domingo, abril 29, 2007

Culture High&Low

Gee, I won’t be able to make it to the Eskimofabriek tomorrow for 5 years of Culture Club. As a comfort I listen to this track from The Glimmers with Tim Vanhamel of Millionaire. It seems that he’s everywhere these days considering his up comming opening for Battles with Coca Cola met God.

Disco Drunkards – Let’s Get Physical
More Disco... but not as we know it

No Indian or Paki 3 day-wedding can go without this song from the movie Qurbani. It's Cheese Captain, but not as we know it. Still love it.

Nazia Hassan - Aap Jaisa Koi

Some extra's on top. Another feature from Qurbani.

Hum Tumhen Chahtay Hain Aise - Qurbani

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai - my personnel introduction to Bollywood. I saw this on a black and white tv durring a nightdrive by bus from Delhi to Chandigarh way up north in the Punjab.

terça-feira, abril 24, 2007

Subliminal Advertising

A friend just send me this link. If it's genuine, it's really astonishing. It deals with the way you can influence the minds of people if only you play it just right.

I don't know this guy Derren Brown, because I no longer have TV, but apparently he makes documentaries of some sort on mind tricks. I'm gonna check them out.

sexta-feira, abril 20, 2007

Daniele Baldelli

I’m going to see a living legend tonight. The Italian DJ icon Daniele Baldelli will be spinning the tables at the Make-Up club in Ghent. I guess that it’s the first time that he makes a stop over here. Anyway, this is a must-go. Anybody who’s not there this evening, has his or her priorities wrong. Daniele Baldelli is nothing more and nothing less than one of the true legends in DJ culture. He’s one of the original DJ. An originator. He’s the European equivalent to pioneering New York Disco disc-jockeys like Francis Grasso, David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Larry Levan and François Kerkovian. His early work is so influential to Disco and dance music in general that it's hard to understand today. He’s the chief architect of Italo disco and the Cosmic sound.
He was resident DJ together with Claudio Rispoli (aka MozArt) at the seminal club Baia Degli Angeli. Then came the legendary spot Cosmic in 1979. Here, Baldelli would be simultaneously spinning, triggering drum machines and samplers as water fountains boiled and bubbled frenetically behind him. Playing batucada Samba with Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode on 33 rpm mixed into African rhythms, and all on ‘70s turntable technology. What? How?!! I don’t know, but they did it. I have some mixtapes to proof it somewhere, but I can’t find them right now. Instead some vinyl.

Discoteca Cosmic - DJ Daniele Baldelli & DJ TBC - Afro Funky - Side A

The early Italian scene had a much broader range of influences than that in New York. Funk, Rock, Philly Soul, Afro, Reggae and Macho Disco got mixed together to one boiling steaming musical trip. Afro Funky is a typical name for his style. If you want to read more, there are long informative liner notes on Myspace. You also find them right here.

It was Great. A really nice and fancy place but a tuff crowd. It's sort of a place-m'as-tu-vu with a lot of talking and showing off instead of a regular danceclub. Also an awfull lot of DJ's and they are not really of the dancing kind. Daniele Baldelli did a great job. A fine selection and a mix of styles and DJ skills. He even mixed 2 records without headphones. Just stoping one and starting the other, seamless. He was really happy as a little child, that he could still pull that trick. Anyway, what I will rememer best is the old style of playing and mixing. Having 3 or 4 tracks playing simultaniously to create a brand new groove.

He's not a bad producer either. Safari vibes is a great track of his own.
Safari Vibes – Daniele Baldelli

I finally found some tapes. It's a large file, that's why I use Megaupload. This means that the link will not last forever.

From the public dance hall to the disco, from the smooch to the shake, from the orchestra to the deejay. Daniele Baldelli, one of the first Italian deejays, talks about and reveals the secrets of an era. Before the 1970s, the disco didn't exist. In the dance hall, live music reigned. Afterwards, people started to dance to records as an alternative or as a musical break for the orchestras. Here, we saw the birth of the first dee-jays. They had simply to put on one record after another. It will only be later on when they are able to superimpose one or more pieces, mixing songs … expressing their own ability. They will become artists skilful at playing with records, reaching a very high standard, divulging all their musical expertise and knowledge. Investing in musical research and techniques. Let's venture together, on this fascinating journey of discovery in a profession that has made history…… 1969 saw the professional birth of Daniele Baldelli. It all started, almost by chance, when he was a youngster. He was discovered by a talent scout who was the owner of the TANA CLUB DISCOTEQUE (and had been in France, where he had seen some music bars called: discotheques). So he was interviewed by the disco owner who offered him the job of “putting on the records” as the word Disc-Jockey, at least in Italy, hadn’t been coined yet). Neither mixer or pre-listening device existed, his task was limited to programming records one after the other that had already been chosen by the disco owner. You began by lowering the volume of one of the 45 rpm record turntables and at the same time that you were listening to it, you began to turn up the volume of the other turntable where the other 45 record was ready. Naturally mixing didn't exist, because it wasn’t a big deal if a gap or mute space between the two songs was heard. It was the dawning of the Dee-Jay, a job still to be invented. Daniele Baldelli, then, didn't have a model he could refer to and he had no mixing equipment (that would arrive later on), he started to experiment and invent methods that allowed his music to have a certain flow. Briefly, he disliked the pause between one record and another. Since he had no headphones or pre listening devices, he tried to listen to the noise that the needle made when the first track was about to begin, in order to understand the exact moment when he had to turn up the volume, and blast in the groove. Eventually he would mark the different variations of speed on the “LENCO” turntable to have a point of reference, or he would even attach adhesive labels to the records to show the exact point, where the music would start (a practice later copied by the scratching dee-jays, virtuosos of the vinyl records, and of D.M.C. competitions). In 1970 he moved to the TABU CLUB in Cattolica. The music he played in those days could perhaps be divided into two large categories: white music, mainly from Europe and black music mainly from America. We are, of course talking about the 45 rpm (or the 7 inches) that back in the days would cost 600 Lire. The album which cost 3.300 Lire, was almost always a useless expense, because the only dance piece it contained, was also released on 45’s. So in that year, there was a mixture of European records, which where almost always cheerful commercial songs, alongside American soul records, rhythm and blues and funk by artists such as Arthur Conley, Joe Tex, Wilson Picket, James Brown, Rufus Thomas, Lyn Collins, etc. Naturally getting hold of this material was not always easy. Usually the Dee-Jay was limited to the services of the only musical shop present in their town. Daniele Baldelli, however, used to catch the train and go to Lugano (there was a shop called Radio Columbia), and sometimes he would even go to Paris where he was always able to find imported records. Another trend of the evenings in the 70s discotheque was that the fast music was danced like the “shake”, alternating with slow dances. The proportion was 5 shakes and 5 slow dances, then over the years 30 minutes of shake and three slow dances. In 1974-75 BAIA DEGLI ANGELI opened, a club which certainly marked the historical beginning of discos in Italy. Situated on a hill in GABICCE MARE (PS) facing the sea, it was designed on various communicating floor levels. A completely white structure with a panoramic view, having many innovations such as a dee-jay console (which was a lift made of glass, that allowed the dee-jay to move from the first floor to a second-floor while maintaining an overall view of the various internal and external dance floors), it had a mechanical arm with a cage, similar to the type used when repairing high tension wires, full of lighting effects that could even be moved onto the various dance floors. There was also an internal swimming pool (with dance floor) and an external one too, an avant-garde graphic and opening hours that were never seen before : people could dance until 5 or 6 in the morning. The disco was illuminated as it was daytime and no slow dances, only beautiful American music that had never been heard before (six months ahead of the other dee-jays on the Adriatic Riviera). Two American Deejays were responsible for the music choice at first: TOM SISON and BOB DAY. After a while, everyone started to have mixers – headphones – pre-listening devices and monitors, but they probably didn't know how to use them properly. Daniele Baldelli was certainly lucky to be near the Baia Degli Angeli, and it certainly contributed in a positive way to his technical evolution as a deejay. He learned for the first time, by watching the two American dee-jays, how to execute the perfect mix. In order to mix two records, the 12 inch record (that appeared on the scene as a big single track record which was more practical and suitable) was put on top of a 45 record in its paper cover, instead of laying it on the rubber cover of the turntable: in this way the speed of the playing 12 inch record could be corrected with the simple pressure of a finger without affecting the turntable speed. The deejay was finally able to slow down or accelerate the beat by hand, overlapping the same rhythms between two different songs. It was a great surprise for Daniele Baldelli to receive Bob Day and Tom Sison congratulations one afternoon when they were casually listening to his music in the Tabu Club. They were so impressed that they recommended him to the owner of the Baia as a replacement at the end of their contract - and they even left him as a really appreciated gift, a dedicated autographed copy of LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY’s record “Hit and run”. In those days Claudio Rispoli (artistically known as Mozart) was also contacted, so the two set off together on their great adventure: BAIA DEGLI ANGELI 1977/88. COSMIC opened in 1979 in Lazise on Lake Garda. The intention of the Cosmic founder, was to create something alternative. The logo of this new disco was composed by the word COSMIC that would advance at high speed towards the viewer, crashing a glass that symbolically had terrestrial landscapes painted on it (image clearly inspired by one of the Commodores covers). The dee-jay Daniele Baldelli who was been listened and appreciated in 1977-1978 at “Baia degli Angeli” in Gabicce Mare (PS), was their final choice. Everything started with the idea that the music had to be the main element of the project. Furthermore, the discotheque that was made for 1,200 people and had a dance floor for 700, also had a lighting and sound system that was certainly something never seen before. The interest created on the first inauguration evening, gathered a number of people so high that the inauguration party had to be repeated for the next four evenings: each night was a sold out. Very soon the fame of “COSMIC” spread over and within a few months reached the provinces of Verona, Brescia and Mantua. The disco within a year, became the meeting point for all “trends” and remained so from 1979 to 1984. In the discoteque parking lot it was possible to see cars coming from Palermo, Udine, Naples, Turin, Innsbruck, Florence etc.. All of the trend setters of the Peninsula booked a Saturday evening at “COSMIC”, anxious to participate and listen to that musical phenomenon labelled “AFRO”. Naturally, even if it is still used today, this term was inappropriate, unless one considers Afro as the only root which influenced the various musical styles of Daniele Baldelli. In fact, even if various periods in the history of “Cosmic” can be distinguished (that of Funky - Disco in the first year to that of Electronic in 1980-82, followed by moments more influenced by Reggae, Fusion, Jazz and Brazil), Daniele Baldelli’s Afro style was expressed when he played Ravel’s Bolero overlapping it with a track by Africa Djola, or an experimental piece by Steve Reich on which he would mix a Malinke chant from New Guinea. Mixing the T-Connection with Moebious and Rodelius, discovering in the album Izitso the only hypnotic-tribal track by Cat Stevens, extracting Africa from Depeche Mode by playing them at 33 rpm or vice-versa by creating music using a Reggae voice played at 45 rpm. Mixing 20 or so African tracks on the same electronic drum pattern or by playing them together in batucada with Kraftwerk, using the same electronic effects of a synthesiser to overlap pieces by Miram Makeba, Jorge Ben or Fela Kuti and also by uniting the Indian melodies of Hofra Haza or Sheila Chandra with the German electronic sounds of SKY RECORD. Even if largely emulated or taken as a reference point, the Daniele Baldelli of that period was only: fruit of his fantasy, musical passion and his technical research, which allowed him to be creative and experiment with various styles without following set patterns or models. Without doubt, one can say that Daniele Baldelli was the precursor, to what is known as today, as the dee-jay. Starting in 1969 when neither mixer nor headphones for pre-listening existed, up to the invention and use of electronic drums, synthetizers and the first sampling systems in discos, which only had four seconds of memory. In 1980, Daniele Baldelli invents the “Dee Jay concert”. Consisting of four turntables, two mixers and electronic drums or live percussion, 80 to 100 tracks were mixed in not much more than half an hour: a supermegamix was born, everything being carried out live. Another novelty of “Cosmic” was the equalizer, which was used as a musical instrument, intervening rhythmically on the keys and cursors, where various frequencies could be manipulated, creating accentuation on the “Cymbal” or on a voice or base. The mix was another characteristic or almost an obsession of Daniele Baldelli, who literally spent his time by listening to his records (today almost 60.000) in order to find the ideal moment where two pieces could overlap and create a third one. The “Cosmic” closed its doors in 1984.

quarta-feira, abril 18, 2007

Sounds like Heaven

Thanks to I found the Holy Grail of Bollywood soundtracks. is the name and it features rare Bollywood beats, ballads and bombs. Apparently this guy from Norway has a crate with 150 records. He's posting them one after the other. I hope that he carries it all the way to the end.

sábado, abril 14, 2007

The fuse in Brussels is turning 13 this weekend. The club started way back in 1994. I don’t know where the name came from but it’s not by accident that in those days Richie Hawtin was working under the alias of F.U.S.E. Even before all of this was happening, I was interested in electronic body music, Cabaret Voltaire and Electro. It wasn’t my main interest so I gradually lost contact with it but one of the records that got me going again and solidified my interest in electronic dance music was WARP release 12. Dimension Intrusion from 1993 by F.U.S.E. as part of the Artificial intelligence series.

By the early 90’s you all of a sudden had lots of people making techno, in Belgium and in Sheffield instead of just those three guys in Detroit. There was a relentless demand for new dance music but the Detroit innovators couldn't take it to the next stage. Other had to fill in. Kids in the UK, Canada and Europe started learning how to make those techno records. They weren't as well-made, but they had the same energy.
Especially in a country like Belgium where all the influences were available and record labels as R&S flourished. There was new beat and Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle were very big in Belgium. Detroit techno and acid house came in and everything got mixed up together.
Beltram cuts like Energy Flash and Sub-Bass Experience pointed the way forward to other R&S releases like Aphex Twin's Analogue Bubblebath, which spun techno off into yet another direction. The WARP material in Sheffield was less brutal than the Belgian techno: still using crunch industrial sounds, but more minimal, more playful.

And then another change occurred as techno went hardcore. I didn't like that phase. It was too simplistic, crude and aggressive. At that time in England and on the continent, one wing of techno was going toward ambience and the other towards popular working class fashion of hardcore. A very aggressive period. Most techno records were made for a fucked-up dance floor. no vibe, no motivation just aggression. The drugs had taken over.

Gradually there was also another category, where people were making music for you to pay attention to with your full mind, and we're trying to make something now that would last. WARP came up with the Artificial Intelligence series and a concept: Electronic music for the mind created by trans-global electronic innovators who prove music is the one true universal language. Coincidental to the Artificial Intelligence compilations, R&S released their In Order to Dance series. Together they trashed the boundaries between acid, techno, ambient, and psychedelic.
The original Detroit techno was very sophisticated. What they we're putting out around the early and mid 90’s had a similar level of sophistication. This is were Richie Hawtin and The fuse came in. The fuse started off as a heaven for high quality techno music. One of my first gig at the fuse was Black Dog productions right at the very beginning. They brought the best and most innovative DJ’s on the scene and developed into a place for house lovers with a unique mix of techno, minimal and house.
So together with my own birthday… happy birthday fuse!

F.U.S.E. - New Day
F.U.S.E. - F.U.
F.U.S.E. - Dimension Intrusion
F.U.S.E. - Uva
F.U.S.E. - Mantrax

Soy La Terremoto

I’m back from Barcelona. It was great. Barcelona feels more like home every time I go there and my fellow travellers were also in fine shape. I didn’t get around doing what I had programmed but I got a lot of opportunity to satisfy the anthropologist in me. Learning how people live and organise their lives is always interesting stuff.
There was one thing though, that I finely got around doing and that was visiting Razzmatazz, home of the Loft. People we knew in Barcelona had an evening planned for us at the Razzmatazz. On Monday Samantha Fox was coming to Barcelona as part of her comeback tour. I never was that much into Samantha Fox but it brings back memories. On the same bill there was a drag act from Madrid that I didn’t know.

Samantha Fox was fun, sometimes even hilarious but she had some of the coolest female dancers I ever saw. Great show but then it really had to start. I thought that Samantha was the main act and the drag show was the support but it was actually the other way around. La Terremoto was the name and apparently she/he is really hot in Spain.

When La Terremoto sang – or playbacked – one of her hits, I suddenly realised that I knew this person. La Terremoto was all over youtube a while ago with a silly cover of Madonna’s Hung Up which was on it’s turn again a reworking of an ABBA song. Time goes by, con Loli. A real anthem. And so was the rest. A fine selection of tracks, old and new stuff, random styles, very disco, badly mixed though, but it added to the charm of it all. It just went on and on until 6 ‘o clock. A wild crowd and crowdsurfing drags. It’s been a while that I had so much fun. Something to remember, La Terremoto de Alcorcón & El Arte De Las Feldene Flesh.

There was also a guest appearance of La Prohibida. Another drag from Spain but this one I knew from the song Flash. So enjoy!

segunda-feira, abril 02, 2007


I’m off to Barcelona for a couple of days together with some friends of mine. My birthday is comin’ and I usually spend those days abroad. Often in Spain because of those first rays of sun that don’t spell spring but summer. For now it’s Spain but maybe next year or the year after that it could very well be Italy or even Greece. Just for change, but why change?

Soit, for now it’s still Barcelona. It has a lot to offer. I really like going there. I think it’s the 7th time, I’m losing count. Anyway, always just for a couple of days. I never spend a long time there. Maybe that’s why I like coming back. I’m a city person and Barcelona really is the city of cities - just as one can have a musicians musician but only this one is a very well known one, a real VIP.
I guess it’s the most complete city around and they know it and they know what to do with it. They practically invented city branding. Somethin’ every city today is keen about. One city does it better than the other but Barcelona was first and does it best. There’s an idea or a plan behind it. It’s not just marketing. It’s the result of almost 25 years of brave policy, of living for and working with the city. At first, just after the death of Franco, it was only just very basic stuff but gradually it got more advanced, experienced and daring. There’s always something new going on. They’re always looking and planning ahead.
They also have a thing with towers. Something some other cities are scared of. The city gets one landmark after the other. A while ago it was Foster’s Torre de Collserola and now it’s Nouvel’s sensational Torre Agbar. Almost all of them ad meaning to the city. In the way you experienced the city and certainly in the way you see and read the city. The skyline is lid by these beacons of light.

I’ve always lived in the city. Most of the time in an apartment building. Nice ones. I can’t imagine my life without it. Sure, I like spending time in the countryside, at the sea or in the mountains but it’s different. I really feel alive in the city. Any city. Off course I’m most of all attracted to the things that make’s one city unique or different from the next one and I have my favourites (Barcelona, Berlin, Istanbul, Prague, Rio,…) but there’s also a basic quality that any major city has and which is almost a kind of generic feature. I can’t really explain what it is. I sometimes wonder whether it would be possible to simulate it in a studio like in that movie, the Truman Show. If everyone around you is a hired actor and just tries really hard enough, one can just sit, relax on a terrace in the middle of a setting underneath the sun with a little drink and image that one is part of city life. But than again one has to be able to wonder around too and get lost among crowds or empty streets, continuously discover new quarters, places and stuff. The sense of entering a unique place that nevertheless resembles so many other places. A sense that you’ve been there before although in fact, it’s the first time and probably also the last. It’s a strange sensation which resembles what the French situationists called detournement. An unsettling, even destabilizing sensation. Great movies can also have that moving, or even chocking effect. Shedding a different light on certain things. It’s off course very closely linked with the very act of traveling. Getting away from your normal habitat but in great cities you can have it almost any day, extremely loud and incredibly close. When you least expect it. Maybe 9/11 is also something like that. Changing the appearance of an entire city and the way one perceives it. No matter how cruel, it’s an act of pure (bad) genius but one, one can better live without.
For many people all of this can maybe be difficult or to hard to handle. That why so many people leave the city I guess, to live a more quiet life in the countryside. Maybe at peace. In don’t know. Maybe I should give it a try myself to see what it’s like.

In this sense, returning to Barcelona could very well be a kind of semi-religious or piteous act of believe in the city that I’m not aware of. Renewing the vows so to speak :-) I don’t know. Usually it’s rather a more bacchanal and wasted affaire I have to recover from afterwards.
I also have more personnel reasons for going back. I really have a love/hate affaire with Barcelona. I lost my first love to the city. She left for Barcelona with an exchange program called Erasmus, well known to most European students, and never came back. So maybe I still feel like it owes me, like for instance a new one. How silly, I know, but true.

So I’m off for some ace architecture, climbing yet unclimbed towers, watching some Easter Hanky Panky, walking the walk, talking the talk, shopping for shoes, having my way with great food, partying, drinking and loving the city, life and my friends. Tell me, what else does one need or want…

JUNO in The Trees

In 2007 Juno Records is ten years old, and to celebrate that they are releasing ten classic dance tracks, each remixed by leading producers including Julien Jabre, Spirit Catcher, Dimitri from Paris, Lindstrøm, Troy Pierce and many more.
To launch the series,
Faze Action's seminal deep house classic In The Trees is remixed by Carl Craig, Jerome Sydenham and Tiger Stripes. Especially the Craig remixes are worthwhile and makes one press the repeat button.

As someone else wrote it on the net: beginning with dramatic stabbing synths, Craig slowly layers the key elements – a subtle kick, chugging breakbeat and pitch-shifting pads – into an impressive, all-encompassing groove. The eventual arrival of the distinctive orchestration of the original is quite an event – doubled-up and slightly phased, the strings carry an impressive malice unthinkable from the original. Craig is content to let them play out with only the lightweight breakbeat for support – the kick arrives a full two minutes later, supported by a 'Throw'-style snippet of the original bassline and those marauding synths. It's a big track –

To say the least. The original isn’t that bad either. What’s more it’s a classic that deserves this kind of treatment. Faze Action's 1996 original on Nuphonic was one of the first and best things released on the then brand new label. 2 brothers, Simon and Robin Lee are behind the concept. As bona fide disco music connoisseurs, their sound was an instant blast: lush strings and heavy bass bringin' the dancefloor back to the best underground disco years, without the cheese or the roller skates. They fitted right in the Nuphonic credo - almost anything goes as long as it's good, and not techno. It’s still today luminous and sensitive dance music, the epitomy of deep house that you could actually get lost into in da club and listen to at home on a rainy Sunday. In those day’s it was for a year or two the best thing around.

Faze Action – In The Trees (original 1996 version)
Faze Action – In The Trees (Carl Craig C2 mix #1)
Faze Action – In The Trees (Carl Craig C2 mix #2)