Category Archives: mixtapes

Chodz na pole – Polish hip hop for beginners

If you have never listened to Polish hip hop, you have a lot to look forward to.

For those who don’t know the language, I am pleased to say that Nokturn has no lyrics, Kaubanga makes no sense anyway, and the rest of the tracks are about normal, everyday things – about Poland, of course, and stuff like concrete and mountain tops and porn and the moomins.

Tracks:

  1. Nokturn – Czarny Hifi
  2. Tabasko – O.S.T.R.
  3. Normalnie o tej porze – Kaliber 44
  4. Kaubanga – Sztigar Bonko
  5. Nowe bloki – Vienio feat. Hades
  6. Na szczycie – Grubson
  7. Banicja – Bisz (B.O.K.) feat. Pawbeats
  8. Rio – Miuosh
  9. Co mam powiedzic – Pezet
  10. Chodz na pole – Krakowskie Rap Kontratakuje (KRK)

Do you know better than this? Recommendations are always welcome!

Tribute to Warsaw

With all due respect to David Bowie, when I listen to the track Warszawa from his Low album I can only think of how  it feeds the conception of a hopelessly dull, depressing city.

For a more rounded picture, here is a selection of 14 tunes with a (sometimes far-fetched, I know) reference to the capital of Poland.

Listen here – tracks are listed below!

Park Lazienki, Warsaw
Warsaw in the sun

Tracks:

  1. Warsaw ragtime – New Orleans Stompers
  2. Warsaw – Dessa
  3. Warsaw or the first breath you take after you give up
    – Them Crooked Vultures
  4. Gangster ska – Warsaw Poland Bros
  5. Warsaw – Groove Armada (James Curd remix)
  6. Warszawa – T. Love
  7. Warsaw – Sneijder (Arctic Moon remix)
  8. Sen o Warszawie – Cieslaw Niemen
  9. Warsawa – 50 HERTZ
  10. Warsaw – Joy Division
  11. Warszawa – Kombajn do zbierania kur po wioskach
  12. Warsaw in the sun – Tangerine Dream
  13. Varshe: Warsaw – Mappamundi
  14. Warszawo, moja Warszawo – Warszawskie Combo Taneczne

Pillow Dance Volume 1: the first installment

Here it is.

Fueled by more than a fair share of Balearic and early rave (but not exclusively), Pillow Dance sprang out from a preschooler and his deranged dad’s desire to get the blood flowing towards the end of the day. Pillows are piled high in the middle of the living room, the beats cranked up and we charge tribal-like in a freestyle dance battle.

With the soundtrack, there’s nostalgia but hopefully something deeper, haling back to a time in the late 80’s when spotty white suburban (mainly European) kids discovered a link with disenfranchised urban gay African Americans. Together they set about building a global movement, discombobulated from any one culture, underpinned by beats and bass created by emergent electronic tools such as the Roland TR-808. Sonically, this magpie music was as happy plundering from punk as it was from disco. A particular strand that grabbed me in my Manchester dorm room at the time was the Balearic scene which prided itself on expanding its influences and actively juxtaposing the elements you’d least consider, with the tongue often placed firmly in cheek.

What emerged from this rich tapestry? House music, garage and just about every music genre which now gets labelled as ‘electronica’. It has indelibly impacted hip hop and has traces in most modern pop music.

Well pontificating aside, our pillow dancing sessions are living proof that this music can spark energy across generations. Give it a go and let me know how it works for you…

Tracklisting

Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored (LunaSol’s Acid Hacienda Mix)
Piano Fantasia – Song for Denise
Secchi – Flute On (Voice On)
Primal Scream – I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have
UVX – Bug Dub
KC Flightt – Planet E (House Mix)
Soul II Soul ft Caron Wheeler – Keep on Moving (Big Beat Acapella)-
Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed
Corporation Of One – The Real Life
Vangelis – One More Kiss Dear

Shed uncovers the intricate world of techno

I kind of disagree with the write-up for this podcast which comes courtesy of our friends over at XLR8R. Whilst Shed’s podcast for the mag is undeniably ‘banging’ in the warehouse sense of the term, he spends a fair degree of time playing around with higher frequencies and using the bass more as a point of punctuation.

For some reason, this mix works remarkably well as a backdrop/counterpart to the stark city lights encountered on a late night drive. Enjoy.

More about Shed on XLR8R

Northern Lights XIX

I know I should be packing at the moment. And Christmas shopping. And learn Polish. And sort out a million and one other things that moving from Cambridge to Krakow via Christmas celebrations in Stockholm involve.

It’s just that I’m a little bit infatuated with every track below so I thought I’d spread the love.

  1. Modern drift – Efterklang
  2. Dust if off – The Dø
  3. One piece concept – ASS
  4. Alike – Efterklang
  5. The fox – Niki and the Dove
  6. Scale it back – DJ Shadow and Little Dragon
  7. The bridge is broken – The Dø
  8. Ledmotiv – Tvärvägen
  9. Sundog – Niki and the Dove
  10. Aint nobody laughing at me – ASS
  11. I was playing drums – Efterklang
  12. Moon (Ridu remix) – Björk
  13. DJ ease my mind (acapella) – Niki and the Dove
  14. Spaceherosuites – Those dancing days
  15. I can’t find my knife – Tvärvägen

The last song is dedicated to the brilliant Simply Krav Maga club in Cambridge. Keep fighting guys : )

Oddities and escapades vol 2

Latest selection of audio slices that are grabbing my goat right now. Some of these tracks have been around for a while (Alexandroid, RA the Rugged Man and Snowboy – actually one of the first albums I owned) mixed up with a bunch of newer numbers.

Given that US Thanksgiving has just passed, I might as well go ahead and say it: I give thanks for all these artists plugging away in their respective genres.

Hope you enjoy.

Tracklisting

Alexandroid – Untitled
Zola Jesus – Vessel
Summer Camp – I Want You
Washed Out – Amor Fati
Ra the Rugged Man – Chains
Shabazz Palaces – Swerve
She Said – Black Leather
Apparat – Ash Black Veil
Snowboy – Mambito
Suckers – A Mind I Knew
Zomby – Natalia’s Song

Oddities and escapades vol 1

here it is. after some time in the making and plenty of tweaking. some old, some new, some newly discovered.

Shiela Chandra – Ever So Lonely
‘the ocean refuses no river’ love the line, not quite sure what the hell sheila chandra is on about. too much time on the ashram munching space cakes, if you ask me.

Rockabye Baby – All Apologies
apparently, according to spin, it’s 20 years since nirvana’s nevermind burst on the scene making grunge accessible to accountants everywhere. with the rockabye project those accountants now have suitable ammunition to send their grand kids to slumberland.

Dan Deacon – Snookered
dan deacon set himself out on a trajectory which severly limited his chances of appearing on ‘idol’ (american or otherwise). thankfully the good ship deacon still sails close to that arc.

Santana – Jingo
santana hits up jingo. a more tribal rendetion regales the quaint new-colonial ‘the endless summer‘ documentary.

Tyler the Creator – Radicalz (NewFuture Remix)
jazz, jazz, jazz. gutteral sax strapped to a military beat as amp live takes on tyler.

The Smoking Time Jazz Club – Shake That Thing
next up new orlean’s smoking time jazz band school us on shaking our thing… lessons take place regularly on street corners across nola.

George Krantz – Din Daa Daa
din daa daa… one of the weirder things to come out of the disco era. man vs drum kit. recently graced the dancefloor at oakland’s layover.

Hollywood Holt, Million $ Mano – The Show
so, who want’s to see the show?

The Uma Uma Truth List – PEACE!!!
shouty, gangly.

Borgore – Sunsets (featuring Diplo)
Very deceptive: from shoegaze to spaz-out. some could say grating. i say addictive.

The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires
don’t let this one get in your head. featured on the excellent Merge sampler available from those nice folk at Amazon.

Memoryhouse – Lady Troisieme
delicate ambient balladry.

Another Green World – Another Green Waltz
i never got to whirl-y-gig. this strange slab of woodwind makes me want to chalk this up on my list of regrets.

Jamie who?

Why is everyone I listen to at the moment called Jamie? It’s absurd.

Favourite Jamie: Lidell. Is this guy getting the recognition he deserves or have I just not been paying attention (more likely)?

Favourite track: Burial’s version of Wayfaring stranger is strangely addictive.

Favourite album: James Blake. Funnily enough I don’t listen to it that much. It’s almost like a painting in a museum; I admire it but that doesn’t mean I always enjoy it. I bet it sounds amazing live though.

Tracks:

  • Street – Jamie Woon
  • Your sweet boom – Jamie Lidell
  • Far nearer – Jamie XX
  • Air and lack thereof – James Blake
  • Night air (Ramadanman refix) – Jamie Woon
  • NY is killing me – Jamie XX and Gil Scott-Heron
  • Multiply (Herbert’s Hoedown Bump) – Jamie Lidell
  • Multiply (Hot Chip mix) – Jamie Lidell
  • The City (Four Tet mix) – Jamie Lidell
  • Wayfaring stranger (Burial remix) – Jamie Woon
  • The Wilhelm scream – James Blake
  • Compass – Jamie Lidell
  • She needs me – Jamie Lidell
  • Multiply in a minor key – Jamie Lidell

Francois K at Cielo: refreshing in every way

It’s refreshing to know that the guy that remixed Chaka Khan and Prince to such great effect back in day is still around.
It’s refreshing to hear uplifting house music verging on disco still has a place in the world.
It’s refreshing to feel the glow of early-evening spring-time.
It’s refreshing to know that you can just dip into SoundCloud and end up with a smile on your face.

Feeling like some refreshments?

Snow turned to gold

Here is a selection of some of my favourite Jari Haapalainen-produced tracks; some old, some new, all beautiful.

Jari Haapalainen is of course The Bear Quartet’s talented guitarist, who, in addition to producing all BQ albums also works a lot with other bands.

WARNING: contains large doses of Scandinavian melankoli. Sensitive souls are advised not to overdose.

Track listing:

Kind of like you – The Tiny
Birds – Frida Hyvönen
Born in the 70s – Ed Harcourt
Dirty dancing – Frida Hyvönen
This one’s for you – Ed Harcourt
Lloyd, I’m ready to be heartbroken – Camera Obscura
Enemy within – Frida Hyvönen
Been cheating – Nicolai Dunger
In reality – The Tiny
All I need – Heikki
Sorry – The Tiny feat. Ed Harcourt
Picking up the pieces – Nicolai Dunger
My gods – Laakso
Visit from the dead dog – Ed Harcourt
Retribution – Nicolai Dunger
French navy – Camera Obscura
I forget – Rebecka Törnqvist
Until tomorrow then – Ed Harcourt