I could have written this entry, I really could. The issue would have been stopping.
In ‘Go-Go, Go-Go, Go-Go, Go-Go Your Own Way‘, a post title I’m now regretting, I spoke a little about house music and how I got into it; and how before house, there was Depeche Mode, leather trousers and dubious sexuality (it was a great time). It’s fair to say that the soundtrack of my life is better measured in phases than records.
(adds Godly reverb) In the beginning, there was Pop. Adam Ant was a large influence, but really I was a Durannie. I had no idea what Simon Le Bon was waffling on about and I absolutely lapped it up. I spent the whole of 1985 (after the release of Arena: An Absurd Notion) convinced I was the sixth member of Duran Duran and was very happy.
After Duran Duran came Depeche Mode, Joy Division/New Order and ultimately The Cure. This was my gloomcore period, starting in about 1986 when Duran Duran went on hiatus and lasting to this very day. This coincided with the start of my career in DJing. I think at this time, I was using the dark music in my personal life as the counterpoint to what I was playing live. I played a lot of house, very much the sort of thing you’d find at Hed Kandi on their various Disco and Twisted Disco series. Alongside that, lots of disco, the danceable pop, and some hip-hop and R&B, all genres I loved too.
Then one day I heard that Fatboy Slim (always an inspiration as a DJ and musician) was looking for a couple of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” for one of his Brighton beach gigs. I was intrigued. I played all the genres that I loved in my sets, but this? This was new…
It was about this time I’d moved away from vinyl and CDs and into digital DJing. The software I used then, Ableton Live, is still the software I used now – that’s it above. It had simply never occurred to me to use rock music in a set or a mixtape but when I tried, the effect was brilliant. I could dig out rock artists with brilliant guitar riffs or solid drum breaks, like Free, The Kinks or The Clash and loop them. The effect was electrifying and very freeing. I became a crate digger and now I use any music in 4/4 time.
So when I thought about how to write this post, I knew I couldn’t write about songs (too many). It would have been a very long post just to write about the phases of music that made up my soundtrack. So, I went one better. I went all Nick Hornby and made you a mixtape.
Except mine is an actual continuous mix of about 17 minutes long. That’s it, in the screenshot above. The tracklist covers all the main genres and I have missed out almost 3000 of my favourite records to keep it to roughly quarter of an hour:
- Duran Duran – The Reflex
- Adamski – Killer
- Free – Alright Now
- Alison Limerick – Where Love Lives
- Chaka Khan – I Feel For You
- New Order – Fine Time
- The Jacksons – Can You Feel It
- Peplab – Ride The Pony
- Wildchild – Renegade Master
- Switch – A Bit Patchy
- KC Flightt – Planet E
- Marva Whitney – Unwind Yourself
- Farley Jackmaster Funk – Love Can’t Turn Around
- Enigma – Train of Thought
- The Ting Tings – Great DJ
- The Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy Hey Girl
- Noir – All About House Music
And here it is…