- Take the Train
I’m coming up on 200 mixes on Mixcloud and have been married to my good lady wife for 11 years one of those milestones is obviously way more significant than the other…
As a treat took a train
- May Day May Day
So it’s now May. Not sure how that happened really. Year seems to be flying by.
Got my vaccination last week. Feels like a step in the right direction. Mass events maybe on their way back. Test events with 3000 folks unmasked…just keeping the fingers crossed for no more obscure strains that will derail things. Maybe a corner has been turned at last.
So as soundtrack for the May Day Bank Holiday here in the UK a few tunes I’ve accumulated over the last few weeks with a couple of old ones for good measure. Not really a homage to the great Derrick May mix – wouldn’t dream of that kind of comparison but it’s a good name! Enjoy!
- Sounds for Japan
Hamon Radio is an amazing internet radio station based in Tokyo. Over the last year or so I’ve been lucky enough to contribute to their mix archive with a few selections, joining a wide gang of folks from across the world who have done the same. Check their site below and Mixcloud page for more. Some really great stuff in there from people I am honoured to be among.
My most recent mix link is below.
Black Booby – Natural Patty;
John Cravache – Paris Roswell;
Hardy Kukuk – freindschaft;
Miko – I’m Garten;
Barthel, Brohm, Bauer – through desert plains;
Discodor – The flange; Basso – Breaking Bread;
Stabil Elite – Agent Orange; Darling – When she hates me;
Mystic Jungle – Jurakan;
Parbleu – Pas De Saints Au Paradis;
My Guinea – Je Vulesse;
Torch Song – Prepare to Energize;
Discotheque – Disco Special;
Oto Gelb – Love Comet;
Wildlife – Disco Fever;
Cynthia ‘Cookie’ Abrams – Best Part of Me;
Coldfeet- Shamefaced (Francois K Club Mix);
Dirty Jesus – Don’t Fuck with my Shit;
- Spirits Up Above
This year has been tough, many many people have lost someone close to them. And yet for many others this sickness has still felt very distant. A dream almost. Life has gone on…
The restrictions on every day life have become conditioned now so as we are allowed to do more the freedom feels strange and unusual. But they are here and we have to adapt again but not forget what has gone before.
Anyway by way of tribute and celebration here are some records in a continuous blended bubbling brew. Enjoy!
- One year on..
It’s just over a year since I stopped playing at Nook…41 years to get a paying gig and then there’s a pandemic. Anyway as a reminiscent journey here’s a flavour of what I used to play (and will again). Enjoy!
- Marching On
New month new mix, down the discogs wormhole this month. You know how it is. One seller has something you want so you stick a few more in, y’know to save on postage. Anyway, 5 hours later you have cleared the free postage mark and then some. Happens to the best of us. Anyway in my view some overlooked gems from the bins blended up with usual inattention to detail with the emphasis in on fun and games. Enjoy!
What you see is what you hear…..
- Liquid February
First new mix of ‘21 comes in with the underlying feeling that not a whole much has really changed since 2020. Still in ‘lockdown’ insomuch as all the good shops are shut and any likelihood of going for a pint is still a distant prospect.
But it’s what, mid Feb? UK weather is as changeable as ever, cold, wet but some sunshine pulling through so maybe it’s not all bad. Despite saying I’d try and reign back on the vinyl it didn’t really happen this month some great releases and a few below from the vaults that seemed to fit at the time. Not promising this for every one (closing in on 200 now btw) but this was fun and hope it adds something to the listening experience so let’s see eh? As ever glad to have you along for the ride, enjoy!
Track list ⬇️
Vibration Black Finger – Empty Streets
HMD – If I
Young Disciples – Funky yeh funki (Mek it)
Kelly Lee Owens – Re-wild
Siglo XX – Moving Creatures
Matty – Selfportrait
Basso – Do Stay for Breakfast
Farsta Kalle & Samo DJ – Tranam Rumba
Thatmanmonkz – track 4
Muchos Plus – Nassau’s Discos (Long Version)
The Pearls – Groovy Beat (Jura Soundsystem Edit)
Semi Skimmed Edits – Jungle Music
Dazzle – You Dazzle Me!!!
Soul II Soul – Back to Life (Zepherin Saint Club Edit)
Soundboy – Soulboy ( IZCO Remix)
Dan Kye – Moving
Tiago – The Source (Mudd’s Slow Rave Mix)
Soundspecies – Balafon Jam (Wolf Muller Deep Dub Remix)
Darling Isle of Red
Shape of Space – Manifesto
Mozaika – Taba Taba
Lord Power & The Trenton Spence Quartet – Let’s Do It
So this was fun. Hope the chat and pics add a bit more to the music, more of the same next time if I have the time. Link to mix above so check it on Mixcloud. Thanks px
- The first time
The first time you do anything it’s memorable not always for good reasons. as this enforced isolation ticks into another year, it’s easy to start reminiscing on what you’d do to once ‘it’s all over’. Usually it’s the things you miss the most and it’s those primary experiences that set your mind to what you love – and miss – the most.
Obviously music is a big part of that. Considering myself to be a ‘serious amateur’ enthusiast, suddenly not being able to go to a gig, head out and listen to someone play, or latterly play myself means a big hole in the old spare time.
I’ve tried to make up for it, 20 odd mixes on Mixcloud and plenty of new purchases went a bit of a way. Dabbling in live streaming late into the night in lockdown 1 also helped but going solo just doesn’t cut it. So maybe some reflection is required, I think it’s ok to look inward sometimes, while we wait for something resembling normal service to be resumed. Which kind of brings me to something I tried to plan earlier this month and actually got tickets for New Order at Heaton Park in September – probably more in hope than any realistic expectation.
So in an occasional series called the first time, here’s some memories of when the feeling hit. And seeing as New Order have ridden along with my from day one (shelling out in Plymouth’s Virgin Megastore for Substance on CD) why not start with them…
Temptation, if go online now is described as a festival, don’t really remember it being called that at the time. But living in Liverpool, 1 year into my degree seeing them on a line up with Laurent Garnier, Underworld and Sasha seemed too good to sniff at.
So we buzzed it over on the National Express, I think rolling into Piccadilly at Chorlton Street. I live in Manchester now but back then we were only occasional visitors so wending our way down to Victoria and the mega shed that is the MEN (as was) probably took a little longer than it should. In we go anticipation building, me and my mate who I’d corralled into chumming me along. All nighter of course, when that was an option. Sat up high to take it all in, then diving down to the floor when New Order came on. Track after track, songs I knew by heart singing out loud and looking round at the proper lads who had probably seen them many times before, smiling, just buzzing. Then done, it’s a while ago now, obviously so not even going to pretend I remember the set list. Internet tells me it was Blue Monday so, what a finish.
Thing is by this time I’d migrated out of the indie life being a sixth former in Plymouth basically landed on me by default. Cream and Voodoo in Liverpool were already standard haunts on the weekends, so seeing Underworld was as big. By now kind of flying at this night, visuals, noise, just immersive, relentless…seen them since at Mayfield year before last and they can still do it. Again google can help with the tunes, but Slippy was on at some point of course.
Then done and into Laurent. Knew the techno but this was different, African drums and singers, super tribal. In all honesty the hazy memory gets more so at this point, so dragging ourselves into a side room to catch Weatherall (maybe?) and Luke Slater (90% certain) before calling it a night to find a bus home.
So there you go, New Order. Done. Underworld. Done. Seen many other bands in better venues but like all the best experiences it’s of a time and a place. I doubt my mate would even remember it, it was one of them, but for me it was another step forward……
- 2020 Wtf the sleeves
- 2020, what was that?
Guess even 3 weeks in I’m kind of still processing this year just gone. Years are an arbitrary measure of time and with lockdowns rumbling on feels a bit like this year has just rolled off the last. But the end of a year does give the opportunity to look back. So here’s my run down of 2020, first with a bunch of tunes I’ve picked up over the year
Mix is HERE
Rune Lindbaek – San Augustin
Common Saints – Summer Sun
Discodor – Spring in Rome
Jpye & Leonidas feat. Elle – Oui Non
Alan Hawkshaw – Saturn’s Rings
Tom Of England – Song of the Sex Monk
Emma Jean Thackray – Ley Lines
Zoe Modiga – The Healer
Yvonne Archer – Checking Out The Way I Feel
Emma Jean Thackray – Movementt
Ben Tankard – Eden Celebration
The Steele Family feat. Little Sharon – Show His Lov
James Moore – I Thank You Master
Famous Ward Sisters – I’m Getting Stronger
Azwon – Paradise Island
King Sporty – Safari (Lexx Mix)
Velvet Season & The Hearts of Gold – Having Fun
Sunny Gayle – I Wanna Know
Chuck Mangione – Land of Make Believe
Twennynine – Fancy Dancer
Asher & Zaf – Boss Groove
The Vision feat. Andreya Triana – Heaven (Danny Krivit Edit)
Parbleu – Dance Cette Zik
Rosa – Sera A Posillipo
Tunblack – Caraiba (Stefano Ritteri VErsion Spaziale)
Joe Sembene – Weur Di Dane
Penya – Yale
Arp Frique – Minima Bem Li
Ali Kuru – Luna
Dukes of Chutney = Love with a few Hares
Dan Kye – Rainbow Road
David Arch – Afro Culture
Obiecany Raj – Stachy DJ Dub Wersja
Brazil – Tyoj Svijet
Guiseppe Leonardi – Acid Flower
Jitwan – Back to my Place
Virtual Roots – Sonar (Virtual Version) (Ygal Ohalon Low Gravity Edit)
Jose Marquez – La Negra Lorenza
Paula Tape – Panamerica
Park Hye Jin – Like this
Sometime Songs – BorderlineRune Lindbaek – San AugustinCommon Saints – Summer SunDiscodor – Spring in RomeJpye & Leonidas feat. Elle – Oui NonAlan Hawkshaw – Saturn’s RingsTom Of England – Song of the Sex MonkEmma Jean Thackray – Ley LinesZoe Modiga – The HealerYvonne Archer – Checking Out The Way I FeelEmma Jean Thackray – MovementtBen Tankard – Eden CelebrationThe Steele Family feat. Little Sharon – Show
Click HERE for a bit of a deeper look
Now for the awards….
Gig – Moses Boyd @ Band on the Wall (Manchester).
Slim pickings this year for obvious reasons but Moses absolutely blew me away at this one. Drumming par excellence, dancey, jazzy, funky amazing stuff at a brilliant venue. Just hope it survives. Honourable mention to my neighbours for an impromptu Christmas gig on my street.
Artist – Emma Jean Thackray
Two entries in the mix of the year from Emma. One a reissue admittedly but still amazing range of styles and rhythms. Another ‘jazz’ artist making waves. Such a good year for that genre especially the UK scene.
Album – Dukes of Chutney – Hazel
Another lockdown hero, Tim Sweeney’s BiS label doesn’t put out volume but what it does release is always top quality and The Dukes nailed it for me this year. Mixtures of K&D tripped out beats, head nodding halcyon pastoral acoustic stuff and all the bits in between it really hit the spot and hung together as a proper album. Few others to mention in dispatches, not many on record but Tom of England and Rune Lindbaek got a purchase. Streamingwise Jay Electronica, Beatrice Dillon, Double Geography, SAULT, SPAZA, Kelley Stolz, Keleketla! And numerous others made it past the track skip test.
Single – The Vision feat. Andreya Triana – Heaven
Just a great track, home or club (if they ever return) uplifting, joyous and above all soulful. Many others – see above but this one I keep putting on.
Compilation – New Horizons (Afrosynth)
I love a compilation mainly due to my time poor (read as lazy) life situation but this year had many amazing collections. My pick is the South African jazz comp, New Horizons. Afrosynth have been quietly knocking out some great jazz and the bits around it but this is full of amazing music from spiritual meditations to soulful vocal stuff. Really beautiful and full of (new to me) treasure. Special mentions to the following: Rhythm Section – Shouts, Mr Bongo – Record Club Vol.4, Bruton Brutoff, Leng/Claremont 56’s retrospectives and Jura Soundsystem – Transmission 2. Oh and those Gospel comps on Honest Jon’s….
DJ – Gilles Peterson
Maybe an obvious choice, but pushing 30 odd years in the game and still in the cutting edge. His lockdown selections from the brownswood basement were a joy and Worldwide Radio never fails to give something interesting and unusual. Special mentions too for pandemic busting home sessions from Francois Kevorkian, Colleen Murphy and Mr Ross Allen.
Label – Rhythm Section
Already called out the Shouts comp, but Dan Kye’s album and 12s across the styles make Bradley Zero’s label my number one. That said On The Corner ran them very close with the absolute classic already that is Door to the Cosmos along with stuff from Penya.
Podcast – A History of Ideas
Off the musical track for pod of the year. Amazing insight and engaging delivery of heavyweight topics by David Runciman. Food for the brain when Netflix can be a distraction worth ignoring. Honours also for Guardian Football Weekly, Adam Buxton & Test Pressing, especially the Lockdown playlists.
Shop – Piccadilly Records
What have I missed most this year? The Friday duck in to collect the tunes of the week. Seems. World away at the moment but the folks at Piccadilly are still here. Click and collect isn’t the same but if it helps them survive. We continue.
Radio – NTS
Some string contenders, internet is a big place but for pure range and passion for the music NTS are where it’s at for me.
So what next? 2021 has just kind of happened. Very easy to skip on without the hard stop that a new year usually gives you. Even if you don’t make it out anywhere. Will the vaccines work? If so for how long and even with it will things ever go back? How can they. Around first lockdown time there was much talk of how this could be a new beginning, more time with family through home working and big social change. Now it just feels like survival. But things have to change. We will be living with this virus for the foreseeable future. Whether it’s like flu and you just get your jab each year or something deeper and more affecting that means we can never go back only time will tell. But whatever comes we just keep going and whatever we can do we make the best of. Music isn’t everything but it keeps going and keeps hope alive. So whatever comes, look after each other and maybe one day we can stand together in a dark room and dance. But in the meantime make the most of what we do have. Enjoy!
- Checking In
So this was meant to be number one blog post where it all kicked off. As is standard other stuff got in the way…so just a quick one to say watch this space in 2021. Music, memories, missives and a mission to be involved.
This is where it starts….