Mixcloud Select 114: Version Aversion 22/04/2002

MS114 CDr

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

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

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

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

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

Hip Hop flyers from the Kool Herc collection

Kool Herc
You may have seen that Kool Herc‘s estate is going under the hammer at Christies this month. Everything from turntables and disco equipment to glasses, photos, belt buckles and records from the man called The Godfather of Hip Hop. Most interesting to me are the reams of flyers for the old Bronx jams featuring home made, hand drawn and collaged examples of the earliest form of Hip Hop promotion. There are plenty by Buddy Esq. probably the most gifted and well known exponent of early rap design work and there are fascinating little details dotted throughout about the way jams used to be from a time long since passed.
Below are my favourites and you can view the full auction online here:

KH flyer 1
“no drugs, no weapons, no sneakers”
KH flyer 2
“first 25 jazzy ladies free” – who decided?
KH flyer 3

KH flyer 4
“sneakers one nite only” love how cut and paste this is
KH flyer 5

KH flyer 6

KH flyer 7

KH flyer 8
How young are the Furious Five here?
KH flyer 9

KH flyer 10

KH flyer 11

KH flyer 12
That’s a lot of acts on the bill!
KH flyer 13

KH flyer 14

KH flyer 15

KH flyer 16

KH flyer 17

KH flyer 18

KH flyer 19

KH flyer 20
Lot of Zulu crews there
KH flyer 21

KH flyer 22

KH flyer 23

KH flyer 24
‘Guaranteed to perform’, the others might not be there but…
KH flyer 25
How many typefaces?
KH flyer 26

KH flyer 27

KH flyer 28
“giving away $50 to some lucky person, sincerely, Flash” – also “Creole’s got something special for the young ladies”
KH flyer 29
“Shea, please call me, love always, herc” – flyer done by Herc
KH flyer 30

KH flyer 31
Do you think that’s Shea?
KH flyer 32

KH flyer 33

KH flyer 34

KH flyer 35

Brian Eno – The Lighthouse, what’s on it?

The-Lighthouse-Station-ArtworkI’ve been compiling this, off and on, all year, while listening to the 340+ unreleased tracks on Brian Eno‘s Sonos HD radio station, The Lighthouse. If I had the phone nearby I’d check what’s playing, make a note of the track number and year and write a short description. I was intrigued to see how often tracks repeated (not very often), how long it would take me to hear all of them (over 6 months) and what the ratio of good to average to bad was. It became quite addictive as I’d fill in more each day, a bit like collecting cards in a numbered sequence, filling in the blanks each day. Of course as time went on I’d hear more repetitions and less new tracks so filling in a new entry was like finding another piece of the puzzle. After a while I began to give them star ratings from 1 to 5; 5 being amazing, as good or better than anything he’d ever released, 4 great, 3 good, 2 so-so, 1 skippable.

For those interested, the highest number I’ve heard has been #349 (all the tracks are titled by number and year), the oldest was from 1989, newest from 2021. There were occasional different versions of previously released tracks from Nerve Net and Drawn From Life and many that had similar undertones to albums like Apollo or Ambient 4. The shortest was around a minute, the longest approximately 20 minutes at a guess (there are no times on any of the tracks). If a title has been given to a piece in one of the two Lighthouse interviews it’s included in brackets. It’s impossible to record the stream unfortunately, or at least I’ve not found a way, so it’s hard to get a grasp on how much material is up there. Where there’s no entry, I’ve not yet heard that track on the stream.
If albums on average have 10-15 tracks then that’s over 30 albums worth, or maybe The Lighthouse IS an album? It’s like being let into a secret vault every time you tune in, catching glimpses of precious (and sometimes not so precious) gems as the algorithm cycles through the selection. Similar to Aphex Twin‘s Soundcloud dump a few years back, this is the archive mother lode from one of my favourite artists.
Track list:
001 (2018) Algorithmic rhythm system groove w. male vocal
002 (2018) Almost an I Zimbra remix, Give it up and turn it loose bassline & female vocal – (Funk Groove Reduced) *****
003 (2018) Wooah yay, slow vocal sway**
004 (2019) Night drive passing cars, sudden end***
005 (2010) Slow beats glissando echo***
006 92021) Dark low rumble bass pad, winding in and out***
007 (2019) Short solo keyboard lament**
008 (2019) Gated choir crawl
009 (2019) Stunning beauty but so short *****
010 (2019) Hovering guitar noodle ***
011 (2018) Dark laidback plod with lead electric guitar***
012 (2011) Low sub bass ambience, v. short**
013 (2018) Computer controlled upbeat rhythm w. languid melody /lonely time vocal ****
014 (2018) Uptempo sequencer tightness **
015 (2018) Gated voice over insistent machine rhythm **
016 (2018) Eno brings the machine funk w. female vocals **
017 (2018) Excellent fast paced rhythm w. drums and skronk piano****
018 (2021) Dark piano tension****
019 (2020) Super calm deep drift****
020 (2020) Hovering quiet ***
021
022 (2018) Dinky keyboard workout **
023 (2018) Mid tempo funky wah wah w. distorted vocal sample
024 (2021) Rapid Edits on machine funk***
025 (2018) Spiky funk excellence – love this one *****
026 (2021) Cheeky little number, almost reggae**
027 (2021) Beautiful space drift w. violin and electronics ****
028
029 (2015) Twangy offbeat vocal country song**
030 (2017) Climbing sinister piano **
031 (2017) Airy piano drift / Slow hovering w. minor key piano **
032 (2017) Wistful ambient
033 (2015) Fast double time picking pattern***
034 (2017) Marimba with splashy snare *
035 (2009) Sweet high synth modulations descending***
036 (2009) Solo cautious piano / Wandering solo piano w. birds**
037
038 (2009) Moody Warszaw-ish solo piano patterns (Eagleman 22)**
039 (2009) Hesitant solo keys **
040 (2021) Slow, quiet decaying strings
041 (2019) Slowly unfurling tones ***
042 (2015) ‘Any man…’ Dead Can Dance-ish medieval vocal***
043 (2015) Suspended vocal tones w. odd jungle interlude**
044
045 (2018) Solo soaring/searing string section ***
046 (2011) Very short sinister gongs****
047 (2018) Jaunty bass synth riff*
048 (2019) Bass plod and positive chords
049 (2019) Short ringing, decaying loops
050 (2020) Bright twang guitar and mysterious mood***
051 (2020) Plod bass dreamy underwater w. piano ****
052
053 (2019) Floaty synths, buoyant melody, bit new age-y *
054 (2020) Yawning expanse Fripp-like guitar w. shimmering bottom end rumble****
055 (2017) Chirrups and thunks, fading **
056 (2019) Thumping climber with whistling *
057 (2019) Epic throbbing string soundtrack ***
058 (2019) Sweet solo synth Shimmering ***
059 (2019) Rushing and rising washes of bright synth***
060 (2020) Squalling funky guitar
061 (2011) Slow acoustic lament **
062 (2018) Synth strings, earnest, church- like **
063 (2020) Sawing cello and pitch bent strings*
064 (2020) Underwater electronics **
065 (2020) Lightly gated church organ w. bubbling bright top end**
066 (2020) Dark shifts / Alien beasts viewed from afar
067 (2020) Gently bubbling sorrowful surges****
068 (2020) Swamp ambient w. industrial overtones and buzzing malfunctioning electronics **
069 (2920) Industrial alarm warning with flourishes **
070 (2002) Twanging country vocal tune
070 (2021) High pitched solo synth **
071 (2015) Bright, plucked machine guitar and drums, almost hi-life***
072 (2001) Creepy keys electric mood***
073 (2002) Expansive Bass exploration / winding drone **
074 (2002) Abstract audio synthesis / mysterious world ***
075 (2002) Squalling fast funk w. synth brass ***
076 (2002) Female spoken word (spots) over languid keys and deep bass****
077 (2002) ‘He doesn’t want to be found’, fast vocal song ***
078 (2002) Jaunty sky saw Fripp guitar**
079 (2009) Rolling vistas ambient ***
080 (2002) Frankly awful vocal country *
081 (2002) Meandering country twangy
082 (2002) Gentle vocoder vocal and electric guitar *
083 (2002) Bright keyboard ditty
084 (2002) Twangy guitar and bass idea**
085 (2002) Bouncy pop instrumental **
086 (2021) Low Humming w. signal bleeps **
087 (2021) Ambient lullaby humming w. soaring strings***
088 (2021) Electro thrumming with yawning sawtooth surges***
089 (2021) Quiet keyboard figures**
090 (2021) Deep sea dive ****
091 (2021) Springy bleeps and whirring **
092 (2021) Low night time creeper **
093 (2021) Complex bass bounce, machine beat w. skittering high synth**
094 (2021) Heavy Fairlight beat, Indian scales and time stretch ***
095 (2021) Gravelly spring beat w. odd bass figure**
096 (2018) Fast funky drum, guitar & horn flourishes w. keyboard escapades****
097
098 (2021) Air snares skittering w. bells and industrial kettle drum**
099
100 (2001) Questing solo keys ***

101 (2002) Gorgeous soaring sad keys ****
102 (2002) Tentative keys in reverb soup, short **
103 (2003) Juddering gated bass beat w glissando guitar**
104 (2004) Gnarly distorting bass w bouncing pings****
105 (2004) Vocal guitar dirge *
106 (1998) Swinging Eno vocal song with yearning guitar** (All The Bloody Fighters)
107 (1997) Lilting loop***
108 (1997) Short mysterious piece**
109 (1998) Upbeat xylophone ditty, great chorus***
110 (1998) Building chord sketch for pop song**
111
112 (1998) Wobbling experiments – quite Aphex-ish**
113 (2021) Twinkling synths short **
114 (2015) Bubbling bright synth motifs occasionally coalescing into brief rhythms ***
115 (2021) Beautiful soft focus morning *****
116 (2021) Classic Eno ambient drift voices ****
117 (2021) Synthetic, melodic runs almost identical to Funki Porcini’s ‘6 Minutes To Manchester’ ***
118 (2021) Minimal suspense, fading***
119 (2011) Excellent Fast breakbeat cut up *****
120 (2020) Understated deep pads
121 (2020) Gorgeous ambient drift *****
122 (2000) Vocal choir jolly ditty
123 (2000) Vocal song Run Out of Time **
124 (2000) Short strummy vocal song
125 (1998) Euphoric synth melodies **
126 (1998) Short Eastern synth figure
127 (1998) Ticking filtered sinister apprehension w. disturbances breaking through ****
128 (1998) High pitched atonal crystalline rhythm pattern**
129 (1998) Church organ plays sea shanty*
130 (1998) Odd little bass mood***
131 (2015) Japanese percussion & horns
132 (2015) Mysterious mechanical groove***
133 (2015) Industrial trip hop beats + phased, gated noise – excellent ****
134 (2015) Bright airy synth , fast beats***
135
136 (1998) Stumbling solo piano **
137 (1997) Jolly but slightly annoying descending melody *
138 (1997) Cheeky electronic rhythm**
139 (1997) Apollo-esque ambience *****
140 (2020) Soft reverb piano, contemplative ***
141 (2011) Super lush *****
142 (1998) Distant tinkly reverb piano***
143 (1998) Apollo-ish drift, beautiful as only Eno can do *****
144 (2000) Dreary vocal pop with Bontempi organ *
145 (2002) Minimal Darkness tubular echoes***
146 (2002) Lush strings pulling in and out of focus ***
147 (1997) Slowly see-sawing drone***
148 (1998) Downbeat moody chugger **
149 (1998) Version of ‘Blissed’ from The Drop, piano, bongos and insistent chink ****
150 (1998) Climbing starlight filtered melody, glistening, twinkling***
151 (1998) Electronic bird screeches **
152 (1998) Aimless keyboard doodle*
153 (1998) Stilted electric piano solo*
154 (1998) Icy high keys**
155 (1998) Hesitant flute-esque keyboard exploration *
156 (1994) Scary Deep space choir***
157 (1994) African drums and metallic solo**
158
159 (2009) Solemn/sweet notes suspended ***
160 (?) Beats **
160 (1991) Unreleased Version of Fractal Zoom with distortion *****
161 (1991) Indian Violin and tablas
161 (2011) Slow, soft drifting pads****
162 (1991) Sneaky bar jazz
163 (1991) Sneaky Bar jazz II **
164 (1991) Eno vocal w. acoustic guitar, slap bass and keys – funky breakdown *
165 (1991) Hey nonny nonny, Indian strings, London Bridge is falling down *
166 (1990) Ambient 4-ish – lovely *****
167 (2010) Slight synth figure hovering
168
169 (1998) Purring undulating loop surges building to harsher noise ***
170 (1989) Gentle Amazon forest ambience with birds, insects, building dread drone and bells****
171 (2005) Celestial Drift *****
172
173 (2017) Uplifting full band cut *****
174 (1994) Generative Xylophone noodle jazz *
175 (1994) Insistent chugging machine rhythm w. whipping – long! ***
176 (1994) Industrial hum / Stomping trip hip beat w. shimmering synths – long! ****
177 (1994) Squeezebox & woodblock
178 (1994) Percussive eastern rhythms **
179 (1994) Vocal harmonies and solemn keyboard
180
181 (1994) Menacing loop w. sudden random jazz piano***
182 (1991) Late night wander ****
183 (1991) Nerve Net era snaking bass funk
184 (1991) Off kilter bass mood ****
185 (1991) Another Green World-like guitar and piano journey ***
186 (1991) Atonal melody meander – Aphex before Aphex ***
187 (1991) Frantic urgent twiddling eastern melodies***
188 (1991) Godlike genius ambient *****
189 (1991) Slap bass groove **
190 (1991) Deep broody ambience / ‘The Electrician’-like dread****
191 (1991) Deeper broody ambience / Distant suspense ***
192 (1994) Short, sparse, hesitant bongs*
193 (1994) Light, bobbling, slightly creepy ambience ****
194 (1995) Low strings
195 (1994) Low hovering cello ***
196 (1994) Low whirring menacing drones and strings***
197 (1994) Low synth bass w high weirdo keys*
198 (1994) Military tattoo drums w. metal banging and airy keys*
199 (1994) Waves of voices, rushing, percolating noise, chiming bell, industrial thud ***
200 (1989) Marsh-like Ambient 4 whistling birds ****

201 (1991) Organ-led vocal song
202 (2005) String synths soaring as diving***
203 (1995) Hysterical piano and modulating sub bass machine jazz ***
204
205 )2001) Short filtered rising falling drum**
206 (2018) Live drums w. menace***
207 (2020) Cautious keys, building, dropping***
208 (2021) Fast bleepy keyboard algorithm composition, sounds like early LFO or Autechre***
209 (2021) Gorgeous ambient drift / Distant reverb flutes, this one is lush – long too*****
210 (2020) Soft focus waves ebbing and flowing****
211 (2021) Solo piano algorithms & building strings ***
212 (2021) Violin top note ambience, soft low and slow****
213 (2018) Euphoric ambient pads ***
214 (1991) Eastern keyboard figures *
215 (1991) Wailing vocal ballad with piano **
216 (1991) Soaring synth guitar solo *
217 (1991) Fractal Zoom-ish upbeat funk w. squalling synths, metallic drums ****
218 (1991) Vocal version of another song with different backing** possibly 215
219 (1991) Dark ocean seabed ***
220 (1991) Different version of another track here (maybe 221 or 187?), eastern keyboard melody on fast tapping rhythm – maybe embryonic version of Two Dogs? or Sneaky Bar Jazz (161)**
221 (1991) Arabic jam***
222 (2019) Ambient version of faster break number, excellent slow swoop ****
223 (2021) Guitar and piano meander
224 (1994) Scary swirling ****
225 (1991) High pitched ambience – beautiful and long *****
226 (2001) Singing bowls ***
227 (2001) Choir singing bowls *****
228 (1995) Creeping ambience
229 (1991) Deep ambient, winding drone w. distant movements ****
230 (1996) Quiet swooping string section
230 (1994) Urgent snappy machine rhythm w. bubbling xylophone menace ****
231 (1991) Stately synth bombast *
232 (1994) Solemn synths**
233 (2020) Spatial drift w. skittish surging signals ***
234 (2020) Low droning cello **
235 (2020) Fading mournfulness / Low slow strings sweeps ***
236 (2000) Offbeat machine funk ****
237 (2000) Ominous drone **
238 (2000) Trampolines no beat with fast violin, short*
239 (1996) Sombre strings
240 (2000) Late night radio hiss, bobbing tempo and interference building to gorgeousness ***
241 (2020) Insistent percussion over mysterious drone ***
242 (1995) Digital horns over tepid rhythm  – more sneaky bar jazz?*
243 (1996) Whirring ambience **
244 (1996) Plinky Piano / Duelling solo pianos
245 (2021) Twangy guitar and backwards tape loops **
246 (2000) Early version of ‘Bloom’ from Drawn From Life
247 (2021) Solo piano repeat figures ***
248 (2020) Buzzing gated rhythm surging, ping pong highlights ***
249 (2000) Dark fuzzy menace
250 (1994) Fast throbbing industrial engine rhythm w. floating electronics – long jam***
251 (2020) Desolate windy tundra ****
252 (2020) Short slight tension
253 (2000) Ghostly vocoder ambience / Synthetic vocal poem with eerie accompaniment ***
254 (2000) Acoustic light***
255 (2021) Distant girl reverb ambient ***
256 (2021) Warm bass, high shimmering tones ***
257 (1996) Fast percussion + bass, pursuit ***
258 (1996) Lilting late night keys ****
259 (2021) Double-timed bass with half time percussion and keyboard flourishes ***
260 (1994) Insistent bobbing rhythm w. synth washes and exploratory keys**
261 (1991) Gorgeous ambient, one of the best on here *****
262 (1998) Short bass groove with sinister keys ***
263 (2009) Beautiful rising/falling synth chords w. muted kick drum****
264 (1994) Ominous background riff w. new bulletins and football match ***
265 (2000) Dogs in the night – excellent female spoken voice dark bass groove *****
266 (2019) Undulating pulsing techno ***
267
268 (1996) Banging techno w. very bad scratching down to downtempo trip hop w. Miles Davis trumpet – very odd, very un-Eno****
269 (2000) Odd meandering wordless vocal w. sprightly melodic keys****
270
271 (2021) Downtempo band groove w. synth horns and percussion **
272 (2021) Ringing chime triplets
273 (2018) Speedy skittering techno jazz w. organ solo and distorted vocal*****
274 (2018) Hiiiieeee!!!! ***
275 (2018) Solo tremolo guitar **
276 (2020) Minimal plucked bleeps *
277 (2010) Beautiful sparse chime keys – gorgeous ****
278 (2021) More machine funk, algorithmic edits and high pitched top notes***
279 (2010) Lilting piano and odd strings – (Ross & Cromarty)**
280 (2021) Soft xylophone type melodies
281 (2020) Grinding bass groove ****
282 (2020) Murky reverb keys**
283 (2020) Creepy pings, oriental tones ***
284 (2018) Fast throbbing helicopter drumming***
285 (2006) Banging trip hop beats and breaks ****
286 (2021) Off kilter machine funk ***
287 (2019) Fractured transmissions breaking through, rumbling, becoming clearer**
288
289 (2018) Drum machine edits & wah wah funk ***
290 (2103) Dark ambient kick short
291 (2017) Bell-like tones ****
292 (2017) Mournful ambience ***
293 (2013) Live band jam, wandering guitar plucks, squealing solos, Drawn From Life-ish**
294 (2021) Bass synth noodle & stabs *
295 (2011) Filtered fast breakbeat, throbbing bass and mysterious keys, DnB tempo ***
296 (2016) Mid tempo bobbing gated pad / Gently bobbing keyboard instrumental**
297 (2019) Excellent moody downtempo beats and electronics *****
298 (2020) Arabian Eno vocal, uptempo live drums
299 (1997) Epic choir and State of Independence vibe / pitched vocals ***
300 (2019) Sweet descending reverb motif, building***

301
302 (2018) Meandering lightness & bass drops – long and beautiful! *****
303 (2004) Chugging rhythm w. wordless auto tuned vocal song idea, euphoric keys, short then fade***
304 (2009) Double time kick drum progression under triumphant organ melody**
305 (2005) Vocal song about eyes w. electric guitar and organ accompaniment **
306 (2004) Short spoken word w. piano
307 (2004) Solo Eno vocal and piano **
308 (2006) Brian sounds miserable vocal song *
309 (1996) Choir in space-short***
310
311
312 (2000) Terry Riley-esque organ figures ***
313 (2000) Drums w. echo & keys jam*
314 (2000) Version of ‘Persis’ from Drawn From Life. Plodding beat and strings*****
315 (1999) Stark drum break reverb w. distorted electric bass***
316 (1999) Offbeat dark jazz rhythm w. surging monster sounds****
317 (1999) Shimmering crystal ambience ****
318 (1999) So so-lo synth melody **
319 (2000) Frippertronic-like interweaving ambience ****
320 (1999) Soaring & dive bombing ambience *****
321 (1999) Downtempo beats and drill bass **
322 (1999) Downtempo gated bass, drum machine and 80s-ish synth song arrangement**
323 (1999) Vocoder version of ‘Two Voices’ from Drawn From Life *****
324
325 (2019) Sweet ethereal melodies, Xmas-y **
326 (2021) Short Beautiful solo piano ****
327 (2014) Female vocal experiments bird-like calls ****
328 (2020) Squelchy fast machine funk **
329 (2000) Building Kinetic machine rhythms ***
330 (2012) Neon Lights-ish pleasant synth and drum machine song**
331 (1999) Solo Arabian synth melodies
332 (2021) Abrasive chime reverb drone w. undulating high notes****
333 (1999) Short church organ figure**
334 (2021) Very fast drum machine percussion and wailing eastern synth w. micro edits***
335 (2019) Uplifting synth in 6/8 time ***
336 (1999) Insistent throbbing foreboding click rhythm, snaking melody****
337 (2020) Odd, weird, slow, disjointed **
338 (1999) Oh this is really fucking good! Beautiful soaring ambience *****
339 (2004) Eno vocal harmonies meets odd pop
340 (2021) Insistent strumming w. airy pads – short!***
341
342 (2021) Euphoric synth stomp**
343 (1999) Shimmering high pitched crystals ****
344 (2013) Winding acoustic and piano shimmer **
345 (1999) Funeral procession solo keys**
346 (2020) Galloping almost acid techno fading into ambience ***
347 (1999) Crystals dropping *****
348 (2005) Upbeat vocal pop ditty, down down **
349 (1999) Excellent moody throbbing 6/8 beat & bass, War of the Worlds-ish synth motif *****

PS: Brian announced a new album this week too – Foreverandevernomore – primarily a vocal album is seems, available on LP (black and clear vinyl) and CD – pre-order here (the CD has an extra track apparently)

Eno clear vinyl

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

CD DISC ON BODY

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

Head Flyer - Size1

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

DSC00325

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

Head DVD front:backHead DVD contents

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

Head1

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

end credits (final)

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

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

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

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

MS112 Soul Jazz Select PRS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mixcloud Select 110 – Coldcut & Openmind in for Andrew Weatherall – 25/08/1994 3rd hour

MS110 tape

I’m doing something different this week by putting this hour up for all seeing as it’s half by Coldcut and half by myself. Subscribers who have last week’s 2nd hour can complete the full 3 hr show if you head over to Coldcut’s Solid Steel Mixcloud page where they will upload the first hour by Matt Black. The 3rd hour is below and open to all.

In a mirror of my set in last week’s upload I start with a Ken Nordine then an Orb track and into a pivotal tune that holds a special place for me in how things evolved in the 90s musically. I first heard Coldcut’s ‘Eine Kleine Hed Musik’ on their incredible Coldcut meets the Orb show of New Years Eve, 1991/92. At the time it was unreleased and when I first met Matt Black at one of our Telepathic Fish parties in 1993 I asked him what it was as there was no track list and no clue as to where it came from. He told me it was a Coldcut track but others weren’t sure about releasing it, to which I told him in no uncertain terms that it was amazing and perfectly timed with what was happening at the moment (elements of what would become trip hop bubbling up through the ambient scene).

This propelled him to include it on the vinyl version of Coldcut’s ‘Philosophy’ LP when Ninja Tune released it (the majors not seeing the point in vinyl at that point, how things change). This was at a point when (I think) Coldcut were still signed to A&M but breaking away and trying to get their name back to use on Ninja Tune as the label seemed to be losing interest and they were keen to be their own bosses, hence Ninja and the DJ Food alias. By the time of this show I had a solid vinyl copy of the track at last after having it on tape for 2.5 years, it gave Matt and I a connection from our first meeting and it represents a key point in my career as a DJ.

The Ballistic Brothers vs Eccentric Afros 12”s got so much action back in the mid 90s, seminal trip hop blueprints, probably never to be repressed due to huge samples I’d wager. The unknown ambient sax track up next was from a tape I bought in Ambient Soho, long since lost in the mists of time and the sax loop I’ve just discovered (via the power of Shazam) is the intro to Dionne Warwick’s ‘A House Is Not A Home’. Such a beautiful track made from a simple idea. Mike Oldfield meeting the Orb was always an idea waiting to be ticked off the list and their overhaul of his Sentinel track is one of their best remixes IMO. Swimming out of this come the Cocteau Twins with ‘Whales Tails’, I played a fair bit of 4AD stuff in chill out sets around this time, lots of This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance too.

I think Matt takes over for this last section so I can’t comment too much although the Autechre tracks might be me but I can’t be sure. This 3rd hour concludes the set – I’ve sent Matt’s 1st hour to him to put up on the Coldcut Mixcloud – and has a similar feel to the Alien Sphinx shows we used to do something on Solid Steel where we’d forego the ads and sometimes have an extra hour for one reason or another (British Summer Time ending was always one).

Tracklist:
Ken Nordine – You’re Getting Better
The Orb – Back Side Of The Moon (Underwater Deep Space)
Coldcut – Eine Kleine Hed Musik
The Ballistic Brothers vs The Eccentric Afros – Anti-Gun Movement
Unknown – Ambient sax track
Mike Oldfield Vs The Orb – Sentinel (Orbular Bells)
Cocteau Twins – Whales Tails

The Ink Spots – Do I Worry?
Coldcut – Sign
Drome – Hinterland, Kassler Kessel
Unknown – Unknown
Autechre – The Eggshell
Autechre – Flutter (on 33rpm)
Deep Space Network – Om
Tonoto’s Expanding Headband – Jetsex

Moonbuilding magazine issue 1

MB cover CD

The first issue of Moonbuilding is here! Put together by Neil Mason (ex of Electronic Sound magazine) and published quarterly by Castles In Space, it features guest design work from Nick Taylor, a column by Alex Paterson of The Orb and the return of Steven Appleby’s Captain Star comic strip. Also comes with a 13 track CD
Order via the Castles In Space Bandcamp page

MB CD back

MB Books

MB DH 1

MB DH 2

MB Capt Star

MB Howl

MB Levi

Jazz mags video by Manalishi

This is a very cool little clip by Manalishi“My good friend Matt Ford kindly lent me a shoebox full of his grandad’s 1940’s jazz magazines. I was so impressed by their condition and also the quality of the designs that I decided to animate my favourite bits.”
Matt Ford you may know by another name – DJ Format, here’s what he had to say about the clip. “I only recently discovered that my grandad used to run a jazz club in the Southampton area where I grew up. He was a massive hoarder and kept all his jazz magazines, records & gramophones until his death in 1983. My gran then kept all of these lovely items for the next 39 years and passed them on to me. It’s interesting to think that some of my weird/obsessive record collecting ways were inherited from my jazz-loving grandad!”
See more on Matt’s Instagram

Howlround – Trespass and Welfare album and Fogfest

CDcover
Robin The Fog – not content with releasing a collaborative cassette with Ken Hollings (The Howling via The Tape Worm), creating episodes for MSCTY about tape music (see earlier post), gigging or holding workshops virtually every week as well as holding down a full time job – is also releasing a new album with the Buried Treasure label. For those paying attention over the last few years, a couple of limited lathe cut singles with BT have pointed the way, La Fog has been moving towards the heavier, noisier end of things of late. Pounding, industrial 4/4 beats are the order of the day in part on Trepass and Welfare with various phase-shifting motifs moving through the repetition to form new rhythms and patterns. This is very successful on opener, ‘Sonicjob Horsfunk’ where a buried vocal seems to intone different phrases as it’s filtered around the sound spectrum.
The album is out on CD & DL on July 29th and you can pre-order it here

CD2
Below is a short video made by the excellent Cinema Iloobia for the album closer, ‘Frosi’


And the week after release is the inaugural occurrence of Fogfest at Iklectik, another thing that’s eating up Robin’s time to organise. I’ll be joining the bill of Sculpture, Steve Davis, Franziska Lantz and Robin himself for music, drink and chat in Waterloo. Tickets available here https://iklectikartlab.com/fogfest/

Fogfest flyer

Mixcloud Select 109 – Coldcut & Openmind in for Andrew Weatherall – 25/08/1994 2nd hour

MS109 Tape
Andrew Weatherall once had a late night, weekday show on KISS FM back in the 90’s, running – I think – between 1993 and 1994. Coldcut were asked to sit in for him a few times and I got to play one of these during August 1994. I can’t remember if we did it live, I doubt it being that it was 1-4am on a Wednesday night, we probably pre-recorded it.

This particular set is Matt Black and myself using multiple decks and CD players, I think I even bought a cassette in to play one particular piece from and it’s a good example of Solid Steel from around that time, quite ambient, downtempo with an uptempo electronic ending. Of the three hours, Matt did the first, I did the 2nd and most if not all of the 3rd, it’s hard to tell until I have a full track list.

Kicking off with Ken Nordine, then a recent find on a Rhino best of CD via Mixmaster Morris who introduced me to him in 1993 and blew my mind. The Orb we all know, hard to believe it’s 30 years this summer that this came out on the UFOrb album. Early Ninja beats from Up, Bustle & Out into Sounds From The Ground – a lesser heralded act from around this time which included Elliot Morgan Jones who was also Path who appear later. One of the first vinyl design jobs I ever did was for him under the Path alias on his own Sound Information label – lovely guy.

There’s been a lot of talk on the internet about trip hop this week and here are a brace of beats from older 80s cuts by the likes of Depth Charge and Tackhead with a couple of tracks from Aphex’s then newly-released Selected Ambient Works II and the Psychic Warriors of Gaia sandwiched in between. A brief dash of the Orb’s mix of KLF’s 3AM and another snatch of Ken from the Sound Museum, one of my absolute favourites by the man.

Things get multi-layered from here and I can’t identify all the tracks going on as many of them bleed into one another or run in the background, ducking and diving in and out of the mix. Steve Hillage’s ‘Rainbow Dome Musick’ is one of them and must play for at least 10 minutes or more. Global Communication’s ‘9.25’ I can definitely hear, the Path vs Spacehead is another and Tounesol’s ‘Holy Cow’ but there’s lots more going on in there. Once we reach Hillage there’s a slow build into quite a raucous section of pounding acid techno with a Beaumont Hannant track from the vinyl version of his Texturology album that I can’t find the name of. Out of this comes one of my favourite UK acid tracks – Sulphuric’s ‘Acid Chamber’ on Infonet – a sole release under this name being the work of Pete (The Hypnotist/MLO and may more) Smith and Kris Needs and it’s incredible. Hillage is still in the mix and then we get another Aphex track to play out, the pounding but mysterious ‘D-Scape’ from his ‘On’ release.

Tracklist:
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum
The Orb – O.O.B.E.
Up, Bustle & Out – Lazy Daze
Sounds From The Ground – Triangle
Depth Charge – Bounty Killers (Measly 1000 Bucks version)
Aphex Twin – Untitled (Flute SAW II)
P.W.O.G – Linkage
Aphex Twin – Untitled (Industrial Beats SAW II)
Tackhead – What’s My Mission Now?
KLF – 3AM (Blue Danube Orbital)
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum
Global Communiation – 9.25
Unknown – Unknown
Path vs Spacehead – Neptune
Tounesol – Holy Cow
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick
Beaumont Hannant – unknown
Sulphuric – Acid Chamber
Aphex Twin – D-Scape

Yasushi Takayama interviews – Mo Wax Japan, Toys Factory and more

Kev and Yasushi-Sharpen web

The DJ Shadow Reconstructed website has just published the second of two very indepth interviews with Yasushi Takayama – an old friend who worked for the Toys Factory record label in Japan in the 90s. Toys Factory manufactured and distributed both Ninja Tune and Mo Wax back in the day and did some beautiful releases with bonus tracks as well as bring acts from the labels to Japan for tours and concerts. Yasushi was instrumental in dealing with the labels and would be on hand to help and hang out with us when we visited the country.

Above is a shot of a much younger Yasushi and I during my first visit to Japan in 1996 and I have many fond memories of meals, record shopping and special visits to secret stores with him during our times out there. I put him in touch with Jon at the website who is diving deep into the people and places around Shadow’s career and supplied some personal photos from the time. Whilst the interviews are mostly Mo Wax-related they also give a behind the scenes look at the times and Ninja Tune is mentioned in relation to Yasushi’s role at the label. For collectors and music history fans these interviews are full of rare flyers, previously unpublished photos and show how unique the Japanese versions of these releases were.

Yasushi and DJ Vadim Vaccuum Records 1997-web
Yasushi with DJ Vadim at the Vaccuum Record shop, Tokyo in 1997.

Interview Part 1
Interview Part 2

Posted in Music, Records. | 1 Comment |

Record Mirror illustrated covers

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

I’m mildly fascinated by these rock illustrations from Record Mirror magazines circa 1978-1981 when artists were asked to interpret pop idols of the day for covers and the odd poster. This was back when Record Mirror was a newspaper of the same size as NME, Melody Maker and Sounds before downsizing to magazine format.

RM Blondie 2

RM Blondie
They LOVED Blondie, she was constantly on the cover, probably because a beautiful woman sold copies. Not sure what to make of the suggestive poster at the top!

RM Bruce

RM BS

RM centre poster

RM Chrisse
Ivor Sexton, Alan Alder, David Street, Bob Zammarchi, Bush Hollyhead, Peter Watson, Mark (Zodiac Mindwarp) Manning, Conny Jude, Chris Chaisty, Chris Preistley and Graham Stevens are just some of the names I can see credited, some are familiar, some not.

RM Clash

RM Elvis 2

RM Elvis 3

RM Elvis

RM Grease

RM Led Zep

RM Linda

RM Marley

RM Metal
There was a trend for this kind of caricature around this time with a whole raft of posters released in similar styles (one of which – the Siouxsie centre spread – is featured here). I’ve posted about them before and there’s more to come…
RM Nick Lowe

RM PIL

RM Sexism

RM Siouxsie 2

RM Siouxsie

RM Stevie

RM Who

RM Springsteen 2

Posted in Art, Magazines, Music. | No Comments | Tags:

Mixcloud Select 108: Beating Around The Bush 14/02/2005

MS108 CDr

This was a last half hour in early 2005, we’d traditionally save selections like this for the last slot, material that was a bit more esoteric and unusual, something to wind down with rather than kick off the show and risk people turning off. It’s a game of two halves but both are played for laughs with the former being country cover versions of hip hop classics and the latter being George Bush cut ups, mainly focused on the War in Iraq.

Ricky V Valentine’s ‘Ghetto Classics’ (split into two halves here) first appeared on the Souvenirs EP via the Leeds-based C Side Trax label and is – as far as I know – the only thing released under that name by whoever was behind it. It’s a brilliantly observed take off of Grandmaster Flash, NWA, Outcaste and Jay Z and more of a skit than a song. Nina Gordon was in mid 90’s band Veruca Salt, an indie/grungy pop band who the UK press loved for a minute which is why it’s so odd to hear her cover NWA in such a delicate way, brilliantly absurd. I probably got it from the internet but it turned up on what looks like a bootleg 45 years later in 2010 with a Richard Cheese cover on the flip which makes an appearance next with his take on Snoop Dogg’s ‘Gin & Juice’.

MS108 PRS

Through the power of Discogs I’ve finally discovered who did the cover of ‘Boyz In (N) The Hood’ – it was alt rock band Dynamite Hack (no, me neither) – there’s a cheesy frat boy golfing video on YouTube to go with it too. Then we have tales from Boris ‘the hip hop roadie’ from Pitman’s second LP, according to Boris he was the catalyst for most of hip hop’s founding moments. No idea where I found the ‘Ace of Spades’ cover (probably online, it was the file-sharing 00’s) but the vocal is a dead ringer for Lemmy or they found the multi-tracks somewhere.

Now comes the George Bush half of the set with the bizarre George Bush Singers shadowing lines cut from Bush speeches. This comes from a whole album entitled ‘Songs In The Key of W’ which I’m now keen to hear and has sent me down a YouTube/Discogs wormhole. Big City Orchestra have been making cut ups in the tradition of Negativland for decades and they have a special take on George, the origin of which I’ve no idea as their discography is so huge. After another blast of the GWB Singers we finish with ‘Bushwhacked 2’ – a collaboration by Chris Morris and Osymyso released on Warp records with this being a remix by Jonathan Whitehead. Dubya was the subject of many cut ups over the years with his speeches an easy target for re-editing, these weren’t the first or the last to be featured on Solid Steel.

PS: As you can see my KLF mix was also archived on this disc although it wasn’t broadcast on this show, to hear it you can go here https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/the-sound-of-music/

Track list:
Ricky V Valentine – Ghetto Classics Pt.1
Nina Gordon – Straight Outta Compton
Richard Cheese – Gin & Juice
Ricky V Valentine – Ghetto Classics Pt.2
Dynamite Hack – Boyz In the Hood
Pitman – Boris
Twistin Tarantulas – Ace Of Spades
The George W. Bush Singers – 4,000 Hours
Big City Orchestra – F The Leader
The George W. Bush Singers – War in Iraq
10NN – Bushwhacked 2 (Gim Ponavesspa conclusion)

Hawksmoor’s ‘Head Coach’ CD designs


A new release for Hawksmoor on the Spun Out Of Control label that I had the pleasure to design recently. Their first CD, it comes in a 4 panel digipak with a 12 pg booklet. The 11 track album centres around the alignment of the town of Milton Keynes with the summer solstice.
Pre-order up now Bandcamp
Pictured above are work in progress images including mood boards at various stages of the design of the album. A few of these I like as much as the finished version so I thought I’d share them here.

Hawksmoor SOOC CD1 cover

Initial picture research and ideas started in February, based around the new town of Milton Keynes and the architectural team altering the position of the town by a few degrees so that the main boulevards would align with the summer solstice sunset (all true).

Head Coach inside

Photography of local landmarks, maps, logos and road signage were all considered for a retro 70s look. If you search online there’s some amazing concept artwork dating back to the town’s initial conception. The light pyramid on the cover was a strong image that had to feature prominently, the roundabouts and maze too.

First layouts arrived mid Feb but a rethink was needed, a heavy workload elsewhere meant it was mid March before we started to get the initial look we ended up with. At each step I worked with James Hawksmoor and Gavin for SOOC to refine the designs to their taste. By April we’d nailed it aside from the fine detail but a trip to MK to photograph content for the booklet (not shown here) was needed to which Gavin gamely stepped up.

Head Coach back cover

More tinkering through a busy May and into June to refine the last details and it was done. Thankfully it will take weeks rather than months to manufacture due to it being the label’s first CD.

SOOC booklet pg 1

Mixcloud Select -107 Satanic Messages in Rock pt 492 Solid Steel 03/02/2003

MS107 Satanic Messages in Rock CDR
This is a silly one, a short collection of mostly comedy, cover versions or mash up tracks that was probably a last half hour in early February of 2003. The CD says ‘Satan’ but the PRS sheet states, ‘Satanic Messages in Rock pt 492’. Opening with Kenny Everett who loved his Jean-Jacques Perry as a backing track, we slide quickly into a laid back Stereolab remix of The Polyphonic Spree’s ‘Soldier Girl’. By this point, the internet was yielding all sorts of audio treats via numerous illegal file sharing sites and the preacher talking about Satanic messages in rock music is spoken word gold and peppered throughout the mix. Including Missy Elliot’s ‘Work It’ chorus which reverses itself was a nice touch. The Queen classic ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ was mentioned so it made sense to include it and showcase exactly what the preacher was talking about, I’ll let you discover it for yourself.

I’ve no idea where ‘I’m A Mormon’ came from but I thought it was funny, apologies to all Mormons out there. Now into a couple of ska cover version, Mancini’s peerless ‘A Shot In The Dark’ from the Pink Panther and ‘Caravan’, always go down well at parties. The Amelie theme song set to an electronic background was probably found on the web, I loved the film so this connected. More preaching over the end of it in the form of a ludicrous list of performers and films that were deemed ‘satanic’ by the church in the 80’s. Back to the silliness and the Perry & Kingsley, this time paired with the ‘Thong Song’ by Frenchbloke & Son, two of the funniest practitioners of the mash up scene and friends to this day. Moog Country meets Missy next with more backwards lyrics and then into Andy Votel’s cover of the ‘Chatanaga Choo Choo’ from the Finders Keepers Jukebox series of 45s.

We play out with an excerpt from the DJs On Strike Solid Steel mix which was so crazy it was vetoed by the powers that be and self-released on CD by the group as ‘Too Hot For Solid Steel’. I excerpted a couple of bits so that you get the gist and added Kenny in for the final few bars.

Tracklist:

Kenny Everett – Hello/Moog theme
Polyphonic Spree – Soldier Girl (Stereolab remix)
Missy Elliot – Work It
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
Janine Brady & the Brite Singers – I’m a Mormon
Roland Alphonso – A Shot In The Dark (Take 1)
Roland Alphonso – Ska-ra-van (Take 2)
Unknown – Amelie On Ice
Frenchbloke & Son – Unidentified Flying Thong
Dsico – This Is Missy Country
Andy Votel – Chatanaga Choo Choo
DJs On Strike – Too Hot For Solid Steel (excerpt)

John Peel Bonhams auction highlights

John Peel at home
Today sees the auction of items from John Peel‘s amazing collection at Bonhams in Knightsbridge. You can view 200 items from the auction online here from the incredible, often historical, contents. Whilst there are letters, lyrics, acetates, clothing and promos by heavyweights like Bowie, Lennon & Ono, Bolan and Factory Records, those don’t interest me as much as these items below. The notes and photos below come from the Bonhams catalogue entries.
JP Gandalf's Garden illustration
THE PERFUMED GARDEN: THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY KEN HAYES CREATED FOR JOHN PEEL’S ARTICLE IN THE MAGAZINE ‘GANDALF’S GARDEN’, 1967,
Gouache on artboard, hand-painted by Ken Hayes (Graphics Dept) as an illustration to accompany an article by John Peel in Issue No.1 of the sub-culture magazine ‘Gandalf’s Garden’. The centrepiece of the artwork reading John Peel all at sea in the galaxy with the names of bands such as The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Captain Beefheart, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd and Donovan among others in the design around it, signed and dated ‘67 by the artist in the bottom right corner, the back of the board with a handwritten football score Chelsea 1 – Liverpool 2, 14 1/2in x 24 1/2in (37cm x 62cm)
*Sold for £4,462.50

JP GG spread-low_res-scale-2_00x-gigapixel

‘Gandalf’s Garden’ was a publication focusing on a ‘mystical community’ which flourished at the end of the 1960s as part of the London hippie-underground movement. The magazine emerged in 1968 and ran for 6 issues. This artwork can be seen on Page 8 of Issue No.1 alongside John Peel’s article ‘A Dawn Walk In The Mind Of The Musical Gardener’, published 1st May 1968.
JP Pink Floyd poster
PINK FLOYD/JOHN PEEL: AN IMPORTANT AND RARE ‘EVOLUTIONS’ SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY CONCERT POSTER, Friday 26th January 1968,
Printed on metallic paper, for a concert featuring performances by Pink Floyd, John Peel, Incredible String Band, Jimmy Cliff and the Shakedown Sound, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Chicken Shack, Nelson’s Column, held at the Old Refectory, University of Southampton, England, 20in x 30in (51cm x 76cm)
The title of this event is eerily apposite, the date being that on which Pink Floyd effectively sacked Syd Barrett. His increasingly drug-related erratic and difficult behaviour through 1967 and the band’s evolving musical direction led them to seek another guitar player.
At the end of that year they brought in one of Syd’s friends, David Gilmour, and the band played a handful of gigs as a five-piece in January 1968. In his book, Echoes: The Complete History Of Pink Floyd, Glenn Povey writes: “Syd Barrett was clearly never going to come back to the real world, and his role within Pink Floyd was all but over. One solution the band thought of was to use him as an off-stage songwriter in the same way that the Beach Boys retained Brian Wilson. But almost at once they realised that this was an impossibility.” Travelling to Southampton for this gig, the band simply decided not to pick Syd up en route.
As MC/DJ for the evening, this poster was kept as a souvenir by John Peel. It is thought this is the first example of the poster ever to appear at auction and it may possibly be a unique survivor of the small number that would have been put up around the University campus to publicise the concert.
*SOLD for £8,925
JP Hapshash poster
PSYCHEDELIA: A HAPSHASH & THE COLOURED COAT-STYLE POSTER, 1960s,
Printed on gold coloured card, with typical Hapshash-style castle and sky motif and twisting prose about a grain of sand, origin unknown, 20in x 30in (51cm x 76cm)
Hapshash and the Coloured Coat was an influential British graphic design and avant-garde musical partnership in the late 1960s, consisting of Michael English and Nigel Waymouth, who produced popular psychedelic posters. Though this poster has no artist or publishing credit, it bears several stylistic similarities to other well-known Hapshash posters.
*Sold for £637.50
JP Oz trail vest
OZ: AN OBSCENITY TRIAL VEST TOP, 1971,
A fawn cotton vest top printed with brown and pink slogan ‘Oz Obscenity Trial Old Bailey London 1971’, labelled size 34.
Issue 28, May 1970 (the School Kids Issue), which included a very adult Rupert Bear cartoon strip, led to obscenity charges being brought against the three editors. Peel appeared in court as a defence witness for Neville and co-editors at the trial, held at the Old Bailey in 1971. John Lennon was also one of the high profile supporters of the magazine and released the single “God Save Oz” in order to help raise funds for the magazine’s defence. The three were found guilty, but their convictions were overturned following appeal, resulting in an embarrassing defeat for the Establishment.
*(Bonhams neglect to mention that the image is by Robert Crumb)
*Sold for £828.75
JP Frankie flyer 1982
JOHN PEEL: A NORTH CHESHIRE COLLEGE STUDENT’S UNION CHRISTMAS BALL POSTER, 17th December 1982,
Printed on paper, for the John Peel Roadshow at which Peel invited Frankie Goes To Hollywood to do a session that included an early version of ‘Two Tribes’, at North Cheshire College in Warrington, 20in x 29in (51cm x 73cm)
Soon after this show, the group was asked to record a video for their hit ‘Relax’ which was shown by Channel 4 on ‘The Tube’ in 1983. The growing popularity of the group convinced Grammy Award-winning producer Trevor Horn to sign them to his newly formed ZZT [*ZTT actually] Records. The band later performed the song on Top of The Pops before the song was banned from the BBC in 1984.
8Sold for £280.50

Mixcloud Select 105: Strictly’s Hip Hop Hour 29/05/2001

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21 years ago this week I rounded up a bunch of current hip hop and presented the first half of a Solid Steel show that also included mixes from Four Tet and DK. The tracks largely fall into two camps, the serious, ‘backpacker’ kind, pushing things forward like the Anticon crew or the good time party kind with an eye of the 90s like the Quannum and Ugly Duckling camps. Samples are still a thing and the music is all the better for it with a mix of US and European artists. A lot of this has aged very well and I had a great trip down memory lane listening back. After the usual Solid Steel intro there’s a snatch of a US news report about the new phenomenon of hip hop where the newscaster actually raps along with a snatch of Beat Street Breakdown, probably found online.

Bristol’s Aspects open the show proper with a spoken word cut up track straight out of the Cut Chemist mould, possibly sampling the Columbia School Of Broadcasting set of ‘How To Be A DJ’ albums. Porn Theatre Ushers came out strong with ‘Me & Him’ in the late 90s and ‘Blah Blah Blah’ is taken from the follow up, Sloppy Seconds. They only released one album in 2004 which I’ve still not heard. PUTS were mining that classic 90s Primo/Pete Rock production style and always had solid tracks on their releases. DJ Vadim remixes Supersoul who released a bunch of singles and a couple of LPs over a ten year period and there’s another snatch of the vintage news report on hip hop.

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The A-Trak scratch fest is worth hearing if only to catch DMC’s Tony Prince getting his name wrong from the time he won the Disco Mix Club finals when he was still 15. Def Tex were always underrated IMO, soulful production and decent lyrics, self-releasing before signing to Ninja-affiliated Son Records whose back catalogue is full of gems. It’s party time with the next three tunes kicking up the funk factor with The Nextmen remixing Rae & Christian, Cut Chemist all over Ugly Duckling and Pablo from the Psychonauts giving Lyrics Born and the Poets of Rhythm a bit of turntable grit. This track is a contender for the last great record on MoWax. More Aspects and Def Tex before a lesser known DJ Shadow compilation track makes an appearance.

Guru from Gang Starr’s remix sees him in Jazzmatazz mode of the M, M&W track and then we come to one of my fave Def Tex tracks, ‘Sing Sad Songs’. Produced by Francis Gooding (always asleep by midnight at parties) and Liam Large (he painted my windows once you know) under the name the Large Lefties on a one-off 7” that can criminally still be had for pennies. This is the instrumental part 2 with a scratched story over it but the Def Tex-rapped A side is great too. ‘Basmentized Soul’ is taken from Mr Flash’s debut 7”, ‘Le Voyage Fantastique’ and predates his move to Ed Banger by a couple of years. Changing things up a bit we get a Timmy Thomas cut from his debut LP before Canadian Kunga 219 slips into the mix. His sole album is quite a gem with people like Sixtoo, Buck 65, DJ Moves, Sole and more contributing production or rhymes and has since received a vinyl pressing some years back which you can still find copies of on Bandcamp. ‘Seasus’ brilliantly samples one of my favourite George Duke tracks, ‘North Beach’ so it made sense to finish the set with that.

Track list:
Coldcut – Solid Steel intro
Unknown – 80s Hip Hop News intro
Aspects – Correct English
Porn Theatre Ushers – Blah Blah Blah
People Under The Stairs – Underground Run
Supersoul – Sleepwalker (DJ Vadim remix)
A-Trak – Umbilical Chord
Def Tex – Hey Tune In
Rae & Christian feat. The Pharcyde – It Ain’t Nothing Like (Nextmen remix)
Ugly Duckling – Eye on the Gold Chain (Cut Chemist remix)
Quannum/Lyrics Born & The Poets of Rhythm – I Changed My Mind (Pablo mix)
Aspects – Bristol Fingers
Def Tex – Into The Future
DJ Shadow – Untitled Heavy beat 1&2
Medeski, Martin & Wood – Whatever Happened to Gus (Guru remix)
Def Tex – Sing Sad Songs Pt 2
Mr Flash feat. Mike Ladd – Basmentized Soul
Timmy Thomas – Cold Cold People
Kunga 219 – Seasus
George Duke – North Beach

Mixcloud Select 104 – James Brown tribute mix 12/01/2007

MS104 crop
As James Brown passed away on Christmas Day 2006 I thought it would an idea to do a tribute, but rather than the obvious list of classics we’ve all heard a thousand times, play cover versions, spoken word that referenced him and DJ re-edits for an alternate look at the Godfather of Soul.

Franklin Ajaye opens with the title track from his comedy LP ‘Don’t Smoke Dope, Fry Your Hair’, riffing off JB’s quirks, he’d have had a field day with James’ later shenanigans. Enoch Light comes with a funky (for him) cover of ‘Hot Pants’ from The Brass Menagerie 1973. An easy cover of ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ is taken from side 2 of Bobby & Betty Go To The Moon, a similar feat is performed on the uncredited Happy Monsters LP of children’s songs where they tackle the same track under the title, ‘Clap Your Tentacles’. Derek & Clive’s ‘Bo Duddley’ take off owes more to Mr Dynamite than Mr Diddley, analysing afro-American speech in the most British of ways. DJ Harvey’s re-edit of Dick Hyman’s easy take on ‘Give It Up Or Turn It Loose’ extends the original to nearly nine minutes. The Dick version is from ‘The Age of Electronicus’ LP but this re-edit turned up on a 12” on Black Cock records in the late 90’s.

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I’ve no idea where the reggae cover of Hot Pants comes from, quite possibly cribbed from online somewhere but Nicky Thomas’ version of Soul Power was featured on the ‘Funky Kingston 2 – Reggae Dance Floor Grooves’ compilation in 2005. I’m sure if James was alive today he’d have capitalised on the energy crisis by remaking this as ‘Solar Power’… (I’ll get me coat). Kenny & the Beach Boys’ ‘Big Payback’ was bootlegged on a 45 in 2004 but I’ve no memory of having a copy, Kenny is a dead ringer for James but the band are no relation to Brian Wilson’s boys. The same Orchestra Werner Muller LP that yielded ‘Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine’ was pillaged for not one but two tracks by Bentley Rhythm Ace – a fairly easy album to come by entitled ‘The Strip Goes On’. Salaam Remi’s 40th Anniversary megamix of the hardest working man in show business turned up on a promo 12” in the late 90’s which can still be had for cheap on Discogs.

*Note: this mix was on the same Cdr that last week’s XFM Superchunk mix came from

Track list:
Franklyn Ajaye – Don’t Smoke Dope, Fry Your Hair
Enoch Light & the Light Brigade – Hot Pants
Bobby & Betty – Bobby & Betty Go To The Moon Pt 2
Derek & Clive – Bo Duddley
Dick Hyman – Give it Up Or Turn it Loose (DJ Harvey edit)
Unknown – Hot Pants
Nicky Thomas – Soul Power
Kenny & the Beach Boys – Big Payback
Orchestra Werner Muller – Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine
Salaam Remi – James Brown 40th Anniversary mix