dirty martini

old music for new people

loving the alien August 4, 2008

in the same way that i had trouble waiting for the sex and the city movie, i’m impatiently awaiting the second series of ashes to ashes. january 2009, i’m assuming…..aaaaargh!

now, opinion is divided on whether there should be a 90s version. i’m going to weigh in on that particular debate – HELL YES. gene hunt grappling with loved up cheesy quavers on the early 90s rave scene? genius. if it has to be named after a david bowie song…loving the alien? i have never heard it by the way, i just had a look at a list of his singles.

the railway arms is a great place to discuss all things mars and ashes related. if i’m feeling brave i might post the following theory about a2a series 2…

alex didn’t return to 1981 to save her parents, she returned to find her brother/sister who was the child of caroline price and evan. or even gene, there was definitely some tension there…her brother/sister , will be grown up, but stuck in the past, like she is.

the reason it is so important, aside from the fact that she has a sibling she was unaware of as she grew up – the sibling was responsible for the death of molly’s father, in 1995. if alex can change his/her fate then she can save him.

there.

and here’s a soundtrack for that third series, set in 1990…

download here

adventures of stevie v – dirty cash

bassomatic- fascinating rhythm

deee-lite – power of love

electronic – getting away with it

en vogue – you don’t have to worry

family stand – ghetto heaven

happy mondays – step on

ll cool j – around the way girl

m&m and rachael wallace – i feel this way

maxi priest – close to you

neneh cherry-  heart

propaganda – heaven give me words

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from disco to disco August 2, 2008

 

there’s something reassuring about all the disco sampling in house music…

download here

carol williams – love is you, sampled on spiller – groovejet

cerrone – look for love, sampled on bob sinclair – i feel for you

chic – soup for one, sampled on modjo – lady

chicago – street player, sampled on bucketheads – the bomb

damaris carbaugh – what about my love, sampled on shapeshifters – lola’s theme

earth wind and fire – boogie wonderland, sampled on stretch and vern – i’m alive

gary’s gang – let’s lovedance tonight, sampled on soulsearcher – can’t get enough

jackie moore – this time baby, sampled on freemasons – love on my mind

musique – keep on jumpin’ – sampled on todd terry – jumpin’

patti brooks – after dark, sampled on inaya day – he’s my music

rare pleasure – let me down easy, sampled on david morales – needin’ you

sister sledge – thinking of you, sampled on eclipse – makes me love you

 

i’ll house you July 18, 2008

i can’t believe house music has been in the charts for 20 years now. in that respect, it has lasted much longer than so many other genres.

when it first arrived in the mainstream, circa 87/88, scenes of loved up club kids dancing in warehouses were completely alien, especially to those of us who weren’t old enough even to have experienced sticky carpet clubs of the 80s and view the contrast.

i love how so much of the music can be played today in any club, and clubbers of all ages seem to know it. a lot of it sounds even better now that it did back in the day. but is that because back then it was a dodgy three minute version on a deep heat tape?

download 80s acid house mix

wee papa girl rappers – heat it up

krush – house arrest

tyree – hip house is the style

black riot – a day in the life

nightwriters – let the music use you

tyree – i fear the night

tyree – turn up the bass

petra and co – just let go

ralphi rosario vs richie rich – you used to salsa

reese and santonio – the sound

deskee – let there be house

bam bam – give it to me

minute men – ok alright

turntable hype – i’ll bass you

landlord –  i like it

voodoo doll – women beat their men

28th street crew – i need a rhythm

jungle brothers – i’ll house you

lnr – work it to the bone

de-lite and oscar child – wild times

 

the two step invasion April 12, 2008

no genre of music has ever divided clubgoers like uk garage. after speed garage, which was basically still 4/4 and just like us garage but faster, 2 step garage emerged. a significant proportion of the first wave of 2 step records were r&b covers or bootlegs.

i seem to remember that after an initial bang in 1997/8, garage went back underground in 1999, bar ‘sweet like chocolate’, before a resurgence of interest later in the year that eventually took it mainstream. i was in london, so it never really went away, but there was little evidence during 1999 that it had a presence beyond the m25.

this was an expensive scene saturated with champagne and designer labels, and many of the clubs such as twice as nice operated an over 25’s door policy. the attitude was reminiscent of the wine bar scene of the late 80s – only now you needed to be cool and have the cash (credit…come on, most of the clubbers were on less than £20k a year, those promoters should be ashamed).

my man did not like uk garage at all. to me, it was the house/r&b hybrid i’d often tried to imagine.

download here

ramsey and fen – lovebug

dhl – favourite girl

lenny fontana – spirit of the sun

n’n’g – right before my eyes

future underground nation – the way

sweet female attitude – flowers

destiny’s child vs jameson – bug a boo

brandy and monica vs architechs – the boy is mine

richie dan – call it fate

tin tin out and emma bunton – what i am

artful dodger and romina johnson – movin’ too fast

dem 2 – destiny

kele le roc- my love

christian falk- make it right

n’n’g and rose windross – liferide

doolally – straight from the heart

 

i love 1981: the last days of disco January 12, 2008

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legend has it that 1981 saw the very last days of disco, as documented in the 1998 film. of course, there is a huge flaw in this statement as costa-bound brits discoed until the late 80s. it was 1977 in spain until about 1991 everywhere else.

one of the very first bars i went to in the early 90s –  a wine bar, no less – played disco and boogie. at the time i thought it was a quirk of soundtrack similar to amusement parks, where law dictates that all music played must be at least 7 years old. it was actually because i was 15 and i wasn’t supposed to be there.

the music was for the older crowd – the disco crowd. the ones who had probably wished they could dance on illuminated dance floors a la saturday night fever but had to settle for that funny 70s slightly glittery flooring they used in shopping centres. but encrusted with disco dirt and littered with fag ends, at their local ritzy.

the last days of disco may be a pretty accurate account of those days, i don’t know. its quite bleak for a disco movie, i suppose no one quite knew what to expect after the excitement of a new decade died down. its not as depressing however, as the reality of the uk in 1981 which was majorly depressing according those who remember. as a five year old i was oblivous to the riots, strikes and nuclear warnings i have since viewed thanks to ‘i love 1981’.

the disco sucks movement, perpetrated by greasy rednecks in lumberjack shirts, finally won in 1981, and disco became boogie…

download here and visit 1980 here

aurra – nasty disposition

the duo started as aurra at the tail end of disco, and passed through the mid 80s jheri soul movement to become deja by the time new jack swing hit.

bb&q band – starlette

better known for their mid 80s tinkly jheri soul efforts.

class action –  weekend

this was reborn as a house anthem later in the decade and remixed in the 90s by todd terry.

coffee – casanova

ravers baby d made their cover version the follow up to the huge ‘let me be your fantasy’. there was a nice jungle remix.

earth wind and fire – lady sun

not as obvious as ‘let’s groove’…

evelyn champagne king – if you want my love

not as obvious as ‘shame’!

inner life – moment of my life

imagine this on the dancefloor at studio 54.

madagascar – rainbow

perfect late disco classic.

patrice rushen – haven’t you heard

patrice might just be the most sampled artist ever.

rose royce- magic touch

proving she, and disco, still had it in 1981.

sharon redd – can you handle it

the line between disco and boogie was thin, at best.

slave – watching you

slave spawned steve arrington, who summed up the mid 80s with ‘feel so real’.

 

ibiza: a post about chilling December 23, 2007

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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

 

under the sea October 27, 2007

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i love anything that sounds watery. as an aquarian, perhaps this is to be expected. my favourite fairytale was always the little mermaid and this is what i used to say i wanted to be when i grew up.

when i was very young, we had actual aquarium photo style wallpaper in our bathroom and i was so upset when my mum redecorated to some beige early 80s monstrosity but lacked the articulation to tell her so at the time.

i can stare at fishtanks all day and when i play ‘kitty goes fishing’ a dvd for cats, that i bought for my little fluffballs, i often end up mesmerised right along with them.

download here

air – sexy boy

like swimming with frogs, and no not because they’re french, i  just hear frog noises in there. so less of a sea on this one, more like a pond. with lily pads.

all saints – pure shores

purpose built wateryness as this was on the soundtrack for ‘the beach’. at the time this track was a huge departure for the girls –  a long way from the met bar and maharishi.

carnival of the animals – aquarium

this used to play as we filed into the hall for assembly at infant school. hearing it takes me right back to that huge wooden floor and the sun beaming in through the windows.

fish go deep – the cure and the cause

this act were aptly named as their track sounds like the theme to a deep sea adventure.

grid – flotation

so much better than their later efforts, especially the ghastly ‘swamp thing’. if only water had become a theme instead rednecks…

maxwell – submerge

like the aural equivalent of a jacuzzi. or, sticking your head underwater in the bath, for those on a budget.

prince – diamonds and pearls

no obvious watery theme here but thats what it sounds like to me. i suspect prince was actually going for ‘twinkly’.

sade – no ordinary love

i seem to remember that sade was a mermaid in this video, so it seems that the director agreed with me that it sounds aquatic.

smoke city – underwater love

obviously.

sos band –  weekend girl

something very tide in, tide out, about this one.

ten sharp – you

this sounds so aquatic to me that i once had a dream in which it was the soundtrack to big crashing waves.