DJ Rubens – Baia Degli Angeli, 1978

DJ Rubens Baia Degli Angeli 1978

Italy’s Adriatic coast, 1978: where the jeans where white, the sunglasses mirrored and the scooters two-stroke.

Baia Degli Angeli: mythical, white-walled, pleasure-dome for the rich and beautiful; its DJ booth housed in a glass elevator so that the selectors could service all four floors at once, dance-floors that were among the first in Europe to hear New York-style, beat-matched mixing.

DJ Rubens: The “third man” of Italy’s Afro-Cosmic scene (that drugged-out, dubbed-out satellite of the Ibizan Balearic mothership).

Daniele Baldelli and DJ Mozart were the sonic alchemists of this much-discussed, little-understood musical micro-climate…and, once the New York DJ’s had left, the Baia was their laboratory. Baldelli the hyper-prepared disciplinarian; Mozart the looser, organic improviser. Whilst each had their own approach, unpicking their individual contributions is perhaps as fruitless as arguing who was best, Morecambe or Wise?

And yet, some say that DJ Rubens was the brightest star of all – more capable than Mozart but free of the methodological constraints of Baldelli. Sadly an all-too-familiar tale of missed chances and drug-fuelled excess (“He lost it before anyone else” according to Gianni Zuffa, record-supplier to the scene), has relegated him to a minor figure in this beguiling left-turn from the dancefloor super-highway.

Unsurprisingly little survives of his work behind the decks, so we’ll have to make do with this all-too-short set that purports to be from the Baia Degli Angeli (despite him never having held a residency there).

But putting aside any doubts about historical accuracy (this is the Internet after all), sit back and enjoy a 30 minute musicological fragment from a rather special time and place.

Download: DJ Rubens – Baia Degli Angeli, 1978 (right-click)

Advertisements

Hiroshima – Lion Dance (@ 33)

Hiroshima Lion Dance

Our recent Sun Ra post referenced the long and (mostly) honourable tradition of DJ’s playing records at the wrong speed…intentionally, that is.

The most committed of wrong-speed merchants must surely be Danielle Baldelli who, in his pomp at the Cosmic Club, seldom played a record at the correct speed. Or so people say.

Actually, the truth of this statement can easily be verified by checking out this huge archive of Cosmic Club mixes. Listening to these tapes, and to other artefacts of the Afro-Cosmic scene, one can appreciate that use of such extreme measures was but one ingredient in the creation of a unique sonic backdrop.

Uptempo pop songs were *cough* re-contextualised by a switch from 45 to 33, whilst slower numbers (such as Yellowman’s left-field reggae classic, Zungguzungguguzungguzeng) could be wrong-speeded in the opposite direction.

All of which leads to this 1979 recording by US-via-Japan jazzfunkers, Hiroshima. A 50p charity shop buy last year, I hadn’t got it home before – via the power of the Internet – I’d been informed that it was a known wrong-speeder.

Lack of a functioning turntable meant that it was a while before I could  put this to the test. But I did and here it is…

Download: Hiroshima – Lion Dance (@ 33)  (right-click)

Marni – Tutu & Lonely Galaxy Mixes

eagle nebula

His name is Marni.

He’s from Vienna.

And he makes excellent mixes.

Bearded types in Internet forums will tell you that Marni has created some of the definitive examples of THAT sound – an unnameable mélange of Cosmic, Afro and Balearic beats, probably best described as JUST GREAT MUSIC. We got in touch with him last week and obtained his blessing to host two absolute classics from a few years ago – mixes that still set pulses racing (and heads-a-scatching over track lists) to this day.

Marni is also shipping some “more dancey” mixes over to 500MH for future posting – which promise to be EQUALLY ACE!  But for now…

Download: Tutu (right click)

Download: Lonely Galaxy (right click)

Partial track listing for Tutu to whet the appetite (thanks to Ivan Smackhead for compiling):

  1. 00:00 ?
  2. clive stevens & brainchild – mystery man
  3. holger czukay – ode to perfume
  4. ginny – can’t be serious
  5. die dominas – die wespendomina
  6. 23:35 ?
  7. sue ann – my baby my
  8. eloy – horizons
  9. din a testbild – going tutu
  10. mc1 – basic
  11. logic system – unit
  12. carlos peron – nothing is true
  13. 46:10 ?
  14. richard wahnfried – time actor
  15. decadance – on and on (dub version)
  16. thomas leer – saving grace
  17. 1:05:10 ?
  18. chris & cosey – he’s an arabian