dirty martini

old music for new people

when it was all just fields July 23, 2008

 

 

i used to get really annoyed with my family when they started going on, as old people do, about how they could remember certain sites ‘when it was all just fields’. inevitably, said site would now be inhabited by something i wanted to spend money in and this would be their objection to the expense of modern life.

of course now i’m (just) over 30, i can now relate to the sinking feeling you get when you see something new has been built over part of your childhood. even since i moved to london in 1994, some things have changed. admittedly we’re talking more along the lines of lost clubs, shops and pubs, but that’s progress.

things that aren’t there anymore:

  • the bizarre little backstreets of kings cross, with warehouse clubs bagleys and the cross. i also went to countless house parties in seedy victorian housing blocks with massive communal areas crying out for someone to throw a bash.
  • hyper hyper on kensington high st – loved that shop…i bought purple satin trousers there. in 1995 obviously…
  • southampton zoo – used to go there as a kid. when it closed, people went to marwell, which is obviously better but the llamas are better behaved which is less entertaining.
  • the bits of the docklands that were used to film an exploding building in ‘full metal jacket’. someone took me there once and i was terrified.
  • taco bell – now disappeared from the uk completely. sort it!

download mix here

sabres of paradise – smokebelch ii

d*note – garden of earthly delights

mo’horizons – lovely day inside

lemon interupt – dirty

future loop foundation – 1976

fragile state – buddha beats

mystic diversions – a scent of jasmine

ibizarre – lazy living

caia – remembrance

chilled by nature – naturally chilled

manoa – jumaira drive

the orb – apple tree in my backyard

the orb – little fluffy clouds

royksopp – eple

art of noise – moments in love

ibizarre – smooth temptation

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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

 

songs you turn down on your ipod: annoy people on the bus December 11, 2007

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since i bought an ipod classic i’ve realised its actually quite difficult to piss people off on the tube with your poor taste in muisc. the bloody things aren’t loud enough, all you can hear is the inevitable annoucement of ‘signal failure at arnos grove’.

so, now that the EU have decided to limit our ability to block out the sounds emitted by a rackety tube train hurtling (sometimes) down a tunnel, perhaps the best place to annoy people is the bus. yes, the bus because there you are most likely to annoy old people. old people who ignore the screamingly obvious white earphones and plonk themselves down next to you and start asking questions.

stop taking your earphones out to politely respond to their query as to whether you think the bus service is getting worse. of course it is, that’s a rhetorical question. this is london – you must learn to pay more and expect less. how rude of some technology-dodger to interrupt your commute. ignore them. turn up your ’embarrassing shit i like’ playlist and see what carnage ensues.

i have quite a lot of bad taste…check out my original ipod sins and those i tried unsuccessfully to inflict upon my fellow tube passengers.

download here

10cc – dreadlock holiday

‘i don’t like cricket. i love it!’ nonsensical jukebox favourite.

amy grant – baby baby

amy was a god bothering gospel singer. which no one realised until after they’d bought this bouncy debut single.

boy meets girl – waiting for a star to fall

no song featured on the soundtrack to a film like ‘three men and a little lady’, or anything starring tom selleck, was ever going to be that cool.

debbie gibson – lost in your eyes

hard to believe now, but when britney launched people compared her to squeaky teen debbie. loved the reference to ‘electric youth’ in ugly betty.

elton john and kiki dee – don’t go breaking my heart

your mum likes this. therefore you shouldn’t.

heart – alone

80s hair rock is so not cool. except for this.

heavy d and the boyz – now that we found love

i love this more than the original and actually cheered when this was played at the end of ‘hitch’.

kids from fame – starmaker

way too worthy stage school brats sing about how tough it is when you’re on a scholarship.

pet shop boys – heart

camp and deadpan were revered as musical geniuses in the 80s. it was all a bit too atmospheric for me but i like this one.

rah band – clouds across the moon

spoken word intros are corny as anything. especially when you throw in a pink phone and shocked expression.

roxette – it must have been love

this is the most credible record roxette ever recorded. witness ‘joyride’ and ‘dressed for success’.

vanessa williams – save the best for last

totally lost its credibility after being used in a bisto ad. oh ok it was never cool in the first place…love wilhelmina slater though.

 

more songs to turn down on your ipod: guilty pleasures October 21, 2007

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 do sound isolating earbuds also mask what you’re listening to?

i can barely be bothered to create an illusion of cool whilst i’m sat on the tube at 8am. lets face it, if i was that concerned then i probably would apply my makeup at home. after my last post – songs you turn down on your ipod – i realised that i have quite a lot of bad taste.

if you like something, why wouldn’t you listen to it? i don’t care what some suit with his legs wide open and a paper in my face thinks anyway. so these days i turn up my more embarrassing selections. at the very least someone will get a laugh out of it and god knows there’s not much to smile about if you commute into london.

unless sweat, delays and idiotic tourists with backpacks the size of a small shed are your thing, in which case…this playlist will seem tame by your standards.

download here

abba – that’s me

think ‘dancing queen’ is cheesy? have you heard the rest of ‘arrival’? the campest (best) abba album, dealing with such pressing subjects as kissing your teacher, your boyfriend preferring his violin to you, and being a tiger. and this – about being a bit of an old slapper and not someone to take home to the parents.

barry manilow – copacabana

the first line gives it away. ‘her name was lola. she was a showgirl.’ this camp classic by the hook nosed one actually wasn’t a big hit, but everyone knows it anyway.

betty boo – 24 hours

in 1990, betty was not cheesy and her west london twanged rapping was not ludicrous. i think world cup euphoria must have addled our brains…and this is the most credible track i could find on boomania. ‘doin’ the do’ and ‘where are you baby’ are so bad even i don’t listen to them.

billy ocean – get outta my dreams

if billy had been a poor man’s lionel richie to date, this track didn’t change much.  actual car noises at the start of any track mentioning a car should give you a sorry indication of what’s to follow.

deacon blue – chocolate girl

deacon blue are late 80s scot pop-rock and do not fit in my collection. they now inhabit the MOR scrapheaps of capital and virgin radio. probably. i never listen to either. i might be tempted if i thought this would be played…

gloria estefan – get on your feet

latin numbers are party and party equals cheese. the ‘sort your life out’ lyrics add to the worthiness of the proceedings but somehow this is still an enjoyable listen. or is it just me?

janet jackson and cliff richard – two to the power of love

no that isn’t a typing error and no i’m not pissed. in 1984, janet recorded a duet with the pop dinosaur (even then) that only ever saw the light of day on her ‘dream street’ album. of course, if she was pregnant at the time as claimed, we can put it all down to hormones.

kylie minogue – shocked

preteen girls are fickle and after ‘better the devil you know’, most of kylie’s fanbase had delusions of adulthood that led them to aspire to an appreciation of such musical luminaries as er, color me badd. SAW was over. but you taped this off the radio, just in case.

nick kamen – each time you break my heart

levi’s model nick was a bit too pretty. but pretty boys worked in the late 80s, and his madonna association didn’t hurt much either.

paula abdul – opposites attract

the cartoon cat – mc skat kat for those that care, top cat with a cigar basically  – actually sang better than paula. i looooved this, and ant and dec turning up to an american idol audition and singing this to a confused paula, simon and randy was genius.

toto – hold the line

oh god, if ‘africa’ wasn’t bad enough, once my mum heard this, toto was firmly entrenched in her playlist. and now it’s got to me as well.

wilson phillips – you’re in love

big hair? check. record deal via nepotism? check. singing in unison as voices not strong enough individually? check. gratuitous use of white chiffon? check. for all that it should have been a disaster. and oh, it was.

it doesn’t end here…

or even there…

 

it’s not just a london thing… September 2, 2007

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 in the early 90s, clubbers fell into two camps – the hiphop/r&b crowd and the house/garage/techno crowd. the latter was far more dominant and you would find that most clubs had a main floor playing cheesy house and a smaller room with a cooler crowd playing funkier beats. you had to go to a proper club to hear real house music.

i liked both, and often wondered what an amalgamation of the two would sound like. but it made my brain hurt. several years later it became evident that others had been thinking the same thing, and new sounds started to emerge.

there were two distinct types of speed garage, as it was called then. two step was slower and used an entirely new beat, and four-four garage, bassline house, speed garage, raggage, whatever you want to call it, was basically US garage speeded up. speed garage adopted the jungle attitude, was strictly a london thing, and jacked many of its sound effects, but it was more danceable for the rhythmically challenged.

incidentally, the londoncentricity that prevailed can, i believe, claim the demise of jungle, speed garage and uk garage as directly attributable. the rest of the UK fights a constant, and sometimes imaginary, battle against the capital’s dominance. interestingly, southerners didn’t reject the madchester scene for being too northern.

new scenes don’t just take over the saturday night dancefloor. they have to work their way up. so, in 1995, speed garage became known as ‘the sunday scene’ at clubs such as spread love, deja vu, twice as nice and cookies and cream. the pirates, most notably freek fm, magic fm and erotic fm, had been playing garage for years, but in the mid 90s, they all but ditched us garage and drum’n’bass to promote the new uk sound.

this is a mix of the early speed/four-four garage tracks, including some that were ahead of their time and subsequently got played out years later as they fitted into the current mix. this is the sound of poky rooms in shared houses, pirate stations blaring out of clapped out cars racing around wood green. out clubbing for the third night in a row and no signs of stopping. good times.

download here

bizzi – bizzi’s party – booker t mix

kristine blond – loveshy – club mix

jodeci – freek you up – mk dub

187 lockdown vs natural born chillers – rock the funky beats – beatdown mix

gant – sound bwoy burial – 187 lockdown mix

sound of one – as i am – todd edwards mix

scott garcia – a london thing

sneaker pimps – spin spin sugar – armand van helden mix

same people – dangerous

double 99 vs another level – be alone no more

x-presidents – diamond rings

all saints – never ever – booker t vocal mix

juliet roberts – so good – booker t mix

n’n’g – right before my eyes – grant nelson mix

nightcrawlers – push the feeling on – the dub of doom

robin s – show me love – stonebridge mix

kim english – nite life – retail mix

 

jungle: a way of life August 22, 2007

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even the kids amongst you probably don’t need an introduction to jungle. emerging from the hardcore scene of the early 90s, it was a ragga driven extension of the dancehall scene until techno started to take over the drum’n’bass scene in 1996.

like uk garage, it was a predominatly london thing. it was the soundtrack of the pirates when i moved here in 1994 and to me it was new, exciting and like nothing i’d ever heard before. so some of my abiding memories of jungle are as the soundtrack to my first year living in student halls of residence. fires in the kitchen, dirty bathrooms and being too drunk to get out of bed.

in your first year, you’re lumped with a complete mishmash of personalities, with nothing in common. the one thing that can unite people is music and yet sometimes even that fails. what do you do with a couple of r&b swingers, a hip hop queen, cheesy quaver and a girl who just got back from ibiza?

in 1994, you sent them down to the a.w.o.l. night at the ministry of sound. on a thursday night, you could actually get in for less than £10 and get a drink for about £3. there was r&b in the main bar, house and garage upstairs (this was before the refurb) and jungle in the main room.  the crowd were a melting pot of students, office caners, media and professional ravers.

at the time i probably didn’t think a.w.o.l was as cool as the friday night open techno fest or glitzy rulin’ saturday night at the ministry. how wrong i was. a.w.o.l is the only one i would still want to go to. i discovered new music and saw a man in a skirt years before david beckham was nagged into one.

a.w.o.l lasted about as long as the jungle scene, and no other ministry night has been as exciting since. i blame the refurb.

original junglistsdownload here

soundman and elisabeth troy – no greater love

firefox and 4tree – warning

da maytrix – loverman

dj taktix – the way

leviticus – the burial

omni trio – renegade snares

tom and jerry – maximum style

deep blue – helicopter tune

baby d – casanova

m-beat – style

buju banton – move ya body

bagga worries and jooxie nice – legalise

barrington levy – under mi sensi

daddy freddy – junglist sound

dms – sweet vibration

m-beat and general levy- incredible

prizna and demolition man – fire

chaka demus and pliers – gal wine

cutty ranks – original rude boy style

wayne marshall – g spot

 

top one nice one get sorted July 31, 2007

are you the little girl who immortalised the above phrase into rave culture over altern8 beats and sonic whooshes? I hope to god you don’t now listen to the klaxons and think it’s the same thing.

i was actually quite afraid of the techno rave of the early 90s with its belgian hoover noises and scary choir samples. it wasn’t really for girls – even gas masks, vicks and curtain style hair aside, the music itself was a bit evil sounding. but the bf loves it, hence this mix. i do have a soft spot for old skool in general, and did frequent sterns as a jailbait 15 year old with her wannabe dj boyfriend.

imagine my curiosity when i heard about nu-rave. imagine my disgust when i actually heard it.

yes, partly i hate it because it makes me feel old in the same way that leggings do. but mostly i hate it because if there’s one thing i hate, its indie music. nu-rave might as well be called ‘how to kill dance music in one easy step’. put a fucking band in there. that is so not the point. if you don’t like dance music, you’re not a raver, end of. oh, and the nme dd not, have not and never will have anything to do with dance music.

yes, the happy mondays and the whole madchester scene mixed genres. because they couldn’t remember their own names least of all what type of band they were. and bez needed something to dance to. there is none of the originality, danger or excitement of the old rave scene. where’s the new hacienda? this is a sanitised, mtv-approved movement for kids who got picked up from school every day.

the crowd are the principal reason this will not work. whether the latest movement is original, meshed or outright plagiarism, its the mass market that drive a scene. the only people who like indie music are public schoolboys and girls. old skool ravers were real people. big brother provides a nice illustration of this point – apparent inventor of indie music emily, who clearly hates herself for being white, and pink haired old comedy cheesy quaver tracey.

students, of course, are equally responsible for this travesty as the nme. deprived of proper rave because they’re born too late, trying to appropriate something that belonged to a previous generation. is it me, or have students regressed back into the desperately seeking irony twats they were in the 80s?

in the mid 90s, one of my lecturers accused us of being ‘benettonized’. the explicit meaning being that we had mobiles we couldn’t pay for, nice clothes we’d worked all summer for and spent our grants on nights out at the ministry of sound. the implicit meaning being that students were supposed to be rich but act poor and listen to music that made you depressed and therefore a more authentic pauper. but the line had been blurred thanks to over generous government funding for education. now only those who are prepared to take on £30k debt or have rich parents go to university and we’re back where we started. well let me tell you, irony has no place in dance music.

true ravers will seek out the old skool, so this mix is for them.

Proper rave for grown ups and Tracey from BB8 – download here 

acen – close your eyes – xxx mix

zero b – lock up

cubic 22 – night in motion

isotonik – different strokes

prodigy – charly – joey beltram mix

quadrophonia – quadrophonia

ace of the space – 9 is a classic

messiah – temple of dreams

kevin saunderson – tronik house

channel x – rave the rhythm

cls – can you feel it

human resource – dominator

prodigy – android

lfo – lfo

toxic two – rave generator

altern8 – infiltrate 202 – joey beltram mix

bizarre inc – plutonic

digital orgasm – running out of time

praga khan – injected with a poison

westbam – mayday anthem

orbital – chime – joey beltram mix