Mixcloud Select 161: Solid Steel Boat Party Session 25/10/2004

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Back in 2004 when DK and I had our monthly Solid Steel night residency downstair at Ruby Lo in the west end we decided to put on a boat party for the end of summer. I think it was DK’s idea and he wanted to have a door price that included a free BBQ on entry which was to be served from the deck while people came on board. I won’t post the terrible flyer I made at the time but it did contain the line ‘All hands on decks’ which made me laugh. We co-opted our wives to help serve alongside James Mountain (Solid Steel DJ and Ninja employee at the time) and provided a load of burgers, hot dogs and salad for people our of our own pockets. DJs on the night were Dean Smith (on the top deck whilst food was served), James, Matt Black, PC, Harley Harl, DJ Yoda, Diplo (then still relatively unknown but fast rising as a star in his own right), DK and myself.

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Harley Harl and James Mountain (Solid Steel)
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Matt Black (Coldcut)
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DK (Solid Steel)
The boat we booked was on the dock on the North side of the Thames and the owners were a tad shady, so much so that when we started admitting people it was obvious that other people were coming on board without tickets and going to another part of the boat we didn’t know about. When confronted we were told that there was another private party on board and that it would be Ok, no one would cross over but we knew this was BS. Too late, the party had started and the deck was filling up and the weather was great for a late summer evening. The place was packed and there were three rooms, a main one and a more chilled one plus a couple of bars, at one point we gave everyone free lollies too. The set here is mine from the main room, complete with crowd noise and scrappy mixing but if you imagine a cramped top deck cabin with 100 or so sweaty people crammed in then you get the picture.

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PC (DJ Food)
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DJ Yoda
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Yours truly (DJ Food)
I think I was on either before or after Yoda but sadly missed most of his set as I had to sort stuff out with the food side of things. We had a problem with Diplo as he was flying into the UK that afternoon and coming straight to the boat to play and with no contact we were winging it as to whether he’d turn up in time or not. Luckily he did, literally minutes before he was due to play and proceeded to turn out a storming set – phew! DK went to see the boat owners afterwards to sort out the money and we ended up not having to pay for the boat hire as a result of all the nonsense with the other party – they certainly must have made a fortune on the bar that night anyway.

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Me and Diplo on the boat, it was sweaty!
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Photos by Elisa Parish, Graham (Fraser?) and another unknown photographer.

I’m not going to go through every track as there are many classics here most will know – keep an ear out for the switch up out of ‘Tour de France’ into Roni Size though – that was a moment. I loved this era of DnB, loads of fun, heavy rolling beats, synth bass lines and pop vocal hooks – check the Britney bootleg. I know Pendulum fell off but ‘Another Planet’ will always be a monster tune for me – never failed back in the day. The Carmel of ’Nujazzkiller’ isn’t the British jazz artist but a one-off on the Fluid Ounce label for 2002.

Track list:
Stas – Solid Steel Intro
Double Trouble – Live At The Amphitheatre
Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
Beastie Boys – Triple Trouble
Beastie Boys – Triple Trouble (Graham Coxon mix)
The Chemical Brothers – Leave Home
Boom Bip – Cords Will Be the Death Of Me
Quantic feat. Spanky Wilson – Don’t Joke With A Hungry Man
Awkward – Plug Me In
Gang Starr – Play That Beat ’99
Double D & Steinski – Lesson 1
Steinski – Ain’t No Thing
West Bam – Monkey Say Monkey Do
Think Tank – Hack One
Carmel – Nujazzkiller
Ty – Wait A Minute (acappella)
Brass Incorporated – At the Sign of the Swinging Cymbal
The Beatles – Taxman
Beck – New Pollution
Kraftwerk – Tour De France
Roni Size feat. Rahzel – Out Of Breathe
Kayne West – Jesus Walks
DJ Shadow – Walkie Talkie
Rodney P vs Roni Size – Trouble (Roni Size remix)
Britney Spears – Toxic (D n B mix)
Pendulum – Another Planet
Tribe of Issachar – Junglist (DJ Zinc remix)
Mark 1 – Hoovers & Spraycans
Supergrass – Kiss of Life (Tom Tom Club remix)

Mixcloud Select 160: Strictly Kev Solid Steel set 12/11/1995

MS160 USBThis set is extracted from a longer recording with PC on the decks before and after me, recorded near the end of 1995. The file comes from a huge caché of shows given to me by Paul Johnston and I’ve yet to fully go through them to see what I have or don’t have on his list. Paul has had a couple of mixes featured on Solid Steel over the years and they are always packed out with hilarious samples and a ton of work. He kindly shared his stash of shows with me so that I could fill in some gaps, thanks Paul. Here’s one he did back in the day – Smoke Filled Adventures

Kicking off with some Alec Empire from his Low On Ice album and a fine piece of twisted filter breakbeat, followed by some excellent unknown acid trip hop – I’d really like to know what this is but it would require a deep dive into the record collection – anyone know? Some vintage Orbital with the opener from their second album appears and then we splice into a break and cello track that again I can’t recall. DJ Food’s’ Spiral’ from the then-current ‘A Recipe For Disaster’ album plays out and I’m trying something with the intro of Mantronix’s ‘King Of the Beats’ and the pitch control over this but thankfully don’t overdo it. Another unidentified snatch of cut up party business is up next and this sounds like something from DJ Smash or the AV8 label from overseas but I can’t find anything after a scour of Discogs. The use of Doug E. Fresh’s “well it started off on 8th Avenue” from his classic ‘The Show’ is the main signifier.

Public Enemy’s excellent ‘You’re Gonna Get Yours (Dub / Terminator X Getaway Version)’ is next and rumour has it that the Terminator didn’t exactly do the cuts on this but it was the Kings of Pressure’s Johnny ‘Juice’ Rosado who was also connected to the Bomb Squad. David Holmes’ ‘Slash The Beats’ has Kooner and Burns of the Sabre of Paradise’s production fingerprints all over it and is a version of the track ’Slash the Seats’ without the acid line and spoken word. Instead I add the acappella to PE’s ‘Bring The Noise’ (starting on the wrong beat!). Air Liquide’s ambient ‘Robot Wars Symphony Part 1 System Engaged’ from their The Increased Difficulty of Concentration double CD is floated over and out of both these before a classic DnB tune that I just can’t pin enters.

Anyone know this? It’s doing my head in and I spent nearly an hour on Discogs looking for it, thought it might be Alex Reece at first, Robin the Fog thought Wax Doctor or DJ Pulse but I couldn’t find anything – please comment if you recognise it. The next track IS Alex Reece by way of a remix of DJ Krush’s ‘A Whim’ on Mo Wax with Cypress Hill’s ‘Scooby Doo’ floated over it, a mix I used to do often back then. Rolling, quite literally, out of this is Autechre’s ‘Rsdio’ and we’re in slow mode so it’s as good a time as any to air DJ Shadow’s ‘In/Flux’, or at least half of it. Up next is a tune I’ve not heard in years but remember so well, Luke Vibert’s near 10 minute remix of Ruby’s ‘Paraffin’. Ruby was Leslie Rankine from the thrash band Silverfish who were always in the indie music press in the early 90s, she then teamed up with Mark Walk and made a vocal trip hop album,’Salt Peter’. Their debut album is excellent and sadly overlooked although several singles were released with remixes by all sorts of contemporary artists and Vibert’s is one of the standouts, all time-stretched vocals and playful twists and turns. The track succeeding this is again lost in the midsts although sounds very familiar, so many records and so many years ago, it’ll come along some day. We play out with Small World’s ‘Dual Tone’ on Hard Hands, a chugging bass banger that got many an airing back in the day.

No mix next week as I’m on holiday, see you in two weeks…

Track list:
Alec Empire – 22.24
Unknown – unknown
Orbital – Time Becomes
Unknown – unknown
DJ Food – Spiral
Unknown – Unknown
Public Enemy – You’re Gonna Get Yours (Dub / Terminator X Getaway Version)
David Holmes – Slash The Beats
Public Enemy – Bring The Noise (acappella)
Air Liquid – Robot Wars Symphony Part 1 System Engaged
Unknown – Unknown
DJ Krush – A Whim (Alex Reece remix)
Cypress Hill – Scooby Doo
Autechre – Rsdio
DJ Shadow – In/Flux
Ruby – Paraffin (Wagon Christ remix)
Unknown – Unknown
Small World – Dual Tone

Mixcloud Select 159: Strictly vs Vadim (Strictly Kev sets) 14/07/1996

MS159 Strictly vs Vadim 14:07:1996
Late one Friday evening I was helming the good ship Solid Steel solo – possibly for the first time – up at KISS FM on the Holloway Road, not quite believing that Coldcut had entrusted me to do it without them after listening for all those years. I wasn’t alone though, my guest in the studio was Jazz Fudge label owner and newly-signed Ninja Tune artist, DJ Vadim. We’d only met a few times but I was already a fan of his early self-released work which, to my ears, was as good as any definition of trip hop with his heavy sampling of music concrete and abstract beat patterns. It sounded very lysergic to my ears but Vadim didn’t touch the stuff which was doubly strange. We got along well from the start, so much so that I started designing for him almost immediately and would do so for some years.

He’d bought two friends with him to the studio who I’d not met before, Simon Rose – who would go on to run the label later and I think A-Cyde, an MC/poet who would feature on early records and was always a great laugh with a dry sense of humour. We were to divide the show up into segments and I went first, layering up CDs and vinyl into an ambient collage before the beats kicked in. We were pre-recording – not live – and after about 15 minutes I noticed that the DAT had stopped. I was mortified, standing there with three guys I barely new and the tech had failed me. I had to start again and repeat the whole thing while they waited, only for it to do exactly the same thing again! By this time I was seriously panicking as I had no idea what to do to fix it and restarted, running through the same records and hoping it wouldn’t stop a third time. Luckily it didn’t and the rest of the show went without a hitch aside from some DAT glitches from Vadim’s portable player that he’d bought along with some exclusives.

I’m fairy sure some of those are over parts of my mixes featured here with phone messages and static interjecting here and there. The intro I have no idea the origin of and suspect that’s A-Cyde’s voice in there somewhere over the James Bond theme, maybe even live on the mic. It sounds like a bit of the Percussions De Strasbourg clattering in as well, one of the Philips silver covered records that both Vadim and I were collecting at the time. I can’t find anything about the New Jack Hustlers track after this on Discogs but the Earth Leakage Trip track ‘The Awakening’ was a B side on Rising High and a definite contender for lost early trip hop classic. Cheech and Chong were always in the bag for comedy relief in my chill out sets and this straight vs hippy sketch is a classic. The space-themed ‘The Gemini IV Incident’ was a standout on the Wiseguys’ debut album for Wall of Sound but the name of the Tortoise ambience up next is lost in my record collection somewhere, probably something from the Rhythms, Resolutions and Clusters LP or the single they put out on Stereolab’s Duphonic label.

After a break we have a snatch of Buchanana and Goodman’s early cut up classic, ‘The Flying Saucer’ before Axiom Funk take DJ Krush’s ‘Kemuri’ and scratch all over it before retitling it ‘Order Within The Universe’. This was from a Bill Laswell project that collected all sorts around this time and threw in some early trip hop US style with DJ DXT, Bernie Worrell, Sly & Robbie, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, even Herbie Hancock is on one track, on his Axiom label. It was like a kind of new Funkadelic meets JBs meets reggae all stars things with a Pedro Bell cover, looks amazing on paper but is a bit of a mess in reality. The Runaways were two of the RPM crew from Mo Wax, freshly installed on the Ultimate Dilemma label and S.E.T.I. was an early release on the Ash International label, exploring the Search For Evidence of Terrestrial Intelligence (here overlaid with various telephone messages by Vadim).

We switch things up into drum n bass mode with bangers from Tom Jenkinson, an unidentified track sandwiched between that and Photek’s peerless ‘KJZ’ and Funki Porcini’s insane ‘Carwreck’ which surely has to be one of the craziest bits of thrashy DnB out there. There was a strand that wanted to go faster, madder and trickier with every release at this time, the sheer speed of drum n bass prompting ever-increasing twists and turns to the drum programming. Things calm a little with ‘Edgar Allen’ from The Black Dog’s then newly-released ‘Music For Adverts and Short Films’ album on Warp and then we’re into a mellower section with the Irresistible Force’s ‘Flying High’, an amazing electro track that could be a Jedi Knights things but I don’t think is and Kirk DeGiorgio’s gorgeous ‘Epic’ from his The Message In Herbie’s Shirts album on Clear to play us out. Vadim and I give some shouts and gig news over the earlier Mixmaster Morris tune which gives you a peek into what was going on in our worlds at the time and by 1996 I was a full time DJ and graphic designer, fitting in radio shows, the occasional mix or remix and touring into my day – a golden year.

Track list:
DJ Vadim – Intro featuring A-Cyde
Percussions De Strasbourg – Alternances
New Jack Hustlers – unknown
Earth Leakage Trip – The Awakening
Cheech & Chong – Blind Melon Chitlin’
The Wiseguys – The Gemini IV Incident
Tortoise – Unknown
Buchanan & Goodman – The Flying Saucer
Axiom Funk – Order Within The Universe
Runaways – Finders Creepers
S.E.T.I. – Gathering + (Vadim phone messages)
Tom Jenkinson – Happy Little Wilberforce
Unknown – Unknown
Photek – KJZ
Funki Porcini – Carwreck
The Black Dog – Edgar Allan
The Irresistible Force – Flying High + Vadim and Kev shout outs
Unknown – unknown
As One – Epic

Mixcloud Select 158: Solid Sloth Pt.3+4 (Strictly Kev) 23/06/1996

MS158 Solid Sloth 3+4 23:06:1996
**I only just realised that I didn’t put this live last week – slightly confusing as there’s no upload this week – just can’t keep up with everything going on at the moment.

Continuing the mix from last week there’s more Solid Sloth although my tape had nearly two hours worth of mixes from me and also so from PC so I’m not sure if something was mislabeled. I’m fairly sure last weeks was all me but this seems to be my selection too so… I don’t know, it was over 25 years ago, these things get lost in the mists of time and who really cares anyway? To the music…!

The intro spoken word originally comes from The Warriors, but I was playing it from a Renegade Soundwave promo sampler of past classics that preceded their re-emergence onto the scene with new music that year. Blacka’nized’s ‘Vibe’rations’ opens proceedings with an almost ’Night Interlude’ vibe, that it has the subtitle ‘Summer Madness’ says it all. Their Music For Your Mind EP can be had for a pound currently on Discogs. Showroom Recordings were part of the Cheap label Vienna set with Patrick Pulsinger and Gerhard Potuznik among them, only releasing two 12”s of which ‘The Big Shmoov’ is taken from the first. I will never forget hearing this the first time at Mixmaster Morris’ Camberwell flat one rainy night and I always imagine it’s raining when I hear this. The Headphonauts only put out two 12”s but for me they personified trip hop at the time, or what I wanted it to be – which was ultimately NOT what it became. Properly tripped out long form jams with downtempo beats, much like early UNKLE and Major Force West productions, it was a shame they didn’t do more, again they can be had for a few quid online.

2 Player (Jon Tye and a fresh out of school Daniel Pemberton) remixed by The Herbaliser was on Ntone (Ninja’s sub label) but it sounded like if should have been on the parent label. Organised Sound was a pseudonym of DJ Vadim although it’s not hard to tell is it? NT’s ‘Distances By Air’ is another lost gem from the mid 90s, they made a few authentic soul tracks way before it was fashionable back in the day but this little number was on the B side of their first single, easily findable for pennies yet again. More Ninja business from the London Funk Allstars the LL Cool J’s ‘Boomin’ System’ – not sure why, maybe I’d just bought a copy? Cabbage Boy aka Si Begg on Ntone with possibly my worst ever cover design (sorry Si – so busy around that time) the Neil Hefti’s ‘Batman Chase’ which was the B side to the theme tune. State Login were on Renegade Recordings and this wasn’t ‘Poetry In Motion’ as PC later states but ‘Live in Session’ – I must have got the sides mixed up.

Samuel Purdy is a real weird one, this turned up on a promo 7” one day and I remember liking the instrumental which basically strips away the main song vocal but still leaves all the backing ones. It sounds so 70s to me, almost Steely Dan or Carpenters-esque which is why it’s in here, love those harmonies. This really is a random selection the B-52’s followed by Jimi Tenor which we had got on an acetate so we must have been mixing the Blech CD around this time because Warp made up some one-off discs for things yet to be released so that the mix would be bang up to date once it was released. There’s a quick blast of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rain Dance’ whilst PC backtracks through the set (not Miles as he says), we loved this track and sampled it here and there (maybe – shhhhhh…). There’s a break and then we’re back with a classic slice of techno in the guise of Carl Craig’s 69 alias with ‘Microlovr’ – such an awesome piece of music, again, first played to me by Mixmaster Morris who was championing Craig well before anyone else. Uriel’s ‘Proxima Session’ is a lush piece of French jazz house that came on a 12” with a 45 middle cut out of the label, the only one I’ve ever seen. We finish as we began with a bit of Renegade Soundwave and ‘Ozone Breakdown’, the original B side of ‘The Phantom’ in 1989, still sounding contemporary.

Parts 3+4 Track list:
Blacka’nized – Vibe’rations (Summer Madness)
Showroom Recordings – The Big Shmoov
Headphonauts – Cedez Le Passage
2 Player – Sometimes (The Herbaliser remix)
Organised Sound – Nocturnal Thought
NT – Distances By Air
London Funk Allstars – How To Be A Ninja
LL Cool J – The Boomin’ System
Cabbage Boy – Planet Domination
Neil Hefti – Batman Chase
State Logik – Live In Session
Samuel Purdy – Whatever I Do (Inst.)
B-52s – Planet Claire
Jimi Tenor – Downtown
Herbie Hancock – Rain Dance
69 – Microlovr
Uriel – Proxima Session
Renegade Soundwave – Ozone Breakdown

Mixcloud Select 157: Solid Sloth Pt.1+2 (Strictly Kev) 23/06/1996

MS157 Solid Sloth 1+2 23:06:1996
These track lists get harder and harder the further we go back, Discogs and Shazam are called on more and more as the memory gives up and the gaps in the record collection once filled with these tunes appear empty. Back in mid-’96 PC did a show he christened Solid Wood (available on the 20 years of Solid Steel DVD I believe) and a week later we christened this one ‘Solid Sloth’ – not sure exactly why. After a custom Solid Steel intro I’d forgotten that appears to be made from our Journeys By DJ scratches and a DJ Food off-cut we jump into an amazing sound collage of which I have no recall at all. The original DAT this was taken from was seriously messed up and I had to cut all manner of glitches out, not that it’s that apparent in the tornado of sound we’re dropped into. The old Decca LP with the ‘This Is A Journey Into Sound’ sample appears over the top before we’re into Spacer’s ‘Contrazoom’. This was the first time I remember hearing Alison Goldfrapp’s amazing vocals, coming on like Shirley Bassey over a Bond theme mixed with drum n bass, incredible. This mix is littered with a league of producers putting their take on DnB which had, by mid ’96, well and truly made its mark on the electronic music landscape outside of its origins.

Luke Vibert, an early adopter with several Plug EPs under his belt, takes the easy vocals and horns of the Mike Flowers Pops and blends them into a smooth cheese before Amon Tobin carves up the terrain with the frantic ‘Cruzer’ in his original Cujo guise shortly before signing to Ninja Tune under his own name. DJ Shadow’s hard to find Legitimate Mix of Zimbabwe Legit’s ‘Doin’ Damage’ was finally widely available via the Mo Wax Headz compilation so this got an airing along with a suitably downtempo War cut, ‘Four Cornered Room’ which I later found out used to get airplay from Alex Paterson at Land of Oz. Mo Wax was truly in its golden age at this point, every release a winner with multiple remixes across singles from some of the best names covering all genres. DJ Krush’s collaboration with CL Smooth gets a going over by Attica Blues and then I mix in something sampling his and Shadow’s beat from their ‘Duality’ collab, except it features a beautiful synth line over the top. The identity of this escapes me but it smacks of someone like Stasis or As One although I don’t think they’d be that blatant with the beat-swiping. If anyone recognises it then please leave a comment.

A brief hip hop interlude in the form of Erule’s ’Synopsis’ reminds me that I’ve literally just trading this single with a bunch of others for a stack load of comics via a US connection so it’s going back overseas to where I first picked it up. Aphex gives his own unique take on DnB with a mix of his ‘Girl Boy’ single and then we run into a couple of unknowns. I’ve racked my brains (and other’s) to identify this next track, scoured the shelves and Discogs but to no avail, at first it sounds like Squarepusher but it’s a bit too straight for him. Then I thought Danny Breaks/Droppin’ Science but no, too heavy/tricksy in the drum programming – I’m now convinced it’s T-Power in some form or other but I’m damned if I can pin it – please put me out of my misery. The next track is the same, I thought maybe early Hospital Records but no, drawing a blank here too as is Shazam. Mo’ Mo Wax business with the DJ Crystl remix of Dr Octagon’s ‘Blue Flowers’ before the madness of Squarepusher’s complete write-off of Funki Porcini’s ‘Carwreck’ rounds the hour out as PC scratches in his first record for the next set.

Track list:
DJ Food – Solid Steel intro
Unknown – Journey Into Sound
Spacer – Contrazoom feat. Alison Goldfrapp
Luke Vibert & The Mike Flowers Pops – Mfp Chunks
Cujo – Cruzer
Zimbabwe Legit – Doin’ Damage (Shadow’s Legitimate Mix)
War – Four Cornered Room
DJ Krush – Only The Strong Survive feat. CL Smooth (7th Samurai mix by Attica Blues)
Unknown – (Stasis? AsOne?)
Erule – Synopsis
Aphex Twin – Girl Boy (£18 Snarerush Mix)
Unknown – Unknown (T-Power ?)
Unknown – Unknown
Dr Octagon – Blue Flowers (The Flower Bed Mix 2 by DJ Crystl)
Funki Porcini – Carwreck (Squarepusher Mix)

Mixcloud Select 156: Strictly Solid Steel Steve Roach 1/2 hr 29/06/1997

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Summer of 1997, I did a set for Solid Steel that comprised one entire track on one turntable and various others on the other, all slurped together to make a whole larger than the sum of its parts. Said track was all 29 minutes of Steve Roach’s ‘Structures From Silence’, side two of his 1984 album of the same name. Roach has a 40 year career under his belt at this point, debuting in 1982 and clocking up nearly 200 albums so far, releasing between five and ten albums a year. I wish I could tell you where to start but the beginning seems as good as any (Structures… was his third album).

Drifting in and out of Steve’s sublime synths are snatches of Cluster & Eno’s ‘Wehrmut’ from their self-titled sole collaboration, ‘Riversong’ from Tonto’s Expanding Headband from their Zero Time LP. DJ Spooky gets two tracks in quick succession – ‘Juba’ and ‘Thoughts Like Rain’ from his 1996 Songs of a Dead Dreamer LP then there’s a final electronic track from D.I.A.L. (on Spymania) before we return to Steve for the final say, as we do throughout the set. I’ve left an advert for Wild Brew alcoholic Guarana beer on the end as it seemed the perfect coincidence to come in straight after such a chilled set, such a shame it’s cut short at the end, great ad too.

Normal service will be resumed next week…

Track list:
Steve Roach Structures From Silence
Cluster & Eno – Wehrmut
Tonto’s Expanding Headband – Riversong
DJ Spooky – Juba
DJ Spooky – Thoughts Like Rain
D.I.A.L. – Silent Waves
Wild Brew – Guarana beer ad

Mixcloud Select 155: Strictly Solid Steel 25/08/1995

MS155 Strictly Solid Steel 25:08:1995
A late August show with Matt Black and I at the controls in which I kick off with three tracks straight from The Sound of MZEE compilation – a German label obsessed with Britcore rap. The two No Remorze tracks are straight out of the Hijack book of hardcore hip hop but with a German slant. Find their first album if you can, amazing record. Hearts of Darkness were the first release on Manchester label The Ruf errr… Label, releasing a couple of 12”s in the mid 90s before the label went full on hip hop. Alex Reece’s classic swinging remix of DJ Krush’s ‘A Whim’ should be familiar to all Mo Wax heads out there but Chronicles of Intense was lost in the mists of time to me and only Matt’s brief back track near the end gave any clue to it. Also lost is the identity of the stumbling breaks-y DnB cut after it that sounds like it’s nearly tripping over its own shoelaces, even more so when I turn it down to 33 rpm. As ever, if any of you recognise it, please leave a comment. UPDATE: Found it! The Committee – Profound Love on Creative Wax (but played here on 33rpm).

Kirk DeGiorgio’s Elegy slides in nicely and I discovered Kirk has not one but two compilations of rare material on his Bandcamp page featuring a whole host of bits and pieces from singles, comps and the like, no doubt excavated during lockdown – nearly 75 tracks in all spanning 1991-2014 – the man’s a genius. BPMF is a US 12” I picked up whilst working in Ambient Soho, really odd four-tracker that I still have somewhere on the Rancho Relaxo label. ‘Untitled #4’ is a bubbling acid thing that grooves away nicely out of Kirk’s track and then into Redcell (aka B12, a version of which also on a companion release to the Elegy track – ART 7.1/B1214.1). ‘Primitive Lites’ was taken from the then-new ‘Time Tourist’ LP and later featured in our Blech mix, still sounds like a futuristic city at night to me. Meat Beat Manifesto’s ‘That Shirt’, from their criminally under-appreciated Satyricon LP, still makes me laugh and exclaim, ‘It’s a Ben Sherman!’ whenever I chance upon one of their fine wares. Autechre’s ‘Second Bad Vilbel’ from the Anvil Vapre EP plays us out, brand new at the time, we didn’t know how good we had it, this was just another single on white label back then. I think it was either for this or the Keynell EP where I was staying at Sean and Rob’s after a gig in Sheffield and they were sampling kitchen utensils for beats and percussion sounds.

Track list:
Coldcut – Solid Steel intro
No Remorze – Interlude
No Remorze – Condemned To Death
Fast Forward – Day Of Infamy (Instrumental)
Hearts of Darkness – Don’t Fight The Featherweight
Coldcut – Solid Steel jingle
DJ Krush – A Whim (Alex Reece remix)
Chronicles of Intense – Prophecy
The Committee – Profound Love
Elegy – /P Switch
BPMF – Untitled #4
Redcell – Infinite Lites (Primitives mix)
Meat Beat Manifesto – That Shirt
Autechre – Second Bad Vilbel

Mixcloud Select 154: March/April Sets 12/04/2004

MS154 CDr
An approximation of a DJ Food club set around 2004, this is the kind of thing I was playing out at the time via two decks and a CDJ, still using vinyl, no Serato yet. Kicking off with Peloton’s entry for the Solid Steel intro competition which we’d conducted via the Ninja Tune forum. Sounds like I was plundering the Megatrip Soundbank collection of spoken word for samples featuring the word ‘more’ too over Roots Manuva and Ty’s ‘Oh You Want More?’. This, Alex Cartana and the Rootz n Works rework of Prince’s ‘Sign of the Times’ were examples of the Bangra rhythm style made popular by Missy and M.I.A. around this time. Speaking of Missy, here she is with Timberland over a bit of ‘Dark Lady’ although I can only hear The Human League’s ‘Being Boiled’ with this since our second Solid Steel mix CD.

A little funk section from That Kid Named Miles, Quantic Soul Orchestra (featuring Alice Russell), Roy Budd (from the ‘Vigilante! Remixes EP) Nostalgia 77 and Bobby Shad – (from Coldcut’s Life:Styles compilation of the same year) before a brace of hip hop numbers from Edan & Insight, a mash up of Obie Trice by Dizzy Bull and classic UK old school from Caveman. Back to the funk with classic Roy Ayres and I get scratch happy with Double Dee & Steinski’s James Brown cut up, ‘Lesson 2’ before things go into the unexpected with the I Royals’ reggae cover of the Coronation Street theme. This was possibly the first outing on the show too for my now good friend Stephen Coates’ Real Tuesday Weld with his ‘Bathtime In Clerkenwell’.

MS154 PRS
Another Solid Steel intro entry, this time from DJ Flywheel, for a change of tempo into Billy Squier’s (big) beat break into Steve Miller’s equally classic B-Boy sample-fest and general all round anthem, ‘Fly Like An Eagle’. Not sure what I was thinking with this section, it’s a very odd selection of tunes, possibly more linked by tempo than anything else although Floormaster Squeeze (aka Coldcut) goes pretty nicely into Japan’s ‘Visions of China’. Japan into Serge Gainsbourg into Boards of Canada – not something I’d attempt most days but it sort of works, especially the Indeep track over the top of the latter, something I’d repeat years later in my ‘O Is For Orange’ mix. We end as we began with another jingle competition entry, this time from Laptop Nancyboy, I wonder what happened to them?

Track list:
Peloton – Solid Steel intro
Ty feat. Roots Manuva – Oh U Want More? Refix
Alex Cartana – Hey Papi (Ross Orton Remix)
Prince – Sign ‘O The Times (Rootz n Workz mix)
Grandmaster Melle Mel & Duke Bootee – The Message
Timberland & Magoo feat. Missy Elliot – Cop That Shit
DJ Food – Dark Lady
That Kid Named Miles – Ring of Fire
Quantic Soul Orchestra – Pushin’ On
Roy Budd – Foxy
Nostalgia 77 – Thing
Bobby Shad – I Want You Back
Edan feat. Insight – The Science of The Two
Dizzy Bull – Got Some Teeth
Caveman – I’m Ready
Roy Ayres – Brother Green (The Disco King)
Double D & Steinski – Lesson 2 (The James Brown mix)
The I Royals – Coronation Street
The Real Tuesday Weld – Bathtime In Clerkenwell
DJ Flywheel – The Beaten Match Solid Steel intro
Billy Squier – The Big Beat
Steve Miller Band – Fly like An Eagle
Floormaster Squeeze – Kick Out The James (Again)
Japan – Visions of China
Serge Gainsbourg – En Melody
Boards of Canada – Nlogax
Indeep – Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
Laptop Nancyboy – What’s Everyone’s Obsession With Intros?

Mixcloud Select 153: Tales of the Tape 21/07/2002

MS153 CDR
Break out the TDK D90s, make sure the tape is tightened using an old pencil or biro lid and pop the door of the cassette deck for this collection of pause button-enhanced electronica from mid 2002. Obsession with bootlegs and mashups was still relatively new at this stage and the discovery of Cassetteboy was a key link in the chain. Their meticulous cut ups of TV and radio shows added to the (toilet) humour of the movement and made sure nothing ever got too serious. That they would end up doing material for the Guardian website was something I doubt any of us could have foreseen. This mix is strewn with excerpts from The Parker Tapes, their debut album on Barry’s Bootlegs (an offshoot of Spymania who first gave us Squarepusher), parts of which I would also include in my Raiding the 20th Century mix some years later.

Amon Tobin’s Out From Out Where LP was released this summer and the track ‘Back From Space’ opens the show before Antipop Consortium’s amazing ‘Ghostlawns’ creeps in, still sounding as fresh as the day it was released. The clipped minimalism of Murcof took everyone by surprise when he debuted on Leaf, coming on like a classical Akufen, the beauty of which I totally spoilt by running a Cassetteboy Jamie Oliver sketch over the top – “I’m gonna whack my old man, right up his alley” – yes, quite. Monkey Magic’s ‘More Than We Know’ I had to look up – seems it was a lone 12” on the Deep-Water label and I’m not sure if the Monkees cut up at the end was part of the track or not. Cujo aka Amon Tobin’s sole album was reissued on Ninja Tune around this time and it’s great to hear the contrast although I quite like the cheesy silliness of ‘Popsicle’ myself, sounding more like something Tipsy would have put out than his later material.

MS153 PRS
Sinewave – ‘Attack Of The Triffids’ – this was Canadian drum n bass artist, Mark Wiebe, not sure where I got this, maybe given it on tour? That guy has some drum editing skills, I do love rediscovering all these old tracks when digging out 20+ year old shows. Apani B Fly’s ‘Ghost Cauldrons’ was a hip hop that was remixed by Blacklodge and Patrick Pulsinger, the latter of which proceeded to cut up Herbie Hancock’s electronic rendition of ‘Cantaloupe Island’ from his Japanese Dedication album all over the track. Computer Jockeys’ ‘Ping Pong’ was another that had me reaching for Discogs and this appears to have first been released in 1999 on the Harvest label – yes, that Harvest – but was included on a compilation is 2002 which is probably how I found it. Steinski’s remix of Moloko’s ‘Small World’ was taken from his Nothing To Fear Solid Steel mix CD that never was – and now Roisin Murphy is a fully fledged Ninja artist.

Another brief Cassetteboy interlude precedes Edan w Eric Ferguson’s ‘Clinical Rhymes’, an old school freestyle over classic B Boy beats – Edan still untouchable, just wish he’d make more records. Herbert remixing Fridge wasn’t a pairing I’d have ever put together but it works as Matthew Herbert smooths out the rough edges and adds female vocals to beautiful effect. More Cassetteboy before we finish with a rather jovial Witchman remix of The Orb and the tape is ejected.

Track list:
Amon Tobin – Back From Space
Antipop Consortium – Ghostlawns
Murcof – Maiz
Monkey Magic – More Than We Know
Cujo – Popsicle
Sinewave – Attack of the Triffids
Apani B Fly – Ghost Cauldrons (Patrick Pulsinger remix)
Computer Jockeys – Ping Pong
Moloko – The Id (Small World – Steinski version)
Edan w. Eric Ferguson – Clinical Rhymes
Fridge – Ark (Herbert Fully Floooded mix)
CassetteBoy – Your Love is Like Benelyn
The Orb – Ow Much? (Witchman 2975 mix)

Mixcloud Select 152: Drum N Bass N Piano 03/01/2005

MS152 CDr
Kicking off 2005 in full-on DnB style with a monologue from Armando Iannucci’s Time Trumpet radio series, a not entirely serious look at music through the ages, which glues this set together. Steaming in with Pendulum’s remix of Concord Dawn’s ‘Tonite’ we’re into 170bpm dance floor destruction straight away and it rarely lets up. I loved Pendulum early on, before and around the first album, I felt they really revitalised DnB for a while after years of it going down a dark, minimal 2-step path which sounded like music for ketamine and a good kicking rather than the euphoric party it had been just a few years before. The Good Looking stable and its ilk were too soft for me back then although I’ve reappraised that since, mellowing with age and all. Back then I wanted my DnB hard and fast, with intricate drum programming and stomping basslines and Pendulum bought all that back with a twist and a swing only previously heard in the Brazilian styles of DJ Marky and Shy FX & T-Power. Of course it all went horribly wrong once they became a stadium band and started using guitars but for a few years there were some great singles and remixes.

There were a spate a white label DnB reworkings of RnB/Pop hits for a good while too in the mid 00s, post-bastard pop where hip hop and soul met in the charts and then got a good rinse out on the dance floor. Here, Beyoncé’s ‘Naughty Girl’ gets the treatment, apparently by T.C. from Bristol. The DJ Deval track I barely remember but it was on Reformed Recordings, a sub label of Formation. Fracture & Neptune were the first producers I remember who paid homage to Photek and Hidden Agenda with their early records. More Pendulum with ‘Back 2 You’, much more electronic than their later work and then Dynamite MC, for my money one of the best MCs to hold it down over DnB, breaks, hip hop or garage over the years, so funky. Here he trades verses with Skibadee to brutal effect, this used to go down a storm. That rework of Britney’s ‘Toxic’ is just too fast isn’t it? I think was the first release on a label called Toxic who also released the earlier Beyoncé retool.

MS152 PRS

Zen ‘Monster Munch’ – had to look this up, thought it might have been an alias of DJ Zinc but no, it’s another Reformed release, what a bassline! HUGE hoover bass! Fracture & Neptune back again, with the second track from their 12” on Breakin’, this time sampling Vangelis’ Blade Runner, what’s not to like? Ghost People I had to look up too and then realised that the artist name was actually Influx UK and I’d had it round the wrong way all these years – whoops, those white label promos! More early Pendulum with ‘Trail Of Sevens’ which starts out more like Link’s ‘Chameleon’ than their later stuff, then there’s that breakdown and the rave synths come in with that bass bounce and precision percussion and we’re in some rapid-fire car chase scenario. Fracture & Neptune are back for another slice, ‘Too Doggone Funky’ is a perfect example of how to dig for breaks and not always fall back on the ol’ faithful Amen. Killer track, love it when DnB goes out on a jazz trip like this, will have to go and dig the 12” out, I had a big DnB cull a few years back but I’m pretty sure this didn’t go – again taking notes from the Photek school of production, could be ‘KJZ’ part 2.

We’re back in Pendulum territory again although this is DJ Fresh from his Breakbeat Kaos label (no.2 actually) that he ran with Adam F and which Pendulum were associated with early on. And here’s a DJ Deval track I definitely remember, his remix of RSL’s ‘Wesley Music’ – a rare case of a 130bpm anthem being retrofitted into a new speed and genre without losing the vibe of the original although it’s a bit long! My attention span doesn’t run to five minutes of one track in the mix these days it seems. But suddenly – Cheese! Richard that is – ha ha I’d forgotten this too, one of the best to do it but what a rude awakening, then it’s exit stage left from Iannucci’s museum of lost keyboards. See you next week.

Tracklist:
wasps – Stolen Solidly intro
Armando Iannucci – Museum of Lost Keyboards
Concord Dawn – Tonite (Pendulum Remix)
Beyonce – Naughty Girl (Unknown remix)
DJ Deval – Jah Creationz
Fracture & Neptune – Untightled
Pendulum – Back 2 You
Dynamite MC feat. Skibadee – Over Here Now
Britney Spears – Toxic (Unknown remix)
Zen – Monster Munch
Fracture & Neptune – Continuities
Influx UK – Ghost People
Pendulum – Trail of Sevens
Fracture & Neptune – Too Doggone Funky
DJ Fresh – Foreigner
RSL – Wesley Music (DJ Deval remix)
Richard Cheese – Milkshake

Mixcloud Select 151: Solid Steel Sound Museum Part 2 15/11/2008

MS151 pt2 image
We return for part 2 of my 15 year Solid Steel anniversary show – the Solid Steel Sound Museum. Another romp through my favourite moment from the archive from ’92 through to the mid 00’s. The mix of MBM’s ‘Electro The Robot’ into Kraftwerk’s ‘The Robots’ – did someone want the show with that mix on it? Still not found it, sorry. Love that Wookie/808 State mix, hard to pull off but just about works. Frederic Galliano into the Bundy K. Brown remix of ‘Timber’ – so good, Ken is channelling electric Miles in that second half of the mix to my ears. Thankfully I chilled things out a bit for the second half of this compilation and it’s a bit less frenetic after ‘Mr. Blue Sky’.

Not too much more to say, it’s certainly odd for me to hear things that were recorded at very different times next to each other, sometimes over a decade apart. Normal service will be resumed next week, I estimate we have enough to take us up to #200 before the well is dry, probably including some exclusives along the way. Thanks for listening…

Tracklist:
DJ Shadow & the Grooverobbers – Hardcore Instrumental Hip Hop
Samson & Deliilah – There’s A DJ In Your Town
DJ Shadow & the Grooverobbers – Hardcore Instrumental Hip Hop
Dirtstyle DJs – Bionic Booger Breaks
Meat Beat Manifesto – Electro The Robot
Kraftwerk – The Robots
West Bam – Monkey Say, Monkey Do
Think Tank – Hackattack
Wookie – Scrappy
808 State – Cubik
Strictly Underground – Strictly Hardcore advert 
Circuit Breaker – Overkill
Unknown – The Space Race dialogue
Circuit Breaker – Frenz-e
Public Works – Blue Beautiful Place
ELO – Mr Blue Sky
Ken Nordine – Blue
David Sylvian & Robert Fripp – Bringing Down The Light
David Sylvian & Holger Czukay – Plight & Premonition
Leonard Nimoy – Quequeg and I
Barbarella – Barbarella (Irresistible Force remix)
David Sylvian – Gone To Earth
This Mortail Coil – Firebrothers
B12 – Theme From Space
Sequential – Mission
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum Pt 3
Frederic Galliano – Espaces Barouques Part 1
Coldcut – Timber (Bundy K Brown remix)
Skylab – Knickers Of A Girl
Nightmares on Wax – Night Interlude
George Carlin – God
The Orb – Star 6,7,8,9
Boards of Canada – Happy Cycling
Boards of Canada – Sometime In The Future (Geoghaddi minimix)
Boards of Canada – Aquarius (Peel Session)
Ken Nordine – Orange
DJ Shadow – Press Cuttings (The Private Press minimix)
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum Pt 4
War – Four Cornered Room
Phlabby – So Much About Music  

Mixcloud Select 150: Solid Steel Sound Museum Part 1 15/11/2008

MS150 pt1 image
Mix 150! (plus add a handful of exclusives) Thanks to everyone for sticking with me on this, people come and go and I’m always grateful for the hardcore who tune in each week, especially when I’m writing these notes last thing at night on a Thursday in time for Friday morning. For the 150th edition I thought we’d have a special anniversary show – the Solid Steel Sound Museum.
I’d previously made a mental note to cut off shows at 2007 as that’s when stuff started appearing online via Soundcloud but this show dates from 2008 although most of it is from much earlier than that. By then I’d been a part of Solid Steel for 15 years and had done a similar show five years previously to celebrate a decade on the radio, ’10 Tons of Steel’, which shares some of the same content as this set. By coincidence it’s nearly 30 years to the day when I first appeared as a guest alongside Openmind DJ Mario (11/07/1993) but since this is upload 150 we’ll celebrate early and part 2 will fall closest to the anniversary.

This hour is basically a compilation of some of my favourite moments and mixes from the first 15 years on the show and it jumps through times and music styles like nobody’s business so, if you want a calm, linear listen then maybe this isn’t the show. To me it embodies what Solid Steel was all about, stylistically all over the place, liberally sampling from everywhere and slathering spoken word over everything like it was going out of fashion. I was surprised, listening back, how much old 80s and 70s material was in the selection, especially in the first part, there are also snatches of old Coldcut shows that I didn’t feature on like that evergreen CC vs The Orb one which so influenced me 18 months before I joined them on the airwaves. Bits of my Raiding the 20th Century mix drift in and out as we freewheel through the years and the radio dial including the odd bit of genuine atmospheric interference and a load of classic KISS FM jingles.

I’m not going to attempt to step through the track list, some of the original shows segments of this were taken from have already aired and there’s a lot here that will be familiar to most. A couple of things I’d forgotten about though; mention of a Coldcut remix of Black Sheep’s ‘Strobelight Honey’, I must ask them about that. The medley of versions of ‘The Clapping Song’ I used to do live from 7”s in my DJ sets back in the early 00’s, the Strictly Kev Back In Town intro was done after I spent a week in the Big Apple, visiting the Children’s Television Workshop, hanging with Steinski and buying records, I chopped up a load of blacksploitation trailers on my return to intro a show of my finds. Ken Nordine helps tie things together with his Sound Museum track which is where the mix title obviously comes from. The image I’m using for this (as there is no tape or Cdr) is one I used at the time, of the vinyl floor of The Treasury, a place PC, Amon Tobin, Kid Koala and I visited in Johannesburg back at the turn of the century

Part 2 next week…

Tracklist:
Steinski  -Theatre of the Mind (CDR)
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum Pt 1
DJ Food – Raiding the 20th Century (part 1 excerpt)
The The – Infected (energy mix)
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Hackattack
Negativland – Downloading
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?
Gwen McCrae – Compared To What?
Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together?
KLF – America No More
Pepe Deluxe – Go for Blue (Viva Voce remix)
Pink Floyd – Goodbye Blue Sky
Coldcut vs the Orb intro
DJ Food – Raiding the 20th Century (part 3/4 excerpt)
Black Sheep – Strobelight Honey (Coldcut remix) (unreleased)
Mark the 45 King – 900 Number
Spacepimp – K9 Law
De La Soul – You Got
Bobby Byrd – I Know You Got Soul
Aretha Franklin – Respect
The Beatles – Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)
Beastie Boys – Sounds of Science
The Breakbeatles – Feel Alright
Chemical Brothers – Setting Sun
The Smiths – London
Pigbag – Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum Pt 2
DJ Food – Raiding the 20th Century (part 1 excerpt)
Japan – Life Without Buildings
Michael Brook – Albino Alligator
Andrew Poppy – Goodbye Mr G
Nino Nardini – Catch That Man
*commercial break*
Steinski  -Theatre of the Mind
Strictly Kev – Back In Town intro
Robert Klein – Every Record Ever Recorded
The Herbaliser – Something Wicked (Bossa remix)
ECC – K-Tel Greensleeves ad
J Star – No Diggity
The Meters – Hand Clapping Song
Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song
Malcolm & The Humphries Singers  – The Clapping Song
Ray Russell – The Clapping Song
Les Surfs – Claptape
Anita Harris – The Clapping Song
Josie & The Pussycats – Clapping Song

Mixcloud Select 149: Strictly Session – Coldcut Solid Steel 29/03/1998 Pt.2

MS149 tape
Part 2 of last week’s tape excavation and we kick off with the first fruits of Mark B & Blade’s collaborations, released on Jazz Fudge as the Hitman For Hire EP, an amazing record that I had the pleasure of providing artwork for. Shot one rainy Friday night in DJ Vadim’s Kingston loft studio using the reflections in a circular subway mirror – good times, RIP Mark B. Here he chops up Mantronix’s production of Just Ice and makes it his own, with Mr Thing on the cuts and Blade on fine form, just excellent hip hop. Amon Tobin remixes Gus Gus’ ‘Polyesterday’ on 4AD, one of his first remixes, and another Ninja Tune group, The Herbaliser, remix The Invisible Pair of Hands before neatly segueing into Boards of Canada’s ‘Aquarius’. Always a bugger to mix with the beat-less intro chords, I actually manage to drop it in on beat here but that old BoC detuning gets you every time, there is no harder band to mix melodically, everything sounds out of tune with everything else, it’s one of their secrets.

DJ Vadim lopes into view with ‘Aural Prostitution’ from his debut LP on Ninja and then into Pt.2 of Skylab’s ‘?’ release. I loved Skylab, they embodied everything that I thought the phrase ‘trip hop’ should have but ultimately didn’t – electronics, heavy beats, swirling psychedelia and weird spoken word from the most left field records they could find. Unfortunately the phrase is usually reserved for bands like Portishead these days who are up next with a Parlour Talk remix which really is not that comfortable to listen to, I’m sorry, should never have played this one. Req is back briefly with the Linn Mix of his ‘I’ track from part 1 and so is a snatch of the KLF UFO mix of the Pet Shop Boys then we play out with the soothing tones of Kid Koala and Money Mark’s track from the Funkungfusion compilation, ‘Carpel Tunnel Syndrome’. Kid Koala was still working on his debut album at this point (from which this track’s title was taken) and played typewriter for beats under Mark’s soft keyboards.

This was an exclusive for the comp (as were most of the tracks at the time) and it’s an interesting snapshot in time for the label which was just coming off the back of its first flush of success and was looking to the future. You have a Roots Manuva track which predates his Big Dada releases, the first music from what would become The Cinematic Orchestra under the name J Swinscoe (then still working in Ninja’s shipping department). The mix of artists were drawn from sub label Ntone as well as Ninja and the outlook was far more electronic and jazz-based. It was a turning point for the label at the time I felt and I think the comp was received with some confusion from fans and critics but it pointed to the future, away from the trip hop label and onto new horizons. By the time the Xen Cuts anniversary album rolled around 2.5 years later it would all make sense and several of the artists featured here for the first time would be making their marks with their own records.

Track list:
Mark B & Blade – Use Your Head
Gus Gus – Polyesterday (Amon Tobin remix)
The Invisible Pair of Hands – Sloppy’s Not Sloppy Any More (The Herbaliser vs Invisible Pair of Hands remix)
Boards of Canada – Aquarius
DJ Vadim – Aural Prostitution
Skylab – ? Pt.2
Portishead – Elysium (Parlour Talk)
Req – I (Linn Mix)
Pet Shop Boys – It Must Be Obvious (UFO mix)
Kid Koala & Money Mark – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Mixcloud Select 148: Strictly Session – Coldcut Solid Steel 29/03/1998 Pt.1

MS148 tape

Another blast from the tape drawer past in the form of an early March 98 show where we roll through many of the tunes of the day and try to recall what exactly I played. Kicking the door in with their amazing remix of Liquid Liquid’s ‘Scraper’, the Psychonauts absolutely load the track up with heaviness, dropping down into a slower tempo at one point and adding all manner of dance floor destruction. Always loved what they did and had a chance to play with them down in Brighton (I think) early on when there were four of them in the crew. Boards of Canada’s ‘Sixtyten’ – not much to be said here, it’s a classic now but this was being played from a white label test pressing before the album was released at the time. Scorn’s ‘Falling’ gets made over by Rob and Sean from Autechre in a finely sliced piece of precision dark techno dub.

From there I’m mixing well above my ability, the 4/4 of Autechre’s moody remix into the lush heavily swung 6/8 of Max Brennan (from the Invisible Soundtracks compilation on Leaf) and then out into more heavy swing of ‘Mrs Chombee…’ (this time on the wrong beat). The tempos might be the same but they sure don’t sit together too nicely – thankfully the mix back out into Cut Chemist’s remix of Liquid Liquid’s ‘Cavern’ isn’t too painful. I’d forgotten how excellent this was, Cut was on a roll at this point, after his mix of Shadow’s ‘Number Song’ and with his Major Force one yet to come.
At this point we dip into something weird and formless that seems to be a mix of Headstone Lane’s ‘Back In The Day’ from the EBV label, the KLF’s UFO remix of the Pet Shop Boys and Req’s ‘I’ before what must have been an ad break interrupts.

Part 2 next week…

Track list:
Unknown – Intro
Liquid Liquid – Scraper (Psychonauts remix)
Boards of Canada – Sixtyten
Scorn – Falling (Autechre FR 13 mix)
Max Brennan – From The Temple To The Nile
The Herbaliser – Mrs Chombee Takes The Plunge (DJ Food remix)
Liquid Liquid – Cavern (Cut Chemist Rocks A Rave In A Missile Silo remix)
Headstone Lane – Back In The Day
Pet Shop Boys – It Must Be Obvious (UFO mix)
Req – I

Mixcloud Select 147: Coldcut Solid Sphinx (Openmind) 15/04/1995

MS147 tape
According to the tape box, this was a Coldcut Solid Sphinx, that being a 2 hr set with no ad breaks or chat from us. Given that I have most of it on tape that bears out the description but of course there are no track lists on the mic and no indication as to who is playing when. I could spot my section though and, from the sound of the rest of the tapes, Matt, Jon and PC were also present. Not enough mention is given to the insertion of jingles, spoken word and fx over the top of the DJ mixes and this was something that really made the radio shows special. Matt, Jon and Patrick were expert at this and would frequently have something ready for a break or pause in the music, all flown in live as we DJed.

All the shows were done in one take back then, although mostly pre-records on the Friday evening before they were aired Saturday night/Sunday morning. We didn’t have the facilities to do hard disc edits back then – well, KISS did but we didn’t like we do now – and also there wasn’t time. So if things are a little rough round the edges occasionally that’s because it’s all live. A quick run through of the tracks; Sam Sever from his Raiders of the Lost Art 12” licensed to MoWax kicks things off, I had to transplant the start of it from another source as the tape cut in after it had started. I see the ‘record company is the pimp, the artist is the ho…’ analogy attributed to Ice Cube a lot on the web but he was evidently cribbing from whatever source Sam sampled this from. DJ Shadow’s debut release, ‘Entropy’ had either had a repress after his first releases on MoWax due to high demand or someone had booted it, either way, copies started floating around again in 1995 and Discogs suggests it was the latter.

Another semi-official /semi-boot release was Think Tank, sporting a Tommy Boy label but on Hakattak Records. Both tracks appeared on the Information Society’s LP ‘Hack’ the same year so was this a promo idea from Tommy Boy because of the huge James Brown and Kraftwerk samples? The Jungle Brothers’ Ultimatum megamix came with the free 12” available with copies of the UK release of their debut LP, ‘Straight Out The Jungle’ and Ultimatum were actually the Stereo MCs when DJ Cesare was part of the crew. More trip hop, DJ Krush with ‘Ruff-Neck Jam’ from his debut LP and then into DJ Crystl’s classic ‘Let It Roll’ on the wrong speed for a quick switch up in tempo.

This stuff, along with early Photek and Droppin’ Science 12”s, were some of the first D’n’B I bought when I was working at Ambient Soho, jungle had largely passed me by but this newer, sleeker, more intricate form was working its way into the record box. The next track with ‘Gunshots… Firing’ initially drew a blank but Anon in the comments identified it as something from Luke Vibert’s Plug series, ‘3:41’ from Plug 1 – Visible Crater Funk. Link’s ‘Amazon Amenity’ Chameleon remix stands out a mile, such a tune, utter classic, and Danny Breaks’ ‘Step Off’ fits right in, funny that they collaborated later on too. Funki Porcini’s ‘Wicked, Cruel, Nasty & Bad’ rounds things off, from his Hed Phone Sex debut LP, I’d forgotten this, must dig that album out again. Speaking of Funki (as I was just the other day), he’s making high quality prints of my Fast Asleep album cover again very soon so if you fancy hanging that on your wall then check his website in about a month.

Track list:
Sam Sever & The Raiders of the Lost Art – Words of Wisdom (They Don’t Know)
DJ Shadow feat Gift of Gab – Count & Estimate
Think Tank – A Knife & A Fork (The Massively Parallel Mix)
Jungle Brothers – Ultimatum Ultramix
DJ Krush – Ruff-Neck Jam
DJ Crystl – Let It Roll
Plug – 3:41
Link – Amazon Amenity (Chameleon remix)
Danny Breaks – Step Off
Funki Porcini – Wicked, Cruel, Nasty & Bad

Mixcloud Select Xclusive 05.2: Candlemas Pt.2 29/01/2023

DJFood MSX-05-2

Part 2 of the Candlemas set sees a more psychedelic mix of tracks after the ambience of part 1, lots of 60s and 70s nuggets, culled from various comps over the years mixed in with contemporary freakbeats from the likes of The Giallos Flame, Broadcast and Vanishing Twin. Visioneers (4 Hero’s Marc Mac) covers Stereolab and we get two Eno collaborations from 20 years apart. Weirdly The Flies’ cover of Stepping Stone turned up on a vintage mix a couple of weeks ago. The Cut Chemist remix of Edan’s ‘Torture Chamber’ samples The Feed-Back (Ennio Morricone’s psych band masterpiece) so it seemed right to put them together. I was having way too much fun mixing the UNKLE remix of Can’s ‘Vitamin C’ with Tangerine Dream so that’s why the mix lasts so long.

As the night wore on, the vicar hosting the celebration was concerned that the music wasn’t pumping enough and urged me to ramp things up for the end of the night so that people would start dancing, hence the slight change of direction at the end of the set to a more uptempo selection. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the likelihood of a load of people dancing around in sub zero temperatures when there was a warm cafe and chapel nearby (where he commandeered most of the crowd for spoken word pieces) was virtually nil. The crowd stayed away in droves, preferring the cosy ambience of the chapel and the eight Solar 250 projectors with liquid wheels Whyte Light Visuals had positioned around the amazing room and I don’t blame them.

Part 2 Track list:
Air – Aphrodites Child
A Minha Menina – Os Mutantes
Track 01 – The Giallos Flame
Come And Play In The Milky Night – Visioneers
Group Autogenics I – The Books
Come With Us – Brian Eno & David Byrne
Persis – Eno & Schwalm
Nite-Is-A-Comin’ Smeta Murgaty – Warm Sounds
Love Love Love – Wool
Stepping Stone – The Flies
No One Receiving – Brian Eno
Messer, Scissors, Fork & Light – Can
The Feed-Back – The Feed-Back
Torture Chamber (Cut Chemist remix) – Edan
Hammer Without A Master – Broadcast
Backstroke – Vanishing Twin
Vitamin C (UNKLE remix) – Can
Tangerine Dream – Thru Metamorphic Rocks – Tangerine Dream
Pendulum – Broadcast
J Zimbra (J Large re-edit) – Talking Heads
And The Break Goes On – The Break Boys
The Phantom – Renegade Soundwave
Take A Love Break – A Jackin’ Freak
Groove Is In The Heart (Rex The Dog Beats In Space mix-edit) – Dee-Lite

Mixcloud Select Xclusive 05 Candlemas Pt.1 29/01/2023

DJFood MSX-05-1

Rather than an archive mix this week I’ve decided to do a new one – of sorts – for subscribers as I’ve had this on the laptop for several months, waiting for a chance to edit and post it. There will be two parts and it’s culled from a DJ set I did earlier this year. There are no edits in this first section, just a fade in at the beginning from a longer piece. Part 2 follows next week with more info on the mix and I’m readying another Mixcloud Select Exclusive mix for May too…

Back at the start of the year, at the end of January to be precise, I took part in an outdoor sound and light celebration as part of the Candlemas festival at the Royal Foundation of St. Katherine in Limehouse, East London. I was mainly responsible for the music selection but also bought along some projectors and FX wheels to add to the many others happening around the site. Alongside me were Julian Hand and Paul Naudin, boiling oil and ink inside slides which they then projected around the canopy we were stationed under. Elsewhere Heena Song and Joe and Janie from Whyte Light Visuals were doing similar things either inside one of the cafe tents or in the main chapel area.

The musical brief was ambient / psychedelic / krautrock / cosmic and I was using a small digital controller to layer tracks and add FX, seated outside in the freezing cold, wrapped up in layers of clothing, thermals, hat and scarf. As part of my set I added a truncated version of the Solid Steel mix for the show’s 30 anniversary a few years back, so that I could have some time to socialise and see the rest of the site. This 30 minute mix could be seen as a continuation of the Influences set I put together for Dust & Grooves nearly 10 years ago, full of key tracks from the last 50 years that have stuck with me and informed my tastes. If you missed it back then then it’s a very densely layered set that took many hours to get right in the studio, not live by any stretch of the imagination, but something I laboured over to create a gently shifting flow of songs and textures. That it also included some religious references was a bonus considering the event and location we were playing at. It begins and ends with the Linda Perhacs track ‘Parallelograms’ and is preceded with some very deep ambient, largely from the German school.

More photos and details of the evening here:

Part 1 Tracklist:
Cyclicia (Extended) – Jon Brooks
Electric Garden – Conrad Schnitzler
Phaedra (shhhhhh) – Tangerine Dream
Aqua – Edgar Froese
Slow Action – Pictogram
– Solid Steel 30 A Dream Within A Dream mix (short version 30.29) – DJ Food
Parallelograms / Linda Perhacs
The Carrier / Brian Eno & David Byrne
On The Run / Pink Floyd
Autobahn / Kraftwerk
Ascent (An Ending) / Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois
Our Prayer / The Beach Boys
Gravitational Arch of 10 / Vapour Space
Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix) / David Bowie
Rain Dance / Herbie Hancock
Messer, Scissors, Fork & Light / Can
Rainbow Dome Musick / Steve Hillage
Tardis Cymbals / Cavern of Anti-Matter
Electric Counterpoint fast / Pat Metheny
Music for 18 Musicians / Steve Reich
Wet Rubber Soup / 10cc
Rainbow Dome Musick / Steve Hillage
Answered Prayers / David Sylvian
E2:E4 / Manuel Gottsching
Deep Shit (The Cult of Mu 7″ mix) / The KLF
A Mechanical Eye / Jon Brooks
In C (Version 4.2) / Terry Riley vs Meat Beat Manifesto
Telepath / Boards of Canada
Obsidian (Organically Decomposed) / Psychic Warriors of Gaia
Waves Become Wings / This Mortal Coil
Rainbow Dome Musick / Steve Hillage
A New Day / Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani
Gravitational Arch of 10 / Vapour Space
Parallelograms / Linda Perhacs
Butterfly – The Fox

Mixcloud Select 146: Strictly Kev – Psyche Session 21/04/2006

MS146 CDR
Recorded on the 30th March but broadcast three weeks later on the 21st April, 2006 – this set of vaguely psychedelic, drum-heavy tracks was another dip of the toe into the melting pot of funky freakout gear I was getting more and more into by the mid 00’s. Some pretty pedestrian stuff here to be honest but most of it still holds up. Some of the mixes come fast and furious, barely holding in there as tempos and swing are all over the place but that’s the beauty of it isn’t it? This was all done from vinyl but I would shortly switch to Serato after a disastrous trip to Dublin where my record box didn’t take the same plane and I had to raid the promoter’s record collection to piece together a set on the spot. I’d just been given a demo of Serato at Mr Trick’s house and this was all I needed to push me over to the digital side.

We all know the Beatles, The Osmonds’ number is a great track from their Crazy Horses album and I have a soft spot for them as there are some killer tunes in their catalogue alongside the schmaltz. That Rastas track has the most insane drum solo, I think I found that on one of the North American tours and the cover has definitely been nibbled by a few mice in its time. DJ Food fans might recognise elements from Lalo Schifrin’s ‘Life Insurance’ but I’ll say no more, the Vanilla Fudge was also plundered later on… Andy Votel’s mix of Schwab’s ‘DJs In A Row’ was a killer DJ party tool that DK and I used to cane in the latter half of the 00’s in our 4-deck sets, especially the latter half with it’s multi-tempo breaks, I even cut a nice video to it at one point which I should dig out some time. DK and I must have edited hundreds of custom videos to tracks over the years between 2008 and 2012 when we regularly toured our AV sets, maybe once these tapes are done I should dig them out and upload them for all.

‘Freakout’ by the Electric Flag with John Simon (presumably controlling the electronics and mix) does exactly what it says on the tin, a 10 minute utter craze-fest with panning effects and samples flying everywhere. In my head there’s a definition of psychedelic music and this is one of the benchmarks of the 60s era – few are as insane and relentless as this monster vamp. It’s the last track on the You Are What You Eat OST if you need a copy. Sweet Smoke’s ‘Silly Sally’ is another huge, phased drum solo from the latter half of their side-long, Conny Plank-produced debut LP. The Sub’s ‘Ma-Mari-Huana’ is a tune from the German band’s only single and The Mind Expanders’ album is a must for a pot shot at all things psych in 1967 even if it does sound like a bit of a cash in.

MS146 PRS

Charlie Daniels’ ‘Funky Junky’ was something I found in a Greenwich basement and bought on spec, turns out it’s a funky rock tune with a killer breakdown – nice. Beaver & Krause have another nice breakdown in the middle of their country-rock tune ‘Gandharva’ (with a bit of a Ken Nordine voice-over from the intro to the Jackson’s ‘Triumph’ no less). Rock doesn’t get much funkier than Deep Purple’s ‘Flight Of The Rat’ with that wah-wah guitar in the mix, there must be a re-edit of this somewhere? We take a slight pause from the percussion mayhem with a snatch of The Hellers before Don Sebesky’s fuzz jazz cut ‘Elliot’s Pad’ from The People Next Door OST. Elliot’s Pad seems to include sitars, flutes and drum breaks too and then we’re back into big beat breakdowns from Cozy Powell, The Osmonds (again – showcasing ‘My Drum’) and a second pass for Lalo Schifrin from his Rock Requiem LP which opens like Stereolab and then goes all Jesus Christ Superstar on us, sounding more David Axelrod than David Axelrod in places.

The Flies’ cover of (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone is just the right side of nasty and Dr John’s evergreen ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’ is always welcome. Rare Earth’s bass line to ‘(I Know I’m) Losing You’ mixes remarkably well out of it too. I’ve always wanted to do something with that but never got it to work in a track, probably too late now as the sample boat has long sailed. Over the extended breakdown you’ll hear Frank Zappa, Alvin Lucier and the ‘Persons are gifts…’ monologue from Rosko that I would later feature on the Ninja Tune 1000 Masks mix.

Tracklist:
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR – THE BEATLES
HOLD HER TIGHT – THE OSMONDS
BLACK CAT – RASTAS
LIFE INSURANCE – LALO SCHIFRIN
THE BEAT GOES ON – VANILLA FUDGE
DJS IN A ROW (ANDY VOTEL MIX) – SCHWAB
FREAKOUT – THE ELECTRIC FLAG & JOHN SIMON
SILLY SALLY – SWEET SMOKE
MA-MARI-HUANA – THE SUB
LOVE SYNDROME – MIND EXPANDERS
FUNKY JUNKY – CHARLIE DANIELS
GANDHARVA – BEAVER & KRAUSE
FLIGHT OF THE RAT – DEEP PURPLE
ELLIOT’S PAD – DON SEBESKY
AND THEN THERE WAS SKIN – COZY POWELL
MY DRUM – THE OSMONDS
INTROIT – LALO SCHIFRIN
(I’M NOT YOUR) STEPPIN’ STONE – THE FLIES
RIGHT PLACE, WRONG TIME – DR JOHN
(I KNOW I’M) LOSING YOU – RARE EARTH

Mixcloud Select 145 Openmind live Mixxx 16/05/1997 Pt. 2

MS145 Strictly Solid Steel 16:05:1997 pt.2
Kicking off with a good old Stereo Phase Test skit by Man Or Astro-Man? who I never remember owning a record by but maybe it came off a compilation. Then we’re quickly into a track that came out in the late 90s on Oxygen Music Works, a small NYC label that put out some interesting releases at the time. Riz Maslen aka Neotropic was involved with them for a bit and Kurtis Mantronik put out a few 12”s and an LP with them, re-emerging from the wilderness under his own name after the major label Mantronix Mk2 had seemingly ground to a halt and he exited the music industry for a few years. The version here is actually the Phat Girl’s remix, a brief alias of Riz’s, and she goes sample crazy, piling all manner of old snippets from his back catalogue into the mix. From one beat pioneer to another, we move back in time to the Art of Noise, old Brits giving Kurtis a run for his money, with a cut from their debut LP over a decade before, still sounding fresh, then and now.

Switching into jazz mode for one of the new remixes Mo Wax had put out for the reissue of Innerzone Orchestra’s ‘Bug In The Bassbin’ (odd that Talkin’ Loud put out the subsequent album though?). This new version of the classic (even then only four years old!) reworks it in a live band context, adding double bass and taking out the original drum sample, replacing it with a drummer who seems to barely be holding it together and it’s all the more exciting for it. Right in the middle it seems I thought it was time for turntablism and we dive into a slow scratchathon between DJs JS-1 and Spinbad, the latter of which was one of the fastest, funky scratchers of the time. Then suddenly, it’s a DJ Vadim instrumental for less than a minute and then a Kid Koala track that still makes me laugh from his debut LP. ‘The Mushroom Factory’ sound like someone is rolling something squashy back and forth over a metal grill for no other reason than it sounds cool.

Suddenly, attention deficit disorder strikes once more and Japan’s Fantastic Plastic Machine bluster in with the incredible ‘Mr Salesman’. FPM seemed to emerge perfectly in time with the whole easy listening revival in the UK with DJs like The Karminsky Experience Inc., Martin Green and bands like The Gentle People and this was from his self-titled debut LP. An obvious sonic choice to follow this seemed to be ‘Cooper’s World’ from the debut Warp LP of Squarepusher. Sounding like it could have soundtracked some epic Sunday afternoon travel-come-chase programme – Tom is straight out of the gate in manic jazz bass mode in this superbly melodic D n B stormer.

Another slice of Kid Koala – this time containing the immortal phrase, ‘This is stupid!’ (from an Incredible Hulk record, fact fans) and yes, it is. As is Sukia’s ‘Vaseline & Sand’ – a very odd Dust Brothers-produced album from a duo who went on to become DJ Me DJ You. PC and I actually remixed a track from this album (‘Feelin’ Free’) but they’d split up by the time we’d finished so it surfaced on the extra disc of the XEN Cuts compilation a few years later. This track however, obviously takes The B-52’s ‘Planet Claire’ as inspiration and attempts to recreate it with spoken word such as, ‘picture if you will… a lemon’ over the top – a minor classic that saw a release on MoWax too. We end with a slice of Req’s ‘Razzamatazz’ from his debut 12” on Skint, I loved his music for all its lo-fi, mastered-to-cassette, old school-isms and he later got signed to Warp before re-emerging on Seagrave a few years back.

Track list:
Man Or Astro-Man? – Stereo Phase Test
Kurtis Mantronik – Bass Machine Re-Tuned (Phat Girl’s Tuning)
Art of Noise – Who’s Afraid (Of The Art Of Noise)
Innerzone Orchestra – Bug In The Bassbin (Jazz Mix)
DJ JS-1 feat. DJ Spinbad – Babylon 5
DJ Vadim – Conquest Of The Irrational (178 Metre High Instrumental Mix)
Kid Koala – The Mushroom Factory
Fantastic Plastic Machine – Mr Salesman
Squarepusher – Cooper’s World
Kid Koala – Thank You, Good Night, Drive Safely
Sukia – Vaseline & Sand
Req – Razzamatazz

Mixcloud Select 144: Openmind live Mixxx 16/05/1997 Pt.1

MS144 Strictly Solid Steel 16:05:1997 pt.1
The first of two parts from a mid 1997 Solid Steel tape which bounces from uptempo drum ’n’ bass-ish techno to turntablism and jazz. Kicking off with Bedouin Ascent’s ‘Cat Can Blow!’ from the Law & Auder compilation Avantgardism III, I was wrong-footed into thinking this was Squarepusher at first. Kingsuk Biswas (Bedouin Ascent’s real name) contributed to many of the Law & Auder compilations – usually a title ending in ‘ism’ – and it seemed that quite a few of the Rising High roster found a home at the label when the techno label folded, including Luke Vibert who released a full album with BJ Cole in 2000. The identity of the two tracks following has been lost in time, I can’t place them at all and Shazam has nothing – as ever, if you recognise them, please leave a comment.

UPDATE!: Thanks to Edward ZentaurusMan for filling in some of the tracklist gaps :)

We take a drop in tempo to half time with DJ Ruthless’ ‘Flat Chested’ scratch-athon from the Return of the DJ vol.2 compilation next and I was very much in thrall of the west coast turntablist scene at this point, finding it an incredibly exciting progression in the art. In hindsight it hasn’t aged too well and although skilled on the decks, few of the DJs broke out of the standard mould and had the production skills to transfer them well to records. One DJ who definitely did though was Kid Koala, not that he was ever fully in the standard mould of your Skratch Piklz or Xecutioners, he always had one foot firmly in his own camp. To see how far he’s come today is humbling, scoring film music, putting on live shows with stories performed by puppeteers or conducting 50 turntable orchestras – his scope and vision is breathtaking. Here’s the record that started it all with Ninja Tune and the story has been told often – most prominently in the 20 Years of Beats & Pieces book – of the fateful car journey on tour in Canada. Eric popped his demo tape into the stereo while PC, Jon More, Funki Porcini and I were riding somewhere and this was the track that all ears pricked up to. From then on, we knew he was on the same page as us and duly signed him to the label and the rest is history.

Another piece of Ninja Tune history is PC’s classic remix of The Herbaliser’s ‘Mr Chombee Has The Flaw’ – completely rebuilt and renamed, ‘Mrs Chombee Takes The Plunge’ with little of the original identifiable. It shows how the art of the remix can translate a song into something completely new and we were all stunned hearing it for the first time. ‘The Art of Prophecy’ was the album that As One’s ‘The Huster’ first appeared on via the short-lived Shield records, a sub label of Substance Records, and Kirk Degiorgio does as only he can do with a dirty slice of techno jazz (added to by the KISS FM station compression and tape fuzz). Funki Porcini’s cheeky cut up of old war film dialogue, ‘Pete Pete Pete’, from the Let’s See What Carmen Can Do EP plays over the top and the title was a nod to Ninja Tune label head Peter Quicke (also of Mr Quicke cuts the cheese fame).

This tape brings back fond memories of frantic days spent designing, touring, rushing to and from the Ninja Tune office in Canary Wharf and a general sense of excitement over where the label was going next after the huge swell in popularity it had gained in the two years previously. Great music was pouring out of everywhere it seemed and we were gearing up for the release of Coldcut’s ‘Let Us Play’ album that summer which would be another Ninja milestone that would take Matt and Jon around the world, and some of us with them for the next two years.

Part 2 next week

Track list:
Margoo – Intro
Bedouin Ascent – ‘Cat Can Blow!
Quant – Intestinal Sound
The Bowling Green – Caucasian Flotsam
DJ Ruthless – Flat Chested
Kid Koala – Tricks ’N’ Tricks
The Herbaliser – Mrs Chombee Takes The Plunge
As One – The Hustler
Funki Porcini – Pete Pete Pete