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
Barbara – 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

Mixcloud Select 57: All Quiet On The Western Front 31/05/04

MS57 CDR This was taken from the end of a show I opened with 45 minutes of REALLY odd/awful versions of songs in ways that you wouldn’t expect. I was obviously still into the mash up thing as it pitted Melle Mel with Grenadier Guards, Dick Hyman covering James Brown, an Adam & the Ants cut up and Autechre reworking Rakim (from a live set by the group themselves). A set of tunes named after days of the week are shoehorned together by some unknown creator while Beyonce and Destiny’s Child get twisted into reggae and ragtime styles. It went on and was all a bit of a car crash, lots of it had aged pretty badly so I won’t be featuring it here I’m afraid – believe me, I’ve spared you. But that was version 1 – I’ve since discovered that I felt pretty much the same way back in 2004 and reworked the mix into something much better which I’ll share next week.

Si Begg aka Cabbageboy was the guest that week and then I wrapped up the show with this 30 minute mix which has faired far better over the 17 years since it was first broadcast. Around the early 00’s we had a competition for listeners to rework the show intro and were inundated with material, it was a seriously difficult job choosing favourites. One of mine was by someone under the name of Pangaea who made a beautifully musical version using the bleeps we provided which opens this set.

MS57 PRS

As you might guess from the mix title, this is a restrained affair featuring music for the quieter hours. Max Richter’s ‘The Blue Notebooks’ are featured twice, from the original release on Fat Cat sub label 130701 and this was the first time I’d heard of him. It’s a beautiful album and has since been quite rightly reissued after his later success. Stunningly atmospheric late night music, I used to listen to it in headphones, working to the early hours and it’s all too short. Neotropic appears from a compilation called ‘Crossfaded: Vol.2’ which I don’t remember at all, or it could have come from a CDr Riz gave me at the time because this track also appeared on her ‘White Rabbits’ LP four years later.

This is a far more mature set than the one that preceded it with M Craft and Animal Collective providing some contemporary folk songs before The Free Design beam in from the 60s. I think their records were being rediscovered and reissued around this time and Stones Throw did a series of remix EPs. I have no idea how Status Quo got to close the show but I was delving into psychedelia around this time and was surprised to find out that their early, pre-denim riffing was quite a bit different. From their second album, ‘Spare Parts’, and not written by the group, it’s a full on post-Sgt. Pepper ‘flower children’ epic with strings and brass but they were a little behind the times with this arriving in ’69 and it was a commercial flop. They changed musical course after this, dropped the psychedelia and the rest is history…

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

Track list:
Pangaea – Solid Steel intro
Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks
Neotropic – Feeling Remote
Max Richter – Shadow Journal
M Craft – Cone To My Senses
Animal Collective – Leaf House
The Free Design – 2002 A Hit Song
Satus Quo – Mr Mind Detector

Mixcloud Select 56: Strictly Kev – Space! The vinyl frontier 21/05/2001

MS56 Disc

From almost 20 years ago, a space-themed mix which was a favourite of Dean Smith who worked in the licensing dept. at Ninja Tune HQ at the time. I’d be lying if I said eyebrows weren’t raised with the inclusion of Destiny’s Child in this mix, I even remember a few annoyed comments from punters when DK and I dropped them into a mix at Cargo months later for the ‘Now, Listen launch party. But whatever, a good song is a good song, it was also the dawn of the mash up as you can hear but the inclusion of the Girls On Top mix of the Human League and TLC, one of the first of this wave. Frederick & Nina was an alias for Paul Jason Fredericks and Riz Maslen aka Neotropic and featured on one of her Council Folk releases with this great little samba.

Brian Eno made one of his best albums in 2001 and few people noticed, ‘Drawn From Life’, a collaboration with percussionist J. Peter Schwalm is full of beautiful tracks and features Laurie Anderson, Holger Czukay, Leo Abrahams and more. The strings in ‘Persis’ reminded me of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Suite Revenge’ from the Deathwish soundtrack so I added that next then remembered that the Major Force West album on Mo Wax a few years before contained a track which had sampled them.
MS56 BBC card
The space theme really only starts at Tom Dissevelt’s ‘Drifting’, a favourite from a 4-track 7” I’d found recently by the Dutch electronic pioneer. I’d also found a huge National Geographic box set with a book about man in space with several records telling the story of the space race. I added choice bits of this into the set at certain intervals and they can be heard from here on. An excerpt from Jimmy Cauty’s Space project follows, this was due to be The Orb’s debut album but Jimmy and Alex Paterson had a disagreement and it was put out under this name without Alex’s contributions, it’s so sparse that it makes ‘Chill Out’ seem full on.

Banabila is Michel Banabila from a 12” on Pork Recordings, the only thing he did for them, I really need to check him out, he’s done loads of albums and is still recording. Neotropic in This Mortal Coil mode precedes the opening track from Autechre’s ‘Confield’ album and then more Space. An excerpt from Harold Budd’s ‘The Pavilion of Dreams’ appears before Joe Meek closes the set with a track from his legendary ‘I Hear A New World’ LP that had recently been rediscovered and bootlegged.

*The difference in the dates on the CD and the BBC card is most likely because Solid Steel went out on a Monday evening when we were broadcasting on the radio with the corporation and then go up on the web on the Friday after.

Track list:
Simian – The Wisp
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Timbaland mix)
Squarepusher – Red Hot Car
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (original mix)
Girl’s On Top – Being Scrubbed
Frederick & Nina – Running
Eno & Schwalm – Persis
Herbie Hancock – Suite Revenge (excerpt)
Major Force West – Sonic Scale For Percussion No.113
Tom Dissevelt – Drifting
Space – Space (excerpt 1)
Eno & Schwalm – Bloom
Banabila – Voices from a Secret World
Neotropic – Cornershop Candy
Autechre – VI Scose Poise
Space – Space (excerpt 2)
Harold Budd – Bismillahi Rrahmani Rrahim
Joe Meek – Valley of No Return

Mixcloud Select 55: Strictly Kev Solid Steel 06/05/2002

MS55 CDR
Almost 19 years ago today I opened a Solid Steel show of two halves, the 2nd being taken up by my deconstruction of DJ Shadow’s ‘The Private Press’ album under the title, ‘Press Cuttings’. That mix is already on my Mixcloud and Soundcloud so I won’t be posting it but the half hour that preceded it has a lot to recommend it too.

Kicking off with The Flashbulb totally destroying LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’, this is an acquired taste but I love it and can’t hear the original without thinking of how some of the lines are mangled here. This of course was during the period where mash ups were big news and I was constantly looking for things of this ilk that would push the boundaries of how well known songs were retro-fitted with others. Scuzzy Buffer Underrun’s version of The Orb’s ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ was just such an example and there was a whole site full of these kind of versions. Using an artificial speech generator to replace lyrics was something that I thought was going to be the next fad in the mash up genre but it never caught on.

At the time a lot of this material was only available via the web so lots were downloaded and burned onto CD-Rs and I’d use a Numark CDJ in my sets in addition to the two turntables. This particular model could pitch up or down + or -100% with pitch lock and you can hear this in the playing of Negativland’s ‘Yellow, Black and Rectangular’ which is pitched right down to mix in to the “purple and red and yellow…” of The Orb (see what I did there?). You can hear the fragmented audio throughout the start and it gradually speeds up to the 124bpm of the Wookie track.

The mix from ‘Scrappy’ into 808 State’s ‘Cubik’ caught me off guard listening again, I’d noticed the similarity of the descending bass lines in both and scratched the latter to fit the former. This is a really random set with The Herbaliser’s serious overhaul of their own ‘Something Wicked’ track in the form of a bossa nova which, to me, is even better than the original. Another rework that radically retools the original is the Lotek version of Roots Manuva’s ‘Dreamy Days’ which rolls into an excerpt from Steinski’s as then unreleased ‘Nothing To Fear’ mix. Coupling Nelly and Marvin Gaye and peppering it with references to weed hence the subsequent track about marijuana that follows.

Tracklist:
The Flashbulb – Mama Said Knock You Out
Scuzzy Buffer Underrun – Little Fluffy Clouds
Negativland – Yellow, Black and Rectangular
Wookie – Scrappy
808 State – Cubik
The Herbaliser – Something Wicked (Bossa remix)
Evolution Control Committee – K-Tel-commercial
Roots Manuva – Dreamy Days (Lotek Bonanza Relick)
Steinski/Nelly/Marvin Gaye – Country Grammar
unknown – Marijuana

Part 2 can be heard here: https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/press-cuttings-the-private-press-compacted/

Mixcloud Select 54: Solid Steel DJ Food Part 2 18/01/1998

MS53 DAT

This mix was the third part of a show where I tag-teamed with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic, each doing two half hour mixes. Recorded up at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St before it moved and engineered by Ali Tod who added samples and effects whilst watching the levels.
A more restrained intro with Fridge’s Steve Reich-esque ’Astrozero’ from their Anglepoised release on Output Recordings blending into ‘Orgien IV’ which was a really odd LP by Khan I found in New York on tour. Khan is the brother of Cem Oral, part of Air Liquide, and they would often feature on the same compilations so I’d always look out for his work which could range from acid techno to ambient. Around the time he was living in NYC and owned a record shop in Manhattan called Temple Records (quite possibly where I found this) and a label of the same name. The album came wrapped in a huge A1 sized poster printed on newsprint that was folded around the disc.

We pick up the pace with the excellent ‘Ape Shall Never Kill Ape’ from UNKLE, possibly the last everyone-pile-into-the-studio-and-see-what-comes-out track from James Lavelle and co. before Shadow stepped in a took the reigns. It’s an excellent breaks and Planet of the Apes soundtrack cut up with scratching by Tony and Joel from The Scratch Perverts and production by Jadell but we can now see that James had his eyes on something a bit bigger in scope. This was later retitled as ‘March of the General’ and released on Nigo’s album in 2000, this would have been from a Japanese 12” release at the time I played it. A really rather ropey mix of Stasis‘Samba de Fat Bloke’ lurches into the fray and shows that just because two things are in time, they don’t necessarily go together smoothly.

I’d completely forgotten this A Reminiscent Drive track, aptly named ‘The King & The Elephant’ because it sounds like a large mammal lumbering along, from his debut album, Mercy Street on F Comm. ‘Iced Cooly’ by Boards of Canada is from their debut 12”, Twoism and yes, this was played from an original copy which I still own – proof I had one back in ’98. The Fifty Foot Hose track isn’t from an original sadly, from another one of those dodgy Italian compilations that were so prevalent in the late 90s (The Might Mellow – A Folk – Funk Psychedelic Experience) and we close with the beautiful ‘Lillian Lust’ by Dudley Moore from the Bedazzled soundtrack.

Fridge – Astrozero
Khan – Orgien IV
UNKLE feat. Nigo & Scratch Perverts – Ape Shall Never Kill Ape
Stasis – Samba de Fat Bloke
A Reminiscent Drive – The King & The Elephant
Boards of Canada – Iced Cooly
Fifty Foot Hose – Rose
Dudley Moore – Lillian Lust

Mixcloud Select 53: Solid Steel DJ Food Part 1 18/01/1998

MS53Box

This mix was part of a show where I tag-teamed with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic, each doing two half hour mixes. Recorded up at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St. before it moved and engineered by Ali Tod who added samples and effects whilst watching the levels. Ali was the resident engineer around this time and also helped mix tracks on Kaleidoscope and loads of club and live events.

The Psychedelic Beach Trip Part 3 remix of The Lightning Seeds was by Ashley Beedle, from a promo 12” of the time that includes Psychedelic Beach Funk Part 1 & 2 mixes on the flip and can be had for less than £1 on Discogs. The bizarre but brilliant version of Melle Mel and the Furious Five’s ‘White Lines’ was by UK hip hop DJ’s Pogo and Cutmaster Swift. This was from some reissue around this time and their slowing down of the song to make a jazz version using the same bassline that The Herbaliser had half-inched for ‘Scratchy Noise’ a few years earlier was pure genius. ‘King Wasp’ was Add N To X’s second single on Satellite Records before then signing to Mute and old flatmate Chantal Passamonte’s debut on Warp as Mira Calix, ‘Sandsings’, features briefly. Two takes on Lalo Schifrin’s ‘Bullit’ theme tune appear in the form of The Midnight Funk Association (a Mark Broom project) and The Black Dog’s late 90’s remix version.

The Giancarlo Gazzani ‘Under Drama’ track was alas not from an original but from the excellent set of Easy Tempo compilations out of Italy that were around at the end of the 90s. At this point there were so many comps of soundtracks, easy listening and library around, some legal, most bootlegs, that it was hard to keep up but these were definitely good ones and ran to ten volumes by 2003. Tadashi Takatsuka’s ‘Odd Job’ was from a great little 4 track 7” EP titled Man From Electone that I must have picked up in Tokyo on tour.

The Lightning Seeds – Psychedelic Beach Trip Part 3
Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – White Lines (Swift & Pogo mix)
Kid Loco – Relaxin’ With Cherry
Add N To X – King Wasp
Mira CalIx – Sandsings
Midnight Funk Organisation – Byte The Bullet
Lalo Schifrin – Bullit (Black Dog mix)
Giancarlo Gazzani – Under Drama
Tadashi Takatsuka – Odd Job
Rhys Chatham – Domestik Life

Mixcloud Select 52: Openmind on Solid Steel 26/09/1993

MS52 CDR52 uploads – just over a year since this subscription started (I missed at least 1 week I think) and over hundred subscribers – thanks to everyone for the support, the newcomers just joining and the hardcore for sticking with it. There’s still plenty more to get through, in fact the amount is hard to navigate sometimes. Not only the audio but the visual too as I’ve been going through my artwork archives and digitizing lots of material like flyers, postcards, stickers, badges, posters and associated ephemera, mainly to do with Ninja Tune and my design work under the Openmind alias.

Part of this is to create an online visual archive which you can see the first few uploads of here https://www.instagram.com/openmindesign/
Please give us a follow if you want to see rare and classic Ninja Tune and Openmind items from over the last 25+ years as well as contemporary design work I’m doing. There will be lots of rarely seen promo items I’ve hoarded but what’s the point of having these things unless you share them, right? Much like the audio archive it will take years to go through all this stuff so bear with me but I will eventually be selling some of the items I have multiple copies of via my openmindesign site. Anyway, on to this week’s show…

Matt Black at KISSFM 1995

*UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me by super Solid Steel collector Anton Kibeshev, that this set was actually from 1993, not 1994!
Another early Openmind guest mix from myself, who partnered with Mario Aguera on the first hour of this show while Matt Black held down the mic and jingles, seen here in the KISS studio from a later session around 1994/5 that I found this week. Ambient is still very much the order of the day but supplemented with dubbed-out beats, electronica and even a bit of pop. Matt mentions a Telepathic Fish gig we were doing around this time and I think this was the one we did at the Cool Tan in Brixton which David Toop later reviewed for some publication around the time. This was recorded up at KISS FM, live on a Saturday night with the two of us getting a cab back south of the river to the flat we shared in East Dulwich at the time.

Kicking off with two copies of the intro to Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Warriors of the Wasteland (Return)’ mix faded back and forth we then go into the Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd’s collaboration – this one-off album is seriously worth tracking down. This was overlaid with S’Xpress’s ‘Coma’ (essentially ventilator breathing and sonar pings) which was only available on a 7” given away with Record Mirror magazine in the UK and was a stable of ambient sets of mine at the time. Steve Wilson’s first band, No-Man make an appearance with a Twin Peaks sample before one of the more out there KLF mixes of ‘What Time Is Love’ which comes on like a mini version of ‘Chill Out’.

It seems to be indie / electronic ping pong here with Jesus Jones remixed by Aphex Twin, This Mortal Coil next to B12 – I had a big thing for 80s 4AD at this point in time and was mining some of their back catalogue for a slightly different take on the ambient genre. The Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil were always good for this, the Future Sound of London seemed to think so too, sampling DCD and working with Liz Fraser. Nice to hear Spacetime Continuum’s debut, ‘Fluresence’ again, an ambient classic gifted to me by Mixmaster Morris and recently compiled on the excellent ‘Virtual Dreams: Ambient Exploration In The House & Techno Age 1993-1997’ compilation by Music From Memory.

The second half of the mix gets dubbier with the very end of a Moody Boys track serving as an intro to the Eurythmics from the 91/2 Weeks soundtrack. ‘Free’ (which would later appear on Coldcut’s ‘Journeys By DJ’) kicks off a trip-hop-ish section with Depth Charge woven in and out of Material’s ‘Mantra’ whilst parts of the Orb’s remix of same track surface before Dub Syndicate’s excellent ‘What Happened?’. This is on a 10” with another brilliant track on the flip that samples the soundtrack to Peter Whitehead’s ‘Tonight, Let’s All Make Love In London’. More Moody Boys in the form of ‘Pumpin Dumpin’ and then into one of my favourite Plaid tracks and a highlight of the mix where it really feels like it’s rocking. I have no idea what the bassy rim shot break is near the end, I thought it might be more Moody Boys or from some breakbeat album but nothing springs to mind, please refresh my memory if you recognise it. I play out with Minnie Riperton’s classic ‘Lovin’ You’, an obvious reference to the Orb using it on ‘An Ever Growing Pulsating Brain…’ before Matt hits the news jingle too early, live radio eh?

This whole mix evokes great times, music free-floating and experimental, making connections in the music industry and early days working with Ninja Tune as well as my flatmates under the Openmind name with our Telepathic Fish events. As well as that, having left college and started working I finally had some disposable income to spend on records and the hunt for knowledge about artists and genres was constant (still is).

Track list:
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Watching The Wildlife (return)
Budd, Fraser, Guthrie, Raymond – Memory Gongs
S’Xpress – Coma
No-Man – Reich
The KLF – What Time Is Love (Virtual Reality Mix)
Jesus Jones – Zeroes & Ones (Aphex Twin Construction #2)
David Sylvian – Answered Prayers
This Mortal Coil – Firebrothers
B12 – Soundtrack To Space
Spacetime Continuum – Fluresence
The Moody Boys – Lion Dance
Eurythmics – This City Never Sleeps
The Moody Boys – Free
Depth Charge – Depth Charge
Material – Mantra (Doors of Perception mix)
Depth Charge – Depth Charge
Dub Syndicate – What Happened?
The Moody Boys – Pumpin’ Dumpin’
Plaid – Yamemm
Unknown – unknown
Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You

Mixcloud Select 51: Strictly Kev – War Is Stupid 07/04/2003

MS51 CDR Going back in time 18 years ago this week, I’ve dug out the second of the two anti-war mixes I did around the time of the Iraq war kicking off. There were plenty of songs to choose from as you can imagine and I remember performing a version of this live at the Autechre ATP, arriving super late, just as I was due to go on and setting up on stage with 2 decks and a CDJ and tearing through this in a burst of adrenalin.

MS51 PRS

There’s a lot of angry music here as you would expect although not without its more poignant moments like the end trio of The Disposable Heroes, Roberta Flack and Timmy Thomas. A strong start with two copies of Time Zone’s classic ‘World Destruction’ sees multiple mixes cut back and forth with additional spoken word and a nice little slow down trick from 45 to 33 into Zack De La Rocha and DJ Shadow’s ‘March of Death’ (was this ever properly released?). There were a lot of spoken word cut ups criticizing or making fun of world leaders appearing on the web around this time as uploading audio became the norm although I think this is still pre-YouTube. A highlight for me is the Tackhead / S’Express section with Jello Biafra hollering over the top, stacking tracks up only to knock them down again. Sadly the world is no better off, there were no WMDs, the Chilcot Report deemed the war unnecessary and over 150,000 people died – beyond stupid.

Track list:
Time Zone – World Destruction (original/industrial remix)
Zack De La Rocha/DJ Shadow – March of Death
Trouble Funk – Drop The Bomb
Organised Konfusion – Prisoners of War
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Satanic Reverses
The The – Sweet Bird of Truth
Kurtis Blow – America (Dub/Original)
Coldcut feat. Sweet Toothed Sonny – Acid Drops (Bomb The Mix)
Unknown – The Duke of Hazzards
Bill Hicks – The War
The The – Heartland
IDC – Safe From Us
Saul Williams – Made You Look (freestyle)
Organised Konfusion – Drop Bombs
Tackhead – Mind At The End of the Tether
S’Express – Coma 2 (AM/OK)
Jello Biafra – Die For Oil Sucker
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Winter of the Long Hot Summer
Roberta Flack – Compared To What
Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together?
The KLF – America No More
Whingy Manone – Stop The War

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

MS50 Coldcut Solid Steel 13:05:1995 JDJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mixcloud Select 48: DJ Food – Warp 100 mix 05/07/1998

MS48 Warp DAT

During the summer of 1998 Warp Records put out their 100th release, a compilation of new tracks from all artists entitled ‘We Are Reasonable People’, which also celebrated their 9th anniversary. I put together a mix of all the tracks on Solid Steel although don’t be expecting a Blech pt.3 as this definitely isn’t as involved as that. I think I had to do it as the vinyl sides let me over the 3 discs, pairing up tracks from different sides plus a copy of the 4 track promo 12”. (I may have had double copies actually listening to the N.O.W. section)

As it says on the DAT cover, it’s pretty pedestrian in the way it’s put together although (my mix that is, not the contents). There’s a very odd mix of the Mark Bell track out of Jimi Tenor – how to get a banging techno tune into a slow lounge number? Put it on 45 so it’s double time, mix together then turn down to 33. Sometimes you’re better off leaving a gap but I was young and determined to find a way to mix EVERYTHING together. If you just want to listen to the comp without too much interference then this is one way to do it. Just look at that line up! All tracks were exclusive to this comp at the time and several still aren’t available anywhere else.MS48 Warp Box

Part 1
Plaid – Ilasas
Squarepusher / AFX – Freeman Hardy & Willis
Red Snapper – 4 Dead Monks
Broadcast – Hammer Without A Master
Plone – Plaything
Nightmares On Wax – Fishtail Parker
Part 2
Boards Of Canada – Orange Romeda
Jimi Tenor – Wear My Bikini
Mark Bell – A Salute To Those People Who Say Fuck You
Mira Calx – Umchunga Locks
Two Lone Swordsman – Circulation
Autechre – Stop Look Listen

 

Mixcloud Select 47: Hip Hop ABCs/ TV is the new religion 01/04/2002

MS47 disc Going back almost 19 years to April Fool’s Day 2002 and a thing titled ‘Hip Hop ABC / TV is the new religion’ this week although the date on the CD and tracklist here is most likely when it was recorded rather than transmitted. Opening with DJ Shadow’s excellent ‘Mashin’ On The Motorway’ (with edited swearing for the radio) from ‘The Private Press’ LP, an album that suffered from far too many comparisons to ‘Endtroducing’ at the time despite being amazing. Given that the album came out in June 2002, it’s early to be playing this track but I do remember versions leaked online around this time.

There’s a lot of Sesame Street spoken word throughout this mix as I was in the middle of a big Children’s Television Workshop collecting phase, compiling material for the later ‘D Is For Dig’ mix – I have to say the segue from Grover into KRS-1 is quite inspired. The first half of this mix is heavy on current hip hop of the time erring towards the independent side of things with both UK and US talent featured. I always wondered if Black Twang were hoping for some kind of football TV syndication with ‘Kik Off’ but maybe not with those lyrics. How good is that Zeb Roc Ski track featuring Blade? Big Two Hundred was an alias of Andrew Meecham aka The Emperor Machine, Bizarre Inc. Chicken Lips and more who made one album for DC Recordings, very much in the Liquid Liquid post punk style.

MS47 PRS

Halfway we switch to a mixture of funky rock and religious spoken word from Jonny Trunk & Martin Green’s excellent ‘Resurrection’ compilation, a record that sparked an interest in religious records that I’m still exploring today. The end breakdown of Mountain’s ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ was of course the theme to LWT’s ‘Weekend World’ news programme during the 70s and 80s and brings us into the TV themes, covers and library cues section with a heavy bias on old BBC shows. The secret of library music had been out since the late 90s and many labels were reissuing fantastic comps of all the big hitters, there was a nostalgia for our 70s youth being stirred up that would eventually manifest itself into the hauntology genre with labels like Trunk helping fuel the fire.

Another thing fanning those flames were sections of the mash up community fusing old TV themes to new pop acappellas for laughs, hence the ‘Dad n Bass’ extract featured here which I must have found on the web somewhere. This scene was just starting to get into gear and I always thought the best mash ups were the ones that made you laugh at the ridiculousness of their pairing. This one is just that, if anyone knows who did it then please let me know. The daddies, Coldcut, close the show with an example from the late 80s of just this, showing they were, as ever, ahead of their time. This recording seems to be from a Capital Radio broadcast with Mick Brown and the mix was later featured on the July ’88 DMC mix album which was the only place you could find it until the Cold-Cut-Outs compilation.

DJ Shadow – Mashin’ On The Motorway
Kela – Crop Circles
Antipop Consortium – Tuff Gong
Cannibal Ox – The F Word (RJD2 remix)
KRS-1 – Get Yourself Up
Edan – Mic Manipulator
Blak Twang – Kik Off
Sir Beans OBE – How Would You Put This
Zeb Roc Ski feat Blade – On The Run (Junk’s UK remix)
Big Two Hundred – Replaceable Head
unknown – The Sun Worshippers Speak
Roger Limb – Alien in the Family
Ted Taylor Organisation – He Who Would Valiant Be
Neil Merryweather – Eight Miles High
Mountain – Nuntucket Sleighride
Ronnie Hazelhurst – The Two Ronnies Theme
Heavy Action – Superstars
Martin Cook & Richard Denton – Tomorrow’s World
Dudley Simpson – The Tomorrow People
unknown – Dad ‘n’ Bass
Coldcut – Off To Work

Mixcloud Select 45: Strictly Solid Steel Pt.2 19/10/97

MS46 tapeHere’s the second of two parts from late 1997. I don’t think I’ve heard this since it was broadcast, pretty sure this is taped from the radio broadcast as it has that lovely KISS FM compression across it and part of an ad at the end. This was my second set from the first hour of the show with PC providing the second hour.

A Reminiscent Drive made some lovely ambient / classical records on F Comm, more Plaid, Stereolab from career high ‘Dots & Loops’, oh how spoilt were we back then. No idea why I thought MC Shan would work after them but it just about does, crazy to think there’s now a documentary about this song. Wonderful Quincy Jones from his ‘Guala Matari’ LP into a way more funky, out there Hot Butter album cut than I remember, must dig that out again, it’s not all about ‘Popcorn’. Ending with Billy Cobham and ‘Storm’, part of a 4 section ‘sound portrait’ called ’Spanish Moss’ from ‘Crosswinds’, one of his increasingly electronic 70s LPs.

Track list:
A Reminiscent Drive – Footprints
Plaid – Rakimou
Stereolab – Refractions in the Plastic Pulse
MC Shan – The Bridge
Quincy Jones – Hummin’
Hot Butter – Space Walk
Billy Cobham – Storm

Mixcloud Select 45: Strictly Solid Steel Pt.1 19/10/97

MS45 tape
*The date on the post is correct going by other sources, the date on the tape above is wrong, no idea why.

A shorter mix this week after last week’s hour+ special. Here’s the first of two parts from late 1997. I don’t think I’ve heard this since it was broadcast, pretty sure this is taped from the radio broadcast as it has that lovely KISS FM compression across it and part of an ad was at the end. This was my first set from the first hour of the show with PC providing the second hour.

Kicking off with Skylab, the great Mat Ducasse / Major Force West collaboration from a clear 7” on Eye Q Records – I loved everything Mat did with his Skylab project and told him so when we met later in life. He said he was inspired by listening to Solid Steel so the circle was complete, everything is getting a reissue now so no excuse if you missed it first time round. The #1 LP and ‘Oh! Skylab’ EP are essential and this track comes from the #2 LP era https://skylab.bandcamp.com/

Brandi Ifgray made the ‘Le Mutant’ LP on Puu, an offshoot of Finnish label Sahko Recordings, home of Jimi Tenor, Metri, Pansonic and more. The next three tracks I barely remember but Plaid’s ‘Not For Threes’ LP was obviously new around this time. I always felt Laika could have gone the same way as Broadcast as this is from a pretty experimental 12” with Cabbage Boy (Si Begg) and Luke Vibert among the featured remixers.

Juryman (Ian Simmonds) and Spacer (Luke Gordon) were always excellent both recording together or apart and this comes from the one collaborative LP they made. That V/Vm track? I think it may have been from the Skam Records ‘0161′ compilation? New Flesh on Big Dada, early on when Part 2 still rapped and they hadn’t dropped the ‘4 Old’ from their name, really bold UK hip hop, full of ideas.

Part 2 next week!

Track list:
Skylab – Bite This!
Brandi Ifgray – Bumble Bee
Plaid – Extork
Laika – Shut Off/Curl Up (Cabbage Boy remix)
Juryman vs Spacer – Personnel Wanted
V/Vm – Asymetric
New Flesh 4 Old – Electronic Bombardment

Mixcloud Select Exclusive 01: Lynch Party Mix 2

DJFood MSX-01In my first exclusive new mix for subscribers I’ve chosen to make something that’s been on the ‘to-do’ list for an astonishing 10 years (!) Back in June of 2011 I made an hour long mix for Solid Steel entitled Lynch Party Mix from some of the remixes of Brendan Lynch and Martin ‘Max’ Heyes aka the Lynchmob. Working together and sometimes going by Lynch Mob (but never to be confused with the rap group of the same name) they made some of the most psychedelic, dubbed out remixes and productions of the 90s. You can find that here in the second hour.

Working primarily with Paul Weller after stints around the Acid Jazz/Talkin’ Loud camps in the late 80’s/early 90s, Lynch oversaw Weller’s return to the limelight as a solo artist, working with him on the final Style Council LP, ‘Modernism’, which initially didn’t see the light of day due to record label indifference.

With Lynch as producer and Heyes as engineer they worked on Weller’s 90’s run of albums, the self-titled debut, ‘Wild Wood’, ‘Stanley Road’, ‘Heavy Soul’ and ‘Heliocentric’ plus all points in between, Lynch even co-writing on songs like The Changingman, Sunflower and Wild Wood. Where they really excelled though was in deconstructing the songs for B sides, stretching them out and using all manner of sonic tricks to twist them inside out.

The Lynch Mob Bonus Beats mix of ‘Kosmos’ is an early example and was perfectly in tune with the then current trip hop movement. Taking that style and using it on Primal Scream’s trilogy of albums, ‘XTRMNTR’, ‘Vanishing Point’ and ‘Evil Heat’ was the next step and they also worked on several of the remixes under the band’s name for the likes of Asian Dub Foundation and Massive Attack. Remixes as the Lynchmob followed for Air, ADF, Dr John, Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene with Heyes also working on a couple of tracks with Weller drummer Steve White and ex-Councillor Mick Talbot.

If the Lynch Party Mix covered the more downtempo, dubby side of their output then part 2 picks up where that left off and slowly builds in tempo to a galloping blues rock crescendo. It includes a 6 minute megamix of various versions of the aforementioned ‘Mathur’ as well as two remixes of Weller’s ‘Brushed’ only issued as a promo. The ‘Lynch Mob Bonus Beats’ and ‘Acid Dub’ mixes came from an acetate obtained from someone who worked in the industry at the time. I love the freeform nature of all these mixes, they’re full of backwards guitars, reverb-heavy drop outs and copious amounts of delay, even if it can get a bit full on at points. I can only imagine they achieved this by doing live mixes on the desk and then editing down the results to get a modern psychedelic sound without resorting to cliché. Also it’s HEAVY, they get a big, chunky sound that recalls some sort of acid trip where the music warps and moves in and out of your headspace.

*A word about the mix – there’s some extreme panning, feedback and distortion going on throughout, this is part of the original recordings and intentional, just be careful on the volume.

I’ve used dialogue from a drug information film called The Mindbenders throughout the mix to give it a running theme, it seemed appropriate and this concludes the Lynchmob mixes. I always intended to do two as I had plenty of material for them and it feels good to finally get this one down. There will periodically be more exclusives as I go through my list of themed mix ideas and tick them off, I can’t say when but this gives me a good excuse to finally get round to doing them.

Track list:
Paul Weller – Sunflower (Lynch Mob Dub)
Primal Scream – If They Move, Kill ‘Em (12” Disco Mix edit)
Asian Dub Foundation – Free Satpal Ram (Primal Scream & Brendan Lynch Mix – DJ Food Edit)
Ocean Colour Scene – Falling To The Floor / 100 Mile City
Ocean Colour Scene – July (Forza Moderna Mix)
Indian Vibes – Mathur (Discovery of India mix / Adbhuta / Extended mix / Lynch Mob beats DJ Food re-edit)
Paul Weller – So You Want to Be A Dancer
Talbot / White – Off the Beaten Track (4-1 Dub mix)
Paul Weller – Brushed (Lynch Mob Acid Dub / Lynch Mob Bonus Beats DJ Food edit) (acetate)
Primal Scream – Burning Wheel (DJ Food edit)
Ocean Colour Scene – Flood Tide Rising
Deus – Sun Ra (Lynchmob Dub)
Paul Weller – From The Floorboards Up (Lynch Mob Instrumental Remix)

Mixcloud Select Exclusive Mixes

DJFood MSX-01I’ve decided to start doing occasional exclusive mixes this year for subscribers to my Mixcloud Select channel, ticking off that to-do list of themed mixes I’ve been meaning to do forever but never got round to. We’re currently at 99 subscribers and once we hit 100 I’ll post the first of these – a follow up to the 2011 Lynch Party Mix that featured various remixes and productions by Brendan Lynch & Max Heyes aka the Lynchmob.
That means a lot of tripped out 90’s era Paul Weller, Primal Scream, Asian Dub Foundation, Ocean Colour Scene.. no, wait! come back! – these guys made them sound so good and it includes a couple of unreleased Weller remixes too.
For £3 a month you get a weekly archive Solid Steel mix or similar from my archives dating back to the early 90s, full track list, detailed notes and stories from the era. Future exclusives will include an Eno remix collection, the infamous unreleased Sesame Street ‘D Is For Dig’ compilation remastered and at least 2 more Kraftwerk Kover Kollections.
All brand new mixes will be exclusive for at least a year before being made public. Hit the purple button to subscribe, Friday 10.30am GMT is usually the drop time so, if one more person subscribes by then, the first exclusive goes up.

Mixcloud Select 44: Openmind Solid Steel mix 21/01/95

MS44 Openmind mix tape

I’ve been asked for more mixes from 1995 so here’s one from the start of that year that I barely remember, it’s from a show featuring PC and I, possibly Jon More also did a mix too as he’s on the mic at one point but I only have Patrick’s and my mixes. I’m not too sure where this was recorded as there are additional FX in the mix that suggest it was a studio mix outside of KISS FM and we were using Coldcut’s old studio DJ mixer with inbuilt sampler that could pitch shift samples and loops via a trigger button. You can hear me getting way too excited with it at certain points. I can’t remember if Ninja Tune was situated in Clink Street at this point but there was a point where we were doing some work out of Jon’s home studio in Herne Hill as I remember working on bits for ‘A Recipe For Disaster’ there and this may have been one of those sessions. Or it may have been in the Clink St studio as I’m sure we recorded the DJ magazine mix there and that came out late 1994 I think?

Anyway – details, how much of it really matters? There are some great tracks here that I’d forgotten and the front half is loaded with hip hop beats and scratches whilst the second half is more acid, electronic and slowed down jungle beats. There’s at least one mix that is in time but the wrong part of the bar which wrong foots you a bit from the flow of things, I would do this sometimes, get lost in rhythms and lose where the 1 was.

We kick off with a white label promo mailed out at the time with just ‘Lynch Mob Beats’ stamped on it featuring a tripped out psych guitar and FX jam that I loved and realised was the work of Brendan Lynch who went on to produce and mix for Paul Weller and Primal Scream as well as the classic Indian Vibes track, ‘Mathar‘. This was your typical major label trying to get one over on the dance DJs trick of having a white label with no info so as not to prejudice opinion. It was Lynch working over Weller as he would do repeatedly to excellent effect and I couldn’t have cared less who the original artist was but you have to remember that Weller was at a career low in the early 90s and ‘Wild Wood’ was the album that bought him back after years of critical bashing with The Style Council and his early solo work. To me, Lynch is one of the unsung producers of the early to mid 90s who had a unique sound and completely psychedelic production techniques that few else came close to. I’d love to know how he did his mixes, I’m presuming they were free form jams that were edited down later but he dubs a mix up like no other. I put a load of his mixes together 10 years back under the name Lynch Party Mix and there’s enough for a part 2 lurking on the hard drive (I must do that, maybe a subscribers exclusive).

The first of two tracks from the freshly-minted Clear label turns up in the form of Mike Paradinas’ Tusken Raiders ‘Beatnik #3’ and then into Gunshot and a trio of Jazzy Jeff scratch tracks where I get way too excited with the sampler. Jon had hipped me to Trouble Funk’s ‘The Beat’ so I threw that in and then into a couple of Fax label tracks after the break. You can already hear that the ambient content of the early Openmind mixes on Solid Steel are diminishing to be replaced by more trip-hoppy beats and early strains of drum n bass with the electronic content still there via artists like Plastikman, Autechre and Air Liquide. Jon refers to me as ‘Telepathic Kev’ so maybe the Strictly part hadn’t stuck yet. I was still very much finding my feet in the Ninja camp at this point but ’95 would be the year when I really consolidated that position with the design and DJing as well as studio work as I’d left my full time job in a book shop and just worked at weekends at Ambient Soho records.

If anyone can identify the track after DJ Crystl I’d be grateful as it’s alluding me, there aren’t many track lists surviving for most Solid Steel mixes pre-’98 so I have to make these from a combination of memory, Discogs and Shazam and the latter isn’t coming up with anything. It doesn’t help that I’m playing it on the wrong speed either as we used to do with early drum n bass like Photek, Crystl, Smokin’ Drum Recordings and such. Bit of a throwback to the late 80s with Bam Bam and Bomb The Bass, nothing changes there and then playing out with Jedi Knights on Clear which sadly stops abruptly as the tape runs out.

Track list:
Paul Weller – Whirlpool’s End (Lynch Mob Beats)
Tusken Raiders – Beatnik #3
Gunshot – Colour Code
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – A Touch Of Jazz
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – Hip Hop Dancer’s Theme
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – A Touch Of Jazz
Trouble Funk – The Beat
Plastikman – Lasttrak
Air Liquide – Combat Zone
Pulsation – Pulsar
Ongaku – Mihon
Autechre – Bronchusevenmx
DJ Crystl – Let It Roll
Unknown – Babylon
Bam Bam – Where’s Your Child?
Bomb The Bass – Beat Dat (Freestyle scratch mix)
Jedi Knights – Intergalactic Funk Transmission