dirty martini

old music for new people

life on mars July 11, 2008

i’ve never really been a fan of space. not keen on red dwarf, and the closest i ever came to star wars or star trek was being forced to play princess leia during countless ‘wet playtimes’ at infant school. if they let us outside i would head straight for the fence…anyway, i have no idea which one princess leia originates from and i don’t care.

i liked pigs in space though.  and button moon rocked ‘home lunchtimes’ once a week, with its blatant product placement for heinz and fairy liquid. you would have thought they could have stumped up a couple of quid in return. that would have boosted the budget to about £7.50 per series.

jay kay, by contrast, clearly had a space fetish as a child.

download here

bill – space lady

earth wind and fire – jupiter

houseband – hey what planet is this

jamiroquai – emergency on planet earth

jamiroquai – cosmic girl

jamiroquai – space cowboy

kelis – shooting stars

maxwell – gravity

midnight star – body snatchers

rah band – clouds across the moon

sheila and b devotion – spacer

stevie wonder – rocket love

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garage city: masters at work June 25, 2008

by 1993 it was clear that us heavyweights david morales and masters at work would define the 90s garage scene. david went for the house crowd with vocal club bangers and the big money remixes. masters at work retained their latin flavour and took on leftfielders like jamiroquai and brand new heavies.

i made my first trip to the ministry of sound that year and was almost perplexed by the alcohol free bar and bizarre location. a million miles from the clubs up and down the country who were rocking the hell out of ‘oh carolina’ and ‘mr vain’ and peddling test tube cocktails.

how different my 17th birthday could have been if I had lived in London and able to frequent the ministry more often…instead of technicolour vomit and fat djs I could have been shaking it to a legend.

download 1993 mix

bizarre inc – took my love

hardrive – deep inside

sound of one – as i am – fire island mix

jamiroquai – emergency on planet earth – danny tengalia remix

shara nelson – down that road – def classic mix

mariah carey – dreamlover – def club mix

dajae – u got me up – danny tenaglia mix

ten city – fantasy – masters at work mix

janet jackson – if – brothers in rhythm mix

joe roberts – lover – k-klass klub mix

judy cheeks – so in love – west end in love club mix

martha wash – give it to you – maurice’s underground playground mix

aftershock – slave to the vibe – club mix

black sheep – strobelight honey – def mix

house of virginism – i’ll be there for you – stone’s club mix

masters at work – i can’t get no sleep – her fantasy mix

reese project – so deep – k.o.k club mix

incognito – givin’ it up – uplifting club mix

garage city 1992

garage city 1991

 

100% acid jazz July 14, 2007

jazz-bar.jpg

in contrast to the frenetic house, techno, new jack swing and jungle scenes of the early 90s, genres that mirrored these scenes but with a slowed down tempo started to arise. ambient and balearic became the comedown music of choice for tired clubbers, and jazz jungle emerged for those too knackered, or rhythmically challenged, for drum and bass.

acid jazz may have been a backlash against the studio produced sounds of the time, or just a natural regression back to a more organic era. i don’t think, for the first few years, i really thought about it that much or recognised acid jazz as any different. one of the first really big tracks, ‘always there’ by incognito, was remixed into a us garage anthem anyway, as were many brand new heavies tracks. acid jazz probably blended more effortlessly with the house and garage crowds than the more obvious affiliate of new jack swing.

acid jazz, thanks to its socially conscious and intelligent lyrical content, was a saving grace for me at university when looked down upon by miserable indie kids and oh so alternative rockers alike. they felt able to decimate house and garage music for its lack of lyrical content, jungle for its london-centric, chavtastic appeal and well, they just dismissed r&b entirely. stating a preference for acid jazz usually left them speechless and for that i was grateful. i’ve never understood quite why fans of such insipid and regressive music feel they have superior taste but i never miss an opportunity to put them in their place.

it’s so true that you will never see your first year uni friends ever again. and that you really need music in common in order to suddenly become flatmates with a bunch of strangers. on my first night at university i sat in my room in the grubby halls of residence and wondered how on earth i was going to cope. to my left, a mature student was blaring out eric clapton, across the hall, elton john.  i wandered downstairs and found a group of greasy helmet heads swaying to suede. after an uncomfortable night in the local pub in which we discovered none of us had anything in common, we awoke the next day to the sound of a latecomer unpacking her belongings to the dulcet tones of michael bolton. she played him every sunday morning until someone broke into her room and stamped on the cassette.

once the caring sharing and huggy early nineties had given way to laddism and ibiza, acid jazz faded. soon it was viewed as too worthy and retro to compete with the futuristic beats and sculpted r&b unleashed by timbaland, the neptunes and roc-a-fella.

the live instrumentation in amerie and beyonce’s work are a nod to the principles of acid jazz and should we ever return to the crystal wearing, cleansing new age era then perhaps it will resurface. well, we’ve revived everything else. in fact the 90s revival is well overdue – i seem to remember spending my 21st birthday at an 80s night in 1997. 

90s jazz funk classics – download here

brand new heavies – close to you

carleen anderson – mama said

clusterfunk – do me right

corduroy – mini

d’influence – midnight

diana brown – masterplan

incognito – don’t you worry ’bout a thing

jamiroquai – blow my mind

leena conquest – boundaries

liquid soul – i want you to want me

repercussions – promise me nothing

young disciples – apparently nothing

 

chilling in the summer rain July 4, 2007

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update: clearly it is going to rain every summer until the end of time now so I’ve posted a new aquatic chillout mix and we should all just get used to being underwater…

so…apparently the UK will only get one day of actual summer this year, not counting those early teasers in april and may. july 15, thankfully a sunday. summer 2007 is officially a washout and anyone too busy, broke or nervous to fly to sunnier destinations has a choice. either moan and get wet, or remember the sweaty, suffocating heat of last year and breath a sigh of relief.

but bad weather, reignited fears of terrorism and the spiralling cost of living in the UK is stressful. everyone i meet seems stressed, in some way or another. every night i listen to the chillout playlist on my creative zen and find it soothing, so i thought i’d post up some of my favourites as a departure from my usual retro offerings, to mark my arrival here on wordpress. blogger was just an absolute arse to use, in terms of formatting.

maybe the media hysteria surrounding our predicted lack of summer will prove unfounded and by this time next week i’ll be posting sunny anthems for beach-bound brits?

ten sounds that epitomise our lack of summerdownload here

aaliyah – those were the days

days when the temperature crept above 20c, that is.

janet jackson – making love in the rain

obviously.

mariah carey – underneath the stars

unusually understated vocals from mad ms carey. worth going out and lying on the wet grass to listen to this one.

sounds of blackness – optimistic

this really reminds me of the hot summer of 1992. well, you never know, it wouldn’t be the first time forecasters got it wrong. i think i’m wishful playlisting now…

amerie – just what i needed to see

apparently this was a bonus track from her debut? amerie, like kelis, is not appreciated in her native US as much as in europe.

rotary connection – i am the black gold of the sun

a song about the sun but to me the instrumental sounds like rain.

swv – can’t cope

this unreleased swv track sounds to me like something written on a humid, sweaty summer night just before a thunderstorm. not sure why.

destiny’s child – now that she’s gone

melancholy, whooshing production and soothing harmonies. perfect.

sos band – weekend girl

summery 80s soul that sounds all whooshy, watery and tinkly…yep, kind of like all this damn rain.

donny hathaway – someday we’ll all be free

when all else fails…donny’s your man. i’d sit in a torrential downpour all day to hear that voice.

bonus: jamiroquai – seven days in sunny june

…and little did we know that would be our lot.