Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Sky high and wide eyed.

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It's no secret to anyone who's familiar with this blog that we're huge fans of Laurent Richard aka DJ Sundae. His mixes and radio shows have been mainstays on our stereo for a very long time now, so it was with no little excitement that we greeted a new compilation album from himself and legendary French selector, Julien Dechery.

Even if their names aren't immediately recognisable to you,  it’s likely that you’ve already encountered them both without realising. Julien co-compiled the Tamil synth collection ‘Fire Star’ for Bombay Connection, while Sundae runs the Hollie imprint which salvaged the Arthur Russell produced-Bob Blank engineered Nirosta Steel rarity, as well as Ocelote Rojo’s balearic opus, but it’s their collective pool ‘Sky Girl’ that we’re most excited about now! 15 unmarked cuts of revelatory folk, techno-pop and art music.

Sky Girl is a mysteriously unshakeable companion, a deeply melancholic and sentimental journey through folk-pop, new wave and art music micro presses that span 1961-1991. A seemingly disparate suite of selections of forgotten fables by more or less neverknowns, Sky Girl forms a beautifully coherent and utterly sublime whole deftly compiled by French collectors DJ Sundae and Julien Dechery.

From Scott Seskind's adolescent musical road movie to Karen Marks' icy Oz-wave, the charming DIY storytelling of Italian-American go-getter Joe Tossini and the ethereal slow dance themes of Parisian artists Nini Raviolette and Hugo Weris, Sky Girl resonates on a wide spectrum historically, geographically and stylistically. It unites in a singular, longing, almost intangible ambience.

If the names sound wholly unfamiliar that doesn't matter, the nature of the compositions swiftly nurtures an intimacy with these lonely, poignant, openhearted wanderers. Most were available in a very limited capacity at the time of their release, some were never really released at all - Gary Davenport declined to release Sarra after he split with the girl for whom the track is named - years later a friend convinced Davenport to allow him to put 100 copies online to sell and DJ Sundae was quick enough to snare one. Beyond their scarcity, these tracks are bound together by a certain raw beauty that's achievable when music is made and no one is listening.

Sky Girl comprises of fifteen officially licensed songs, a two year international scavenger hunt through long-folded home label operations, the depths of internet forums and traceless acetates. Both compilers are well trained record sleuths - DJ Sundae's labels Hollie and Idle Press have reissued Arthur Russell affiliate Nirosta Steel and DIY relic Pitch, while Julien Dechery previously compiled 'Fire Star', a retrospective on Tamil film composer Ilaiyaraaja, for Bombay Connection.

Sky Girl is out next week on 'Noise In My Head' offshoot Efficient Space on a gorgeous double LP with artwork from Perks and Mini mutant Misha Hollenbach and appropriately elegant sleeve notes from Ivan Smagghe. As well as that package there's CD and Digital formats from all the usual places. X

Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Fat Neil's 'Bitesize Pastime Paradise'. 1# Smoking.

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Are you looking for a new hobby that will exponentially increase your odds of developing oropharyngeal cancer and make you look like a sweaty minor New Jersey mob boss from The Sopranos? Hate kissing people and being able to differentiate flavors? Then perhaps cigar smoking is for you!

Choosing Your Cigar - A good cigar is plump, fragrant and tightly wrapped with no dry spots or cracks. If yours is hard, red, and white, it may be a stick of rock.

Clipping - You know how in films and that, the tough guy bites off the end of the cigar before lighting it? Try it! Now throw out the cigar you just fucked up and get a clipper. Circumcise that hog carefully for a nice, satisfying draw.

Lighting - It's considered poor form among aficionados (or "cockheados de cigarros") to light your cigar with a regular lighter. Use wooden matches or a butane torch lighter to avoid the mockery of bald blokes with bad breath. If the cigar explodes, stop accepting smokes from wacky cartoon characters.

Smoking - Take a deep, powerful drag of smoke directly into your lungs. At this point, you should be choking/vomiting/questioning my reliability as an instructor. Cigar smoke is meant to be puffed into your mouth, then released slowly, like a sexual, malodorous dragon.

The Conclusion -You're finished when you've ashed to the paper band. Enjoy the tingle and pleasant dizziness of nicotine in your bloodstream. Try to ignore that your mouth tastes like you ate a rat that died in a turd fire.

Happy smoking!
Fat Neil. X

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Horrific Scopes with DaN.

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It's the time of month again that everyone hates. Dunsford shakes the runes and chants a mystical prayer to the ancient Gods of Bensham's old takeaway restaurants and becomes a sentient vessel for their long dead staff to bark out the details of your future. This time, Daniel has been inhabited by the spirit of Neville Katsuo, who legend says once waited tables at The Fujiyama in the days when Nolberto Solano was a regular there. Neville had a fierce reputation for complaining about his tips and skirting customers wives while they were at the loo.
This is clearly why the stars this month are delivered in Haiku format.

Your attempts to breed
male sheep have unexpected

Your luck starts to change
when into your life comes a
dark handsome strangler

Mercury enters
the charts at number six; you
get it on iTunes

You realise that
all horoscopes are nonsense;
feel crabby all week.

Your hair turns curly
and you have a surprise hit
with 'When I Need You'.

The crowds gasp at your
Cliff Thorburn and Doug Mountjoy

You don’t return all
of the letters you borrowed
from the library.

Reading horoscopes
in the newspaper, you bump
into a lamppost.

You break with your strict
Sagittarian diet
and eat a Virgo.

You see Colin Firth
on a bus in Northampton
but don’t talk to him.

you forget which star
sign you are because you’re not
that interested.

A nightclub visit
fails when there is no-one to
pick up the pisces.

That's yer lot. Please remember to tip your waiter and I'll see you here next time.
DaNieL. X

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The best DJ you've (probably) never heard of #7. PeakNick.

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Nicola Bonandrini aka PeakNick is something of the enigma. For those unaware of his work he's been a cult figure in the underground scene of northern Italy for more than 3 decades now.
He started DJing in the early 90's and quickly became fascinated by disco and electronica. He began organising parties which mixed Detroit techno, Italo house and disco together with old school gems from the likes of Liaisons Dangereuse, Telex, Chris and Cosey, Yellow Magic Orchestra all sorts of lesser known electronic music producers and musicians from the eighties & nineties. After years of plying his trade around Italy's unknown clubs, he made the transition to become the long term resident DJ at Plastic and Molto Plastic in Milan, from 1994 to 1997, then spinning acid jazz, break beat, drum n 'bass, hip hop, soul, funk and early experiments in easy listening (Stock Hausen and Walkmen, Typsy, People Like Us etc.), sharing the decks with DJ Steve Dub Monroe first and later with Nicola Guiducci.
In 1997 he moved to Bologna where he met Dj Ilo with whom he founded Beat Action: a live 'decks and FX' performance they developed for on many years playing a residency at 'The Link' in Fioravanti.

Their collaboration gave birth to a series of one night extravaganza's which contributed in no small way to to the cult story of the legendary 'Notte Vidal' club in Bologna where they played regularly from 1997 till 2001.
Nicola is also responsible for the art direction of famous P.O.T in Milan (Plastic On Thursday) from 2002, where he would intersperse his lengthy sets with live performances from singers, musicians and artists like Adult, Thomas Brinkmann and Peaches.

That passion to perform live, drew some of the most colourful and alien characters of the Milanese underground scene and made the P .O. T. one of the best, diverse and unpredictable nights in Europe.
His boundless kniowlege of music and culture (as well as an impressive record collection) go much further than the usual 'eclectic DJ' tag. He's an unconventional musician with an amazing technical mastery, seeing him play live is always an unparalleled experience.

PeakNick on Soundcloud.
PeakNick on Mixcloud.

Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X