Terror Danjah on Pick N Mix

Just a warning, really. Grime producer Terror Danjah is coming down to the studio tonight to be interviewed on my weekly radio show. I’ve got questions about the space between grime and dubstep, about SB.TV and about his trademark gremlin cackle… and who knows what else’ll come up. He’s a nice man. So nice in fact that he came down to Live Magazine a few weeks ago, armed with a bottle of Lucozade to keep him refreshed while the journalists of the future grilled him for a profile piece we ran in the mag.

I’ll put up a transcript of the interview over the weekend some time, ready to read alongside the show which will be available to listen again on Monday.

Exclusive: An Interview With Scientist

I was half way through Friday night’s Pick N Mix show when someone came to the studio door and said that two gentlemen were in reception and that they wanted to drop off a hard drive.

“Want to meet Scientist?” asked Brendon, the studio manager.

So we had a quick huddle, switched around the timings for the last hour of the show and went outside to meet Mr Hopeton Brown and his manager, and asked if he had a spare ten minutes to come on the show. He did.

Here’s what happened, though of course you can hear the whole thing here.

Welcome
Hello and thank you.

It’s our pleasure. In terms of dub reggae, you’re one of the guys that originated things back in Jamaica, influencing much of the music we’re all enjoying today.
Yes.

Hmmm. Short but sweet. Some people will have seen you last night at Fabric, playing with The Upsetters. They were on the stage and you were in the booth, controlling things. How was it for you?
I can’t complain. It was very good, one of the best gigs I’ve done in a long while.

Can you explain why you weren’t up on the stage with the band?
I am shy.

You must have had a problem, then, with all the eyes peering at you through the grid around the DJ booth…
I felt it, but I had to keep focused on the objective which was to make the band sound as good as possible.

It was a really nice evening. You spent all of the day before down here at the studios. Can you tell us what you were doing?
I recorded three tracks with The Upsetters. I shared some recording techniques. They captured some of it on tape: how to mic the drums, and after that I did a dub mix of one of the songs we recorded.

Are you usually a fast-working person?
Growing up in Jamaica you’re pushed to the max, just like they pushed that racing car outside. A lot of folks doesn’t have an unlimited budget. Some folks can only have a bit of studio time, and exactly what happened here happens there. You do four songs in four hours: mix, overdub, horns, percussion, the whole nine yards.

Another thing you’ve done recently is work on an album that’s forthcoming on Tectonic where you reversioned tracks created by dubstep artists. Can you tell us how that came together?
I played at Bloc Weekend and after that I came to Bristol. I was interested in doing some more dubstep after I saw what I saw that weekend. I’ve never seen anything like it before, a whole weekend with 20,000 people. Lee Perry was the only person there with vocals.

That was your first introduction to dubstep. It must have been interesting and strange: you must have seen the connection to what you guys did, but you must also have seen how it’s been switched up…
Yes, and I appreciate the switch. The guys doing dubstep, they’re onto something very good. I personally endorse it and want to see more of it.

What do you know about dubstep now that you didn’t know before you entered into the fray so to speak?
I am hooked on it.

Is that the addictive quality of bass culture?
Yes. Music is music. It’s like good food. Everybody appreciate good food.

What else have you got coming up?
When I get back to the States I have a Santigold mix I’m finishing up. But who knows what else. I might end up mixing the Fairy Godmother.

I’d like to hear that one. Scientist, thank you very much.

Thank you.

The Pick N Mix Radio Show On Mixcloud… And Where Are LDN’s Pirates?

Image courtesy of High Snobiety

I’ve been upping my radio shows to Mixcloud over the last few weeks (aside: am I really the only person who describes the act of uploading as ‘upping’?) and it’s been very cool and nice to see people actually listen to them because who actually listens to radio as it goes out these days? Well, I do, but only when I’m in my car, when I love to flick through the airwaves and find what’s going on. Which reminds me, I’m on a mission to find out where all the pirates have been hiding for the last few weeks. I know Rinse have gone legal but where is Whoa FM and Selector and all those other South London pirates that made my journey round and about SE13 more enjoyable? Answers on a postcard, please.

RBMA at Amsterdam Dance Event

It’s 12.30 on Friday lunchtime, and I’m sitting in a shop- turned-radio studio on Spui, in Amsterdam. I’ve tried to pronounce Spuistraat in Dutch on a couple of occasions but can only get close in a way that sounds a bit like early ’80s English TV comedian Frank Spencer. Ah well.

I’m here for the annual Amsterdam Dance Event, helping to host a pop-up radio station for the duration of the event. We’re broadcasting on the rbma radio stream and on Dutch radio and we’re going to be here til Sunday. The basic idea is that DJs and musicians come by and play sets or do a live thing, and get interviewed by me or the redoubtably zen Emma-Jean, or one of the ultra capable Dutch radio team. So far that’s meant Kyle Hall sitting just out of view, talking about his Wild Oats label and rolling out an excellent line in charmingly sweary answers. It also meant the original Detroit gentleman passing though: it was quite nice, for me as an old-school Detroit fan, to have Kevin Saunderson (taller than I expected, wearing a heavy overcoat, lovely vibes), a visably cheery Juan Atkins and Carl Craig on the microphone, talking about the D25 tour, where they’re celebrating 25 years since the first Metroplex release back in 1985. Then to complete the Detroit circle, or at least add to it, Kenny Larkin came in yesterday and played a set so deeply banging that the elderly lady upstairs called the police.

Now all we need is Robert Hood, fedora in hand, to come in and play us some tunes.

Africa Hi-Tec, Mike Slott, James Pants and Kryptic Minds in today… will report back later. And if you’re in the area, come and say hoy.

Pick N Mix tracklist 17/9/10

So, the show went out again on Friday night, with loads of new music and an interview with Jah Wobble, down at the Red Bull Studios. Some real favourites in this show: the Jamie Woon track is properly lovely (and I’ll be playing the Ramadanman mix in the new few weeks), and I’m a little bit head over heels for the VHS Head track. It made me draw for those old vvm and Cassetteboy 7″s where they cut Lionel Ritchie up and made him do bad things, and once released, after the event, a particularly edge-of-wrong track called Di and Dodi Do Die. There’s a also another Too Cool For Old School track, which is a regular on the show, where we select an old classic. This time it’s Laid Back (not scary Slovenian band Laibach, who I used to believe made records that would play themselves if you left them alone too long… well scary) and their post-disco early ’80s classic White Horse. The shows will be going up on Mixcloud soon, honest.

Jamie Woon – Night Air (Candent Songs)
Spokes – We Can Make It Out (Yppah Mix) (Counter Records)
Neon Indian – Deadbeat Summer (Toro Y Moi Remix) (Static Tongues)
VHS Head – Sunset Everett (Skam)
Dels – Shapeshift (Kwes remix) (Ninja Tune)
Letherette – In July Focus (Ho Tep)
Steve Mason – Just A Man (Studio Mix) (Domino)
Arkist and Komonazmuk – Outbreak (If Symptoms Persist)
Unicorn Kid – Wildlife (The Blessings Mix) (Cool Records)
Andras Fox, Sui Zhen and James Pants – Touch-N-Talk (Various Assets)
Pariah – Crossed Out (R&S)
Badness – Silencer (Teddy Productions)
Gang Gang Dance – Kamakura (Latitude)
Subeena – Wishful Thinking (Opit Records)
Apaloosa – Intimate (Glass Candy Mix) (Italians Do It Better)
Cooly G – Dis Boy (DVA Hi Emotions Remix) (DVA)
LV and Okmalumkoolkat – Boomslang (Hyperdub)
Laid Back – White Horse (Sire)
Scuba – Latch (Will Saul and Mike Monday Remix) (Hotflush)
Ramadanman – Bass Drums (Soul Jazz)
Foals – Spanish Sahara (Transgressive)

NME Radio Show… back on air

My Pick N Mix show went out on Friday night, after a few months off air. Here’s what I played, with a few Youtube links hyperlinked in case you’re interested in how it sounds, because there’s nothing more annoying than getting a list of music you can’t listen to.

The shows should eventually be hosted for listen back on redbullstudios.com…. but not just yet. Next week’s show is 8-10pm, Friday night, on NME’s DAB station or on nme.com/radio. Plus there’s a new app.

DJ Nate Hatas Our Motivation (Planet Mu)
Silver Columns Always On (Caribou Mix) (Download)
Matthew Dear Soil To Seed (Ghostly International)
Solar Bears Crystalline (Letherette Remix) (Planet Mu)
Ahu To Love (One Handed Music)
Cooly G Up In My Head (Hyperdub)
Friendly Fires and Azari III ‘Stay Here’ (Download)
Superrisk ‘Find Your Way’ (Mensah Mix) (Punch Drunk Records)
Jon Hopkins Vessel (Four Tet Mix) (Domino)
Katy B ‘Louder’ (Rinse)
DJ Naughty Goosebumps (Roska Kicks N Snares)
Kaseem Mosse ‘We Speak To Those’ (Non Plus)
Count and Sinden ‘Do You Really Want It’ (Domino)
LV and Bears ‘Explode’ (2nd Drop)
Vaccine ‘Cascade Failure’ (Non Plus)
Hell Interface ‘Midas Touch (Skam)

Twin Sister ‘All Around And Away We Go’ (Domino)

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