Maribou State ” Portraits” remixed

Wow wow wow I loved the original album on Counter records then they only went and gave it to some of the best remixers in the UK. Martin Iverson (aka Atjazz) and Alex bowman to name a few.

These guys smashed me over the head with their production without the help of the heavyweights. I love unique, I love someone trying to do something different this is what I love. I was wrong when the first time I heard them I thought they were a quirky mainstream outfit but I have genuinely grown to love them with every release it feels like I’ve grown with them during their short time.

There are some genuine genius moments on this album tracks I’ll be dropping into sets for time to come particularly the axel bowman edit of the clown ft Pedestrian.

If it wasn’t for Kamasi Washington it would be up there in the mixer for album of the year.

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The Milk “Favourite worry”

Wah Wah 45s is an independent label that have been on the cutting edge for 15 years for an independent to last for that long, most of us know to do that they have to be selecting their artist well. Their latest offering is up there, it’s been a long time since I have sat down and listened to an album and not heard one track I disliked this album is track after track of quality.

The lead singer Ricky Nunn’s voice is interesting and unique, you could play me a track tomorrow and I could identify it straight away, it’s like raspy a Mick Hucknall if he became cool. I love it and have driven at speed up to the speed limited singing along at the top of my voice (honest Guvnor)

The influences of soul, funk, jazz and even northern punctuate every song but I love the rocky edge that they have bought to the table, it’s different and it’s interesting and it’s brilliant. This year has been big for wah wah 45s with this and Dele Sosimi its up there with my favourite album of the year (any other year it may have won but Kamasi Washington will take some beating)

Favourite Worry - The Milk

Marbert Rocel “in the begining”

Its been a shame that I have had to neglect my music blog but until I win the lottery or invent the hover board work must come first it feels like I have been away for a year but its not been that long. the first reviews back are catch ups.

I don’t know if you know how it works when you are on promo lists so this may help explain. I personally only choose to apply to those I feel I can support with my radio show because otherwise you get bombarded with rubbish tracks you’re never going to play. All of them expect a return a synopsis of a track if you like and a mark out of 5 or 10. some labels send you a sampler of an album release (generally 2 or 3 records) i’m a collector of music so if I like what I’m sent I generally go out and buy the album when its released.

When I received the sampler for Marbert Rocel on Compost  for the first time in a long time I broke my stride and asked for a digital copy of the album, not because I didn’t want to pay for it because I was genuinely excited and didn’t want to wait for the release to hear the content. The sampler I got sent from the album was “Always on my Mind” a real mixture of style’s fitted into one track a hip hop beat, a pop piano, a jazz breakdown and a Molko-ish vocal. I played it on my show the regulars inundated me with questions.

The album cover looks like a Terry Gilliam Monty Python creation (if you look back I did notice a nod to four lions on her home page) the album is sublime it takes you everywhere, even a few little dance floor fillers. I fell in love with “me, myself and I”  (which I have dropped in a few sets now). I love everything about this album it plays so well as a driving soundtrack. there is something very sexy her voice and the production is brilliant a definite buy for someone who likes something different.

cardboard in the beginning.indd

DIY SOS Vetrans Not good enough

I watched DIY SOS, Homes for veterans last night (it was a brilliant show btw), I laughed, I cried and I watched in awe as human compassion was exhibited at its best, so why am I angry enough to go outside my comfort zone of musical blogging.

I joined the army as a 16 year old and served for 5 years, I had different reasons for joining the army than most I was bullied at school and I realised if I didn’t toughen up I would probably been bullied for the rest of my life. If you look around the country most Army recruitment offices are in the poorest area’s of the UK and that isn’t by accident. Mine was in Edmonton and if you know it, its not the best place for opportunity.

The army for me was like an extended family, they say you never make friends like those you make in the services. we lived our lives in each other pockets. I shared a block room with another 7 people, we had a bed a mattress and a locker and judging by the young persons reaction in last nights show it hasn’t changed much in 25years. The room was basic to say the least.

As a 20 year old I went to the first gulf war (operation desert storm). I saw things that no 20 year old should never be exposed to or would I wish it upon anyone else. When I came back most of you reading this could never imagine looking down and seeing some poor person with half his head missing, a man so badly burned you could only make his teeth, trying to get your head down with the sound of shells landing not 1 km from where your trying to get some sleep,  the look on 50 Iraqi soldiers faces as they have surrendered to you at the first opportunity available or hearing two of your mates you have spent the last 2 years doing everything with, had been badly injured.

We landed in the UK after all that and was sent on leave. No, are you OK do you need any help. No, how are you feeling young man no are you fit to be allowed back into society.

I had £5,000 in my pocket when I came back to start my months leave when I went back I had nothing I drunk it all down the pub.

An experience I want to share, during that £5,000 binge I walked into my local in the corner was a bouncer from a local club, he bought me a drink and we chatted. 3 hours later my mate walked in and we chatted and carried on drinking at the bar. A non local man overheard the conversation and promptly pointed out that it was a war over oil. after 5 minutes of telling him to shut up in walked Freddy Mercury’s minder and his wife. On carried the man I warned him and I warned him. in desperation I told my mate to tell him I was going to the loo and I expected him not to be there when I got back.   when I came back the man started again. I can not remember what happened after that I could remember bits of people telling me to calm down.

According to those watching this they thought I  was going to kill him apparently my punches rained down on him for 2 minutes despite people trying to pull me off, I remember breaking free and trying to get back out to him to finish the job had that been an empty pub but me him and a barmaid I would be serving time now. That’s how it gets you.

I’d like to make it clear I am lucky, that episode dislodged whatever emotional block I had in my system.

Just two weeks after going back I left the army, no counselling or any thanks, if you get into trouble here’s who you need contact.

Now you know where I’m coming from here it is.

Why do the BBC who’s programme was funded by the licence fee have to do this amazing highly emotional show in the first place these guys have put their life on the line, we owe it to them to give them the best after care.

The focus the following day was not on the achievement that working class people who gave up their time for free for up to 2 weeks it was on the two rich boys who seemed to show up, paint one wall and lay one stone. These trillionaires (who own enough land and money to build a city of homes for suffering soldiers when they return from war) didn’t urge for a movement to deal with this problem. they took time for photographs and left.

We are treated as pawns in the protection of assets, a means to an end. I guarantee those who make those decisions don’t have children in the army and if they do it would be interesting to see how they voted on action.

They stall over a report that probably shows that Tony Blair took young men to their death based on a lie. In pursuit of oil control.

We watch as our RAF bomb Syria despite Cameron saying 2 years ago after defeat on action in Syria

“It is very clear tonight that, while the House has not passed a motion, it is clear to me that the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that and the government will act accordingly.”

What is the result of all these conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya unsettlement and in-fighting in the countries that only affects those we have allegedly freed.

We have racism in Britain’s First, those low life scum using the plight of the soldier to spread their hate. These Nazi’s who spout their rubbish having done nothing more than write their giro cheques spelling their own names wrong. don’t get me started on them I promised I wouldn’t swear

Osbourne is willing to go to European court to protect bankers but not willing to help those do his bidding. not one of them asks for much, just a feeling of being wanted, of being loved of being cared for in the hour of their need not when it makes good TV.

I bet if the people making the decision had to do the fighting it would be sorted with diplomacy because they are cowards hiding behind their hard brother shouting at him to beat up the rich class wimp. for his dinner money

Stop fighting wars that don’t involve us in the first place.

What’s a medal worth for a lifetime of torment?

medals

Over 22 years of DJ anger expressed in a blog (Part 2)

I have been DJing now for over 22 years and i’m starting to turn into a grumpy old man so this is my vent.

To put it into perspective I have not ripped up tree’s but I have had some recognition and I think I regularly play out at a decent standard on the London Soul Scene and on a respected internet radio station (over 4 million listeners to the station a month).

I play generally with CD’s but occasionally with Vinyl

I have been away from blogging for a little while and this is as good a place as any to start back again, This particular type of blog takes a certain type of mood to write and after a heated argument with my partner it seems a good place to start. Although I’ve probably shelved it for a week to self edit, well i hope i have.

This isn’t aimed at anyone or night in particular just my feelings..

I HEAR THE WORD EGO BANDED ABOUT A LOT.. any DJ who tells you ” I have no EGO!” is a liar. The very nature of what a DJ does falls into the definition of ego “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” A DJ’s stands in front of a crowd of people or present on a radio show, you are effectively saying “your going to like this or I’m going to make you dance to what I am going to play you”.

Some DJ’s have an unnerving arrogance which is different. That is those who fight for a higher up the flyer billing or who walk round with their chests puffed out waiting for a “when are you on?”. Trouble is most of the time their in it for the wrong reason.

I have seen some of the best DJ’s in the world play there is something amazing about those select few do. I watched Joe Clausell play from behind and i thought to myself ” i know my place in this world” it was a combination of style, tricks, flow and selection that I don’t see other DJ’s do . I see others who perceive they are at that level strut around around with old hat music regurgitating the same set over and over again and slagging people off, as if making themselves look better would detract from an up and coming new boy.

I see people sucking up looking for an in, I twice promoted a night for a famous weekender in London with a genuine friend for life (my only foray i didn’t have the skills required to do it and make money).  I had DJ’s I’ve never met before come up, say hello give me their numbers.  I had people who i thought were friends who now limit their spoken word to “hello ” . Someone who i respect, once said “When you stop promoting you will see your real friends because the superficial ones will disappear” how right was he.  I try to keep in touch with those who have always seen me right as a result not always on a weekly basis my work shift patterns are sporadic.

I have learned to differentiate between genuine friend and acquaintance.

I once was introduced to a DJ who looked down his nose at me. A minute later it was explained to him I was promoting the night he was meeting with my business partner for …. Guess what happened next, oh yes his tune changed. I wonder if he played for us ….

I  learned a great tip which i will share with wanna be promoters. I met a guy who i didn’t really know at a party we chatted about most things music, football. I found out the club I had booked was a venue he wanted to use (it was stunning), so I phoned him and explained., I had booked the venue he had been inquiring (his name came up in the booking conversation) about. I explained what i was going to do. Initially he was annoyed but rang me back 24 hours later and we exchanged ideas. I see him as a mate now and i work for him on merit i might add.

IT DOESN’T PAY TO BE AN ARROGANT CUNT.

I have met a few respected and lauded DJ’s, one thing I noticed they were all guarded, scared to let themselves go a real sense of holding back that IMHO is due to the sycophantic actions of others . One particular person changed his attitude when my partner told him in no uncertain terms he had sat on our table not the other way round and there was no excuse for his arrogance and another one who i became a good friends with i threatened with violence before his original position changed and he proclaimed “I Like you”.

A DJ that genuinely has no ego it would be like listening to Piers Morgan performing 10 green bottles on repeat.

95% of the time it’s someone else’s creation your playing get over fucking yourself.

Warm up set Lots of stuff have been written about this by people who are better than me so i’ll keep it brief

Its nice to make a mark to make an impression but don’t do it at the expense of the night, those who play later who have generally have earned the right.

The warm up set is important it sets the marker for the rest of the evening. if I hear a “days like this” or any other big hitter around at that time in an opening set I wince and mutter the immortal words “TWWWWWAAAATTT” under my breath.

Use the warm up set to show your diversity those tunes you have saved from your foray into the band camps of this world, trust me it feels so much better when someone asks you for the name of a track they can’t shazam.

Always play to your best ability even if there is only 4 people in the room. 1. They have paid money in most cases 2. You don’t know who’s listening. I got a two week gig playing in Tobago playing to 25 people

If you get a warm up spot the promoter pays your wages and puts you there for a reason. I have had it where people ring me saying i’m gonna be late swap with me. ” No Fuck Off leave earlier” is the thought in my head. I generally say ” sorry mate i can’t do that”

Last but not least for this installment LOYALTY

My biggest bug bear THE ONLY THING YOU CAN’T BUY

When I started out I was spotted by accident (someone went to see a bloke for a new club night but was impressed with me and my mate) i was put on quite a big stage on my first gig I did two things that night. I upset the headliner by playing bangers in the warm up spot his answer to that was “know your place, you played half my set” my young arrogant reply was “fuck off there been lots of music about since you started” ( I have never worked for that particular person and I don’t blame him , but to be fair i was right).

The second thing I did was go to the promoter and say if you let me go on after him you don’t have to pay me (I’ll fucking show you said my arrogant self). I then went on again and played new funkier more cutting edge stuff. Up walks a promoter do you want to play for me on a Friday night up in London. My loyalty reactor kicks in ” This is a Friday night mate I’ve just started out” “no worries hears my number and a flyer, your making a big mistake though he says. ” Two months later I read about a night that’s getting lauded everywhere it rings a bell. I look at the flyer “Starsky and Hutch” but that’s loyalty.

I worked for a promoter for nearly 4 years it wasn’t a cutting edge gig but it paid. During that time I refused better work “Loyalty” but how did Loyalty pay me back, The greedy person found that the other greedy talent-less Radio style not club style mike using sound of his own voice knob lowered his price. how was my loyalty repaid a text saying we can’t work together on that basis. 4 years of loyalty ended in one text not phone call.

5 years on a radio station paying expensive subs with one of my good friends finished in one text someone else wanted our slot and was prepared to add advertising. The salt in the wound was the following day one director posting him sponsoring a Charlton athletic game with our subs. A life long Charlton fan got his wish and was photographed in the boardroom what for a bit of silver. Saying that I learned quickly about loyalty I work for a Station who had been courting me for a long time who has my ultimate loyalty and friendship.

A good friend of mine lost a friend unexpectedly coming up to weekender season Southport Weekender not only refunded their money without quibble they sent the photo pass back to them saying you may want this to. Another less unscrupulous one refused a refund altogether stating its non refundable. one got my loyalty the other is a distant memory for that and other reasons.

I’m not sure if loyalty works but i do know I feel better for it. Lots of people I have worked for have used other people for gigs i helped build on its way. It might be because i’m not as good as i see myself, maybe its my egodj image

Collocutor – Gozo

I started following On the Corner Records when a guest (Edgar Moon) on my radio show played “Agama” by Collocutor off their debut album “Instead”. Since then I have been a fan. On the Corner don’t conform, they don’t sell out in the name of money. When you allow artists to be creative sometimes they create something brilliant. Take an already great track from the album ” Gozo”  produced by Nick Woodmansey (AKA Emanative) give it to The Expansions and hey presto In my humble opinion the best track of the year so far. It has everything I love a driving heavy head nodding drum, amazing brass and electronic drops. I don’t think I’ve had such a positive reaction about a track on my show simply perfection. I’m hoping for them this gets the exposure it deserves so the label can keep doing what they do well, not conforming.

Listen here: https://onthecornerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gozo

My Bulletproof sonics have been busy

The first of releases is a Childsy double a side Feel it/ Kiss off which is a stripped back deep electronic house which is a late night beauty, strong bass electronic distorted waves of energy a real head on the back of your neck whilst standing upright kinda choon.

The Slacksons “Waiting for the sun” comes with a few mixes if your playing out/sitting on a beach this summer and you need something to really give you a soundtrack to your holiday/sets this is the track for you. I normally can tell you which track I like mix I like best but there is a mix for every situation you may find your in. Balearic, hip hop, latin and house are all covered on this EP it is everything a DJ that isn’t constrained by Genre needs to own simply beautiful vocals and tight ryhmths

The Disco Hooligans have brought out a Edit fest “Disco Hooligans Vol1 ” incorporating remixes of Tony Rollo and the midnight band “Holding on” Labri Sifri ” Jaws to name but two. I always run my ” shall I just play the original ” test and all the mixes have a place in my CD case. in particular I was worried about the previously mentioned Rollo Edit as its one of my favourites but it has been treated sensibly and sensitively.

Ronnie T and Jason Owens ” Body Action ” is a house track that takes you back to the Halcyon days of house. the feel instantly took me back but the production is fantastic .

The “cough and drop EP” is a mixture of styles that will make your head lift much like the aptly named doctors examination. Robert a Slack is a collaboration with Edgar moon a great friend of mine who played the early rushes of this track on my show months ago to much lauding from regular listeners midnight riots up and coming “south beach recycling” . many Dj’s have asked me about this track its a corker. but the AA side brings two extra bonus’s “Freaky man” which will get any disco head really excited and a brilliant up beat latiney foot shuffler ” Chucks Back ” all in all worth the bang for its buck brilliantness. Ronnie Turner imho is one the best producers out on the independent music scene you can feel class right across bulletproof Sonics artistic list

soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bulletproofsonics-1

Juno Listings http://www.juno.co.uk/labels/Bulletproofsonics