Mixcloud Select 81 – Solid Steel 01/12/2003 – Broken Tape Recorder

MS 81:81 CDR

This mix had a lot of current tracks on display, from Luke Vibert’s drum n bass alter-ego, Amen Andrews (vol.5) and the Soundmurderer & SK1 releases on RePhleX at that time kicking things off in a hectic style. The DJ Patife track is actually a remix of a Michel Magnet track on the excellent Cinemix compilation put together by Fred Elalouf aka DJ Oof and contains loads of excellent remixes of French soundtracks by the likes of Carl Craig, Howie B, Sofa Surfers and the ever-present Luke Vibert.
Bonobo’sPick Up’ is expertly worked over by Four Tet, a hang over from our tour of North America in late 2001 where they bonded over clattering jazz drums. Ty’s ‘Wait A Minute’ seems to come in at an odd place in the bar but it all makes sense once the chorus kicks in and the two tracks align melodically but it’s still rough and ready which makes me think this is probably a one-take mix made at home.

Forss’ ‘Journeyman’ is from one of those albums that went under the radar and has remained there but definitely deserves reappraisal. Made by Swedish producer Eric Wahlforss, his debut in a minimal, unassuming blue cover entitled, ’Soulhack’ is a very deep record taking in trip hop, jazz, electronica and drum n bass, earning comparisons with Amon Tobin’s work at the time. Preceded in the mix by Deckard’s photo-enhancement scene from Blade Runner (my inclusion) it takes the set into different territory with a spoken word vocal by Rich Medina that’s rarely been bettered. It’s never been reissued and is freely available cheap on Discogs, go and find a copy. Apparently Eric went on to co-found Soundcloud which might explain why there are only four releases from him in the last 20 years.

The set continues in a similar vein with UK MC HKB Finn aka Huntkillbury Finn who featured on early Music of Life releases in the 90s and later had several releases on Ninja offshoot, Son. This must have been taken from the CD promo as the title was shortened to ‘In The Stillness’ for the 12” release. I wouldn’t call it hip hop in the regular sense, more a commentary on a night out in the city, and it plays the set out in fine style. I’ll feature the other mix, ‘Symphony in F’ next week…

Tracklist:
Amen Andrews – London
Soundmurderer & SK1 – Stylee
DJ Patife – Compartiment Tueurs
Bonobo – Pick Up (Four Tet remix)
Ty – Wait A Minute (acappella)
Forss – Journeyman
HKB Finn – In The Stillness of the Night

Mixcloud Select 80: The Openmind Collective on Solid Steel 07/11/1993

MS80 TapeThis was mixed totally live on air via 3 decks and a CD player (the old rack mounted ones) with a few Coldcut jingles being thrown in off of 8 track-style carts by Matt Black (Jon wasn’t in the studio for this session). The third of the Openmind sets on Solid Steel, I took the second hour after Mario Aguera and kicked off with an Albert Hoffman monologue, borrowed from Mixmaster Morris who had the 50th anniversary of LSD album that it’s taken from. As can be heard throughout I was mixing indie rock ambience in with the electronic kind as student funds were tight and I was still digging around in bargain bins at places like Cheapo Cheapo’s, occasionally unearthing a Roedelius or Bill Nelson album. Also on a huge 4AD kick around this time and hoovering up Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil albums which fitted into the mix but have since become forgotten in the history of things around this time, as has dub.

I wasn’t quite earning enough or on enough promo lists to have all the latest Warp and R&S releases yet so there’s an element of making do with the little you have, but limits can sometimes be good and foster more creative results. Sylvian & Fripp’s sole collaborative album had just been released and ‘Bringing Down The Light’ was the Frippertronics piece on it, getting plenty of play around this time. I also slipped in a little 808 State sample from ‘Open Your Mind’ as an ID of sorts for us. Klaus Schultze and David Sylvian’s ambient releases got tons of play for their drifting openness and were constant mix tools. Leonard Nimoy reading ‘Quequeg and I’ was from a spoken word album about whales. Bill Nelson was one of those artists that was always on the periphery of loads of scenes but never quite got the attention others like Eno did, his albums around this time are full of weird and wonderful experiments and worth a revisit. Voyager was an alias of Moody Boyz’ Tony Thorpe and ‘Arrival’ is a 20 minute ambient piece only available on the CD single of the release – another ambient mix staple as you can fly it in and out anywhere without disrupting the flow.

The opener to Orbital’s second album was always good to float over a mix and I’ve taken the trouble to correct something that’s always annoyed me with this mix since it was done. The Cocteau Twins always came in way too loud and kind of jolts in the mood of the mix so I’ve turned it down. I’ve also joined two sections as there was a tape turn over moment during Eno’s ‘An Ending (Ascent)’, a track that became almost a cliché in ambient sets around this time due to its ubiquity. Senser’s ‘The Key (The Other Side Mix)’ was totally out of character for a band mixing rock and rap in the same manner as PWEI or Asian Dub Foundation. Playing out the B side of the single it was remixed by Club Dog’s Micheal Dog, dragging the band into a brief tangle with ambient, one that I don’t think they ever repeated. Pedro & Man where basically Cheech & Chong, a scene from Up In Smoke and, I only just realised, drops the phrase ‘motherfucker’ if you listen carefully. Schultze appears again and Eno for the first of two appearances before one of Youth’s epic dub remixes of The Sugarcubes‘Vitamin’ lumbers into view. This was an age of indie groups getting dance remixes on 12”s, no doubt from the fall out of records like Screamadelica, a practice that would continue for most of the 90s as dance music culture grew and grew.

Eon’s ‘Spice’ 12” contained a lock groove at the end which I used to transfer from an ambient wash to a 133bpm groove so that the Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia’s ‘Exit 23’ could enter the fray. This was a big tune at the time and actually originated in 1989 on their first release, being remixed into the monster groove that it was in 1993, securing their place in the ambient scene. Diving back into the indie scene, Cranes had J.G. Thirlwell remix their ‘Clear’ single and the B side was a remix by Ivo Watts-Russel and John Fryer – basically a form of This Mortal Coil – I always thought the voice was way too high pitched but changing the speed just made her sound like a man. S’express‘C.O.M.A.’ (not to be confused with ‘C.O.M.A. II’ on the album) was given away free on a 7” with Record Mirror around the end of the 80s and I always used to mix it over things back then, being just respirator breathing and sonar pings.

The set ends with a glimpse of what was to come in ’94 – elements of trip hop but from the US rather than the UK. Cypress Hill’s weed-extolling ‘Hits From The Bong’ and Justin Warfield’s acid LP opener, ‘Introduction by Ellis Dee’. I’d kept my eye on what was going on in hip hop and most of what interested me was on the fringes as most of the rest of that world dived into gangsterism following NWA and Ice T’s successes. Little did we know that Mo Wax were about to release DJ Shadow’s ‘In/Flux’ in the weeks after this show aired which would set a whole new scene in motion. I dearly love this mix, it evokes a certain time when I had just left college, was finding my way into the music scene, still putting on parties with friends but soon start to DJ more regularly with Coldcut, design for Ninja Tune and start producing and playing as part of DJ Food. But that was all yet to come…

Track list:
Albert Hoffman – Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
David Sylvian & Robert Fripp – Bringing Down the Light
808 State – ‘Open Your Mind’ sample
Klaus Schulze – Bayreuth Return
David Sylvian & Holger Czukay – Plight & Premonition
Leonard Nimoy – Quequeg and I
Bill Nelson – Calling Heaven, Calling Heaven, Over
This Mortal Coil – Andialu
Voyager – Arrival
Unknown (phasing up and down)
Orbital – Time Becomes
Cocteau Twins – Oomingmak
Senser – The Key (The Other Side Mix)
Pedro & Man – 1st Gear, 2nd Gear
This Mortal Coil – Late Night
Klaus Schulze – Bayreuth Return
Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent)
The Sugarcubes – Vitamin (Decline Of Rome Pt.II) check
Dead Can Dance – The Spider’s Stratagem
Eon – Spice (locked groove)
Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia – Exit 23 (Source)
Brian Eno – Alternative 3
Cranes – Cloudless (Thais mix)
S’express – C.O.M.A.
Cypress Hill – Hits From The Bong
Justin Warfield – Introduction by Ellis Dee

Mixcloud Select 79 – Strictly Research Labs PRS 24/07/2000

MS79 CD

I was looking for a Halloween/horror mix for ages for this week’s upload but just cannot find it anywhere (anyone got any ideas?). I’ve chosen this one instead as a little half hour entitled Strictly Research Labs with a mix of electronica from the summer of 2000. This must first play of ‘Monacle’ from the as yet unreleased Quadraplex EP which wouldn’t see the light of day for 6 months. The set is peppered with spoken word snippets taken from the Survival Research Laboratories documentary based on Mark Pauline’s incredible industrial robot performances.

The Wagon Christ remix of David Sylvian appeared on the CD of his ‘Godman‘ single and manages to retain both the original and be quintessentially Luke Vibert at the same time, one of his best remixes IMO. Alder & Elius were on the Skam label with the weird Andy Warhol-sampling 7″, the 23 Skidoo track is from their reformation rather than their golden era. The Federation started out on Mo Wax but this track was from the B side of a 12″ on Indochina. Andy Votel does his thing with The Avalanches before the finish with Stratus, a 12″ on the Pussyfoot label offshoot, Fragments, that contained none other than Martin Jenkins aka Pye Corner Audio.

MS79 PRS

Tracklist:
David Sylvian – Godman (Wagon Christ remix)
Alder and Elius – King of Pop
DJ Food – Monacle
23 Skidoo – Ayu
Mos Def – Umi Says
The Federation – Sea of Green
Avalanches vs Andy Votel  – Thankyou Caroline
Stratus – Uplink

Mixcloud Select 78: DJ Food (Kev) untitled DAT 29/12/1996

AOOT KevI’ve no idea where this came from, it was on a DAT tape with no info, it’s definitely me playing but I’ve no idea the date aside from these tracks are all from around 1996. It’s trip hop all the way though with UNKLE’s mix of Tortoise opening and on into the Sonic Assault mix of Attica Blues’ ‘Tender’. Danny Breaks‘Science Fu’ Pt.2 is followed by something I just cannot remember and Spotify cannot identify – anyone got any ideas? I’m think it’s maybe European?
UPDATE: Edward ZentaurusMan – one of Solid Steel’s biggest fans – has set me straight, it was by Si Begg and the exact date was 29/12/1996 – thanks Edward!
Brighton graffiti artist Req makes his debut on wax for the Skint label at the end and it’s all done in under 30 minutes. The presence of random spoken word samples makes me think this was recorded up at Ahead of our Time studios in Clink St rather than KISS FM and it’s fairly basic on the mixing side of things. I’m wondering if it was even broadcast, it’s unusual to have no date on something.
Fun fact: I painted and sealed the walls of the studio above once it was built (we never got round to properly painting it after), it stood inside the main office of Ninja Tune in London Bridge, sound proofed and the Journeys By DJ mix, A Recipe For Disaster and Let Us Play were largely recorded there among others.

Tracklist:
Tortoise – Djed (Bruise Blood Mix)
Attica Blues – Tender (Sonic Assault Mix)
Danny Breaks – Science Fu (Pt.2)
Si Begg – Nothing Is True Zen Say
Req – 8 Models In A Sauna

Mixcloud Select 77: Hip Hop catch up 19/09/2005

MS77 CD I felt like a bit of hip hop and found this hour where I was playing catch up with a load of mid 2005 releases, the quality is outstanding with a leaning towards West Coast artists in particular, the underground was really firing 15 years ago. Not too much to say about this really except that it contains a couple of Soundsci demo mixes that changed a little by the time they were released.

MS77 PRS

Tracklist:
Pangea / My Private Utopia – Solid Steel intro
Cage feat. Jello Biafra – Grand ‘ol Party Crash
Stateless – Exit
Blackalicious – Rhythm Sticks (remix)
SoundSci – The Remedy (demo mix)
Porn Theatre Ushers – She’s Busted
Madvillain – Rhinestone Cowboy (Fourtet remix)
Quasimoto – Bully’s Hit
Tom Caruana feat. Arch Co – It’s Arch
Hot Karl feat. MC Serch – Let’s Talk
Madvillain – Strange Ways (Koushik remix)
Madvillain – interlude
Koushik – Too Many Ways
Living Legends – Good Fun
Nextmen feat. Dynamite MC – Spin It Round
Edan – Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme
Natural Self feat. Alice Russell – I Don’t Need This Trouble
Quasimoto – Rappcats 3
Edan feat. Percce P – Torture Chamber (Cut Chemist remix)
SoundSci – The Illness (demo mix)
APSCI feat. Mr Lif – See That?
Ultramagnetic MCs – Poppa Large (Devil McDoom remix)
Ch3vy – Hard Massage

Mixcloud Select 76 – Homespun Solid Steel 26/07/1998

MS76 Homespun Box

Recorded to DAT at home (hence the title) and missing the first 10 minutes or so due to an Autechre live track and Boards of Canada’s ‘Aquarius’ Peel session being taped over them. This mix is rough and ready with some brutal half time Bug/Ice beats giving way to jump up D’n’B including UK remixes of The Beastie Boys and Missy Elliot.

Part 2 slows the pace a little and moves into sample territory with the Weather Report-sampling Noise/Paradox ‘Last Night on Earth’ and Jadell’s old school nod, ’Sureshot’ (apologies for the dust on the needle). An unknown track follows that gives way to the techno jazz of Bedouin Ascent’s remix of Move D, such a complex bit of programming. I’m sure I’ve got a tape of unreleased BA music from way back somewhere.

I’ve no idea why Knights of the Turntable is in here, an early 80’s electro B side with all this modern stuff? I must have just got a copy second hand and the tempo was right. CSM’s ‘The Way’ was on Clear offshoot, Reel and Norken’s remix does that rare thing of evoking what I call ‘night time techno’, early hours of the morning headphones music like Elektroids or B12. Jega comes along and ruins that particular mood with his distorted beats and we finish with excerpts from Marshall McLuhan’s ‘The Medium Is The Massage’ which has been laced throughout the mix. You can detect traces of samples that appeared in the following year’s ‘Kaleidoscope’ album in here too in some of the vocal snippets.

For the Solid Steel scholars, the missing tracks from the start of part 1 were apparently:
DJ VADIM – AURAL PROSTITUTION (SWOPE MIX)
STEVE GREY – STEVE GREYMS76 Homespun DAT

Track list:
Part 1
DJ VADIM – LORD FORGIVE ME (BUG DOOMSDAY LINE MIX)
ICE – X-1(UNDERDOG MIX)
BEASTIE BOYS – INTERGALACTIC (P.O.TECH/TMS REMIX)
MISSY ELLIOT – HIT ‘EM WITH THE HEE (GANJA KRU REMIX)

Part 2
NOISE/PARADOX – LAST NIGHT ON EARTH
JADELL – THE SURE SHOT
Unknown – unknown
MOVE D – HURT ME (BEDOUIN ASCENT MIX)
KNIGHTS OF THE TURNTABLE – FRESH DUB
CSM – THE WAY (NORKEN MIX)
JEGA – CARBON 60

 

Mixcloud Select 75 – Strictly’s New Year Homework Pt.2 10/01/1999

MS72 NY homework DAT
Delayed Pt. 2 to Mixcloud 72 because of the Now, Listen anniversary the past 2 weeks

Recorded over the Xmas break of ’98/99 (where PC and I went to LA to play at a disastrous New Year party which ended in multiple hospitalisations from a bad drugs batch and police shut down). This sounds like a live set recorded at home, possibly on three decks and is full of contemporary electronica, jazz, library and that end of the millennium weirdness where there wasn’t any dominant scene happening.

The King Biscuit Time track that kicks this off is a real anomaly for me, I never founds anything else by them that did it for me but this absolutely rocks. Absolutely joyous with that filthy break and weird bass line. Paddington Breaks were from the same stable as Animals On Wheels, lazily bundled in under the name ‘drill n bass’ on account of them sometimes aping Squarepusher‘s completely style of programming. As you can hear, that was far from the truth with this track, sounding more like vintage Black Dog that anything else.
Stereolab were generally turning anything they touched to gold around this time and their Pastels remix is no exception despite dodgy ‘scratched’ flute sound. John Callaghan has been making music for 30 years and released a couple of 7″s on Warp at the end of the decade. The spooky ‘I’m not comfortable in my own mind’ wasn’t something you’d associate with the label at the time but not a million miles away from Broadcast in tone. More Warp with another BoC Peel Session track before something from Bundy K Brown‘s short-lived Pullman project, an acoustic instrumental outfit with only two albums to their discography.

Bundy was always moving on to different projects from Tortoise, Grey Market Goods or Pullman, his Directions debut EP, Echoes, has just been reissued after 25 years with extra material on Temporary Residence. Air (the German alias of Pete Namlook version – their are over 30 bands called Air on Discogs) appear again with another track from their Fax debut. Major Force West had an album collected on Mo Wax of various tracks from ’97-99, some rumoured to originally be slated for the UNKLE LP before James Lavelle changed direction and producers. To me it’s a brilliant record, full of mind-expanding trip hop in the very best psychedelic sense. Snatches of the moon landing, shortwave recordings, parts of How To Speak Hip and all manner of analogue electronics over a steady breakbeat goes down very nicely.

We finish where we started in part one of this show with the Karminsky‘s and a track from their second single, ‘The Hip Sheik EP’, insultingly files under Electronic: Acid Jazz on Discogs, far from it. Peppered throughout this show and the previous one were snatches of The Tape Beatles from their ‘A Subtle Buoyancy Of Pulse’ debut (or possibly ‘Music With Sound’, I forget). Either releases are incredible cut up/collage albums in the style of Negativland, People Like Us or The Books and The Orb have pillaged the latter for years.

King Biscuit Time – Niggling Discrepancy
Paddington Breaks – Blimsearch
The Pastels – One Wild Moment (Stereolab mix)
John Callaghan – Smearhead
Boards of Canada – Olsen
Pullman – Tall Grass
Air – 1st Impression
Major Force West – Circling Round
The Karminsky Experience – Suspense
The Tape Beatles – Outro

Mixcloud Select 74: DJ Food & DK – Now, Listen Solid Steel Director’s Cut Pt.2 17/10/2001

MS74 disc The incredible Cut Chemist 2.5 minute workout of Blackalicious’ ‘Alphabet Aerobics’ starts us off into the second section of the Director’s Cut, upping the tempo considerably into Four Tet’s epic ‘Glasshead’. Camping Gaz and Digi Random’s crazed theremin and ska ‘Circus World’ didn’t make the cut and neither did  the UK garage beats of Sunship’s ‘Cheque One, Two’ (it’s a nice idea but a bit out of tune). The next section is so sublime and stayed in for exactly that reason, Herbie Hancock’s ‘Nobu’ out of ‘Glasshead’ and then into Link’s ‘Arcadian is, as Ninja’s licensing manager at the time, Dean Smith, used to say, ‘a moment’. Talking of which, this half of the mix was taken from the radio broadcast so DK, Dean and I are present occasionally to chat and track back over things. PC performed some judicious edits of ’Nobu’ for the final mix as it’s a very long track but the full thing appears here.

It was such a shame we couldn’t license Lorez Alexandra’s ‘Baltimore Oriole’ as the mix out of Link with the pitched down ending melody over it and then into Art of Noise’s ‘Moments In Love’ is just delicious. Another, err, moment occurs out of the AON and into Vangelis’ ‘Let It Happen, originally slated to be the closer but replaced by Faze-O’s ‘Riding High’ on the final CD. The final section here was a proposed end selection I made which was vetoed for the mix coupling Coldcut’s ‘Autumn Leaves’ acappella with Air’s ‘Modular Mix’ and a lot of delay action. Following this is 10cc’s classic, ‘I’m Not In Love’ beautifully sliding into ‘Moments In Love’, the former I’m convinced of which was some sort of inspiration for the latter. The chord change as they mix together is another moment for me but the others weren’t having it, 10cc were just too uncool. The telephone message that ends the mix was left for me by Dom Smith, another Ninja Tune office employee (and now manager of Flying Lotus, Thundercat and the Cinematic Orchestra), in response to my answerphone containing a snatch of Missy Elliot’s ‘Beep Me 911’ at the time.

Part 2
Blackalicious – Alphabet Aerobics
Four Tet – Glasshead
Camping Gaz & Digi Random – Circus World
Sunship – Cheque One, Two
Herbie Hancock – Nobu
Link – Arcadian
Lorez Alexandra – Baltimore Oriole
Art of Noise – Moments in Love
Boards of Canada – The Colour of the Fire
Vangelis – Let it Happen
Air – Modular Mix
Coldcut – Autumn Leaves (acappella)
10cc – I’m Not in Love
Art of Noise – Moments in Love

MS73 PRS

Mixcloud Select 73: DJ Food & DK – Now, Listen Solid Steel Director’s Cut Pt.1 17/10/2001

MS73 Disc 20 years ago PC, DK and I presented a unique extended cut of our new Solid Steel mix as the CD was released and we were about to embark on a US tour with Four Tet and Bonobo to support it. This gave us an opportunity to retool the mix and add many parts originally up for consideration but not included for various reasons of time, flow or licensing restrictions. The devastating events of 9/11 the week before meant that the idea of including DJ Vadim’s ‘The Terrorist’ acappella was now firmly out of the window and this was replaced by Missy’s ‘Get Ur Freak On for the tour. In this mix it’s replaced with a selection of interview snippets PC had recorded from a round of pre-tour interviews.

Solid Steel Now Listen 150

In the original mix incarnation we had a section by Ollie Teeba from The Herbaliser as a guest (there was an idea that this would come out as an all-star affair with the Ninja Tune 10th anniversary Xen Cuts compilation originally but it wasn’t finished in time). Ollie’s section was added back in as well as many other ideas and additions that got cut in the final edit. Licensing problems meant that we couldn’t get loads of these like Vangelis (had fallen out with his label), Pharaoh Monch (big Godzilla sample they were being sued over) and Sesame Street were unhappy with their track being used next to rap tracks. This ended up being a godsend as their ‘Pinball Number Count’ would have settled near to DJ Vadim’s track and possibly scuppered the whole release. As it was we released it later as a standalone track and it was all the better for it.

The Jeru / Cinematic / DJ Shadow / Ken Nordine mix I used to do on my opening sets for Kid Koala and Amon Tobin during 2000 and Pharaoh Monch’s ‘Simon Says’ scratched into The Addams Family Theme was a little thing I used to do in my DJ sets and we overlaid the original to labour the point for this mix. Sabu Martinez made it into the mix and got extended with a couple of other tracks for a really uptempo part.

The Boards of Canada meet Grandmaster Flash long form mash up was a staple of my club sets around this time with the payoff coming when Melle Mel’s verse comes in as the track takes off. Blending perfectly into Ollie Teeba’s set of old school hip hop, breaks and Herbaliser tracks, this section didn’t make it as I think we changed directions as it wasn’t ready for the 10th anniversary and the Solid Steel mix CD series was formed out of that idea with The Herbaliser doing the third entry. Another Boards track after Pinball Number Count was probably way too much but the counting and children subject matter made it fit as well as the perfect tempo to introduce Blackalicious’ ‘Alphabet Aerobics’ which will kick off part 2 next week…

MS73 PRS

Part 1
Jeru Tha Damaja – Come Clean
The Cinematic Orchestra  – Channel 1 Suite
Neotropic – Beached
DJ Shadow – Changeling
Ken Nordine – Looks Like It’s Gonna Rain
Mr Scruff – Ug
The Grooverobbers feat. DJ Shadow – Hardcore Instrumental Hip Hop
Pharoah Monch – Simon Says (instr)
Sabu Martinez – Hotel Alyssa-Soussie, Tunisia
Boards of Canada – Happy Cycling
Grandmaster Flash – The Message
Jazzy Jay – Cold Chillin’ In the Spot
Wildstyle Brakebeats – Gangbusters
Creators – Hard Margin (instr)
The Herbaliser feat Bahamadia – When I Shine (acappella)
The Nextmen – Mental Alchemy (instr)
The Herbaliser feat Latyrx – 8 pt Agenda (accapella)
Slick Rick – It’s a Boy (remix Instr)
Common – Resurrection
The Herbaliser – Shocker Zulu
Walt Kraemer feat. The Pointer Sisters – Pinball Number Count
Boards of Canada – Aquarius

Mixcloud Select 72: Strictly’s New Year Homework Pt.1 10/01/1999

MS72 NY homework BoxRecorded over the Xmas break of ’98/99 (where PC and I went to LA to play at a disastrous New Year party which ended in multiple hospitalisations from a bad drugs batch and police shut down). This sounds like a live set recorded at home, possibly on three decks and is full of contemporary electronica, jazz, library and that end of the millennium weirdness where there wasn’t any dominant scene happening.
A blast of Tape Beatles opens before The Karminsky Experience Inc. and Dynamic Syncopation bring the fast breaks and soundtrack vibes in. People were increasingly becoming interested in OSTs and library tracks at the end of the 90s with lots of bootlegs and a few licensed comps floating around. Air‘s ambient classic on Fax continued this but in a more downtempo vein, not to be confused with the French band of the same name despite using a French title, this was a Pete Namlook alias.
Bruce Haack’s ‘Word Game’ beams in, completely from another galaxy with its chugging Moog groove, only to be superseded by Grooverider‘s excellent ‘Where’s Jack The Ripper’. I felt D’n’B was going through a dull patch at the time with all the dark No U-Turn type stuff not really floating my boat but this had that funk to it that had been lost over the last few years. The Boards of Canada Peel Sessions were out and they always got a lot of love from me on the show so I couldn’t resist halving the tempo and then mixing Grooverider in again over ‘Aquarius’. Followed is Slag Boom Van Loon‘s ‘Poppy Seed’, a track Boards would soon remix for the Planet Mu label.

Part 2 next week!

The Tape Beatles – Intro
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – The Hip Sheik
Dynamic Syncopation – Closer To The Line
Air – Je Suis Triste Et Seul Ici
Bruce Haack – Word Game
Grooverider – Where’s Jack the Ripper
Boards of Canada – Aquarius
Slag Boom Van Loon – Poppy Seed
The Tape Beatles – Outro

Mixcloud Select 71: Strictly Kev – Solid Steel Final BBC LDN show (edit) 21/10/2002

MS71 CD Here’s a silly little set from the last show we broadcast on Radio LDN, part of the BBC network, on a Monday nights in the early 00’s.
BBC London could never make up it’s mind around the turn of the millennium; after 18 years of being BBC Radio London and another 12 of Greater London Radio (GLR) they decided to switch to BBC London Live just as we joined the station in 2000. A year later and they changed it again to BBC LDN and then further to BBC London around the time they got rid of most of their specialist programmes in favour of talk radio.

We were part of this cull along with other DJs like Ross Allen and Dr Bob Jones and it came out of the blue, one week we were on, the next we had one show left. I found out from another presenter who casually mentioned “sorry to hear about your show”, whilst I was covering for the others solo one time. Seeing the puzzled look on my face, she realised her faux pas and explained that the station had axed all but two of their late night specialist music shows in favour of a more talk based radio station. We had one week’s grace and that was it but we really made use of that week…

But let’s start with how we came to be on the BBC in the first place: after leaving KISS in Feb ’99 (before we were pushed – big changes were ahead) Solid Steel set up home online, streamed via the Ninja Tune homepage every week, still maintaining it’s 2 hour format, uncertain as to how many people were listening. With DK now firmly in the producers chair, syndications to overseas stations had been instigated and we were looking around for a ‘home’ on a London station. There was a pilot show for GLR on 27/06/99 but the first regular slot was 27/03/2000, the week the station relaunched as BBC London Live. We had a midnight until 2am slot on a Monday night which suited us fine, no playlist, minimal fuss or bother from the powers that be and a proper studio to broadcast from.

The big drawback was that the studio was more geared to CDJing than turntable mixing and the decks there were more of an afterthought than an integral part of the set up. Out went the live mixing and in came the pre-prepared, home studio mixed sets, something that did no end of good for the quality control threshold but which sounds odd at times when listening back as we had to leave instrumental gaps for talking and tracklists in the selection. Another revelation was no adverts other than the occasional station sting for an upcoming event or show – yes! More uninterrupted mixes and less stop / start nonsense.

Initially we took over after Ross Allen‘s Destination Out show which was perfect as we caught a lot of his audience but he moved on to two separate nights of the week as his star rose. Generally two of us would present the show live whilst playing that week’s selection of mixes and we also had the means to take calls for competitions where we gave away tickets to shows or CDs in return for answers to ridiculously easy multiple choice questions. The BBC had a full online streaming web presence too so we were beamed live worldwide and, on occasion, we got calls from overseas for the competitions, including one from New Zealand! Being ‘on the BBC’ also afforded us instant credibility when asking for high profile interviews and both David Axelrod and Herbie Hancock were recorded using their facilities.

MS71 PRS

But all good things must come to a (tr)end and 21/10/2002 was the last show we did at the station, but we weren’t going out without making a statement and Matt, Jon, DK and I were all determined to make it one to remember. I kicked things off with plenty of loaded spoken word and songs aimed at the Beeb – Has It Come To This?,  It’s All Over Now,  The Show Must Go On, Fool If You Think It’s Over, It’s Just Begun – you get the idea. I must apologise firstly for the cheesiness of some of the tracks (a worrying amount of Queen) but mostly for the tuning on some of the mixes – oh my ears! This recording is the original studio mix without talking, not the live broadcast with the ridiculous competitions, shout outs and studio banter. I’ve actually edited this down as some of the tracks really laboured the point and some were in there for us to talk over so sound odd without it. Plus there’s a Stones track in there and Charlie Watts died this week (RIP).

After this (but not included here) Matt turned in a storming old school ultimate breaks and beats cut up using the Street Beat compilations in Ableton Live. Jon waded in with possibly the first BBC jingle and presented a set of mashed up hip hop acappellas, ending with Monty Python‘s phone in sketch. DK ran through some of the show favourites from the last few years, the tracks getting the most plays from the variety of DJs over the course of our tenure, flagged up some of the high profile jingles we’d recorded and ended appropriately with The Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’ as the final word. It was sad to go but we had no choice and it wasn’t as painful as the KISS departure because we had the internet support fully set up by this time, still it was great to be part of the BBC for a while.

Track list:
The Streets – Has It Come To This? (Hi Contrast Remix)
The Who – My Generation
The Rollings Stones – It’s All Over Now
RJD2 – The Final Frontier
Queen – The Show Must Go On
Mr Guder – Super Guder Breaks 3
Chris Rea – Fool If You Think It’s Over
Jimmy Castor Bunch – It’s Just Begun
Studio Housten – It’s Not Right But It’s OK
Blackalicious – Chemical Calathenics
DJ Food – Turtle Soup (Wagon Christ Remix)
Geoff Muldaur – Brazil
The Carpenters – It’s Only Just Begun
Joni Mitchell – Parking Lot
Jackson 5 – Never Can Say Goodbye

Mixcloud Select 70 – Strictly’s Childhood Faves 30/11/00

MS70 CD This is an odd one because the first 10 minutes or so is an involved multi-layered affair with 2 or 3 tracks overlaid simultaneously in a way that would be virtually impossible with turntables. I can only assume that this section was an early idea for the first Solid Steel mix CD, Now, Listen.
The Aphex Twin/ DJ Food combo is frustratingly slightly out of time at the start and the tuning is a bit off too. Neotropic’s ‘Beached’ is in there and the only track to make it to the aforementioned mix CD and works well with Aphex and the Orb remix of Material ‘Mantra’ although it’s a long, laboured mix and wouldn’t have stood up on the CD. Cornershop’s ‘Easy Winners’ part 1 is such a killer beat, I remember Kid Koala in particular used to cut two copies of this up. It doesn’t quite work with the sombre tone of Neotropic in the background but Mantra rumbles along nicely in there.
After this section we get into some contemporary releases of the day with Andy Votel’s ‘November’ from his and Cherrystones’ excellent 10” EP ‘The Amazing Transplant’. A tempo switch mid-track see the unlikely addition of Hijack’s ‘The Badman Is Robbin’ but one I’m sure Andy would appreciate as it bridges the Cherrystones track from the same EP and they compliment each other for a while. A track from the lone Papa Blue EP on PUU features, still a lost classic and so beautiful and this is another 3 tracks at once mix which makes me think there may have been some computer overdubs going on. Back into another Votel/Cherrystones track and then the mallet instruments continue with Syd Dale’s excellent theme to Screen Test, ‘Marching There & Back’ on Trunk. Incidentally there’s a fabulous compilation album just out celebrating 25 years of the label which is pretty essential if you’re a fan of all things Trunk-related.
Continuing the wacky theme tunes that no doubt gave this mix its name we have an odd 7” on Acupuncture from around this time by Black Lodge that chopped up the ‘Pink Elephants On Parade’ song from Pinocchio to good effect. I think this was the first release on the label and was associated with a shop of the same name, Black Lodge went on to release material in the dying days on Mo Wax. The final track is 9 Lazy 9’s ‘Brothers of the Red’ overlaid with a fictitious listings read by an unknown narrator from Chris Morris’ Blue Jam album and still stands up although who could have predicted that Cerys from Catatonia would end up as a DJ?MS70 PRS

Track list:
Aphex Twin – Untitled
DJ Food – The Sky At Night
Material – Mantra (Preying Mantra Orb remix)
Neotropic – Beached
Cornershop – Easy Winners part1
Andy Votel – November
Hijack – The Badman is Robbin’
Cherrystones – A Pattern Emerges
Papa Blue – Luna En La Pampa
Andy Votel + Cherrystones – A Pattern Emerges
Syd Dale – Marching There & Back (Screen Test Theme)
Black Lodge – Pink Elephants On Parade
Chris Morris – Club News (9 Lazy 9 – Brothers of the Red)

New 45 Live DJ Food mix

DJ Food 45 Live Mix 8th 2021 web
Does what it says on the tin, all vinyl 45s, a mix of Freestyle, Hip House, Acid & Bleep circa 1989-91 – a very fertile time for the dance music scene with the initial euphoria of acid house giving way to the first generation of bedroom producers with affordable samplers. Debuts Friday night/Saturday morning US/UK time August 20th on the 45 Live show with Greg Belson via Dublab.

MS69 DJ Food Solid Steel 07/06/98 Pt.2

MS 69 DAT 2The second mix on this DAT and radio show, I remember this as I think I’d come back from Europe and found an odd record with snippets of old gangster films in Germany, one of the clips was Humphrey Bogart, the same sample The Herbaliser had used on ‘The Real Killer’. Kicking off with the almighty MBM and one of my favourites of their colossal back catalogue, ‘Acid Again’. Few were making music like this in the late 90s but Jack Dangers and co. never did much of what others were doing. How good is that Wai Wan track? Had totally forgotten about that but it’s a bit of a monster. No idea how The Imperial Brothers wormed their way in here, maybe I had just picked up the 12” as this sounds like it could be a dub mix maybe?

‘Shack Up’-sampling from Rare Force aka Robin from Hexstatic precedes a football-themed Depth Charge tune and another I don’t remember by Schneider TM from one of his earliest releases. Cartel Productions sounds like a Kirk DeGiorgio production but is actually Dave Kempston aka Clatterbox on the short-lived Clear label offshoot, REEL Discs. Mixing rather uneasily into this is the intro to major label years era Wagon Christ’s ‘Rendleshack’ on 33rpm before being catapulted up to the correct speed and bookended by the Bogart sample I alluded to at the beginning.

Part 2
Meat Beat Manifesto – Acid Again
Wai Wan – Nightmare
Imperial Brothers – We Come To Rock
Rare Force – Back On The Streets
Depth Charge – Romario (Rio Percussion Unit mix)
Schneider TM – Up-Tight
Cartel Productions – Park Central
Wagon Christ – Rendleshack

Mixcloud Select 68: DJ Food Solid Steel 07/06/98

MS 68 DATThis show was requested a while back but I didn’t have a copy, luckily DK found it in his archive and transferred it direct from the DAT. This sounds like it was recorded up at Ahead Of Our Time studios in Clink St. probably with Ali Tod at the controls. I had to look up Zend Avesta as I don’t remember that at all but it was an early record by Arnaud Rebotini. The Tipper mix of DJ Rap was a club banger at the time with that bass breakdown, must dig that out again. Dynamic Syncopation‘s debut, ‘Closer To The Line’ still stands up as a bit of imaginary 70s soundtrack homage from the late 90s.

Bushflange always produced quality material but are virtually forgotten today it seems, around this time, Pete Herbert from the group had a record shop in Soho that I used to frequent regularly for new releases. This track sounds like a mix of David Holmes and Tipsy and came from their final single, Style Wars Vol.2. Bel Air Project is another I don’t recognise but Neotropic’s ‘Visicous Blooms’ is another mini classic from her second album, Mr Brubaker’s Strawberry Alarm Clock. It’s odd to hear an unknown band called Groove Armada’s debut, ‘At The River’ mixed in and out of Autechre, but who knew?

Part 2 next week

Part 1
Zend Avesta – Queen of Siam
DJ Rap – Bad Girl (Tipper mix)
Dynamic Syncopation – Closer To The Line
Bushflange – Foot Thought
Bel Air Project – Chimix
Neotropic – Visicous Blooms
Groove Armada – At The River
Autechre – Unknown

We Buy Records podcast

We Buy Records

I can’t recommend this podcast enough if you like anything to do with vinyl (including the bad bits), delighted to be asked on as a guest.
Paul and Tim are great hosts and produce a fine nerdy show for fans of vinyl in all it’s forms. Find out the 3 items in my collection that I treasure the most and more on the great We Buy Records podcast Summer Special pt1.
Also Gareth tackles new vinyl & Brighterdayvnl shows us his fancy bits. Plus warping vinyl, indie label chat & a pop quiz.

Mixcloud Select 67: Radioworx 28/07/2003

MS66:67 PRS sheetDebuting almost exactly 18 years ago today, this downtempo wander through the less club-friendly side of electronica is peppered with one of those stoic announcers talking about radio waves, probably taken from the Internet Archive. After Mackay’s classic ‘Take Me Over’ there’s an odd spoken word cut up called ‘Cokeboy’ featuring a rabid raver babbling away under the influence by Kids With Toyz. This weird one-off was released during the mash up craze with a version of ‘One Nation Army’ and nothing else was ever released under that name. From the same scene, Loo & Placido were one of the better purveyors of the genre and they fuse The Beatles and Aretha Franklin to make something that goes further than a cool acappella over the unlikeliest of instrumentals. Prefuse 73 features from the excellent ‘One Word Extinguisher Outtakes’ CD as does the beautiful Boards of Canada remix of Boom Bip’s ‘Last Walk Around Mirror Lake’.

I don’t remember this Bola track at all but it’s sublime, I really must check his stuff out again. I was wracking my brains to work out what the track N.A.G – demo no.4 was and finally I twigged, it was a program that pulled random spoken word from the web and mashed it together in random collages of sound. I did a bunch of experiments with it and must have overlaid it on the Bola track before the beats kick in. It’s still archived here
The Boards of Canada track that follows was from the ‘A Few Old Tunes’ tape that was doing the rounds on the web around this time. ‘Murmuring Mermaids’ is another one I have no memory of, originally listed as Lunz, but Discogs tells me that it was a project between Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Tim Story and that Lunz was actually the title of the album(s) they made.

NOTE: The date on the above PRS sheet was wrong, it was the 28th of July, not the 25th, the mix listed above was uploaded to Mixcloud last week as No.66 in this series.

Mackay – Take Me Over
Kidz With Toyz – Cokeboy
Prefuse 73 – Suite For The Ways Things Change
Loo & Placido – Safari Love
Boom Bip – Last Walk Around Mirror Lake (Boards of Canada remix)
Bola – Aguilla
Various – N.A.G – demo No.4
Boards of Canada – Finity
Hans-Joachim Roedelius & Tim Story – Murmuring Mermaids

Mixcloud Select 66: Darkside! 18/08/2003

MS66 CDRWatch your bass bins because we’re about to go Darkside! I was definitely channelling the heavier side of my music tastes on this one, sometimes you need some good old fashioned nastiness to get the accounts done. Amen Andrews – a rave/jungle hybrid from Luke Vibert – kicks things off and Killing Joke’s excellent Seeing Red awkwardly tries to mix out of it. Jagz Kooner did an amazing remix of this track which is even more brutal. The P Brothers are well known for some of the heaviest production in hip hop and here they put Dick Hyman’s cover of Give It Up & Turn It Loose through a barrage of gunshots. Then things crank up a gear with Amon Tobin and Jeff Waye’s retooling of Slayer’s Angel of Death, complete with Satanic messages overdubbed, I think I might have been putting this through my old CDJ FX unit too – like I said, brutal.

Love Marilyn Manson, although this was from probably his last great record – Broadcast need no introduction, neither does The Bug, remixed by Aphex Twin no less. Evil Twin was one of those mash up artists who came and went in the blink of an eye, I checked Discogs and the only mentions of him are in mixes of mine. Here heard replaying Justin Timberlake to the tune of Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express. Poj Masta stuck around a bit longer, a young guy on the mash up scene who had some serious production chops, I wonder what he’s doing now? He cuts Girls Aloud’s debut Sound of the Underground to bits although it’s strictly mp3 quality. The Evolution Control Committee are arguably one of the groups responsible for kicking off the mash up movement with their 1996 Whipped Cream Mixes 7” which got a repress in 1999. Here they cut together the title lyric from dozens of songs, which I’m sure was as much a statement from me about the contents of this mix as it was from them.

The date on the CD isn’t one that corresponds with a Solid Steel show, there was one I featured on on the 18th that seems most likely so I could have mislabeled the disc. The PRS sheet says 25/08/2003 for this mix but I don’t feature on that week on the solidsteel.net site.
*UPDATE – Anton tells me it was the 18th – the Solid Steel oracle has spoken!

Amen Andrews – Fear
Killing Joke – Seeing Red
The P Brothers feat Mr 45 – Showstopper Pt2
Player – Angel of Theft
Marilyn Manson – Doll Dagga Buzz Buzz Ziggety Zag
Broadcast – Violent Playground
The Bug feat Daddy Freddy – Run The Place Red (AFX mix)
Evil Twin – The Lady & The Lake
Girls Aloud – S.O.T.U (Poj Masta mix)
Evolution Control Committee – I Don’t Care