Monday, 19 December 2011

The Best of 2011 !! Links and tracklistings!

So! I did it! As promised/threatened, Here are the links and tracklistings for all three parts of my Best Of 2011 Mix.

The content of the three mixes is as thus -

White - This is the least 'mixed' of the three - a blend of my favourite indie, hip-hop and electronica, one for the more laidback and thoughtful moments

Blue - This is the house party mix, starting with reggae and hip-hop vibes easing you into an epic romp through some marvellous cosmic disco, electro and house.

Red - This is the RAVE mix - Full-on big room energy ranging from house & techno to moombahton to all shades of dubstep and drum & bass.


The Best of 2011 : White Mix

DJ Dellamorte - The Best of 2011 (White) by Dj Dellamorte

1. Skream ft Sam Frank – Where You Should Be
2. Bon Iver – Skinny Love (Das Kapital Re-rub)
3. Peter, Bjorn & John – May Seem Macabre
4. Bear Hands – High Society
5. Jay-Z and Kanye West – Murder to Excellence
6. Jens Lekman – An Argument With Myself
7. Cassie – Radio Ft Fabolous
8. Blue Scholars ft Macklemore – Tommy Chong
9. Akira The Don – All The Right Things
10. Das Racist – Rainbow In The Dark
11. Kidz In The Hall – Livin' It
12. The Dream – Fuck My Brains Out
13. Matt & Kim – Cameras
14. Gramatik- DreamBIG
15. Poolside- Harvest Moon
16. Adele – Set Fire To The Rain (Plastic Plates Mix)
17. Germany Germany – Cold Hands
18. Lykke Li – I Follow Rivers (The Magician Mix)

The Best Of 2011 :Blue Mix

DJ Dellamorte - The Best Of 2011 (Blue Mix) by Dj Dellamorte

1. Beres Hammond – Pull Up
2. Major Lazer – Keep It Going Louder (So Shifty 1961 Ska Mix)
3. Wiley – Numbers In Action (Sticky Mix)
4. Mark Ronson & The Business International – Record Collection (Plastic Plates Mix)
5. Classic Brothers – Munchies (Rimer London Mix)
6. Germany Germany – Take Your Time
7. Human Life – In It Together (Polygon Palace Mix)
8. Daft Punk – Tron End Titles (Sander Kleinenberg Mix)
9. The Rapture – How Deep Is Your Love?
10. Solila – Til The Light Comes
11. Kome & Kumar – Zanzibars (Instrumental)
12. Classixx – Into The Valley
13. The Aston Shuffle – Start Again (Jump Jump Dance Dance Mix)
14. Keljet – Laserflies
15. Adele – Rolling In The Deep (TABS Mix)
16. Punches – Sleepless City (Flosstradamus Mix)
17. Katy B – Lights On (Gigamesh Mix)
18. Morning Parade – Under The Stars (Get People Mix)

The Best of 2011 : Red Mix

DJ Dellamorte - The Best Of 2011 (Red Mix) by Dj Dellamorte

1. Knife Party – Internet Friends
2. Sharooz – Hysteresis
3. Fake Blood – Voices
4. Udachi ft Short Stories – Stumble
5. Toddla T ft Shola Ama – Take It Back (Dillon Francis Mix)
6. Flux Pavillion – Bass Cannon (Direct Feed Mix)
7. Nero – Innocence
8. Plan B – Prayin' (Plan B Mix)
9. Breakage ft Jess Mills- Fighting Fire
10. Flux Pavillion – Hold Me Close
11. Chase & Status – Time (Specimen A Mix)
12. Rusko – Everyday (Netsky Mix)
13. Ooah -The Love I Need
14. Nero – Crush On You (Knife Party Mix)
15. Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Close
16. Gyptian – Hold You (Shy fx & Benny Page Mix)
17. Cassius – I <3 U So (Skream Mix)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Psst!

I’ve been a little quiet here recently, I know – Gigs and holidays and work have been conspiring to keep me busy the last month or so, and I’ve fallen behind accordingly in all sorts of ways.

But! A week or so ago my show for Spiritplant’s 8th anniversary weekend went out and was very well received – Basically a mixture of party classics and singalong floorfillers – You can stream or download it (along with all my other shows) over here.

And also, work has begun in earnest on what is fast becoming a seasonal tradition – My top tunes of the year, and accompanying mixes to showcase them. I’m currently halfway through the shortlist, which will be painstaking whittled down to my 50 favourite tracks of 2011, and most of them will be appearing (as last year) in 3 seperate mixes, as long as I can shoehorn them into some kind of order. Exciting times, eh?

Anyway, I’ll hopefully see you very shortly when the results are in.

Take care!

Dx

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Triple Dip! 01/11/11

Hello one and all and welcome to Dellamorte’s Triple Dip! It’s the first day of November, and whether you’re writing a novel, growing a moustache or just hibernating for the winter and avoiding fireworks I’ve got a handful of tunes you need in your life!

First up is someone I’ve been banging on about for a while now – A chap called Germany Germany, who is a dude from Canada who makes lovely dreamy electronica – He very readily cites The Postal Service as being a massive influence on his website, and, yes, I can see that, and it’s a very good influence to have. Anyway, as you can see, there are some things you can download on his website, so I suggest you do just that. Here’s my favourite track off his album ‘Adventures’ –

Take Your Time by Germany Germany

So? Do you like cut-up jazz and funk beats that make you nod your head and smile like a lunatic? Of COURSE you do! And that’s why you’re going to love the work of Gramatik. The Slovenian hip-hop head has been putting out various projects for a few years but he recently popped up on my radar via his FREE album (well, it’s a pay-what-you-like release, and I reckon he’d appreciate a few quids) on Pretty Lights Music (click link to D/L their entire back catalogue!) This tune, Moar Jive, really jumps out for me, I can see it going down very well in a party, although I have not, as yet, tested this

Gramatik - Moar Jive by Gramatik

Finally, many of you will have heard of Krafty Kuts, one of the funkiest and most skilled DJs ever to have lived. Some of you may have heard of Featurecast also, and this release teams them up and lets them loose on something I really wasn’t expecting – A dubstep re-rub of one of my favourite hip-hop records (It Was A Good Day by Ice Cube). This is great, enjoy (and go buy it!)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

John Peel day - some memories.

Seven years ago today I received a text from my friend Kerrie telling me John Peel had passed away. I didn’t believe her at first – It was literally unthinkable to me that such a thing could have happened, but then TV, the radio, and the newspapers confirmed it. John was no more.





I was inconsolable for weeks - and gradually I discovered I was far from the only one, which came as something of a surprise, due to Peel’s perceived outsider status. I only knew one other person obsessed with his show as I was, after all – But then it started to make sense – Peel had been around since the birth of pop radio, after all, since the days of psychedelic pirate radio, he had reached into teenage bedrooms and transformed lives for years, not counting his radio 4 appearances, which had endeared him to a whole other kind of audience.

Anyway, let’s flashback a few years.

1993, and my 14 year old self had been devouring the stranger aspects of the top 40 (in the days when independent releases peppered the hit parade like buckshot from the underground), I had started buying music magazines with my then-heroes on the cover – Bjork, De La Soul, The Orb, Suede, etc. In amongst the pages of these magazines I started reading about bands and artists I’d never heard on Bruno Brookes’ chart countdown, but who sounded utterly fascinating – The Aphex Twin and King Tubby – names which sounded exotic, descriptions of music that defied everything I had heard thus far. It would be very hard to describe to those who grew up in an internet age how distant and mysterious that music you heard never actually heard could be – But there you go. Imagine it if you can.

Then one day I remember well, I was at an antique/collector’s fair in mid-Wales, helping out my parents on their stall, and the hippy couple who I had an affinity with had the radio on – This was Sunday afternoon if I remember rightly. Suddenly I heard this echoing, massive bassline – It sounded like the skinhead reggae I had grown up with listening to (my brother-in-law had been a DJ in Bristol in the late seventies) , only broken to bits and reconstructed in the most psychedelic way imaginable. I was transfixed! Then a deep voice came on and announced I had just been listening to the late, great King Tubby! So THIS was what King Tubby sounded like! And on the RADIO? Well...Soon afterwards I learnt that this was John Peel’s show, and, although most of the rest of the show puzzled me beyond belief, I was hooked.

A few weeks later was my 15th birthday, and me and a friend had stayed up late playing Atari ST games in the front room, when I decided to put the radio on – more crazy music, this time Aphex Twin, John Peel again!

In time I listened to every show, utilising blank tapes and the pause button to it’s best effect – At the start I would maybe collect 4 or 5 tunes from each show onto tape – mostly dub reggae and the then-emergent sound of jungle, but eventually I would be getting a side of tape per show, as my tastes gradually widened to include obscure American punk tunes, old country and African music – the show was a real goldmine.





A few years later I had the fortune to meet Peel’s Radio One colleague Steve Lamacq when he played a show in Aberystwyth. I had a really nice long chat with him and he told me lots of anecdotes about Peel, which made me feel even closer to the man himself.

A few years after that I was living in London, and I met Gaz, a fellow Peel obsessive. With the advent of e-mail and text messaging we were able to actually contact John during his shows, and ‘Fuzz’ and ‘Gazcloud’ became regular names read out – One particular time I remember answering a query from another listener regarding a metal record that used songs from the Wizard Of Oz (‘Oz on 45’ by The Squirrels) that Peel had played in the 80’s. I remember stated that I wasn’t sure if he had played it in the 80’s but he had certainly played it in 1995. “how the hell did you remember that, Fuzz?”, John asked on air. A rhetorical question, I imagine – I did, of course, have it on one of the hundreds of off-air recordings that I would listen to when Peel’s show wasn’t on...

During that period I was fortunate enough to attend several of the live Peel sessions at Maida Vale - I remember Herman Dune, Melt Banana and Dreadzone as particular favourites (Dreadzone especially as the band were very friendly and I got to shake the hand of reggae legend Earl 16). During the Herman Dune session I got to meet the man himself for the first time...

I cannot tell you how nervous I was! I was never the most confident of people in my early twenties, and this was John Peel! The man who had unknowingly soundtracked my years of teenage heartbreak and struggle, who had brought me so much joy and so many tunes to weep along with, who had widened my horizons far beyond the biggest selling records, who had changed me for life. The walk into the sound-proofed DJ booth (around 6 feet), seemed like the longest walk of my life – heightened by the fact that the corridor in was pitch black, and the booth beyond was bathed in a brilliant white glow. And in the middle of the glow was John, alone. The people I was with had come bearing gifts for him, which was a great way to hang back, let them do the talking – I had no idea what I was going to say. Anyway, for some reason the conversation had gotten on to bands with rude names – and I got my opportunity – “I remember the first time you said ‘f*ck’ on the radio actually” (this was in relation to the band with the same name, who Peel had previously referred to either as ‘The band with a name like ‘duck’’, or, latterly ‘Feck’). “I know”, John replied, beaming, “I actually kept looking around expecting the ground to swallow me up”.

There were other times too – later were his Fabric appearances (I didn’t miss any of those), where he would play everything from African hi-life to hardcore nosebleed techno, where the crowd kept chanting 'John Peel' for some ten mins into the next DJ's set, and were some of the most fun nights of my life (especially when Louise the producer sat down and had beer with us prior), but I’ll still remember John oddly dwarfed by the womb-like studio, unprepossessing, shuffling about a little shy and nervous, but coming to life when playing and discussing the music he passionately loved.

I still miss you most days now John, and I really can’t thank you enough.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Triple Dip delights

Hello, and welcome again to Dellamorte’s triple-dip! The occasional series wherein I share three tracks (or sometimes DJ mixes) which have been tickling my aural pleasure receptors over the last fortnight. In some unshocking business-as-usual news, they’re a pretty varied selection, so let’s kick off!

Those who know a little bit about the frankly awful state of American pop post rock ‘n’ roll and pre Motown & British Invasion (basically 1960-1962) may well be aware of “Love Letters” by Ketty Lester – a gloopy piece of schmaltz if ever there was one. However, Ketty’s career post hit was pretty interesting – she later starred in blaxploitation films such as Uptight and the rather wonderful Blacula, and she was, in 1964 behind this record, which has since become highly prized by the Northern Soul community – a record warning about digging too deep into the past of your partner, which I find rather sweet.

(I usually pick up songs I have never heard before for this feature, but in this case this is a record I used to play way way back in time, when I was learning my DJ chops in mid-Wales as a resident at funk & soul night Superstition. For some reason I hadn’t heard it in....ooh, almost ten years, until I came across a random compilation last weekend, and this, along with various other tracks, took me right back to the DJ booth at the now-closed Bay Hotel in Aberystwyth)




Now Breakage is someone I’ve been aware of in the drum & bass world for close on a decade now, but in the last year or so he’s fully embraced the sounds of dubstep, and made what I consider to be by far his strongest work, from the epic, widescreen remixes of Plan B’s ‘Prayin’’ and Clare Maguire’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ to the jaw dropping minimal forward thrust of Fighting Fire (ft Jess Mills). Here he remixes something from the new album by Roots Manuva (which is in itself well worth checking out), and turns into some old-skool 1993 rave breakbeat deliciousness. Dust masks at the ready!

Roots Manuva - Get the Get (Breakage Remix) by Arsène

(If you’re loving these rave sounds, remember you can go over to my own Soundcloud page and download my two ‘Haunt Of Togetherness’ mixes)

Now over to Australia’s Sneaky Sound System for some much needed light and positivity after Breakage’d dark out! These guys are a duo I’ve been aware of since the Riot In Belgium remix of their ‘I Love It’ was one of my favourite records of 2006 – since then they’ve raised their profile by recording with Tiesto and releasing lots of ace pop records –and they have a new album out. This is my current favourite from it , and it’s romantic, positive disco pop that you really cannot argue with.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Weekenders


Hey kids,

I have a show over at Spirtplants radio this weekend – It goes out at 9.45pm GMT on Saturday night (considerably earlier than usual!) and then repeated at 11am GMT Sunday morning – One of my most varied shows yet ,actually, from disco to indie to northern soul to ska to dubstep and drum & bass. I’ll be manning the chatroom on the Sunday morning repeat also, so do come say hi!

However, if you’re in the London vicinity on Saturday then come to the Hobgoblin in Angel, where I’ll be playing a 2 hour set from 11pm-1am of total party tunes (indie, Motown, funk, reggae, maybe even some classic pop if you’re lucky) in my own inimitable style (EG I’ll probably be jumping around). It’s free, so come join in the fun!

See you at the weekend!

D
x

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Triple Dip Number 2!

Hello, and welcome to the second edition of Dellamorte’s triple-dip, in which I list three random tunes which have been blowing my tiny mind in the past couple of weeks.

First up is Katy B – everyone likes a bit of Katy B and her dubstep/pop crossover, don’t they? Certainly helps that she seems like a very likeable, normal and down-to-earth young lady. Anyway, I digress! I should be here to talk about the music! Well, first off her tune Lights On (featuring the evergreen Ms Dynamite) was a rather catchy number in its original form, but props to remixer and Minneapolis resident Gigamesh, who gave me something I had no idea that I wanted – a proper old-skool electro (as in ‘New York Street Sounds’ electro) re-rub of it. And it’s awesome – Have a listen!

Katy B - Lights On (Gigamesh Remix) [DL link in info section] by GIGAMESH

Next out of the gate is a remix that’s been around for ages of a tune that’s been around for even longer, but a few weeks ago I heard this dropped at XOYO, and got so over-excited I nearly put my back out. It inspired quite an outbreak of singing along and silly dancing, as well, and it makes me smile every time I hear it – so without further ado, the genius re-edit of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere by Psychemagik.

Fleetwood Mac Everywhere (Psychemagik Edit) by Psychemagik

Finally, you may or may not have heard either of my Haunt Of Togetherness mixes (listen or download over at my own Soundcloud page), but they both pick a zig-zag path through all kinds of recent rave music, and as such, there’s quite a lot of dubstep involved. Now, there is an awful lot of dubstep around these days, as you may have gathered, and much of it is, frankly, just noise (as my father used to say), so it’s nice to hear a new dubstep tune which has something of the depth and darkness of the earlier days of Skream and Benga – This is one of those tracks.




That’s me out, anyway. See you for another dip in a couple of weeks!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Film Review - The Witches (1966)

The Witches (1966)




Now, if you’re anything like myself, you’ll find a Hammer horror film irresistible – From undisputed classics such as The Devil Rides Out or The Curse Of Frankenstein, to their lesser fare such as Dracula AD 1972 or even the godawful Ralph Bates starrer Horror Of Frankenstein, I can’t get enough of their low-budget-but-always-professional outings, and I for one was overjoyed when the recently resurrected company came back with such strong material as Let Me In and the astoundingly good Wake Wood.
The Witches concerns a woman (Joan Fontaine) who suffered some kind of traumatic experience whilst working for a mission in Africa – something about witchdoctors forcing an uprising, although it’s never really gone into in any detail. To recover from her mental breakdown she takes a job as headmistress at a private school in the country, which at first seems idyllic, until she gradually realises darker forces are at work in the village (I’ll give you a clue here – Read the title of the film again). When she is about to expose the village’s elderly witch for what she believes is murder, she suddenly suffers another breakdown and her memory is wiped...will she recover enough to expose the conspiracy of witchcraft?
The Witches at first seems an atypical outing – It’s a Joan Fontaine vehicle for one, which she co-produced (stories abound of her being very dissatisfied with her working conditions and of possibly being upstaged by her co-star Kay Walsh), and features none of Hammer’s regular stock of actors, although the ones who appear (Leonard Rossiter as a suspicious doctor, Michele Dotrice aka Betty from Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em as a young housekeeper) are of top quality – are excellent, with special merit being given to Kay Walsh as a provoctative newspaper columnist and Alec McCowan as her obviously rather unhinged brother (we first see him dressed as a priest, but it soon transpires he wears the collar ‘for comfort’). Also of merit is the script by the late, great, ever-reliable Nigel Kneale, which touches on British folklore and Pagan traditions several years before The Wicker Man appeared – In fact, there are many parallels to that film here. In its first half the film is actually quite brilliant – with an air of mystery gradually unfolding, and some great humorous touches and a very intelligent, adult feel to the whole thing. Unfortunately, whether to do with what was allowed on-screen at the time, or by a massive mis-step by director Cyril Frankel (mostly known for directing episodes of every cool TV series from the 70’s), the entire film is deflated by a ludicrous final sequence – It probably won’t be too much of a spoiler to tell you that there is a black mass, but the way it’s portrayed looks frankly like a bunch of posh stage school actors in ripped clothes improvising a voodoo dance, which, well, is probably what it is, and it’s utterly laughable.
I’d watched most of the film genuinely excited that I’d discovered a lost classic of British horror in fact, and remarked such at the time. Unfortunately, when the credits rolled, my opinion had changed to ‘oh’. My advice would be to watch it up until the scene where the cat is (literally) let out of the bag (actually quite disturbing, this bit!), and then attempt to forgive the last 15 minutes. Or watch something else instead. C’est la vie!


Film Review - The Silent House (2010)

Firstly, I haven’t seen an awful lot of films from Uruguay. In fact, The Silent House is the only one (yes, I did do my homework and go through a list of Uruguayan films just to check. There really aren’t that many).

Secondly, I haven’t seen an awful lot of films that purport to be in ‘real time’ either – especially not that take pains to look as if they were filmed in one take as well. In fact, errr...I’ve still not see one of those.

So, yes, Silent House doesn’t really deliver on it’s initial promise of one-take real-time terror – There are camera edits (although well hidden), and the coda takes place the next day, but such technical criticism seems rather churlish, as the film should stand on the merits of its story and atmosphere, right?

Well.

The plot (what little of it exists) goes like this – Handyman and his young daughter go to clear out an abandoned old house which the owner is selling. They arrive at night and are to sleep there until the next day. The father soon falls asleep and the girl starts to hear some strange and rather disturbing noises. Then her father wakes and goes to investigate, until he turns up bound and dead....

That’s literally all the plot I can give away without spoilering. Unfortunately I rather wish I could be more spoilerific with this review, because A) Most of my negative reaction to this film comes with the ending and B) You’d be less likely to want to see it.

To be fair, for the most part the film does what I expected it to do – It puts you at unease with the feel of the real time, single take, where there is a lot of darkness and not much happening, and then steadily amps up the scares – most of which are of the very effective ‘unexplained scary noise’ variety, until the dead father turns up, and things get stranger.

Unfortunately, it’s the aforementioned ‘twist’ ending that breaks it apart. On the first watch I was a little confused, so I attempted it again, and got even more confused. Obviously, in a reviewer, this is generally not a good look, so I went and read all the spoilery reviews I could find in an attempt to make sense. Where am I now? Well, I’m still just as confused, if I’m honest - whether it was the film maker’s intention to have this as deliberately vague as it comes across, or whether it was a result of bad writing/story telling I’m not sure, but it will leave the average viewer scratching their heads and shrugging (sorry, I could go into specifics, but, again, spoilers).

So all in all I cannot really recommend The Silent House – which is a shame, as for the first 40 minutes or so I was impressed by the naturalistic acting and setting and the slow-burn tension – But slow burn is useless without release, and that just doesn’t happen here.

Friday, 30 September 2011

MYTHAGO RAVE!

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I posted a mix up, and so I’m pleased to announce you can now get over to Soundcloud and listen/download my latest mix, Haunt Of Togetherness 2 : Mythago Rave. It’s just over an hour of the freshest and heaviest filthstep and drum & bass out there, all mashed up together. I really hope you enjoy it, leave me a comment!

Peace,

Dr D

Dellamorte presents Haunt Of Togetherness Part Two; Mythago Rave by Dj Dellamorte

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

So, some of you may be aware of my musical outings as one-third of ADD genre-hopping electronica act Codex Machine. I mention this because it's with great sadness that we're marking the death of Jerry Haynes , a fascinating man (read the link!) who we sampled on our track Big Noise a couple of years back. In tribute we present to you a free download.

Please share, love, dance and make BIG NOISE.

Big Noise by CodexMachine

Saturday, 24 September 2011

This weekend's Radio Show

Hi folks,

I've got another show over at Spiritplants this weekend - It's on at 12.30am Saturday night and repeated at 12.30pm Sunday lunchtime GMT....This week we have music and remixes by/of such artists as Tensnake, Ratatat, RAC, Stevie Wonder, Sugarhill Gang, Kool & The Gang, Wild Cherry, Mark Ronson and Chic. Come join in the fun!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Triple Dip Time!

So welcome to Dellamorte’s Triple Dip! I did a similar post a couple of months back, with a few treats old and new which I’ve dug up on my musical travels and which I think you need to hear...I enjoyed doing it so much that I’ve decided to turn it into a semi-regular feature.

First off, here’s a tune from LA-based duo Poolside, who make what they term ‘daytime disco’ (Frankly it’s what I put under the possibly erroneous umbrella of ‘cosmic disco’ myself, which I use to cover a variety of sins). But whatever you wish to call it, what we have here is a slow, shimmering disco cover of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, which almost tangibly ripples with heat, and it’s bloody gorgeous. Check it.

Poolside - Harvest Moon by Poolside Music

Their website is over at www.poolsidemusic.com

Now here’s an oddity – a super-obscurity from a very well known band...The Animals are quite rightly held up as one of the premier ‘beat’ bands of the sixties – Their extrapolation of American R&B into a hard-living Northern British idiom made for some very powerful pop music indeed. However, towards the late sixties they went through many line-up changes, even (as Eric Burdon & The Animals) embracing US psychedelia (and all it’s trappings). All their work from this period is well worth checking out, but until very recently I was unaware of the album ‘Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted’, which was recorded in 1976, and released in 1977, featuring the original line-up (indeed, billed on the album cover as The Original Animals). Apparently it sold rather well in the Netherlands, but elsewhere was lost amidst the new wave of punk music which was then making the old guard seem passé. A real shame, since this is a great album, with real passion, depth and soul all the way through. Check this cover of Dylan’s Baby Blue out... It’s a song which has been covered a great many times, but this is perhaps now my favourite version.




Lastly, but oh-so-certainly not leastly, my favourite dance artist has a new EP out! (and, be still my trembling fanboy heart, a first LP on the horizon). Fake Blood’s Deep Red EP, is, well, 3 tracks of exactly what we’ve come to expect, actually, and certainly none of the worse for that. In my humble opinion nobody has ever made house music quite like Fake Blood, and despite many imitations, no-one else gets it quite right. Enjoy! And don’t forget to buy it from Juno here!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Film Review - Alien 2 : On Earth (1980)



The world of the Italian exploitation film is a strange one – From 1956 until petering out sharply in the early nineties, the Italians simply made the most colourful, exciting and over the top B movies in the world, mostly with ultra-low budgets and a sense of artistic freedom undreamt of by Holywood. Their pioneer spirit and commercial nous (many Italian exploitation films did incredible business around the world) sometimes meant that conventionally accepted rules were sometimes bent, however, such as in the case of ‘Alien 2’.

Obviously, Alien 2 is not an official sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi/horror masterpiece Alien – The official sequel was, of course, James Cameron’s awesomely pumped-up 1986 Aliens – Instead Alien 2 was apparently written before the Alien trademark was registered (another story claims that the producers of Alien attempted to sue for $10 million, but were thwarted when a 1930 novel also titled ‘Alien’ came to light). There’s no way even the most uneducated of viewers could mistake this for a film in the same series however. Instead this feels a lot more akin to, for instance, Norman J Warren’s ‘aliens in a cave’ flick Inseminoid (also 1980), with plot points borrowed from the first two Quatermass films.

The basic plot goes like this – after a plethora of stock footage, we learn that an aborted space mission is on it’s way back to Earth, (shades of the original Quatermass here). A young woman starts having terrible visions which may or may not be linked to the return of the mission (You may or may not be surprised!). When the spacecraft returns, all of it’s occupants seem to be missing, and a few days later strange blue rocks start appearing around LA.

The girl who was having the premonitions is part of a group of pot-holers investigating stalactites, and their caving expedition runs afoul of the deadly blue stones, which, in a twist blatantly obvious to anyone slightly familiar with Quatermass 2 or the ‘chest-burster’ creatures from the original Alien, turn out to creatures which incubate within human hosts. Can they survive?

I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed Alien 2 quite as much as did, but I did. Part of this is the aesthetic joy I get from watching any Italian exploitation, specifically that filmed abroad (on location in California no less!) without sync sound and with Cinecitta dubbing and sound effects, and part of it is the sheer wrong-headedness of the monsters and the gore. The creatures resemble nothing more than piles of guts (fairly likely that’s what they were..I have a theory that butchers made half their income from gore films in the 70’s) which burrow into people and, er, make their heads explode – Or, in one particularily grin-inducing moment, slowly drop off in a shower of grue. None of the well-thought out and convincing ecology of Scott’s Alien here – This thing is played for yucks alone, and when they come, they’re brilliantly executed (for the budget and time, silly and effective yucks – Actually pre-empting, in the case of one or two, Rob Bottin’s FX from the Thing a couple of years later (there’s no secret that John Carpenter was a fan of the Italian horror film, after all). It’s a shame that (spoiler alert) when the fully-grown alien at the end makes an appearance, we only see it from a POV shot (through an, erm, interestingly-shaped ‘eye’).

All in all, then, your enjoyment of Alien 2 probably relies on your expectations – If you’re expecting gritty realism, intelligent spectacle or the psycho-sexual edges (aside from the afore-mentioned ‘eye’) of the Alien series, you’ll be likely to be heavily disappointed. If you’re expecting a fairly slow-moving Italian sci-fi gore flick which does, at least, finally deliver on the grue, then you might well be entertained.

(Interesting bit of trivia – One of the cavers is future director and Argento protégé Michele Soavi, the man behind a film called Dellamorte Dellamore (1994), of which this author is rather fond)



Saturday, 27 August 2011

Carnival Special!



OK, as promised here are the details for my Notting Hill Carnival special on Spiritplants - The show will go out 12.15am Saturday GMT, and be repeated at 12.15pm on Sunday afternoon. Would you like a tracklisting? Of course you would!

1. Collie Buddz – No For No Chain
2. Beres Hammond & Zap Pow – Last War
3. Sly & Robbie – Demolition City Dub
4. Mikey Dread – Two Track Dub
5. Cutty Ranks- Idle Talking
6. Anthony B – Powers Of Creation
7. Lee Perry & the Upsetters – Get Ready (Bongo Dubplate Version)
8. Mikey Dread – Front Room Dub
9. Clint Eastwood – Badder Dan You
10. Ticklah – Queen Dub
11. Cutty Ranks – Experience
12. U Mikes – Tribute to the Fisherman
13. Clint Eastwood & General Saint – Can't Take Another World War
14. Delroy Wilson – When Ypou're In Love With A Beautiful Woman
15. Albo Rosie – Tears ft Wendy Rene
16. Frankie Jones – Settlement
17. Capleton – Good In Her Clothes

Come and listen!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

So, you may or may not know that London is hosting the annual Notting Hill Carnival this coming bank holiday weekend (28th & 29th August). There was some doubt a couple of weeks ago (after the London riots) over whether it was going to go ahead, but happily the authorities have seen sense, and it’s a go (although the music is shutting off at 7pm this year).




Of course it would have been a little ironic to cancel, as the Carnival was set up in 1959 in response to the Notting Hill Race Riots of the previous year (a fact that seems to be missing from the official sites these days). For those who have never experienced or heard of it, it’s the world’s second-largest street festival (after Rio’s Carnival) and attracts crowds of up to 2 million people over the weekend (weather permitting, naturally. This IS London, after all), and celebrates the best of London-West Indian culture.

There are three main elements to the Carnival – The procession, which is huge, and features music, floats, costumed dancers and bands, and is really something to behold. Then there are the stalls, which sell (mostly) West Indian food – also something to behold!. Finally, my favourite element, the soundsystems – These are littered about in the streets inside the carnival route, and feature the best of black music from R&B to soca to drum & bass, and, of course, real authentic reggae music. My pick of the best of these are Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues for variety, CMC/Matrix for rowdy drum & bass craziness (can get a little too rowdy on occasion, so please take care here) and finally, my personal favourite, the Channel One soundsystem, a Rasta system with the best vibes of the festival.





I will, of course, be representing to the full, and will bring my report next week, in the meantime, if you want a warm-up, or can’t get down there, this weekend’s radio show at Spiritplants will be a carnival special, all authentic conscious reggae, dub and dancehall music (any excuse, frankly!)

Don’t forget your whistles and Red Stripe!

D
x

http://www.thenottinghillcarnival.com/2011.html

Monday, 15 August 2011

FILM REVIEW - Daimajin (1966)


There are a few instances in my younger life that I can trace my obsession with cult/trash/horror/sci-fi films back to. My earliest memory of such is my older sister bringing home the soon-to-be-banned VHS video of Lucio Fulci’s House By The Cemetary. I wasn’t allowed to watch it (I was only 4 years old!), but the lurid cover set my imagination racing, and the forbidden nature of it didn’t hurt either. A few years later my very understanding mother let me video tape the old Hammer and Universal films off of late night BBC2, and around the same time I came into possession of Alan Frank’s seminal big hardback encyclopedia ‘The Movie Treasury - Horror Movies’. I note now that said book only came out 7 years before I got hold of it (about 1988-89) but it already felt like it belonged to a different age entirely, pretty much dismissing anything that had been made after 1968. However, that didn’t stop it from being a treasure trove of grisly delights, and I all but memorised the text from reading and re-reading it, which set me firmly on the path to being a bloody know-it-all.

Of course, living out in the wilds of Wales at the time didn’t give me a great deal of scope to see all the weird and wonderful films that were being shown and described to me – For many years I relied solely on those much-missed late night BBC2 double bills, eagerly scouring the paper to see what classics were being served up for me that week. Of course, I was still only allowed to video tape them and watch them the next day – expecting the one instance when my mother let me stay up alone in the front room with a blanket and pillow, and I ended up scared to death watching the Count Yorga films. Often I would be seeing something as innocent and fun as Karloff in The Ghoul, or a Godzilla film, and then occasionally I’d be taken aback (but thrilled) by something unexpected and harder-edged, like Eraserhead or Night Of The Living Dead.

But I digress! There are still films whose stills in Alan Frank’s book have stayed in my memory and I have never gotten around to watching – and Daimajin is one of them, or at least it was until yesterday.
Daimajin is, at heart, a Kaijiu Eiga (aka Japanese giant monster) film, yet unusual in the fact that it eschews the usual modern-day nuclear-paranoia influence started with Godzilla (1954) and instead sets the action in feudal Japan, amidst a tale of savage warlords. In fact, for the most part, it plays more like a classic Samurai film than a monster movie (unsurprisingly, as director Kimiyoshi Yasuda later directed several films in the excellent Zatoichi series)
The plot centres around the overthrow of Lord Hanabasa by the evil Samanosuke and his men, who take over when the peasants are in the throes of a ceremony designed to keep the demon god Daimajin imprisoned in a mountain. Hanabasa and his wife are killed, but their son and daughter escape with the aid of Kogenta, a Samurai, and the priestess who was presiding over the ceremony. They end up retreating to a temple under a waterfall, opposite the mountain where the Daimajin is imprisoned – his great stone face peering out from the mountainside.
Ten years pass and the children grew to adulthood, swearing revenge on Samanosuke, who by now has the villagers in bondage, working as slaves, denying a man the chance to see his dying wife and generally behaving like a nasty man. Kogenta travels to the village but gets captured and hung upside down by Samanosuke, and a small boy (the son of the slave with the dying wife) travels to the priestess and the children, Tadafumi and Kozasa, to bring them the news. Tadafumi attempts a rescue but gets himself captured instead. The priestess goes to bargain for their release and gets herself killed for her troubles, and Samanosuke orders what he believes to be ‘the statue’ of Daimajin to be destroyed...However, when his men attempt to wedge a giant chisel into the statue’s head, they get a giant-sized surprise in return!
As with most Japanese giant monster films from the period, there is not much giant monster action until twenty minutes before the end – however, in this case, unlike the sometimes interminable plots of the later Godzilla movies which invariably involved annoying children and space aliens (sometimes annoying space children), what is here is well-acted and interesting, and extremely well shot and directed. At times it’s easy to forget the genre of the film one is watching and believe you are indeed watching a serious drama about a barbaric warlord, in fact, one of the most impressive things about this film is that when the giant monster mayhem finally gets going, the feel of the film remains consistent – some fantastical elements have already been introduced (the young boy encountering spirits and skeletal hands in the forest is very effective), for instance, albeit slowly. The rampage itself, is, of course, the highlight of the film – and the special effects are quite literally stunning for a film from 1966 - In fact once or twice I found myself scratching my head as to how certain shots were pulled off (well, I don’t THINK they built a 300 foot tall stone samurai for the purposes of the film. I could be wrong!) also, without spoilering, the nature of some of the Daimajin’s revenge is rather poetic, and such small details as the colour of the sky when the demon is on-screen are simply breathtaking.

I will recommend Daimajin without reservation to most viewers – Certainly one of the best monster movies I have ever seen, and speaking as a hardened Godzilla fan, that’s high praise indeed.









Friday, 12 August 2011

My weeekend

Hi everyone!

So, I’ve got some details for you about what’s going down in Dellamorteland this weekend.

Firstly, for those of you able to get to Islington in London, I will, as previously suggested, be DJing at the Summer Party in aid of the East Africa charity at the Hobgoblin in Islington this Saturday 13th August, it’s £3 in (for a good cause) and I’m lead to believe that drinks (including Jaegerbombs) are very cheap...I’ve got the full line-up for you here –

7:30 doors open
8:30 Happy Street Acoustic set
9:15 Kurran and the wolfenotes filler
9:30 Edd Garratt
10:15 Kurran and the wolfenotes
11:00 Joel Janiurek
12:30 DJ Dellamorte
2.00 Close

I’ll be playing all kinds of nonsense from reggae to Motown to indie pop to New York disco, really looking forward to it.


There’s also the international matter of my radio show this weekend over at SPIRITPLANTS – It debuts on Saturday night at 10.30pm GMT, and is repeated on Sunday afternoon at 1.30pm. I’ll be in the chat for the Sunday show. Possibly with a hangover.

(Also don't forget my good man DJ Boolean's show, it's the show before mine both days, so get in an hour early, aight?)


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Gig this weekend






Hey kids!

Are you in London on Saturday 13th August 2011 and looking for something fun to do?

I’ll be spinning some tunes at a charity event in Islington (the Hobgoblin) in aid of East Africa – It’s a great cause, cheap entry and cheap drinks, and it would be awesome to see you there. I’m planning on playing pop, indie, funk, disco, hip-hop and maybe even some reggae. If you’re lucky.

Check out the official blurb below, with details and Facebook link!

Peace

D


The Hobgoblin is hosting a one of event in association with club night 'Get Cake. Eat Cake. Die' to celebrate the best of Londons summer and raise funds for a great cause.

We're bringing you some exciting live music, Swedish trio 'Happy Street' will be playing sweet summer pop, followed by a host of DJs to keep you on your feet into the early hours! Expect an eclectic mix of indie, pop and floor fillers!

All proceeds from the door will be going to an extremely worthy cause, East Africa is currently experiencing one of the worst famines the country has ever faced and your £3 door money will go some way to helping them! The theme is summer party so feel free to wear your flip flops!

£3 entry (for charity) and great drinks promos:

Peroni - £2.50
Jager Bomb - £3
Vodka & mixer - £3

Add yourself to the event by clicking on the link below and be sure to invite your friends, look forward to seeing you there

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=244362968917002

The Hobgoblin, Angel, 73 White Lion Street, Islington, N1 9PF.
Nearest Tube: Angel

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Hello Faceless Internet!

Well, it’s business as usual in Dellamorte’s Dungeon this week, as I do my mad scientist bit obsessively researching new and old music in my quest to bring you the very best that this life has to offer. There has been some news though – Keep checking back as I’ll be making some announcements about upcoming gigs in the next few weeks, so you can come and see me do my slightly-over-excitable thing in a club environment should you so wish.

For now, though, I’ve got some things to recommend.

I was revisiting Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album last night, basically because it has the song Iron Man on it, and I have spent much of the last couple of days reading Iron Man comics. However, I listened to the whole thing again, and, to my surprise, Track 3, which I always used to skip as a teenager on account of it ‘not being a rocking one’, is actually pretty awesome. In fact, it sounds less like early heavy metal and more like French electronica act Air.

Seriously, have a listen –




Next up is some moombahton – A few people I have spoken to recently have expressed a lack of knowledge of this (fairly) new genre, so here’s the perfect thing to get you up to speed, LA’s Dillon Francis with an hour long introduction to this sound, which can best be described as a mixture of reggaeton and Dutch house (for real!)

Dillon Francis - HARD Summer 2011 Mixtape by HARD hardfest.com


Thirdly is a record I’ve been obsessed with ever since hearing it on the mighty David Rodigan’s Kiss FM show months ago – It’s taken me long enough to track it down (although the version I have has added brass, which I wasn't keen on at first but has since grown on me), but I bloody love this record, it manages to be romantic, nostalgic, positive, forward-looking AND makes me want to dance. Ladies and G’s – PULL UP!





Laterz,

D
x

Monday, 1 August 2011

Y'see



So apologies if you didn’t know my radio show was on this weekend - I didn’t get confirmation of times until Saturday afternoon, and by then it was far too late to update this here blog! It was a good show, I think, really random selection of ace music from ambient to disco to indie to reggae to hip-hop to funk to blues to moombahton, drum & bass and dubstep. It’ll be up on the archives at radio.spiritplants.org/archives shortly, no doubt. Until then, why not stream or download (right click, save as) some previous shows? There’s bound to be something you’ll dig. I’d hope.

Hackney Wicked art festival was this weekend – A strange experience, and not at all what I expected from a Hackney festival (no reggae soundsystems, for one thing, although there was a steel band), but it was jolly good to get drunk in the street with some friends. I also watched a few films – Bomb It, which is an awesome graffiti documentary, 127 Hours, which was very good, and you no doubt know about already, and The Resident, which is one of the new Hammer film productions, and distinctly average, despite the presence of Christopher Lee.

Anyway, keep watching this space, should be some interesting content any day soon 

Monday, 25 July 2011

Film Review! Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame (2010)




Back in the late nineties I was a fiend for Hong Kong films – from ‘heroic bloodshed’ films like Hardboiled to ‘category III’ gorefests (Bunman, Horrible High Heels), but I always had a soft spot for the epic ‘new wave’ kung fu efforts of directors such as Tsui Hark, who married old-school kung fu action to advancing special effects and opulent set design and cinematography – Films such as Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain, and The Storm Riders blew me away with their scope and operatic intensity. They felt like nothing Western cinema had ever produced, they were exotic, they were wild and untamed.

Of course, Hollywood has a tendency to cannibalise and appropriate the cinema of other countries – Witness the mass exodus of the German expressionists to the major studios back in the Golden Age, or the number of directors from the new-school of French horror who have already made the leap to mainstream pictures. Sure enough, within a few years, directors like John Woo and Ronnie Yu were making films in America, where of course their wilder excesses were curbed by studio pressure and the ‘film-making by committee’ culture. Before 1999 if you wanted a decent fight scene then Hong Kong was the place to look to, after The Matrix, and the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (a lone example of a Hong Kong-turned-US director returning to his roots and getting major distribution), Yuen Woo Ping was the ‘action director’ on every single Hollywood blockbuster. Even master martial arts stars Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Sammo Hung made watered-down Western versions of their earlier work.

Of course, with this appropriation came familiarity, and, aside from a couple of last hurrahs in the work of Zhang Yimou (whose ‘Hero’ is the definitive high-art martial arts movie, and not likely to be bettered any time soon), and Stephen Chow’s OTT comedies Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, the Hong Kong and kung fu film industries went sharply into decline, over taken in the Eastern pleasures stakes by Japanese horror and the fresher climes of the Korean and Thai film industries

And so it was for nearly ten years, until John Woo seemingly came back out of nowhere with his Red Cliff (2008), an opulent, big budget and expansive historical epic which garnered Western releases. Your reviewer found this film a little dry, to be honest, but the collective gasp of relief from fans of the old Hong Kong glory days was nearly audible around the globe.

Detective Dee and The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame then, is Tsui Hark’s ‘comeback’ – Hark was the progenitor of the ‘new school’ kung fu movement way back in 1983 with the aforementioned Zu : Warriors From The Magic Mountain, and he went on to direct and produce classic fare such as Once Upon a Time In China and the Swordsman series. Again, since the 90’s his output has slowed and become less vital, although in 2005 he helmed the somewhat underwhelming epic Seven Swords. Detective Dee has not had a wide release like Woo’s comeback film, but if you catch up with it on DVD, and are a fan of his previous output you will certainly not be disappointed.

The plot of the film is somewhat convoluted – Which is fitting, as it is being sold as a ‘period detective story’ rather than a straight-up kung fu film – Indeed the fights are not non-stop (although what is there is great). The excellent Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs) stars as the titular detective, who is sprung from prison (where he had been sent for treason) by the soon-to-be Empress (who, incidentally, will be the first woman to hold such a post), to investigate a spate of unexplained deaths where the victims have literally appeared to burn up from the inside. He is joined in his task by Jin’ar, the Empress’s right hand woman, and the albino lawman Pei Donglai. To give away more of the plot would be spoiling things rather too much, however.

The film is, first and foremost a visual delight – A gigantic statue of Buddha which towers above the city is both a focal point for the film and where it starts and ends, the fight sequences (courtesy of the great Sammo Hung, who sadly remains behind the scenes) are flamboyant and imaginative, plenty of wirework and gusto, especially in the fight with the demonic ‘chaplain’, whose sleeves can fight independently of his body! We even get a kung fu deer fight later on, which is something I can happily say I’ve never seen before. The production design and cinematography are, for the most part, flawless. As for the plot, it’s actually pretty interesting, and certainly beats the usual kung fu revenge movie nonsense, although you will likely not find yourself as emotionally involved as Hark perhaps imagined. The subtitling on the UK DVD deserves a special mention for it’s rather more verbose than usual nature – It’s almost like professional brainbox Will Self was doing it for a quick paycheck.

Anyway, slightly disappointing drama aside, the film does what Hong Kong/Chinese cinema has been failing to do for the best part of a decade – it has a sense of wonder and fun that marks it apart from any Western fare on the market – The visuals, strange cultural/mythological references (talking deer, shape shifters, fire beetles), fight scenes and general not-too-gloomy feel of the film all combine to make it feel fresh, and that’s a heart-warming thing indeed.



Check out the trailer here!!


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

So the legend says, there is an ancient Chinese saying along the lines of ‘may you live in interesting times’. (actually there’s some doubt over the origin of said saying, but we’re not here for that conversation).

Interesting times indeed – The world’s biggest empire is under the spotlight, the press, the police, politicians all being dragged through the mud. As David Cameron said “We are all in this together”, and, as much as it pains me, he is telling the truth.

It’s enough to make you want to throw your hands up and give up really.

BUT! In these interesting terms, we need to take a step back, close our eyes and remember what is important in this life – Love, friendship, art, the human spirit.

And,of course, pumping house music.

And it is to this end I present to you, The House Of Dellamorte, July 2011. 40 mins of house grooves, from the warm-up to the full-on mental.

Enjoy.

House Of Dellamorte July 2011 by Dj Dellamorte

Monday, 18 July 2011

So, here is, as promised, a film review! I've not written any reviews for over ten years, ever since I wrote write-ups of video nasties under a pseudonym for a now-defunct website. Please enjoy, any feedback appreciated!

SIREN (2010)





In these days of torture porn and zombie overload it’s rare (and nice) to find a British horror film that dares to do things a little differently. Siren is one such beast. Not only does it not feature anyone tied to a chair or any instance of the walking dead, it’s also based on a legend which, to my knowledge, has not yet had a fright flick based on it.

The film starts with a nice sleight of hand – A stunning temptress in a short red dress and high heels is hitching a ride out in what we shortly learn is the landscape of rural Greece, she is picked up by an English guy in a posh car and proceeds to, well, pleasure herself under his watchful gaze. Soon they pull up to a seemingly abandoned public toilet and proceed to get it on, although this is interrupted when she believes she sees a woman’s face spying on them. We then learn that the man and woman are actually a couple role-playing the encounter, and that this is merely a game they are playing en route to taking a boat to a remote island, which, legend has it, is the same isle mentioned in The Odyssey (as one character amusingly puts it “Greek Mythology! Didn’t you ever see Clash Of The Titans?”) where Odysseus and his crew encountered the Sirens, a race of deadly seductresses who could paralyse men with their songs.

Along for the ride is the woman (Rachel, played by Anna Skellern, also of The Descent Part 2)’s old university friend Marco (Anthony Jabre), who, we soon learn, is an old flame who now regrets having deserted her. Her current boyfriend (Ken, played by male model-turned-actor Eoin Macken, who wanders around with his shirt off rather a lot) turns out to be a bit of a cocksure idiot, of the sort that we hope is going to suffer a horrible death at some point. They come across a man desperately signalling for help in the water, and get him aboard to find he is ranting and raving, and waving a knife about, before they realise his ears have been perforated. Soon after, the man expires, and they decided (rather stupidly) that rather than be strangers in a strange land turning over a dead body to the authorities (“They hang people for this here don’t they?”), they should bury him on the island. However, they are discovered in the act by a beautiful yet mysterious woman who claims to be connected to the dead man, yet seems to be suffering from shock. They take her in, and, gradually, she begins to seduce all three of them...

Well, the film is called Siren, so the true identity of ‘Silka’ (played by the attractive Tereza Srbova, who heats up the screen but is wisely given little dialogue, mainly due to her heavy accent) isn’t exactly a massive mystery, but that’s not what this film is about – It’s about attraction and seduction, with the interplay between the characters being the intrigue, and the sun-bleached setting (actually filmed in Tunisia) fitting the steamy interaction perfectly. In some ways the film reminded me more of the languid erotic nightmares of Jean Rollin than anything in the modern horror pantheon, although here we have believable characters with fairly good dialogue, and some halfway decent acting (especially in the case of Skellern, who stands out). The film is strangely chaste in it’s depiction of nudity – most of the characters (yes, including the two women) end up sleeping together or kissing, yet apart from Ken (aptly named!) showing off his hairless six-pack, and a shot of the women’s posteriors, that’s all we get (and, sorry to all you bloodhounds out there, there’s not tons of gore either, aside from a couple of stabbings, some bleeding ears and a rather gruesome corpse), yet it works because of it’s steamy and pervasive atmosphere, heightened by both the excellent cinematography of Will Humphris and the siren’s song itself (‘Elephant’ by the currently uber-cool band Warpaint).

In doing a spot of research whilst writing this review, I was rather surprised by the reaction to it online – IMDB has an average user rating of 3.4 out of 10, a level usually reserved for the sort of films parodied on Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Many of the negative reviews seem to focus on two points – Firstly that the film is boring – a charge also levelled at the films of the aforementioned Jean Rollin, who has a rabid cult following who love the dreamlike fluid pace of his movies, so perhaps this film may find it’s audience in time? Secondly, they seem to be complaining that the DVD cover, of a bikinied lady carrying a bloody knife, has nothing to do with the film itself. I agree that this is utterly misleading. I had the good luck to catch this film on the big screen at the excellent Abertoir Festival in November 2010, so I had no expectations, and was delightfully surprised at this obviously very low budget but intriguing film – If you are being sold it as a boobs-and-blood mayhem fest, you are definitely going to feel cheated. If, however, you approach with an open mind and don’t expect the earth, perhaps you too will be seduced by this Siren.

PS I was saddened of the death of director Andrew Hull at the age of 46. Siren was his first feature film, and it would have been great to see what he could have done with proper studio backing.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Sorry, Glasto Sunday review been slightly delayed due to parenthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifal visitation, but in the meantime, here's a mix I did for the excellent Peter Nelson over at www.wombnet.com - http://wombnet.blogspot.com/p/dj-sets.html . Without being too melodramatic about it, I think it's quite possibly the best thing I've ever committed to 'tape'. An hour on the nose of dubstep, drum & bass, techno, breaks and all kinds of ravey nonsense. It's got balls, it's got beauty, which obviously makes for an arousing yet slightly disturbing combination. Please enjoy.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Glastonbury 2011 Part The Third - Saturday

So Saturday at Glastonbury, on flicking back through the line-up to jog my memory, seemed a little flat, and I was surprised at how little I saw. Partly this was due to the mud, which, after Friday’s constant downpour and then the heat of Saturday’s sun, had transmogrified into that horrific ultra-sticky stuff that only Glasto seems to produce – The kind that will suck your willies right off your feet (well, it would have if my wellies were not horrifically difficult to remove at the best of times. Ow).

Saturday morning our crew went for a wander about site to take in the festival a bit – There was much laughter at amusing acts going on in the caberet field, most notably a man riding a piano (seriously, he sat on the seat and rode it sideways like a bike, whilst playing and singing – very impressive!) and two apparently normal-sized people dressed as tiny chimps with enormous rucksacks (you had to see it to get the full effect). By the time we got back to our tent we realised pop sensation Jessie J was playing opposite us, so we sat in the sun and drank beer and cider whilst watching the last few numbers. I was rather surprised to discover that Jessie had a broken leg and therefore was sitting on a massive throne throughout the set. Anyway, I don’t really go for her music much, although I have to admit she has a great voice and is obviously a hyper-talented lady.




A band much more to my liking are Those Dancing Days, so we made the trek up to The Park to catch their all-girl Scandinavian northern soul/indie pop, and I am very glad we did this, as it was double ace (even though they finished one song, realised they had finished it too early and played the second half again. Also the singer was coming down with something and looked pretty ill towards the end, but gamely finished the set anyway). Our little group of 4 ended up having a discussion about which of the band was our favourite, and we all had a different one (although, to be fair, it was fairly difficult for me to choose). I’ve gone for the drummer, though, because she’s extra cute and lovely. I’ll even forgive her for my favourite zip-up top coming off somewhere during the set and presumably getting lost in the mud (sob!)

After that I had a bit of a disappointment as the I had the wrong stage times for the G Stage (or something had gone wrong somewhere) and I didn’t get to see DJ Yoda as I had planned, so the back-up plan was to wander back to the Park a couple of hours before Saturday’s Special Guest and get a good spot (as, earlier in the day, we had been told it was definitely Pulp). On the way myself and my partner-in-crime Daniel popped into the Stonebridge Bar and discovered Hip-Hop Karaoke. Now I’m a bit of a fiend for rapping along to anything and everything (let’s just clear this up – I can’t rap, because I can’t freestyle, but I’m OK at talking in time), so I was interested to check out the competition. My conclusion? Bar one dude who blatantly IS an actual rapper (note perfect Busta Rhymes rendition = VERY impressive), everyone else got lost on the second line, proper car crash time. There was also a Japanese dude who kicked off Nuthin’ But A G Thang very well, but accidentally went off-beat and never got back on track. Seriously, I should have gotten up there, but I’m FAR too shy.




After a bit more hanging around and chilling, and rescuing the ladies from a half-naked mashed hippy who kept eying them up and down in possibly the most leery way I have ever seen, it was time for Pulp! I had actually convinced myself that it wasn’t going to be Pulp at all, but this time I had positioned myself away from shovey types (although, sadly, I was now in the middle of over-talkative types instead) and near enough to the top exit to beat a retreat if/when the Killers came on, but, heavens be praised, it was indeed Pulp! They played a pretty much chronological best of set, moving from Joyriders all the way to Sunrise, and pulling Common People out at the end. The highlights for me were Acrylic Afternoons (the soundtrack to being 16 for me!) and a majestic This Is Hardcore. Jarv’s patter and moves haven’t diminished at all since their heyday (despite the increasingly-white beard), and the whole thing was very much worth the wait and effort. On returning home I discovered that Kate Moss had tried to gain entry to the field too late and had been refused, prompting her to ‘get all Croydon’ on the security. Ha. That’ll teach you for hanging out backstage with The Kills, lady.





And then it was back to the G Stage, as it was Saturday night and Lee Perry was headlining! But before him was Don Letts – usually one of my favourite DJs. I don’t quite know what happened here, but instead of his usual selection of roots reggae classics, he was mostly playing fairly uninspiring digi-dub and dubstep to a half-full area. At least one of our party got very very bored at this point and wandered off to see the Chemical Brothers (apparently amazing). Those of us who stayed the course were eventually rewarding with the great, and very short, and pink hair-and-bearded, Lee Perry himself, working his onstage magic and seemingly freestyling lyrics over a tight-as-hell backing band blazing through renditions of some of his classic productions, such as Roast Fish, Collie Weed and Corn Bread and, rather wonderfully, Return Of Django, with sax played by a beautiful and shockingly talented Japanese lady. Perry also came out with one of the best onstage ad-libs of the weekend, which, frankly, modesty prevents me from repeating in polite company.

It was during Lee Perry, however, that I tragically RAN OUT of my whisky! Luckily Daniel was on hand with a bit of Rum, and had Vodka untouched for the next day...

After that, I’m afraid to say, I went straight to bed! I’m not a young un any more, and by this time I was aching all over (blame that sticky mud!) and desperately in need of sleep. Sunday report soon come!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Glastonbury 2011 wrap-up part the second

After the Wu, we attempted to catch a bit of Katy B in one of the dance tents, but, as I predicted when I originally saw the line-up, we couldn’t get near it for love nor money (not that I attempted to bargain using either, it has to be said). So, again, we gave it up as a bad idea and re-grouped.




We had been hearing various rumours regarding the ‘very special guests’ at the Park Stage. This was a bit of a difficult decision for me, as I rather wanted to see Morrissey, but the rumour was that the special guests would either be Pulp, Radiohead or The Killers. In the end I decided to take the gamble (helped by the fact that no-one I was with wanted to see dear old Moz). If it was Pulp, I would be elated, if it was Radiohead, and they played the old stuff, it would be cool, and if it was the Killers, well, I could go to the bar. We made the wise decision to get there early, which meant we caught Big Audio Dynamite’s set, which was actually pretty good, although Don Letts is a much better DJ than he is a singer (well, I do change my mind a bit later on. How’s that for foreshadowing in my narrative). Between bands things get a little crushed however (we were pretty close to the stage). And, although most of the crowd around us are having fun and making jokes, quite a lot of the aforementioned pushy young people are out in force and determined to get further in despite the laws of physics being against them. After a while, we started chatting with everyone in the immediate vicinity and making up rumours that the band were not going to be anyone good at all, which culminating in my leading the entire crowd in a chant of ‘Susan Boyle! Susan Boyle!’. This was possibly my finest achievement ever.

What Radiohead thought of hundreds of people chanting for SuBo just as they were about to go on is still making me smile....

So, yeah, it was Radiohead, but they confused me by coming on and saying ‘hello! We are Radiohead’ whilst not looking like Radiohead. It was about 5 mins in until I realised that it actually WAS Thom Yorke, albeit with very long hair. My heart sank, however, when they announced that they would be playing stuff from their new album. Oh. I lasted about 20 mins before a difficult fight back through the packed crowd to get booze and food. Still gutted I missed Moz but the SuBo chanting pretty much made up for it.




Eventually all our crew re-grouped and headed to the rather cool Cubehenge stage in the pouring rain and danced to Red Dwarf’s Mr Craig Charles. He surprised me actually – I was expecting a bit of Northern Soul, some James Brown etc, but what we got was funky breakbeat, and very enjoyable. Was surprised at his DJing too – He doesn’t mix as such, but cuts between tracks of similar tempo in a pretty effective way. He doesn’t half make some faces when he plays, though, that Craig. Far scarier than any Xenomorphs in Red Dwarf..




Unfortunately our crew had to cut it a little short as it was time for the headliners. Rather than submit ourselves to the will of Bono and his U2 band, we decided to hotfoot it over to the John Peel tent, where DJ Shadow was about to take the stage. And....wow. Quite possibly my favourite thing of the entire weekend (SuBo expected) – for the first twenty mins or so he played, I kid you not, in a giant ball. There were 360 degree visuals projected onto the ball, and every once in a while it would light up so you could just about see Shadow’s shadow doing his thing. The music was brilliant, as well, mashed up versions of many of his classics, usually going double time for some drum and bass action, and eminently danceable. After about half an hour, the Shadowsphere turned around, and there he was, hunched over decks, drum machines, samplers and all kinds of gizmos. He even spoke! A little bit about how much of an inspiration John Peel was to him and how much it meant to be headlining that stage. Awww! I made friends with the only other man in the crowd who recognised I Gotta Rok too. Awesome.

After that I was a bit knackered and had been drunk off my face for about 9 hours, so headed back to the tent and sheltered from the rain, before drifting into a very deep sleep!

Pt 3 soon come, containing Secret Pulp, dubious hand signals and pop stars with damaged limbs.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Glastonbury Review Part the First

I went to the Glastonbury Festival. I think it was my tenth Glasto since 1999.

I won’t go into too much boring detail, but I just wanted to record some of my thoughts and experiences and share them with you.




Firstly, I was cunning enough to wear my wellington boots down there – I saw a great number of lost flip-flops, trainers and deck shoes (seriously!) lost in the mud on the way in. However, it seems people arrive earlier and earlier each year, with the result that, even though I was there from the early afternoon on Wednesday, it was impossible to camp in my favoured field, Pennards Hill. We ended up a few rows in opposite the Other Stage. I was a little nervous of this at first, as that was where I camped in my first year, and was surrounded by very dodgy types and had to kick about 5 people in the face over the course of the weekend as they attempted to burgelize my tent in the middle of the night. What I had forgotten was, since the MegaFence went up in 2001/2002, you get a lot less of them around. The first night passed fairly uneventfully, although I ended up talking drunken nonsense with lots of already very messy people.




Thursday daytime was equally chilled – I don’t remember us doing a great deal, although i did attempt to get near the Dance Village’s Wow Stage to catch Ms Dynamite. Big mistake. Even though I rocked up an hour early (big nasty dubstep headz Trolley Snatcha were playing beforehand and I wanted to check them out also), the surrounding field was already packed full of young people. Now, one of the downsides of this year’s festival was the amount of idiots there. Not theiving scummy idiots, but young, slightly posh people whacked out of their brains on young people’s drugs (K or M-Kat or Kitkat or whatever they’re doing these days). I have no problem with young or posh people having a good time, but I do have a problem when 500 of them are shoving past me with nary an apology or thought for anyone but themselves( and they really DO shove. Nasty nasty types). I’m sure I remember folk having more manners in my day. Anyway, the upshot was that we couldn’t hear anything but the bass, so we beat a tactical retreat.

Thankfully, the rest of the weekend, I caught a lot more music and had slightly less annoyance.





Friday was kickstarted with the Master Musicians of Joujouka. I knew nothing about them except that William Burroughs had named them (frankly, that would usually be enough for me). Turns out that they are a bunch of dudes with drums and massed pipe instruments who make a constant noise which unfortunately sounds a bit like Scots bagpipe music without the tunes. After about half an hour, guess what? We beat a tactical retreat. Next up for us were Two Door Cinema Club, some very young chaps from Ireland with very young silly hair. They make a great hyper-pop-indie-dance noise, though. Top marks for effort. After that, I waded to the front for what I was imagining would be my highlight of the weekend – THE VERY WU TANG CLAN themselves. After a long wait I had finished my home-mixed whisky and coke and had started on the straight whisky (at 3pm. Urgh), and befriended some nice (but, again, very very young) ladies who were working at the festival. I told them that I was hoping it would rain for the Wu, as I didn’t consider them sunny-good-times music. This made me somewhat unpopular, for as the Wu took stage, the heavens opened. So how were they? Well, firstly Raekwon wasn’t there, for some reason (hrm, possibly because RZA had flown in to be there after not attending the rest of the European tour? Who knows), but RZA, GZA, Masta Killa, Ghostface and Method Man were all present and correct, and watching GZA, Ghost and Meth indulging in some synchronised dancing was possibly a highlight of my life. The whole thing was very 1993 heavy, which is no bad thing at all, but I missed hearing some of the awesome later stuff. Couple of solo bits too – most wonderfully Masta Killa’s Old Man, but, on the whole, from where I was (right at the front, of course), the sound was pretty appalling. I’ve been told it was fine from further up the field, however. Still, I saw the Wu!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Nude Directions

Hello all!

So, I’ve had a little period of musing, and I’ve decided to have a little bit of a figurative remix. As such, this blog will no longer be focussing solely on my musical efforts and DJ mixes, and will now start to include such things as film reviews and general ponderings and rants (actually, probably not so much of the ranting, but I will endeavour to shout out good causes and campaigns etc). It’s not like I’ll be winding down on the music by any means, but, well, sometimes a man has to express himself in other ways, am I right? Of COURSE I’m right.

So, yeah, watch this space! Stuff coming very very soon.

Peace,

Della




(PS I was thinking of bashing out a review of The Fighter, which I watched last night, and was very good, but I'm just back from Glastonbury and not ready to go full-on just yet. Glastonbury was fully amaz0r, as expected.)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

This weekend's show!

Hey kids, as promised, this weekend's radio show over at Spiritplants will be on air Saturday at midnight GMT, and noon Sunday lunchtime.

I'm really buzzed about this show, got tons of truly excellent music, featuring tracks by/remixes by/remixes of artists such as Germany Germany, Udachi, Cults, Justice, Wiley, Dennis Coffey, Adele and Nero. See you in the chat!!

EDIT : Hyperlink appears to be playing up!! go to radio.spiritplants.org for your listening pleasures plz

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Been and Gone




I've been away for a while, haven't I? But look! It is me! Looking all moody and having the brickwork do the talking.

Anyways, you may have noticed my radio show hasn't been on recently - in fact I took a little break but now I'm BACK with a fortnightly show on Spiritplants , rejuvenated and better than ever! Also might have one or two other things in the pipeline too, but keeping quiet for now, which has the added side effect of making me seem mysterious.

Details of the weekend's radio show coming soon!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Hello kids!

Yes yes, after a couple of week's break I'm back and in full effect over at Spiritplantshttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif this weekend - Tonight (Saturday) at 11pm GMT, and Sunday morning at 11am GMT, come join me in the chat!

This week's show is a kind of a summer evening dance selection, all kinds of hazy house, electro and disco for the weather we've been having, featuring such awesome artists as RAC, Evil Nine, Rimer London, Cut Copy, Flight Facilities & Breakbot.

See you in the ether!

Della
x

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Goin' on a holiday!



Thank you Collie Buddz for articulating my thoughts once again. Yes, I am off on a long overdue trip to the wilds of Brittany this week. Who knows what musical mayhem I may return with?

Before I go, though, here's some info about this week's radio show!

as usual over at Spiritplants I have an hour's show of varied tunes. Definately more of an indie-dance vibe this week, with a few suprises as per usual. It's at at midnight Saturday GMT or the later-than-usual time of 6pm Sunday GMT, so plenty of opportuniy to tune in and join me in the chat.

Toodles,

Del

Friday, 18 March 2011

Flu under a bus



Hello kids!

This weekend's radio show has been brought to you with great patience and dedication, with your trusty host and musical conduit fighting for his life through a very nasty cold. On the up side, I am feeling slightly better, and the illness seems to have bought the FUNK harder than usual - So expect less disco and more dusty beats this weekend!

anyway, show is on at 1am Saturday night/Sunday morning, and the repeat is at 1.30pm Sunday afternoon, come join me in the chat. The excellent Boolean DJ is on after my show on both occasions. You know where to go? HERE (and don't forget to raid the archives for ultimate listening pleasure)