Saturday, February 2, 2008

Spotted in Kumo Gear

Stuart Patterson spotted in a Kumo shirt. Nice one, Stu.

From Bodytonic.

"The very NYC sounding East Village opens in February in London on the site of the old Medicine Bar (the former venue that Bodytonic had a residency in for a short while) in Shoreditch.

Resident Stuart Patterson is one of the men behind the new venture and we've heard whispers of a quality sound system being installed and eclectic line-ups that already sound great. Giles Peterson and his Brownswood label family will be running a monthly residency too and the likes of Karizma, Andy Weatherall, Clive Henry and Terry Farley are playing in the coming months. From our experience there, the downstairs area in particular has great potential. The venue is located right beside Favela Chic and our favourite bar in London, the Foundry, is only across the road too. All are worth checking out if your in London anytime soon..."

It all kicks off on Friday, February 22nd and more info can be found here.

Friday, February 1, 2008

One Hundred Project : James Kumo

What is on your stereo at the moment?
The forthcoming New World Aquarium album, deepness to the full!

3 records that changed your life. Why?
Underground Resistance - Galaxy 2 Galaxy
Why? Why do you think!!!

Kerri Chandler - Inspiration
Very warm track with emotional lead vocals from Arnold Jarvis.....very MOS in the mid 90's

Blake Baxter - Sexual Deviant
First heard this in 94 when Weatherall used to rock the 'Drum Club' at the Sound Shaft - dark!

What are you looking forward to?
My son being able to talk to me......(he's only 4 months at the moment!)

What couldn't you live without? Why? em!

Most memorable gig?
Easy - Killer Robot, Cape Town, December 2006 - they love their techno!

Who/what are your influences?
Tough one to call many. Early on it was Danny Rampling, Colin Dale people like that, basically any good DJ on Kiss 100 FM (back in the day), these days artists or labels like Delsin, Brendon Moeller, Chymera, Vince Watson, Aril Brikha, Toby Tobias, Todd Terje, Kaoru Inoue, Styrax Leaves, Deep Space Media, New World Aquarium, the list could go on & on...

What is the best and worst thing about the city that you live in?
Manchester, my adopted 2nd home.....well really, i guess the country's very pleasant. Worst.....hmmm has to be the rain, it never stops!

Given the accelerated pace of modern culture, what are we due a revival in?
Bollocks to that......lets look forwaaaard.

Hero? Why?
None really....a few people who i admire and respect, for example like FK, how can you not admire or look up to someone who's been at the top of his game for over 25 years! Very little people achieve this.

Is there anything else that you feel that we should know?
Kumomusic Vol 2 will be dropping soon i hope - watch this space.

James Kumo - Kumo Blog Mix


Brendon Moeller - Lost And Found - Eskimo
Toby Tobias - Breakdown - Rekids
Kuniyuki - Earth Beats (Cloud Of Dust Guitar Dub) - Seeds And Ground
Kaoru Inoue - The Secret Field (Todd Terje remix) - Mule Musiq
New World Aquarium - Tresspassers - Delsin

Download it here.

James Kumo's first EP has just been released on Delsin sister label Ann Aimee. To buy your own copy you could always put in an order here.

For more information on James read here, and for more information on his EP read here or here.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nomadic Wax + Stones Throw

Nomadic Wax is a record label, music/film production company and events producer specializing in hip-hop and underground music from around the globe. They choose to depict artists that have distinctive political messages which they push through their music and are active in stimulating change in their various communities because like Chuck D said, 'Hip Hop is the CNN of urban youth.' Having said that if all you were ever exposed to was MTV's watered-down take on hip hop you'd be excused for thinking that it was all about Cristal, bitches and bling-bling, which is about as far away from the rampant fire-brand use of the medium by the likes of Public Enemy and POC.

Thankfully in large parts of the world musicians and emcees are still using their music as a platform to effect social change and to enlighten the youth as to how the policies of the fat cats in power serve to do nothing more than have detrimental circumstances in the neighborhoods that they live in. That is why the hip hop scene in most French-speaking countries is so interesting, they are most certainly not afraid to stick two fingers up to their governments and let everyone know that shit is fucked up.

Up here at Idyllwild Arts Academy we've invited the makers of the film to screen their film and then to discuss the issues related with the students at our school. The demographic of the school is privileged to say the least and it is through events like this that we hope to show them that the world is a melting pot of chaos, oppression and violence but in between all that negativity there are creative voices that resonate and rise above all that bullshit and make lasting impacts on the world in which we live, it is this sort of creativity and energy that inspires me greatly and I have nothing but praise for the work that Nomadic Wax are doing in bringing this to our attention through their films. Check their blog for more truth.

We're filming a short documentary on their visit to the school and when that is done I will put it up here for those of you that are interested.

Photo by Chris Woodcock

This will form part of the Black History month celebrations here at the school and in addition to this we have a talk from Stones Throw label manager Egon who will be raising the curtain on the history of jazz, blues, funk and soul in the US as well as playing his favourite records to accentuate his talk. If any of you have seen the videos of him talking at the Red Bull Music Academy you'll know that he is an articulate individual whose knowledge runs deep.

I'm very excited about these two events and I'll be doing in depth interviews with both Egon and the guys from Nomadic Wax, which will appear on here over the course of the next couple of months.

Fabric Podcast + One Hundred Project

So yesterday when I was sitting down to design the new Earthworm (what is that all about?) and DJ Quiet cover, I wanted a little bit of musical inspiration and stumbled upon the Fabric Podcasts. Basically what they're doing is pretty much the same thing that I'm asking people to do with my One Hundred Project and that is play the music that has influenced you however bizarre or obscure that may be.

Craig Richards - former Tyrant king of bleeps - kicked off his podcast with the frankly amazing Lets Straighten It Out by Lattimore, which is just the sort of record that would get worn out by me, and if any of you know where I can purchase a copy of said release then please get in touch as I've tried Discogs and GEMM and had no luck whatsoever. He also found the time to stick in I Am The Greatest by the great Cassius Clay now obviously known as Muhammad Ali and it just underlines how unique he was in his pomp and his superb delivery and turns of phrase are superbly reflected on this recording.

Andrew Weatherall's is an anecdote heavy slash though his youth while Doc Scott's charters water everywhere from soundtrack to old school hip hop and ends with the beautiful Journey of The Dragons by the mighty UR. Next up is Jonny Trunk of Trunk Records infamy who as you may know has a penchant for the obscure and he plays a heap of music from his extensive collection of library music and soundtracks for what is ultimately something that I never thought I'd be into but I have to admit that I have been seeking a few of them out on the ol' Interweb this morning.

You can subscribe to the podcast here, and I'm imploring you to do so as it is shaping up to be quite brilliant.

Now, if you're reading this and love music then you should get in touch as I'd love to have you take part in the One Hundred Project. I don't really care if you are a DJ or not, all I care is that you're passionate about the music that you love. I'm going to get my wife to do one as I'm always surprised by the frankly brilliant records that she pulls out of her extensive CD collection, and she is about the furtherest thing from a DJ that you'll ever get although if she was one she'd be brilliant at it.

Dive in, the water is warm.

Oh, and this is what the cover looks like so far. I'm going to be adding some elements to it later but as it is I quite like it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hercules & Love Affair

Hercules & Love Affair are being hailed by all and sundry as the next big thing, and like LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture and The Juan MacLean, they have found a home amongst the frankly brilliant DFA stable. Andrew Butler with a little help from Tim Goldsworthy has produced an album that will make an impact on dancefloors the world over during the beginning half of this year. The collaborations with the likes of Antony Hegarty (of Antony & The Johnsons), Kim Ann and Nomi underline the fact that this album is a brave move on their parts because it could so easily have ended up as some horrid disco/pop rock pastiche that would've been instantly forgettable but the reality is that it is well thought out yet honest with great production values combined with hooks aplenty and I'll eat my hat if this isn't in the end of the year charts for the likes of everyone from Piccadilly to the NME, it's got that look. My personal favourite is Athene which is the perfect early doors record to get everyone in the mood for the debauchery ahead.

The album is out on March 10th and then you can judge it for yourself. Hopefully people won't be lazy and compare it to LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver, which seems to be the bar they are judging it against across message board land. Enjoy the tunes, they probably won't be around long before I get asked to take them down.

Hercules & Love Affair - Blind

Hercules & Love Affair - Raise Me Up

Hercules & Love Affair - This Is Your Love

Death of a Magazine

I am a magazine reader and for years Tokion was my bible but sadly it has, in recent months, been sold on and as a result editors and contributors have jumped ship but thankfully not before taking the time to release Revisionaries which you can read about here. What is left of Tokion is a shadow of its former glorious self. I've been down this road twice before with Muzik and, under slightly different circumstances, Jockey Slut both of which I devoured initially but was turned off the more corporate they became. It comes as no surprise that neither still exists in any shape or form although Jockey Slut has since morphed into Dummy, a magazine they struggle to give away due to its slightly sanctimonious content.

None of those hurt me like the demise of Tokion though. If someone asked me what I wanted in a magazine, I'd have said in depth articles about all forms of popular culture, forward thinking design and photography and just enough cheek to liven things up a bit. With Tokion I got that in bucket loads. Some of my favourite issues have been their retrospectives of their Creativity Now conference, which they held in the States and in Japan once a year. They'd get interesting people from all walks of creativity to get together and have a good old fashioned pow-wow. To give you an example of who they'd ask to sit on a panel in 2005 they got Trevor Jackson, Hanck Shocklee and Carl Craig on one, Christopher Doyle, Harris Savides and Anthony Dod Mantle to sit on another and so forth. What would emerge from those discussions was bullshit-free inspiration immersed in a world of truth. It was looking to the future by respecting the past.

Tokion was always as much brain food as it was eye candy. It would always strive to set the trends rather than follow them. It would sit on the perimeter of hype and only take the time to cover work that had some longevity to it. No flash in the pan, pretentious, no talent cunts allowed and thank God for that. The typography was always unique and worked in perfect symbiosis with the text and imagery displayed. There was thought and concern for the reader in every issue, so it is with a sad heart that I turn the pages on what is ultimately a huge amount of disrespect to its legacy and its loyal readers.

Gone are the in depth articles and interviews, they're replaced with short pieces that are poorly written and with seemingly very little care for presentation. A magazine that you used to have to set aside an afternoon to get through is now a 10 minute read and a dull one at that. The artists they seem to be backing now are no more than passing ships in the night, utterly forgettable. They used to tell you the whole story, all the drama and intrigue but are now just selling a product. The thing that grates me most about it is that amongst its contributors now is that bandwagon jumping, self-glorifying dipshit, Larry Tee and I know it's a bit shallow to dismiss a magazine based on one person but he is the personification of everything that is wrong with society. Remember Electroclash? This is the prick that 'invented' it and it didn't even last 15 minutes, which is pretty much the same amount of time it'll take for this new watered down version of Tokion to disappear from our newsstands.

I think that it is for the best that it ceases to exist, so that its legacy can preserved for what it was and not remembered for the crap that it has become.

Old v New

Crap use of typography and placement in the new Tokion

Some of the older issues

That my friends is a master-class in magazine design

One of my favourite articles with legendary Blue Note engineer Rudy Van Galen who did the 'Love Supreme' session with John Coltrane. Turn the page and Andy Johns tears Rick Rubin a new one.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

RIP Electric Chair

Best club ever.

...and while I was looking at Owain Electrikboy's photos I came across this one, and no I didn't write it. Apparently it's above the VIP toilets in the Music Box. Check the rest of the photos here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Some Things That I Got Today

For some of you who have been reading the blog for a while will have read my short piece on Sleeve Art and have recognized this sleeve from the third gallery on the Keyboard Masher site.

...and today I found a copy of it for $1, and it is a gatefold and comes with a 12" booklet and a bloody massive poster. Some great funk on there as well, and some of the spoken word dialogue is going to be used and abused by me on future mixes. A dollar well spent.

These are my new kicks that arrived today.

This is closer to the truth than you'd think.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

More Bears Upstairs

Jeffo, Jif and TC

The Bears Upstairs managed to record a radio show the other night after Jif, and I'm not making this up, decided to read the instructions for his new gizmo.

Thursdays show saw TC, Jif and Jeffo playing music from the likes of Jaz, Man Friday, Michael Head & The Strands, Fink, Black Mountain, Norman Connors, Aeroplane and many more while I listened to it with one eye on the snow coming down outside my house in California. Yes, you read right, it does indeed snow in parts of California and I live in one of them...just my luck.

Download the show here and for more details including a full tracklisting look no further than here.

You can listen to the show every Thursday from 10pm until midnight here or you can see them in person at their monthly excursions at Jam St. and The Salutation over the course of the next year. Check the blog for more details.

One Hundred Project : Shanky

What is on your stereo at the moment?
Better Days by the Million Dollar Orchestra (of course!), The Best of Norman Connors and a Leroy Hutson album.

3 records that changed your life. Why?
The Salsoul Orchestra - Ooh I Love It (Love Break)
Heard this at Yellow in about 93 in Manchester and dug out the tune by asking (pre-internet you see!) around record shops and trying to sing the lyric.. must have looked like a twat..Hadnt heard of Salsoul before then I'm affraid to say.. this lead to me pretty much ditching all the disco I then owned (which was shite cheesy stuff) and opened my mind to the underground sound. My OCD then kicked in and I took it on myself to find out about and listen to every Salsoul tune.. then turned to Prelude.. and when I could afford it, I bought the records I liked from these labels... Next was Westend.. Even though I think I know most of the back catalogues, something new always turns up.. I remember writing a list of all the Salsoul records I wanted and giving it to anybody I knew who attended Car boot sales... all they ever came back with was Avenue B Boogie Band.. no fucking wonder why its shit and everyone was trying to sell their copies.

Patrice Rushen - The Hump
Perfect jazz funk rare groover. Sublime. Sent me on another journey (down the rare groove route).

Stereo MCs - Connected
Just summed up my youth A'levels / University period. A very well crafted and now (in my view) underrated Album which should be reverred as much as Massive Attack albums of the same era.

What are you looking forward to?
The Summer. I dont function well in dark cold weather.

What couldn’t you live without? Why?
Family, close friends and my cats (and dog)... Everything material pales into insignificance.

Most memorable gig?
Playing - Electric Chair shack as part of the last rights team
Promoting - Dimitri@Northern Disco

Who/what are your influences?
Musically - in terms of sound, I'll always lean towards the orchestrated disco sound as oppossed to the P&P sound that so many others love so Montana, Baker, Harris, Young, etc...

DJ wise - gotta be Al Kent. Wouldnt be in partnership with him doing the ND ventures if I didnt rate him very highly. Although we do have very different sounds / like different tunes / different parts of tunes ("I hate that break" "I'd loop it"), theres nobody who knows as much about underground disco music from NY/Chicago areas in particular than him as far as I know. Hes got all the tunes.

In life - my mum. Simple. My first lady

What is the best and worst thing about the city that you live in?
Best - people and their attitude. Mancs are cocky bastards, with hearts of gold. And Im a Manc through and through.

Worst - lack of decent music venues. Shit public transport system.

Given the accelerated pace of modern culture, what are we due a revival in?
Cape Town DJs making a home for themselves in Manchester.

Hero? Why?
Too many.

Is there anything else that you feel that we should know?
I have size 12 feet.

Shanky Disco Mix January 2008

No tracklisting unfortunately but I can tell you that there are some rather sharp re-edits of Candido and Dee Dee Bridgewater in and amongst all the other gems.

Download the mix here.

Shanky is the promoter of Northern Disco alongside Al Kent that has hosted DJs such as Kon & Amir, Dimitri from Paris, Sean P, Rahaan and, erm, me. He's also a top DJ with an incredibly deep knowledge of all things disco, which is reflected every time he gets behind the turntables.

One Hundred Project : Naoyuki Ebihara

What is on your stereo at the moment?
G&D 'The Message Uni Versa', these are my new favorite artists and 'The Story Of Jamaican Music' (Raggae/4CD's album ) which I got it when I was 13 years old but now I'm still listening to the album. Even now this album is very fresh and I love this kind of unrefined and warm sounds.

3 records that changed your life. Why?
Let me talk about 5 records instead and even then it's still not enough to get the whole picture.

Wreckx-N-Effect 'Rump Shaker'
This is my first song that I listened to Hiphop when I was 12 years old. It totally knocked me and took me to Hiphop way a moment and from the next day I put the boombox on the my shoulder and I said to Everyone 'Yo, whats' up' instead of 'Konnichiwa'.

Buckshot Lefonque '1st Album'
I found this album when I was 13 years old and it taught me what is the real Jazz hiphop instead of my music teacher in
a Junior High school. The album was a my music textbook instead of 'The Sound Of Music' at that time.

Mic Geronimo'Shit's Real'
I think this is definitely a hiphop classic. The 12 inch was too difficult to find out in record shops in Japan 1994 because Japan had such a poor hiphop market. I still remember the time that I got very excited when I got the 12 inch at a used records shop.

Common Sense'Take It Ez'
This title is from his 1st album 'Can I Borrow A Dollar' and I love all of Common's productions but, I prefer his 1st album more than his present one. One of my favorite tracks of his is 'Take It Ez'. His style was more funky and street than now, it was an unrefined production but, that was simply cool for me. I don't think all the productions always must be perfect, sometimes it needs to be rough. You should check the 12inch when you have a chance and I recommend 'Jazz Instrumental' very highly.

Digable Planets 'Rebirth Of Slick'
I heard this for the first time when I watched the Grammy Awards in 1993 I think, and their live performance and music video were aired on TV. The performance made me very excited 'What a great sounds......' You know, it shocked me so quickly. As you can imagine, I went straight to the record shop after I watched the show. It was a good memory and I'm still listening to Digable Planets because it's still fresh.

I think there is a lot of great hiphop around 1990-1995 and they also opened the window for me to seek out Jazz/Funk/Soul/Reggae. If I discovered Hiphop around 1996-2002 I would not love this genre and enjoy music as much as I do now. The 5 records gave me a great time and changed my life.

What are you looking forward to?
Well, now I am looking forward to going to the football camp which will hold an amateur competition at the bottom of Fujiyama in February. We made a brand new football shirt for this and I got a No.10. I can't wait to play in this competition now.

What couldn't you live without? Why?
The iPod which my ex-girlfriend gave me 2 years ago for Christmas. No Music No Life. Make Money Spend Money.

Most memorable gig?
Fat Freddys Drop at The Academy in Manchester and La Cedille's stage at the Eurocuture Festival in Machester 2006.

Who/what are your influences?
I was definitely influenced by the 6 months that I spent in the UK in 2006. I think that time made my life change. I touched a great art and music and met a lot of good people there. It was as great experience for me and that 6 months provided me with an emotional richness. I loved the Fish and Chips in the UK. There is one Fish and Chips' shop which is run by a Chinese family in Workden. And This Chinese lady always gave me fantastic Fish & Chips with a lot of potatos on the full of a plate, she knows what I like very well. I ate the food 3-4 times every week. I used to eat it and drink a coke while watching football on the couch.

Given the accelerated pace of modern culture, what are we due a revival in?
It's definitely an old school BOOMBOX. Apple should remake it in a modern way but they have to keep the old looks.

Hero? Why?
James Brown, He is The Godfather of Soul. Nothing more to say about him, Everyone knows how great he was already.

Is there anything else that you feel that we should know?
Yes, let me introduce you to one jazz club called 'Body & Soul' which is located in a Tokyo, Aoyama. They have live Jazz every night and many Jazz Artists/ Bands come and play from all over the world. When you come to Tokyo, you should go there. I promise they have real sessions for all audience without fail of a very high quality.

Naoyuki runs the ROOT70 LOUNGE digital label and you can buy releases from his label at Junodownload, King Beat and iTunes. Check his myspace profile for more information.

And instead of giving us a mix, Nao has kindly given us a few tasters from his label for all of you to enjoy. You can download them here.


DJ Quiet - Mr Smith
DJ Quiet - Nihon Kara France Made
La Tribu Du Chef Guida feat. Kev Brown - Combat Perpetual
La Tribu Du Chef Guida - Pause On The Microphone
Sene feat. Prefyx - Madness
Sene - Fuckin' Me Up

Nao at the Fat Freddy's Drop gig in 2006.