Hexstatic’s ‘Clinkmix’ for Solid Steel 25

We went back to ’89 last week for United States of Audio‘s De La Soul ‘3 Feet High & Rising’ tribute mix and this week we slip another year to ’88 with Robin from Hexstatic. For this week’s Solid Steel 25th guest mix he takes us on a trip to Clink Street in London Bridge, here’s why…

“1988, 25 years ago, and the ‘Summer Of Love’ in London, little did I know how much this street would come to mean to me. An explosion of new music, new headspace, new ideas. The birth of Solid Steel on Kiss FM. It is highly coincidental that driving from the suburbs up to the infamous Clink Street raves for the first time we were listening to that exact show on the radio. To Borough, and down a side street,… at the time nobody went to this area. You could park your car on a double yellow all weekend and not get a ticket. And so into Clink Street, the RIP nights, run by Mr C and his merry cohorts. The sound here was always a bit ‘darker’, heavier beats, stripped down music and decor, the strobe and smoke. This place was definitely about the dance,..you couldn’t really hear anything but music and see anything but your hands in front of your face :) Evil Eddie and Kid Batchelor were my favourite DJ’s at the time and I’m pretty sure Coldcut played there too? Little did I know. The Jungle Brothers even came down once to do a PA of ‘I’ll House You’. They looked pretty bemused. There’s a video of it on Youtube somewhere, with Mark Moore jacking at the end. Skip forward nearly a decade of dance and I’m back in Clink Street, Winchester Wharf, a few feet opposite Clink prison, at Ninja Tune HQ, talking to Matt Black about animations for their forthcoming album. Who’d have thought it. I spend a fantastic few years there and later teamed up with Stuart (Warren-Hill) as Hexstatic, we hire our own studio in the building and embark on the task of making an AV album with a couple of pocket calculators. The building was great, full of music and arts people coming in and out all the time, (David Byrne and Jean-Jacques Perrey just dropped in once!) I was signed to a label, travelling and working with people who I greatly admired. I go past now and again. It’s luxury flats and a bloody Starbucks now :(

To the music. We start with Nitro Deluxe and a track that bridged the gap between eclectic clubs like the Opera House and the start of Acid House, a few years old but was still getting played years later on the scene. Cultural Vibe’s ‘Ma Foom Bey’ had such a heavy slow sound, coupled with the African chanting it was the first time I’d heard a mix like this,..early Tony Humphries on the cut. Next up Sueno Latino, the first ‘Balearic’ track I came across, it would always send the floors into a trance wherever it was played. ‘Voodoo Ray’ was arguably the first UK ‘Acid House’ record, it sounded so fresh when it came out, fusing an almost ‘electro’ sound with the 303, people would always dance a certain way to that record, freaky like. Another UK record and Baby Ford’s ‘Oochy Koochy’, this was the straight up sound of the early scene to be sure. Next, one of several from Todd ‘The God’ Terry in his ‘Black Riot’ moniker. I loved this record so much I danced to it in a car park in Kingston once. ‘Big Fun’ was termed ‘techno’ on release,..seems funny now,..but it was also a big hit in the UK, Inner City even shot the video in London to capture the vibe of the time. Fallout’s ‘The Morning After’ had that lovely, slightly melancholic vibe that always felt refreshing, especially early in the morning. Think Tank and WestBam, were those freaky records that would spin everyone out,..turning to a friend with a massive grin and gesturing,..”what the hell is this?!”. Jungle Brothers get their ‘House’ in order next and then into more Todd product with a reworking of the classic ‘Weekend’. Next, the all time hands in the air anthem of anthems, ‘Let The Music Use You’ just brought a super smiley, almost spiritual vibe to dance floors,..I think most DJ’s tried to judge the ‘peak’ moment to drop it,..matey :) Next up, probably my favourite proper ‘acid’ track of all time, Bam Bam’s ‘Give It To Me’,.. 25 years later I still can’t decide if it’s pure genius or complete rubbish, followed by two more ‘Acid Trax’ classics from Charles B and the mighty Adonis. Stakker next and the video game sampling ‘Humanoid’, another track with that distinctive UK sound, fusing break beats with acid and crazy samples that later spawned FSOL. KC Flightt bringing a hip hop vibe to house without the cheesy ‘Hip-House’ tag and into another mix of ‘UK centric’ elements with the Afro Acid mix of Mory Kante’s ‘Yeke Yeke’,…and we finish on the upbeat sound of Longsy D and the reggae acid of ‘This Is Ska’,..yes mate.”

This era (or slightly later) was highlighted by Vice magazine in a surprisingly non-smug fashion when Clive Martin wrote an article on the YouTube comments made by partygoers under classic rave anthems. Read the comments under his article as well. We didn’t think about it at the time, same with music in the 90’s, it was just everywhere, classic after classic release, week after week. All of these tracks stand up there with any of the acknowledged Rock and Pop classics we’re constantly bombarded with on radio and in the press. I wonder when the music magazines are going to wake up and start writing features on these artists and their legacies rather than recycled the smallest piece of information on the Beatles, Stones, Who, Dylan, Hendrix et al into features for eternity?

DJ Shadow ‘Flashback’ and ‘Trip Out’ mixes for XFM

Way back in March I was asked by Eddy Temple-Morris if I would be interested in putting together a short mix offering my take on the work of DJ Shadow. This was to form part of a marathon special on his XFM show celebrating Josh’s career and tying into a compilation of some sort which has since evolved into the ‘Reconstruction’ release and deluxe box set.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big Shadow fan so this was a thrilling opportunity and also a daunting task. The mix had to be between 17 and 20 minutes long according to Eddy, how on earth to fit so many great tracks into that length of time? No idea but best get down to it and see what develops. Going through my extensive collection threw up over 80 potential tracks, skits, remixes, co-productions and original samples which totaled over 6 hours of music if I remember correctly. How to do this so that it wouldn’t be just another Shadow mix? How to present the ubiquitous but essential ‘Organ Donor’ in an exciting way? Have a listen…

Well, I couldn’t get it down to to 17 minutes, or 20, but squeezed it all into 23 which Eddy graciously let me get away with. I decided to go for the essence of a lot of tracks rather than letting everything play out, trying to edit sympathetically to each track’s progressions so it wouldn’t seem too brutal. I used a lesser-known compilation track (from ‘Turntables On The Hudson’) called ‘Flashback’ as a theme to title the mix as it’s such a blur of sonic information sometimes that it seems like it might be just that. Having not listened back since I made it nearly 6 months ago I find it’s quite an exhilarating ride if a bit relentless, which I quite like but it you might have to be in the mood for it. The solution to ‘Organ Donor’, probably his most well known creation, was to put it at the end, the big bang after a big build, mixing in the original Giorgio Moroder ‘Tears’ sample that forms the main melody as well as a newer production to show that he’s still got it.

But after all that, I still had material left over, specifically large chunks of ambient sound beds that formed a big part of his earlier releases, which is something I love about his music and that stood out as both original and uncompromising at the time. I wanted to put these together as some sort of collage without the usual beats and vocals, maybe it could be used as a bed to talk over on the radio? It was all here, might as well see what could be done with it, I doubted anyone else would go down this route too. The result is the short but sweet ‘Trip Out’ mix…

I was thinking of the KLF‘s classic ‘Chill Out’ album here, hence the pastiche of the cover and the title – also an allusion to hallucination of course but also a knowing wink to the Trip Hop genre tag that has dogged Shadow since the start of his career. I actually think this concept could have been taken further with a bit more production to extend and rearrange sections but time constraints didn’t permit. Anyway, now I had over 30 minutes of mix for Eddy when he only wanted half that. Props to him that he played both and you can hear the whole thing, along with mixes by IRN MNKY, Bare Noize, Stereo:Type and Culprit One online at XFM for the next week. If you’re abroad and you need to enter a postcode to make it think you’re listening from the UK then try W1A 1AA.

Kraftwerk Special by Mr Sushi inc. KKK 7.5

I did a mini Kraftwerk Kover Kollection (7.5) mix for Mister Sushi‘s Kraftwerk special radio show a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s some more info on the show:
In May 2012, London Fields Radio returned to multi-arts, multi-venue festival Land of Kings in Dalston to host an evening of pop-up radio with guests and hosts from across the festival line-up. We took over the Print House Gallery until midnight with a special selection of shows.

In this podcast, Nuts N’ Bolts presenter Mister Sushi hosts a one-off show in celebration of our favourite Düsseldorf quartet, Kraftwerk, a band whose influence can be clearly seen across Land of Kings festival this year. He’s joined by DJ, blog and club night Feel My Bicep to talk about how and why their legacy lives on in east London today and he premieres an exclusive mix by DJ Food filled with some of his favourite Kraftwerk covers.

Posted in Kraftwerk, Radio. | 4 Comments |

Solid Steel Record Store Day round up

Last night I did a Record Store Day round up on Solid Steel on Strongroom Alive radio, you can listen again here

or, if you prefer less chat, catch the non-vocal version with no RSD section here later on today.

I thought I’d put up some pictures of the releases I was chatting about so here you go. Wicker Man 7″ photos nicked from Stuart Ford‘s blog. More on the Vinylmania film here.

 

Posted in DJ Food, Radio, Solid Steel. | 1 Comment |

Amorphous Androgynous mix on Solid Steel


On tonight’s Solid Steel show on Strongroom Alive radio we have an exclusive 30 minute Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble mix by The Amorphous Androgynous in the guest slot. It includes a couple of exclusives as well as part of their remix of ‘The Illectrik Hoax’ which is out this coming Saturday for Record Store Day.

Sadly, I won’t be there as I’m playing in Switzerland with The Herbaliser but DK will be joined in the studio by PC and there’ll be a competition to win a copy of the 12″ in all it’s multi-coloured glory. Listen again now via Strongroom Alive’s site or Solid Steel.

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Solid Steel – Yppah 1981 & DJ Food KKK7 preview

Mine and Yppah‘s mix from last night’s Solid Steel – without chat, you can listen to me and Jon fluff our lines over on StrongroomAlive if you want. Yppah’s mix contains tracks all released in 1981, and, coincidentally, ends with Kraftwerk’s ‘Computer World’ before we get a taste of half of the Kraftwerk Kover Kollection vol.7 which debuts here tomorrow in full.

DJ Format vs DJ Food – Solid Steel mix


Last nights’ Solid Steel mix from Strongroom Alive, sans speech, DJ Format provides an exclusive 30 minute mix and I finish the hour with the same. Tracklist:
DJ Format

Natural Yogurt Band _ Pot Head _ Now Again
Beta Hector feat. Shane Hunter _ Oracle Bones _ Tru Thoughts
Edan _ Rap Beautician _ Humble Mag
SPOX-PHD _ Brilliance _ Correct Technique
Hero No.7 _ Roots Of A Hero _ Hero Records
DJ Soul Shock _ Wild Beats(edit) _ Solid
Nino Nardini _ Malaysia _ Crea Sound LTD
Mr Chop _ Monolith Voodoo Vibes _ Jazz & Milk
The Jon Bartel Thing _ Freak Show _ Capitol
Them _ I Keep Singing _ Happy Tiger

DJ Food

The Stepkids _ Suburban Dream _ Stones Throw
Steinski _ Some Dreams Are Meant To Happen _ mp3
DJ Shadow _ Border Crossing _ Island
Pepe Deluxé _ The Storm _ Catskills
Eagles Of Death Metal _ I Only Want You _ Ant Acid Audio
C-Mon & Kypski – More Is Less (DJ Food re-edit) (unknown)
Tom & Jules – Version Galore Solid Steel jingle (mp3)
A-Ko _ dfuuu _ mp3
Jacky Chalard _ Superman, Supercool _ Cache Cache
David Vangel _ Sandpaper Script _ Equinox
The Creatures _ Mad-Eyed Screamer _ Polydor
A-Ko _ brake _ mp3
DJ Format _ Spaceship Earth feat. Edan _ Project Blue Book

Resonance FM radio fundraiser week

After my guest appearance on Jonny Trunk’s OST show on Saturday I should point out that Resonance 104.4 FM‘s annual on-air fundraiser is running now, right up until midnight on Sunday 19th February. They’ll have auctions of unique and wondrous items, special live events, celebrity guests, spontaneous competitions and much more. I will be donating the last remaining postcard record from the recent exhibition to Jonny’s co-host, Robin the Fog, for his fundraising show on Saturday 18th Feb at the regular OST time of 4.30-6.30pm GMT. I’ll also be donating a one of a kind DJ Food 12″ splatter vinyl controller record from the same show and Jonny will have an unreleased Basil Kirchin soundtrack to ‘The Shuttered Room’, which is one of only 29 copies made, up for auction too.

If you love Resonance 104.4 FM and shows such as OST, please support them via a donation, pledge, bequest, gift or purchase from their shop. The alternative – for the station to take regular on-air advertising – is something they’d all prefer not to contemplate. But Resonance urgently need funds to continue its work. Visit resonancefm.com to make a donation of any size or to view their list of auction items. Also, if you’re an artist and want to donate an object for them to auction then please get in touch with Robin.

Posted in Radio. | 1 Comment |

Radio Suckers part 2

More on the radio front, both mixes and interviews:

The big news is that Solid Steel is back on the air, live in London, on a Thursday night via new station Strongroom Alive. DK (Solid Steel) and Jon More (Coldcut) will be spearheading this each week with myself when I can make it. The usual selection of old and new, guest mixes and the odd interview will be happening as well as some new features.  . Listeners in London can tune in to 87.9 FM on the radio (and Freeview channel 111) between 7 – 9pm each Thursday and across the world you can hear it on www.strongroom.fm

As previously mentioned The Arctic Circle Radio interview with Ben Eshmade is now available as a podcast.

I did a 1 hour mix for the Laura Leishman Project on Le Mouv radio in Paris the other week that aired on Friday (Feb 3rd). This was done with only one turntable as I’d left my Serato controller discs at home and they could only find one, I’d mix one track in and then jump it across to the other virtual deck and cue up a new one on the real turntable. The first half is more clubby and the second a showcase for parts of the album, including some of the forthcoming Amorphous Androgynous remix of ‘The Illectrik Hoax’. The mix is available here – via soundcloud.

The Selector – the 25 minute mix of UK-based artists I did for the British Council is now up on Soundcloud, the 55 minute version follows this Friday (Feb 10th)

Strongroom Alive also hosts a mix show with Pure Evil aka Charles Uzell-Edwards on a Friday and his debut show (Feb 3rd) contained a gallery walk-through by myself conducted the day the show I’ve currently got on at his gallery with Henry Flint opened. The music Charley plays is a fantastic selection of mostly ambient electronica classics from the 90’s with a few oddities thrown into the mix like Black Sabbath. The show is up on mixcloud for those who want to listen again.

In fact I’m going to embed it here I enjoyed his selection so much, some of my Planetarium mix plays at around 1 hr 30 mins including the 2econd Class Citizen remix of ‘The Illectrik Hoax’.

This Sunday (Feb 5th) on Resonance FM I’m interviewed at the same exhibition by Jonny Trunk cohort Robin The Fog for the Panel Borders show about comics at 8pm which will be available to stream or download too.

This coming Saturday (Feb 11th) I’ll be dropping in to Jonny Trunk‘s OST show, again on Resonance, playing space-themed records and giving away a limited edition copy of my album. Resonance 104.4FM.  Saturday 4:30pm to 6:30pm.  Repeated Wednesday 3:00pm to 5:00pm

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British Council ‘The Selector’ radio mix now online

The 30 minute mix* I did for The Selector is now on Soundcloud featuring a section of the forthcoming Amorphous Androgynous remix of ‘The Illectrik Hoax’ plus a new unreleased 2econd Class Citizen track amongst others
Show 547 – DJ Food in the mix by British Council

Tracklist:

Neil Norman – Re-Entry
DJ Food Vs The Amorphous Androgynous – The Electric Images In My Mind (Never Die)
DJ Food – Prey feat. JG Thirlwell
2econd Class Citizen – Stop 2 Wonder
Jane Weaver – The Fallen By Watchbird
Plug – Mind Bending
Fracture & Neptune – Trapped In Time

*This is actually only half of the mix, the full, hour-long mix will go online in two weeks

DJ Food on Radio Cinéola

As previously mentioned, I am featured in interview with Matt Johnson on a special ‘Deep Space’ edition of his Radio Cineola podcast. In 2010 Matt produced twelve podcasts, one a month, usually themed and sometimes featuring a guest – all revolving around new and old The The music. All the episodes can be found in the newly revamped shop on TheThe.com

Most of the selections were either unreleased work, demos or alternate mixes as well as cover version and collaborations. We met up in New York, just before the infamous police raid on the club we were about to play for the Ninja Tune 20th anniversary, to conduct part of the interview. Things being what they are with us slow workers, plans changed and thus, here is the lost in (deep) space episode of Radio Cinéola.

Ninja have put a radio edit of my album version of ‘GIANT’ up on their Soundcloud too.
DJ Food – ‘GIANT’ (Album Edit) feat. Matt Johnson by Ninja Tune

Posted in DJ Food, Radio. | 2 Comments |

“RADIO! – suckers (sometimes) play me”

I’ll be featuring on several radio shows and podcasts in the coming weeks – around midnight on the 19th, BBC 5 Live had a short post-planetarium piece too with Jamie Stangroom

Listen again here at about 46.00 minutes in.

Friday 20th I’m featuring on Solid Steel, talking to Dexter on the Ninja Tune podcast about the new album, artwork, collaborations and picking my top 5 records. I’ve heard the final cut of the show and it’s all seamlessly arranged by DK, a real labour of love. Solid Steel.net. iTunes podcast non iTunes

Monday 23rd should see a special space-themed podcast from Radio Cineola to relaunch the new TheThe.com. I’ll be talking to Matt Johnson via a satellite link up and previewing the ‘Deep Space’ version of our cover of his song, ‘GIANT’.

Next I’ll be talking to Ben Eshmade on the Arctic Circle Radio show on Resonance FM on Friday 27th at 9pm.

Arctic Circle Radio. Resonance 104.4FM. Friday 9pm to 11pm. It’s also on Chill FM (on digital) on Tuesdays at 10pm-midnight. It will be podcast a few days after the event as well. All ACR shows and mixes are available via jointhecircle.net/radio – Download the podcast here!

The Selector – again Friday 27th – The British Council/NME Radio will debut a 25 minute mix of UK-based artists with a 55 minute mix on their The Selector worldwide channel two weeks later. These mixes will feature exclusive new material including part of the Amorphous Androgynous remix of ‘The Illectrik Hoax’, plus unreleased tracks from 2econd Class Citizen and DJ Format‘s forthcoming albums.

On February 11th I’ll be dropping in to Jonny Trunk‘s OST show, again on Resonance, and playing space-themed records and nonsense, probably nerding out and talking all sorts of trainspotter stuff as I’m want to do whenever Jonny and I chat.

The OST Show. Resonance 104.4FM.
Saturday 4:30pm to 6:30pm.  Repeated Wednesday 3:00pm to 5:00pm. Listen again here

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