Friday, February 8, 2008

Bits 'n Pieces part 2

This is a cover of Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music fame's 1985 hit record and is a great piece of understated acoustic pop music from this Berlin-based chanteuse, and to my ears is one of the best balearic records released in years. I must have played this at least 4 or 5 times on my radio show last year and not many records got more than one airing from Paul Hughes and I, so that is as good an endorsement as I can give in all truth. Masha's album Unsolved Remained from a few years back is also worth tracking down. She also releases her work on the always good Morr Music and if you haven't checked out the label yet then I implore you to seek out its back catlogue and the artwork and general aesthetic is superb as well. Quality over quantity.

Masha Qrella - Don't Stop The Dance

My love of Afrobeat is well documented, some of you may have read my short piece on the late, great Fela Kuti from a while back but if you haven't then you can read it here.

Michigan's NOMO have been making waves with prominent taste-makers and record collectors the world over with their take on the afrobeat sound in the tradition of the foundations lay down by the likes of the great Fela Kuti and Francis Bebey. NOMO is based around a core of eight multi-instrumentalists lead by Elliot Bergman and comprising Erik Hall, Jamie Register, Dan Piccolo, Olman Piedra, Dan Bennett, Ingrid Racine and Justin Walter. After previous releases on Kindred Spirits and Ypsilanti Records they have now found a home on Ubiquity Records on which they released the superb ‘New Tones' - easily my album of 2006 - and on which they are set to drop their next album in the spring of 2008. They've already garnered plaudits from the likes of Urb who chose them as one of their coveted ‘Next 100' in 2005 as well as from the sadly defunct jazz bible Straight No Chaser who said, ‘If you're a fan of Antibalas, Daktaris, Tortoise, YNQ and post-Fela funkiness, then this should fit very nicely in your get-up-and-dance collection.' You can read an interview that I did with Elliot Bergman here.

This tune is from their 2006 opus, New Tones and for me it is all about the horns and the handclaps in the intro that make this an absolute party rocker. Great tune from a superb band.

NOMO - Nu Tones

Sly Mongoose are a Japanese jazz/disco/whatever band much in the mold of contemporaries such as Quasimode, Cro-Magnon, Double Famous and a heap of others borne from the forward thinking Tokyo jazz scene. They are probably best know for Snakes & Ladder which was rubbed 'n tugged to devastating effect by Rub 'n Tug a couple of years back as well as for Delusion Habit and Bad Pulse, which both made waves on dancefloors last year. For me though the pick of the tracks off their superb Tip of The Tongue State album that came out on Locarno in 2006 is Track 5 which has that feel-good jazz factor that I so love. This is one of those records that sounds amazing on really big systems and sounded great at Sankeys early doors last year before I cleared the floor with Dennis Parker Like An Eagle, guess you can't win 'em all, eh? You really should hunt down the album as, to my ears, the two weakest tracks on it are Bad Pulse and Snakes & Ladder, which should give you an idea of the quality on offer. All killer, no filler.

Sly Mongoose - Track 5

This is off the seminal Kruder & Dorfmeister Sessions album that came out in 1998 and which I bought from my friend Pierre-Estienne Bruwer's Phat Beats record store on Long Street. It goes for serious coin now and I've been tempted to cash my chips in on many an occasion but this superb reworking of the Aphrodelics has always made me opt against it. This was a massive post-club anthem for my friends and I around that time and it got a few run-outs at DRY201 in Manchester during my time over there. I love the rolling bass and the drum and vocal fills and the progression of the track through its various elements. If I ever get the chance to play at 'Nado I'd definitely play this one although the bollocking that I'd get off Moon might not be worth it, that and how do you wear a gatefold on your head?

Aphrodelics - Rollin' On Chrome - Wild Motherfucker dub

I went through a brief, horrific prog plod faze in the late 90s and this was one of the records that pulled me out of the rut and let me see the light, which is quite strange when you think that this was released back in 1989. It was on a classics mix CD that came free with Muzik, I think and we used to play this one at 11 at after-parties and it was one of those eureka moments where I realised that all that shit that I was listening to just wasn't cutting the mustard and probably wouldn't have any longevity and that records like this, which has become a bit of a guilty pleasure, would probably hold me in better stead. I do love an old rave classic and this one has had me reaching for the lazers a few times. The best bit about this record was that I found it in a bargain bin in Cape Town for the equivalent of about $3 back in the day and it was the first edition colour vinyl (which generally sound shit), so it's worth a few bob nowadays not that I'm going to sell it. You've all heard it before but crank it up, it works every time.

Coldcut feat. Lisa Stansfield - People Hold On - Full length disco mix

Bits 'n Pieces part 1

My record collection is quite varied but I like to think that there is a common ground amongst all the madness, see if you can spot it. I don't really intend to make these posts full of hidden gems or hot off the presses releases but rather as a way of kind of letting you know where I am coming from musically. I'll be doing these sorts of posts sporadically in the weeks and months to come.

Daniele Baldelli is an Italian DJ who was resident at the legendary Cosmic Club in Lazise near Verona in the late 70s and early 80s. He is a purveyor of slo-mo psychedelic hypnotic disco with a huge dollop of afro thrown in for good measure, now this may sound like journo speak and, to be frank, it would be a lot easier to just call his sound Cosmic but that that word has been abused so much in recent years with everything from pitched down deep house to disco being lumped into it that I don't really feel that calling it Cosmic does it any justice. He was heavily influenced, as were many Italian DJs at the time, by two American DJs, Bob Day and Tom Sison who came to Italy in the time pre-imports and introduced the DJs to records that were probably only going to come their way in 6 months to a year, which is similar to how we felt in South Africa in the early 90s when the British DJs came down and by and large introduced us to house music.

Baldelli took this influence and ran with it and during his time at Cosmic Club he would traverse styles and bring an innovation to DJing that was lacking prior to his pioneering years behind the decks. As he so humbly puts it, 'I used to play Bolero by Ravel, and on top of this I would play an African song by Africa Djola, or maybe an electronic tune by Steve Reich, with which I would mix a Malinke chant from New Guinea. Or, I would mix T-Connection with a song by Moebius and Rodelius, adding the hypnotic-tribal "Izitso" album of Cat Stevens, and then Lee Ritenour, but also Depeche Mode at 33 instead of 45, or a reggae voice by Yellowman at 45 instead of 33. I might mix 20 African songs on top of a Korg Electronic Drums (machine) rhythm pattern . I would play a Brazilian battucada and mix it with a song by Kraftwerk. I would also use synthesizer effects on the voices of Miriam Makeba, Jorge Ben, or Fela Kuti, or I would play the Oriental melodies of Ofra Haza or Sheila Chandra with the electronic sounds of the German label SKY.' How amazing does that sound? If only I had a Delorean...

Here is a great interview that Daniel Wang did with Daniele a few years back and from where I extracted the quote above. Read it in full here.

This record that I have chosen from his back catalogue has been hugely influential on my record buying habits, mostly because I'm trying to find records to play around it, since I got it on CD a year of so back. it's all about the groove on this one and it is one of those records that stands out and inevitably gets someone asking what it is, which is always the sign of a great tune. I don't have it on vinyl and have been looking for it for a while now, so if any of you could point me in the right direction I would be truly grateful.

Daniele Baldelli - Safari Vibes

Holy Fuck is a Canadian group who infuse lo-fi electronics with solid melodies and some of the most biting drum work I've heard since Damo Suzuki knocked seven shades of shit out of his kit for Can. They've supported the immensely forward thinking rapper Beans on tours and have really come to prominence since their album 'LP' was released last year. It made the end of the year charts for everyone from NME to Piccadilly Records and it's no nonsense brand of experimentation and free-form fusion really caught my ears one rainy Saturday in the store. Lovely Allen is the stand-out track on an album of stand-outs and is generally my choice for the end of the night anthem when all you want to do is jump around in a drunken mess and hug your mates.

Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen

Most people will think of the Richie Havens version but to my ears as good as Richie's version is the Lamont Dozier original blows it out of the water. Lamont was one third of the legendary Motown production hit-machine Holland-Dozier-Holland who had hits with just about anyone that you'd care to mention from that era and was previously a member of The Romeos in the 50s before being signed to Motown in the 60s as a songwriter, producer and artist from where he wrote his name into the annals of music in big bold letters. This is one of those feel good records that gets everyone going enthusiastically overexcited at the more discerning discos with all and sundry usually singing along at the top of their voices with smiles aplenty. An incredibly good record and if I was forced to take 5 records to a desert island (how improbable is that scenario...but anyway) this would be one of them.

Lamont Dozier - Going Back To My Roots

I was first introduced to this record by the boys over at Best Foot Forward and had absolutely no luck whatsoever finding it in the UK but just after I moved here and made a trip to Amoeba on Sunset it was staring at me in the dollar bin...result! How often does that happen? Absolutely never. This is one of those records that I could see someone like Kelvin Brown playing and taking the roof off and its percussive rhythm intertwined with some great vocal hooks and melodies makes this an absolute winner in my book.

Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes - The Block Party

M.I.A. is a British artist of Sri Lankan descent who comes with an incredibly colorful back story involving the Tamil Tigers, which may or may not be a load of bullshit depending on who you believe. What I do know is that she has taken the brave step of integrating world music, dancehall, electro and grime to come up with a sound that is uniquely hers. Originally a street artist who designed covers for the likes of Elastica and a host of others she has taken to music with aplomb and has even managed to bring a bit of leftfield to the oversaturated middle of the road pop charts, which is a major plus in my book.

Her music isn't particularly inclusive with some of the students at the school where I work declaring that she is the worst thing that they have ever heard (fairly harsh) but the records that she does get right such as the impeccable stomp-a-thong Gallang do keep her work on the radar over my way. Paper Planes is from her latest album Kala produced alongside the likes of Switch, Diplo, Timbaland, Blaqstarr and a host of others and is a raw call to arms that resonates as much with the rock kids as it does with dance snobs, which can only be a good thing. As good as the original is, the DFA remix is off the charts and is as close as punk rock gets to merge with a fuck you attitude in this day and age. Proper party rocking tune that would be great in dub form as well...hint, hint.

M.I.A - Paper Planes - DFA remix

I'm going to be putting up part 2 to this over the weekend including records from the likes of Masha Qrella, NOMO, Sly Mongoose, Aphrodelics and Coldcut.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Harmonic 313

Mark Pritchard has been pushing styles forward since his early days with Tom Middleton and their Evolution label. It’s the notion of experimentation in the face of convention that lies at the heart of Mark’s music, whether he’s recording with Tom under the guise of Global Communication or Jedi Knights, or solo as Reload, Harmonic 33, Troubleman or Use of Weapons. Aside from his LPs and various projects, Mark has also contributed to a plethora of remixes for the likes of The Orb, Lamb, Azymuth, and KRS-1. His new project alongside Dave Brinkworth under the Harmonic 313 'guise that he introduced us to on his remix for Azymuth last year. Harmonic 313 focuses on 'Detroit-Style' hip-hop hence the 313 (the dialing code for Detroit fact fans). Harmonic 313 have just released their first EP and it is an absolute belter, wonky bleepy techy hip hop is the order of the day and it is just what the disco doctor ordered. Superb and original stuff, but what else would you expect from Warp Records? It's early days yet but this could find itself in many end of the year charts come December.

The website is incredibly original, offering the chance for you to download Problem 7, which isn't on the EP, if you can solve the colour-coded problem. The guys behind Warp always come up with innovative and original ways of marketing their records and this is so simple yet so very effective. Hats off to them.

Harmonic 313 - Problem 7
Harmonic 313 - Word Problems

Check the website here.


This is the first of a new series where I'll be looking at nights all over the world and having the protagonists behind the madness tell us about the ups and downs of their endeavors in their own words. First up we have the North East's Suono. Check the fliers, they're ace.

We set up in 2004, as a direct response to the 2 a penny bling bling and funky house nights that were strangling the life out of Newcastle's nightlife..Lads with 3 haircuts on one head, dancing to wailing house wasn't really our thing, nor was trance (unless it was the klf played at 33 instead of 45rpm).

Our first party was held in the rather splendid art decor building that holds the Tyneside Cinema in July 2004. (those that made it down still talk about it now - and it is one of Greg Wilson's favourite gigs since he returned to dj'ing). After that grand start, we went on to hold parties inThe Cluny (putting on Manchester's hugely influential A Certain Ratio), World Hq (Greg Wilson all night) and The Sage (2020 Soundsystem and Greg Wilson), and a riotous night at the Northumberland Arms with the Idjut Boys and 300 helium balloons. The idea being that each party would use a different venue and keep the vibe fresh!

Our Sunday sessions have been held on Tokyo's wonderful rooftop since May 2005, and on Bank Holiday Sundays at the Tanners, one of Newcastle's finest beats and beer bars - just outside the city centre. We've been well and truly graced by the likes of Kelvin Andrews, Moonboots, Ashley Beedle, Danny Webb, Deepdown / Loveboat Crew, Phil Mison, Tadge and funnily enough, Greg Wilson, and been switched onto some lethal music. We always kick off at the ungodly hour of 5pm Sunday Tea Time and usually get kicked out about midnight, which gives us plenty of time to stretch our legs (but more importantly, 7 hours of boozing). More recently we've kindly been asked to do the upstairs room at Error_ where we've brought Phil Mison and Balearic Mike up to Newcastle, to play old disco records to a crowd of young modern house and techno heads.

We like to think that we've brought something different to Newcastle over the course of many a lost weekend for a few years, played some weird and wonderful music and hopefully inspired like minded people to get digging through the record bargain bins for lost treasures and drop the bpm, well below 120 while still swaying on the sabbath!! For the future, expect more of the same; the odd party, and Sunday night boozing while listening to great music with weekend warriors, long lost rave casualties and new friends!

Suono on Myspace
Suono's Blog


Balearic Mike at Suono: Part 1 and Part 2

Ashley Beedle Live at Suono Sundays 28.10.07: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Dano - Tokyo 28.10.07: Download it here.

Dano - Cooking on Gas at Tokyo: Download it here.

Tony Daly - Subterranean Sounds: Download it here.

Dano - Sounds Good for the Summer: Download it here.

Kelvin Andrews - Live @ Suono Sundays 2005: Download it here.

Ashley Beedle Mix for Suono: Download it here.

For more information on the thoroughbred rave-horse that is Tony 586 you can read here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Swindle Magazine

The blanket belongs to my pampered cats who got mardy with me for moving them, so I could take the picture. Normally they'd open a can of whipass on me as they take very little shit especially not from a dog-lover who has had to settle for cats but maybe they realized it was for the blog or they'd just eaten.

I had a bit of a moan about the demise of Tokion a couple of days ago and over the weekend down in Palm Desert I stumbled upon a new magazine that has a heap of promise, Swindle.

According to the website, 'Swindle is the definitive pop culture and lifestyle publication. We put out a timeless product in both soft cover and hard cover versions—the book is a beautifully designed coffee table piece that will stay relevant in years to come. More than just reporting on culture, SWINDLE influences it. We believe in the humanization and personalization of design, and present all our stories—luscious fashion spreads, artist profiles or social & political issues around the globe—with a cutting-edge aesthetic. SWINDLE was founded in 2004 by Shepard Fairey and Roger Gastman, who bring to the magazine their combined experiences as leaders in the fields of art, design, publishing and marketing.'

I don't really know why I've never seen it before but the issue that I picked up was issue no. 14 with the work of the ridiculously talented Barry McGee on the cover who recently had an exhibition at Red Cat in Los Angeles and you can see it in all its glory here.

The first article that caught my eye was on John Sinclair who co-founded The Black Panthers and was considered to be a radical revolutionary by the US government and today he calls Amsterdam his home just like all 60 year-old Thelonius Monk listening, pot-dealing political arnarchists would love to do, I suppose. He was so revered by celebrities and activists alike that in January 1971 no less than John Lennon, Allen Ginsberg, Stevie Wonder and a cast of 20000 called for his release from prison in Ann Arbor, Michigan. With it being Black History Month, it is quite ironic that one of the leading figures in the eradication of segregation and inequality in US society was a white guy from Detroit. Proof if ever, that it has nothing to do with the colour of your skin but the content of your character to paraphrase Dr. King.

This article is on Julien Nitzberg, I'd have to re-write the entire article just for you to get the essence of his importance but lets just say that he aims to bridge the gap between punk rock and operattas. Set the bar quite high there has our Julien.

Two years after the peace government, South Sudan is a place of dueling beauty and apocalyptic mythology. Shootings amongst disenfranchised soldiers constantly threaten to re-start all-out war. The article is about a woman from Los Angeles who went to the Sudan to investigate the plight of women in what is a truly a misogynistic culture, they are merely seen as having no uses beyond making food and bearing children. The eye-opening article is incredibly well-written and I can't recommend it highly enough.

This article is on Italian-based street artist Blu who is a newish artist for me but definitely someone who I am interested in mainly due to magnitude and placement of his work.

...and this is on the one and only Dalek who has quite possibly the dopest tattoo on his left arm.

I am pleased as punch to find a replacement for my Tokion fix and at $50 for six issues including shipping it's not breaking the bank. It also seems to be fiercely independent, which bodes well for its future. Check the website for more information here.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Obey x Obama

Shepard Fairey has put his art behind Barrack Obama in tomorrow's Super Tuesday Primary here in the US. Obviously not being eligible to vote I am fairly unbiased on the whole issue and having watched and read the glut of information in the US media on the subject I truly can't see a better candidate for the job than Senator Obama. Whether or not he is the best person to be running the US is another question, personally I'd like to have seen John Edwards still in the running as his policies were more in line with my views on society and especially on the issue of poverty. Anyway, Shepard had this to say about the artwork:

”I believe with great conviction that Barack Obama should be the next President. I have been paying close attention to him since the Democratic convention in 2004. I feel that he is more a statesman than a politician. He was against the war when it was an unpopular position (and Hillary was for the war at that time), Obama is for energy and environmental conservation. He is for healthcare reform. Check him out for yourself: Proceeds from this print go to produce prints for a larger statewide poster campaign.”

I'm all for artists taking influence from the society in which they live for use in their artwork, and Shepard has never shirked when it comes to letting people know exactly what he thinks and believes in and more power to him for being brazen enough to do so.

These posters were a limited run of 350 copies and as you might have guessed they are all sold out. Check eBay for them going for major coin in the months to come, especially if Obama wins.

...and this is as good a track as any for the Obama campaign.

Otis Redding - Change Is Gonna Come

Yoske Nishiumi

Yoske Nishiumi is a designer that I only found out about today and although he's been around a while but I couldn't find too much on him on the old Interweb (to be honest I didn't dig too deeply) but he does seem like the type of illustrator/designer who is aware of the overall symbiosis of aesthetics combined with the narrative of what is trying to be conveyed by the campaign on which he is working, which is easier said than done. Basically he ticks all the right boxes for me. Here is what I found out:

After working at an american company in Tokyo for 8 years Yoske Nishiumi left japan to travel for a while, which eventually resulted in him settling in Berlin in 2000. He defines Berlin as a city where you define people not by where they live or the company they work for, but by who they are as a person - the music they listen to, food they eat and other interests.

All of his projects are in collaboration with Zen Yoshimoto and Julia Boettcher of Koi Klub from their offices in Berlin.

For 4 years, the japanese sports fashion brand Onitsuka Tiger, has teamed up with Koi Klub, originally by offering products to DJs and musicians who played at the koi klub and recently by asking Nishiumi to design his own shoes.

The ΓΌber cool creative movement Koi Klub boasts a collection of work, which includes art pieces, sneaker designs, a magazine and a free monthly club-night - from which the iniative began.

This drawing is the original concept for the metamorphosis from the koi to the shoe.

...and this is the utterly blindingly brilliant final sculpture/shoe. I'd break my adidas rule/obsession to get my mitts on these.

For more information on Yoske Nishiumi look no further than here.

The End of The Chair

This was the reaction at the end of the final Chair in Mancunia. Last record was Sebeastian Tellier - La Ritournelle.

Definitely the best club night ever.

One Hundred Project : Cosmic Disco

What is on your stereo at the moment?

BAGGY: James Last – Voodoo Party. I found it on Salford Market for pennies last week from a French guy who has recently started a stall there (Thursday’s & Sunday’s). Especially rewarding as I’ve been hunting it down for a couple of years. This is why I get up at 8am I the morning in the pissing rain to dig around scummy markets.

NILES: Jenny Wilson - Love and Youth.

3 records that changed your life. Why?

BAGGY: Pink Floyd – Meddle. There are loads of records I could mention throughout my teenage ‘Stoner’ period but this one stands heads and shoulders above the rest. From the masterpiece that is ‘Echoes’ to my personal favourite ‘Fearless’, this Prog-Rock sound pretty much sums up what I was listening to when I was 14-18yrs of age.

Ashford & Simpson – Solid. For no other reason that it’s my missus’ and my ‘Song’ and we have jokingly decided it’s what we’ll play as our first song if we ever get married (Been together for over 11 years!). It gets a random airing in the Ashton household whenever we feel like a bit of a dance. The B-Side to this 12” is a serious Disco burner!

Kraftwerk – Autobahn. The 1st Kraftwerk album I bought which was my personal year zero when it came to my love affair with electronic dance music. I can’t really expand on what numerous other people much more qualified on the subject have said hundreds of times before me. Pioneering stuff indeed.

NILES: I can't honestly say that any records have 'changed my life' however these are very important to me...

Suede - Killing of a Flash Boy (Suede were the first group that I was really 'into' - this track reminds me of meeting my girlfriend, getting wasted with my friends, bunking sixth form, drinking cider and looking cool)

Daft Punk - Da Funk/Musique (Daft Punk, Cassius, Etienne De Crecy et al are the single biggest musical influence on my career as a DJ to date. This started that love affair. I had literally heard NOTHING like this when someone put it on after a night of angular posing and glam rocking down the Mud Club).

Phil Weeks - Mi Casa/Paul Woolford Casa Musica Remix (A tune about your night club with a remix specifically given the name of the night produced by your two favourite guests - happy times).

What are you looking forward to?

BAGGY: Manchester City’s remaining second half of the 2007-08 football season, Snowbombing 2008 (If we finally get booked!), Hercules & Love Affair’s album, spending 3-4 weeks of summer on a beach, spending the summer without having the disappointment of England’s over hyped expectations at a major football tournament only to get dumped out at the early stages, the impending recession so I can bargain hard to buy my first home and finally plucking up the courage to cut my hair to a length that befits my profession.

NILES: Going to see Justice at the Academy in February, going to Crufts in March, summer, my holidays, payday and my dinner...

What couldn’t you live without? Why?

BAGGY: First and foremost my girlfriend/cat/family & close friends for obvious reasons. Not far behind is my ever-burgeoning record collection. A can of Red Bull in the morning, Jaffa takeaway in Rusholme and Armstrong’s Fish Bar in Prestwich, Playstation 3, Apple MacBook Pro, Serato Scratch Live and my cheap car that is the most reliable piece of machinery ever manufactured. (Saab 900s, 1995, 165000 miles and going!).

NILES: My girlfriend, for obvious reasons really. I'd like to say music or art but I'm a simple creature.

Most memorable gig?

BAGGY: Stone Roses at Manchester Apollo in December 1995. (Turned out to be their last ever Manchester performance). My mate (For legal reasons shall remain nameless!) used to play for Manchester Utd. Youth team at the time and he used to get x2 complimentary tickets to every Utd. home game. After one particularly in-demand game he stood outside Old Trafford and touted his tickets for cash (Very risky considering he was still in his Utd. suit), the resulting exchange financed the tickets for this gig. We actually purchased the gig tickets from another tout – The irony! I remember Maddox had taken over as drummer from Reni and a member of the crowd passed forward a huge home made flag to Ian Brown that read ‘Reni Lives’ which he proceeded to swing around for the rest of the gig to the adoration of the screaming fans. I don’t think Maddox minded tbh. Ian Brown was awful (As ever) but John Squire more than made up for him as he was in amazing form.

The Rapture at Academy 2, Manchester in 06. I’ve never quite seen a band manage to perform whilst being so totally and utterly twatted on stage. They actually only played for about 30 mins as they blew the house system twice after which I almost instigated a mini riot by hurling abuse at the roadies as they aimlessly tried to fix the sound system to the embarrassment of the people with me. What music I did hear that night was ace though and I was for one evening at least I was ‘Down with the kids’.

Phoenix at Academy 3, Manchester, end of summer 2007. Niles introduced me to this fashionable French outfit and after witnessing them perform in a tiny (And very hot) 150 capacity upstairs room where they played using 2 drummers. They proceeded to blow me away. Amazing live band that are best mates with Thomas Bangalter and regular support act to Air. I was hooked from this point on. Oh yeah, one of them is shagging Sophia Coppola so you can hear their music on the ‘Lost In Translation’ soundtrack – I think that is referred to as ‘Taking one for the team’.

NILES: Les Rhytmes Digitales at Reading Festival. Really great live performance of the DarkDancer Album. I saw a few dates on this tour but the festival vibe was definitely the best.

Who/what are your influences?

BAGGY: My mum for bringing me (And my younger brother) up single handed whilst holding down 3 jobs and giving us everything we asked for as kids. I think she did an amazing job considering. My various football managers at junior football level who kept me on the straight and narrow as an unruly teenager and finally local DJ and life-guru Peter Masters for inspiring me to open my ears to all kinds of music (Helped me ‘rediscover’ some amazing music I’d dismissed in the past) as well as teaching me how to ‘DJ’ and generally being everything a good pal should be. Musically I try and take influence from everything I hear whether it’s the background music in a film or advert, a new mix someone has passed onto me and of course personal recommendations. When I was younger I tried to pass myself off as guitarist in several dodgy art-school bands where we took influence from your standard classic rock groups/artists but one good friend who I used to jam with around this time was always putting me onto ‘Alternative’ music which looking back had quite some influence. This chap is called Dominic Buckley and he is the drummer in a local band called ‘The Daywalkers’. Dom also goes under the moniker of Dom Kreep AKA ‘Kreeps’ and has had successful releases on such labels as the sadly now defunct ‘Output’ record label. His stuff is awesome.

NILES: Musically my influences are the music that I play, Jazz Funk, House, Boogie, Disco, Soul, Punk, Techno...DJ-wise - Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak, Cassius, Darshan Jesrani, Derrick May, Jeff Mills - locally Bucky, Krysko, Moonboots & Boardman & Mr Scruff have all influenced me.

What is the best and worst thing about the city that you live in?

BAGGY: Best things – Manchester City F.C, being big enough a city to make it feel like a major metropolis whilst being small enough to walk around in an hour or jumping in a car and 20 minutes later be at a mates/family members house anywhere within the region, city centre living, the weather, the friendliest/most helpful locals in the country with the best sense of humour, the cultural/sexual diversity, Coronation Street, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution & the computer, a fantastic University (Biggest student population in Europe), it’s rich musical history that influences you regardless of whether you realise it or not and being able to get out into the countryside in less than 30 mins.

Worst Things – Manchester Utd. F.C, the weather, house prices (Especially the now saturated state of residential developments that in 20 years could be the city’s future slums), Affleck’s Palace closing down, not enough green spaces/parks within the city centre and Scoucers invading the city (And the Trafford Centre) at the weekend to do their shopping. I’ve heard Liverpool is getting it’s own Primark soon so this will no doubt lower the Scouse footfall in the city! ;-)

NILES: I live in a town, Bury. The Best thing is the world famous market - the home of black pudding. The worst thing about Bury, well, I've only been there 4 months and I've yet to find anything wrong with it. *Simon – I am from Bury so this is another reason why it is one of the best things!

Given the accelerated pace of modern culture, what are we due a revival in?

BAGGY: 1980’s Cock-Rock and massive power ballads (Taken from film soundtracks) that crossover into the charts and stay at number 1 for over 14 weeks.

NILES: Lights Alive picture maker. Google it.

Hero? Why?

BAGGY: My mother for the reasons described above and also Diego Maradona. In my dreams of making it as a professional footballer I would’ve pretty much modelled myself on Maradona. Not his playing style (Yeah, right!) but more his extra curriculum activities. George Best turned up about 2000 degrees. He’s also the scorer of the best ever World Cup goal as well, possibly the best goal ever? Maybe. Legend, end of…

NILES: Honestly, I don't really have a hero. I have people I admire in the world of sport and music and film but I don't have a hero. Massive respect for Thomas Bangalter, Guy Manuel De Homem Christo, Christian Bale, Robbie Fowler, Alex Gopher, Steve Coogan, Bob Mortimer, Pepe Bradock, Kenny Dalglish, Phillipe Zdar, Etienne De Crecy, AIR, Vic Reeves & my dad.

Is there anything else that you feel that we should know?

BAGGY: Simon could/should have been a professional footballer (Division 3 level anyway ;-). Was almost lynched whilst working on ‘Beachbombing’, Barcelona in 2004, currently works as an event manager for the city’s largest exhibition/conference centre whilst being an avid Manchester City fan he also has an unfashionable 80’s style hair-cut that his devilishly good looks enable him to carry off. He is 30 years old and is partial to oriental food and even more partial to oriental women. (Have eyes for only one oriental woman though! ;-)) Oh yeah almost forgot – will probably take over the running of the Internet at some point in 2008.

NILES: I played 'Thug 2' in a documentary about Transsexuals. I won the art award in infants and juniors and was allowed to keep the trophy. I am a champion Public speaker.

Baggy's The Aviator Mix


1. Space Rocket Take Off – Out of This World. Atmospheric Sound Effects From The BBC Radiophonic Workshop [BBC Records – 1976]
2. Pink Floyd – Echoes [Harvest - 1971]
3. Ash Ra Tempel Feat. Rosi – Bring Me Up [Kosmiche - 1973]
4. Francis Monkman – Trouble Spots [Bruton – 1979]
5. Kraftwerk – Metropolis [Capitol – 1978]
6. Giorgio Moroder – Night Drive (Reprise) – [Polydor – 1980]
7. Ganymed – Hyperspace [Bellaphon -1978]
8. Edgar Winter – Do What [Blue Sky – 1979]
9. Arpydys – Funky Bass [Polydor – 1977]
10. Dave Grusin & The NY/LA Dream Band – Countdown [GRP – 1983]
11. Azymuth – May I Have This Dance? (Concede-Me Esta Danca?) [Milestone – 1982]
12. Mandre – Third World Calling (Opus III) [Motown – 1977]
13. Brian Bennett – Discovery [Strut Comp – 2001]
14. Ultravox – Dislocation [Island – 1978]
15. Simple Minds – League of Nations [Virgin – 1981]
16. Faust – It’s A Rainy Day Sunshine [Polydor – 1972]
17. Can – Moonshake [United Artists – 1973]
18. John Keating Inc. – Love’s Theme [EMI – 1974]
19. Space Rocket Landing – Out of This World. Atmospheric Sound Effects From The BBC Radiophonic Workshop [BBC Records – 1976]

Download it here.

For more information on Baggy, Niles and Bucky you could always just read this older post here or visit their superb website here.

They have done a superb interview with Wally Badarou who produced a bit of Fela's later work amongst a huge catalog of work, and it is absolutely essential that you read it as it is probably the best interview that I have read online or in print for quite a while. Read it here.