Friday Night Music Club

Postponed from last week, as this edition is the very antithesis of a recent “indie guitars only” mix – it’s off to Da Club, and I thought some might find it disrespectful had I posted something encouraging you folks to dance on what was supposed to a very sombre weekend.

I ummd and ahhd about whether to include sleeve notes with each track, or simply write about an experience I had during my clubbing days, but I’m nowhere near drunk enough for the latter, so sleeve notes it is. Don’t worry, the story will keep for another day.

So, as this week’s playlist is one where I have to actually mix the tunes, I should probably blow the dust of the old disclaimer: any shonky mixes are down to me (listening back, it actually sounds ok, although one tune clearly ends a lot more abruptly than expected); any skips or jumps are down to the mixing software or the uploading process; all song choices are mine.

Right, get your dancing trousers on. We’re off:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 19

  1. Simian Mobile Disco – Cream Dream

I wanted to start off with a tune which fades in, and what better way than with this tune, with Super Furry Animals main man Gruff Rhys on vocals. Lifted from one of my favourite records of the last – *checks notes* This came out WHEN?? – erm, 13 years, Temporary Pleasures. It’s a must-own album, in my book.

2. Jon Carter – Go Down

First of two appearances this week from the former Mr Sara Cox. I seem to remember this having trouble getting clearance for the vocal sample; listening to it now, whilst I can totally see what he was trying to do with the sample, I’m not sure it completely works. That said, I can personally attest that when it got dropped at around 2am in The Emporium, played by Carter himself, and when it was still a work in progress well…when the breakdown happens and that vocal sample kicks in, I can assure you it sounded magnificent.

3. Happy Mondays – 24 Hour Party People (Jon Carter’s Acid Vocal)

Carter Part 2. This starts off sounding like it’s going to be Leftfield’s Phat Planet until Shaun WIlliam Ryder’s vocals echo out; a mix I will forever associate with Llŷr, for we were once just leaving the dancefloor at The Emporium when that vocal boomed out – and, as you will hear, until that happens there is not one clue as to what the track is going to be (so apologies for the spoiler), for Carter has stripped away the distinctive keyboard stabs from the original and replaced the wonky bassline with a whole load of acid-y squelches, bleeps and boings. We both turned at the same time, eyes and mouths wide in surprised delight, and raced each other back to strut our stuff.

4. Green Velvet – La La Land

Now, it’s no great secret just how Ryder and his band of baggy brothers achieved partying for (at least) 24 hours, and this tune starts off sounding like it’s going down the same route, extolling the virtues of “those little pills” until that killer line “until they kill a million brain cells”. A tune which I shall forever associate with my old mate Dum Dum, for reasons which are probably fairly self-explanatory, but which I’m certainly not going to discuss here.

5. Soulwax – E-Talking

For once, a Soulwax tune which isn’t a Soulwax remix. This is from their truly wonderful Nite Versions album, which contains duffers not one. We’re getting dangerously close to a theme here, what with the “It’s not you, it’s the E talking” refrain. A bona fide banger (as are the next few choons).

6. FC Kahuna – Nothing is Wrong

Speaking of wonderful albums, this is lifted from one which is always criminally overlooked, often forgotten, some might say: 2002’s Machine Says Yes. Lyrically, it answers the question about why people go clubbing: “…to stop myself from bouncing off the walls”. Lovely stuff.

7. Narcotic Thrust – Safe From Harm (K-Klass Remix)

I know no more about and own nothing else by Narcotic Thrust than this; the original mix is ok, but Welsh wizards K-Klass’ remix elevates this one to a position of greatness, giving it a funky-as-fuck bassline you simply can’t help but shake your bits to. Turn it up loud and feel that bassline.

8. Plump DJs – The Funk Hits The Fan

Speaking of wonderful albums (as I was, a few minutes ago, remember?) here’s another which is often forgotten and criminally overlooked: Plump DJs 2003 belter Eargasm. I once had the pleasure of catching these perform live, upstairs in the Attic at The Emporium in Cardiff, a room I was more used to seeing half empty but on this occasion it was absolutey rammed and the crowd were going totally wild for them. Assuming you still have it turned up loud from Narcotic Thrust, I defy you to resist the bassline on this one. Magnetic. (Oh, and as previously stated, apologies for the abrupt ending…but if Peelie could get away with it, so can I…)

9. Fake Blood – Fix Your Accent

Tremendous fun, this one. This was going to be their eardrum shattering Mars, until I listened to this and the intro reminded me of something, so Fix Your Accent got added and Mars got bumped to work, rest and play another day.

10. Spiller – Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)

The start of this tune is what I was reminded of by the start of the last. It’s always nice to bring things to a conclusion with something everyone knows. This, of course, features daughter of a Blue Peter presenter, look what she made earlier, Sophie Ellis- Bexter, who at the time had just left largely unsuccesful indie-wannabe’s theaudience (as they insisted on spelling it) and she was yet to embark on her immensely succesful solo pop career. I’m sure I remember reading an interview with her before Groovejet came out, saying how much she hated dance music, but I’m buggered if I can find it again, or indeed any reference to it, on the t’internet now. Anyway, assuming my recollection is sound (“…until they kill a million brain cells…”), then her beliefs went out the window the moment she got invited to provide the vocals for this #1 smasheroo, and indeed for the rest of her musical career. A place in the Cabinet surely awaits.

11. Ibibio Sound Machine – Something We’ll Remember

Something relatively new! I featured this lot a month or so ago elsewhere on these pages, and since then I’ve grown to love their Electricity album even more. Which, given the involvement of some of Hot Chip is hardly surprising.

12. Mansun – Wide Open Space (Perfecto Mix)

And to round things off – and it’s always nice to bring things to a conclusion with something everyone knows – here’s Paul Oakenfold doing what he does, which is either enhancing an indie favourite and introducing it to a whole new audience, or totally ruining a perfectly good tune by sticking beats and synths all over it, depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting. Me? I’m on the enhancing side. Just.

Anyway, that’s yer lot for this week. Hope you enjoy it.

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

A few weeks ago, I posted a tune by the mighty FC Kahuna which featured chief Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys on guest vocals.

And here he is again, popping up on the opening track from Simian Mobile Disco’s wonderful 2009 album, Temporary Pleasures:

Simian Mobile Disco – Cream Dream

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

For quite some time now, I’ve been pondering what it is that is preventing me from posting with the same regularity as I was last year.

I’ve worked it out.

Regular readers will know that I generally sit on a Friday night, have a few drinks and write posts for the next week. But for a while now, I’ve become preoccupied on doing a new mix.

Warning: artist at work excuse incoming.

See, whilst they seem remarkably unpopular, I really enjoy piecing together a long playlist/mix/call it what you will, and that inevitably means a few drafts which don’t quite, to quote Echo & The Bunnymen, cut the mustard.

So, I’ve been working on this mix for some time now, but somehow something always seemed to prevent me from finishing it, be it me tinkering with the running order, or thinking of new tunes to toss in, or some kind of technical calamity, or (more often) listening to it and realising I’ve utterly messed up a mix and I simply can’t bear to have anyone else listen to it.

I’m not going to pretend all of the mixes between tunes here are perfect – there’s at least one which I know isn’t – but I’ve reached the point where it’s close enough to let it go and move on to something else, before I drive myself mad searching for perfection.

So here’s my latest mix, imperfect though it may be; frustrating as it has been, I really like this one, which starts off in the usual way – slowly – before getting into a groove which includes Kings of Leon from before they went stadium and knew how to use a cowbell, a new(ish) track by The Chemical Brothers, an obligatory Soulwax remix, two of the finest female pop stars going: Miley Cyrus & Dua Lipa (not on the same tune, sadly), the occasional hidden ‘joke’ (by which I mean it seemed funny when I first put the songs together, less so now), via Madonna having a short chat with Johnny Cash.

It’s the usual mix of songs you love, songs you’ve forgotten about, and songs which make you think “What the hell has he put this on here for??”. Some might say eclectic, but I couldn’t possibly comment. Think mainly Indie guitar stuff, with a few dance tunes, 80s pop songs and a couple of timeless classics – at least one of which you probably won’t have heard before – thrown in.

As always, no track-listing – I like to imagine your faces when the next song kicks in – but there’s a list of featured artists on the right hand side in case you want to see what you’re letting yourself in for. Which is a treat, obviously. If you desperately need to know what a track is, either Shazam it or, if you’d like to feed my ego, ask me via the Comments at the bottom of this post.

Usual disclaimer: any skips and jumps are down to the mixing software; any mis-timed mixes (and, as I say, there is at least one) is down to me. Either way: Sorry!

One more thing: you may recall that last time out I mentioned that my brother had said he managed to predict what I was going to play next, which annoyed me greatly. No such criticism of the last mix, although he told me he listened to it whilst out on his morning run, so some of the sudden gear changes weren’t helpful. I’ve tried to rectify that this time, with a relatively steady beat and tempo maintained throughout (after you’ve got past the traditional slow start) for those of you who listen to this whilst doing your exercises (not that I really understand what that means). The danger was that it would denigrate into either a Ministry of Sound pumping dance mix or a Top Gear/Best Driving Songs…in the World…Ever! playlist, but I think the song choices just about keep us on the right side of that happening.

Let’s say it starts slowly, gets into a groove, and then has more false endings than a Status Quo single.

I’m a bit annoyed that since I first decided to include it, at least on song here has popped up in an advert – and you know how I feel about them – for burgers, of all things. Rest assured, the advert in question was not the inspiration for the song’s inclusion. You’ll know it when you hear it, I think.

Oh and there are several songs which feature effing and jeffings – “sexual swear words” as Simon Bates used to say at the start of videos – so please avoid if you are easily offended by unfettered vulgarity and sauciness. Look, there’s a Goldie Lookin’ Chain tune which is probably the rudest and most inappropriate (but funny) thing I’ll ever post, so beware.

For a limited time (until I do another one, so y’know, could be months), you can stream or download it via Soundcloud here.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

Hello, good evening and welcome to what is for us lucky folks in the UK is that rarest and most beautiful of things: a bank holiday weekend.

For those of you outside the UK, that means we have Monday off.

And for what I think is the first time in my working life, I have been astute enough to book today off too, giving me a glorious 4 days off on the trot.

And how will I be spending it, I hear you ask? Predominantly, perched in front of my laptop writing guff for you all to enjoy read, interspersed with the occasional missive to the agency who manage the flat I live in about where they can stick the £150.00 “administration fee” they want to charge me to renew my tenancy agreement.

So before, I get all grizzly about that, let’s get going with a non-themed, just tunes Friday Night Music Club.

But first some admin: inspired by The Robster over at “Is This The Life?” I’m using a different file-sharing service this week. I’ve grown a little tired of people telling me they can’t use the Zippyshare link to songs on their phones, and even more so about the pop-ups that Zippyshare seem to generate, and the content of some of the ads they insert, which I definitely do not approve of, and which I hope none of you have clicked. I’ve road-tested the new one and it seems to be waaaaaay better, but I’d be grateful for your feedback (Cath, Llyr, Kay) as to whether it’s an improvement or not.

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262. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love

When I was in my final year at college, I would often spend a Friday night round at my mate Daints’ flat. Daints was the singer in the band that I attempted to play lead guitar in, and I would often seek sanctuary round at his. Occasionally we would rehearse or, heaven forbid, write a song; more often we would sink a few beers, smoke a few fags (USA folks: that doesn’t mean what you think), play a little Tetris (this does nothing to negate any nerd thoughts you may have had about me, does it?) and indulge in what today is annoyingly termed “banter” but back then was just some mates having a laugh.

On one such occasion, Daints was ribbing (again, not what you USA folks might think) one of his flat-mates (a nice enough girl called Paula, who my friends and I all referred to, rather unkindly I can see with the benefit of hindsight, as “Baked Potato” because of her resemblance to one) about her love of The Cure, by pointing out that there out-put at the time (i.e. when this came out) was nothing more than “chart music”. He spat the phrase out with such distaste that she had no chance of recovery.

Still, it’s perfect Friday Night fodder, and let’s be honest, whilst I have no clue about what bothers the charts these days, there’s nothing wrong with our favourite bands being successful, right? Hence it’s inclusion here.

Next, an oft-overlooked single from what I think is one of the greatest debut albums in recent history:

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263. Franz Ferdinand – Michael

Now, the closest you will get to a theme this week, and a man who apparently had no “G” on his keyboard :

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264. Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

Let’s just examine some of the lyrics for a second:

“You’re A Vegetable (You’re A Vegetable)
Still They Hate You (You’re A Vegetable)
You’re Just A Buffet (You’re A Vegetable)
They Eat Off Of You (You’re A Vegetable)”

Erm, okay Michael.

Who knew he had so much in common with Thatcher?

Or the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for that matter (Let’s not go there – Legal Ed.)

Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa indeed.

Ok, moving on to my favourite type of record to play when DJ’ing.: long ones.

The benefit of dropping long record are threefold:

  1. You don’t have to think about what to play next for a while;
  2. You can dash off to the toilet and get back in plenty of time for the next tune;
  3. Generally, people don’t like to walk off the dancefloor mid-record, as it makes it look like they didn’t know what they were dancing to in the first place. Long records test their endurance in a way that Bear Grylls can only dream of, allowing you chuckle about  those who start dancing and who then feel compelled/become determined to see it out to the end of the song, however knackered they may look 3/4 of the way through.

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265. Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up

That’s just shy of 12 minutes worth of funky grooviness right there, and if you can’t make it to the Gents and back in that time, then I’d suggest you contact your GP.

Next up, a song you will all know, but a remix of it that I first came across when I picked it up on a compilation CD in a Virgin megastore sale, and which has such a fantastically 80s bass-line it almost makes me want to be the next Mrs John Taylor:

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266. Duran Duran – Girls on Film (Salt Tank Remix)

And for all you lonely people (by which  here’s the original video, directed by 10cc’s Godley and Crème and banned by the BBC for what will become fairly obvious reasons if you watch it (by which I mean Dad, do not watch this when Mum’s around):

Moving swiftly on….and following on from my recent Kate Bush posts, here’s a remix of a 1992 tune by Utah Saints, which samples La Madame Bush, this version released in 2008:

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267. Utah Saints – Something Good 08 (Van She Tec Mix)

…and which had a simply splendid video to accompany it:

Terrible gag at the end, mind, but as a former Cardiffian, I can’t help but love it.

Next up, a tune that simply sounds good played next to that one:

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268. Simian Mobie Disco – Audacity of Huge

I first came across the next record when I was DJ’ing at college; originally called “Pro>Gen”, it got it’s first release when the band’s sort-of original line-up was still intact, by which I mean before Will Sinn had tragically drowned off the coast of Tenerife.

Truth be told, it did little to bother the charts on it’s first release, but post-Sinn, in that way that records tend to do when someone involved with creating them dies, like the general public rubber-necking a car crash, it was much more successful when it got re-released as “Move Any Mountain”.

Here’s the original:

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269. The Shamen – Pro>Gen

I worked with The Shamen once. *CLANG* Name-dropping alert!!

We booked them on the Synergy Tour when I was at college and one of my many duties was to ensure their rider demands were met. On this occasion, one of them was that all of the performers were provided with a hot meal.

No problem, I thought: they can have something from the college refectory, same as every other band that had come through our doors. If it’s good enough for the Manic Street Preachers, The Blue Aeroplanes and Carter USM (CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!), it’s good enough for this lot, reasoned I.

So, they were provided with menus of the day’s delicious offerings, from which they all ordered, and I dispatched a couple of members of my team to go and collect their chosen sustenance.

Mr C. was, I recall, not happy about the standard of the slop that he was given, ranting off about how he hadn’t eaten properly for days and how he couldn’t eat what he had been given.

I stood up and looked him in the eye.

“We have to eat this shit every fucking day, mate” I said.

Mr C sat down again.

I still love his rap in this though.

After the gig, I ventured into the dressing room. Now I’m not saying that they weren’t all diabetics, but there were an awful lot of syringes laying around in there.

I once played “Pro>Gen” at a house party, and the now ex-girlfriend of one of my best mates started singing “E’s are Good” when it got to the chorus, not in any ironic “they all sound the same” kinda way, but in a genuine “that’s what this record is, right?” kinda way.

Lucky escape, mate.

At the same house party (shout out to the Hilldrop Massive!!), I played this, and a man I’d never met before, or since, practically exploded with excitement, came and hugged me, and then would not shut up about the fact I’d played it for the rest of the night. So, in his honour:

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270. Double Trouble & Rebel MC – Street Tuff (Scar Radio Mix)

Two more songs for tonight. Firstly, the song which they invariably use to mark the end of one of their gigs; this is essentially the sound of The Charlatans flicking the lights on and off, stacking chairs and starting to mop the floor around you:

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271. The Charlatans – Sproston Green (US Version)

But it’s not our end of night tune. That honour goes to another act that needs no introduction, and which, if you timed listening/reading to all of this just right, will be pretty much perfect:

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272. The Chemical Brothers – Midnight Madness

The video is rather fun/disturbing (delete as applicable):

That should do you for this week.

More soon.