“So where’s all the modern-day Intergalactic Funk?”, I hear you ask.
Well, wait no longer, it’s here in the form of a new (and exclusive) mix from Manchester’s Davros3000. Like many of our 500MH contributors, Dav prefers to let the music do the talking, which it does wonderfully on this journey into the empty void of Space. I imagine this is what the robots might have on their iPods on an long, unmanned space-flight: silicone nuggets from the likes of Space Dimension Controller, KiNK, Julio Bashmore (and their android pals).
But enough of the fanciful conjecture…here’s the mix:
Right…I’ve been waiting for some decent weather before unleashing this and it looks like today’s the day. Kicking off an ongoing series of mixes that contain more than a whiff of Ambre Solaire, this one is by Dijon and it’s bloody beautiful.
Dijon is a long-term record collector (25 years and counting), occasional/retired DJ and now just enjoys “putting together the odd mix”. This one was inspired by a trip to a certain island, and weaves together mostly-instrumental album tracks (and one or two obscure B sides) to create a lovely island vibe.
The origins of the Dijon name are deliciously Balearic, by the way. In his own words:
I played at an after-party years ago and put on ‘Josephine.’ This guy comes up,
We greeted with some sadness the news that 500 Miles High’s favourite edits imprint – Beard Science – is currently in a state of disarray. That’s the problem with scientists, particularly bearded ones: unreliable when it comes to running record labels :-)
I mention this because Beard Science has long been a home to the work of South Carolina’s First Minister of Disco, JAZ. For those in-the-know, the JAZ name is associated with cracking edits (e.g his current contribution to the Messalina Edits series), top-notch mixes (too many to mention) and, of course, his live gigs (not yet experienced first-hand by 500MH, but here’s a recent one he did in-store at a Charleston, SC boutique).
Anyhow…JAZ was kind enough to give us an exclusive mix for the blog – a superb cocktail of slow-disco numbers, that he had previously been holding back for “private listening” (why does this conjure up images of a smoking jacket and possibly a fez?).
In the words of the man himself: “Most are classics, so it won’t scratch the deeper itch of some, but every song is A+ and they needed to all be united on a single mix”.
It can be a fine line between the uber-Balearic and the utter tat (just ask my long-suffering partner) and I’m not sure which side of the divide today’s track stands on. But as it’s Eurovision night, I’ll give this one the benefit of the doubt…
Ah…the joys of a summer cold: a recent attack of “man flu” has halted blogging activities, but boosted local sales of Lockets. My sorry condition made me think of this delightful obscurity from Labi Siffre – though listening to the (slightly misogynistic) lyrics, his doctor wasn’t dispensing cold remedies…
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…
As mentioned in the recent Salute 2 post, 500MH has long-wanted to pay its own tribute to Disco’s pioneers by giving a permanent home to some genuinely historic mixes (many of which only circulate in the semi-clandestine world of DJ forums). So when we heard that this particular mix had dropped off the radar, we were delighted to present a poignant moment in the ongoing story of New York nite life.
For many, The Saint was the ultimate club: an icon of the NYC gay scene throughout the eighties, it opened in its doors in September 1980 on the site of venerable live music venue, the Fillmore East. With a $4 million budget, and aspirations to match, it immediately became the night spot du jour for the upscale party crowd (membership was $250 per year and sold out immediately). Such was its success that the main competition (12 West and Flamingo) closed down within months.
So…a high-tech paradise and drug-fuelled Bacchanalian fleshpit, but what about the music?
Unlike contemporary nite spots such as The Paradise Garage and The Loft, The Saint was never known for the adventurousness of its music policy. Instead its DJ’s honed a distinct house-style that blended the theatricality (melodrama?) of 1970’s disco with the more contemporary sounds of Hi NRG and Euro-synth-pop. Limahl was a big favourite.
Jim Burgess was a DJ, remixer and sometime professional tenor with a penchant for retirements and comebacks. A resident in the early days of The Saint (along with the likes of Alan Dodd, Roy Thode and Robbie Leslie), he retired in spectacular fashion in 1981, walking out midway though a record at the height of the evening. But a few years later he was back in the saddle and played the second-last set of The Saint’s non-stop 48 hour closing party (leaving it to Robbie Leslie to bring down the final curtain).
Sadly Jim passed away in 1993, but he leaves us with this wonderful 4 hour mix (track-listings in the lyrics tab as usual):
Sticking with the cassette-ripping action, I’ve got a few tapes on the mid-80’s New York label ROIR (Reach Out International Records), a casette-only imprint that released original material, such as the harmalodic funk of Alfonio Tims & His Flying Tigers as well as reissues of out-of-print titles by the likes of Prince Far I & The Arabs.
Today’s selection is from a great one-hit-wonder of early hip-hop, Brother D. His classic How We Gonna Make The Black Rise Nation Rise originally came out on the Clappers label in 1980 (and got a UK Island release the same year) but didn’t come to my attention until it was included on the excellent Mighty Reel cassette, given away with the New Musical Express in 1982. As a young political firebrand, the strident militancy of the lyrics appealed to me, and as a latent disco-phile, the Cheryl Lynn sample made my loins feel funny.
To think that the same sample (Got To Be Real) is now used in a Marks & Spencer TV advert. Enough to make one want to storm the barricades again…
So back to the music, first up is the live version on the ROIR cassette, Brother D & Silver Fox – Up Against The Beast. The album – a live collaboration between D and a reggae MC – promises much but only really comes alive on Brother D’s “hit” (note that Silver Fox doesn’t appear on this):
Not due out ’til Mid-November, we’ve got our dirty hands on Keyboard Masher’s new three-tracker. If you were a fan of the debut KM Editions release (still a few copies left to buy here), then the new one won’t disappoint – plenty of globe-trotting, sun-drenched grooves to keep the sprit of summer alive.
This has been on the 500MH iPod for a few weeks now and our pick-of-the litter is the multi-layered chugger, Tartari.
So, with the full blessing of the Masher, here’s a taster for the forthcoming limited-edition vinyl…