Sunday, December 23, 2007

"christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat..."

just a quick one tonight because "tis the season to be jolly", apparently. i don't know about you but i tend to be a bit "bah humbug" and then it hits me, and i enjoy it. don't know why, just been that way for a long time. i suppose i'm just a grumpy bastard at heart.

so what's been happening ? had my works do which was a great laugh, loads of booze ! i had to organise it too, so the fact it went well was a relief. got all the presents for christmas, got a decent tree (for once), the lights all worked and i'm off oop north to see my folks and mrs smackhead's folks too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"faceless techno bollocks"

i read the above quote in DJ mag years ago (when it was good). some plonker was deriding (sic) the coverage of some techno track that was big at the time. all hell broke loose in a tit-for-tat on the letters page. i was on the fence because i loved house and techno. i couldn't choose either way and i'm glad i didn't. but i do fight techno's corner when i can (strange, i remember my english teachers always saying you can't start a sentence with "but". they never explained why...). not to sure where i'm going with this so bare with me.

i've read my last post a few times and have to say i was a bit premature in saying there have been bugger all house tracks to excite me in the last few years. backfired by masters at work, champagne by motorfunk (which criminally gets 3/5 on discogs and goes for £1.99 !) and eurodans by todd terje are but three of many (now that i think about it). so there you go, i was wrong and you were probably right. house is a feeling (apparently), but so is techno in my book (more of that later). my last post was also a bit of a shambles in terms of presentation too. apologies for that. i'd only just realised how to highlight text. i tried it in the last post and it all went tits up. so i left it all in white. i think i've got the hang of it now...

if you're getting bored of me why not pop over to innersounds (link on the right) ? the guy who runs it sent out a set of questions to some of his favourite bloggers and the results can be seen in his brothers on the side posts. it's great to see (and read) the people behind these blogs because a lot of them inspired me. i'm sure if you're on the same wavelength as me you'll have been going to their blogs anyway, but it's nice to know a little bit more about them. you'll be able to read my answers in a few weeks because i'm a bit shy at the moment.

christ sakes, there's so much i want to talk about with regards to music and putting the world to rights but it'll have to wait. so for now...i believe techno does have soul (there, i said it). not necessarily the club bangers but the stuff you can listen to at home. the person who originally made the "faceless techno bollocks" insult can only have been listening to something loud and harsh in a club. there's so much more to it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"do you remember house ?"

i'll admit it's not the best picture of them. but then again it's all about the music, isn't it ? the title is from a blaze record from a few years back. y'know, one of them "it's not as good as it used to be" sort of records with a bloke going on about shelter this and sound factory that. i dig it out now and again when i get misty eyed about the old days...

it's one of the oldest arguements that rages on messageboards. is it as good as it used to be ? well frankly i don't care because if it was chances are i'd be totally skint and completely bollocksed (sic) all the time. my body wouldn't be able to take it and worse still i believe all the great records would have been made and there'd be nothing to look forward too. so now and again i listen to some old house stuff to see if it still stands up today. there's plenty that does and an awful lot that doesn't. thankfully i've got rid of most of my shit house records over the years and kept a few that still wiggle my toes.

those guys at the top wrote/produced some absolute killers that still sound good. here's one i found on youtube tonight

absolute belter ! i remember c j mackintosh playing it at cream one night (it was a ministry of sound tour). i'd only just bought it and to hear that voice and that bassline on a massive system was just brilliant. of course the pills helped, don't be so naive ! c j was one of my fave dj's at the time (suppose he still is) and to find out he was a nice person too made him double good in my book. (so where am i going with this ? not to sure really but that's half the fun.)
i always thought that i'd put up loads of house tracks when i got this whole blog thing going, but now i'm not so sure. a lot of my techno collection still sounds like it was made tomorrow, so there will be more of that to come. it takes a truly great house track to stand out these days because i've heard most if it before. the only house track that has had me spellbound this year is still going theme on dfa. i truly believe i'll still want to listen to it in 5 or 10 years time. i haven't been able to say that about a house record in years. strange thing is though, what i consider to be house and what others consider to be house are two entirely different things. but that's another post isn't it ?

so to tonight's track. of course it's not a masters at work record. keep up at the back ! tom middleton and mark pritchard have been churning out musical goodness for some years now. be it as global communication (deep house business) or chameleon (drum'n'bass) or one or two other aliases. tom produced the awesome summer in space and the "whistle on your way to work" plinky plonky hit take me with you as cosmos (the latter apparently written because his girlfriend had gone away for a few months working and he missed her, altogeth now...arrrrr). any way it started out as a b-side but sasha played it so much it became a hit. why they stuck a vocal on it i'll never know. they also did some electrofunk stuff too. even releasing an album of the stuff in 1996. there's a masters at work tribute track on it (got there in the end didn't i ?) that still makes me boogie around smackhead towers to this day, and here it is

jedi knights - one for m.a.w.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

scott and anita are getting married !

just a quick one today, i'm off to ireland this afternoon (my mate scott is getting married to anita). so if anyone is in johnstownbridge, county kildare over the next 3 days you can buy me a drink.

i went to see CSS at brixton academy this week and they were ace ! they were supported by justice (and also another band but i got in fashionably late). crikey, justice were loud ! i can only describe them as like daft punk but without the tunes. a lot of people enjoyed them, so maybe i'm just getting old.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"can you imagine a world without sound ?"

this week i've been trying to think of 3 records that i can put into a year end poll on my favourite messageboard. i'm struggling people ! i've mostly bought 2nd hand and re-issue stuff this year, and very little in the way of new stuff. there's been a lot of hyped stuff which just didn't do it for me and i've been searching the other blogs for inspiration. now some people can say what they like about blogs but for me they're better than any magazine for cutting through the bullshit. after all, no-one is gonna waste time posting something they don't like !

i think part of the problem has been the record stores taking any old shite in to stock and trying to pass it off as "cosmic" or "nu-disco" and "played by *insert name of current hot dj/edit meister*". there has to be some quality control at the record stores (i could say the same thing about download stores as well. i get e-mails saying "x amount of new tracks at beatport et al this week", but it's 99% guff anyway.) because i'm getting bored of trawling through all the new releases and not finding anything decent. i'd much rather the stores said "sorry guys, there's no new records this week because everything we've been sent is shit", than stock up on whatever they can get their hands on in order to make themselves look like a hot store. it's mostly the re-edit nonsense that needs to be knocked on the head. maybe if the stores took less off the distributors, less people would make them and only the cream would make it to sale. or am i being harsh on the creativity of others ? so here's hoping 2008 brings some more original material and less edits (if you do edits use your skills to make something original as well !).

okay, rant over. i've had a few kind words this week from other bloggers and it's given me the confidence to keep on doing what i'm doing ie. actually taking time to write something and posting tracks that mean something to me. i'd rather have a few people coming through and saying "hi", than 1000 people a day coming here for the new "justice" edit (site traffic was never the goal of starting a blog for me, although i was thinking of getting one of those site counter things but it'd probably be quite embarassing !). having said that i'm seeing "CSS" in brixton on monday night (dec 3) and "justice" are supporting. i suppose i'll be the only one there without one of those stupid haircuts that the styling gel adverts are convincing kids they should have. i'll be standing at the back somewhere because my brother and i are old and boring. if you see me (glasses and beer belly) mines a pint. cheers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

love is...

i saw arthur lee playing in aylesbury a few years back. he was getting on, but fuck me he was brilliant ! one of my mates put me on to him some years back and i couldn't believe i'd never heard of him. he died not so long ago and i do feel lucky to have seen him live. he went off the rails in later life and even did a stint for armed robbery. they were one of the most influential bands ever but didn't sell that many records. tony wilson once said he didn't know anyone from merseyside who didn't own "forever changes".

but it's not a "love" track i'm posting. c'mon, y'know me by now...don't you ? i put up a picture and then go off somewhere else and then "bring it all back to you" (sorry S-Club 7...or had Paul left by then ?). today is all about love. s'right, L-O-V-E. i'm feeling good tonight, i've had a beer or two and just had my hair cut (for a wedding i'm going to in ireland, in december. he texted me the other day and wants me to read a passage during the service. not looking forward to that, but i can't let him down. he's an old pal from when i worked in liverpool, he met a girl when he was travelling and bingo ! a kid and then marriage ! all the best scott and anita, see you soon).

where was i ? oh yes, have you tried this ? load of bollocks really. i put in mrs smackhead's name and my full name and got 36%. i then shortened my name to how i'm commonly called and got 94%. try it and see what you get. good luck, and make sure your other half ain't looking !

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

where does the time go ?

fuck me, a week or so has gone by already ! honestly, gang, i'm trying my hardest but this blogging shit is hard work. oh yeah ? why don't you have a go then ? anyway, since i last spoke to you the weather here in britain has turned really shitty. i've been working outside a bit recently and i've been getting soaked or cold or both ! my hands get cold really easily and the lads at work call me a big girl for wearing gloves. i've been wearing a woolly hat fuck 'em !

back to the real shit...the picture above shouldn't get all the old ravers bouncing around because it ain't a bizarre inc tune i'm posting, no siree bob (as Rik once said in "The Young Ones"). there will be some old rave stuff soon, so watch out. fast forward a few years and two of the blokes from bizarre inc are turning out some "paradise garage soaked grooves" (as i saw them advertised in the virgin store in milton keynes. the buyer in the singles section there really knew his shit, simon was his name...i think. put me on to some great stuff with his hand written descriptions of records i'd never heard of. y'know, the white cards shoved in front of new releases to make you buy them). i digress, as usual, but isn't that why you come here ?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

hello christine !

may i just welcome my newest blog fan, christine. christine is mrs smackhead's sister and she lives in paris. mrs smackhead has been telling all her friends about this site but i get a little embarrassed as it's my little world where i say what i want. but then again maybe she's just trying to get more people to visit.

today was my 37th birthday and i got the "wildstyle" 25th anniversary dvd and charlie ahearn's sampler book of the film (he was the director). cracking stuff. anyone who likes this sort of thing should also get martha cooper's "the hip hop files" and "yes, yes, y'all" by charlie ahearn and jim fricke. i also got a jumper and some vouchers but they aren't as essential !

i went to the woking beer festival last night with my brother and got completely arseholed. smashing fun so i'll see you there next year. i didn't get up until 2 pm today and then went for a super meal in guildford at "chez gerard" (they're a chain). i had a tejine (a sort of moroccan stew) which was ace and snails in garlic butter...mmmmmmmm !

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"working 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'..."

i've just been too tired to post for the last week, sorry about that. work has been busy, busy, busy. i can't complain really, i used to do something i didn't enjoy but now i do. i'm going to post more often i think but not rant on so much because that is the time consuming part. my typing is abysmal (one or two fingers at best). that is unless you want me to rant on...

checking out the competition this week i have concluded that american athlete is your one stop shop for goodies. some of the stuff he puts up is amazing, get over there after you've read my piece (link on right-hand side of page).

for those still reading, i thank you. for the benefit of those not familiar with blackstrobe my name is a play on words of ivan smagghe. french dude, ex of rough trade records in paris and all round great dj who plays sleazy drug music (as i call it). i happened upon his first (i think) mix cd called "how to kill the dj" (named after a night he played at in paris at "le pulp"). some of the tracks absolutely killed me. i mean it, there was stuff on there that made me excited about music again. at the time i was living in aylesbury and nothing really happens there and a shit vinyl section in hmv didn't help either. i didn't have a computer then, so looking for tracks was more difficult than it is now. i read about the cd and tracked it down using the computer in the library and ordered it from america (including p&p for less than £6 !). well it was fucking ace and still is. may i recommend his other mix cd's - "death disco" (eskimo), "suck my deck" (bugged out) and the one he did for fabric.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

"she has a way...of getting what she wants"

just a quick one tonight as i've agreed to do some overtime tomorrow morning (more money for booze and records/cd's).

i'm totally buzzing after finding something for bugger all in a 2nd hand shop. gino soccio's "closer" lp. there's a track on it called "love is" (a cover of a bill withers track, which i've never heard) which is just over 2 minutes long but is fucking brilliant. so brilliant in fact that prince language did an extended edit on "editions disco" records some months ago. he just took the original and made it last longer. "and what ?" you may ask. trust me just buy it. i can't believe gino didn't do a longer version in the first place but there you go. did i mention the lp is an american promo ? sweet as a nut ! the "editions disco" edit can be purchased from the usual suspects (piccadilly, juno & phonica). gino is loved by dj hell, i-f

Thursday, November 1, 2007

last train to clarkesville

well that was actually a "monkees" song, but i needed a title and that's the first one i could think of. sue me. i'm getting slack with posting because i started out all keen but i come home from work, make the tea (i do all the cooking because mrs smackhead isn't very good at it), ask how her day was, watch a bit of telly and go to bed. wo-ah ! i've forgotten about my loyal subscribers to the number one blog in blogdom (dream on). so she's hit the sack and here i am.

i don't know why i watch telly, there's nothing on ! even if i had sky or freeview i doubt there'd be anything worth watching. all my mates who've got sky watch the history channel and discovery because everything else is shite. okay they've got live sport locked down, but i don't want to watch fishing or speedway (apologies to those that do). all the tv does is stop me listening to more music and make me forget about what i've already got. the amount of things i've doubled up on by mistake is embarrasing. i do double up on purpose sometimes though if it's a real bargain or i think i can extend a favourite break on my trusty 1210's (trusty because they're as good as new ie. i hardly ever use them...because of the bloody telly !). think being the operative word because i'm not very good at mixing, but what the hell (it's not like i play out or anything).

by watching telly i forget about fantastic tracks such as dave clarke's "wisdom to the wise (red 2)". when that hit clubland...BOOM ! it spawned so many imitators but was never bettered. hearing it loud, in a sweaty club, with a load of pals, buzzin' your nut off on pills was ace ! hearing it in the cold light of day it still sounded ace, but not quite ace ! i'm sure you understand. dave put out "archive one" (his debut album, came in a trendy cardboard sleeve with a tear off strip to gain access to the cd or lp. sad fuck that i am, i bought the cd and the lp. the lp is still sealed. singles off the album included "thunder (red 3)" ("red 1 & 2" had previously been released on bush records but were included on the album), "southside" and "no-ones driving". "southside" still rocks and "no-one's driving" out chemicalled "the chemical brothers" with it's big beat sound and "paris" - "the devil made me do it" sample. the chems got the remix job but failed to improve on the original. anyway, on that single release was another remix by robert hood. he took on "red 2" with great results and a cheeky sample of guru (from gang starr) off the second "jazzmatazz" album. i can't be arsed running upstairs to identify it, but trust me on that sample.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"yer me best fuckin' are..."

crikey, it's been four days since i last posted. i took saturday easy and went shopping on sunday intending to put up some killers that i found. unfortunately i thought i'd have a quick one on sunday night and know the rest. my local has this stuff (see above) on at the moment. i thought i'd fill my boots because when it's gone it's gone. i got back about 11.30 p.m. and next door's cat decided to come in. i eventually got rid of him at 1 a.m. and went to bed for 5 hours. monday morning i felt like shit (and needed one). i went to bed at 8 pm and here we are tonight, feeling much better...aaah.

i've been looking around the competition just to see what they're up to and i can say some people are doing a damn fine job. most of the guys on the right of this page are putting up some "boss shit la" (as avid merrion would say (or leigh francis to his mum). i met him once before he was famous, we have a mutual friend. very funny guy, not like frank skinner who saves all his best material for his TV shows apparently.). one fella (and i assume it's a fella, correct me if i'm wrong) is called "i am a thief". the genius idea of his is to trawl other blogs and steal dialogue and arrange it in random order so it sort of makes sense. i spotted some of my stuff on there, quite amusing. he puts up some top music too. check the link on the right hand side.

about two weeks ago i was raving about that imagination cd with the "night dubbing" tracks on it. well this weekend i couldn't help myself and bought the actual "night dubbing" cd as well. it's got a "megamix" on it too. it's not very good, but i didn't know that at the time. the other tracks are sublime, but i've already told you that. the one track that isn't remixed by the original producers is "changes". instead up steps mr l. levan to take care of dancefloor business, and how ! christ on a bike, i'd forgotten how good some of his remixes are. alright some were pretty shit (anyone heard his first, "c is for cookie" by cookie monster off sesame street ? it got re-released some time back with a b-side of the pointer sisters doing that "1,2,3,4,5,...6,7,8,9,10...11,12" song. you know where that real trippy animation of a pinball goes around all the numbers ? it's ace !), but i digress. oh here it is, how much ? i wish i'd bought two now. there's also an original from 1978 going for 68 euros !

another bloody belter is that remix of david joseph "you can't hide (your love from me)". now the worst thing is i could have had that years ago when it got re-issued but i didn't have a clue at the time. my local record shop was in heswall (on the wirral) called "sounds good". it was run by two little old ladies who were never going to break hmv's (then) stranglehold on music retail. it was full of 12"s for 99p because the reps just wanted them in the charts. i'm not going to bore you with any larry stories because i think they've all been told. everyone says he was a lovely person but liked drugs a bit too much. shame.

Friday, October 26, 2007

did you miss me ?

sorry i wasn't here last night, please accept my apologies.
today was quite spooky because i've been keeping this track for today and up pops a thread on my favourite messageboard about the producer. it's taken from resident advisor and you can find it here

something else which caught my eye recently was the new issue of "finger" magazine, it's up to issue 3 now and i urge you to track down a copy. all manner of interesting musicians who've actually got something to say are included. where else could you find john foxx, daddy-o, van she and prince language ? ....thought not. order it from rough trade, phonica, innersounds (see link on right) or the website. i think it's really important to support publications like this as they probably don't make a profit but they are trying to make a difference to our listening/reading pleasure.

anyway back to that little article on resident advisor. this cat has been all over the boards and blogs recently under different pseudonyms doing his thing. his thing being taking a record and re-editing it to suit his style of dj'ing. there are for and against arguements for re-editing but people have been doing it for years. kool herc would re-edit live and ron hardy would play reel to reel edits to keep his sets special. even our own greg wilson has a revox B77 on his business card (probably). this member of the scandisco mafia has done his own productions but he seems to be more famous for his edits, get back in the studio fella (that's what i say). the track in question was (urban myth alert !) made as an almost piss take by the producer because his mates challenged him to make a cheesy italo record. the results were that good it got released.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

so many tracks, so little time

Thanks for looking in tonight but i won't be rambling on as usual (sorry).

someone who absolutely fascinated me a few years back was tiga. i go through phases of this. a certain producer or dj captures the zeitgeist and i have to buy everything they do. this fella from canada had it locked down in 94/95. the end of 2003 had him on that felix mix on radio 1 with "sunglasses at night", 2004 had "pleasure of the bass" and 2005 had "you're gonna want me". i first heard it again on tongy's show and later bought the 12". the remix almost made me piss myself.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

balearik soul brothers meet the B52's uptown

those fabulous balearik soul brothers have done a cheeky little edit of "planet claire". this isn't my fave track by them (the B52's not the balearik brothers !). it's "song for a future generation" where each band member sings about the things they like. it's really daft but incredibly catchy. i suppose most people just know "rock lobster" but what the hell, next time you're in godawful hmv/virgin check the sale racks for a "best of the B52's". it's always cheap and you get a handful of some of the best pop songs ever written. forget about "love shack" and "roam", they were fuckin' awful. i should know because i was playing at my local disco when they came out and people asked for them all the time. along with tina turner "simply the best". aaaaaaaaarrrrrgggghhhh !!!!

but that was then and this is now (as ABC once sang). talking of hmv/virgin i've been into both stores recently where i live (camberley and surrounding area) and i can honestly say neither inspired me to buy anything. i'm not surprised they're dying on their arses. apart from the bigger stores where staff seem to know what to get in for punters, the smaller stores might as well not exist. hmv in basingstoke and guildford are shit and don't get me started on the one in richmond (hmv or virgin ?). it just seems to be the same old 3 for £20 on cd's and dvd's, and no bloody vinyl !. i get more joy rooting around charity shops as i don't know what i'll come across. these chains have to realise the days of being everything to everyone are over. i love a good rant !

i put this up for someone the other day and i'd forgotten how mad it is. from 1985, i think they were french, and it's a b-side. available on the wonderful automan series of naughty 12"s or original copies can be purchased on discogs (showing about six for sale as i post and quite cheap too). two tracks in one day, "you lucky people" as tommy trinder might have said.

kazino - binary

Monday, October 22, 2007

"don't touch that dial..."

yesterday i was having trouble uploading a picture so i'm not sure what'll happen today. strange thing is i could see the picture when i looked on the computer at work, hope you could too. i've only had a computer for about a year and a half (i only learned to drive about two years ago !) and somethings are beyond me at the moment. when i get my shit together with vinyl to mp3 ripping you better watch out !

anyway on with the show. i was deliberating (with myself) whether it's worth doing a post every day. i've looked around and not everyone does. first off i thought they're lazy but now i'm thinking they're busy and have lives. you go to work, come home, eat, relax and go to bed. somewhere in there you've got to think of something to say, find a picture and decide on a track. once again it's all changed at the last moment. the problem is, there's so much i want to say but it's tying it in with a track and a picture. something did spring to mind eventually.

saturday mornings have got bugger all on telly. if it's not cartoons it's those bloody celebrity chef shows. thankfully i've started listening to "six million steps" on starpoint radio (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.). top stuff with Andrew@6ms or DC@6ms. crikey ! their names have lit up. so do yourself a favour and tune in this saturday. if you're a fan of "the scene with no name" (may the lord strike me down, i just said it) then this is the show for you. they had a wonderful "chic" special two weeks ago which is still available for streaming/download here

on saturday's show i heard an awesome track. i thought it must be old, but it's only from 2004. i checked beatport and thought i must get that. looking through my hard-drive tonight i realised i already had it!

yesterday i answered a query on the djh messageboard from someone who asked "what is dad house". i gave an explanation and then checked the urban dictionary. i wasn't too far off the mark.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

kings of rock

searching through the shelves last night i was wondering about what to post today. i only decided on this a few minutes before posting. the picture above gives you a clue, but i'm sure the trainer detectives will put me right on that.

the first album of the "streetsounds electro" series i got was number 4. the tracks on it were a breath of fresh air, (for the younger viewers i must explain that in 1984) there was a lot of big-hair pop around then. just check this selection and think what was playing on the radio at that time ie. nothing like this.

i had it on tape and would ride around on my bmx playing my little ghetto blaster (taped to the handle bars). i thought i was the shit ! pumpkin, the vhb, key-matic and cybotron (4), pop music back then (0). my team were always gonna win. there was a small gang of us into this sort of music and we got the tapes when ever they came out. it was only later on in my 20's-30's that i started getting them on vinyl. i still won't pay stupid money for them as there were tens of thousands sold in the u.k. i'm collecting upto and including number 13 (along with crucial 1 & 2, u.k., l.a. v n.y. beats), and i'm almost there.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

b-side wins again

this month "record collector" has a superb joy division article about the new biopic "control", including interviews with the three surviving members.
joy division and new order are two of my fave bands ever, along with the smiths. so back in 1989 when there were rumours that bernard sumner was working with johnny marr on new material i (almost) shit myself. the first fruit of the collaboration was "getting away with it". the perfect pop song with a pet shop boy on it too !

the world had to wait until 1991 for the album and that didn't disappoint either. it was just incredible. i listened to it recently and it still sounds ace. the singles released off it weren't the best tracks on it (which i thought was strange). "get the message", however, had a b-side unlike anything i'd ever heard. it was like three tracks in one. breakbeats, lush synths, and electro all colliding. i was playing at a shirt and tie nightclub at the time and i knew i had to hear it LOUD. fucking hell, it rocked ! i couldn't play it when the punters were there because i'd get thrown off. it was all top 40 shite with me trying to slip in some of my own favourites. i succeeded in my own little way until i stood my ground...and left.

Friday, October 19, 2007

"say hello to my little friend..."

the other night out of nowhere i found out about "the london cokehead". this guy was ranting about dj's blowing the system in his venue (he's a sound engineer). very entertaining stuff. turns out he's the bloke behind zero b (remember "lock up" from the early 90's ?).

a long,long time back i came in late and my older brother and his mate were glued in front of the telly watching nazareth (metal/rock band) in concert. didn't think much of it because he had a copy of "no mean city" and that was crap. i'd been brought up on ac/dc and motorhead and anything compared to them was rubbish. but one track stood out in that concert, a cover version (i only found this out later). over the years i heard various versions of this track (the most famous being eric clapton) until i heard the original in 1997. i was working in a hifi shop and we all brought our fave cd's in to impress the lads (and the punters). one of the lads had excellent taste, he was a little older than me and was always playing great stuff. i was totally bowled over when he played the album containing this elusive track.

there were four or five other tracks that i had heard but never knew who the artist was. "hey baby", ""travelin' light", "let me do it to you" and "ride me high" (recently re-edited by joakim). the guy was j.j. cale and the album is troubadour,

as you can see this cd is priced between £3 - 5, and that's everywhere. so do yourself a favour, the next time hmv/virgin have a sale, just buy it. better still, get down your 2nd hand/charity shop and buy it for fuck all on vinyl.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

take a walk

december 2001, it's a friday night and pete tong is playing mixes from his "heroes of 2001". i put a tape in and go the pub. saturday morning i play it back. felix da housecat played a half hour of what became tagged as "electroclash". tiga & zyntherius (cover of corey hart's "sunglasses at night", toktok vs sofo "missy queen's gonna die" and jamie starr scenario "welcome to thee lite" (a prince pseudonym but bastardised by felix, the track contained some stevie nicks (fleetwood mac) music - later used as "the match of the day" theme which was linus loves' version which he called "the terrace"). this tape was what i had been looking for. house music had become stagnent with defected and others releasing all manner of shit. nothing was exciting me. this new, but at the same time old, music was taking me back to early 80's synth stuff which i loved.

but they weren't making this stuff anymore. so i thought. that one tape led me to discover a whole host of like minded artists who were putting out old new music. soon after i came across italo disco. sounds daft (this stuff had been around more than 20 years) but it's true. this was the music i'd loved without knowing for years. the whole electroclash stuff became a dirty word within months but by that time i'd sorted the wheat from the chaff and realised that italo disco was even better. i'm not even going to try and give you any italo exclusives because kontrapunkt, the red room, i spy diamonds and american athlete cover that better than anyone (see links).

d.j. hell's label (international deejay gigolo's) was putting out this stuff i liked, along with the hacker's (goodlife) label. i lapped that stuff up. two release's (one from each label) were particular faves. vitalic's "poney ep" (gigolo) and the hacker "fadin' away (dima remix)" (goodlife). i didn't realise vitalic was dima (or pascal arbez-nicolas to his mum). they still get played at smackhead towers to this day, especially when i've had a few beers (real ales if any sponsors are if). there was another track on that tape, by bolz bolz called "take a walk". the version i'd heard was remixed by paul daley (of leftfield) and wasn't up my street (longhaul records - u.k.). the other version was something else, i suppose the name gave it away (neo-romantic dima remix).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

sadly missed

back in 2001 janet jackson had a track out ("all for you") which i thought was catchy as hell. i've never been a big janet fan apart from the odd singles off "control". but here was something really special from her, with a hook to die for. i checked the credits and there were some names i didn't recognise. i soon forgot about it and moved on. in the virgin sale that year i found this (for £2) in the pile of shite they call the bargain bin (there's more to come from that pile by the way).

most of the tracks are bloody awful and the better ones haven't aged well either. but the first track is a killer. in fact it doesn't fit in with any of the other tracks at all. the reason being it had that janet jackson hook in it (doh ! silly me). a few months later "the best of luther vandross" double lp turns up in the charity shop and what do you know ? you got it. ivan finally realises where that music originally came from. i'd heard "searchin" for many years and believed that to be change's only hit. i was into metal when i was a kid before electro took over and i seemed to miss out on a lot of soul/dance/funk (i'm now spending the rest of my life filling in the gaps).

luther's voice is truly outstanding and he sang on so many great records by other people (chic's first two lp's for instance). his own output wasn't too shabby either. to pass away at 54 is way too early. when i was a kid that seemed like a good innings but as you get older you realise it isn't (i'm almost 37). you realise there are so many things to still do and see, and loads of great music to still be discovered in the future or from the past.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

" good they named it twice"

gerard kenney sang that (i think). anyway, digging in the crates the other night i pulled out a cd meaning to listen to one track and found another, if that makes sense. i wanted to listen to turntable orchestra "you're gonna miss me" but pressed the wrong button and it landed on something else. the version of arnold jarvis "take some time out" i'd always listened to on vinyl was the release on republic records (u.k. - dave lee/joey negro's label). it was the "rugged riddim mix" which used the bassline off backroom productions "definition of a track" (credited to precious). i thought it was a humdinger of a house tune and never listened to any other mixes. fast forward to a charity shop in newport pagnell 15 years later and i find this for a quid.

blaze ? check, turntable orchestra ? check, £1 ?, check. took it home and never bothered listening to the other tracks. well the other night i felt a right idiot when the "club mix" of "take some time out" came on. simply stunning. i'd forgotten how good some of the early house tracks were. most compilations are full of chicago stuff (nothing wrong with that) but the early new york stuff seems to get a back seat.

it's a simple track and i don't think you could better it if you tried. killer bassline, simple percussion, one synth line and a vocal from a guy who later released "inspiration" and "the color of my skin" (with swing 52). originally released on fourth floor records (tommy musto's label) in 1987, it's hard to believe it's 20 years old. they just don't make 'em like this anymore.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"the pressure...the pressure...pressure of the world"

had a little joke with chris keyz (another night on earth) last night about the pressure of a blog. i know it's not real pressure like paying bills when you're skint, but i didn't think it would be any hassle at all. put up a picture and a track, write some bollocks and publish to web. job done.

well for most of today i've been thinking about which picture and what to say. loads of different permutations have been spinning around my head. just when i thought i had it...something else came along. it's not all it's cracked up to be you know, it's turning out to be a little frustrating (and it's only the 2nd post).

so i thought to myself "what do i really like, what are the tracks i keep coming back too ?". the picture at the top is a giveaway. the first lp i got by them was a remix album called "like it is - hot sensational remixes" (1989). about 10 years later i got "just an illusion" on 12" and started buying a few more tracks. then in 2002 i came across "nightdubbing". jeez, where had this been all my life. afrika bambaatta (hope i've spelled that right) had a track out around that time called "funky heroes" on an italian label and also later on "acetate" (chad jackson's label ?). i bought both because the track was a funky little electro number. to find out it sampled "so good, so right" was a revelation. these ace noises i was hearing were 20 years old ! there's a version on the "body talk" lp but the one on "nightdubbing" is better. then this week i found this

for £3 ! sleevenotes by a certain ladyboygrimsby too. one of my fave albums on cd at last. i talked earlier about tracks i keep coming back too. earlier tonight i read a great piece by greg wilson about his dj'ing hero les spaine (from liverpool). you can check it out here

Sunday, October 14, 2007

i'm new around here

i've been trawling loads of blogs and decided to join the club. i'm a bit of a luddite when it comes to using computers so it'll take some time for me to customize my page, bare with me.

i don't really have a mission statement for what i'll blog. i suppose it'll just be what's rocking my little world at that moment. stuff i haven't listened to in ages, stuff i've just found for a bargain or stuff i think you might have missed and need to hear. when i work out how to i'll also give links to some of my favourite sites. there's a lot of people out there who've inspired me to purchase music i'd never heard before. if my little page can do the same for others i'll be "passing it on" as it were.