Thursday, January 24, 2008

Kelvin Brown

Manchester has an abundance of superb DJs, some of whom are tragically underrated, such as Adam H, Ryan Hunn, Mr Scruff, Jeff Plant, Andy Peek, Danny Webb, Paul Hughes, Moonboots, Jon K and Balearic Mike amongst others but, with all due respect to the rest, the one man who stands head and shoulders above everyone is Eyes Down hero, Kelvin Brown.

I was given a mix CD of his in the summer of 2004 and I was instantly captivated by both his skills and his ability to juxtapose cutting-edge new records with hidden treasures and for all them to expertly form a cohesive 70 minutes of music that absolutely blew me away. I have been doing infrequent interviews for Basic Soul since October 2005 and in all my time I have only made the effort to do three interviews in person and that was with Ryan Hunn, Jon K and Kelvin which I set up pretty much as soon as I moved to Manchester in January 2006. The interview itself got me some of the most positive reactions that I have ever gotten for any of the hundreds of pieces that I have done over the years. You can read the interview here if you haven't already.

Photo by Emma J Watling

Kelvin is one of those DJs who can play for hours on end and have you enthralled through every tempo change of which there are many and sadly his residency in the Shack at the Electric Chair comes to an end this weekend with the club, which is a great excuse for him to relaunch the dormant Eyes Down night, and he has been kind enough to post his anthems from all his years in the Shack and you can peruse the list here. eBay, Discogs and Gemm are probably going to melt with all the glut of searches for all of these heavy hitters.

Myself, Kelvin and one of the Riots.

To give you an indication of the man's skills here are a few mixes that will give you just a snippet of the educated and diverse magic that he unleashes wherever he plays.

Kelvin Brown - Celestial Blues


Gill Scott Heron ‘Plastic Pattern People’ (CDR)
Charlie Mariano ‘Thiruvarankulam’ (What Music)
Family Brown ‘Imaginary World’ (United Artists)
Flying Lotus ‘Massage Situation’ (Warp)
Del La Soul ‘Bizness’ (Tommy Boy)
Fela Kuti ‘Sorrow Tears and Blood’ (Kalakuta)
Afra Behn ‘World of Paper’ –Instrumental (1er Cru)
Savage Progress ‘My Heart Begins To Beat’ (Ten Records)
Timmy Thomas ‘Africano’ (TK)
Moodymann ‘Shattered Dreams’ (Peacefrog)
Billy Ocean ‘One of Those Nights’ –Re-edit (CDR)
Chalie Rouse ‘Meci Bon Dieu’ (Blue Note)
Love Unlimited Orchestra ‘Hey Look at Me I’m in Love’ (20th Century Fox)
Theo Parrish ‘Dreamers Blues’ (Sound Signature)
Taj Mahal ‘Why Did You Have to Desert Me?’ (Columbia)
Soul Parlour ‘Ghee’ (CDR)
Dark Comedy ‘Plankton’ (Art Of Dance)
Theo Parrish ‘Sawala Sayale’ (Sound Signature)
Jackie McLean ‘De I Comahlee Ah’ (Inner City)
Osiris J ‘Rob 17’ (CDR)
DMZ ‘Burning’ (DMZ)
Linton Kwasi Johnson ‘Shocking Dub’ (Island)
Steve Spacek ‘Peep Show’ (Jazzy Sport)
Sun Ra – In Conversation (CDR)

Kelvin Brown - XFM mix


Krystyna Pronko ‘Oto Przyczna’ (Wifon)
Linkwood ‘Hear The Sun’ (Firecracker)
Missy Elliot/Pal Joey ‘Really Hot’ (CDR)
Ed Lincon ‘Cochice’ (Musicdisc)
Eolen ‘Massini Yeah’ (Mai)
Cricco Castelli ‘Life Has Changed’ (Aroma)
Clyde- white label (CDR)
Burial ‘Distant Lights’ (Hyperdub)
Agrovators Meets The Revolutionaries at Channel One ‘The Conqueror’ (Basement)
Digital Mistiks ‘Anti-War Dub’ (CDR)
Loefah ‘Ruffage’ (DMZ)
Broke’n’English ‘Take it Low’ –Domu remix (CDR)

These mixes are also available on Northern Comfort.

Kelvin Brown live in The Shack June 2007, download it here.

...and my personal favourite, Diggin' On The Diaspora, download it here.

Oh, and Kelvin bring back Eyes Down.

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