Posts Tagged ‘santero’

All About Me

August 20, 2010

This time around, I’m choosing a pretty vague subject to do my posting about – my favourite songs over the years. There’s a simple reason – I’m ludicrously busy with work and then I’m going to New York for a week, and so I haven’t got time to put any real thought into a themed post! So I am just going to post some personal classics that have been in my crate over the years!

Where to start? Well, I guess it would make sense to start with the first 12″ record I ever owned, 808 State’s Extended Pleasures of Dance EP, gifted to me by an older sibling. This included the absolutely massive Cubik and Cobra Bora.

Around the same time I discovered Ice T, and became a huge fan of the Iceberg LP, which in truth hasn’t aged all that well, regardless of brilliant an MC he was.

The one track that leaps out for me as having stood the test of time is You Played Yourself – jocking the James Brown “The Boss” sample, and one of those tracks that I learnt the lyrics to so thoroughly as a kid that I doubt I’ll ever forget them.

Ice T – You Played Yourself

Then followed a period where I was into angsty lyrics and loud distorted guitars, generally referred to as Being A Teenager. My absolute favourite in this time was Hüsker Dü, closely followed by Pixies, who incidentally famously cited Hüsker Dü when originally advertising for band members (“Wanted; musicians into Peter, Paul & Mary & Hüsker Dü”.

Later, when I first bought my 1210’s I took a trip to the sadly defunct Selectadisc records and bought 6 D&B tracks, one of which was Intense – Positive Notions, On LTJ Bukem’s Good Looking Records

It wasn’t long before I was into much heavier D&B, my favourite track in that period was probably this beauty, from Grooverider’s Prototype Records…

Ed Rush – Locust

Around this time I also became fixated on DJ Hype, and inparticular the fact that he was pretty much the only D&B DJ at the time to make a feature in his sets of scratching.

From here I got into buying battle records, and from the beats on these rediscovered my passion for hip hop.

One of the artists that I got most heavily into around this time was Dee-Jay Punk Roc, with his muddle of hip hop, big beat, house, Miami bass and more. These two MP3s are easily the 2 tracks of his that saw the most use, and were conveniently on the same 12″

Dee-Jay Punk Roc – Far Out

Dee-Jay Punk Roc – My Beatbox (Les Rhythmes Digitales Remix)

When I started one of my favourite nights I’ve ever been involved with, Thursdays at The Market Bar, one track stands over all others as a staple of my sets there – DJ Shadow’s Organ Donor.

DJ Shadow – Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul)

Hip hop ruled my DJ life for the following few years, but what this taught me was the links between different genres, and to open my mind musically in a way that I hadn’t been prepared to while into D&B. I realised virtually anything can be good if you take 2 copies and the best 3 seconds and loop it yourself on the decks. But gradually I moved more and more back towards the dance music that I had started my vinyl journey on.

I’m going to leave it here with few of my favourite dance tracks of the last few years, and look forward to seeing you all next month.

Jesse Rose – It\’s So

Chris Korda – Save The Planet, Kill Yourself

Daniele Papini – Church Of Nonsense

Laidback Luke & Lee Mortimer – Blau! (Noob Remix)

James Harcourt – Call/Response

James Flavour – Da Ride (Jimpster Remix)

John Arnold & Ty – Style & Pattern

And finally, a cheeky plug for my forthcoming EP on Sugarbeat



Tuxedo Rap

July 16, 2010

Although these days I mainly play and listen to various forms of dance music, there is still only one act who’s albums I will buy without reading a review or listening in advance. People Under The Stairs have long been my favourite hip hop group, and have now produced 7 albums of consistently great music.

Hailing from Los Angeles, this pair of MC/Producers are steeped in the beat digging culture of hip hop, a fact reflected in their record sleeves – smartly aping the sleeves of old jazz and soul albums, with in depth write-ups on the back in the style of these old 12″s. Their first album “The Next Step” was a sleeper hit, initially being sold at gigs and on the street before getting a proper release. One of the biggest tracks was “San Francisco Knights”, which had the unintended consequence of making many not realise their LA roots.

The sample-laden beats typified the sound that the PUTS would make their name with. After the success of this first LP, Om Recordings signed them up, and soon after their 2nd LP “Question In The Form Of An Answer” arrived. It cemented their position in the independent hip hop scene, and again showcased their superb vinyl collections. My personal favourite from the collection is “The Cat”, which earned a single release.

People Under The Stairs – The Cat

By their 3rd album, the PUTS were really hitting their stride, and O.S.T. includes some of their best tracks. Their fanbase grew steadily over the course of these early albums, and as a result they ended up hitting the road more and more, developing into one of the a very good live act. Standout cuts for include Keepin It Live, The Outrage, The Joyride (with its equally brilliant and bizarre drugs/country & western sampled intro) and the disco influenced Hang Loose.

People Under The Stairs – The Hang Loose

Brucey Bonus #1 – The Hang Loose Instrumental

The biggest hit from O.S.T. was probably Acid Raindrops

The EP “Or Stay Tuned” followed, and then a brief hiatus in which they worked on solo projects and alongside other artists. This included one of their best pieces, and something that any English listeners will surely love – DJ Yoda’s “Quid Control”.

DJ Yoda ft People Under The Stairs – Quid Control

Brucey Anglophile Bonus – Chicken Kebab

After this brief period away from the limelight, the PUTS returned in 2006 with what is my personal favourite from their albums, “Stepfather”. Containing some frankly brilliant hip hop, to me this cemented their position as the totem-bearers for boom-bap hip hop in the 21st Century. Balancing itself superbly between light hearted fun, heart felt odes to family, hip hop tributes and more, “Stepfather” is just an excellent album.

People Under The Stairs – Days Like These

Since this artistic peak, they have actually released two first class albums – Fun DMC and Carried Away.

Here is an edit I did of Step Bacc using a Derrick Carter remix of Samim’s “The Lick”

Brucey Bootleg Bonus – The Lick (Santero\’s PUTS Edit)

And here’s a few video clips of selected highlights from the two albums.

And probably my favourite video of the last few years, “Trippin At The Disco”

And in the course of researching a few bits for this blog post, I stumbled across something that I didn’t expect….

As well as something I had heard on CD before but didn’t realise existed on video


While I’ve got your attention, just thought I’d share this podcast from the good people at Oscillate Wildly. The mighty Tomb Crew are at the controls, which always means it is going to be worth listening to, and judging from the first 2 editions it is a podcast worth keeping an eye on.


The XX – Shelter (C.R.S.T Remix)
Cooly G – Dis Boy (DVA High Emotions Remix)
C.R.S.T – Mighty Music (Mistamen Remix)
Teedra Moses – Be Your Girl (Perempay ‘N’ Dee’s Soulful Mix)
Steve Gurley – Walk On By
Frank Rizardo – Cordoba
French Fries – Charlotte
Lil Silva – Pulse Vs Flex
Greenmoney Ft Mz Bratt – Who’s Green Money (Mele Remix)
Headhunter & Invisible – Luvdup
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Blood Pressure (Dub)
Mistamen – Ashanting
Breach – Fatherless
Roska – Squark
James Blake – CMYK



Its So Simple

June 18, 2010

For this week’s exciting instalment, I’m going to be taking a little look at the rise and rise of Londoner Jesse Rose. The boss of labels Front Room and Made to Play is responsible for some of the better dance music of the last few years, either producing it himself or helping it land on our desks via his imprints.

Although he has only really become what you could describe as “famous” (in dance music terms) in the last few years, Rose has been putting music out for some consderable time. Front Room started printing records in 2000, with its debut release coming from Trevor Loveys in the shape of “My Land”. It wasn’t until the 6th release, and 2003, that Rose made his production debut on the label, with the “Tell Me (Now)” EP.

It was then another couple of years before his next release, which came on Dave Taylor’s Dubsided, and featured the brilliant tracks A-Sided and Black Coffee in its 4 tracks

Considering the pace at which dance music tends to evolve, both sound remarkably fresh today. And Black Coffee hints at a theme his tweets often reference – a work/party ethic that leads to a definite absence of sleep from his schedule a lot of the time!

Although Front Room have put out some great music, Made to Play is the label that has become synonymous with Rose. With its first release in 2005, from Rose together with the prolific Loveys again, they set out on a path to becoming one of the best sources of quality house music in the world. Based out of Berlin, on its roster are without doubt some of the finest producers in dance music; Riva Starr, Zombie Disco Squad, Oliver $, Idiotproof and Round Table Knights are all very closely tied in with the label, as well as artists from Renaissance Man to Jan Driver and more having releases on there.

One of the more dubious honours for Rose is his association with the term “fidget”. Generally thought to have evolved from himself, Switch and Herve, it has moved from its roots as a funky, quirky form of house to become a rather bizarre caricature of itself in the main. I still maintain that Rose at his best make what I consider to be fidget, Solo has coined the term “Midget” (as in minimal fidget), but ultimately genre terms aren’t important when you are making tracks as good as this…

Jesse Rose – Its So

As for Rose himself, 2009 was a huge time – it was when he made his debut on the Essential mix with a fantastic 2 hours for the first EM of the year (as well as being a label boss and fantastic producer, Rose is also an extremely gifted DJ), and subsequently went on to put out his debut album, “What Do You Do If You Don’t?” on Dubsided. Both were very warmly received, and shot Rose into many people’s consciousness. “Well Now” and “Touch My Horn” became hugely popular tracks in the clubs, as much for their difference from the norms of house music as their outright quality.

Jesse Rose – Well Now

Jesse Rose – Touch My Horn

His latest release, Sleepless (Night Two) (see what I mean about the insomnia references!), is yet another slice of brilliant house – at once dreamy, danceable, original and interesting. He cleverly chops up vocals from Marvin Gaye’s “Whats Goin’ On” to create the wonderful “You Know It”, a fantastically blissed out downtempo house track.

Jesse Rose – You Know It

And as hinted at in the latter stages of his Essential Mix, Rose maintains an interest in the London bass/electro sound, having over the years worked with many of its big guns, such as Sinden & Herve, and usually helping bring out some of their better work with his Midas touch!

Jesse Rose & Action Man (aka Herve) – Take It To The Club

There are no signs of Rose slowing down his prodigious output either as producer, DJ, label head or general all-round dance music pathfinder. Made To Play maintain an extremely popular residency at the legendary Panorama Bar in his adopted city of Berlin, while Rose himself travels the length and breadth of the globe to spread his musical word. If you get the opportunity to catch him, I highly recommend it, and if you enjoy the music in this post, please go out and buy some, labels like this need our support to thrive in the difficult world music faces these days.


Mash It Up

May 21, 2010

Now a completely accepted part of the musical landscape, the mash-up has a long and somewhat chequered history, but has only really exploded into the public psyche since the dawn of mass file-sharing. The concept is simple; take 2 or more songs, “mash” them together, and see what comes out the other side.

The concept has been around in one shape or another since the middle of the 20th Century, but started to take the form we now recognise during the 1990s. One of the earliest examples was the seminal “You Got The Love”, taking a Candi Staton acapella, and lobbing it on top of the Frankie Knuckles/Jamie Principle classic “Your Love”.



This early example was not really indicative of the way mashups went for most of the 90s and early 00s, which found them generally working as DJ tools, being pressed on to bootleg vinyl releases and rarely making their way into the charts. This had the benefit of acting as a quality filter, meaning some actually quite brilliant records came out, such as the sublime Girls on Top track, I Wanna Dance With Numbers, with its equally awesome artwork.

Girls On Top – I Wanna Dance With Numbers

In recent years their has been a mushrooming explosion in the level of mashuppery, not necessarilly leading to an equivalent increase in quality. With the move away from being DJ tools, there has grown a tendency for them to exist either to make you laugh with their absurdity (eg You\’re The One I Want In The Next Episode), or to impress you with the sheer number of tracks mashed together – a case in point being DJ Earworm taking what seems to be the 25 worst songs of 2009 and somehow making them even less good.

However, the genre’s surging popularity has had some interesting side-effects – the best mashups have now started to be adopted by the artists involved. Some bright spark called Erol put Kylie and New Order together, and before you knew it this had happened, creating something of a trend for Brit award mashup performances.

The genre probably reached its high-watermark around the time of Danger Mouse’s incredibly popular release, The Grey Album. Taking a deceptively simple idea to its (il)logical conclusion, he used the acapellas from Jay-Z’s Black album, chopped the hell out of The Beatles’ White album, and the rest is history. Danger Mouse went on to be half of Gnarls Barkley, produce Gorillaz’ 2nd (and best) album, work with MF Doom on DangerDoom, and much, much more. The Grey Album massively blurred the lines between mashup and production, and despite not really being as good as its fame suggests, it is an incredibly impressive piece of work from a technical standpoint.

Dirt Off Your Shoulder

Because pretty much anyone can make a mash-up now, with file-sharing allowing anyone to get the requisite instrumentals and acaellas for free, and software to do the job being so cheap, there is an abundance of mashups, good and bad, all over the net, with bucketloads of sites and forums dedicated to them. I’m going to ignore them, because for the most part they are awful, and house hundreds of out-of-key monstrosities made  by tone-deaf enthusiasts egging each other on. But enough of my snobbery, here are a few of my favourites from over the years.


Amerie vs Massive Attack – Unfinished Thing

Young Folks Pussy

Chris Isaak vs Billy Idol – Wicked Wedding

Justin Timberlake – My Love (XXXChange Remix)

Beastie Boys – Ch-Check It Out (Gringo Starr Remix)

Rihanna vs Ce Ce Peniston – Disturbia/Finally (Emynd blend)

Tears for Fears vs Digitalism – Zdar Shout

DJ Twister – I Want Your Message

Far, Far Beyond

February 19, 2010

Ahmad Jamal – Swahililand

One thing that is really enjoyable when looking at music you like is following a thread that a sample has woven through the years. One of my absolute favourites has to be Ahmad Jamal’s majestic Swahililand, from the album “Jamal plays Jamal”. Hip hop nerds will probably be familiar with his work; he has been sampled by many of the greats, and when you hear the quality of his music its easy to see why. Swahililand is an epic 9 minute journey of sublime piano, bass, strings and percussion – and that magical chord progression that the song is bookended by.

De La Soul – Stakes Is High

J-Dilla saw the quality, and in 1996 provided the title track to De La Soul’s album “Stakes Is High”, arguably the best track they have committed to wax. The sample provides the perfect backdrop for their heartfelt lyrics about the bastardisation of hip hop, and the negative impact this was having. This song represents one of the high points of 90s hip hop, if not all hip hop.

The Sunburst Band – Far Beyond

But as well as being able to soundtrack the best in boom-bap, Swahililand also found its way into Joey Negro’s Sunburst Band, in the shape of Far Beyond, from their 2004 album “Until The End Of Time”. A wonderful, summery burst of downtempo dance music, and the kind of song I simply can’t imagine anyone not liking. I don’t think I could ever play a summertime set outdoors and fail to drop Far Beyond in there somewhere. Close your eyes, think of a beach and a mojito, and curse the English winter.