Eclectic Company


Back in the 80’s it was common for a DJ to play a variety of music styles in one night, slipping house in with hip hop, rare groove and synth tracks of various kinds. Things became more siloed in the 90’s as dedicated funk/jazz, techno and hip hop nights sprung up, along with umpteen sub-genres of house music. But eclecticism made a come back with self-proclaimed champions like James Lavelle, crate diggers unearthing gems in all manner of obscure rock records and, more recently, the rise of mash-ups from groups like 2manyDJs.

At its best, playing across the board takes a lot of skill and produces interesting juxtapositions that are great to hear and fun to dance to – think DJ Harvey dropping Crosby, Stills and Nash’s Dark Star at sunrise, Neil playing the NBC Nightly News Theme at Back on The Streets, and the hilarious Mark Moore spinning Rupert The Bear at the Mud Club. At its worse, it’s just a random collection of CDs played by someone who isn’t actually a DJ (so often the case in various ‘chill out rooms’ in the 90’s).

Perhaps my favorite eclectic night was upstairs at Apple Crumble, Mr George and (Don’t Hold Back, Because It Feels Good To) Ed’s night at Herbal. They played everything from the Idjut Boys to Talk Talk and latinized Deep Purple, Lucy Loose had her finger on the trigger, Saul performed auto-erotically on the dance floor, and Miss Stinks once led me through the women’s toilets in a conga line.

The mix below tries to captures the eclecticism of such nights, including sources from Baloo to the Ballistic Brothers. It was fun to put together – if a bit challenging to mix Clyde Stubblefield over the top of The Who! Some of the tracks will be familiar; some won’t. But many evoke memories for me: Fashion played over and over on a C90 as a kid in Paris, Pink Panther movies at The Odeon Westbourne Grove, Radio Nova in Paris years later, K-creative and Ollie’s Pushmipullyu at the Orange, and years trying to track down that loop from De La Soul’s Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays (heard here).

  1. Intro – MC Solar
  2. Manteca (Funky Lowlives remix) – Dizzy Gillespie
  3. Wack Wack – Tim “Love” Lee
  4. Breakin’ – The P.T.A.
  5. Untitled – Coldcut
  6. Funky Drummer (Bonus Beats) – James Brown
  7. Eminence Front – The Who
  8. Return of the Pink Panther – Henry Mancini
  9. Superkato – Sinclair
  10. Fashion – David Bowie
  11. Heavy Vibes – Vince Montana Sextet
  12. To Be Free (Brother John) – K-Creative
  13. Spanish Grease (Dorfmeister Con Madrid de los Austrias Muga Reserva Remix) – Willie Bobo
  14. Good Vibes, Good Night – Ballistic Brothers vs Eccentric Afros
  15. Evil Vibrations – The Mighty Ryeders


the-control-panel-of-vostokThe second mix is one I’ve posted before. Almost as eclectic, it’s tied together by a theme rather than a genre. Here the challenge was to mix together only records about space – a constraint that was fun to work with and made for some interesting choices: a lot of Mars references inevitably, the soundtrack to Erik von Daniken’s Chariots of The Gods, Mr Fingers underneath Gil Scott Heron, Cambridge’s own Joe 2000 in the form of RPM, among a mix of disco, techno, Moog madness, trip hop, funk, and house. Space Funk always reminds me of El Grito at Tunizzia, Space Face was one Ald and I listened to a bunch on a cassette taped off a London pirate radio station back in the day, while Outa-space I first heard amid the punk and robots at RV’s place in Corona Road.

  1. Intro
  2. 2000 – RPM
  3. Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus beats) – Paul Weller
  4. The Planet Plan – UFO
  5. Stars and Rockets – Peter Thomas
  6. E.V.A.- Jean Jacques Perrey
  7. Deep Base Nine – Atmosfear versus Idjut Boys
  8. Finding ALH84001 (Ashley Beedle Live on Mars Remix)- Outside
  9. Dancing In Outer Space (MAW Lunar Beats remix)- Atmosfear
  10. Space Face – Sub Sub
  11. Reach Up To Mars – Earth People
  12. Life On Mars – Dexter Wansel
  13. Reach Up To Mars – Earth People
  14. Space Shuttle (Deep Club Dub) – Gil Scott Heron
  15. Clear Space – Sudden Impact
  16. Space Funk – Manzel
  17. Galaxy – War
  18. Outa-space – Billy Preston


~ by ricardosevere on 12/31/2016.

7 Responses to “Eclectic Company”

  1. I confused Pushmipullyu with Pushme Pullyou in the original post. Now fixed [thanks Ol!].

  2. […] Negro beefs up Dexter Wanzel’s Devonshire Arms floor filler Life On Mars (heard and sampled here). Back to home base, the Idjut Boys’ Dan Tyler loops the Wiz, before van Morrison gets the […]

  3. […] the mix below. I’ve put versions of it in several mixes before (MAW’s beefed-up mix, their amazing dub, and Francois K’s more subtle treatment) but this is the original I had long before getting […]

  4. […] DJs playing dodgy pop tunes, getting requests for Abba not A.A.B.B and Coldplay rather than Coldcut, while grandma does the twist with the grandchildren, auntie starts a conga, and that friend of the […]

  5. […] Bolivia. Even more crazy is the insane Brazilian cover of Billy Preston’s classic Outaspace by a group that would later become Tim Maia’s backing band. I don’t know anything […]

  6. […] in place, picking through odds and ends, I decided to do another eclectic mix of tunes that didn’t really fit in to earlier mixes. It started off as an attempt to recreate […]

  7. […] that confusingly seemed to have little to do with Atmosfear (you can hear the others here, here and here). This one is a rework of a track by Grace Jones, who features on many of my […]

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