Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mystery Track #4

Number Four in this series off mystery tunes I taped off of the pirates in the early nineteen-nineties -  my nickname for this one is "Feel Dis Bassline". Taped off Function FM in 1993, or possibly early '94.

Answers, suggestions, clues, guesses - all welcome!


And the answer comes almost instantly, from you guessed it, JJ at Deep Inside the Old Skool

Eternal Bass - Way Of The Future


Mystery Trax series is gonna take a little pause now as I am called away on urgent and upsetting business, but will resume in a couple of weeks - when hopefully i will find SOMETHING to flummox JJ and Droid

although i am v.v happy to get IDs on all so far - indeed that's the whole point of the exercise, so why i would want to flummox the old skool skolars I'm not really sure....

Mystery Track #3

Third in the series of mystery tracks off pirate tapes -  track I call "Rough Ride" on account of the words "sounds of the rough ride" or something to that effect, although I've never been able to work out if that voice is on the record itself or a second MC. Taped off Don FM in early '93.

Answers, suggestions, clues, guesses - all welcome!

Postscript: And the answer comes damn quick via JJ of Deep Inside the Old Skool

RTC & NJB - Rough Ride

Big up ya chest JJ and big up ya chests RTC & NJB!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mystery Trax #2

Second in the series of mystery tracks off pirate tapes -  my nickname for this one is  "Ooh Aah Aah Ooh Aah Aah".

Answers, suggestions, clues, guesses - all welcome!


and Droid gets the answer, from old skool expert JJ of Deep Inside the Old Skool blog

big up to both of them

The track is

"X" Cert - Rising 2 The Bass

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mystery Trax - the series begins

Over the next month or so I'm going to be posting clips of "mystery trax" - tunes caught on pirate radio tapes recorded in the early Nineties that I have never managed to identify. Now, in some cases 24 years on from the moment of capture, I ask for your help in identifying these elusive gems.

Here's the first one - what I have come to call "Get Busy Busy Busy". Answers, suggestions, clues, guesses - all welcome!

Postscript: And the answer comes from JJ of Deep Inside the Old Skool blog who in the comments says it's

Suspicious Minds - Sitting Low (Bass Trip Mix)

Monday, March 21, 2016

it was 20 years ago today (more or less)

1996 - jungle / drum & bass's last wholly good year?

[pirate clip via Lee Fagan]

possibly they should have got a presenter without a weak 'r' for a doc about piRate Radio featuring prominently a fellow called bRockie....

i would never make any claims for the graphic art of the jungle era, though...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

frantic + frosty (We Buy Gold 02)

new release  from We Buy Gold (the label started Jack Jambie + pals) explores "footwork hardcore " 

melodically + texturally it sounds quite Cold Rush, especially this track

Friday, March 18, 2016

Haunted House

On the 100% Silk label - Auscultation, "PromiseYou'll Haunt Me"

(Via Josiah Schirmacher)

Ambient house counterpart to this

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sunshine techno

Very interesting reading / hearing of Orbital's "Chime" in terms of its Britishness, from The Compleat Blogger

"The [sunny day elation] Paul Hartnoll was in while jamming ‘Chime’ is a scene which crops up repeatedly in British (or more specifically, English) art through the ages: a summer day drawing in, a particular interpretation of the pastoral mode which in music, drove Vaughan Williams and Delius at the beginning of the 20th century. It seems as if the unpredictable weather inherent to the UK ensures that such moments stick long in the memory and capture a large portion of our collective consciousness....

"'Chime’ kicks off with an insistent one-note ostinato which is so bright, it just feels solar. Very precise synthesised string hits are layered with delay which give it a lingering effect like the sun’s rays over the horizon, and it anchors the song like a pulse. The bass line palpitates with a bravery which marks Orbital out from their peers: the second bar of the bass pattern has brief entrances into higher notes, but tinged with pathos when it comes back down, recognising the inevitability of a sober end. The song is in the key of E Flat Major, which makes it suited to the big-arena-hands-in-the-air mode; a key Beethoven, Holst, and Richard Strauss knew was well suited to heroics when they employed it in the Eroica symphony, the ‘Jupiter’ suite of The Planets, and the tone poem ‘A Hero’s Life’ respectively. Those are big, boisterous pieces of nationhood and ‘Chime’ wears its cultural heritage on its sleeve as well."

More nuts and bolts piece on the making of "Chime" at Sound on Sound.


Make me think of that thing about the British having to manufacture their own sunshine (UKG and 2step as prime example - "Spirit of the Sun" etc etc).

Living on the east side of Los Angeles as I do now, an extraordinarily high proportion of the days here are like perfect English early summer weather - warm, but dry... clear blue skied... just right...

But when that becomes normality -  unremarkable, commonplace -  literally every day ... it loses its impact... the exhilaration of good weather in the U.K. that comes from its rarity... the leap of the spirit... the buoyancy...

I do miss the punctuation of rain and grey....

There was some fog here the other day - got very excited as it is an extraordinarily uncommon occurrence here, meaning the desert-y side of LA. Whereas on the West Side, Santa Monica and so forth, on the edge of the Pacific - mist and grey haze skies are very common morning experiences, taking a good chunk of the day to disperse. I think so many Brits live there because it subconsciously reminds them of going on holiday as kids to U.K. coastal towns. Right down to the surprisingly chilly sea temperature - a bracing Broadstairs experience, taking a dip in Southern California, despite the palm trees.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

the future will be fiddly

trak by Iranian futurist Ash Koosha, as profiled in FACT magazine

his mix for FACT

his previous album


from a not dissimilar place, new Fatima Al Qadiri tune off forthcoming conceptual-political album Brute

Sunday, March 6, 2016

"I've seen the future, I can't afford it"

Neoliberal premonitions in ABC's "How To Be A Millionaire"  from 1985, sampled on Orbital's "Omen" of  1990

I've seen the future, I can't afford it
Tell me the truth sir, someone just bought it
Say mr. whispers! Here come the click of dice
Roulette and blackjacks - gonna build us a paradise
Larger than life and twice as ugly
If we have to live there, you'll have to drug me
Maybe these luxuries can only compensate
For all the cards you were dealt at the hands of fate
So tell me
Tell me! tell me! How to be a millionaire
Tell me! tell me! How to be a millionaire!
Millionaire! Billionaire! Trillionaire!
Hardly surprising if you might consider
Loyalties go to the highest of bidders
What's my opinion? I'd give you ten to one
Give me a million, a franchise on fun
But there are millions who often get nowhere
And there's just one secret I think you should share

Another phrase from that ABC song -- "you'll have to drug me" - crops up in this darkside tune

I already discussed the strangeness of there even being an a cappella version of "Millionaire" in existence, ABC's blatant heisting of the Shannon sound, and other quandaries here

I suppose "Millionaire" was a sister record to "Everything Counts" by Depeche Mode, wasn't it? But instead of the boys from Basildon (that crucial swing seat) and their desolate melancholy about Thatcher's reelection, this is a brash, outwardly upful and go-getting sound with ironic lyrics - the strategy less critique (as with the failed railing against monetarism on Beauty Stab) than a kind of simulation.

Wall Street was only a few years from coming out

I've almost interested myself enough in How To Be A Zillionaire - which I never bothered with at the time - to pick it up the next time I see it going for $2 here.

Or perhaps there's no need...

I did like the single, though

Another group I had given up on by then - Heaven 17, with How Men Are

Their own Beauty Stab moment had been this tune

One of those albums where the cover warns you off

I'm not honestly sure if I ever listened to this - "Temptation" had been enough of a turn-off to make me steer clear, along with the plodding single "Come Live With Me". Still that is quite fickle given how much I'd caned Penthouse and Pavement only a year earlier. But things moved fast in those days....

Good Christ almighty I have somehow never seen this video or known it existed

This can't be an official video

Actually interviewed H17 in my first year as a music journalist, around this single + the Pleasure One album, by which point they seemed a tentative and vaguely crestfallen bunch, aware their moment had passed.... for that album they'd unwisely switched to a conventional instruments sound.  Single peaked at #80, album at #78....

Friday, March 4, 2016

the House Crew, interviewed

Production House, the historical low down

(via Steeve Cross)

Sometimes think this is the greatest hardcore tune

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"A disjointed piece of magpie-hauntology, conjured before anyone else knew you could"

temporally criss-crossing dance-archaeology mix from ghost-rave cru Assembled Minds for Self-Titled - with some nice commentary from Matt Saunders