As with House music supremo Frankie Knuckles in 2014, the unexpected death of Andrew Weatherall, apart from being a huge shock to all within the club / music community, represents a sudden juncture where a now older generation, once so vital with ideas and innovation, ponders its own mortality, the passage of time underlined with the passing of one of its heroes – a true UK great whose place, as both DJ and pioneering remixer, is assured in the history books, key to the understanding of dance culture and its evolution. So, this was especially sobering news to hear on Monday, social media awash with a genuine outpouring of loss.
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It’s taken a little while, but we’re finally ready to release some new material on the Super Weird Substance label. Watch out for a spate of digital releases in the coming months, but in the meantime, to kick things off we have the 2nd in the limited vinyl ‘Substance Select’ series, this time focusing on a single artist, the Serbian band Bella Technika with 4 tracks included – 3 remixes and an unreleased original.
Launching in Manchester on Thursday (January 30th), the British Culture Archive present a photographic exhibition, ‘The People’s City’, in conjunction with the host venue, The Refuge on Oxford Street, highlighting the work of Peter Walsh, Rob Bremner and Richard Davis, and curated by Paul Wright. This follows on from their debut exhibition late last year at The Social in London.
Following the re-boot of the A&R Edits imprint last year, the latest 12”, #11 in the series, is now available, coupling Italian DJ Moplen’s edit of mid-‘70s Disco favourite, ‘It Only Takes A Minute’ by Tavares, with a collaboratory take on David Joseph’s ‘You Can’t Hide (Your Love From Me)’, the result of my 2011 edit of Moplen’s edit of Larry Levan’s 1983 remix of the track, which now finally finds its way onto vinyl.
Now in its 8th year, 20 Choice Edits & Reworks is a personal selection, based on new interpretations of tracks I’ve been playing during the previous 12 months. These don’t include official remixes of older tracks (for example, Joey Negro’s excellent update of ‘Can’t Live Without Your Love’ by Tamiko Jones this year), reflecting the more underground nature of the edits scene, where DJs share their work either digitally or via limited vinyl pressings. The full selection is available to stream via SoundCloud: Continue Reading →
This was originally meant as my small contribution to last April’s Cerne to CERN continental Happening, where the Liverpool Arts Lab hooked up with the Cosmic Trigger crew for a magic bus ride into the beyond (in this case Damanhur in Italy, before crossing the Swiss border on route to Geneva to head to the site of the CERN collider).
It’s been great to see Classic Album Sundays, the brainchild of DJ and radio presenter Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy, grow from strength to strength since its inception in 2010. In July that year I launched the monthly Living To Music series on my blog, with a classic album selected for the first Sunday of each month and the listeners subsequently sharing their impressions online. On hearing about this, a mutual friend had told me that Colleen was doing something similar in a more intimate manner, sitting down after Sunday dinner to listen to favourite LPs with family and friends – these gatherings evolving the name Classic Album Sundays. Living To Music would inspire Colleen to take a more direct approach, putting on audiophile listening events, the first of these held that October at the Hanbury Arms in North London, initially following the same albums I was featuring on Living To Music, but subsequently branching out on its own direction.
Norman Jay MBE is no less than a UK DJ icon. A first generation Black Briton born into a Notting Hill-based Caribbean family, Norman first came to wider attention via London’s mid-‘80s Rare Groove scene, underpinned by his ‘Original Rare Groove Show’ on the city’s then pirate dance music station Kiss FM, having initially set out his stall via annual appearances at the Notting Hill Carnival, where his brother, Joey, re-branded his Great Tribulation Reggae sound system to the Funk / Disco / Soul-geared Good Times Roadshow.
Trevor Jackson is something of a cultural maven whose thirty-plus years in the more underground corridors of the music industry has seen him fulfil a number of catalytic roles – starting off as a graphic designer at Champion Records in the late-‘80s, responsible for the S-Express ‘Theme From S-Express’ and Raze ‘Break 4 Love’ sleeves, amongst many other subsequently. Later a recording artist in his own right (Playgroup), a record company owner (Output) and, of course, a DJ, he continues to do his thing in his own inimitable way.
When I was over in Australia last November I was interviewed by Gilles Peterson for his series ‘The Psychology Of DJing’ as part of the Sydney Electronic Music Conference. It was an interview that covered many aspects of my career, much of which I’ve spoken about on numerous occasions previously. However, there was a different context to this – most of the time the interviewer is much younger than me, so they didn’t personally experience the times I’m talking about and the way things worked back then in the specialist areas of black music, whereas Gilles comes from the same roots as me, part of the next wave of DJs that followed-on from the Jazz-Funk era, when I first emerged on the specialist scene.