Archive for the ‘Mixes’ Category.

Drrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaammmmm Baby Drrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaammmmm

John Eden: Drrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaammmmm Baby Drrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaammmmm by Johnedenuk on Mixcloud

Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” stretched to an hour in duration for your listening pleasure.

Dream Baby Dream Baby Dream

John Eden: Dream Baby Dream Baby Dream versions Part Two by Johnedenuk on Mixcloud

1. Fuxa – Dream Baby Dream
2. Christian & the Heathens – Dream Baby Dream
3. Mark Refoy – Blue Moon Dream Baby Dream
4. Madrugada – Dream Baby Dream
5. Luna – Dream Baby Dream
6. Black Tambourine – Dream Baby Dream
7. Savages – Dream Baby Dream
8. Sonic Death – Dream Baby Dream
9. Neneh Cherry & The Thing – Dream Baby Dream
10. Takkyu Ishino – Dream Baby Dream
11. Soma Sema – Dream Baby Dream
12. Zombie Zombie – Dream Baby Dream
13. Moto Boy- Dream Baby Dream
14. Enzo Boni – Dream Baby Dream

dbdbd

Sometimes quantity has a quality all of its own

Initially I liked the brevity of the Dream Baby Dream mix, but then my obsessive tendencies got the better of me. Banished from the room which contains my records last night I took to the internet to see what other versions of the Suicide track I could find.

What I like about the original its sparse brutal sonics and minimal deadpan vocals. This combination often seems to produce an emotional response in me that belies the simplicity of the ingredients. Ask any techno fan or Zen Buddhist if you don’t believe me.

Folk music, jazz and reggae are all based on versions, standards, interpretations of existing material but in rock music “original compositions” are what gets praised. The “cover version” is supposedly filler, novelty, the domain of jobbing pub bands giving the punters an unchallenging night out with no surprises or musical adventure.

The multiple versions here display diversity in unexpected ways.

Initially I was interested in the different genres which were being used to filter the interpretations. On the surface this is surprisingly varied, taking in pop, indie, jazz, rock, ambient, techno and piano balladeering.

But actually these genres (or the performances of them on display here) are more conservative than what Suicide were doing in the late seventies.

This is exacerbated by the Bruce Springsteen cover of the song (see the previous mix) which seems to have given a green light to various stadium performers (whether actual or wannabe) to reinterpret the song themselves. One of the artists on show here was actually honest enough to describe their work as “a cover version of the Bruce Springsteen cover version of the Suicide song”.

This has lead to a tendency to make some renditions of the song less deadpan and more literally emotional both in vocal and instrumental content. Which possibly says something about trying to appeal to a wider audience. But having said that I also like the balance of bedroom producers, small bands and what I guess are probably fairly well known people here. (The only artist I was familiar with previously was Neneh Cherry & The Thing).

Repeated listening made me appreciate less obvious differences between the tracks in the mix. Variations in bass tones, vocal tics, subtle textural shifts, different crowd noises, “mistakes”, room ambience, drop outs, and glitches caused by the free software I was using. I think these things are important, arguably just as important as the music being performed – but maybe it takes a version excursion to bring out these elements.

Dream Baby Dream.

Dream Baby Dream versions

John Eden: Dream Baby Dream by Johnedenuk on Mixcloud


1. Suicide – Dream Baby Dream
2. Angel Corpus Christi – Dream Baby Dream
3. Bruce Springsteen – Dream Baby Dream

Austerity Reggae Mix

John Eden: Austerity Reggae Mix by Johnedenuk on Mixcloud

(download the mp3 direct from here but don’t go mad and use up all my bandwidth)

In which I slam down a bunch of the tunes I took to play out last week on the loose topic of austerity, poverty and the general insanity of the system.

Tracklist

1. Ansil Collings – Keep The Cost of Living Down (Magnet 7″)
2. The Abyssinians – Declaration of Rights (Studio One 7″)
3. Johnny Clarke – Declaration of Rights version (Jackpot 7″)
4. Earl Cunningham – I Want My Pay (Midnight Rock Music 7″)
5. Lorna Gee – Three Week Gone (Ariwa 12″)
6. Black Uhuru – Rent Man (DEB Music 7″)
7. Half Pint – Mr Landlord (Jammys 12″)
8. Lieutentant Stitchie – Promises (Digital B 7″)
9. Black Uhuru – Pain On The Poorman Brain (JR 7″)
10. King General – Broke Again (Conscious Sounds 12″)
11. Robert Lee – Leader (Fish Tea 7″)
12. Pliers – Rough This Year (Black Scorpio 12″)
13. Cobra – Poorman Shoes (Digital B 7″)
14. Anthony B – Nah Vote (Stone Love 7″)
15. Junior Reid – John Law (Blacker Dread 7″)
16. Joseph Hill & The Culture – Police Man (Mister Tipsy 7″)
17. Barrington Levy – Murderer (Jah Life 7″)
18. Barrington Levy & Beenie Man – Murderation (Xtra Large 7″)
19. Turbulence – Guns Bring Misery (Palm of Gold 7″)
20. Natty King – Guns To Town (2 Miles 7″)
21. Admiral Tibet – Da Pon Mi Guard (Ranking Universal 12″)
22. Dennis Brown – Revolution (Auralux LP)
23. David Harvey – Outro (Novara Media Youtube rip)

Special Unauthorised Guest Appearance from David Harvey via Novara Media.

Mix: Shake The Foundations vol 1

This is the first proper mix I ever did, back in those pre-blog times of 2002. I was interested in tracks that blurred the lines between reggae, dub, electronica and dance music. I still am, but it seems harder to find interesting angles on it these days.

Thanks to Jim Bakhaus for helping me out with a copy of the mix when I found out that my CDR master had gone glitchy.

Sleevenotes and tracklist are here.

A slightly tongue in cheek account of the frustrations of recording it is here.

Download link.

New Mix: Boops Specialist

One of the great things about reggae’s “version culture” is how getting your mitts on a new tune can reactivate whole swathes of your collection. I stumbled across a storming UK twelve on the Boops riddim recently and spent a very pleasant Saturday afternoon on a version excursion tip, fishing out classics and long forgotten cuts from the dustier corners of my vinyl shelves.

So here’s a little mix for you, done live in one take – with a little bit of post-editing before the last track.

In some ways it’s a companion to my Answer one-riddim-clash mix, but no war business with Paul Meme this time.

Yousendit download link or:

TRACKLIST

1. The Ethiopians – Last Train to Skaville (1966? – from “Celebration: 25 Years of Trojan Records” LP)

2. Toots and the Maytals – 54-46 (1969 – from Soul Jazz “400% Dynamite” CD)

3. Johnny Ringo – I And I Number (From “JA To UK M.C. Clash” LP, Fashion 1985)

4. Asher Senator – Abbreviation Qualification VIP Mix (Fashion 12” 1984)

5. Horace Andy – Cool and Deadly (Tads 12”)

6. Superman and Spiderman – Roadblock (From “Superman & Spiderman” LP, Kingdom 1985)

7. Papa Face and Bionic Rhona – To the Bump (From “Great British MCs” LP, Fashion 1984)

8. Concrete Jungle Overcoat (from “Rubble Dub M.C.’s Choice” LP, Rubble 1986)

9. Supercat – Boops (Techniques 7” 1986)

10. Pam Hall – Dear Boopsie (Blue Mountain 12”, 1986)

11. King Kong – Don’t Touch My Boops (Unity Sound 12” 1986)

12. Papa Charjan And Jack Reuben Featuring Higgy Rygin – Moany Moany (Shuttle Records 12” 1986)

13. Bayley & Chacka Demus – One Scotch (Unity Sound 12”)

14. Papa Charjan And Jack Reuben Featuring Higgy Rygin – One Scotch, One Tennants, One Brew (Shuttle Records 12” 1986)

15. Rebel MC and Double Trouble – Street Tuff (Desire 7”, 1989)

SLEEVENOTES

The Ethiopians – Last Train to Skaville (1966? – from “Celebration: 25 Years of Trojan Records” LP)

The Ethiopians started in the 1940s and passed through Studio One in the sixties before recording this for WIRL. This opening track is a little on the quiet side, partly because that’s how I like to start, but also because Trojan have unwisely included 10 tracks per side of this LP. Which, to be fair, did make it good value – just not so great for playing out.

Toots and the Maytals – 54-46 (1969 – from Soul Jazz “400% Dynamite” CD)


Everyone has heard this, surely? So the story behind this tune is that Toots Hibbert was busted for ganja and the title of the tune was his prison number. Unfortunately that is just a story. Toots says he was busted (for what isn’t clear) whilst trying to pay bail for a mate – and the number is just something he made up.

So yeah, these first few tracks are off compilations and not crackly seven inches. People get snobbish about that I guess, so here is full disclosure. Both of these comps are brilliant, by the way.

Johnny Ringo – I And I Number (From “JA To UK M.C. Clash” LP, Fashion 1985)

JA MC on tour in the UK cuts album underneath the Dub Vendor shop, riding the riddim with some nice “definition lyrics”.

Unfortunately Ringo died in 2005, his passing was noted by me here.

Asher Senator – Abbreviation Qualification VIP Mix (Fashion 12” 1984)

Saxon MC Asher’s first single, which I’ve written about previously in my Born To Chat: The Asher Senator Story.

Horace Andy – Cool and Deadly (Tads 12”)

Sleepy brings his take on “ABC” by the Jackson 5 to the party. This raises the musical levels after Asher’s lyrical onslaught. I often play the two in combination like this on the increasingly rare occasions that I am trusted on the decks in public.

Superman and Spiderman – Roadblock (FromSuperman & Spiderman” LP, Kingdom 1985)

Mysterious trademark-infringing duo in the mould of Michigan and Smiley.

Superman was born in Birmingham, but raised in JA. He now records UK Dub material under the name of Sandeeno. Spiderman I know little about but seem to recall he was JA born and bred.

Of course, superhero imagery has been well used in reggae, from Tony McDermott’s great covers for Scientist dub albums, to these labels:

Papa Face and Bionic Rhona – To the Bump (From “Great British MCs” LP, Fashion 1984)

“Nuff man chat on the Shank I Sheck, but me no hear no-one pon this one yet”

Underrated duo, previously written about here. Rhona is an uncarved.org reader, Face has continued to MC as mic man for David Rodigan and is a regular fixture behind the counter at Dub Vendor.

Concrete Jungle Overcoat (from “Rubble Dub M.C.’s Choice” LP, Rubble 1986)


Very talented musicians at Fashion. Their riddims and dub albums never get proper credit, but it’s nice gear. I meant to write about them all for Woofah but it didn’t quite happen. Gussie Prento production.

Super Cat – Boops (Techniques 7” 1986)

“And when you check it out Friday ah payday”

The tune that started the craze. Super Cat tells the story of an older guy who has the girls flocking – but only because of his wallet. The Techniques lick of the riddim is proper loose (in a good way) and even has a bum note towards the end.

Pam Hall – Dear Boopsie (Blue Mountain 12”, 1986)

“Since you’ve been gone – I’ve forgotten the taste of wine”

Pam is the sister of Audrey Hall. Dear Boopsie attempts to give some female perspective on the Boops phenomenon, though it’s hardly an advert for womens’ liberation. Oddly this seems to be the only tune in the mix which has troubled the UK Charts, skirting around the mid 50s for a few weeks.

The tune even appeared in one of the few reggae charts featured on ITV’s The Chart Show.

King Kong – Don’t Touch My Boops (Unity Sound 12” 1986)

“Gorgeous smile and she had pretty looks”

This is a King Jammy production which was licensed to Hackney’s Unity Sound label because of their strong connections.

Pretty soon Boops was inescapable, as is evident from Daddy Kool’s pre-release chart of April 19, 1986:

1. King Kong – Don’t Touch My Boops – Jammys
2. Anthony Red Rose – Me No Want No Boops – Firehouse
3. Michael Prophet – Nah Call Me John Boops – Techniques
4. Sugar Minott – John Boops – Cornerstone
5. Lyrical – No Try No Boops – 10 Rossevelt Avenue
6. Pompidou – I Love My Boops – Striker Lee
7. Super Dad – See Boops Ya – Blue Mountain
8. Radicals – Rum Tree – Roots Radics Gang
9. Ringo – See Foreign Deh – Harry J
10. Delroy Williams – Watchdog – Rockers

Sly and Robbie hit the national charts one year later with their own take on the fad… (major labels being unable to keep up with the street commentary of reggae culture).

Papa Charjan And Jack Reuben Featuring Higgy Rygin – Moany Moany (Shuttle Records 12” 1986)

Shuttle operated out of Haringey, with offices around Turnpike Lane and Green Lanes. This is a Fatman production. Fatman runs a longstanding soundsystem and label. There’s a nice piece on him here from Penny Reel’s 1981 NME Soundsystem Splashdown feature.

At that time, Fatman’s selector was Ribs (interviewed here). But Ribs then left Fatman to start his own Unity Hi-Fi sound. Charjan and his brother Reuben were two of Unity’s first deejays (soon to be joined by Peter Bouncer, Navigator and the Ragga Twins amongst many other key ‘nuum figures).

But then Charjan and Reuben really upset the applecart by leaving Unity and joining Fatman. Apparently the animosity is made abundantly clear in Fatman/Unity clash tapes from the mid eighties.

Whatever the history, this is a boss tune which equals most of the Boops ouevre for its slightly dodgy gender politics. In fact it’s intriguingly similar to “Rabbit” by that other cockney MC crew Chas and Dave. Charjan and Reuben’s double delivery on the chorus is breathtaking and there are some neat rhymes here also.

Admiral Bailey & Chaka Demus – One Scotch (Unity Sounds 12″ 1986)

Bailey and Chaka rework John Lee Hooker’s blues standard for Jammys, with added bonus reference to the Joe Gibbs oddity “In Heaven There Is No Beer (It’s Why We Drink It Here)” by The Happs.

Papa Charjan And Jack Reuben Featuring Higgy Rygin – One Scotch, One Tennants, One Brew (Shuttle Records 12” 1986)

“If you like drinking, let’s go on a drinking spree”

Charjan and Reuben come again with a London ting. Frankly the prospect of a scotch, a can of Tennents and a Special Brew is enough to make me feel decidedly queasy. Still, might be one to test out one weekend, purely in the interests of research…

Unfortunately my copy didn’t come with the ace picture cover, so it’s thanks to discogs for that. It does have this sticker on it though:

Other odes to Tennents Super include Alabama 3’s “Old Purple Tin” and “Purple Boy” by Smart Alex and Clever Cloggs.

Rebel MC and Double Trouble – Street Tuff (Desire 7”, 1989)

Not everyone realises this is the same bassline as Toots and The Maytals’ “54-46″ but then it is at 120bpm or thereabouts. A big chart hit, which will always remind me of everyone on the cheese factory production line grooving away when it came on Radio One.

Rebel MC went on to mutate into Congo Natty, but I guess everyone knows that now?

ADDENDUM

The Boops riddim was reversioned again earlier this year, but none of the tunes particularly grabbed me. So this remains an archival selection for your delectation.

As usual this is simply what I’ve picked up over the years so I make no apology if your favourite cut isn’t included. Feel free to have a heated debate in the comments boxes, or do your own mix – or simply enjoy the music for what it is!