Ahead of our party tomorrow night with Brian Shimkovitz aka Awesome Tapes From Africa, local music freak Charlie McCann has put together a varied mix of tunes to “encourage the dance”. Expect some synth stuff, a bit of Edo Funk, some modern afro-soul, juju vibes and disco.
Cry Parrot x Vitamins present: Awesome Tapes From Africa
Thursday 31st July, 2300-0300
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
My name’s Charlie McCann formerly Glasgow’s least rocking British New Wave of Heavy Metal record shop employee, currently part time librarian and DJing my way through a possible mid-life crisis by playing joyful sounds to disperse the gloom in my soul, and hopefully a few innocent bystanders’ souls too.
Where did you’re love of African music start?
I got into African music by what I expect is probably a pretty standard route – getting recommended Fela in a record shop, then following the path to Tony Allen, Manu Dibango, King Sunny Ade, Chief Ebeneezer Obey; the stuff that was reasonably easy to find in Scotland, along with the comps of Afro stuff compiled by intrepid diggers (or cultural imperialists, depending on your point of view!) that started coming out in the nineties. I found l loved the spacier and “weirder” tracks off these comps rather than the straight up funky, jazzier and rockier ones that seem to make up their bulk, so I’ve been searching for that sound ever since. I lived in London for a while which made finding the stuff a lot easier. A real turning point was the occasion I bought I pile of Nigerian boogie from a library in the East End that was getting rid of its vinyl, I didn’t know what it was, I just liked the sleeves. I think I was probably on a reggae tip at the time so when I brought it home and it just sat in my “to be listened to” pile for months, but when I did get round to it I was hooked. I still punch myself in the ear weekly for not buying the whole box.
What inspired your specific selections on this mix?
When I was picking the music for this mix all I really had in mind was that Mr Shimkovitz really goes around the houses with the styles he plays out and I wanted to acknowledge that by covering a few different bases – some synth stuff, a bit of Edo Funk, some modern afro-soul, juju vibes and disco etc. Most importantly to let people know we’re encouraging the dance right from the start of night until the end!
Internet blog culture over the last decade or so has opened up the opportunity to expose music from the continent that most people will have never heard of before. Do you think it’s a good time for various types of African music?
oh yeah, definitely! Whatever you think about diggers going to Africa and buying vinyl to sell in the West (and I personally think that a bit wariness with just what is going on is really important) or bloggers posting ripped vinyl or cassettes you’d have a hard time denying these incredible sounds getting into new ears is a good thing. Both musically speaking and as regards westerners getting a deeper understanding of the continent. I might be wrong but I suspect that the musicians who created these sounds might raise a wry smile the idea of a wee dick from Lanarkshire wigging right out in his living room in his pants clutching a mug of tea 20, 30, 40 years after they laid them down (the smile would soon fade when the idea formed a mental image though!). I don’t really think it’s comparable to the free music culture whereby people have 15,000 songs on their computer that they invested next to nothing in collecting, half listened to and forgot only to repeat the process over and over until music can no longer connect with them at all. Something like Awesome Tapes… or Comb and Razor are deep, rich sources of information that goes way beyond the mp3’s you get on there. They’re labours of love and act more like the recommendation of a clued up radio dj or music journalist covering non-canonized sounds. The blogs are at their best, I think, when they go beyond the “serious music” of Fela and Ethiopian jazz (things which I love, incidentally) and get into African takes on pop, disco and less “well regarded” genres- the stuff we really don’t get to hear. No matter what the blogs cover though, there remain huge swathes of music from an entire continent unheard by curious European, American and Asian ears, so it’s only ever going to be a starting point. What I’d really like to see off the back of the blogs is a healthy re-issue scene developing that properly recompensed and recognized the musicians. I think it’s happening to some extent with Ebo Taylor, the man/myth that is William Onyeabor and a couple of others but I would really love to see it explode to the extent where EMI and whoever it is that owns Phillips now put some resources into scouring their archives to dig out some African artists work so we get the chance to get some money to them and get them on tour! Even better- take a risk and make an effort to expose us to some of the more leftfield new stuff! I suspect this is wishful thinking to the point of delusion on my part however.
Are you attracted to any particular types of contemporary African music? Perhaps from a specific region?
I’m an old man! New music’s for the young people with their internet trainers and whatnot! My knowledge of really recent stuff isn’t great to be honest, I’ve enjoyed some of the Janka Nabay and Simple Zebra stuff, I really liked “Kolota” by Queen of Dance as well as some kwaito, but as I don’t really get along with vocoded/ autotuned vocals I’ve found searching for it, as with my beloved dancehall, too much of a slog at times. There’s a lot of shit to shift through to get to the gold that I know must exist! While not African, or even contemporary in some cases in the strictest sense, the Mark Ernestus and Jeri-jeri records, some of Shackleton’s stuff, the Sofrito Edits, Auntie Flo and Essa, Africane 808 and Tambien Project records have all buttered my muffin recently, but it’s more like the polyrhythmic underpinning they share with of a lot of older African sounds is what makes them interesting to me.
What can we expect from your set supporting Awesome Tapes from Africa?
Hopefully it’ll be night of music that’s new to at least a few of the people there. It’ll be nice to see some folk dancing and maybe have wee smiles under their noses. I suspect that anyone coming to an Awesome Tapes… gig will already have an open mind so I’ll probably see what I can get away with by way of wonky afro-disco and boogie, maybe even some Caribbean grooves if I don’t get thrown off the decks for playing something non-African! I’ve already promised to play “Chicks and Chicken” by the Esbee Family for someone, so you’ll be hearing that one for sure.
design by Gabriella Marcella DiTano
Thanks to our friends at Truants for hosting this rapid mix from Piu Piu ahead of her joining us at Sneaky Pete’s tomorrow night.
Club 69 – Let Me Be Your Underwear (Hot Pants Underground Club Mix)
Rod Lee – Dance My Pain Away
Frankie Knuckles – Let The Music Use You
Lil’ Louis – How I Feel
Coni – Napalm
Chaos In The CBD – Delorean Dreams
The Lil Nick Cru feat. Paris Mitchell – House Fly
Track ID – 8
Mila J feat. Ty Dolla $ign – Smoke, Drink, Break Up
Inkke – Squeak
Imami – Iridescent (DJ Milktray remix)
DJ Slugo – Freaky Ride
Uniiqu3 feat. DJ kiff – 69 (Bandit Remix)
B.Ames – Werk (Divoli S’vere Remix)
DJ Milktray – Cette Chatte
Peverelist – Erstwhile Rhythm
Machinedrum – Infinite Us (Ticklish remix)
DJ Deeon – OMG
Nightwave – Hit It (Instrumental)
Lafawndah – Butter
Machinedrum – Center Your Love (DJ Paypal remix)
Illum Sphere feat. Shadowbox – Love Theme From Foreverness
Read more: Mix: Piu Piu – Vitamins | Truants
NT.5 Shaun Vitamins
Ups and Downs
Our very own Shaun Vitamins takes his turn at exposing his nocturnal self with a mix of dreamy, romantic hip-hop, murky acid, and dark, focused electro
What is your relationship with the night?
I’m a very nocturnal person, anyone who has had to work with me will be familiar with my patterns of hyper productive all-nighters followed by 20 hours of deep sleep. I love the lack of distractions and the solitude of it, I love cycling down empty roads with only bin lorries and the Morton’s roll van for company, I love the nuclear glow of 24hr shops and petrol stations.
NT.4 DJ Hush
Transgressions in the Twilight Mode
Nocturne Tapes is back for a second run to help see you through these winter nights. We’ve asked some night-owl producers and DJs from Glasgow and beyond to convey their experience of the night-time in musical form.
Kicking things off is Alan Miller aka DJ Hush. We first got to know him when he ran the infamous RPZ weekly Thursday night downstairs in the Vic Bar, and we’re no strangers to his more recent Maxi Dance Pool parties in The Berkeley Suite.
His nocturnal credentials make him an essential addition to this series: he previously hosted a club called Night Dreams, featuring a ‘bizarre, jarring cosmic’ soundtrack, and he continues to be one of the best off-kilter warm-up selectors around.
NT.3 Duncan Harvey
The third instalment in our nocturne series comes from the sharpest red-headed man in Glasgow, Duncan Harvey (sorry Ben & Wardy). Never one to succumb to trends, Duncan has earned himself a reputation as one of the most versatile, tasteful selectors in the city with an arsenal of funk, soul, boogaloo, hip-hop, reggae and countless rarities that have found their way into his crate. Aside from bar residencies , these days you can catch him at Voodoo Voodoo, his recently launched Tuesday club night that has amassed a solid core of followers despite the early start the next day.
That’s why we wanted to find out the other side to Duncan and his record collection. How does this man sleep at night? If this tape is anything to go by, pretty damn well.
The second tape in our series comes from veteran Swedish musician David Giese. While he’s been making music under a variety of guises since 1986 - from punk band Big Fish to the aptly titled metal group ‘Pure Pain’ to even a couple of jungle records - he’s best known for his contribution to the Scandinavian Skweee movement as Joxaren. He first appeared on our radar many moons ago after bringing his deformed, hyperactive beats to Ballers’ Social at the old Ivy in Glasgow and is one of the performers featured on our Skweee recording from last year’s Norberg festival. This is a guy who has a real passion for the music that he consumes and it shows in his varied, and at times times chilling, selection for this mix. But we’ll let him talk you through it himself…
NT.1 JD Twitch
JD Twitch takes us into the Interzone…
Talk us through the mix
I have a very long relationship with what gets called industrial music. A lot of artists who came out of that movement soon tired of making clanking noise and went on to make some of the most interesting, hypnotic (and listenable) music I’ve ever encountered. A high % of the music is by artists who are perhaps often more associated with “sturm und drang” than with mediative hypnotica.
The sixth edition of our Nocturne serious comes from the intriguing Konx-om-Pax. When he’s not throwing old school raves in a bowling club, the Glasgow-based visual artist and electronic musician finds himself working on lush visual projects for artists such as Hudson Mohawke, Lone, Oneohtrix Point Never and Wiley as well as labels like Hyperdub and LuckyMe.
Poster – Vitamins w/ Galcher Lustwerk
pre-club in-store session in rubadub today