Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blogariddims Top 50

Edit - Blogariddims is now over, but I'm using this post as a summary of the whole cast, so please don't be alarmed if you've been here before and it's all different - it's not your mind playing tricks on you.

This post is intended to replace the old and cobwebby
blogariddims post currently in the sidebar, so apologies to regular readers for any repetition.

For those that don't know, Blogariddims is a fortnightly inter-blog podcast which was started in June 2006, with the aim of showcasing the high level and variety of selecting, mixing and writing talent in the small corner of the music blogosphere inhabited by nuumskulls, faded-junglists, genre-nerds and bass addicts of every stripe. We took a short break in the summer of 2007 after 24 episodes, and are now speeding towards our golden edition. Weareie's role in all this has been to manage and host the cast whilst also making the occasional contribution - basically, we're the blogariddims bureaucrats.

We like to encourage subscription to blogariddims, but the episodes are also available for download individually. Here are the options:

Subscribe using I-tunes (launches I-tunes).
Subscribe using your own RSS aggregator or software (direct link to XML feed)
Review and download each episode(or subscribe) at Feedburner (external site).

One thing that's been lacking since Paul Autonomic stopped doing regular updates on his blog, is that there is no central resource for accessing the mixes and the accompanying blog posts at the same time, so without further ado - here is the Blogariddims top 50, complete with a link to each mix (the title) and relevant post (the description):

Blogariddims 1/Shwantology : 2
A 1 hour ambient/classical/electronic mix performed live on 6 decks by droid + slug..

Blogariddims 2/Gutterbreakz

Compiled, mixed and edited by Gutterbreakz, July 2006.

Blogariddims 3/Idle Thoughts
Episode 3 by Matt b from the Idle Thoughts blog. one hour of electronica, dubstep and reggae.

Blogariddims 4/Dancehall Pressure

Episode 4 comes from and Grievous Angel's Shards, Fragments and Totems, courtesy of John Eden and respectively. It's an hour of premium quality 80's dancehall and roots. Rock the disco, baby!

Blogariddims 5/Bassnation
Episode 5 comes courtesy of Marc Dauncey ( - now defunct). Its a 1 hour journey through dark grinding hip hop, bass-heavy bleepy acid, hardcore and dubstep, performed using a mixture of decks, Acid and Ableton Live.

Blogariddims 6/Collide+Coalesce (1950-2004)

Mixed by SoundsLike - a one-hour beat/voice/texture/blip mix utilising over forty elements in sixty minutes.

Blogariddims 7/Voices from Afar
Episode 7 comes from Tim Rutherford-Johnson of the Rambler blog and is a thick mix of avant-garde and modern classical compositions.

Blogariddims 8/Mr.Bump: Rude Interlude
Episode 8: Mr.Bump (aka autonomic) via deeptime blog. 1 hour Ableton mix of dark garage, 2step, grimey 4x4 and a bit of sweetness. Inspired by DJ Slimzee and the Rinse FM archives.

Blogariddims 9/Absolute Norwegian
One for all the Nordic Subverts, and fans of ambient and warped Scandanavian folk/jazz.

Blogariddims 10/An England Story
Blogariddims 10 is a special extended edition from Heatwave.'An England Story' traces a lineage of UK MCs from 1984-2006 covering reggae, dancehall, hip hop, grime, jungle and more...

Blogariddims 11/Another Crunk Genealogy
Blogariddims 11 traces out another crunk genealogy, seeking the overlap between crunk and clave, reggaeton and ragtime, bhangra and bounce. Connecting the music of the Caribbean, the American South, and the Middle East, the mix winds its way through common grooves and feedback loops.

Blogariddims 12/Office Party
Episode 12 comes from courtesy of John Eden. It's a one hour eclectic selection of divas, teenagers, ice queens and those in between.

Blogariddims 13/Electronicack : 1
The first episode of the new year offers a delectable selection of late 90's electronica mixed live by droid + slug.

Blogariddims 14/Norwegian Postpunk 1979-1985
60 minutes of Norwegian Postpunk 1979-1985 from our man in the North, Hal Halverson.

Blogariddims 15/Beyond the Valley of the Smurfs
Episode 15 comes from DJ FLACK - an hour long blending of dub, hip-hop, rock, dancehall, dubstep, southern bounce, punk, baltimore breaks, bhangra, jungle etc...

Blogariddims 16/Raggamortis : 1
Blogariddims 16 comes correct with a stalwart set of 2nd generation digital dancehall oddities, novelty tunes and killer riddims dominated by slack styles and unrepentant raggamuffins.

Blogariddims 17/Tons of Boxes
Episode 17 comes courtesy of Grievous Angel's Titled "Tons of Boxes", it is an hour of roots reggae and dub, produced with two decks, a mixer and an Access Virus fx machine. Dub 'pon dub... (Dissensus Post)

Blogariddims 18/Rough
Episode 18 is a storming mix of 1993 hardcore classics from weareie's Naphta.

Blogariddims 19/Bounce me back to 98
Episode 19 comes from John Eden. It's a 1 hour ragga flashback to 1998.

Blogariddims 20/Shwantology : 3
Another CD length special to mark our 20th episode. Shwantology : 3 is a continuation of the series which featured in our debut cast, and features 80 minutes of ambient, industrial, classical, avant-garde, krautrock, world music, experimental, electronic, drone and various other beatless pieces of music spanning over a century's worth of compositions, all mixed live using 8 sound sources and various effects.

Blogariddims 21/Fusion Dub
A mix of Miles Davis-inspired jazz, funk and soul in dub from Grevious Angel.

Blogariddims 22/Disintegrations
The Rambler presents Disintegrations/Blogariddims 22 - a modern classical/avant-garde mix.

Blogariddims 23/La Ola De Calor
Like Ini Kamoze sings in the opening track, there's a world of (reggae) music on La Ola De Calor: sung, rapped and MC'd almost entirely in Spanish, from reggae to soca, dancehall to cumbia and reggaeton to hip hop. Artists featured hail from Panama, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Canada and the USA. Thanks to Rhythm & Flow [Barcelona], Kinky Music [Madrid], King-Der [Badalona] and Topa Top Productions [Costa Rica].

Blogariddims 24/Moving South
The final episode of the current Blogariddims series. Paul Autonomic presents 'Moving South,' an Ableton mix of up-style beats from the pioneers of the mutant groove.

Blogariddims 25/Echospace Odyssey / Towards Infinity
Blogariddims returns with a mix from veteran blogger Gutterbreakz: 'Echospace Odyssey / Towards Infinity' - a podcast in two parts. 'Echospace Odyssey' explores the dubbed-out techno of Deepchord and similar artists in the post-Basic Channel milieu, whilst 'Towards Infinity' showcases new and rare music from Bristol's dubstep underground.

Blogariddims 26/This Is The News
Episode 26 is a dubstep mix by Ben UFO, showcasing the sounds of the Hessle Audio label and unreleased material from across the genre.

Blogariddims 27/Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Episode 27 comes from Per of, changing tack from his investigations into reggae and dancehall to produce this selection of soul, funk and hip hop: Everybody Loves The Sunshine.

Blogariddims 28/A Selecao do Gringo
Episode 28 (or vinte e oito for the Lusophones out there) from the Beat Diaspora. Gregzinho, as the locals call him, unloads a funk massive of whatever has perked the gringo's ears from two consecutive summers of baile-hopping in Rio - Miami bass loops and samples, tamborzao off the 808, avant-garde electronic beats, and a slew of MCs holding it down for their favelas.

Blogariddims 29/69 Allstars
Lower End Spasm fam ( presents Blogariddims 29: 69 Allstars - a mix of classic grime riddims. "Before the ego of MCs took over radio was all about rollage - a steady, nervous momentum. A momentum we've tried to respect by matching grime's frenetic energy - that's why you've got 69 tracks in 60 minutes. The mix is largely instrumental not because we want to devoice a voice-heavy genre, but because grime started as club."

Blogariddims 30/Rufen Sie mich nicht "kraut" an
Episode 30 comes from couresy of Slug. Its a 74 min Ambient/Kosmische Musik special performed live on 2 decks, 1 CDJ and 1 Zen.

Blogariddims 31/It's So Different Here Volume 1
Episode 31 comes from Blogariddims stalwart Hal with "It's So Different Here Volume 1". One hour of mostly electronic music and vocal treatments.

Blogariddims 32/One Drop and You Don't Stop
In episode 32 music critic Dave Stelfox selects an hour's worth of new roots reggae and one-drop killers. (No blog post for this one unfortunately.)

Blogariddims 33/An allegorical mix
Episode 33 comes from and courtesy of a modyfied slug. it is a 1 hour ambient/techno/avant grade mix performed live via MAX/MSP. track selection by modyfier, MAX/MSP patch development and music interpretation / mixing by slug.

Blogariddims 34/2step Heaven
Episode 34 comes from Grievous Angel of the shards, fragments and totems blog. It's an hour of classic, heavyweight 2step garage performed live. Crack open a bottle of Bolly and put your dancing shoes on...

Blogariddims 35/Electroacoustic ambience : 1
Episode 35 comes from couresy of Slug. Its a 1 hour ambient/classical/post rock mix performed live on 2 decks and 1 CDJ.

Blogariddims 36/Roots Reality and Culture
Episode 36 comes from dancehall reggae and bashment DJs/producers The Heatwave - an 60 minute selection of positive, conscious and uplifting dancehall songs.

Blogariddims 37/Maga Bo - Os Cacos
50 minutes of transnational bass - dubstep grime cumbia hip hop ragga kuduro baile funk dub chaabi soca crunk. (Tracklist Only)

Blogariddims 38/The mouth, the feet, the sound
Changing the pace a little, episode 38 is a 1-hour mix of texture-matched avant-classical and modern composition for careful listening.

Blogariddims 39/Journeys by non-DJ
Episode 39 is an eclectic one hour journey through dub, beats and bass from self professed 'non-DJ': Paradigm X.

Blogariddims 40/Grime in the Dancehall
Episode 40 is a spectacular from John Eden and Grievous Angel's with a special CD-length mix of dancehall and grime, exploring the intimate links between the two genres.

Blogariddims 41/Sub Threshold
Blogariddims 41 is a dubstep mix with bits and pieces of 4/4 on breaky action recorded live by Owen Howard using vinyl and Serato.

Blogariddims 42/Sun 'n' Bass
Episode 42 mixed by Vamanos from Ghetto Bassquake. An hour of international sundrenched carnival bass thumping beats - Dancehall, Cumbia, Reggaeton, Dubstep, Drum 'n' Bass, Grime, Soca, Zouk, Baltimore and Baile Funk. Mashed up inna Soundsystem Style!

Blogariddims 43/Deep in Bludgrooves
Episode 43: Sir Loris brings you an hour long dub and roots mix recorded on nothing more than 2 technics and a mixer.

Blogariddims 44/Eiretronica : Underground
A selection of Irish electronica from the late 90s to today. Sequenced in Ableton by droid + slug for the 'Underground' Exhibition 27/06/08 - 06/07/08 in Road Records, Dublin

Blogariddims 45/Fusion Part 1
Episode 45 by Zhao uses mashups to communicate a new conception of hybridity, a fusing of different sounds and cultures with focus on traditional and regional music framed by urban bass and beats (or is it the other way around?)

Blogariddims 46/Doppelmix
Episode 46 lurches blinking into the sunlight courtesy of Doppelganger. It's a techno / dubstep hybrid created by stapling mp3s together on audacity.

Blogariddims 47/Ontological Hysteria
Episode 47 comes from Kek c/o the Kid Shirt blog and is an hour's worth of music based around the theme of, uh, Ontological Hysteria. Which is a helluva lot more fun than it sounds. Music was recorded direct from vinyl and edited on a knackered old vintage PC.

Blogariddims 48/Jazz
Shunted off the stage and smoking in the alley. For a while Jazz had something like an Embassy but then its proponents drifted on to Reggae and Brazilian music. Now no-one (apart from you dear listener) gives a shit about it.

Blogariddims 49/Dubtronics
So here we are at our penultimate episode and the monstrous delay can only mean one thing – it’s another droid + slug mix! This time we're trying our hardest to be trendy by actually playing some tunes that are less than a year old... You may have noticed that weareie hasn’t really had much to say about dubstep over the last few years – but that’s not to say we haven’t been listening. I was drawn into the world of blogging through a desire to explore the emerging grime scene in 2003, and I’ve followed the split in the scene and it’s divergent streams reasonably closely ever since.

Blogariddims 50/Terminus
We're ending the series with a collection of short sets from some of the most crucial contributors, each of whom has produced roughly 7 minutes of music that has been slotted together to form this CD length final episode. Initially this set was going to consist of a drunken spoken word monologue from myself in which I aired all my grudges and complaints from the last couple of years. Unfortunately I ended up with a 5 hour recording that couldn't be edited down to a comprehensible 74 minutes rant.

Well thats it. Any questions or bad links please feel free to comment and let me know. It's been fun.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blogariddims 40 / Grime in the Dancehall

So we've hit a weary but respectable 40 with an absolutely spectacular set from Messrs Eden and Meme, the Jam and Lewis (or maybe the Jam and Spoon?) of Blogariddims: Grime in the Dancehall.

Though its something Ive taken for granted since I first started delving via Deuce magazine some years back, the seemingly intractable connections between dancehall and grime have been debated time and again, with Southern Hip-Hop/Crunk often put forward over dancehall as grime's 'prime catalyser', marginalising yard influences in the process. There are of course wider implications to this debate, as, like Paul Meme ' I tend to see the whole ('ardcore Conti)nuum as essentially the story of how reggae got rooted in (the UK) and mutated', which is point of view probably shared by most ex-junglists who got sucked deep into the whirlpool of Jamaican music.

Of course, crunk and hip hop have had a strong influence on grime along with garage, in fact, with a bit of judicious selecting you could almost produce a similar mix exploring these genealogies without a single reference to dancehall - and thats why this set is so good. Apart from being full of great tunes, nice mixing and fresh edits, it's fleshed out a narrative that was previously (unless you knew the koo) the domain of forum polemics and self appointed (non) scene historians, something substantial to point at the next time someone claims that 'Grime is basically UK Rap'...

All that said, this episode is kind of like an audio version of an issue of Woofah so I wouldn't be surprised if its all an exercise in subliminal advertising on behalf of their burgeoning publishing empire, in fact, I'm almost sure I can hear the chilling sound of John Edens rasping tones whispering 'Buy Woofah... ...You slags' beneath some of those edits...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

DJ Producer Old Skool Mix

Truly excellent mix from the legendary DJ producer - one of the few artists in his field that I have a lot of time for, due to his clean production style and instinctive grasp of dancefloor dynamics. This is an Ableton mix, and having delved deep into this stuff myself I can say that using a computer is probably the only way you could mix a tight set of tunes from this era, and this set is seriously tight - with loads of extra little touches. As the man himself says:
Another "cut to bits" megamix executed solely with ableton live.
And featuring another dose of my heritage, this time shit-kicking breakbeaters from the realms of 1992--this is the REAL underground oldskool rave shit right here!!!!
At a time when music wasnt quite jungle, but certainly had nothing to do with house music. We just called it "uk hardcore".

And yes---there are a couple of piano’s in there.
But i truly dont give a fuck.
This about 1st gen beat breakage--and true to that style only minamal filtering was used--this is mainly about emulating old school tape edits. It sort of worked -
But ill let you lot be the judge + jury.


What a great tracklisting - Dubwar chapters 1 + 2! And Papua New Guinea! Get it here and when it blows your mind, offer your thanks here

Big up Mark Gabba on SC for
the tip.

Long Time Burning MP3s

In all the kerfuffle of sorting this out I forgot to post about it here. Its paypal only for the moment until it gets picked up by some of the more established MP3 stores. The MP3s are DRM free 320s with full printable artwork (including the CD surface). Click on the image above to get it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Enos' Expanding Asses

Whilst browsing in vain for a promised FACT review of the Naphta LP, I stumbled across Kek-W's 'History of Ambient' articles:
Now, as always, there are details to grumble about, but all in all its a pretty solid primer, and to be honest, if I was asked to write a history of ambient in just a few thousand words I would probably fail miserably. One thing that does wreck my head slightly about FACT is the haphazard emboldening of random sentences... gives a very tabloid feel to the articles (though I imagine thats an editorial style more than anything else).

Also found this Brian Eno cartoon that everyone has probably seen already since its been around for about 10 years (click to enlarge):

And last but certainly not least - more Eno trivia, this time of a momentously scandalous nature.

Slug mentioned this to me last year when we were out one night and it's utterly tainted my view of the mans work. I, (like many others no doubt) have always pictured Eno as being the epitome of calm contemplation in the studio, bathed in white light as he patiently ekes out minimal aleatoric masterpieces whilst drinking organic green tea... perhaps with pristine Asian women fanning him with giant palm leaves to prevent even a single drop of sweat falling from his unnaturally smooth brow.

But no. According to his published diary 'A year with Swollen Appendicies' Eno spends his time in the studio EXPANDING WOMEN'S ASSES in Photoshop. The exact quote (from Page 4 - January 2nd) is:
"created some novel pornography in Photoshop - modifying back views of women to expand their bottoms to cosmic proportions"
So the next time your marveling at the 'Stark minimalism' of 'On Land', or find your self hypnotised by the 'repetitive piano tinkling and synth washes' of 'Music for airports', just think about Eno in the studio, hitting play on one machine, record on the other, and expanding those asses like there was no tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blogariddims NZ

Blogariddims this, Blogariddims that - this blog is fast becoming known as the Blogariddims site (for real), but here's a nice little mention of the cast in a review of Heatwaves 'England Story' from the New Zealand listener:

Though it is many things to many people, the ubiquitous term podcast is fast becoming a valuable signpost to assist music discovery. Like mixtapes, there’s an awful lot of dross to contend with, but, when they are well curated, annotated and presented, they can take a lot of stress out of perusing new sounds.

One of the very best is hosted by Irish website weareie (, and, as the name Bloggariddims suggests, it draws upon the knowledge and passion of fellow bloggers to supply monthly hour-long mixes that are generally far more involved and detailed than anything you could actually buy in the shops.

Over 36 predominantly crucial episodes, they have delivered everything from terrifying office party hits to deep ambience with an astonishing strike rate, though the most consistent thread is reggae and its myriad offshoots. A little over two years ago, London sound system the Heatwave Affair put together one of the very best, An England Story, which focused entirely on UK MCs from 1984-2006. Now, in concert with the Soul Jazz label, the 21 finest and most licensable tracks have been culled down from the original mix’s 40 and delivered on a double CD with extensive liner notes.

Strange how a publication on the other side of the world seems to have more insight and information than those right on the doorstep eh? ;)

Thanks to Stinkyjim for the heads up on this one.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Paradigm X: Blogariddims 39 / Journeys by non-DJ

(Droid sez:) Typical. You wait weeks for a Blogariddims, and then 2 come (almost) at once! This episode brings the schedule back in line for the first time in months, and its a stonker of an eclectic electronica mix, reminiscent of our Electronicack mix from last year, and eerily similar to the kind of multi-genre mixing myself and Slug used to do on Saturday nights on Power FM back in the late 90s. I first bumped into PDX on one of the best music forums on the net: Subvert Central, and as one of the aims of Blogariddims was to showcase less well known as well as established talent I thought he'd be a good candidate for a show, and yet again Ive been proven right, as this 'non-DJ' and 'non-blogger' has produced a great cast and a lovely guest post... (BTW, you can check out Ben's tunes and download some for free at his website.)

Over to you Paradigm X:

I must confess, I was quite surprised when Droid asked me to join the illustrious Blogariddims mix archive, consisting as it does some of the finest mixed and researched mixes I’ve ever come across.

I’ve never been a DJ: after borrowing some decks for a short while, and realising quickly that it would (a) cost me a fortune, and (b) require vast amounts of time to get to the level of ability shown by others in this series, I chose to spend my time producing music.

I have always collected a huge amount of music however, albeit on CD rather than vinyl. Doing so tends to give one a different sort of collection to the average DJ: consisting mainly of albums, CD singles full of interesting remixes, and compilation CDs, with odds and sods from all kinds of people you may not have encountered before.

This mix I hope exemplifies this, and the different approach to music you get from being a CD collector than a DJ. I moved recently, and backed up a load of old CDs on my computer in case anything happened during the move, allowing me to go through loads of CDs I haven’t listened to in a long time, finding all sorts of gems (and quite a lot of rubbish !). These are some special tunes for me, for various reasons, and its been great fun putting it together.

This was mixed in Ableton, which I have been using for a year or so to do my live shows, and which is a fantastic piece of software. The actual mix gradually moves from 88 BPM to around 131BPM: I was originally hoping to move slowly from 80 BPMish to jungle/dnb speed, but quickly realised that I wouldn’t be able to fit some of my favourite tracks in.

It was jammed live, with a few volume and EQ tweaks (and a few cheeky edits, couldnt resist!) afterwards, rather than a purely programmed mix, although I obviously practised a lot beforehand. A lot of the tunes originally planned for the mix didn’t actually make it in, but my goal was to try and incorporate at least one tune from all of my favourite producers, and I think I just about managed it (except for the jungle/dnb people…). My main influences for the mix come from Vlari/DJ VLR, DJ Surgeon (my absolute favourite DJ), and Coldcut’s ‘Journeys by DJ’ and ‘DJ Food Fight’ (with DJ Food). I’ve tried to incorporate a bit of everything in the mix, rather than specialising.

Overall, I’m very happy with the mix, and hope you enjoy it too. Many thanks to Droid and all of weareie crew for the opportunity to present this mix.

Oh, and as a side note, according to David Wells in The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers, 39 is the smallest mathematically uninteresting number. Does that make it interesting? :)

Blogariddims 39 / Journeys by non-DJ (84.2mb mp3)

1. Transistor - Look Who's Perfect Now (Under The Duvet Mix) - Virgin
2. Attica Blues - Blueprint (Slakked Plastik Remix) - Mo wax
3. Coil - Who ll Tell - Threshold House
4. Steve Reich - The Four Sections (Andrea Parker Remix) - Nonesuch
5. The Black Dog - Pheremone (Free download from the Black Dog website)
6. Primal Scream - Jailbird (Sweeney 2 Mix) - Creation
7. Richie Hawtin - 96:01/02:00 (Variation) - M:nus
8. dälek vs Techno Animal - Classical Homicide - Matador
9. Bomb The Bass - Bug Powder Dust (DJ Muggs Remix) - Fourth and Broadway
10. Prodigy - Poison (Environmental Science Dub Remix) - XL
11. Paradox - Daylight Robbery - Blue Planet
12. Spectre - Throw Down Spears - Natural Response
13. A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray - Warlock *
14. Maurizio - M6 (Version) - Virgin
15. Plastikman - Fuk - Mute
16. Aphex Twin - Ventolin (The Coppice Mix) - Warp
17. Teste - The Wipe (5AM Synaptic) - R&S
18. Kinesthesia - Flicklife - Rephlex
19. Paradigm X - Manchester In Dub - Solid Earth
20. Mouse on Mars - Sehn Sud - Virgin

* This originally was released on Warlock (according to discogs), but I took it from the EXP Compilation ‘Flux Trax’

1. Transistor - Look Who's Perfect Now (Under The Duvet Mix) - Virgin
2. Attica Blues - Blueprint (Slakked Plastik Remix) - Mo wax
3. Coil - Who ll Tell - Threshold House
4. Steve Reich - The Four Sections (Andrea Parker Remix) - Nonesuch
5. The Black Dog - Pheremone (Free download from the Black Dog website)

Starting off with some ‘downbeat’ (another cringe worthy genre name), Howie B starts us off with a trip-hop (eek) remix of indie unknowns Transistor. I’ve always really liked this track, mainly because I first heard it while playing with some mate’s decks, and started a lot of my ‘sets’. ‘Interesting’ fact: the singer is Chesney Hawkes’ sister.

This is followed by the exquisitely programmed 808s of Richie Hawtin’s remix of Attica Blues’ Blueprint, utilising his classic ‘only use a tiny percentage of the original in a remix’ method to great effect, which is some lovely, quirky electro/jungle. This is layered with seminal electronic artists Coil’s ‘Who’ll Tell’, from their 1993 album ‘Stolen and Contaminated Songs’ (now re-released and available as FLAC and MP3 from the Threshold House shop. The first Coil album I ever heard, and still my favourite, this album contains a huge array of interesting and experimental electronica. I feel I have sold them short a little by only overlaying it onto Hawtin, but it worked so well I couldn’t resist.

This moves nicely into the Andrea Parker remix of Steve Reich’s ‘The Four Sections.’ The best of a frankly disappointing remix CD, considering the potential of the raw material. I like this one though, a slinky melancholy electro workout. It is layered and followed by The Black Dog’s ‘Pheromone’, a very creepy track. It was a free download from the Black Dog Towers, his website, a long time ago, but doesn’t seem to be available anymore. Black Dog (via the Artificial Intelligence CDs on Warp) were one of the first electronic artists I ever heard, and I have a great respect for their work, both as the original threesome, and as The Black Dog and Plaid individually.

6. Primal Scream - Jailbird (Sweeney 2 Mix) - Creation
7. Richie Hawtin - 96:01/02:00 (Variation) - M:nus
8. dälek vs Techno Animal - Classical Homicide - Matador
9. Bomb The Bass - Bug Powder Dust (DJ Muggs Remix) - Fourth and Broadway
10. Prodigy - Poison (Environmental Science Dub Remix) - XL
11. Paradox - Daylight Robbery - Blue Planet
12. Spectre - Throw Down Spears - Natural Response

In this section, I was aiming for the Coldcut/DJ Food mashup approach, starting with the Sabres of Paradise remix of Primal Scream. I first heard the original of this on the radio and bought it because of an exposed breakbeat (this being years before downloading breakbeats, and when I was just staring to produce). It comes with four great remixes which came as a pleasant bonus. This is layered up with a deeply hypnotic remix from Richie Hawtin’s Concept CD, possibly one of the most interesting remix CDs I have in terms of execution.

Explaining his custom system to produce the Concept 1 Variations, [Thomas] Brinkmann notes, "I used a self-made turntable with 30 kilo plate, and two SME 309 Tone Arms utilizing both Ortofon and Van den Hul moving-coil pickups." Using the original Concept 1 records on his two-arm turntable, Thomas found unheard dynamics within these recordings. Even the imperfections of the vinyl pressing process find new character within his Variations. "The interventions with the actual vinyl are few: I slowed down the speed of the record and used the left pickup (arm) for the left channel, and the right pickup (arm) for the right channel. I found out that the use of different pickup systems for both channels is important for the sound," Brinkmann adds. "It's possible to hear a melodic displacement between the channels."

Picked this up for $1 in Cincinnati, Ohio (then home to the future Mrs X) on my first visit to stay with her. Scratched to all buggery, so three cheers for EAC, the freeware audiophile CD ripper! Amazingly deep hypnotic remixes, highlighting depth to ‘minimal’ techno that was barely visible. The dälek thing, I must confess, is a bit of a one off, but I’ve got a few Techno Animal tunes, and grabbed it. Very good stuff, I’ve been meaning to find some more.

Bomb the Bass’ ‘Into the Dragon’ was the very first album I bought, on tape! This track is a remix of a track from the second album, by Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs, another early favourite! Lots of hazy memories of the first two Cypress Hill albums. This is given a pseudo mashup with the Prodigy, who I saw live at my first ever rave, alongside DJ Swan-E and N-joi. A very memorable night…

Another remix, this is the heavy bass Environmental Science dub remix. Paradox (not the (in)famous jungle/drum’n’bass producer, but the affectionately known Paradox(13), as described on discogs), this is another tune I really like, but not entirely sure why; the mangled melodies that appear out of the chaos I guess. Original tune is Janet Jackson, apparently.

Moving into Throw Down Spears, by Spectre(6). :) a very groovy dub track. Put together by Nick Raphael, with the Manasseh Sound System and a host of guests, this is one of my favourite Dub CDs – exquisitely produced and varied. Sadly this seems to be the only album they ever did together.

13. A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray - Warlock
14. Maurizio - M6 (Version) - Virgin
15. Plastikman - Fuk - Mute
16. Aphex Twin - Ventolin (The Coppice Mix) - Warp
17. Teste - The Wipe (5AM Synaptic) - R&S
18. Kinesthesia - Flicklife - Rephlex
19. Paradigm X - Manchester In Dub - Solid Earth

Moving into the final section of the mix, this is the (mainly) techno section. Techno has always been my one true love, although I never really wrote any, bizarrely. Starting with Voodoo Ray, an absolute classic you must have heard.

I’ve just moved to Marple, outside of Manchester, which is a beautiful town. It features in the film Twenty-Four Hour Party People, as Tony Wilson’s hometown, and Voodoo Ray features in the Hacienda scenes… Dubbed out to blend into Maurizio’s sublime M6 (Version), from the fantastic Macro Dub volume 2 compilation. Both of these two compilations are absolutely fantastic, exploring the boundaries of dub, and are well worth hunting down. I didn’t realise until doing this mix that Maurizio is the same two people as Basic Channel, and a slew of other aliases. No-one quite does minimal dubby techno like these guys. This track appears to be exclusive to this compilation, so enjoy.

This is overlaid with my favourite ever Richie Hawtin tune I think, Fuk, on Plastikman’s Musik album. The first time I heard Plastikman was after my first techno night out in Manchester, which was CJ Bolland and Slam’s Orde Meikle. We were all in some bloke’s front room after the event, chatting away as you do, when he put on Musik, and the whole room got literally hypnotised into the tune in silence. Also one of my favourite DJs, Hawtin builds a groove from nothing perfectly.

This jumps rather abruptly into the charmingly titled coppice mix, allegedly a remix of Ventolin. This comes as a 6 track remix EP, with what are named as Ventolin remixes, but none bear any resemblance to the original in any way shape or form. This has one of those simple hauntingly beautiful melodies Aphex does so brilliantly. This mixes nicely into one of my favourite ‘frequency’ tracks, Teste’s The Wipe. Nothing perceivable as a melody, it’s purely designed to stimulate the body and mind through use of frequencies. Little more than sub, a noise and a delay, but fantastically well done, would love to hear this out on a big rig.

This is overlaid with Kinesthesia (aka Cylob). Kinesthesia released a couple of albums of ambient/electronica on the Rephlex label a few years ago, featuring quite minimal but melodic electronia. This fitted so nicely over the Wipe, I couldn’t resist. However, it didn’t really have much weight, so it drops straight into my own Manchester in Dub. I won’t say anything more about this, except that’s was originally released last year as part of a 19 track charity CD, Grounded, which was released to raise money for the people of Darfur, Sudan. There are a few copies left, and it’s only £5, features an exclusive Vex’d track (under the pseudonym Urizen), and all money goes direct to the charity! Oh, and the fantastic sound is due to its being mastered by Macc at Subvert Central mastering

20. Mouse on Mars - Sehn Sud - Virgin

I wanted to include one Mouse on Mars tune, because for every 8 tracks which are harsh, or ‘challenging’, let’s say, they release one of such beauty you have to buy everything they release. Again, from the ‘Macro Dub Infection 2’ CD, this is probably my favourite track they’ve ever done: that kind of aching melancholic electronica I’m a real sucker for, with lots of geeky twiddlage, and a certain amount of humour.

I hope you enjoy this mix as I did making it, and indeed do listening to it. Its a personal rummage through some of my most treasured tunes.

Ben Paradigm X

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hip-hop history mixes 79-99

Usually this kinda thing doesn't float my boat, but Ive been blown away by these mixes from The Rub since someone posted a link to them on SC. Obviously I'm most endeared to the early 90's stuff - shit that gives that warm nostalgic buzz as I was listening to it at the time. Plus - like dancehall from the same period, theres all those moments of semi-recognition when you hear some of the many samples that ended up in jungle tunes... These days its easy to forget how incredibly vital hip-hop was back then. The sheer variety of styles and content (in both production and vocals), and the accompanying perception of seemingly endless creativity rivals dancehall's frenetic pace of creation and innovation... The mixing also does the tunes justice - straightforward scratch business with simple segues between tunes with the odd bit of beat juggling.

Even if you think you dont like hip-hop - go
here and download, you won't regret it.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blogging to the riddims

OK, I admit it. I've failed to keep the rabble in line, and the Blogariddims schedule has become the kind of shambling and unpredictable mess that Ive been trying to avoid since we started this podcast. Good news is that 39 and 40 are reportedly in the bag, and last weeks episode is now up - a haunting minimal ambient classical set from the erudite Tim Rambler, and in case you missed it, episode 37, from Maga Bo has also been available for a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed that things will all run smoothly from now until the end of the cast...