dirty martini

old music for new people

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

 

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

 

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