Wednesday, 3 October 2012
MD'S DIARY BLOG, SEPTEMBER '12
A very varied month began with an end-of-season blast in Ibiza. I play the ultra-lively Soul City bar in San Antonio's West End every July, then come back for another blowout in September. This year's fell on Monday 3rd. Every night is Saturday in Ibiza. I've never had a bad night at Soul City, and I greatly enjoyed making the place bounce alongside residents Horse, Spina B and Ash ... even if the 6.30am walk back round the bay in an alcoholic haze took its usual toll. This is my tenth year of visiting Soul City, and next year, the spot celebrates 20 years since its initial inception as Simple. Here's a Black Sheep Mag piece on the subject:
Occasionally, the quirks of budget airlines make it cheaper to fly home via some third party location, and in this case, a three-hour stopover at Milan Malpensa airport before trawling back to Gatwick was on the cards.
In recent times, I've become a big follower of the Red Ice Radio Network, an operation run from Sweden that gives an airing to all kinds of subjects not covered by the mainstream, ranging from the esoteric, truth and consciousness issues, through to 'conspiracy', and I'm far more likely to be absorbing one of its fascinating interviews when driving home from a gig, than listening to the traumatic noise that is Radio 1 or 1Xtra. At the end of August, I got the opportunity to chat to host Lana Lokteff for an hour about the manipulations of the mainstream music industry. Although there's much more I wanted to get into, (and naturally not everyone will accept what I put across), I received multiple feedback from people all over the world, suggesting it resonated big time. You can listen back to it on this link:
Back to more routine business, I felt inspired to put together a throwback revival mix focussing on some of the great soul, swing and hip hop music of the 90s, from before the rot set in. I was in a proper nostalgic zone putting it all together. You can cop that one from the Soundcloud page right here:
It also has a smaller cousin, a mix of great 80s soul, funk and electro grooves, which you can cop here:
On Thursday 13th, I set off on a multi-purpose trip to Latvia, hooking up with my homie and Latvian kingpin DJ Aiva. First assignment was one of those gigs that keeps you fresh and on-point as a DJ, where you get to play a style of music you're not normally associated with. I was booked to drop a two-hour house set at the city's Radio Bar. This ended up being mainly soulful, uplifting classics, with a few of the contemporary tracks that I play on my radio show dropped in. It was an inspiring experience to be a bit of a fish out of water for the night.
The boutique Old Riga Palace hotel always gets my vote, particularly as it serves a DJ-friendly breakfast as late as 11am. Later on Friday, I headed with Aiva to The Rhythm Institute. This is a small academy for young people looking to become DJs or producers. I'd spoken there on three previous occasions, about Black Sheep Mag and my book. This time, I was due to deliver a talk inspired by my Red Ice interview on what's really going on in the Illuminati music industry - everything from subliminal symbolism to mind-controlled artists. It was my first time speaking publicly on the subject, and I had no idea how it would be received. Judging by some of the looks I'd guess a few attendees thought it was insane, but the information may well resonate with a few of the others at a later date. I got the whole thing recorded on video, anyway, and it's now available to watch back on Youtube on the following link:
A few hours later, I got driven to the town of Ogre, around 50km outside of Riga. The venue, Club Bermuds, is an edge-of-town spot with three dancefloors, and, like most clubs in Latvia, a big 'green room' chill-out area for DJs backstage. Sadly this particular one reeked of fagsmoke so I avoided it. I leapt on the set at 1am, keeping it uptempo and energetic throughout, and it was jumping. Back in Riga, I managed to get in five hours sleep - standard for a Friday night - before heading back to the airport. From Stansted, I dashed round the M25 in time to deliver my Sound Of Now show on OX105FM from 6pm, then bombed it to Bath for my monthly set at The Second Bridge. The latest of my radio shows is always available for listen again/ download from this page, by the way, along with the full playlist:
There was a double purpose to my visit to Paris on Friday 21st. First off was to record an interview for the newest Good Vibrations podcast instalment with an artist by the name of Steve Wilks. I was put on to his track 'Living With The Devil' earlier this year, (it's the opening track on the Just Buggin' Illuminati Special 2012 Edition podcast,) and realised I already knew him from when he was a part of Bristol's Born In The Ghetto clique, and came in to guest on my Galaxy Radio show. I met Steve at an absurdly hectic and cosmopolitan Gare Du Nord station, and we went on to his humble bedsit in Place De Clichy where we recorded our chat. His is an incredible story, and his insights into so many things about the true nature of the music business, and how it fits into the wider picture of reality, should be heard by everybody. The podcast is now produced, ('controversial' would be an under-statement,) and you can catch it on the following link:
Paris was drizzly and grey as I moved on, and the street poverty is truly shocking. On the cards for Friday night was a party at Le Village, on the banks of the River Seine at Ivry, just outside Paris. Promoter GG had put me in the ultra-funky Mama Shelter hotel, which was conceived by a couple of celebrated French designers whose names escape me, but will be impressive to anyone who moves in such circles. Among the room's features were ambient lighting, a microwave, and a 24-inch iMac embedded into the wall.
Saturday's journey home was notable for the Air France flight back to Birmingham serving drinks and snacks as part of the ticket price; I thought airlines doing this was now a thing of the past: I guess I travel on the cheap-ass budgets too much. Once landed, it was another dash back home for a small amount of kip, on to OX105FM for my radio show, then on to Bristol to spin at The Living Room. A couple of days later, our daughters Zaina and Akilah headed off on a family holiday to a caravan park near Hastings. Myself and Parveen came along too to provide the on-hand slavery.
... and that was September.