Mixcloud Select 6: Openmind – Coldcut Solid Steel 16.12.94

Openmind - Coldcut Solid Steel 16.12.94 tape

Track Notes:
Very much from a golden age of electronica (The Black Dog’s ‘Spanners’ on Warp, Gescom’s debut EP, Anthony Manning on Irdial) and trip hop (Skylab, DJ Krush, 9 Lazy 9). The spoken word that lays across Skylab’s opening track in this mix is from an odd German test pressing I found back in the 90s, full of spoken word from old gangster films. I spotted the famous Lauren Bacall line, sampled in part by Double Dee & Steinski on ”Lesson 3′ but also later used as a KISS FM jingle with the ‘blow’ substituted for ‘kiss’, and thought it would be a nice nod.

The Anthony Manning track, ‘Untitled’ (track 3) is from his excellent album, ‘Islets In Pink Polypropylene’ on Irdial, there was nothing quite like it at the time and I’m not sure there’s been much since, a lost gem. The Gescom track is from the first ever release on Skam records, which I incidentally designed the labels for, and the 9 Lazy 9 track was from their second LP which was the first cover I ever designed for Ninja Tune.
The Eon track, ‘Inner Mind’, is played on 33rpm rather than 45 intentionally :) as it and the track preceding it – something by Kris Needs apparently which I just can’t identify – both use the same sample.

Track list:
Coldcut – ‘Welcome, I am your genie’ sample jingle
Skylab – River of Bass
Sheila Chandra – Nada Brahma
The Black Dog – Raxmus
(There’s what sounds like a short snatch of The Jedi Knights’ ‘May The Funk Be With You’ in between these two tracks)
Ronnie Jordan meets DJ Krush – S**t Goes Down (But I Got Phunked Up Mix)
Gescom – Sciew Spoc
Anthony Manning – Untitled (track 3)
Kris Needs – Unknown
Eon – Inner Mind (Freebase Mind) (on the wrong speed)
9 Lazy 9 – Electric Lazyland

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Mixcloud Select 5: – Strictly Solid Steel Side A – Bundy Mixes 21/12/97

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I held off a day posting this seeing as my social media feed was crammed with Bandcamp posts, didn’t want to add to the noise. But on that note I’ve started a label on the platform, digital-only for the moment, for my multi-armed turntable experiments with. locked grooves + FX. 1st releases are up now including a couple of pay what you want freebies.

https://infiniteillectrik.bandcamp.com/artists

Anyway, here’s Side A to last week’s side B – the ? in the title on the tape refers to me originally not knowing the date this went out and I’ve tracked it down to approximately 21/12/97 via a series of PRS sheets I have with track lists.

This set sports two amazing remixes by Bundy K Brown – the ones with the long Cheech Wizard subtitles, a thing of his back then. Bundy (by then ex-Tortoise) was someone we’d met on our first tour of the US when we showed up in Chicago and we had enough time to hang out a bit and do some record shopping. I really rated him as a producer mainly for his stand out remix on Tortoise’s ‘Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters’ mini album and we bonded over similar musical tastes.
He turned me onto a lot of electronic jazz and used to work in the Dusty Groove record store so was steeped in digging culture. I put him up for the ‘Timber ‘remix and we resolved to work together on something (‘Full Bleed’ on the Kaleidoscope LP). I just really like his off-kilter rhythms and the cyclic nature of what he does, maybe it’s because he’s a musician approaching sampling from an engineering perspective, whatever it is he has a unique ear and years later I found out Four Tet was a fan too.

This set is such a typical mash up of the times, lots of sample-based material that flits from jazz to electronica to downright huge dirty beats by the end for Skylab and Techno Animal. Bearing in mind this was going out between 1-3am I think we sometimes pushed things to extremes but it was (and still remains) anything goes – the Broadest Beats in London, right?

Kev

BTW: the Techno Animal/Nav Katze mix at the end really goes on too long and the bass distortion near the end is on the tape.

Track list:
The Sea & Cake – Sporting Life (The Cheech Wizard Meets Baby Ultraman In The Cool Blue Cave (Short Stories About Birds, Trees And The Sports Life Wherever You Are)) (Thrill Jockey)
Small Fish With Spine – High Fibre (Oxide)
Frederic Galliano – Espaces Baroques Pt.1 (F Communications)
Coldcut & Hexstatic – Timber (The Cheech Wizard’s Polythump Requiem For The Ancient Forests Mix) (Ninja Tune)
Skylab – Nickers of a Girl (Eye Q)
Techno Animal – Demonoid (City Slang)
Nav Katze – Wild Horses (Global Communications mix) (Dedicated)

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Mixcloud Select 04: Strictly Solid Steel Side B – 3/4 DnB 21.12.97

IMG_5313I don’t remember much about this session except that the tape states ‘3/4 DnB’, meaning Drum n Bass in 3/4 time. Looking at the track listing it states no less than three tracks in a row from DJ Suv from his Freebeat EP on Full Cycle which seems to be credited as one of the first to feature rhythms in 3/4 time within the genre. We were obviously taken with it to have played three in a row. The opening track is credited to DJ Food as ‘Parp, Thump, Crack ’n’ Hiss’ which I recognise at a typical PC joke. The opening sounds like PC and I messing about with all manner of FX and vinyl over the top and I’m definitely getting a bit carried away with it all.

I think about this time I may have had a mixer with a little loop sampler and FX built in so maybe I bought that into the studio to mess about with but I’ve not idea if this was made up at KISS FM or at Ahead of Our Time studios in the Ninja Tune offices at Clink Street. Either way, the first 10 minutes of this mix are a bit crazy.

Track list:

DJ Food – Parp, Thump, Crack ’n’ Hiss
DJ Suv – Output (Full Cycle)
DJ Suv – Free By Four (Full Cycle)
DJ Suv – Everyone Plays The Same (Full Cycle)
Danny Breaks – The Ratio (Universal Language)
Acustic – No 2 (April Records)
Toshinori Kondo & DJ Krush – Fu Yu (Sony)
Mr Scruff – Fish (Ninja Tune)
Kensuke Shiina – Ring of Fire (Salon Kitty remix) (Pussyfoot)

P.S. Side A next week…

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Above is a scan of the tape inlay, an old photo from a US tour I did with Coldcut around the time of their Let Us Play album, – they took their own projection screens and played from laptops for the first time to the amazement of many. In the background you can see Rob Pepperell, part of Hex who controlled the visuals, Coldcut’s Jon More is to my right. On screen you can see the Vestax PMC 06 mixer in between the decks, a super-thin 2 channel mixer popular with scratch DJs at the time due to its tiny size, bringing the turntables closer together to make juggling records easier.

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Mixcloud Select 02: Openmind mix Solid Steel 17.02.95

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Thanks to everyone who got on board with my new Mixcloud Select channel last week, it really means a lot, please spread the word if you can, there are some treats coming up this month including at least one exclusive that isn’t a vintage show but is a mix of vintage tracks, many never heard before in this form.

This week’s upload is a session I did for Coldcut’s Solid Steel show from 17th of February 1995, at this point still going under the Openmind name for mixes but as you will hear, the Strictly Kev moniker was in place which originated in ’94 on a trip to Amsterdam for the Triplex Festival gig. We would have been working on A Recipe For Disaster’ at this point and I was inducted into the DJ Food project at some point between here and its release in Autumn ’95.
This was the final section of the 2 hour show and I’ve included the break for some vintage KISS FM adverts and jingles of the era, I even left the news on the end to add to the period charm.

Sign up for £2.99 to have access to these recordings, tracklists and notes plus a few exclusives as I put them up https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/

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New DJ Food Mixcloud Select channel

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Given the times we’re currently in and the loss of gigs and jobs all round, it’s time to open the archives and let people hear all those tapes, DATs and CDRs that have been sitting there for decades. I’ve set up a new subscriber channel via Mixcloud SELECT – and I’ll be uploading exclusive, newly-encoded vintage mixes from my Solid Steel archive regularly for a monthly fee.
I like the Mixcloud model because over half the fee goes to paying royalties for the artists being played, Mixcloud take a cut for providing the service and then I get a bit for all those hours spent making the mixes in the first place. The fee is £2.99 a month (although you can pay more if you wish) and for that you’ll have access to mixes from my personal stash (some pictured below).

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These will date back to the 90’s and even predate Solid Steel occasionally, they’ll all be mixes that I’ve made or occasionally collaborated on. I’ll endeavour to make sure none of them are currently available anywhere else and include track lists and making-of details where I can. These will be exclusive to subscribers only for the foreseeable future, I’ll still upload free new mixes to my regular Mixcloud account but subscribers will also have some exclusive new mixes that I make specially for several months ahead of them being made public – sign up here

The first one is the complete session PC & I did for John Peel’s legendary BBC Radio 1 show 20 years ago this month, just before the release of our Kaleidoscope album. Only half of it was broadcast at the time and I’ve restored it from CDRs I found recently.

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Track notes: (Mixcloud’s word count is quite low for text so I’m adding notes here)

A restored version of the original session PC and I did for the late John Peel just before the release of our Kaleidoscope album. This was jammed out live on 4 decks in my studio at the time in Camberwell and then overlaid with spoken word later.
I think we were way too over-eager on the first half with all the scratching but some of it manages to be pretty humorous in places. It all gets way deeper once we calm down and I was surprised how ambient it got, listening back.
It’s very rough and ready but you have to remember that this is completely improvised on 4 decks with one of us ‘driving’ the mix and the other embellishing it in response at different points. This is how PC and I worked, I can’t think of any time that we rehearsed anything in the same way that DK and I did later for our 4-deck shows.

The intro and outro skits are from a great album called ‘Miniatures’, 1 min sketches and songs compiled by Morgan Fisher in the 80s, when we knew we were doing a John Peel session I thought it’d be a laugh to have ‘John’ introduce the mix. The Steady track, ‘Alarming Frequency’ is the first ever release on the Tru Thoughts label. The Leonard Nimoy read of Ray Bradbury‘s ‘Marionettes Inc.’ turned up in another form a year later on our first Solid Steel mix CD. The Spontaneous Sound gong record is actually an alias of Christopher Tree, a percussionist whose album I found in the US one time, it had virtually no info on it other than the title and the stamp of a drum shop where it had been sold.
I had to look up some of these tracks using Shazam and Discogs, both still twinkles in a programmer’s eye at the time this mix was made, twenty years is a long time ago but we’ll be going even further back soon…

John Peel session track list:

Norman Lovett – John Peel Sings The Blues Badly (Pipe Records)
David Shire – The Taking of Pelham 123 (Music On Vinyl)
Steady – Alarming Frequency (Try Thoughts)
Tortoise – Died (UNKLE Bruise Blood mix (Thrill Jockey)
Ray Bradbury read by Leonard Nimoy – Marionettes Inc. (Nonesuch)
RYU – Rhythm Asobi (feat. DJ Krush & Tunde Ayanyemi) (Cross)
Spontaneous Sound – Spontaneous Sound (Private Pressing)
Sun Ra monologue from Space Is The Place film
Rhythm Devils – The Apocalypse Now Sessions (Passport Records)
Fridge – Of (remix) (Go! Beat)
Kid Koala – Tricks & Treats (Ninja Tune)
Slowly – On The Loose (Autechre remix) (Chill Out Label)
Eric B & Rakim – Follow the Leader (acappella) (4th & Broadway)
Bushflange – Redokov (Hard Hands)
Child’s View – Shift (Blue Note)
Kid Koala – Scurvy (Ninja Tune)
DJ Food – Turntable improv
Major Force – Sitting On the Edge Of The World (Apeman Records)
George Duke – North Beach (MPS Records)
Morton Subotnik – Silver Apples of the Moon loop
Weather Report – Milky Way (Columbia)
Herbie Hancock – Raindance (Columbia)
Unknown breakbeat
Andy Partridge – The History of Rock ’n’ Roll (Pipe Records)