dirty martini

old music for new people

cheesy quavers October 2, 2008

 

funny, i didn’t really like old skool when it wasn’t old. i thought most of it sounded scary. now it reminds me of boy racers who you could hear ten minutes before they arrived, underage nights out and sounds a hell of a lot better than the ish kids have to put up with now.

i used to go the clubs, sterns in worthing usually, with my boyfriend. i never enjoyed it as it was usually on a thursday night and i had school the next day and I was slightly worried that my parents would discover that I was 1. not really staying with a friend 2. off my head 3. a good hour away from my hometown.

fortunately they were ‘hey, we used to go clubbing when we were 15, its cool just don’t get too drunk/arrested/into a car with anyone you don’t know’. so they were happy enough to let me go clubbing (sort of) but trusted me a bit too much.

i recently revealed all on my clubbing years to my mum, more than 15 years on, and if we still lived in the same house, I think i would be grounded for the next 15 years…

download cheesy quaver mix

liquid – sweet harmony

bizarre inc – playing with knives

convert – nightbird

dj seduction – hardcore heaven

shades of rhythm – extacy

cubic 22 – night in motion

sy-kick – nasty

urban shakedown – some justice

house crew – euphoria

phuture assassins – future sound

sonz of a loop da loop era – far out

awesome 3 – don’t go

2 bad mice – bombscare

zero b – lock up

shut up and dance – art of moving butts

altern 8 -evapor8

rhythm section – coming on strong

t99 – anasthasia

 

crush on you September 21, 2008

 this nkotb reunion is making me feel 14 again – without actually having to be 14 again.

reasons to be thankful for not being 14:

  • that aching feeling you had all year
  • fancying totally unattainable men
  • being mortified by your parents
  • having to choose cool friends over friends you actually liked
  • having to wear the same outfit outside of school, for most of the year
  • hating your skin, hair, everything about yourself
  • having no cash

download nkotb

2 in the morning

call it what you want

don’t give up on me

girls

i wanna be loved by you

if you go away

i’ll be missing you come christmas

my favourite girl

never let you go

single

valentine girl

whatcha gonna do about it

 

big fish little fish June 16, 2008

for those who were too young, think the flashback scene in ‘human traffic’. whistles, vicks, big fish little fish cardboard box.

actually i was too young but on the odd night i managed to sneak out to a rave, at legendary south coast club sterns, with my older boyfriend who had delusions of dj grandeur.

this mix is a nod to the inbetween years – post-acid house but more balearic and trippy than hardcore. when rave wasn’t a dirty word.

this was true warehouse rave. dancing in a field until 6am before that idiotic criminal justice act. the prodigy, autechre and orbital all protested by releasing non-repetitive beats and printed digs at the new law. where is it now?

download here

final cut – take me away

bug kahn and the plastic jam – made in two minutes

rhythm on the loose – break of dawn

cartouche – feel the groove

turntable hype – set you free

digital boy – gimme a fat beat

cola boy – 7 ways to love

oceanic – insanity

bizz nizz – don’t miss the partyline

adamski – n-r-g

bowa – different story

nomad – i wanna give you devotion

t99 – anasthasia

lfo – lfo

plez – can’t stop

lennie de ice – we are ie

bizarre inc – playing with knives

quadrophonia – quadrophonia

 

the house that dad built September 30, 2007

dadhouse.gif 

this is for the original house crew, you know who you are. you clubbed your way through the 90s and every now and then you get the urge to do it all again. but you’re pushing 35 and just haven’t got the energy. all of those lists entitled ‘you know you’re over 25 when…’ are scarily true.

so you frequent bars that play background house music and kid yourself that you’re not getting old…well, here is a mix of chilled out house from back in the day. dadhouse is not a new phenomenon, where did you think the shoom lot got to in the 90s?

download here     

cajmere – underground goodies part iii

petra and co- just let go

kerri chandler – atmospheric beats

francois k – hypnodelic

underground resistance – jupiter jazz

paperclip people – throw

norma jean bell – i like the things you do

wamdue project – higher

glenn underground – feelin’ love

cajmere – wet dream

underground resistance – hi tech jazz

backroom – definition of a track

nu yorican soul – that nervous track

delano smith – metropolis

black science orchestra – new jersey deep

k-hand – street knowledge

green velvet – answering machine

jt company – feel it

red nail – never

floppy sounds – ultrasong

muskmen – never thought i’d see the day

 

everybody loves the old skool August 16, 2007

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this whole nostalgia thing is taking over. reminiscing used to be the preserve of old people, and at school, our biggest exposure to anything outside the early 90s was when we used to have to visit old people’s homes on what was known as ‘biddy patrol’.

in these, cough, fragrant environments, we just sat and listened to endless tales of ‘it was better in my day’ – a sentiment i’m starting to empathise with. we would smirk when they asked us if we were ‘courting anyone’ as we walked them round the garden. they then proceeded to tell us about the kind of music they listened to during the war, which most of us had never heard of. because it was fifty years ago.

a lot of people are scathing about the whole retro thing, especially the ‘i love…’ series. for most people, retro is several generations ago, not the 90s, a decade many people are still dressing in. i remember at the time of this series’ first run in 2001, the face magazine ran a pisstake article called ‘i love last week’. despite the fact that i loved the series, i found this right on the money. at the time i was 25 – should i be pining for my childhood already and oohing and aahing over such er, long lost groups such as take that and nkotb? nkotb haven’t even reunited yet, six years on! (although i am so anticipating that one).

we have long been encouraged to look backwards, its not an entirely new phenomenon. before the 00s, where the new, old and just-happened appear to share an equal platform in the nation’s consciousness, the first song i can remember that celebrated the old school was kylie’s ‘step back in time’ an ode to the disco era. there seems a unspoken agreement that old equals better – i think its just personal taste. i won’t listen to queen because they’re retro, anymore than i would listen to coldplay now.

my teenage cousins are more likely to listen to music made around the time they were born than i was at their age. this give us some common ground, but i do think its a shame if they can’t find anything new to relate to. we recently had a 15 year old work experience girl who listened exclusively to jungle, which was only really produced between 1993 and 1995. she was born in 1991. there is absolutely no chance that she could experience the culture behind the music. when i was 15 it was all about the new for me.

twelve artists who dig the cratesdownload here

aaliyah – old school

nostalgia’s an odd sentiment for a 15 year old but still, this is a nice mid 90s midtempo swing track from aaliyah’s first, r.kelly produced album.

amerie – reminisce witcha

from amerie’s new album ‘because i love it’ this track sees amerie nostalgic for a past relationship. there’s something very likeable about amerie and her voice sounds unique against the current crop of babyvoiced divas.

chante moore – old school lovin’

chante moore was a model-turned-singer and this is from her 1992 album ‘let’s stay together’. she had an early 90s supermodel look about her – lots of lipliner, pencil thin eyebrows and shiny, rollered hair.

estelle – 1980

this is an enjoyable romp through uk rapper estelle’s childhood, citing fresh prince, connect 4 and jheri curls as influences.

jill scott – family reunion

hazy happy barbecue days with the family. in a land where summer lasts longer than four days…

lauryn hill – every ghetto, every city

with more than a dash of inspiration from sir stevie, lauryn reminisces on an 80s childhood. its such a shame she couldn’t get it together to follow up ‘miseducation’. 

missy elliott and jay-z – back in the day

a look back to the 80s hiphop era – who knew british knights trainers actually orginated in the us? of course, missy was a huge five star fan, as well. hands up who wore their trainers with the tongues pushed up.

o’jays – family reunion

classic soul from one of the greatest groups of the 70s. used in the film ‘poetic justice’ for a barbecue scene, perhaps inspiring jill scott’s version.

shola ama – granny’s yard

cool. a very british excursion into shola’s 80s/90s upbringing. any song that namechecks soda stream, charlie brown and choice fm is ok with me.

stevie wonder – i wish

i watched a documentary about stevie wonder’s childhood and loved the fact that he didn’t his blindness affect his little boy instinct to leap off walls and sheds. ouch.

uness – old skool joint

newcomer uness pays homage to his girl and the old skool in one easy step. i’m loving uness.

will wheaton – old school soul

appreciation for the old school in the old school style. no its not that will wheaton…: )

 

this must be computer love August 14, 2007

dk.jpg

back in the 80s, computers were just about reaching the massmarket. games like donkey kong and pacman saw heroic characters rescuing damsels in distress (rarely the other way round until lara croft) by overcoming such everyday objects as ghosts, flying barrels and fireballs.

this theme carried through to the music industry, where computers had provided a snazzy (80s word) way to keep up with the new mtv-ready requirement for singles to be accompanied by a video, by incorporating graphics and other such wizardry to demonstrate cutting edge mentality of artist in question.

another way to display your futuristic sensibilities was to actually sing about computers. and act quite robotic and devoid of emotion. the computers were pulling the strings you see…and yet, according to this playlist, they apparently became a conduit for romantic relationships. i think in fact, that didn’t really start to happen until the mid 90s, but 80s people were optimistic. we didn’t personally have email and the ability to connect to other computers via the internet, but we knew it was happening and could see the possibilities.

so, most 80s groups have a homage to the computer, or electricity (like that was a new phenomenon!), in their back catalogue, much like the phone. of course its now all painfully out of date, and so a nice reminder of a simpler time when computers were cool, and people, not cyberspace, were still in charge.

twelve once futuristic, now totally retro groovesdownload here

trans-x – living on video

about as good as it gets for this post. built on a similar premise to the long-held view that we would be scooting around in our own little space bubbles, jetson style, by the year 2000. 

one way – mr groove

vocoder work par excellence. in 1984 it was perfectly normal to be sung to by a robot, not a person.

kraftwerk – computer love

kraftwerk, as pioneers of electronic music, could have made up well over half of this playlist with their output. but this one was the most obviously titled.

gary numan – are friends electric?

more recently bootlegged and sampled for the sugababe’s ‘freak like me’. again, most of gary numan’s output was future focused, so it was a toss up between this and ‘cars’.

midnight star – electricity

another vocoder led funk jam, about electricity, and energy, another favourite 80s theme.

buggles – video killed the radio star

difficult to see how this could have sounded groundbreaking even in 1979. bet it was popular with the over 40s.

human league – together in electric dreams

archetypal mid 80s teen movie fare. human league of course, were a natural choice to record the title soundtrack, with their synth pop credentials. 

oingo boingo – weird science

title song from the soundtrack to the definitive 80s computer geek movie. doesn’t sound particularly futuristic now but surely create-a-girlfriend is still the ultimate geek fantasy?

visage – fade to grey

the then-pioneering electronic music and faux francais created an eerie soundscape, second only in the weirdness stakes to its own video.

harold faltermeyer – axel f

beverly hills cop theme which became the single most emulated tune on millions of casio and yamaha keyboards. to ease parent and teacher frustration perhaps manufacturers should have made this the demo tune instead of wake me up before you gogo.

five star – system addict

this song may or may not have been about being addicted to sticking your fingers in a plug socket. the state of five star’s hair in the accompanying video certainly supports this theory. don’t try it at home kids.

prince – computer blue

prince, as usual, managed to make music that was both futuristic and would hold up in years to come. prince has a love interest, computer says no.

 

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