06 November 2005


Returned home early yesterday to find that my next door neighbour had taken delivery of the 'as new' Stanton turntables I bought off e-bay (see pic in previous post). Wahey! Okay, so they're not exactly Technics, but these entry-level direct drives are a big step up from those crappy belt-drive decks I was working with before, and I got them pretty cheap. Plus a fresh wad of vinyl that I ordered whilst away had also arrived (Blackmarket's delivery service super-fast, as always. Also ordered a couple of releases from Independence Records for the first time ever. Too pricey, but I needed those tunes. Excellent service there as well.) Spent nearly £100 on tunes. Now that's what I call retail therapy!

But what to do with the old decks? I'm gonna give 'em to my old buddy Mike. Or perhaps I should say 'relinquish my stake in their ownership', as we bought those decks between us many years ago. We wanted to make it as djs, but never really got very far. Basically, if anyone we knew was throwing a party, we'd turn up with our gear and play, sometimes right through till dawn. Ahhh, great days. But like most of my long-term friends (all now in their mid-thirties/early- forties) Mike let his music obsession slip into the background as the weight of adult life took over. I still manage to drag him out with me occasionally, so he knows a bit about dubstep now and is always up for hearing new sounds, but he needs to be led. He's got a great collection of vinyl collecting dust in his attic though and hopefully having our old decks will inspire him to start spinning them again. Go Mikey!

Anyway, I went to the Electrotoxic night in Belfast last Sunday and had a wicked time. As always the locals were very friendly and the venue (Lavery's 'middle bar') had a nice vibe with the black walls and the pink circles - like a kinky TARDIS interior or summit.

One slight problem: Boxcutter didn't play!!

It was so frustrating. Poor Barry was having some 'technical problems' with his lappy - basically it kept crashing. He'd set-up some unearthly drones with his guitar and delay pedals that buzzed Doppler-style around the room like malevolent mosquitoes - I was enjoying them on their own! But the goddam 'puter just didn't wanna join in the fun, so Baz had to admit defeat and walk off stage. Heartbreaking! But he took it well (better than I did anyway) and of course it was lovely to finally meet the man in person after regularly corresponding for most of this year. Hopefully we'll be seeing him play in Bristol at some point next year (although it might be worth bringing some cd-r back-ups next time, eh Bazzer?).

Boxcutter @ Electrotoxic
"Work, you bastard!!!"

At least I got to see Tim Exile in action. I'd heard reports that his live laptop performances were a bit special, and those reports turned out to be true. Okay maybe his junglist/breakcore style was a bit too messed-up and frantic for my current tastes, but it was fascinating to watch his energetic, humorous, improvised performance, which included processing his own voice in real-time. He seems to have a slightly irreverent approach that's quite similar to Shitmat in terms of his choice of samples. At one point he was playing around with 2 Unlimited's pop-techno hit "No Limits", and I'm sure I heard a loop of Boney M's "Rasputin" in there too.

Exile @ Electrotoxic
"No No, No No No No, There's No Lyrics!"

Mind you, I was seriously hammered by that point, so might've imagined that bit. I had my crappy little digital video camera with me, and thought I'd have a go at capturing some of the vibe. Here's an 8 minute clip of Mr. Exile.

The audio is completely fucked, but I had an excellent view and it's interesting to watch what he's doing. Might give some of you kidz a few ideas about what can be done with a laptop and some extra bits of hardware. Might take a while to download though, so don't bother unless you're really interested.