dirty martini

old music for new people

barefoot in the head September 17, 2008

 

it’s getting towards the end of the decade again…yikes.

i can remember this feeling ten years ago. that ‘shit, was that the 90s?’ feeling. even though i started the 90s as a child, it seemed like it went too fast. i’m not looking forward to all those shows and compilations to start appearing, showcasing the 00s.

anyway, to combat this feeling that time is running away with us, rewind to the early 90s. pretend it was all a dream, like bobby in dallas. and if you’re old enough to know what the hell i’m talking about there, you will be shitting yourself at the thought of the end of another decade too.

check out previous ibiza and chillout posts:

when it was all just fields retro chillout: think playing fields, those flea dart things, ice cream vans…

ibiza: a post about chilling a look back at what the 90s could have been ..crystals, sunsets and new age music

balearic classics

audio deluxe – 60 seconds

a man called adam – barefoot in the head

bbg – snappiness

beloved – the sun rising

blow monkeys – la passionara

the grid – flotation

klf – what time is love

sheer taft – cascades

simple minds – theme for great cities

st etienne – only love can break your heart

sub sub – past

talk talk – life’s what you make it

 

la isla bonita June 23, 2008

sometime a girl just needs her cat, a cocktail and an island, right?

download here

mo’horizons – dance naked under palmtrees

3rd core – mindless and broken

kid coconutz – needed moonlight

towa tei -senor coconut

art of noise – island

red snapper – lobster

talvin singh- traveller

sisterlove – the hypnotist

art of noise – majorca

lovers lane – island memories

beloved – sweet harmony

solid gold easy amex – enjoy

bentley rhythm ace – bentley’s gonna sort you out

bbg – snappiness

blow monkeys – la passionara

ultramarine – saratoga

sheer taft – atlantis

future sound of london – papua new guinea

 

 

original musiquarium May 29, 2008

i’m an aquarius so perhaps its only natural that i’m drawn to anything watery and aquatic. when i was little, my ambition was to be a mermaid. i thought that was an achievable occupation.

i made this mix in anticipation of hot summer afternoons when i’d need cooling sounds to chill out to. i’m not going to start going on about the damn weather again…oh no…screw it, i am.

looking out of the window today i’m having serious deja vu. last summer it rained a lot. and i moaned about it a lot. seriously, a lot.

weather is a big thing for us brits

download here

audio lotion – jacuzzi jazz

fous de la mer – stars and fishes

morcheeba – the sea

fc kahuna – hayling

groove armada – at the river

aphex twin – on

energy 52 – cafe del mar

ott – shower of sparks

three drives – greece 2000

ultramarine – stella

sheer taft – cascades

black mighty orchestra – ocean beach

the grid – flotation

mental generation – cafe del mar

massive attack –  weather storm

leftfield – melt

 

ibiza: a post about chilling December 23, 2007

ibiza-sunset.jpg

at the turn of the 80s, there was a largely forgotten exercise in building a more caring and sharing society. new age arrived with ethereal, mystic promise, based on spirituality rather than actions. this wasn’t a rehash of 60s free love by modern day hippies. 

for many this was a stark contrast to to the overriding ethos of the 80s – you can believe in what you can see in front of you. those who disagreed with that mercenary philosophy had sought refuge away from the capitalism and excess and discovered likeminded souls by seeking out the new and the strange. 

this didn’t just mean jetting off to ibiza, or turning up to shoom and warehouse raves as a means of differentiating from mainstream society. this wasn’t a friday and saturday night revolution. some pranksters – revealed to be the klf  -got up in the early hours each day to carve crop circles into fields, leading bemused and excitable farmers to proclaim that the aliens were coming. those who have no recollection can’t imagine how alien ‘1990’ sounded at the time, when it had seemed like the 80s would never end. i remember seeing decimated fields on the news and inwardly laughing at how the adult nation were taken in by this joke. it was harmless fun, a subtle yet memorable message that things needed to change before we descended into weirdness.

the new decade was an opportunity to sweep everyone else up in this movement. i once heard a tv commentator on one of those nostalgia shows, i love 1989, probably, make the insightful statement that the 90s actually started in the summer of 1989 when soul ii soul hit number one. there was no such landmark a decade later, the new millenium was just an excuse for inflated club entry fees. capitalism had returned in 1995.

if peace and love had lasted, i’d have called that summer of 1989 the true turn of the millenium. as it went, it was the start of five years of freedom, soundtracked by emerging house, techno and drum and bass sounds. don’t be fooled into thinking that cream, ministry of sound and renaissance played any part in this – as much fun as they were, i now realise they eventually killed the scene and brought us back to where we are today. there’s nothing new age about paying £30 to get into a club in ibiza – we already live in the UK, things are supposed to be cheaper abroad that’s half the point of going on holiday.

the new age movement grabbed me – well, i liked crystals. at one point in 1990, absolutely everyone wore white jeans, trainers and a lilac tshirt, the new age uniform. we failed to grasp the fact that our levis, reebok classics and topshop tshirt were in direct contradiction to the movement we thought we were representing. like most fads, new ageism became something you could pick up and appropriate without a speck of understanding as to its roots and philosophy, as long as you liked the music.

still, those older and wiser are lucky enough to have experienced the scene for what it should have been before the superclubs took over. they sat outside the cafe del mar before the sunset ritual became a patented experience. they danced in clubs where dj’s played music and were rewarded with genuine appreciation – not a £3000 booking fee. i visited ibiza in 1994, when the tide was turning. it was underground, but the marketability of the island was slowly being realised. when i returned two years later, it was fun but inauthentic.

all the choice we have now started in 1990, but then it was genuine choice, rather than marketing making the decision for you. it was like a trial – many of the the things we did then you can get arrested for now.  bubbling resentment hadn’t boiled over into terrorism – new age ethics reasoned that 80s consumerism and power was naive and should be allowed to correct itself, not be punished.

1990 was an exciting and emotional time. it wasn’t just the music and the philosophy. there was the world cup. anyone who can sit through nessun dorma without at least the urge to cry is, well, under 25. 

most chillout tracks for me sound like they were recorded in the early 90s. those produced later tried to emulate the sounds and mood and many did so successfully, which is why they’re in the mix. to manage any expectation, i am not a dj. this is a long, inexpertly mixed set that is a blatant attempt to squeeze as many tracks as possible onto my mp3 player, but it sorts me out when i’m drunk or hungover, stressed, can’t sleep or feel like floating away in the sun (rain).

back then we knew we were on the verge of something exciting, and we were, it just didn’t last that long or turn out the way we thought it might. i miss those days, i doubt 14 year olds now feel the way i did then.

check out my posts on the 1994 and 1996 ibiza club scenes.

90s chillout mixdownload here

leftfield – melt

sisterlove – the hypnotist

ibizarre – lazy living

nightmares on wax – les nuits

sofa surfers – sofa rockers

st etienne – only love can break your heart – andrew weatherall mix

the grid – floatation – subsonic grid mix

innocence – natural thing

bentley rhythm ace – bentley’s gonna sort you out

sheer taft- cascades – hypnotone mix

the orb – little fluffy clouds

sun electric – sundance

the beloved – the sun rising – gentle night

aphex twin – xtal

sub sub – past

orbital – belfast

klf – what time is love – original mix

fsol – papua new guinea

altern8 – self hypnosis

moby – slight return

lemon interupt – dirty

sabres of paradise – smokebelch ii – beatless mix

bbe – seven days and one week – sindaar mix

energy 52 – cafe del mar – michael woods mix

moby – go – jam and spoon mix

groove armada – at the river

fc kahuna – hayling

808 state – pacific 202

bbg – snappiness

 

the sound of summer August 25, 2007

late-beer.jpg 

ok, i’m getting this one in quick. its bank holiday weekend and i’m reliably infomed that this weekend is going to resemble summer. as reliable as uk forecasters get anyway, what’s this 90% chance of rain business? they can never be wrong!

so this weekend, make the most of it and secretly thank god that your failed diet summer 2007 can be put on the backburner until the new year. i’ve actually learned to cope with rain better than i used to so that’s something good to come out of the monsoon.

and if the weather fails us again? girls – that boots brand airbrush fake tan, the one thats been half price, is quite good and much cheaper than the l’oreal version. it just smells a bit like a candle burning out, but not entirely unpleasant…

songs we haven’t had much need for this yeardownload here

jazzy jeff and the fresh prince – summertime

i used to know all the words to this. ok, i still do. this version is a remix that i don’t remember. it may be new or old but its by yam who.

dove shack – summertime in the lbc

g funk classic. no idea who they are.

isley brothers – summer breeze

one of my mum’s favourite songs by one of the greatest soul bands ever.

10cc -dreadlock holiday

‘i don’t like cricket. i love it.’ eh? sounds like a compliment from simon cowell.

another level – summertime

from the boys’ second album. their last single, if i remember correctly.

belinda carlisle – summer rain

the musical embodiment of the word ‘humid’.

bob marley – sun is shining

the original version, not the ibiza remix.

deeelite – picnic in the summertime

who can resist lady miss kier and co? from their 1995 album dewdrops in the garden.

stevie wonder – summer soft

one of many stevie wonder songs dealing with summer and sunshine.

lighthouse family – ocean drive

south beach is summer.

friends of distinction – grazing in the grass

have barely walked on grass this year let alone sat on it!

chic – a warm summer night

disco queens chic actually made some mellower tracks too, like this one.

 

peace love and the daisy age August 20, 2007

daisy.jpg

i’ve spoken about this before. unbelievable as it may sound now, seventeen years ago people were on a mission to be nicer to each other and connect more. sound alien? well that’s because it didn’t quite work out.

after the summer of love (1988), when people took lots of drugs and decided that everyone wasn’t so bad after all. we bought into the idea of a caring, sharing nineties. we all rushed out and bought a crystal – well, i wasn’t allowed one so I sulked. clearly i had this new age thing on lock….

the fashion…hmm. well i’m getting to that sorry age where certain fashions have started to come back to haunt me. leggings, pixie boots, batwing jumpers and jelly shoes all formed part of my childhood. i can always say that i didn’t exactly choose to wear them the first time round, since no one but my mum was there to witness umpteen tantrums over not being allowed a puffball skirt. i don’t envisage needing to explain away the fact that i chose to wear paisley shirts, pasties and global hypercolour t-shirts in 1990. they ain’t coming back, there will be no second round.

so suddenly, after 80s excess, came social conscience. other good buzzwords for 1990 – unity, collective, family. the soul music of 1990 was so far away from the flash and swagger of today’s r&b its actually surprising its not more than 17 years. the daisy age was really a de la soul movement, but their influence and the new age influence of the time filtered through everything and sat alongside rave, new jack swing and indie.

twelve huggy classicsdownload here

bassomatic – fascinating rhythm

is it rave? is it soul? is it house? i miss music of indeterminate genre such as this. it was good, you liked it, you danced to it – it didn’t matter.

beats international – won’t talk about it

much was made of the fact that vocalist lindy layton was once in grange hill. now, every british celebrity has been in grange hill or eastenders, usually both, then they either make it big or end up in the bill.

chimes – still haven’t found what i’m looking for

this is a rare example of the cover version being so much better than the original. plodding guitar dirge from pious irish rockers or tinkly, shifting grooves from cool acid jazz band? no contest.

de la soul – the magic number

sesame street inspired rap from the original hip hop hippies. as cute and colourful as the boys themselves.

dream warriors – my definition of a boombastic jazz style

jazz hiphop. what a fantastic concept. it sounds as fresh and as alien now as it did back then.

family stand – ghetto heaven

unique, moody soul. about a hooker, no less. i can’t track down any of their other material but if memory serves it was nothing like this track.

innocence – a matter of fact

great soul group that sat between r&b and ambient. the aural equivalent of sitting in a spring garden surrounded by dewy flowers.

jt and the big family – moments in soul

sampled art of noise’s ‘moments in love’ to great effect. another one of indeterminate genre.

movement 98 – joy and heartbreak

chillout soul at its best, but another casualty of the 90s trend for faceless one hit wonders.

neneh cherry – kisses on the wind

immensely likeable in a jordin sparks kind of way, but a lot more street. neneh was the first woman to go on tv and perform whilst heavily, and therefore obviously, pregnant.

seal  – crazy

probably the most commerical of the conscious soul contingent, but success was a sitting duck after ‘killer’ with adamski.

soul ii soul – back to life

i post this track in its 12 inch glory for my friend who dragged me round countless record stores looking for it, just after it became unavailable.

 

in the air tonight June 6, 2007

khi_night.jpg 

if you’re in the mood, or trying to attract someone’s attention, you might text the name of your loved one to one of the numerous music channels and get a request played. but they need to be aware that you’re doing so or they’ll be watching one of a hundred other channels – which misses the point, and the element of surprise. this was one of the good things about local radio.local radio djs were smooth. they played soothing sounds that you wouldn’t normally hear on daytime radio. they didn’t try to be cool – if it was popular, they played it.people do still listen to the radio, and its a lot less tricky in these days of dab stations, which have removed the need to stand in front of the radio holding the aerial up at funny angles to get a decent reception.

twenty years ago, if you sent out a similar request on a late night radio show, you could be reasonably certain that either the intended recipient or at least one of their friends, would hear it. the song we chose for our dedication was most likely sophisticated beyond our years. even though we did have younger artists in the 80s, like five star, new edition, debbie gibson and countless others, most soul music was adult. we were listening to artists singing about relationships, emotions and situations we couldn’t possibly understand.

so, as a result, instead of the obsession with youth that appears to start as early as age ten nowadays,we actually wanted to be older. thirty, to be precise. thirtysomethings were glamorous and the had the kind of lifestyle I looked up to. they went to clubs, restaurants, had exotic holidays, exciting friends and dramatic relationships. john hughes movies aside, most popular 80s tv shows and movies, bar those specifically produced for kids, focused on older characters, not those that still lived with their parents.so ironically, I wanted to be the age I am now, twenty years ago, and now that I am, I’m made to feel like I should want to be younger. but i don’t – the thought of being someone who didn’t grow up in the 80s and experience real life terrifies me much more than getting older.

late night dedicationsdownload here 

alexander o’neal – if you were here tonight
his first solo single, and classic.

anita baker – caught up in the rapture
apparently inspired mary j blige to become a singer.
controllers – stay
typical 80s slow jam.

eugene wilde – gotta get you home
later sampled/covered by foxy brown and blackstreet.

force md’s – tender love
later covered by cockney soul boy kenny thomas.

freddie jackson – rock me tonight
what happened to freddie?

gap band – yearning for your love
one of those songs you’ve heard before…but didn’t realise.

george benson – in your eyes
from smooth jazz to weepy ballad.

gregory abbott – shake you down
very popular last dance at many an 80s club.

isley brothers – choosey lover
this was later covered by aaliyah.

janet jackson – let’s wait a while
slightly different version from control the remixes – more tinkly.

kool and the gang – cherish
anyone from the uk remember anton singing this on popstars the rivals?

luther vandross – so amazing
vintage luther. tribute version by beyonce and stevie wonder.

melisa morgan – do me baby
prince cover, actually think i prefer this version.

midnight star – slow jam
one of the first 80s slow jams – covered later by usher and monica.