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Friday, 12 January 2018

** Towards Lucid Explorations - A Mix for Mark Fisher **

On the one year anniversary of a great loss, a special mix in memory of and for Mark Fisher...


1. Cocteau Twins - Blue Bell Knoll (1988)
2. Mark Fell & Gabor Lazar - Track 1 (2015)
3. Radiohead - The Gloaming (2003)
4. D Double E - When Desmonds Was On (2002)
5. The Fall - Who Makes The Nazis? (1982)
6. Delia Derbyshire - The Evenings of Certain Lives [Excerpt] (1965)
7. El-B featuring Juiceman - Buck n Bury (Original Mix) (2002)
8. Pylon - Read A Book (1980)
9. Burial - U Hurt Me (2006)
10. Henry Cow - Falling Away (1978)
11. Goldfrapp - Brown Paper Bag (2000)
12. Dennis Bovell & The 4th Street Orchestra - Half Way To Za-Ion (1976)
13. Scritti Politti - Absolute (1985)
14. Tindersticks - Rented Rooms (1997)
15. The KLF - Elvis On The Radio, Steel Guitar In My Soul (1990)
16. Sam Kidel - Disruptive Muzak (2016)
17. Shirley Collins - Awake, Awake (2016)
18. Public Image Limited - Four Enclosed Walls (1981)
19. Philip Glass - Heroes (Aphex Twin Remix) - (2003)
20. The Stan Tracey Quartet - Starless and Bible Black (1965)
21. Nick Drake - Black Eyed Dog (?)
22. Remarc - Ice Cream & Syrup (Hard Mix) (1995)
23. Linton Kwesi Johnson - Time Come (1979)
24. Mica Levi - Bedroom (2014)
25. Dizzee Rascal - Do It (2003)
26. The Caretaker - Mental Caverns Without Sunshine (2011)
27. Meredith Monk - Dolmen Music [Excerpt] (1981)

All pieces intercut with speech given by Mark Fisher which can be found here:

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Sunday, 19 March 2017

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

** No Signal Sound Mix #8: 10,000 Women - In Celebration of Women's Marches Worldwide **

In the autumn of 2002, in a hotel suite in Southampton, over five hundred Conservative party members gathered to hear a speech by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Eighteen months had passed since Tony Blair’s Labour Party had secured a second term in office but Thatcher was in high spirits as she marked Blair's fully-realized political blossoming as the greatest achievement of her own party, not Labour's...

Fourteen years on, it is difficult to argue with Maggie's incisive conclusion. Seven years into a Conservative return to power, a generally agreed sentiment amongst the British public is that the politicians are all the same. After Tony Blair's re-branded "new" Labour crushed a generation's belief in self-realization through protest with the invasion of Iraq in 2003, subsequent calls to protest have increasingly been met with that grey mantra of disillusionment: "...but a march isn't going to change anything...". But it's crucial here to remember Maggie’s words at Botleigh Grange Hotel. For while we may trace this malaise of social consciousness to Blair's legacy, it ultimately falls on the shoulders of Thatcher and the political ideologues who served up the intellectual basis for her potent form of pro-individual (free market), anti-society politics of which each successive government has inherited and re-branded since...

Logically, it follows that to "opt out" of political protest in the current climate is not a neutral gesture; it is a symbolic bow of subservience to Thatcher first, and then Blair. Such a gesture is painful to perform, for in its arc it implicitly shrugs at the memory of the miners crushed by Thatcher in 1985, turns its back on the 27 year-long struggle for justice still being fought by the families of The Hillsborough disaster victims, closes its eyes to the servicemen lost in Blair's Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost on occupied soil... and the list goes on...

So in 2017 we've been asked to march again. After the election of Donald Trump in November last year, groups of women around the world began to mobilize to organize protests around the date of his inauguration on the 21st January. In the UK, this movement manifested itself first as The Women's March on London. Their website homepage statement explains...

"The US election proved a catalyst for a grassroots movement of women to assert the positive values that the politics of fear denies. On January 21 2017, the first day of Donald Trump’s Presidency, women-led marches, welcoming all participants, will take place across the world, with the largest expected in Washington D.C.. We, the organisers of the London march, call on people of all genders to march in London as part of an international day of action in solidarity. We will march, wherever we march, for the protection of our fundamental rights and for the safeguarding of freedoms threatened by recent political events. We unite and stand together for the dignity and equality of all peoples, for the safety and health of our planet and for the strength of our vibrant and diverse communities. We will come together in the spirit of democracy, honouring the champions of human rights who have gone before us. Please spread the word, so that our numbers are too great to ignore and the message to the world is clear. "

This mix is in honour of all the women's groups who have served as catalysts for communities around the world to come together and resist the politics of fear and division a Donald Trump Presidency represents. If you are organizing or attending a march this weekend I hope this mix gets you in the mood over the next couple of days and if you're not sure whether you'll attend I hope the music makes you think again :) I'm looking forward to meeting my friends known and unknown down on the street...

Women's March on London

Midday, Saturday 21st January
The US Embassy
24 Grosvenor Square, London, W1A 2LQ

More information:

If you're not in London, a list of other marches worldwide can be found here:

The 10,000 Women Mix opens with Patti Smith reading her epic poem Notes To The Future, ("a love-push to get us out" to paraphrase Cornel West) and her poem and beautiful voice guide us through the course of the mix. A Tribe Called Quest follow Patti, pledging solidarity with gays, Mexicans, Muslims, women, and anyone "still here in the rear" in We The People. Next, Yoko shares a guttural howl from the morning of the election results and Jamaica's greatest living-lion of righteousness follows, looking-back-to-go-forward in The World Was One. After releasing FDT (and racking up over 10 million views on Youtube), the US Secret Service reportedly requested a copy of Y.G's upcoming album before it's release. Don't believe music isn't dangerous any more... The original version of Leh Jani spans 30 minutes and even in this shortened form goes some way to conveying the mesmeric power of Souleyman's street-level form of Syrian Dabke. In time, one album of his music will overshadow four years of a Trump Presidency and it's believed that Souleyman has released over 300 albums in his native country... PJ Harvey's prophesy of "10,000 women" in Kamikaze will surely come true on the streets on London and around the world this weekend and The Next Movement serves to set our feet marching. Abbey Lincoln makes the link between self-realization and rhythm explicit in the very first couplet of her masterful Afro-Blue. The lyrics of Somos Mas Americanos speak for themselves and this one goes out to my dad and family living in the mountains above Mexico City:

We Are More American

They have shouted at me a thousand times I should go back to my country
Because there’s no room for me here
I want to remind the gringos: I didn’t cross the border, the border crossed to me
America was born free, but men divided it
They marked a line so that I jump it
And they can call me “invader”
And that’s a very frequent mistake
They took from us eight states
Who’s then the invader?
I’m a foreigner in my own land
And I didn’t come here to cause you trouble
I’m a hard-working man

And if history isn’t lying
The powerful nation settled here, in the glory
Among brave warriors,
Indians of two continents mixed with Spaniards
And if we take centuries into account
We are more American
We are more American than the children of the Anglo-Saxons

They got from us without money the waters of the Río Grande
And they took from us Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado
Also California and Nevada were taken away
Utah was not enough, so they took Wyoming as well
I’m the blood of the Indian
I’m Latin American, I’m mestizo
We are made of all colours
And of all trades
And if we take into account centuries
 even if it hurts our neighbours
We are more American
Than all of the gringos!

Bruce Cockburn is the forgotten troubadour of Canadian song. Always razor-sharp, always conscious, Stolen Land achieves the feat of being both historically hyper-specific and beyond time and context. Dingsaller and its final refrain: "Exclusiv für die, für die nichts steht" ("Exclusively for those, for those for whom nothing stands") is for Merkel and her staunch humanity. Aretha delivers a 20th century prayer in People Get Ready, Terre Thaemlitz's refix of Oh Yoko's Seashore calms the waves and Patti sees us out as she welcomed us with her reading of Tomorrow which she dedicates to her mum...

Put this on your headphones and i'll see you down at the Embassy ;)


1. A Tribe Called Quest - We The People (2016)
2. Yoko Ono - Donald Trump Scream (2016)
3. The Twinkle Brothers - The World Was One  (1982)
4. Y.G. - FDT (2016)
5. Omar Souleyman - Leh Jani (2007)
6. PJ Harvey - Kamikaze (2000)
7. The Roots - The Next Movement (1999)
8. Abbey Lincoln - Afro-Blue (1959)
9. Los Tigres del Norte Featuring Zack de la Rocha - Somos Mas Americanos (2011)
10. Bruce Cockburn - Stolen Land (1990)
11. Einsturzende Neubauten - Dingsaller (2000)
12. Aretha Franklin - People Get Ready (1968)
13. Oh Yoko - Seashore (DJ Sprinkles' Ambient Ballroom) (2012)
14. Patti Smith - Tomorrow (Live at St. Mark's Church, New York) (2002)

Entire mix intercut with Patti Smith's Notes To The Future (Live at St. Mark's Church, New York) (2002)

Thursday, 29 December 2016

** When George Michael Became a Rorschach Inkblot & Changed My Life **

Back to nature...

  I fell in love with George Michael when I was nine years old. Top of the Pops screened the Fastlove video in April 1996 and the experience of watching that film for the first time burned itself deep into my consciousness. Today, it persists as a corner-stone to a still-blossoming queer logic whereas in the mid-nineties it sprung up as the perfect antidote to Blind Date, Baywatch, Neighbours and all the other insidious mainstream-media detritus quietly informing my (largely unconscious) feelings and thoughts on sexuality and desire. Fastlove's song and accompanying video are more freaky than people gave George credit for. The song stands as a testament to what he truly was: a unique, irreverent and importantly complicated alien in a largely anodyne pop culture landscape. While his art may not have attracted the same kind of critical attention many of his peers enjoyed (this having much to do with how consciously unpretentious George was in his work - itself one of the reasons people loved him so much), Fastlove is nevertheless emblematic of a genius stretching way beyond a catchy melody, slick production and the outrageous beauty of the man. George knew he had depth, teasing us with a rhetorical question from the first verse of his seventh UK number one:

 "All that bullshit conversation, baby can't you read the signs?"

  The signs are aplenty in Fastlove. Clashing and rubbing up against one another across the space of five minutes, in conjunction they serve to crystallise the work as perhaps the masterpiece of 90's queer pop. It was overwhelming for me 21 years ago and feels just as alive and spiky today. George may be gone but his songs will continue to breathe, and Fastlove breathes heavily at that...

  Everything about this track was disorientating to a nine-year old living in Tunbridge Wells in 1996. First off; George's sexual tastes. The video opens with our hero (quite portentously) using a futuristic-looking hand-held device to browse potential sexual partners, calling their holographic avatars up from the comfort of his bedroom (did he foresee Tindr here?). The thing was, George's panel didn't look anything like Cilla's. Opening proceedings? A latex-clad man wearing a crown of thorns doing the robot dance. Next, a beautiful and topless transgendered person on the point of tears, then dancing women of black, white and asian ethnicity and perhaps most mysteriously, this scruffy-looking guy in an old jumper…

  So it was. My (very) limited conception of a 'desirable subject' had been dismantled. In Fastlove, desire was multitudinous, unpredictable, even precarious. George had shattered the first glass ceiling in my young mind.

  Another point of contention was George's age. Here was a 32 year-old man expressing his desire for open, noncommittal sexual relations (with all genders). Wasn't this the terrain of people in their late-teens and twenties? Added to this, the song was the second single to be released from an album titled 'Older'? What was going on here?

  But Fastlove goes further. Observe how we remain exclusively within the four walls of George's room (a chapel perhaps? or maybe a cell...) for the entire duration of the film. Is this total interiority reflecting the confinement of Fastlove's dissolving paradigms to the realm of the psyche? Does the enactment of fluid sexuality even have a stable place in external reality? It is poignant here to remember what George met two years later upon exercising his sexuality outside, in the real world - physical incarceration by the American government and a global media shame campaign...

  However, within the locked-in holding space of the piece, a kind of magic is surely taking place. Boundaries between 'desiring subjects' and their 'subjects of desire' are beautifully smeared whilst the concept of a reliably gendered and orientated subject is destabilized along the way. Take for example the shot at one minute fifteen seconds. As the camera lens pans up (at an intoxicatingly tilted angle), a man is seen lying in dream-state, presumably summoning up a woman who then appears beside him. But in an instant, 'he' transforms into a 'she', just as the female partner herself switches ethnicity. Then, within the space of a few seconds, the dreamer transforms again, back into a male form. It's clear at this point that we've arrived in a zone of profound slippage, a space where sex, desire and gender are holographic concepts, constantly flickering between (and beyond) binary poles...

  It's equally interesting to note Fastlove's refusal to depict LGBT sexuality and desire in simplified, liberated terms. George made sure to enfold guilt (spot the two devil cameos), melancholia and other emotional and psychological traumas into the mix. To begin with, loneliness is offered as a possible motive for George's polyamorous sexual appetite:

"I miss my baby tonight...so why don't we make a little room in my BMW babe, searching for some peace of mind, i'll help you find that…"

  Symptoms of psychic distress mark the desiring subjects as they shape-shift through their enclosed landscape. Throughout Fastlove, figures can be seen crying as much as laughing, while George's throne comes to resemble a psychiatrist's chair as much as a Buddha's pedestal. The key question to ask here might be: is George playing the role of patient or doctor? In part at least, he is clearly the patient. The repeated lyrical refrain: "Looking for some affirmation" takes the form of a confessional and the evocation of a Rorschach inkblot, appearing towards the end of Fastlove (and beautifully evoked by moving body parts behind a latex screen), serves to both reinforce his role-as-patient whilst referencing the painful history of medical attempts to define and 'cure' 'transgressive sexualities' by such techniques throughout the course of the 20th century.

  And just as the concept of George-as-patient seems inevitable, something very strange happens. In the final moments of Fastlove, a visual mirroring technique is employed to transform George into the living embodiment of a Rorschach inkblot. With this one shot, we as viewer are catapulted into the patient's chair. Incredibly, the scruffy man returns to address us with a direct gaze just before George Rorschach-izes. The revelation is now manifest: this man is a reflection of us, the purportedly non-queer majority and George, in the form of a Rorschach inkblot, is asking us a critical question: "Can we relate?..."

  As much as pop, George Michael and Fastlove will forever be punk. A Vivienne Westwood crown-insignia belt buckle adorning a black, gyrating crotch provides a direct visual link to the British punk tradition and serves to anoint George and co. as a new punk royalty for the 90s - hot-blooded, wilfully irresolute and blurred in ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. George is an heir to the throne once uncomfortably occupied by Johnny Rotten and Fastlove brilliantly refracts Rotton's punk ethos to strike out at heteronormative sexuality and all of its discriminations, hypocrisies and supporting apparatus.

  The saying goes that Rock and Roll (and i'll stretch this definition to punk), can be defined by whether it scares your parents. With this in mind, I happily remember one of the earliest arguments I had with my dad at Our Price back in 1996… Not having much money, I really needed him to buy me George's new single on cassette. Having seen the video with me at home, dad thought Fastlove might be inappropriate for a nine year old. It took a lengthy discussion/argument before I left the shop with the cassette tucked inside the red plastic bag. I'll finish by thanking you for caving in dad, because that tape changed my life.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

** No Signal Sound Mix #7: Wire, Pole, Earth **

David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest became more relevant than ever the morning after America voted Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States of America. A year ago I climbed up the stairs of Fefe's small flat in Peckham with a laptop, mic and mic stand with a copy of the book in my bag. We'd both read it and I wanted to record her reading one of my favourite chapters from the novel for me to sample and use in Dj sets. After we'd set up in the living room, I opened up her copy of the book and found that she'd highlighted the entire extract I wanted her to read. The thing was, I hadn't even told her that this was the exact same section I wanted to record that night... I'd largely forgotten about the recording until the events of November brought it ringing from the back of my mind. Madame Psychosis' monologue mirrors its author's steely-eyed, unblinking solidarity with the mis-understood, ignored, villified and marginalised of society. His words will always be worth reading and hearing one more time...

Terre Thaemlitz's K-S.H.E open the mix with B2B, followed by Simon Fisher Turner's
Shishapangma (itself released by Terre's Comatonse Records in 2013). Simon Fisher Turner plays Cafe Oto in February. Next, Ta Shto Mi E Miloj, Mamo follows from a record of Bulgarian Village Music I picked up from the estate of a deceased Nuclear Physicist (Thanks Andy.) The almighty SND come next with Push 01 from "4,5,6" of which only 300 copies were ever released. Dennis Bovell follows with the thunder-rumbling River Dub, a 7" I picked up from Benji at Supertone Records last year - a shop that never, ever let's you down. Next comes A.L. Lloyd's incredible Pit Boots, from an excellent compilation of industrial British folk music released in 1963 called "The Iron Muse". Study XI is a highlight from an album of many gems and Infant Eyes is of another order completely. The soundtrack to Alexandro Jodorowsky's El Topo was tucked in-between 7,000 records in a storage unit outside London and Phil Minton's burping improvisation Is It Safe? melds in beautifully here. Beny More's Como Fue is one of my dad's favourite songs of all time :). Lorenzo Senni continued his hot streak with the Persona EP at the end of last year. Thank you for my Hopelessness special edition Mani xxx. Higher Plane was another Benji recommendation and the penny dropped on the greatness of Ricardo's Duso while being driven along the Spanish coast with my family this summer past... Blue Times by NNM is a record that came from a link-up with two women in a field in Essex, i'm forever grateful for inheriting that UKG collection which got carried back in two reinforced Lidl bags and a backpack on the C2C from Tilbury Town...


1. Kami-Sakunobe House Explosion K-S.H.E - B2B (2006) [Excerpt]
2. Simon Fisher Turner - Shishapangma (2013)
3. Nadezhda Georgieva Klicherova, Gena Ivanova Bodenova, Nadezhda Georgieva Palestova - Ta Shto Mi E Miloj, Mamo (1970)
4. SND - Push 01 (2008)
[Intercut with: William Burroughs - Tape Cut-ups (1968)]
5. Dennis Bovell - River Dub (1977)
6. A.L. Lloyd - Pit Boots (1963)
7. Rupert Clervaux & Beatrice Dillon - Study XI (2015)
8. Wayne Shorter - Infant Eyes (1964)
9. Alexandro Jodorowsky - The Pain of The Honey (1971)
[Intercut with: Phil Minton - Is It Safe? (2013)]
10. Beny More - Como Fue (1963)
11. Lorenzo Senni - Elegant & Never Tiring (2014)
12. Anohni - Drone Bomb Me [A Capella] (2016)
13. Danny Scrilla - Higher Plane (2015)
14. Ricardo Villalobos - Duso [Excerpt] (2005)
15. NNM - Blue Times (Featuring Nina) (1999)

Entire mix intercut with selected readings from David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (1996), read by Fefe Cundale.

Monday, 8 August 2016

** No Signal Sound Mix #6: Fleas In The Trees, Summer '16 **

Guy 'The Funk' Baillie-Grohman in a Lithuanian Forest, 2016.


1. Kami-Sakunobe House Explosion K-S.H.E - B2B [Excerpt] [2006]
2. Templeton Peck - Untitled [1998] [Guest Speakers: Chris Bryant & Mohammed Ali]
3. Death Grips - Eh [2016]
4. Rian Treanor - Damage_B2 [2016] [Guest Speaker: Excerpt from Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin's People In Trouble, Laughing, Pushed To The Ground E-Book]
5. Princess Nokia - Tomboy [2016]
6. Reflection Eternal - Too Late [Instrumental] [2000] [Guest Speaker: Derek Jarman]
7. Meredith Monk - Tablet [Excerpt] [1979]
8. Robert Dallas - Sign of Mankind [2015]
9. Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan - You Got The Love [1974] [Guest Speakers: Gloria from Florida and Prince]
10. Prince - I Wonder [1990]
11. Rev. James Cleveland And The Charles Fold Singers ‎– Jesus Is The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me [1975]
12. GG's All Stars - Sha-La Mar Rockers [1980]
13. John Cooper Clarke - The Pest [1979]
14. Kami-Sakunobe House Explosion K-S.H.E - B2B [Excerpt] [2006] [Field recording from Black Lives Matter March, London, July 2016]
15. Stevie Wonder - If It's Magic [1976] [Field recording from Black Lives Matter March, London, July 2016]

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Monday, 25 April 2016

** No Signal Sound Mix #5: For You **


My Dad was the first person to play me Prince. Driving in our black box Volvo (The Batmobile), we'd endlessly argue over whether we were going to listen to 'Dangerous' or 'Purple Rain'. The two cassettes were from the amazingly named 'Plastic Surgery', our local music shop down the road from our house in Maidstone. I was scared of Prince when I was 8. Dad was blasting 'Darling Nikki' on the primary school morning run and it was too much. I was with Michael in the early 90s. It took me a few years to see the purple light...

     I'll never forgive my dad for not driving me to Birmingham on a school night in the middle of my GCSE's to see Prince play. I'll never forget turning the corner on Elephant and Castle Roundabout and looking up to see a giant Prince billboard for his 21 Nights O2 residency. Sorry for sweating more than I ever have before at that gig Bambi. I'll never forget the sixteen and a half hour wait to see Prince at Ronnie Scott's, running to Brixton station at six in the morning to join the queue, laughing. Me and Emma ended up third and fourth in the line that morning, beaten to second place by Sam, a young man with a single purple painted fingernail...

     Thank you to everyone that came down or sent love from afar as we played Prince for two consecutive nights down at the Nines in Peckham this weekend past. Thank you to the Nines for having us. It was beautiful to meet with close friends and strangers alike, to be in a space with people who felt deeply about the music. Thank you everyone who came down and danced your asses off, sweated the room into a hot box, took your tops off, chanted the words, laughed and cried with the lights up...

Thursday, 31 March 2016

** Tonight - Aaron Swartz Special **

 Aaron Swartz (1986 - 2013), never forgotten, tonight all live sampling will be from his interviews and speeches.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

** All People Together #1 **

All People Together #1

Thursday 31st March
Buster Mantis
8pm to late

All Vinyl. No genres. Bleeding edges. Live sampling. All people welcome.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

** No Signal Sound Mix #4: Outerstellar Entanglements **

** To download the mix click here **

A special mix for the coming year.

Welcome into the world Eva, Solal and Rosa.



1. The Shanty Men - 'Rio Grande' from The Shanty Men LP, 1978
2. Laurel Halo - 'Situation' from In Situ EP, 2015
3. Unknown Artist - '???' from the soundtrack to Margot Benacerraf's film Araya, 1959
4. Bob Marley & The Upsetters - 'Mr. Music' 7" single released by Pressure Sounds, 2013
5. Rian Treanor - 'A1' from A Rational Tangle EP, 2015
6. Peggy Seeger - 'Henry Lee' from Peggy Alone LP, 1968
7.  Wiley & Zomby - 'Step 2001', 12" single, 2015
8. Burning Spear - 'Black Wa-Da-Da' from Garvey's Ghost LP, 1976
9. Aisha Orazbayeva & Tim Etchells - 'The Answer to Your Question' from Seeping Through, 2015
10. Kendrick Lamar - 'Momma' from To Pimp a Butterfly LP, 2015
11. The Blind Boys of Alabama - 'Lift Me Up (Like a Dove)' from The Gospel at Colonus LP, 1988
12. Billy Strayhorn - 'Lush Life', recorded at Basin Street East, New York City, January 14, 1964
13. Maxta, Boothroyd and Maniac 'No Retreat' from 100 Problems EP, 2015
14. Tim Buckley - 'Jungle Fire' from Starsailor LP, 1970
15. Eek-A-Mouse - 'Set 1' from Junjo Presents A Live Session LP, 1982
16. Sandra Kerr - 'My Husband's Got no Courage in Him' from The Female Frolic LP, 1968
17. Miriam Makeba - Two songs from Lionel Rogosin's film Come Back Africa, 1959
18. Ken Parker - True True True (Adapted) 12" single, 1979
19. Bob Dylan - George Jackson (Acoustic Version) 7" single, 1971
20. Rico - 'Africa' from Man From Wareika LP, 1976

Monday, 16 November 2015

** No Signal Sound Mix #3: No Signal Sound X Nawal El Saadawi **


1. Kalpana Improvisations
2. Steve Reich - Six Marimbas
3. Peggy Seeger - Henry Lee
4. Reshma - Lambi Judaii
5. Charles Keeping - They're Moving Father's Grave to Build a Sewer
6. Miles Davis - Right Off (Excerpt)
7. Beach Boys - Solar System
8. Rico - Africa
9. Los Gaiteros De San Jacinto - Maria Sola (Dub Mix)
10. Take Us Home - Danny Tucker (Dub)
11. Prince Allah - Their Reward (+ Dub)
12. Lopez Walker - Send Another Moses
13. Symbols - Misunderstanding (+ Dub)
14. Tyrone Taylor - Life Table (Dub)
15. Captain Beefheart - Floppy Boot Stomp
16. Sheffield Industrial EP I bought off Dangergirl at a car boot in Battersea that I can't remember the name of.
17. Prince - Sign of The Times
18. Michael Jackson - In The Closet
19. Beyonce - Haunted
20. Lectroluv - If We Try (Ambient Dub)
21. Key Tronics Ensemble - Calypso of House (Paradise Version)
22. Dj Sprinkles & Mark Fell - Fresh
23. Shackleton & Ricardo - Blood on my Hands
24. Ricardo Villalobos - Black Conga
25. Oni Ayhun - OAR004-A
26. Chugga - Theme For The Buck Rogers Light Rope Dance (Shinedoe Remix)
27. Hank Jackson - Deposit
28. Bob Dylan - George Jackson
29. Francoise Hardy - La Maison Où J'Ai Grandi (Il Ragazzo Della Via Gluck)
30 - Tyrone Taylor - Life Table

Monday, 5 October 2015

** No Signal Sound Live at The Nines, Peckham, Saturday 10th October **

** Saturday 10th October 2015 **
** 9pm to 12am **
** Proximity **
** Free **

Monday, 7 September 2015

** No Signal Sound Live at The Nines, Peckham, Saturday 12th September **

** Saturday 12th September 2015 **
** 9pm to 12am **
** Dissolving states **
** Free **

Thursday, 13 August 2015

** No Signal Sound Live at The Nines, Peckham, Saturday 22nd August **

** Saturday 22nd August 2015 **
** 9pm to 12am **
** Togetherness **
** Free **

Monday, 27 July 2015

** Phil Minton & Veryan Weston - The Cutty Wren **

"Phil Minton sings the traditional English folk song from the Peasants' Revolt (1381) which was caused by many grievances, one of which was excessive Poll Tax. The Cutty Wren were the mercenary police whom the peasants fought and occasionally killed. When this happened, the peasants would destroy the evidence as well as stave off hunger and starvation by sometimes eating their victims"

Saturday, 25 July 2015

** No Signal Sound Live at The Nines, Peckham, Friday 31st July 2015, 9pm to midnight **

** Friday 31st July 2015 **
** 9pm to 12am **
** Free **

Friday, 3 July 2015

** No Signal Sound Mix #2: Sunday Service #1 ** Bionic & The Politics of The Unnamed Mix **

          On Atlantic Road in Brixton, two doors down from Simply Fabric and next to Shaza Chicken, Bionic can be found most days sitting in his booth, a space just about big enough for two people to sit in (i've only ever seen him share the space once and that was with his wife...) Bionic has been on Atlantic Road for decades, he told me last year that Atlantic Road and the joining Railton Road used to be known as The Front line, a place where people would sit out day and night listening to music being blasted out of speakers up and down the stretch. In the 80's, Bionic worked with Front Line Sound, a south London reggae soundsystem, recording dances and distributing his recordings on cassettes to the local community from his spot on Atlantic Road.

        Today Bionic sells reggae compilations on CD-R's - they're the best compilations you'll ever buy. Taken from a number of huge CD wallets he brings up from beneath his feet in the booth, the man will play you tracks from the hundreds of compilations he's made for you to decide which ones you like best. The style is strictly soundsystem, with Bionic working the EQ's and singing along as he goes, waving to the locals as they pass by. Over the past three years, the price for mixes has stayed at 3 for £10 - more for the specials, which are kept on the top shelf above the proprietor's head and are comprised of tracks that are especially rare and impossible to find anywhere else. The CD's might have "£20 Exclusive" or "Rare Dubs" written on them in permanent pen but most of the time Bionic will do you a good deal on the more expensive ones. Once you've decided which ones to take, you go away for 15 minutes while Bionic makes you copies from his originals, marks them up and puts them in their plastic wallets ready to take away.

Bionic's 'Roots 127' mix

        Bionic has given me the best introduction to reggae I could ever hope for. No book, blog or commercial compilation could ever come close. The quality of tunes i've heard over the thirty or so CD's i've bought so far has been consistently amazing, pretty much all completely new to my ears and as i'm now finding out - a lot of the music is incredibly hard to come by. These tracks are not on youtube, unlisted on discogs, untraceable by shazam - not even discussed on reggae message boards where people post fragments of lyrics in the hope that somebody will be able to identify the tune they come from - they're black holes in the bright white atmosphere of the digital age. On 'Roots 127' for example, of the 19 tracks, i've only been able to find out what 11 of them are, i've hit a brick wall on the remaining 8 and only a miracle is going to shed light on them.

        Bionic's compilations raise an important question though: What are the implications of valuing the sources of our art? Not knowing any of the artists, or any of the track names didn't decrease my enjoyment in listening to my first Bionic mixes a few years back, headphones on, cycling from Brixton to Brockley in the soft early morning summer heat. Bionic's unmarked mixes can be said to put us in a place of unanchored Godliness, closer to the music, liberated from the imposing influence of the recognisable and recognised producers of sound, some of whom have disappeared into the dust whilst others having become cultural totems, subsuming the light and energy of their fellow creators by way of the damaging external influences of the commercialization of their art as cultural product. This phenomenon is one felt in art galleries worldwide, as visitors can be seen literally running to works of art by more established names, not even glimpsing, let alone stopping for a moment to comprehend, works by 'minor' artists of which they had rushed past, on the pathway to the totems.

The horror of the spectacle of the Mona Lisa

       In Lloyd Bradley's amazing book on the history of Jamaican Music in the 20th Century, 'Bass Culture', the author argues that this was certainly the case with Bob Marley. Upon his death in 1981, key record labels (operating largely outside of Jamaica) exerted a huge amount of pressure on Jamaican musicians to deliver a 'new figure' - a singularity by which reggae-music-as-product could continue to be sold worldwide as an understandable and easily-assimilated cultural product. This, Bradley argues, had a detrimental effect on the culture itself, as innovation and originality became side-lined in order to secure commercial success in a country suffering sustained poverty and socio-political instability throughout the period. Lee Perry's cover to his 'Judgment In A Babylon' single, released the same year as Marley's death, puts the point across razor sharp. In it, Island Records boss Chris Blackwell quite literally, has become a vampire.

Lee 'Scratch' Perry's Judgement In A Babylon / One Drop, 1981

       So, in tribute to Bionic, this latest mix, alongside all others on this blog, will go out with no tracklisting. I hope that this form will capture the excitement and disorientation i feel whenever i listen to a new Bionic mix. The decision to not list artists or track names doesn't reflect a belief that understanding where art comes from has no value, it's more a matter of using form to attempt to question how cultural knowledge is used and abused in the social environment in which we find ourselves. I chose these tracks with Sunday morning in mind - that's the church opposite my bedroom window on the cover - good music is God's music so enjoy and next time you're down in Brixton, make sure you go and visit Bionic!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

** Welcome ** Wong Kar-wai and Dub Reggae ** No Signal Sound Mix #1: Essex Field Vibrations **

Hello and welcome to No Signal Sound.

Collecting records and owning two turntables fills your head with ideas. The more records you buy, the more you come to realize the potential of each one to speak to another and collectively, to weave more detailed narratives that can only ever stay partly within your control. This partly is the magic part of the equation, and why it is magic itself to share the 'maths' of the mix. We know that sound can't belong to anyone. It just is. Bubbling up, constantly transforming and always finding its way through the narrowest of gaps. Whether seen in the hardcore Japanese fan-base Blur enjoyed during their 'quintessentially British' Parklife era, Kraftwerk's huge Indian following in the 70's and 80's or my two Mexican cousins' obsession with K and J-pop it is clear that human engagement with sound is chaotic. No rules, no guiding principles, no logic, no signal, just sound. 

I have set up this page to invite you into the growing dialogue which exists between my record collection and myself. I hope you like it. Feel free to put your email address into the box at the top of the page to be notified when new mixes are ready.

My first mix is called "Essex Field Vibrations". It is mostly comprised of dub reggae tracks I have found at car boot sales in Essex over the past couple of months. Cycling 15 miles at 5am can be really painful but when you find a Prince Allah 7" for £1 or a Jamaican DJ-only pressing of King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown for 25p, it really does feel like there is a God.

The Gateway To Heaven (Or Hell)

A moment that comes to mind which defines this mix and to a large extent defines my thoughts on the power of dub reggae, came whilst I was watching Wong Kar-wai's 'In The Mood for Love' a few years back. In the film's final sequence, we follow Tony Leung's character as he visits the ruined monasteries of Angkor Wat, whispering the secret of his lost love into the ancient walls before covering it over with a clump of soil and turning to leave...

I've seen this closing sequence countless times before but this time around i'd spent the previous few months listening to dub reggae non-stop after picking up my first of many CD-R compilations from Bionic on Atlantic Road in Brixton (more information on him later!) Nonetheless, the music had clearly made its way deep enough into my subconscious to refract the meaning of those beautiful, arching stone corridors which the great director's camera tracks out of, peering up into them like a disbelieving child. In the film, the time is crucially of an indeterminate dusk or dawn, and in this incredible sequence, Wong Kar-wai, as he has done so many times, manages to express the ability of human loss, absence and dislocation to obliterate any conventional notion of time within a person's life. On-screen, everything echoes. A single boulder assumes the same scale at a temple, ancient walls seem designed to accommodate the secrets of the modern man and arching doorways dissolve limitlessly into new doorways. Time has slowed to a halt. Form is quietly deformed. A boulder is worth as much as a temple and a corridor as much as a doorway. Even in this 'heritage site', the original and the 'version' are almost impossible to differentiate. And this is where Bionic's dub reggae compilations came in...

The Boulder/Temple Paradox

Dub is largely about space. It is also about reduction. The vocals are largely gone. The terrain of a dub track is scattered with echoes, reverb and delay and it becomes a holding space of potentialities, for remnants of the 'original' to return as well as for new, unexpected elements to be introduced. It is the sound of 'successive time' caving in. Watching 'In The Mood For Love' back then, it also felt like a reflection of successive meaning dissolving - just as Wong Kar Wai's contemporary man dislocates himself from his motherland (a mid 60's Hong Kong itself under British colonial rule) in order to find spiritual renewal, a dub track in its very design lays itself open to interventions in the mind of the listener as much as the musician engaging with it to constantly renew itself as a site of meaning.

I'm playing with these ideas on this first mixtape. 'Essex Field Vibrations' is about trying to find a common ground between Jamaican immigrants making dub reggae in London in the 70's and feminist musicians reshaping improvisational jazz in the same era in the same city. It's about seeking out the correlations between political rastafarian philosophies on materialism and greed and the causes of the London riots in 2011. It's about remembering the fierceness of Aaron Schwartz, the insightfulness of Tony Benn and straight-up rightness of Nina Simone. It's also about sharing some of the most deadly records i've found scrambling about in the bottom of cardboard boxes over these past few months.  

So, what exactly is the connection between Maggie Nicols' Female Improvisation Group and Dennis Bovell's earliest dub recordings made in the same city? How do Jean Genet's violent encounters on the back streets of Las Ramblas in the 1930's resonate with Jah Shaka's digital dub recordings made 50 years later? And the big question is: what's Lloyd Coxsone got to do with that little old lady from Dungeness?

The Little Old Lady from Dungeness & Lloyd Coxsone