Spinbad was a huge influence on my DJ growth – his 80s megamixes (especially vol 2) were absolute staples in my listening at the start of my DJ journey. If memory serves, I picked up the cassettes from legendary NYC record store Turntable Lab, the website of which I spent a frankly irresponsible amount of money at during my early years of building up a vinyl collection.
These mixes, and the subsequent 90s one, brilliantly weaved pop classics, acapellas, film soundbites and more into rip-roaring celebrations of the decades they reflected. The 2000s instalment has been so long coming that you started to wonder if it would happen. And then it landed.
It’s every bit as tightly mixed and ludicrously entertaining as the previous editions of this series, he really is a master of his craft. Enjoy!
Any self-respecting London-based disco dancer knows about Horse Meat Disco. But I have to say, I was a little surprised, pleasantly so, to see them pop up on the Birdhouse podcast.
Regular readers will be familiar with this podcast by now, as I’ve posted several editions of the Claude Vonstroke’s Birdhouse here, and normally its very much at the bass-heavy tech end of the spectrum, whereas HMD are very much more towards the old skool disco end of things.
But you know what, they are both awesome, so why shouldn’t they be together? And this is an awesome mix, a wonderfully eclectic journey through dance music, from the lengthy edits of well known dance-pop standards through to straight out weird, wonky underground dancefloor stuff.
Taken from a live recording of a Birdhouse Stage at a recent show, this is a brilliantly enjoyable and danceable hour.
File in the same category as Midland – predictably exceptional, yet somehow flew past my radar without me registering anything. I don’t really have much to say about these guys that hasn’t been said by far more eloquent writers than me. They are brilliant. I went to their fantastic Sunday takeover of Fabric in November 2015, Dixon’s 2013 Essential Mix is one of my all time favourites, their Innervisions label releases gem after gleaming gem.
I’m a little late to the party on this one, and only really because it won Essential Mix of the year, it had somehow completely passed me by! But I got there in the end, and that’s what matters.
Midland has been on my radar for a long time, with a good few purchases of his stuff back around 2011 or thereabouts, but in the last year or two he really seems to have gone up a gear or two in both his production and DJing. Given that he was already miles ahead of most of the competition, that has propelled him to the very front of the pack.
This is a simply superb two hours of thoughtful, moving, brilliant dance music, largely (but not exclusively) drawing on house, techno and disco, the kind of mix the renews your faith in a world that is continually being debased by those who wish reduce it to the lowest common denominator and neatly package it to be sold to the masses. I can’t recommend it highly enough. He’s also well worth a follow over on Twitter.
JFB – Red Bull Thre3style World Final Qualifying Heat
This last week or so, Chile played host to the annual Red Bull Thre3style World Final. This has grown immensely from the first World Final in Paris, which I was lucky enough to take part in back in 2010 – it now comprises qualifying heats before the Grand Final.
The UK hasn’t featured in the World Final line-up for a few years, but this year the incredible JFB won a wild card place, and headed out to fly the flag!
Sadly it wasn’t to be in the Grand Final – I’ve yet to see the winning set from DJ Puffy, but it must have been impressive. But I have seen JFB’s extraordinary qualifying heat set that got him his place in the Grand Final, and seriously, it is 15 minutes of stunning skill, inch-perfect preparation, inventive transitions and fun tunes. Enjoy!
I generally try and keep these section reserved for other people’s mixes I’ve enjoyed listening to, but every so often I’ve popped in one of my own. Today is one such day!
I give you my brand new radio show on Music Box Radio, which will air weekly 9pm-11pm, then be hosted on this here Mixcloud I’ve set up!
Expect the very best, all genres and all eras in the mix, taking in well-worn classics that have served me over the years, through to up-front promos I’ve just been sent.
Here’s what was up in Week 1!
Hidden Agenda – Big Lamp Chance the Rapper – All Night (feat. Knox Fortune) (Kaytranada Extended Joint) Plant Life – When She Smiles She Lights The Sky (4 Hero Remix) Most Wanted – Calm Down Instrumental Giant Panda – Racist Dizzee Rascal V Beatvandals – Old Skool Mashup V2 ( Beatvandals Mix ) The Pointer Sisters – Automatic Behling – Last Chance LL Cool J – Jingling Baby (Remixed But Still Jingling) Central Line – Walking Into Sunshine (Original Larry Levan 12” Mix) Moderat – Eating Hooks (Siriusmo Remix – Solomun Edit) Booka Shade – Lost High (Dennis Ferrer Remix) Soul of Hex – Nobody Jean Jacques Smoothie – 2 People (Blonde Version) Demuir – Roots Of House Solardo – Tribesmen Groove Armada – Superstylin (Riva Starr Edit) Red Rack’em – Tomato Pope Champion + Four Tet – Flip Side Walker & Royce – I.T.B. Doc Daneeka – Never Wanna Lose You Dimitri From Stoke On Trent – I Wanna Be Your Lobster Chic – Everybody Dance (12” Version) Boy 8-Bit – Action Break Roy Davis Jr – Gabriel (Live Garage Version) Freeway – What We Do” (featuring Jay-Z/Beanie Sigel) Giggs – The Best Slum Village – Fourth & Back (Rock Music) Anderson .Paak – Come Down People Under the Stairs – Trippin’ At The Disco Amerie – Take Control Bruno Mars – 24K Magic Different Marks – Lavender Lady
Black Sheep “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing” 25th Anniversary Mix by Chris Read
My first car was not a particularly fancy car. I actually can’t even remember what it was, other than small and black. A Ford Fiesta? Maybe a Fiat Punto? I’m not sure, I’ve never really been a petrol-head, and it was just a means to an end.
Anyway, it had a cassette player, and I was in the middle of my eBay years (lots of vinyl bought and sold through eBay in those days, God bless the extra income from flogging unwanted promos on there!). I found an auction selling dozens of classic hip hop albums on cassette, and picked the lot up for about £15. One of the albums that became a firm favourite was Black Sheep‘s, A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing. Black Sheep were a member of the Native Tongues crew, alongside the likes of De La Soul, The Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest. In one of those weird twists of modern music, pretty much anyone who has been in a club in the last 20 years has heard a little Black Sheep, in the “Engine Engine Number 9, on the New York Transit Line…” bit of Fatman Scoop and Crooklyn Clan’s mega hit “Be Faithful“, which sampled The Choice Is Yours – top trivia, I wore a pastiche of that record sleeve’s artworkvin my finest hour, winning the UK Red Bull Thre3style final at Koko in London.
And it turns out that it was just recently the 25th anniversary of the release! So here’s a great mix which takes in album tracks, alternate versions, remixes and the original sample material. Enjoy!
PBR Streetgang have been on my radar for a long time, yet somewhere out on the fringes, with only a handful of tracks making into my sets despite all being excellent. A friend posted this mix the other day on Facebook with an endorsement of it’s quality, and I thought it was high time I gave their DJing a proper listen.
And you know what? It’s jolly good. I sat working away on some admin type nonsense, shazaming merrily away every few minutes as a new corker came through the speakers.
I was lucky enough to hit the new Shoreditch outlet of Dirty Bones a couple of times during their soft launch, and on the 2nd visit got chatting with a few of the staff. One thing led to another, and here is a mix I’ve put together for them celebrating our mutual love of classic hip hop, and the funk and disco sounds that inspired it.
I really enjoyed making this mix, so hopefully I will do a 2nd volume of my Boom Bap Y’all mix soon!
A regular contributor to my Mixtape Monday posts, we are back to the Beats In Space guys! And this time, a bit of a growing legend from the dance music scene, Jackmaster. Jack is extremely well known both in the UK and globally as a truly excellent DJ, and a real tastemaker. Running his influential record label Numbers, he has built a status as one of the very few famous DJs to not really be known for their production work, rather simply for being dead good at playing records well. And this mix neatly shows that off, on the more underground side of his work (many of you may be familiar with his 80s influenced Tweakaholic mix series that showcases his ear for more catchy, poppy dance tracks).
As you can see from his picture for this mix, and as he mentions in the interview at the end, this is around the time that Fabric received the shattering news that Islington council have revoked their license. Jack had a long and fruitful relationship with Fabric, which in a way encapsulates what made that venue such a special place – they saw his talent and booked him for that reason, and pushed his career forward immeasurably as a result. Funnily enough, the last but one time I saw Jack was a very sweaty embrace at about 8.30am in Room 1 of Fabric at the Acid Future after party (which we’d both performed at for the day time party at Tobacco Dock, Jack carrying on to do Room 2 at Fabric for the afters).
Hard to believe that London is going to lose such a unique and brilliant institution, and in doing so it will become that little bit harder for talents like Jackmaster to emerge – the Columbo Group are doing their bit to maintain that ethos with Phonox‘s Saturday residents, but Fabric had a scale and scope that is difficult to match given it’s opening hours and 3 rooms.
In the meantime, enjoy a fantastic mix from a master of the craft, which really does take the listener on a fantastic voyage.