Friday, July 21, 2006

A funny thing happened to me the other day. I received two artist album cds that each contain tons of tracks. They were “Wronger Than Anyone Else” by In Flagranti and “Proto Acid The Berlin Sessions” by A Guy Called Gerald. What made their receipt all the sweeter is that they are both brilliant.

‘Wronger . . .” weighs in with a hefty seventeen tracks, but Gerald’s has twenty four. I was only familiar with one In Flagranti track beforehand, the pitched up excellence of “Just Gazing” which is one of the tracks that opens Ivan Smagghe’s brilliant “How To Kill The DJ Vol.1” (Tigersushi). All the tracks are quite short, no longer than three to four minutes and incorporate a huge amount of decadence and sleaziness. From the medieval italo synths that open the album on “Are You Ready” (which could have come from any amount of places off either of IF’s two brilliant “Mixed Up In The Hague” compilations) , to the electro disco of “Incarnation,”the hillbilly techno of “Eight Consecutive Life Terms” and the euphoric funk of “Escapade,” there is no filler. This is essentially a compilation of earlier released tracks from the previous eighteen months, plus some other stuff. There are no gaps between tracks so the cd sounds like a meticulously – programmed unmixed dj set. There’s Gary Glitter in there too in “Futile Attempt.” I hope that doesn’t put you off though. It’s excellent.

“Marching Powder” kicks off “Proto Acid . . . “ and from then on in we’re in the miasmic world of A Guy Called Gerald. Gerald actually started his recording career in my home town, bringing out his first album “Hot Lemonade” and I think early editions of “Voodoo Ray” on Wallasey label Rham records. His mid-nineties album “Black Secret Technology” was by far the most futuristic take on drum and bass up to that time. So futuristic in fact that in my opinion it bore little resemblance to the genre it was pigeonholed in. It was one of the best from that decade and difficult to improve upon. Not that I think he’s been trying to do that with ‘Proto Acid . . . “ Coincidentally it plays like “Wronger Than . . .” with minute, or no track breaks, but I suppose for the most part the tracks mix into each other, acting as continuations of those previous, (a mix of sorts, if you will.) And, like In Flagranti, he’s gone for a collection of tracks that are aimed squarely at the dancefloor.

I think Gerald’s lp is superb as well. It’s upfront and raw. He called it proto acid because “ . . .it’s how I feel house/techno music would have sounded if the whole rave thing hadn’t happened in England.” Well, I guess we’ll never know, and if my aunty had a dick she’d be my uncle. Then he goes on to say “ . . . when I say proto acid I’m saying this stuff has a direct lineage to Chicago and Detroit in the mid-to-late eighties.”
That’s undeniably true, but it also sounds very European. To me it’s a more polished version of what I have always understood to be played at high volume in muddy fields across Europe at the many raves that still flourish there, France’s Teknivals, to name but a few. It’s better for the polish though.

Buy them!

Wronger Than Anyone Else (Codek) – In Flagranti: released 18/9/06
Proto Acid The Berlin Sessions (Laboratory Instinct) – A Guy Called Gerald:
released 29/8/06

Monday, July 17, 2006

So, I finally went to the Fez last Thursday. Sam and James from the Priory were playing supporting Adam Freeland. I had work the next day, so didn’t make it to the end, but enjoyed myself while I was there. What to say, good, lively crowd for a Thursday night but more to the point good club and sound. Sam and James played till midnight and then came Adam Freeland. To call him a breaks dj would be missing the point I think. He’s a meticulous set programmer and encompasses a lot more than most. Anyway, I liked him and I’m not a great breaks fan, so you get the point. I also heard he got married last week in Ibiza, so congrats!

The latest episode of “Machines Are Funky” was aired to the world last night from 209 Towers in the heart of Cambridge, and once again I found myself on the receiving end of some technical problems. I must be a jinx. I’d decided to do a mix for the second hour which, in the end, only lasted about forty minutes because the clutch went on the remaining Numark deck, the other one having gone during another one of my shows a few weeks back. I noticed a lack of control with the offending article as I was mixing in my second track but managed to keep things together until the power cut during my penultimate tune. As luck would have it this happened during a breakdown which mimics the effect of a record slowing to a standstill (something I fondly recall Laurent Garnier often doing when I used to go and check him at his monthlies chez The Rex). I picked my spot and cued the last track in.
Listen to the archive here.

Oh, and next month Erol Alkan’s coming to town for the Priory. Better report and pictures will ensue, plus I’m going to try and get an interview.

Here’s the playlist for Saturday’s show:

Sea Hunt – Patrick Cowley (Megatone)
Free For All (Soundstream mix) – Rhythm and Sound (Burial Mix)
Crackzilla – The Aquanauts (UR)
Dime Bar – Mark Henning (MMR)
The Brainwasher (Erol Alkan’s Horrorhouse dub) – Daft Punk (Virgin)
Got You On My Mind – DMX Crew (DAR)
The Vineyard (Peter Ford remix) – Florence (Eevolute)
Numbers and Notes – Octagon (Soma)
It’s Obvious – Quiroga (Titbit)
Fire (Swahili Meets Mozart mix) – Silent Phase (Transmat/R&S)

In the (mini) mix:

Cellophane – Davidovitch (Kompakt Extra)
“Give Me” (No Ears mix) – Rob Mello (Disco 45)
Man In A Box (Chardronnet mix) – Cosmic Sandwich (MBF)
This Never Works – Fraktion (Resopal Red)
Seeing Through Shadows – Locodice (Minus)
Mystical Rhythm (Naz remix) – Vince Watson (Alola)
Black Cat, White Cat – Eriko Tanabe (Titbit)
Static C – Peter van Hoesen (LAN)
Twirl – Brtschhitsch (Ostgut)

Back to being Smashey and Nicey:

Stacks and Stacks – Marc Houle (Minus)
You Got Good Ash (Gabriel Ananda remix) – Marek Bois (Trapez)
Underdog – Dinky (Horizontal)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Machines Are Funky Playlist: 1/7/06

I had to do this show just after England lost to Portugal in the World Cup quarter-final. Normally the affairs of the national team don't involve me too much, but I was well fed up.

Solomon’s Prayer - Luciano & Thomas Melchior (Cadenza)
Repeat Offender - Derailleur (Dust Science)
Theme From Murder Capital (The Ride) - Lonny & Melvin (Kraft)
One More Hour (Mark Henning remix) - Aaron Hedges (District of Corruption)
Electrolatino (main mix) - Senor Coconut (Multicolor)
Simpler - Marc Houle (Minus)
Dial Zero (Modeselector remix) - My Robot Friend (Soma)
Mardi Gras - Crowdpleaser & St Plomb (Mental Groove Ltd)
Cult Copy (mix 2) - Aardvarck (Rushhour)
C1 - Dandy Jack & The Third Leg (Perlon)
Dance of Energies - Jaquar Woman (Dust Science)
Let’s Break - Sound stream (Sound stream)
Wake Up (Mark Henning remix) - Todd Bodine (Immigrant)
L’Nuit (Dominik Eulberg remix) - Pier Bucci (Crosstown Rebels)
Klaatu Barada Nikto - Scape One (Pnuma)
Version 4 - The Separatists (Soma)
Somewhere - Geddes Vs Audiofly presents Rekleiner (Moodmusic)

Will McClaren turn out to be a Sven Mini Me?