Magnetic Cartridge Quartet ‘Polykicks B’ video


I made a video for my Magnetic Cartridge Quartet ‘Polykicks B’ track from the Buried Treasure ‘Decapod’ compilation – all made using a vintage Strand Patt theatre light with 18″ glass optical effects discs, patterned glass or coloured gel inserts.

The label’s 10th anniversary party is tonight, Sat 14th at The Couch in Bracknell – compilation and ticket here
https://buriedtreasure.bandcamp.com/album/decapoda

The track was made live using my Quadraphon turntable, edited down and given a sonic scrub on the mix by Osymyso. The video footage was filmed using an original Strand theatre light with 18″ rotating glass disc attachments and other visual tricks. Thanks to Rob Halliday for access to the lights and for working the FX.

Mixcloud Select 167: Strictly Session Coldcut 05/08/1995

MS167 tapeTony Morley was the guest this week – who had then just launched his Leaf label – still going strong all these years later and releasing great music too. We met through Chantal aka Mira Calix (RIP) who interned at 4AD where he was working at the time and DJ’d with him at Robin ‘Scanner’ Rimbaud’s Electronic Lounge at the ICA. We invited Tony to play at both Telepathic Fish and onto Solid Steel and later he and I would go on a possible midlife crisis pilgrimage to Dusseldorf together to see the old men of techno perform their Man Machine and Computer World albums but that’s another story. This mix is a weird one, the selection is all over the place and the mixing too, maybe I was too busy chatting and not concentrating much, consider this all about the selection rather than any mix skills.

Starting as I ended a few weeks back with Jimi Tenor’s ‘Cafe Europe (live)’ (which Jon refers to as easy listening funk) there’s an oddity from a Flora Purim promo that was doing the rounds with remixes of her back catalogue – the best of which was the Guy Called Gerald one which is horribly out of tune with Jimi for a few bars at least. This clatters into a Doctor Rockit track from his Ready To Rockit EP on Clear, ‘Cameras & Rocks’, where this Matthew Herbert alias took his usual modus operandi of making tracks solely from sounds listed in the titles. After this is some unknown breakbeat track, possibly from the American New Breed label but I can’t place it and neither can Spotify but the Jaziacs & Snowboy tune after I had not heard in years and bought back many good memories. Hunt this 12” down (starting at 99p on Discogs) it’s a great snapshot of the acid jazz/trip hop crossover happening at the time which a huge dose of old school scratching over ‘Beat Street Strut’ on this track.

PC used to do a great impression of the Doctor Rockit track next, the opener of the aforementioned Clear EP but I’m not sure what the big electronic interference is that suddenly appears, possibly a mixing desk mistake! Then the DnB is back with Luger, from guest Tony Morley’s Leaf label, this was the third release I believe. An odd trio of Keith LeBlanc tracks follow from his Global 2000 album under the name Spike (he’d dropped the ‘DJ’) which was CD only, unusual for me to play three in a row from the same artist. Jimi Tenor is back and then Bjork thunders in after what was most likely an advert break there – tune! Some un-ID’d DnB after – maybe more Droppin Science? and then another tune that I’d not heard in years. Gliderstate’s ‘Landscapes’ – what a beautiful piece of music – airy, melodic DnB with hints of jazz that still retains some weight via those pushing hi hats driving it along. More Clear business with the best title from the Greg Fleckner Quartet’s ‘A Gentle Intro To The GFQ’ 12” in ‘Oi, That’s My Bird’ but definitely not a good mix with Gliderstate, ouch. I’m not sure I even tried to mix Up, Bustle & Out’s ‘Ninja Principality’ out of this but it still sounds tough, Clandestine Ein could program them beats.

Track list:
Jimi Tenor – Cafe Europa (live)
Flora Purim – What You See (Ghost of Flora’s Dream remix by A Guy Called Gerald)
Doctor Rockit – Cameras & Rocks
Unknown – Unknown
Jaziacs & Snowboy – Give It Up Me
Doctor Rockit – Hello
Luger – Pass Agent (Leaf)
Spike – Change
Spike – Story Of Violence
Spike – The Mark
Jimi Tenor – Europa (Main Theme)
Bjork – Army Of Me
Unknown – unknown
Gliderstate – Landscapes
Greg Fleckner Quartet – Oi, That’s My Bird
Up, Bustle & Out – Ninja’s Principality

Mixcloud Select 166: Strictly Session Coldcut 08/07/1995

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Summer 1995 was a busy time, Ninja Tune had released their first compilation, Ninja Cuts: Funkjazztical Tricknology in March which had bought in the first big flush of attention for the label and we were working on the Coldcut Journeys By DJ mix and the next DJ Food album, A Recipe For Disaster. We were still a few months away from the LP launch party at the Blue Note that would give birth to the infamous Stealth night but things were flowering for the label and its slowly expanding roster of artists like The Herbaliser, 9 Lazy 9, The London Funk Allstars, Up, Bustle & Out and Funki Porcini. Another label that was hitting a purple patch was Rising High who were diversifying out of the hardcore that had made their name with artists like Wagon Christ, Bedouin Ascent, Plug and Witchman. The opening track here is by Luke Vibert and comes from the label’s Further Self Evident Truths 2 compilation, a beautiful example of his Throbbing Pouch era trip hop and newly discovery love of drum n bass under his Plug alias.

Joe Nation released a sole 12” on the Chill Out Label and the group consisted of a certain Jonathan Moore – note the spelling of the surname – not the Jonathan More of Coldcut but someone who would go on to play a crucial role in the Ninja Tune label for some years to come. I think I’ve written about Jonathan before, largely under his Voda alias, he occupied a small studio in the same building as Ninja Tune in the 90s and later moved up to occupy the whole of the top floor of the building. He mastered recordings for a living as well as occasionally making music and he was in high demand as both the label and others around the area grew. You can see his Voda label and credit on many Ninja and Ntone releases of the time. He worked as an engineer on Mixmaster Morris’ third album, Coldcut’s records and also engineered the collaboration Coldcut and I did with Grandmaster Flash. I really liked him and, as his empire grew, he eventually moved out and had a large studio up in Soho, mastering, editing and duplicating for all and sundry. The last job I remember doing with him was the remastering for the Cookie Monster/Pinball Number Count 12” that the label released as well as cutting a video for it at his place which would place it around 2003 I think. I looked him up and and he now lives in Bristol and runs a TV subtitling service, I hope he’s well.

More DnB with Danny Breaks from an early Droppin’ Science release, remixed by Origin Unknown, I was still working part time in Ambient Soho around this time and would grab these releases when they came in. Others I would grab were anything on the Pharma label out of Germany, usually on coloured vinyl and a mixture of downtempo acid and electro from the Air Liquide/Jammin’ Unit/Cem Oral/Khan collective with a million aliases. The two tracks here from Kerosene and Zulutronic were from the label’s first two releases and the label would be active for the next five years releasing a mixture of dubbed out acid beats and bleeps. Now, a slight diversion but bear with me, it is relevant to what comes next.

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A funny thing happened to me the other day as I was walking down the back streets of Peckham, looking at stickers on lamp posts and eyeing up a particularly decorated one that D’Face had stuck about ten different designs on. A man walking his dog passed by and suddenly asked if I was Kev? Yes, I replied, not sure if someone had played a trick on me and stuck a label on my back. Turns out he follows me on Instagram and had seen I lived locally, posted a lot of street art bits and also had a connection to Leicester. We got chatting and he revealed that not only did he come from there but also made music and that I had once reviewed one of his releases favourably for Muzik magazine in the 90’s. After more chat it transpired that he was one half of the Headphonauts – a group who released two singles in the mid 90s and then disappeared (as far as I knew) and that no one else I’ve ever talked to even remembers – how random is that!? Anyway, this opened the floodgates and it turns out Ali Gibbs (for it was he) moved to London and started making music solo under the name Nebraska, recording for various labels and running his own, Friends & Relations. We met up again a week or so later and he furnished me with a lovely pile of his back catalogue which included a release by Rex Mitsui, ‘Heddohõn Shõ Ryokõ’ which is the missing link between the Headphonauts’ work and his solo Nebraska releases. Thank you Ali, I now have closure not only on the NT album (read last week’s entry) but also of what happened to the Headphonauts, plus I made a new friend. Isn’t life weird sometimes?
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Back to the tunes, some upfront pressure from an unknown called DJ Food – taken from a 12” promo for a Ninja label showcase in Koln I think – mixes out of the aforementioned Headphonauts’ track ‘Adverse Pt.3’. We get a snatch of the Wagon Christ remix of Witchman’s ‘Red Demon Loco’ (not ‘Watchman’ as Matt Black reads later) and what I love about this is that Luke time-stretches the already slow beat to half time and then stretches it again to half of that, complete with all the sonic aberrations that the technology of the day gave the sound. This just leaves the gate open for a good run of Gescom’s electro-fied ‘Pulz’ from their 12” release on Clear, another sleeve that I helped assemble from a mass of tags Rob and Sean provided of local Manchester writers, like I said, it was a busy year.

PS: For those wondering about the 4/11/95 date on the tape, it was about 10 minutes of As One, B12, Black Dog-esque tracks from another mix, nothing to write home about mix-wise so I’ve not included it. Back with more 1995 beats next week…

Track list:
Wagon Christ – Wet Leg
Joe Nation – Zvona (45-8 Mix)
Danny Breaks – Firin’ Line (Origin Unknown remix)
Kerosene – Nurse City
Zulutronic – Sodotronic
Headphonauts – Adverse Pt.3
DJ Food – Spiral
Witchman – Red Demon Loco (Wagon Christ remix)
Gescom – Pulz

Mixcloud Select 165: Solid Steel 80s Show 20/04/1998

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It has to be said that looking back at the 80s was not on many minds during late 90s. The business of nostalgia wasn’t rearing its head in the dance music world after a decade of year-on-year musical innovation with new genres and styles springing up seemingly annually. I remember the early years of library music, Moog and easy listening compilations around this time, some licensed, some bootlegs and the worlds of soundtracks, Krautrock and music concrete / tape music being explored more and more by diggers who had exhausted the funk, soul and jazz genres. 80’s pop was something very few were looking at which is why I was royally taken the piss out of when I announced I was going to do an 80’s mix on Solid Steel.

Not that this was full of Rick Astley, Kylie or Madonna bangers, the track listing still stands up IMO and I haven’t change my opinion of any of these tracks since the first time I heard them. The The need no introduction, the Energy Mix of ‘Infected’ was hidden away on a 12” B side and is aptly named. My tape crashes in part way through so I’m not sure what, if anything, preceded this but I’d wager it was the opener. Sigue Sigue Sputnik still invite ridicule today although the critics are kinder to them now than they were back in the 80s where they were really one of the last great bands pedalling any kind of danger into the charts before SAW fully took hold or the end of the decade welcomed dance music and Madchester into the top 40.

The Pop Will Eat Itself track is essentially their cover version of the Dirty Harry theme and is technically a 90s release but they were another band who were rarely given kudos even though their This Is The Day… This Is The Hour… This Is This! LP is a lost sampling masterpiece. Propaganda get a big chunk of the mix with multiple versions of their incredible ‘Dr Mabuse’ debut single and are trailed by the Art of Noise – showing the ZTT love way back when. The B side of Tears For Fears’ ‘Mothers Talk’ single was a track called ‘Empire Building’ which always sounded like they were trying to do an Art of Noise thing to me, I remember the credits stated that the A side was produced by Chris Hughes and that the B side was not produced. My mix is noisy and quite scrappy, not helped by crappy tape compression as this was recorded over a promo tape I had at the time (which I’ll get to later).

JG Thirlwell aka Foetus in all his guises has to be present in any 80s mix and the opener from his classic album, Nail starts a less frantic section before segueing into the outro of the original Pet Shop Boys ‘Opportunities’ 12”. From here we drift into an extended track from Andrew Poppy’s second ZTT LP, Alphabed (A Mystery Dance) and then a bit more Foetus from the Sink compilation. No one is going to argue with Japan in the credibility stakes and the largely instrumental ‘Life Without Buildings’ from the B side of ‘The Art of Parties’ single sounds like something out of a lost Shogun soundtrack. This reminded me of Coldcut’s mixer – as this session was recorded in their Ahead Of Our Time studio in Clink St., not KISS FM – I think it was a Gemini, black with white decals and orange details. It had an inbuilt sampler on the right side where you could take clips of audio on the fly by punching a big round button at an in and out point. You could then loop that or use it as a one-shot which you could stab away at to your heart’s content, even pitching it up and down. You can hear a bit of this in the Japan track as I took a clip of David Sylvan saying, ‘in my building’ and then played over the top of the track afterwards, it’s quite quiet but it’s there. But I digress, the next two tracks were actually contemporary and not 80’s nostalgia – Michael Brook’s ‘Albo Gator’ had been out the year before on 4AD and Max Tundra’s debut on Warp sounds like an even more crazed Squarepusher and apparently samples one of Andrew Poppy’s other ZTT tracks for the choral vocals, which is a nice touch.

Now, the subject of the tape – ‘EN. T. ERPRATAESHUN’ it says and I have a vague memory of this being a promo tape for a Scottish band called NT who were around at the time. They had a sound somewhere between trip hop and soulful vocal funk back when it wasn’t hip to try and sound like the Meters. They were signed to RCA and put out three singles between 1995-1999 which didn’t quite blow up and the album that everyone expected never materialised aside from a promo CD under the title ‘To The Surface’. I always wondered what it sounded like and why it never got released, occasionally looking for it on Discogs but it’s never been sold. Then last week I was in a local record shop (the excellent Soul Proprietors in Brixton), perusing the cassette racks, and there was a promo tape of the album, under the title State Of Play despite having the same track list as the promo CD. The cover is obviously a colour laser copy with the box tabs crudely punched through the back and inside is the same make of cassette as the ‘EN. T. ERPRATAESHUN’ tape, simply labelled ’N.T.’. At last! £3 later it was mine and I can finally hear what could have been nearly 25 years later.
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Was it worth the wait? Well, the singles still hold up, ‘Responsibilities’ the opening track and debut single is a soulful funk banger that sounds like it was birthed from the same 70s mould as Bill Withers but has subtle 90s samples and production touches. ‘To The Surface’ reminds me a bit of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatross’, except with a vocal hitched along for the ride. ‘Distances By Air’, also from the debut single, still stands up, and could happily sit alongside Air circa Moon Safari or some of Jimi Tenor’s flute-led instrumental jazz – pure smokers music. Following directly after is a Cheech & Chong spoken word intro mentioning acid-trips and uptempo hammond strut ‘State of Time’ definitely has ‘single’ written all over it with swirling dub effects and horns – a lost classic.

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‘If U Don’t’ only came out as a promo 12” but slows the tempo with ruff drums, organ and wah wah guitar, well placed on the track list after the uptempo title track. I won’t go through the whole album but the sound is extremely tripped out in places, lots of echo, swooping tape delay, a sonic soup and very trip hop in lots of ways, which sometimes sits at odds with the soulful vocal although that’s what also alleviates it from similar music of the time. I think the problem with this record is that it was out of time, maybe five years too early, and people were looking elsewhere at the time, to the future rather than the past. This has a retro feel all over it and had it debuted in the late 90s or early 00s when the funk 45 boom happened then maybe it would have fitted like a glove. We’ll never know but I wouldn’t put it past someone to dig this up and release it as a lost 90s soul oddity somewhere down the line. I’m just a bit gutted that I taped over the ‘EN. T. ERPRATAESHUN’ tape as it’s nowhere to be found on Discogs or anywhere else.
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Track list:
The The – Infected (Energy Mix)
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Hack Attack (Dub)
Steroid Maximus – Life In The Greenhouse Effect
Pop Will Eat Itself – The Incredible PWEI Vs Dirty Harry
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Suicide
Propaganda – (The Ninth Life Of…) Dr Mabuse
Propaganda – Dr Mabuse (13th Life Mix)
Propaganda – (The Ninth Life Of…) Dr Mabuse
Art of Noise – Beatbox Diversion 1
Tears For Fears – Empire Building
Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel – Theme From Pigdom Come
Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Original Dance Mix)
Andrew Poppy – Goodbye Mr G
Foetus Eruptus – Lilith
Japan – Life Without Buildings
Michael Brook – Albo Gator
Max Tundra – Children At Play

Duplokit on Infinite Illectrik

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When I set up my digital label, Infinite Illectrik, in 2020 it was with the intent that I would just use it as a platform for my own modified turntable recordings and other experiments (but that’s for later). I had no intention of it becoming a label to put out other people’s work but primarily as a personal playground both sonically and graphically, but as they say, ‘the best laid plans…’. With this month’s release I’m pleased to present the first experimental turntable work from James Meharry aka James In Real Life aka Duplokit.

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James contacted me earlier this year from his home town in Christchurch, New Zealand after seeing my Quadraphon online as he was working along similar lines, albeit with a different, custom-built set up. Whereas my Quadraophon has one turntable with four tone arms, he is working with two decks, each with an extra tone arm – which solves the problem of changing records that I have at least. We’re both using rotary mixers with outboard FX, using locked groove records as our palette and have been building / refining our set ups in virtual tandem for several years with the end goal of a performance-based turntablism/DJ set based on experimental rhythm or soundscape building.

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What James also has under his belt is a lathe to cut his own records and the technical knowledge to design his own parts, modifying his turntables to do some outrageous things. He sent a photo of his creation (now christened Duplokit) and I asked if I could hear some of what he’s been doing. What he sent immediately impressed as it’s similar to what I’m attempting yet different and we started a dialogue, exchanging info and I asked if he would be up for me releasing it on my label.

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What has transpired since is that James has gone into new realms with the machine, adding ‘warp drives’ to each deck and is currently building further innovations for later that will mean he can do more than any regular turntable can with his set up. With this release, he’s starting a Patreon and will be doing regular YouTube episodes for members, taking you through each step of his build process, building to his own James In Real Life releases as the Duplokit develops. I’m pleased to showcase a couple of his earliest experiments on Infinite Illectrik today, give him a listen, a follow, even sign up to his Patreon if you’re curious as to what it’s all about and want to drill down into how he’s made the monster used to create these tracks. I think what he’s doing is something quite unique in the field of both custom-built equipment and also the advancement of turntablism into new areas.

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Subscribe to follow and support James on his journey.
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/JamesInRealLife
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBxkXMFwtF_wfmLRsQXugiQ
Bandcamp: https://jamesinreallife.bandcamp.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamesinreallifeofficial

Mixcloud Select 164: Solid Steel Strictly Session 02/09/1995

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What a trip (hop) this set is! Classic mid nineties styles of downtempo beats and peerless electronica drawing heavily from the MoWax and Warp golden eras.
Starting off with a slice of Negativland’s ‘Perfect Cut’ – for my money one of the greatest cut and paste albums ever made, like dialling through the FM dial of middle American radio in the 70s, search it out for a whole side of this madness and their infamous Helter Stupid on the reverse. East meets West with the DJ Krush/DJ Shadow collaboration ‘Duality’, what a killer combination, love that switch into 6/8 time and back again. Something instrumental from the New Breed label next from the Twisted Jointz EP by I-Cue and then a snatch of ‘Megaphonk’ by Jake Slazenger aka Mike Paradinas aka MuZiQ, from a 12” on Clear I believe. Attica Blues’ beautiful ‘Blueprint’ gets an airing before downtempo beats that literally lower the bpm drastically.

No matter because Autechre storm in in double time with ‘Second Peng’ from the Anvil Vapre release which I always thought sounded like a template for dubstep later on. Most from ‘The Perfect Cut’ and a piece of Gescom I can’t identify before Journeyman’s dubbed out remix of 9 Lazy 9’s ‘Electric Lazyland’ on Ninja. A pre-Big Dada Roots Manuva from his Sound of Money days is up after the break and a sleazy live version of Jimi Tenor’s ‘Cafe Europa’ that would have fitted perfectly with the earlier Jake Slazenger tune. The next track sounds like it could be Jake again but a quick trawl through his first couple of albums says otherwise. It has that Paradinas drum and bass line sound but the melody sounds a little more like Kirk Degiorgio to me – anyone know?
UPDATE: Eduard Fogel came through with a full tracklist – thanks Eduard!

Got a treat in store for you all next week…

Track list:
Negativland – Perfect Cut (Rooty Poops)
DJ Krush & DJ Shadow – Duality
I-Cue – Booda Brain
Jake Slazenger – Supafunk
Attica Blues – Blueprint (Attica Blues Remix)
Frank Coe – The Tin Age Story
Autechre – Second Peng
Negativland – Perfect Cut (White Rabbit And A Dog Named Gidget)
Freeform – Fane
9 Lazy 9 – Electric Lazyland (Journeyman Mix)
Roots Manuva – Next Type Of Motion
Jimi Tenor – Cafe Europa (Live)
Paul W. Teebrooke – 121346

Mixcloud Select 163: Solid Steel Beats From The Backburner 08/09/2003

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A very funk and beats-orientated set from 20 years ago starting with the Quantic Soul Orchestra featuring Alice Russell where I’m cutting the Melle Mel line, ‘Don’t push me’ from ‘The Message’ in and out. The Hieroglyphics consisted of Del Tha Funkee Homosapian, Souls of Mischief and more and ‘Let It Roll’ comes from their second album, ‘Full Circle’. The Good Dr Rubberfunk now lives in my hometown of Reigate weirdly and his Bossa For The Devil was always a favourite whilst DPF was on Ninja-affiliated hip hop label Son. DJ Revolution and Sinbad’s turntable face-off is genuinely hilarious in places as well as jaw-dropping technically, a turntablism track which invites multiple listens. In the wake of the ‘sexed-up’ Iraq dossier the country was on the march and unhappy about being dragged into a bogus war alongside the US. I took Color Me Badd’s ‘I Wanna Sex You Up’ and cut up a load of news footage over the top to tell the story, it’s an obvious idea but I’m still pleased with it.

Returning to normality we get a version of ‘The Champ’ by the Skatalites, J Rocc cutting up breaks and then two P Brothers Heavy Bronx joints in succession. For me, The P Brothers perfectly channelled a specific period of 80s hip hop that I love and gave it an extra dose of grit. Never slavishly retro and using many UK MCs, the only others to do it so well were Edan and DJ Format. Pest’s gloriously wonky ‘Already Said’ is still one of those Ninja Tune oddities of the era and then we’re back for more J Rocc and a very slick breaks cut up by Cut Hustlers which may or may not have had something to do with DJ Razorcuts but I’m having trouble finding info on it. It features Statler and Waldorf – the two old men from the theatre box in The Muppets – which is why it leads into DJ Streetsahead’s brilliant 1987 remix of Was (Not Was) where they also feature and was the first time I heard the break from ‘Hot Wheels (The Chase)’ cut up.

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Booty Babes’ mash up of Britney over the Massive Attack-sampled ‘Mellow Mellow Right On’ by Lowell will be an ear worm for the rest of the week with 100 Strong’s sensual ‘Brain Busy’ complimenting its laid back vibe perfectly. I added samples and scratches about hitting and crying over the chorus to mirror the vocal, at one point tracking two different scratch patterns, one for each ear – I had more time back then, pre-kids. Aesop Rock’s ‘Freeze’ was a Blockhead-produced cut on Def Jux but then things take a bit of an odd turn with Backini’s electro swing ‘Company B-Boy’ which hasn’t dated too well. I do love that Andrews Sisters sample though, mainly because of its inclusion in Art of Noise’s ‘The Army Now’ but the whole thing goes on far too long. Luckily there’s the bizarre humour of Kid Koala awaiting us at the other end and the low end ‘Caravan’-sampling skank of Galaxian’s ‘Fresh’ to finish but the set drags at the end I felt, could have stopped around the 50 minute mark.

Track list:
Quantic Soul Orchestra – Pushin’ On
Hieroglyphics – Let It Roll
Dr. Rubberfunk – Bossa for the Devil
DPF – Yadda Yadda
DJ Revolution feat. DJ Spinbad – Head to Head
Flexus – I Wanna Flex U Up
Skatalites – Champ
J Rocc – Play This (one)
P Brothers – Ich Nichten Lickten Das Mark Evans
P Brothers feat. Lee Ramsey/Donald D – Rock The House
Pest – Already Said
J Rocc – Kashmere Bonus Beats
Cut Hustlers – On The One
Was (Not Was) – Spy In the House of Love (Streetsahead mix)
Booty Babes – Mellow Me
100 Strong – Brain Busy
Aesop Rock – Freeze
Backini – Company B-Boy
Kid Koala – Stompin’ At The Savoy
Galaxian – Fresh

KLF 23 Seconds To Eternity DVD

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KLF and Justified Ancients of Mu Mu watchers will have been excited by the news a few weeks back that not only had Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty delivered their entire recorded output to the British Library, warts and all, for the public to trawl through at will but they also announced a DVD of most of their film and video work which will be released in November. This is exciting enough but I was tickled to see the cover of the DVD featuring their classic ‘T Speaker’ on fire at night which bore more than a passing resemblance to a couple of the fake KLF posters I made back in 2003 to accompany Mr Trick‘s and my mix, ‘The Sound of Mu(sic)’. I messaged Jimmy and he confirmed that it was the inspiration which is mighty fine by me :). With the transferral of the KLF Re-enactment Society to the hands of fans (an online repository for any KLF-related homages or fan made artifacts) could this be the first case of a re-re-enactment instigated by the band I was spoofing?

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Mixcloud Select 162: Solid Steel Beatles 09/12/2002

MS162 CDRA slightly Beatles-themed start to this short set from late 2002 gives it its name – kicking off with two then-current mash ups, the mysterious white label 7”, ‘Bad Production’ and Avril Plays The Beatles. The former pairs ‘Come Together’ with Mary J Blige’s ‘Family Affair’ and the latter glitches up ‘Because’ and adds beats – two of the better examples around at the time when the internet was awash with such things. Incidentally I was just watching a video about AI mash ups and I think we may be on the cusp of the next iteration of the mash up although this time round they’ll be ‘original/unreleased’ tracks by artists no longer with us in every style conceivable. The Future Sound of London turn in a suitably Beatles-esque remix of Robert Miles, sounding more like their Amorphous Androgynous alias which isn’t surprising seeing as they had reactivated it in full psychedelic mode earlier in the year.

An at the time unreleased Sixtoo instrumental is up next with dialogue from a DJ Shadow interview about digging over the top as well as a snatch of Alvin Lucier’s ‘I Am Sitting In A Room’ – which prefigures its usage on my own Raiding The 20th Century mix some two years later. Suktekh’s ‘Privacy’ is a beautiful, brooding Rhodes piece from his ‘Fell’ LP and JG Thirlwell’s Manorexia alias is reactivated for the spooky ‘Canaries In The Mineshaft’. Boards of Canada’s ‘From One Source All Things Depend’ was a bonus track on the Japanese CD of Geogaddi and liberally samples children talking about God from a Tony Schwartz’s The Sound of Children LP. Food was/is a jazz group fronted by Iain Ballamy and ‘Freebonky’ is from their second album, Organic & GM Food which I have to admit that I down to for the gorgeous Dave McKean artwork. The William Burroughs dialogue comes courtesy of Steinski’s ‘Audio Collage 6’ which was on a Cdr of his work he’d given me when I visited him in New York. Finishing up is 80’s Baby, a vaguely horrible concept which seeks to recreate popular songs in a sickly-sweet twinkly lullaby style to play to your child at bedtime. Various different eras were covered and on the 80s edition was a version of Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ which I thought I’d run the original under in the distance. George Carlin rants about cars and driving over the top just to ram the message home.

Track list:
Bad Production – Bad Production
Avril plays The Beatles – Becoz
Robert Miles – Paths (FSOL Comic Mix)
Sixtoo – Untitled
Suktekh – Privacy
Manorexia – Canaries In The Mineshaft
Boards of Canada – From One Source All Things Depend
Food – Freebonky
Steinski – Audio Collage 6
80’s Baby – Cars
Gary Numan – Cars

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)

September Infinite Illectrik release – Multitrack Tonearm Unit

ii014 cover
We’re missing ii13 this month, not for superstitious purposes, just jumped ahead to ii14 as it’s ready now.
A meditative 2-tracker from the Multitrack Tonearm Unit is September’s release, both recorded earlier this year during rehearsals for the show in Ramsgate.

Of course, today is Bandcamp Friday where 100% of revenue generated over the next 24 hours goes to the artists or labels and BC doesn’t take a cut. If you want some recommendations here’s my Buy Music Club list for September with some releases I’m into at the moment as well as a few pre-orders – I have a track on the Buried Treasure comp; an edit of a previous Infinite Illectrik release. Balkan Vinyl/I Love Acid is having a big sale to make way for new release – go here to see what they have. Next month we welcome a very special newcomer to the label for ii13 – more on the 29th. Below is a variant of the cover image that I particularly liked and wanted to show.

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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

New 45 Live mix tonight on Dublab and more

DJ Food 45 Live Mix 10th 2023 v2 web
My now annual 45 Live mix has come around again, a set made entirely of 7″ records of any persuasion. The crew has been running for nearly a decade now, originated by Boca 45 and Pete Isaac to celebrate the 45 format. As usual I’ve been stockpiling dance singles from the late 80s and early 90s and this year’s offering is heavy with Hip House, a genre that shone brightly for around a year in 1989 having notable releases in both the UK and US with us Brits arguably being the first to get a track out with The Beatmasters featuring the Cookie Crew in 1987.

That doesn’t feature here but there’s plenty of UK action to balance things out including a bit of Skacid (Ska + Acid) and even a bit of Bleep. As usual Greg Belson will be holding things down Stateside as the host of the show (which hits episode 200 next year) and my mix will feature at some point in the middle of the show. You can tune in live at 4am GMT (Aug 5th UK time) as the show goes out 8pm-10pm PST on the west coast tonight. https://www.dublab.com/shows/45-live-radio-show
UPDATE: Here’s the show

PS: No Mixcloud Select upload this week because of this mix, back on it with more 90s tapes next week.

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Of course Aug 5th is a big one as it’s the first iteration of a new book and zine fair, initiated by Velocity Press in the same spirit as the indie label market. I’ll be popping my head in as Four Corners Books have a stall and it will be good to support. Then I’ll be heading straight to Iklectik to set up for the second annual Fog Fest party, hosted by Robin The Fog (shhhhh… it’s his birthday, bring cake). I’ll be taking part in a modified turntable soundclash with Graham Dunning alongside visuals from PuttyRubber and Leon Trimble and from the rehearsals we had the other week it should be a lot of fun (see below). Also on the bill are Robin in his Howlround guise, Steve Davis DJing and live sets from Lauren Sarah Hayes, Nad Spiro and tpwiikatj. Here’s a snippet from our rehearsal the other week

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I almost forgot, today is the return of Bandcamp Friday and the monthly Infinite Illectrik release is out – for ii012 it’s the (re)turn of the Electrostatic Headshell Assembly with a 3 track techno/electro set recorded earlier this year. There’s more to come before the year is out including some new names to the label and possibly even a physical release to round the year out.


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Also – more Food-related collaborations if you want to support digitally today or any other day:
https://djfood.bandcamp.com/
https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com/
https://thenewobsolecents-cis.bandcamp.com/album/the-superceded-sounds-of

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

MS156 Tape
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

Tomorrow Syndicate remix and video


Incredible AI-generated video for the new Richard Norris remix of the Tomorrow Syndicate‘s ‘Hyper-receptive’ from their latest album, ‘Higher Resolution’ on Feral Child. Channelling everything from Moebius‘ The Time Masters designs to pulp sci-fi, the album is available from all good indie stores like Piccadilly Records, Norman, Juno, Rough Trade etc. This single will be available Friday 14th via Bandcamp with all proceeds going to MND Scotland.

Tomorrow Syndicate LP

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