Friday, November 22, 2013

Quarantine sound

My 40th birthday party is looming, and ‘programming the music’ is taking unhealthy priority. There is a band, and me and two or three others each have an hour so DJing. But I’m not worried so much about decks-slot – the funk, disco, post-punk, synth pop and rave classics should wreck shop by the time everybody is well oiled – but by the hour and half or so of playlist music before the band comes on. You know the bit, when the place is sparsely populated and most people (apart from the guy whose tunes are playing) are ignoring the music as they meet ’n greet.

To that end I’ve amalgamated the likeliest tracks from two ageing Macs into one potential playlist, transmittable either via the iPod or a CD on the night (I’ll take both). Problem is that has come to about 120 songs (see below) and I’ll only need about 30. Swingeing IMF-endorsed Osbornesque cuts will be needed here – but on which 90 or more tunes will the axe fall? I’ve got two each of The Creation, Fall, Inner City, Jorge Ben, M.I.A and Minnie Ripperton so that’s six down.

These 120 tracks are not necessarily my favourite tunes ever (most of those whether house, jungle, hip-hop or rock are on vinyl) but have served me well as an endorphin rush when I’m finishing some writing, on the rare occasions we have had people round and iTunes works best for entertainment, or an enabler of the post-match intercity rush between Manchester and London. They came from CDs or downloads, illegal or otherwise, or other people’s hard-drives. They reflect a predilection for focusing on just a few bits of any band rather than the tedious catalogue. Singles-man, me (still).

Other characteristics of the list are readily definable: there is nothing here too noisy, too ravey, too experimental – no point pretending stuff from the dark and wonky limits of my collection will be a contender. As much as I’d love to play Dream Continuum’s Giv a Lil Luv its euphoric blend of footwork and jungle is unlikely to be parsed by the 40-somethings. Some are quite cheesy but perhaps recognised by friends as one of ‘my tunes’; others are unknown to virtually everyone I know and all the more ‘mine’ for that; still more, especially a few 80s pop numbers, I have no particular attachment to (reminder: take vinyl copy of ‘Dance Little Sister’) but I know will have ‘impact’. They must be expected to grab the attention but not steal the show – if that is suspected then they should be in the DJ list. Some are generic pastiches but nail that genre, others are genre-defining. The candidates when put together must also display a historical breadth so that none of the major movements since my birth miss out, and some of the pre-70s stuff is referenced at least a little. The whole popular music range.

Who am I kidding? Inevitably there will be gaping holes in this playlist. I recoil at going too obvious so Beatles-Stones-Motown-Oasis-Mickey J-Whatevs don’t make it, my genuine-yet-fairly-universal faves like the Human League will be DJ fodder and essentially this is just an exercise in hastily dragging stuff into a folder – then subjectively assessing their merits afterwards.

Yet looking at the list I can see a few absolute certs to make the 30-for-40 – perfect warm-up material: Love’s She Comes in Colours (thanks Scouse influence), Black Moon’s Who Got Da Props (90s hip-hop dat), Lonnie Liston Smith’s Expansions (my old jazz-funk friend), LFO’s Freeze (ooh those warm clonks and prangs). For the rest - get cutting:

Air: La Femme D'Argent
Afrika Bambaata & The Soulsonic Force: Planet Rock
Amira: My Desires (Dreem Teem remix)
Aphex Twin Analogue Bubblebath
Arcade Fire Ready To Start
Aswad: Warrior Charge
The Associates: It's Better This Way
Bananarama: Really Saying Something
Battles: Leyendecker
Bibio: Kaini Industries (original by Boards of Canada)
Black Lips: Raw Meat
Black Moon: Who Got da Props?
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Whatever Happened To My Rock & Roll
Mary J Blige: Family Affair
Bodyrox: Yeah Yeah (D. Ramirez Instrumental)
Booker T. & The MG's: Green Onions
Buzzcocks: Boredom
David Carretta: Vicious Game
Chase & Status & Liam Bailey: Blind Faith
Chico Science & Nação Zumbi: Computadores Fazem Arte
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood
Lyn Collins: Think About Break (Djekyll edit)
Commix: Be True
Cris Waddle: Ayi
Cybotron: Clear
The Clash: The Magnificent Seven
The Creation: How Does It Feel To Feel
The Creation: Making Time
The Cure: Primary
Cypress Hill: Insane in the Brain
Darkstar: Aidys Girl's a Computer
Depeche Mode: New Life
Disclosure: White Noise (feat. AlunaGeorge)
Lonnie Donegan: Gamblin' Man
Kenny Dope presents The Bucketheads: The Bomb
Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick: The Show
The Du-Ettes: Every Beat Of My Heart
Egyptian Lover: Egypt
Brian Eno: Third Uncle
Everything Everything: Invisible Remix - My Kz, Ur Bf
Gang Of Four: At Home He's A Tourist (The Others Remix)
Goldfrapp: Happiness
Ellie Greenwich: Baby
The Fall: Fiery Jack
The Fall: The Classical
Falty DL: All In The Place
Fine Young Cannibals: Good Thing
Fischerspooner: Turn On
Flirtations: Nothing But A Heartache
Foals: Olympic Airways
DJ Fresh: Gold Dust (feat. Ms Dynamite)
Fun Boy Three: Our Lips Are Sealed
Gotye Learnlilgivinanlovin
DJ Gregory: Block Party
Grimes: Genesis
Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra: Some Velvet Morning
The Horrors: I Can See Through You
Iggy and the Stooges: Search and Destroy
Ilaiyaraaja: Raja Rani Jaakki (ft S.P. Sailaja & Malaysia Vasudevan)
Inner City: Good Life
Inner City: Big Fun
Isolee: Beau Mot Plage
Jackson Sisters: I Believe In Miracles
Jake Bugg: Lightning Bolt
Jam City: Magic Drops
Joakim: Lonely Hearts
Jorge Ben & Toquinho: Carolina Carol Bela
Jorge Ben: Ponta de Lanca (Umbabarauma)
Joy Division: Isolation
JUSTICE: Phantom
Kasabian: Empire
Kelis: Suspended
Kings of Leon: Red Morning Light
The Kinks: Picture Book
Kode9 + the Spaceape: Curious
LFO: Freeze
Led Zeppelin: Rock And Roll
The Libertines: I Get Along
Liquid Liquid: Cavern
Fred Locks: Black Star Liners
Lonnie Liston Smith: Expansions
Love: She Comes In Colors
M.I.A.: Bad Girls - Wiley Remix
M.I.A.: Jimmy
Maceo & The Macks: Cross The Tracks (We Better Go Back)
Magnetic Man: I Need Air
Manchester City: The Boys In Blue
Manix: Special Request
Gianni Marchetti: Part-y-time
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Small Axe
The Mary Jane Girls: All Night Long
Mount Rushmore" The Vibe That's Flowing
Maria Minerva: A Little Lonely
Kylie Minogue: Shocked
Moderne Switch: On Bach
Mo-Dettes: White Mice
The Monkees: I'm Not Your Stepping Stone
Munk ft James Murphy and Nancy Wang: Kick Out The Chairs
Les Negresses Vertes: Face À La Mer (Massive Attack Remix)
Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band: Do You Really Love Me?
New Order: Fine Time
Positive Force: We Got The Funk
Minnie Riperton: I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun
Minnie Ripperton: Les Fleurs
Rhythm Quest: Closer To All Your Dreams (Hybrid Mix)
Oumou Sangaré: Ah Ndiya
Marlena Shaw: California Soul
Kenny Shepard: What Difference Does It Make
Joyce Sims: Come Into My Life
Sons & Daughters: Johnny Cash
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: Beggin' (Pilooski Re-edit)
Bill Withers: Use Me
Neil Young: Old Man
Zagazougou: Allah Ma Diana

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