The Basement mix series has been a chance to expose some of the parental (and family) influence one had musically, records I still play today.
I vividly remember one day my father playing a record by Herbert von Karajan, and me thinking what on earth is that, what on earth is it? It was very powerful moment, the first time you really hear classical music and start to understand what is going on (listen to the third hour in Basement Mix #4), you suddenly realise you are not on earth in that one feels that they are in a place of absolute and indescribable beauty, so my sister and I approached him at once in a state of absolute confusion, and he lovingly took some time to explain fully what classical music is, what composition is and so on, in the coming days and weeks he had budding flautists and clarinet players to contend with.
Presently, the basement mix series is available in parts 1 to 8 (not including this original demo), the series has taken over three years to compile thus far, finding all the original and relevant Vinyl in some cases. 15 years ago it was such a big deal as a budding DJ to be able to record a decent set, and distribute it via cassette trying to get booked for gigs, pubs and clubs.
This is the original demo, the one that kicked things off, and gave me the idea to start to make a determined effort to try encapsulate this music, because one seldom if ever, hears it anymore.
As ever this is a Special “Vinyl Only” mix, recorded on two turntables, and a mixer.
When your approach to work is pure you end up as Theo Parrish. This is a brilliant mini-documentary from a brilliant artist!
If you don’t know his music, try
I Can’t Take It
Life affirming Artistry.
Before the Soulful House was called soulful house, it was called “Garage”. In the early to mid nineties, Tony Humphries was resident at the Ministry of Sound in London, Masters at Work and Frankie Knuckles were permanent fixtures, and this is one of the tracks you would hear in the Ministry of Sound in the main room.
Trance killed garage music to an extent, as the new generation that came after the Acid House generation did not really care as much about the history of the music, so a DJ Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk or David Guetta fan would be disgusted if they went to listen to Frankie Knuckles and he played a record like this. I could scarcely believe what happened to house and garage music towards the end of the nineties, as records like this by producers like Benji Candelario were what made clubs like Hard Times in Leeds special.
Like the other Gospel tracks posted earlier, the words and chorus are one that believers and non-believers alike will all sing along to.
Special track from the perennially suave, debonair and cool (in the true sense of the word) Brian Ferry and Roxy music. This is one of those tracks that people always ask what it is called if you play it out, as they usually are expecting their more familiar tracks.
Only Sade and Robert Palmer can match this in terms of sophistication, a track that never leaves my box (you definitely want both the album version and the extended 12″ for those longer sets).
Over the last decade or so, the RBMA have been instrumental in helping open up some of the biggest artists and producers to have ever lived, typically artists are interviewed in a Lecture.
As a person interested in the history of music, the main TV stations here in the UK always tend to focus on Top of the Pops as a historical document, which it is, listening to Slade and T. Rex is evocative. If we are talking disco, then programmes like The Joy Of Disco are great but it’s always Gloria Gaynor, Y.M.C.A and soundtracks like Saturday Night Fever that were so commercial they accelerated the creation of the Disco Sucks Demolition Night. What you really need to be watching to start to understand disco is Patrick Adams, Leroy Burgess, Tom Moulton or Francois Kevorkian (to name a few).
There are just far too many brilliant artists and producers to name check, when I was a child we had a couple of editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica that I used to incommunicably enjoy, and spend hours on end reading and discovering new and interesting facts about the world. I only wished that we had the complete set. The RBMA archives are probably the most important resource for modern day music knowledge in existence on the internet today, something mainstream TV just does not get. If you want to learn about the most important musical figures to have existed in our time (and not JS Bach or Mozart) then bookmark the lectures and go through them one at a time, you will soon come to realise just how little people know, even about records that are only 10 or 20 years old, the process is nothing but illuminating and rewarding.
I have nothing but the deepest respect and gratitude to the RBMA for what they have helped finance and support. The Tokyo Lectures are slowly coming online, I already have two recommendations;
Jah Shaka’s lecture is at times harrowing – when he discusses the battles he has had to go through – but he is a very clever man, a brilliant interviewee and a person you really have to just “shut up” and listen to!
Tony Humphries is one of those DJ’s like Norman Jay MBE. He is the DJ’s DJ, Master and a Legend, and one of the most important people as far as music production and DJ’ing is concerned, you’re not going to get this knowledge from anywhere else.
Thank you RBMA!
First heard Kamuran Akkor & Umit Aksu Orkestrasi – Ikimiz Bir Fidaniz (Baris K Edit) on a DJ Harvey Beats In Space mix a couple of years back. Happened to listen to the podcast again on the way back home late at night recently, and had to try and identify the track.
If like me you prefer a Vinyl copy and not a digital file, White label and Official, releases are available but expensive.
Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood with a completely stunning interpretation of Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich at a superb Boileroom concert in Manchester.