Mixcloud Select 56: Strictly Kev – Space! The vinyl frontier 21/05/2001

MS56 Disc

From almost 20 years ago, a space-themed mix which was a favourite of Dean Smith who worked in the licensing dept. at Ninja Tune HQ at the time. I’d be lying if I said eyebrows weren’t raised with the inclusion of Destiny’s Child in this mix, I even remember a few annoyed comments from punters when DK and I dropped them into a mix at Cargo months later for the ‘Now, Listen launch party. But whatever, a good song is a good song, it was also the dawn of the mash up as you can hear but the inclusion of the Girls On Top mix of the Human League and TLC, one of the first of this wave. Frederick & Nina was an alias for Paul Jason Fredericks and Riz Maslen aka Neotropic and featured on one of her Council Folk releases with this great little samba.

Brian Eno made one of his best albums in 2001 and few people noticed, ‘Drawn From Life’, a collaboration with percussionist J. Peter Schwalm is full of beautiful tracks and features Laurie Anderson, Holger Czukay, Leo Abrahams and more. The strings in ‘Persis’ reminded me of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Suite Revenge’ from the Deathwish soundtrack so I added that next then remembered that the Major Force West album on Mo Wax a few years before contained a track which had sampled them.
MS56 BBC card
The space theme really only starts at Tom Dissevelt’s ‘Drifting’, a favourite from a 4-track 7” I’d found recently by the Dutch electronic pioneer. I’d also found a huge National Geographic box set with a book about man in space with several records telling the story of the space race. I added choice bits of this into the set at certain intervals and they can be heard from here on. An excerpt from Jimmy Cauty’s Space project follows, this was due to be The Orb’s debut album but Jimmy and Alex Paterson had a disagreement and it was put out under this name without Alex’s contributions, it’s so sparse that it makes ‘Chill Out’ seem full on.

Banabila is Michel Banabila from a 12” on Pork Recordings, the only thing he did for them, I really need to check him out, he’s done loads of albums and is still recording. Neotropic in This Mortal Coil mode precedes the opening track from Autechre’s ‘Confield’ album and then more Space. An excerpt from Harold Budd’s ‘The Pavilion of Dreams’ appears before Joe Meek closes the set with a track from his legendary ‘I Hear A New World’ LP that had recently been rediscovered and bootlegged.

*The difference in the dates on the CD and the BBC card is most likely because Solid Steel went out on a Monday evening when we were broadcasting on the radio with the corporation and then go up on the web on the Friday after.

Track list:
Simian – The Wisp
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Timbaland mix)
Squarepusher – Red Hot Car
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (original mix)
Girl’s On Top – Being Scrubbed
Frederick & Nina – Running
Eno & Schwalm – Persis
Herbie Hancock – Suite Revenge (excerpt)
Major Force West – Sonic Scale For Percussion No.113
Tom Dissevelt – Drifting
Space – Space (excerpt 1)
Eno & Schwalm – Bloom
Banabila – Voices from a Secret World
Neotropic – Cornershop Candy
Autechre – VI Scose Poise
Space – Space (excerpt 2)
Harold Budd – Bismillahi Rrahmani Rrahim
Joe Meek – Valley of No Return

Mixcloud Select 55: Strictly Kev Solid Steel 06/05/2002

MS55 CDR
Almost 19 years ago today I opened a Solid Steel show of two halves, the 2nd being taken up by my deconstruction of DJ Shadow’s ‘The Private Press’ album under the title, ‘Press Cuttings’. That mix is already on my Mixcloud and Soundcloud so I won’t be posting it but the half hour that preceded it has a lot to recommend it too.

Kicking off with The Flashbulb totally destroying LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’, this is an acquired taste but I love it and can’t hear the original without thinking of how some of the lines are mangled here. This of course was during the period where mash ups were big news and I was constantly looking for things of this ilk that would push the boundaries of how well known songs were retro-fitted with others. Scuzzy Buffer Underrun’s version of The Orb’s ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ was just such an example and there was a whole site full of these kind of versions. Using an artificial speech generator to replace lyrics was something that I thought was going to be the next fad in the mash up genre but it never caught on.

At the time a lot of this material was only available via the web so lots were downloaded and burned onto CD-Rs and I’d use a Numark CDJ in my sets in addition to the two turntables. This particular model could pitch up or down + or -100% with pitch lock and you can hear this in the playing of Negativland’s ‘Yellow, Black and Rectangular’ which is pitched right down to mix in to the “purple and red and yellow…” of The Orb (see what I did there?). You can hear the fragmented audio throughout the start and it gradually speeds up to the 124bpm of the Wookie track.

The mix from ‘Scrappy’ into 808 State’s ‘Cubik’ caught me off guard listening again, I’d noticed the similarity of the descending bass lines in both and scratched the latter to fit the former. This is a really random set with The Herbaliser’s serious overhaul of their own ‘Something Wicked’ track in the form of a bossa nova which, to me, is even better than the original. Another rework that radically retools the original is the Lotek version of Roots Manuva’s ‘Dreamy Days’ which rolls into an excerpt from Steinski’s as then unreleased ‘Nothing To Fear’ mix. Coupling Nelly and Marvin Gaye and peppering it with references to weed hence the subsequent track about marijuana that follows.

Tracklist:
The Flashbulb – Mama Said Knock You Out
Scuzzy Buffer Underrun – Little Fluffy Clouds
Negativland – Yellow, Black and Rectangular
Wookie – Scrappy
808 State – Cubik
The Herbaliser – Something Wicked (Bossa remix)
Evolution Control Committee – K-Tel-commercial
Roots Manuva – Dreamy Days (Lotek Bonanza Relick)
Steinski/Nelly/Marvin Gaye – Country Grammar
unknown – Marijuana

Part 2 can be heard here: https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/press-cuttings-the-private-press-compacted/

Mixcloud Select 54: Solid Steel DJ Food Part 2 18/01/1998

MS53 DAT

This mix was the third part of a show where I tag-teamed with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic, each doing two half hour mixes. Recorded up at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St before it moved and engineered by Ali Tod who added samples and effects whilst watching the levels.
A more restrained intro with Fridge’s Steve Reich-esque ’Astrozero’ from their Anglepoised release on Output Recordings blending into ‘Orgien IV’ which was a really odd LP by Khan I found in New York on tour. Khan is the brother of Cem Oral, part of Air Liquide, and they would often feature on the same compilations so I’d always look out for his work which could range from acid techno to ambient. Around the time he was living in NYC and owned a record shop in Manhattan called Temple Records (quite possibly where I found this) and a label of the same name. The album came wrapped in a huge A1 sized poster printed on newsprint that was folded around the disc.

We pick up the pace with the excellent ‘Ape Shall Never Kill Ape’ from UNKLE, possibly the last everyone-pile-into-the-studio-and-see-what-comes-out track from James Lavelle and co. before Shadow stepped in a took the reigns. It’s an excellent breaks and Planet of the Apes soundtrack cut up with scratching by Tony and Joel from The Scratch Perverts and production by Jadell but we can now see that James had his eyes on something a bit bigger in scope. This was later retitled as ‘March of the General’ and released on Nigo’s album in 2000, this would have been from a Japanese 12” release at the time I played it. A really rather ropey mix of Stasis‘Samba de Fat Bloke’ lurches into the fray and shows that just because two things are in time, they don’t necessarily go together smoothly.

I’d completely forgotten this A Reminiscent Drive track, aptly named ‘The King & The Elephant’ because it sounds like a large mammal lumbering along, from his debut album, Mercy Street on F Comm. ‘Iced Cooly’ by Boards of Canada is from their debut 12”, Twoism and yes, this was played from an original copy which I still own – proof I had one back in ’98. The Fifty Foot Hose track isn’t from an original sadly, from another one of those dodgy Italian compilations that were so prevalent in the late 90s (The Might Mellow – A Folk – Funk Psychedelic Experience) and we close with the beautiful ‘Lillian Lust’ by Dudley Moore from the Bedazzled soundtrack.

Fridge – Astrozero
Khan – Orgien IV
UNKLE feat. Nigo & Scratch Perverts – Ape Shall Never Kill Ape
Stasis – Samba de Fat Bloke
A Reminiscent Drive – The King & The Elephant
Boards of Canada – Iced Cooly
Fifty Foot Hose – Rose
Dudley Moore – Lillian Lust

Mixcloud Select 53: Solid Steel DJ Food Part 1 18/01/1998

MS53Box

This mix was part of a show where I tag-teamed with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic, each doing two half hour mixes. Recorded up at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St. before it moved and engineered by Ali Tod who added samples and effects whilst watching the levels. Ali was the resident engineer around this time and also helped mix tracks on Kaleidoscope and loads of club and live events.

The Psychedelic Beach Trip Part 3 remix of The Lightning Seeds was by Ashley Beedle, from a promo 12” of the time that includes Psychedelic Beach Funk Part 1 & 2 mixes on the flip and can be had for less than £1 on Discogs. The bizarre but brilliant version of Melle Mel and the Furious Five’s ‘White Lines’ was by UK hip hop DJ’s Pogo and Cutmaster Swift. This was from some reissue around this time and their slowing down of the song to make a jazz version using the same bassline that The Herbaliser had half-inched for ‘Scratchy Noise’ a few years earlier was pure genius. ‘King Wasp’ was Add N To X’s second single on Satellite Records before then signing to Mute and old flatmate Chantal Passamonte’s debut on Warp as Mira Calix, ‘Sandsings’, features briefly. Two takes on Lalo Schifrin’s ‘Bullit’ theme tune appear in the form of The Midnight Funk Association (a Mark Broom project) and The Black Dog’s late 90’s remix version.

The Giancarlo Gazzani ‘Under Drama’ track was alas not from an original but from the excellent set of Easy Tempo compilations out of Italy that were around at the end of the 90s. At this point there were so many comps of soundtracks, easy listening and library around, some legal, most bootlegs, that it was hard to keep up but these were definitely good ones and ran to ten volumes by 2003. Tadashi Takatsuka’s ‘Odd Job’ was from a great little 4 track 7” EP titled Man From Electone that I must have picked up in Tokyo on tour.

The Lightning Seeds – Psychedelic Beach Trip Part 3
Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – White Lines (Swift & Pogo mix)
Kid Loco – Relaxin’ With Cherry
Add N To X – King Wasp
Mira CalIx – Sandsings
Midnight Funk Organisation – Byte The Bullet
Lalo Schifrin – Bullit (Black Dog mix)
Giancarlo Gazzani – Under Drama
Tadashi Takatsuka – Odd Job
Rhys Chatham – Domestik Life

Mixcloud Select 52: Openmind on Solid Steel 26/09/1993

MS52 CDR52 uploads – just over a year since this subscription started (I missed at least 1 week I think) and over hundred subscribers – thanks to everyone for the support, the newcomers just joining and the hardcore for sticking with it. There’s still plenty more to get through, in fact the amount is hard to navigate sometimes. Not only the audio but the visual too as I’ve been going through my artwork archives and digitizing lots of material like flyers, postcards, stickers, badges, posters and associated ephemera, mainly to do with Ninja Tune and my design work under the Openmind alias.

Part of this is to create an online visual archive which you can see the first few uploads of here https://www.instagram.com/openmindesign/
Please give us a follow if you want to see rare and classic Ninja Tune and Openmind items from over the last 25+ years as well as contemporary design work I’m doing. There will be lots of rarely seen promo items I’ve hoarded but what’s the point of having these things unless you share them, right? Much like the audio archive it will take years to go through all this stuff so bear with me but I will eventually be selling some of the items I have multiple copies of via my openmindesign site. Anyway, on to this week’s show…

Matt Black at KISSFM 1995

*UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me by super Solid Steel collector Anton Kibeshev, that this set was actually from 1993, not 1994!
Another early Openmind guest mix from myself, who partnered with Mario Aguera on the first hour of this show while Matt Black held down the mic and jingles, seen here in the KISS studio from a later session around 1994/5 that I found this week. Ambient is still very much the order of the day but supplemented with dubbed-out beats, electronica and even a bit of pop. Matt mentions a Telepathic Fish gig we were doing around this time and I think this was the one we did at the Cool Tan in Brixton which David Toop later reviewed for some publication around the time. This was recorded up at KISS FM, live on a Saturday night with the two of us getting a cab back south of the river to the flat we shared in East Dulwich at the time.

Kicking off with two copies of the intro to Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Warriors of the Wasteland (Return)’ mix faded back and forth we then go into the Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd’s collaboration – this one-off album is seriously worth tracking down. This was overlaid with S’Xpress’s ‘Coma’ (essentially ventilator breathing and sonar pings) which was only available on a 7” given away with Record Mirror magazine in the UK and was a stable of ambient sets of mine at the time. Steve Wilson’s first band, No-Man make an appearance with a Twin Peaks sample before one of the more out there KLF mixes of ‘What Time Is Love’ which comes on like a mini version of ‘Chill Out’.

It seems to be indie / electronic ping pong here with Jesus Jones remixed by Aphex Twin, This Mortal Coil next to B12 – I had a big thing for 80s 4AD at this point in time and was mining some of their back catalogue for a slightly different take on the ambient genre. The Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil were always good for this, the Future Sound of London seemed to think so too, sampling DCD and working with Liz Fraser. Nice to hear Spacetime Continuum’s debut, ‘Fluresence’ again, an ambient classic gifted to me by Mixmaster Morris and recently compiled on the excellent ‘Virtual Dreams: Ambient Exploration In The House & Techno Age 1993-1997’ compilation by Music From Memory.

The second half of the mix gets dubbier with the very end of a Moody Boys track serving as an intro to the Eurythmics from the 91/2 Weeks soundtrack. ‘Free’ (which would later appear on Coldcut’s ‘Journeys By DJ’) kicks off a trip-hop-ish section with Depth Charge woven in and out of Material’s ‘Mantra’ whilst parts of the Orb’s remix of same track surface before Dub Syndicate’s excellent ‘What Happened?’. This is on a 10” with another brilliant track on the flip that samples the soundtrack to Peter Whitehead’s ‘Tonight, Let’s All Make Love In London’. More Moody Boys in the form of ‘Pumpin Dumpin’ and then into one of my favourite Plaid tracks and a highlight of the mix where it really feels like it’s rocking. I have no idea what the bassy rim shot break is near the end, I thought it might be more Moody Boys or from some breakbeat album but nothing springs to mind, please refresh my memory if you recognise it. I play out with Minnie Riperton’s classic ‘Lovin’ You’, an obvious reference to the Orb using it on ‘An Ever Growing Pulsating Brain…’ before Matt hits the news jingle too early, live radio eh?

This whole mix evokes great times, music free-floating and experimental, making connections in the music industry and early days working with Ninja Tune as well as my flatmates under the Openmind name with our Telepathic Fish events. As well as that, having left college and started working I finally had some disposable income to spend on records and the hunt for knowledge about artists and genres was constant (still is).

Track list:
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Watching The Wildlife (return)
Budd, Fraser, Guthrie, Raymond – Memory Gongs
S’Xpress – Coma
No-Man – Reich
The KLF – What Time Is Love (Virtual Reality Mix)
Jesus Jones – Zeroes & Ones (Aphex Twin Construction #2)
David Sylvian – Answered Prayers
This Mortal Coil – Firebrothers
B12 – Soundtrack To Space
Spacetime Continuum – Fluresence
The Moody Boys – Lion Dance
Eurythmics – This City Never Sleeps
The Moody Boys – Free
Depth Charge – Depth Charge
Material – Mantra (Doors of Perception mix)
Depth Charge – Depth Charge
Dub Syndicate – What Happened?
The Moody Boys – Pumpin’ Dumpin’
Plaid – Yamemm
Unknown – unknown
Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You

Mixcloud Select 51: Strictly Kev – War Is Stupid 07/04/2003

MS51 CDR Going back in time 18 years ago this week, I’ve dug out the second of the two anti-war mixes I did around the time of the Iraq war kicking off. There were plenty of songs to choose from as you can imagine and I remember performing a version of this live at the Autechre ATP, arriving super late, just as I was due to go on and setting up on stage with 2 decks and a CDJ and tearing through this in a burst of adrenalin.

MS51 PRS

There’s a lot of angry music here as you would expect although not without its more poignant moments like the end trio of The Disposable Heroes, Roberta Flack and Timmy Thomas. A strong start with two copies of Time Zone’s classic ‘World Destruction’ sees multiple mixes cut back and forth with additional spoken word and a nice little slow down trick from 45 to 33 into Zack De La Rocha and DJ Shadow’s ‘March of Death’ (was this ever properly released?). There were a lot of spoken word cut ups criticizing or making fun of world leaders appearing on the web around this time as uploading audio became the norm although I think this is still pre-YouTube. A highlight for me is the Tackhead / S’Express section with Jello Biafra hollering over the top, stacking tracks up only to knock them down again. Sadly the world is no better off, there were no WMDs, the Chilcot Report deemed the war unnecessary and over 150,000 people died – beyond stupid.

Track list:
Time Zone – World Destruction (original/industrial remix)
Zack De La Rocha/DJ Shadow – March of Death
Trouble Funk – Drop The Bomb
Organised Konfusion – Prisoners of War
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Satanic Reverses
The The – Sweet Bird of Truth
Kurtis Blow – America (Dub/Original)
Coldcut feat. Sweet Toothed Sonny – Acid Drops (Bomb The Mix)
Unknown – The Duke of Hazzards
Bill Hicks – The War
The The – Heartland
IDC – Safe From Us
Saul Williams – Made You Look (freestyle)
Organised Konfusion – Drop Bombs
Tackhead – Mind At The End of the Tether
S’Express – Coma 2 (AM/OK)
Jello Biafra – Die For Oil Sucker
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Winter of the Long Hot Summer
Roberta Flack – Compared To What
Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together?
The KLF – America No More
Whingy Manone – Stop The War

Mixcloud Select 50: Coldcut Solid Steel 13/05/1995 JDJ warm up

MS50 Coldcut Solid Steel 13:05:1995 JDJ

If there’s one mix that I’ve found that’s the genesis of my main contributions to the Coldcut Journey’s By DJ mix then it’s this one. This was my set from a Solid Steel show, recorded at the Ahead Of Our Time studios inside Ninja Tune HQ at Clink St, London and fans of the JDJ mix will recognise many of the tracks here. There’s no finesse of the finished mix and several inclusions that didn’t make the final version (I seem to remember Public Enemy was refused) but here are some of the building blocks. Apologies for the quality, this was recorded from the radio broadcast so it’s a little ‘fluffy’ around the top end, just on the edge of distortion.

The Sabres of Paradise mix of Red Snapper was a huge tune at the time, here not yet embellished with the Dr Who theme by PC’s hand – always a supremely melodic mixer, listening for musicality over the adrenalin rush of a heavy drop. I first heard The Octagon Man being played by Rob Hall of Gescom in The Sound Shaft at Heaven for one of the Thursday night Megatripolis sessions we would sometimes play at. I knew J Saul Kane’s Depth Charge moniker but this weird electro/techno hybrid full of crazy machine gun drum programming. I found a copy as soon as I could.

The Jedi Knights were kicking off the Clear label’s mission to reinstate electro into clubland with their superb ‘Noddy Holder’ and covered several musical bases in the process. When in doubt, pull out Bam Bam’s ‘Where’s Your Child?’, I seem to have played this a lot more than I remember across sets over the years but then it is one of the greatest acid tracks of all time. Keeping with acid of a (then) modern nature is Ritchie Hawtin’s Plastikman with Coldcut’s ‘More Beats’ on 45 mixed over the top.

Depth Charge proper comes after, we really wanted this to kick off the mix but it was refused so we cheekily took the beginning spoken word only, figuring it was a sample anyway. The PE mix into it is pretty shoddy and also the 2 Player remix out of that – still learning about the different swing of beats in the mix, just because they’re the same tempo doesn’t mean they’ll slot together cleanly. The Wagon Christ remix was a no-brainer because we were all so excited about it and being on Ninja it was a dead cert, obviously it turned up elsewhere in the final mix.

Vapour Space was/is a great tune but was used as a bridge here for a tempo change to Autechre and friends under their Gescom guise. ‘Mag’ (sampling Ultra Magnetic MC’s) is still such a killer tune with that huge breakdown. I’m glad we didn’t go into the Chemical Brothers in the final mix as it changes the tone quite a lot, it would sound great in a club though. You can hear the sample, ‘This Is just the beginning, we’re just getting started’ at one point which was later used to finish the ‘Now, Listen’ Solid Steel mix, flown in from one of Coldcut’s ‘Word Treasure’ compilations of spoken word made for the radio shows. After a word from Lord Buckley from the same CD it’s PC’s turn to step up and he performs his Junior Reid/Truper mix before the tape ends, sadly I don’t have the rest of the show.

Coldcut’s brief for the mix was always that we just do what we do on the radio show but the best we’ve ever done it. To those who tuned in every week the released mix wasn’t maybe anything new but to many it seemed to be a revelation that this many different styles could be so easily mixed together on one disc.

Red Snapper – Hot Flush (Sabres of Paradise remix)
The Octagon Man – The Demented Spirit (Okugai Eigakan)
Jedi Knights – Noddy Holder
Bam Bam – Where’s Your Child?
Plastikman – Fuk
Coldcut – More Beats
Depth Charge – Depth Charge (Han Do Jin)
Public Enemy – Mi Uzi Weighs A Ton
2 Player – Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ remix)
Vapour Space – Gravitational Arch of 10
Gescom – Mag
Chemical Brothers – Leave Home
Lord Buckley – The Bugbird (The Raven)
Junior Reid – One Blood
The Truper – Street BeatsVol.2

Mixcloud Select 49: Openmind mix 21/05/1995 + 23/06/1995

MS49 Openmind mix 21:01:1995 + 23:06:1995

If there’s one mix that I’ve dug up so far that encapsulates the moment and excitement of the Ninja Tune label finally coming into its own and starting to release what are now considered classics of the era then it’s this mix. From early 1995 this Solid Steel set showcases track after track from the label that bring the memories flooding back, lots of these would have been played from white labels and I would have been designing the artwork for them at the same time, playing our first gigs and tours around the UK and Europe. There was also the work on the DJ Food ‘A Recipe For Disaster’ album and Coldcut’s Journeys By DJ mix (more of that next week), the first Ninja Cuts compilation and, later on, the first Stealth nights at the Blue Note.

1995 was a vintage year, I’d quit my day job at a book shop on Oxford St, was still working some weekends in the record shop Ambient Soho on Berwick St. in between gigs away with Coldcut, PC and The Herbaliser and was designing whatever Ninja Tune could throw at me. Solid Steel shows were usually pre-recorded Friday evenings at KISS FM on the Holloway Road or in Coldcut’s newly constructed Ahead of our Time studio in Clink St. This mix was the former and you can hear Matt on the mic at one point saying ‘Ninja Tune blowing up in ’95’ as there was a sense of excitement and direction at the label with lots of new signings and singles from The Herbs, Funki Porcini, London Funk Allstars, Up, Bustle & Out, Neotropic and Food of course.

Coupled with the label’s new visual identity, lexicon (see the Ninja Skinz inside notes) and the sense of purpose around the groups all working on debut albums, it made for a friendly but competitive environment. A small trickle of press interest had happened following Mo Wax’s emergence as the forerunner of the trip hop sound plus new labels like Wall of Sound and Skint were starting. The mix kicks off with a truncated beginning unfortunately as we’re into the latter half of The Herbaliser’s original version of ‘Repetitive Loop’ before plunging into the Autechre mix of DJ Food’s ‘Sexy Bits’ (basically the samples at the end of the Jazz Brakes albums).

The electronic side of things was also in fine form with three mixes from Autechre in this set alone, Disjecta (Seefeel’s Mark Clifford) and more than I can’t identify from ailing memory or Shazam, if anyone can fill in the gaps please let me know. I’m surprised to hear a snatch of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ at the end here as I didn’t think I bought a copy until later than this but it was probably from a compilation from around this time.

I have three dates for mixes on this tape and it’s likely that this mix is actually two sets from different dates, as the other side of the tape is definitely one set. At around the 14 minute mark, after the Beastie Boys, there was definitely an advert break because I remember it. After this, the mix may well be from another session, possibly at the AOOT studio. The dates I have are 13/05/1995 + 21/01/95 + 23/06/1995 but my good friend, Solid Steel collector and historian Anton Kibeshev tells me that I’ve mistakenly labelled one part and it should be 21/05/95. I’m going to peg the first half of this mix as 21/05/95, then 23/06/1995 as the second. Next week – for the 50th upload – will be 13/05/1995 which is where the JDJ mix comes in…

Track list:
The Herbaliser – Repetitive Loop
DJ Food – Sexy Bits (Ae9V mix)
Heights of Abraham – 700 Channels
DJ Vadim – Live From Paris
Beastie Boys – Something’s Got To Give (live)
The Herbaliser – Scratchy Noise
Simon Harris – 95 bpm breakbeat
Akasha – Mescalin
Up, Bustle & Out – Revolutionary Woman of the Windmill (La Bandolera Del Molino)
Depth Charge – Five Deadly Venoms
Unknown – unknown
Scorn – Falling (Autechre FR 13 mix)
Disjecta – Vistic
Autechre – VLetr mx
Unknown – unknown
Terry Riley – In C

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Mixcloud Select 48: DJ Food – Warp 100 mix 05/07/1998

MS48 Warp DAT

During the summer of 1998 Warp Records put out their 100th release, a compilation of new tracks from all artists entitled ‘We Are Reasonable People’, which also celebrated their 9th anniversary. I put together a mix of all the tracks on Solid Steel although don’t be expecting a Blech pt.3 as this definitely isn’t as involved as that. I think I had to do it as the vinyl sides let me over the 3 discs, pairing up tracks from different sides plus a copy of the 4 track promo 12”. (I may have had double copies actually listening to the N.O.W. section)

As it says on the DAT cover, it’s pretty pedestrian in the way it’s put together although (my mix that is, not the contents). There’s a very odd mix of the Mark Bell track out of Jimi Tenor – how to get a banging techno tune into a slow lounge number? Put it on 45 so it’s double time, mix together then turn down to 33. Sometimes you’re better off leaving a gap but I was young and determined to find a way to mix EVERYTHING together. If you just want to listen to the comp without too much interference then this is one way to do it. Just look at that line up! All tracks were exclusive to this comp at the time and several still aren’t available anywhere else.MS48 Warp Box

Part 1
Plaid – Ilasas
Squarepusher / AFX – Freeman Hardy & Willis
Red Snapper – 4 Dead Monks
Broadcast – Hammer Without A Master
Plone – Plaything
Nightmares On Wax – Fishtail Parker
Part 2
Boards Of Canada – Orange Romeda
Jimi Tenor – Wear My Bikini
Mark Bell – A Salute To Those People Who Say Fuck You
Mira Calx – Umchunga Locks
Two Lone Swordsman – Circulation
Autechre – Stop Look Listen

 

Mixcloud Select 47: Hip Hop ABCs/ TV is the new religion 01/04/2002

MS47 disc Going back almost 19 years to April Fool’s Day 2002 and a thing titled ‘Hip Hop ABC / TV is the new religion’ this week although the date on the CD and tracklist here is most likely when it was recorded rather than transmitted. Opening with DJ Shadow’s excellent ‘Mashin’ On The Motorway’ (with edited swearing for the radio) from ‘The Private Press’ LP, an album that suffered from far too many comparisons to ‘Endtroducing’ at the time despite being amazing. Given that the album came out in June 2002, it’s early to be playing this track but I do remember versions leaked online around this time.

There’s a lot of Sesame Street spoken word throughout this mix as I was in the middle of a big Children’s Television Workshop collecting phase, compiling material for the later ‘D Is For Dig’ mix – I have to say the segue from Grover into KRS-1 is quite inspired. The first half of this mix is heavy on current hip hop of the time erring towards the independent side of things with both UK and US talent featured. I always wondered if Black Twang were hoping for some kind of football TV syndication with ‘Kik Off’ but maybe not with those lyrics. How good is that Zeb Roc Ski track featuring Blade? Big Two Hundred was an alias of Andrew Meecham aka The Emperor Machine, Bizarre Inc. Chicken Lips and more who made one album for DC Recordings, very much in the Liquid Liquid post punk style.

MS47 PRS

Halfway we switch to a mixture of funky rock and religious spoken word from Jonny Trunk & Martin Green’s excellent ‘Resurrection’ compilation, a record that sparked an interest in religious records that I’m still exploring today. The end breakdown of Mountain’s ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ was of course the theme to LWT’s ‘Weekend World’ news programme during the 70s and 80s and brings us into the TV themes, covers and library cues section with a heavy bias on old BBC shows. The secret of library music had been out since the late 90s and many labels were reissuing fantastic comps of all the big hitters, there was a nostalgia for our 70s youth being stirred up that would eventually manifest itself into the hauntology genre with labels like Trunk helping fuel the fire.

Another thing fanning those flames were sections of the mash up community fusing old TV themes to new pop acappellas for laughs, hence the ‘Dad n Bass’ extract featured here which I must have found on the web somewhere. This scene was just starting to get into gear and I always thought the best mash ups were the ones that made you laugh at the ridiculousness of their pairing. This one is just that, if anyone knows who did it then please let me know. The daddies, Coldcut, close the show with an example from the late 80s of just this, showing they were, as ever, ahead of their time. This recording seems to be from a Capital Radio broadcast with Mick Brown and the mix was later featured on the July ’88 DMC mix album which was the only place you could find it until the Cold-Cut-Outs compilation.

DJ Shadow – Mashin’ On The Motorway
Kela – Crop Circles
Antipop Consortium – Tuff Gong
Cannibal Ox – The F Word (RJD2 remix)
KRS-1 – Get Yourself Up
Edan – Mic Manipulator
Blak Twang – Kik Off
Sir Beans OBE – How Would You Put This
Zeb Roc Ski feat Blade – On The Run (Junk’s UK remix)
Big Two Hundred – Replaceable Head
unknown – The Sun Worshippers Speak
Roger Limb – Alien in the Family
Ted Taylor Organisation – He Who Would Valiant Be
Neil Merryweather – Eight Miles High
Mountain – Nuntucket Sleighride
Ronnie Hazelhurst – The Two Ronnies Theme
Heavy Action – Superstars
Martin Cook & Richard Denton – Tomorrow’s World
Dudley Simpson – The Tomorrow People
unknown – Dad ‘n’ Bass
Coldcut – Off To Work

Mixcloud Select 45: Strictly Solid Steel Pt.2 19/10/97

MS46 tapeHere’s the second of two parts from late 1997. I don’t think I’ve heard this since it was broadcast, pretty sure this is taped from the radio broadcast as it has that lovely KISS FM compression across it and part of an ad at the end. This was my second set from the first hour of the show with PC providing the second hour.

A Reminiscent Drive made some lovely ambient / classical records on F Comm, more Plaid, Stereolab from career high ‘Dots & Loops’, oh how spoilt were we back then. No idea why I thought MC Shan would work after them but it just about does, crazy to think there’s now a documentary about this song. Wonderful Quincy Jones from his ‘Guala Matari’ LP into a way more funky, out there Hot Butter album cut than I remember, must dig that out again, it’s not all about ‘Popcorn’. Ending with Billy Cobham and ‘Storm’, part of a 4 section ‘sound portrait’ called ’Spanish Moss’ from ‘Crosswinds’, one of his increasingly electronic 70s LPs.

Track list:
A Reminiscent Drive – Footprints
Plaid – Rakimou
Stereolab – Refractions in the Plastic Pulse
MC Shan – The Bridge
Quincy Jones – Hummin’
Hot Butter – Space Walk
Billy Cobham – Storm

Mixcloud Select 45: Strictly Solid Steel Pt.1 19/10/97

MS45 tape
*The date on the post is correct going by other sources, the date on the tape above is wrong, no idea why.

A shorter mix this week after last week’s hour+ special. Here’s the first of two parts from late 1997. I don’t think I’ve heard this since it was broadcast, pretty sure this is taped from the radio broadcast as it has that lovely KISS FM compression across it and part of an ad was at the end. This was my first set from the first hour of the show with PC providing the second hour.

Kicking off with Skylab, the great Mat Ducasse / Major Force West collaboration from a clear 7” on Eye Q Records – I loved everything Mat did with his Skylab project and told him so when we met later in life. He said he was inspired by listening to Solid Steel so the circle was complete, everything is getting a reissue now so no excuse if you missed it first time round. The #1 LP and ‘Oh! Skylab’ EP are essential and this track comes from the #2 LP era https://skylab.bandcamp.com/

Brandi Ifgray made the ‘Le Mutant’ LP on Puu, an offshoot of Finnish label Sahko Recordings, home of Jimi Tenor, Metri, Pansonic and more. The next three tracks I barely remember but Plaid’s ‘Not For Threes’ LP was obviously new around this time. I always felt Laika could have gone the same way as Broadcast as this is from a pretty experimental 12” with Cabbage Boy (Si Begg) and Luke Vibert among the featured remixers.

Juryman (Ian Simmonds) and Spacer (Luke Gordon) were always excellent both recording together or apart and this comes from the one collaborative LP they made. That V/Vm track? I think it may have been from the Skam Records ‘0161′ compilation? New Flesh on Big Dada, early on when Part 2 still rapped and they hadn’t dropped the ‘4 Old’ from their name, really bold UK hip hop, full of ideas.

Part 2 next week!

Track list:
Skylab – Bite This!
Brandi Ifgray – Bumble Bee
Plaid – Extork
Laika – Shut Off/Curl Up (Cabbage Boy remix)
Juryman vs Spacer – Personnel Wanted
V/Vm – Asymetric
New Flesh 4 Old – Electronic Bombardment

Resonance FM fundraiser 2021

TNO StarburstIt’s that time of year again for the Resonance FM fundraiser, this independent radio station relies on donations to keep the lights on and having just had to relocate after what seems like years of waiting, they need it more than ever. They’re not doing the usual eBay auctions this year so Robin the Fog has taken it upon himself to put three special records up there with a little help from the Castles in Space label.
I’d like to bring your attention to a ‘Starburst’ edition of our The New Obsolescents LP, officially released today but totally sold out, this one was held back for just this occasion. Bid on this here

If you want to hear what it sounds like and maybe buy a digital copy then head to Bandcamp

HWLRD cover

Also a secret 31st edition of Robin’s last Bandcamp Friday Howlround lathe cut 7″ EP ‘Rec & Ruin’ – again, made specially. Go here to bid
HWLRND labelHWLRND back

Also available is a full package of CiS goodies in the form of Field Lines Cartographer‘s recent ‘Leaving In Storms’ 7″ test pressing with all the trimmings. Bids away!  All proceeds go towards Resonance FM

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And if you have these already or they’re just not your bag but you want to help the station out then you can donate here  https://resonancefm.com/donate

 

Mixcloud Select 44: Openmind Solid Steel mix 21/01/95

MS44 Openmind mix tape

I’ve been asked for more mixes from 1995 so here’s one from the start of that year that I barely remember, it’s from a show featuring PC and I, possibly Jon More also did a mix too as he’s on the mic at one point but I only have Patrick’s and my mixes. I’m not too sure where this was recorded as there are additional FX in the mix that suggest it was a studio mix outside of KISS FM and we were using Coldcut’s old studio DJ mixer with inbuilt sampler that could pitch shift samples and loops via a trigger button. You can hear me getting way too excited with it at certain points. I can’t remember if Ninja Tune was situated in Clink Street at this point but there was a point where we were doing some work out of Jon’s home studio in Herne Hill as I remember working on bits for ‘A Recipe For Disaster’ there and this may have been one of those sessions. Or it may have been in the Clink St studio as I’m sure we recorded the DJ magazine mix there and that came out late 1994 I think?

Anyway – details, how much of it really matters? There are some great tracks here that I’d forgotten and the front half is loaded with hip hop beats and scratches whilst the second half is more acid, electronic and slowed down jungle beats. There’s at least one mix that is in time but the wrong part of the bar which wrong foots you a bit from the flow of things, I would do this sometimes, get lost in rhythms and lose where the 1 was.

We kick off with a white label promo mailed out at the time with just ‘Lynch Mob Beats’ stamped on it featuring a tripped out psych guitar and FX jam that I loved and realised was the work of Brendan Lynch who went on to produce and mix for Paul Weller and Primal Scream as well as the classic Indian Vibes track, ‘Mathar‘. This was your typical major label trying to get one over on the dance DJs trick of having a white label with no info so as not to prejudice opinion. It was Lynch working over Weller as he would do repeatedly to excellent effect and I couldn’t have cared less who the original artist was but you have to remember that Weller was at a career low in the early 90s and ‘Wild Wood’ was the album that bought him back after years of critical bashing with The Style Council and his early solo work. To me, Lynch is one of the unsung producers of the early to mid 90s who had a unique sound and completely psychedelic production techniques that few else came close to. I’d love to know how he did his mixes, I’m presuming they were free form jams that were edited down later but he dubs a mix up like no other. I put a load of his mixes together 10 years back under the name Lynch Party Mix and there’s enough for a part 2 lurking on the hard drive (I must do that, maybe a subscribers exclusive).

The first of two tracks from the freshly-minted Clear label turns up in the form of Mike Paradinas’ Tusken Raiders ‘Beatnik #3’ and then into Gunshot and a trio of Jazzy Jeff scratch tracks where I get way too excited with the sampler. Jon had hipped me to Trouble Funk’s ‘The Beat’ so I threw that in and then into a couple of Fax label tracks after the break. You can already hear that the ambient content of the early Openmind mixes on Solid Steel are diminishing to be replaced by more trip-hoppy beats and early strains of drum n bass with the electronic content still there via artists like Plastikman, Autechre and Air Liquide. Jon refers to me as ‘Telepathic Kev’ so maybe the Strictly part hadn’t stuck yet. I was still very much finding my feet in the Ninja camp at this point but ’95 would be the year when I really consolidated that position with the design and DJing as well as studio work as I’d left my full time job in a book shop and just worked at weekends at Ambient Soho records.

If anyone can identify the track after DJ Crystl I’d be grateful as it’s alluding me, there aren’t many track lists surviving for most Solid Steel mixes pre-’98 so I have to make these from a combination of memory, Discogs and Shazam and the latter isn’t coming up with anything. It doesn’t help that I’m playing it on the wrong speed either as we used to do with early drum n bass like Photek, Crystl, Smokin’ Drum Recordings and such. Bit of a throwback to the late 80s with Bam Bam and Bomb The Bass, nothing changes there and then playing out with Jedi Knights on Clear which sadly stops abruptly as the tape runs out.

Track list:
Paul Weller – Whirlpool’s End (Lynch Mob Beats)
Tusken Raiders – Beatnik #3
Gunshot – Colour Code
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – A Touch Of Jazz
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – Hip Hop Dancer’s Theme
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – A Touch Of Jazz
Trouble Funk – The Beat
Plastikman – Lasttrak
Air Liquide – Combat Zone
Pulsation – Pulsar
Ongaku – Mihon
Autechre – Bronchusevenmx
DJ Crystl – Let It Roll
Unknown – Babylon
Bam Bam – Where’s Your Child?
Bomb The Bass – Beat Dat (Freestyle scratch mix)
Jedi Knights – Intergalactic Funk Transmission

Mixcloud Select 43: Strictly Kev’s US Shopping Trip Pt.2 21/01/2002

MS 43 CD Last week I posted a 30 minute set made from records bought on a 2002 tour to the States and Canada with DK, Four Tet and Bonobo. Given that this was the great tour where we shipped kilos of records back to the UK mid-tour (detailed in part in Stevie Chick’s Ninja Tune history book) and we only had 30 minutes to play with, I had loads more records to plunder so this week’s upload is an hour long part 2 of the shopping trip that aired two weeks after the first. Above is a home made CD label version of the mix which aired in the second hour of the Jan 21st 2002 Solid Steel show. After last week’s upload I was told the sad news that Bop Street in Seattle (where some of these records came from) had to close due to the pandemic. I dug out some photos from the tour including the basement underneath and I think the shot of me in from of a wall of 45 boxes is also from there.

Bop Street Basement

Some great tracks in here, not just from the tour but new promos and oldies too. More Jazz Club samples from The Fast Show in the intro into the Pointer Sisters ‘How Long and a mash up by Matmos of Missy’s ubiquitous at the time ‘Get UR Freak On’. They did it a little differently by sampling the sounds of coins to make the beats I seem to remember and there’s a nice little back and forth between the tracks at one point over the ‘I know you got a chick on the side’ refrain. The same happens between the Bill Cosby and Curtis Mayfield tracks where Cosby is having an imaginary conversation with someone on his track where you can only hear his side, talking about someone called Freddy who died. By chopping in Mayfield’s ‘Freddie’s Dead’ I could make the two tracks have a conversation even though the tuning is a little off in places.

Sidney Pointier made several spoken word albums in the 60s, his voice reminiscent of Rosko or Ken Nordine, reciting poetry over jazz and he flows into a curious 7” picked up in Toronto by The Casuals. ‘Moonbound’ is a novelty trip to the moon travelogue with a stewardess delivering the journey’s progress over a lovely easy listening ditty. When I met my current partner nearly 15 years later she was the only other person I’d ever met who had a copy. At the time the show went out, the first promo from the forthcoming Boards of Canada album, ‘Geogaddi’, had turned up, untitled. I now know that this was the track ‘Alpha & Omega’ and weirdly, I put some recordings of children from a Tony Schwartz album over parts of it only to find out later that the Japanese CD of the BoC album had a bonus track sampling voices from the same record.

kev digs

Kousik’s debut 45 had been given to me by Kieran on tour, released on his Text label and that slips easily into Edan’s excellent ‘Adrenalin Rush’ – beautifully capturing the original excitement of 80s golden era hip hop without sounding retro. After this the mix bounces all over the place through jazz, electronics, spoken work and soundtracks. The David Pritchard track is from a great but odd Canadian electronic experimental album I’d picked up called ‘Nocturnal Earthworm Stew’, which has since been reissued and you can find here https://davidpritchard.bandcamp.com/
One of the phone messages is from Malachi aka Flying Fish and now head of the Dynamite Cuts reissue label although I don’t remember the mix he’s talking about. Spot the DJ Food samples in ‘The Stripper’Nervous Nervous made loads of novelty singles and ‘Dig’ had to be bought just for the vinyl collecting connection.

More Jazz Club over an excellent cover of ‘So What’ by George Benson way before his smooth 80s soul period and then into electric Bo Diddley with ‘Bad Trip’ – so good! I have no idea why there are two Adam & The Ants tracks at the end as I most definitely didn’t buy them on tour, ‘Zerox’ was the first record I ever bought so maybe these two were filling up the hour and I know DK has a thing for this era of the Ants too.

MS43 PRS

Track list:
Solid Steel intro
Pointer Sisters – How Long
Dry Hustle – Do It Very Sloppily
Bill Cosby – I Know I Can Handle It
Curtis Mayfield – Freddie’s Dead
Sidney Poitier – Only The Brave Are Wise
The Casuals – Moonbound
Boards of Canada – Alpha & Omega
Koushik – Battle Rhymes For Battle Times
Edan w. Skillz Ferguson – Adrenaline Rush
William S. Fischer – Electrix
Bob Keeshan – A Child’s Guide to Jazz
David Pritchard – An Admission of Guilt
Cosmic Sounds – Taurus
Ken Thorne – Car Chase
John Keating – The Unknown Planet
Werner Muller Orchestra – The Stripper
Nevous Norvus – Dig
George Benson – So What
Bo Diddley – Bad Trip
Adam & the Antz – Zerox
Adam & the Ants – Ants Invasion

Mixcloud Select 42: Strictly Kev’s US Shopping Trip Pt.1 07/01/2002

MS42 CD Prompted by a message from Martin (kudrnacek79) who was looking for a track ID from this set I dug it out and the memories flooded back. Above is a home made CD label version of the mix, below is one of the official CDs made for licensees of the radio show back in the 00s.

We began the new year in 2002 with a stonker of a show on Solid Steel, comprising the best vinyl finds of a recent tour to the States and Canada. Food & DK’s ‘Solid Steel: Now, Listen’ was released in September 2001 and Darren and I embarked on a trip stateside in November, accompanied by Bonobo and Kieran Hebden who, although not on Ninja Tune, had just released his ‘Pause’ LP on Domino and was looking to tour. Everyone hit it off immediately and it soon became obvious that record shopping was the order of the day during downtime. Several spots still linger in the memory – The Princeton Record Exchange (pictured below), a store in a mall in Ottawa whose name I forget and Bop Street in Seattle. This last store has two big rooms, the owner’s private office with the pickings for eBay and a huge basement that runs under the shop and next doors’ too, full of thousands of records.

Princeton x3

On returning to the UK, we all agreed we should commemorate the occasion with something on the show as soon as possible. The brief was simple: make a 30 minute mix of the best records you bought on the tour and come into the studio to present your section. I’m not going to lie, I was seriously trying to impress and pulled out all the stops for this set going to extra lengths to chop, scratch, re-edit and overdub tracks and make it as exciting as possible with the records I had.

Kicking things off with an answerphone message from Dom Smith, a Ninja employee who later went on manage Flying Lotus and join the Cinematic Orchestra, I think there was a party going on and they needed more content but it’s a hazy memory. A Busta Rhymes/Queen mash up over the Solid Steel theme (remember this was 2002, it was all going off for bootlegs around then) leads into a host of funky rock breaks, Beatles and Led Zep cover versions, jazz, spoken word and… Britney Spears. Now there had been a thing for Britney during the tour as ‘Slave 4 U’ was just out – produced by The Neptunes on a roll at the time – and three of the four of us bought copies (for the instrumental you understand).

MS 42 CD 2

Kieran had hipped me to several of the original sources for his classic ‘Glasshead’ track which we’d featured in our set each night and I rather ham-fistedly strung them together. Shopping still involved hoovering up jazz, electronics, soundtracks, spoken word (I finally managed to score a copy of Ken Nordine & Robert Shure’s ‘Twink’ on this trip) and dipping my toe into funky rock. Aynsley Dunbar was picked up because of the Frank Zappa connection and contains the excellent ‘Watch n Chain’ and the Fred Astaire LP was bought for a feature by Ken Nordine but contains this little skit on the beat. We were still all about buying vinyl for beats both to sample and play out and you can hear that The Fast Show’s ‘Jazz Club had debuted in British TV by the inclusion of a sketch mid-mix taking samples from it, “nice!”.

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The Bill Cosby had been on the wants list for a while and I tracked down a copy in Seattle at Bop Street – the whole album is Bill doing skits on different drugs with a very odd cover where his head appears to be pasted on to the photo. “Oh, that’s a thunderous break, a beautiful break!” it cries in the middle which was pulled from The Crepitation Contest LP which is basically a farting contest on vinyl. Listening back to this mix it encapsulates part of what Solid Steel was always about for me, aside from showcasing the latest tunes it was also about digging and chopping things up to make new forms, sprinkled with humour and nods to other records or scenes. Lord knows how long I spent on this 30 minutes but I had more time in those days, pre-kids and with the downloading downturn of the music industry not yet making itself felt.

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MS42 PRS

Given that this was the great tour where we shipped kilos of records back to the UK mid-tour (detailed in part in Stevie Chick’s Ninja Tune history book) and we only had 30 minutes to play with here I had loads more records to plunder so next week’s upload will be an hour long part 2 of the shopping trip.

Tracklist:
Strictly Kev – Solid Steel intro (new year remix)
Busta Rhymes – As I Come Back (instr.)
Queen – We Will Rock You
CCS – Whole Lotta Love
Elephants Memory – Madness
Drum Drops – Intro
Aynsley Dunbar – Watch ‘n Chain
Bud Shank – Blue Jay Way
Fred Astaire – The Afterbeat
Lincoln Mayorga – Peace Train
Norman Harris – Zach’s Fanfare
Dexter Wansel. – Theme from the Planets
Jean Vanesse / Miroslav Vitous – Thanks Billy
Bob Keenan – A Child’s Guide to Jazz
Ken Nordine/Robert Shure    – Clock
Paul Bley – Gesture Without Plot
Robert Kenyatta – Werewolf / Gypsy Man
Britney Spears – I’m A Slave 4 U
Grace Jones    – Operattack
Bill Cosby – Dope Pusher Song
Hair – Coloured Spade
Stanley Myers – End Title
Ken Nordine/ Robert Shure – Blotter

Mixcloud Select 41: Strictly’s 2 hr Rub 10/08/97 Pt.4

DJFoodMixcloudSelect41After the hip hop and turntablism of Pt.2 and the heavy beats and Drum n Bass of Pt.3 we take this down a bit for the last section. Paul Jason Fredericks was a friend of Riz ‘Neotropic’ Maslen and collaborated with her on a number of things on both her records and Council Folk label as well as putting this solo EP out on Oxygen Music Works. We all went to play at one of the first Coachella festivals in the US around this time and he did guest vocalist during Riz’s set. I’ll never forget him coming out onto the stage in an amazing kind of long drooping ballgown tutu, we were all sweating so much as the heat was insane and he didn’t seem to care one bit.

Another track from the only Ntone release by Tom Withers (aka Klute) in his Override guise comes next and then we’re into jazz territory with Freddie Hubbard’s classic, ‘Red Clay’. When I supported the Beastie Boys in 1998 at the Brixton Academy I remember them doing a track that sampled the famous riff from this throughout but, to my knowledge, it’s never been released. Maybe they had sample clearance problems or maybe it was just a tour thing? The theme to ‘Midnight Cowboy’ by Ronnie Aldrich precedes a short interlude track that I just can’t identify then another tune from Paul where we hear his stunning voice again.

Depeche Mode’s ‘Home’ plays out which is a very odd choice for me although I used to get sent promos for their singles all the time as they were always keen to get contemporary remixers of the day to do versions. Did you know that the song was produced by Tim ‘Bomb The Bass’ Simenon and was remixed by Air, LFO, Skylab, The Jedi Knights and Grantby? This version is the original though.

Thanks very much to Mr Armtone for helping me with this last section as I only had a portion of it in my archives, it’s nice to complete the set.

Track list:
Paul Jason Fredericks – Monday Morning
Override – Tubular Barriers
Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay
Ronnie Aldrich – Midnight Cowboy
Unknown interlude
Paul Jason Fredericks  – From Where He Stands
Depeche Mode – Home

Mixcloud Select 40: Strictly’s 2 hr Rub 10/08/97 Part 3

DJFoodMixcloudSelect40I don’t remember half the tracks on this mix save for the Journeyman, Coldcut and Attica Blues tunes. Journeyman’s ‘Rusty Beats’ is SO heavy, I think that was from his second album on Ntone, I have no idea who 2nd Gen is so had to look it up, it was from an EP on Flo (Flo 001 no less) called ‘Noise Sculptures’, seems he signed to Novamute the next year. The Override track came out on Ntone and was an alias of Tom ‘Klute’ Withers and you can hear that Photek / Bukem influence. I have Aquasky ‘Opaque’ down as the track midway through the mix, maybe something from the LP ‘Orange Dust’ that I may have had a promo of with no titles. The Animals on Wheels track is hard as nails too, this was from a 10” EP on the iLL label.

How scary / familiar does the Jello Biafra rant over Coldcut sound now? Who knew 23 years ago? Jello’s inclusion of course comes from the spoken word extract we used on the Coldcut Journey’s By DJ mix a couple of years before. Matt & Jon thought it would be good to remake it with Jello for real and one day he arrived at Ninja HQ in London Bridge. I was in upstairs with Jon Voda, in the mastering suite on his floor, working on the Coldcut/Grandmaster Flash collaboration track I think and Jello appeared at the door as he was to use the vocal booth to record his part. Jon introduced me, ’this is Strictly Kev, from DJ Food’. ‘From DJ Food or IS DJ Food?’ boomed Jello in his distinctive west coast drawl. And that’s my meeting Jello Biafra story…

Part 4 next week….

Track list:
Journeyman – Rusty Beats
2nd Gen – Statutory Angels
Override – Hungry
Aquasky – Orange Dust
Animals on Wheels – F.Y.A.
Coldcut – Every Home A Prison
Attica Blues – Enter

Mixcloud Select 39: Strictlys 2 hr Rub 10/08/97 Pt.2

DJFoodMixcloudSelect39Rifling through tapes for this week’s upload I found this mid ’97 show which came in 4 parts. Part 1 was actually an excellent Autechre radio mix that was a promo for ‘Chiastic Slide’ but which they allowed us to air. If you want to assemble a full show then it’s listed on Discogshttps://www.discogs.com/Autechre-Radio-Mix/release/17922

Part 2’s track listing caught my eye though because the second track is M.F. Doom‘s debut single on Fondle ‘Em records, a Scooby Doo-sampling minor classic that first bought his new alias to the world, post-KMD.

Obviously with his shock passing announced in the closing hours of 2020 I thought it would be a little nod to include this set. I see these are now going for an insane amount on Discogs, not that my copies are for sale. His ‘Operation Doomsday’ album is a bonafide classic and would include a re-recorded version of this track.

The bulk of this mix though is taken up with the full length ‘invisibl skratch piklz vs da klams uv deth’ turntable routine from Q-Bert, Shortkut and Mixmaster Mike that blew everyone away when it debuted and won them the team title in the DMC championships in the mid 90s. The Underdog remixes Massive Attack and Steinski’s collaboration with Coldcut, ‘I’m Wild About That Thing’, is featured from their ‘Let Us Play’ album which dropped around this time. I probably picked the Doom and Piklz 12”s up in the States on tour with them that summer. I have to admit, the mix is pretty pedestrian but the content is great.

Part 3 next week…

Track list:
Pt.1
Autechre    Radio mix (Not featured here)

Pt.2
The Invisibl Skratch Piklz    vs da Klams uv Deth
M.F. Doom – Hey!
Massive Attack    – Rising Son (Underdog mix)
Coldcut – I’m Wild About That Thing

Coldcut – Solid Sphinx New Year 92-93?

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As it’s New Year, and this set possibly dates from then, I’ve decided to put it up for all to hear, not just for subscribers. This is one of the oldest sets I have from Coldcut in my archive and it’s a very good indication of the chill out room aesthetics of the early 90s. I have very little info about this as it’s before my time on Solid Steel but from the track listing and style of show I would guess that it’s a pre-recorded jam with Matt, Jon and maybe PC from around 1992/93.

Periodically in the early to mid-nineties Solid Steel would give up it’s traditional mix / talk / ad break / mix format and morph into a Sphinx for an hour or two. The first time I ever heard of this was when I turned up to do one of the regular Friday pre-records at KISS FM one evening and Matt said that tonight the show was going to be a ‘Solid Sphinx’. What the hell was that?, I asked. ‘That’ meant minimum chat and no ads, just two hours of straight mixing, usually erring on the ambient and electronic side of things. ‘Great!’, I thought, as the usual 15-20-minute-mix-then-break-for-ads format was restricting – just as you were getting into the flow you had to stop for the commercials.

Ranging in title from Alien Sphinx, Return of the Alien Sphinx and More Than An Alien Sphinx (and probably a whole host of others besides), I seem to remember a 3 hour one once when the clocks went back and we suddenly had an extra hour to play with between 12 and 2am. They were sprawling soundscapes inhabiting similar territory to The Orb and FSOL at the time. I always had an inkling that the name came from the supposed Sphinx face that had been ‘discovered’ on Mars and asked Matt about it:

HoagCNN2

“Yes, its from the Alien Sphinx ‘Face on Mars’ thang. I was turned onto it by Fortean Times. Just thought it was a wicked concept, though the images of it never convinced me…humans see faces everywhere, we are optimised for it. We first used the name on the full length Video ‘Global Chaos’, a Hex project. Rob Pepperell and I made a 3D character called ‘Alien Sphinx’. I guess the idea morphed into an inscrutable ancient mystery sound trip after that!”

This show sounds like a studio jam with electronic FX, spoken word jingles thrown in from the sampler and pitch-shifted down at times. Around the 12.40 mark you can hear the original sample that the Solid Steel bleeps is taken from too. One of the infamous ‘K Mixes’ is played midway (Technical Dub – K Mix 67) and several tracks help date it: The Moody Boys’ ‘Free’, The Orb’s remix of Blue Pearl’s ‘Mother Dawn’, The Irresistible Force remix of Coldcut’s ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘Sign’, both from their ‘Philosophy’ LP, and Laraaji to finish. I think this came straight from DAT around the time we were encoding shows for the 20th anniversary of Solid Steel and the title was a guess based on the tape contents. There are still a few tracks I couldn’t identify so, if you recognise anything, then please leave a comment.

Attempted track list:
Gondwanaland – Eagle (?)
Roger Powell – Lumia: Dance of the Nebulae
Polonio – Do (?)
Beaver & Krause – Sequential Voltage Sources, Composition
Unknown
Blue Pearl – Mother Dawn (The Orb’s Buckateer Mix 1)
‘Teknical Dub’ – K Mix 67 1992
Unknown (reggae track under People Hold On)
Coldcut feat. Lisa Stansfield – People Hold On (A cappella)
Moody Boys – Free
The Irresistible Force – War & Peace Live
Jam & Spoon – My First Fantastic F.F.
Unknown (banging techno with spinbacks)
Coldcut – Autumn Leaves (The Irresistible Force Full Chill mix)
Coldcut – Sign
Laraaji – Zither Dance