Mixtape Monday, Vol 32

Andrew Weatherall Essential Mix, 13th November 1993

Andrew Weatherall is a living legend – a genuinely brilliant DJ, and someone who has been at the forefront of high quality underground dance music for as long as I’ve been aware that it exists. He’s probably best known for his role in shaping Primal Scream’s seminal Screamadelica, but also founded the Boy’s Own record label, was a resident at the trailblazing club night Shoom, formed the groups Sabres of Paradise and Two Lone Swordsmen, amongst many other achievements. He’s a thoroughly bloody lovely bloke, a true artist, and someone who deserves every bit of the success he’s had throughout his lengthy career.

Somehow I’d never heard this Essential Mix until today, and surprisingly enough it’s great. Get stuck in and enjoy!

Mixtape Monday, Vol 31

Âme X Dixon Essential Mix – 2016

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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.

Get stuck in, you won’t regret it.

Mixtape Monday, Vol 30

Midland Essential Mix – 20/02/2016

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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.

Mixtape Monday, Vol 25

Santero – Dirty Bones Mix

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!

Enjoy!

Mixtape Monday, Vol 23

Solid Steel Radio Show – 29/07/2016 – DK

This is an absolutely masterful mix of all manner of electronic music, on one of the great music podcasts, by one of the great underground DJs, DK. I don’t have a lot to add really, other than that I have had this on repeat for days, absolutely superb mix

Mixtape Monday, Vol 22

Beats In Space 847 – Marcus Marr

It’s still Monday somewhere! I’ve been a bit sloppy with my Monday posts, but this week I’m just outside the right timezone for this to be legit – my excuse, it was my birthday today!

Anyway, to the music. Marcus Marr is someone I’ve long been a fan of, thanks to his superb disco-tinged productions, especially this cracker.

The mix here is superb. I have this habit of screencapping mixes while I’m listening to them so that a couple of times a week I can go and buy the tracks that stood out for me in the music I’ve been listening to. Most mixes you might get 1 or 2, but this mix clocked in at a hefty 7 screencaps! So get your ear’oles round this bad boy, it really is excellent.

Mixtape Monday, Vol 21

Claude VonStroke’s The Birdhouse 48 – Guest Mix J Phlip

Well, this is a day late (Techno Tuesday?), I was suffering the after effects of a thoroughly splendid Sunday wedding yesterday. But I want to share this mix with you lovely people, as I’ve been pretty obsessed with it since giving it a listen, going back to the brilliant J Phlip guest mix over and over again.

Anyway, this is the 2nd time I’ve posted a Birdhouse podcast, in truth I’ve held off posting others to avoid repetition, but this was just too good. The track that starts about half an hour (Shazam informs me it is Kenton Slash Demon – Singla) in has to be the best damn dance music track I’ve heard in years, absolutely addictive!

I’ve not really got a whole lot to add to the write up for this one, enjoy the bassy beaty goodness that is the Birdhouse!

Mixtape Monday, Vol 19

Solid Steel Radio Show 6/11/2015 – Jungle

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File this mix under “I thought I’d already posted it”. Get ready for a supremely catchy hour of pop-infused soul, hip-hop flavoured beats, wonky neck-snappers and impeccable grooves. This is one of my favourite mixes of the last few years, with a middle section that I absolutely adore. I’m desperately trying to get hold of a copy of JFC – LA Baby (which is apparently Jungle Football Club, a Jungle side project), and just discovered that one of my oldest mates is the personal trainer of one of the guys from the band… It might happen!

I really do love this mix – it’s so well balanced, so well programmed, it flows exactly as it should, patient, logical and satisfying, allowing for peaks and troughs, it is a great example of the art for any aspiring DJs out there. I’m literally dancing in my chair to it now 😂

And if you want a download head here – https://soundcloud.com/ninja-tune/solid-steel-radio-show-6112015-hour-1-jungle

Mixtape Monday, Vol 17

Solid Steel Radio – Lone

Lone has emerged as one of the most consistenly brilliant, exciting and prolific producers in recent years. The creation of Matt Cutler, he first came into my sphere of knowledge as one half of Kids In Tracksuits, who played regularly around my old stamping ground of Nottingham.

This mix brilliantly straddles home listening and something for the club, I’ve already given it 3 listens and I suspect it will get many more in the years to come! Enjoy.

Mixtape Monday, Vol 16

DJ Craze – 1998 ITF World Scratch Final

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This week I bring something a little different. As with the Leftfield episode a while ago, it’s a video of a live performance. But in this case it’s even further removed from being a mixtape, instead being a recording of DJ Craze‘s 2 rounds from the 1998 ITF scratch battle against DJ First Rate (then of the Scratch Perverts). This video here only shows Craze’s sections – now, while First Rate is an absolute badman on the cut, I don’t think I’m being unfair to say that this battle was a massacre!

While I don’t claim to be a scratch DJ (rather, I’m a DJ who can scratch quite well), I am a total scratch nerd. I spent those long hours with Dirt Style 12″s, I remember the early internet days of Asisphonics and Thudrumble forums, written-out text explanations of complicated scratch patterns, tricks with sticker-markers on vinyl to learn how to know when to open and close faders, a time before Youtube clips and college courses in DJing. I had many different VHS tapes of battles from through the years, and this stands out as probably my all-time favourite, with only the Dream Team’s (aka Invisbl Skratch Piklz) set from 1992 coming close to surpassing it in my affections as a demonstration of the art and craft of scratch DJing. And believe me when I say I have forced a lot of people to watch this routine in after-parties at my flats over the years…

Craze has a good claim to being the greatest of all time, which really shouldn’t be a shock when you know he won 3 straight DMC world titles (arguably only missing out the year before that winning streak because of a terribly unlucky needle mishap in the USA final that knocked him out of contention). The ITFs were often considered to be a bit more of a “purists” competition, with the battles broken down into technical sections for scratching, juggling, teams etc. In this battle he followed First Rate, with each having 2 x 3 minute sections to demonstrate their scratching prowess.

For me, what always made him stand out, alongside his unquestionable technical skills and prodigiously funky cuts, was his transitions in his routines, getting from this bit to that bit to the next bit. Many scratch sets were just a hodge-podge of as many short routines as the DJ could cram into their allotted time, with little or no thought given to the journey between these landmarks. Craze basically managed to make his 3 or 6 minute sets into tiny mixtapes with their own internal narrative and logic, seamlessly flowing between styles. It’s no wonder, therefore, that Red Bull Thre3style brought him on board to be part of their team, with him performing and judging the inaugural world final in Paris (that I was lucky enough to be competing in /brag).

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These 2 short sets absolutely blitzed this contest, and included 3 of the absolute best disses I’ve ever seen in a battle context – the “you’re going too fast…” bit at the start of the 2nd routine only really makes full sense in the context of the approach First Rate had taken. Watch, and enjoy an absolute master at work.