Monthly Archives: March 2013

NEWS: BEDMO DISCO’S BIG EASTER

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Phew, what a scorcher! Apologies for coming across all tabloid, but that single, silly phrase pretty much sums up our feelings about Saturday’s night’s GIRAFFE BOOGIE party at Start The Bus.

We were hoping for a good ‘un, but nothing could have prepared us for what was one of our most memorable parties for a while. The dancefloor began to fill up at 10.30, and it just got better and better from there. What was most memorable – apart from the ace sets from the Kelly Twins (pictured above) and Legendary Tone – was the all-round good-natured vibe of the crowd, their appreciation for the music and the amount of positivity on display. It was also nice to meet a few new faces (a party from the well-loved Boogie Cartel night in London, some chap who asked us to platy some krautrock, a woman who claimed we were ‘bringing back the spirit of Fruity Antics’ – that’s a near legendary Bristol house night for those from outside of our fair city) and welcome back some old ones (Al Dare, Jimmy The Twin etc). So all in all, a great night – thanks to all those who came down and made it special.

With Easter fast approaching, it’s a busy time here at North Street Sound (that’s Bedmo Disco HQ to newcomers). Because of that. we have a load of things to tell you about. We’ll try and keep it brief, and have used handy subheadings for ease of browsing/because it looks nicer.

MELODICA RADIO SHOW BRISTOL SPECIAL

A couple of weeks back legendary DJ, producer, journalist and musician Chris Coco headed down to Bristol to play at Big Chill Bristol. While there, he recorded a special edition of his popular Melodica Radio Show. The show features interviews with a bunch of Bristol bods – including our pals Suisse Tony, Ben Dubisson (A Hundred Strong) and Chris Farrell from Idle Hands – with accompanying music. It begins with Chris having a chat with our own bearded disco grinch, Sell By Dave, about Bedmo Disco Records.

It’s a very entertaining show, which you can listen to on Chris Coco’s Mixcloud profile

 

BEDMO DISCO EASTER SPECIAL AT BIG CHILL BRISTOL

Yes, we’re back at Big Chill Bristol for another smashing Bedmo Disco bash on Good Friday (29th March). We begin at 9pm and go on until 3am. Entry is free, the whole crew will be representing, and hot Bristol house producer (and all round top man) GramRCY will be playing upstairs In The Study. Poster below.

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GOOD VIBRATIONS AT THE WHITE BEAR

Yep, there’s a second dose of Bedmo Disco DJ action this Easter weekend, as we head to The White Bear on St Michael’s Hill to host the Boogie Bar at Sean McCabe and Ben Daley’s Good Vibrations party. We’re stoked to have been asked along, especially as it’s an old-fashioned all-dayer (starting at 3pm, no less) in one of Bristol’s best boozers. Flyer below – more to come later in the week. Tickets are £10 in advance (a bargain since it’s an all-dayer and the main room guests come from Local Talk Records and Southport Weekender), and have been selling well. If you want to come along, don’t sleep!

Phew! That’s all for now – we’re off for a lie down. Remember, you can read our news first on Twitter and Facebook, so follow or like us. We don’t bite!

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MIX: THE RETURN OF THE KELLY TWINS’ GALACTIC JAMS

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Ahead of the next instalment of GIRAFFE BOOGIE at Start The Bus on Saturday, we’ve got a bit of a treat for you – a classic old skool electro/boogie/space-funk mix up from headliners THE KELLY TWINS.

The mix was recorded way back in 2008 for the sadly departed BYTE blog and party, where Sean and Dan were briefly residents. It caused a bit of a stir at the time, though it’s long been unavailable/lost thanks to the MP3 download link seemingly vanishing from the Internet. It’s such a good mix that we thought it deserving of a five-year anniversary re-post. At this point we should thank fellow Bristol DJ and longtime Kellys/Bedmo Disco friend Andy Clarkson (aka Andy Payback Hifi), who still had a rare CD copy and converted it to MP3 for us.

These days, Sean and Dan are widely considered (and rightly, we think) to be rising stars, not just in Bristol but beyond. In our opinion they’re probably the most versatile and consistent DJs in Bristol. While their mixing is technically brilliant, what’s more impressive is their ability to take sets in many different directions and take the crowd with them. Put them in almost any situation – warm-up, peaktime, late, big club, small club, boozer, radio show – and they’ll get it right. They’re slowly moving into production, too, and recently dropped a collaboration with fellow Bristol DJ/producer Kowton for Red Bull’s Soft Rockets project.

We first met them sometime around 2005/2006 (we think), in which days they were taking their first steps as student DJs in Bristol. They weren’t new to the DJing game, though – back in their native Plymouth, they first started DJing when they were 14, and by 16 were playing all over the city. They were quickly installed as residents at Sell By Dave’s best before: night. They then launched their own party, UFO (which Sell By was also a resident at), and since have held residencies at all sorts of regular parties, including Crazylegs and So Bones. They’re currently the in-house party-starters for our old pal Chris Farrell (another best before: resident back in the day) at his growing Idle Hands empire. We should also point out that they’re rightly the most in-demand DJs in Bristol.

So, back to Galactic Jams. It was recorded at a time when they were indulging their electro/P-funk side and is a near flawless live mix-up of classic electro, electrofunk, P-funk and boogie jams. It’s this side of things they’ll be mining for their set at Giraffe Boogie (though we also hope that they drop in some freestyle, Italo, disco and house, since mixing it up is their forte). If you’ve not heard the mix before, you’re in for a treat. If you have, it’s worth giving it another listen – it really is a beauty! As for the party, scroll down below the tracklist for poster/details.

You can listen to the mix here (download by right clicking and doing something – check your browser’s help file for details):

The Kelly Twins – Galactic Jams

BYTE MIX: THE KELLY TWINS – GALACTIC JAMS (2008)

1. D.St – Crazy Cuts [Long Version](Island)

2. Whodini – Haunted House Of Rock [Vocoder Version] (Jive)

3. Man Parrish – Hey There Homeboy (unknown)

4. Donna Allen – ‘Serious [Dub Version]’ (21 Records)

5. George Clinton – ‘Scratch Medley: Do Fries Go With That Shake?/Pleasures Of Exhaustion (Do It Till I Drop)’ (Capitol Records)

6. Newcleus – Space Is The Place (Sunnyview Records)

7. Royal Cash – Radio Activity [Vocal Long Version]’ (Royal Disc)

8. Tramaine – ‘Fall Down (Spirit Of Love) [Dub Version]’ (A&M)

9. Midnight Star – ‘Operator [Vocal/LP Version]’ (Solar System)

10. Two Sisters – ‘High Noon’ (I.R.S Records)

11. L.A Dream Team – ‘Rockberry Jam’ (Dream Team Records)

12. The World Class Wreckin’ Cru – ‘World Class [Remix]’ (Kru-Cut Records)

13. Jamie Jupitor – ‘Computer Power’ (Egyptian Empire Records)

14. Rodney O – ‘These Are My Beats’ (Egyptian Empire Records)

15. Hashim – ‘We’re Rocking The Planet’ (Cutting Records)

16. Chris ‘The Glove” Taylor – ‘Tibetean Jam’ (Ploydor)

17. JJ Fadd – ‘Supersonic’ (DMC)

18. Dynamix II – ‘Just Give The DJ A Break [Club Version]’ (Cooltempo)

19. Omega II – ‘Sonic Boom [Vocal]’ (Showroom Records)

20. The League Unlimited Orchestra – ‘Things That Dreams Are Made Of’ (Virgin Records)

21. The Cure – ‘The Walk’ (Fiction Records)

22. Kissing The Pink – ‘Big Man Restless’ (Atlantic)

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SELL BY DAVE’S RANT: SMALL PARTIES ARE WHERE IT’S AT

Take 5 Cafe

As a self-proclaimed “disco Grinch”, it would be fair to say that I like a good moan. I also mutter to myself on a weekly basis when I’m sent a new batch of releases to review and realize that every single deep house, tech-house or nu-disco record sounds the same. In private, I spend far too much time whining about things that bug me about certain strands of electronic music and club culture. On the whole, though, I like to remain positive; after all, there is still much thrilling new music to discover, events to attend and inspiring musicians or producers to talk to (for the uninitiated, I’m a music journalist by trade).

I will, however, never lose my disdain for those who either base their musical opinions on fashion trends or, worse, use a platform in the national media to put forward fatuous arguments about the current state of electronic music.

I was driven to jump onto my laptop earlier today by an article on The Guardian website by a journalist called Joanna Fuertes-Knight. In it, she argues that small club nights have had their day, and that smaller parties are no longer where it’s at. I’m paraphrasing, but the gist of her argument seems to be that in the age of the Internet – and, in particular, Boiler Room – we don’t need to go to small nights to hear new music, hence the re-emergence of “megaraves” in 1,500+ capacity venues. She believes that we appreciate the shared experience more at such big events. As an aside, she also mentions that famous  “small” London parties such as YoYo and FFWD>>, which helped foster new styles of bass-heavy music, were great because it was nearly impossible to get in unless you were a regular or “on the inside”. There are many reasons to celebrate parties at small venues, but the fact that you’re “in” and others aren’t smacks of smug elitism. It was probably this part that riled me most.

That said, what really drove me to start penning this diatribe was the idea that small nights are no longer relevant and that clubbers/music heads do not need to attend them to hear “new music”. Strictly speaking, the latter is correct; you could, if you so wished, spend most of your days trawling through endless blogs, Soundcloud pages and so on to hear new music. Some people do just that. Most don’t have the time, though, and prefer to attend events where they can hear “new music” – ideally mixed in with some older records to put them in context – in the right environment.

Personally, I have always preferred smaller parties and events to gigantic raves. Sure, I’ve had some good nights losing myself (and my friends) in dance tents at music festivals, or in dingy warehouses. But given the choice, I would still much prefer to be in a sweaty little basement, back room, bar or art space, immersing myself in the music in the company of people drawn to the event either through a shared passion for a particular artist, or simply because it is where their mates and similarly-minded people are hanging out.

Take Bristol as an example. The city suffers a little, in my opinion, from a lack of decent club spaces that suit the needs of those wishing to put on small to mid-size events. The club scene is also dominated by events at Motion, a former indoor skating and BMX park that can accommodate up to 2,500 people. For the uninitiated, it is akin to Bristol’s answer to the Warehouse Project. It is hear that you will find huge line-ups of A-list talent, and crowds to match – despite the usual £20-plus ticket price. Some of the line-ups are astonishing, and certainly the promoters have the financial clout to be able to bring ‘names’ to the city that others can’t afford. It has been a rip-roaring success and has, predictably, proved popular with the city’s students.

Yet the atmosphere at times can be a little, well, odd. While a percentage of the crowd is there to appreciate the music and dance to sounds played by their heroes, most are just there for a “big night out”. There is nothing wrong with this, but it does lead to cavernous rooms full of excitable people jostling for position, or wasting valuable dancefloor space gurning to their mates, leaving the most enthusiastic at the periphery. The main room at Motion is serviced by an enormous Funktion 1 rig, but it barely sounds good unless you are in the 20 feet of space, 30 metres back, that functions (no pun intended) as the “sweet spot”. It is clubbing for those who judge their night by the experience, rather than the music itself. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this per se, but it’s not where I’m coming from – or others like me.

Although Motion looms large over the Bristol scene, it has not killed it (as some promoters would argue in private). In fact, it has allowed those who cherish smaller parties and alternative events, those with more of a “special” feel, to thrive. Over the last 12 months, Stokes Croft, in particular, has become a hub for interesting events of every musical hue. Using unusual spaces such as Take 5 Café – a small, slightly odd curry café with a tiny basement space – and The Motorcycle Showrooms – a former motorcycle shop converted into a community art space, enthusiasts have been able to put on some thoroughly memorable events with guests deemed too small, insignificant or left-of-centre to appear on the Motion line-ups (or at other mid-sized local venues, for that matter).

Many of the promoters that use these venues do so because they prefer the intimacy, atmosphere and laidback vibe that generally comes with using them. They can book guests that excite them, whether international producers of note in more underground styles, or local DJs with deep record collections. They can put effort into décor, hire in small but wonderful-sounding soundsystems, and share their passion with less than 200 like-minded people.

A quick look at some of the regular parties, and their guests, should give you a clue as to what I’m on about. There’s the dubwise goodness of Peng Sound, the unfussy but cultured house of Housewerk, the out-there cosmic exotica and grimy release of Dirtytalk, the sound science of Tape Echo and the left-of-centre house, techno and disco of local record shop/label Idle Hands. I sadly can’t recall all the guests who have appeared in intimate spaces around Stokes Croft, but have personally attended nights featuring Young Marco, the 100% Silk crew, Mark Seven, West Norwood Cassette Library, Mudd, World Unknown (OK, I missed that one as I was at a christening, but I would have been there otherwise) and Leif. Soon, I’ll be attending a 100-capacity L.I.E.S label showcase at Take 5. I’ve also seen Ben UFO, one of the most inspiring DJs out there right now, in a pub.

Really, I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are many more attractions – a big shout-out to EFA and his regular events at the Bank of Stokes Croft – and a constant flow of new promoters putting on parties with fresh ideas, or different takes on familiar sounds. To me, this is the essence of club culture; not the idea that music is only of worth if it is new, left-of-centre and fashionable (God forbid), but rather intimate events, run by enthusiasts for the love, attended by people who genuinely want to hear great music, on a good soundsystem, in an intimate space. Ask yourself this: would you rather be in a 100-capacity cellar, surrounded by smiling faces, or in an enormous warehouse, trying not to loose your footing as another young, fresh-faced thing falls into you after a few too many sherberts?

Small nights and intimate parties have always been the lifeblood of the club scene. It is where new DJs and up-and-coming acts get their break, it is where local DJs perfect the art of working a dancefloor, and where local producers meet and exchange ideas. A lot has been written about the vibrancy of Bristol’s electronic music scene right now, and almost all of it is true. All those collaborations between Bristol producers and deals to release new tracks, have largely come about through the friendliness of the scene and open-minded attitude found at the city’s intimate parties. And, to a lesser extent, the hours spent in the back yard of The Bell on Jamaica Street, where producers, label bosses and DJs can often be found drinking real ale and sharing a spliff, enthusiastically discussing their next project or up-coming party.

When I got my first staff job on IDJ Magazine back in 2000, the club scene at large was thriving because of the much-derided “superclub” scene. By the time I left in 2008, it had long gone. Dance music didn’t die, though; in fact, in that time thrilling new sounds and scenes emerged, from tiny parties and small groups of people dotted around the World (whether in West London, East London, Cologne or Oslo). The current trend for massive “megaraves” is just a rehashing of the superclub thing, it’s just that this time round it seems a little less overblown. These, too, will die a death at some point as a new generation of students and young hedonistics are attracted to other pursuits. When that does happen, it will be the small parties that re-invigorate the scene, just like they’ve always done.

Sell By Dave is the DJ alter-ego of experienced music journalist Matt Anniss, former Editor of IDJ Magazine. He currently writes for Juno Plus and provides sleeve notes and press releases to a number of underground electronic music labels