This one is best categorised under ‘deeper cuts’.
Drum & Bass / Jungle pioneer Photek released this drifty, meditative soundscape in 1995. One of his less-known tracks, it is pretty much impossible to find (Discogs only baby) but it always sends me deep every time. Mad to think it was released 25 years ago.
A couple of side-notes for the nerds. If it sounds familiar, it could be for two reasons. Option 1 is pretty cool, the 1971 jazz track Astral Traveling by Pharoah Sanders:
Option 2, is well, less so. The backing track to FA Premier League Football Manager 2000 on PS1. Yep.
I didn’t know that there is another track out there with such strong Pure Shores vibes. And yet, here we are, and here it is.
Okay, so quite the controversial character is Mistabishi. If you cast yourself back to 2009 you’ll see one of the most exciting drum & bass producers on the scene. James Pullen has left his job in the city, and been signed by Hospital – the biggest label going – and released his first album, the critically acclaimed Drop.
Fast forward another 10 years and he has disgraced himself by fucking off just about everyone possible. Firstly the music-heads, by playing a pre-recorded mix at a gig and trying to pass it off (badly) as mixing live. Secondly (and repeatedly) anyone who isn’t a full-blown racist by claiming that ‘real’ Londoners are white – and blaming rising crime levels on immigrants and ethnic minorities. He then apologised for causing offence in about the least convincing way possible (and partially blaming some residual PTSD…). All in all, the guy is not a good egg.
So, if you want to enjoy this album you have to go through a real case of separating the art from the artist. If you are able to do that (and you want to) then Drop is a real gem. It mixes heavy and light, ecstasy and fear, all with a sharp dark sense of humour.
Drop contains three of my all-time favourite drum & bass tracks: No Matter What, a euphoric belter; The Light’s Really Bad, a cinematic roller full of hope and longing; and Falling in Love, another big’un with the emotional vocals of Danman.
There’s a lot to get your teeth into. Printer Jam will certainly not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to admit that the guy has talent. Greed is a rolling dark monster with some hard right wing free-market philosophy thrown in to boot.
If you are listening for the first time, or the first time in a decade, let me know what you think.
I’ve got a corker of an unreleased number from Disclosure for you right here. I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me that a James Blake / Disclosure combo would work. But it brings James’ haunting vocals together with this blissed out electronic energy and jeez. Just trust me, it works.
Sadly it looks like this track will never see the light of day in a full release so you’ll have to make do with a youtube rip.
This clip is from a full set by Disclosure, as a part of Boiler Room’s Streaming From Isolation series.
Ever wondered what music was big in Ukraine in the 1970s? Sweden in the 90s? How about Ivory Coast in the 80s? Well, here is a site to answer your curiosity. Quite fun this one – check it out. radiooooo.com
Today I have short story for you.
The year is 2013. I’m at Secret Garden Party. It’s about 4am. The night is beginning to wind down. But as we wander past a nondescript stretch tent, some music drifts over to us. Intrigued, we wander in. The DJ is playing a massive hip-hop set. The tent is packed. The crowd is locked in. The energy is huge. One track in particular brings it to a peak. Shazam? Useless. And so begins the search for “The Flute Based Hip-hop Banger”.
Alas, I faced dead end after dead end in the hunt. Until last week when I came across this:
Full disclaimer, I’m not actually sure this is the one, but I’m going to act like it is because it’s been 7 years now.
An oldie but by God it’s a goodie. It’s the sound of clubs in 2011. It’s the sound of house parties. I know we are all in quarantine but there’s no reason we can’t all get down. #BangerForTheNHS. It’s the one and only Battle for Middle You.
One going out to anyone who has been having a tough time. It’s a good-vibes-only classic from HNNY, and it’s got your name on it. Stay safe out there kids.
Lo-fi indie rock from Sweden. Not a genre I know a lot about, but when a song is good, it’s good, y’know?
Last week the music world mourned the loss of Andrew Weatherall. The tributes have come raining in – he was clearly an amazing man, as well as being a uniquely talented artist and producer. For a full piece on him read his The Times obit here, or JD Twitch’s ode on RA here.
I was due to see him alongside his long-time friend and collaborator Sean Johnston (as A Love From Outer Space) last week, and the night went ahead as a tribute to the big man. The club (and the floor) was full from 10pm until close at 4am, and the atmosphere was special – the crowd felt filled with his friends and family.
Andrew produced Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, and Sean closed the night with a blissed out, full volume cut of Come Together. Goosebump-raising stuff. Enjoy the original here.
More from me on ALFOS here and here. Finally, if you are a Weatherall super-fan, you can browse and download around 900 hours of his mixes here, on a fan-built Google Drive. Big props.