For the enthusiasts, a down-and-dirty Felix Da Housecat set, like I’ve only heard him play on Belgian soil. Whenever the man headlines a local nightly venue he seems to reach into his dark disco and new wave inspired soul and truly goes for it. In the early 2000’s I have personally seen him play even better sets, with a truly superb one in Ostend that would have fit perfectly in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Anyone who has a recording of that one, please give us a shout. Felix, we need you back, mate.
Popcorn is an underground music style that emerged in the ’70s and ’80s in Belgium. Over the years its true meaning has been misinterpreted and convoluted (in part by many compilations using the Popcorn flag), which has led to the incorrect interpretation as a synonym for Oldies from the 50’s and 60’s, which is not completely accurate. The 1969 synthpop song Popcorn by Gershon Kingsley has no relation to the movement either. The scene emerged in the early seventies in a club called Popcorn (which gave it its name) in Vrasene, Belgium. The music is a combination of vintage Soul, Swing, Surf, Latin and even Broadway Musical scores, typically downtempo and slightly melancholic. Even though Popcorn shares similarities with the UK’s Northern Soul movement, they are distinct subcultures. Most records were down-pitched and not played at their original tempo. In many ways, the Popcorn scene was a precursor to modern day nightclub, deejay and record culture and is one of the factors leading up to to the later New Beat phenomenon. Below is a playlist of my favorite and original Popcorn records. Youtube-user PopcornJef maintains a huge online Popcorn archive if you’d like to explore more tracks. This documentary elaborates a bit further. Complete track listing if you continue reading.
The Magician‘s track “Shy” truly sounds amazing in this live rendition, recorded at Belgian radio station Studio Brussel. Kudos on the vocals, Brayton Bowman. On a side note: if you’re wondering where The Magician got his moniker, notice how the piano is playing even before the keys are struck 🙂
The year is 1997. You’re about to slip into your combat boots, matching your camo pants. A quick look in the mirror reveals no zits … that hair is finally getting some length. Dad will drop you off at the youth center for that alternative party. The operative word being alternative … cannot be associated with anything mainstream. Below is a first grasp from that night’s playlist, focusing on records that were huge in the day. Enjoy! No fronts, no tricks, no soap box politics, I promise. Track listing below.
For years, I’ve been keeping genre-referenced lists of songs I want to use in a mix(tape) one day. While browsing through those lists last night, I started to realize how many of those tracks have fallen into obscurity an decided to share them in ready-to-play playlists. First up in my new series are 15 old-school R&B/Soul tracks, all from the Golden Age of MTV and music videos. Just hit the play button and one will play after another. Complete listing if you continue reading. Who said we need Spotify or a paid subscription to listen to music in curated lists? *Update: Been getting messages that a few videos are geo-restricted in some countries. Working on a solution*
Digging through record crates and CD’s last night, I was reminded of a story few people know. More than a decade ago I was active in nightlife and fondled around a little with music. While playing around one day I created a mash-up of Technotronic’s Pump of the Jam with the vocals to Justin Timberlake’s Like I love you. It was far from a professional production, the sound level was low, but it sounded ace, at least to me. Some friends who spun records at the time, used it and that made me quite happy. Two years later, I was working at Rendez-Fou in Ghent and the mash-up was played. The dancefloor went crazy. It wasn’t my exact copy, someone had made it’s own version, but the principle was the same. Later, I found out that a similar mash-up was featured on MTV Mash. Had a copy of my track gotten out, had someone heard it and picked it up, was is just sheer coincidence? I would never have gotten a dime of the remix as I did not own any of the rights, but secretly … I’m still a little proud and consider it the Glitterati Remix. Gotta let me have that, at least 😉 Below is a copy, not sure what the source is.
With September mere hours away, I’ve got a little pick-you-up to get you guys through that dreadful date that is 01/09. Here are melodic mixes by two of my favorite deejays: Nakadia’s September mix and Tripnastic’s Trip047. They will brighten up your day, that’s a promise.
Those of you into the electronic music and techno scene: there is no denying that Thai DJ Nakadia is hitting it big. Jet setting ’round the world 24/7, headlining a second upcoming Thai tour along with Sven Väth, … can’t help but root for this Isaan country girl with the friendly demeanour, she deserves every bit of success. Below is her set at Family Piknik (Germany) and a nice extra is her contribution to Belgian Techno hero Marco Bailey‘s podcast Electronic Force. Do notice how her skills have evolved in the two years between both recording. I personally do wish her all the best. Oh, and Naka: I am going to hold you to that interview, the first time we are in Nakhon Ratchasima at the same time.
One of the best live performances I’ve ever seen in a club was, without a doubt, by Gui Boratto. Not that many of his live sets surface online, which makes this registration from Kompakt Open Air last week even more special.