Friday, February 15, 2008

One Hundred Project : Corbett Wall

What is on your stereo at the moment?

My wife and I’ve been entertaining a lot of people lately at home (Chinese New Year), so I have a heavy sampling of dinner music on our stereo:

David Sanborn, Timeagain
Michael Buble, Michael Buble
Bettye Lavette, The Scene of the Crime
Jack Johnson, In Between Dreams
The Definitive Bossa Nova Lounge Album

3 records that changed your life. Why?

Louis Armstrong & Hot Five - Cornet chop suey/Muskrat ramble.
I grew up with my grandparents, and had the whole basement to myself. There was an old Victor Victrola down there which was really my only form of entertainment, apart from a dart board, and model planes. The Victrola was filled with old 78’s and I’d sit for hours going through each of them. The one that stuck out in my mind, and is probably why I played jazz most of my life was this one. I grew up listening to Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glen Miller, Jelly Roll Morton, before I even know what pop music was. I though this was pop music.

Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life
I was in 5th grade when this came out and I remember one day my music teacher pulling out the record player and putting this on. It was the first time anyone had done that before at school, so it was exciting. She said, “This just came out and I have to let you hear it.” No one else seemed to really pay much attention, but what I heard, the harmonies, the groove, the message, has stuck with me until now. I can’t remember the teacher’s name, but I have to thank her for opening my eyes and ears that day.

United Future Organization, U.F.O
Back in Taipei during the mid-1990s I was doing a lot of live loop sampling, mixing DJs with live music, poets, rappers, etc at a club called the Opium Den, but no one really got it at that time unfortunately. About the same time, I stumbled onto this group, which really defined for me creative live electronica. This record for me was a clear awakening to me where jazz and I needed to go to be grooving, fresh, and creative, just like it was in the 1950s and 1960s. I soon stopped playing after these innovative gigs because it was just too frustrating to realize that I couldn’t link what I was doing live with what I was releasing for the record company. At least not in Taiwan in the 1990s. So I look at this album as a sort of a wake up call for me to start doing other things to pay the rent rather than be a frustrated musician.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to the time where my day involves complicated strategic decisions such as determining which tomato to pick from my garden for lunch, and which path I should take the dogs out for a walk afterwards.

What couldn’t you live without? Why?

I couldn’t live without my wife Irene. Or I should say, I couldn’t live a full complete life without my wife Irene. She constantly helps me define what’s important in life, and encourages me to keep doing new things, If she wasn’t around I’d probably have a string of 22 yr old girlfriends who didn’t know who Aretha Franklin was, and pretend I was happy being interested in purses and hair products.

Most memorable gig?

I used to play on this baseball team full of celebrities called the “Star Twinkles.” We were actually pretty good, and dedicated to drinking gaoliang and the occasional practice. We had this one game against a pro team, I think it was the Brother Elephants, and we were in the old Taipei Stadium. There were 10,000 people, and the team wanted me to stand on the pitcher’s mound and play a jazz version of the Taiwan National Anthem. At that time it was illegal to “corrupt” the anthem in any way, but I did anyway and will never forget the five endless seconds of silence after I finished, while people were trying to figure out why a foreigner in a baseball uniform was playing the national anthem on a saxophone – in a weird style, before everyone stood up and started applauding wildly.

Who/what are your influences?

Too many, but I’ll name 4 off the top of my head.

Frank Sinatra
Hank Crawford
Sly Stone
Grant Greene

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

I live these days in Shanghai.
The best thing is that it’s a sort of rewind of Taipei in the early 1990s.
The worst thing is getting a cab when it rains.

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

I think there will soon be a revival in simplicity.

Hero? Why?

Herb Alpert. He played funky cool music in the 1960s, wore bell bottoms and platforms without shame, started A&M records in a garage for $500, signed all the best artists of that time, and sold the company (and later the publishing) for more than US$1 billion. Now he paints, and when he feels like it he hires the best musicians in the world to go on tour with him, performing around the world wherever he wants.

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

There’s a lot of ways to get where you want to go, but you usually never take the right way.

I met Corbett when I lived in Taipei and his venue/restaurant The Living Room played host to many of my late night shenanigans while I was in the city. His wife, Irene, cooks the worlds best hot and spicy noodles and in all truth everything that she cooked was great. The Living Room was my beacon of sanity towards the end of my stay in Taipei and I had the first part of my going away party with three bands playing there, the second part had 8 DJs playing at Eden, which was all on the same night and ended with Pierre and I almost playing architects at 6am in an advertisement but that is another story for another day. The Living Room was my home away from home and Corbett was always a knowledgeable and entertaining host and man oh man can he make a sax sing. Below is his bio taken from his website.

Hi, my name is Corbett Wall, but most people know me by my Chinese name, 高培華 (Gao Pei Hua), and I'm into the second third of my life.

I'm an Okinawan/Denver hybrid named after an old heavyweight boxer, who started traveling internationally at the age of three. I play the saxophone, have two dogs, and a wonderful wife who loves me. We all live in the mountains near Taipei sometimes, or in Shanghai, or in Beijing. It's confusing.

For the past 19 years, I've created a fantastic life here in Asia. Much more than most foreigners really ever get to see. I have the unusual distinction of being the first non-Chinese "pop star" in Taiwan. This took me all over the region and I got to travel and live a pretty happening rock and roll lifestyle. I sold a lot of records, got to wear some fancy clothes, and met a lot of interesting people; from politicians to gangsters to super models to CEOs. (My friends think it's just amazing that most women over 35 in Taiwan know who I am. What can I say?)

Then I got into producing, writing, and the business side of it, which took me to Europe and the US doing pop and classical music for famous Chinese artists and cool stuff like recording top UK orchestras, producing the first Grammy nominated Chinese album, creating a music label for artists to record on the world's largest piano, to selling record companies.
Later, with my wife, I became involved in a well known non-profit organization in New York, and supported the 7 Train Orchestra for Chinese and American kids in Queens, NY. We did all sorts of cool community based events, mainly to facilitate inter-cultural involvement through the arts. We took the concept back to Taiwan and I found myself fully involved for several years in children's arts education, music publishing, and artist management.

Sony heard that I was sloughing off and hadn't released an album for a couple years, signed me, and we recorded a great album for one of their jazz labels. This kept me in Shibuya and presented me with a major dilemma. Move to Japan, play with the best jazz musicians, hang out in cool clubs, and wear nice suits... or try to develop a better business model.
As I sat on the steps in front of Starbuck's smoking a cigar, watching the thousands of kogyaru girls pass through Hachiko, each carrying their trusty ketai around like a can of mace, I began thinking about the sake conversation I had a few weeks earlier with my friends at Docomo after touring their futuristic research center. We were discussing UMTS AD converters and the problems with transmitting music wirelessly.

That conversation got me thinking about the interactive elements of media creation, and I figured if guys like David Bowie, Thomas Dolby, and Todd Rundgren could fiddle around with technology, why couldn't I? The cigar burned out, and I haven't looked back.

I currently keep busy with a variety of projects. I invented a process for distributing real-time interactive media information through mobile devices, own Taipei's coolest music venue, the Living Room, and invested in a few things here and there. Most recently I've been spending my time in little cities around China developing real estate, searching out good music, and wondering what the heck is really going on here.

Corbett has chosen a heavy selection of tracks for your listening pleasure...dive in they're all killer.


Lou Donaldson - Hamp's Hump
Kombo - Lowrider
Jimmy McGriff - Dig On It
Sly & The Family Stone - Sing A Simple Song
Charles Williams - Booger Bear
Marcus Miller - Burning Down The House
Harlem Nocturne
Chris Kynard - Odds On
Melvin Sparks - Texas Twister
Grant Greene - Cantaloupe Woman
Lou Donaldson - Turtle Walk
Bill Withers - Use Me

Download it here.

Banksy x Damien Hirst

This painting entitled Keep It Spotless, which is a collaboration between Damien Hirst and Banksy two of the foremost breakout artists of the past 15 years, was auctioned off for a staggering $1.87m yesterday for the AUCTION (RED) fundraiser. It's basically a merging of Damien's wrapping paper and one of Banksy's iconic images that are scattered on walls across the planet.

Other artists work that was sold were by Takashi Murakami, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Anish Kapoor, Chuck Close, Tracey Emin and a host of others. I'm not sure how much money was raised but it's safe to say that the coffers of RED are nicely filled today.

This is a video on Banksy presented by Verity Sharp.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One Hundred Project : Jonny Dub

What is on your stereo at the moment?
Flying Lotus 'reset ep.' This guy is on another level

3 records that changed your life. Why?
NWA 'niggaz for life'
This was given to me on a tape back when I was 12, for a pre teenager living in the suburbs of Cheshire this was a total eye opener musically . It was so raw in content that the only way I could get away with listening to it was to keep a tape player under my bed and listen to it late at night, studying and memorizing the lyrics and reciting them flawlessly to my friends. This album was the the catalyist which began a lifelong passion with hip hop which I still have today.

Fingathing 'the main event'
I first heard fingathing on a snowboarding holiday in 2001 (snowboming), I had never seen an act like them, just 2 guys, a set of turntables, a freaky looking double bass, some heavy beats and some crazy ass animations courtesy of their 3rd member Chris Drury. The energy they had onstage coupled with their unique sound just blew me away. It was Fingathing who really pushed me into wanting to get turntables and thus kickstarted my dj career.

Fela Kuti 'water got no enemy'
This was the song that started getting me into African music and the afrobeat sound. Before this most of my musical interests were European and American. This was the beginning of a musical exploration which delved deep into Africa and beyond. I started to broaden my horizons and began listening to music from many other cultures which previously had been ignored.

What are you looking forward to?
The future. Hopefully I will get the chance to continue doing what I’m doing, become more successful at it and have a career doing something I love. That way I will never work a day in my life. You can’t get better then that.

What couldn’t you live without? Why?
My G4 powerbook and the internet, its at the centre of many aspects of my life. It’s a tool to create, a means of communicating with old friends & new acquaintances, a source of knowledge as well as a source of entertainment.

Most memorable gig?
My most memorable gig was at Dpercussion 2006 on the Sketch City stage, the stage was positioned underneath some railway arches in castlefield in the city centre. We had a killer soundsystem and the crowd was packed in. I was playing just as the sun was setting and the atmosphere was insane. The stage was surrounded by people on both sides so I was cocooned in amongst people going nuts for about 45 minutes. My dj set was the culmination of a lot of hard work in the run up to that festival and it could not have been more enjoyable. The best thing about that day was that everyone who played on that stage was a friend of mine, and watching their faces light up as they played in such a great atmosphere will always be with me. I couldn’t stop smiling for weeks after that one.

Who/what are your influences?
Musically I would have to say Mr Scruff, I have been a regular attender of Keep it unreal his residency in Manchester pretty much since it started. He is one of the few dj’s I really respect and admire for so many reasons. I started to get to know him when I began working his tea shop about 4 years ago, it was a chance meeting with a girl called Rachel got me the job which I did for over a year and loved every minute of it. He is an incredibly nice man and has also supported Sketch City for a long time now and I am very grateful for him doing what he does as it has provided me with many happy memories. I would also have to say that my partner in crime Ryan has been a big influence on me musically by constantly introducing me to fantastic music. He has helped develop Sketch City and taken it to another level and without whom I would not have been able to do what I have done. Respect. But most importantly I would have to say my family. They are by no means perfect but they have always been there for me, and importantly have always supported and encouraged me to find my own way in life and supported me in the good times and bad. I would be nothing without them.

What is the best and worst thing about the city that you live in?
The best is the amazing sense of opportunity. You can pretty much do anything in Manchester and there are people who can and will help you along in your way provided you go about it the right way, show respect, integrity and work hard at what you want and it can happen.

The worst is quite a cliché but it’s the weather. If Manchester had the weather of Miami it would be the best place on the earth….fact.

Given the accelerated pace of modern culture, what are we due a revival in?
Bad haircuts, skinny jeans and bad music….oh no wait were having that already…

Hero? Why?
I don’t really have any hero’s as such, however I have the up most respect for anyone who is prepared to push the boundaries, for the pioneers, innovators and creators. These are the people who set the trends not follow them and who others can only imitate. If it wasn’t for these people the world would be a very dull place indeed.

Is there anything else that you feel that we should know?
Keep your eyes peeled for Sketch city’s new art gallery The Upper Space and new club night hoya:hoya, both will be filled with great things. Also be sure to support your local independent club nights, dj’s and performers, these are the things that really make your city a fun place to be. Without them all we would have left is bullshit bars with bullshit music full of bullshitters.

Jonny alongside Ryan Hunn runs Sketch City and Hoya:Hoya and is just about to open the first gallery dedicated solely to street art in Manchester called The Upper Space at the end of the month. Sketch City is a great day out for the whole family with boards and markers supplied and musical guests of the calibre of the likes of Mr Scruff, Jon K, Kelvin Brown and numerous others (including me once) supplying the beats as resident artists and guest artists brighten the room up over the course of the day. It's a great Sunday out.

After being the best stage at the D:Percussion Festival for two years in a row the boys are taking their enthusiasm and knowledge into the night and taking over the coveted last Saturday of the month slot vacated by the Electric Chair and are about to write a new chapter into Manchester's rich clubbing folklore with their highly promising night Hoya:Hoya that will feature Ryan Hunn all night long in the main room and Jonny in the Shack playing music that leaves no genre left unturned. I rate both of them highly and 6 hours of Ryan in full bloom will raise the roof. In March they have the awesome Michigan mavericks James T. Cotton and Todd Osbourne guesting and knowing Jonny and Ryan the quality of guests on offer will be up to their usual impeccable standard over the coming months and years. I have no doubt that the end of the month will see the birth of a new clubbing institution in the UK.

All I can say to Jonny and Ryan is best of luck with all their ventures and you couldn't wish success on a nicer bunch of lads as I have a lot of time for the two of them and everything that they do. For more info check their swish new site here or add them as a friend on Myspace here.

This is a very busy month for Jonny what with both the gallery and the club night launching he can be forgiven for not supplying us with a mix just yet, so what I've done until Jonny finds time to come to surface and breathe is put up a couple of videos from his influences as well as a track off the awesome Flying Lotus EP.

Flying Lotus - Dance Floor Stalker

Fela Kuti - Water No Get Enemy

N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton

...and here is a video taster for Sketch City.

The influence of a loved one

As the snow falls yet again I'm going through my iTunes and when it is cold I tend to move away from dance music and more towards the indie, or balearock as I have come to call it, section/file/whatever. To be honest, this post would never have had a chance of happening six years ago before I met my wife. I was deeply into techno and tech-house at the time with a bit of jazz here and there, and my collection was basically a huge pile of instrumental records that did very little but sounded great 'in the mix', stuff like Surgeon, Nils Hess, 16B and the like.

My wife, who has a huge record collection comprising everything from reggae to shoegaze, gave me a copy of David Bowie Young Americans, The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and Marvin Gaye What's Goin' On on the first birthday of mine that we celebrated together. I was aware of Marvin Gaye but the rest were new to me and are just a bucket in the ocean of the amazing bands that she has gotten me into. My favourite record that she has gotten me into has to be Aretha Franklin Sings The Blues, which is a phenomenal record and start to finish is perfect. as you can tell Jeni's choices in music are impeccable and I'm determined to get her to take part in the One Hundred Project and will get round to locking her in the record room until she finishes it probably over spring break. It will be incredible, of that I have no doubt.

She is, to steal a line, my north, my south, my east and my west - she is everything that I could ever hope for in a partner and I look forward to growing old with her. She never reads this but if she does for some reason today then all I can is that I love you, Jeni. xx

Below are some of my current favourites and I particularly like the Miracle Fortress track from their superb album Five Roses, which you should seek out immediately if you haven't already.

Vetiver - You May Be Blue

Black Mountain - Wucan

Morrissey - The National Front Disco

John Martyn - Don't Want To Know

Studio - West Side

Miracle Fortress - Have You Seen In Your Dreams

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

One Hundred Project : Chuck Anderson

What is on your stereo at the moment?

Animal Collective - 'Strawberry Jam', The National - 'Boxer', The Austerity Program - 'Black Madonna', The Field - 'From Here We Go Sublime' is what's been playing lately.

3 records that changed your life. Why?

Appleseed Cast - 'End of the Ring Wars'
This album was introduced to me when I was in high school as a freshman I believe. At the time I'd really only been listening to more mainsteam rock and pop stuff, didn't really know any better. I had a friend introduce me to all this indie stuff which was totally fascinating to me at the time (about 9 years ago now) because it was like this whole untapped musical world I didn't know existed. One of the first songs I heard from his collection was Appleseed Cast's song 'Marigold & Patchwork' and I was just really floored...I thought it was great. From there I started exploring like a madman all this new music I'd never heard before.

Isis - 'SGNL>05'
The first time I heard the second track on this album 'Divine Mother (The Tower Crumbles)' I was hooked by the sheer intensity of the music, even though I couldn't understand a word Aaron Turner was saying. Really opened me up to the whole world of drone/ avant-garde metal that to this day I could work or drive to for hours.

Jay-Z - 'Reasonable Doubt'
I was never really big into hip-hop. That's what growing up in the white suburbs of Chicago does to you I guess. But when I first heard a few tracks from this album (years after it was released, mind you) I had an awakening to it. There are really only 3 or 4 other hip-hop albums that I will probably always listen to besides this one. Just a really classic, great album full of good songs. Not just one or two.

What are you looking forward to?

Moving to the new condo in a few months that my wife and I recently bought in Grand Rapids, MI.

What couldn’t you live without? Why?

My wife for all the obvious reasons, but posession-wise...My computer or email. I don't know, I've just really come to live my life on it. Ha...I don't know if that sounds sad or if I'm just one of the millions of people who would also have to admit that.

Most memorable gig?

Certainly not a favorite band, event, or gig of all-time, but as far as memorable goes...seeing The Offspring play at the World Music Theater in Tinley Park, IL when I was in junior high is probably the most memorable. It was a day-long fest put on by local radio station Q101 and Offspring was one of the main nighttime headliners. During their last song they instructed everyone in the amphitheater to throw their garbage, food, and whatever else on stage...let's just say that was a bad move. Literally thousands of drunk morons hurling bottles, hot dogs, cans, shirts, plates, and garbage forward. To say the least, that was a memorable moment for me. I was like 14 years old. I had no clue what was going on. Ha.

Who/what are your influences?

My wife, family, and friends are all my biggest inspiration and influence. I get a lot of inspiration from music of course as well as traveling, meeting new people, spending time in bookstores just zoning out with a good stack of magazines or art books, playing Scrabble...All these things inspire and influence me somehow.

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

Well, I'm living temporarily in Normal, IL because my wife is finishing school here. The worst thing is telling people the name of the town. Normal, IL. The best thing is that we've got a lot of really amazing friends down here that we'll miss when we move up to Grand Rapids, MI in a few months.

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

That's a really, really good question. It might sound trite, but I think a revival in simplicity is well needed. Just overall...less things, less materialistic and senseless purchases, less investment in fashion and obsessing with ourselves, our looks, and our stuff. A revivial in appreciating low-key, chilled out, relaxed living and not being so frantic and worried about things all the time. I could be much better with this.

Hero? Why?

Can't really say I have one in particular. Just a lot of people (friends and family) that I admire and love a lot.

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

When I was in 7th grade, my favorite band was Chumbawamba. I even had a shirt with that big pink baby face on it. No, I'm not kidding.

Chuck is an incredible designer and artist and to find out more about him please read here and in lieu of a mix I've decided to put up a couple of tracks from Chuck's influences and current favourites.

The National - Tall Saint

Thom Yorke - The Cymbal - The Field Late Night Essen und Trinken remix

Animal Collective - Did You See The Words (Live)

The Appleseed Cast - Here We Are (Family In The Hallways)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Last Rites

Last Rites was borne out of a simple post on the sadly defunct Electriks forum by Gareth Shiells asking if anyone was interested in starting a club night. That post stirred the beast in Paul Hughes, Juliet Shaw and myself who replied immediately and together we formed the original team behind Last Rites with Paul Hemmingfield being kind enough to do the artwork and the visuals for us for free in true DiY acid house spirit. Gareth said that he knew the perfect venue for the pre-party and it was on a rainy night that a group of us got together and headed down to Font Bar on New Wakefield street, thankfully only a short drunken stumble from the Music Box, to have a look and five or six pints later the deal to use the venue was sealed and our outpost was set up.

Gareth Shiells and Paul Hughes

Last Rites was never intended to be a money-making endeavor nor a place that relied on known DJs but rather a free party that was open to anyone who was a forum member to come down and play a few regardless of whether they had done so before. No bullshit, no gimmicks just an excuse to get warmed-up with a bit of a boogie and indeed some woogie before the carnage ahead at the Electric Chair.

Hughesy and Gareth's banner

On the opening night the guest DJs were Balearic Mike, Dan Bowman and Mat Hoods who alongside residents Paul Hughes, Gareth Shiells and myself (Juliet Shaw wasn’t a DJ at this point) set the good ship Last Rites on its course through balearicfunksouljazzhousetechnowhatever waters. The spirit of community was firmly in place when Gareth arrived with two banners bearing the word Last Rites that made us look far more professional than we were and with Peroni as our new chosen tipple of choice we drank, danced and laughed our way through well over 80 bottles on the opening night and one of us, not naming names here, even made the dramatic ‘fall down the steps in the Music Box’ entrance made famous by Mos Gef a few months later. A great night and one that had all of us excited for what lay ahead.

Balearic Mike and Dan 'Mr Heavy' Bowman

Typically restrained Hughesy

Danny Zeit with the secret Santa CDs

With support coming from Electriks the night was officially made the Electriks pre-party and after a few months of rip-roaring end of the month shenanigans in the disco den at Font, some of which turned into hands in the air smile-a-thons, in June 2006 Paul Hughes, Gareth Shiells and myself were asked to do warm-up duty in the Shack and by the time Paul had done his warm-up-not-warm-up Ben Potato was on the podium with a host of other familiar faces going absolutely radio rental and it wasn’t even 12 yet. Typical Last Rites in all truth.

Gareth and myself warming things up in the Shack

Gareth and Paul

Ben and Lee giving it horns

The BBQs were where Last Rites really took shape. Juliet and Paul punted the idea to Tim Ellis proprietor of The Salutation in Hulme that a disco in a pub was a good idea and Tim being the good egg that he is was more than up for the idea even going as far as supplying the soundsystem which I may or may not have blown in a fit of overexcitedness on occasion.

Nao asking me to play more J Rocc probably

The first BBQ is probably best remembered for the debut of Juliet behind the decks who after a very brief tutorial from yours truly played a set that had everyone up and off their feet by 7pm with an inspired selection of a Ten City tune that had the first of many 'I fookin' love this one' shouts coming from the forum heads, not a bad start, eh? The night was capped off with a fine set by a typically inebriated Paul Hughes that culminated in the Todd Terje re-edit of Michael Jackson’s ‘Can’t Help It’ and had everyone dancing in a tiny courtyard like it was the main floor of the Music Box. New friendships were cemented that night under Mancunian skies behind the Sally.

Gareth, Juliet and myself

With Last Rites never being about the people who ran it but being vehemently inclusive of everyone to create a family atmosphere, by the third BBQ the idea was to have people pair up with like-minded souls to lay down an hour of music from 2pm until midnight. With rain forcing the music indoors, we knew we were off to a good start when Birdy and Babe both of whom had never DJ’d before kicked the day off with a selection that had quite a few of us dancing our socks off at 2:30pm with Babe winning tune of the day for her inspired 4Hero choice. Superb stuff. The day also saw the debuts of Andy Parmavee and John Trailer Trash both of whom played records that had me scrambling to find out what they were and me convincing John that he was my new favourite DJ, which he still is. The Tangerine Dream marathon from Paul Hemo and Duncan Diablo sadly/thankfully never materialized and by the end of the night we had heard music from all for corners of the record shop including Steven McNulty’s inspired selections as well having a memorable live Lily Allen-inspired piece from the lovely Potatoes that had everyone singing along…even a few of the locals. A special word of thanks must go to Adam and Ema who went way beyond the call of duty by getting a taxi back home and back just so that some more killer cuts could be aired.

Birdy and Joanne (BABE)

Gareth & Trailer Trash

Duncan & Hemo

Last Rites continued to go from strength to strength over the coming months with many a great night down in the disco den, a Christmas party with carol singing lead by Elisabeth as well as guest spots at parties around Manchester and beyond making us as a collective known in the city. Word was getting out.

Jo & Chris playing another one of their bananas yet brilliant sets

Last Rites culminated in November 2007 with a guest slot all-night in the Shack where the forum all-stars took the roof off with a bare-knuckle ride through heavy hitters with typical smiles all around and hugs aplenty. It seemed fitting to call time on Last Rites at this incredibly high point with the Chair just a few months from closing. Watch this space though as with a new message board filled with old and new friends alike there may just be life in this old dog yet.

Last Rites is for the people by the people and has always been about getting a community of like-minded people together to do nothing more than have a good time and play records that uplift the soul surrounded by people that have grown to love and admire each other. Without Last Rites there wouldn’t be any Kumo, there wouldn’t be any The Bears Upstairs, there certainly wouldn’t be the myriad of nights that have found a home in a pub in deepest darkest Hulme.

Long live Last Rites and all who sailed with her.

Last Rites All-Stars Live In The Shack @ The Electric Chair, November 2007 part 1, download it here.

Last Rites All-Stars Live In The Shack @ The Electric Chair, November 2007 part 2, download it here.

Last Rites All-Stars Live In The Shack @ The Electric Chair, November 2007, part 3, download it here.

Theo Parrish x adidas

Some of you may have seen this advertisement/video of Theo Parrish walking around the streets of Detroit recording sounds for the adidas Sounds of The City series that I think the guys from HVW8 are doing as well. I didn't realise that it was an ad until the very end, which is kind of the way how I like it.

For those of who that don't know, Theo Parrish is a Detroit-based musician/producer known for his Ugly Edit series that go for major coin on eBay when someone is dumb enough to want to give one up. His edit of Etta James 'In The Basement' is particularly good and amongst his huge back catalogue, which you can see here are records such as The Rink, Dan Ryan, the amazing Dirt Rhodes, Summertime is Here and my personal favourite Reaction to Plastic all of which put this man on a level playing field with some of the Motor City's finest producers such as Moodymann, Carl Craig and Recloose but is a pity that most of his records are seemingly pressed on bin lids, which does effect the sound and quality of them. Theo's DJ sets are as gritty and raw as his music is and make him a must see if he is ever playing anywhere near you.

Theo Parrish - Ugly Edit 5

Theo Parrish - Soul Control

One Hundred Project : Buddahboy

What is on your stereo at the moment?
Flying Lotus/ J Dilla (always)/ SUBA/ Trus' Me / Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings / Dwight Trible

3 records that changed your life. Why?
Dancing in Outer Space - Atmosphere - my favourite record and the one that started me dancing at 10

Making Love after Dark - Roland Rahsaan Kirk - the most amazing record i've ever heard ,a blind man playing three wind instruments at the same time. Still sounds future now and even has a sticker warning listeners that there is no band just the man himself.

Spacek - Eve (Jay Dee remix) - I heard the future and it's name was Dilla

What are you looking forward to?
Seeing Karizma Kaytronik in three weeks time. Attending Raw Fusion at the end of Feb. New ATCQ release

What couldn’t you live without? Why?
Dancing to great music across the board. But music generally- uplifting heartrending soul shaking music. The sort that demands i move to it.

Most memorable gig?
Trouble Funk in The HACIENDA in about 86

Who/what are your influences?
Not all musical some art based, some humanitarian, some literary. Musically though Art Blakey/ Pete Rock/ Patrick Adams/ Dilla / KDJ

What is the best and worst thing about the city that you live in?
Best - the lack of homogeony and indominatable spirit

Worst -pandering to students and lack of support and respect for black music promoters/dj's

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

Hero? Why?
Bjork - never goes with the flow, challenging all preconceptions and produces provoking music always.
Kool DJ Herc - the man who started that block party/jam in the park style without him there would have been no Hip Hop

Is there anything else that you feel that we should know?
Nah i'm a private person lol

Paul is the sharpest dressed man in Manchester with a discerning ear for quality hip hop, funk, house and soul and a penchant for a healthy debate and an eye for art and architecture that is as educating as it is eye-opening and inspiring.

I've taken the liberty of putting three J Dilla related tracks up seeing as it was the anniversary of the great mans death on February 10th, hope you don't mind Paul.

Steve Spacek - Let The Dollar Circulate

DJ Spinna - Dilla is The G.O.A.T.

Dabrye feat. Jay Dee & Phat Kat - Game Over - Flying Lotus remix

Monday, February 11, 2008

One Hundred Project : Tony Suono

What is on your stereo at the moment?
Mudd's album and I've a load of mixes downloaded that I need to pull my finger out and listen too. Apart from that, I just don't seem to be able to settle in and listen to some music. My attention span is useless!

3 records that changed your life. Why?
808 State - Pacific State. One of the first dance records that I actually sought out in Dec 89, from Our Price in Sunderland, I think. I was working in a quarry, fresh from leaving school, with nothing for company apart from a load of jazz mags and a radio that was wired up to a car battery. Hearing this alongside stuff like 'Lambada' and New Kids On The Block, was a total revelation, and set the wheels in motion.

Donna Summer "I Feel Love" (Patrick Cowley mix). Just the whole track, the moodiness of the vocal, the bassline and the out there electronics. I used to do a mix (about 1995) of this and Purpose Maker's "In The Bush". Around 2000, I went into a mates studio where he chopped down the Donna Summer track into about 120 loops, so the track would sit on the top of the Purpose Maker one. The result was 'Lovin Da Bush'. I sent it off to Andy at Skint Records and asked what he thought of it. I hadn't heard anything from him either positive or negative, so got in touch and was told that Rocky from X-Press 2 picked up on it, loved it and they'd been playing it all over the world in their sets. That was a bit of a shock! During 2001, I got to hear it played on Radio 1 three times - World DJ Day, Miami WMC and Glastonbury. Quite a proud moment for me.

LFO "LFO". My first proper night out in the summer of 1990, this was played and it was a real "What the fu*k is this, and what is going on around me?" moment. "LFO" sounded totally alien to your 'Top Of The Pops' fodder and still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck now.

What are you looking forward to?
Getting fit again, after numerous years of seeing how much I can put my body through, I'm determined to get myself in good shape. Also looking to maybe put a couple of 'Suono' parties on in 08 and pick up where we've left off, with great guests, atmosphere, music and smiles. Hopefully also throw in a couple of trips away from the North East to attend some parties that restore your faith in going out and remind you why you spend good time and money buying records, digging, travelling and dancing! Ideally, 2008 will be a great year for al fresco fun - dancing, laughing, smiling and generally having a good time to some wonderful old and new music with like minded souls.

What couldn't you live without? Why?
Genuine friends, walks in fresh air and sunshine, proper belly laughs, great banter, nice food!

Most memorable gig?
I've been fortunate to play out a fair bit over the years, and alongside artists / dj's I respected. But I suppose the most memorable one for me was in Summer 2000. I'd only recently moved to Newcastle a few months earlier, and had been asked to play at an outdoor party in the courtyard of one of Newcastle's finest watering holes, 'The Tyne'. Over the previous few years, there'd been some amazing parties held at The Tyne, which I'd been a punter at, so being asked to play there, and at about 6pm when it will have been in full swing, I was over the moon! The day had started off well, then the weather took a proper turn for the worst - torrential rain. The road directly outside the pub was flooded and it was a possibility that things could go dark side. Benches from the courtyard were pulled out into the road, and people were dancing on them and not letting the rain bother then too much. The road ended up being full of punters there for a party, the courtyard was already rammed - it was shaping up to be a right old do, as long as the rain held off. Just as I started playing, the clouds parted and the sun started shining!!! There must have been a good 1000+ people there by this time, and once the sun started shining, the cheers went up!! My nerves eased off pretty much straight away, and the tunes I can remember (it was a hazy day), were Bobby D'Ambrozio "Thinking Of You", Paperclip People "Throw", L'il Louis "French Kiss", Sueno Latino "Sueno Latino". Maybe not the most cutting edge of tracks for that year or the purists, but maybe just the right sort of tunes to lift the spirits after getting soaked for the previous 3 hours! Each tune that I played for the next hour and a half was met with a cheer, and as I looked around the crowd - hanging off the walls, on benches, tables etc and saw friends who'd supported me over the previous couple of years when I was inside, smiling and punching the air, whistling, it made for a very emotional day, so I'm indebted to Daz Goodwin and Jim Maudsley for inviting me along and making me feel so welcome in Newcastle.

Who/what are your influences?
My influences? I'm influenced by those with knowledge and experiences, who are willing to share it, without giving it the big one. A prime example is Greg Wilson.

What is the best and worst thing about the city that you live in?
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this about Newcastle, but the lack of small / medium sized venues available on a weekend for promoters and for the opportunity to put a party on, without having to go through mountains of red tape etc and are a bit different is an absolute nightmare.

The best thing? There are some great pubs off the beaten track, where you can usually find some like minded souls to drink with and talk rubbish with.

Given the accelerated pace of modern culture, what are we due a revival in?
Farah's, Puma G Villa's and Acid House. Hang on a minute...

Hero? Why?
No heroes for me...

Is there anything else that you feel that we should know?
My accent isn't that difficult to understand and my diet goes well beyond soup.

Tony Suono - Beats for Benson

No tracklisting but features tracks from Don Williams, Joris Voorn, Red Shape, Nate Williams, Moodymann, Mr G, Matthew Jonson and many more.

Download the mix here.

For more on Peterlee's finest escapee you can have a look here and here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

On this day...February 11th.

Nelson Mandela walked free from Victor Verster prison in Paarl.

"The history of the struggle in South Africa is rich with the stories of heroes and heroines, some of them leaders, some of them followers. All of them deserve to be remembered" - Nelson Mandela.

Adi Dassler

Now this may come as a big shock to some of you that know me but I'm, shall we say, obsessed with adidas particularly adidas Originals. I've got easily a hundred pairs of shoes and the collection is growing steadily with each passing day, so it was with great delight when I stumbled upon this video and as romanticized as it is I can't fault it, but to be fair it is preaching to the choir.

Kelvin Brown on Unity Radio + Northern Comfort x The Bears

More excellence from my favourite DJ. Inspirational stuff.

Picture by Emma J Watling.

I think that Robd says it best on Northern Comfort when he wrote, 'Feel the width. The broad range of styles on show in the mix is what we’ve come to expect, and again quite remarkable; moving across numerous genres without any drop in excellence. All bow down to the Brown.'

Download the mix on Northern Comfort.

For more on Kelvin you can read here.

A punter giving respect to Kelvin at the end of the final Chair a few weeks back. Picture by Emma J Watling.

...and staying on theme - Robd, Catcalledmorris, Treva Whateva and Sad Eagle who make up the Northern Comfort set were guests on The Bears Upstairs radio show this past Thursday. Download the show and have a gander at the superb tracklisting here.

Spaceface, Jif and TC internetting.

Tallest man in dance music, Robd.

Spaceface, most likely to go with me on a wine tour.

Jif & TC

Back left to right: Elisabeth, Spaceface, Catcalledmorris, TC, Treva Whateva and Jif.
Front: Sad Eagle

All pictures by Elisabeth and Robd.

Join in the banter next week Thursday and every Thursday thereafter at 10pm UK Time on Last Rites' message board. I'll be We Love Jeffo Hot Chip!

A day in LA

Yesterday the better half and I went to Long Beach to get her pampered at the salon, and to LA to go look at some galleries, get the keyboard on our MacBook fixed and to sit in traffic apparently.

This was on the 5 just before you turn off to Disney Hall/Little Tokyo. Not sure what the deal with it but the tag on top of the piece adds to it, I think.

The view of the Hollywood sign from the parking lot at The Grove/Farmer's Market. We're not all that impressed with The Grove in all truth, it's a bit too haughty for us and lacks that LA grit that makes the place so unique.

One of Shepard Fairey's Obama prints on Melrose.

Not sure who did this or what is about but I quite like these Kanye and Miles posters.

Miles again on Melrose.

HVW8's' gallery just off Melrose with a poignant Bhuto piece in the window. Read the post that I wrote on them here.

My birthday is coming up, so if you're stuck for ideas...

Inside the gallery.

I also managed to pick up copies of The Blackbyrds Action, which has the superb Mysterious Vibes on it, Hugh Masekela The Boy's Doin' It, which some of you may remember from the Carl Craig remix that came out a few years back and the Metro Area remix of Mama that also made itself at home on my turntables all of which stemmed from tracks on this album, but the real gem was the OG copy of Gil Scott-heron and Brian Jackson's incredible Bridges album. Time to put the re-issue on Discogs.


I'm not going to harp too much on this because of my respect for the United supporters who read this but...

...after a fitting tribute to the Munich disaster from both sets of supporters...

...Darius got the first...

...and Benjani got the second, and a new hero on the terraces is made. The new Shaun Goater?

Who would have thought that we could have done the double over United after all our troubles in the summer? Today is going to be a good day.