dirty martini

old music for new people

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

 

digital reality May 4, 2008

fractals were big in 90s clubland. low budgets meant artists and record labels needed to be creative in order to get their videos on totp. there are countless low budget clips of djs, producers and random girls swaying awkwardly behind a keyboard.

others, notably the progressive house community, opted for computer-generated fractals. clubs picked up on the trend and installed big screens for wide eyed clubbers to fixate on as they danced.

progressive house was a hybrid of house and trance that built incrementally, hence the name. it was especially popular oop north but the south did hold its own with clubs like final frontier at club uk and whoop it up at the velvet rooms and gardening club.

mtv used to show those x-mix videos in full late at night back then and back from my underage drinking sessions, i would sit fixated for hours until my mum yelled at me to turn it off and get to bed.

download here

react 2 rhythm – intoxication – leftfield remix

slam – eterna

dig the new breed – whose no1

cool jack – just come

g.o.d. – inside your mind

gipsy – i trance you

andronicus – make you whole

phuture – rise from your grave

ramirez – hablando

gat decor – passion

leftfield – song of life

last rhythm – last rhythm

underground resistance – jupiter jazz

dj tools – ooh yeah

bedrock – for what you dream of

jaydee – plastic dreams

 

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

 

who knew November 30, 2007

calm.jpg

 it’s a sad time, we’ve lost a good friend and family member. i haven’t felt like posting but normal service will resume this weekend.

in the meantime here are some early 90s chillout tracks as a tribute to a very cool person who kept the spirit of that era alive for me. RIP, we miss you.

download here

air – all i need

future sound of london – papua new guinea

klf – what time is love

leftfield – melt

moby – go

nightmares on wax – les nuits

nitin sawnhey – immigrant

orbital – belfast

sabres of paradise – smokebelch ii

sheer taft – cascades

st etienne – only love can break your heart

sub sub – past

 

trouser enthusiasts August 8, 2007

 

i used to be really into clubbing. when i first moved to london i took the opportunity to abandon the cheesy townie clubs of my hometown. after several years of rectangular bouncers, snakebite and black and guest appearances by aussie soap stars desperately seeking that panto contract, london’s thriving 1994 club scene was an eye opener.

no carpeted walls to be found, these clubs were either impossibly cool in a hacienda, minimalist fashion or impossibly glitzy, like malibu stacey. then there was megatripolis.

as students forever seeking a bargain night out, we would arrive at heaven on a thursday and enter a different planet. megatripolis was not so much a club as an experience. you could use the internet, which was a revelation in 1994.

i have absolutely no idea which dj’s i heard there, it was all you could do to find the dancefloor via the labyrinth of chillout rooms, bars and market stalls. megatripolis was more than a club – there were fortune tellers, poets and the soundtrack was early trance.

early trance was nothing like the genre most people love to hate, gatecrasher-style hands-perpetually-in-the-air trance. it wasn’t too fast, too cheesy or too produced,  it was minimal, rhythmic and experimental. i loved early trance but i remember danny rampling playing a trance set in 1996 at the leisure lounge that killed the vibe and it was all over for me beyond that point. it had become a wall of noise, a characteristic of the music I loathe, such as rock and metal. 

him indoors loves all trance, he doesn’t seem to mind (or realise) that he can’t dance to it cos its too fast, and forgives the cheesy ‘i’m an angel, flying higher’ lyrics and tiresome 80s covers. so I made him this mix to remind him of the good old days sucking on lollipops and buying complicated bongs down under the arches…

proper trancedownload here

slam  – eterna

gipsy – i trance you

leftfield – song of life

gat decor – passion

hardfloor – acperience

rising high collective – fever called love – hardfloor mix

robert armani – circus bells – hardfloor mix

bedrock – for what you dream of

klatsch – god save the queer

mory kante – yeke yeke – hardfloor mix

jaydee- plastic dreams

leftfield – open up

robotman -do da doo

felix – don’t you want me – mars plastic remix

ramirez – hablando

poltergeist – vicious circles

age of love – age of love

jam and spoon – stella

grace – not over yet

man with no name – paint a picture

dance 2 trance – power of american natives

quench – dreams

pete lazonby – sacred cycles

jam and spoon – follow me

art of trance – prana

westbam – wizards of the sonic

pete lazonby – sacred cycles

jens – loops and tings