It’s surely not an understatement to say that the nation (or at least the bearded sub-strata) is currently gripped with Harvey-fever. The prodigal son is playing long-awaited UK gigs in Manchester and London in the next few days (and 500MH will be front-and-centre for the latter).
“Harvey who?” some of you may be saying…to which we simply respond, this one.
“As Balearic as a German pensioner’s thong…”. How many times have you heard that phrase at fancy dinner parties and had to nod embarrassedly, not really knowing what was meant.
Nod no longer. As part of our public education remit, 500 Miles High is here to help by re-presenting a rather wonderful show that went out on Ministry of Sound Radio in 2007.
Over the course of 90 minutes, Bill Brewster (with input from Balearic demi-god, Phil Mison) runs through the…wait for it…Top 25 Balearic Records of All Time, as voted for by the beards at DJ History.
Whilst stopping tantalisingly short of a definitive answer to the timeless metaphysical question, “What is Balearic?”, the show is a valuable crash-course for the novice and an equally-valuable source of “debate” for more the more seasoned espadrille-botherer.
What, no Cliff Richard?
1 Tullio de Piscopo – Primavera (Stop Bajon) (Bagaria, 1984)
2 William Pitt – City Lights (Public Sound, 1986)
3 Elkin & Nelson – Jibaro (CBS, 1986)
4 Chris Rea – Josephine (Magnet, 1985)
5 Herb Alpert – Rotation (A&M, 1979)
6 Manuel Goettsching – E2-E4 (Inteam, 1984)
7 Mandy Smith – I Just Can’t Wait (Cool & Breezy Jazz Mix) (PWL, 1987)
8 Dizzi Heights – Would I Find Love (Parlophone, 1986)
9 Art Of Noise – Moments In Love (Island, 1983)
10 It’s Immaterial – Driving Away From Home (Virgin, 1986)
11 Carly Simon – Why (WEA, 1982)
12 Sebastien Tellier – La Ritournelle (Lucky Number, 2005)
13 Donna Summer – State of Independence (WEA, 1982)
14 Laid Back – Fly Away/Walking In The Sunshine (CBS, 1983)
15 Kate Bush – Running Up The Hill (EMI, 1985)
16 Cure – Lullaby (Fiction, 1989)
17 Linda Di Franco – TV Scene (WEA, 1985)
18 Flash & The Pan – Walking In The Rain (Epic, 1978)
19 Izit – Stories (ffrr, 1989)
20 Fleetwood Mac – Big Love (Arthur Baker Remix) (Warners, 1987)
21 Double – The Captain Of Her Heart (Polydor, 1985)
22 The Beloved – The Sun Rising (WEA, 1989)
23 Enzo Avitabile – Blackout (EMI, 1986)
24 Mike Francis – Features Of Love (Concorde, 1985)
25 Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots (Elektra, 1980)
Rodigan! What more can be said about this unlikely legend of the reggae scene? For the length, breadth and sheer oddness of his 30 year career, 500MH proudly salutes him.
From appearances in early episodes of Dr Who to sound-clashes with the leading Jamaican DJ’s, David Rodigan has dominated reggae broadcasting since before most people can remember (me included, for once). The fact that he is a sixty-something, white guy from Oxfordshire hardly seems worth mentioning any more.
Today’s musical offering is courtesy of an unlabelled CD-R that I acquired a few years ago and have, to my shame, only just got round to listening to. Judging by the references to Welcome to Jamrock, this recording dates from 2005, and is from Rodigan’s Hot 102 FM show in Jamaica.
The format appears to have been that R would start off playing “tunes that made Reggae great” – which he does – then be joined by his sparring-partner, Barry G, for a proper sound-clash (i.e. the DJ’s playing alternate records, attempting to outdo each other with increasingly exclusive dub-plates). The only problem is that Barry G doesn’t turn up, but Rodigan unleashes the dub-plates plates anyway.
For anyone unfamiliar with his style, this recording is not only an education in reggae music but an interesting primer on the sometimes astonishing fluctuations in Rodigan’s accent (Kingston, Surrey meets Kingston, JA).
Yesterday I played a few tunes at an Unplanned Afternoons special to mark the passing of UP regular, John Olive, who sadly and unexpectedly died earlier this month.
Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Too Much Attention was one of John’s signature tunes, which he memorably deployed at one of our early meetings last summer. I was just finishing my set with a Gilbert tune (a re-edit, typically) when John breezed into the pub, took over on the decks and segued seamlessly into Too Much Attention. He then proceeded to play a blinding set, as always…
Wholly unconnected to the above, this will be the last 500MH post, for a while at least. Doing the blog for the last two years has been great fun and brought me into contact with some splendid people, not only online but also spilling over into the hurly-burly of the real world.
But…as can be seen from the recent infrequency of the posts, 500MH has possibly gone as far as it can in its present form. So, the sabbatical officially starts here – stay subscribed for future developments.
This splendid mix from Jenko arrived at 500 Miles High Towers a few weeks ago and the only reason it’s not been posted before now is…the weather: how can a mix called “Drifting on the Sun Raft” be launched in the rain?
So with the sun finally poking-out between the SW12 clouds – and looking to stay there for at least today – we’re delighted to present this burnished gem from the South West (England, not London).
Jenko is a master of the horizontal approach to mix-construction – music for the mind rather than the dance floor – and makes Jose Padilla seem like David Guetta.
He’s currently looking to return from semi-retirement to launch a regular session in the Cheltenham area. As that would also involve his partner-in-crime Situation (who’s Get On Up edit we absolutely loved) the night could be a monster.
When I started this blog, Lord Muck gigs were about as common as hen’s teeth, or possibly rocking-horse manure. Today however there is more than enough live Muck to go around…as evidenced by this recent recording at the Lyttelton Arms pub, NW1.
It was the day the weather changed from spring-heatwave to brass-monkeys…but, undeterred, I ploughed on as if it were summer. Hopefully the ambient temperature was nudged-up by a degree or two.
Please bear in mind whilst listening that this was recorded live (i.e. whilst fending-off punters asking for directions to the toilet, cheery interruptions from other Unplanned DJ’s etc. etc.) and that it represents the first 65 mins of what unexpectedly turned into a delightful five-hour session…
One working definition of Balearic might be those songs where you are never quite sure whether they’re works of genius or complete tat. This track certainly falls somewhere on that spectrum…it’s exact location being largely dependent on the weather.
So…given the recent Tropical heatwave we’ve been enjoying, this piece of 1980’s Brazilian cod-reggae currently scores quite high on the old Balear-o-meter (patent pending).
We’ve recently been concerned that 500MH hasn’t really been delivering on the Tropical side of our musical manifesto…particularly the current digital styles.
Well, those concerns can now be swept aside, in the form of a short-but-perfectly-formed mix from Almondos taking in digital cumbia, balkan beats, gypsy sounds and digital dub.
Currently laid low with a broken leg (from which we wish him a speedy recovery), Almodos kindly put together this 38 minute blast of Tropical heat, just for us/you…
1. John Henry (Thornato Remix) – Harry Belafonte
2. El Ritmo (feat Deuce Eclipse & Caipo of Bang Data) – J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science
3. Bogle – Mungo’s Hi Fi
4. K Le Pasa (So Shifty Remix) – El Dusty
5. Cumbia Salvaje (J Boogie Instrumental) – Empressarios
6. 2 Sips & Magic (feat. The New York Gypsy Allstars) – Nickodemus
7. Move It – Balkan Beat Box
8. Dem Can’t Stop We From Talk feat. Jahdan (Bleepolar Remix) – Anthony B
9. Hold Me (Quincey Jointz Remix) – jazz.K.lipa feat. Soom T
Almondos sent the mix over via Soundcloud, so rather than waste time re-uploading elsewhere, we decided to share it from there (in the unlikely event you haven’t done this before, just press the downward-pointing arrow to download):
One the many nice things about the Almondos approach is that links are always supplied to buy the tracks…so this is where you need to go to get your Tropical fix:
This has been around for a while on Soundcloud but has escaped my attention until now. A must for fans of Idi Igraj Vol 1 & Vol 2…or Slobodan’s edits…WC7’s Yugolearica mix is just what the name (and artwork implies): great tunes from the former-Yugoslavia, in the Balearic style.
Seeing that the mix is no longer downloadable from Soundcloud, I asked if we could host it here…there answer was yes, so here it is – and just the thing for the continuing sunny weather.
Part 2 is set to follow soon, but in the meantime check out WC7’s blog of ex-YU ephemera, Yugodrom.
Igor Savin i orkestar Stanka Selaka – Let malog Erosa
Kozmetika – Gaja
Oskarova Fobija – Publika ulazi
Du Du A – Solar
U Škripcu – Ti znaš
Miha Kralj – Vision
Igor Savin i orkestar Stanka Selaka – U mukama rođena
Steven Hannington – Mujo kuje konja po mesecu
Vladimir Furduj Furda – Šakalakazu
Rex Ilusivii – Plava jutra (Marina Perazić)
Avtomobili – Prljavi jezik
Boban Petrović – Zajedno srećni (instrumental)
Aska – Htela bih da si tu
Bel Tempo – Ulični korak
Kornelije Kovač – Get it right boy
Vlatko Stefanovski i Bodan Arsovski – Gemini
Bebi Dol – How good not to love
Next of Kin – She didn’t love him
Laza Ristovski – Figueras
Miladojka Youneed – Show me
Arsen Dedić i Zoran Predin – Naj Ti Poljub Nariše Usnice
Petar Ugrin – Emina