Golden Hearing

2014-02-16 by Hal Berstram

The Space Lady Radar Love

Right kids, here is a cover of one of the great mid-70s hard rock singles, Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” (original shown below):

But this is a cover by The Space Lady, a San Fransisco busker who used a Casio keyboard, analog delay and vocals to cook up a sound something like a 3-way collision between Nico, Hawkwind and early OMD. At double speed. Easier to listen to than describe… but great stuff whichever way you cut it. A compilation of The Space Lady’s “greatest hits” has just been issued, and this is from the extra CD you get from the double CD version sold in indie record shops (or as an MP3 download on the vinyl).

From now on, whenever I post stuff that is still available to buy new, I will be adding a buy link to one of a rotating selection of indie record shops (rather than the tax-evading infestation that is amazon, iTunes etc.) Just to give you an idea of where you might want to buy from. Until the next time…

Download MP3 (4:46min / 11MB)

It's lonely outer space... on such a tiiiiimeless flight

2014-01-09 by Hal Berstram

As Lonely As Dave BowmanPOD Four

A trip into space ambience now, with possibly one of the best band titles ever – “As Lonely As Dave Bowman” (Dave Bowman being the guy who goes through the stargate and into the then-revolutionary ‘slit-scan’ animation sequence in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.)

According to Discogs this appears to be not actually a band at all, but one guy, Sam Rosenthal, who has also released as Projekt Electronic Amerika and under his own name (including many cassette-only releases in the 1980s).

ALADB has only one release to date – POD, a US-only CD in 2007. All five tracks are a fairly similar menu of glacial ambience – very much recalling the end of the stargate sequence where Bowman’s ‘pod’ is drifting through a vista of false-colour imaged mountains, lakes etc. Absolutely brilliant if you like this sort of thing – which I do.

This may be a tough CD to get hold of – the mp3s were available to purchase on emusic at one time but are no longer there as far as I can see. There do seem to be some available 2nd hand on Discogs so your luck might be in if you want to purchase what is a somewhat neglected ambient gem IMHO.

Download MP3 (7:10min / 9MB)

Some Bells for the New Year

2014-01-01 by Hal Berstram

Brian EnoReverse Harmonics Bells
Happy New Year to anyone still reading this blog after the infrequency of posts during 2013… I’m going to try to do a couple of posts a week this year, mainly of fairly random stuff that I pick up hear and there. Plus some home-produced tunes.

I thought some bells to ring in the New Year would be nice, so this is a track from Brian Eno’s album Studies for the Clock of the Long Now. The Clock of the Long Now is an ongoing project to build a clock that will run accurately over a 10,000 year period with “minimal maintenance and interruption”, currently under construction in an underground facility in Texas. The clock only ticks once a year.

The idea behind the Clock of the Long Now was to encourage thinking on a (much) longer timescale than the very compressed day-to-day (or often, indeed, instant-to-instant) thinking that the modern information society encourages. Originally conceived in 1986, in the age of Twitter the idea of the Long Now seems even more prescient.

Very occasionally the clock chimes, a sequence of bells which only repeats every 10,000 years. Eno was commissioned to do some synthesised studies of bells to help come up with ideas of what the chimes might sound like. And being Eno, he came up with some pretty weird studies. Of which “Reverse Harmonics Bells” is probably the weirdest.

It’s a good way to ring in the New Year, and if this blog is still going in 12014 CE I’m sure it’ll still be a good way to ring in the New Year then too.

Download MP3 (2:46min / 4MB)

In honour of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who...

2013-11-25 by Hal Berstram

The Human LeagueTom Baker

Not a lot of activity around here recently… so here comes the crazy gang to close out the last 6 weeks of the year with some truly bizarre material.

If you live in the UK and have not been trapped under a rock (or trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy) you will know that the weekend saw the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, complete with cameo appearance by many people’s (and my) favourite Doctor, Tom Baker.

Scouring my hard drive for Baker-related goodies I found this Human League B-side from 1980. The A-side was “Boys and Girls” which was the first single recorded by the Mark 2 version of the band (after Ware and Marsh had left to form Heaven 17 and they had got in the two female vocalists to back Phil Oakey), and their last single for a very long time not to chart. The single was released around the time of Baker announcing that he was leaving Doctor Who, and there was an inscription on the record simply saying “Thanks, Tom.”

I’d like to echo that sentiment 33 years later.

Download MP3 (4:02min / 6MB)

Frolic: Club 18-30 Mix

2013-06-26 by The Double K

Frolic!So I had a great time in Lewes at the weekend and danced until the sun was up (somewhere behind the clouds and drizzle…). Here you can hear the records I played – download is enabled on Soundcloud if you want a copy to keep!

It was only afterwards that I realised the tracks are all between 18 and 30 years old, perhaps they should all go on holiday together or something…

And for the trainspotters out there here is the tracklist in all it’s glory:
LFO – Intro
Adonis – No Way Back
Hashim – Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)
Cool House – Rock This Party Right (Fast Eddie’s Raw Mix)
Mental Cube – Q
Together – Hardcore Uproar
KLF – What Time Is Love?
Age Of Love – The Age Of Love (Watch Out For Stella Club Mix)
Ramjac feat. Mixmaster Morris – Massif (Live at The Brain)
Dee Patten – Who’s The Badman?
N-Joi – Phoenix
CJ Bolland – Horsepower (Original Mix)
Dave Angel – 1st Symphony
Metalheads – Terminator
DJ Rap & Outlaw Candy – Intelligent Woman (On A Positive Vibe)
XLR8 – Dubplate (Original)
Roni Size – Music Box
Andy C & Shimon – Quest
Omni Trio – Thru The Vibe (2 On 1 Mix)
DJ Red Alert & Mike Slammer – In Effect

Dilate reunion is ON!!!

2013-06-20 by The Mighty Alboy

It’s confirmed- we have:
Big J flying in from NYC!
the Double K bringing the old school flavour!
the Mighty Alboy spinning all kinds of platters!

Get on down- bit of country air will do you good :)

(Will add a suitable tune in a bit…)

(Sort of) Dilate Reunion!!!

2013-05-25 by The Mighty Alboy

The Bleat Goes On...

Hey up, tattered remains of the faithful dilated choonz blogosphere!

A summer party coming up down south in the sleepy sussex town of Lewes- two rooms in a local warehouse, all night, good tunes and smiley people :)

Midsummer merriment and sheep thrills…
FROLIC!

And a bit of a reunion: P McDiddy’s gonna play some techno, the Double K might bring a bag of tunes, and Big J reckons he’s gonna come over from NYC.

Come and check it out- it’s more or less my 40th, so I could use the support ;)

About this little number- it’s one of a whole LP’s worth of blinding reworks of Roots Manuva tunes- out a while ago on Ninja Tunes and linked below- a take on son of the soil off the Run Come Save Me album- proper stuff.

Download MP3 (3:30min / 8MB)

Balearic Gabba - Hell Yeah!

2013-05-22 by The Double K

A while ago I was asked to put a selection of tunes together for the Hell Yeah! podcast. I was keen to oblige but I’m not really a DJ and despite owning decks I’ve never learned to beat-match. The brief was pretty wide – “something we can listen to in the afternoon, 1 hour” was all the guidance I had – but still enough to worry me as (regular readers here will know) I don’t really do laid-back so much, and while I’m happy to listen to banging jungle and hardcore all afternoon I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea for that time of day.

So I gave it some thought and came up with a set of some of my favourite records that you don’t hear in mixes nearly enough and that I thought would go together tolerably well with my ham-fisted blending from one to the next. It’s really a very mixed bag, with ambient house, acid, techno, dub, jungle and more, starting off mellow and nice, building up to a pretty dark section in the middle and then ending up happier again. The DJ skills are non-existent but I stand by the tunes – each one is great in its own right, you can decide for yourself if they should ever have been put in a mix together!

You can read more and find the tracklist over at the Hell Yeah blog.

And while you’re there check out Hell Yeah’s output – you can listen to everything on the site and pretty much everything on the label is a winner. I’d recommend starting with stuff by Luminodisco, Crimea X and the Balearic Gabba Soundsystem edits. Support them with a purchase or two if you can, they’re an independent label trying to make a living putting out great music.

Also highly recommended are the Balearic Gabba Soundsystem mixes that you can find in various places on Soundcloud – check the links below for a couple and have a search for more if you like them – you won’t be disappointed!

Oldschool ambient trance... and why not?

2013-05-10 by The Double K

NailCassiopeia

DiY - Strictly 4 GrooversI’m very much enjoying this right now so thought I’d share, it’s been a while I know. From when trance was still good, this track comes from 1993’s Strictly 4 Groovers, an LP from rave favourites the legendary DiY soundsystem crew.

It’s a slow builder, starting off with some trancey arpeggiated synths, the lush bassline comes in after a minute or so, the spacey atmosphere grows with hints of cymbal until the beat finally arrives three minutes in. even then it’s another minute until the handclaps (my favourite) hit and we’re into full-on gorgeous ambient trance.

Try it, you just might like it.

And if you’re unfamiliar with DiY then there are worse places you could start than the seminal DiY Jack set from 1992’s Castlemoreton festival – check the link below to download the whole set.

Download MP3 (9:46min / 16MB)

In Honour of the Passing of Mrs T...

2013-04-17 by Hal Berstram

MorrisseyMargaret On The Guillotine

I think it’s fair to say that few musicians are as polarising as ex-Smiths lead singer and long time soloist Morrissey. There seems to be relatively little middle ground – people either love the guy or think he is a piece of shit. This is from his first solo LP “Viva Hate”, released in 1988 when Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister, and really sums up what a substantial part of the British population felt at the time. And probably still do. It’s not a great song, but then I get the feeling it wasn’t meant to be.

Download MP3 (3:40min / 5MB)