The Human League – Tom 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)
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
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…)
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…
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)
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!
Nail – Cassiopeia
I’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)
Morrissey – Margaret 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)
Good strong heartfelt a cappella over Hudson Mohawke’s “Higher Ground”. What’s not to like?
Play loud and get angry as nothing they’re angry about has improved since they released it in 99.
Download MP3 (3:10min / 6MB)
Billy Bragg – Richard
Following recent electronic explorations it’s Back to Basics with perhaps the best songwriter of the 1980s. Billy Bragg appeared in 1983 with the extraordinarily titled mini-LP Life’s A Riot With Spy vs Spy on ex-Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner’s Utility records, repackaged with second album Brewing Up with Billy Bragg on the soon-to-be-ironically titled Back To Basics a couple of years later, in which form it remains available. Soon to be ironic because Bragg was – and is – partial to a left-wing song; whereas the phrase “Back To Basics” was taken up in the early 1990s by the UK’s Conservative Prime Minister John Major, with farcical results.
The first two Bragg albums feature just voice and electric guitar – with songs recorded just as he played them in his one-man live set of the time. With the sound stripped down that far, everything hinges on whether the songs are any good, and fortunately Billy had some of the best ones going: pretty much everything on the debut is a classic – “The Milkman Of Human Kindness”, “A New England” (covered soon after by Kirsty MacColl) and “The Man In the Iron Mask”. The next album went ever better IMHO with songs like “It Says Here” (an attack on the Murdoch-dominated right-wing UK press), “Love Gets Dangerous”, “From a Vauxhall Velox” and “This Guitar Says Sorry”.
So why “Richard”? Mainly because the skeleton found in a Leicester car park has been identified fairly conclusively as that of the infamous King Richard III of England, whose death brought to an end the Wars of the Roses and led to the formation of the Tudor dynasty. Richard was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, but outrageously, historians never realised before that the battle was fought in a car park. But now we know better.
Download MP3 (2:50min / 4MB)
Altus- Winter Embrace II (excerpt)
The second in what looks like being a rather short series of winter-themed posts, given that the current cold snap has ended (at least where I am). That says, if February is a cold one, there could be many more instalments…
Altus is a guy called Mike Carss based on Ottawa, Canada, who has been making ambient albums for just over 10 years now. Mike has around 35 releases available for free download in either MP3 or lossless FLAC format from his website. This is extremely generous, given that the one album I’ve downloaded so far (this one) is very good indeed… I was put in mind of a more slowed-down, glacial version of Global Communications’ mid-90s effort 76:14, which is high praise indeed. The whole album is one 61-minute track, which I’ve made a 12 minute excerpt from, just to give you a taster. Mellow without being at all boring, and just the thing for those Winter Sunday evenings. I’m downloading some other Altus releases right now and I expect to be featuring more stuff from the increasingly popular free-to-download ‘netlabel’ phenomenon on Dilated Choonz as this year progresses.
Download MP3 (12:24min / 23MB)
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