Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Out of all the music related things I love doing DJing is the thing I love the most and mixtapes have been a big part of my life since being 14 years old. I remember being mugged by skally’s on the 67 bus in Salford and was well gutted, not because of the traumatic experience or the beating, because the bastards took my favourite mixtape. They didn’t even rob my walkman. Just the fukin mixtape!

 Back then in the early 90’s great mixtapes were hard to get hold of if you were a skint 15 year old especially loud clean copies. Everyone would be very reluctant to lend them out. Just like cassette porno’s you would be a complete idiot to give without receiving a tape of a similar quality. If your walkman decided to eat your mixtape you would have to do an edit job by opening the cassette, cutting out the crumpled section and joining two neatly cut ends with tiny strips of sellotape and before the internet if your tape was the last copy and it was destroyed then that mix was gone forever and it would be talked about years later like a dead relative.

The following are four mixtapes /mix sessions that had a profound effect on me and that I personally consider as the cream of their genre’s. In fact, I regard each one a length of audio art

Sasha @ Universe 1992

By 1990 I had become a total rave bulb. I was everything that annoys me now as a late 30’s cynic. A little drugged up gimp full of hope and teeth. Still too scared to take E’s I would go to clubs and have my usual full gram of wiz and an acid tab in one shot with one of each in the back pocket for later.  When I finally popped my ecstasy cherry I was like “Is that it?” Like cautiously trying Red Bull after having a Whiskey habit. This was my best and worst days of clubbing rolled into one. Manchester in the early 90’s was plagued by gang war and random violence seemed to be the trend. Travelling far and wide to avoid brainless fuckwits became the norm. Wizz and acid do not mix well with a tense atmosphere. When it was good it was amazing. When it was bad, and you were 80 miles from home, it was like being trapped in a David Lynch nightmare. Still the music was fantastic. Just before the choons being produced got too fast and I fell out of love with the scene this mixtape was released and was the hottest tape around. This rave masterpiece from Sasha must have been played in so many Fiesta XR2’s, Vauxhall Astra’s and Ford Escorts it will probably come free with a second hand purchase of any of the affore mentioned cars. I still meet people today who recite the MC’s lines like quoting a favourite childhood film. Sad bastards (I do it too ha ha). Still sounds fresh as fuck. Timeless

Listen Here

DJ Leacey – 2000 battle of the year Final Flying Steps v’s Waseda Breakers

From the mid nineties onwards I was heavily emmersed in Hip Hop. One thing that fukin annoys me is when you say Hip Hop to somebody and their pea sized brain immediately process’ that as Rap completely disregarding the art, dance and DJ facets of the culture. It was these aspects of Hip Hop that I was drawn to the most and I would collect B Boy and Graf video’s like Graffiti TV and Battle of the Year. In 2000 a friend made a copy of that year’s Battle of the Year finals in Germany. The final battle was Germany v Japan and the DJ was DJ Leacy (R.I.P). When you think about it house and techno DJ’s have got it fukin easy. Straight four four drum paterns with minimal sounds means that Stephen Hawkins could mix it for 2 hours while doing wheelies to bag a shag.  Here DJ Leacy is mixing double copies of some of the rarest Latin, Funk, Disco, Boogie and miscellaneous styles I ever heard using all vinyl while live on stage in the world final of the biggest BBoy competition on the planet and he’s BRILLIANT! This is a lesson in real DJing. Its raw but it flows perfectly. As a DJ set it has so much character and style it could only be Leacy and as a result makes for one of the best BBoy finals ever. The guy’s a fukin hero. Someone please upload HD full version to Youtube! Game Changer

7 Mins of live footage here. PArts 1 nd 3 also on youtube. Official dvd has good sound though. Get over the MC and listen

Moonboots – Falling Leaves 2011

Sometimes you hear music and it becomes a soundtrack to what is happening around you. Almost like a weird moment of clarity when you’re experiencing a wonderful situation while being able to simultaneously watch from the outside as if you were watching that moment back on TV at the same time as living it. I, induced by this mix, had this happen to me last summer when me and my 3 year old son were hanging out preparing food and messing around in the garden. Moonboots had intended for this to be a soundtrack to autumn but it doesn’t matter when you listen to this as it’s amazing. I can’t express how beautifully crafted this mixtape is. Nothing highlights the naivety of a DJ more than over complicated mixes or desire to keep records in the mix for as long as they can. Here Moonboots shows just how many years he’s been perfecting his craft with the subtlest of seamless blends, the perfect placement of his selections and the most beautiful music you will hear together in a mix. All vinyl too. Life changer

Listen Here

Flemming Dalum – Italoween  2012 - Artwork by Kid Machine

Red Laser artist and living Italo legend Flemming Dalum has been making mixtapes since the early 80’s. When this was released in Oct 2012 it was hailed as his best ever and that was right. It’s like an audio journey through a future city at night with bright sporadic synth bursts that shatter the dark while the beats chug through the steamy neon streets. If John Carpenter directed a film version of Akira this would be what it sounded like. The best thing about the mix is that Flemming has what’s known to be a complete collection of 80’s Italo but refuses to be stuck in the past by sourcing new and exciting productions and making them the predominant feature of the mixtape. A fantastic future retro journey by a master selector. Future Classic

Il Bosco

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

EP1. How It Happened

Finally! After various setbacks the finish line is upon us and we have a beautiful record with amazing  bespoke poster artwork. Personally I will be framing the poster and re housing my vinyl in a solid jacket for DJ’ing purposes but collectors may want to keep the item complete. Last night was fuking amusing as Me, Matt Triggs and Bob Dazzle formed the Red Laser Records cottage industry chain gang with Bob slicing 2mm off every poster so they would fit in the sleeve’s and me and Matt combining Poster, sleeve’s and vinyl to make the release complete. That twee bitch off the telly Kirsty Alsop would have had a ‘wide on’ at how ‘Homemade’ this all is. Anyway I ended up going back to my car after we had finished and I had a fuking parking ticket. Well Mr Parking Twat FUCK YOU as I was so happy with the finished EP1 I couldn’t give a fuck HA HA HA HA HA (inane cackle through gritted teeth) :D

The whole idea of the label was to release music on vinyl that we can play at the club night Red Laser Disco. The fact I do not play or never have played CD’s or a laptop when DJing meant I needed to get Vinyl’s produced so I can use the music. Even though I’m a vinyl purist I do not turn my nose up at how music is played. I have been to plenty of nights where the DJ has impressed using CD’s or a laptop. I am interested in music and refuse to get bogged down in arguments regarding the different methods of playing it.

                               Il Bosco's piss is pink

Originally at the start, before I met Kid Machine and Starion I wanted to release rare italo records as I had to take very rare and expensive vinyl’s out to clubs. I am not the best at looking after records when I am pissed and a mint condition record would come home in a G+ condition. 4 rare italo bombs on wax would be a great solution to my problem.  Then before I knew it I had Ste Spandex, Starion, Flemming Dalum and Kid Machine all making new music for a first EP. The result of this is an anything goes label based around the sound of Red Laser Disco with the original concept mixing with the current organic mutation allowing old and new to sit seamlessly together. So here it is

Flemming Dalum & Kid Machine – Fantasmi

Analog disco death chugger. Like a 80’s horror film score on ecstasy. Italo legend Flemming ‘King of the Cut’ Dalum and NeoItalo Blazer Mark ‘Kid Machine’ Wilkinson collaborate to great effect and produce a slo-mo disco belter.

Il Bosco – Slow in C Minor

The original concept of taking an amazing old track and making it playable for a night at Red Laser Disco right here. It’s hard not to feel like a bit of a cunt when tweaking another artist’s original track and releasing it under your name but it’s a concept I have loved as a collector for many years from DJ’s like Harvey, The Unabombers and many more. This curiosity for discovery will hopefully force your fat arse off the couch and down the local second hand shops to get digging through the crates and keep Vinyl alive!!!!!

Starion – Another Dimension

Another Dark Disco Destroyer with heavyweight analogue bass line. Never fails to get the people shaking their heads in disbelief at how heavy Italo can be. Manctalo at its finest

Ste Spandex – Freak For You

Remember not all Italo is camp key changes and rapid fire synth drum rolls.  Italians were making some of the best boogie records of the early 80’s with people like Kano, Elektra and Advance. Spandex delivers the perfect Italo boogie homage with a cover of an underground Boogie classic with Sarah Bates on Vocals. BIG CHOOOOON

Red Laser EP2 and Ste Spandex EP1 will be with us by February (I hope).

Thanks for supporting your local independent label

EP1 available from Piccadilly Records, Clone, Juno, and more 

Il Bosco

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Turn off your TV and read (Using your laptop)

As we will be celebrating our Christmas Party (See link at bottom of page) on Friday 7th of December and
after the reaction I had from the ‘Writing can be uplifting’ post with people asking for more 'Skally Gonzo' reviews i give you this gift of more Italo related verbal bum gravy. ENJOY

I have been pretty obsessed with early 80’s dark Italian disco records for about 8 years now. The heavy productions and its ability to seamlessly crossover into so many other types of music makes for a wide variety of styles to come under one banner rather than today’s ridiculous amount of sub genres limiting what genre collectors collect. It means Italo collectors will have Boogie, Disco, Electro, Proto House, New Romantic and even Euro Pop in there collections. I’ve been into hip hop culture since the early 90’s and its principles of sourcing from a vast variety of styles are the same as with Italo. As a hip hop collector I would find myself collecting more funk, soul, jazz, latin, reggae, and rock records while Italo covers the electronic back catalogue perfectly and this is why I enjoy collecting it so much.

Coco Bill – Evita

A good trick for quenching ones raging thirst for new vinyl’s is to search for something you own on Discogs that you know is obscure. If pretty obscure one or two thieving cunts should be selling it at rich collector prices. Have a look at what else they’re selling and listen. 4 Years ago this is how I came across Coco Bill and it blew my fukin head clean off. Its solid steady arppegiated thud and soaring piano led vocals had me gliding around the studio like a robotic dancing crooner unit. As for the Discogs bandits. Get it on ebay for a quarter of the price and give a large ‘up yours’ to the dealers

Bijou - Marine

New Danish bass bin rumbler ups the pressure in the disco cooker. This twelve comes with a nice bespoke cosmic sleeve too. The track is so simple it will have most producers asking ‘Are they taking the piss?’ This is the perfect example of how you can have only a few sounds in a track but they work with each other so well its like an electronic orchestra. If dudes on Master Chef could marry flavours as well as this guy marries sounds Michelle Roux Jr would be going home with sticky undies. “Analogue Chug doesn’t get better than this”

Europe – Unisexappeal ‘Scratch Remix’

The early eighties saw the birth of ‘The Scratch’ on Electro and Hip Hop records out of the US. For some reason the Italians got the Scratch bug without actually knowing how to use the technique effectively. In fact they were shite at it and they knew it. But for some reason the Italian scratch eventually manifested itself as stripped down ‘Scratch Remixes’ on plenty of Italo B Sides. That trend is responsible for this proto house blockbuster on the obscure Tanga label. It actually is an acid house record 6 years before acid house!! Nice voccoder bursts to boot. Buzzin Tackle

Expansives – Life With You

Camp, badly produced, non comprehensible new romantic hybrid that is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!! Seven minutes of super heavy bass driven cosmic horror pop. If you see this for £300.00 online buy it begrudgingly from the thieving dealer. If you see this for £300.00 in a record shop then go back after it’s closed and drive your car through the fukin window. Repairing the damage to your car will cost less than the vinyl. The good news is that there is a cheap bootleg out there on Panama records. The bad news is even the cheap bootleg will cost you £70.00. One of the best ever

Last Waltz – Criminal World (Phoreski Remix)

Top ‘mad bastard’ mackem and years in the game producer Phoreski delivers a lethal dose of smacked up NeoItalo for the disco released a few years back on then emerging Newcastle label ‘Object of Distraction’. You can tell when I have decided to play this record at Red Laser because you will see me hammering the smoke machine like a post opp patient on the morphine button.  Just the right dose of beat heavy electronic soup and synth noodles. Essential

Barbara York – Tonight (Disco Version)

Anybody who has spent more than an hour with me will know I’m crazy about Boogie records. The Italians produced some of the best ever. This is a perfect example of what makes a class boogie track. Squelching subs, disco licks and the dude on guitar slaps it like he’s playing Kim Kardashians arse. This is seven minutes of soaring disco bliss. Guaranteed female saturated dance floor too.

Mondo – The Only Love

One for the italo connoisseur as it may need an acquired taste to appreciate this records euro pop sensibility. There’s no doubt in how heavy the bass line and synth pads are but you might want to fantasise about the singer swallowing his microphone mid session and not being able to finish the record. Well you can! Flip for the instrumental B side, sit back and imagine that mic in the toilet covered in blood and shit!

Italian Stars – Pick Me Up 7” Version

Personally I have always preferred 12 inches rather than 7 inches. 12 inches fits better in my box. Don’t worry this is a record review not an homo erotic fantasy. The arrangement of this version is perfect for smashing up the dance floor. Horror synth intro, weighty drum break and then let the electro boogie funk jam ensue. Run quick enough and you might get this or the 12 inch longer version (Pictured) for only a few euros. I suspect it won’t stay that price for long though. Proper Boogie Belter

Steele Up – Waiting For You (Instrumental)

Another Italo number where the vocal keeps crossing the line of decency. But any true italo record will have its instrumental B side to save the day. All the evidence points to Italy having an abundance of amazing producers and snide vocalists throughout the golden era of 82 – 85. This instrumental showcases how good the productions were. It’s a confusing feeling stood next to a club speaker when this track is playing as the kick drum will punch a hole through your ribcage while the bass tickles your bollocks. Instant Party 

Red Laser and Full Beam Jizzmass Party Fri 7th Dec (Click Here)

Il Bosco