Blasting out like a rocket. Futuresoundstemporary has come of age and with their first of what no doubt will become a legendary mix series. In this first ever mix Simon Kemp (Virtual Programming) lays down a series of sublime grooves in celebration of the ephemeral beauty of fireworks.
In his own words:
“Searching the web for a suitable playlist for this years fireworks and bonfire spectacular did not yield any great results. This led me to discussing to myself why there isn’t any fireworks related mixes. For a wonderful invention that brings joy to literally everybody I know (apart from burn victims) there sure is a lack of musical reference to the lights of the sky. So I set about planning and compiling this mix. “
In 1935 American Walter Winchell coined the term disc jockey. Nearly ten years after in 1943 the one-man jumpsuit Jimmy Saville spun at the world’s first DJ dance event playing jazz records. 4 years later he was also the first to utilise two turntables together for continuous play. In the same year ‘Whiskey a Go-Go opened in Paris and was known to be the world’s first disco. Leading up to 1950, sound systems were beginning to be utilised in Jamaica as a new form of public entertainment. Nearly twenty years later DJ Francis Grasso popularized beat matching in New York. And finally in 1975 DJ Grand Wizard Theodore invented the scratching technique.
Yo people, I’ve just got a short one for you on this Friday evening as I’m disappearing soon for a delightful session of cheeky drinks. So here’s something that you probably won’t hear in any clubs, but for those musical explorers out there you can certainly move to this and likewise be able to revel in your astute musical knowledge. Juke/Footwork is pretty much limited to a few quarters in the US but it’s lineage is worldwide. Our boy Simon Kemp wrote a piece in Virtual Programming that rejoices in the virtue of said scene. However we’ve come across this sick mix by Leatherface, featuring some rising stars of those vernacular sounds and noises. Unfortunately we can’t the full mix on mp3 to you so you’re gonna have to just follow the link provide and see for yourself.
So we don’t usually do this sorta thing but hell, we couldn’t damn well resist it. This is She’s So Divine released on 12″ back in 1982, composed by two Dutch producers under the name The Limit. Bernard Oattes and Rob Van Shalk had numerous hits with that name and went on to release an album with a number 17 hit in the UK Singles Chart. If you haven’t read our feature on the rise and fall of UK funk then head over to Virtual Programming and bury your head deep in a vault full of amazing tracks.
virtual programming: Brit funk, gone but not forgotten?
In the late 1970s to early 80s, Britain was in a musical whirlpool. The aftermath of prog-rock, jazz and heavy influence in commercial media from stateside funk and soul acts created a fresh tablet for new artists to draw upon. Around this time racial boundaries had been broken down and both black and white artists began to work together, draw influence from each other and even perform together without any hassle. It was an exciting time; one could compare it even to now in terms of pure mystery to what you might hear tomorrow. However, something happened in the mid 80s that totally wiped out this sound, replacing it with a cleansed, more commercial sound. The blame is hard to pin upon any one particular person or group, but it is a very interesting subject and one that personally I find difficult to fully realise.
Virtual programming: from ghetto-house to juke: Chicago & Detroit’s burgeoning music story
Over the last 20 years there has been a mutation within the Chicago and Detroit house scene. Our story begins with the birth of the Dance Mania label, started in 1985 by Jesse Saunders. The label quickly became known for its proto ghetto house sound, providing artists with a platform to release work that focused more on a raw, percussive and bass heavy sound. Early tracks such as The Browns ‘What’s That’ and House Master Boyz And The Rude Boy Of House – House Nation contained cut-up vocals and fast-paced drum work at the forefront of the tracks which became a huge influence upon the following wave of ghetto house. Early Dance Mania records were championed by many DJs such as Ron Hardy, whom himself was known to play a huge range of new and exciting records in the scene aswell as controversially playing records backwards!
India! The cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend! Okay I may have stolen that from some tourist website, but its mostly true. India has been, for some time, a hot bed of cultural diversity. One look at any Bollywood movie contains more song and dance and colour than a trip to the Moulin Rouge. But down to business, it’s the music that really pushes my buttons. If one scratches the surface then there is one obvious, and pretty big conclusion, that Indian music has literally exploded in Britain within the last few years. BBC 1Xtra being the main example, a constant transmission of varied new music and infectious rhythms. Even in mainstream dubstep and drum and bass one can hear the dramatic influence of Indian classics. Take Chase & Status’s sampling of the Devdas film and full discography’s of Indian influenced music The Nasha Experience, Kromestar and a fantastic Klute song. Dubstep stalwarts Loefah, Geiom, Kode9 and to a degree Digital Mystiks have also explored ‘foreign’ sounds often influenced by Indian culture and vibes, though not pinned down necessarily to the culture. And who could forget Punjabi MC! The Shankar family also helped push the sound further afield, highlighting the cultural importance of India to the world. Ananda Shankar’s Streets of Calcutta remains a personal favourite. Continue reading →
‘Intergalactic-Funk’, it’s come a long way since George Clinton and his mothership touched down on our planet. I guess now though looking back that was only really the tip of a huge musical iceberg. Interplanetary funk for me symbolised not only a new way to look at music but mainly a new way to look at instruments. I mean it lasted full on for more than a decade from the late 60s to mid 80s when ‘space’ was one of the biggest inspirations for musicians, artists and civilians alike. Space represented a whole number of things. To some, it was an excuse to play outrageous keyboards (along with some outrageous grooves!). For others, space was a new landscape and world where they directed their poetic endeavours and lyricism. This in particular drew much comparison to the comics that came before and during this period (Marvel and 2000 A.D. special editions in particular). Finally for some, space represents a much more frightening place, seen in low budget sci-fi films of the period (and Doctor Who!) where technology, robots and bad guys infiltrate Earth’s atmosphere. This ‘penetration’ can also be seen within music. When Mr. Clinton touched down it opened up a wormhole in our solar system, which is permanently skewing our perception of what period of time sounds and visions come from. In this stage of our lifetime, melodies, grooves and synthesisers seem to permeate a sound, which has long been associated with space, but still sounds fresh today (when done correctly! I’m looking at Calvin Harris). This wormhole I feel has not only kept this type of music fresh, but also new artists can look up to the stars now and almost become drawn to it thanks to the music it has produced, and the way it’s affected people. Continue reading →