Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mixtape y'all!


Last mixtape of 2007 for you right here...


  1. Ronnie Hayward - You Hound Ya Lie (Superb rockabilly bounce from the rather fun Cut Chemist & Keb Darge-compiled Lost And Found. I don't put enough stuff like this on my mixtapes. Super-cool.)
  2. Gene Clark - No Other (Gospel-tinged, swampy, psych-country-blues rock - enough prefixes for ya? - from the late Byrd's solo album of the same name, one of my favourite albums of all time.)
  3. Leonard Cohen - Diamonds In The Mine (I spent some time earlier this year getting into Cohen's early work, by virtue of the remasters of his first three albums. It's not all misery and gloom you know as this little country rollick goes to show. That unrefined, gravelly voice is still there though. And the highly-defined sense of finding the beauty in life's ugliness. It's just that he was still ripping off Dylan at this point of his career. It's a superior rip-off though, that's for sure.)
  4. Bobby Charles - Long Face (Nice little soulful country number - spotting a pattern yet? - from The Band co-conspirator, Charles. Needless to say, if you like Robbie Robertson & co., you're going to love this.)
  5. The Beach Boys - Sail On, Sailor (One of my favourite Beach Boys tunes from the oft-neglected, yet brilliant Holland album. Sung by Blondie Chaplin but with those unmistakable harmonies, it's definitely a highlight from the patchy - read largely awful - '70s period.)
  6. The Flying Burrito Brothers - Hot Burrito #1 (Rounding off our Americana sweep is this beauty. Choosing my favourite Gram Parsons vocal performance is always difficult but this is always up for consideration. Pure heartbreak.)
  7. Boat Club - Warmer Climes (Swedish duo Boat Club look to low-key, British electronic pop of the '80s for inspiration. Think a fey Talk Talk and you're halfway there. Like Studio but less overblown and proggy.)
  8. A.R. Kane - A Love From Outer Space (One of the most overlooked bands of the '80s, this is one of those tracks that would have been huge if it weren't for bad timing. With its upbeat piano and loved-up vocal, it would have killed during '89's second summer of love. Alas, it came out the year before and was pretty much ignored. Right that wrong now.)
  9. The Honeymoon Killers - Decollage (Prins Thomas' edit of this is one of the many highlights of his Cosmo Galactic Prism mix, but the original's pretty damn fine too. It makes me feel slightly queasy in the best way possible. Plus, it's sung in French, which is always a bonus.)
  10. Patrice Rushen - Number One (Instrumental) (A boogie-era fave, this imperiously funky, slightly jazzy discoid workout still kills. Certain to slay any right-minded dancefloor the world over.)
  11. Stevie Wonder - All I Do (One of Stevie's best. Not much more to be said on the matter really.)
  12. 7 Samurai - The African (Panoptikum Remix) (Soulful, Marley-cribbing tech-house from the G.A.M.M. stable. Those Swedes have got this music shit sewn up haven't they?)
  13. Nagano Kitchen - Finding Kinoko (Nagano Kitchen are house producers Jerome Sydenham and Hideo Kobayashi and this is, as you'd expect, a little on the proggy side, but with some winning Balearic flourishes, such as the Gottsching-like guitar line. Blissful.)
  14. Booka Shade - Numbers (Extended Vocal Mix) (Done for their recent DJ-Kicks mix, this shows that not all contractual obligations have to be artistically redundant. Keeps the good run of form going for the German duo.)
  15. Etienne Jaumet - Repeat Again After Me (Ame Remix) (Another production double act on excellent form are Ame and here they turn in a stunning, malevolent primetime killer with one of the best uses of a saxophone since Kenny G had his inserted sideways into his rectum in 1988.)
  16. Hercules & Love Affair - Roar (Astonishing stuff from DFA's Andy Butler. Retro-modernism with a coital-sounding Antony Hegarty on vox, although you probably couldn't tell if you didn't already know. Irresistibly sexy and bodes well for the full length coming early next year. Did someone say album of 2008?)
Yer Mam!'s Solid Gold Smashes Volume Four Ripped, Zipped And Sent Into Space

End-of-year lists start this weekend, folks!


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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Trevor's extra strong mints.

Hey y'all!

One recent release that's barely left my CD player since I got my mitts on it is the latest in BBE/Rapster's The Kings Of... series. As you can see, this one is a two-disc offering of electro cuts, compiled and mixed by Trevor Jackson (Playgroup, Output) and Alter Ego (them of 'Rocker' fame). As with the previous entries in this collection, both discs try to offer a glimpse into the specified genre's past, present and future. With electro - as with most things, in my opinion - there's more fun to be had digging into the past (I didn't mean that to sound as retrogressive as it does. I'm as forward-thinking as the next man. Honest. I'm into dubstep and everything.), so it's Trevor Jackson's Playgroup mix that floats my boat the most out of the two.

It's not that the Alter Ego mix is necessarily bad, they just miss the point a little ('Doom's Night' = electro?! Yer kiddin'?!), whereas Jackson goes for the part of your brain known as the nostalgia reflex (it's real, look it up). His mix is chock full of 808s, vocoders, phased synths and pop-lockin' grooves, as characterised by its highly recognisable tracklisting ('Turbocharged' by Just Ice, Arkade Funk's 'Tilt' and C-Bank's 'One More Shot' are all present and correct). It harks back to a time when the future seemed like somewhere you'd really want to be, full of friendly, helpful - and preferably funky - robots, hover cars and buggin' fashions, not the future of today which is all nuclear war, lowered life expectancies and crippling debts. So, I guess in taking a look back, Jackson has kind of reminded us all that we should want to look forward, just like the futuristic sounds of early-80s electro. Does anyone know a channel that runs repeats of Metal Mickey?

Hashim - Al-Naayfysh (mp3)

Model 500 - No UFOs (mp3)

Speaking of Trevor Jackson (seamless segue there, I should work in television), the last word on his label, Output Recordings hit the shops last week in the form of I Hate Music, a two-disc compilation of some of the label's best bits all in one neat package (with bonus DVD, naturally). Output was one of the most intriguing, innovative labels of its time, so it was saddening to see it take a nosedive last year, even though it could be argued that its best days were behind it (a point highlighted by this chronological compilation's patchy final stretch).

This is a timely reminder of just how diverse and risk-taking a small, boutique label should be and covers pretty much all what made Output such a great label. It's a shame they couldn't license some of the early DFA releases (before DFA had EMI's backing, they entered into business with Output who put the early 12-inches from LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture out in Europe), but who really needs another compilation with 'House Of Jealous Lovers' and 'Losing My Edge' on it (the full version of 'Olio' would have been nice though)?

There's some really great stuff over I Hate Music's two discs though, from the likes of Gramme ('Crooks & Criminals', which I still think The Juan Maclean lifted the melody pretty much wholesale from for 'Give Me Every Little Thing'), Blackstrobe ('Innerstrings', forever to be their finest moment in my eyes), Mu ('Paris Hilton', but everyone knows 'Chair Girl' is way better - again this is probably a licensing issue as it was a co-release with Tigersushi, whom the Fultons fell out with rather acrimoniously not long after), two of Output's most-likely-to's, DK7 (represented twice, but, alas, they had to use the inferior album version of 'The Difference') and Colder (who would have been a great pop producer if he weren't so in debt to Joy Division and Gallic indifference) and a handful of great lost pop songs from San Serac (the brilliantly pervy 'Tyrant'), Kreeps ('All I Wanna Do Is Break Some Hearts') and Tall Blonde ('Don't Stop').

Jackson showed the rest of the UK how DIY was done for a decade and his label will be missed. Now we have this fantastic time capsule though, it's going to be difficult to forget at least.


Dempsey - ODB On The Run (mp3)

Fridge - Lojen (mp3)

Kreeps - All I Wanna Do Is Break Some Hearts (mp3)

San Serac - Tyrant (mp3)

And some that were criminally left off I Hate Music...

The Rapture - Olio (Full Length Version) (mp3)

DK7 - The Difference (12" Version)

Mu - Chair Girl (mp3)

I regret to announce that December's Get Girl. Kill Baddies. Save Planet. is to be the last. Yes, that's right, my favourite monthly shindig is calling time after just shy of a year in the game. In the typical live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse tradition however, they're bowing out with what could possibly be their most high-profile and best guest to date. D*I*R*T*Y Soundsystem's very own Pilooski will be manning the decks on December 7th and hopefully he'll be dropping some seriously bad-arse twisted disco bombs to take the boys out with a bang.

Backing Pilooski up will be Get Girl ressies, Grammar and Pasta Paul. There won't be a dry eye in The Roadhouse come 3am and if I don't hear the next two tracks at some point in the night, then I'll be severely pissed off...

The Pointer Sisters - Send Him Back (Pilooski Edit) (mp3)

Herbert - Movin' Like A Train (Smith 'N' Hack Remix) (mp3)


In other news: I have a Robyn live review up at High Voltage and I'm also on this week's Blog Fresh Radio, yammering on about the new Burial album. Get about, me, don't I?

More mixtape action coming soon...


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Got tunes if you want 'em?

Hello again from the blog voted Most Likely to be neglected by its owner for weeks on end. We're back with another new mixtape and this time it's a disco special. Well, I play fast and loose with the genre, but I think it's safe to say that all these songs could be played in discotheques. Does anyone still call them that?

Oh, and I accidentally ripped it at 320kbps, so it's a bit of a big bugger to download but, hey, it sounds great!


  1. Thelma Houston - (I Guess) It Must Be Love (Opening up with some primo boogie from Ms. Houston. Be warned: this song contains one of the most badass synth licks in the history of badass synth licks. May contain funk.)
  2. The Mary Jane Girls - All Night Long (One of those songs that you all know but would probably be hard-pressed to come up with who sang it. You know the one. "You got me shook up, shook down, shook out on your lovin'" and all that? Covered - kind of - by Mary J. Blige? Yeah, that one.)
  3. Ashford & Simpson - Don't Cost You Nothing (Slap bass! Hand claps! Ashford and Simpson! This one has the lot!)
  4. The Rah Band - Slide (The saxophone does not have to be the instrument of evil, it just has to fall into the right hands. The hands of The Rah Band are certainly more than capable, but try as you might to stop yourself, I bet you all think of Midnight Caller when that sax kicks in.)
  5. RAMP - The Old One, Two (Told you I was playing fast and loose with the disco remit as this one isn't really disco at all, but an incessantly funky little jam by the legendary RAMP.)
  6. Don Armando's 2nd Ave. Rhumba Band - I'm An Indian, Too (This is more like it. Outrageously camp classic from the ZE stable. Irving Berlin goes disco! Who'd have thought it would work?)
  7. Evelyn "Champagne" King - Shame (The queen of boogie here with probably her most well-known song. More sax on show here too, brass fans.)
  8. Crown Heights Affair - You Gave Me Love ("Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!")
  9. Mystic Merlin - Sixty Thrills A Minute (Supremely energetic little mover from the recent Capitol Disco compilation. Ticks all the boxes, I think you'll agree.)
  10. D-Train - Keep Givin' Me Love (Larry Levan Edit) (One of my favourite all-time disco tunes. Absolutely orgasmic in its rapturous good time vibe. Just wow!)
  11. C-Bank - One More Shot (This is where it all starts getting a bit electro. The star of Trevor Jackson's recent The Kings Of Electro mix (more about that soon), this is a collaboration between John Robie and Jenny Burton from 1983. No matter how much technology advances, this sound will always be fresh to me. Or maybe that should read "F-f-f-f-f-reshhhhhhh!"?)
  12. Joyce Sims - The All And All (UK Remix) (Curtis Mantronix takes on this soulful little number and gives it a streetwise - for 1986, anyway - overhaul. Those drums don't date.)
  13. S.O.S. Band - Just Be Good To Me (The original and still the best. Jam & Lewis + Mary Davis >>>>> Norman Cook + Lindy Layton.)
Yer Mam!'s Solid Gold Smashes Volume Three: The Disco Years, Ripped, Zipped and Sent Into Space

More updates to come. I promise.


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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Glad to know you.

Hey you!

Thanks to everyone who came out last night to see me DJing for Purple Sweat at Common in Manchester's Northern Quarter. 'Twas a good night. Lots of great music played by both me and Alex (aka Oscar Wildstyle, Purple Sweat's main dude). Managed to cram as many tunes into two hours as I could and here's what I remember playing (the first set's pretty much right, but my memory of the second set was made fuzzy by free Staropramen)...

First set:

Glass Candy - Rolling Down The Hills
Holy Ghost! - Hold On
Indeep - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
Soylent Green - Camera Obscura
Chaz Jankel feat. Brenda Jones - You're My Occupation
Alessi Brothers - Savin' The Day (The Revenge Flat Top Mix)
David Joseph - You Can't Hide (Your Love From Me)
Carl Davis & The Chi-Sound Orchestra - Windy City Theme (I'll Tell You What It Is Later)
Dinosaur L - Kiss Me Again
Love Committee - Just As Long As I Got You
The Paper Dolls - Get Down Boy
Faze Action - Disco Warrior (Special Disco Mix)
Still Going - Still Going Theme
Cerrone - Supernature
Don Ray - Standing In The Rain
LCD Soundsystem - Shame On You
Metro Area - Miura

Second set:

Ministry - I Wanted To Tell Her
Vastkustska Ryggdunkarsallskapet - Town Out Of Order
Evelyn "Champagne" King - I'm In Love
Don Armando - I'm An Indian Too
Chaz Jankel - Feel Alone
Stevie Wonder - Do Like You
Beatconductor - Sumthin' Betta
Chic - I Want Your Love (Todd Terje Edit)
Escort - All Through The Night
Breakwater - Release The Beast
The Rapture - The Devil
Change - Paradise
Chaz Jankel - Ai No Corrida

There may well have been more than that too, but those are the ones I remember. Massive thanks to Alex for putting me on.

If you were sat there looking at that setlist thinking "Who's this Chaz Jankel fella when he's at home?" then, frankly, shame on you, but you can hardly be blamed for not knowing who he is. The five albums he recorded for A&M in the '80s are pretty hard to get hold of now, but the boys at Tirk have a solution for you. They've just released a career-spanning retrospective of Jankel's solo work on a handy and affordable compact disc, cribbed from said five albums and a couple of newish tunes thrown in for good measure.

Jankel, as a member of The Blockheads, was inarguably instrumental in Ian Dury's embrace of disco, funk and jazz, lifting that band out of the pub-rock mire and into the realms of something special with the albums New Boots And Panties! and Do It Yourself. Jankel left The Blockheads in 1980 to concentrate on his solo career. Unfortunately, Jankel's solo work went largely unnoticed on these shores but the Yanks took to him, which led to his classic, 'Glad To Know You' reaching number one on the US dance chart.

My Occupation: The Music Of Chaz Jankel is a great compilation, top to bottom, revelling in glitzy disco and off-kilter experimentation. The old songs still sound as vital and fresh today as they've always been and the new stuff (the reggafied version of 'Glad To Know You', entitled 'To Woo Lady Kong', released as a 12" on Tirk earlier in the year and 'Get Myself Together', a new composition in collaboration with Blackbeard and Yamwho?) doesn't at all feel like it's been tacked on. This one's a must-have for anyone with even a passing interest in disco music or just great, funky pop music in general.

Chaz Jankel - Feel Alone (mp3)

Back soon with more new mixtapes.


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