Just for a bit of fun, DJ History’s Mix Club are this month inviting people to put together a collection of unmixed favourite tracks as an homage to Claremont 56′s much-loved Originals compilation series (soon to conclude in lavish boxed-set form). For this excellent idea we have to thank Friend-of-500MH and all-round good egg, 45badger.
Potentially a source of endless head-scratching and beard-stroking on the the selection front, I opted merely to stitch together some tunes that have been favourites here at Muck Towers, steering my (usual) fine-line between wilfully obscurity and grandstanding populism.
[Note: Seasoned observers may spot that some of these tracks have previously been featured here on 500MH]
Anyway, the fun can be followed over on Mixcloud (their player being annoyingly incompatible with WordPress)…
500MH is now officially back from Crete, where we had to *endure* the above sunset night after night.
On the plus side, I’m delighted to report that next Sunday I will be hauling my tanned frame down to Brixton’s Electric Social to play music alongside regular collaborator and Balearic-shaker Mark Limb (Electric Disco), plus all-round DJ / producer / edit-maestro / label-owner / good egg, Mark Gilbert (Stupid Human).
“This Sunday we’ll be heading off into the first in a series of all day sessions at Brixton’s Electric Social, spinning our usual Balearic soundtrack from early afternoon right through until midnight.
For this first session we’re joined by good friend John ‘Lord Muck’, chief author of the consistently awesome 500 miles high blog, alongside Mark Gilbert (Stupid Human), super producer, re-editor and resident DJ at Peckham’s infamous Eccentrics Disco.
Sunday is also Brixton’s annual Splash festival and the forecast says sun, so we’re expecting the streets to be rammed with revellers as the carnival spirit takes over the streets of SW9, so if you’re looking for somewhere to escape from the crowds or come for a dance once the Splash festivities wind down, then The Electric Social is where it’s at.
It’s free in, there’s a great new terrace at the front so you can grab the last bit of weekend sunshine and the cocktails are 2 for 1 all day.. What’s not to like?!
Philosophy, drama, democracy…Vangelis, Roussos, Mouskouri: what did the Greeks ever do for us? 500MH is off to the Aegean tomorrow to find out, so here’s something to whet the appetite, and with several of the above ingredients to the fore.
In 1970 nothing could seem more natural than to interpret the Book of Revelations through the medium of the double concept album, as was the case with Aphrodite’s Child’s snappily titled 666.
From the Biblical end of the Balearic spectrum, Four Horsemen seems well suited to the current scorching UK temperatures…and particularly for those of us who are currently packing their espadrilles.
Sadly, 500MH has never been to Glastonbury and 2013 will be no exception (though not being the biggest Mumford & Sons fans, we might get over it quicker than usual). Someone who definitely has been, however, is friend-of-the-blog Michael Cook.
As part of the negotiations to host his Sun Haze Blues mix, we also acquired this historical 3-hour document of a morning set that he played in the Guardian Lounge back in 2009. Kicking-off fashionably early, Mr C weaves an appropriately horizontal mix for the listening pleasure of hungover/still-drunk revelers.
In his own words: ”Up at 6.30am, on my 3rd day at Glastonbury…could’ve been disastrous but I think it went pretty well, some of my favourite mellow tunes over breakfast in a lovely lounge tent”.
The eagle-eyed may spot an unmarked green flask in front of the turntable, the contents of which are rumoured to have influenced the direction of the mix. Quite what was in there remains a closely guarded professional secret, though 500MH has seen unofficial laboratory reports suggesting Hapsburg Absinthe & fresh (natural) lemonade.
Sounding more like a 1960′s Coronation Street character than a sublimely-voiced soul singer, Arnold Blair left us with one great record before disappearing into obscurity…possibly to tend his allotment?
With the great LeRoy Hutson on co-writing and production duties, and released on an a subsidiary label of Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records, Trying to Get Next To You is as delightful a slice of mid-seventies Chicago soul as you could reasonably wish for.
That got a bit embarrassing after a while, so here instead is an extract from a film soundtrack. It was released in the 1970′s. Today happens to be a Sunday.
La Planète Sauvage (aka Fantastic Planet) is an example of what can only be described as the “Franco-Czech bonkers” school of animation. Set in a galaxy far, far away it is at once a metaphor for class oppression behind the Iron Curtain and a plea for inter-cosmic understanding.
Or so I glean from the trailer on Youtube…
What is beyond doubt is that the soundtrack was composed by the great Alain Goraguer who, among other things, wrote arrangements for Serge Gainsbourg and has been sampled by J Dilla.
So come travel with us to the planet of the Oms and Draags to investigate for yourself…
When we heard that this mix is now scandalously “out of print”, having disappeared from the very wonderful Claremont 56 website, the 500MH office immediately contacted Mr Cook’s office to rectify matters.
Anyone who has attended a Low Life party, or indeed simply been to a London pub or club, will know Michael Cook as a fearless DJ, agent provocateur and (I like to think) gentleman jewel thief.
Sun Haze Blues is a mix of his from 2008 which was enjoyed by many a bearded Internet-enthusiast at the time.
As Michael said back then “A dusty, bluesy, occasionally swampy and decidedly laid back mix, featuring bits from JJ Cale, Peter Green, The Bees, Map Of Africa, The Black Keys and others”. A full track list is available on receipt of a stamped-addressed envelope.