Sunday, May 21, 2006

I’ve seen the future and it works. . . .

Chart: May’06

Switch The Light/Pee On You – Fuckponydelic (INeedAFreak)
Now I’m Weak EP – Tolga Fidan (Vakant)
Sun & Ice - The Field (Kompakt)
Duckbeats 2 – Chris Duckenfield (Odori)
Elektronische Musik – Interkontinental 5 – Various Artists (Traum)
Superlongevity 4 – Various Artists (Perlon)
Interstellar Fugitives 2 – Underground Resistance (Submerge)
25 Bitches Pts 1 & 2 – Troy Pierce (Minus)
Stecker EP – Styro 2000 (Bruchstuecke)
Say It – House Of Black Dress (Fresh Meat)

I want more vocals, even snippets would be nice.

I’ve heard a few mix cds this month, none of which have really done it for me. “Bugnology 2” by Steve Bug (Poker Flat) is particularly disappointing. No. 1 was excellent.

Oldie of the month:

When The Funk Hits The Fan (Mood II Swing When The Dub Hits The Fan) – King Britt Presents Sylk 130 (Ovum)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Cambridge is the new Berlin!

A couple of days ago I was sitting in the window of CafĂ© Brazil on Mill Rd when who should walk in but Mark Henning. He had a heavily bandaged hand, and told me that he was just getting his life in order (probably a little dramatic, that) after having left his job. He was also looking forward to playing Jena tonight, for Freude-am Tanzen, and Watergate in Berlin tomorrow, which he described as probably “the biggest gig of my life.” Due to go on around 4am tomorrow, he should catch Berlin at it’s most lively. Hope it goes well for him.

A word about Legends at Cambridge City FC. Badger Attack was supposed to be on tonight, but was cancelled yesterday by Legends. No licence and a complete lack of organisation is the answer I’m afraid. Unfortunately there isn’t much else in Cambridge. The scene up to now has been building up a nice bit of momentum over the past year, but now it is in danger of gathering moss. I know that Jonny aka “Le Jockey,” is amongst a secret cabal charged with building a sound system for the place, so there is yet hope.

A chart will be posted over the next couple of days, as well as any other news deemed worth mentioning. Watch this space.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Oh, just to make sure there’s something cheerful to kick off with. Great Cup Final yesterday. The man above was the difference.

There is a terrible shortage of decent venues in Cambridge. A fact underlined by the cancellation, earlier this week, of The Priory’s May Ball. Originally scheduled for last night on Cambridge City Football pitch, the soiree, organised through the ubiquitous Legend’s Bar, had been flyered for a month and was due to take place under a marquee on the football pitch, not in the bar. Of course, the venue forgot to ask the groundsman until a few days before. When asked the groundsman probably said something like “a marquee on a football pitch that we almost certainly can’t afford to re turf filled with 400 or so sweaty ravers, are you mad?” And so I received a text on Wednesday telling me it was off. This is the turd on the cake, following on, as it does, from the first Obvious being double-booked, and the last Badger Attack having no bar and closing an hour early. We need another venue, and quickly.

Tonight we’ve got Josh Wink at Bottom Heavy. Following on from Derrick May two weeks ago, another heavyweight of the one’s and two’s makes his way to Cambridge to star in Jim Master’s and Largo’s Sunday night shebang. Mr Wink has, in my opinion, always been a better dj than producer, and has always maintained a high, twisted standard behind the decks. He’s in town to promote his contribution to the Ministry’s “Sessions” series. Should be good.

Some labels which are doing it for me at the moment: Einmaleins, Mobilee and Foundsound. Many more of course, but these three are ones that I check all the time and seem to have forged their own sound, each of which offers a subtle twist on the minimal blueprint. More label spots imminent.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dread at the controls

George and Sam. George, my mum always closes her eyes when she's having her photo taken.

Karl robot dancing and repairing hardware in the heat of the moment.

George, your foul-mouthed host, and Sam.

Holly and Phil from "The Scene."

Tourette’s Can Afflict Us All

Yesterday was the first full broadcast day for 209 Radio from our new premises, The Howard Mallett Centre in Cambridge. My guests were Sam, organiser and resident dj at the Priory, and Priory promoter George. We arrived around an hour before we were due to go on air. Phil and Holly were busy seamlessly presenting “The Scene,” so we relaxed and I took a few photos. Little did we know what carnage would soon erupt around us.

We took to the studio a little before 7 pm to get a feel for the place. The familiar surroundings of Karl’s living room had been replaced by the more pressurised, but ultimately more professional environment of the broadcasting studio. The show started well, and came together seamlessly for the most part. I made the competition questions as awkward-sounding as possible, (translations at the end of this article), but apart from that, and Sam’s sweaty palms, the show was going swimmingly.

Then all hell broke loose. I’d already loaded the cd containing James’ (The Fish, and Sam’s Priory djing partner) mix for the second hour of the show. However, on coming back to look at the cd display and to pfl (pre fade listen) the cd to check the levels, I saw that the display read “no disc.” Stress crept out from nowhere and myself, George and Sam began frantically looking for the missing cd, turning everything over in the studio in the process. The problem was that I’d absent-mindedly left the microphone channel open and anyone listening could hear me putting Gordon Ramsay to shame in the swearing steaks as we searched high and low for the missing medium.

Pete from Loop Soup had just come back from playing some gigs in Greece and switched on his computer. He phoned the station to tell us what was happening. Karl appeared at the studio door, ashen-faced, pointing at the mixing desk and open mic channel. Emmanuelle, my partner, was listening at home, and my kids were rolling around the floor laughing at my pain. Needless to say we quickly brought the whole episode to a hasty close, but were was the cd?

Well, the cd player, compressors, etc, are all set up on an angled rack at around 15 degrees. What had happened was the cd had actually slipped back over the sliding door and into the mechanism of the player. Luckily I had enough records to keep us sailing on an even keel, so while Karl opened up the player to extract the cd, I played on. Nero came to mind. You couldn’t make it up.

As soon as Karl got the disc and rebolted the cd player, he put the disc back in to play, and guess what happened? Yep, I went to open the cd tray again and nothing came out. It had slipped into the machine again. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Karl had to go through the whole sorry process again. I got to complete my impromptu mini-mix on the station’s new decks, which were fine, and that was that. Of such events are broadcasting history made, but I do feel a bit of a tit. To compound my evening, my bus didn’t turn up, I got soaked, and had to shell out £13 for a cab. I was seriously pissed off when I got home.

Competition questions. Reply to, or by leaving a comment below. Please don’t forget to leave your contact details.

To win two copies of the new Ellen Allien and Apparat LP “Orchestra of Bubbles” (to read an excellent review of this album by Philip Sherburne, click here)answer this insultingly simple question.

What is the name Ellen Allien’s label?

To win two wristbands (winner and guest) for the Saturday part of London’s
Encompass festival, answer this even more insultingly simple question.

In which city is Soma Records based?

Good luck y’all.

Playlist for Machines Are Funky: 6/5/06

The Dance – Rhythim Is Rhythim (Transmat)
Ghostrider – Lars Wickinger (Traum)
Urban Wind – Matt John (Perlon)

Priory Interview Pt. 1

5.3 – Rekorder (Rekorder)
Ride (Der Schmeisserlovelysplinetmix) – Aswefall (Kill The DJ)
Noite de Carnaval (Matthew Herbert dub) – Cibelle (Crammed)
The Dance (Mr Negative remix) – Thugfucker (Was Not Was)

Priory Interview Pt 2

The Intergalactic Baptist Church – Underground Resistance (UR)
Intimacy Girl (Someone Else remix) – Heartz4 (HelloRepeat)

Hastily-arranged Minimix:

El Encuentro – Alex Under (Plus 8)
Silent Shout (Troy Pierce Barado en Locombia mix) – The Knife (Brille)
Frequentraeger (Pan-Pot remix) – Misc (Sender)
Finger Food – Phage & Daniel Dreier (Higrade)
Fancy (John Tejada remix) – Suxul Music (Suxul)
Cannon Shakedown – Lansley & Brockespeir (Substatic)
The Cat’s Pyjamas – Sweet n’ Candy (Einmaleins)
Rotums Kanoner – Steady Cam (K2)
Fueron Dos Y Volvio Uno – Damien Schwartz (CMYK)
25 Bitches – Troy Pierce (Minus)

Monday, May 01, 2006

The ramblings of a madman . . .

So, we left Cambridge at the ungodly hour of 8:30 am on our way to fair Londinium. As I type this, more than 24 hours after, I have just fragmentary memories of yesterdays shenanigans. Anyway, things looked momentous from the moment we left, with certain individuals not having slept the night before and being determined to carry on under the condition that sundry substances were shovelled down their respective gullets. I spoke to lots of complete strangers on the bus, which was nice. I also ate my last morsel of the day at around 11 am, a toasted chicken balti ciabatta with a mango, passion fruit and orange juice. The healthiest thing to pass my lips all day.

Once on the boat technical matters threatened to hold us up, but thankfully these were ironed out quite quickly and the tomfoolery commenced in earnest. I was determined to keep control, so I swore an oath to pace myself in order to feel fresh for Derrick May at the Soul Tree later on. And that’s it really. It was nice on the boat, good atmosphere, good tunes generally and a party atmosphere, which is how it should be. You’re not going to these events to chin stroke are you? I bumped into a lad I see most days getting on my bus to work, never spoken to him before, but we had a chat and of course I’ll be sure to ignore him when he gets on as usual tomorrow morning.

As the afternoon drew to a close, it clouded over on the river and started to get a bit breezy. We went all the way to the estuary, so everyone was keeping an eye out for a whale coming back upriver. By this time I was so wasted I was seriously calling into question the idea of going out later on, but I’d luckily made arrangements that I couldn’t back out of. Battered and bruised on the bus, I was an easy target for drug jabberers. I had my ears chewed off by two blokes in quick succession. One was a company director and epitomised reserved middle England. When he found out I was older than him he couldn’t believe it. I have that effect on people occasionally. The next guy was very friendly, a nice bloke, but I couldn’t understand half of what he was saying. He also started smoking on the bus, an unforgivable offence that, when reprimanded, turned him all childlike and contrite. It never occurred to me to stop him rolling up and I was nearly as surprised as him when he was told off for it. It wass around this time though, that I got my second wind.

Arriving in Cambridge at around 8:15, I was corralled into the Cow were Karl and the 209 Radio massive were all in attendance for his birthday bash, which would be finished off in fine style by Mr May about 7 hours later. Robert met me in the bar and I started hitting the Jack Daniels and cokes, as well as something else. Suddenly I started to feel extremely animated and was buzzing around chatting to everybody. We stayed in the bar foe a couple of hours, going into the Soul Tree around 10:30. It filled up steadily. Largo played a completely different, and better, set from what he’d played earlier on on the boat. Jim Masters took things up a notch, so by the time Derrick May appeared, we were at boiling point. Derrick then went on to slay us with a set of sonic mastery, exclusively vinyl-based, I didn’t see him use any cds. I tried to say hello, and he was more tolerant of my sorry state than I thought. He liked my t-shirt, with the portrait of Giorgio Moroder on it, but he thought it was Frank Zappa.

This was easily the best night out I’ve had in Cambridge. Admittedly, the standard hasn’t been particularly high, but activity over the past few months has been more intense than usual. I hope this is the beginning of some intense clubbing activity.