The complete Random Influences is now available to stream via Mixcloud. This is a series of 2 x 12 hour long podcasts I put together in 2010 to mark my 50th birthday, comprising of a full 24 hours worth of music, all 7” singles from my formative years, with only records released before I started out as a DJ in December 1975 featured. As the title suggests this is a random, rather than definitive selection.
During the last few months I’ve been particularly swamped, working hard on a project that I can happily say has now reached fruition as ‘Blind Arcade Meets Super Weird Substance In The Morphogenetic Field’ – a mixtape featuring 19 tracks, mainly recordings by Blind Arcade. It’s just been made public on SoundCloud, having been shared privately with friends and supporters over the weekend, and we’ve been so happy to see how quickly it’s being embraced in these past 24 hours. It’s available here as a free download:
Following a run of 2 years 9 months I’ve decided to wind things down with Living To Music, making it an irregular feature of the blog from herein. Up until now it had been a monthly series, but something has to give and, as I’m currently stuggling to fit in all the things I need to be doing, I can’t maintain this commitment, although I don’t want to stop the series completely.
2013 sees Greg Wilson taking his first steps back into record production, starting off with Schooled In The Classics, a series of groove based dance tunes put together to play out at his gigs, the initial tracks being first road tested in Chicago and New York last year to a great response. Greg now plans to issue 8 Schooled In The Classics tracks this year, both digitally and via 4 limited edition 180g vinyl releases. The first 2 tracks in the series, ‘12-Turn-13’ and ‘Blue Angel’, are issued this week.
It’s 2013 and Coldcut duo Jonathan More and Matt Black are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Solid Steel radio show. To mark this milestone, a number of selectors have been invited to contribute a mix to the programme, its presenters choosing various artists and DJs they feel have had a significant presence at some point during the last 25 years. I regard it as a big compliment to be one of those approached, so was more than happy to oblige, the only brief being that they wanted us to weigh in with something that sits outside of that for which we’re generally known, which suited me fine – it was just a case of what?
I did an interview last July with James Thirkettle for a documentary project he’s working on called ‘How Do You Listen To Music?’ He’s just uploaded it to YouTube, where he describes it as follows:
Just uploaded the December ’82 edition of ‘Early ’80s Floorfillers’, which re-visits the biggest tracks I was playing on my nights back in ’82/’83, when I was a black music specialist, resident at venues including Wigan Pier, Legend, The Exit, Berties and The Haçienda in Manchester, and The Stars Bar in Huddersfield. The series is available to stream / download via SoundCloud and my Electrofunkroots website, which includes label / record sleeve scans for all the tracks that make the chart, along with a list of ‘other big tunes’ that month.
The great sitar maestro, Ravi Shankar, died in San Diego yesterday aged 92, having failed to recover from heart-valve replacement surgery.
I’ve mentioned Brian Cannon here a few times, we used to work closely together way back when, between the mid-’80s and early ’90s when he did the artwork for pretty much all of the records I produced, including those by the Ruthless Rap Assassins and Kiss AMC, whom I also managed, securing deals for them with EMI. Brian subsequently went on to become the best-known record sleeve designer of the Britpop era, working in-house for both Oasis and The Verve under his Microdot moniker. Microdot was a name I suggested to him in 1990 at 23 New Mount Street, then a key Manchester music industry location, where my Murdertone office was based, and where Brian would open his own office / studio – it was here that his path would cross with Noel Gallagher, who was then working for the Inspiral Carpets, who were also based there.