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What's new in iJamming!...
Tue, Oct 23, 2001
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN: "Flowers is Echo & The Bunnymen's finest hour since Ocean Rain."
HEDONISM:
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online
From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.
"It's not U2 that's creating this great art. . .There's something that works through us to create in this way."
MUSING ON A SEPTEMBER MOURNING
PART1:
My immediate reaction to September 11
PART 2: Messages from friends & family overseas
PART 3: Observations & quotes from others.
PART 4: LINKS
PART 5: COPING - 2 weeks later
iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
Featured albums
(Hub, Slumber Party, DJ Harry, Spearhead, The Who tribute
)
Albums that sound different since September 11
(Charlatans UK, Arabian Travels, Cafe del Mar, Sugarcult)
Featured wine region 3:
SOUTHERN RHÔNE WHITES
Featured wine region 4:
SOUTHERN RHÔNE ROSÉS
iJamming! interview:
Jesse Hartman, aka LAPTOP
"Every New York band knows the meaning of failure"
MIX Albums:
Who, what and why you should bother (DB, Spooky, Jody, RSW, Bad Boy Bill)
FEATURED Wines (Langlois Cremant de Loire, Honig Sauvignon Blanc, Campbell's Muscat, Brumont Gros Manseng, Dr Frank Gewürtztraminer, Daubree CoteRotie, Dry Creek Chenin Blanc, Mas Saint Laurent Picpoul, Quivira Dry Creek)
The iJAMMING! interview: DAVID SYLVIAN
"I don't think people realize that life can become so exciting and interesting that it can draw you away for long periods of time from creating music - & why not?"
From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .
From Homework to the Disco:
DAFT PUNK
grows up and dumbs down
The iJAMMING! chat:
MARK PERRY

"If I was asked why Sniffin' Glue was so important, it was the way we conducted ourselves, the style of it, just the attitude. It had attitude in abundance didn't it?"
The Return of Shoegazing:
DOVES take New York by swarm
Forgotten Classics:
THE CHILLS: Brave Words
THE iJAMMING! Book Review:
SNIFFIN' GLUE: The Essential Punk Accessory
Musing with SALLY TAYLOR:
"I'm not interested in what the major labels have to offer."
From the JAMMING! archives: PAUL WELLER ON POP
Featured wine region 2:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
From the JAMMING! archives: ALTERNATIVE TV
interviewed in 1978
TRAVIS.
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song." (And why Liam Gallagher "is going to turn into a really great songwriter.")
Featured Artist Web Site:
LLOYD COLE
From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation
Featured vine:
VIOGNIER:
Finally, a worthy rival to Chardonnay.
The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.
"Once you've had your go, what-ever it may be, they want you to piss off, and they can't bear it if you come back, they can't bear it."
SUPERDRAG
They love rock'n'roll but they don't want to deal with the hassle
From the JAMMING! archives: RAYMONDE in 1985
The full iJamming! Contents
The iJAMMING! interview!
BOY GEORGE
, Part 2
Part 1

That brings us to the mix CD [the Essential Mix due for release in the new year]. The really nice thing I think people are going to enjoy is the progression. Where it starts and where it ends are two completely different places.

It's kind of like a journey through my personal tastes. I love a bit of everything. Obviously you can't drop two-step in a northern club, a lot of that freedom you had in the early acid house days is gone now. Because the whole dance thing has become so corporate, And one of the really nice things about America is that America isn't really at that stage yet so there isn't that strictness about what you can put on the records, so you can really show people that your tastes are varied and wide. You can't really get away with that in England. At the beginning it was like that with the Ministry Of Sound, in the beginning it was much more of a collaboration and then it became really corporate; I'm hoping it will take a few years before that happens in America.

I think it will, because America is so big., For clubs to become corporate they can only really do it in their area. Clubs can go on the road here, but the idea of some Cream club organization is out of the question.

There's a freedom here that we've really lost in England. To me, two step is the sexiest sound around. And that will blossom into something else. It's the same as speed garage, that mutated and became something else. And that's one of the great things about the UK - it keeps mutating all the time.

People can't believe the speed that the UK moves at, and that's both its greatness and its weakness. Its great because it's so challenging, the problem is that people get to make two great records, and then that sound is out.

I think that another thing I love about DJing is that you don't have to listen to what's in the dance charts, you don't have to worry about what Pete Tong or Judge Jules is playing, you can literally take a record that someone made in their bedroom and rock a house with it. I do think that as a DJ you have a little bit more freedom, because so much music is now corporate and generic, even dance music to a certain extent. But it's one of the few places that you have complete freedom. If you drop a record at the right time, it doesn't matter whether people love it or not. What I try to do is balance it with dropping a record that people are familiar with. Then twenty minutes of new things. Every so often you give them something... Maybe a bootleg. You can't put them on albums, which is really frustrating because sometimes they're better than the actual records.

The thing about the two-step sound that you open up with on the album is that's going to be new to so many people.

It's basically R&B. With a bit of ragga. I think that if anything is going to cross over here [in America] it's going to be that sound, because it basically does incorporate that American R&B flava. It's interesting because all the American artists are going over to England and getting two-step remixes done for the English market. But they still haven't quite grasped it over here. They're a bit like, What is this?'

Very much 'What is this?' They got into drum and bass on the underground, but the two-step thing is still going to be very new for them.

You should go to certain two-step clubs in London and watch people dancing. The first time I went to a two-step club, one of the guys on my label, Kinky Roland, he was first doing this kind of stuff two or there years gao, he delivered us this record and I said 'What the fuck is this? It's really off the wall, it's not thumping,' and he said 'Come down to this club and check it out,' and so I did, it was at Heaven - again - and I walked in and I was like, 'Wow!' When you can hear it turned up with all the sub bass, it's really exciting. And it's slightly angular and left of center. There's a lot of shit, but it's like any kind of dance music, there are great records and then there are those that are formula. Like the Richie Dan record, to me, it ties in that old ragga thing, the reggae thing that I love. ..

And Culture Club introduced reggae to a lot of people. How many tracks are you involved in on this mix album?

Two or three. Cultural Diversion, the Kinky Roland track and the Colein track which is a bit more trancey. 'Prada Trance,' I call it. It's classy trance!

I was looking at DJ Magazine and your quote that "trance is for people who haven't discovered the bottom part of their bodies."

Someone like Timo Maas is one of the few people who bridges that thing. It's swishy, so gay people can get it, and it's slightly laddy as well. White boys dance with the top half of their bodies, and black people or funkier people dance with their hips. Two step is the only dance you can do sitting down! You go to a lot of the ravey clubs and it's lads with their shirts off and it's all arms. Whereas if you go to a two-step club it's more about shaking your botty.

Was that quote a straight up diss on trance, because I got into the second half of your mix CD and it is quite trancey.

I don't really want to get into slagging anybody off. But I don't think it's that kind of 'just add water' trance. I think it's just a bit more thoughtful than that, a bit more moody and dark. To me, I don't even think they should call it trance, it's more like progressive house. All these terms are so stupid, aren't they?

"There's something I notice the Americans have which is quite unique, and it's just this simplicity. It can just be one little noise, or one little filter, or a sound on a hi hat, that just makes (a record) incredible. Subtlety I think."


The thing with all these styles is that the pop records are only ever a couple of months behind. Trance gets big, and the pop records are just behind. The thing is, bad trance is really bad. Maybe because the melodies are so simple that if you make a really commercial records it's like listening to a nursery rhyme.

One of the things I've always found hard as a songwriter is that it's quite hard to write an intense lyric over something that's 130bpm. And also a lot of people who make dance records, the reason they don't use a lot of vocals is because technically they can't get their heads around shifting chords. So it's much easier just sticking in one line. It's a slight laziness. But i think the roots of it it is that people have mastered the technical side of making grooves work, making bass lines work, but they haven't got their heads around the whole chord structure thing. I guess 'Generations of Love' was one of the few things where I managed to get an interesting lyric with a dance beat, but it is tough.

I always think part of the whole beauty of dance music, and why a lot of rock people can't get it, is that the music is about texture rather than melody. You can keep the groove going for eight minutes without having to worry about chord patterns.

I think the best dance records seem to have nothing in them. If you think about from last year, 'House of Bamboo' by Flip Man, which I did think about putting on this record, sometimes it's just the EQ. That's what someone like Timo Maas - I haven't used him on this record because he's on everything - but what's interesting about his remix of Azzido da Bass is that that was the biggest Carnival record this year. All the two step people were playing it. Some of my favorite gigs this year were warm up clubs like at Mambo, and I was dropping a lot of two step stuff, but I have to be careful about it. There are a lot of girls into it, but not all of them. I'm always careful not to write anything off, because someone might then come along and do a record that's a hybrid of two different styles and blow your mind.

Like, I get a lot of stuff sent to me because I do a radio show now in England, but I still find that good records have to be bought. You have to buy them. Also people just walk up to you in the street and hand you things. It's brilliant because I am one of those people who if someone hands me something I will listen to them. In Ibiza this summer I got given three or four things and one of them I played about five minutes after I got it. I know a lot of DJs won't do that, but to me it adds excitement to what you're doing. I used to love that thing about radio where years ago you could walk into Radio 1 give them your new single and they'd play it. I also remember going to Paradise Garage and giving Larry ) a Culture Club remix and he put it straight on.

So you try and maintain that enthusiasm?

Yeah. Obviously you've got to know what's in your box. And some records stay in my box for a year or longer. And sometimes I think I've got to get a record out that I haven't played in three years or five years and sometimes those records sound so current. There was a track we did about two or three years ago called Dream Time, with a girl called Z, and that, as a Quiver remix, he was totally ahead of his time when he made that record, I played it in Ibiza and people were coming up going 'what is that?'

-Green Velvet's 'Flash' was out years ago, and was only big this summer.

Well, the original was very dark, Some of the stuff on the Subliminal label, it's got a bit of a rocket up its arse, it's a bit more pumping. I remember we used to go to clubs in America and be like 'Fucking hell, when is it going to start?' It would be like one big warm up! One record I really wanted to put on here was the Cevin Fisher remix of Morel's 'Grooving the Game', it's one of the best dance records I've heard in years. There's something I notice the Americans have which is quite unique, and it's just this simplicity. It can just be one little noise, or one little filter, or a sound on a hi hat, that just makes it incredible. Subtlety I think. Luckily I think it's filtering over to the UK, so its exciting.

Its seems to me that with the DJing taking off for you, the making music has died down.

What it was, in the early days of More Protein, we were doing that real commercial-edged house music with Eve Gallagher, working with Cleveland City, we were flogging a lot of that to Europe so we making most of our money from Italy and Spain and France because they were eating it up and putting it on compilations. We were making a fortune but they they learned to do it, and they stopped buying our records and filtering through their own stuff. So we went through a self-indulgent period where we started doing break beat and weird stuff like The Colein, breakbeat stuff but with Gaelic vibes, all stuff that got brilliant reviews but didn't sell. In the last few months we've got focussed again on the dance thing. We have another label called Things To Come which is more a quirky, indie label, and to be honest we've spent the last three years working on that. After More Protein went down a bit, a lot of the things we put out people didn't know I was involved in. More Protein got a reputation for a sound and people got dismissive. So we thought 'well we cant do that any more'

You're not a DJ who's known for the 'Boy George' remix.

I've done some with Kinky. And I've done some for overseas. But t's something that I've... I don't want to just do things like that for the money anyway. I'd much rather do something because I like it.

I think what I'm saying is that for a lot of people, out of everything - DJing, remixing and making records - the remixing is the cash cow.

Well I don't need the money. In terms of remixing I need credibility. I did a mix of 'Filthy Mind' with Kinky Roland - we used another one on the CD - Oakenfold made ours single of the month in Muzik which was great, a real compliment, and to me that was much more important than how much I got paid for it. Because again it's fighting peoples preconceptions on what you're capable of and what you do. Obviously I'm in a luxury position, if someone calls up for a mix I don't have to do it for the money. I'll do it because I like it.

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED SEPTEMBER 29 2000

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