Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Hello all, Puffin Jack here with a cheeky miniature post. First up big thanks to everyone who came down to the Bank on Friday. We had a great little party in the intimate surroundings of this city centre pub. Big shout outs to Clarkson, Joe Hart and Sean Johnston for spinning some seriously top notch tunes, and a big respec to John the landlord for running probably the friendliest pub in town. It was a particularly drink fuelled evening where we learned that I love getting on the mic (a lot) and also that the philosophies of Steiner and progressive Marxism tend to clash (don't ask). We will most definitely be playing again there soon, so anyone who missed this one keep an eye out for future TAPE parties.
Right then, what's going on this week? Tomorrow night, Thursday 1st March you will find me flexing it behind the decks at Bristol's esteemed mid week electronica night, Boggle. These guys have been putting on parties at the Arc Bar (home of Mutant Pop) for about a year now, which have been going from strength to strength. I've played for these guys before and they basically let me do what I want (always appreciated!). Their music policy is very open ended within the electronic spectrum, from the sublime (pastoral laptop ambient) to the ridiculous (DJ's in Speedos playing breakcore) with lots of interesting stuff in between. Last time I had a chance to play I rinsed a load of dubstep and grime. The time before I played a floor scraping ambient set joining the links between Ryuchi Sakakmoto, In Sync (not the boy band!) and the softer, glitchier edges of der minimal. This time they welcome a couple of out of town guests, who look set to be pretty interesting. Headlining the bill is Max Tundra, the lovable electronic fuck wit who gets on the mic more than even yours truly. I last saw Max about four years ago and he put a massive grin on my face, I'm pretty sure he'll do the same tomorrow. Nestling just beneath him on the bill are the Dagger Brothers, you will have to excuse my ignorance for I know nothing about them (maybe I'll try google later...). Which leaves little old me. I've been encouraged to crack out the disco, which let me assure you does not happen that often! For an occasion such as this I will be spinning some of wonkiest, funkiest disco gear from the Puffin collection, so expect lots of Ze records, a dash of Arthur Russell, a load of recent edits, a smattering of cosmic and a few cheeky floor fillers too. Should be pretty decent, be nice to see some of you there.
The following evening, Friday 2nd March, sees the return of our beloved Mutant Pop to once again lay down the 4/4 agenda for the forthcoming month. We have reached nearly a year in operation now and are pleased with what we have achieved. Big respect to Mike Bull and Gaz Watkins, our M.Pop cohorts for all their hard work. This month we welcome our bearded disco buddy, the celebrated Sell by Dave (iDJ) to join us pon the decks. We love Sell by's selection, plus he's a lovely chap to boot, who has a remarkable charm that makes you want to pat him on the head (?!). Expect 'Sledgehammer' played at -2 (better than it sounds), more D-Train tunes than you can shake a stick at, some soulful 'electric chair' style acid and some of his own rather tasty edits of a certain dope smoking Beatle. People you have been warned. Upstairs Mike and Gaz will be joined by the combined forces of Dan Reily and Jame Hurley from Bristol night Halo. These guys play a heady mix of tech house/minimal and can normally be found gracing the decks around silly o'clock in the morning at various after parties here in the South West.
Two potentially good nights, anyone in Bristol come on down...

p.s. do you like the new logo?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

T A P E is back - This Friday!


Friday 23rd February
@ The Bank, John Street, Bristol
8pm - late Free Entry

Special Guests:
(Flash Faction / Flashcomm / Sabres Of Paradise)
JOE HART (West Country Shakedown / Bloc Weekender)
CLARKSON (Payback Hi-Fi / Frosch)

and your faithful resident DJs:

It's finally upon us... Excluding our debauched Xmas/birthday celebrations, TAPE's been on a little bit of a hiatus for a while, but that's all set to stop with our first TAPE party of 2007. We've found our new home at a little pub called The Bank which can be found tucked away on John St (just opposite the Arc Bar on Broad Street). It's a tiny little place with a great system and super staff, and we're really happy to have found a place that suits the vibe that we're trying to get at. As anyone that was at our December party will attest, it's definitely has its unique charm, and who doesn't like a party in a pub?

For our opening night proper, we've got three excellent acts for your raving delectation, all with different areas of musical expertise. First up is CLARKSON, Bristol's treasured disco expert who used to run the sadly defunct Frosch down at Mr Wolf's alongside our Puffin. He'll be treating us to a cherry picked selection of the great and the good of his extensive record collection, so expect slick Philly classics, New York dancefloor bangers, and plenty of Euro-disco nuggets.

Following him will be JOE HART, Bristol's finest proponent of italo disco and also member of the West Country Shakedown crew, who'll be taking you on a cosmic journey encompassing his favourite vintage gems alongside whatever else takes his fancy on the night. Anal bearded disco lovers beware... he's only ever a mix away from jacking things up Chicago style....

Finally, our headliner for the night is SEAN JOHNSTON. All you old heads may remember some of his techno releases from the mid-90's as part of FLASH FACTION for labels such as Third Mind, Andrew Weatherall's Sabres Of Paradise, and on their own Flashcomm imprint. He started off DJing at the Welly Club in 1985 in his hometown of Hull, before going on to play various illegal raves in the late 80s. He got his big break as tour DJ for the Happy Mondays in 1989, and since then has gone on to grace the decks at many of the seminal early 90s clubbing establishments such as Promised Land, Better Days, Independence, and Shakavara. The tail end of the 1990s saw him reside at the Final Frontier night, and also play multiple times at Sabresonic, Quirky, and The Vox along with various guest spots in the UK and Europe, with one as far afield as the bright lights of Las Vegas. Along the way he's had the honour of DJing alongside with Andrew Weatherall, Darren Emerson, Jon Digweed, Steve Proctor, Danille Davoli, Justin Robertson, Jon Dasilva, David Holmes, Bios, Rick Hopkins, Scott Hardkiss, Carl Cox and a supporting cast of unsung and unknown DJ's. Put simply, this is one guy who knows how to DJ properly! He's been out of action for a while, but TAPE has managed to coax him out of retirement for this special one off gig showcasing his current diverse tastes. Apparently he's planning a set of fairly recent techno, minimal and disco nouveau numbers, but he'll also be packing a smattering of quality old school jacking house for that authentic retro experience.

So come on down, get yer pints in, and prepare for a night to remember... or not as the case may be!

...and because I'm so overjoyed that TAPE is back on the rails again, here are a few mp3 treats for you. First up is a little edit of Carl Craig's X-Press 2 mix that I knocked up in 5 minutes (literally!). Finally we're rid of that horrible vocal, save the tolerable end phrase. Unfortunately that means that the melodic synth breakdown is cut out (which is a bit of a shame as it was probably the highlight of the original remix) but that means that it's more of a knarly rolling groove tool. Or something. Technically, it's not a great edit (maybe I'll spend more time on the next one!), but it'll definitely give those E-monkeys a good workout.

X-Press 2 - Kill 100 (Carl Craig Remix - Richard Carnage Dub Edit) // TAPE

What better to follow that up with than some good old... Stock, Aitken and Waterman? Yes, I'm afraid so, but download away and you'll see that it's a proper hi-nrg italo anthem with killer synth riffage, cracking snap-claps and great cowbell break (I can hear you groaning already, you fickle cowbell haters!). Could do with an edit, mind. Just don't ask me to do it!

Michael Prince - Dance Your Love Away (Disco Vocal Mix) // Bolts

This last one's fairly new so I'm going to whack it up as a yousendit. No reloads - when it's gone it's gone. I've been banging on about Shonky beforehand in these pages as one of bright lights of 2007's techno scene and I think there's still a lot more to come from the young Frenchman. As with 'Horizontal Moon' (featured on the Olympia EP along with this cut - an essential purchase in my eyes), the Shonkster locks you into his relentless bass groove and works those bleeps like a man possessed to create the perfect track to reinvigorate a tired early morning dancefloor. Now if only I had somewhere that I could play it at 5am....

Shonky - Phantomas // Freak'n'Chic

Double Dosage

First and foremost, apologies for not keeping you updated on the Viva Radio front. There was a show last week, but I was just too lazy/busy/preoccupied/stressed (delete as applicable) to actually get round to putting the tracklisting up. We had some reet gems, ranging from stonking dub techno (I've been caning that Substance & Vainqueur 12" since I got hold of the mp3s, and finally bought myself a copy whilst down at the Shackleton live set at Rooted (if you're buying dubstep online these guys should be your first port of call), which was of course as building shakingly excellent as you'd expect it to be - more on that later), skanked-out dub-disco business, bleep-happy bumpin' acid (from Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes To Hollywood fame surprisingly enough - hence the show title), chirpy disco pop, and loads of other stuff including a posthumously released Larry Levan remix of Instant Funk. The show's available to stream right now, so get on over to the TAPE mini-site over at Viva and get your ears in gear.

TAPE Radio - Show #18: 'Frankie Love Acid Too'
1) The Field - Kappsta // Kompakt Pop
2) Each - Sunrise (Minilogue Remix) // Out Of Orbit
3) Substance & Vainqueur - Surface // Scion Versions
4) Quadrant - Infinition // R & S
5) Kotey Extra Band ft. Chas Jankel - Sooner Or Later (Chicken Lips Instrumental) // Bear Funk
6) Beyond The Wizards's Sleeve - Words // Third Mynd
7) Heaven 17 - Penthouse And Pavement // Virgin
8) Michoacan - She's Sent (Heaven) (The Emperor Machine Remix) // Tiny Sticks
9) Paul Rutherford - Get Real // Island
10) Zombi - Sapphire // Static Caravan
11) Wuf Ticket - The Key // Prelude
12) Ginny - Can't Be Serious // VM
13) Instant Funk - Bodyshine (Larry Levan Remix) // Unidisc
14) Phonique - 99 & A Half (I:Cube Remix) // Dessous
15) Falko Brocksieper - Valley Dive // Sentrall
16) Patrick Chardronnet - Eve By Day // Connaisseur

TAPE Radio - Show #18: 'Frankie Love Acid Too'

That one above's available to listen to right now at the usual link, and this slinky little selection can be heard live at 1am GMT on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning over on the standard Viva site. As usual, it'll be available for archive immediately after it finishes. As for new releases, make sure to prick your ears up for the new Lee Jones on Aus (lazy bumpin' celestial magic), Noze's upliftingly melancholic boompty piano anthem (expect a late night rinsing of this at Friday's TAPE party) and Nathan Jonson's (yes, that'll be Mat's brother, otherwise known as Hrdvision) reductionist glitch-filled tech-step rework of Mathew's 'Return Of The Zombie Bikers' under their collaborative Midnight Operator moniker.

TAPE Radio - Show #19: 'Tough Loving'
1) Lee Jones - There Comes A Time // Aus
2) Tori Amos - God (Carl Craig's Rainforest Resort Mix) // EastWest
3) Peter Grummich - Rave D'Amour // Shitkatapult
4) Midnight Operator - Return Zombies Remix // Wagon Repair
5) Andre Crom & Tigerskin - Notaufnahme // Liebe Detail
6) Barem - Nylon // Pariter
7) The Martinez Brothers - My Rendition (TMB Main Mix) // Objektivity
8) Noze - Remember Love // My Best Friend Ltd
9) Moxie Edits - Run Disco Run // Moxie
10) Vincent Markowski - The Madness Of Moths // DC
11) Magazine 60 - Don Quichotte // CBS
12) Koto - Dragon's Legend // Mem
13) Claussell - Don't Let It Be Crack // Easy Street
14) Bush Tetras - Stand Up And Fight // Reachout
15) Bobby Orlando - How To Pick Up Girls // BMC
16) Coffee - Casanova // De-Lite
17) Divine - Love Reaction // Design Communications
18) New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle (Shep Pettibone Extended Dance Mix) // Factory

TAPE Radio - Show #19: 'Tough Loving'

Also don't forget that it's the grand reopening of TAPE at The Bank (John Street, just opposite the Arc Bar, 8 'til late) this Friday with Flash Faction's Sean Johnston (Check out his 'TAPE Subtraction' mix below) and other guests, so get your best dancing shoes on and head over to fair city of Bristol for the party to end all parties. Not literally of course. Full details to follow.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

TAPEd Conversation: Mudd (Rong Music / Claremont 56)

Hardened TAPE-watchers will know how much we rate Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy and his slinky, dubbed-out disco excursions on Rong Music. ‘54B’ was a massive tune here at TAPE Towers (actually a small shed behind Bristol bus station) and featured in my top 100 12"s of last year, while previous Rong release ‘Adventures In Bricket Wood’ has had it’s fair share of rotations too. Since last summer, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the UK release of his ‘Claremont 56’ album, scouring the internet almost daily for news that never came. Well, it seems like our long wait is almost over. We hear the album will finally see the light of day on March 26 via Rong and Amato Distribution. It’s in the diary already: “March 26: Clean out fridge, buy Mudd album”. But we digress. As a way of celebrating this mildly momentous occasion, we phoned up iDJ Editor and self-proclaimed “balearic beard” Sell By Dave and asked him to give the Mudd-ster a thorough virtual grilling. So he did. Here’s a transcript of the interview…

You've been kicking around for a few years doing bits and pieces of production, first as part of Akwaaba for the Idjut Boys’ labels and latterly as a solo artist. How did you first get into production?

“It all came about when Tom Lee, Steve Kotey and I met the Idjut boys at the Phreek parties which were happening at the Cross in the early ‘90s. At that point I was really going off all of the music that I was hearing out so it was a breath of fresh air to hear one DJ playing great records all night. The Idjuts introduced us to the early sound of U Star and that inspired me to spend my student loan on some equipment and get cracking. Steve, Tom and I formed Akwaaba and the first release was ‘Just Pilau’ on Discfunction records in 95.”

Looking back through my record collection, I have tracks of yours which vary from Idjuts-ish dub disco and deep house to straight-up neo-folk via balearic, downtempo disco. Who and what would you say are your main musical inspirations?

“My first influences came from the early electro sounds, I was only 10 but they really struck a chord with me. I used to make the tapes that we did our break routines to at The Pioneer Youth Club in St Albans. As I got a bit older I moved to the St Albans Civic Centre for entertainment, where people like Steve Walsh used to play Soul, Funk and a bit of Disco and after that, I got into Hip Hop and then the heady days of Acid House. Although there's a fair mixture of influences, none explain my acoustic folk tendencies so I'm not sure how that developed!”

In your Akwaaba days you made a lot of dubby but dancefloor-friendly deep house. You seem to have moved away from this. Is this because you've changed or are you just less inspired by house at the moment?

“Not really, I think it's just a natural progression. I've been making music for 14 years now and I think you constantly need to develop to keep it interesting. I'm actually not that great at making good house music. I'll make something simple and then i'll add strings/guitars/vocals/flutes to it so they always turn into something completely different. I wish I could leave the buggers alone!”

Over the last few years you’ve largely released your music on Rong, a favourite label of mine at present. How did you first hook up with DJ Spun and Ben Cook, the boys behind the label?

“I've known Ben for over 10 years as a friend so when he started the label he asked if I had anything knocking about. I had the ‘Adventures in Bricket Wood’ track sat on my computer which I'd finished four years previously but nobody seemed to be into it, Ben loved it, got it remixed for the floor and it all started from there. I've only known the Jason [DJ Spun] for a couple of years, but like Ben, he's right behind anything I throw at them.”

This month you're finally releasing your debut solo album, 'Claremont 56', in the UK. How long did that take to record and what were your inspirations?

“I was working on my own stuff when we were making the two Akwaaba albums, so the album is a collection of music over a seven year period. I was influenced by many different styles of music during that period which is hopefully reflected in the album. I think 'Summer In The Wood' took me four years to do!”

We're really enjoying 'Claremont 56' at TAPE Towers. Would it be fair to call it "Balearic disco"? If so, why the 'Balearic' vibe?

“Excellent! Personally, I'd be bored shitless by making one style of music – there's so many musical styles that I aspire to and I like to be working on a mixed bag. I guess this is seen as being Balearic to some people which is fine by me, but there's no way that I could categorise my style.”

Speaking of "Balearic" – which we sort of were – we've noticed that the whole ‘80s Balearic disco thing seems to be making a comeback. Why do you think this is?

“I don't know, everybody's got an opinion on it but I think the term has moved away from the Alfredo days and now possibly could be mean 'eclectic'. In my experience, the people into this sort of music are all getting a bit older and are sick of hearing one style all night so people are searching further and further – I think this is great. People like Moonboots have been doing this for years and are adept at it so they've become more popular at club nights.”

There's a lot of nice instrumentation on 'Claremont 56' – strings, jazz guitar, flutes etc – as well as some rather good slo-mo beats and basslines. Are you a good musician or are there a lot of extra players you got in?

“I normally start by programming the beats and then I'll play a bassline and put a chord in. I play everything pretty badly so when I'm working with people I use a lot of references from various types of music to try and explain what I'm trying to achieve. The annoying thing is that I know exactly what I want to hear but I can't play it which means I do lots of embarrassing humming too the many talented musicians that I work with!”

In the past you've done a few collaborations. Who are your main collaborators?

“Ben Smith was the first person I started the more folkier side with. We finished an album in 2001 but like before, nobody seemed to be into it. Now the tracks are being picked up separately by labels – 'Blue River' on Cottage, 'Summer In The Wood', 'Plot of Land' etc. on Rong – so he was my main musical partner. Recently I've been working with Kevin Pollard who is a genius on the keyboard. He pretty much knows what I'm trying to do instinctively so we're racing through tracks now. The greatest person I've ever collaborated with was Chico Hamilton, one of my true heroes. That all came about with me selling his manager a Blaze record on eBay! Funny old world.”

You're about to launch your own label, also called 'Claremont 56'. What can we expect from that, and what inspired you to strike out on your own?

“Releasing a record takes a long time and my friends labels have all got tonnes of music to put out so it would take a long time for whatever I give them to be released. The label is a way of me releasing stuff when I want. I haven't got any boundary lines for the 'Claremont 56' really, it's just an option for me to put out anything I feel is right. They'll be lots of slow chuggy stuff like the Villa Stavros 12 [the first Claremont 56 12, due soon - SBD] and I'm half way through an album for the label called 'Smith, Mudd & Pollard - An Odd Race' which is more along the style of 'Blue River', very laid back.”

When I talked to you a couple of weeks back you told me you’ve already started on your second album for Rong. How much have you finished, what can we expect, and when will it be released?

“I'm going along a very similar line to the first one. I want to mix it up, so there'll be some floor music as well as some nice down tempo pieces. Again, they'll be lots of instrumentation as I don't seem to be able to leave a track alone once I have started! I think we're going for September 2007 for it, but it takes a long time for things to come out so who knows. I finished ‘Claremont 56’ in March 2006 and it's still not out – except for Japan!”

Speaking of other projects, what's this we hear about a folk album?

“I've been working with Rachel Davies for some time now and she leans towards this style, so as a side project we're working on a Folk album. It's a great lesson for me as a producer, I'd normally bodge a mistake with a cheeky delay but you can't do that with acoustic music so it's teaching me to record properly and be more precise.”

Aside from the 'Claremont 56' album, what releases can we expect in the next few months?

“First up there’s the Mudd & Pollard ‘Villa Stavros’/’Dub Stavros’ 12” on Claremont 56. There’s also a limited edition Mudd album sampler featuring ‘Mimpi Manis’, ‘c40’ and an instrumental of ‘Damn Flu’. Then towards the end of May there’s a remix 12” featuring a new track called ‘Plot Of Land’, a DJ Spun version of ‘Mount Pleasant Lane’ and a Quiet Village mix of ‘Spielplatz’.”

Blimey, a Quiet Village remix. We’ve been loving their epic, smacked-out reworks. What’s their mix of ‘Spielplatz’ like then?

“Joel gave me the mix but they then decided to get Pete Z to put some keys on it so I haven't heard the finished version. The version I heard was a 14 minute hypnotic head nodder which sounded great. It was interesting to see what they came up with as I never played them the version I did, all they got where the parts. Generally speaking I’m into their stuff – I think they've carved out a fairly unique sound so fair play to them. I love the trilogy on Whatever We Want records.”

A few promoter mates of ours tell us you're a very good DJ. What sort of stuff do you play these days, and do you still regularly spin out?

“I play fairly regularly but it's always abroad, getting a gig in London seems to be so hard! The end of last year for me was pretty great, a tour in Japan, Lux in Lisbon and a couple of times in Norway. I'm off to Oslo in March, then a mini tour in Sweden in April and then San Fran/LA and Mexico in June so I can't complain! The only thing I do in London is an occasional party in the Red Lion, Angel called Silver Bob's Disco Meltdown that I run with my good friends, Andy and Tom. Considering we pay DJs with pints and peanuts we've had some pretty good ones! That'll will be starting up regularly again in the Spring. I play all sorts but generally go towards the Disco side of things, but I'll play house, good techno and all the odd stuff in between.

OK then, here’s a disco nerd’s question for you. Which disco acts and producers most float your boat?

“Although he's not strictly a disco producer, Quincy Jones is pretty much my musical hero. Apart from him, it's pretty much the obvious ones: Manuel Göttsching, Vincent Montana, Cerrone, Konk, Walter Gibbons, ESG, Liquid Liquid, Tee Scott, Francois K, Arthur Russell, Larry Levan, Holger Czukay and on and on....”

Fair enough. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

“Moonboots is a mean knitter.”

Mudd’s ‘Claremont 56’ album will be released by Rong Music on March 26.
Find out more at:

In the meantime, Sell By Dave will be joining myself and Puffin Jack at the next Mutant Pop for a session of disco delights, balearic belters, and organic grooves that even Gillian McKeith would approve of. He’ll also be doing us a TAPE guest mix very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

For more info on the iDJ big man check his Myspace page here:

Friday, February 09, 2007

Six of the best

Before you ask, the man in the picture above is Carnage. What, you think he spends all his time listening to music? He’s got to let off steam once in a while, and what better way than to really let rip with a cane on a willing lil’ boy’s bottom?

Ok, that’s not Carnage. I don’t know who it is; it’s eternally amazing what innocent Google image searches will dredge up from the internet’s smutty depths. There is a link though, and it’s that I simply can’t be bothered to write a full top 10 of current sure shots for you, and so I’ve settled for six – six of the best.

Before you check that out, let me draw your attention to the new TAPE myspace. Up till now, Puffin, Carnage and I have each had our own little 'space, but I thought it time we work up a page dedicated solely to TAPE and its reprobate activities, so there you have it – - become our friend, why don’t you.

And because I love you, there’s a brand spanking new Audion on Spectral Sound for you to download. Absolutely no reloads, so if you want it be fast. Also, if you do download it, don’t FOR FUCK’S SAKE keep it in your shared folder. Let’s try and keep this blogging thing on the road by being responsible and not just spunking away an artist’s income just so you can improve your Soulseek rating or whatever. You can do that just as well with porn. So download, listen, play to your friends, don't share it with the world and buy the record when it comes out. Ok?


Fucking hell, have you heard this? It’s King Kong huge. Michelle McManus huge. The original, as you pesky “internet seekers” probably already know, is a little too concertedly anthemic and radio-friendly to be taken seriously (and as likely to soundtrack ghoulish frat parties as discerning discos), but this rework, done by Bearface and, rather than Tim G, Eric Broucek (that’s Eric Rug, right?), is exactly the kind of 10 minute, trippy dub-disco odyssey that you like awake at night dreaming of [EDIT: as Tal has pointed out, Eric B is not Eric Rug but rather James Murphy's studio bud, a different chap altogether]. Very limited whites doing the rounds, so limited in fact (Phonica got a mere ten copies in yesterday) that you may now have to wait for the proper 12” release. Whatever - by hook or by crook (probably crook, knowing you, you loveable mp3-hustling swine), you need to hear this. P.S. Apparently ‘Sound of Silver’ is being entirely re-worked by Tim Goldsworthy. It’s working title is ‘Sound of Gold(sworthy)’. Seriously. Not seriously.


I found this track pretty unbearable when I first heard it, thinking it was another petit electro-pop indulgence on the part of Pearson and finding the vocal a little too Bjork-gets-over-sugared for my taste. Couple of weeks later, and this has cemented itself it in my rotting, permanently vibrating brain as a bona fide anthem and powerful puller of heartstrings. The vocal’s a grower, it has one of those off-kilter melodies that you can’t quite track at first, but it’s the good taste and dancefloor-effectiveness of the production that makes it work. Suitably celestial synths, a hint of Border Comm narco-trance and gritty minimal beats – blah blah, this is shit hot vocal house for the 21st century. And unlike, say, Ewan’s ‘disco odyssey’ (aka ‘disco atrocity’) re-rub of Goldfrapp, this track makes use of every one of its twelve or so minutes. Essential listening.


I wasn’t too taken with Jamie Jones’ recent debut offering for Crosstown, though lead track ‘Panic’ did rather creep up on me and, for sure, it sounds heavy-duty on a heavy-duty system (I also have to say that I harshly and hastily dismissed Jones as a DJ somewhere in these pages last year – having heard him play at T-Bar last week, I have to say – the boy knows what he’s doing behind the wheels). Still, I was far from blown away from the ‘Panic’ EP, let it be known. For all their enduring preoccupation with reduced tech-house, the Rebels’ finest moments have always, for me, been their unexpected curveballs – ‘Speechless’, ‘Shake Off’, ‘Laid Back Snack Attack’, ‘Safari’ (and all the mixes), MJ’s mix of Hiem, etc etc. Ok, so I adore Pier Bucci probably as much as anyone on God’s earth, but there’s a busy-ness and individuality to his productions that really distinguishes them from the trackier, less colourful fare of, say, 3 Channels. Anyway, this new EP from Argentinian Nico Purman sounds on first listen to be totally disposable, but give it a chance and you’ll unearth some tasty potatoes…Lead track ‘Lunatique’ has a nice loping, spacious groove, with nice analogue stabs and effects; the second track is so dreadful I can’t even remember its name; but closer ‘Voodoo’ is a wonderfully menacing, conga-infused trip that isn’t a million miles away from the mighty Pier Bucci. Well worth checking. Oh, and lookout for other forthcoming Rebels business: a typically strong Rebelone release in Vinyl’s ‘The Weasel’ (though not a patch on the impeccable Latex 12”), and trippy tech-house in the form of Dan Berkson’s ‘The Hollow’ (unveiled, oddly enough (or perhaps not oddly at all), on Mr C’s new ‘Superfreq Express’ CD).


A bit of a debate erupted last week regarding the suitability of 9/11 as the subject matter for a house track. I take the point, but I think that question is so far removed from what this track is, what Shackleton intended it to be originally, and what Villalobos intended to make of it that I feel there’s little point on dwelling the matter. If you find it an uncomfortable fusion of tragedy and 4x4 euphoria then, well, fair enough. Arguably that tension is what makes this track so powerful musically, but…To be honest, I’ve not heard it out and I doubt I ever will. Despite Villalobos’s frequent appearances in London, I very rarely have the disco energy required to hang on for his performances (Fabric had a lock-in last week, with Retardo playing well into Sunday to a couple of hundred people in Room 3. One source described entering the room as akin to walking in on a riot in a lunatic asylum. I had been out the night before, but by this stage on a Sunday I was tucking into a fry-up ahead of a poncey stroll through Mayfair. I am what I am. I think it’s the cold – take me to Spain or suchlike and I can nap and eat and take hideous amounts of narcotics and not once lose the will to live. In England, I find myself uttering the words “Fuck this, let’s a get a taxi” all too often.)


Described by one esteemed record store proprietor as “the Tesco of record stores”, Juno’s impersonal, wholesale approach to music-vending has always been ideologically disagreeable, if practically-speaking indispensable. Anyway, they’ve been in the business for x number of years now (I forget) and have decided to celebrate this landmark anniversary with a bunch of reissued classics, backed up with new remixes. First up, Faze Action’s classic Balearic groover ‘In The Trees’, credited by some as the (unwitting) instigator of nu-disco ‘movement’ (of which our Lindstroms and Terjes are only late contributors to). Anyway, after destroying dancefloors and moving minds with his remixes of Delia & Gavin, Goldfrapp and Rhythm & Sound last year, Carl Craig steps up with a ferocious, exquisitely-styled electro-house version. Driven by a deep, dirty synth riff and tough 4x4, it’s a real call-to-arms that instils in this listener an intense and immediate desire to chuck a load of pills down my throat, dance very intently and seriously, and make ill-advised sexual advances on the nearest stranger. In short, everything a young man wants from house music but all too rarely gets these days. After five or so minutes of techno grind, Craig cleverly admits the lush strings of the original, uniting past and present in a juddering furnace of red-hot dancefloor power. This is, quite obviously, going to be massive.


So this is where I’m supposed to rant about nu-rave and how it doesn’t exist and is ridiculous. Ok, it doesn’t exist, it is ridiculous, and yes, it has just been dreamt up by bored stylists and music journalists to pass cocaine comedowns and generate revenue. But look, Klaxons are actually pretty good – not as good as the media would have you believe, but decent all the same. I’ll take Erol’s instrumental rework over the original of ‘Golden Skans’ any day, however. A companion piece to his shimmering, seminal version of Hot Chip’s ‘Boy From School’, this is strung-out, dubby mid-paced house with witty rave flourishes and drum fills and an understated melody that’ll get right under your, er, skan. Sidestep the silliness and the hype, and pick up this 12” – you really can’t go wrong.

Also highly recommended…


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hot Shit

Is it Tuesday night already? Well then, it looks like you lucky people have got another two hours of quality tuneage lined up for yourselves. There's lots of fresh stuff for you this week (hence the hastily chosen show title), so I'll just reveal the tracklisting and let you salivate in anticipation. As usual, the show goes out at 1am GMT tonight, so get your browsers pointed over to Viva Radio and get grooving!

TAPE Radio - Show #17: 'Hot Shit'
1) Bebel Gilberto - Bring Back The Love (Mungolian Jet Set Main Mix) // CD-R
2) Goat Dance - Goat Dance // Bear Entertainment
3) Dorfmeister vs. MDLA - Boogie No More (Reverso 68 Remix) // G-Stone
4) SWAG - Hot Gloves (Bakazou Remix) // Battle
5) Art Of Tones - Praise // 20:20 Vision
6) Trans Mania - Boing Boom Jack (Alexander Robotnick Remix) // Gomma
7) Fairmont - Pavilion // Bpitch Control
8) Mala - Hunter // DMZ
9) Caspa - For The Kids // Dub Police
10) Riton - Hammer Of Thor (Roman Flugel Remix) // Souvenir
11) Faze Action - In The Trees (Carl Craig Remix) // CD-R
12) Shonky - Horizontal Moon // Freak'n'Chic
13) Minilogue - Birdsong // Wagon Repair
14) Pantha Du Prince - Saturn Strobe // Dial
15) Mari Boine - Voui Voui Mu (Henrik Schwarz Remix) // Universal Jazz
16) Cortney Tidwell - Don't Let The Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan Pearson Long Vox Mix) // CD-R

TAPE Radio - Show #17: ' Hot Shit'

Bebel Gilberto - Bring Back The Love (Mungolian Jet Set Main Mix) // CD-R
Don't ask me when this is going to see the light of day because I've got absolutely no idea at all. As expected, its a lengthy beefed up cosmic workout courtesy of the MJS lads, but with a vibe more akin to their debut LP 'Beauty Came To Us In Stone' than their extensions of Lindstrom and LSB. Now can someone please explain to me why on Earth both the MJS and Mudd LPs haven't dropped in the UK yet? We're waiting....

Goat Dance - Goat Dance // Bear Entertainment
As if you didn't know already, Goat Dance is one of Dean Meredith's (Chicken Lips) pseudonyms, and it's the one that he seems to be producing his most engaging material with. Grinding bass, wonky fx, and enough percussive treats up its sleeve to keep your attention for the whole duration.

Dorfmeister vs. MDLA - Boogie No More (Reverso 68 Remix) // G-Stone
Pete Herbert comes up with the disco boogie goods for Peter Kruder's G-Stone label (look out for October's 'Invitation' on the label later this year). Irresistably louche, yet simultaneously dancefloor friendly; it's perfect warm-up fodder for the floor.

SWAG - Hot Gloves (Bakazou Remix) // Battle
Some of you may have already picked up the Battle 12" which features the originals, and now it's time for SWAG and Bakazou (Pete Herbert again) to take pops at each other's tracks. At least this time both of the producers could be arsed to get their efforts in on time, right Hans Peter? It opens with a driving bassline and plinking tech-housey effects, before it explodes into the original's bouncing bass. Prepare the dancefloor for detonation.

Art Of Tones - Praise // 20:20 Vision
I've been following the Art Of Tones releases quite devoutly ever since 'Van Again' dropped early last year, and this one's definitely not a disappointment after the sheer quality of the last two (check out part two's 'Lions Gate' at the start of my 'This Is Mutant Pop' mix). Their identity still hasn't been unearthed, but my money's on it being the Spirit Catcher boys, what with the 20:20 affiliation and the squelchy italo-house vibes.

Trans Mania - Boing Boom Jack (Alexander Robotnick Remix) // Gomma
Slightly uncharacteristic for what we're used to from Alexander, as he takes the tripped out boompty acid original and twists it into an acid-disco monster. Loping drums are introduced, and the original's sounds are given the perfect amount of space to breathe in this rare remix outing for the living legend that is Robotnick. More please!

Fairmont - Pavilion // Bpitch Control
After 12" outings for Border Community (the majestic Gazebo still gets play round at TAPE Towers), Echocord, and Playmade, Jake Fairley lends his production talents to Bpitch's latest Camping compilation with a short, foreboding piece that combines dark, trancey synths with eerie twitching percussion to create a fantastically sturdy builder of a track.

Mala - Hunter // DMZ
This cut can be found on the flip to his eagerly awaited 'Burry Da Bwoy', but I must say that I actually prefer this to the A-side. Stop-start subsonics accompany its incredibly intricate percussion, while the paranoid synth line stalks the low-frequency debris. With 'Left Leg Out', he has quite a record to follow, and I think the boy might have just done it.

Caspa - For The Kids // Dub Police
Last year, if someone had told you that they'd heard a killer dubstep track that sampled Willy Wonka, you'd probably tell them to stop smoking so much crack. This is, however, exactly what Caspa has done as he marries the sample to a huge monotonal bassline and superbly rasping beats. One for the psychedelic bass freaks, methinks.

Riton - Hammer Of Thor (Roman Flugel Remix) // Souvenir
We've been theorising about the dubstep-techno crossover for a while now, but there haven't been too many examples of cross pollination (apart from maybe Mala or Andy Stott) to pick up on. I'm sure this'll be the first of many that 2007 will bring, as Flugel takes Riton's original (which featured on Tiefschwarz's Fabric mix, tunespotters) and unleashes the super heavy stepping drums, adds plenty of stacatto bass wobble, and sprinkles the bleeps generously over what is sure to become a big track in the boxes of electro-house and techno DJs alike. Whether the dubsteppers will warm to it is a totally different kettle of fish...

Faze Action - In The Trees (Carl Craig Remix) // CD-R
It's got to the stage where each new Carl Craig remix is treated with sure anticipation it's almost ridiculous, but if the big man can keep his levels of quality control (even that Xpress 2 remix was great instrumentally, no matter how oikish Rob Harvey's vocals were) at the same level as they are right now, I don't see that changing. His reworking of Faze Action's 'In The Trees' (originally released back in '96 on Nuphonic) essentially strips things back to basics, using the scuzzy synth and bassline to chug things into 'rave monster' territory. With this being a Carl Craig remix, they're subtly modulated until the track hits its stunning peak that'll rouse the most nonchelant of revellers, before it all gives way to the pensive string section that we know from the original. In a word... massive.

Shonky - Horizontal Moon // Freak'n'Chic
What with his productions alongside Jennifer Cardini on Mobilee (and as remixers on Crosstown Rebels), and top class solo outings on Sub Static and Resopal, it seems like Shonky is one of 2007's new bright techno stars. Here the Frenchman appears back on the label that unveiled his talents back in 2005 with three solid tracks, cut from the same streamlined wonk as usual. On 'Horizontal Moon', ethereal intertwining bleeps are laid over a irresistable relentless bassline to conjure up a slice of pure afterhours magic.

Minilogue - Birdsong // Wagon Repair
Mr Soft's already been waxing lyrically about the accompanying A-side to this track ('Elephant's Parade' - which with it's meandering bassline and thundering drop, is great, but far from 2007's track of the year so far), but I've found more favour with 'Birdsong'. Subtle Detriot-ish synths remain throughout as the track mutates hypnotically, before dropping down to reveal a wonderfully sparse idiosyncratic synth line and building back up with a subtle percussive change. Be warned - do not drop this at peak time!

Pantha Du Prince - Saturn Strobe // Dial
Taken from his 'This Bliss' LP (already lauded by some as the electronic album that'll make waves this year), 'Saturn Strobe' is a track that purifies the spirit of the Dial label into seven and a half minutes of engaging and uplifting melancholy. Sweeping strings dominate the track before the slightly jarring (in a good way!) bassline enters, taking the track to a totally new plane. This bliss, indeed.

Mari Boine - Voui Voui Mu (Henrik Schwarz Remix) // Universal Jazz
So you wait for a bus... Henrik's been a little quiet on the production front of late, but all of a sudden two of his remixes come out in the same week. This one's the choice pick of the two (the other being a remix of Kraak & Smaak's 'No Sun In The Sky'), with its powerfully deep kick and spacious chords propelling us lot in Tape Towers to the deep house dancefloor in the sky. Trance-inducing, E-fuelled lushiousness. Nice.

Cortney Tidwell - Don't Let The Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan Pearson Long Vox Mix) // CD-R
With his and Al Usher's 'Trauermusik' currently doing the business on strung out dancefloors worldwide, and this stunning little number coming up, it seems like Ewan Pearson's finally realising his true studio potential. A faintly Bjork-esque vocal from Tidwell rides another one of Ewan's 'disco odysseys', journeying from its atonal minimal beginnings to epic, heartfelt synth symphony and back without stalling its hypnotic groove. Expect the Panoramabar shutters to be opened to this regularly within the next few months.

So there we go for another week. Hope you enjoyed the programming. Until next time!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

This is the winter of our disco-TAPE

Well thank god that January is out of the way. I despise this time of year, it does funny things to me. I don't know whether it's SAD or if I'm just a miserable old toad but traditionally January is the crappiest month of the year in my annual cycle around the sun. With no money and continual grey wet days here in dear old blighty life is pretty wack. For sure I'm not the only one who feels this way, and maybe some of you are wondering where this is actually going? Well, amidst all this seasonal woe there have been a couple of little things (not those little things...) that have sustained my happiness levels enough so that they don't freeze over completely. One is a book, the other is an LP. Here goes...

I first pricked my ears up to the whole Diskokaine thang last year when Piers Martin was waxing lyrical about the label and its presentation/ethos. I thought it sounded pretty decent and endeavoured to look out for the label when picking up tunes. Unfortunately in the middle of last year I lost my job, as the record shop I worked at closed down. With no money and and an unhealthy fear of MP3's (I'm the biggest techno loving techno-phobe I know) I was left with little access to new music for a number of months. I'm back on track now and with a bit of Christmas cash burning a hole in my pocket I treated myself to the excellent Diskokaine LP, Sally Shapiro's 'Disco Romance'.

This is quite simply one of the best things I have heard in years. Those who know me know I'm not averse to the odd bit of tweeness in whatever form (cardigans, flasks of tea, etc.) this album has lashings of it. Shapiro and her producer Johan have created a magical musical world that I have got thoroughly lost in and intend to stay for some time. This is a world where whimsically twee Swedish pop is melded onto the most satisfyingly familiar sound of euro disco. In a lazier description it is as if Isobel Campbell (OK, she's not Swedish) had been remixed by Alexander Robotnick. It has to be said that at no point does this superb set of songs descend into a pale pastiche of its influences. This could have easily happened and the fact it doesn't has much to with the fine lyrics presumably penned by Shapiro. I would supply some here but I just tried typing them out and they lose their naive charm once jotted down, so you will have to believe me when i say they are good. Lyrically there is much here for anyone who has ever loved and lost, with many a poignant moment that seemingly records one of your own experiences. I suppose that is the power of music. If like me you are a fan of the mighty Saint Etienne you should definitely be checking Sally out. The overall vibe of the album reminds me a lot of 'Sylvie', it's as if the song had been stretched out to form the perfect pop album, for that is what this is. I will most certainly be checking out any future productions. What with all the who-ha with MP3's recently coupled with my complete naivety as to how to post them I will direct you towards Sally's page so that you may get a better idea, if you wish.

Next up for me to gush about uncritically is the superb scholarly account of underground dance music culture in 70s America, the truly peerless ' Love Saves the Day' by Tim Lawrence. Now don't get me wrong I like 'Last Night a DJ Saved my Life' and all that but never before have I ever read such a thoroughly engaging book on music. It reminds me of the history books I read for my degree, its extensively researched, has nuff footnotes and the writer clearly has a strong, almost nerdish passion for the subject. If my memory serves me right Lawrence submitted this for his PhD, I'm sure he passed. I implore anyone with a passing interest in disco music to read this book, its a bit pricey but is well worth the cash.
I particularly like the early section s of the book which deals mainly with the Loft and David Mancuso. You have to hand it to Mancuso, this man if not a genius, is at least an inspiration to all those endeavouring to put on parties that don't just cater for the lowest common denominator. He eschewed commercialism in favour of having truly great intimate parties, for that he should be commended. As you might have guessed he comes across as some what of a saint in the book and until i meet the man I'm quite happy to believe he is. Another excellent section is where Lawrence skillfully deals with the oft talked about 'Disco Sucks' campaign by equating it with fascism. Burning disco records is only one step away from burning books... so yeah, if you haven't checked it, do.

Don't forget it is Mutant Pop tomorrow with the West Countries prodigal son, Crosstown Rebels, Matthew Styles. I've been looking forward to this for a while, should be good. Hopefully see you there.
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