30 July 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 29 July

I was joined in the studio this week by my good mate Jay Jeffrey, and we threw down an all 45s selection featuring plenty of soulful funk and much more besides. You can listen back to this show here. Enjoy.

Bongmaster Inc. | Brothers & Sisters
J Rawls Presents Liquid Crystal Project | A Tribute To Dilla
J Dilla | Dirty Crushin'
Dam Funk | When 80mph Feels Like 20
* Nora King | Song 2
* The Danish Jazz Maffia Big Band with Marlena Baumann | Never, Never, Never Love A Married Man
* John Edwards | How Can I Go On Without You?
* Ann Sexton | You're Losing Me
* Deloris Ealy & The Roadrunners Band | It's About Time I Made A Change
Rare Earth | (I Know) I'm Losing You
Sugar Pie Desanto | Git Back
Soft Touch | Plenty Action
The Sunlightsquare Latin Combo | I Believe In Miracles
* Wizdom | So In Love
* Gwen McRae | Love Insurance
Stevie Wonder | All Day Sucka
D'Angelo | Use Me
The Dynamic Set with Liam Bailey | When Will They Learn?
* Danser's Inferno | Sombre Guitar
* Elizabeth Shepherd | Circles
* Dr John | Right Place, Wrong Time
The Haggis Horns with John McCallum | Hot Damn!
Aiff | Watergirls
Speak Low | Thriller
* Deniece Williams | Free
* Third World | Dancing On The Floor
Recloose | Mana's Bounce
*Yarbrough & Peoples | Don't Stop The Music
* Stevie Wonder | I Love Every Little Thing About You
Quantic & His Combo Barbaro | Linda Morena

Tracks marked with an * selected by Jay Jeffrey

24 July 2012

Interview: Marc Mac


"The connection is from my own roots of hip hop."

Marc Mac is speaking about the links between his new Visioneers album Hipology and their feted debut Dirty Old Hip Hop; and for the UK musician and producer who is otherwise known as Mark Clair, those roots go well deep - though not just in hip hop.

Launching the now legendary Reinforced Records label back in 1989, Mac went on to involve himself in many landmark moments in recent UK music history, including a stint on Kiss FM, entanglement in the West London broken beat scene and a Mercury Music Prize nomination for his ground breaking work with 4hero (a group he co-founded); while having a hand in the release of quite literally hundreds of records.

The Visioneers is the name of his latest studio project, alongside longtime musical collaborator Luke Parkhouse, and they've just released their second album, Hipology. Also featuring the vocal talents of a handful of guest emcees, Hipology sees Mac and Parkhouse create a sort of homage to, or reflection of, the classic hip hop sound back from when it all began - and Mac sees both albums as pieces of the same puzzle.

"They both have a background in hip hop, definitely," he claims, "But whereas the first album was more influenced by modern producers, this is taking it to what I class as the original themes behind hip hop, the break beat era of hip hop."

This is evident in the album including a couple of lovingly re-worked covers of tracks recognised as building blocks in shaping hip hop culture - Apache and Shaft In Africa (Addis).

"Most of the projects I've been working with like 4hero or whatever," he says, "I have this habit of trying to continue a theme; somehow I want all my projects to link in some way."

The links between Hipology and Dirty Old Hip Hop may not be as obvious as those to some of 4hero's material, particularly on tracks like LuAnne From Harlem. Turns out there's a reason for that.

"I allowed myself to do that with this album because I was doing cover versions, so I wanted to do something in the style of 4hero," he says, laughing, "But also sound-wise as well - this time I was quite meticulous about the sound and the instruments, and that's something I generally do with 4hero."

One of the central themes of Hipology is that it's not only traditional hip hop culture which may inform our understanding and response to the music. Mac argues (and quite convincingly on the accompanying website) that hip hop can mean different things to different people - and that's actually OK.

We only need to delve back into Mac's musical history to see that point illustrated beautifully.

"We started Reinforced back in 1989, and the truth is it was out of frustration with what was happening with the UK hip hop scene at that time," says Mac, "There was this thing where the majors were all interested in UK hip hop, and signing kids up for small budgets and then basically shelving them. They didn't know what to do with these tracks, or with these artists. I wanted to start a label to say 'well look, we can do whatever we want and put it out ourselves' and not rely on the majors to put a record out."

Yet in trying to open an avenue for UK hip hop, Mac inadvertently opened the floodgates for a new style altogether.

"The first record on Reinforced was basically a hip house record," he recalls, "It was hip hop but I was aware that the tempo needed to be faster and I wanted it played in raves, dances and those kinds of places. So that was how it started; and then Reinforced became like a foundation label for a lot, if not most of the UK's drum and bass scene, the jungle scene."

He's really not overstating the role he played in advancing what became known as Jungle, and eventually as Drum and Bass, though perhaps it didn't initially start out that way.

"A lot of records were coming out of Reinforced, like you had Manix, Tek9 and loads of different names, but basically all those names were just between the four of us who was 4hero and Reinforced Records at the time," Mac chuckles, "There was always aliases because we didn't have a roster, but we just tried to make people believe we had a roster!"

"A little bit later on there was a couple of people that we did sign," he continues, "And they became quite vital to the whole Reinforced sound as well, like Doc Scott, Goldie of course, and Nookie. I think those guys are key to the whole foundation of the Reinforced sound."

While we did chuckle about this method of building a roster and catalogue, there was also acknowledgement that starting a label in 1989 was an entirely different proposition to doing so in 2012.

"I wouldn't  want to be in the position of trying to start a label now, trying to sell music now," states Mac, "Even with Hipology, I had on my facebook saying that releasing records now is like throwing needles into a haystack!"

"It's a deep sea, because of the whole digital music thing, and everyone that has a phone with an app on it can make a tune and upload it to iTunes, and iTunes don't care, they just want to get more product on, so..." Mac pauses, seemingly offering a verbal shrug, before changing direction slightly.

"I would complain back in the day about white labels, saying 'oh, everyone's got a white label!', but you have to spend some money to get that white label! You probably had to have a budget of 500 to 1000 pounds to make a record, so in some ways you had to be serious about it. Now you can have an app and you're there!" he laughs again, "But a lot of people sound bitter about the industry and I don't want to, as it's not that. It's just that we've been around through all the different stages and can make an honest statement on it, and that's just that it's sad at the moment."

I put it to Mac that there are still kids coming up who have a hunger for musical knowledge, just as we did when we first discovered music - only the tools for exploring have changed radically.

"Definitely, definitely," agrees Mac, "We had pirate radio stations back in the day and when we was coming up they were vital to everything. It's important to pass down knowledge. There were people like us that were prepared to listen and learn and read then, and I know that people are now as well, we've just got to pass the information on."

I had one final question for Mac, and it revolved around the broken beat sound, which appears to have slipped away without much of trace - or has it? Where has broken beat gone?

"Good question!" Mac laughs, "I think it's been filtered into house music, especially house music from the UK, because nowadays I go into clubs and I hear elements of the broken beat in there. Instead of people just keeping the straight four/fours, they're shuffling it a bit more and putting in something a bit more offbeat."

"Broken beat was a sort of melting pot music, and it' almost like melted back into the pot in some ways!" Mac laughs again, "I think it's gonna be one of those great things, like in ten years' time, when people find a pocket of that era and think 'wow, look at all these great songs', it's gonna be like a lost civilization, found again. It's like what happened to the Mayans is gonna happen to broken beat!"

Check out my review of the Visioneers' album Hipology here.

23 July 2012

Live: Music Sounds Better With You

Coming Up This Saturday Night from 7pm
With DJs
(9-12) CUFFY
(12-3) NYNTEE
Free Entry | Drinks Specials | Delicious Food
Saturday 28 July

22 July 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 22 July

You can now listen back to this show here. Cheers George FM.

Fil Lavin | You Are So Not Good For Me
Maya Jane Coles | Not Listening
Incredible Watson | Booty Ooty (V Checked The Sub - Found Acid edit)
Talking Heads | Moon Rocks
Niko | Time To Get Funky
MFSB | Mysteries Of The World (J*Ski's extended edit)
Pacific Heights with Joe Dukie | Peace
Mayer Hawthorne | It's Gonna Take A Long Time (Finnebassen remix) (Silly Pilly edit)
Jermaine Stewart | We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off (Frankie Goes Deep edit)
Plantlife | When She Smiles She Lights The Sky
7 Samurai with Angie Stone | Muzic
Angela Bofill | People Make The World Go Round (Seegweed edit)
Corsican Brothers | Break You Off
Harvey Mason | Groovin' You
2 Guys In Venice | Cookies
Duff Disco | Marvin
Marvin Gaye | Just Like Music (Eric Sermon remix)
Appo | Getaway
Evil K'neil | Party
Al Kent | Loving Living Feeling
Paul Weller | No Tears To Cry (Leo Zero remix)
Grandmaster Flash | The Message (Roots Manuva remix)
Merry Clayton | Grandma's Hands (Scrimshire edit)

Thanks, Pam...

19 July 2012


I must admit that I'm beginning to move away from Facebook a little, and am starting to utilise the services of Twitter more often. Just gently, mind. You can't rush these things, after all. If you're interested in following my tweets - which will (obviously) be both witty and informative at all times - then please feel free do so here.

Nice one.

16 July 2012

Listen Up: 'In The Pocket' with 90 & Jay Jeffrey (Pt. 2)

A week or so back I had the great pleasure of welcoming Jay Jeffrey into the studio during my show; and we had a great time dropping a couple of tunes each. We lost the playlist for that show - but the good folks at George FM have now made it available for streaming, so you can listen again at your leisure.


15 July 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 15 July

Listen back to this show here on George FM...

B.Jam | Set My Sights
DJ Steef | I Can Win
Sticky Fingers | The Party Song (Leftside Wobble edit)
Legacy | Word Up
David Joseph | You Can't Hide Your Love (Larry Levan remix)
Superbreak | Body Bait (SB edit)
Sharon Redd | Never Give You Up
Deadly Sins | Instant Dub (Dolce Gusto edit)
Weeks & Co. | Go With The Flow (edit)
Skyy | Call Me
Mr President & Mr Day | Love & Happiness
Baja Domitia | Gangsta Party
Change | Hold Tight (Late Nite Tuff Guy edit)
Aurra | Nasty Disposition
Ron Richardson | Ooh Wee Babe
Brooklyn Express | Sixty-Nine (Tee Scott edit)
Unlimited Touch | Yes I'm Ready (edit)
Chris Rea | On The Beach (Tangoterje edit)
Aloe Blacc | Billie Jean (live)

11 July 2012

Playlist: George FM 'Midweek Pocket' Wed 11 July

Listen to this show here on George FM...

Dr John | Locked Down
Harry J Allstars | Liquidator (Leftside Wobble edit)
Mtume | Juicy Fruit
Gazeebo | School Boy Chubby
Mary Jane Girls | All Night Long
Curtis Mayfield | Give Me Your Love (Get Down Edits)
Roots Manuva | Witness (1 Hope)
Peven Everett | Testin' Me
Latyrx | Lady Don't Tek No
Rae & Christian with Veba | Spellbound (Old English remix)
Greyboy with Sharon Jones | Got To Be A Love (Paul Nice remix)
Stevie Wonder | Golden Lady (Scrimshire edit)
Visioneers | Swahililand
Handsome Boy Modeling School with Roisin Murphy & J-Live | The Truth
Outkast v Pharcyde | Spottieottie 'Til Infinity
The Skull Snaps | It's A New Day (redux)
Esther Phillips | Home Is Where The Hatred Is
Linn & Freddie | Live4Love
Erykah Badu | Bump It
Duffstep | Playing Your Game
Chet Faker | No Diggity
King Kapisi | Sub-Cranium Feeling
Choklate | Bigger Than You
Parliament | Up For The Downstroke

09 July 2012

Live: TNC

Wednesday 11 July, from 10pm

With Mikey Havoc, Nyntee, Rich Carey, Flex, Queen St Hooligans, Daniel Farley, The Lost Boys, Mad World & Adventure Time

1885 Britomart
Free Entry

08 July 2012

Playlist: George FM 'In The Pocket' Sun 8 July

Listen to this show here at George FM...

Appo | Get Away
Slowhymn | Revival
Deadly Sins | Don't You Know
Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee | Right & Wrong
Palov & Mishkin | Re-De-Troit
Jean Claude Gavri | Flight 106 (JCG's Analog Synthology Trip)
B.Jam | No Fly Zone
Vladivostok | Sustain This (Berghmeister's Bam! Bad Boy Rip)
Maya Jane Coles | Not Listening
Nu Shooz | I Can't Wait (Phil Drummond 2012 remix)
Bonar Bradberry | Guess Who
Chris Malinchak | There I Was
Disco Tech | Papa Was Rollin' Stoned
The Emotions | Flowers (Soul Ganga re-edit)
Rocco Raimundo | Hangin' On
Debonair | Winter Madness
The Gap Band | Outstanding (Kenny Dope remix) (Frankie Goes Deep edit)
Windjammer | Tossing & Turning
Asphalt Jungle | Freakin' Time (Pt. 1)
Mayer Hawthorne | Henny & Gingerale

04 July 2012

Playlist: George FM 'Midweek Pocket' Wed 4 July

Ed Sheeran | The A Team (ShyFX remix)
Heartbreak Sound | Brown Sugar
The Reflex | What's Going On
Slowhymn | Revival
DJ Steef | I Can Win
Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee | Right & Wrong
Get Down Edit | If You Want Me To Stay (Daz Bootleggin' edit)
Late Nite Tuff Guy | You Got Me Groovin'
Atlantic Disco | Give You My Life (303 version)
B.Jam | Friends Got Me Mixed Up
B.Jam | Love Attack
Wetty Bright | Slip & Do It (V Feels So Good edit)
Rocco Raimundo | Hangin' On
Totalcult | Street Sounds
Totalcult | Boot Goes On
Drop Out Orchestra | Praise
DJ Agent 86 | Give It To Me Baby
Incredible Watson | Booty Ooty (V Checked The Sub - Found Acid edit)
Fil Lavin | You Are So Not Good For Me
Mayer Hawthorne | Henny & Gingerale (ADN edit)
Niko | Time To Get Funky
The B-Boys | G-Vibrations (V dub edit)