Friday, May 2, 2008

One Hundred Project : Tony Morris

What is on your stereo at the moment?

A massive explosion of exciting US bands putting the UK to shame right now: MGMT, Yeasayer, Black Kids, Vampire Weekend.

3 records that changed your life. Why?

The Jam - Going Underground: The first time I ever stepped into a record shop (well, WH Smith in Stockport) with 70p burning a hole in my pocket. I always congratulate myself on being so cool at such a young age and conveniently choose to forget all the embarrassing things I bought after this.

Ce Ce Rogers - Someday: Do you remember the first time? Mine was dancing on the stage at the Hacienda, New Year's Eve 1988, this tune coming on and me...well, I think we all know what I'm talking about here, don't we?

King Biscuit Time - I Walk The Earth: I don't know if records actually ever change your life, but I will always associate this tune with the first time I went along and did the radio show with Marc, Paul and the boys around this time last year and it sums up the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life.

What are you looking forward to?

The summer and the Bear Sessions at the Sally coming into their own in the (hopefully) warm Mancunian evenings to come.

What couldn’t you live without? Why?

My boys, Jack and Finlay. No need to say why...

Most memorable gig?

The Smiths: Salford University 1986. At the height of their powers on the Queen Is Dead tour. Utterly visceral and fanatical. My sister, who I took along to her first ever gig here, aged 14, managed to find a bootleg DVD on ebay of this very concert and to watch it again was amazing. One of those "Bloody hell, I really was there" gigs.

Who/what are your influences?

My fellow Bears: Paul, TC, Jif and Jeffo. Just for their sheer love of music, their friendship and enthusiasm for everything we've started doing and the fact that, a year ago, I wouldn't have dreamt of being involved in anything like this if it hadn't have been for them.

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

Everybody says "the people", but it's true. Every city has great people, but Manchester has a history of innovation, creativity and sheer bloody-minded independence that always makes me proud.

Having lived in London for ten years, moved back and now finally living in the city centre for the first time, I really can’t think of anything I dislike. Just in love with the place all over again and playing even a tiny part in it after all these years has been really exciting.

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

The rate it's going, I'm half-expecting to see an article in the Guardian about how Balearic's all the rage again.


Hero? Why?

Do we do heroes in Manchester? I dunno, but for the very fact that I can think of no-one more deserving and more likely to have laughed in the face of being thought of as a hero: the late Tony Wilson. Guilty of an excess of civic pride? Damn right, Tony and thank you.

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

You can listen to the Bears Upstairs Radio Show anywhere in the world every Thursday from 10-12pm at here . For updates and tracklistings go to .

The man they call Spaceface is the enthusiasm behind the Bears and takes care of the promotion and design for the balearic bods. With a love for music that stretches back to the days of the Hacienda, Tony is always up for a laugh on a night out and I especially like the fact that he gets very excited about good music, which he certainly has an ear for. His dulcet tones can be heard every Thursday on The Bears Upstairs radio show that covers just about every base imaginable all delivered with charm, knowledge and above all a love and appreciation for every groove. Apparently in Tony's youth he was Lancashire's answer to Carl Lewis but he's left the days of breaking records behind him and replaced it with long balearic nights with a few of his great mates...not a bad swap in all truth.

This is what Tony had to say about his mix.

Well, not a mix as such, more an updated version of an old-fashioned C90 compilation tape that you’d make for your mates, or, more likely, a girl you were trying to impress at the time ;-)
Just some tunes I love (and have as mp3s), new and old.


Holger Czukay: Persian Love / Bhundhu Boys with Latin Quarter: Radio Africa /Culture: Two Sevens Clash / Jorge Ben: Ponte de Lanca Africano /Manu Dibango: Soul Makossa / Occidental Brothers Dance Band International: Bizarre Love Triangle / Vampire Weekend: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa / Yeasayer: 2080 / Badly Drawn Boy: The Shining (Avalanches Good Word For The Weekend Remix) / King Creosote: You’ve No Clue Do You? (Atlantic Conveyor Mix) / Holy Fuck: Lovely Allen / MGMT: Time To Pretend / The The: Slow Emotion Replay / Neon Neon: Dream Cars / Band Of Horses: No One’s Gonna Love You / Jens Lekman: I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You

Download the mix here.


Photo by Kozyndan

Los Angeles-native Alfred Darlington has been pushing the realms of electronic music since the turn of the century under his Daedelus moniker with a body of work that is as brilliant as it is difficult to define. Alfred’s love affair with electronic music was fueled by Acen’s ‘Trip To The Moon pt. 1’ and has seen this USC-trained multi-instrumentalist work with the likes of The Professor, Taz Arnold, MF Doom and Madlib and on music that pushes the very notion of the avant-garde but never loses sight of the dancefloor. With releases on Mush, Plug Research, Hefty, Tigerbeat6, Ninja Tune and Eastern Developments, Alfred’s reputation has been garnered from his incredible ability to cut and slice a disparate range of influences into tracks that have an incredible resonance for the listener be they sourced from the 30s or gleamed from the future. I’m sure that you’ll agree that we as listeners and dancers are very fortunate to have someone like Daedelus on the music scene.

Read the interview here.

Daedelus on Myspace

Daedelus - Abracadabrant

Here he is live on the Monome.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Poni Hoax - Antibodies - Chateau Flight remix

I absolutely love this record - proper late-night big room tackle that I can imagine everyone from the Unabombers to Luciano playing. For my money this is probably the best thing that DJ Gilb'r and I:Cube have done next to Baltringue and Baroque all of which are essential in my book. I think I've only listened to the original once even though it was produced by one of my favourites Joakim but the grooves on the Chateau Flight remix are practically worn off from extensive play. It's all about the piano-line and driving bass that make for a great house record that has more than enough disco to put a smile on even the most po-faced of punters. It takes nearly four minutes for the bass to kick in after what is an incredibly well-produced and dramatic intro and when it does it will blow the roof off wherever it is played. Superb record.

Poni Hoax - Antibodies - Chateau Flight remix

Kevin Lyons x HVW8

Some new work from the HVW8 camp has emerged. First up is their contribution to the Barack Obama campaign and, I think, will be available as a print from their online-store and gallery in the near future.

Next up they have a painting of the Dalai Lama who China are trying to portray as an instigator and a terrorist in the aftermath of the recent troubles in Tibet, which is the most absurd thing ever and a nation that has so many human rights violations and 're-education camps' for people speaking their minds has no business hosting the olympics. It is an absolute disgrace that they were awarded the games in the first place as the way they govern their people doesn't exactly fit in with the ethos of something as grand as the Olympics.

The day before Ty comes up to the Academy to speak and paint they're opening the Kevin Lyons show at their gallery off Melrose and it should be more than worth seeing.

Kevin Lyons is a 1992 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where he received a degree in film. After working for Nickelodeon / MTV as an Associate Producer, he co-founded the NYC based design firm, stereo-type which for two years was responsible for much of the graphic look of the New York City underground Hip-Hop and Acid Jazz scene. This included the logo design for the long standing NYC based club, GIANT STEP. Stereo-type's client list also included Soul Kitchen, 555 Soul and the LA-based, Brass Recordings. After receiving his masters degree from CalArts in 1998, Lyons has gone on to work for Nike, both in and out of house, was the former Art Director of Urban Outfitters on two separate occasions, and has been Art Director for filmmaker Spike Jonze's Girl Skateboard Company. He was also the original US Art Director for TOKION Magazine and maintains long-standing freelance relationships with Nike, Jordan Brand, Adidas, Stussy and Stussy Japan, Beams Japan, HUF, Nieves Books, Stones Throw Records, Commonwealth Stacks, and long-time friend and collaborator NYC artist, SSUR.

A typographer, an Art Director, a designer, a teacher, and a father. In 2001, he was named as one of "The Top Forty Designers Under Thirty" by ID Magazine. His work has been published worldwide from Thrasher to The Face to Lowdown to Anthem and Refill. He has shown worldwide including solo shows in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo. He has written articles for the AIGA Journal, as well as addressing the AIGA on two occasions including once as a published recipient of its Fresh Dialogues Series. He has also held teaching assistant positions at both RISD and CalArts, and has been a visiting critic at the Yale Graduate School of Design. He was an Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute teaching Typography from 2000 -2002. Most recently, Lyons was the Design Director of the legendary Stussy and then Creative Director for the alternative retail giant, Urban Outfitters from 2003 - 2007.

He is now the Design Director for New York City based Anomaly, a brand incubating, marketing juggernaut with plans on running the world. He also produces three clothing lines; one for 2K called Atlantis, We Free Kings, and the third under his personal namesake, NATURAL BORN. All are distributed globally. Currently, Lyons also maintains his own small experimental graphic project also under the namesake, Natural Born in Philadelphia , PA where he lives with his wife and two daughters drawing type and bumping Twin Hype.

Printed Ephemera and New Works
by Kevin Lyons

Opening Friday, May 9th, 6 - 10 pm,
Show runs May 10th - June 15th

HVW8 Art +Design Gallery
661 N. Spaulding Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Gallery open: Wed - Sat, 1- 5pm
Or by appointment:
323 655 4898

To buy HVW8 t-shirts, paintings and prints look here and why not subscribe to the HVW8 podcast here.

HVW8 is 10 years strong this year, and here is to another 10!

Kid Creole & The Coconuts - There But For The Grace of God Go I

Originally done by Machine, There But For The Grace of God Go I is an incredibly controversial track mostly for the line, 'Let's find a place they say, somewhere far away with no blacks, no Jews and no gays', a line which was omitted from the Fire Island version that Heller, Farley and Wilkinson did in the mid-90s. I've decided to post the Kid Creole and The Coconuts version, which came out in 1980 or thereabouts. I can't really decide if this is brilliant or complete and utter wank, it all depends on my mood really.

Kid Creole and The Coconuts are the brainchild of August Darnell and feature a trio of backing singers including our hero's wife. They make slightly oddball pop that is a mixture of big band jazz, disco all meshed together with Caribbean and Latin American influences. I'll have to admit that I've never been able to listen to any of their albums from start to finish as the joke wears a bit thin after a while and like Boris Johnson, I can only take them in small doses...very small doses. Sold this one well, haven't I? I think I'm just having a Kid Creole and The Coconuts are wank day, but later on when the sun is blazing through my front windows and I'm having a bit of a mix I'll probably think they're brilliant, strange that. Let me know what you think.

Kid Creole & The Coconuts - There But For The Grace of God Go I

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roberta Flack - Compared To What?/Go Up Moses

When Les McCann first heard Roberta Flack singing at The Bohemian Caverns in Washington D.C. in the summer of 1968, he was immediately enamored with her voice which he described as one that "touched, tapped, trapped and kicked over every emotion I've ever known". He immediately took her to see Joel Dorn of Atlantic Records and the result was her debut album First Take, which kicks off with the immaculate Compared To What and I'm sure that you'll agree that the song is one hell of a way of introducing yourself to the record buying public at large - being backed on the album by Ron Carter couldn't have hurt as well.

Go Up Moses is from her third album Quiet Fire which was produced by Dorn and arranged by Arif Mardin and in her band on the album were no less than drumming legend Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie, Grady Tate and Hugh McCracken and this track, which is a take on a traditional spiritual, immediately caught my ears when I first listened to the album. It as an amazing record that captures the very essence of the time for black America by telling them that they need to let Pharoah go because 'he doesn't want you, he needs you', which is quite a striking analogy. Roberta's vocal accentuates what is a righteous groove lay down her band and features both Dorn and Mardin on backing vocals. This is a very special record for me and one that I'll play at the drop of a hat. Roberta is one of the greatest vocalists of our time and her albums are proof of her undeniable talent.

I'm not really sure how much a mint condition copy of this record is worth but I've found two copies in recent weeks for under $4 and both have covers that have had better days but the records are in very good condition. Digging in LA is great, so many gems.

Roberta Flack - Compared To What?

Roberta Flack - Go Up Moses

p.s. Eerily both of these tracks are the exact same length.

Heavy Editing

Some more Whatever We Want-related goodness here. Otterman Empire is yet another alias for one half of Rub 'n Tug, Thomas Bullock. On this one, Thom has sliced and diced Vangelis' post-The Forminx track Babylon which was released with his new band Aphrodite's Child who counted Demis Roussos as one of the members, that's a double points score on the balearic scale right there. What Thom has done is taken an already energetic track, force-fed it far too many vodka and Redbulls and dragged it kicking and screaming into nightclubs the world over and this is one of those records that makes a night in either incarnation. The Greeks conquer again!

The original Whatever We Want release, which I've seen go for silly money on eBay in recent months, is available for $8 from Amoeba in Hollywood and when I was last there I saw at least four of them in the racks, so fill your boots.

Otterman Empire - Babylon & On

Aphrodite's Child - Babylon

Oh yeah and check this great Nike ad.

And with that Barca v Scum is about to kick off. As a neutral I'm hoping for a Barca v Liverpool final as a United v Racists final will be unwatchable and deathly boring.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Clout - Sunshine Baby

This is a Moonboots special as he broke this at Aficionado a while back and after it surfaced as an edit on the mysterious Les Edits du Golem label and everyone was starting their sets with it from across the balearic spectrum but for my money the original wins hands down. Clout were a million-selling South African band who according to my mom were quite well known in the late 70s and early 80s back home and this track was big on the Italo/Afro scene with the likes of Daniele Baldelli and Mozart and with its slow dark groove, huge horns and psychedelic vocal were perfect for a scene based on fairly liberal heroine habits and these records are affectionately known in some circles as drug rock, which is quite an apt description. This is a record that is best appreciated loud and mixing the edit into the original works a treat, give it a bash.

Clout - Sunshine Baby

Les Edits du Golem - Klout

Tom Petty - Don't Come Around - Tiedye edit

Right, so I managed to dig up another Tiedye track and also found out that one of the duo is behind the mysterious edit crew Västkustska Ryggdunkarsällskapet - try saying that after a couple of pints or even stone cold sober for that matter. Anyway this is beautiful and I have to admit that I have no idea what the original sounds like as my collection is sans Petty but if his records all sounded like this I'd be pushing the patchwork leather jacket wearers out of the way in the soft rock section. This may not be to everyone's tastes but give it a try and it is available on our unpronounceable friends second EP should you choose to spend your coin on the black crack. Their first EP was very good, it must be said. Good luck trying to ask for it at your local record emporium, you might as well sing it in all truth.

Tom Petty - Don't Come Around - Tiedye edit

Astrud Gilberto - Black Magic (A Gira)

Brasilian bossa nova chanteuse Astrud Gilberto is probably best known for her Grammy award winning song The Girl From Ipanema that everyone and their dog has heard at one point or another but for my money Black Magic (A Gira) is by far and away her best record. Funnily enough for a woman who sings with such confidence on record she was for many years far too scared to sing in nightclubs or on stage and would refuse to perform, which as you can imagine didn't really endear herself to her record company executive. Astrud only overcame her fear of performing after studying at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in 1982 nearly fifteen years after her debut and she subsequently went on to perform just about everywhere around the world to record crowds.

Some of you may know this track tucked away as the B2 as a part of a Tangoterje re-edit 12" that came out on Supreme in 2006 but for my money the original is perfect. I heard the legendary DJ Harvey play this on the Queen Mary, which is moored off Long Beach here in California last year and it was a highlight from what was a great sunset set by the king bearded tramp of balearica. As Harvey is prone to doing, he played this at just about the right time and the sheer joy of that moment will live with me for a long time as I danced on the deck of the ship on a beautiful summer evening. With its, "You've Got Me Turning, Turning...You've Got Me Spinning Around" chorus that gets instantly stuck in your head you'll be whistling this all day and that my friends will leave you with nothing less than a huge beaming smile from ear to ear. An absolute gem of a record.

Astrud Gilberto - Black Magic (A Gira)

Rubies - I Feel Electric - Tiedye remix

So just who are the Rubies? Well thanks to my great and learned mate Google I have been blessed with the knowledge that they are a female Californian surf-rock band, which sounds great in all truth - I'm already pencilling their name onto the 'bands we like' list just on the basis of them being all-female and surf-rock. This track, which came out on Mike Simonetti's superb Italians Do It Better label has already been exciting DJs and tastemakers the world over and it is easy to see why. Gothenburg-duo Tiedye are manning the remixing desk and make for what is a real sunset or sunrise journey to bliss. With it's layered guitar work and floating almost sultry vocal augmented by a driving rhythm this is one of those records that is made for the break of a new day. It is also limited to 500 pieces, so be quick.

Rubies - I Feel Electric - Tiedye remix

Read a great interview and download a mix by Italians Do It Better head honcho, Mike Simonetti on the superb Cosmic Disco website here.

**EDIT** Here is an interview with the Rubies on Cosmic Disco again, read it here.

p.s. If anyone has any information on Tiedye then please steer me in the right direction as I've only heard this remix and the Metallica cover and they're both superb. Basically, I want more.

Oh and here is the original in music video form. I also think I may have a massive crush on one of the ladies in the group, shhhhh don't tell the wife.