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

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

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

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

Part 2 next week…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MS148 tape

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

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

Part 2 next week…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DJFood MSX-05-1

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

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

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

More photos and details of the evening here:

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

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

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

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

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

MS146 PRS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 2 next week

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

Mixcloud Select 143: Openmind live Mixxx 30/09/1994 Pt.2

MS143 Openmind live Mixxx 30:09:1994 Pt.2
Back To The Old School! Possibly the first person to want to get back to the old school – at that point only a few years ago in hip hop history – Just Ice aka Sir Vicious teamed up with Mantronik on production for this incredible album cut. Sounding anything but old school at the time, revisiting this for this upload it strikes me that it sounds like a dub version of a vocal tune, the way the vocal drops in and out with the delays. Hard to write a track like that with snatches of lyrics punching through, I wonder if any other versions exist? Certainly still sounds fresh though. A bit of ‘Mella’ from Jazz Brakes vol.2 with a snatch of the exorcism from the I Am Lucifer LP I finally located last year on vinyl.

The thunderous ‘Break Dancer’ by The Boogie Boys is now a forgotten classic in the mould of Art of Noise’s ‘Beatbox’ and only a year behind it, release-wise, love those huge beats. Bedouin Ascent’s ‘Internal Bleeding’ from his Pavillion of the New Spirit EP is just an incredible piece of techno jazz, the whole 12” is utter electronica gold and criminally un-heralded, one of the true unsung heroes of 90s electronic music. I think I mixed the Autechre track in on the wrong beat from here, in time but off beat. We take a pause for the cause and I thought I’d leave the ads in for curiositie’s sake – the East Coast Dr Dre and Ed Lover advertising Lugs footwear and a plug for a weekend of rare groove on KISS.

Then we’re back for some 9 Lazy 9, ‘Checkin’ On You’ on Ninja Tune, James and Kier’s funky jazz project before James went off solo as Funki Porcini. Still going strong, his latest project is his Laserium, multiple lasers reflected through prisms synched to his music, forming a new kind of Lumia projection show. I’m seeing him this weekend in Bristol at the IMAX along with old heads The Light Surgeons and ex-Hexstatic Stuart Warren-Hill’s Holotronica project. Jon mentions assembling at the South bank that weekend for a march and you can hear a shout of ‘Injustice!’ from Matt in the background and I think this refers to the Criminal Justice Bill protests happening around this time. The track underneath the chat I cannot remember and Shazam has nothing either, but coming in again on time but off beat is ‘Triangle’ from Sounds From The Ground from their debut EP.

Mix URL:

Track list:
Just Ice – Back To The Old School
DJ Food – Mella
The Boogle Boys – Break Dancer
Bedouin Ascent – Internal Bleeding
Autechre – Further
Ad break
9 Lazy 9 – Checkin’ On You
Unknown – Unknown
Sounds From The Ground – Triangle

Mixcloud Select 142: Openmind live Mixxx 30/09/1994 Pt.1

MS142 Openmind live Mixxx 30:09:1994 Pt.1
Autumn 1994 and trip hop is steadily creeping into the playlist on Solid Steel with pioneering labels like Mo Wax and Ninja Tune heading the pack. The reality was that there were few tracks that fell into that category a year before with a crossover from the latter days of Acid Jazz providing the odd nugget, weird hardcore B sides, instrumental hip hop album tracks or the very first compilations like Give Em Enough Dope which kicked it off for Wall of Sound. Andy Pemberton’s Mixmag article christening this ‘new kind of hip hop’ had been published only two months before and there was definitely something in the air even though Mo Wax was only just breaking free of the jazz stylings that had birthed it, swapping hip obi strip designs by Swifty for graffiti street styles by Futura and 3D. Ninja had another year to go before it found its groove and around this time I started designing for them, re-moulding the Ninja logo into something sleeker and adding an eastern feel to early graphics.

But enough history, The Jackson 5, sampled most noticeably by The Original Concept back in the 80s, lead off with ‘It’s Great To Be Here’ for no other reason than it’s a fab opener. New Ninja signing Up, Bustle and Out lope in with the beat-heavy ‘Lazy Days’, a record box staple at this time before a Big Daddy Kane B side, ‘Show n Prove’ gets a full airing. This incredible posse cut includes a young Jay Z and suitably insane ODB amongst its cast and everyone is on fire throughout. DJ Toolz aka Jazzy Jason (Blapps Posse, London Funk Allstars, Mad Doctor X) could always be relied upon for a dose of banging beats and the La Funk Mob double 10” remix pack was one of the hottest releases of the moment. I’d actually forgotten this version of ‘Ravers Suck Our Sound’ but it actually improves on the original even though it was overshadowed by the Ritchie Hawtin mix.

After this there’s a Hendrix-sampling downtempo track which I can’t identify at all and isn’t included on the read out at the end of the mix, as ever, if anyone knows, it please leave a comment. Suddenly we’re back in ambient territory again with a huge dose of Frippertronics from Sylvian & Fripp (or Tripp as Jon later calls him) before a Further track (Rocket from Ambient Soho with Richard Norris) and a snatch of Journeyman’s ‘3001’ on Ninja electronic sub label Ntone. A second track involving Richard – the Grid’s ‘Rollercoaster’ – is sublimely remixed by Global Communication who could do no wrong at this stage, each release an epic production that just made everyone sound better. More Mo Wax with UNKLE and Major Force’s Timothy Leary-sampling ‘The Time Has Come’ and it certainly felt like it for James and co. who were entering into a purple patch that would last several years. Autechre’s ‘Foil’ from their second LP, Amber, plays out – another label who were well into a golden era which would last at least until the end of the decade.

Track list:
Coldcut Solid Steel Intro
The Jackson 5 – It’s Great To Be Here
Up, Bustle & Out – Lazy Days
Big Daddy Kane – Show ’n’ Prove
DJ Toolz – Rusty Goes GaGa
La Funk Mob – Ravers Suck Our Sound (Mystik Mix)
Unknown – Unknown
David Sylvian & Robert Fripp – Bringing Down The Light
Further – Angel’s Little House
Journeyman – 3001
The Grid – Rollercoaster (Global Communications remix)
UNKLE vs Major Force – The Time Has Come
Autechre – Foil

Mixcloud Select 141: Strictly Solid Steel DRUGS! 18/05/2003

MS141 Drugs DCR
A drugs special this week from close to 20 years ago. I’d obviously been combing the web for spoken word samples or may well have got a copy of Megatrip’s Soundbank which had 1000s of searchable spoken word snippets he’d collected over the years and would burn onto CDs for us, 99 samples per disc. I think it got past the 200 disc mark before he burned them onto a DVD (which I still have and use) – anyway, what’s the first thing you search for in such a tidal wave of speech? That’s right, drugs, so here’s a mix peppered with vintage sound bites about the subject, woven between then contemporary releases of the day.

Brian Eno’s remix of Simian is suitably dislocated and about as un-ambient as he gets, still exciting and unexpected. Broadcast are simply used as a spoken word sample bed to bridge between a new Bonobo track with a dark soundtrack mood from his Ninja Tune debut, Dial ‘M’ For Monkey. Interloper only released a couple of albums but his Six Dragons LP is a lost trip hop classic in a similar vein to Broadway Project. Ian Tregoning was in the producers chair, search it out, still cheap but CD only. I remember speaking to Ian about it some years later and he was exasperated when it didn’t do anything.

King Geedorah still sounds fresh even if it does stand out like a sore thumb in this line up, a truly original record, then and now. Karsten Pflum’s two tracks I don’t remember but wow, they sound great and I see they were released on Worm Interface, the label from the Ambient Soho shop run by Rockit. Long since closed by this time, the label carried on and this was his debut album by the looks of things and he’s continued to release material regularly up until last year. Another track from Interloper should have you heading to Discogs to search out the album and we close with the excellent remix of Jelisha’s ‘Friendly Pressure’ by The P Brothers if I remember correctly, from one of those naughty Tru Thoughts Rebtuz bootleg 12”s – lush.

MS41 DRUGS! PRS

Speaking of King Megatrip aka Matt King these days, he’s just released his second comic anthology, Tales To Enlighten – The New Testament – over 400 pages of uncensored underground filth which you should be able to get (along with limited copies of the original) here once all the Kickstarter copies have been sent out https://www.etsy.com/shop/kingmegatrip/?etsrc=sdt

Track list:
Simian – La Breeze (Brian Eno Remix)
Broadcast – One Hour Empire
Bonobo – Wayward Bob
Interloper – All Night Long
King Geedorah – The Fine Print
Karsten Pflum – Staying Pictures
Karten Pflum – Baronen Og Husset
Interloper – RTJ
Jelisha – Friendly Pressure (PB mix)

Mixcloud Select 140: Strictly Openmind Coldcut 17/03/1995 + 24/03/1995

MS140 tape
The A side of the B mix posted last week reveals two roughly 15 minutes snatches from the Solid Steel shows two weeks previous. I used to tape my own contributions live from the radio where and when I could, that’s not to say I didn’t want to listen to the others’ contributions, it was more a necessity as I would have been swimming in cassettes otherwise. Kicking off with a short Wagon Christ track from Throbbing Pouch (Luke always has such great titles) into a snatch of ambience that I can’t identify. Paul Schutze’s stunning ‘The Mutant Beautific’ enters, sounding like something from Eno and Byrne’s My Life In The Bush of Ghosts or one of Jon Hassel’s Fourth World albums. Utterly dark and beautiful, this originally appeared on his New Maps of Hell album in 1992 but I would have been playing it from the Assemblage compilation, a collection of tracks from artists on the Australian Extreme label. This was given away with releases around this time as a primer for the label and a lot of the content fitted into my more ambient sets.

Scanner’s ‘Arc’ is still one of my absolute favourites from Robin Rimbaud, nestling at the end of his Spore album, followed my another Wagon Christ selection – ‘Intermission’ from the aforementioned LP – looks like I was playing a largely ambient set this week. A regular artist on the Extreme label was Muslimgauze whose ‘Infidel’ appeared in all manner of variations on an EP and perfectly encapsulates his sound. Sadly he passed away in 1999 but was so prolific during his lifetime (he released ten albums in 1996 alone) that releases have still been forthcoming. We’re rudely interrupted by an edit into the next show and propelled into Bedouin Ascent’s ‘Crouched On Broken Glass’ – a brilliant piece of complex programming that is well worth investigating along with his first two albums on Rising High for some top shelf ambient techno. Yet another artist who appeared on the JDJ mix (not this track but one from the same EP) and who hasn’t released anything for over a decade. The Black Dog’s equally stunning rework of Phenomyna’s ’Into The Other World’ appears from Kirk Degiorgio’s Art Records before a snatch of ‘K/V’ from Ultramarine’s Bel Air album plays us out.

Mix URL:

Track list:
Wagon Christ – Night Owls
Unknown – Unknown
Paul Schutze – The Mutant Beautific
Scanner – Arc
Wagon Christ – Intermission
Muslimgauze – Infidel
Bedouin Ascent – Crouched On Broken Glass
Phenomyna – Into The Other World (Explained by The Black Dog)
Ultramarine – K/V

Mixcloud Select 139: Strictly Openmind – Coldcut 31/03/1995

MS139 tape
An early one from 1995 where I’m still referred to as ‘Telepathic Kev’ by Jon but am now fully ensconced in the Solid Steel family, recording most weeks along with Matt, Jon and PC or a combination of, depending who was available. This 45 minute mix runs the gamut of tasty electronica, trip hop, drum n bass (on 33 and 45) and acid electro.

Starting off with the modular bleeps of Death’s ‘The High Cost of Living’ (how relevant), a totally silver 12” with only a sticker to tell you the contents. This was Thomas P. Heckmann’s only release under this name, quite a full on start to the show but always nice to lead off with something weird. Barry Adamson’s excellent ‘Dead Heat’ follows at half time, I’ve never understood why he doesn’t get more props, his solo records in the 90s and through into the 21st century are perfectly observed slices of soundtrack, to the point of pastiche at times but still, I know guys who tried to get those kinds of feels for years and couldn’t do as well as he. Stepping back up to double time is Photek’s ‘The Water Margin’ – then a new release – which then gets switched down from 45 to 33 rpm to play as a laidback 120 bpm breakbeat roller, a trick we’d repeat on the Journey’s By DJ mix later that year.

Zoot Woman were one of the first releases on the fledgling Wall of Sound label at the time and an early alias of Stuart Price’s, ‘A Time That’s Closer’ is a hidden beauty of a track from their debut Sweet To The Wind EP that I still love to this day. If someone were to get me to compile a collection of hidden gems from the trip hop era, this would be one of them. Jon sounds like he needs the soothing tones from the track and I sometimes think I tested his patience with some of my more out there selections. J Saul Kane’s remix of the Sabres’ ‘Tow Truck’ thunders in after what would have been an ad break, few people could do beats as heavy as he could, wish he’d put some more music out. The Rockers Hi-Fi track seems to have beats from Audio Two’s ‘Top Billin’ over it or is that me mixing? There’s also a snatch of a jungle track from Section 47 that doesn’t fully play but I looked it up and now it goes for a fair bit – long gone from my collection though.

Gescom’s amazing ‘Mag’ appears, probably for the first time, this would also crop up on the JDJ mix later and was titled because of an Ultra Magnetic MCs sample that runs throughout. Mixed out before the drop of that oh so hard to judge breakdown and into Tranquility Bass’ classic, ‘Cantamilla’, a huge club tune at the time. Jon mentions ‘the blue label 12”’ as there were two doing the rounds at the time, the other one with a gold label, with different tracks and mixes on it. A change of tempo into Wagon Christ’s ‘Scrapes’ from his Throbbing Pouch album on Rising High, still one of his best in a huge discography for my money. This was were I felt he started to find his voice and it’s an album that works from start to finish. I love the little voices he brings in then reverses, a great late night album which I always think of as a trip hop record but this track disproves. Some killer acid from Link in the form of ‘Antacid’ and then the other side of the Gescom 12” with ‘Snakwitch’ which sounds like they’re cutting up some sort of film soundtrack over electro beats. I designed the labels for said 12” and the sandwich toaster on one side is my old one from the 90’s techno trivia fans.

That’s all for this session, next week there’s the A side of this tape with sections from two previous weeks’ shows dated 17th and 24th March 1995. I’m off to Ramsgate tonight to play at the Music Hall and premier my new Quadraphon show, no idea what will happen, it could be a breath of fresh air, it could be a disastrous folly. All I know is that this is where my head is at in terms of DJing right now and I’m so far out of my comfort zone that it’s got to be a good thing.

Track list:
Death – The High Cost of Living
Barry Adamson – Dead Heat
Photek – The Water Margin (on 33 rpm)
Zoot Woman – A Time That’s Closer
Sabres of Paradise – Tow Truck (J Saul Kane remix)
Rockers Hi-Fi – More & More (Heavy Persuasion Mix)
Section 47 – Drought
Gescom – Mag
Tranquility Bass – Cantamilla
Wagon Christ – Scrapes
Link – Antacid
Gescom – Snakwitch

Mixcloud Select 138: Live From Dulwich 19/10/2007

MS138 Live From Dulwich CDr
A mixed bag of then current music and what an embarrassment of riches! From contemporary psyche rock instrumental beats to post electroclash tracks and downtempo sample-fests.
The Giallos Flame first came to my attention via the DC Recordings 12” that the opening track was taken from, of which the mix title is a play on as this set was recorded when I was living in Dulwich. I know the Cdr says ‘Dunwich’ but that’s wrong and so is the date, being when it was recorded, not broadcast. Following swiftly is an early Heliocentrics track from a Jazzman 45 followed my another track from the aforementioned Live From Dunwich 12”. DC Recordings were on a ridiculously good run at this point with releases from The Emperor Machine, Padded Cell, Tom Tyler, The Oscillation and White Line Circus, all wrapped in gorgeous La Boca artwork and the Padded Cell remix of Future Loop Foundation’s ‘The Sea & The Sky’ is still a banger to this day and cheap as chips.

Keeping the tempo high there’s the Ted Nugget-sampling ‘Shake A Fist’ from Hot Chip, an amazing Optimo remix of Prinzhorn Dance School’s ‘Space Invader’ (check the 303 breakdown) and LCD’s ’Sound of Silver’ which I seemed to think sounded like Frankie’s ‘Relax’ in the middle, hence the acappella overdub. Racing through ‘other mystery beats’ as Matt Black always used to call the ones he couldn’t recall – Mr 76ix was a Skam records artist who sounds like he’s sampling a snatch of the Ronnie Corbett ’Sorry’ theme tune in there. The Shocking Pinks remixed by the Glimmers I barely recall but would have been sent on promo, mining that Liquid Liquid percussion sound repopularised by the DFA crew. More spy jazz Giallos Flame with a mystery preacher sermon too low in the mix and then Indoor Life’s ‘Archeology’ which must have been on a compilation as it’s an old 80s track on Celluloid. A quick look on Discogs confirms that it was on a B-Music comp titled after the track itself, dig and dig and dig indeed.

MS138 Live From Dulwich PRS

The excellent but sadly none too prolific Mr Chop (these days simply known as Chop) is up next from his Jazz & Milk release, ‘Sounds From The Cave’, he’s go on to get picked up by Now Again Records for a few releases and has also since had a 10” out on the coveted Drumetrics series. I don’t recall the Kid Acne ‘Sliding Beats’ either but what a banging beat, seems it was the instrumental of his ‘Sliding Doors’ release on Lex, co-written with Req One, mixed by Ross Orton and mastered by Rob Gordon no less! Next is a brace of Bullion’s breakthrough mash up of Jay D/Dilla beats and Beach Boys samples. So good I included four in a row, mainly because they were quite short too, he turns an unlikely alliance into something quite magic and forms a third ‘artist’ in the process which is what the best mash ups are all about. I’d been contemplating a Beach Boys sample-fest of my own for some years but he took it further than I ever could, I must revisit that record soon, it still sounds fresh.

For the last section we go deeper into sample territory, starting with what, for my money, is one of the first sample records in pop – Eno and Byrne’s My Life In The Bush of Ghosts and the spooky ‘Come With Us’. I could rhapsodise about this album until the cows come home as it’s one of my favourite records ever but Gescom throw any reverence away, shoving the whole thing into some sample chopping and rearranging programme that expertly reconfigures it from a meandering ramble into an uptempo electro stomp. Add in Murcof’s darkly creeping ambience over the end and you have something quite special as the track contorts and breaks down under its own complexity. ‘Cosmos 1’ is from the fourth of his five album debut run with the Leaf label and what a fine group of albums. This melts into the final track from the sole release by The Dead Soul Brothers, a record I don’t recall ever having but which may have come to me digitally by this point as it’s 2007 and methods of distribution were changing fast every year in the music business and they got hold of the digital realm.

Track list:
The Giallos Flame – Live From Dunwich
Heliocentrics – Dance of the Dogon
The Giallos Flame – Crime Squad
Future Loop Foundation – The Sea & The Sky (Padded Cell remix)
Hot Chip – Shake A Fist
Prinzhorn Dance School – You Are The Space Invader (Optimo remix)
LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
Mr 76ix – Romanticism
Shocking Pinks – Smoke Screen (12″s & A Bit More by The Glimmers)
The Giallos Flame – Live From Dunwich
Indoor Life – Archeology
Mr Chop – Snob
Kid Acne – Sliding Beats (instrumental)
Bullion – Let’s Be Friends
Bullion – Pet Sounds
Bullion – Sloop Jay D
Bullion – Don’t Talk (Close Your Eyes)
Brian Eno & David Byrne – Come With Us
Gescom – B1
Murcof – Cosmos 1
Dead Soul Brothers – Overtime

Mixcloud Select 137: DJ Food Live in Tofino Pt.2 12/08/2002

MS137 DJ Food Live In Tofino Pt.2 17:06:2002 CDRThe CDr tells me this is a longer edit of the set that finishes the live in Tofino gig I posted part 1 of last week – at 42 minutes I assume only 30 mins was used on the show. While there was a snatch of what I presume was the Dreadlock Holiday mash up 2 Many DJs did with Destiny’s Child creeping in at the end of that set, we blast into Quantic Soul Orchestra’s ’Super 8’ here. I remember Will from Quantic telling me he’d recorded those drums on a mini disc at the time and this was when everyone was trying to put drums down to tape to get that ‘analogue distortion’ – sounds like mini disc worked pretty good too. This was a raucous 45 and the first of many killer cuts Tru Thoughts put out in the 00’s that established the label. Gotta say, that ‘Poppa Large’ acappella sits nicely over the top, some quick cuts between Dennis Coffey and the Mowhawks funk classics and Breakestra retread of ‘Humpty Dance’ and then into a pairing I’d completely forgotten about.

The pairing of Playgroup’s ‘Number One’ with the dub mix of Time Zone’s ‘The Wildstyle’ works amazingly well until the end when things get a bit messy as they’re adding odd spoken word over the top – must revisit that and maybe do a re-edit. Into the bonus beats of Talking Heads’ ‘Once in a Lifetime’ classic before a quick flip over into the vocal and a rather messy mix of ‘Apache’ being cut up by Grandmaster Flash from the BBE sampler. I was rocking the odd country number that breaks down into an amazing break by the name of ‘Saga of the Blue Beaver’ at the time and then we go full on party time with Mr On’s cheeky pairing of ‘Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough’ with ‘Breathe & Stop’ – one of the better early mash ups. Then what sounds like an edit brings us to a pumped up electro version of Prince’s ‘Kiss’ – no idea who did this, any ideas? We’re veering into cheese territory before Rufus Thomas’ ‘Itch & Scratch Pt.2’ pulls us back but, oh no – I’d really caught mash up fever around this time and Madison Avenue’s ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’ gets paired with Blur’s ‘Song 2’ and, to be fair, this absolutely tore it up at the time as it was all so new.

Back to the funk with Paul Humphrey & his Cool Aid Chemists with the awesome stop/start of ‘Funky L.A.’, galloping stormer of a 45 before a switch of tempo into a well known pairing of Mr Scruff’s ‘Ug’ with DJ Vadim’s ‘The Terrorist’ from the Now, Listen Solid Steel mix CD a year before. A snatch of Cut Chemist’s ‘Bunky’s Pick’ before Reuben Bell’s ’Superjock’ – given a second outing a year before with Cut and Shadow’s Brainfreeze 45s mix – and then a, frankly, ham-fisted mix into Q-Bert’s amazing scratch cut in the form of ‘Bear Witness’ by Doctor Octagon. I used to do a trick with Pharoah Monch’s ’Simon Says’ where I’d hold the Godzilla sample and scratch it into the Addams Family theme tune and this is what rounds the set out. It was originally created for the aforementioned Now, Listen mix but unfortunately we couldn’t license it (because they’d sampled Godzilla!) so I would do it at gigs and it always went down well once the crowd caught on.

Track list:
Quantic Soul Orchestra – Super 8
Ultramagnetic MCs – Poppa Large (acappella)
Dennis Coffey – Scorpio
The Mohawks – The Champ
Breaksetra – Humpty Dump
Playgroup – Number One
Time Zone – Wildstyle (Original 12″ dub mix)
Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime/bonus beats
The Incredible Bongo Band – Apache (Grandmaster Flash Rock Steady Mix)
Beaver & Krause – Saga Of The Blue Beaver
Mr. On vs Jungle Brothers – Breathe Don’t Stop
Prince – Kiss (unknown electro mix)
Rufus Thomas – Itch & Scratch Pt.2
Unknown – Don’t Call Me Song 2
Paul Humphrey & his Cool Aid Chemists – Funky L.A.
Mr Scruff’s – Ug
DJ Vadim feat Motion Man – The Terrorist (acappella)
Cut Chemist – Bunky’s Pick
Reuben Bell – Superjock
Doctor Octagon – Bear Witness
Pharoah Monch – Simon Says

Mixcloud Select 136 DJ Food Live in Nelson / Tofino Pt.1 05/08/2002

MS136 DJ Food Live In Tofino Pt.1 CDR
Not too much to say about this set, it does what it says on the tin, a live DJ mix from a couple of dates in the lesser-known reaches of Canada, Nelson and Tofino. I think it was for Nelson that I had to fly in a tiny plane to get to the town as it was in the mountains. Sometimes the smaller gigs are the best ones though, towns that don’t always get people coming through party harder than most when they do and I have good memories of these two.
Drum n Bass, hip hop, RnB, 2 Step and a dash of funk at the end best describes this party set. I’m not sure at which point the Nelson set becomes the Tofino one but there’s a part 2 up next week…

Many tracks don’t need an intro here, Zinc’s ‘Reach Out’ Remix is a classic, PC’s ‘Mirror In The Bathroom / Square Off’ mix had been heard the year before on our Now, Listen Solid Steel mix and he’d been doing it for years before that. I’m replicating it here as best I can, still learning the intricacies of when The Beat speed up and slow down to keep the tracks in time. The Bubba Sparxxx ‘Ugly’ remix was one of many at the time pairing RnB pop tracks with slamming Drum N Bass, I’ve got a ton of them, Britney, Beyonce, Christina, all way better than the originals too.

Tali’s ‘Lyric On My Lip’ was her first release on Full Cycle and DJ Suv went for the shuffle beat so popular with the Brazilian style of DnB doing the rounds and this time. Popularized my DJ Marky and the next track, Shy FX & T Power’s excellent ’Shake Your Body’, this bought the much needed swing and funk back into the genre after years of dark tech step. Cujo – aka Amon Tobin – fits in with the cheekiness of ‘The Sequel’ before another classic, ‘Body Rock’ does that swing thing ever harder.
MS136 DJ Food Live In Tofino Pt.1 PRS

The acappella of Rodney P’s ‘Riddim Killer’ precedes the actual full track, not sure what I was thinking there, might have been stuck for a next track and had to improvise quick. A switch down in tempo to half time and a mix I used to do a lot around this time – Ritchie Hawtin as Plaskitman’s ‘Panikattak’ rolling under Eve’s ‘Let Me Blow Your Mind’. I was loving the RnB hip hop pop a lot around this time as the Neptunes and Timbaland seemed to have an endless supply of amazing collaborations every month as you can hear later on.

Another section from the Now, Listen mix is recreated in the Blackalicious / Four Tet sequence and into Natural Self – another Tru Thoughts artist, who I’d collaborate with years later – with the Ramsey Lewis-sampling ‘Raise The Game’. Running Jammin’s ‘Unstable’ into this for quite so long probably wasn’t such a good idea but I couldn’t get enough of this DJ Zinc track and – after a rap track I can’t identify – it winds down nicely into the end section with two of the aforementioned Neptunes productions. What were those guys on at the start of the decade? No one could touch them, they seemed to throw this stuff out with the barest of elements in the immaculate mix, bringing the funk without the samples. We end with the ‘Funky Robot’, one of Rufus Thomas’ many records about dances, although he doesn’t exactly tell us how to do it, just that it’s the latest thing and better than all the other dances.

* Shout out to John Power and the Spectrum/Kinky Voodoo crew who held nights at the underground ‘club’ on Rathbone Place that housed the Bastard club.

Track list:
DJ ZINC – REACH OUT (REMIX)
THE BEAT – MIRROR IN THE BATHROOM
MASK – SQUARE OFF
BUBBA SPARXXX – UGLY (REMIX)
TALI – LYRIC ON MY LIP
DJ SUV – DO YOU REMEMBER ME?
SHY FX / T POWER feat DI – SHAKE YOUR BODY
CUJO – THE SEQUEL
SHIMON & ANDY C – BODY ROCK
RODNEY P – RIDDIM KILLER
PLASTIKMAN – PANIKATTAK
EVE feat. GWEN STEFANI – LET ME BLOW YOUR MIND
BLACKILICIOUS – ALPHABET AEROBICS
FOUR TET – GLASSHEAD
NATURAL SELF – RAISE THE GAME
JAMMIN’ – UNSTABLE
OL DIRTY BASTARD feat KELIS – GOT YOUR MONEY
BUSTA RHYMES – PASS THE COURVOISIER Pt 2
RUFUS THOMAS – FUNKY ROBOT

MS135 Milk! 17/06/2002

MS135 Milk 17:06:2002 CDR
An odd assortment from mid 2002 here with a bit of party-style mash up, a bit of funk, some Four Tet and some cut ups thrown in, sounds a bit like I was tidying up some loose ends. The inclusion of ‘Milk’ by The Basic dates it instantly to around the time of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist’s ‘Product Placement’ mix, of which this was a staple, both musically and visually. It’s also the first time Luke Vibert’s ‘Homewerk’ gets an airing, a track that would be in the record box from most of the decade and still comes out for the Kraftwerk Klassics, Kovers and Kurios set.

‘Yoda’s One Man Band’ sounds more like Kid Koala than he did back then and I’m not entirely sure it was serious. I never knew who the Freelance Hairdresser was, obviously a play on the Freelance Hellraiser and in early on with the mash up craze. Here he/she mixes the BBC Pot Black theme (Winifred Atwell – Black & White Rag) with Eminem to ‘hilarious’ effect, hasn’t dated a bit – but seriously, this is half of what I enjoyed about the bastard pop craze, it was ridiculous and unpretentious fun, mostly made by people who had nothing to lose.

‘Funk’ is, of course, the less famous B side to Meco’s huge disco-fied hit, ’Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band’ although something tells me they needed a filler track quickly for the flip and didn’t stop to think too hard about the title. Here comes Luke with his obvious steal homage to the Dusseldorf Quartet and I have to say, that tempo switch down mix out of it into Paul Kass is inspired. There’s also a link between the two as ‘Underground Agent’ is featured on the Further Nuggets compilation of library music that Luke made for Lo Recordings around this time.

MS135 Milk PRS

And here’s The Basic with their advertisement for the dairy industry, not 100% sure where the spoken word about cows comes from that I’ve slung over it but it’s probably a Sesame Street sketch. I remember seeing the Product Placement show at, I think, the Scala of all places, in London. Shadow and Cut confounded a few people after the party-tastic ‘Brainfreeze’ set by digging pretty deep to the point where the tracks were cool but more of a head-nod than a get down. Z-Trip ripped it up on that show, pure showmanship with Nirvana cut ups and plenty of mic action.

A couple of Four Tet pieces follow, first, a remix for James Yorkson, and second, something he did for the Domino label which takes a big slabs of John Abercrombie’s ‘Timeless’ and weaves it into something beautiful. It comes as a 7”, split over two sides and features a photo of a young Kieran with his sister on the cover. We play out and turn off the light with Al Dente and Ill Chemist – friends of Steinski’s – and a little track from a CDr I was given I think as I can’t find it anywhere on the web. Nighty Night!

Track list:
DJ Yoda – Yoda’s One Man Band
Freelance Hairdresser – Marshall’s Been Snookered
Meco – Funk
Luke Vibert – Homewerk
Paul Kass – Underground Agent
The Basic – Milk
James Yorkson & the Athletes – The Lang Toun (Four Tet remix)
Four Tet – I’m On Fire (Part 2)
Al Dente and Ill Chemist – Nighty Night

Mixcloud Select Xclusive-04 Disco Was A Dirty Word – Mark Moore 80s Remixes

DJFood MS-X04.1

It’s been late coming but I decided at the last minute to do something new and make an exclusive mix for all the subscribers who’ve kept with me over the 2.5 years so far. It’s a themed mix of Mark Moore from S’Express remixes – yes, niche I know but I love what he and William Orbit did back in the day and wanted to put a load of it in one place.

Spurred on by the release of S’Express & Daddy Squad’s amazing ‘Music 4 The Mind’ single late last year I went down a Mark Moore remix wormhole over the Xmas period and pulled together a collection of his works – mainly in collaboration with William Orbit – from the 80s heyday of acid house and beyond. I’ve been – and continue to be – a huge fan of S’Express and Mark’s work since day one with the singles around the Original Soundtrack album remaining peerless examples of peak pop house perfection.

Titled ‘Disco Was A Dirty Word’ in reference to the interview which threads its way through the mix where Paul Morley quizzes Mark about his career and disco’s resurgence, the set encompasses most of his early remixes, just tipping into the early 90s with his work for Prince and Seal. Kicking off with the first of four reworks for Malcolm McLaren from his Waltz Darling/Vogueing era we have a deep ambient mix of ‘Call A Wave’ sliding into the Orbital Mix of the same track. The first of a quartet of Prince remixes follows – and what a pair of names to have on your CV – with ‘Electric Chair’ from the Batman soundtrack.

Les Rita Mitsouko’s ‘Tongue Dance’ was a new one to me but you can hear plenty of S’Express trademarks in the mix; breaks, disco string stabs and funky guitar all over it. The Vicki Vale mix of ‘Batdance’ kicks the tempo up a bit with the sampled break pointing to Prince’s later ‘Gett Off’ or is it just me? ‘Deep In Vogue’s primo disco makeover segues out into some sort of TV show diatribe as Seal’s ‘The Beginning’ rolls in with its super-catchy synth line. The ‘Batdance’ Batmix is – for me – one of the highlights here whereby the disjointed single gets fused into one seething electronic groove and you get a sense that Mark and William were really doing their damnedest to impress the purple one by twisting the vocals inside out to awesome effect. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything like that ‘Batmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan’ vocal strung out and dialled up and down the harmonic scale so excitingly before or since. S’Express always used vocal samples as rhythms more than mere spoken word fodder.

We return to ‘The Beginning’, except its the Dub version which gives us space for more of Mark’s interview before the refashioning of Prince’s ‘The Future’ thunders in. It’s a masterclass in tension and release, with the dark, foreboding synths plastered over the churning, almost industrial rhythm – another favourite. The last of the McLaren collaborations is the Walk the Body mix of ‘Something’s Jumpin’ In Your Shirt’, a tale about an adolescent girl discovering her breasts are growing no less, full of acid squelch before we end with the new single, ‘Music 4 The Mind’. I can’t get enough of this and there are currently two other remixes kicking around the web with the third on the way. For me it embodies the essence of classic S’Express with the Billie Ray Martin vocal callback in the breakdown and the interview cut ups with contemporary production techniques and a killer bass line.

Check out Mark’s website, there’s plenty to dig into; mixes, videos, galleries and discography from one of the original acid house heads, still opening minds.
https://markmoore.com/
Buy Music 4 The Mind here

Track list:
Malcolm McLaren – Call A Wave (Return To The Deep Ambient Mix)
Malcolm McLaren – Call A Wave (Orbital Mix)
Prince – Electric Chair (Remix)
Les Rita Mitsouko – Tongue Dance (12” version)
Prince – Batdance (Vicki Vale Mix)
Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra – Deep In Vogue (Banje Realness)
Seal – The Beginning (The Mark Moore UK Remix)
Prince – Batdance (The Batmix)
Seal – The Beginning (The Mark Moore Dub)
Prince – The Future (Remix)
Malcolm McLaren – Something’s Jumpin’ In Your Shirt (Walk the Body Mix)
S’Express & Daddy Squad – Music 4 The Mind (Original mix)

MS134 Openmind vs Coldcut live at 102 Central Pt.2 19/08/1994

MS134 Openmind vs Coldcut live at 102 Central Pt.2 19:08:1994
Back for part 2 of the set from last week where Matt Black and I recorded a Solid Steel session in my bedroom as the KISS FM studios were booked out. This hour is a mix of the two of us but it’s hard to determine who played what so I’ve left the thing whole, the tape also started with Cypress Hill’s ’Scooby Doo’ but it was incomplete so I’ve cut it. I kick off with a snatch of the Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia’s majestic ‘Obsidian’ remix before Digital Underground’s ‘Packet Man’ – a tale of a sexual experience sold in a pill. A short snatch of a DJ Spike track precedes the newly released ‘Sound Of The Police’ from KRS 1’s Return Of The Boom Bap LP, a virtual classic as soon as it hit the streets before a ‘pause for the cause’ and into a bit of Matt on the decks. The Tape Beatles had become a spoken word staple on the show since the Orb visited and hipped Matt & Jon to their work and the first two tracks from their Music With Sound album feature here. Steve Reich was also a mainstay of shows, continually popping up over the years in different mixes with his minimalist works, joined here by a spoken word piece, read by Matt’s dad. Out of this comes another ambient classic, ‘Flurescence’ (spelling as on the record) from Jonah Sharp’s debut EP as Spacetime Continuum, another track that got many outings in the early 90s.

A NSFW sketch about vinyl opens the next section with a a near ‘C bomb’ moment quickly cut with a fader. Tournesol’s ‘Holy Cow’ was a bumping trip hop-y moment on their Kokotsu album for R&S, followed by early Chemical Brothers when they were still masquerading under the Dust Brothers’ moniker with ‘If You Kling To Me I’ll Klong To You’. Brian Eno’s ‘Alternative 3’ from Music For Films creeps in with the exorcism from the I Am Lucifer album which I only finally found last year, always a favourite of Matt’s and one he used extensively on the show. The Future Sound of London’s ‘Lifeforms (Path 2)’ was new at the time too, what a time to be alive! I wish I knew what the track following was but it’s gone and Shazam doesn’t know either. Likewise with the burbling acid track after that although I do recognise some bits of David Sylvian & Holger Czukay’s ‘Plight & Premonition’ in there somewhere but it might be as a sample. Ah, here comes Global Communication according to Matt although I can’t identify the track and neither can he (I’m not entirely sure it’s them actually). Matt’s dad crops up again reading a passage about ‘the 9th world’, “How does an eye work? How does a foot work?” – another spoken word favourite. It’s all beginning to blur into one ambient mass around this stage until we get to Attica Blues’ ‘Contemplating Jazz (D’Afro’s Picky Head Dub)’ which plays us out only to be rudely interrupted by the KISS news jingle.

Track list:
Psychic Warriors of Gaia – Obsidian (Organically Decomposed)
Digital Underground – Packet Man
KRS 1 – Sound Of The Police
The Tape Beatles – Beautiful State / Green, Blue Beautiful Place
Steve Reich – Six Pianos
Spacetime Continuum – Flurescence
Monty Python – Vinyl record sketch
Tournesol – Holy Cow
Dust Brothers – If You Kling To Me I’ll Klong To You
Brian Eno – Alternative 3
The Future Sound Of London – Lifeforms (Path 2)
Unknown – Unknown
Unknown – Unknown (Global Communication?)
Attica Blues – Contemplating Jazz (D’Afro’s Picky Head Dub)

Mixcloud Select 133: Openmind vs Coldcut live at 102 Central Pt.1 19/08/1994

MS133 Openmind vs Coldcut live at 102 Central Pt.1 19:08:1994

Happy New Year for 2023! I hope it was fun for you all, sorry this is late today, I’ve been deep in design and gig mode, opening for The Art of Noise two nights in a row at the Jazz Cafe. On with the show I promised in the last entry.
Matt Black rang up one day in the summer of 1994, there was a problem. KISS FM had been booked out, both studios, for the Friday pre-record so he needed somewhere else to record the show that week. I’m not sure if Jon More was around, maybe away DJing with PC? I’m also not sure the exact turn of events aside from KISS wasn’t available but could he come over and do the show at mine? Wow, this was a turn up for the books, I’d only been a guest on the show for just over a year, had a handful or more under my belt and was becoming part of the crew due to now providing artwork for the label as well as the odd gig away with Coldcut. OK, come over to East Dulwich and set up in my bedroom and record Solid Steel, why don’t you? Holy shit!

Kev decks 1994 web

At the time I shared a house with Chantal Passamonte (Mira Calix further down the line), David Vallade and Mario Aguera and we had hosted the original Telepathic Fish party in the three story house above a chemists on Goose Green which we’d dubbed 102 Central. Mario had by now started working with Hex as a computer programmer and David and Chantal were working in Ambient Soho, the record shop in Berwick St, Soho, while I was up the road at Books Etc. on Oxford Street. At the time I had three decks set up in my room, a couple of Technics and something else I forget, not sure what the mixer was but it was the same one on the cover of the Funkjazztical Tricknology compilation. I also had a keyboard, a drum machine, CD player and an odd flanger guitar pedal hooked up – see the blurry photo for reference. Matt came down and we took turns playing into a portable DAT player he’d bought along I think. Can’t remember what we used for a mic but it was probably a pair of headphones plugged into the mic. input hence the terrible sound quality. I think the Coldcut jingles were flown in off cassette and this recording was probably taken from the radio broadcast as it has the KISS news jingle added onto the end, probably live by the sound engineer.

Starting off with a then holy trinity of electronica pioneers Autechre, MuZiq and Caustic Windown (Aphex Twin) tells you we’re in the golden age of Artificial Intelligence era electronica. AI only took another 30 years to become part of everyday life. None of the tracks here have aged badly either, I still play the Aphex track out sometimes too. Following ‘On The Romance Tip’ (where did that title originate? It’s not on the record anywhere) there’s an elongated trance-ish acid thing that makes me think it might be European. Shazam gives me nothing and the ears don’t recognise it at all – anyone? Starts about 11 mins in and bubbles away for another four minutes until Global Communication’s ‘Sublime Creation’ races in on 45 instead of 33, sounding not far off Acen’s ‘Trip To The Moon’ in places.

Cut for an ad break and more Glob Comm with the opening track to their classic 76’14 album, ‘4’02’ with the opening of The Orb’s remix of Material’s ‘Praying Mantra’ slurped over, a common DJ tool of mine. Another was the phasing, filtered and panning intro to Mergener / Weisser’s ‘Sunbeam’ from a New Age Music comp on Klaus Schulze’s Innovative Communication label that Mixmaster Morris had hipped me to, I think I found this in Beanos or somewhere along Berwick St. on my lunch break one day in Soho. This can be heard bridging ‘4’02’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘The Man Machine’ classic, which needs no introduction. Out of the other Fab Four into Coldcut’s own ‘Eine Kleine Hed Musik’ – fresh on vinyl from the extra disc that accompanied the Ninja Tune vinyl version of the album and first heard opening the original Coldcut meets The Orb radio show on New Year’s Eve 1991/92. Which brings us full circle, 31 years later… exit Matt Black stating, ‘Openmind in the house, or rather I’m in Openmind’s house!’

Track list:
Autechre – Lost
MuZiq – Nettles & Pralines
Caustic Window – On The Romance Tip
Unknown – unknown
Global Communication – Sublime Creation (on 45)
Global Communication – 4’02
Kraftwerk – The Man Machine
Coldcut – Eine Kleine Hed Musik