Friday, February 27, 2009

Belushi's Beloved - Week 001

Barring a case of crippling myopia, i shall be bringing you my choice shoo-in for download of the week, from the humble selection of tracks i've salvaged in the last 6 days.

Phoenix convinced me Frenchies can't fail, they constantly release great material, like Michel Gondry or Astérix le Gaulois.

I welcome any new Phoenix tracks like a warm hug from a favourite foreign relative.
I've never heard a Phoenix track i didn't like, and here's the latest from their new album "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" that I... didn't dislike.

1 half of Cassius, Philippe Zdar (damn thats a cool name, he must be French) is co-producing and the album is set to be released May 26.

If you feel Frencies ain't the shit, then watch Son of Rambow, and tell me you wouldn't welcome that foreign exchange student into your family; i'll wait while you don't find it at Blockbuster...

Join me next week as i jump on the "How Fucking Cool is Everything from Norway".


Ali B (UK) Live in SA - Interview

Press release:

Fiction is proud to be hosting an exclusive South African gig with one of the UK’s top DJs, Ali B. For anyone who has been to, lived in, or pretty much knows anything about London, Ali B is the longest running Friday night resident at Fabric, one of the biggest nightclubs in London. The night, called Fabriclive, has spawned a series of compilation CDs which is now on its 44th release. Ali B mixed Fabriclive 02 (The 1st was mixed by James Lavelle). Having played to massive dance floors around the globe, he is a veteran at rocking parties and we are humbled to have him gracing the decks at Fiction.

Ali will be accompanied on the night by Cape Town locals Ak47, Malone and Spekta, who, with over 10 years DJ experience each, have all made their mark on the Cape Town scene.


Yip, its official, breakbeat aficionado Ali B is bringing his funk to our shores!

The Headphone Junkie got a hold of Ali to answer a few questions in anticipation of his set in Cape Town this Saturday.

How's the weather in London at the moment? My mom says it's scorching in Cape Town. Will you have time to lie around in the sun and see some sights while you're here?

Ali: Ha ha! Hope so, gotta lose my ‘nightclub’ tan…

You have quite the resume. You started out working at the Acid Jazz label, then went on to do PR for both Gilles Peterson and Norman Jay, who have impeccable tastes in music! How was it representing them and was the experience something that got you interested in starting your own label?

Ali: Well working in PR was a lot of fun, Gilles & Norman were amongst a bunch of people I represented and they were a lot of fun to work with. I was approached during that time by one of the major labels who initially funded Air Recordings which was how it started. Several years ago I took back full control of the label and have signed pots of new artists.

Your label Air Recordings isn't very well known here in South Africa, but having said that, I'm sure South Africans will look it up after hearing you play. Is there a new label compilation coming out anytime soon? Any new signings you are excited about?

Ali: We are just about to release an album from UK Band Diverted and the others artists on the label include Janette Slack, DJ Love, Mr No Hands, Jellybass and Lazersonic.

How does it feel to be synonymous with a brand like Fabric?

Ali: Well I have been a resident DJ there for over 9 years which has been an amazing time – I still rate their sound system as one of the best in the world…

What residencies do you currently hold and is there a difference in the kind of music that you play residency to residency?

Ali: I’ve been DJing for over 15 years and in that time your tastes tend to move around a lot to keep it fresh. At my Fabric residency I play a lot of the Fake Blood/Sinden/Diplo/Boy 8 Bit/Hannah Holland kinda sound. I also have a funk night in London that I do regularly which I’ve been really enjoying, because it kind of takes me back to my roots. Down there I play a lot of dusty 45’s alongside new funk bits and crazy blog edits of stuff; anything from Fort Knox Five to A-Skillz and beyond. DJing wise at the moment I’m feeling a bit Jekyl and Hyde but loving every minute of it – I get just as much of a kick out of playing main room Fabric as I do a good house party.

Do you get people requesting songs from you in the middle of a set? How do you handle it, or do you ever comply?

Ali: Ha ha! Well at my funk night we have a sign up behind the decks that says requests are £10 each! In over a year of doing it no one has actually paid. But it helps to keep requests to a minimum. Sometimes you catch people prodding their mates in astonishment after reading the sign which is pretty amusing. Us Brits can be kinda funny like that – when they see a sign on a wall mostly they don’t question it, they just obey it.

What has been the worst request you ever received?

Ali: I don’t know probably something like “unless you’re gonna play something good can you F**k Off ?”

Do you prefer a residency or globetrotting for various guest spots?

Ali: A bit of both to be honest – in any scene there’s inevitably a community of DJs that all play on a similar circuit of spots around the world. So it’s great to be able to bring those guys over to London as much as it is for me to play abroad with them.

What was your favourite set of 2008?

Ali: Opulent Temple stage at Burning Man 2008 – no question! Greatest party on the planet! Second only to Fractual Forest at Shambhala, Canada

Any gigs you are really looking forward to in 2009?

Ali: Opulent Temple stage at Burning Man 2009! And Fractual Forest stage at Shambhala, Canada

You've proclaimed a love for throwing parties and you are known for your enthusiasm for good dance music. Any advice you can give for growing and nurturing a scene?

Ali: Just get out there and do it – I’ve been throwing parties most of my life and I cant see myself stopping anytime soon. The best advice for nurturing a scene is to bring everyone that’s playing on your tip, through to play at your party and then make sure you go and play at their parties and that all the other guys are doing the same – suddenly by all working together and shouting about the same thing, people will start to take notice.

You come from an old school breaks background, dropping funk along with some serious rare grooves and hip hop, breakbeats and electro. Do you think versatility is a necessity for DJs these days to set themselves apart from the masses?

Ali: I’ve always been pretty eclectic in my tastes – if a record is good and it fits, then play it – that should be the only remit.

We know that to sustain a DJing career, producing is becoming an integral part of maintaining one. Are there any words of wisdom you can give aspiring DJs and producers?

Ali: Make records – its as simple as that.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Ali: Who knows – I’ve never looked that far ahead.

For those who would like to buy a mix CD of yours, what mix that you've released would you say defines Ali B the best?

Ali: Well my Fabric one is one of my favourites though we released a compilation on my Air Recordings label a couple of years ago, which featured an exclusive track from everyone who had regularly been playing at my Air night like The Plump DJs, Krafty Kuts, Deekline etc. Some of the records have since been released as singles, but there are still a few on there that are still only available on that album from people like The Stanton Warriors etc.

What are your top 5 favourite funk floor shakers of all time? And we ask in a personal favourite, getting-drunk-with-your-mates-at-a-house-party-and-spinning-records-all-night kind of context.

Ali: Fred Wesley = House Party, Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side, Johnny Guitar Watson = Superman Lover, Gary Bartz – Music Is My Sanctuary, and anything by James Brown pre 1979…

Do you prefer the smell of smoke, or the smell of sweat? Since South Africa has not banned smoking in nightclubs yet.

Ali: Smell of smoke every time!!

You are known to bring the roof down, literally! What can Capetonians expect from your set Saturday?

Ali: Good times! The plan is just to have fun!

You can catch Ali B, live in South Africa at Fiction (22 Long Street) in Cape Town, Saturday, February 28.
Check out more info at the Facebook event HERE.

Ali B Discography:

See a full listing HERE.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Welcome to The Headphone Junkie!

The Headphone Junkie is a blog run by DJs/producers & good old fashioned music lovers alike, and is for anyone who listens to it, makes it, plays it and dances to it!

From the music that gets our bodies jacking, raving, bopping, bumping, grinding & busting out on the dancefloor, to the music that truly inspire and move us too. The music that soundtrack our every day, that plays host to the best (and worst) times of our lives. Music where your favourite headphones unveal those layers of shimmering sounds that spark our imaginations and blows our minds and hearts wide open...

We will be posting interviews with DJs/producers, label owners and other industry types, shed some (spot)light on various scenes and sounds, promote and cover local live events (here in South Africa) and offer some free mixes and songs for your downloading pleasure.

To top it all off, we will include discographies from all the artists we feature and the music we promote for you to find and get a hold of!

Our contributors have been selected based on their impeccable tastes, so we can assure you you are in the best possible hands.

We are also hereby extending an invitation to anyone and everyone interested in submitting mixes, remixes and productions of their own. You can e-mail us at theheadphonejunkie@gmail.com with the link(s) to where you are hosting it (Mediafire, Yousendit etc.)

If you have reviews and photos of South African parties, as well as any other related content that we might like, then send that through too and we will credit you accordingly if we end up featuring it.

To stay updated with our posts, all you need to do is just subscribe via our RSS feed and there you go, its as simple as that!

You can also join us on Myspace HERE and Facebook HERE.

Finally, a special thanks to Mary-Anne Hampton for designing our Headphone Junkies.

So that's all for now, but look out for our first official posting and some blog rockin' beats, coming to you soon!