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

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