Yes Yes! A new session for South London


I'd like to invite you down to the Summer Solstice session of  the bi-monthly night I'm running: YES YES!

First session went off, this one is sure to too!

Resident DJ Mikus & Rutita + special guests playing soulful, afro, deep, bumpin, classic, jackin, baaad house music. The session will be live streamed from 9pm: check the social media for the link at the time, Facebook YesYesLDN and Twitter @yesyesldn - Free entry and runs till midnight.

 YES YES will be housing it down at Aaja bi-monthly and there'll be some late night jungle & dnb parties in a nearby bigger venue cued up for later in the year too. Follow on those social media accounts to keep up to date! ­čľÉ #YesYes

Facebook event

Night Flight - Dusk Till Dawn DnB Mix

A little deeper, night flight, lost highway, dream sequence, cosmic jam, vision quest, dusk till dawn selection of new school DnB. Shout to D for putting me on to the Ivy Lab tune here - something quite special I think. And a big shout to DM Cut and the Future Thinkin crew - check out their excellent Monday night show on Kool London if you ever get the chance (past shows in the Kool Archives).

Night Flight - Dusk Till Dawn DnB Mix

7pm - Lenzman - Tears (Instrumental Mix)
8pm - LSB - Tumult
9pm - Bladerunner - Dream Sequence
10pm - Phase 2 - Stranger Thing
11pm - Dub Elements - Hidden Garage
Midnight - Ivy Lab - Gomesia
1am - Stompz - Decked
2am - Ray Keith - Shut It Down
3am - Andy C, Shimon - Quest (Bladerunner Remix)
4am - Rizzle - Memory Glitch
5am - Bungle - Cocooned VIP
6am - Anile - Custom Dancer
7am - Marky, SPY, Total Science - Try Out
8am - Rowpieces - Retreat

Across the Spectrum DnB Mix

A little unplanned hour-long DnB rinse out, playing through some tunes that have been hitting the spot for me over recent times.....going across the spectrum, starting melodic and upfull, moving on to some jungle rollers, a couple of rave-inflected cuts, and finishing off on some upfront-but-idea-filled bangers. Its a strong time for the scene i think, lots of great music out there across the styles...Shout to everyone still feeling it after all these years! Also goes out to anyone who really does remember the roller! ;)

Across the Spectrum DnB Mix

Makoto - Fancy Free
Locksmith - Jah Seh
Phase 2 - My Dearest Darling
Rowpieces - The Love Connection
Nookie - 7th Dread
Joakuim - Jungle Power
Bou - Poison
Saxxon - Rollcall VIP
Dr S Gachet, Heist - Remember The Roller (Heist Remix)
A Sides - Edge
Total Science & Break - Big Time Winners
Dawn Raid - Make Me Move
Vital - Real Shit
Command Strange - Mad Flava
Benny L - Just Swing
Taxman - Magnetic
Current Value - City Syndrome

Aketi Ray - From Ever Since - now free to download

Now available, the full 13 track CD version of my Aketi Ray album From Ever Since.
This album is now available to dowload free (320kbps mp3s) here:
Download by clicking here
Also on Youtube, Spotify, vinyl and CD if you can find a copy!

Big thanks to everyone who has show support!
 Here's a review/overview from Steve Barker in The Wire:

Oi Oi! Music Is Our History EP

A little 4 track EP from me, a bunch of tracks vibing off some 1991 raving memories.
Free download links on all tracks - released under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Click on an individual track name above to download, or CLICK HERE to download the whole EP

Prince 17 Days Remixes

Prince's estate are planning to make a number of releases over the coming years from his infamous Vault. Who knows what wonders are in there. I'm hoping for another jazz album, a la Madhouse - 8.

The first release has just come out: Piano & A Microphone 1983. Here are three little remixes I've done of the title track from that, 17 Days, laying down some very Prince-in-the-80s drum machine beats by way of a backing track. Not a massive difference between them, the HEAD MIX is just a little sparser than the NEW POWER MIX and MY BABY's TAMBORINE MIX is an instrumental version. Just in case Prince Estate are reading, this is for strictly non-commercial, pure-love purposes! Please allow it :)

MY BABYS TAMBORINE MIX is currently getting blocked on Soundcloud but you can hopefully play it by clicking here.

After The Riot: Sly Stone Rarities, Productions and Admirers 1973-1982

There are two distinct but both golden ages in Sly Stone's career. First came the straight outa Haight, racism-busting, genre-defying, multi-octave harmony singing, high on hope, Family-Stone-with-the-emphasis-on-Family era of the 1960s. Then in 1970 everything changed: Sly hit the drugs harder, the Family started splitting, the mood became moodier, and the groove got heavier, both in music and in American society more generally. That trajectory through rnb to soul to funk to disco, from new innocence and hope to reality check and struggle wasn't unique.....that was the wider social trend and many artists who had the longevity rode that wave...but Sly didn't just ride it, he innovated it at every stage.

The landmark There's a Riot Going On dropped in 1971 after Sly took a two year break from releasing new music to retreat and reconfigure. In that time he cooked up a unique sound, one that has influenced generations of musicians, including the likes of no less than Prince, D'Angelo, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder.

I think there's a really interesting parallel and overlap with Lee Perry...I'm really curious if there was a conscious influence either way between them...Lee was always a big soul and jazz fan so its not impossible. Both were creating new hazy soundscapes, running the beat box from their organs, blowing smoke at the reel to reel as it turned, and bringing the drum and bass up on the mixer. Worth remembering that Sly is not only a great vocalist, musician, songwriter, arranger, but also a real innovator in production too. Genius basically.

Riot was a commercial and critical success (though it caught a fair few people off guard), but with every subsequent release interest in Sly's music progressively diminished. And while later albums were patchier, there is still a treasure trove of incredible music after Riot - without a doubt some of the best he ever made. This mix picks out not just some favourite moments, but also tries to highlight some lesser known tracks and previously unreleased early versions, many of which only became available much later thanks to CD release bonus tracks and the like.

Demo releases are often best left in the vault but I think the versions here all have their own charm and character, even if they are occasionally a little rough round the edges.  For example the funky off-beat drums on this proto version of Babies Makin Babies gives it a very different feel to the one that made it to official release, but its definitely no weaker a tune. The lack of the iconic De La Soul sampled horns on the version of Crossword Puzzle bring out the violin parts and again give the track a different, almost country, flavour.

It is said that the reworked dubplate mix of Little Sister's You're The One - a track Sly produced and originally released on his own Stone Flower label - literally had one single pressing, originally cut for Tom Moulton, but thankfully it's recently made its way onto a CD release thanks to the perseverance of Danny Krivit to track down the original acetate and lock it down before it got lost to the ether. Its a big disco version for sure.

This selection is also interspersed with a couple of tracks from fellow Californian contemporaries D.J. Rogers and Shuggie Otis, who lovingly captured some of Sly's 70s sound to great effect, and made tunes which sit happily side by side with his own work. Finishing the mix off with a Funkadelic track that Sly sat in on playing keys and adding vocals.....there ended up being a fair bit of crossover between the Family Stone and Funkadelic, with singers from the Family Stone joining the Brides of Funkenstein and Sly often touring alongside George Clinton throughout the 70s.

Photo here comes from this great studio session gallery by Warren Harris.

After The Riot: Sly Stone Rarities, Productions and Admirers 1973-1982

Sly Stone - Say You Will [1974]
Sly Stone - Loose Booty (Alt Version) [1974]
Sly Stone - Remember Who You Are [1979]
DJ Rogers - Its Good To Be Alive [1975]
Sly Stone - Crossword Puzzle (Alt Version) [1976]
Sly Stone - The Same Thing (Original LP Mix)[1979]
Sly Stone - Frisky (Alt Version) [1973]
Shuggie Otis - Sparkle City [1974]
Sly Stone - Babies Makin Babies (Alt Version) [1973]
Sly Stone - We Can Do It [1982]
Sly Stone - I Get High On You (Disco Version) [1979]
Little Sister - You're The One (Dubplate Mix) [1976]
Sly Stone - One Way [1982]
Funkadelic - Funk Gets Stronger (Killer Millimeter Version) [1981]

Download link

Dennis Brown Roots Crown 1977-1985

Serious selection of Dennis Brown in full roots mode, from the heaviest years of 1977 on to 85..incredibly he was only 20 years of age when the two sevens clashed. Arguably his greatest period... Although all the tracks are from 77-85, the Rainbow Country cover is actually from 95 but I really wanted to include it anyhow. If you want More Dennis after this check out this earlier mix I did, with  perhaps some of his better known material. 

Prophet Rides Again 
Jah Can Do It
So Jah Say
Breaking Down The Barriers
Little Village
To Be A Weakman
Fire Singer
Due Season 
Rainbow Country
Bubbling Fountain
Bubbling Fountain - Ray Symbolic Dub Special
Praise Without Raise
A True + Nu True
Why Fools
Blood City

Spring Sun Soul // Balearic House Session

Annual fixture on this blog for many a year now, the Spring Sun Soul mix: music to welcome the return of the sun and celebrate new life. This year I've gone deep in the mix with some bubbling house and garage tunes old and new that capture the spirit...even touching on a couple of bonafide original Balearic anthems from Don Carlos and Neal Howard. The world may be burning but we always need to find joy and inspiration to make it through. Dedicate this one to Rutita and everyone feeling the spirit of new beginnings. Previous Spring Sun Soul mixes here.

Spring Sun Soul // Balearic House Session

Talamanca System - Balanzat 
Art of Tones - Damped 
Dennis Ferrer v Marlon D - The Breeze 
The Return - New Day 
Phaze Dee - Reckless
808 State - In Yer Face (Bicep Remix)
Linkwood - Expressions
Don Carlos - Alone (Paradise Version)
Neal Howard - Indulge
Art of Tones - Take Me Higher 
Crackazat - Sundial 
Strip Steve - Dreams Of 
Logic - The Flavor of Love (Wayne's Flavored Love Mix)

1991 Hardcore Techno Bizniz

At this time of the year here in the UK Bangface, the annual 4-day all things hardcore dance festival goes off - and it really does go off!  Great crowd, with big contingents from Ireland, Scotland as well as Belgium and the Netherlands making the journey and really playing a big part in the mix of ravers. Bangface are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year so in that spirit here's a throwdown of some 1991 hardcore in a melting pot style, as it was back in the day, with UK breakbeat, Belgian + Dutch new beat and some US rave in there too. 1991 definitely the birth of a strain of fast and hard electronic dance music...not hyperbole to say that its music that changed the world a bit and without a doubt broke new musical as well as cultural barriers. No messing about, back to back tuff tuff tunes in here. Only for the headstrong ;) Send shouts out to all Bangface crew, Connection crew, Apathy, Danski, Mr Whippy, Fabrok, Handy, Phase 3, Adz, Krink, Steph, Orange Peel, Crumpet and everyone out there who never lost their hardcore. RIP Tango and RIP Marcus Intalex.
(For a more UK hardcore breakbeat ravers 1991 selection check out this old mix of mine: Flashback to 91 - Ravers Selection)

1991 Hardcore Techno Bizniz

E-Dancer - Velocity Funk [USA]
The Break Boys - My House Is Your House [USA]
Lost - The Gonzo [UK]
Nightmares on Wax - Aftermath (LFO Remix) [UK]
Turntable Hype - Turntable Hype (Amsterdam Mix) [Netherlands]
Bazz - House of Pax (Sanchid Mix) [Belgium]
Fierce Ruling Diva - My Name is House [Netherlands]
Chemical Company - Tronic Equator [UK]
Hackney Hardcore - Dancehall Dangerous v1 [UK]
Code 071 - Stand Together Yo Breakthrough (Instrumental) [UK]
DD Hass - Who's Hous'n [UK]
Indo Tribe - Owl [UK]
Ravebusters - Mitrax [Belgium]
Olympia - Art 3 [Belgium]
Mental Cube - So This Is Love [UK]

Download link

Louie Vega Salute!

Paying respects with this little mix to one of the giants in dance music, someone who could easily claim the title of greatest soulful house producer at work today, Louie Vega. Can't think of anyone who has done as much to raise the standards of musicianship and quality in house music as he. From those massive early cuts with Kenny Dope to more recent collaborations and solo work, this little selection rubs together some of my favourites from across the years. Such a massive body of work to choose from, barely scraping the surface, but here I'm broadly going for more recent favourites first and then rolling out with some of those hugely influential garage dubs from the early 90s.

Special dedication on this one to Felix, celebrating his 9th birthday just now, and who has already got the Masters at Work bug. Big up Felix! Hope you enjoy this. Also big shout to all House FM crew...tip top London pirate station for years. For those who don't know you can catch Louie Vega in the mix every Friday night 9pm on there, amongst a whole host of other great DJs, including the likes of the mighty Josh Milan, who features on several tracks here also. 

Louie Vega Salute! 

1. Elements of Life feat. Josh Milan -
 Children of the World (Roots Mix) [2013] 

2. Louie & Anane Vega - 
Heaven Knows (Louie Vega Heavenly Instrumental) [2016] 

3. Winans Brothers feat. The Clark Sisters - 
Dance (Louie Vega Dance Ritual Mix) [2015] 

4. Masters At Work  feat. Wunmi - 
Ekabo (Afro House Mix) [2000] 

5. Louie Vega & Josh Milan - 
The World Is A Family (Afrohouse Vamp Dub) [2017] 

6. E.O.L. Soulfrito - 
Upright Love (Louie Vega Lo-Rein Instrumental) [2017] 

7. Steal Vybe feat. Jon Pierce - 
Be Free (Louie Vega Dance Ritual Mix) [2015] 

8. Masters At Work feat. India - 
I Can't Get No Sleep (MK Dub) [1993] 

9. Masters At Work feat. Lonnie Gordon - 
Bad Mood (MK & Masters At Work's Bass Hit) [1993] 

10. Masters At Work  feat. Neneh Cherry - 
Buddy X (Masters At Work Dub No 1) [1992] 

11. Masters At Work  feat. India - 
When You Touch Me (MAW Touch Me Dub) [1993] 

12. River Ocean feat. India - 
Love & Happiness (Yemeya Y Ochun) (12" Club Mix) [1994]

Also good excuse to repost this, stunning extract of Barbara Tucker ad-libing a version of Beautiful People at Roots NYC in early 2015, alongside Louie Vega going in on three decks to create the backing track. Magical stuff.

Jamaican Jazz Journeying - Aketi Ray Inspirations And Connections

For the last few years I've been plugging away on a new musical project which has finally come to fruition in the form of an all-acoustic dub-jazz group called Aketi Ray....double bass, drums, upright piano, horns, percussion, reverb and delay. We play compositions grounded in the instrumental music of  Jamaica - ska, rocksteady, reggae, rockers, dub - but drawing inspiration and influence from Ethiopian and US jazz, west African percussion traditions, all served up with the mind set of UK steppas........Kingston to Chicago to Addis Ababa to Dakar to London. 

After much work in the background we have an album recorded, lined-up and ready to launch in 2018, with a 12 inch release already out and 6-track vinyl-only album sampler dropping November 18th 2017. Check for all the details on those.

The mix below is a journey into the music that's influenced the Aketi Ray sound...mainly looking at those moments where Jamaican music and jazz brush up together, as well as a couple of tracks just a step removed, but influential to us. All part of the journey. Oh, and a couple of sneak previews of forthcoming Aketi Ray tracks! Have written a couple of words about each track too.....

(Big up Jazz Meet for sharing this mix on their always excellent podcast)

Jamaican Jazz Journeying // Aketi Ray Inspirations And Connections

1. Tambu - Friendship Group of Trelawny [0.00]
Starting things off with three percussion-heavy tracks, this one coming from deep in the JA countryside, a minute-long early recording of a session played on tambu drums - supposedly unique to the Trelawny area of Jamaica. 

2. Occupation - Cedric Brooks & The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari [1.03]
One of the many alumni of the Alpha Boys School, which taught so many of Jamaica best players, Cedric's fusing of jazz and pure Rasta music has little parallel. This cut has him leading on sax over a nyabinghi rhythm.

3. Earth Sound - Ernest Ranglin [3.32]
Ernest's legacy in pushing Jamaican music in all kinds of interesting directions is second-to-none. This recording is less about showing off his great guitar playing as it is exploring what can happen when Jamaican jazz meets Jamaican drumming. 

4. Last Call - Don Drummond [5.59]
Moving into three killer ska tracks back to back, with Don Drummond leading the Skatalites in this classic piece. The Skatalites perhaps more than anyone deserve credit for cementing the role of jazz playing within JA's dancehall music, and then taking that sound worldwide. 

5. Hey Train - Buster All Stars [9.04]
For all the credit that the Skatalites get, Prince Buster's house band were just as firing, with a line-up that included the likes of Ernest Ranglin and Rico Rodriguez. 

6. Cleopatra - Roland Alphonso & The Studio One Orchestra [11.39]
One final golden era ska foot-stomper, Roland Alphonso leading on sax on what you could even call a proto-ethio-skajazz workout, if you really wanted! The Studio One Orchestra effectively the Skatalites without Don Drummond..

7. Barbados - Jazz Jamaica [14.18]
Keeping it ska but bringing it to London three decades later, Jazz Jamaica are a group started in the early 90s by the double-bassist Gary Crosby (who happens to be nephew of Ernest Ranglin), which set out to do big-band style jazz arrangements of ska tunes, as well as ska up some jazz standards. Amazing band to see live if you ever get the chance. This recording features the late great Rico Rodriguez on trumpet. 

8. Regulator {live} - Monty Alexander [18.10]
Kingston-born but US resident pianist Monty Alexander has been mixing up JA and US traditions in jazz for decades. I’ve never had the pleasure to hear him play live, but if this firing recording is anything to go by it sounds like a show not to miss. Bad tune.

9. Many Pauses {live} - Jazz Warriors [22.27]
Jazz Warriors were a London-based group which launched the careers of a generation of young musicians on to the scene - one of which was trumpeter Kevin Robinson, who plays extensively on our Aketi Ray LP. They released just one album, the landmark 1987 live recording Out of Many, One People (Jamaica's national motto). The piece of music included here is just a short extract from a much longer, constantly-changing track, Many Pauses, and features jazz vocalist and occasional D&B MC Cleveland Watkiss on scat parts.

10. This Day – Rico [24.28]
Journeying back to the 70s for three pieces from the roots era, starting with this classic cut from trombonist Rico Rodriquez. Moving to London in the 70s Rico played a big role in building the bridge between JA and UK music, both with his own compositions as well as playing an active part on the 2-tone scene. The album this cut comes from, The Man From Wareika, is a Jazz Reggae cornerstone.

11.Cuts and Bruises - Pablove Black [28.33]
Killer melodica piece from multi-instrumentalist Pablove Black. When it comes to great reggae melodica instrumentals August Pablo surely wears the crown and takes credit for adding the instrument to the reggae canon, but this cut here from Pablove is perfection – hard pressed to think of another time a melodica sounded so good.

12. Return of the Super Ape - Lee Perry [32.00]
In interviews Lee Perry often cites jazz as the music that inspires him the most, and even when his music doesn't have the solos of jazz, it so often has the experimental, rule breaking, attitude. In this cut it does both. Amazing record - pure inspiration into what can be done.

13. The Breadwinner - The Breadwinners [35.31]
As far as I'm concerned there is only one person out there who has carried on the works of Lee Perry at the Black Ark faithfully, and thats Al and the Breadwinners camp out of Manchester, England. I especially love their instrumental tracks, often featuring Sally on all horn and wind parts. Really recommend checking their back catalogue. Sublime.

14. Dub Me Tender - Dub Colossus [37.46]
Keeping it in the UK with Nick Page and his Dub Colossus band, who made a name for themselves for the dub records they recorded in a small flat in Addis Ababa that fused dub traditions with Ethiopian music. This one is a completely stripped-back, drum-free affair, that has a wisp of Ethiopia as well as a touch of US free jazz about it.

15. Ephemeral - Aketi Ray [41.35]
One last one from the UK, this one from us, the opening track from the forthcoming Aketi Ray LP 'From Ever Since'. Dubwise, flying cymbal rhythm, led by the wonderful sax playing of Nico Rouger, and backed by Kevin Robinson on ghost-trumpet!

16. Blood of Africa - Natty Locks & King Tubby [46.04]
Going on into three more sax led cuts here, the first a massive tune to me personally - the opening track from the first dub LP I ever heard, Tubby meets Perry at the Grass Roots. Always takes me back this track...

17. Man A Lion - Disciples Riddim Section meets Digistep [48.41]
Moving to 21st Century London with this great digi cut - modern roots from the UK at its best. Big up Kullar and the Roots Youths crew.

18. Roots Version Wise - Sky Nation [52.10]
Back to 70s JA with this powerful percussion and horn section roots work out.

19. Proverbs Dub - Wareika Hill Sounds [55.36]
Wareika Hill Sounds is a really great modern project, led I gather by Calvin “Bubbles” Cameron of Count Ossie’s Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari and The Light Of Saba fame. All the material they've put out has come out on Honest Jon's label so I expect there's a key London connection to this. Its new music but taps spirits of the past, without feeling in any way dated.

20. Distant Drums Version - Family Man & Knotty Roots [59.15]
Moving into three tracks back to back here with some heavy, conscious vibes, this weighty drum and horns piece is a dub of Vivian Jackson and The Defenders  Love Thy Neighbour, and credited to legendary bass player and co-producer player Aston Barrett.

21. Jah Irror - Jah Bast & The Shades [62.31]
One of my favourite records from recent years, perhaps surprisingly, out of Switzerland - going to show there are no borders in music! Lovely playing on all their cuts, but I particularly like the message on this one (the one vocal track on this mix), and its a message that is shared with the next track.... 

22. Mirror - Aketi Ray [65.44]
The second Aketi Ray track featured, and yeah, like the track before, this ones all about reflection and knowledge of self! This one is coming out on a 12inch on Steppas Records - look out for a video too! Should find it on the Aketi Ray website / youtube.

23. Nuh True - Ernest Ranglin [69.41]
Turning a corner here with a track from an Ernest Ranglin album he recorded in Senegal with Baba Maal's firing band. Its a beautiful record, effortlessly fusing his Jamaican sound with that of these Senegalese greats. Its the use of percussion that's been  particularly influential on the Aketi Ray sound.

24. N├ę la Thiass - Cheikh L├┤ [75.52]
While we're in Senegal I need to play one more - 
Cheikh L├┤ himself fuses music from all over... I find this one particularly beautiful, and can't get enough of the talking drum on this. 

25. Mulatu - Mulatu Astatke [80.37]
The Ethio-jazz sound is a big influence, and Aketi Ray's sax player Nico Rouger plays in two Ethio jazz acts, Addis Quartet and Krar Collective. We've definitely tried to bring some of Mulatu's flavour to the music we're making.

26. Jericho Jazz - Roy Burrowes, Clifford Jordan, Charles Davis [85.34]
Back to JA, and maybe even carrying over a bit of that Ethio flavour, a wonderful jazzed-up version of the classic Studio One Jericho Rock rhythm. The album this comes off, Reggae Au Go Jazz, is a must for you if you've listened this far and liked what you've heard!

27. None A Jah Jah Children No Cry - Dean Fraser [88.36]
Dean Fraser has been flying the reggae jazz flag for decades, and this is taken from a late 90s recording on the short-lived, but quality 
Island Jamaica Jazz label. A wonderful version of the Ras Michael classic Rasta cut None A Jah Jah Children No Cry. Serious music!

28. Call On His Name - Aketi Ray [96.40]
A final Aketi Ray track here, forthcoming on the album 'From Ever Since'. Flute, talking drum and piano in a thankful interaction.

29. Manasseh meets The Equalizer - Looking Glass Dub [100.32]
Wanted to finish off on a Manasseh track. Nick Manasseh's radio shows on Kiss FM in the 90s were absolutely instrumental in opening up the world of Jamaican music to me (and many others!), and he's an excellent producer in his own right too. A big influence in every way.