Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Presence returns this Saturday

Featuring special guest Eavesdropper (Yves De Mey). Midday-6pm in the MMBar by EXKi at the La Monnaie opera house. Ambience and more...

Friday, 30 January 2009

"if you see your mom this weekend tell her...SATAN!"

Listen to our 19th radio show now at:
To listen click where it says 'luister' above the programme description

1. OMD - ABC Auto-Industry
2. Saint Etienne - Wilson
3. The Bass Girls - Bass Boy
4. Pacheko - Pasta de Coca
5. Black Sabbath - Sweet leaf
6. Butthole Surfers - Sweat loaf
7. Big Star - Ballad of El Goodo
8. Teenage Fanclub - Everything flows
9. Pussy Galore - Tumbling Dice
10. Mick Jagger - Memo from Turner
11. Ice-T - You played yourself
12. James Brown - The Boss
13. TQSO vs Booka Shade - Charlotte
14. Booka Shade - Charlotte

The guest DJ mix is by Repoman (recorded live at Rubulad in Brooklyn, New York). It features The Wild Magnolias, Soulwax, The Ramones and many more.

The show goes online every Wednesday and you can listen to each one for a whole week wherever in the world you may be...

Saturday, 18 October 2008

"The best DJs in the world" Brussels tonight!!

Stars of New York's infamous NLLR remix series (alongside the Bloody Beetroots, Toxic Avenger, and many more), Project Cyborg come to Brussels. See them tear up one of the best small venues in town while you have the chance - these boys are gonna be massive!

As is Jules X - wait he's already massive! Fuse, Silo, Vice parties, if it's happening, chances are he's there. Which is why we're very pleased to have him play for us too. Respect!

Plus the cool and varied sounds of the UK's Hywel Jones and your eclectic residents, DJ Jammer and Justin the Phantom. Too sick for words!

Music Muziek Musique
Sat/Za/Sam 18/10/2008
Le Doucha Bar / Nouveaux Russes
Rue Haute 4 Hoogstraat
Brussels 1000
23h till late

"rewind to the future"

Thursday, 18 September 2008

MMM radio show + club

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you've probably noticed a dearth of new posts lately. Apologies for that - just too busy with other stuff at the moment. One of the things keeping me busy is the new Music Muziek Musique radio show for FM Brussel. Co-presented by the legendary Stuart 'Jammer' James, the co-founder of the MMM club night, each show can be heard online for a week from Wednesday. Check out the first one here now (just click on our icon and then click where it says 'luister' - Dutch for listen - below the word 'terug'). The first show also includes an interview with Gilli Milligan from alt. rock trio, Torpid. (And just in case you were wondering, the show is in English).

Look out for the next Music Muziek Musique club night on Saturday October 18th at the Doucha Bar (Nouveaux Russes), Rue Haute/Hoogstraat 4, Brussels 1000. Starts at 11pm, finishes about 6 in the morning.

Guests include DJs Hywel Jones from the UK, Jules X (Studio Brussel/Recyclart, etc) and the fantastic Project Cyborg, who I recently interviewed for Vice magazine.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Memory of the Month: Eurodance anthems 92-94

As this month's mixtape and musings illustrate, there's a certain stickability to the Eurodance anthems of the period 1992-1994. Snap's Rhythm is a Dancer, Corona's Rhythm of the Night, Dr Alban's Sing Hallelujah!, Haddaway's What is Love?, De'Lacy's Hideaway, Bobby Brown's 2 Can Play That Game (K-Klass Remix), Billie Ray Martin's Your Lovin' Arms have all displayed a resilience that perhaps would not have been expected at the time they were first hits. I mean you can walk into a DJ bar or mainstream club in virtually any large provincial town or city in Europe on a Saturday night and still be guaranteed to hear at least one of the above.

What's the secret? Well, sonically, they set the template for commercial pop for at least the next 15 years - they were among the first pop records to be inspired by the rave scene, to understand that scene, and yet to be designed for a mainstream audience. And they are all bloody good songs. Unlike 2 Unlimited's Get Ready for This and No Limits, which both fell between the stools of full-on rave anthem and pure pop rush. I mean hearing Get Ready for This in Tom-Tom's in Cardiff in late '91 (see the film Human Traffic for the reference) was the moment the rave scene died for me. Dross.

By contrast, I've always loved Corona, Haddaway, etc. for their ability to tread the fine line between crass commercialism and musical sophistication. One day people may speak of Torsten Fenslau and Peter Zweier in the same breath as Stock, Aitken and Waterman or Lieber and Stoller. The concept of 'classic Eurodance' suggests the process has already begun. Time to put on a shirt from Topman/Topshop, get down to your local Ritzy (or whatever) and boogie...

Meeting of the Month: Midnight Juggernauts

If Australia’s Midnight Juggernauts seemed a bit frazzled when I met them, maybe it was because they had just come from a “really weird” trip to Scotland that involved cars bursting into flames in front of their tour bus and a huge fight with a budget airline over a £2,000 excess baggage charge! The stresses of touring…

JT: You’ve just been playing Rockness and you’ve got a bunch of other festivals lined up this summer: what are your best and worst festival experiences?

Andy: Playing Big Day Out, the biggest festival in Australia. The one in Sydney was the biggest show we’ve ever played – 45,000 people. The main stage was inside a sports stadium - we’re officially stadium rockers now!

Vin: Our worst festival experience would be last year, our first European festival, which was Eurockéennes – worst because we missed our time slot. We were driving from Paris to the festival grounds and we realised our driver was driving in the opposite direction. We got there three hours late or something ridiculous. But we thought we’ve come all this way, we’ll play at 3am: we don’t care. And the only people left were like the drunkards at the end of the night who didn’t know if we were a band or some blurry colours in the distance.

JT: This summer, at the festivals you are going to, what or who are you looking forward to?

Vin: We’re playing a lot of festivals, so we’ve been seeing a lot of bands we’re really into: It was great to see Portishead, both at Coachella and at Primavera. Prince was interesting.

Andy: I think we play a festival with Devo somewhere – is that Japan? Fujirock? That will be cool.

Daniel: All these bands you want to see all playing together over here - it’s so different from the festivals in Australia: it’s crazy.

JT: When I was having a few beers with a mate the other night he, very cleverly – he thought – said to me why don’t you ask Midnight Juggernauts if they run on Midnight Oil? [MJ laugh] What’s the best way to punish him for that appalling pun?

Daniel: Cover him with oil and burn him to death I think.

Vin: Or cover him with oil and give him a nice back massage.

Daniel: One of the two.

Vin: I’m the lover; he’s the fighter.

JT: You’re playing at the Botanique, which is a former botanical gardens, if Midnight Juggernauts was a plant, what plant would you be?

Vin: The Venus Fly-Trap: we mean business, we’re beautiful to look at, but if you get too close…

JT: On your North American tour, you [Vin] kept getting mistaken for Gaspard from Justice. Did you take advantage of this confusion?

Vin: I did at the beginning. It all started one of the very first nights of the tour, in LA - Justice were doing a DJ set and I turned up to the venue with Xavier, so people automatically thought I was in Justice. People were coming up to me with [Justice] records to sign; they took photos with me. I’m not saying I slept with any Justice groupies, but I did well out of it!
JT: You’ve got quite a space age, intergalactic thing going on in your music: when and if they have commercial space flights, would you go on one?

Vin: Oh yeah. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Daniel: Aren’t they doing that soon? Virgin Galactic? We want to be the first band that plays on that.

Andy: We got asked to play at the launch of this robot developed by Honda - Asimov.

Vin: I was excited, but then we went onto Youtube, saw him in action, and our hearts sank: he’s walking up these stairs and as he’s walking he just tips over.

Daniel: And all these Japanese people come running and put sheets over him …At least we’d stand out [if we did the show] – there wouldn’t be much competition.

Vin: I thought it was kind of nice seeing him fall over like that, because it reveals human frailty: he’s just like us, he’s not perfect.
JT: You just mentioned Japan – I was looking on Youtube and I found some footage of you playing in China last year – there were loads of people with weird masks and hats in the crowd: what was going on? What was it like playing there?

Andy: We did two nights at this one venue [in Shanghai] and one of them was a masquerade ball.

Daniel: We didn’t have any costumes, so we went into this mall that was full of illegal DVDs and clothes and we ended up buying this red t-shirt and cutting it and making Rambo headbands. What else did we wear? These animal t-shirts: Andy’s was like a hawk or a falcon; mine was a skeleton of Michael Jackson.

Vin: It was fun getting to play China - it was a good opportunity.

Daniel: It was like a holiday.

Vin: We came back with loads of DVDs.

Musings of the Month: In the land of Aqua and Trentemøller

It's a Danish special this month. I've just got back from a short trip to the happiest country in the world (part business, part pleasure) and here are a few observations...Let's kick off with a verbatim transcript of a text message sent to a friend last week: "The music in this town is terrible: danish schlager pop, commercial trance, happy hardcore cover versions of bon jovi. And Peter Andre. Wake up aalborg!" The gateway to Northern Jutland is a very pleasant small city, but if you are looking for cutting edge music (or just decent commercial tunes) look elsewhere. Dr. Alban's Sing Hallelujah is about as good as it gets on the packed bar street Jomfru Ane Gade. I spotted a some posters for a tech-house night and a couple of punk gigs, none of which were taking place during my brief stay.

Further south in Denmark's second city, Aarhus, things are looking a little better. I headed to Gyngen, a small venue on the northern edge of the city centre. This cultural centre puts on a wide range of music by mostly up-and-coming local acts (although later this month it's one of the sites for Elektronisk JazzJuice, a jazz meets-electronica-meets-impro-meets-noise festival headlined by Cluster and Shackleton no less).
The night I was there there was a young guy rapping about revolution in Danish (pretty sick self-produced beats). Not sure having your parents show up to video the show is quite so 'revolutionary' - seemed very Danish somehow though - no wonder they are such a well-adjusted people! After a short break, teenage emo punks Bad Addiction took to the stage. Trading more on enthusiasm than skill, they were a little callow for my tastes, but, hey, the kids liked it!

Aarhus is also currently hosting an effing great exhibition of music videos called Music To See. It's at the art museum, Aros, and includes works by "five of the most innovative and experimental image-makers within the contemporary music video genre": Michel Gondry, Chris Cunnigham, Anton Corbijn, Spike Jonze and Mark Romanek. There's something slightly weird about sitting in a dark room with a bunch of strangers to carefully appreciate the artistry of Windowlicker or Come to Daddy. But hey, it's cool! While I enjoyed the Cunningham, Corbijn and Jonze vids, I couldn't really get with Mark Romanek. I mean I dig what he does, I just can't stand most of the performers he works with (particularly those useless dicks Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Nine Inch Nails).

The same can't be said for Michel Gondry - brilliant images illustrating great pieces of music. As well as the infamous White Stripes, Daft Punk and Bjork videos, it was instructive to see Gondry's fabulous promo for Jean-Francois Coen's 1993 single La Tour de Pise - Paris will never look the same again...

...And as for Brussels - it's probably only in Matonge, the city's predominantly Congolese district, that you could find a music store that doubles as a hairdresser. "Chez le Professeur de Francais" at 9 Rue Francart is home to both Planete Music (where I just picked up a tasty CD/DVD double pack by Ferre-Gola - 'Sens Interdit') and to Salon Clarisse (Coiffure Dame). An interesting solution to the fiscal challenge of running a record store. I can see it now: Phonica-Pedicure...

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Mixtape of the month: Sammy Bananas

Picking this month's best mixtape was really hard - tons o' good stuff!
Among the tapes just missing out were mixes by Plastic Little and our old friends MeMeMe, both on the hyper prolific No Love Lost Recordings. In a similar vein was the excellent new tape from Sinden, available exclusively from We Make it Good.

In a different vein, Riton has celebrated the release of his German-inspired LP, Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, by putting together this superb mix of diamonds from Deutschland: Zehr Gut!

But trumping them all (and thanks to the wonderful Get Weird Turn Pro for sharing) is this summertime mix by Sammy Bananas. Bonus points immediately for including Corona (see Memory of the Month), and extra kudos for the great graphics. Fave moments? The sublime blend of Happy House and Rhythm of the Night... sliding from Sammy's own Ladies into the irresistible groove of Treasure Fingers...Work Me!!!!...Get Set Go to Chromeo to Love Action - fantastic!!

Here's the full tracklisting:
Metro Area - Orange Alert Estelle - American Boy The Juan Mclean - Happy House Corona - Rhythm of the Night Sammy Bananas - Ooh Bop Foxy - Get Off Afro Rican - Give It All You Got Sammy Bananas - Ladies Treasure Fingers - Come True Dominic Fabrig - Ain’t No Fun Laidback Luke & Steve Angello - Be (Fourcolorzack’s Wineup mix) DJ Sega - Brighter Days Sammy Bananas - Work Me Nadastrom - Pussy Soul San Serac - Dub Tactics CC Peniston - Finally Sammy Bananas - Get Set Go Chromeo - Bonified Lovin (Yuksek Remix) The Human League - Love Action Janet Jackson - Rock With U Only Freak - Can’t Get Away (Solid Groove Mix)

Myspace of the month: Firesuite

I caught a powerful live set by Sheffield's Firesuite at Night & Day in Manchester a couple of weeks back. The group, which has been together five years, consists of Chris Anderson (guitar, vocals), Jemima Grace (vocals, piano), Chris Minor (bass, gratuitous nudity), and Richard Storer (drums, style). Anderson and Grace alternated vocal duties, occasionally harmonising to powerful effect. Anderson has a good voice in the Jeff Buckley/James 'Starsailor' Walsh mould, but it was when Grace took on lead vocal duties that Firesuite (incidentally, named after Stravinsky's Firebird Suite) really took off, reminding this listener of such luminaries as 10,000 Maniacs, Mazzy Star and Belly. In particular, check out 'If only time were distance' on the Myspace.