Heat Werk (DDR) statment

Hi,

This is Pauly here (aka Platinum Ray from Heat Werk on DDR.) On our last show on May 25th something happened that sent me into a spiral of worry and unhappiness. I just want to write this brief message to address what happened and explain to our listeners what it means for Heat Werk for the foreseeable future.

DDR is a vehemently pro-choice station and as it happened our last show was on the same day as the repeal vote. Our slot began at 10 p. m. and this coincided exactly with the closing of the poling stations and the announcement of the exit polls. My friend and Heat Werk regular Tóirse (aka Educution) asked to open the show and proceeded to play dark techno records with a voiceover of a short story. Although the short story itself may not have been offensive there are a few reasons I feel that it being played at that moment in time was not appropriate for the wider context of the vote ending. Here are just a few reasons:

  • It was a male’s voice that was being played and I felt that it was a no-brainer to play female lead music and voices at that time given the vote was about women’s bodily autonomy.
  • I felt that the narrator of the short story being played was entirely inappropriate for the time that was in it. It’s important to note that Tóirse did make an effort to disguise the voice with pitch and echo effects. He thought that no one would notice whom it was that was speaking. However, even with the effects put on the voice, it was immediately clear to me who was speaking.
  • Although I asked Tóirse to turn it off as soon as I realised what was happening he continued to play it for approximately a quarter of an hour. At the time this length seemed unnecessarily excessive for me, but it’s important to note that it was Tóirse’s intention to play the entire short story (in spoken word) from start to finish.

The fall out from this was pretty immediate. I went on the mic after a while and said something to try to counterpoint what was happening on air. Although I haven’t listened back to the archive I’m pretty sure I mentioned the vote and made it apparent that I felt that what was being played was an odd choice given the timing of it. Personally I was left feeling a bit stunned in embarrassment, but we continued on. Daragh and myself played after Tóirse I proceeded to announce the results of the exit polls (which to my relief predicted a landslide victory for the pro-choice movement.)

It took me a few days to really process what had happened. I called Torsh to express my feelings about it to him and try to figure out what his intentions were. We had a bit of a barney. He explained that he in no way had he intended the short story to be in response to the vote. He explained that he had tried to disguise the voice of the narrator and he really thought that no one would notice. He also told me that he felt my speaking on the mic was unfair to him and other listeners who might not be of the same political leanings as myself.

So what does this mean for the future of our show? Honestly my first thought was for us to end our show entirely and ask the DDR folks to put a woman on instead of us. I think this would probably be the most honorable thing to do, but somewhat weakly I just can’t bring myself to do it.

My personal situation is that I don’t get to deejay very often as I’m a father to a young child and need to be up early to care for him. As such, maybe somewhat selfishly, the bi-weekly show I do is very important to me as a creative outlet and I just can’t give it up that easily. It’s also really important that I get pleasure and enjoyment from doing the show. For me Heat Werk really can’t become a kind of edgy political discourse between Tóirse and myself. That’s not in any way what I intended for our show. Also all of this is really unfair to my brother Daragh who also plays records on the show with us.

I need to stress again that Tóirse is clear that he intended nothing political, so it would be unfair to kick him off the show for a perceived crime that I may have just imagined in my own head. In any case I’m not the boss of Heat Werk so that wouldn’t be my call.

However for me a line has been crossed and I think that it’s important for my own mental health, and creative health, to step away from doing the show with Tóirse at this time. I honestly feel like a prick just writing this, but this is what it’s come to. I called Tóirse again after initially speaking to him and explained my decision. I raised the possibility of us alternating the show between us, but he doesn’t want to do that. Effectively this means that Tóirse won’t be appearing on Heat Werk again for the foreseeable future.

Daragh and myself will continue to do the show. I think alternating the show between Daragh & myself for a while will allow me some space to refocus creatively on the music side of things.

Apologies if saying all of this seems weird, unnecessary and odd, but I’m glad to hopefully draw a line under it and move forward.

Yours,

Pauly

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Fine Times

Hi readers,

It’s been a while, I’ve been busy the over past month or two with a few things, not least deejaying at a few places here and there and also doing PowerFM.org with my buddy Tóirse. Sometimes when you’ve a string of gigs in a row there’s just no time for digesting or articulating what it all means. Better to spend time practicing and playing out rather than worrying about words and such.

At the start of May I did a set at a new night called Front Left where I warmed up for Brassfoot. It was in a basement bar and guess you could say the music was sort of acidy. The crowd was small, but Brassfoot played a strong set. Brassfoot, a fella named Ruben, turned out to be a sound guy. Ruben, Reddy from Front Left, a few heads and myself chilled after the club and stayed up chatting for a good few hours. My lasting memory of the night is my mate Megan and I dancing at 3 a. m. to this old MAW tune from way back when:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KRH05Nq_JI0

Here’s a funny pick from the end of the night when the bouncer asked Ruben to turn off the music:

Ruben and bouncer

I guess if I could derive a point from the above hedonism it would be that it’s really nice to dance when it’s late. At that time it really doesn’t matter if the crowd is small, all my worries about whether the night will make money for the promoter or not kind of disappear. “Worries” is perhaps too strong a word, but I mean it’s in the back of my mind if a promoter I like is doing some good underground shit and is at risk of losing out. Ultimately all that matters is if there’s a buzz between the folks that are there. At the Brassfoot gig it was there in spades.

Later the next week the Internet told me that I am 48 years old. Somehow I lost a decade:

Pauly 48 years old

The next weekend I was involved in a fundraiser party for the Yes Equality campaign. Many people were involved in organising it and we raised over 2k. It was an afternoon-into-evening party in an artists’ studio building that is not normally used for gigs. A lot of effort went into the decoration of the space, which made it especially good and unusual. I played some disco records and fluffed some mixes. It was not my finest hour on the 1s & 2s that’s for sure.

I was impressed by Patrick Kelleher and Brian Conniffe. They played live and did a tune that reminded me of the band Suicide. It was kind of industrial, but fuzzy. I hope they release that stuff – I want to hear more of it.

Sunken Foal played a blinder at the end of the party. That was special too as our friend Rod Morris stepped in on keys and they both improvised for much of the show. Dunk (Sunken Foal) toes a good line between instrumental hip-hop, bass, fuzzy shoe-gaze music and electronic weirdness. Rod’s keys are like Bob James on ayahuasca.

David Kitt, and Somadrone played live too. Neil (Somadrone) played one long track for his whole set that had a nice slow 4/4 feel to it. Kittser played some cover versions in a lovely understated way.

My buddies Christine (DJ Conjugal Visits) and David (Deasy) also deejayed. Christine is an awesome party DJ, she plays in a pub called Anseo every week. Deasy is one of the best DJs in Dublin and I don’t say that lightly. Deasy holds the record for the longest running residency in Dublin city. You can catch him in The Globe on Georges Street each and every Saturday. What he can do with a set of CDJs needs to be seen to be believed.

Find more info on what it was all about here: http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2015/05/11/large-increase-in-people-milking-yes-campaign-to-boost-own-social-status/

The next weekend I flew to London to join my friend Tim in celebrating his 40th birthday. It was a Bop Gun party. Bop Gun is a randomly held party that we throw from time to time where we play the kind of funk orientated dance music that we like. This is the second one we’ve done in London. For this one Tim & I played records along with loads of other folks at a place called Bar-A-Bar. One thing that is super about Bar-A-Bar is that the venue owner is a really nice guy. The PA system in there is very sweet too. We danced until very late, then a good few of us stayed up all night talking about techno music back in Tim’s gaff.

Bop Gun May 15

It was great also to catch up with my pal Babs in London. I like the city a lot, and the memories of when I used to live there came flooding back to me. There’s so much to do over there and there’s so many great little scenes to be involved in. It also reminded me that Dublin is really tiny in comparison to it.

Back in Dublin the following Saturday Tóirse and myself went to see DJ Sprinkles at the second ever Out To Lunch party in Tengu Bar. DJ Sprinkles is an interesting person and a DJ that takes the art seriously, not that you’d guess that from her name. It was a great booking on behalf of the Out To Lunch crew given that that Saturday was election results day for the gay marriage vote. The Yes result ended up being a landslide victory and Dublin that night was in party mode like never before.

Sprinkles, real name Terre Thaemlitz is an out spoken DJ. She writes pretty extensively on transgender issues, house music and other cultural phenomena. I recommend reading her piece titled “Social Media Content Removal Fail.” It’s a brilliant explanation on how YouTube and their like are only interested in corporate gain at the expense of artist’s intent and intellectual copyrights. You can read that and some more interesting stuff at her site here: http://www.comatonse.com/writings/index.html.

Some of the music she played that night was nice to space out to. Although I do like listening to Sprinkles at home I found over all her set was a little downbeat for the club. That said the crowd were really up for it. Every one was hugging each other in celebration of the result for gay marriage and the atmosphere was a special one.

After a while though both Tóirse and myself really wanted to dance and for the music to kick in properly. Happily and eventually it did kick in at the end of the night. She played an edit of Over & Over by Sylvester, which is a firm favourite of ours to dance to. She also played this awesome banger titled “Tony’s Bitch Track” by Frank Ski:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Sp7REpywVBQ

The following weekend Tóirse & I did another of our bi-weekly online radio shows up at the Power FM studio. Below are links to the archives for the last show and the one we did previously:

Episode two: https://www.mixcloud.com/platinumray/dance-it-ude-delivered-by-terchplatz-may-24/

Episode one: https://www.mixcloud.com/platinumray/dance-it-ude-delivered-by-terchplatz/

Our next show is this Sunday June 7th. I have a pre-recorded a guest mix from Eddie Galavan that I’ll be playing. Eddie is a great dude and a music enthusiast like myself. He kindly asked me for a guest mix last year for his show on Open Tempo FM based in Waterford http://www.opentempofm.com. It’s nice to be able to return the favour and play Eddie’s mix.   Tune in here on Sunday 8 p. m. (BST) to listen live: www.PowerFM.org.

Last Sunday I played records at the Grand Social. My brother Daragh and friends Caroline, Ann and Megan came along. I don’t like to plan my sets ahead too much so I can adapt to different situations if it’s a dead night. But, because my pals were there I was confident in just going for it. I got the chance to play many great disco and house tunes over the course of about two or more hours. It was fun to say the least and when I went harder into techno at the end of the night the crowd created a dance circle out on the floor. Some spectacularly insane shapes were pulled.

So all that said, I’ve been lucky to have had a great few weeks immersed in music that I love. I’ve danced hard, met great people and had a fine time deejaying. I’m one lucky old man.

Thanks again for reading,

Cheers,

Pauly

It’s jazz Jim, but not as we know it: Afrikan Sciences – Circuitous (LP)

Afrikan Sciences – Circuitous (Pan 2014) http://www.discogs.com/Afrikan-Sciences-Circuitous/master/766726

I got into this LP a few months ago and it has grown on me more and more ever since. First of all look at how gorgeous the album’s artwork is:

Circuitous is an LP forged using electronic equipment, but it’s influences and scope are somewhat breathtaking. Musically Afrikan Sciences (aka producer & DJ Eric Douglas Porter) seems to be influenced heavily by the philosophy and futuristic sounds of the great Sun Ra:

Jazz and sci-fi ascetics lead me Afrofuturism which is a cultural phenomenon that provides endless fascination. The memes of Afrofuturism pop up in underground electronic and dance music pretty often: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrofuturism.

As well the Afrofuturistic strain in Circuitous I have also felt it’s sonic tonality to be noteworthy in that it sounds somewhat revivalist of electronica from the early 2000s. It reminded me specifially of “Confield” by Autechre and and “Rest” by Isolée, two old albums from this era that I love dearly to this day. Perhaps this connection I’ve made is entirely coincidental and that Eric Douglas Porter has never heard those records. I sometimes like to think that the world of music is analogous to the physical cosmos of galaxies and stars. Sometimes similar elements can be formed through different processes happening countless lightyears away from each other.

There’s also a very modern sounding dryness to the production on Circuitous. Here you’ll find very little reliance on the smoke and mirror techniques often applied in electronic productions. Reverbs and delay effects are applied economically. Any trance inducing repetition is interrupted with a shift in drum patterns.

Each of the tracks in Circuitous evolve rhythmically in their own way and have their own personalities. However, that said I think that all the tracks on there work best when the album is listened to as a whole. As best as I can describe it though Circuitous is really a cauldron of nonconformity and is difficult to pin down onto a singular genre. With each ladle Afrikan Sciences dishes up a tune and within each tune is contained a lucid, but dreamlike journey in it’s own right.

Circuitous is a truly great album and if you’re into spacey jazz influenced electronic music I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Cheers for reading,

P

10 Acidic Face-Melters

Ayup,

First just some context: I’ve been asked to DJ at a party next week Friday May 1st in support of Brassfoot. There’s not much on Discogs by way of a description of this new producer right now. The guy’s got a couple of releases out on Apron records from London and they have put some great records out over the past few years. Brassfoot then comes from a stable of fine pedigree. Brassfoot’s style so far seems to be in part influenced in by acid, not the LSD kind I hope you understand, more the music descriptive kind as in “acid-house” and the many of the offshoots stemming and intertwining with this strain of dance music. I don’t want to assume anything else about Brassfoot, as I really don’t wish to pigeonhole a promising young artist.

I do want to give props and thanks to Reddy and the FrontLeft crew for making the booking and I have no doubt whatsoever that the party will be 100% dope off the back of Brassfoot playing. Also good, of course, because myself and Rashers Tierney are doing the warm up set. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1821814221376580/

To get some buzz going ahead of the party Rashers Tierney asked me to draft a top five “Acid Trax” list for the event page. I was delighted to be asked because it’s a genre that’s close to my heart. The thing is though that the classic acid-house list has been cited already about fifty million times. Here’s a great one here by Ed DMX for example: http://www.factmag.com/2014/01/22/20-best-acid-house/

It’s a genre that has been fetishized over time and time again by folks that probably know more about the early days of acid than I do. That said I do like my acid (music, not LSD) as much as the next person. Maybe even I like it a wee bit more than most humans out there today living their lives. So I decided to do a list of some slightly more obscure acidy numbers out there. These certainly won’t all be from the golden years of the late 80s nor will this list be anything that definitive. Acid to me a best understood in a loose way, sure 303s are synonymous with the sound yada yada yada, who cares at this stage. Fuck nostalgia! This music is relevant right now and when deejayed well it can be a whole lot of fun to dance to.

So here’s a list of Ten Acidic Face-Melters to get down on:

*Sponsored by YouTube (we Ad the “You” back in the Tube)

Mix Masters – House Express (Boogie’s Express Mix) https://youtu.be/J9AecGLVSco

Richard Bartz & DJ Hell – Take a Shot https://youtu.be/W0D0t1p2LLs

Traxx presents The Dirty Criminals – Jak Da Box https://youtu.be/B_z8zCHf-Xo

Pépé Bradock ‎- Mujeres Nerviosas https://youtu.be/3lJRV67yry8

James Cotton – Press Your Body https://youtu.be/f9-egAR5HB4

Slugo, Africans with Mainframes, CeCe Peniston https://youtu.be/bntTj5-mWdc

Jackmaster Dick’s Revenge – Sensuous Woman Goes Disco https://youtu.be/u2jZcWKF24A < – NSFW

Paranoid London Featuring Paris Brightledge – Paris Dub 1 https://youtu.be/3uh1GZifkT0

KMFH – 12 Doors (feat. Nas1) https://youtu.be/LayLZzVK77o

Omar S – Frogs https://youtu.be/MKRubfdNMyc

Here’s the YT playlist: 

Cheers,

Platinum Ray

Joining the Dots: Milo Johnson aka DJ Mil’o aka DJ Nature

Hi,

In this piece I want to write about the great DJ Nature, aka Milo Johnson, aka DJ Mil’o. This man’s career spans five decades (he started spinning in the late 70s), plus he’s kind of an underground figure so for me to get his full story on here will be impossible. There’s still much I need to learn about Milo’s DJ’s career, but for this piece I wanted to put down a flag to explain why he gets my admiration. In fact it’s really more accurate to say he gets my wife’s admiration as well as mine.

Some time around 2004 I started seeing my now wife Niamh and it was she who got me into this mix CD which was released on the Strut label in ’02: http://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Wild-Bunch/release/123867

In my world in the mid 00s I had just moved back to Dublin after living in London for a few years. Techno seemed to me to be losing some of it’s it’s funk and I wasn’t in the loop of much of the good house music that was coming out at this time. When I take a look at this mix’s track list today I can see why it left such an indelible mark on me. It covers 80s hip-hop, Disco & Boogie and house. It reignited my interest in disco at that time in the mid 00s when my own listening habits were becoming a bit tired and I started to look back to the past for musical inspiration.

The mix nods it’s head to Milo’s roots in the sound system culture of Bristol City. This is a good example of the way that the UK bass genres are somewhat linked to disco through a wider musical history other than dub alone. Personally I think this connection is a fascinating one and DJ Milo bridges the genre stepping stones like no one else.

There seems to be two biographies on Milo Johnson: one on his hip-hop side under the moniker DJ Mil’o and another on his disco & house side under the name DJ Nature.  I wonder is this dichotomy intended by the man himself…

In an industry that likes it’s genres clearly defined does Milo wish to separate his DJ personas?

I shouldn’t really speculate, but it seems the DJ Nature persona came about after Milo moved to New York in the late 80s. At least according to this bio it is the case: http://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/djnature/biography.  But, it’s interesting that there’s no mention here of the previous DJ Mil’o name nor any of his part in the burgeoning Bristol hip-hop scene. However, in this DJ Mil’o biography it does mention his move to NY and a connection with the awesome Nu Groove house music label: http://dj-milo.net/bio.html. So we see the hip-hop and house dots starting to join up.

Listen to this DJ Nature remix from ’93: https://youtu.be/NFbc5-Z2VGI.  It sounds like Milo must have been heavily influenced by the NY house scene which is firmly rooted in disco. Who wouldn’t if you lived in New York at this time?

DJ Nature spins house and disco to this day and is arguably more popular and relevant now than at any stage during his awe inspiring career. 2014 gave us two full LPs: “Groovotica Collection 1” on Golf Channel Recordings and “Let The Children Play” on the Jazzy Sport label.

Milo’s “Year End” mixes over the past couple of years have become essential listening for me. I think the 2013 one is gone from SoundCloud now, but you can still get with his ’14 warm up selection mix here: https://soundcloud.com/natureboy/year-end-mix-2014-part-1-foreplay.  Also worth a listen is his LWE mix here: http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/podcast/lwe-podcast-167-dj-nature.

Now DJ-wise he specialises in slow groove sets. Niamh and myself with some friends were lucky to catch a DJ Nature set at a Together Disco night we went to last year. One of the great things about the party from my perspective was the way Milo kept the tempo slow and mixed between disco and house effortlessly. I have to say there is nothing “warm up” about this music when the system is tight and the crowd are up for it. I would jump at the chance to catch him play again.

I hope Milo continues to DJ and set the standard for what a successful career in dance music should look like. Go on DJ Mil’o, we are big fans!

Incidentally as a foot note I want to say that the Strut, Nu Groove and Golf Channel labels are incredible and each are worthy of at least their own blog entry by me. I may get to them in more detail another time.

That’s all for now readers and thanks again for clicking on my blog.

Cheers,

P

New Power FM Show

Myself and my good friend Tóirse (aka Educution) started back on Power FM last Sunday.

For those that don’t know Power is a long running underground dance and alternative radio station based in Dublin. In the ‘90s it was on the FM dial and the DJs played house, jungle, techno, hip-hop, dub and a lot of other stuff. These days it’s online at ww.PowerFM.org. The current roster of shows is very diverse and the DJs have license to be eclectic in their selections. The station was off air since Oct last year, but is back now as of last week. However, the website design and the archiving of the new shows is yet to be put in place.

So, seeing the re-launch as a good opportunity to bring a new concept to our show Tóirse and myself laboured over what we’d call it and how we wanted to go forward with it. Then our slot on Power got gazumped by an eastern European DJ named Terchplatz. “Dance-it-ude: Delivered by Terchplatz” is the name of his show. Tertchplatz is also sponsored by a product called Ab-Natural. As far as I can tell Ab-Natural is some kind of cream that bodybuilders use to rub on their abs after a workout.

But, I have good news everyone, Tóirse and I have been allowed to fill in for Terchplatz whenever he can’t make his show. The only catch is that we have to play the Tertchplatz jingles at the start of the show and play any announcements from Tertchplatz’s manager, a German gentleman named Bjern Jerböllinz.

Here’s a promo poster:

Tertchplatz

The next show is on April 26th at 20:00 hrs (GMT +1.)  Tip:  if you want a laugh please tune in for the jingles at the start of the show.

That’s it for now,

Thanks for reading,

P

Ron Trent: The Best to Ever Do It

Ron Trent?  Say no more!

For me personally getting a chance to see Ron Trent play would be akin to a spiritual experience. This guy is the zenith of what deejaying is about, no one does it better.  But, he’s the best DJ that I have never seen.

Hear me cry it:  CAN SOME DUBLIN PROMOTER PLEASE GET THIS MAN OVER TO DJ FOR US!

In the meantime we can always listen and learn from a master of the craft.  Note the mix linked below is just a section of what was an 8 hour set in Berlin earlier this year.  8 hours!

https://soundcloud.com/musicandpower/young-soul-berlin-2-13-2015-ron-trent-live-prince-charles

I could write a good bit more, but there’s is no point.  If you don’t know, now you know.  Go find his records and if you ever get a chance to be on a dance floor where Ron is spinning get on it immediately.

Cheers for reading!

P