Friday, October 30, 2009

Frankie Knuckles live mix from WBMX Chicago 1986

This is a mix by Frankie Knuckles mixing live on the Chicago radio station WBMX on a saturday in 1986. Frankie Knuckles was one of the seminal djs who helped build house music. But when you see this tape titled "deep house" you may think of what you know as deep house today. This is actually a mix of excellent mid 80s soul-disco and jackin' and acid-ish house (which is probably what you would expect from this era). I love listening to these mixes to see the development from really good hard disco into house - it is this crux which has long term been one of my favorite sounds. What's also exciting is that while there are a few other Frankie Knuckles live mixes from this time in the internet it looks like this one is not available.

This tape is part of a collection of excellent live mixes from amazing djs like Jeff Mills, Ron Hardy, DJ Sneak and others that were lent to be my Chris Low, an excellent dj in his own right from back in the day (and no, not the Pet Shop Boys dude). His biog is here. Here you can check out his Edinburgh party Benetti & Low. I am very excited/grattitudinous for this donation and you will get to hear lots of great stuff in the next few weeks that is so far not widely avaiable. You can read more about Chris hear and catch up on one of his regular dj gigs.

Tracklisting info - this mix starts off in the middle of Future Brain - Den Harrow, then cuts into a lengthened version of Baby I'm Scared of You by Womack & Womack, which is really the high point of this mix. I had forgotten that the second half of the track has this great driving break with kind of a breakbeat and the male/female vocals going back and forth. The original track is only like 5 minute long but here Frankie plays it out more than 8 minutes and it's also sped up which makes it sound much better. Then it breaks into We Got The Funk by Positive Force and then into an early house track I don't recognize. B side has First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder and some other excellent early jackin house stuff.

The thing that strikes me as I listened to this is that it really feels like the djs were playing in a groove where the crowd was meant to just dance and dance and dance in ecstasy to a track for a hours on end. Whereas most of the dj sets I see these days are either really hard or really catchy/ironic. There's no long term groove. Even when it's disco, it's italo which is less groovey. Someone's got to bring that back in a space that's cool. We need you Paradise Garage. Maybe it's going on at Horse Meat Disco - I gotta get down there.

Baby I'm Scared of You ripped from mix with radio announcer (direct download)
Buy on itunes.

Side A

Side B 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rap History 2007 mixtape

This blog has generally been known for posting music that is either rare or at least not recently in the spotlight. This mixtape on the other hand is essentially a mix of some of the top chart hip hop pop from 2007 - so it might seem like an odd choice for the blog. But I've been suddenly feeling like I've not heard any hip hop for a long while and in 2007 I was DEFINITELY mostly ignoring this genre. It is also a very good selection. So even though it includes 50 Cent, Lupe Fiasco, Kid Sister, and Cool Kids, it emphasizes my philosophy on music - there is no such thing as a bad genre of music or a bad time for music, no matter how recent - there is only such a thing as boring music. And that's a personal issue.

Given to me by artist friend Sam Porritt, who borrowed it from a friend's car who he was temporarily using. I think it's of Swiss origin - from, though I can't tell who CNDR or Motorcycle John are. Download, plug in, ride the tube, listen. Enjoy. Then probably next month I'll be droppin more Das EFX and Black Uhuru in my sets.

Side A - direct link (Rapidshare)

Side B - direct link (Rapidshare)

I'm also djing tonight (Thursday, the 22nd) at the Old Blue Last at the corner of Curtain Road and Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch. And on Sunday I'm djing at 8 pm at the Dogstar as part of the Oxjam Festival. I'm particularly proud to be part of this as my blog and djing has been linked to Oxfam from the very beginning (though really only by name only :)). I might choose to play a set of tracks which only come from tapes I've bought in Oxfam shops. It's the only UK show of A-Trak for some time and Annie Mac, Isa GT, David Sugar and many others are also playing. No guestlist as it's a charity event - more info and ticket links here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First ever blog Minimix

I have done a number of podcasts that were recorded live at Durrr (also here) or other parties. And I've done radio shows live for Diesel you can find on the blog previously here. But it's a very different thing to make a podcast where you carefully mix the tracks and pick each track to fit together within a theme, not considering the live element. I finally learned enough Ableton to do this mix and even though the mixing has got a hitch or two here or there, I'm really happy with this first mix (podcast if you wanna call it that).

At first glance this may just seem like another high energy or disco mix and you may think that's a bit tired as disco is all over the place since last summer. I chose these tracks however because I think each of them is unique from the average disco track, even from most high nrg, and because they have all stuck in my head and those of my friends over the last few months. Each track is also quite rare and hard to find. For me this is the essence of a great mix, hearing a sound that stands out for the quality of each of the tracks, while also being unknown and new to the listener. This is also pretty much the mix I played last Friday at the Catch bar 10th birthday party where I opened for Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve (Erol Alkan's other project).

Track Listing

Tone Band - Tokyo Twist (12" version) - I discovered this track on the Smylonylon 30 tape posted on this blog. I had to order it from Germany as it was nowhere to be found for download. It's surprisingly fast but somehow has a hypnotic driving pattern as well as the hilarious Japanese discussion. An ideal for this sound, sort of like Telex.

Nena - Nur Geträumt - everyone plays 99 Luftballons, but this is the best one, especially if you listen to it on vinyl, for the driving disco bit on the break. Also the vid is hilarious and hot. Yet another chick who prefers guys who look like Richard Marx to me.

Lori & The Chamelons — Touch (Casey Jones Eurodance Disconet mix)
- I ripped this out of the Casey Jones mix done for Disconet available on No Guts No Glory here. This is significantly better than the original, which is a bit too 80s and dry. This one has got fantastic little synth punches throughout. But still the best thing is the amazing sexy vocal and how she loves Japanese boy Kato.

International Music System - Bonus Single "Joke" - International Music System is one of those bands that everyone talks about in the New Beat/Italo vein as being SOOOO amazing. Most people love the An English track from the same LP, but I was listening to the vinyl recently and suddenly heard this track and thought WHOA!

Secret Service - Flash in the Night (Casey Jones Eurodance Disconet mix) - OK, a bit unfair to rip out two Casey Jones remixes, but they are both just soo good. When the heavy wave of synth strings come in at the beginning of this track . . .

Nick Straker Band - A Walk in the Park - I have loved Nick Straker's A Little Bit of Jazz and Up Jumped the Devil for years now, but only recently did I hear this one on a comp. Somehow more eurodance than the others.

Golem Edits - La Toubana - this is an edit (though I can't quite tell the difference from the original) of Kassav's Lagué Moin. A good way to end the mix as I am also known for having a big heart for African influenced beats. This really sounds like NY early 80s disco, but it's actually by an african band and has a bit of a soca structure to it. Perhaps a bit odd for the rest of the mix, but I really love the track if you listen to it for a while the synth guitar gets under the skin.

Dalston Oxfam Shop blog first Minimix - October 2009