Monthly Archives: January 2012

MIX: BEDMOCAST 02 mixed by SELL BY DAVE

For the latest instalement of the BEDMOCAST mix series, our own SELL BY DAVE steps up to the ones and twos for a spontaneous, one-take mix-up. This time he’s on a slo-mo/midtempo tip, mixing up tracks and remixes from the likes of John Talabot, Let’s Get Lost, Cosmic Boogie, Deadly Sins, Marcos Cabral, Lonely C and Baby Prince, Pop & Eye, Krystal Klear and Maxmillion Dunbar. File under disco/deep house/slo-mo/New Beat/elecytrofunk.

LISTEN on MIXCLOUD >>DOWNLOAD (HOSTED BY SOUNDCLOUD) >>

Tracklist: BEDMOCAST02 mixed by SELL BY DAVE 

1. Marcos Valle – Estrelas [KZA Re-Edit] (Let’s Get Lost)
2. Psychemagik – Ass Nation (Psychemagik)
3. Deadly Sins – I Can Feel It (Giant Cuts Digital)
4. Pop & Eye – Gimme A Fight (Editainment)
5. The Revenge – Nightflight (Jiscomusic)
6. Cosmic Boogie – Fast & Loose (Boogie Originals)
7. Lonely C & Baby Prince – Just Be Yourself [Kenny Glasgow Remix] (Wolf + Lamb)
8. Adam Goldstone – Jackadub (Nuphonic)
9. Confettis – The Sound Of C (USA Import Music)
10. David Bowie – Underground [Dub Mix] (EMI America)
11. Whitney Houston – Love Will Save The Day [Marcos Cabral Re-Edit] (Hamilton Dance Records)
12. Bedmo Disco – Illusion  (Bedmo Disco Records)
13. Krystal Klear – Try My Love (All City)
14. Parallel Dance Ensemble – Occupied [Maxmillion Dunbar Remix] (Permanent Vacation)
15. John Talabot – So Will Be Now (feat Pional) (Permanent Vacation)

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Happy birthday Futureboogie

You probably know this already, but this weekend marks the tenth birthday of a Bristol clubbing/dance music institution: Futureboogie. They hardly need the praise, but we thought we’d take a few minutes to give them some props.

These days, Futureboogie trio Joe90, El Harvo and Steve Bongo are perhaps best known as globe-trotting party-starters, DJ bookers and label managers, yet a decade ago they were newcomers to the Bristol scene with a passion for forward-thinking electronic music.

After decamping from the Midlands, they provided Bristol with a monthly broken beat, nu-jazz and, well, ‘futureboogie’ party called Seen. Capturing the zeitgeist perfectly and championing music that hardly got a look in elsewhere in the city (or, outside London and Manchester, the UK), Seen became a go-to event at its first home, the now sadly departed Level nightclub.

Since then, they’ve been inspired by various forms of music – disco, now house – but Steve (Joe90), Dave (El Harvo) and Steve (Bongo) have continued to put on parties that have become legendary not only in our fair city, but throughout the world.

Between them, they have a good eye for spotting a trend, record collections to die for and a collective ear for knowing where dancefloors are going next. Joe90, in particular, is also a fantastic DJ and an all-round hive mind of musical information. He might get the party rocking (and he almost always does), but he’ll do it with a mix of tunes shot through with a soulful and futuristic bent. El Harvo, meanwhile, looks natty in a cape and is a real party animal. If there’s a party or afterparty going on, he’ll be the first on the dancefloor.

Last year’s launch of their Futureboogie Recordings imprint was a logical next step. Aside from getting on board fast-rising house starlet Julio Bashmore – a real coup – and pushing him further towards international superstardom, they’ve also used the label to push forward other Bristol-based producers with a lot to offer. Everyone has their favourites; personally, we can’t get enough of the slo-mo house of Behling & Simpson and the loved-up goodness of Lukas & Christophe (an old mate of ours from the Tricky Disco days, where he was also a resident).

Soon, they’ll release a tenth anniversary CD featuring tracks from the label’s ever-expanding roster. That’s notable for including plenty of unreleased material, including something from Luke Type – one of Bristol’s most underrated musicians and possibly the next DJ/producer from the city to achieve international recognition.

Tonight (Friday 27th January), they kick off their celebrations with a party at a “secret location” in Bristol (thought to be the old magistrates court building, but don’t quote us on that), before heading up to East London in a few weeks time for a warehouse bash. With Bashmore heading up a stellar line-up, you can guarantee both will be memorable events. Incidentally, tonight’s bash sold out yonks ago, so if you’ve not got a ticket (and we haven’t – doh!), you’ll have to make do with the compilation CD.

Here’s to another decade of Futureboogie goodness.

LISTEN: Joe90 Futureboogie Mixmag Podcast

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Sell By Dave’s Rant: Cowell, you plonker!

In the first of a series of occasional rants, our resident “bearded grump”  SELL BY DAVE gets hot under the collar about Simon Cowell’s latest “shit-fest”…

Here at Bedmo Disco HQ, we’re not massive fans of X-Factor/Pop Idol-style reality TV shows. In fact, we can’t remember the last time we consciously watched one of those glitzy, Saturday night “star-making” borefests. As many have pointed out over the years, they’re little more than souped-up New Faces style talent contests played out for the financial gain of villain-in-chief and all-round cynic Simon Cowell (pictured above). They might not exactly be killing music (the underground is as healthy as ever, thankfully), but they’re probably not doing it much good, either.

Normally, we wouldn’t bother commenting on anything Simon Cowell or X-Factor-related, but something caught our eye yesterday that we couldn’t let pass by.

When loitering on Facebook, we noticed a link to a Music Week story posted by the chaps behind the fine House of Disco website and label. According to the story (see here), Cowell has turned his attention to one of the only strands of the music/entertainment industry he’s previously left alone: DJing.

Straight away, the blood began to boil here at North Street Sound. The basic gist of the story is this: Simon Cowell’s production company has developed a format for an “X Factor for DJs”, which will “capture the incredible rise of the DJ phenomena”. The story quotes Cowell as saying: “DJs are the new rock stars”.

Oh dear. For starters, the concept of the “superstar DJ” has largely been discredited over the last few years. As some of you may know, I worked for a dance music magazine called IDJ for the best part of a decade, during the period when “superclubs” and “superstar DJs” were at their peak. I left IDJ in 2008, by which point the commercial dance music boom of the late 90s/early 2000s had long since disappeared up its own overhyped backside.

So, Simon, you’re a bit late on this one. If you’d done this in 2001 you may have captured the zeitgeist – now you just look like someone’s dad stumbling around a club looking for inspiration. “Wow, DJs are cool, let’s see if we can rinse that scene for more cash!”

There’s also the tricky problem of how you judge whether a DJ is “great”. A bugbear of mine during the IDJ days was what I thought of as the erosion of DJing as a standalone artform. In the old days, top DJs earned their reputation through being masters of their craft. They were in tune with their dancefloors, fearless selectors, skilful craftsmen (and women) and knew exactly when to take risks. They got more bookings because they were brilliant DJs. These days, the argument continued, DJs are no longer booked on the strength of their DJ skills. Instead, promoters book “names” – producers who have made records that sell well on Beatport, or Juno, or wherever. Some of these producers will also be skilled and talent DJs; others, though, can barely beatmatch two records and play little more than obvious floorfillers. Thus, really great DJs without productions to their name are neglected by all but the most dedicated/nerdy promoters (and, obviously, other DJs). For proof, check out either Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJs poll, or the consistently laughable DJ Magazine Top 100 DJs.

It is difficult to judge DJing without hearing someone play in a variety of environments, to different crowds. It’s this that makes traditional DJ competitions virtually pointless. The DMC World Championships and contests of that ilk are notable exceptions. It is far easier to judge a short set by a shit-hot turntablist than 15 or 20 minutes from someone who plays house, techno or drum and bass (for example). Besides, being a fantastic turntablist with skills for days doesn’t necessarily make someone a great DJ; put them in a club with three hours to fill, and they may struggle.

In my opinion, being a great DJ is about more than just rocking a party or having great technical skills, however important these may be. Personally, the best DJs I’ve heard – and the ones I respect the most – are those that really dig deep, are comfortable in almost any environment and will take the dancefloor in different directions over the course of two or three hours. The music they play is far more important than how they play it. I don’t care whether they use vinyl, CD, Serato, Ableton, Traktor or eight-track tape; formats are just a means to an end. It’s the music that matters.

I would also say that great DJs know how to play at different times, and can adjust their sets accordingly. Some of the best DJs I’ve heard over the years are residents – i.e those that do the “graveyard” slots at the beginning and end of a night. “Warming up” is an artform in itself, and one that many DJs – particularly those new to the game – simply don’t know how to do. If you’re on early doors, your job is to set the scene, soundtrack the socializing of punters and then gently coax them on to the dancefloor. If you treat the warm-up like a peaktime set, you shouldn’t be behind the decks – unless those decks are in your bedroom (or perhaps those in a trance/hard house club).

I’m also firmly of the opinion that many DJs get better with age – something that doesn’t neatly fit with the youthful make-up of club crowds. It doesn’t necessarily take all that long to get the basic skills to be able to perform an adequate DJ set, but it can take years to learn how to read a crowd, structure a set and get that distinctive flow and style associated with the very best. Older DJs – or, at least, those who’ve been doing it for a few years – also tend to have a broader and deeper knowledge of music, meaning that they can mix-up old and new records together in a way that puts both in context. I might be alone on this one, but a set of the 20 hottest new tunes is dull. Mix it up a little, please!

Taking all this into consideration, it’s hard to see how Cowell and his cronies could put together a TV format that does the artform any justice. For starters, DJing isn’t the sort of thing that makes for great television, unless DJs are being judged purely on short, turntablist style showcase sets. Turntablism, for all its merits, is something that does not appeal to the vast majority of DJs, let alone people sat at home watching on television.

Judging DJs on pure technical skills alone is also deeply flawed. There are some fantastically technically gifted DJs out there who cannot be considered “great”. They might be able to mix on four decks, or have a distinctive style that marks them out from the crowd, but if they play boring, mundane, obvious or lifeless music, they’re wasting their talents.

So how will Cowell and company judge DJs on their new reality shit-fest? Given his track record, probably with a panel of aging DJs or young wannabes whose names are well-known but whose talents are, for the want of a better word, lacking. Realistically, Cowell’s judging panel would almost certainly be a mix of zimmer-frame pedaling idiots who lost all passion for music 30 years ago and shiny-shirt wearing electrohouse numpties barely out of the womb. And Skrillex.

Unless the panel consists of Larry Levan’s ghost, the re-animated corpse of Sir Jimmy Saville, and a loudmouth American turntablist who can cut and scratch with his genitals, I’m not interested.

Given that this sort of contest will attract the most annoying and pointless type of wannabe DJ – i.e those whose obsession is not with music, or even helping people to have a good time, but rather climbing the slippery slope of international twatdom – perhaps they should be judged not as DJs, but whether they fit the “Superstar DJ” mould.

This would undoubtedly be the best way to judge them. Ignore the music and their supposed skills, instead focusing on the following categories:

• Quality of haircut

• Self-obsession

• Entertainment ability (e.g do they jump around behind the decks with their arms-raised skywards)

• Boy Racer factor (I.E do they play music that would be bought by townie idiots in souped-up Vauxhall Corsas)

• Personality (i.e are they an utter bell end?)

• Drug threshold (i.e how much nose candy can they hoover up while playing over-produced kiddie-friendly drivel)

• Wardrobe choices (do they look like any other tool out at terrible city centre bars on a Friday or Saturday night?)

Or, to put all of those into one question: do they cite the Swedish House Mafia as a major influence?

To be serious (slash boringly nerdy) again for a minute, I am actually as saddened as I am angry by this move from Simon Cowell. DJing is a valid and creative artform that has consistently struggled to be taken seriously. Most DJs don’t take themselves seriously, but they do take what they do seriously. Making people dance isn’t rocket science (obviously), but doing it brilliantly, with style, thought and knowledge, isn’t as easy as people make out. Or maybe it is, and I’ve spent far too many years thinking and writing about it.

Either way, none of this will worry Simon Cowell. As long as all the DJs have a juicy, tear-jerking back story and make good TV, he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Again.

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505 FUNK/808 BOOM – BDR LABEL PARTY THIS SATURDAY

It’s a rarity that we leave the house, let alone Bedminster, so you know something big’s happening when we agree to hot-foot it into the centre of Bristol on a Saturday night to put on a party. That’s exactly what’s happening this Saturday, January 14, as we up sticks and pitch up at Start The Bus, Bristol’s bar-come-club for hot young things. As it’s January, we’ve made it free to get in – yep, no door tax – and invited some of Bedmo Disco Records’ Bristol-based artists to spin some tunes.

Think of it as a kind of preview of what’s to come in 2012. Both our guests, JIMMY THE TWIN and AWON, have releases due on the label in the coming months. Both are superb DJs with killer crate-digging and mixing skills. Both blend the best of the past – often drawn from the obscure fringes of boogie, electrofunk, disco and rare groove – with the best of the present. With ourselves in support, it should be a killer night.

So you want to know a bit more about our guests, then?

JIMMY THE TWIN is one of Bristol’s most thoughtful, generous and open-minded selectors. While he’s never been given quite as many props from Bristol scenesters than perhaps he deserves, he’s rightfully gaining a much greater reputation elsewhere for the quality of his productions – and most specifically his re-edits. In a scene where re-edits are usually loopy, over-filtered and housey, Jimmy’s faithful, respectful re-cuts stand out like a sore thumb. He does add new bits to his re-edits, but little more than new drum machine parts, tastefully created using his faithful Roland TR-505 drum machine. This month sees his first “official” release (some of his more popular older edits have already been bootlegged) – a specially-commissioned re-edit on the Philadelphia International 40th Anniversary CD. Given that he’s rubbing shoulders with the likes of Todd Terje, that’s pretty big. He’ll be following that up in March with his first 12″ – an EP of hot edits for Bedmo Disco Records called… wait for it… “505 FUNK (…WITH AN 808 BOOM)”. We’ll be posting previews of the mastered versions on the site very soon, but if you’re restless and want to hear some of the tracks, head over to his Soundcloud account. He’s got rather a lot of followers. We should also point out that he’s just become a dad for the first time, so if you pop down on Saturday do buy him a drink to help “wet the baby’s head” (said cherub is called Louie, by the way). Click below to download one of his classic mixes.
JIMMY THE TWIN – WELCOME TO THE BOOGIE CAFE MIX 

AWON is the alter ego of one-time record shop manager turned garage owner Gareth Morgan, a longtime Bristol scene DJ, musician and bearded man-about-town. He once ran a night called Dusted Disco, which flickered brightly for too short a period for our liking. We first met him a few years back, got on quite well but didn’t really follow it up. We then kept bumping into him down at the Big Chill Bristol (where his other half, Katie, used to be a manager) and had long and probably dull conversations about the merits of Dub B-sides of silly synth-funk records. Then, back in the autumn, we asked him to do some bass guitar parts for us. He didn’t, in the end, but instead played us some of his tunes. We got a bit excited and offered to lend a hand mixing and re-arranging them. Within a week we were working on whole new tracks with him, waiting patiently while he changed floppy discs on his vintage AKAI MPC. Since then we’ve been in the studio every week. We also DJ’d together (Bedmo Disco and Awon, that is) on New Year’s Eve and had a blast – even if we were drunkenly flagging by the end. Gareth is a great DJ, an excellent producer and a decent musician – without him, we’d still be fumbling around trying to make four or five samples work together. For the record, there will be an AWON & BEDMO DISCO 12″ in May, and a solo AWON 12″ later in the year. He’ll also be joining us behind the decks at Soundwave in Croatia in July. Expect big things – and seriously heavy, dubbed-out electro-boogie!

So there you go – two reasons why you should get your dancing shoes on (or whatever counts for dancing footwear these days) and head on down to Start The Bus in Bristol on Saturday. The party runs from 10pm until 3am, and entrance – as we’ve already pointed out – is NOWT. ZILCH. GRATIS. FREE. You get the idea.

Feel free to support the event at the following websites:

Resident Advisor event page
Facebook event page 

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“GET YOUR BEARINGS” ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

Just a quick heads up for those of you who play digitally – whether on CD or via Serato etc: Our most recent 12″ EP, the ace “Get Your Bearings” from JP Source, is available now to download from Junodownload.

Head over here to listen and purchase your copy, or check out our release page to find out more.

Look out for news soon of our 2012 release plans, including a new digital-only series, a long-awaited edits EP from Jimmy The Twin and – shock, horror – original productions from Awon and Bedmo Disco!