Wednesday 30 November 2022

R. Dean Taylor - There's A Ghost In My House

One afternoon twenty years ago at work I had the Friday soul show on the radio and this song came on and blew me little mind. I always thought this was an 80s tune penned by The Fall and a fine one at that but no I was hearing an even better version from the 60s. This was a Holland/Dozier/Holland composition released on the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. Records in 1967. Weirdly it's performed by Canadian Motown hit Songwriter R Dean Taylor. It was not a hit though. However Ghost In My House was re-released in 1974 in the UK due to Northern Soul DJs giving it a thrashing at their amphetamine fuelled all night discos (Is that what they were? I'm no expert on this particularly English scene). It became a smash hit peaking at No 3 on the charts. Fans of freakbeat, 60s pop and soul rejoice, this is peak tuneage! 

Insistence is brilliantly baked into the rhythm, melody and incredible vocal arrangement here.... that outrageous riff-age, underlying terror and those contagious hand claps are something else too... the sonic alchemy of synergy on display on this production is so damn infectious...REWIND!

Saturday 26 November 2022

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - The Night


I mean what can you say?! This richly melodic funky tripped out jam is just the best! It gets better and better as time goes on forever. All the elements of this meticulous arrangement combine to create pop perfection. It's beautifully balanced to be effective on both the radio and the dance-floor. 

I never knew until one minute ago that Frankie Valli's glorious 1972 non-hit The Night was covered by both Soft Cell and Pulp amongst others. Me and Emma and Cooper (the dog) just had a boogie to this, you can't not!

*In 1975 The Night was re-released in the UK and became a top 10 record.

Thursday 10 November 2022


DJ Crystl: Dee Jay Recordings 1993: REWIND of post from 26/3/22 with reinstated audio courtesy of odysee.

To me Dj Crystl is one of the great sound designers of the jungle era. Perhaps Pete Parsons aka Voyager, his engineer and right hand man deserves some credit here too. The tunes below display a producer at the peak of his powers going from strength to strength like Omni Trio, Foul Play, 4Hero and Goldie all were at roughly the same time. While Dj Crystl's 1993 was brilliant choon-wize and his 1994 was also pretty good, it was the following year that things just did not blow up for him how they were supposed to as jungle ballooned into Drum & Bass. Crystl somehow missed the momentum and it felt like his potential was never fully realised. Like is there several albums worth of material that never got released? What happened? While that's probably an interesting story (that I don't actually know) I just want to point out here what a stellar set of releases DJ Crystl issued in 1993 on Dee Jay Recordings

Dj Crystl's three 12"s on Dee Jay Recordings and one 12" on Force Ten Records in 1993 make up one of Jungle's most sublime winning runs. If Crystlize, Deep Space, Meditation, Warp Drive, Sweet Dreamz, Your Destiny, The Dark Crystl and Inna Year 3000 were all put on one cd it would have been one of the top jungle albums of all time along with The Deepest Cut, Parallel Universe Black Secret Technology. Actually I can't believe somebody didn't have the foresight or hindsight to compile that (?). 

I suppose Dj Crystl was one of the original ambient jungle producers. I always think he's got a vague shoegaze vibe too with his walls of synth sound, drones and ethereal vocal science scattered amongst the jungle elements. I wonder if Kevin Shields or Seefeel were fans? or vice versa? Anyway his sides are a lot crisper than you might imagine or remember. They are immaculately put together with all sorts of microscopic detail. I imagine Dj Crystl spent a lot of time meticulously crafting each second of his tuneage while never losing sight of the big picture. The sound while fastidious however never appears to be too fussy, often quite the opposite and that balancing act is where his potency lies. Like Omni Trio there is an aura of splendid excitement, elegance, generosity and transcendence in Dj Crystl's jungle.

DJ Crystl - Crystlize
Swirls of synths, shapeshifting walls of sound, time-stretched drum opulence, alluring dark tunnels, ethereal vocal science and an uncanny rattling clang accompany the endlessly chopped snares into the Crystlized echo chamber.

DJ Crystl - Deep Space
Frantic intricate choppage that is somehow mellifluous. Those melodic snares are cushioned perfectly amongst the atmospheres of enchanting darkness. 

DJ Crystl - Meditation
Oceanic pools of sound, bleeps and waves of delicate vocal science eventually make room for exquisite rhythm-ology. At  5.10 a dramatic halt to proceedings occurs to allow the sonic waves back in before the beat momentum effortlessly picks up again. In the remaining couple of minutes it moves into mesmerising choppage of sparkling ambient snares. 

DJ Crystl - Warpdrive
Dj Crystl's most in yer face moment in 1993. This is a deluge of chopped and stretched breaks that go euphorically haywire amongst ominous drones. Don't forget that gloriously dark synth lull at 3.12. then the breaks continue go more and more insane. Holy shit this is the Best!

DJ Crystl - Sweet Dreamz
Idyllic sounds of the seaside with heaven bound synths, a woman's soothing meditative voice and a beat much less frantic than most jungle. Sweet Dreamz is all space age tropical vibes of calm tinged with disorientation and twilight. Pretty psychedelic.

DJ Crystl - Your Destiny
Waves of miniature ambient delirium and disorienting backwards abstractions where the spirit of MBV circa Glider lurks. The rhythm stop starts until 2.53 when it gets fully rolling as the darkness encroaches with a spectral presence coming in and out of focus. Choice dubby bleeps add to the subtle elusive charms of Your Destiny.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

DJ Crystl - The Dark Crystl/Inna Year 3000 (1993)

Getting back to where I was up to in my March jungle posts. This was Crystl's most famous tune as I recall (Hey I might be wrong as my brain is diminishing daily. Feel free to correct me). The Dark Crystl is undeniable darkside jungle choonage of historical significance to the hardcore continuum.

This was the flip.

*This is a test. Testing Testing 123....Let's hope these two audio clips work.


***I'm using Odysee which like Rumble is a Youtube alternative. Like Twitter pre-Musk Youtube has a retarded biased establishment left agenda (the mainstream democrat media line that actually blindly cheerleads big pharma, big tech, war etc.) so does not believe in free speech. In the last few days they have taken down videos of honest  commentators, who only want the truth backed by evidence and facts, because they didn't agree with their political viewpoints.

I'd love to never use the youtubes ever again as we don't need our information and thoughts policed, particularly by those Neil Young-crying into their man nappy Soviet types with authoritarian cheerleading tendencies, but unfortunately youtube have a cultural stronghold on music video content. 

The dude who runs the channel that these two DJ Crystl clips are from had his youtube account suspended a few months ago. Fortunately he had uploaded a mirror channel onto Odysee which I've only just rediscovered.  Anyway at this stage Rumble and Odysee seem to be the video content platforms that aren't the censorship arm of the establishment. For now it appears you are allowed free thought & speech so I'll be trying to use them as much as possible. 

Enjoy the music while you can as DJ Crystl's clips usually don't seem to stick around on these platforms for long. I'm guessing whoever runs hardcore Junglism is the copyright zealot who keeps reporting rogue Crystl clips. At this stage of the game you would think that keeping this music in the conversation is what is going to give it longevity. Every other hardcore/jungle/dnb artist is available to be discovered and listened to so this strategy is just going to write your music out of the game...anyway...

Keep on rockin' in the free world...