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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday 30th birthday Ninja!

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

Mixcloud Select 26: DJ Food – XEN Tour Pt.1 10/2000

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

x gigs flyer back

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

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

26 Xen Tour CD inside

I made a Ninja-centric set for the occasion and this was recorded across various dates of a UK tour to support the Xen Cuts compilation album. At some point I put it down in two parts and you can hear that the Mr Scruff – Ug/DJ Vadim – The Terrorist mix we put on the first Solid Steel mix CD originates from here. The first 30 minutes of part 1 was played on Solid Steel 09/10/200 but the rest of this mix went un-broadcast I think.

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

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

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

25 Tape

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

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

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

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

Track list:

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

Mixcloud Select 24: Strictly’s Jazz Beatnik Hipster session Pt.3 25/10/1998

24 Homespun box

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

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

24 Homespun DAT

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

24 Jazz Beat PRS

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

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

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

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

Part 3 follows next week…

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

Mixcloud Select 22: Strictly’s Jazz Beatnik Hipster session Pt.1

22 Box

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

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

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

Part 2 follows next week…

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

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

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

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

Mixcloud Select 19: Strictly’s Dark Star set Pt.1 – 14/09/1997

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mixcloud Select 18: US Vinyl Excavations Pt. 3 Strictly’s Dial-A-Dirty-Joke

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

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

18 PRS sheet

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

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

Mixcloud Select 17: US Vinyl Excavations Pt.2 – Magoo’s Hi-Fi

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

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

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

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

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

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

16 CDR

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

16 Bush House sticker

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

16 PRS sheet

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

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

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

DJFoodMixcloudSelect16

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

15 CD imageTrack notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mixcloud Select 13: Strictly Session – Coldcut Solid Steel 05/05/1996

13 Tape Track notes:
Firstly, this tape actually dates from 1996, not 1995 as it says on the label. I know this for sure because not only did most of the records played come out in ’96 but I remember taping this on my then girlfriend’s stereo as it was broadcast. She later became my wife and we hadn’t even met on this date in 1995 (my birthday funnily enough) so I’m pretty sure I labelled it wrongly.

Anyway, this was a good one, a proper headfuck of a mix, lots of trip hop – heavy beats, scratching, trippy sounds, electronics, tape loops and weird spoken word – that’s trip hop in my book. Trouble Funk and As One bring the groove, Camping Gaz & Digi Random (actually from Spain, not Italy as Jon More says) bring the comedy and Scala (a little remembered offshoot of Seefeel with Locust’s Mark Van Hoen producing) bring a distorted slice of filth called ‘VDT’.

Richard Dorfmeister appears twice, remixing Alex Reece with partner Peter Kruder and in his Tosca guise, DJ Shadow gets a whole side of his Mo Wax Excursions release played, accompanied by frenzied scratches via a Bionic Boogie Breaks record and Kirk Degiorgio crops up again at the end. The As One tracks were from his album for Clear, ‘The Message In Herbie’s Shirts’ which, I had an unlabelled test pressing of at the time so I didn’t know the titles. I even impressed myself by playing Pauline Oliveros in 1996, her track ‘I of IV’ is from the same record as Reich’s ‘Come Out’ which is then sampled in UNKLE’s remix of Tortoise’s ‘Djed’.

The Up, Bustle & Out track is a real oddity, actually a remix by Gwen Jamois and a pre-Cinematic Orchestra Tom Chant who recorded under the name The Sycophants, they remodel it entirely into a skronky jazz track! Squarepusher shows up under his real name in the lesser-heard ’Squeak’ from the Worm Interface 12” ‘Bubble & Squeak’. This was on the shop Ambient Soho’s label and there are three versions of it out there, a colour screen printed cover and B&W cover with crayons stuck to it, both my fellow Openmind designer, David Vallade. Then there’s a third version designed by me with photos provided by Tom.

Track list:
The Groove Robbers feat. DJ Shadow – Hardcore Instrumental Hip Hop
The Groove Robbers feat. DJ Shadow – 1/2 Bonus Scratchapella
The Groove Robbers feat. DJ Shadow – Last Stop
Steve Reich – Come Out
Tortoise – Died (UNKLE Bruise Blood remix)
Req – Req’s Garden
Trouble Funk – The Beat
As One – The Kiss
Pauline Oliveros – I of IV
Camping Gaz & Digi Random – Camping Gaz (Calliphora Vomitoria Mix)
Scala – VDT
Alex Reece – Jazz Master (Kruder & Dorfmeister mix)
Tom Jenkinson – Squeak
Tosca – Fuck Dub
Up, Bustle & Out – ‘Revolutionary Woman of the Windmill’ (OestroGwen mix)
As One – A Short Track About Love

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Mixcloud Select 12: DJ Food – Mixed Bag – Solid Steel 09/06/2003

MS12 SS CD Track notes:
Going through my CDRs this week to make them easier to sort, I tried to find a show that was close to this week’s date. Worryingly there seems to be a batch of CDs yellowing around the edges so I should get them encoded before the CD rot sets in further.

This mid 2003 set from 17 years ago seems to have several links from some sort of meditation record which for the life of me I don’t remember. Musically it’s the era of great chart hip hop, reggae, silly mash ups and garage-y club bangers. Also there seem to be a couple of Marilyn Manson tracks nestled in there which I remember caused a few raised eyebrows at Ninja back then. The funk 45 craze was still unearthing treasure and the show opens with Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier’s incredible ‘La Horse’ which had just been reissued as part of DJ Oof’s Cinemix project.MS12 CD+tracklist

Nestled in the middle of the mix is a mash up I made under my Flexus alias called ‘Bite My Salami’ (there’s a whole album’s worth of these which I used to make for DJ sets). It layers  Justin Timberlake’s ‘Rock Your Body’, Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and Pepe Deluxe’s ‘Salami Fever’ and sort of works but really needs some of the guitar from Timberlake’s tune. At the time you couldn’t get the a cappella for this so I ended up buying the CD single and using the phase insertion trick with the vocal and instrumental versions to cancel out everything but the vocal. Then Sean Paul gets overlaid with a version from The Bug, it was a different time…MS12 SS front

Track list:
Serge Gainsbourg/Jean Claude Vannier – La Horse
Geezers of Nazareth – Loving the Pole (pt 1)
HIM – The Way the Trees Are
Cardinal Offishall – Belly Dancer
Trashman – Got To Get Ya
Connie Prince – The Badger
DJ Format – Here Comes the Fuzz (Quartertones remix)
Prince Paul feat. Chubb Rock, MF Doom, Wordsworth – People, Places and Things
Marilyn Manson – Baboon Rape Party
Amon Tobin – Hot Korean Moms
Flexus – Bite Your Salami (demo mix)
The Bug – Slew Dem (version)
Sean Paul – Get Busy (acapella)
Massive Attack – Butterfly Caught (Jagz Kooner remix)
Marilyn Manson – Thaeter
Camping Gaz & Digi Random – Circus World (Skamping Gaz Simphony 2)
Jammin’ – Tonka
Tubbs – 5 Day Night (Baloo mix)
Instrumental – All Shook Up

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Mixcloud Select 11: DJ Food – Osy Kicks It Off – Solid Steel 04/03/2002

MS11 CDThis week’s upload was requested by never_be_game_over who cited it as one his favourites. Titled ‘Osy Kicks It Off’ in reference to Osymyso who starts the show with a recording culled from another show at the time, XFM’s The Remix. Why was I pulling audio from another programme? At this point in 2002 the bastard Pop / bootleg / mash up scene was in its early stages with a handful of physical bootleg records available but the majority of these creations existing purely online through sites like Boom Selection (run by a 14 year old school kid called The Dr but that’s another story).

Eddy Temple-Morris and James Hyman’s XFM show, The Remix, quickly became the place to showcase a lot of these tracks and host mixes by the leading lights of the scene, Osymyso being one of the originators alongside The Freelance Hellraiser and Cartel Communique who started the first London club exclusively playing mash ups. Originally named ‘King of the Boots’ before changing to the much more direct ‘Bastard’, this was a monthly event in a tiny, sweaty basement under a newsagent just off Tottenham Court Road in London’s West End and were some of my favourite clubbing experiences ever. There’s a brief clip of it at the start of this Swiss TV piece featuring Osy and myself DJing at Bastard, just look at that pre-mobile phone crowd.

Anyway, Osy’s Intro-Inspection was a megamix made completely from intros of famous pop songs and the recording I pinched was the only way of getting it as it hadn’t been pressed yet. It didn’t occur to me to actually ask him for a digital copy even though we’d met years before and have since become great friends but I heard it and thought it was so brilliant that it had to be the show opener. You can hear Osy (Mark Nicholson to his mum) and James Hyman at the end and James even names checks Coldcut as being up next which is odd as I don’t think they ever had an XFM show, maybe it was a guest mix, either way I thought I’d leave it in.
MSfront
The rest of the show is a mix of current hip hop, both UK and US, which is in rude health by all accounts, mixed with trip hoppy experiments by the likes of Sirconical (on the then new Twisted Nerve label), Sixtoo, Money Mark and the first fruit from DJ Shadow’s second LP, the incredible ‘Monosyllabik’ track, allegedly made from only two samples. Lightening the mood are more mash ups from Girls On Top feat The Sugarbabes (later to be a UK no.1), Pitman’s take on Pharaoh Monch’s ‘Simon Says’ and Wevie Stonder’s sound effects guessing game. Whilst the US rap scene was embracing RnB and having crossover pop hits with the likes of The Neptunes and Timbaland the underground had gone back to the old school and was pioneering a much rawer composite of back to basics sampling exemplified by The P Brothers and their Heavy Bronx sound in the UK and Edan in the US. The early 90s was a golden age for music magazines too with the likes of Big Daddy and Wax Poetics picking up the baton land down by the Beastie Boys’ short-lived Grand Royal mag and doing in-depth interviews with scene pioneers even as the music industry plummeted into the abyss of file sharing.

MS11 inside

Track list:
Osymyso – Intro-Inspection (part two 48-101)
Sirconical – Spank
Ultramagnetic MCs – Poppa Large (accapella)
Wevie Stonder – Kenkeneb
Midnyte – Nott’s Rep
DJ Shadow – Monosyalabik
Sixtoo – Camino
Girls On Top/Sugarbabes – We Don’t Give A Damn About Our Friends
P Brothers – Science
Jehst / Jzone / Harry Love – Staircase To Stage
Dr Dre (feat Nocturnal) – Bad Intentions
RJD2 – The Proxy
D Stroy – Roll Out
P Brothers (feat Cappo) – Nottingham Bronx
Pitman – Pitman Says
Edan (feat Mr Lif) – Rapperfection
Blade – Survival of the Hardest Working
Money Mark – Soul Drive 6th Avenue DJFoodMixcloudSelect11

Mixcloud Select 10: Openmind – Daydreaming at Night (Float 1 side B) 1993

10 Openmind - Daydreaming At Night tape

Track notes:
Side B of a mixtape created for a Floatation Centre in Brixton called Aquatonics who wanted a mix of continuous ambient music and sounds to play to their customers that would aid their floatation trips. Recorded live on two turntables and a basic CD player with no pitch control direct to this cassette in the house I shared with fellow Openmind associates David Vallade, Mario Aguera and Chantal Passamonte (later Mira Calix). The title was coined by David and was also used as a track title on Chantal’s debut album for Warp.

This week I’ve dug out one of the original flyers used to advertise this in the Ambient Soho record shop, this was an incredibly early computer design by yours truly, probably one of the first. I think this was done on Mario’s computer at his work as we didn’t yet have one at the flat. He was a computer game programmer at that point (working on a game for Queen (the band) I seem to remember) and later worked with Hex creating visuals and animation for a game they were working on. Float A5 flyer frontThe music selection is a pretty good representation of what we were playing at the Telepathic Fish parties at the time: The Orb (of course), Future Sound of London, Dreamfish (Mixmaster Morris & Pete Namlook), Sven Vath and a few side steps like ambient sections from ZTT and 4AD releases. We used to play bits of This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Grace Jones and there’s even a bit of U2 in there (!) There’s also a fair bit of stuff that I just cannot work out in amongst the layers so if anyone spots anything I’ve missed then please comment.

There is one particular moment that makes me cringe on this side – at the end of an Orb mix of whale noises I’m playing over the ‘Return’ mix of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Warriors of the Wasteland’, suddenly a fairground Wurlitzer strikes up the opening notes of ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’. I wasn’t paying attention whilst mixing with three decks and this caught me off guard, quickly being faded out before it could launch into full flow. It may have ruined a few floats… I used to have two copies of the Frankie tune and the intro to this mix is a lovely ambient piece before going into the full song, I would crossfade them together three of four times to extend the intro, sometimes at different speeds or pitches.

Track list:
The Orb – Back Side of the Moon
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Well…
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Warriors of the Wasteland (Return)
Grace Jones – The Crossing (Ohh The Action…)
Sven Vath – Caravan of Emotions
U2 – Mysterious Ways (Apollo 440 Magic Hour Remix)
Brian Eno – Lantern Marsh
System 7 – ?
The Orb – O.O.B.E.
This Mortal Coil – Filigree & Shadow
Kraftwerk – Europe Endless
Dreamfish – School of Fish
This Mortal Coil – Firebrothers
Future Sound of London – Papa New Guinea
Sven Vath – Caravan of EmotionsFloat A5 flyer back

Mixcloud Select 9: Openmind – Floatation Space Station (Float 1 side A) 1993

09 Openmind - Floatation SS tapeTrack notes:

As I recall (although the memory is vague) this mix was created for a Floatation Centre in Brixton called Aquatonics, they had one in Notting Hill as well apparently. I was approached by the guy who ran it (Mark, maybe?) who wanted a mix of continuous ambient music and sounds to play to his customers that would aid their floatation trips. This was whilst I was working at the Ambient Soho record shop on Berwick St. in London and it’s possible he came into the shop to enquire. I certainly remember designing an A5 flyer that gave you £2 off your first float that we would hand out in the shop, part of which forms the inlay for this tape.09 Float 1 inlay

The selection is a pretty good representation of what we were playing at the Telepathic Fish parties at the time: The Orb, The Irresistible Force, FSOL, the Fax label, Global Communication, bits of This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Eno, even Grace Jones, U2 and Frankie Goes To Hollywood crept in as my meagre student budget demanded that any corner of the collection was game.

Recorded live on two turntables and a basic CD player with no pitch control direct to this cassette in the house I shared with fellow Openmind associates David Vallade, Mario Aguera and Chantal Passamonte (later Mira Calix). There are some moments that make me cringe at their out of tune-ness but mixing in key was something only Mixmaster Morris did back then, I was still very much learning my craft after years of playing hip hop and party music. I never went for a float so have no idea how this went down but they asked for a follow up mix which will appear sometime in the future no doubt. The B side of this tape, ‘Daydreaming At Night’, follows next week.

Track list:

DJ Spike – Outer Land (Part One)
Sequential – The Mission (Live From The Outer Zone)
The Orb – The Blue Room
S’Xpress – Coma
The KLF – Justified And Ancient Seems A Long Time Ago
Sven Vath – Drifting Like Whales In The Darkness
The Shamen – Re:Evolution (Accapella Vox)
The KLF – Madrugrada Eterna
This Mortal Coil – Tarantula
Clytus Gottwald & Stuttgart Schola Cantorum – Lux Aeterna
John Barry – Theme From The Deep
Yellow Magic Orchestra – Tong Poo (The Orb House Of Bright Colours Mix)
Unknown – Unknown
Brian Eno – Tal Coat
The Shamen – Re:Evolution (Accapella Vox)
Blue Pearl – Mother Dawn (Orb Bucketeer Mix 2)
The Irresistible Force – Mountain High (live)
Mystic Institute – Ob-Selon Mi-Nos (Repainted By Global Communication)
The Shamen – Re:Evolution (Accapella Vox)

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Mixcloud Select 8: Coldcut & DJ Food – Shibuya FM session 1996

08 Shibuya FM tapeTrack notes:
A live multi-deck and laptop set recorded at Shibuya FM in Toyko whilst on tour in Japan, 1996. Messy, scratchy, improvised turntable decknology mixing up ambient, jazz, drum n bass, electronica and other beats as only the Solid Steel crew can.

This was recorded on the evening of October 28th from my tour itinerary and ended a day of interviews. The itinerary says we did two sets which explains why it says Pt.1 on the tape. Not sure where Pt.2 went but I think I’ve seen the DAT of the whole thing somewhere, if I find it, it will appear here if it’s any good. The set was fun and furious and Japan was a revelation as anyone who’s been there will tell you.

08 Japan itinerary 96
This particular recording comes from a tape of a Solid Steel once we got back to the UK so I’d date the UK broadcast as somewhen in November 1996.

Track list:
Morton Subotnick – Silver Apples Of the Moon
Spacetime Continuum – Flouresence (on 45 rpm)
Photek – Rings Around Saturn
Miles Davis – Fast Track
Photek – K.J.Z.
DJ Food – Scratch Yer Hed (Squarepusher remix)
Kruder & Dorfmeister – Shakatakadoodub
The Herbaliser – A Mother (For Your Mind)

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Mixcloud Select 7: Strictly Kev – Magic Transistor Radio Pts. 1&2 10.04.00

07 Magic Trans Radio CDI have this down as the first set I made for Coldcut Solid Steel in its new home at BBC London Live on 10th April 2000 – a busy month what with the release of ‘Kaleidoscope’ just a week before. We’d left KISS FM a year ago when they announced an impending overhaul of the roster, jumping before we were pushed basically. I’m sure it hurt Matt & Jon more than the rest of us as they had been with the station over 10 years and seen it come up from a pirate to a legal entity. As with everything, things had changed there as commercial concerns took over but it was strange not to suddenly have a weekly show broadcasting around London to go to.

All was not lost though, over the previous five years studio editing technology and CD-R burning had become more commonplace and we were all in the position to either record in our home studios or in Coldcut’s Ahead of Our Time set up at Ninja Tune. We’d been doing this since the KISS studios became unavailable and Matt had already set up Ninja’s first website (Don’t Believe The Pipe) and investigated early streaming technology, keen for us not to lose our weekly flow. Streaming wasn’t what it is today though, you had no idea if anyone was listening, the sound quality was terrible and the technology unreliable – it didn’t feel like being on the airwaves of a ‘real’ radio station. But, as in a lot of instances, Coldcut forged ahead and were early adopters, dragging us into the future with them.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD cover

When Ninja HQ moved from Clink St. to Kennington at the turn of the decade the studio set up changed so, more often than not, I would record sets at home and bring DATs or CD-Rs into the office for Darren ‘DK’ Knott who was now officially producing the show each week. He would organise who was playing when, co-ordinate guests, assemble each 2 hr show in time for Friday and mail out CD-Rs to stations around the world who subscribed to the weekly sessions.

When we first found out we’d got the London Live slot we were overjoyed that we’d finally, officially, be back on the airwaves. Reborn from GLR (Greater London Radio) and later rebranded as Radio London, then Radio LDN, they were having a mini renaissance with DJs like Dr Bob Jones and Ross Allen in early evening slots that were capturing the 20-30 something club goers.

Our joy was slightly curtailed when we got to the BBC studios to present the show and discovered a rather pedestrian set up with turntables over a meter apart and a broadcasting mixer fitted into the desk between them – definitely no turntable gymnastics with that set up. KISS, being a dance music station, was set up for club DJ-style sets, the mixing desk and mic one side and a table with Technics and DJ mixer the other, plenty of room and maneuverability if you wanted to plug in extra FX or move things around.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD backIt was decided that the best way to keep doing what we did was to prepare the mixes beforehand, that way we could be as radical as we liked and not have to worry about any technological limitations. This also meant we could be a lot more creative, didn’t have to rely on one take mixes thus keeping things tighter and also overdub other tracks if need be. Things could be edited but it also meant that things generally took longer as they could be more complex than before. The mix format suddenly opened up to me because of this and I think I did some of my best work in the next decade.

By this time I was getting increasingly into themed mixes or a set with a connecting or recurring factor, I also started naming the sets as I now had years worth under my belt for Solid Steel, only identifiable by date. The theme for this mix was Brian Wilson’s odd 7” single that came free with the Beach Boys Holland LP,. I was deep into my BB obsession at this time, hoovering up the late 60s and 70s LP and mining them for the gems they mostly contained until they went full-cheese as disco took hold. ‘Magic Transistor Radio’ is a children’s fairy tale about a pied piper who lives inside a radio and is Wilson is full blown la-la land mode. I threaded excerpts from it throughout the mix as it was so apt, being that it took part inside a radio.

There are so many great tracks here, Broadway Project’s LP is a forgotten classic IMO, David HolmesOrganisation-sampling ‘Living Room’, early DJ Format, Tommy Guerrero (arguably the last great record on Mo Wax), Sirconical on Twisted Nerve, 7-Hurtz on Output, Broadcast

But I’ve gone on WAY too long with this one, have a listen and see what you think. One more thing, I was so enthused I even made a CD cover for this one, I’m sure I intended to do this with all the mixes but only managed two like this. Turn on, tune in and freak out to the Magic Transistor Radio.

Kev

07 Magic Trans Radio CD + PRS

Track list:
Part 1
Brian Wilson – Mount Vernon & Fairway
Broadway Project – Sea of Change pt2
7-Hurtz – Stokes Motor (version)
DJ Format – Extra Lesson
Sirconical – Choppy
Timmy Thomas – Funky Me
Broadcast – Minus 1
Tommy Guerrero – So Blue It’s Black
A.L.O. Orchestra – The Last Time
Brian Wilson – Magic Transistor Radio
David Holmes – Living Room

Part 2
Brian Wilson – I’m the Pied Piper
Meat Beat Manifesto – Oblivion/Humans
Speedy J – Balk Acid
Recloose – Get There Tonight
Family Values – Last Days & Time
Freeform Arkestra – ?
She 1 – Kwaidan
Broadway Project – Clouds
E.A.R. – Sputnik
Gershon Kingsley – The Sound of Silence
Brian Wilson – Radio King Dom

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