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Tagged “music”

Memories of a night at Tresor, 2005

I was recently sorting through some old stuff when I found a tatty old poster I used to love and that brought back good memories. It shows the gated basement vault of the original Tresor nightclub at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. Smoke is billowing out of the room dramatically and it includes the text The Extremist. I bought or otherwise acquired this poster on a night in 2005 when me and friends Davie and Tom visited the famous club during a trip to Berlin.

Sakamoto’s Opus at the GFT

Just had a memorable midweek night at the cinema with Craig and Jason.

Opus presents Ryuichi Sakamato at the piano in the final year of his life. It consists of him playing twenty pieces one after the other and is beautifully shot in black and white by his son, Neo Sora.

I found the film’s style and starkness to be quite unusual at first, but once I got into its rhythm it was very immersive. The music and playing were at times just mesmerising and given the circumstances it was quite moving.

It was great to unexpectedly bump into Liam, too. I might have known this film would be up his strasse!

Andy’s 40th

Clair and I just had a brilliant night at our friend’s 40th. It was held in the upstairs function room (The Old Burnt Barns) at Lynch’s Bar on London Road, Glasgow – just next to the Barras market. I didn’t know the venue before but it’s great – cool interior and loads of space.

It was a tonic to see so many familiar faces. I worked with Andy at Bright Signals a few years back and lots of the crew were in attendance including Pete, Woody, Oli B and Andrew M.

Among my music buddies present were Jamie T, the Radio Magnetic stalwarts Dougal P, Vic and Davie, and lots of the Stirling crew – Robert, Jamie, Julie, Ciaran, Matt. Always great to catch up.

We also got to spend time with Martin E and Izzie. I even made new friends, including Wendy T. While I was complimenting her on not leaving the dancefloor we realised we could count not only Andy but also Gav S from Edinburgh among our mutual friends.

I also really enjoyed the chance to DJ again, especially alongside folks like Craigy Moog and Ragnar. I played two sets. One at the start where I played records like Komiko, Dayton, A Certain Ratio’s Constant Curve and Krush’s House Arrest. There was one pretty comical moment. Asked around 8pm by Andy’s sister to play Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday while they brought out the birthday cake, I had to tell them I couldn’t… because all the DJs had been warned explicitly by Andy not to play it! She gave me a weary look that said “Yep, that sounds like Andy” and we found another way.

In my second set, a back-to-back with Ragnar, I played Mr K’s edit of Thelma Houston, Southern Freeez (much to Robert’s delight), Sylvester and closed with one of my all-time favourite house records, Mike Delgado’s Jazz Works.

At the end we shared a cab with Ragnar and Solveig for a brief nightcap at Andy’s place, but even still managed to get home at a reasonable time (despite Martin and Izzie’s best attempts to steal our taxi). I’d managed to exercise a few senseible tactics, like starting with non-alcoholic drinks, and that served me well on the night and the next day.

Cracking night, and Andy seemed to really enjoy it. Here’s to your health and happiness, chief.

Had a great little post-Xmas catch-up and blether with Simon last night. We had a chance to trade stories of Christmas hosting – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Simon filled me in on how his kids are doing – a joy and a handful in equal measure just about sums it up – and how his work situation is changing and will lead to more travel and responsiblity this year.

He also shared a few funny stories of holiday adventures – he and Nathalie love nothing more than an unplanned night out with absolute strangers!

It’s always entertaining to hear about his golf trips with a motley crue I know all too well.

Brilliant to catch up, and I hope we do it more often.

I’ve just read Join the Future, by Matt Anniss

It’s important to set the record straight. Normally when people talk about the early UK scene the same few things get mentioned. The real underground never gets talked about."

Matt Anniss’s book 'Join the Future'
My copy of Join the Future

I’ve been listening to lots of jazz of late and loved seeing Herbie Hancock live in August 22.

So I thought I’d explore further and listen to the audio recording of Herbie’s autobiography Possibilities, narrated by the great man himself.

I really enjoyed it. Herbie’s story is really interesting and entertaining. He’s been at the forefront of so many iconic scenes – from playing in Miles Davis’s band, to writing many classics of his own, to breaking new ground with his Mwandishi sextet and the Headhunters.

I love his carefree and curious spirit and his willingness to experiment with technology (from the fender Rhodes, to other synths, to the internet) and take risks in other aspects of life.

What a talent and what a guy!

Fuzzy Logic show (March 23), Clyde Built Radio

I recorded my second radio show of 2023 live at the Clyde Built Radio studio at the weekend. It was great playing records there on a sunny Sunday with the clocks just gone forward and the Barras buzzing as it hosted a Hong Kong street market.

Laurence in the Clyde Built studio at the Barras market

Forthcoming DJ gig on Radio Buena Vida 19/11/22

I’ve been stockpiling good records for a while and it’s time they got an airing. I’ll be playing a few on Radio Buena Vida, Saturday 19/11 at 4–5pm. Tune in or even come hang out in the café, if you’re in the hood.

Brilliant first day at We Out Here 2022

Had such a good day yesterday @weoutherefest with Tom, Jason and Craig. In the afternoon we checked Enny, Sally Rodgers (A Man Called Adam) and Aletha. We then stopped for a short break to sample the food and drink (Char Sui Vermicelli from the NAM stall and a break from beer for a cracking coffee). Our nighttime choices were Bake, Charlie Dark, Pearson Sound and Alex Nut.

The absolute highlight was Charlie Dark in the forest. Amazing woodland setting and a killer set! Charlie has such great energy both on the decks and on the mic. He played a mix of house, techno, disco and broken biznizz – right up my street! Great mixing too (aided by his old-school lollipop headphone).

Time for Round Two!

Herbie Hancock in Edinburgh

Just had a memorable experience with Jason and Tom catching Herbie Hancock at the Edinburgh Festival. At 82 years old he still has amazing energy and capped his performance with a tour of the stage playing his keytar followed by a scissor jump!

Herbie’s piano playing was mesmerising – the solos really took me to another place and if this is how he plays in his eighties I can only imagine how good his gigs were in his prime. I also loved his warm anecdotes, including one about his friend Wayne Shorter just before treating us to a rendition of Footprints.

Other highlights included Cantaloupe Island, the mindbending Actual Proof and hearing guitarist Lionel Louke coax sounds from a guitar that you wouldn’t think possible.

April 2022 mixtape

I put together a fairly spacey and mellow selection of laidback electronic sounds with a little nod to summer.

Side A of the 7-inch vinyl release of Mato’s “Summer Madness”.

Bleep Mix #221 - Datassette (on

Great DJ mix by one of my favourite electronic producers, Datassette.

This mix is all about that 160bpm+ energy that first inspired me to make music. Around 1996 — to me at least, with the advantages of teenage naîvety — it seemed like electronic music had burst into a whole new tempo range, where there were no rules and anything was possible - as long as it BELTS (which is still true). If you go beyond 200 BPM, you reach that zone where 16th notes start to dissolve into 32nds and your brain latches onto a whole new outer layer of rhythm, like a fractal or temporal shepard tone. There is still much to be discovered!

Music For Programming

Feel like I’m probably really late to discover this website, but here’s “Music for Programming” from Datassette. Hopefully this’ll be of use to fellow programmers who like music, although I daresay you can probably enjoy it if you’re a normal person too.

Through years of trial and error - skipping around internet radio stations, playing our entire music collections on shuffle, or just hammering single albums on repeat, we have found that the most effective music to aid prolonged periods of intense concentration tends to have a mixture of the following qualities: Drones, Noise, Fuzz, Field recordings, Vagueness (Hypnagogia), Textures without rhythm…

07/01/21 DJ Mix – Manifold

First in a series of mainly short, off the cuff mixes where I just hit record and see where it goes. This one’s on the Electro tip, having kicked it off with Versalife’s Manifold from last year.

Merch Table

A neat online tool (with a positive goal) which lets you paste in a link to one of your Spotify playlists then lets you know which of the tracks or albums are available to buy on Bandcamp.

Small Axe - Series 1: Red, White and Blue (on BBC iPlayer)

One of several fantastic films from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) described as “Love letters to black resilience and triumph in London's West Indian community. Vivid stories of hard-won victories in the face of racism.”

This one tells the story of Leroy Logan, a young black man who joins the police in an attempt to effect change “from the inside” as a consequence of seeing his father assaulted by police officers. He is faced with both his father’s disapproval and institutional racism within the police ranks.

Looking forward to Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone show on 6Music tonight, talking about Plaid’s Not for Threes LP plus other experimental electronics. Headspin is still killer!

Rodney P’s Jazz Funk (on BBC Four)

UK rap legend Rodney P reveals how the first generation of British-born black kids was inspired by the avant-garde musical fusions of black America in the 70s to lay the foundations of modern-day multiculturalism by creating the first black British music culture with the jazz-funk movement.

Bobby Gillespie remembers Andrew Weatherall (The Guardian)

I think of him as a true bohemian; he made etchings, he wrote, he read a lot. Andrew always had a book on the go, maybe two. I remember he gave me his copy of Hunger by Knut Hamsun when I told him I hadn’t read it. There was this other side to him that was deep, curious, well-read. I guess he was a classic autodidact, hungry for knowledge.

BBC Four - Primal Scream: The Lost Memphis Tapes

The sessions recorded by the band in Memphis with the legendary record producer Tom Dowd, along with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section musicians Roger Hawkins, drums, and David Hood, bass, did not make the light of day, because some of the mixes were not suitable in the musical climate at the time.

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes (on BBC Four)

The story behind Blue Note Records, founded in New York in 1939 by two German Jewish refugees who allowed their musicians complete artistic freedom, revolutionising jazz in the process.

“Gil Scott-Heron Saved Me”

From The Guardian in 2011, shortly after Gil Scott-Heron’s sad death, here’s a beautiful and moving account of how the musical legend offered hope and mentorship to a young man from Liverpool and in so doing turned his life around.

Original 1979 copies of Garden of Eden’s Everybody’s on a Trip regularly sell for £200+ so I was pretty happy to hear that it had just been reissued on Backatcha records… and even happier when I managed to snag a copy.

“Everybody’s on a Trip” by Garden of Eden, a 7″ vinyl release on Backatcha records
My copy of “Everybody’s on a Trip” by Garden of Eden

I first heard this stellar slice of deep funk a few years back on Kon and Amir’s compilation Off Track Volume One: The Bronx, and have been hankering after a proper copy ever since.

Check it out!

In second year a nice school pal introduced me to The Cure when I was on an otherwise strict diet of rave tapes. Mixed Up with its dubby extended mixes sealed the deal. Shamefully haven’t yet seen them live so I’m at fever pitch for tomorrow’s gig at Bellahouston Park. Hopefully see some of you there!

Must have missed this track (from the LP The Sorrow of Derdriu) on previous listens. A Bladerunner-esque beauty!

Everybody in the place

Enjoyed this acid house history lesson from Jeremy Deller – especially some of the footage from the early Manchester scene which I hadn’t seen before.

Nightclub graphic from the documentary “Everybody in the place”

I’ll tell you wot – that woz a propa’ poolside page-turner and no mistake. Nice work Russ Forman.

Laurence with a copy of “Harry’s Kebabs” by Russ Forman
Me with my copy of “Harry’s Kebabs” by DJ Dribbler

When in Chicago, buy #house

Records and slipmats purchased from Gramaphone Records, Chicago, in August 2018
My haul from Gramaphone Records, Chicago, August 2018

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