Come on in, the water’s lovely

Boiler Room tonight was the epitome of why I love London’s music scene: a bunch of people huddled in a little room, leaning into the music, thrilled by the closeness and ready to be surprised. It’s those little conversations, those little smiles, those little nods: they are the layers on layers that bind and remind me why I hold it dear. Damn – and who was that girl singing over Micachu’s scruffy funk beats? She was something else.

Then I sit in a cab on the drive back to Brixton and I know I’m done. I see the place I told my old boss in another life that I wasn’t long for that job, I pass the record shop that is no longer a record shop, and I trace my old bike ride home when I was first learning this new life route. All these memories in all these streets, concrete drenched in days gone by. And Pure X are in my ears, singing ” all of the future, all of the past” and I feel what they mean more than ever.

Sounds Of…Solitude

This is my last Sounds Of… show on NTS for a couple of months. Ele will be talking the reins for May and June so stay tuned. We’ll be back together in July. The theme of this month was Sounds Of…Solitude. The recording is a little crappy for some reason but hopefully it’s still sort-of listenable. Tracklist below.

Ryuichi Sakamoto – Solitude
Lukid – Lonely At The Top
Wiley – Us Against The World
Majical Cloudz – Childhood’s End
Joy Division – Atmosphere
Samoyed – Minnow
Actress – Raven
Yellow Swans – Isolation Tank
The Knife – Ready To Lose
Bullion – The Age Of Self
Mount Kimbie – Made To Stray
Lone – Petrcane Beach
Bjork – Hyperballad
Sunless 97 – Aurora I
Phoenix – Entertainment (Blood Orange remix)
New Order – Dream Never End
Suzanne Vega – Luka
James Blake – I Am Sold
Tweet – Smoking Cigarettes
Janet Jackson – I Get Lonely
King Krule – Portrait In Black & Blue
Lonely Galaxy – Heavy
Laurel Halo – Speed Of Rain
Physical Therapy – Do It Alone
SSION – My Love Grows In The Dark (Physical Therapy remix)
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

Sounds Of…Freezing

Here’s the latest Sounds Of… show on NTS with two hours of icy jams, steely beats and songs to warm cold hearts selected by the beautiful Ele Beattie and myself (back together agaiiiiiin). Tracklist below.


Apparat – PV
Clams Casino – Cold War [Lil B]
Deptford Goth – Guts No Glory
CFCF – Frozen Forest
How To Dress Well – Cold Nites
Inc – Black Wings
A/T/O/S – A Taste Of Struggle
London Grammar – Hey Now
Grown Folk X Main Attrakionz – I.C.E (Kuedo remix)
Shlohmo – Out Of Hand
James Ferraro – Blood Flow
Inga Copeland – Speak
James Blake – Retrograde
Dizzee Rascal X Zomby – Stand Up AcquaFresh (Oneman edit)
Pyramids – Don’t Go
Bobby Womack – Love Is Gonna Life You Up (Julio Bashmore remix)
Kanye – Coldest Winter
Cooly G – He Said I Said
Jack Dice – Mr Frosty
DJ Rashad – Rollin
Wayward – Only Flaw
Kidnap Kid – Animeaux
Queenie – And Every
Fyfe – Solace
Sean Nicholas Savage – Other Life
Hyetal – Northwest Passage
Suzanne Vega – Freeze Tag
Gold Panda – Snow & Taxis
Close ft. Scuba & Charlene Soraia – Beam Me Up

Sounds Of…Love

Flying solo on the latest Sounds Of… monthly radio show on NTS, with a whole heap of songs about love, lust, loss and life after <3. (No Cher, tho.) Here’s the tracklist:

LV – Uthando Lwakho ft. Ruffest
Dynoman – Kiran
Hudson Mohawke – All Your Love
DJ Clent – I Love You
Kuhrye-oo – Love Don’t Live Here [edit]
Ikonika – They Didn’t Bury You Deep Enough
Wiley & Cherri V – Favourite Guy
Metronomy – Not Made For Love (Astronomer Remix)
DJ Rashad – Let It Go
Cooly G – Come Into My Room
Prince – Slow Love
Terekke – Damn
SSION – Luvvbazaar
Mary J Blige – Mr Wrong ft Drake
Cassie – Must Be Love (Jacques Greene’s Marriage Proposal mix)
Water – RiRi
Mount Kimbie – Maybes
Julia Kent – Nina & Oscar
Jessie Ware – Devotion (BRONZE version)
Deptford Goth – Real Love Fantasy
Maxmillion Dunbar – Loving The Drift
Space Dimension Controller – When Your Love Feels Like Its Fading
Womack & Womack – Love Wars
Darkstar – Hold Me Down

Are you receiving me?

We seek signal. Every new object – and everything is now object, to be passed around – is an opportunity for opinion; staged with provocation, desperate for response. To be heard is to exist. But what is more valued: an echo or an opposition? Or are we simply all hiding in our own corners, talking to ourselves?

A tickertape machine

“Technology may make it possible to have a continuous feedback to ourselves of information. But at the moment I think we are starved of information. I think that the biggest need of the painter or writer today is information. I’d love to have a tickertape machine in my study constantly churning out material: abstracts from scientific journals, the latest Hollywood gossip, the passenger list of  a 707 that crashed in the Andes, the colour mixes of a new automobile varnish.”

This is J.G. Ballard being prescient again in conversation with the artist Eduardo Paolozzi in 1971 (Extreme Metaphors: Interviews with J.G. Ballard 1967-2008). I prefer Ballard’s vision to today’s reality. He saw an endless stream of information as a feast to gorge on, fuel for his imagination and the landscape of his novels. Today the stream is two-way and, ironically, we’ve lost our way, caught in a cul-de-sac of ego. We don’t leap at the stream, thirsty to absorb it but let it wash over us as we focus instead on building a picture of ourselves in our own heads. 

Spit it out

“Just say what you want to say.” I overheard a school kid say this on the phone to his mum a few weeks back. Least his tone suggested it was his mum. He couldn’t have been more than 10 years old and already he knows when people are talking but not communicating.

Sounds Of…Stretching

I do a monthly radio show with my friend Ele on NTS, an internet radio station based in Dalston. (Some words on why you should get to know NTS if you don’t already.) Our show is called Sounds Of… and we have a different theme every month. It was just me on the last one cos Ele couldn’t make it. Sounds Of…Stretching is all about reaching – for love, for life, for something different. Tracklist below.

Sensations’ Fix – Acudreaming
Majical Cloudz – Turns Turns Turns
Future Islands – Tomorrow
The Roches – Hammond Song
TOPS – She’s So Bad
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Baby
Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland – Track 2
The xx – Fiction
1991 – Open To The Dark
Lukid – Lonely At The Top
Dam Mantle – Blueberry
Holy Other – Held
Kindness – Gee Wiz
Lemonade – Neptune
Marques Toliver – Magic Look
How To Dress Well – Cold Nites
Blood Orange – Champagne Coast
Heart Streets – Nonchalant
Main Attrakionz – On Tour (Produced by Uptown Greg)
LV – Spitting Cobra (feat. Okmalumkoolkat)
Egyptian Hip Hop – SYH
Prince – The Cross
Cold Pumas – Fog Cutter
Petite Noir – Till We Ghost
Japan – Ghosts
Arthur Russell – That’s Us/Wild Combination