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LO & BEHOLD
Lo Recordings is the brainchild of Jon Tye who acts as the label’s musical director and who records variously as Twisted Science, Hairy Butter, 2Player, MLO and Black Mustang. Treading a fine line between funky electronica and avant garde minimalism, the label has been producing quality music for 12 years, and has recently put out some fantastic releases. Over the past few months we’ve reviewed Black Devil Disco Club In Dub and Moog Acid but this month sees three separate releases that should be in the shops and sites in October.
Milky Disco (LCD 62 )
Is ‘cosmic disco’ this year’s minimal? Certainly the dance music media have cottoned onto the underground ‘nu disco’ or ’cosmic’ scene - if indeed a scene it is - over the past couple of months. While there are certain similarities of approach and shared influences between many of the musicians, producers, Djs and labels involved in ’cosmic disco,’ the term is pretty much as futile and meaningless as any other lazy marketing pigeonhole. What we’re talking about essentially is mostly instrumental electronic funk influenced by Moroderesque Euro-disco. Sharing many of the same freeform patterns as minimalism, ’cosmic’ is often turgid not to say boring. Prog-disco would be a more apt term. However, Milky Disco manages to avoid some of the more noodly elements of cosmic to provide a series of laid-back, summer warmers with artists as diverse as Californian surf rocker, The Sorcerer, Cornish tech-hopper, Kerrier District and Norwegian fjordisco don, Prins Thomas. This is as good a place to start as anywhere for those who want to delve a little deeper into the cosmic stratosphere without subjecting themselves to 20 minute sub-Tangerine Dream epics. A belter, cosmic or otherwise.
Susumu Yokota - Skintone Collection (LCD 63)
Following on from the compilation he did for Lo in 2006, this collection of Yokota’s pieces has been compiled by Classic FM’s, Ben Eshmade. Not as accessible as Milky Disco, this is nevertheless some of the most beautiful modern music you will ever hear. Ambient without being wishy washy, melodic without being poppy, wilfully abstract without being wilfully esoteric, this is an inspiring collection of mood pieces from various Yokota projects such as Image 1983-1998, Grinning Cat, Sakura that manages to effortlessly fuse repetitive yet always stimulating threads of dislocated voices and noise and filters them through techno, hip hop and funk beats. This where Four Tet got most of his ideas from.
Milky Globe & Friends (LCD 67)
And still they come! Jon himself aka Milky Globe collaborates with various friends such as James Holden, Luke Vibert (the Kerrier District ‘Mad As Hell’ track again from Milky Disco), Nathan Fake and Walltapper. With titles such as Sun Spots, Velvet Space, Moon Milk, Cosmic Rider and Star Fungus, the universal themes of the cosmos as manifested by spooky electronic journeys into deep space.
Best known for his uncanny ability to produce flawless Balearic sets as a DJ and music as Cantoma, Phil Mison is widely regarded as one of the best DJs in the known universe. Rather than ask the great man a load of bullshit questions about music n’ stuff however, we thought it’d be far more revealing to find out what makes Phil tick by asking a load of trivial nonsense that our resident head shrinker can interpret (please note any views Prof Von Shuttlecock expresses are not necessarily those held by the Swine editor).
Best known for his marathon 3 day mixes and recording moody medi grooves as Cantoma, we thought it'd be boring to ask Phil how we got started djing by sending a tape to Darren Emmerson, leading to a residency at The Milk Bar, leading him to a residency at the Cafe del Mar, leading him to put together his own blend of Balearic blues, leading him to becoming one of the world's most renown downtempo/chill out/chilltempo/downout DJs. Instead we asked him who his favourite pope is and got our resident Dr Melfi to anlayse Phil's twisted psyche (please note prof Von Shuttlecock's conclusions are not necessarily shared by the Swine editors).
Phil Mison - Pen Portrait
Football netball position
KNORRS CHICKEN NOODLE
Favourite marsupial -
Favourite french actor/actress
Favourite coin of the realm
Favourite film starring Doug McClure
WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS
Favourite stretch of sand
Favourite mountain range
Favourite brand of washing up powder
Favourite theme park
KNOTTS BERRY FARM
Favourite athletic discipline
Favourite personal injury claim advert
THE ONE WHERE THE WOMAN SLIPS ON THE FLOOR
Favourite neo-realist film director
Favourite bodily function
Favourite waterproof clothing label
Favourite book by a footballer
TOUGH AT THE TOP- ALAN DEVONSHIRE
Favourite book by a former-cellist
MY WAY- JAQUELINE DU PRE
Favourite character from It Aint Half Hot Mum
Professor Egbert Von Shuttlecock unravels the hidden depths of Phil’s tormented psyche with this analysis.
“For sure zer patient displays a flippant attitude to some of zese serious questions. Zere is a lot of phallic imagery wiz zer javelin und der worm’s head und zer love of Gunner ‘La de Da’ Graeme vich to me says zat zis man is ein screaming iron but his love of sneezing and Pope Pius X also indicates zat under zer flamboyant veneer of zer wacky dj entertainer, lies an ascetic, almost monk like devotion to zer liberal arts. Zerfore I have concluded zat zer patient is perhaps bi-polar viz a hint of grizzly and should be treated viz electric shocks to zer testes immediately. ”
20 things you didn’t know about Phil Mison
Often called ‘The King Of Chill’ Phil only wears his crown of ice on alternate Thursdays when he has an early night and insists on his girlfriend calling him ‘my downtempo liege.’
The film, ‘Essex Boys’ was based on Phil’s dealings with the Hornchurch underworld.
When he was at junior school Phil was attacked by a swarm of bees resulting in a lifelong fear of honey and honey based products.
When Phil was resident at Café Del Mar he would end each set with 10cc’s Good Morning Judge.
Phil hates sand so much that he invented a special ‘Sandal Vac’ to remove unwanted beach debris from clothes and shoes.
Phil is worshipped as a living God in remote parts of Malaysia where his image is sacred and his disciples are known as Misonites.
Phil hates chill out music really and only stumbled upon his career after finding a load of soiled Sade LPs discarded in a skip in Canvey Island.
A keen supporter of rural pursuits, Phil is the master of the Billericay Hunt and killed his first fox at the age of three.
Sharing an agent with TV personality Phil Mitchelmore once resulted in Phil appearing at a church fete in King‘s Lynn whilst Mitchelmore was packed off to the Berlin Love Parade.
Now approaching his 40th birthday, Phil has developed a taste for Greenwood’s cardigans and prefers to watch old episodes of The Royal, Rosemary & Thyme and Inspector Linley Mysteries to dropping potentially lethal quantities of Anadin.
Once friendly with serial killer, Rose West during a stint in Gloucester as a youth, Phil helped Fred paint his basement murals.
Under his Cantoma guise, Phil once recorded a track with Eric Cantona called Cantoma v Cantona; King Of Kings.
The name Mison is a corruption of Mason which explains why Phil is often spotted chipping away at lumps of granite in quarry faces.
No Sim is Mison spelled backwards which is apt because Phil has never owned a mobile phone.
On a recent tour of the states Phil was mistaken for a wanted terrorist and detained for seven months in Guantanamo Bay where he converted to Islam, naming himself Abdullah Ibn Omar Junior.
Phil’s uncle Tommy was a famous ventriloquist who’s dummy Nig Nog offended audiences during the politically correct alternative comedy era. However, after almost 30 years without work Tommy has finally found a new job with his new dummy, Asif the asylum seeker.
If you take type PhilMison using lower case characters into a Word document it automatically changes it to pillion yet Phil has never ridden pillion in his life.
Although his favourite ever animated character is Gromit from Wallace & Gromit who rides pillion all the time. Funny that.
Phil predicted that the world would end in the year 2004 and is so relieved that it didn’t that he offers gifts in the form of old shoes and trainers to the river Tamar.
A fanatical Colchester United fan, Phil sponsors the players socks and can often be found playing old Fela Kuti tunes in the dressing room before games.
Freddy Fresh - Surrounded By Funk (Howlin’)
One of the US’s most respected diggers and Djs, Freddy Fresh’s own music has too often took a backseat which is a darn shame as the Jim McDonald lookalike cooks a sublime soul stew of cliched yet spicy culinary metaphors to produce a delicious dish fit for a King of Beats, so to speak. As the title suggests, this LP is infused by ‘da funk.’ Whether it’s the drum n’ bass of Rugged Ways, the spit-ragga of No Objection, the abstract piano soul of What Will He Do, the filter disco of I Have Changed, the slo-jam soul of Live Girls, the loopy Steinski meets Scruff jam, Sunny Skies or the bubbly techno of Rubbed Out, there’s always a backbone of pure funk running through each tune. Although now regarded as kinda 90s and old hat, as with the Elektrons belting new material, this funky hip hoppy brew smells as fresh as a daisy to my nose.
Teenage Bad Girl - Cocotte (Citizen records)
Blimey! You wait twenty years for a half decent French electro outfit to come along and now they’re coming out of our arse. Teenage Bad Girl take prime era Daft Punk electro funk and blaze their way through sleazy Parisian backstreets with titles such as USB Dick Plug Me In, Fuckin’ Frog and Tales From The Pigs. It’s a bit In Flagranti, a bit punk funk and messy but that’s its beauty and Franz Schubert is going down as one of my fave tracks of the year.
Kenneth Bager - Disco Biscuits 2/World Dub Pastry (Music For Dreams)
The Great Dane’s own LP, Fragments From A Space Cadet is Swine’s best LP of 2007 so far, so it’s no surprise that the man behind Music For Dreams label brings yet more innovative and diverse slices of modern balearia and ahem ’chill’ with these two fantastic compilations. Balearic Biscuits 2 features everyone from Dub Pistols to Thomas Dolby, Ferrer & Sydenham to Peter Bjorn & John, Johnny Harris to Roy Ayers with the likes of Todd Terje, Zongamin, Ame and Quiet Village on remix duties. The World Dub Pastry comp serves a lovely counterpoint, a floaty deep-space disco dub come down from the likes of Deadbeat, DJ Disse, Banzai Republic, Dub Pistols (again) and Bjorn Torske. Essential!
DJ Disse – When I’m Bored I Change Colours (Music For Dreams)
On Ken’s label comes a stunning mixture of Arabic, Spanish and European influences on DJ Disse’s marvelous journey through globalearic vibes. Even standards such as Walk On The Wild Side and Break On Through become almost unrecognizable as dubby excursions into hot n’ humid climates. With titles such as Egyptian Disco, Ramadan, Spanish Reggae and Taxi To War this is an LP that sweats out dusty basslines and becomes a call to prayer for those who truly believe in One Nation Under A Groove.
Arsenal - Outsides (Play Out!)
We need more bands named after premiership clubs. Fuck St Etienne we need an Everton. Belgian duo, Arsenal have a lot in common with their North London namesakes, being an internationally minded team who see the whole world as their locality. With collaborations with Brazilians and Chinese singers and musicians, this is a ’world’ music album that avoids tokenism but brings fresh perspectives to ’leftfield’ music.
The History Of Cosmic Disco
In 1937, Swedish molecular scientist Lars Larsson was experimenting in his laboratory when he accidentally spilled some pickled halibut onto his copy of Dvorak’s Poetic Tone Pictures and a new form of music was invented. He called this strange mutant brew of fishy orchestral soup, Classical StinkBeat and died penniless and broken after giving up his microscope and playing the cello with a halibut instead of a bow in the seedier bars of downtown Bergen.
Fast forward 70 years and whilst on a trip to visit his Great Aunt Matilde, production whiz kid, Prins Thomas found Larsson’s epic ‘Songs For Cello & Halibut Vol 73’ in a trawlermen’s hostel. Intrigued and fascinated by this haunting fusion of instrumentation and avant-garde anti-noise, Prins turned the Lp to 45 and pitched it up to +15 on his specially adapted ‘superpitch’ mobile turntable.
Hey presto! Cosmic Disco was born. Although never referred to as cosmic disco, Prins and his colleagues, Hans Christian Blackbelt Andersson and Peter Bjorn & Lindstrom then released a 50 minute epic every other week for the next four years on a range of labels such as Smallsound Supertown, Inuit and Lazy Viking Stereotype. Then everyone got bored. However for three days in July everyone from BBC Breakfast’s Bill Turnbull to the Icelandic Minister for Fish got very excited about the sound no-one called ‘the new bleep.’
Here are five ‘cosmic’ must haves for your collections….
1 - Silent Running Soundtrack
it’s so very lonely…..with only a robot and Joan Baez for company in deep space kidda.
2 – Muppets From Space soundtrack
Gonzo & The Gang in the ‘ultimate Muppet trip’ – ya dig what they’re saying there daddio?
3 – The Clangers Music by Vernon Elliot
Not so much a record but the very soundtrack to your childhood on Johnny Trunk’s ever boss Trunk label.
4 – Wattoo Wattoo The Bird From Outer Space Theme
The Crazy cosmic bird who came to sort out the silly geese….an allegory for cold war politics or just a daft cartoon about a space magpie? Who gives a fuck?
5 – Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds
Come on Thunderchild! The Red Weed and the martian massive get cracking on this still unbeatable slice of 70s sci-fi camp nonsense. Phil Lynott never sounded better.
Café del Lar - November play list
A Foreign Place - Japan (Hansa)
Secret Party - Masami Tsuchiya (Epic)
On My Own (Robin Guthrie version) - Ulrich Schauss (Independiente)
All Of Me - Swell Session v Mark De Clive-Lowe (Freerange)
Be Suspicious - China Crisis (Inevitable)
Discover Your Life - Stylus (Prodigal)
East 6th St - Aquarian Dream (Buddah)
Sittin’ In The Park - Bobby Thurston (Epic)
Swimming (Dub Mix) - Nick Holder Feat Zaki (NRK)
Open Your Heart (Dub) - Madonna
Murphy’s Law (Instru) - Cheri (Venture)
Trust In Me - Vicki Sue Robinson (RCA)
Crocodile (Innervisions Orchestra Mix) - Underworld (Different)
Salacid - Luke Vibert (Planet Mu)
I’m Corrupt - Kid Creole (Ze)
Come On - The Real People (CBS)
Straight Lines - Suzanne Vega (A&M)
Attitude Dancing - Carly Simon (Elektra)
Letting Go - Wings (Capitol)
An infinite number of monkeys - Bob Newhart (Warners)
PJ’s Pick n’ Mix Playlist
Sergio Mendes - It’s A Righteous Life
Astrud Gilberto - Beginnings
Poppy Family - Free From The City
Hot Butter - Getting Off
Sly & The Family Stone - Stand
Donovan - Get Thy Thoughts
Scott Walker - World’s Strongest Man
Big Star - September Gurls
The Byrds - Get To You
Syl Johnson - I Hate I Walked Away
Roger Nichols - Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Laura Nyro - Elvis Coming
Evie Sands - Take Me For A Little While
The Free Design - Bubbles
St Etienne - Nothing Can Stop Us Now
David Crosby - Laughing
The Bees - The Ocularist
Bobby Gentry - Tobacco Road
Nancy Sinatra - Sugartown
The Lefte Bank - Pretty Ballerina
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