There’s a lot to talk about when you got a man Dego on sitting on the CDR couch and there aren’t many people more qualified to lead such an interview than Tony Nwachukwu. So here’s a little journey from Dego’s beginnings in sounds-systems, running Reinforced records back in the day, releasing early music from Goldie or Seiji, meeting and learning from Kaidi Tatham – all that. switching from sampling music to making your own.
If you want to take the time to listen to the music featured in the video, here’s the complete list of tracks:
Once hailed as Gothenburg’s wunderkind for his seminal releases as Swell Session, the more recent music I heard from Andreas Saag had a strong smell of bandwagon jumping. Maybe it’s just me, but putting a pumping house beat over Hyph Mngo or tracks by Burial seems a little cheap.
Anyway, I spent last night listening to music from my old hard drives, mostly tracks I downloaded some 10 years ago. Among them was this unofficial Swell Session remix of 4hero‘s Hold It Down (probably best know from the Bugz In The Attic remix.) If my memory serves me well, I ran across it myself via the old UpMyAlley blog and ever since I was suprised not many people seem to know about it. So here it is, hoping to reach some who don’t know this yet.
What started as another 4hero moniker, soon became Marc Mac’s solo outlet for futuristic beats, stylistically at home somewhere between Detroit and West London sound. When broken beat came to an end in 2006, it seemed the days of Nu Era were over as well, especially with Marc’s increased focus to hip hop. Turns out that isn’t true and there’s a full album coming your way later this month.01. Microchip Angel
02. Four Days Earlier
03. The Third Adam
04. Dye Menshun
05. Robot Moves
06. Dream Frequency
07. Swing Machines
08. You In The Strobe Light
09. Jacob’s Looking Glass
10. Project Eve
11. Eighty Seven
12. Sweet Tweets
13. Warped Soul
Apart from Robot Moves, it seems like these are mostly new tracks. The Third Adam will be available as limited CD release and as download title, both can be pre-ordered on Marc’s Bandcamp page.
I’ve kept my favourite finding to end this post: Mikuś Musik uploaded some truly classic radioshows, all of them aired around the year 2000. These include 4hero sitting in for Gilles Peterson, Phil Asher talking to Dominic Jacobson about the first Modaji LP (!), and shows from IG Culture, Patrick Forge and Kirk Degiorgio. You need each and every one of these shows!
Especially those who didn’t get his new album A Wha’ Him Deh Pon? yet, should take a good listen to Dego‘s new mixtape for Casual Play. Dig those sounds, then why not get yourself a copy of the record?
01. Vangelis – Memories of Green
02. Bun – Hellen
03. Soul Litchfield – Snowblind
04. Broadcast and The Focus Group – The Be Colony/The Dashing/What on Earth Took You?
05. Karriem Riggins – 12s in 8
06. Budamunky – Buds
07. Jaylib – Beat 11
08. Samiyam – Moon Shoes
09. Kan Sano – Elements of Notice
10. Hazel – Piano Boy
11. Metal Fingers – Burdock Root
12. Illa J – Sounds of Love (Carlos Nino + Miguel Atwood Ferguson In Space Remix)
13. Teddy Rok Seven – Damn Straight
14. Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood Ferguson – Untitled/Fantastic (Georgia Ann Muldrow Remix)
15. James Pants – Devilry and Sorcery
16. SA-RA Creative Partners – Souls Brother
17. Georgia Ann Muldrow – Amnrh Interlude
18. Mount Kimbie – Before I Move Off
19. Madlib – Dollar Bill
20. Shape of Broad Minds – Unnamed
21. Mono Poly – Oil Fields
I’m not sure (yet) whether you can download this without breaking the law, but why not give it a try?
Oh and sorry for the autoplay, I know it’s annoying!
01. Dego – Da Fuzz (feat. Matt Lord)
02. 4hero – Hold It Down (feat. Lady Alma)
03. Silhouette Brown – They Can’t Tell Us
04. DKD – Future Rage
05. Dego – DNP exclusive
06. Dego – Love & Hate You (feat. Obenewa)
07. Dego – Sparkling Minds (feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow)
08. 4hero – Something In The Way (feat. Bembe Segue & Kaidi Tatham)
09. Silhouette Brown – Strawberries In Vinegar
10. 2000Black – Lose It (feat. Face)
11. DKD – Natty Head
12. Dego – They Never Know (feat. Sarina Leah)
13. Dego – We Are Virgo (feat. Kaidi Tatham)
14. Tek 9 – Interlude
15. Dego – Whatever (feat. The Luv Bugz)
16. Capitol A – Doing It Up
17. Dego – Valentines exclusive
18. Dego – Pushing You To Begin (feat. Ferraz)
19. 2000Black – So Right (feat. Ferraz)
20. MM Black – 2000 Black (feat. Roy Ayers)
21. 4hero – Universal Love (feat. Carol Cosby)
22. Tek 9 – You Got To Slow Down
23. Jacob’s Optical Stairway – Jacob’s Optical Illusion
24. Da One Away – Trash Da Junk
25. 2000Black – If You Got 3 Wishes
26. 2000Black – Forgot The Steel Pans
27. Focus – Having Your Fun (4hero Remix)
28. 2000Black – Got Me Puzzled (feat. Face, Dego & Kaidi)
29. Dego – Right From Wrong (feat. Tosin Tao)
30. Dego – Road Lessons exclusive
Whether you want to rediscover some of those classics or hear them because you weren’t around the first time, you got to download this!
The Nu Era remix on this 12-inch is a production by Marc Marc, and it can be argued whether it marks the first attempt at broken beat. Reinforced has long been the breeding ground for artists such as Seiji, Domu, Volcov and further inviduals of West London’s Bugz in the Attic collective.
If you like the track above, you can easily find yourself a copy on sites like Discogs, Gemm or MusicStack. For more of a similar vibe, I strongly suggest checking out Volcov’s Soul in Motion compilation released back in 2002.
For the 20th anniversary of Reinforced Records, Marc Mac of 4hero has compiled all of the label’s artwork and put it out in a self-published book. I have to say, I’m not all crazy about it design-wise, but it’s a nice document for those who grew up with the music.
Over 200 releases and more than 20 years of forward thinking electronic music; Reinforced Records present their history in the form of a collectors guide cover art book. 120 pages of full color artwork from the early cut and past techniques through to hand drawn and computer generated artworks.
Though the first record I ever bought was from the label, I wasn’t aware it was Goldie who designed their logo. Just one of those small facts I like about the book.
You can get yourself a copy of this book over at Blurb. It’s available in a hardcover edition with image wrap or as standard softcover.
If you like the music featured on this blog and you’ve been out in London, you know Plastic People as the first address for underground music. Be it the FWD parties, Tony Nwachukwu’s CDR events or IG Culture’s CoOp club, they all take (or in the latter case took) place at the same address in Shoreditch. It now seems Plastic People’s license is currently reviewed by the London Police, threatened to close its doors forever. To stay updated on the events and to learn how you can help, join this group on Facebook.
This is what happens, when you try to ignore Valentine’s Days and any related links passed to you on Twitter: I completely overlooked Hudson Mohawke‘s slow jams mix for LuckyMe.
Stumbled across a couple of interviews this week. No Depression’s Jay Hayes had the rare opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Betty Davis. The Okayplayer forum collected questions for Dego of 4hero and 2000Black fame, you can read it on his blog. While we’re at 4hero, let me also mention Knowledge Mag’s Week In The Life of 4hero with Marc Mac.
Lots of videos from the London Red Bull Music Academy are there to discover on their YouTube page. One of the highlights is the concert of Henrik Schwarz & Bugge Wesseltoft at the Royal Festival Hall.
Nosaj Thing is still touring through Europe, Percussion Lab has one of his sets – it’s almost a year old, but sounds fresh enough to be heard again.
Two very dubby sets come from Brendon Moeller and Ike Release. The former was playing at this year’s MUTEK_10 and his set is now available for download. Ike’s studio mix was exclusively recorded for the great Sonic Router blog. You can download it here.
Not a download, but a mix worth a stream comes from Greenmoney Radio, who had Joy Orbison in to do a guestmix.
Lastly, 4hero’s Marc Mac posted a new podcast featuring unreleased outtakes and some rare remixes. Don’t forget, they’ve got a new album called Extensions in stores!
Following the rumours on their very own message board, new details about the upcoming 4hero album are now official.
Rather than delivering another remix compilation for the dancefloor, Marc and Dego decided to take a different approach this time. Extensions will contain 12 reinterpretations by hand picked jazz artists, including Robert Mitchell 3io (remember this video?), the Sonar Kollektiv Orchester, Christian Prommer’s DrumLesson and many more.01. Sonar Kollektiv Orchester – Universal Love
02. Nu Tropic – Why don’t you talk?
03. Landau Orchestra – Conceptions
04. Christian Prommer’s DrumLesson – Planeteria
05. Robert Mitchell 3io – Third Stream
06. Ayanna Witter Johnson – Give In
07. Luke Parkhouse with The Sharkfood Orchestra – Blank Cells
08. Christian Badzura & Liverpool Session Orchestra – Sophia
09. Andre Zimma vs Ye:Solar feat. Oezlem – Cosmic Tree
10. Vince Vella’s Cuban Collective – People Always Criticize Us
11. The Sub Ensemble – Humans
12. [re:jazz] – Star Chasers
The album will drop on October 26, more infos can be found here.
Robert Mitchell 3io has its roots in its leaders long-running band, Panacea. The absolutely ridiculous drummer, Richard Spaven and the bad man bassist Tom Mason are the rhythm section of Panacea and, together with Robert, have been developing a real signature in this jazz trio format.
In the video above, the trio is playing an interpretation of 4hero‘s Third Stream, a classic from the Two Pages album.
Today I got two mixtapes with classic soul music for you. The first comes from 4hero‘s Marc Mac, who delivers the fifth edition of his The Soul Arranger podcast.
So I figured I should continue the series. This one is from the back of the soul crates, great vocal, string, horns and riddim sections all over these. And in the spirit of diggin’ I haven’t put a playlist up but I’m sure someone will soon enough. Hope you like these cos they are some of my faves.
oh and happy newness.
And there’s even more! Skymark of Barcelona’s Soul Sociedad collective presents his Soul Music Against Winter mixtape, an impressive 120 minutes set of music from the late seventies and early eighties.
Unfortunately, there are no tracklists available for these!