Mixcloud Select 161: Solid Steel Boat Party Session 25/10/2004

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Back in 2004 when DK and I had our monthly Solid Steel night residency downstair at Ruby Lo in the west end we decided to put on a boat party for the end of summer. I think it was DK’s idea and he wanted to have a door price that included a free BBQ on entry which was to be served from the deck while people came on board. I won’t post the terrible flyer I made at the time but it did contain the line ‘All hands on decks’ which made me laugh. We co-opted our wives to help serve alongside James Mountain (Solid Steel DJ and Ninja employee at the time) and provided a load of burgers, hot dogs and salad for people our of our own pockets. DJs on the night were Dean Smith (on the top deck whilst food was served), James, Matt Black, PC, Harley Harl, DJ Yoda, Diplo (then still relatively unknown but fast rising as a star in his own right), DK and myself.

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Harley Harl and James Mountain (Solid Steel)
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Matt Black (Coldcut)
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DK (Solid Steel)
The boat we booked was on the dock on the North side of the Thames and the owners were a tad shady, so much so that when we started admitting people it was obvious that other people were coming on board without tickets and going to another part of the boat we didn’t know about. When confronted we were told that there was another private party on board and that it would be Ok, no one would cross over but we knew this was BS. Too late, the party had started and the deck was filling up and the weather was great for a late summer evening. The place was packed and there were three rooms, a main one and a more chilled one plus a couple of bars, at one point we gave everyone free lollies too. The set here is mine from the main room, complete with crowd noise and scrappy mixing but if you imagine a cramped top deck cabin with 100 or so sweaty people crammed in then you get the picture.

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PC (DJ Food)
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DJ Yoda
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Yours truly (DJ Food)
I think I was on either before or after Yoda but sadly missed most of his set as I had to sort stuff out with the food side of things. We had a problem with Diplo as he was flying into the UK that afternoon and coming straight to the boat to play and with no contact we were winging it as to whether he’d turn up in time or not. Luckily he did, literally minutes before he was due to play and proceeded to turn out a storming set – phew! DK went to see the boat owners afterwards to sort out the money and we ended up not having to pay for the boat hire as a result of all the nonsense with the other party – they certainly must have made a fortune on the bar that night anyway.

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Me and Diplo on the boat, it was sweaty!
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Photos by Elisa Parish, Graham (Fraser?) and another unknown photographer.

I’m not going to go through every track as there are many classics here most will know – keep an ear out for the switch up out of ‘Tour de France’ into Roni Size though – that was a moment. I loved this era of DnB, loads of fun, heavy rolling beats, synth bass lines and pop vocal hooks – check the Britney bootleg. I know Pendulum fell off but ‘Another Planet’ will always be a monster tune for me – never failed back in the day. The Carmel of ’Nujazzkiller’ isn’t the British jazz artist but a one-off on the Fluid Ounce label for 2002.

Track list:
Stas – Solid Steel Intro
Double Trouble – Live At The Amphitheatre
Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
Beastie Boys – Triple Trouble
Beastie Boys – Triple Trouble (Graham Coxon mix)
The Chemical Brothers – Leave Home
Boom Bip – Cords Will Be the Death Of Me
Quantic feat. Spanky Wilson – Don’t Joke With A Hungry Man
Awkward – Plug Me In
Gang Starr – Play That Beat ’99
Double D & Steinski – Lesson 1
Steinski – Ain’t No Thing
West Bam – Monkey Say Monkey Do
Think Tank – Hack One
Carmel – Nujazzkiller
Ty – Wait A Minute (acappella)
Brass Incorporated – At the Sign of the Swinging Cymbal
The Beatles – Taxman
Beck – New Pollution
Kraftwerk – Tour De France
Roni Size feat. Rahzel – Out Of Breathe
Kayne West – Jesus Walks
DJ Shadow – Walkie Talkie
Rodney P vs Roni Size – Trouble (Roni Size remix)
Britney Spears – Toxic (D n B mix)
Pendulum – Another Planet
Tribe of Issachar – Junglist (DJ Zinc remix)
Mark 1 – Hoovers & Spraycans
Supergrass – Kiss of Life (Tom Tom Club remix)

Mixcloud Select 160: Strictly Kev Solid Steel set 12/11/1995

MS160 USBThis set is extracted from a longer recording with PC on the decks before and after me, recorded near the end of 1995. The file comes from a huge caché of shows given to me by Paul Johnston and I’ve yet to fully go through them to see what I have or don’t have on his list. Paul has had a couple of mixes featured on Solid Steel over the years and they are always packed out with hilarious samples and a ton of work. He kindly shared his stash of shows with me so that I could fill in some gaps, thanks Paul. Here’s one he did back in the day – Smoke Filled Adventures

Kicking off with some Alec Empire from his Low On Ice album and a fine piece of twisted filter breakbeat, followed by some excellent unknown acid trip hop – I’d really like to know what this is but it would require a deep dive into the record collection – anyone know? Some vintage Orbital with the opener from their second album appears and then we splice into a break and cello track that again I can’t recall. DJ Food’s’ Spiral’ from the then-current ‘A Recipe For Disaster’ album plays out and I’m trying something with the intro of Mantronix’s ‘King Of the Beats’ and the pitch control over this but thankfully don’t overdo it. Another unidentified snatch of cut up party business is up next and this sounds like something from DJ Smash or the AV8 label from overseas but I can’t find anything after a scour of Discogs. The use of Doug E. Fresh’s “well it started off on 8th Avenue” from his classic ‘The Show’ is the main signifier.

Public Enemy’s excellent ‘You’re Gonna Get Yours (Dub / Terminator X Getaway Version)’ is next and rumour has it that the Terminator didn’t exactly do the cuts on this but it was the Kings of Pressure’s Johnny ‘Juice’ Rosado who was also connected to the Bomb Squad. David Holmes’ ‘Slash The Beats’ has Kooner and Burns of the Sabre of Paradise’s production fingerprints all over it and is a version of the track ’Slash the Seats’ without the acid line and spoken word. Instead I add the acappella to PE’s ‘Bring The Noise’ (starting on the wrong beat!). Air Liquide’s ambient ‘Robot Wars Symphony Part 1 System Engaged’ from their The Increased Difficulty of Concentration double CD is floated over and out of both these before a classic DnB tune that I just can’t pin enters.

Anyone know this? It’s doing my head in and I spent nearly an hour on Discogs looking for it, thought it might be Alex Reece at first, Robin the Fog thought Wax Doctor or DJ Pulse but I couldn’t find anything – please comment if you recognise it. The next track IS Alex Reece by way of a remix of DJ Krush’s ‘A Whim’ on Mo Wax with Cypress Hill’s ‘Scooby Doo’ floated over it, a mix I used to do often back then. Rolling, quite literally, out of this is Autechre’s ‘Rsdio’ and we’re in slow mode so it’s as good a time as any to air DJ Shadow’s ‘In/Flux’, or at least half of it. Up next is a tune I’ve not heard in years but remember so well, Luke Vibert’s near 10 minute remix of Ruby’s ‘Paraffin’. Ruby was Leslie Rankine from the thrash band Silverfish who were always in the indie music press in the early 90s, she then teamed up with Mark Walk and made a vocal trip hop album,’Salt Peter’. Their debut album is excellent and sadly overlooked although several singles were released with remixes by all sorts of contemporary artists and Vibert’s is one of the standouts, all time-stretched vocals and playful twists and turns. The track succeeding this is again lost in the midsts although sounds very familiar, so many records and so many years ago, it’ll come along some day. We play out with Small World’s ‘Dual Tone’ on Hard Hands, a chugging bass banger that got many an airing back in the day.

No mix next week as I’m on holiday, see you in two weeks…

Track list:
Alec Empire – 22.24
Unknown – unknown
Orbital – Time Becomes
Unknown – unknown
DJ Food – Spiral
Unknown – Unknown
Public Enemy – You’re Gonna Get Yours (Dub / Terminator X Getaway Version)
David Holmes – Slash The Beats
Public Enemy – Bring The Noise (acappella)
Air Liquid – Robot Wars Symphony Part 1 System Engaged
Unknown – Unknown
DJ Krush – A Whim (Alex Reece remix)
Cypress Hill – Scooby Doo
Autechre – Rsdio
DJ Shadow – In/Flux
Ruby – Paraffin (Wagon Christ remix)
Unknown – Unknown
Small World – Dual Tone

Mixcloud Select 155: Strictly Solid Steel 25/08/1995

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A late August show with Matt Black and I at the controls in which I kick off with three tracks straight from The Sound of MZEE compilation – a German label obsessed with Britcore rap. The two No Remorze tracks are straight out of the Hijack book of hardcore hip hop but with a German slant. Find their first album if you can, amazing record. Hearts of Darkness were the first release on Manchester label The Ruf errr… Label, releasing a couple of 12”s in the mid 90s before the label went full on hip hop. Alex Reece’s classic swinging remix of DJ Krush’s ‘A Whim’ should be familiar to all Mo Wax heads out there but Chronicles of Intense was lost in the mists of time to me and only Matt’s brief back track near the end gave any clue to it. Also lost is the identity of the stumbling breaks-y DnB cut after it that sounds like it’s nearly tripping over its own shoelaces, even more so when I turn it down to 33 rpm. As ever, if any of you recognise it, please leave a comment. UPDATE: Found it! The Committee – Profound Love on Creative Wax (but played here on 33rpm).

Kirk DeGiorgio’s Elegy slides in nicely and I discovered Kirk has not one but two compilations of rare material on his Bandcamp page featuring a whole host of bits and pieces from singles, comps and the like, no doubt excavated during lockdown – nearly 75 tracks in all spanning 1991-2014 – the man’s a genius. BPMF is a US 12” I picked up whilst working in Ambient Soho, really odd four-tracker that I still have somewhere on the Rancho Relaxo label. ‘Untitled #4’ is a bubbling acid thing that grooves away nicely out of Kirk’s track and then into Redcell (aka B12, a version of which also on a companion release to the Elegy track – ART 7.1/B1214.1). ‘Primitive Lites’ was taken from the then-new ‘Time Tourist’ LP and later featured in our Blech mix, still sounds like a futuristic city at night to me. Meat Beat Manifesto’s ‘That Shirt’, from their criminally under-appreciated Satyricon LP, still makes me laugh and exclaim, ‘It’s a Ben Sherman!’ whenever I chance upon one of their fine wares. Autechre’s ‘Second Bad Vilbel’ from the Anvil Vapre EP plays us out, brand new at the time, we didn’t know how good we had it, this was just another single on white label back then. I think it was either for this or the Keynell EP where I was staying at Sean and Rob’s after a gig in Sheffield and they were sampling kitchen utensils for beats and percussion sounds.

Track list:
Coldcut – Solid Steel intro
No Remorze – Interlude
No Remorze – Condemned To Death
Fast Forward – Day Of Infamy (Instrumental)
Hearts of Darkness – Don’t Fight The Featherweight
Coldcut – Solid Steel jingle
DJ Krush – A Whim (Alex Reece remix)
Chronicles of Intense – Prophecy
The Committee – Profound Love
Elegy – /P Switch
BPMF – Untitled #4
Redcell – Infinite Lites (Primitives mix)
Meat Beat Manifesto – That Shirt
Autechre – Second Bad Vilbel

Mixcloud Select 154: March/April Sets 12/04/2004

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An approximation of a DJ Food club set around 2004, this is the kind of thing I was playing out at the time via two decks and a CDJ, still using vinyl, no Serato yet. Kicking off with Peloton’s entry for the Solid Steel intro competition which we’d conducted via the Ninja Tune forum. Sounds like I was plundering the Megatrip Soundbank collection of spoken word for samples featuring the word ‘more’ too over Roots Manuva and Ty’s ‘Oh You Want More?’. This, Alex Cartana and the Rootz n Works rework of Prince’s ‘Sign of the Times’ were examples of the Bangra rhythm style made popular by Missy and M.I.A. around this time. Speaking of Missy, here she is with Timberland over a bit of ‘Dark Lady’ although I can only hear The Human League’s ‘Being Boiled’ with this since our second Solid Steel mix CD.

A little funk section from That Kid Named Miles, Quantic Soul Orchestra (featuring Alice Russell), Roy Budd (from the ‘Vigilante! Remixes EP) Nostalgia 77 and Bobby Shad – (from Coldcut’s Life:Styles compilation of the same year) before a brace of hip hop numbers from Edan & Insight, a mash up of Obie Trice by Dizzy Bull and classic UK old school from Caveman. Back to the funk with classic Roy Ayres and I get scratch happy with Double Dee & Steinski’s James Brown cut up, ‘Lesson 2’ before things go into the unexpected with the I Royals’ reggae cover of the Coronation Street theme. This was possibly the first outing on the show too for my now good friend Stephen Coates’ Real Tuesday Weld with his ‘Bathtime In Clerkenwell’.

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Another Solid Steel intro entry, this time from DJ Flywheel, for a change of tempo into Billy Squier’s (big) beat break into Steve Miller’s equally classic B-Boy sample-fest and general all round anthem, ‘Fly Like An Eagle’. Not sure what I was thinking with this section, it’s a very odd selection of tunes, possibly more linked by tempo than anything else although Floormaster Squeeze (aka Coldcut) goes pretty nicely into Japan’s ‘Visions of China’. Japan into Serge Gainsbourg into Boards of Canada – not something I’d attempt most days but it sort of works, especially the Indeep track over the top of the latter, something I’d repeat years later in my ‘O Is For Orange’ mix. We end as we began with another jingle competition entry, this time from Laptop Nancyboy, I wonder what happened to them?

Track list:
Peloton – Solid Steel intro
Ty feat. Roots Manuva – Oh U Want More? Refix
Alex Cartana – Hey Papi (Ross Orton Remix)
Prince – Sign ‘O The Times (Rootz n Workz mix)
Grandmaster Melle Mel & Duke Bootee – The Message
Timberland & Magoo feat. Missy Elliot – Cop That Shit
DJ Food – Dark Lady
That Kid Named Miles – Ring of Fire
Quantic Soul Orchestra – Pushin’ On
Roy Budd – Foxy
Nostalgia 77 – Thing
Bobby Shad – I Want You Back
Edan feat. Insight – The Science of The Two
Dizzy Bull – Got Some Teeth
Caveman – I’m Ready
Roy Ayres – Brother Green (The Disco King)
Double D & Steinski – Lesson 2 (The James Brown mix)
The I Royals – Coronation Street
The Real Tuesday Weld – Bathtime In Clerkenwell
DJ Flywheel – The Beaten Match Solid Steel intro
Billy Squier – The Big Beat
Steve Miller Band – Fly like An Eagle
Floormaster Squeeze – Kick Out The James (Again)
Japan – Visions of China
Serge Gainsbourg – En Melody
Boards of Canada – Nlogax
Indeep – Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
Laptop Nancyboy – What’s Everyone’s Obsession With Intros?

Mixcloud Select 153: Tales of the Tape 21/07/2002

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Break out the TDK D90s, make sure the tape is tightened using an old pencil or biro lid and pop the door of the cassette deck for this collection of pause button-enhanced electronica from mid 2002. Obsession with bootlegs and mashups was still relatively new at this stage and the discovery of Cassetteboy was a key link in the chain. Their meticulous cut ups of TV and radio shows added to the (toilet) humour of the movement and made sure nothing ever got too serious. That they would end up doing material for the Guardian website was something I doubt any of us could have foreseen. This mix is strewn with excerpts from The Parker Tapes, their debut album on Barry’s Bootlegs (an offshoot of Spymania who first gave us Squarepusher), parts of which I would also include in my Raiding the 20th Century mix some years later.

Amon Tobin’s Out From Out Where LP was released this summer and the track ‘Back From Space’ opens the show before Antipop Consortium’s amazing ‘Ghostlawns’ creeps in, still sounding as fresh as the day it was released. The clipped minimalism of Murcof took everyone by surprise when he debuted on Leaf, coming on like a classical Akufen, the beauty of which I totally spoilt by running a Cassetteboy Jamie Oliver sketch over the top – “I’m gonna whack my old man, right up his alley” – yes, quite. Monkey Magic’s ‘More Than We Know’ I had to look up – seems it was a lone 12” on the Deep-Water label and I’m not sure if the Monkees cut up at the end was part of the track or not. Cujo aka Amon Tobin’s sole album was reissued on Ninja Tune around this time and it’s great to hear the contrast although I quite like the cheesy silliness of ‘Popsicle’ myself, sounding more like something Tipsy would have put out than his later material.

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Sinewave – ‘Attack Of The Triffids’ – this was Canadian drum n bass artist, Mark Wiebe, not sure where I got this, maybe given it on tour? That guy has some drum editing skills, I do love rediscovering all these old tracks when digging out 20+ year old shows. Apani B Fly’s ‘Ghost Cauldrons’ was a hip hop that was remixed by Blacklodge and Patrick Pulsinger, the latter of which proceeded to cut up Herbie Hancock’s electronic rendition of ‘Cantaloupe Island’ from his Japanese Dedication album all over the track. Computer Jockeys’ ‘Ping Pong’ was another that had me reaching for Discogs and this appears to have first been released in 1999 on the Harvest label – yes, that Harvest – but was included on a compilation is 2002 which is probably how I found it. Steinski’s remix of Moloko’s ‘Small World’ was taken from his Nothing To Fear Solid Steel mix CD that never was – and now Roisin Murphy is a fully fledged Ninja artist.

Another brief Cassetteboy interlude precedes Edan w Eric Ferguson’s ‘Clinical Rhymes’, an old school freestyle over classic B Boy beats – Edan still untouchable, just wish he’d make more records. Herbert remixing Fridge wasn’t a pairing I’d have ever put together but it works as Matthew Herbert smooths out the rough edges and adds female vocals to beautiful effect. More Cassetteboy before we finish with a rather jovial Witchman remix of The Orb and the tape is ejected.

Track list:
Amon Tobin – Back From Space
Antipop Consortium – Ghostlawns
Murcof – Maiz
Monkey Magic – More Than We Know
Cujo – Popsicle
Sinewave – Attack of the Triffids
Apani B Fly – Ghost Cauldrons (Patrick Pulsinger remix)
Computer Jockeys – Ping Pong
Moloko – The Id (Small World – Steinski version)
Edan w. Eric Ferguson – Clinical Rhymes
Fridge – Ark (Herbert Fully Floooded mix)
CassetteBoy – Your Love is Like Benelyn
The Orb – Ow Much? (Witchman 2975 mix)

Mixcloud Select 152: Drum N Bass N Piano 03/01/2005

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Kicking off 2005 in full-on DnB style with a monologue from Armando Iannucci’s Time Trumpet radio series, a not entirely serious look at music through the ages, which glues this set together. Steaming in with Pendulum’s remix of Concord Dawn’s ‘Tonite’ we’re into 170bpm dance floor destruction straight away and it rarely lets up. I loved Pendulum early on, before and around the first album, I felt they really revitalised DnB for a while after years of it going down a dark, minimal 2-step path which sounded like music for ketamine and a good kicking rather than the euphoric party it had been just a few years before. The Good Looking stable and its ilk were too soft for me back then although I’ve reappraised that since, mellowing with age and all. Back then I wanted my DnB hard and fast, with intricate drum programming and stomping basslines and Pendulum bought all that back with a twist and a swing only previously heard in the Brazilian styles of DJ Marky and Shy FX & T-Power. Of course it all went horribly wrong once they became a stadium band and started using guitars but for a few years there were some great singles and remixes.

There were a spate a white label DnB reworkings of RnB/Pop hits for a good while too in the mid 00s, post-bastard pop where hip hop and soul met in the charts and then got a good rinse out on the dance floor. Here, Beyoncé’s ‘Naughty Girl’ gets the treatment, apparently by T.C. from Bristol. The DJ Deval track I barely remember but it was on Reformed Recordings, a sub label of Formation. Fracture & Neptune were the first producers I remember who paid homage to Photek and Hidden Agenda with their early records. More Pendulum with ‘Back 2 You’, much more electronic than their later work and then Dynamite MC, for my money one of the best MCs to hold it down over DnB, breaks, hip hop or garage over the years, so funky. Here he trades verses with Skibadee to brutal effect, this used to go down a storm. That rework of Britney’s ‘Toxic’ is just too fast isn’t it? I think was the first release on a label called Toxic who also released the earlier Beyoncé retool.

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Zen ‘Monster Munch’ – had to look this up, thought it might have been an alias of DJ Zinc but no, it’s another Reformed release, what a bassline! HUGE hoover bass! Fracture & Neptune back again, with the second track from their 12” on Breakin’, this time sampling Vangelis’ Blade Runner, what’s not to like? Ghost People I had to look up too and then realised that the artist name was actually Influx UK and I’d had it round the wrong way all these years – whoops, those white label promos! More early Pendulum with ‘Trail Of Sevens’ which starts out more like Link’s ‘Chameleon’ than their later stuff, then there’s that breakdown and the rave synths come in with that bass bounce and precision percussion and we’re in some rapid-fire car chase scenario. Fracture & Neptune are back for another slice, ‘Too Doggone Funky’ is a perfect example of how to dig for breaks and not always fall back on the ol’ faithful Amen. Killer track, love it when DnB goes out on a jazz trip like this, will have to go and dig the 12” out, I had a big DnB cull a few years back but I’m pretty sure this didn’t go – again taking notes from the Photek school of production, could be ‘KJZ’ part 2.

We’re back in Pendulum territory again although this is DJ Fresh from his Breakbeat Kaos label (no.2 actually) that he ran with Adam F and which Pendulum were associated with early on. And here’s a DJ Deval track I definitely remember, his remix of RSL’s ‘Wesley Music’ – a rare case of a 130bpm anthem being retrofitted into a new speed and genre without losing the vibe of the original although it’s a bit long! My attention span doesn’t run to five minutes of one track in the mix these days it seems. But suddenly – Cheese! Richard that is – ha ha I’d forgotten this too, one of the best to do it but what a rude awakening, then it’s exit stage left from Iannucci’s museum of lost keyboards. See you next week.

Tracklist:
wasps – Stolen Solidly intro
Armando Iannucci – Museum of Lost Keyboards
Concord Dawn – Tonite (Pendulum Remix)
Beyonce – Naughty Girl (Unknown remix)
DJ Deval – Jah Creationz
Fracture & Neptune – Untightled
Pendulum – Back 2 You
Dynamite MC feat. Skibadee – Over Here Now
Britney Spears – Toxic (Unknown remix)
Zen – Monster Munch
Fracture & Neptune – Continuities
Influx UK – Ghost People
Pendulum – Trail of Sevens
Fracture & Neptune – Too Doggone Funky
DJ Fresh – Foreigner
RSL – Wesley Music (DJ Deval remix)
Richard Cheese – Milkshake

Mixcloud Select 151: Solid Steel Sound Museum Part 2 15/11/2008

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We return for part 2 of my 15 year Solid Steel anniversary show – the Solid Steel Sound Museum. Another romp through my favourite moment from the archive from ’92 through to the mid 00’s. The mix of MBM’s ‘Electro The Robot’ into Kraftwerk’s ‘The Robots’ – did someone want the show with that mix on it? Still not found it, sorry. Love that Wookie/808 State mix, hard to pull off but just about works. Frederic Galliano into the Bundy K. Brown remix of ‘Timber’ – so good, Ken is channelling electric Miles in that second half of the mix to my ears. Thankfully I chilled things out a bit for the second half of this compilation and it’s a bit less frenetic after ‘Mr. Blue Sky’.

Not too much more to say, it’s certainly odd for me to hear things that were recorded at very different times next to each other, sometimes over a decade apart. Normal service will be resumed next week, I estimate we have enough to take us up to #200 before the well is dry, probably including some exclusives along the way. Thanks for listening…

Tracklist:
DJ Shadow & the Grooverobbers – Hardcore Instrumental Hip Hop
Samson & Deliilah – There’s A DJ In Your Town
DJ Shadow & the Grooverobbers – Hardcore Instrumental Hip Hop
Dirtstyle DJs – Bionic Booger Breaks
Meat Beat Manifesto – Electro The Robot
Kraftwerk – The Robots
West Bam – Monkey Say, Monkey Do
Think Tank – Hackattack
Wookie – Scrappy
808 State – Cubik
Strictly Underground – Strictly Hardcore advert 
Circuit Breaker – Overkill
Unknown – The Space Race dialogue
Circuit Breaker – Frenz-e
Public Works – Blue Beautiful Place
ELO – Mr Blue Sky
Ken Nordine – Blue
David Sylvian & Robert Fripp – Bringing Down The Light
David Sylvian & Holger Czukay – Plight & Premonition
Leonard Nimoy – Quequeg and I
Barbarella – Barbarella (Irresistible Force remix)
David Sylvian – Gone To Earth
This Mortail Coil – Firebrothers
B12 – Theme From Space
Sequential – Mission
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum Pt 3
Frederic Galliano – Espaces Barouques Part 1
Coldcut – Timber (Bundy K Brown remix)
Skylab – Knickers Of A Girl
Nightmares on Wax – Night Interlude
George Carlin – God
The Orb – Star 6,7,8,9
Boards of Canada – Happy Cycling
Boards of Canada – Sometime In The Future (Geoghaddi minimix)
Boards of Canada – Aquarius (Peel Session)
Ken Nordine – Orange
DJ Shadow – Press Cuttings (The Private Press minimix)
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum Pt 4
War – Four Cornered Room
Phlabby – So Much About Music  

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

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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 125: Openmind on Solid Steel 15/07/1994

Opti stuff
It’s been a packed week… Saturday was Jonny Trunk‘s Groovy Record Fayre at the Mildmay Club (see more of that here) and a great time was had. Nursing a hangover and then a cold through the week I managed to catch the end of Stephen CoatesBone Music book launch at the Horse Hospital and see the extraordinary Rain Time exhibition at the same time, ending up in the pub with the authors and making more connections that will unravel over time. There’s been more press to do for my Wheels of Light book, published by Four Corners Books, some of which is hitting the shelves this week in the form of Moonbuilding issue 2 and the latest Shindig! magazine. A podcast for the Bureau of Lost Culture should debut this Sunday (Nov 5th) about the book and light show culture in general (if we finish it in time). In between I managed to design a zoetrope for an Australian TV show, finish the artwork for an anniversary Ninja Tune release which will be announced soon and see Michael Rother live at the Clapham Grand last night.

Rother, Weller, Morris

I was slightly non-plussed by a lot of it, the highlight being a storming Harmonia track early in the set. New Order’s Stephen Morris and the right honourable Paul Weller were guests for the encore and Stephen looked like he was having trouble approximating Klaus Dinger‘s motorik beat. Weller seemed to either be having trouble with his guitar or looking to Rother for cues whilst the latter was head down, deep in his immaculate guitar playing, only looking up in the final bar to signal that this was the end. My judgement may have been clouded by the cold currently consuming my head though. The postman has just delivered an odd package of vintage light show wheel ephemera from my friend John at Funky Parrot (see above). Since publishing the book all sorts of people have been coming out of the woodwork with related facts and pieces connected with the light show world. If you’re such a person or know someone in that field, please get in touch, there’s still more work to do in that area.
MS125 Tape 2
On to this week’s show…
A really old one here, from an original show with PC and I on the decks and Jon More on the mic. I’ve snipped PC’s part out and sent it to him so here are the two of mine joined at around the 25 min mark. The first section makes me want to up my game, there are so many bits and pieces weaving in and out of the mix in places it’s a nightmare to track mark them (yes I try and track mark all my uploads in Mixcloud so that you can find out what’s playing more easily – you did know that, right?). This is still so early that I’m referred to as Kevin from Openmind but the Strictly Kev moniker wasn’t far round the corner and I’m still in chill out mode for the most part.

Kicking off with two Solid Steel jingles we’re into a short Mika Vainio track from his debut album ‘Metri’ on Sahko with those gorgeous pure high frequency notes before drifting into a Woodentops B side. Rolo McGinty intones, bathed in much reverb for the Late Night version of ‘You Make Me Feel’. I swear there’s a bit of Cocteau’s creeping into the mix before Beautyon’s mesmeric ‘To Swing Pil’ enters with a ton of extra electronic sounds of whose origins I’ve no clue. ‘Moist Moss’ is the choir-like piece that originates from Mark Van-Hoen’s Weathered Well album under his Locust moniker, why isn’t he remembered more in the IDM halls of fame? The recall is patchy on the next one and Shazam is no help when things are this layered up. There might be some Air Liquide in there, or something from the Reflective label, it’s so hard to tell and this was nearly 30 years ago. This must have been done on multiple CDs and vinyl at the KISS FM studio as well as Coldcut adding occasional jingles.

An uncharacteristic electronic beat track from Scanner’s Mass Observation release enters before a gorgeous Andrew Poppy track from his second album for ZTT, Alphabed (A Mystery Dance). I found Andrew through my love of ZTT back in the 80s and when ambient and chill out came around his music seemed perfect to slip in (the stuff that wasn’t based around Reich’s minimalism that is). I played ‘Goodbye Mr G.’ to my mum once and it seemed to intensely annoy her as she had no handle on its structure or when it began or ended. I know Andrew a little now which is very weird and he’s still making music, releasing an album, ‘Jelly’ recently.

An old faithful, ‘Plight’ from David Sylvian and Holger Czkay’s ‘Plight & Premonition’, slides in and was a staple of my ambient sets for years. It’s a dark but beautiful piece of world building with found sound and snatches of instruments and radio interference that serves as a bridge or overlay to anything. Path were one of the first bands I ever designed a label or sleeve for and their debut single, ‘Pleasant’ rounds out the mix. There is an odd edit right near the end that slices us into a snatch of Sheila Chandra with Jon reading out something about a fund-raising event but I’m not sure what happened there as it came from a batch of digitisations I made years ago.

The second half of the mix is mostly based on the entirety of The Irresistible Force’s 20 minute ’Mountain High (live)’ track, the final side of his debut LP, Flying High. Woven into this ambient masterpiece are a quick blast of ‘Bhaja Mana Hure’ from the Radha Krsna Temple and a couple of beat tracks including Up, Bustle & Out’s ‘Nightwalk’ and La Funk Mob’s ‘Motor Bass Gets Phunked Up’ which slips and slides in and out of time for a few moments here and there. It sounds like I’m constantly chasing it in the mix. Slivers of Tony ‘Moody Boys’ Thorpe’s Voyager track ‘Arrival’ rise and fall as La Funk Mob take their exit – this was a CD only track, 20 minutes long, beatless, twinkling ambience, also never far away when making ambient mixes back in the day.

Mixmaster Morris’s track takes a left turn before the 38 minute mark and either my vinyl was knackered or the one he took the sample from was as there’s crackling all over it. Into this section creep no less than indie pop darlings then turned experimental mavericks, James. Post-‘Sit Down’ they were indulged by their record company and ended up making a couple of albums with Eno, one called ‘Laid’ with an offshoot album of less poppy tracks called ‘Wah Wah’. Out of the sessions from the latter came an amazing 33 minute 12” of Sabres of Paradise mixes called ‘Jam J’ where Weatherall, Kooner and Burns dubbed them to infinity and back again in one of their then epic reconstructions. This huge, loping fuzz bass-ed monster slouches into the mix in half time before taking centre stage, only to be ousted at the very end by the final moments of Mountain High.
Phew, bit of a heavy trip that one.

Tracklist:
Coldcut jingle intro
Mika Vainio – Sisaan
The Woodentops – You Make Me Feel (Late Night version)
Beautyon – To Swing Pil
Locust – Moist Moss
Unknown – Gated ambience
Scanner – Mass Observation
Andrew Poppy – Goodbye Mr. G
David Sylvian & Holger Czukay – Plight (The Spiralling of Winter Ghosts)
Path – Pleasant
Sheila Chandra – unknown
Coldcut Russian jingle
The Radha Krsna Temple – Bhaja Mana Hure
The Irresistible Force – Mountain High (live)
Up, Bustle & Out – Nightwalk
La Funk Mob – Motor Bass Gets Phunked Up
Voyager – Arrival
James vs Sabres of Paradise – Jam J (Phase 1: Arena Dub)

No Mixcloud Select archive mix this week – a new one!

TTE 2 cover
Due to being crazily busy this week, not least having to sort a set out for a friend’s wedding on Friday (playing AND taking my decks – this is a real rarity) I’ve not had time to prepare a show this week. But! I did drop a new mix on Sunday for Matt ‘King Megatrip’ King‘s new kickstarter.

Long time listeners to Solid Steel will know the name King Megatrip from back in the 00’s, he was one of the first collectors of old shows online, provided the occasional guest mix and used to send us spoken word samples on CDRs back in the day, culled from old films and records that he would religiously record and edit down. These started as discs with 99 entries as that was the most ‘tracks’ you could fit on a disc and each one had its own cover, track list and number. Slowly the ‘Soundbank’, as it came to be known, grew in size to the point where it was 200 volumes, each track-indexed with the basic premise of the sample and compiled on a DVD. I still use it to this day and Matt has threatened to share a new 200 volume follow up some day.

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He’s been slightly distracted however by his Tales To Enlighten project – the first was a 200 page graphic novel detailing the son of Satan and his robot consort, Manfred’s adventures trying to gain enlightenment. He successfully Kickstarted that last year and it was a blast. Now, the sequel – Tales To Enlighten: The New Testament – is here and it’s a whopping 550 pages with 30 artists and a ton more content. He’s aiming to get $20k which means the whole book will cost just $52 once printed – a bargain – and as of writing he’s already got $17k of it after nearly 2 weeks. Help him out if you want a ton of indie/underground comix full of sex, drugs, violence and blasphemy hitting your doorstep (or just to use as a doorstop) soon. If you fancy pledging then head over to the Kickstarter page, there’s loads of different levels and goodies on offer with extra zines, T-shirts and even original artwork.

To try and help drum up some publicity and as a good excuse to fit a new set of funky religious psychedelia together I constructed Songs of Revelation: Further Religious Rock & Spiritual Spoken Word for him a few weeks back, a follow up to last year’s Songs To Enlighten mix.

Track list:
Reformation – In The Beginning
Otis Skillings – A World Mixed Up
Reformation – Reformation ’71
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – Doors Are For Locking (excerpt)
Truth of Truths – John The Baptist
The Continental Singers – Step Up, Sit Down
Truth of Truths – The Trial
John Rydgren – Cantata Of New Life (excerpts)
The Crimson Bridge – First Suite by Gary Rand (1st movement Searching For Reality)
W. Cleon Shonsen – The Hippy Psalm (Instant Insanity Drugs excerpt)
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – The Best Tombs In Life Are Free (excerpt 1)
Kent Schneider – The Church Is Within Us, O Lord
The Crimson Bridge – Birthright
John Rydgren – The Lord Is My Shepherd (New Life spot)
Reformation – Let There Be Light
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – The Best Tombs In Life Are Free (excerpt 2)
Otis Skillings – Love Can Work A Miracle (edit)
Katarzyna Gartner – Kyrie (excerpt 1 edit)
U.S. Apple Corps – Don’t Do Me Nothing
Peter Link & C.C. Courtney – Deadalus
Katarzyna Gartner – Kyrie (excerpt 2)
The Mission – A Feeling

Mixcloud Select 65: The Openmind Collective debut on Coldcut Solid Steel 11/07/1993

MS65 tape

28 years ago last week I was heading back into London from my Dad’s 50th birthday party to the Holloway Road to meet Matt Black at KISS FM. This was the first time I ever appeared on Solid Steel, alongside old DJ partner Mario Aguera as part of the Openmind collective. Mixed totally live on air on 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 (Jon wasn’t in the studio for this session).

I’ll never forget it, the nervous countdown to 1am in the quiet studio, both of us shitting ourselves as we were going to be live on the radio for the first time and it was on Solid Steel! The news ending and Matt triggered the intro jingle, and we were off with the luxury of 3 turntables layer up the mix with. It was a seminal moment in my DJ career and I’m eternally grateful to Matt for inviting us on and giving us a chance as it was like getting a foot in the door or the first rung of the ladder. If I’d never done another Solid Steel again I’d have been happy but of course he asked us back again and again.

Looking at the track list I’m pleased that it all still stands up and a few long-term staples were in there; Kraftwerk, Aphex, ZTT, Jungle Brothers and The Irresistible Force. The mix is mostly tight, the odd stumble here and there but no disasters – not bad for a first go live on 3 decks although there was way too much George Carlin in the mix.

Mario took over after  the Barbarella track, we shared a house at the time and pooled our records when playing out as I was only just out of college and he had a full-time job so could afford to buy more new records than me. Along with Chantal Passamonte (now Mira Calix) and David Vallade, a fellow graphic designer who has done covers for Clear, Reflective, Worm Interface, Ninja Tune and many more, we did the Telepathic Fish chill out parties. One day I’ll get a little site together with all the mixes, photos, magazines and flyers I have stored up from those years…

Thanks to Steve Norgate many years ago for the superior audio and track listing as the quality is superior to my own D90 cassette and I doubt a DAT recording of this exists.

Track list:
Sequential – The Mission (Live From the Outer Zone
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome to The Pleasure Dome 12″ intro (on 33rpm)
Sexy Selector – Original Rockers
St Etienne – Your Head My Voice (Voix Revirement by Aphex Twin)
Jungle Brothers – Ultimatum Jungle Beats + unknown African chanting
LS Diesel & Launch DAT – Rougher Than A Lion
Psychic Warriors of Gaia – Maenad (The Valley) + Hear This! spoken word
Kraftwerk – Home Computer
Seefeel – Minky Starshine
Nightmares On Wax – Nights Interlude + George Carlin – God
No-Man – Heaven Taste
21st Century Aura – Disorientation
DJ Spike – Outer Land (part one)
Grace Jones – The Crossing (Ohh The Action…)
Kraftwerk – Morgenspaziergang
Dreamfish – School Of Fish
Barbarella – Barbarella (Irresistible Force Mix) + George Carlin – Nursery Rhymes

Mixcloud Select 12: DJ Food – Mixed Bag – Solid Steel 09/06/2003

MS12 SS CD Track notes:
Going through my CDRs this week to make them easier to sort, I tried to find a show that was close to this week’s date. Worryingly there seems to be a batch of CDs yellowing around the edges so I should get them encoded before the CD rot sets in further.

This mid 2003 set from 17 years ago seems to have several links from some sort of meditation record which for the life of me I don’t remember. Musically it’s the era of great chart hip hop, reggae, silly mash ups and garage-y club bangers. Also there seem to be a couple of Marilyn Manson tracks nestled in there which I remember caused a few raised eyebrows at Ninja back then. The funk 45 craze was still unearthing treasure and the show opens with Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier’s incredible ‘La Horse’ which had just been reissued as part of DJ Oof’s Cinemix project.MS12 CD+tracklist

Nestled in the middle of the mix is a mash up I made under my Flexus alias called ‘Bite My Salami’ (there’s a whole album’s worth of these which I used to make for DJ sets). It layers  Justin Timberlake’s ‘Rock Your Body’, Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and Pepe Deluxe’s ‘Salami Fever’ and sort of works but really needs some of the guitar from Timberlake’s tune. At the time you couldn’t get the a cappella for this so I ended up buying the CD single and using the phase insertion trick with the vocal and instrumental versions to cancel out everything but the vocal. Then Sean Paul gets overlaid with a version from The Bug, it was a different time…MS12 SS front

Track list:
Serge Gainsbourg/Jean Claude Vannier – La Horse
Geezers of Nazareth – Loving the Pole (pt 1)
HIM – The Way the Trees Are
Cardinal Offishall – Belly Dancer
Trashman – Got To Get Ya
Connie Prince – The Badger
DJ Format – Here Comes the Fuzz (Quartertones remix)
Prince Paul feat. Chubb Rock, MF Doom, Wordsworth – People, Places and Things
Marilyn Manson – Baboon Rape Party
Amon Tobin – Hot Korean Moms
Flexus – Bite Your Salami (demo mix)
The Bug – Slew Dem (version)
Sean Paul – Get Busy (acapella)
Massive Attack – Butterfly Caught (Jagz Kooner remix)
Marilyn Manson – Thaeter
Camping Gaz & Digi Random – Circus World (Skamping Gaz Simphony 2)
Jammin’ – Tonka
Tubbs – 5 Day Night (Baloo mix)
Instrumental – All Shook Up

DJFoodMixcloudSelect12

Mixcloud Select 11: DJ Food – Osy Kicks It Off – Solid Steel 04/03/2002

MS11 CDThis week’s upload was requested by never_be_game_over who cited it as one his favourites. Titled ‘Osy Kicks It Off’ in reference to Osymyso who starts the show with a recording culled from another show at the time, XFM’s The Remix. Why was I pulling audio from another programme? At this point in 2002 the bastard Pop / bootleg / mash up scene was in its early stages with a handful of physical bootleg records available but the majority of these creations existing purely online through sites like Boom Selection (run by a 14 year old school kid called The Dr but that’s another story).

Eddy Temple-Morris and James Hyman’s XFM show, The Remix, quickly became the place to showcase a lot of these tracks and host mixes by the leading lights of the scene, Osymyso being one of the originators alongside The Freelance Hellraiser and Cartel Communique who started the first London club exclusively playing mash ups. Originally named ‘King of the Boots’ before changing to the much more direct ‘Bastard’, this was a monthly event in a tiny, sweaty basement under a newsagent just off Tottenham Court Road in London’s West End and were some of my favourite clubbing experiences ever. There’s a brief clip of it at the start of this Swiss TV piece featuring Osy and myself DJing at Bastard, just look at that pre-mobile phone crowd.

Anyway, Osy’s Intro-Inspection was a megamix made completely from intros of famous pop songs and the recording I pinched was the only way of getting it as it hadn’t been pressed yet. It didn’t occur to me to actually ask him for a digital copy even though we’d met years before and have since become great friends but I heard it and thought it was so brilliant that it had to be the show opener. You can hear Osy (Mark Nicholson to his mum) and James Hyman at the end and James even names checks Coldcut as being up next which is odd as I don’t think they ever had an XFM show, maybe it was a guest mix, either way I thought I’d leave it in.
MSfront
The rest of the show is a mix of current hip hop, both UK and US, which is in rude health by all accounts, mixed with trip hoppy experiments by the likes of Sirconical (on the then new Twisted Nerve label), Sixtoo, Money Mark and the first fruit from DJ Shadow’s second LP, the incredible ‘Monosyllabik’ track, allegedly made from only two samples. Lightening the mood are more mash ups from Girls On Top feat The Sugarbabes (later to be a UK no.1), Pitman’s take on Pharaoh Monch’s ‘Simon Says’ and Wevie Stonder’s sound effects guessing game. Whilst the US rap scene was embracing RnB and having crossover pop hits with the likes of The Neptunes and Timbaland the underground had gone back to the old school and was pioneering a much rawer composite of back to basics sampling exemplified by The P Brothers and their Heavy Bronx sound in the UK and Edan in the US. The early 90s was a golden age for music magazines too with the likes of Big Daddy and Wax Poetics picking up the baton land down by the Beastie Boys’ short-lived Grand Royal mag and doing in-depth interviews with scene pioneers even as the music industry plummeted into the abyss of file sharing.

MS11 inside

Track list:
Osymyso – Intro-Inspection (part two 48-101)
Sirconical – Spank
Ultramagnetic MCs – Poppa Large (accapella)
Wevie Stonder – Kenkeneb
Midnyte – Nott’s Rep
DJ Shadow – Monosyalabik
Sixtoo – Camino
Girls On Top/Sugarbabes – We Don’t Give A Damn About Our Friends
P Brothers – Science
Jehst / Jzone / Harry Love – Staircase To Stage
Dr Dre (feat Nocturnal) – Bad Intentions
RJD2 – The Proxy
D Stroy – Roll Out
P Brothers (feat Cappo) – Nottingham Bronx
Pitman – Pitman Says
Edan (feat Mr Lif) – Rapperfection
Blade – Survival of the Hardest Working
Money Mark – Soul Drive 6th Avenue DJFoodMixcloudSelect11

Mixcloud Select 7: Strictly Kev – Magic Transistor Radio Pts. 1&2 10.04.00

07 Magic Trans Radio CDI have this down as the first set I made for Coldcut Solid Steel in its new home at BBC London Live on 10th April 2000 – a busy month what with the release of ‘Kaleidoscope’ just a week before. We’d left KISS FM a year ago when they announced an impending overhaul of the roster, jumping before we were pushed basically. I’m sure it hurt Matt & Jon more than the rest of us as they had been with the station over 10 years and seen it come up from a pirate to a legal entity. As with everything, things had changed there as commercial concerns took over but it was strange not to suddenly have a weekly show broadcasting around London to go to.

All was not lost though, over the previous five years studio editing technology and CD-R burning had become more commonplace and we were all in the position to either record in our home studios or in Coldcut’s Ahead of Our Time set up at Ninja Tune. We’d been doing this since the KISS studios became unavailable and Matt had already set up Ninja’s first website (Don’t Believe The Pipe) and investigated early streaming technology, keen for us not to lose our weekly flow. Streaming wasn’t what it is today though, you had no idea if anyone was listening, the sound quality was terrible and the technology unreliable – it didn’t feel like being on the airwaves of a ‘real’ radio station. But, as in a lot of instances, Coldcut forged ahead and were early adopters, dragging us into the future with them.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD cover

When Ninja HQ moved from Clink St. to Kennington at the turn of the decade the studio set up changed so, more often than not, I would record sets at home and bring DATs or CD-Rs into the office for Darren ‘DK’ Knott who was now officially producing the show each week. He would organise who was playing when, co-ordinate guests, assemble each 2 hr show in time for Friday and mail out CD-Rs to stations around the world who subscribed to the weekly sessions.

When we first found out we’d got the London Live slot we were overjoyed that we’d finally, officially, be back on the airwaves. Reborn from GLR (Greater London Radio) and later rebranded as Radio London, then Radio LDN, they were having a mini renaissance with DJs like Dr Bob Jones and Ross Allen in early evening slots that were capturing the 20-30 something club goers.

Our joy was slightly curtailed when we got to the BBC studios to present the show and discovered a rather pedestrian set up with turntables over a meter apart and a broadcasting mixer fitted into the desk between them – definitely no turntable gymnastics with that set up. KISS, being a dance music station, was set up for club DJ-style sets, the mixing desk and mic one side and a table with Technics and DJ mixer the other, plenty of room and maneuverability if you wanted to plug in extra FX or move things around.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD backIt was decided that the best way to keep doing what we did was to prepare the mixes beforehand, that way we could be as radical as we liked and not have to worry about any technological limitations. This also meant we could be a lot more creative, didn’t have to rely on one take mixes thus keeping things tighter and also overdub other tracks if need be. Things could be edited but it also meant that things generally took longer as they could be more complex than before. The mix format suddenly opened up to me because of this and I think I did some of my best work in the next decade.

By this time I was getting increasingly into themed mixes or a set with a connecting or recurring factor, I also started naming the sets as I now had years worth under my belt for Solid Steel, only identifiable by date. The theme for this mix was Brian Wilson’s odd 7” single that came free with the Beach Boys Holland LP,. I was deep into my BB obsession at this time, hoovering up the late 60s and 70s LP and mining them for the gems they mostly contained until they went full-cheese as disco took hold. ‘Magic Transistor Radio’ is a children’s fairy tale about a pied piper who lives inside a radio and is Wilson is full blown la-la land mode. I threaded excerpts from it throughout the mix as it was so apt, being that it took part inside a radio.

There are so many great tracks here, Broadway Project’s LP is a forgotten classic IMO, David HolmesOrganisation-sampling ‘Living Room’, early DJ Format, Tommy Guerrero (arguably the last great record on Mo Wax), Sirconical on Twisted Nerve, 7-Hurtz on Output, Broadcast

But I’ve gone on WAY too long with this one, have a listen and see what you think. One more thing, I was so enthused I even made a CD cover for this one, I’m sure I intended to do this with all the mixes but only managed two like this. Turn on, tune in and freak out to the Magic Transistor Radio.

Kev

07 Magic Trans Radio CD + PRS

Track list:
Part 1
Brian Wilson – Mount Vernon & Fairway
Broadway Project – Sea of Change pt2
7-Hurtz – Stokes Motor (version)
DJ Format – Extra Lesson
Sirconical – Choppy
Timmy Thomas – Funky Me
Broadcast – Minus 1
Tommy Guerrero – So Blue It’s Black
A.L.O. Orchestra – The Last Time
Brian Wilson – Magic Transistor Radio
David Holmes – Living Room

Part 2
Brian Wilson – I’m the Pied Piper
Meat Beat Manifesto – Oblivion/Humans
Speedy J – Balk Acid
Recloose – Get There Tonight
Family Values – Last Days & Time
Freeform Arkestra – ?
She 1 – Kwaidan
Broadway Project – Clouds
E.A.R. – Sputnik
Gershon Kingsley – The Sound of Silence
Brian Wilson – Radio King Dom

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Mixcloud Select 02: Openmind mix Solid Steel 17.02.95

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Thanks to everyone who got on board with my new Mixcloud Select channel last week, it really means a lot, please spread the word if you can, there are some treats coming up this month including at least one exclusive that isn’t a vintage show but is a mix of vintage tracks, many never heard before in this form.

This week’s upload is a session I did for Coldcut’s Solid Steel show from 17th of February 1995, at this point still going under the Openmind name for mixes but as you will hear, the Strictly Kev moniker was in place which originated in ’94 on a trip to Amsterdam for the Triplex Festival gig. We would have been working on A Recipe For Disaster’ at this point and I was inducted into the DJ Food project at some point between here and its release in Autumn ’95.
This was the final section of the 2 hour show and I’ve included the break for some vintage KISS FM adverts and jingles of the era, I even left the news on the end to add to the period charm.

Sign up for £2.99 to have access to these recordings, tracklists and notes plus a few exclusives as I put them up https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/

02 CCSS Openmind Mixcloud

New DJ Food Mixcloud Select channel

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Given the times we’re currently in and the loss of gigs and jobs all round, it’s time to open the archives and let people hear all those tapes, DATs and CDRs that have been sitting there for decades. I’ve set up a new subscriber channel via Mixcloud SELECT – and I’ll be uploading exclusive, newly-encoded vintage mixes from my Solid Steel archive regularly for a monthly fee.
I like the Mixcloud model because over half the fee goes to paying royalties for the artists being played, Mixcloud take a cut for providing the service and then I get a bit for all those hours spent making the mixes in the first place. The fee is £2.99 a month (although you can pay more if you wish) and for that you’ll have access to mixes from my personal stash (some pictured below).

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These will date back to the 90’s and even predate Solid Steel occasionally, they’ll all be mixes that I’ve made or occasionally collaborated on. I’ll endeavour to make sure none of them are currently available anywhere else and include track lists and making-of details where I can. These will be exclusive to subscribers only for the foreseeable future, I’ll still upload free new mixes to my regular Mixcloud account but subscribers will also have some exclusive new mixes that I make specially for several months ahead of them being made public – sign up here

The first one is the complete session PC & I did for John Peel’s legendary BBC Radio 1 show 20 years ago this month, just before the release of our Kaleidoscope album. Only half of it was broadcast at the time and I’ve restored it from CDRs I found recently.

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Track notes: (Mixcloud’s word count is quite low for text so I’m adding notes here)

A restored version of the original session PC and I did for the late John Peel just before the release of our Kaleidoscope album. This was jammed out live on 4 decks in my studio at the time in Camberwell and then overlaid with spoken word later.
I think we were way too over-eager on the first half with all the scratching but some of it manages to be pretty humorous in places. It all gets way deeper once we calm down and I was surprised how ambient it got, listening back.
It’s very rough and ready but you have to remember that this is completely improvised on 4 decks with one of us ‘driving’ the mix and the other embellishing it in response at different points. This is how PC and I worked, I can’t think of any time that we rehearsed anything in the same way that DK and I did later for our 4-deck shows.

The intro and outro skits are from a great album called ‘Miniatures’, 1 min sketches and songs compiled by Morgan Fisher in the 80s, when we knew we were doing a John Peel session I thought it’d be a laugh to have ‘John’ introduce the mix. The Steady track, ‘Alarming Frequency’ is the first ever release on the Tru Thoughts label. The Leonard Nimoy read of Ray Bradbury‘s ‘Marionettes Inc.’ turned up in another form a year later on our first Solid Steel mix CD. The Spontaneous Sound gong record is actually an alias of Christopher Tree, a percussionist whose album I found in the US one time, it had virtually no info on it other than the title and the stamp of a drum shop where it had been sold.
I had to look up some of these tracks using Shazam and Discogs, both still twinkles in a programmer’s eye at the time this mix was made, twenty years is a long time ago but we’ll be going even further back soon…

John Peel session track list:

Norman Lovett – John Peel Sings The Blues Badly (Pipe Records)
David Shire – The Taking of Pelham 123 (Music On Vinyl)
Steady – Alarming Frequency (Try Thoughts)
Tortoise – Died (UNKLE Bruise Blood mix (Thrill Jockey)
Ray Bradbury read by Leonard Nimoy – Marionettes Inc. (Nonesuch)
RYU – Rhythm Asobi (feat. DJ Krush & Tunde Ayanyemi) (Cross)
Spontaneous Sound – Spontaneous Sound (Private Pressing)
Sun Ra monologue from Space Is The Place film
Rhythm Devils – The Apocalypse Now Sessions (Passport Records)
Fridge – Of (remix) (Go! Beat)
Kid Koala – Tricks & Treats (Ninja Tune)
Slowly – On The Loose (Autechre remix) (Chill Out Label)
Eric B & Rakim – Follow the Leader (acappella) (4th & Broadway)
Bushflange – Redokov (Hard Hands)
Child’s View – Shift (Blue Note)
Kid Koala – Scurvy (Ninja Tune)
DJ Food – Turntable improv
Major Force – Sitting On the Edge Of The World (Apeman Records)
George Duke – North Beach (MPS Records)
Morton Subotnik – Silver Apples of the Moon loop
Weather Report – Milky Way (Columbia)
Herbie Hancock – Raindance (Columbia)
Unknown breakbeat
Andy Partridge – The History of Rock ’n’ Roll (Pipe Records)

30 years of Solid Steel

Solid Steel 30Solid SteelColdcut’s weekly 2 hour mix show – is 30 years old – wow, now I feel old too. To celebrate they’ve commissioned a clutch of special mixes which will air throughout the first week of December. Juan Atkins (the show’s first guest back in ’88), The Bug, Bernd Friedman, Gerd Janson, HAAi and Mark Pritchard have all recorded mixes as well as Coldcut, DK (with an epic 4 hr effort) and myself.

What do you do when you’re faced with a blank canvas to commemorate a 30 year anniversary? I’ve been with the show for 25 of those years and so much music has flowed through it in that time it’s impossible to crystalize that into one set. Instead I thought I’d attempt something I’d not done before and put together a collection of classic minimalist songs by the masters – Kraftwerk, Eno, Reich, Riley, Can etc. – and weave other elements in and out of the mix. In some respects I succeeded but I started out with seven hours of music! A lot had to go as flow and tuning just didn’t work and I also didn’t want too much 4/4 kick drum to pin things down, rather just the throb of forward motion.

Mixing this stuff takes time and patience, the tracks are long, you can lose your place in the rhythm very easily and most of them are played live so not locked into any steady metronome or midi clock. Getting the mix tight was a constant headache. I’ve used some tracks more like samples to add textures to others rather than to have their own spotlight and the intention was to always have at least two things creating a third, which is the basis of all the best mixes.

When compiling sets for the Solid Steel mix CD series, then Ninja A&R for the series, Dean Smith, used to talk about ‘moments’. Each mix should have at least two or three points that would make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up or blend the sound to such a point that you got a rush. It’s not enough to just blend two ends of a track together, we’re sculpting here, making connections that wouldn’t normally sit together and, in the best instances, mean that you can never hear one of those tracks on it’s own again without hearing the other playing in your head. There are subtleties at play in recorded mixes that can never be experienced in clubs as the volume and crowd noise often pushes out the details.

Two thirds the way through the set I also did something I’ve never done before too – inserted another guest mix. Chatting to Brian Dougans from Future Sound Of London, he’d confessed to being a Solid Steel fan, regularly taping shows throughout the 90s and being inspired by the weekly mixdowns. When I told him it was the 30th anniversary he offered an exclusive mix of new Humanoid tracks, an alias he’s just reactivated as it’s three decades since he first had a hit under the moniker with ‘Stakker Humanoid’. It seems fitting to have a contribution from an artist whose career started at the same time as the show, FSOL’s own radio shows in the 90s similarly inspired me and this is a nod to their idea of inserting guest mixes into their early Kiss FM shows. The six acid tracks are a stark contrast to my own selection but rather than surround them with similar material I’ve let them occupy their own space within the set, you might have to adjust your mood though. A massive thanks to Brian for this mix and all the music he and Gaz have bought us over the years.

After 25 years as part of the Solid Steel team and after hundreds of hours of mixes, it’s great to still be inspired to push myself and be among such esteemed company as the show morphs once again into a new era. Solid Steel moves to a new format next year, already with some killer guests lined up, and there are around 8 years worth of mixes in the archive online along with an extensive database of dates and guests from the past 30 years.

DJ Food Solid Steel 30th mix featuring Humanoid

Linda Perhacs – Parallelograms (Kapp Records)
Brian Eno & David Byrne – The Carrier (Virgin)
Pink Floyd – On The Run (Harvest)
Kraftwerk – Autobahn (Vertigo)
Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois – Ascent (An Ending) (Virgin)
The Beach Boys – Our Prayer (Brother/Reprise)
Vapour Space – Gravitational Arch of 10 (Internal)
David Bowie – Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix) (Columbia)
Herbie Hancock – Rain Dance (Columbia)
Can – Messer, Scissors, Fork & Light (Spoon )
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick (Virgin)
Cavern of Anti-Matter – Tardis Cymbals (Duophonic HF Discs)
Pat Metheny – Electric Counterpoint fast (Nonesuch)
Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians (ECM)
10cc – Wet Rubber Soup (Polydor)
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick (Virgin)
David Sylvian – Answered Prayers (Virgin)
Manuel Gottsching – E2:E4 (MG-Art)
The KLF – Deep Shit (The Cult of Mu 7″ mix) (CDR)
Jon Brooks – A Mechanical Eye (Ghost Box)

Humanoid In Session 2-4th Nov 2018 – guest mix
– 1 Acid Ho
– 2 Spore
– 3 Point Cloud
– 4 Co-Pilot
– 5 Koma Flow (808 State)
– 6 Far-Point
– Recorded live at 9L West, Engineered by Yage for EbV. Fsoldigital Recordings.

Terry Riley vs Meat Beat Manifesto – In C (Version 4.2) (Electronic Sound)
Boards of Canada – Telepath (Warp)
Psychic Warriors of Gaia – Obsidian (Organically Decomposed) (KK Records)
This Mortal Coil – Waves Become Wings (4AD)
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick (Virgin)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – A New Day (RVNG INTL)
Vapour Space – Gravitational Arch of 10 (Internal)
Linda Perhacs – Parallelograms (Kapp Records)

Jean Jacques Perrey meets Coldcut on Solid Steel

Jean Jacques Perrey on Solid SteelRIP Jean Jacques Perrey – a true pioneer and a man not afraid to keep the comedic in electronic music – here’s an archive interview Coldcut did with JJP back in 1997 for Solid Steel.

“Coldcut meet Jean Jacques Perry. This occurred in early 1997, at their Spacelab studio in the old Ninja HQ in Clink St. (now luxury flats with a Starbucks underneath). E.V.A. was enjoying a huge revival as the soundtrack to a Lucozade commercial and Moog, Easy Listening and Music Concréte were all back in vogue. Jean Jacques was
promoting the reissue of the track and playing his first gigs for years. Matt Black had recently acquired three huge Korg PS3300’s, was deep into his analogue kit and instantly struck up a rapport (Richard James would later buy one of the Korgs from him when studio space grew tight).”