The fifteenth edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture:
Tag Archives | Chic
I wanted to write in greater personal detail about David Bowie and the depth of impact his music and words had on me during my formative teenage years – this occurring when I was between the ages of 12 and 15. I’d uploaded a blog post once I’d heard about his death, but I’ve found myself needing to revisit what was a magical mystical part of my musical / life initiation, as much for myself as anyone else, both by listening through the records I loved, and still love, whilst getting it all into words somehow. Once I started writing this I couldn’t contain it – it was bursting out of all sides. So please excuse me for the tangents I go off on and the jumping about – there’s no easy coherent way for me to express this. For a period following his 6th July 1972 ‘Starman’ performance on Top Of The Pops, until 1975, when I began to disengage, Bowie ruled ok in my world.
It’s 10 months since I blogged about the first 2 A&R Edits releases, issued simultaneously on DJ only limited 12” vinyl. Since then there have been 3 further additions, with another to follow next month, making 6 releases in all, each containing 2 tracks.
I was over in Amsterdam last weekend for ADE, one of 300,000 visitors to the city from countries all over the world for its 18th, and most successful, dance music festival / conference to date. During recent years the Amsterdam Dance Event has superseded the Winter Music Conference in Miami as the main annual gathering point for the dance music industry to schmooze and network – it’s a destination where the dreams and schemes of a multitude of DJs / producers are prevalent, as they arrive in the hope that they’ll meet up with someone who can give them their big break, or at least help them along their career path.
In 2009 I wrote an article on the history of mixing in this country called ‘How The Talking Stopped’. It was the most in depth piece I’d ever written, the research alone had taken many months, including a couple of trips to the British Library in London to comb through the copies of Record Mirror they have archived there, for it was within this magazine that the person who I’d certainly argue did more to promote UK DJ culture than any other human being, connected (via his essential weekly dance column) with fellow DJs in every corner of the country. This was the literally larger than life James Hamilton (1942-1996), and if you’re a British DJ, whether you’ve heard of him or not, you can’t have escaped his influence, for he’s part of the very fabric of our DJ / club heritage.
A week on Saturday I play a pretty special London gig at Loft Studios alongside NYC edit maestro Danny Krivit, the guy who set the standard back in the ’80s with his classic re-imagining of MFSB’s ‘Love Is The Message’, one of the quintessential New York Disco anthems. Full lowdown on the gig here, at Resident Advisor: http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?440816
Double Trouble / Rammellzee & Shockdell / Rock Steady Crew / Grandmixer D.ST
From ‘Wild Style’ 1982
Great to see Todd Terje blowing up big time with his infectious ‘Inspector Norse’ single, a definite candidate for best new dance track of the year, it’s simple complexity the mark of somebody who very much knows what they’re doing, someone with an understanding of both feel and precision who strikes the right balance between head and heart. I suppose that by being a feelgood DJ with a sharp sense of irony, as well as having been a student of physics at Oslo University, Terje was bound to have his own unique angle, which, when applied to making music was sure to produce intriguing results.
As I mentioned in my last post, Detroit Hustles Harder, festival season is very much upon us. Next month’s Vintage is my first full-on UK festival of the summer (a weekend event, rather than a one day gathering, as with Love Saves The Day in Bristol earlier this month – a big success despite the lousy weather), which has found a new home within the scenic grounds of Northamptonshire’s Boughton House. Looking forward to seeing Chic there, with the great Nile Rodgers – I’d intended to check them out at Playground in Australia last March, but the festival, as I’ve mentioned here previously, was cancelled due to flooding (when it rains over there it really rains). Aloe Blacc is also on the bill – his progress has been of particular interest to me as he was one of the participants at the Red Bull Music Academy in Melbourne (2006), who was in the audience when I gave my lecture there. I met him the following afternoon when we were sat at the same table having lunch, and he really made a big impression on me – you could sense that this was someone who was destined to go places, someone who was down to earth, but with a strong sense of himself. I remember doing an interview when I came back to the UK, where I tipped him as ‘one to watch’, so it’s good to see that my instincts were correct. It wasn’t his music, which I hadn’t heard at the time, that had marked him out for me, but his unique DJ approach. The previous night I’d headed along to Revolver, the club where I was making my Australia debut that weekend, and was struck by a DJ who was, in an impressively understated manner, rapping and even singing along with the tracks he was playing – this turned out to be Aloe.
I started writing this before I headed off on my travels to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and back to Australia again (concluded on my return home, having made notes along the way). I’ve been very preoccupied with time, or, to be more precise, the lack of it – this is where my head was at: