Thursday, January 27, 2011

To Sum Up . . .

This isn't a football blog, so hopefully this will draw a line under the matter. The initial subject of Keys' and Gray's grief, linesman/woman/person Sian Massey would have been welcome again, as far as Liverpool are concerned, last night. Her excellent call on Saturday for Torres' and Liverpool's first against Wolves was again put into perspective by the linesman's mistake in last night's match in not seeing Torres level with the last Fulham defender when perfectly timing his run. Check out the clips above and make up your own minds. The disallowed goal v Fulham is just over 5 minutes in.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quelled By The Man

If you're a UK resident, you may well be aware of the Andy Gray/Richard Keys debacle. They are both now ex-Sky Sports Football presenters. Gray had been with the channel since it started broadcasting Premier League Football in 1992, Keys came along later. Anyway, they are both hugely experienced pundits who recently lost their jobs due to having made some sexist comments regarding a female linesman off-air, before the recent Wolves/Liverpool match, the gist of which was that women can't do the job as they have a genetic impairment regarding the offside rule. Of course, once this news got out it didn't take long for other slights to be made against them. Gray was sacked yesterday when footage from last months' Sky Christmas special came to light with him jokingly asking a female colleague to help him tuck a microphone down his trousers. Keys resigned today.

Whatever your opinions on football, sexism and the very juvenile behaviour from two grown men in their fifties, should they have been hung out to try because of it? I'm not sure. I don't subscribe to Sky, the Rupert Murdoch connection, (Murdoch, who owns Sky, is also head of News International against whom Gray is currently bringing an action concerned with having had his phone tapped), is enough to put me off, but I really don't like the suffocating atmosphere of political correctness that is currently enveloping our society. I'm not condoning this behaviour at all, on the contrary, it's misogynistic and had they been berating a racial minority there would have been a much bigger outcry, but after having apologised did they really deserve their fate?

Maybe I'm just a typical Libra, wanting to see all sides and weigh things up far too much, incapable of making a decision one way or the other. Anyway, one thing I know I hate is political correctness, and to make a tenous link, it's more than infiltrated dance music culture which, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't rely as much on narcotics and stimulants as it should. I jest of course. The problem is I think a lack of honesty and imagination. Ricky Villalobos is the only person I've seen making drug references in an interview recently (in Philip Sherburne's Wire piece a while back) but try as I might I can't see much more.

I'm not calling for the return of the days when drugs dominated dance music, when buying Mixmag meant that the central article was one that pitted twenty different pills against each other to see which one was the purest, and I'm well aware that loads of punters still go to clubs battered and loaded in spite of being subjected to rigorous body searches before being charged astronomically for the privilege of being hedonistically anaesthetised. What I am calling for is leadership from the front. It's certainly not going to come from the Swedish House Mafia, Sven Vath or Richie Hawtin or from anyone else who is far too interested in protecting their career. Someone raw who doesn't give a shit, that's who.

We're certainly living in interesting times. Politically the climate hasn't been better for change since the early eighties. However, back then things soon became emasculated and by the beginning of the nineties were starting to lose their way. This lack of edge was epitomised by the emergence of political correctness as a vector around this time. The emergence of New Labour as the governing party of the UK, hot on the heels of Bill Clinton's Democrats didn't seem that threatening but both parties had to move so far to the right in order to get into government that they were not what they seemed. It has always seemed odd to me that often the parties of the right, in spite of their conservatism, have embodied more of a hedonistic spirit than those of the left. Of course this is down to certain individuals and was initially visible during the English Civil War, and then the French Revolution. That isn't to say that those on the left were not as susceptible but they were often constrained by civic duty and responsibility. This changed during my lifetime with they advent of punk which, although not quite the revolution it may have seemed at the time, changed artistry forever and spawned endless, interesting reproductions of itself in all creative facets.

But I digress. The creativity and the spontaneity in house, techno and all it's cousins is still there and will continue to self-replicate, but the forces of advertising and compartmentalisation are strong and will stop at nothing to render it bland. As mentioned before, I don't want to return to the past and sift through the dance music media only to find worthless articles on pill consumption and hypercool "largin' it" sessions. Having said that, I'm bored of seeing shit press shots of boring looking smug twats who do all their shopping at Top Shop or some other equally anodyne outlet and treat their occupation as a lifestyle choice rather than the privileged position it is. I don't really care for the excuse that it's bad for publicity to harbour a hedonistic lifestyle either. As far as I'm concerned, George Michael is currently worth more than every so-called "character" involved in house and techno put together. Crashing his car completely twitted into a local branch of Happy Snaps has raised the bar for everybody and I don't see it being bettered anytime soon.

Oh, and Gray and Keys are a pair of twats. End of . . .

Monday, January 24, 2011

That Hercules & Love Affair Video . . .Again!

Check this from a couple of weeks ago . . .(after the Theo Parrish comments).

And then this. (You'll need to register in order to view).

It seems like I'm not the only one.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January Chart

This should help keep things ticking over. The usual disorderly mix of albums and singles . . .

Vertigo - Aybee/Sun Of Cycle (Further)

Vesuvio Tremors - Mike Parker (Geophone)

Iftodex C0001/Probe 5 - Roswell Return (SD)

Feed Forward - Sandwell District (Sandwell District)

Flying Objects - STL (Something)

Series ll Revisited - Octave One Remixed By Sandwell District & Aril Brikha (430 West)

Post-Traumatic Son The Ben Klock Mixes - O/V/R (Blueprint)

We Are Beachcoma EP - Beachcoma (Beachcoma)

Love Evolution - Jay Haze (Contexterrior)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Why Theo Parrish Is Wrong

Here's an interesting postscript to the Theo Parrish interview I linked to a couple of days ago, courtesy of Digital DJ Tips.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mark Henning Interview For Ibiza Voice

Here's a link to an interview I recently did with Mark Henning for Ibiza Voice. Here's another to a mix that has recently been posted, although I believe it was recorded earlier in the year - 2010 that is. Check this as well, it's fresh off the laptop for French mag Tsugi.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Bother?

We're only into the second week of January 2011 and already another well-respected music figure has chosen to make a knob of himself by sounding off unnecessarily. Well-known vinyl purist and absolutely peerless DJ Theo Parrish just had to reopen that hoary old chestnut, the vinyl vs digital debate. I'm lucky enough to have seen Theo on a couple of occasions, once in support of Moodymann during KDJ's first appearance in London, along with Rick Wilhite, and once at Luke Solomon and Kenny Hawkes' Space at Bar Rumba. As you've probably already realised, each time was well before the dawn of the digital DJing age, CDs barely registered actually. Anyway, Theo was far superior to KDJ, who preferred to mix records badly, (yes, I know mixing has never been that important to him anyway, selection being a much more defining role, but he couldn't even sequence things properly and cued atrociously), and at Space he was brilliant.

In any case, Theo's beef seems to be more about lack of musical knowledge than anything else, but surely this is open to debate too. For example, no matter how bad I think Richie Hawtin's sets have become, I know that he is living it and has done for quite some time now. He may not be as relevant to me as he once was, but he's probably the most innovative DJ on the planet solely because of his willingness to use new technology and to be the first to document it: 'Decks, EFX & 909', 'DE9 l Closer To The Edit' & 'DE9 Transitions' are ample evidence of this and there's almost certainly another on the way.

I agree with almost all of what Theo Parrish says. You've really got to live the music in order to make and perform it. Selection is more important than beatmatching and when running a label, what separates you from corporate output is the fact that being independent means much more quality control and a a willingness to take more risks. I came across this on the RA feed earlier, and was drawn to it only because I thought Theo had said ". . .a vinyl DJ who knows his crate will bum a laptop DJ every time." That's a bit strange I thought, Theo's not gay. Then I listened to the interview, and of course he said "burn"not "bum."The typeface on RA is obviously too subtle for my eyes. He's a very earnest and erudite man is Theo, but he's wrong and he's reactionary too. It's such a fatuous debate I really wonder why we're having it.

Link to Theo interview here.

While we're on a nostalgia trip, I rather like this video for the new Hercules & Love Affair release 'My House.'It's just like an old episode of
The Hitman & Her, which can't be bad. I remember a particular episode viewed in time-honoured fashion at about 4 on a Sunday morning at Lancaster House on Sussex University campus, high on LSD25, myself and the irishman tumbling into the lounge, which was empty except for a young Michael Ryan lookalike in full fatigues, replica gun and crate of lager. It wasn't the drugs, but they did work.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Podcast Explosion

Here's a few I forgot, and they're all podcasts. A lot has been made on certain blogs about the over-availability of podcasts. Well it's all about supply and demand innit? It's stating the absolute bleeding obvious to say that there are loads of shit ones. By the same token there are also loads of good ones. The previous post listed some of those that have appeared recently. Here are a few I forgot.

Responsible for arguably the podcast I listened to most during the latter third of 2010, 2011 finds Lee Foss once again on cracking form. This is a podcast he produced for Newcastle night Jaunt, to coincide with a night he played there in December. It's as good as the Ibiza Voice one that saw the light of day in August, which is saying something. (The inclusion of Dopplereffekt's 'Sterilisation' being a particular high moment). Foss was also responsible for the first of the Hot Natured series of podcasts, a series that is whetting the appetite as I type. You can find that one here.

Here's a link to an interview I did with Lee just over a year ago.

Responsible for, in my humble opinion, the pick of the Promo Mix series so far with his New Beat inspired set, Peter Van Hoesen comes correct once more with this contribution to the excellent, but sadly not that common anymore, (due, no doubt, to the artists in question not wanting to have their mixes released for clandestine or contractual obligations), Bunker NYC series. This is another lengthy session and once more shows PVH in New Beat guise. It's a treat so get on it.

Last, but by no means least, is Tevo Howard and his contribution to the Clubberia series. Howard shows a clean pair of heels to most house pretenders with a wide and varied selection that has more mood swings than an Italian schizophrenic. He was also behind one of my favourite mixes from last year, this effort from the Roof FM series. If you missed it, grabbit now.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Years Honours

Nearly back into the swing of things, so here are a few links to some mixes I've been enjoying over the past few days. The first two featured as RA's "mix of the day" on their feed. Here's one by Italian neo, trance primitive Dino Sabatini. It is actually one of the Prologue podcast series and is a good introduction to the sound that the label has been peddling for the past year or two. It shows how interesting dub techno has the potential to be if it's given are pair of balls and a little bit of energy. I think Samuel Beckett described the protagonists of one of his books as permanently "wading waist-deep through an ocean of mud." That, for me at least, is an image that I associate with the worse of dub techno.

The second is this, (unavailable to download unless you know the capabilities of this site), from Maya Jane Coles. Don't let the fact that it's a Defective podcast put you off. It's a very nice, deep ride from the lady who recently brought us the 'Hummingbird EP' on Hypercolour, and sundry other joints on the Dogmatik label. Very nice indeed.

I came across this Rinse FM podcast the other day, which is a back-to-back session involving Kyle Hall and Floating Points. It's a storming, spontaneous meeting of minds. Rinse FM, if you didn't already know, really is the underground music success story of the British airwaves in recent times. Concentrating mainly on dubstep, UK funky, garage, etc, its site is a mine of must-have sets. Podcasts are churned out on an industrial level and there are plenty to explore. It's the sound of legit UK pirate radio.

Eric Cloutier has been hovering just above the horizon marked "really good DJ that would be better kept secret because going global might spoil him" for quite some time now. A couple of podcasts for Russia's Mixmag.Info recently, as well as a great contribution to the Promo Mix series, in the form of a homage to Berlin's Globus have kept him nicely in the picture during the last few months. Here's his most recent contribution to keeping the podcast flame alive, for Musik Aus Strom, former episodes including contributions from Forward Straegy Group's Patrick Walker and Smear (who is, in fact, Patrick Walker).