help fill in the blanks.

Using one of Marcus’ play lists I compiled the track order below for this mid 1997 show where I provided two sets in the second hour. Salena Godden aka Salena Saliva was the guest in the studio with Jon More and I and she periodically performed her poetry over passages in the mix. Kicking off with one of my favourite Kirk Degorgio tracks from his Celestial Soul album – an influence on my own track ‘…you’ from ‘Kaleidoscope’. Into this we have Faze Action’s ‘Plans & Designs’ (String Reprise) which still sounds majestic all these years later, I’m sure Simon Lee from the group used to work in a Soho record shop and I’d regularly buy records off him in the 90s. Next, Hardfloor prove that there’s more to them than just acid bangers with some excellent trip hop under their Dadamnphreaknoizphunk? moniker from Volume 2. I don’t know what I’m doing in the mix, it all seems a bit tentative with little drop-ins rather than things really getting going, maybe we were discussing when Salena was going to make an appearance and sorting the tracks out.

I don’t recall ever having this Denise Johnson single but the remix is excellent although I’ve not idea which one it is out of about eight possible contenders, must look for that in the collection. Next up is Salena’s first turn, a tale of walking amongst the wild flowers before things take an unexpected turn, over the Witchman remix of Bowery Electric’s ‘Without Stopping’. Later in the track she drops in with an ode to arse watching, I think I was always a bit weary of Salena as she was so sexually upfront with her material which was not common in 1997, or not in the circles I ran in anyway, but she was always lovely on tour with Coldcut. The Witchman mix rattles on with that submerged Amen sound he did so well before merging into Sukia’s ‘Dream Machine’ which seems completely at odds with the darkcore d’n’b underneath it. I loved Sukia, it was silly, cheesy sampledelia, produced by the Dust Brothers and later licensed to Mo Wax. I always put it in the same box as bands like Tipsy from that era. This track samples a hypnotist called Reveen who made many records on how to quit smoking, gain confidence, stop over-eating etc. I found some in Canada on tour and we deduced that the records were identical aside from the intro’s and outro’s relating to each subject matter.

MS130 Solid Salena vs Strictly 01:06:1997 PRS

Part 2 opens with the remix Kid Koala, Ollie Teeba and I did of Coldcut’s ‘More Beats & Pieces’ – collaged together from freeform jams we did at sound checks on tour around North America using specially cut dub plates of the B&P’s parts given to all remixers. It’s a bit of a mess but it was my first remix so go easy. I’m not sure where the spoken word skit comes from directly afterwards, probably one of Coldcut’s Word Treasure jingle compilations, but Kirk’s back was another As One track from Celestial Soul doing exactly what he does best with that soaring, melodic techno of his. I appear to be scratching some stuff over it which adds little to the mix. Out of the extended breakdown comes Hell Interface – a pseudonym of Boards of Canada – with their version of Colonel Abrahams’ ‘Trapped’ over a scratchy roller of a beat from one of the MASK compilation 12”s. Sliding awkwardly out of this is Faze Action’s ‘Plans & Designs’ proper with all its kettle drums and strings intact over the beat, very much in that Rob Dougan ‘Clubbed To Death’ tradition. Someone is playing all sorts of jingles over it with delays which makes me think that this set might have been recorded up at Ahead Of Our Time in Clink St. with Ali Tod on the mix. I think I’m playing some Kid Koala over the end of the track and it’s all a bit of a mess to be honest. Bizarrely we then dip into two random Ken Nordine tracks from the How Are Things In Your Town compilation on Blue Thumb. A very odd selection and collection of sounds.

Track list:
As One – Renaissance
Faze Action – Plans & Designs (String Reprise)
Hardfloor presents Dadamnphreaknoizphunk?- Chillin’ 6 Feet Deep
Denise Johnson – Inner Peace
Salena Saliva – unknown 1
Bowery Electric – Without Stopping (Witchman Mix)
Salena Saliva – unknown 2
Sukia – Dream Machine

Coldcut – Beans ‘n’ Pizzas (Strictly Kid Teeba version)
As One – We No Longer Understand
Hell Interface – Trapped
Faze Action – Plans & Designs
Kid Koala – Goodnight, Drive Safely
Ken Nordine – Outer Space
Ken Nordine – Manned Space Capsule

Mixcloud Select 129: Saxondale 21/08/2006


Exciting times this weekend when I visited the Spark House in Leyton for an AV gig with the Light Surgeons, Blanca Regina & Pierre Bouvier Patron, Generic Human, Julian Hand and Heena Song. The night was put on by Matekoi and featured an experimental set of modular soundtracks, film showings and DJ sets along with a few punters walking in unawares of what was going on. Wheels of Light got featured in the Observer on Sunday and online via the Guardian and we visited the Horror Show exhibition at Somerset House which was a mixed but fascinating bag. I’ve been doing even more promo and writing this week to promote the book as well as writing for Dust & Grooves 2 and swelling the ranks of my underground magazine collection. But enough of that, on to the mix!

Underground press
MS129 CDrSaxondale was a short-lived TV comedy starring Steve Coogan as an embittered ex-roadie with anger management issues who now runs a pest control business. DK was and is a huge Coogan fan so I put the quote about music from it into the end of the mix and we sometimes dropped the theme tune from the show – ‘House of the King’ by Focus – at gigs around the time it was airing. Scanning down the track list before listening to this it looks a bit like one of my live DJ sets around the time, book-ended with a few esoteric inclusions.

Kicking off with yet another entry for the Solid Steel intro competition (these kept us going for years) by S24 and then into a DJ Krush/DJ Shadow/Cut Chemist three-way, in fact Shadow pops up in different configurations all over this mix. Dualling with DJ Krush in a snatch from his Meiso LP on MoWax and then into ‘This Time’ from his own The Outsider album using a found reel to reel tape of an unknown vocal take to build an extraordinary pop song. Cut Chemist’s incredible ‘(My 1st) Big Break’ from his ‘The Audience Is Listening’ LP is one of my favourite things he’s done, from the wrong-footing polyrhythmic breakdown to the amazing 360 video (check it out). Sirconical was always an artist I hoped would release more material but he seemed to crop up more on mastering duties than writing on numerous Twisted Nerve or Finders Keepers releases. ‘Ziggonometry’ is from his only album and the heavy beats sync nicely with the following three tracks that all feature that Bangra-type rhythm so popular around that era. No idea who Blunt Laser was, the Thomilla track came on a neon green 10” promo and the Caveman on the Kelis remix wasn’t the UK hip hop crew from the early 90s but a Ross Orton and Steve Mackey collaboration.

Shadow’s back but this time remixed by Soulwax via a huge chunk of the B-52s, Danny Breaks’ ‘Duck Rock’ takes it back to the old school with the wobbly bass reminiscent of Scruff’s ‘Ug’and his own ‘The Jellyfish’. A snatch of the Mighty Boosh from the radio series bridges into the Nextmen who pump up the party with Dynamite MC. Next is a couplet I used to spin all the time; Cut Chemist’s remix of Shadow’s ‘Number Song’ into ‘Dark Lady’ – always works nicely, especially when pulling the bass line out and teasing it back in again with a replayed melody. But this is an early version where I hadn’t worked out the replay sequence yet or added in the ‘Bug Powder Dust’ dessert for afters. Urgh, Kanye, the less said the better, this was such a huge tune and the Hollertronix version was genuinely exciting at the time but it got overplayed very quickly. Ah, but saved by Zero db’s incredible ‘Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines’ – DK and I played the shit out of this for years in all kinds of combinations, still sounds incredible. I even went so far as to edit together a video made from a Len Lye animation that visually synced to each part for our first 4-deck AV sets.

MS129 PRS

Z-Trip’s block-rocking ‘Bus Stop’ beats work so well over it, taking it half time and then back again. Yes that’s Christine Aguilera, top tune with the original that it sampled afterwards, ‘Hippy Skippy Moon Strut’ by the Moon People, awkwardly stumbling out of it. We take a turn to Los Angeles for a couple of tunes from Paul Humphrey and his Cool Aid Chemists and The Dragons which preceded our use of the latter in the Solid Steel ‘Now, Listen Again’ mix the year after. I’m glad we didn’t include the embarrassing ‘D-J’ before the chorus in that (or did we? I forget) – RIP Daryl and Dennis Dragon. There’s the Saxondale music rant before Focus and the bit where he mentions ‘the Rascal’ refers to his pet name for his car, ‘oh! New shoes!?’. Recognise that bass line! ‘Yeeeaaah! That’s right!’, Galt McDermot’s ‘Aquarius’ from Hair slides in before Orriel Smith takes us out with ‘Winds of Space’. This would have been taken from the excellent ‘Fuzzy Felt Folk’ compilation by Jonny Trunk and Martin Green on Trunk Records, a highly recommended album of songs for children that bears repeated listens.

Track list:
S24 – Solid Steel intro
DJ Krush vs DJ Shadow – Duality
DJ Shadow – This Time (I’m Gonna Do It My Way)
Cut Chemist – (My 1st) Big Break
Sirconical – Ziggonometry
Zero 7 – You’re My Flame (Blunt Laser mix)
Thomilla – Freaky Girl (Geeky Boy mix)
Kelis – Bossy (Caveman mix)
DJ Shadow – 6 Days (Soulwax mix)
Danny Breaks – Duck Rock (instr)
The Nextmen feat. Dynamite MC – Spin It Round
DJ Shadow – The Number Song (Cut Chemist remix)
DJ Food – Dark Lady
Kanye West – Gold Digger
Hollertronix – Gold Digger (Diplo remix)
Zero db – Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines
Z-Trip – Bus Stop
Christina Aguilera – Ain’t No Other Man
The Moon People – Hippy Skippy Moon Strut
Paul Humphrey and his Cool Aid Chemists – Funky LA
The Dragons – Food For My Soul
Saxondale – Rant
Focus – House of The King
Galt McDermot – Aquarius
Orriel Smith – Winds of Space

Mixcloud Select 128: Strictly Session – Getting Through Pt.2 Coldcut Solid Steel 23/02/1997

Diskery

Last weekend saw a long-delayed trip out of town to Leicester to get away from the city for a few days, seriously needed when you’ve been living next to a building site for the last 18 months. The Leicester Print Workshop were having their Xmas Bazaar so we dropped in and caught up with friends including Kid Acne, down from Sheffield for the day to hawk his wares. Then off to Nottingham to have a mooch about, saw my book in a shop for the first time and visited brand new record shop, Running Circle.

Akkers

Monday I was in Birmingham picking up a turntable and sought shelter from the pounding rain in the new Diskery premises now that they’ve moved (well, nearly). The shop is one of the UK’s oldest record emporiums and has recently had to vacate the shop they’d been in for 50 years. Luckily they didn’t have to go far, just 2 minutes round the corner and they now have a large basement stacked to the rafters with 45s, the LPs and 12″s being upstairs.

Back to London for more writing and research on Tuesday, designing The Real Tuesday Weld‘s Xmas card and a couple of bits for De:tuned. My sons were asking about the Telepathic Fish parties I used to do and one of them is running rings around me on the iPad where I’m supposed to be teaching him how to paint with it. Loads more going on as ever but all in good time, let’s get to this week’s archive show…

Following on from last week’s part 1, here’s the rest of the set, kicking off with a snatch of People Like Us’ ‘Bran Mash and Crushed Beans’ that we’d steal a decade later for the intro to our Now, Listen Again live set. The jazzy drum n bass track that follows is one I remember but not by name, the lovely little ‘Shadow’s Creep’ refrain always brings a smile though. Sounds like I attempted to mix Squarepusher’s ‘Vic Acid’ in three times before nailing it, those rolling, stumbling beats took time to get right in the mix. Out into the Plug (Luke Vibert) remix of Meat Beat Manifesto’s ‘Asbestos Lead Asbestos’ which – I think – was only available on the US 12” of this release.

Three Wheels Out was a British ex-pat named Graham who was living in San Francisco when we first toured there in 1996 and we hung out with him as he showed us around Haight Street which was near where he had a place. As far as I know this was his only release under this name, an excellent, tempo-switching number, released on Pussyfoot and sampling the same drums we’d had for ‘Spiral’, always wrong-footed them in the clubs. The Herbaliser’s ‘Theme From Control Centre’ creeps into the mix and, from the sound of it, that could be Ollie Teeba or PC cutting up The Jungle Brothers’ ‘Beyond This World’ a cappella over it. We finish with the sublime ‘Nuane’ by Autechre from their Chiastic Slide LP which reminds me that I must dig it out again.

Track list:
People Like Us – Bran Mash and Crushed Beans
Unknown – Shadows Creep
Squarepusher – Vic Acid
Meat Beat Manifesto – Asbestos Lead Asbestos (Plug Remix)
Three Wheels Out – Rise Up Children
The Herbaliser – Theme From Control Centre
Jungle Brothers – Beyond This World (a cappella)
Autechre – Nuane

Mixcloud Select 127: Strictly Session – Getting Through Pt.1 Coldcut Solid Steel 23/02/1997

MS127 Tape

Another week, another book launch, with a film launch before it in the form of At Home With The Boyle Family by Stuart Heaney and Chris De Selincourt at Iklectik on Sunday. Telling the story of how the Boyle Family (Mark Boyle, Joan Hills and their children Sebastian and Georgia Boyle) developed liquid light shows at home before hooking up with Soft Machine, Pink Floyd and Hendrix and blowing people’s minds at the UFO Club. The film showing was augmented by a liquid and microscopic light show display to a live set by Jim Edgar Morgan’s soundtrack (album online here), a Q&A, food and a great closing set from Avsluta aka Lucie Stepankova. The ‘Lumini’ of the lighting world came out for it and a great day out was had in this fantastic but now threatened venue.

Tuesday was a double-header book launch at the Century Club on Shaftsbury Avenue with Dorothy Max Prior and Dave Barbarossa reading from their new books, both focussing on their adventures in a pre and post punk time frame from the 70s. I’ve read Dave’s book, Mud Sharks already and am now well into Max’s and cannot recommend them both enough. Covering a similar time to Jordan’s recent biography by Cathi Unsworth, her bio, 69 Exhibition Road from Strange Attractor, connects COUM Transmissions and seedy sex work with the punk and gay communities she straddled.

This week’s workload has seen me finish another sleeve for a forthcoming 12″ on De:tuned, license some photos I took at a hip hop gig in 1988 to a BBC3 documentary, begin research on a secret project and start writing for the second Dust & Grooves book, due out 2024. I also scored a great number of Oz and International Times magazines from a collector and then found even more Oz’s elsewhere at unbelievable prices (clue, it wasn’t eBay). Still haven’t found time to watch Andor and it’s nearly over, but anyway, onto this week’s upload.

This set was recorded up at the Ahead Of Our Time studio in Clink Street where the Ninja Tune office was located until the end of the century. The recording engineer, Ali Tod, would subtlety add FX and samples live during the mix as well as type things into the artificial speech app on the computer. The sets opens with Autechre’s amazing ‘Cipater’ from their Chiastic Slide album with its time signature shift midway and a spoken word section from the ‘Getting Through’ album recently procured from a Canadian tour. The down tempo shift slowly morphs into ‘Rettic AC’, a mass of static waves and the following track from the LP. I could have played the whole album, I think it’s still my favourite of theirs. That dissolves with delay and turntable speed manipulation into what Shazam now tells me was Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Cresendo e Diminuendo’ – all classical concrete-ish blurbs and parps – with a Martin Luther King speech we’d regularly use over the top.

A sizeable chunk of the middle of the mix is taken up with a track from Siah & Yeshua dapoED’s debut on Fondle ‘Em Records (the Bobbito Garcia-run label that MF Doom debuted on). Given that ‘A Day Like No Other’ is a multi-part, tempo-changing 11 minute collage of beats and rhymes, it’s no surprise. I then slice into a DJ Vadim track (under his Andre Gurov alias), ‘Organized Babbitry’ on his Jazz Fudge label. Not recognising the track and Shazam being no use here, I turned to my record collection thinking it may be from his Ninja debut LP, U.S.S.R. Repertoire, but no. The Jazz Fudge section yielded the goods but I was dismayed to find a huge crack and piece missing from my only copy (I designed the artwork as well so pride myself in having mint copies in my archive).

MS127 Andre Gurov crack

More spoken word from the Getting Through album interrupts before a breakdown into The Silhouettes’ slinky, flute-led ‘Lunar Invasion’. I’ve never managed to get an original of this (this was played from a late 90’s bootleg) as it was too expensive but it’s an amazing, multi-faceted track that suddenly takes off completely unexpectedly from a slow strip tease into a frenzied funk freak out and back again. For some unknown reason I thought it was a good idea to add in David Rose’s version of ‘The Stripper’ for a few bars to heighten the mood before it takes off again, absolute monster of a track. Out of this comes some crazed crowd-pleasing funk mash up of which I’m struggling to identify, quickly descending into a further snatch of Bernstein before abruptly ending with a ‘Strictly Kev on the mix’ from the computer. Time was up it seemed. Part 2 next week…

Thanks to the ever-helpful, all knowing Mr Armtone for helping me complete this set as my original tape only had half of it. I’ve tried to re-EQ the two halves to match in some way, see if you can spot the join.

PS: the ‘+ ambient set?’ on the tape is an excellent session from the same show, presumably by Coldcut, possibly Matt Black, which I’ll send to them for their Mixcloud sometime.

Track list:
Autechre – Cipater
Autechre – Rettic AC
Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic – Cresendo e Diminuendo
Siah & Yeshua dapoED – A Day Like Any Other
Andre Gurov – Organised Babbitry
Unknown – Getting Through: A Guide To Better Understanding The Hard of Hearing
The Silhouettes – Lunar Invasion
David Rose – The Stripper
Unknown – unknown

Mixcloud Select 126 Strictly Session – Coldcut Solid Steel 25/05/1996

MS126 TapeHeading back to mid 1995 this week for a fine selection of trip hop, drum (drill?) n bass, retro lounge, ambience and more. I realised that the ’96 / ’97 uploads have been thin on the ground and have spent some time digitising cassettes as well as doing some general housekeeping on the 125 previous uploads. This takes a lot longer than the CDs as all the track lists have to be done by ear as very little exists pre-’97. I’m probably about half way through the tapes and 3/4s through the CDrs by now, still a way to go. Finding some gems though.

I wish I knew what the first track in this set was, a jumble of spoken word about possession, Satan, burning records etc. Perfect for one of my religious mixes, if anyone knows, please leave a comment. Wagon Christ’s superb remix of Moloko’s ‘Lotus Eater’ is taken from the Further Self Evident Truths 3 compilation on Rising High, a fantastic comp with barely a bad track on it. Just love the creeping intro on this, the strings, chopped up beats and hand claps, just amazing. The Gentle People were amazing too, such a curveball for RePhLeX, those soaring strings… ‘Emotion Heater’ isn’t quite up to their debut, ‘Journey’, but has aged very well.

Conrad Schnitzler swoops in with ‘Electric Garden’ from his Con LP, a track that Mixmaster Morris hipped me to a few years before, sounding as fresh now as back then and it’s 45 years old next year! ‘Squarepusher Theme’ barges into proceedings, doing what only Tom Jenkinson can do in a frantic five minutes before we exhale for The Orb’s Peel Session version of ‘O.O.B.E.’ Odd that I put Squarepusher between Conrad and The Orb, these days common sense would tell me not to but I suppose it does mix in time. Ethik’s ‘Moral Sculpture’ is one of those tracks I instantly know but can never remember the name of and comes from a great 1993 album, ‘Music For Stock Exchange’ – reissued a couple of years back on Kompakt.

It’s nice to know that I was playing Andy Votel right from the beginning, his left field, wonky take on sample collage has always appealed. ‘Spooky Driver’ comes from his debut 12” on Grand Central – then just billed as VOTEL. Careering out this is JG Thirlwell at the wheel of a sonic juggernaut under his Steroid Maximus moniker from the ‘Gondwanaland’ album. His cover of Raymond Scott’s ‘Powerhouse’ has all the industrial (sorry, Jim) bombast you’d expect from the master of disaster. I remember Jon More rolling his eyes at this one as some of my more over the top choices weren’t always to his taste (‘it’s an un-easy listening sound’). In hindsight he could probably hear all the late night listeners switching off or over. The sudden end wrong-footed me (it was only on CD) and we get a snatch of the next track, ‘Homeo’ before submerging into Funki Porcini’s gorgeous ‘Going Down’ from his second album for Ninja Tune, ‘Love, Pussycats & Carwrecks’. Calm is restored as we ‘whinge on into the night’ as Jonathan puts it.

Track list:
Unknown – Possessed intro
Moloko – Lotus Eater (Wagon Christ remix)
The Gentle People – Emotion Heater (Instrumental Mix Parts I,II,III)
Conrad Schnitzler – Electric Garden
Squarepusher – Squarepusher Theme
The Orb – O.O.B.E. (John Peel Session)
Ethik – Moral Sculpture
Andy Votel – Spooky Driver
Steroid Maximus – Powerhouse!
Steroid Maximus – Homeo
Funki Porcini – Going Down

Mixcloud Select 125: Openmind on Solid Steel 15/07/1994

Opti stuff
It’s been a packed week… Saturday was Jonny Trunk‘s Groovy Record Fayre at the Mildmay Club (see more of that here) and a great time was had. Nursing a hangover and then a cold through the week I managed to catch the end of Stephen CoatesBone Music book launch at the Horse Hospital and see the extraordinary Rain Time exhibition at the same time, ending up in the pub with the authors and making more connections that will unravel over time. There’s been more press to do for my Wheels of Light book, published by Four Corners Books, some of which is hitting the shelves this week in the form of Moonbuilding issue 2 and the latest Shindig! magazine. A podcast for the Bureau of Lost Culture should debut this Sunday (Nov 5th) about the book and light show culture in general (if we finish it in time). In between I managed to design a zoetrope for an Australian TV show, finish the artwork for an anniversary Ninja Tune release which will be announced soon and see Michael Rother live at the Clapham Grand last night.

Rother, Weller, Morris

I was slightly non-plussed by a lot of it, the highlight being a storming Harmonia track early in the set. New Order’s Stephen Morris and the right honourable Paul Weller were guests for the encore and Stephen looked like he was having trouble approximating Klaus Dinger‘s motorik beat. Weller seemed to either be having trouble with his guitar or looking to Rother for cues whilst the latter was head down, deep in his immaculate guitar playing, only looking up in the final bar to signal that this was the end. My judgement may have been clouded by the cold currently consuming my head though. The postman has just delivered an odd package of vintage light show wheel ephemera from my friend John at Funky Parrot (see above). Since publishing the book all sorts of people have been coming out of the woodwork with related facts and pieces connected with the light show world. If you’re such a person or know someone in that field, please get in touch, there’s still more work to do in that area.
MS125 Tape 2
On to this week’s show…
A really old one here, from an original show with PC and I on the decks and Jon More on the mic. I’ve snipped PC’s part out and sent it to him so here are the two of mine joined at around the 25 min mark. The first section makes me want to up my game, there are so many bits and pieces weaving in and out of the mix in places it’s a nightmare to track mark them (yes I try and track mark all my uploads in Mixcloud so that you can find out what’s playing more easily – you did know that, right?). This is still so early that I’m referred to as Kevin from Openmind but the Strictly Kev moniker wasn’t far round the corner and I’m still in chill out mode for the most part.

Kicking off with two Solid Steel jingles we’re into a short Mika Vainio track from his debut album ‘Metri’ on Sahko with those gorgeous pure high frequency notes before drifting into a Woodentops B side. Rolo McGinty intones, bathed in much reverb for the Late Night version of ‘You Make Me Feel’. I swear there’s a bit of Cocteau’s creeping into the mix before Beautyon’s mesmeric ‘To Swing Pil’ enters with a ton of extra electronic sounds of whose origins I’ve no clue. ‘Moist Moss’ is the choir-like piece that originates from Mark Van-Hoen’s Weathered Well album under his Locust moniker, why isn’t he remembered more in the IDM halls of fame? The recall is patchy on the next one and Shazam is no help when things are this layered up. There might be some Air Liquide in there, or something from the Reflective label, it’s so hard to tell and this was nearly 30 years ago. This must have been done on multiple CDs and vinyl at the KISS FM studio as well as Coldcut adding occasional jingles.

An uncharacteristic electronic beat track from Scanner’s Mass Observation release enters before a gorgeous Andrew Poppy track from his second album for ZTT, Alphabed (A Mystery Dance). I found Andrew through my love of ZTT back in the 80s and when ambient and chill out came around his music seemed perfect to slip in (the stuff that wasn’t based around Reich’s minimalism that is). I played ‘Goodbye Mr G.’ to my mum once and it seemed to intensely annoy her as she had no handle on its structure or when it began or ended. I know Andrew a little now which is very weird and he’s still making music, releasing an album, ‘Jelly’ recently.

An old faithful, ‘Plight’ from David Sylvian and Holger Czkay’s ‘Plight & Premonition’, slides in and was a staple of my ambient sets for years. It’s a dark but beautiful piece of world building with found sound and snatches of instruments and radio interference that serves as a bridge or overlay to anything. Path were one of the first bands I ever designed a label or sleeve for and their debut single, ‘Pleasant’ rounds out the mix. There is an odd edit right near the end that slices us into a snatch of Sheila Chandra with Jon reading out something about a fund-raising event but I’m not sure what happened there as it came from a batch of digitisations I made years ago.

The second half of the mix is mostly based on the entirety of The Irresistible Force’s 20 minute ’Mountain High (live)’ track, the final side of his debut LP, Flying High. Woven into this ambient masterpiece are a quick blast of ‘Bhaja Mana Hure’ from the Radha Krsna Temple and a couple of beat tracks including Up, Bustle & Out’s ‘Nightwalk’ and La Funk Mob’s ‘Motor Bass Gets Phunked Up’ which slips and slides in and out of time for a few moments here and there. It sounds like I’m constantly chasing it in the mix. Slivers of Tony ‘Moody Boys’ Thorpe’s Voyager track ‘Arrival’ rise and fall as La Funk Mob take their exit – this was a CD only track, 20 minutes long, beatless, twinkling ambience, also never far away when making ambient mixes back in the day.

Mixmaster Morris’s track takes a left turn before the 38 minute mark and either my vinyl was knackered or the one he took the sample from was as there’s crackling all over it. Into this section creep no less than indie pop darlings then turned experimental mavericks, James. Post-‘Sit Down’ they were indulged by their record company and ended up making a couple of albums with Eno, one called ‘Laid’ with an offshoot album of less poppy tracks called ‘Wah Wah’. Out of the sessions from the latter came an amazing 33 minute 12” of Sabres of Paradise mixes called ‘Jam J’ where Weatherall, Kooner and Burns dubbed them to infinity and back again in one of their then epic reconstructions. This huge, loping fuzz bass-ed monster slouches into the mix in half time before taking centre stage, only to be ousted at the very end by the final moments of Mountain High.
Phew, bit of a heavy trip that one.

Tracklist:
Coldcut jingle intro
Mika Vainio – Sisaan
The Woodentops – You Make Me Feel (Late Night version)
Beautyon – To Swing Pil
Locust – Moist Moss
Unknown – Gated ambience
Scanner – Mass Observation
Andrew Poppy – Goodbye Mr. G
David Sylvian & Holger Czukay – Plight (The Spiralling of Winter Ghosts)
Path – Pleasant
Sheila Chandra – unknown
Coldcut Russian jingle
The Radha Krsna Temple – Bhaja Mana Hure
The Irresistible Force – Mountain High (live)
Up, Bustle & Out – Nightwalk
La Funk Mob – Motor Bass Gets Phunked Up
Voyager – Arrival
James vs Sabres of Paradise – Jam J (Phase 1: Arena Dub)

MS124 Tour of Duty 27/11/2002

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This was one of those shows where I put together a mix largely from the contents of my record buying trips whilst abroad in North America plus some current new releases. I can’t quite believe I used to go a couple of times a year at one point, each time coming back laden with music new and old. I don’t think I’ve been back for over a decade now and I really miss it, one day I’ll get back out there.

We kick off with Ramsey Lewis (RIP) and the break-tastic ‘Do Whatever Sets You Free’, chopped up nicely by Natural Self once I seem to remember… Eddie Harris slinks in with a nasty beat and a fuzzed up horn, plenty of sample action here and I think this is the source for a bit of Shadow’s ‘In/flux’. I’m not sure if the DJ Zinc track quite works out of old Eddie, sure it’s in time but not quite in tune or swing, that’s quite a change of pace. I had a white label at the time but now know that the track is called ‘Tonka’. Then into The Human League (!) mixing by bpm, not feel, I like the way Phil Oakey calls everyone ‘big heads’ at the start. This was from the Richard X released ‘Golden Hour of the Future’ album of early Human League recordings.

I like what Push Button does with the Anti-Pop vocal of ‘Ghostlawns’, putting it on a different beat of the bar and slowing the tempo to half time. But into The Banana Splits? What was I thinking? This the most uneven mix of all time, just because it’s IN time kids, doesn’t mean it should go next to that similarly tempo-ed tune. Doesn’t sound quite like Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky though does it? The Incredible Shrinking Man was an alias of Shawn Lee who apparently is also singing on this cover of ‘Wichita Lineman’ as well as playing almost everything else too. Killer version on a 7” on Ape City who only put out three releases.

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Sixtoo I hooked up with on tour and ‘Duration’ was his long-digesting masterpiece, featured here in an excerpt, maybe he was living in Montreal by this time or maybe that was after he signed to Ninja Tune, it was around this time anyway. The ‘stop scratching’ vocal sample is actually from a 7” comedy record about a dog, the cover folds out three times into a dog shape, I think it’s a Fred Basset tie-in maybe. Stan Kenton covers ‘Hair’ with his take on ‘Coloured Spade’, I’d go on to collect many versions of the musical over the years and have lost count how many I have now. The New Seekers’ ‘It’s The Real Thing’ – do the Coke advert from a promo 7”. Pugh’s ‘Love Love Love’ I’m sure we all recognise the opening bars of? This was the opening track of Cherrystones’ then current ‘Rocks’ compilation and also the opener of Pugh Rogefeldt’s debut LP.

From Swedish psych rock to Brit hip hop and out into Yo La Tengo covering Sun Ra – edited for radio. This should be called the dis-jointed mix, veering all over the place, it made sense to me at the time. The Free Association were a psychedelic outfit led by David Holmes who made one great album and a clutch of singles and seemed to be the point after which he jumped into soundtrack work. Plenty of sampling going on and all the better for it. Still veering all over the place the Dsico rework of Nelly’s ‘It’s Getting Hot In Herre’ was further twisted out by my occasional Flexus guise for a particularly sweaty party on the hottest day of the year in the old basement under the newsagent that used to house the Bastard night. I think it was a Kinky Voodoo event hosted by my friend John Power and during this song I threw out tons of ice poles for the audience from a cooler I’d bought with me.

I don’t remember the track after this featuring a female rap over ‘Superbad’, but Dsico was putting out loads of mash ups at this time. Another switch, down into dub with Tino, a Ben Stokes and friends alias, from the Hallowe’en Dub album which seems relevant this week. We finish with ‘Acetate Prophets’, the DJ track from the end of Jurassic 5’s third LP. After ‘Lesson 6’ on the first and ‘Swing Set’ on the second we get a complex eastern-themed set of breaks and samples which I wish Cut and Nu-mark would do more of.

Track list:
Ramsey Lewis – Do Whatever Sets You free
Eddie Harris – Carry On Brother
DJ Zinc – Tonka
The Human League – Dance Like A Star
Ant-Pop Consortium – Ghostlawns (Push Button Objects mix)
The Banana Splits – Doin’ The Banana Split
The Incredible Shrinking Man – Wichita Lineman
Sixtoo – Duration (excerpt)
Stan Kenton – Coloured Spade
The New Seekers – It’s The Real Thing
Pugh – Love Love Love
Die & Skitz feat Rodney P/Ms Dynamite/Tali/Mixologists – It’s On
Yo La Tengo – Nuclear War
The Free Association – Don’t Rhyme No Mo
Nelly/Dsico vs FLEXUS – It’s Getting Hot Hot Hot In Herre
Dsico – Super Hiding
Tino – Living Dead Dub
Jurassic 5 – Acetate Prophets

Mixcloud Select 123: Months of Debris vol.2 (DK loves the Worlds Famous) 26/08/2004

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A follow up to last week’s upload with a set full of bits and pieces floating around at this point in time, most of it contemporary with some oldies to finish. The recording at the start is DK from my answerphone, he’s a huge World’s Famous Supreme Team and I’d peppered the set with bits of a recording of an old WHBI show I’d found. A full length version of 2 Tall’s entry into the Solid Steel intro competition kicks things off before Diplo’s premiere release, the amazing ‘Epistomology Suite’ enters. I remember how exciting this was to hear at the time, we felt Big Dada had discovered the new DJ Shadow and this was his ‘Entropy’. It didn’t quite work out like that but his debut LP, ‘Florida’, is still a classic debut. Smoove switches things up with a swinging double time soul banger featuring Jess Roberts, I used to play this out for years. Firstborn’s Northern Soul-esque stomper, ‘The Mood Club (Part 2)’ is taken from the 7” and features a great tempo switch down.

Señor Coconut remixes Stephen Coates’ The Real Tuesday Weld and Madlib tackles The Free Design with a Nostalgia 77 track sandwiched in-between. Earl Zinger cuts up the Pink Elephants on Parade theme tune before Black Lodge (RIP) puts his twist on it and then Sun Ra and his Arkestra cover it from the Disney compilation, Stay Awake. Def Tex’s slamming, bleeping ‘Freaks’ ruins the mood somewhat as does the frantic mix into Awkward’s excellent break-fest ‘Plug Me In’, must dig that out again. Ivory blazes a trail all over the shop before Steinski gets old school with the cuts from his split 12” on Stones Throw with J.Rocc. Dr Rubberfunk gets the treatment from Fort Knox Five before Four Tet gets made over by Icarus – I seemed to like the remixes over the originals half the time. This latter remix starts like some lost Terry Riley piece before the drums steam in, must revisit!.

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This end section was sonically themed: I thought the vocal harmonies of Air’s ‘Run’ were a clear reference to 10cc’s ‘I’m Not In Love’ so found the original and a Godley & Creme version. I’ve always thought there was an obvious sonic fingerprint shared with 10cc’s I’m Not In Love’ and the Art of Noise’s ‘Moments in Love’, a theory strengthened by the fact that AON’s JJ Jeczalik collaged the 10cc/Godley & Creme History Mix Vol.1 LP together and then Lol Creme joined the AON in the 00’s. You could further add G&C’s Trevor Horn-produced ‘Cry’ to the equation, forgive the tuning, it’s way out. A further link to the AON/Trevor Horn axis comes in the form of Hibs’ excellent fan mix of Frankie’s ‘Two Tribes’ which could have been a lost mix from the 80’s. Hibs – aka Jeff Knowler to his friends – engineered my recording of Paul Morley for the Raiding The 20th Century mix and then went on to mix most of my work since.

2 Tall – Solid Steel intro (full version)
Diplo – Epistomology Suite
Smoove feat. Jess Roberts – Coming Back
Firstborn – The Mood Club (Part 2)
(The Real) Tuesday Weld – Ugly & The Beautiful (Senor Coconut remix)
Nostalgia 77 – Sad Thing
The Free Design – Where Do I Go (Madlib remix)
Earl Zinger – Heavy Hitter
Black Lodge – untitled
Sun Ra & His Arkestra – Pink Elephants On Parade
Def Tex – Freaks
Awkward – Plug Me In
Ivory – Blaze A Trail
Steinski – Ain’t No Thing
Dr Rubberfunk – The Owner (Fort Knox Five remix)
Four Tet – My Angel Rocks Back and Forth (Icarus remix)
Air – Run
Godley & Crème – I’m Not In Love
10cc – I’m Not In Love
Art of Noise – Moments In Love
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes (Hibs’ Reagan Says No More mix)
World’s Famous Supreme Team – outro

Mixcloud Select 122: Months of Debris vol.1 15/07/2004

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A random delve into the archive this week from a year we’ve not covered too often recently, 2004. Kicking off with a rather tranced up version of the Solid Steel theme by Redroof we start the show proper with Waxfactor’s (aka Pete Sasqwax) ’Reggaenomics’ from his lost classic LP ‘Sci-Fu’ which has just been re-released by coincidence. I’d forgotten about BJ Cole and Luke Vibert’s ‘Surf Acid Hoedown’, what an acid monster, crazy 303 patterns and time changes. One of the first (that I heard) versions of The White Stripes’ classic ‘Seven Nation Army’ was by Brighton’s finest, Nostalgia 77 (Ben Lamdin) and Alice Russell, then starting to make a name for herself as a premier soul vocalist. Dynamite MC’s ‘Bubble’ sounds exactly like that, with early grime licks meeting the sort of production coming out of DJ Zinc’s Bingo Beats label around that time.

The Council Flats of Kingsbury is some kind of dirty fuzzed out beats before that kind of thing was the fashion over on the West Coast, this was from a split white vinyl 7” with LJ Kruzer on the flip on Uncharted Audio. Prince Po featuring MF Doom – ‘Special Distortion’ was from the Danger Mouse-produced, Lex-released LP The Slickness, Lex were really on a role at this point. Bristol’s Boca 45 steams in with ‘Air Drums’ from his second release on High Noon Music. Blend Crafters was a one-off thing Jurassic 5’s DJ Nu-mark did with Pomo which saw one LP and a handful of singles around in 2004 which is followed by the aptly-named ‘Genuine’ by Sharon Jones (RIP) and the Dap Kings. Has a new funk tune ever sounded so authentically 60’s? At that point it was one of the first that hit that sweet spot.

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J Star’s take on Erick Sermon’s ‘Music’ was one of his first reggae make overs and it’s another Luke Vibert tune, under his Wagon Christ nom de plume with a track from his second Ninja Tune LP, ‘Sorry I Make You Lush’. Rhymefest’s ‘Jackin’ (it got ugly)’ single, chock full of classic rock samples, was something of a breath of fresh air at this point, stealing indiscriminately from all over the map. Diplo’s Hollertronix had come late to the mash up party but were putting out some (mad) decent examples in the states with this Clash meets Missy Elliot example being one of the best. Deisler’s first six track release for Tru Thoughts yielded the latin-infused ‘Xibaba’. I Monster come on like the mutant cousin of a glam-stomping ELO with Hey Mrs’ before an ill-advised segue into my favourite Supergrass track, the Talking Heads-aping ‘Kiss of Life’. If they didn’t go into the studio with the exact intention to ape the Eno-produced era of the Heads then I won’t believe it, they even got Tom Tom Club to do a remix for god’s sake. Interesting that Gaza’s brother, Rob Coombes in credited as primary writer on it. Party Ben’s hip house take on the Beastie’s ‘Ch-Ch-Check it Out’ is fun but hasn’t aged well, would probably work on the dance floor but in the mix here it’s a bit full on as a final track.

Track list:
Redroof – Solid Steel intro
Waxfactor – Reggaenomics
BJ Cole & Luke Vibert – Surf Acid Hoedown
Nostalgia 77 feat Alice Russell – Seven Nation Army
Dynamite MC – Bubble
Heiroglyphics – Love Flowin’
The Council Flats of Kingsbury – Dirty Floor
Prince Po feat MF Doom – Special Distortion
Boca 45 – Air Drums
Blend Crafters – Lola
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – Genuine
Jstar – Music
Wagon Christ – The Funnies
Rhymefest – Jackin’ (it got ugly)
Hollertronix – Untitled
Deisler – Xibaba
I Monster – Hey Mrs (Glamour Puss remix)
Supergrass – Kiss of Life (Tom Tom Club mix)
Party Ben – Ch Ch Check it Out Old Skool

Mixcloud Select 121: Messy Half 22/12/2003

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A quick one this week as I’m pushed for time. A half hour from late 2003 which was originally coupled with some left field Xmas songs. This set is a bit disjointed, lots of bits and pieces that I wanted to play but didn’t fit together too well – hence the name of the mix. A mash up of Beyonce that hasn’t aged well kicks things off before Hey Ya, which I’m sure you’ve heard too many times but it was new at the time, please skip if you need to. The mix gets interesting after this with 808 State’s ‘Ancodia’, remixed on the Extended Pleasure of Dance EP 12” with an obvious but satisfying blend into Richard X’s ‘You Used To’ after. Love that transition.

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Steinski’s frenetic remix of Melle Mel’s ‘Freestyle’ follows and I think that’s Cut Chemist on the decks. The insane Captain Funkaho crashes in and all over the place with his Dick Hyman-sampled ‘Capt. Chaos’ before we drift into the original – ‘The Moog & Me’. We play out with Boards of Canada’s sublime remix of cLOUDDEAD’s ‘Dead Dogs Two’ which is about as good as it gets.

Track list:
Cropstar – Crazy Prado
Outkast – Hey Ya
808 State – Ancodia (Taters Deep Nit Funky Beat mix)
Richard X – You Used To
Melle Mel – Freestyle (Steinski remix)
Captain Funkaho – Capt. Chaos
Dick Hyman – The Moog & Me
cLOUDDEAD – Dead Dogs Two (Boards of Canada remix)

Mixcloud Select 120: 30 Minutes For Cash 22/09/2003

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A short, mellow set from 19 years ago – Johnny Cash’s ‘One Piece At A Time’ is one of the first songs I remember hearing as a child. My dad was/is a mechanic so this song always appealed to him and he explained that it was about a guy building a car out of bits and pieces of parts he’d stolen from the factory he worked at. He would do a similar thing with all manner of bike parts (not stolen!) over a 14 year period when he built his own custom bike later on in life. The track is book-ended by excerpts from the ‘Live At Folsom Prison’ album. Lunz’s ‘Wobbly Flu Twilight’ is a dark and delicate piano piece and then a Blackalicious track produced by DJ Shadow called ‘Changes’ appears, introduced by a short John Rydgren interview from a series called ‘Scenes’. In the interview the artist (who I’m not sure the identity of) talks about changes that he made on the new record and how the record label weren’t happy with it.

This is one thing I always tried to do with spoken word inserts, make the subject matter somehow reference the track it was placed with or over, it wasn’t always possible but when it works it’s lovely. The track was taken from an original beat tape of DJ Shadow’s I was in possession of at the time and I later found out it appeared on the Japanese version of the ‘Melodica’ album (credited to UNKLE) but I’ve never found a copy to check if it’s the same. Keeping on the Shadow theme, I had recently discovered one of the samples from one of my favourite tracks of his, ‘Changeling’ from Endtroducing, in the form of ‘Imagination Flight’ by the Chaffey College Jazz Ensemble, a private press LP with various composers, Charles Argersinger being the writer of the title track.

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‘This River’ by Colder, on Trevor Jackson’s Output label has a beautiful, dark piano motif I could listen to all day and Colleen’s ‘Babies’ floats in like a saccharine lullaby. Ken Nordine narrates ‘Little Boy Blue’ from Billy Vaughn & his Orchestra’s 1956 release on Dot, one of his first appearances on vinyl. There’s more of Johnny Cash’s dialogue to the crowd from the Folsom Prison album over the start of Super Numeri’s ‘Coastel Bird Scene part 1’, at the time a new signing to Ninja Tune who would make two albums and singles before various members split into Loka, Snap Ant and Pop Levi. What I didn’t know at the time was that James Morgan aka Snap Ant, had also previously released a 12” on Ntone under the name Ominium which is presumably how Super Numeri came to be on the label. The originally mis-titled Eternals’ ‘Zero Gravity’ is the opening track from the Astropioneers OST of which I have absolutely no recollection of owning but it’s a lovely way to end a fairly sedate set.

Track list:
Johnny Cash – One Piece At A Time
Lunz – Wobbly Flu Twilight
Blackalicous – Changes
Chaffey College Jazz Ensemble – Imagination Flight
Colder – This River
Colleen – Babies
Ken Nordine – Little Boy Blue
Super Numeri – Coastal Bird Scene part 1
The Eternals – Zero Gravity

Mixcloud Select 119: A Bird In The Boosh 21/03/2005

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Opening with Pedro Chamorra’s entry to the Solid Steel intro competition (we got so many good entries it was hard to pick a winner and I used loads of runner up tracks as intros) and we’re off on an hour journey through time and space, punctuated by excerpts from series 1 of the Mighty Boosh. The first series is still my favourite with Howard and Vince’s riffs on music (jazz vs electro) always a joy to hear.
The Kleptones kick the mix off with an odd collage based on Queen samples from their A Night At The Hip Hopera cut up mix, most of their stuff is still online for free at https://www.kleptones.com/. Soulwax’s incredible mix of LCD’s ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’ builds and builds and was one of those rare things, a remix that improves on the original. Kevin Mark Trail’s track was probably a promo 12” with MJ Cole remixes as was the Bluefoot Project Away team mix, coming from a compilation 12” entitled Interesting Flavours on Chocolate Fireguard Records.

Ms. Thing’s ‘Love Guide’ was the Switch-produced cut from the Two Cultures Clash compilation and predates the sort of material he would go on to make with Diplo as Major Lazer. Vincent made one EP in 2004 and two tracks from it are on this mix, the duo of Phil Donkin (bass) and Simon Vincent (piano) formed the group and the broken beat jazz of the Sentinel EP was the result. More broken beats from the Sun Ra cover of Likwid Continual Space Motion Ope-ra, a collaboration between IG Culture and Bembe Segue on a 25 minute version of the classic ‘Space Is The Place’. Two producers who have since become good friends and collaborators team up next as Johnny Trunk remixes Stephen Coates’ The Real Tuesday Weld’s classic ‘Bathtime In Clerkenwell’ into a reggae skank.
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Meanwhile back at Ninja Tune the label was signing new acts and one – Loka – remixes the other – Blockhead – in fine fashion on his ‘Sunday Seance’. I always liked Loka, they were exactly what I was after at that point and their first album is a hidden classic. I don’t remember where the Def Harmonic track came from, I can’t recall owning one of their records but maybe it was on a comp? Max Sedgley’s follow up to his massive ‘Happy’ single was almost as big and then it’s the second Vincent cut, bringing jazz to the funk – should have waited with that earlier Mighty Boosh sample. Finishing with a remix from Herbert in which I get busy on the loop pedal at the end we wind things down with Atom TM’s glitchy take on Emiliana Torrini’s ‘Sunny Road’.

Tracklist:
Pedro Chamorra – Solid Steel spot
Kleptones – Precession
LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing… (Soulwax remix)
Kevin Mark Trail – D Thames (MJ Cole Dub)
The Bluefoot Project – Little Miss Selfish (Away Team mix)
Ms. Thing – Love Guide
Vincent – Gift
Likwid Continual Space Motion Ope-ra – Space Is The Place (Prelude…)
The Real Tuesday Weld – Bathtime In Clerkenwell (Jonny Trunk mix)
Blockhead – Sunday Séance (Loka remix)
Def Harmonic – The Deep
Max Sedgley – Devil Inside
Vincent – Sentinel
Brazillian Girls – Lazy Lover (Herberts Busy Lover mix)
Emiliana Torrini – Sunny Road (Atom TM’s Future Folk mix)

Mixcloud Select 118 Openmind on Solid Steel 09/09/1994

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A section of a Solid Steel from 28 years ago today(!) that popped out at me when looking through the archive. Matt Black and Jonathan More were also in the studio and I’d wager PC was there too as the four of us would often troop up to the KISS studios on a Friday night to pre-record the Saturday night.
Both Matt and Jon would take turns on the mic and the decks with Patrick and I mixing and writing up the PRS sheets of what was played.
Mixing out of something possibly played by PC, I kick off with an often played S’Xpress ‘track’ – ‘Coma’ from a free 45 given away with Record Mirror – that consists largely of heavy respirated breathing and sonar pings. This always served as a good bridge between sets and styles and I used it a lot in my ambient sets a few years earlier. Running into Pat Metheny’s gorgeous rendering of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint (most likely found via The Orb’s ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ sampling) and some unidentified ambience (possibly Spacetime Continuum) before DJ Food’s ‘Cosmic Jam’ unsteadily enters the mix.

An overdub of Reich’s ‘Come Out’ interjects and there seems to be up to four sources going here – possibly two decks and two CDs. Mantronix’s ‘Mega-Mix (’88)’ is an often overlooked trip hop precursor, this sounded like the future of hip hop 1988. Justin Warfield was looking back to 1968 to move hip hop forward in the early 90s with his classic ‘My Field Trip To Planet 9’ album and Tim Simenon wisely grabbed him to front the huge ‘Bug Powder Dust’ single from his third Bomb The Bass LP. The Dust Brothers (pre-Chemical) gave it their big beat worker before the term was even coined, nicely cutting up the bass line lifted from ‘Dark Lady’ which in itself was lifted from…
MS118 Openmind section of Coldut tape

Opening the next section is the famous ‘Closing of Places of Entertainment’ speech that Coldcut often played on the show – segueing into Autechre ‘Flutter’, their protest at the Criminal Justice Bill which stated that any gatherings with repetitive beats could be shut down and prosecuted. They decided to produce a track without repetitive beats, played here on my preference of 33rpm. I was heartened to hear a dedication from Matt for my old flatmate Chantal (Passamonte) who was leaving London for Sheffield at this time to go and work for Warp. Some Ninja business in the form of Up, Bustle & Out’s ‘Nightwalk’ from their debut LP (not ‘Lazy Daze’ as is read out later) into La Funk Mob’s ‘Motorbass Gets Phunked Up’, Ritchie Hawtin’s remix which seems to be jumping all over the place. Slamming straight into this is the no-compromise of Bedouin Ascent’s amazing ‘Internal Bleeding’ and then we’re rocking out with La Funk Mob’s ‘357 Magnum Force’ again from Mo Wax’s original golden run. Orbital’s ‘Sad but True’, my favourite track from their patchy third LP (after the peerless first two albums admittedly) brings the electro funk. The final track is Mu-Ziq’s aptly-titled, ‘Metal Thing #3’, I had a habit of upping the ante with my music choices until things were really quite brutal and it would take one of the others to bring things down a notch, in this case with a reggae set from Jon after the jingle at the end of this set.

S’Xpress – Coma
Pat Metheny – Electric Counterpoint I -Fast
DJ Food – Cosmic Jam
Steve Reich – Come Out
Spacetime Continuum – unknown
Mantronix – Mega-Mix ’88
Bomb The Bass – Bug Powder Dust (Dust Brothers remix)
Autechre – Flutter
Up, Bustle & Out – Nightwalk
La Funk Mob – Motorbass Gets Phunked Up (Electro Funk remix)
Bedouin Ascent – Internal Bleeding
La Funk Mob – 357 Magnum Force
Orbital – Sad But True
Mu-Ziq – Metal Thing #3

Mixcloud Select 117: Unwind Your Mind – Solid Steel 03/07/2000 Pt.2

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I’m fairly sure that this was the first kind of psychedelic mix that I did, largely made up of records bought whilst on tour in North America with Kid Koala and Amon Tobin during the Spring of 2000. It kicks off with something from the Blast First compilation Nothing Short of Total War (Rock Music Report) and then into some whispering piano talk from The Mothers of Invention. John Simon’s ‘Painting For Freakout’ precedes The Electric Flag’s incredible 10 minute … uh, ‘Freakout’ on the All You Can Eat soundtrack which is a fine record in the tradition of the Monkees’ Head and parts of this mix would end up in my rescore for that film later. Rod McKuen jumps on the hippy bandwagon with his soothing tones from the Takes A San Francisco Hippy Trip album with ‘Of Girls’ – warning the cover is more psychedelic than the record. The Three Ring Circus made one single and an album with a clown through a kaleidoscope on the cover which which was enough for me to check it out. Goblin’s ‘Blind Concert’ is from their classic Suspiria soundtrack and the Two Daughters track is from a Cherry Red comp from the early 80s, Perspectives and Distortion, which has all manner of interesting post punk, new wave experimentation on it including an early solo Matt Johnson track.

The Monkees’ ‘Opening Ceremony’ montage from Head makes an appearance, in the middle of the mix, before we segue into a bit of Barry Gray’s ‘Breakaway’ from the Space 1999 soundtrack, as sampled a few years previously by Tipsy for their ‘Space Golf’ tune. Susan & The Children’s Chorus was a Sesame Street spin off record, not actually on Sesame Workshop, the label of the TV show. I was already collecting funky Sesame St material around this time before approaching the company to license their Pinball Number Count and later put together a compilation. I dived into Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention pretty hard in the early 00’s, spurred on by his music concrete tape collages and Cal Schenkel’s amazing cover art. The Landlords’ ‘The Landlord’ is from the soundtrack to The Landlord – who’d have thought? This was basically an Al Kooper pseudonym and the OST has a few nice bits and pieces on it as well as a great cover.

Along with Zappa I was hoovering up David Axelrod productions including the more far out Cannonball Adderly ones and it took a little while to track down Soul Zodiac where Rick Holmes narrates the 12 signs over spacey jazz. A fairly pedestrian cover of ‘The Sound of Silence’ follows, the amount of cheap easy listening albums with vaguely funky versions of old standards was mind boggling back then. The Beatle’ ‘Jessie’s Dream’ – should probably be Aunt Jessies Dream I think and is from their Magical Mystery Tour film, it probably came from a bootleg of psyche-era stuff I was into along with all the Beach Boys Smile sessions I could find. ‘Bendix 2: The Tomorrow People’ comes from one of the greatest compilations of all time, Raymond Scott’s Manhattan Research Inc. on Basta which was newly released at the time and caught the ear of a certain J Dilla. We play out with the title track from probably the UK’s nearest equivalent to Scott, Joe Meek from his freaky space travel epic I Hear A New World, probably also a bootleg from around that time.

The Mothers of Invention – Are You Hung Up?
John Simon – Painting For Freakout
Rod McKuen – Of Girls
Three Ring Circus – Fantastic Voyage
Goblin – Blind Concert
Two Daughters – Return Call/We Are
The Monkees – Opening Ceremony
Barry Gray – Breakaway
Susan & The Children’s Chorus – The Counting Song
The Mothers of Invention – Flower Punk
The Landlords – The Landlord
Cannonball Adderly – Cancer
Groovin’ Strings and Things – The Sound of Silence
The Beatles – Jessie’s Dream
Raymond Scott – Bendix 2: The Tomorrow People
Joe Meek & The Blue Men – I Hear A New World

Mixcloud Select 116: Hip Hop 2000 – Solid Steel 03/07/2000 Pt.1

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A quick round up of what can now be seen as a golden age for UK and US independent hip hop from the middle of 2000. This is the first half of an hour long mix that concludes with a psychedelic mix (next week).
Def Tex on the Ninja-affiliated Son Records from their Synchronise EP – hugely underrated IMO, early PUTS from their second album and Jurassic 5 making their second album comeback with lead single, Quality Control. One Cut – straight outta Bristol from a 12” that now goes for an eye-watering price due to its Banksy cover then Mark B & Blade with a crazed cut up instrumental of their ‘Ya Don’t See The Signs’ 12”. Styles of Beyond were from the US and made a ton of singles, this one was actually from 1998 and The Nextmen’s DJ cut from their debut LP, ‘Amongst The Madness’.
‘The Last Tune’ from Task Force’s amazing Voice of the Great Outdoors single samples a snatch of ‘Caravan’ from some easy listening LP I can’t remember now – check the whole 12” if you can. Advertising The Invisible were Brad from The Nextmen and Cept 148 and I totally recognise that bass sound but can’t place it. Yes that is a Morcheeba track but it’s a banger featuring Biz Markie and we finish with a classic from the Jungle Brothers although it’s the remix version.

Track list:
Def Tex – Written Response
People Under The Stairs – Code Check
Jurassic 5 – Quality Control
One Cut – Underground Terror Tactics
Mark B & Blade – Ya Don’t See The Signs
Styles of Beyond – Spies Like Us
The Nextmen – We Originate
Task Force – The Last Tune
Advertising The Invisible – Making Heads Turn
Morcheeba – In The Hands of the Gods
Jungle Brothers – J Beez Comin’ Through (remix)

Mixcloud Select 115: Version Aversion 2 20/05/2002

MS115 PRS
Part 2 of the Version Aversion mix kicks off with another ‘dictionaroake’ cover, of Ken Nordine’s ‘Flesh’ of all things! Go here for more of an explanation of this strange medium: http://www.dictionaraoke.com/ I’d always loved ‘The Man With The Golden Arm’ theme, hearing the Jet Harris version on a tape my dad had when I was a kid. What happens if you take three different versions and synch them up to play simultaneously, cutting back and forth frequently? Listen and find out. This strings and drums version of ’Strawberry Fields Forever’ was possibly taken from one of the Anthology compilations, chock full of interesting Beatles outtakes.

The Roy Meriwether Trio take on the Nina Simone’s ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ and then we get another excerpt from the Langley Schools Music Project album, this time with excerpts of a radio documentary interspersed telling the story of how it came to be. Bowie’s ’Space Oddity’ gets the treatment and again, the eerie oddness of not quite trained voices with strange arrangements gives it a unique quality. Monk Higgins provides Gang Starr with a sample on ‘Little Green Apples’ from his ‘Extra Soul Perception’ LP and ‘Brother’ John Rydgren pervs out over ‘Music To Watch Girls By’. Finally, a remix rather than a cover, Bill Laswell does the impossible and takes electric Miles Davis and makes something decent out of it from the Panthalassa remix project. This 1998 album is worth tracking down, Laswell gets given the masters to run riot with in the studio and creates four extended soundscapes, each ranging around the 15 minute mark from music written 1969-74. It’s respectful as he doesn’t attempt to contemporize the sounds, instead extended and dubbing them out into Orb-like epics, an hour of fusion-era Miles, reimagined 25 years later by a master.

Track list:
Ken Nordine – Flesh
Billy May & His Orchestra – The Man With The Golden Arm
Jet Harris – The Man With The Golden Arm
Jack Nitzche – The Man With The Golden Arm
The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7)
Roy Meriwether Trio – Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
Langley Schools Music Project – Space Oddity
Monk Higgins – Little Green Apples
John Rydgren – Music to Watch Girls By
Miles Davis – Rated X /Billy Preston (Bill Laswell reconstruction)

Mixcloud Select 114: Version Aversion 22/04/2002

MS114 CDr

The first of two ‘Version Aversion’ mixes – various covers in all sorts of styles – I love a good cover version, one that takes the original and does something weird with it ideally. The opening ‘Girl From Ipanema’ is a good example – this kind of cover was called ‘dictionaraoke’ – using computer-generated words to voice a cover version. There were a spate of them on the web around this time and I have a feeling it’s connected to Negativland by the mentions on this website http://www.dictionaraoke.com/ . Having just had the beginnings of the mash up craze (which was still gaining momentum) and being perpetually on the look out for the latest thing, I was convinced this was the answer. Instead it was a fun novelty that got old quite fast.

The Lenny Constanza version of Kylie’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ I have a vague memory might have something to do with Rob Galliano. The only mention of it on Discogs is on a compilation called The Selector from Hungary but I’m sure I have it on a 7” somewhere.
Julius Brockington’s version of ‘Rock Steady’ gets mixed with a bit of Aretha’s original, not always successfully but there’s some nice scratching in there. Johnny Hammond smooths out Carole King’s ‘It’s Too Late’ into an easy organ instrumental before Breakestra cover The Vibrettes’ ‘Humpty Dump’ in convincing analogue style. Mixing Digital Underground’s ‘The Humpty Dance’ over the top at rapid speed may not have been a good idea but it occasionally works. Christ, an Elbow track! This cheeky rinky dink cover of Destiny’s Child was from something on Twisted Nerve, possibly the Jukebox series of 7”s that yielded all sorts of oddities.

The Langley Schools Music Project was one of those records that just appeared and everyone was talking about it. The first of the privat press ’school music’ recordings I remember being reissued and their take on The Carpenters’ eerie but evergreen, ’Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft’ is so epic it has to qualify as one of the greatest covers ever. Little Miss Trintron was another Twisted Nerve oddity who produced one single and a couple of compilation appearances before disappearing leaving this 8-bit version of The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ for us to mull over. Again, placing the original vocal over parts of it at a greatly reduced speed wasn’t maybe the best idea in the world. With all these little mixes where they’re mainly unmixed selections I was trying to tart them up and give value for money by overdubbing spoken word and extras on top, usually using a computer by this stage.

No mix next week as I’m on holiday but there will be the second part of this set once I return.

Track list:
Mittelschmerz – Girl From Ipanema
Lenny Constanza – Can’t Get You Out Of My Bed
Julius Brockington – Rock Steady
Johnny Hammond – It’s Too Late
Breakestra – Humpty Dump
Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
Elbow – Independent Woman
Langley Schools Music Project – Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft
Little Miss Trinitron – Hotel California

Mixcloud Select 113: The Monkees’ Head – DJ Food Rescore, 2001-2005

CD DISC ON BODY

This post is dedicated to Bob Rafelson, the director of Head, who passed away this week, RIP.
Back in 2001 I was asked to compose a turntable rescore for a film of my choice for a club night in Budapest, Hungary called Cinetrip. At the time I was really starting to explore psychedelia through digging trips in the US and Canada and thought this would an ideal way to soundtrack something weird and wild that would hold the attention without too much dialogue.

Head Flyer - Size1

Sometime around the late 80’s I’d taped The Monkees’ freak film flop from TV as it intrigued me when reading the blurb. I was pretty confounded by it, this wasn’t the squeaky clean boy band with the ‘here we come…’ hi-jinx of their Saturday morning TV series. This contained cut up sequences, solarized freak outs, Vietnam war commentary and more fourth wall-breaking than you could shake the dandruff out of your hair to. It made no sense, consisted of an ever-changing series of completely different scenes designed to link songs and concepts together before looping back on itself and returning to the start. There was little plot to follow, just The Monkees as they jumped from genre to genre, location to location, costume change to character evolution.

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Music choice ranged from present day right back to the 60s, a psychedelic flavour of course but elements of library, soundtracks, jazz, electronics, trip hop and spoken word to fill the few talking moments all fitted over an over-evolving selection that was refined each time I played it. After the initial performance I severely reworked the parts for The Big Chill Festival where it had evolved into a three turntable and FX performance that was so complex and stressful to perform that my legs weirdly seized up the minute I’d finished the set! I did another nine performances – mostly in the UK and Ireland but also playing at the Portuguese short film festival to a bemused audience – until it was retired in 2005.

Head DVD front:backHead DVD contents

After this I decided to preserve the set by making a DVD with both the original and my alternate soundtrack selectable via the audio menu, adding in some of the original film dialogue in the edit to mesh the sound and vision together a little more. The disc came wrapped in mirror board card to mimic the original soundtrack LP packaging and included a random flyer from one of the nine different cigarette card-sized ones made for the Dublin performance. These were sold online via the Ninja Tune forum and later on I uploaded the whole thing to the Internet Archive for posterity. This mix has never been put up solo on the web and I’ve never done a track listing for it, preferring for people to have to work it out. Sometimes it’s good to have a mystery to dig into, although a lot of tracks are fairly obvious to anyone with a decent musical knowledge. Also I sampled a few bits later on…

Head1

So here it is, sans the film of course, but that’s out there if you dig a little

end credits (final)

Mixcloud Select 112 Strictly Kev – Soul Jazz Selection 25/07/2005

MS112 Soul Jazz Select CDR
A jazz and beats-heavy hours from mid July 17 years ago this week. The lead track is from Loka who were just releasing their first records on Ninja Tune and who now have so many aliases I can’t keep up (I just got the new Rotary Fifth LP this week and there’s also Harmoniche 23). Nostalgia 77 follows, this was during Tru Thoughts golden period where they barely put a foot wrong release-wise and Nostalgia aka Ben Lamdin was always a solid producer. Afu-Ra’s ‘Poisonous Taoist’ was doing the rounds on a weird bootleg-like 12” I seem to remember which I can’t find on Discogs, great DJ Premier production.

The only mention of the Kid Sublime ‘This Way’ track on Discogs is on a Japanese comp from 2008 which can’t be right unless I had a time machine. Lovely Harmonic 33 track mining the Lalo Schifrin vibe, the first of two from the ‘Music For Film, Television & Radio volume 1’ album on Warp (still don’t think we’ve seen a vol.2). Elmore Judd fitted into that west coast beat maker scene for a bit, Madlib, Dilla, Sa-Ra and Dr Who-DAT?. DJ Vadim’s One Self project with Blu Rum 13 and Yarah Bravo was on the same tip too. The Bees’ trippy remix was only on the 7” and sees Ninja riding a nice line between rap, soul and jazz. I really need to revisit this Harmonic 33 album, it’s really aged well. More Ninja business from The Herbaliser’s fifth album, ‘Take London’ with one of my favourites of theirs – ‘Geddim!’ in fine Roy Budd style, (as usual I love the uptempo numbers). Ollie once told me the source of the main riff and it’s really obvious once you know it but I’m sworn to secrecy.

Weirdly I’ve had Digital underground’s ‘Packet Man’ in my head all week and now Humpty Hump (RIP) turns up on this Perceptionists track, a group that includes Mr Lif from the B side of their second single. It’s a brilliant expose of gang bangers wanting to get into the rap game and they suggest better alternatives for their ‘skills’. Roisin Murphy produced by Matthew Herbert is always a joy, he has such a minimalist groove and bounce to this, from her Ruby Blue album. Ending with the vocoder funk of Rubin Steiner and Break Reform’s gorgeous Cut A Map in The Soles Of My Feet from their final album.

MS112 Soul Jazz Select PRS

Wasps – Solid Steel intro
Loka – Safe Self Tester
Nostalgia 77 – Cheney Lane
Afu Ra – Poisonous Taoist
Kid Sublime – This Way feat. U Gene
Harmonic 33 – Long Shadow
Elmore Judd – There’s A War Going On
One Self – Blue Bird (The Bees version)
Harmonic 33 – Paranoia
The Herbaliser – Geddim!
Prefuse 73 – Just The Thought feat. GZA & Masta Killa
Perceptionists – Career Finders feat Humpty Hump
Roisin Murphy – Ramalama (Bang Bang)
Rubin Steiner – Turn Off The Lights
Break Reform – Cut A Map In The Soles Of My Feet

Mixcloud Select 111: Solid Steel – Kev vs Oscar The Golden Child 08/02/1998

MS111 TapeHere’s a couple of early 1998 sets strung together from a Solid Steel show I did with Oscar The Golden Child aka Oscar Wilson. I knew Oscar from the early days of the Sunday Best club, run by Rob Da Bank before he started Bestival. Oscar was/still is a super-talented illustrator and graphic artist as well as a DJ so we hit it off easily and I invited him in to play on the show a few times. We took turns in doing a half hour each and here I’ve strung my two sets together, check out his work here

Kicking off the mix with good old Boards of Canada, I think this might be the original Skam 7” mix of Aquarius, itself now an eye-watering average price of around £170 to find. Sliding messily into Skylab, and I do know the title, it’s actually ‘?’ but I don’t know whether this is part 1,2 or 3 as I can’t find my 12” of it. Over to the French connection for DJ Vadim’s remix of DJ Cam’s ‘Innervisions’ next featuring A-Cyde and Air’s still exquisite ‘All I Need’ classic. I’d forgotten the madness of Clifford Gilberto’s Timber remix, wow, how crazy is that? Probably doesn’t help that I’m playing the Balanese Monkey Chant over parts of it. This might have been before he’d actually released anything on Ninja aside from a track on the Funkungfusion compilation too, nothing like a new artist wanting to impress. The madness continues with AFX’s ‘Bummy’ from the Mealtime compilation on Planet Mu, complete with its odd speed up/slow down programming.

After an intrusive KISS jingle we’re into the second set, kicking off a brief electronic section with Lowish from the debut dual release with Solvent on Canada’s Suction Records and Phoenicia’s debut on Warp. Food fans may recognise the odd sample cropping up in the coming selection but it would be remiss of me to give the game away, it was a different time and library, electronic jazz and easy listening was being hoovered up and turning up all sorts of great tunes. Apologies for the chunky mixing, those tricky time signatures. Jasper van’t Hof’s amazing ’T.E.E. Again’ sounds like Boards before Boards and I always thought the early On-U Sound project Missing Brazilians sounded like a template for some of The Orb’s dub workouts. The distortion on that is actually on the record, crazed dub from 1984 on their sole release, Warzone which was reissued back in 2015.

I have to say, I don’t remember these really full on KISS FM jingles that crop up now and again, they point to the change the station was undergoing, getting more commercial and we’d be leaving in a year or so.

Track list:
Boards Of Canada – Aquarius
Skylab – ? (Part ?)
DJ Cam – Innervisions (DJ Vadim remix)
Air – All I Need
Coldcut – Timber (Clifford Gilberto mix 2)
AFX – Bummy
Lowfish – ESP (edit)
Phoenecia – Y-intercpnkt
George Duke – Nigerian Numberuma
Piero Umiliani – Topless Party
Hugo Montenegro – Stutterology
Jasper van’t Hof – T.E.E. Again
Missing Brazillians – Savanna Prance