Author Archives: Angel Mel Selector

“Wicked tune DJ”! Gilles Peterson Sonzeira Review


Gilles Peterson’s a long standing love affair with the Brazilian culture is one that has been well documented. The relationship between the man and the music, has been told via five albums, which have all been dedicated to shining a light on different aspects of Brazilian music heritage. Sonzeira is the sixth successor in line. Loosely translated, Sonzeira is Portuguese meaning a ‘cool or stunning sound’. In order to create that ‘cool’ sound, a whole host of Brazilian glitterati, musicians, living legends, songbirds, and percussionist, were carefully woven in to the tapestry of the album.

Sonzeira is a history lesson not in a traditional sense, rather like Show & Tell. It is an invitation to explore deep into the heart of Brazilian history, from the torrid days of slavery, where the spirit was kept alive through the beat of tribal drums. Layer upon layer of musical influences, the seductive sound of the Bossa Nova, Samba celebrating the diversity of life, melodies demonstrating the longing of a lost love, haunting growls expelling the daily oppression and poverty all rise up to create Sonzeira.
The heart of the album is based around the works of the late composer and songwriter Ary Brosso’s, Aquarela Do Brazil, Brazil Pandeiro and Nana. Like dropping a pebble in water the influences then ripple outwards.

Many characters were instrumental in making this history lesson come to life, the angelic voice of Emanuelle pacifies the percussion fuelled frenzy of ‘Xibaba’. Emanelle’s adaptation of the Jazz Funk classic by ‘Southern Freeez’ of track of the same name, sent shivers of delights down the spine, with its alluring hypnotic Bossa Nova groove.
The intoxicating gravel tones of Elza Soares as she pulls you closer into the meaning of ‘Aquarela do Brasil. A talent only matched by the exquisite Mart’nalia version of Sarah Vaughan Jazz rarity ‘Mystery of Man’, which incidentally was written by Pope John Paul 2. Mart’nalia learned how to sing the song in English, giving the song an added depth of texture. ‘Bam Bam Bam’, is a gluttonous feast of percussive extravaganza. So rich is this album with all nature of instruments, some in which I have never heard before. Instruments from all over the African continent were left in Brazil, to be played and loved by their masters and mistresses. Listen out for the stunning flute solos played by Fin Peters. When the deep spiritual percussive pulls at your very heart strings, you may be listening to genius of maestro Nana Vasconcelos.

Having listened to Sonzeira on continuous loop, I am comforted by it’s sheer of joy, it’s depth of meaning. You could listen to this album a thousand times and still discover something you may have missed previously. I get the sense that everybody involved in creating this project put their heart and soul into it. This is a work of art, it is the embodiment of ‘Sonzeira’.
Artist: Gilles Peterson
Title: Sonzeira Bam Bam Bam
Label: Talking Loud/ Virgin EMI
Release date: 26/05/2014
Available from: Amazon, Itunes



72 Hours In The Life Of A Southport Weekender Devotee




Join me as I take you through 72 hours of Britain’s longest running indoor dance event Southport Weekender, celebrating its 50th anniversary. Take a step into my world, as you view the weekend through the eyes of a Southport Weekender devotee.


Let the games begin...

Let the games begin…

Where to start? There are so many beginnings to chose from; the night before where butterflies do the conga in my stomach and sleep is evasive due to the anticipation of the following days adventure. Or the journey from Bath to Minehead, where one lone Southporter makes her way on the train, only to be met by a whole train full of excited, enthusiastic revellers, all heading in the same direction. Or maybe the moment when you reach the site, waiting outside for your party leader to collect the wrist bands and lanyards. I love that part, the cries of recognition as you bump into all your friends from across the country and indeed the globe: Dubai, Aylesbury, New York, Sunderland, Ireland, Manchester, Amsterdam the list is endless.

For we are all apart of something unique, and very special. We are all members of a world wide music family. From this moment on, we the collective conscious know that for the next 72 hours, we are going to experience the time of our lives, together as one.

Southport Weekender is like being immersed in your own bubble; to a certain extent the outside world doesn’t exist, mainly due to the poor mobile phone reception, but that’s a godsend.
There is an unspoken rule when coming to Southport for the first time, ‘remember it is a marathon not a sprint’. Being able to balance your weekend; between spending time with your friends, cross referencing the time table, to ensure you get to see your chosen acts, finding time to eat, sleep and swim (yes I said swim) is an art form in itself, most people fall at the first hurdle.

The line up is breath taking, there are very few places where you would get to see a plethora of world class artists and DJs such as; the living legend Chaka Khan, the world renowned Archie Bell and The Drells, veteran of the Acid House and Hardcore scene Carl Cox, one of Britain’s leading pioneers and champions of Reggae David Rodigan, Hip Hop royalty DJ Jazzy Jeff, Jazz Songbird Zara McFarlane, game changing and rule breaker Derrick Carter, The Black Messiah himself, Osunlade, Soulful Songstress Faith Evans, bringers of the fresh and funky beats Brand New heavies, I could go and on and on…..

Friday is like an enormous energy conductor, we promise to take it easy, pace ourselves; however the sheer magnetism and force behind the weekender takes over, until we left powerless against it’s charms.
The new home of the resident pub the Inn on the Green, swelled with the masses of feverishly excited party goers. Southport resident DJs: Paul Stuart, Bob Jefferies, Terry Jones, Martin Lodge, Luis Radio, Mark Stone and Souldynamic provide the perfect backdrop. Picture the scene; open arms and continental kisses, greeting friends, while pints and glasses were raised in unison; ‘we are here, we made it, the fun starts now.

All together now!

All together now!

Steve Butler & Ben Brophy, the welcoming committee.

Steve Butler & Ben Brophy, the welcoming committee.

My night begins in the Suncebeat Dome, where I am received with open arms by the Southport stalwart Steve Butler and rising star Ben Brophy. Both Steve and Ben brought their unique brand of delightful cheer to the proceeding, that kicked off the party in style. The energy behind those decks was electric. I stand transfixed and overwhelmed by whole ambiance, the greetings and embraces. One person in particular I must mention, Southport resident DJ Gavin Kendrick, who for me has given this years event a whole new meaning, Gavin I salute you.




One of the most poignant moments that I recall, was being by the entrance of the Dome, just watching the people dancing, laughing and being happy. Martin Iveson aka Atjazz and Ross Hillard from the Magic Number bop through the dome; earlier that week I had emailed Ross to show him love for a track he had recently made called ”Song for Sophia’. A stunning piece of Jazz, complimented by heart warming vocals; a track I had played several times during my week long DJ residency in Ibiza the previous week. As I stood chatting with a woman, who told me it was her first time at Southport Weekender. I beam with enthusiasm keen to initiate a new member into our ever expanding family. All of sudden Ross leans over and tells me that the woman I am talking to is Angela Armstrong, none other than the vocalist on the ‘Song for Sophia’. It one of those goosebump moments, such a humble and lovely woman.

The beautiful Angela xx

The beautiful Angela xx


My spiritual home always has been and will always be the Beat Bar, however something switched this year, perhaps it was the change of location of my beloved Beat Bar. I managed to drag myself away from the Suncebeat Dome to the Beat Bar. I was on a mission to see Tall Black Guy, a much respected Producer/ DJ from Detroit; who had been delighting my eardrums, courtesy of the oracle that is Kev Beadle. I’m pleased that I made the switch Tall Black Guy’s set is as creative and innovative as I imagined it would be. The experience is sweetened by having the opportunity to chat to him and is manager / wife after his performance. Such is the way at Southport than you can easily walk amongst your music heroes, there’s no attitude of diva like behaviour, we are all on the same level.

This time the lure of the Suncebeat Dome enticed me back and holds me firm to it’s bosom.
Friday night was full of the most floor stomping celebratory DJs. The likes of Neil Pierce brought the Dome down as we danced and cheered; congratulating Neil on his well deserved place at Southport. Neil was followed by a man that needs very little introduction Kenny Dope. Kenny’s house set literally set the dance floor a blaze. His historic take on well loved classic House tunes, led to on mass singing and shows of jubilation.

Next up were two of my favourites; the boundary pushers, the UN-conventionalists otherwise known as Exist, who consist of Atjazz & Karizma, with Ross Hillard on bass guitar. These guys are technical wizards, whose creative synergy is a wonder to behold. Not forgetting the sheering sexual magnetism of Ross and his bass guitar, I must say there were one or two blushes as Ross rode that bass guitar into the audience, like a proper super star.



May I remind you that I am still on Friday night or should I say morning, about 6am to be exact in the Beat Bar. There are few that could hold my attention until that time of the morning. However this time I make an exception. Some call him the ‘Black Messiah’, other’s the spiritual leader of the dance floor, to all his name is Osunlade. This is the point where music get’s spiritual. Osunlade offers up an holistic approach in his delivery. Only the true believers would remain on the dance floor at 6am to watch the holy man deliver his sermon. The scene could be described like something out a tribal gathering, the air is heavy, hot and sticky; the congregation eagerly awaits for the first tune and away we go. Two hours of the deepest, soul nourishing, hypnotic and mesmerising music. I was fortunate enough to be back stage for this set, as the temperatures soared we handed out bottles of water to the crowds. Committed to the cause, we danced, we cheered and we adored Osunlade, right until the very last song.

And so to bed, exhausted, body aching, elated and satisfied.












Earlier I mentioned that Southport is a marathon not a sprint, no where is this more evident than    on Saturday day time. The atmosphere is thick with palpable tension. The anticipation is building, something magnificent is about to go down.

In the mean time; so many people I wanted to see, but I like so many others I am a mere mortal, sleep prevails I miss; Archie Dell and the Drells, Andrew Ashong, Gavin Kendrick. However all is not lost, for the bold & brave and for the ones in the know, swimming is an absolute godsend. There is nothing better then after 12 hours of bouncing, moving and grooving than a nice relaxing swim in the whirlpool; followed by launching myself down the death defying waterslides.
As I walk around the site, I can only liken it being in an glorious alternative universe; the giant Southport deckchair, which revellers clamber onto exposing their knickers or builders bums in order to have their pictures taken in it. The smiles and nods, the ‘good morning campers’ shared between to passer’s by. We experience the sense of togetherness. The feeling that we are all in this together and at this moment in time life does not get much better than this.

Back to the matter at hand, there was only one act on most people’s mind that Saturday afternoon; one reason to drag your weary head away from the comfort of your pillow. Since the release of the live line up earlier in the year, my mind had been focused on seeing the performance of one woman. I could have only dreamt of seeing this legendary artist in my life time. Today was a day for making dreams come true, not just for me but for thousands of members, this is the moment we had been all waiting for.

One Nation Under A Groove

One Nation Under A Groove

With a body that betrayed what my mind was actually feeling, overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of whom I was about to see.
I stood in the main pavilion, with my dear friend Nick and a glass of prosecco in hand, to steady the nerves. The hustling, buzzing throngs of people, listening to Southport Soul man Ronnie Herel. We gently swayed to the music, still a little tender from the night before. We speculated amongst ourselves, would she be a Diva? Would she turn up late? Has she still got it? How old is she anyway? Have you heard the rumour, which British Funk Soul legendary band would be supporting her, no other than Incognito!
The music stops, out comes Ronnie Herel, there is hush amidst the crowd. With an introduction of gratitude, out come Incognito to kick off the proceedings in style. Next an announcement that is only befitting for a woman of her magnitude and heroism, out comes the tiniest woman, a shock of wild hair and a outfit that screams, you came to me and me alone – Chaka Khan! My heart literally skips a beat, as I write this the hair on the back of my neck stands up at the mere thought of that moment. Chaka opens up with the anthem ‘I feel for you’, the love and adoration of nearly six thousand people singing back at her is unbelievable. From that moment on, I am lost in the magic. Chaka Khan delivered a performance that was unrivalled, her vocal gymnastics were breathtaking if not ear splitting at times.
Incognito offered up the perfect accompaniment to her style, never missing a beat.
As I looked around me I saw the smiles; the I can not believe this is actually happening expressions. This is a dream come true, when you come face to face with a long term music hero. Every song meant something valuable to each and other person. Songs like ‘Ain’t nobody’, ‘I know you, I live you’, ‘Sweet thing’, invoked an emotional response. Those songs may have signified a particular time in their lives; or provoked a specific emotion. For me it was like Chaka was singing the soundtrack of my life. I’ve only ever felt like this once before when I fortunate to see Jocelyn Brown. It was not until the final encore of ‘I’m every woman’, that I finally broken down into tears. The out pouring of complete and utter joy of witnessing a woman I both admire and respect, give a stellar performance. My dreams had come true, this would be a moment I would cherish for the rest of my life.

Living Legend Chaka Khan

Living Legend Chaka Khan

I needed a lie down after that, to let the magic settle and soak into my being. This kind of wonder doesn’t happen every day.

Saturday night draws in, once more into the breach I go armed with my dancing shoes, fans and most importantly my crew from Sunderland. One of the best attributes of Southport is belonging to a world wide family. Most of us only get to see each other once or twice a year, which makes meeting up all the more special. The Mackems are feeling at home tonight. The gale force winds whipping around the site makes me scream, it’s freezing. ” Ah nae bother”, comes the reply from my mate Craig just wait until we get inside the Beat Bar, soon get warmed up. What lies in wait for us is an evening of pure unadulterated pleasure. Tonight is all about getting low down and funky; Gilles Peterson laying it down in the Beat Bar. Finding a suitable space to dance is a challenge sticky dance floors and carpets don’t mix, pass me the talcum powder, I feel a gliiiide coming on. Gilles Peterson is was of the only DJs I know who could throw down a melting pot of genres and get away with it. Music to my ears.


We enter the newly decorated Connoisseurs room, glistening tassels suspended from the ceiling. The Connoisseurs room as the name implies, plays the best in Soulful music over the past several decades. Kenny Dope is playing an eclectic set, I live for moments like these. A selection of rarities and well known tracks blended together with the sole intention of making you move. Time moves swiftly, we can’t decide between Moody Man, Kerri Chandler & Friends and Joey Negro, decisions, decisions, decisions.

After the conversation I had with the gorgeous Angela Armstrong from Magic Number and the lovely Ben Brophy; I make a be line to uncharted territories to the Power House room. The Power House is known for being the home of the crème de la crème of House music, drawing it’s influences from the major players in the House scene origins of; New York, Chicago, Detroit. I tend not too much spend there, it is a vast air hanger of a room beautifully decorated, but a little too big for me. Now at 4am I am faltering slightly but my resolve to stay is strong, if I can I will watch performance to the sweet end. Kerri Chandler is the pied piper of the generations; his contribution to music is outstanding. He is also considered responsible for helping to change the course of dance music history.
Another welcome blessing, Kerri and Friends is a unique take on dance music brought to life via live instruments and upfront vocals.
The inspiration behind the idea came from, Kerri and Ben watching Gregory Porters mesmerising set in the Connoisseurs room at Southport 48. Having worked closely with Ross Hillard and his band Magic Number, and making transatlantic Skype calls to Kerri Chandler. The project was carefully orchestrated by Ross Hillard and welcomed with open arms by Kerri. The dream had finally came to fruition. To follow the progress of an idea, as it developed and evolved, in to what I saw before me was truly awe inspiring.
The experience felt like being gathered up, embraced and being taken on a wonderful adventure. Listening to the unmistakable voices of Arnold Jarvis and Robert Owens; voices that I have been listening to for years, sing the likes of ‘Inspiration’, and I’ll be your friend’, ‘Tears’ a moving tribute to Frankie Knuckles performed live were pretty special. One of my proudest moments, was to see a new shining light in the form of Ben Brophy, up on stage playing the keyboard on the track inspiration . A track Ben tells me that helped to cement a life long friendship with Kerri. My one regret was not being able to stay until the end, by 5.30am my energy had left the building and I had to leave with it.


Kerri Chandler & Friends

Kerri Chandler & Friends



Now for the chosen few who are lucky enough to have the golden ticket for the third night, this means an extravaganza. The closing and after parties, the beat doesn’t stop. For the rest of the revellers, Sunday is normally experience with a heavy heart and aching feet, it is time to go home.
When most people were asleep or still up chatting, I went swimming. Not surprisingly I was the only one in the pool. As I eased myself along doing a gentle breast stroke. I noticed the waves in the pool getting choppier, after three days of excess I began to wonder if swimming had been such a good idea. In no time at all, the pool went from being calm to a frenzied wave machine, it was all I could do to fight against the increasingly large waves. I managed to cling on to the steps and drag myself out. I had no desire to be the first Southport death due to drowning. I had a few choice words for the pool staff I can tell you!

There is one DJ in particular who is very close to my heart and has been instrumental in helping to educate my music tastes for nearly my whole adult life. That man is Kev Beadle . Kev is an important and vital part of the Southport foundation. His contribution, knowledge, passion and diverse understanding of music is paramount. He is the King of the Beat Bar kids, and responsible for bringing such musical delights at Motor City Drum Ensemble, Lay-Far, Zara McFarlane, Floating Points and not forgetting the legendary Brazilian artist Marcos Vale.

My hero Kev Beadle

My hero Kev Beadle


The organisers of Southport Weekender have always paid close attention to the suggestions of their supporters. Last year I asked if Sunday afternoon in the Beat Bar, could play homage with a classic Jazz set; for all the old skool Jazz dancers I had heard so much about. Turns out I wasn’t the only one to make that suggestion, our prays had been answered.
Along with my swimming kit, I made my way down to the Beat Bar for the afternoon’s Jazz & Brazilian session with Kev Beadle and Marcos Vale. Let me tell you something, being able to really get down to Jazz, requires you to let the music take over your body. Let the music doing the talking as they say. What we needed was some talcum powder for this sticky floor, I use water. I am amazed by what I put my body through over the weekend, yet here I am dancing twirling, shuffling in time to the beat. I am not the only one, the hardcore and the dedicated come out to play, donning their leather soled shoes and flat caps. To me they look like they have been waiting all weekend for this moment, their time to shine. Definitely one of my highlights from the weekend, this is music that lifts the spirit. Such a perfect set, I walk over to Kev and give him a massive hug, and utter two simple but heartfelt words thank you.

Through out the weekend there are clashes, it is inevitable unless I am super human I can not in two places at once. As the Beat Bar swells with anticipation of Marcos Vale I make the difficult decision to slip away and leave. I head off in the direction of the Inn on The Green pub to support two chaps who have been brightening up my life for quite some time. I had the pleasure of meeting Alan Kenny Ascott and Ket Shah at the Southport’s sister festival Suncebeat in Croatia two years ago. Since then there radio show, Mucho Soul had become a regular fixture in my life and a keen favourite to many others. Mucho Soul have an impeccable taste in music; showcasing the best in soulful sounds, defining deepness, interspersed with classic Jazz, a real melting pot. The Ket and Alan have worked tirelessly in recent years and were now being rewarded by being given the opportunity to play at the 50th anniversary.

Al & Ket, Mucho Soul brothers.

Al & Ket, Mucho Soul brothers.

Sunday afternoon is not an easy slot to fill, however today was auspicious. All the elements had convened to ensure that the Mucho Soul set would be one to remember. For the first time all weekend the sun shone brightly, people had made there way to the Inn on the Green pub, basking in the unexpected glow. Alan and Ket were poised ready, this was there time to shine and by god they did. Performing at Southport is an opportunity to play your heart out, DJs spend hours carefully selecting the right combination of music. Their playlist grabbed your attention by delighting, and exciting the senses. Mucho did not play it safe, they played their set to win. That afternoon the Mucho Soul boys grabbed us by aching feet and forced to us dance. Flagging energy levels were revived, the atmosphere was electric as we all danced under the sun. Sunday afternoon was shaping up to be another memorable day, absolutely brilliant.

The party isn’t over until it’s over, as I make my way to the Suncebeat Dome, for the Beat Bar closing party. Tonight all my favourite DJs will be together in one place; Kev Beadle, Lay-Far hailing from Russia, German based master of his class Rainer Truby and the Ukrainian man of the hour Vakula.
The after parties are considered to be the best part of the whole weekend, a majority of the people have gone home, just the faithful or foolhardy remain. Everything accumulates to this one point. I can’t believe it’s nearly over how did Sunday night come around so quickly? Like many others I have been awake more than I have been asleep. 72 hours have been filled with unending laughter, non stop chatter, (I am losing my voice), dancing until I was utterly exhausted, showered with so much love from old friends and new I am humbled. Tonight it ends here, this will be the party to end all parties. Kev Beadle is already working his magic on the decks when I arrive, setting the tone and raising our spirits in preparation for the Russian Boy Wonder Alexander Lay-Far. How to describe Lay-Far? A man with a encyclopaedic knowledge of music; who despite his young years will throw down beat after beat, each better than the last until the crowd are begging for more. How do you follow an act like that? By putting on a man who will undoubtedly blow your mind, that man is Rainer Truby. True to form Rainer did not disappoint, he works the audience like a conductor works an orchestra; he leads, we follow. The intensity of how he delivers each record is genius. Vakula was unable to attend the closing party, however help was at hand in the shape of Nacho Velasco, whom played back to back with Rainer. Nacho brought his own unique perspective, which perfectly complimented Rainer’s style. As the hour due to a close, Rainer dropped a track so beautiful, so orgasmic that I was almost lost for words. A ten minute symphony by Martin Pantino named ‘Hommage A La Sodomie’, there was no better way to end a set.

One Love - Music Family.

One Love – Music Family.

And just like that it was over. After the anticipation over the last couple of months; the carefully thought out preparations, the near delirious interactions on all the social media sites, butterflies doing the electric slide in my stomach. All would have to wait until next year, when the process is repeated again.

When you have in excess of 6500 people together in one space, there are bound to a few mishaps and crazy stories over the weekend. Here are a few of my favourite anecdotes that have been shared with me from the weekend.
For all the people that got lost looking your chalets, spare a thought for the chaps that were unable to find their chalet, and asked for directions from the kind Spar staff on site, who pointed them in the right direction. Having searched for 20minutes unsuccessfully, they wandered back to the Spar and one of members of staff chaperoned them back to their chalet.

"Just one more question"...

“Just one more question”…

My room mate who will remain nameless, who was found wandering around outside the chalet at 4.30am talk to bunny rabbits. My soul sista Janikins impression of Columbo was hilarious, just what I needed on a Sunday morning. My lost glasses which disappeared at some point during the Saturday night, my fears of spending the next 24hrs in a hazy fog almost became a reality. Imagine my relief as I found my glasses in an empty pint glass in the Connoisseurs room, I have no idea how they got there. One of my favourites stories is another friend of mine; in his excitement to unpack his car and get into the venue on Friday, had left his car running the entire weekend. He was greeted on Monday morning, by a note left on his windscreen informing him of the fact and a very flat battery; I can only imagine the look on his face.
A mountain of mobile phones were lost and found due to the honest nature of the Southport family, something which is a rarity in everyday life. But my favourite story has to be one of the gorgeous Scottish lasses, made a bet with one of the restaurant staff on site. The bet was if she dressed up like a chicken could she get a free bottle of wine, this is the gospel truth. For reasons known only to her she had packed a full size chicken costume in her suitcase, needless to say her the bottle of wine where her prize.

Do The Funky Chicken!

Do The Funky Chicken!

The world of Southport weekender is a weird and wonderful place, it can described at sheer excessive hedonism or a holy land where the faithful make the pilgrimage every year. With my hand firmly on heart, I can declare my undying love and gratitude to an event that has brought me untold joy and happiness over the years. I have gained lifelong friendships, incredible memories and a new leash of life beyond my wildest dreams.

My life would not be anywhere near as bright and beautiful, if it were for the dedication and vision of the organisers. Alex, Dave, Nick, Gavin and Kev, to all the members past and present, who have shaped and moulded Southport over the years; I think I can speak for us all when I say, you have given us a gift more precious than words can say.
When I reflect on historical outstanding contributions to the music scene, from establishments such at Paradise Garage, The Loft and The Warehouse and the like. Southport Weekender has been instrumental in keeping those original dreams and ideals alive, which has undoubtedly touched the lives of many people across the globe.

Thank you



Thank you for the music.

Photography – Courtesy of Muriel.Guennou.Photograpy, James Mortner, Colin Williams


And the Beat Goes On An Interview With Danny Krivit




Danny Krivit ‘And the Beat goes on..

In the early 1970’s Richard Nixon was president; the world shook with violence from the Vietnam War and Middle Eastern strains. It saw the beginning of electronic video games, Cool DJ Herc introduced sound systems to Cedar Parks in the Bronx and later on the world.
This is the era where we start our story, although this is not a story in the conventional sense, it is an interview about the life of a man, who has made a massive contribution to the music scene. Who has been instrumental along with his peers in keeping a much loved music scene alive and kicking for just over 40 years.

Join us as we board our time machine and enjoy a whistle stop tour through the ever changing faces of music. First stop we go back, way back, back in the day.

It is said that it takes a whole tribe to raise a child. Who where the inspirational members of your tribe and how did they influence you?
Greenwich Village in the 60’s was a hugely rich source of influences,
where I would run into people like; Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, and play hand ball with my friend Nile Rogers. I got my first white label promo records from my neighbor-the vice president of Polydor, who later introduced me to James Brown. Going to the Filmore East… weekly! Where I saw Santana’s first performance, & countless others. I watched Soul Train religiously. Listened to AM radio station WWRL “The Gary Bird Experience” & later FM station WBLS & Frankie Crocker.

Can you recall some of your most cherished pieces of vinyl in those early year’s, do you still have them in your collection?
The White label promo’s of Lyn Collins “Think” & James Brown “Get On The Good Foot”… which James Brown gave me himself.
One of my 1st 12” singles I got in the mail, was “Family Tree” by Family Tree, not enough space to mention all the other titles in between.

Is it true that you got to meet the late Great James Brown when you were younger? How did this meeting come about and what was your lasting impression after meeting him?
•He was already my idol, when the Sex Machine album came out; I saw that show @ Madison Sq. Garden, Bootsy Collins was playing Bass. Meeting him only galvanized feelings towards him.

At what point did your passion for collecting music start to take over, and direct you into DJing world? What else was happening in this period of your life?
As a kid I was already a chronic collector, comic books & a slew of other things, collecting records started early & came naturally. When I started Djing @ my father’s club “The Ninth Circle” I was only 14, too young to get into most other clubs. I remember going to places like the Original Lime Lite on 7th Ave, where David Rodríguez played. Me & my friends could not get in, so we would have our own party on the sidewalk, where we could still hear the music clearly, even the mixes. Because I couldn’t get into many clubs I would live for concerts, places like the Beacon on Broadway & 74th St, where a typical show would be; Bohannon, Betty Wright, The Stylistics, & Mandril… all in one show!

As we move forward and settle on those early club years at the ‘9th Circle’, ‘One’s’, and the now legendary joint ‘The Loft’. We look back on what was emerging, as the touch paper was lit and would become the start of something explosive.

Your father owned a club named the ‘9th Circle’, which some might say had a peculiar name. The 9th Circle referred to Dante’s Alighieri depiction of his journey through hell. From dark origins, to the name of a well known Jazz club. Is there a story behind how the club became to be called 9th Circle?
According to Dante’s Inferno, hell was divided up into 9 circles, & the Ninth Circle was reserved for the worst sinners. The cynical anti establishment bohemian atmosphere of the early 60’s helped to make that title seem more cool than dark.

Through out the period of the mid to late 1970s there appeared to be an explosion of colour, music and mood. The conditions were conducive for a real meeting of the minds. Who were your contemporaries around this time? Did you have any idea that you were changing the course of the music history?
At the time I never thought I was changing anything more than the next record & having a good time. Regarding the NY club scene, When I began in 1971 I knew people like David Mancusso, Francis Grasso, Michael Cappello had already made their mark, I would fit more in the 2nd wave with people like Nicky Siano, David Rodríguez, Steve Deaquisto,Bobby DJ Gutadaro, Barry Lederer, T Scott… there were much more, but you get the idea.

David Mancuso, and The Loft, meant a good many things to a lot of different people. What did this revolutionary coupling mean to you and why?
I always think of David as the base of the tree that everything sprang from. There were others before him, but they usually just did their job… they weren’t changing or affecting much. The loft was David’s house, & just an extension of him, and totally unique.

And the beat goes go…as we move forward from soul, funk, disco; watch them blend and evolve. A new movement, ‘House’ music is born and now starts the next chapter.
Cruising along, we take in the sights and sounds of the 1990s and beyond.

Danny you appear to be the Pied Piper of the generations. Calling forth all music lovers together, in the search for the everlasting beat. In the mid 1990s you team up with the purveyors of the dance floor ‘Body and Soul’, featuring Joe Claussell and Francois Kevorkian. How did you come to join Body & Soul, which would later become the holy trinity of the dance scene?
Early 70’s to mid 90’s… nice Rumpelstiltskin jump.
I had known Francois since the mid 70’s; we had always shared an extreme love for music. Before Body & Soul started, Francois would call me & say ‘I wish there was a club like this or that’, & we would go down a list of what we thought a good club should focus on… & how there just wasn’t anywhere like that at the moment. Clubs & DJ were increasingly focused on $ 1st. He called me one day in July 96’ & said, ‘I’m playing at this club Vinyl today, this could be a little like what we talked about, just music we like to play, on a good sound system, for some friends & people who feel the same way, no $, just for the fun of it’. I said “I’m there”. The 1st one was only 30 or 40 people… but it felt great & we couldn’t wait to do it again, soon we asked Joe to join us, with the 3 of us it felt great. We were never looking for success, this was for fun, but nobody seemed to be doing that at the time, & it started to catch on fast.

Did you anticipate that Body and Soul would become successful on an international scale: in Japan and United Kingdom? How would you describe the similarities and the differences between the world wide members of Body and Soul family?
I knew it was perfect for Japan, but not surprised it caught on other places too. There are a lot of great music lovers out there when we travel. However playing at home for people you grew up with & experienced the music mostly the way you did is hard to compare to.

You are renowned for captivating audiences with your re edits of classic, soul, funk and disco tunes. As a Producer, Mixer and Editor in your own right, how did you first become interested in the technical side? What was the first re edit you made and how was it received on the dance floor?
The 1st edit I did was called ‘Feelin James’, a medley around James Brown’s Funky drummer.
•Since it was more in a hip hop vain, I was limited to who I could really bring it to, I brought it to Freddy Baston, Mark Kamins, & Mantronix @ Danceatieria, & Tony Smith @ Funhouse. It seemed to have gone over big with everyone.

Danny you are in the unique position of having a panoramic view of the evolution of the underground dance music scene. When you consider your past experiences as a DJ, Producer and Promoter, what if any are the significant changes you have noticed? Do you feel that the essence of those earlier parties still carries through at events you perform at today?
I feel very fortunate to be part of many great parties. Some of the big changes I’ve really noticed. Everyone’s extreme loss of their leisure time. An evaporated music industry and its support system.
Technology rules supreme. Cell Phones and digital music. I used to often get goose bumps from a special piece of music… I’ve never gotten goose bumps from digital music.

The music community was shocked recently with the passing of one of ‘House music’s, founding fathers Frankie Knuckles. There was a huge up swell of emotion at his passing. On reflection what did the work of Frankie Knuckles mean to you?
Frankie was a class act, when he played something; it seemed to take on classic feel, not classic old, but classic strong.

Danny, you appear to have dedicated your life to spreading the gospel of music; from champion of the Turntables, Vinyl Junkie Extraordinaire, and Maestro of Productions for Re Edits, Mixes. When you look back, can you describe the most poignant highlights of your career so far?
I’m not much for touting my own achievements; it just feels great to be doing something I love so much for so long and to also have people appreciate it.

How did you continue to show love, and sustain your interest and energy in to lifestyle that has been with you all your adult life?
This is where out journey thank you sharing your unique experience with me. Until next time Keep On Jumping!


Rhemi – The Midas Touch Effect



Rhemi photo

There have been many famous twosome’s over the years, ‘The Two Ronnie’s’, ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, which famous duo most reflects your partnership and why?

Brandy and coke, as it always helps with the inspiration in the studio.


Rhemi is such a cool name. What does it mean and where did it come from?

It comes from the love of a particular brandy, but we just changed the spelling to make it more unique to us. I bet that wasn’t what you was expecting ha ha!


Ziggy and Neil you are both respected producers and DJs in your own right. How did the Rhemi partnership come about?

Neil: It all started with Ziggy co-writing songs for me on numerous projects which lead us to start collaborating on some original material. After a few sessions together we realised that we really clicked in the studio together and decided to make it and official partnership and out popped Rhemi.


 When creating magic in the studio, how do you work together on each track? Who does what?

It all really depends on what we are working on that day, whether it be a original or remix. When it comes to originals the beat is always our foundation, and we carry on and build from there. We love doing original projects as its a blank canvas and we can explore sounds a lot more.

Ziggy is a multi talented Musician who play; Keys, Guitar and Bass, so obviously that helps us lay down ideas on the fly. Neil tends to work a lot on individual sounds to get them perfect for the track, and is great at working with vocalists. There’s no real set format to who does what (apart from making the tea, which is Ziggy’s job). All in all it’s a joint effort where we bounce ideas off each other. We allow each other creative freedom without the need to have set formulas or boundaries in which we work from.


Can you describe what it is about the Rhemi production that makes it stand out from the crowd?

We’re influenced by a lot different sounds, and for us we’re just trying to make good house music without being held into any particular category. Rocking beats and baselines are things that move us both, so that tends to be at he fore front of our music. As DJ’s, as well as producers, Its also important to us that each record has a special moment which we know that will connect to the dance floor. When making a record we always ask ourselves these three questions:

1) Would we buy it ourselves?

2) Would we dance to it in a club?

3) Would we recommend this to anyone else?NPfinal



I refer to Rhemi as having the Midas touch. Neil & Ziggy you have been responsible for some of the biggest dance floor anthems of 2013; ‘Warning’ with the unmistakeable vocal talents of Lynn Lockamy, the gospel vocal sensation ‘Hairy Mary’ (love to know how you came up with that name)? As well as countless quality remixes. For some artists, music block can be a real issue, especially after releasing successful tracks.

How do you ensure that your tracks continue to turn to gold?

Thanks, obviously 2013 had been great year for us with a lot of success. It is very easy to get obsessed with the mentality to always make a hit. But we always have the mind set of making good music in the fore front , keeping a high quality control is also important and also not getting complacent and having the attitude to learn and develop more in our productions.  We, like so many other producers have mental blocks when producing, but have learnt that when it’s not coming together to just scrap the project and start from fresh again! Just so you know “Hairy Mary” was named after one of our closet friends, as that’s the nickname we have for her ; )


The use of sampling tracks is still very much a common practice. I noticed you had sampled  Yasuko Agawa L.A. Nights on your track ‘Holloway nights’. How does the use of sampling on some tracks enhance your music?

Sampling for us can be used in different ways. It could sometimes be the hook of the record that draws you in, or just as a loop to build upon to the point where you don’t even recognise the original sample. We try to always be creative when sampling is the main hook, as this is the main thing that people are drawn too and in some respects gives the tracks its identity.


Your back catalogue is looking impressive. I wonder if there were any particular tracks you loved making and which tracks were a beast to finish?

”Hairy Mary” and ”Dooms Day” were the most enjoyable to work on. We caught a vibe straight away and all the ideas seem to fall right into place instantly and took no time at all to finish which is always great. As for tracks that are a beast to finish, it tends to normally be our remixes for others that take the longest. it could sometimes take it up to a month to finish, as we go through so many ideas and grooves to find the one that marries well with the vocal. It can be very easy to give up and scrap the project at this point but we only take on projects that we know for sure we can do a great job on. Otherwise we see it as a waste of time for us as we don’t like to produce substandard material.


Neil, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on being selected to play at much coveted event Southport Weekender. Some might say that performing at Southport Weekender, is the pinnacle of their career. What does it mean to you to be given the Golden ticket to DJ at such a prestigious event?

Neil:  Thanks Mel. It’s an absolute honour to be back on the Southport line up. The last time I played there was 5 years ago now, and I know that they only really choose DJ’s that that think are relevant, so it kinda validates all the hard work I’ve put in over the last couple of years. It’s the biggest festival of it’s kind in the world, so yes it is the pinnacle  to many of us DJs. I seriously cannot wait to get up there and give it my 100%.


  Ziggy, picture this if you will. It’s Saturday night in the cZiggy Flub, everybody is in      good  spirits. doing their little two step and enjoying the vibes. Then you drop  ‘Warning’, the tune that launched a thousand footsteps to the dance floor and the   place erupts. Can you describe what it is like for you to see and hear people  losing  themselves in a track you helped to create?

Ziggy: Its great to see a great reactions from the crowd to the music you have been part of  making. It gives me great energy and great inspiration to do more and strive in the work we do  and go back and try new things that we feel people are going to like for years to come.



 2013 was a tremendous year for Rhemi, if you had a crystal ball what would 2014 have in store for you? Do you have any more exciting projects in the pipeline?

We just want to continue growing our Rhemi brand. This will include introducing a live element to our shows, bringing through new artists on our record label and launching a Rhemi club night. As far as releases go, you can look out for remixes for Joey Negro, Rejoice Records, Terry Hunter and DJ Spen ,as well as a ton of original material.


It is always good to finish on a song.

Ziggy, what 3 tracks best reflect your personality?

Ziggy:  1) St. Germain – Rose Rouge

2) Michael Jackson  – Working Day and Night

3) Nas – The World Is Yours


Neil, what 3 tracks will make it on to your Southport playlist?

Neil: It’s too far away to know to be honest. I never pre plan my sets and always try to go with the vibe and energy of the room. One thing I’ll guarantee that I will be dropping some Rhemi exclusives : )












Tone Control Music  delivers another mighty dance floor blow.

Elevate is a master class in electronic deepness delivered with uplifting intention. Inspirational lyrics  by Fyza, deliver the lines “You’ve gotta get up. Style it out “!  The true to heart vocals motivates not only the mind but the body too. Elevate mixes: classic 4×4 drum patterns, mesmerising  electronic  swirls and melodic bass. Creating the music  equivalent to the release of daily  tensions, as the track suggests lose yourself and elevate your mind.

Dub version

This is deep house in it’s purest sense. Elevate is stripped back to the basics, raw and unforgiving. This track was made for the dance floor, it was meant to lose the listener and reappear when your feet touch the ground.  Floating strings and synths  pay their respects to the old skool classic Chicago house sound.

I like to call this eyes wide shut, a track that moves you from the inside out.

Artist: Tomson & Fyza

Title:  Elevate

Label: Tone Control Music

Release date: 10th March

Available from: Traxsource



I am the type of girl who is always on a mission for musical gold, check out the treasures I have found when I reviewed the above artists and many more

Boogie Cafe Records – Bringing The Beat back

Boogie cafe        


After weeks of seemingly endless torrential rain and gales force winds, there was an unexpected lull. On Saturday 15th February  all the ingredients were added to create  the perfect night out.

Take: one brilliant full moon and place firmly in the night sky, and a splash of no running for cover to avoid the latest downpour. Add a generous helping of revellers who want to dance the night away,  pour into The Big Chill Bar; not forgetting to add the secret ingredient the Boogie Café Record Launch Party. The end result is a throbbing mass of happy dancing  groovers, all moving together to the sound of the Boogie café edits.

Boogie café records is the brain child of Jimmy the Twin and Naughty Alex and Hero 73; together they are breathing new life in to classic edits. Music lovers can expect to hear Boogie, Funk, Disco and Raregrooves flavours, all given a modern day make over.

Jimmy The Twin offers up the first  12″ release ,  “Midnight Mamma”, which consists of two Boogie bangers, “Midnight Shuffle”, and “Bad Mamma Jamma”.

“Midnight Shuffle”, is a re-edit, taken from the 1982 Japanese outfit named Cosmos.  The first thing that hits you is the funky bass riff, followed by the sweetest piano played over the punctuating drum beats.

While “Bad Mamma Jamma”, stays true to Carl Carlton original. Incorporating more upbeat  dance floor flourishes, making this track every bit as relevant today as it was then.

This soon to be released record is strictly limited edition, only 200 are available.

It appears that Boogie Café Records are on a mission to bring Boogie Wonderland back to the dance floor.

Artist: Jimmy The Twin

Record Label: Boogie Café Records

Type of music: Boogie, Disco, Funk and Disco

Released on: End of February

Available from: Juno Records, Phonica, Discogs

Hear more:

Check out:

Two sides of the same coin – Magic Numbers, Coming Back to Me.

Part 1 Two sides of the same coin.

Ross Hillard is coming on strong with Coming Back to Me his first release in 8 years.
Stepping out from behind his beloved bass and drum, Ross has taken the lead in writing & the arrangement of this track. Coming back to me: with it’s alluring female vocals set against a back drop of soulful synths and punctuating drum beats. If your looking for a Redbull like kick check out the Magic number bump mix.

Part 2. Your call heads or tales?
One track – Coming Back to Me.
Two music reviews.
Two artists: Ross Hillard aka Magic Number aka gyrating bass sex god and Martin I have the midas touch Atjazz.
Delve into part 2 and part 1 is below, yes I know it’s backward but then that says a lot about me tee hee.
And so like the Milky bar kid, Atjazz returns to deliver all the eager kids a taste of remix heaven. With his unmistakeable trade mark sound: he has kept the essence of Coming back to me. Watch out for the Astro dub mix, featuring the vocals of Angela Armstrong; queue smooth skipped double Dutch beats.

Artists: Magic Numbers
Track title: Coming Back to Me (Atjazz remix)
Record Label: Numb records
Type of music: Electronic
Due for lease: 17th January
Available from: Traxsource, Beatport, iTunes

Artists: Ross Hillard aka Magic Number
Track title: Coming Back to Me
Record Label: Numb records
Type of music: Electronic
Due for lease: Out now
Available from: Traxsource, Beatport, ITunes

Ain’t no stopping now…with Paul Alexander from the legendary Soultrain Bristol.

And so the beat goes on. We have waved farewell to 2013 and have embraced 2014 with vigor, even though we are all a little damp from the continuous rain.
January for some normally feels somewhat like an anti climax after all the festivities. So I’ve got back on the case with another interview that will warm your cockles and soothe your soul in more ways than one.

Now if you live in the South West and are a committed soul fan, the chances are that at some point over the last 20 years you have found yourself at one of Bristol’s much loved and respected Soul Train events. For two decades Paul Alexander, John Stallard, Steve and Adryan Ashby of Soultrain have kept the fires burning and have bought legendary acts such as: Alexander O Neal, The Fat Back Band, Roy Ayers, Omar, Loose Ends, much to the delight of soul lovers.
Ladies and gentlemen get your groove on and do the electric slide, introducing one of Soul Train founding members Paul Alexander.

Can you tell me how Soul Train first came about?
Soul Train started as a one off reunion for 70s clubbers in December 1992. Our origins go back to early 70s importing US funk, we had our own charts which is well documented in Chris Browns book ‘Bovver’ and is also quoted by massive attack as early influences to Bristol Sound Take a look on bio.

• Which 3 records would you say sum up the sound track to your life?
That’s a hard one so many to choose from: I love William Devaughan, be thankful / Creme de la creme, Ain’t no stopping us now by McFadden & Whitehead was a big Soultrain anthem as was legends Maze with Joy & Pain.

• You’ve enjoyed a long career, what have been the highlights of your career so far?
Playing Glastonbury and Love Saves the Day. Hosting a 5 hour radio show on Star Radio every Sunday and being voted as the Top Soul Club Night outside of London ( past & present ) by Soul Survivor Magazine.

• You have worked with many legendary artists such as Omar, Loose Ends, The Fat Back Band, Soul 2 Soul, to name but a few. What does it feel like to work with your musical heroes?
It’s through our love of the music that we brought the fatback band to Bristol twice ! The first ever Fatback Band appearance in over 25 years lives long in the memory. Alexander O Neal was a soul legend in the 80’s, I think to be on stage with both these soul legends as a soul fan was awesome. If we never work with another artist, to look back in years to come on these nights both will live long in the memory. Omar and Nile Rodgers were by far the most professional.

• The scene has changed over the years how do you see it developing in the future?
Much to our surprise, what started off as a one off has just kept running and running. We introduced reggae train 5 years ago which has been a great success. We get new people discovering Soultrain all the time. What they want is the retro soul sound so we will keep playing for as long as people keep turning out to our events . For the future we are eye-ing more festivals

• What exciting projects do you have in the pipeline?
Roy Ayers next up , then potentially Bootsie Collins , and maybe major US soul legend in May so watch this space.

Kindest Regards Yours soulfully Paul Alexander

Big love and thanks going out to all the Soul Train family.
For more tales and the history of Soul Train check out:

Kev Beadle interview part 2- The Pioneer of Ground Breaking Music

We continue with Kev’s interview, next stop An Afternoon at Dingwalls, an encounter with Ian Brown and Southport Weekender & Suncebeat.

• You have a close connection with the legendary An Afternoon at Dingwalls event, which is fronted by Gilles Peterson, Patrick Forge & Janine Neye. How did this union first come about? What was your most memorable Dingwalls experience?

When Dingwalls was started the original dj line up was Gilles, Bob Jones and myself. Patrick was presenting a really good jazz show on Kiss FM at the time and so Gilles decided to bring him and try someone new as he was playing with Bob and I at quite a lot of other venues at that time so didn’t want to over do it with us. Janine was a really good friend of mine and Gilles and was a major ambassador for what we did. She helped shape Dingwalls into the institution it has become.

Even though I stopped playing there I still used to go there religiously. The biggest and most memorable experience for me has got to be watching it become one of the best club sessions London has ever had. Rammed out every Sunday with smiling people who probably dissed jazz at the start until they realised there was more to it, interspersed with underground soul and funk, Galliano, the Young Disciples and A Tribe Called Quest…magical !!


• Staying with the Dingwalls theme, there was a lot of ground breaking music being played & formed around that time. What was your involvement with Talking Loud records & the Acid Jazz scene?

I was also labelled an ‘Acid Jazz’ DJ at that time because like Gilles and a few others I was mixing up jazz with more eclectic modern day music…house, hip hop, jazzy loops, street soul etc. My only involvement with Talking Loud the label was being a major supporter of what it stood for. It was quite ground breaking at that time.


• During your long career as a renowned and respected DJ, Producer, Arranger, Record Label owner, music lover. Which elements of your career still excites and inspires you?

I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done in all those positions. All of it was an education and I am lucky to have been able to make a living out of something I love.

I love doing my radio show as I have that freedom to play exactly what I want with no compromise and I don’t have to make people dance or keep a venue busy. Still get a huge buzz playing to a club dance floor too and getting that vibe from people dancing, smiling and buying me drinks 😉



• I’m not sure how many people are aware of this next question I was quite surprised. You helped to co write the lyrics on Ian Browns song ‘Kiss ya lips’, how did this collaboration come about?

No I didn’t write the lyrics. I used to do a lot more studio productions and my partner Dazz Moss, the other half of The Messengers, is really good mates with Ian. Anyway one afternoon we were in the studio putting a new track together and Ian popped in as he was passing through. He sat in with us listening to what we were doing and got really excited about the percussion groove we had put together for this particular track and asked if he could have it for a track on his Solarized LP, so we let him have it.


•  You have an interesting back catalogue of compilations, Essential Argo, Cadet Grooves series that you made for legendary Jazz labels, Charly Records, Blue Note records and more recently for BBE records. You released your ‘Private Collection’ compilation earlier this year, which takes the listener back in time to your roots. If you were to create a compilation now of newer artists who would you feature on the album?

Wow that’s a hard one -so many new artists out there. I guess it would have to feature people like Floating Points, Fatima, Hiatus Kaiyote, The Hics, Bonobo,The Internet…too many to choose from


•  Your contribution and influence to Britain’s longest standing in door event Southport weekender and in recent years Suncebeat in Croatia has been a fundamental part of the event. How did you first come to join the Southport weekender team?

I started presenting radio shows from the  SPW site when Starpoint was the event radio station. I then became a DJ in the jazz room and because of where my head was at musically Alex and Dave bought me in to help evolve and re-programme firstly the jazz room to become the Beat Bar and then got involved in the programming of the other rooms.

SunceBeat came about after Phil Asher and myself were invited to play at the Garden Festival about 6 years ago. Knowing my involvement with SPW Nick and Eddie from the Garden kidnapped me and asked if  thought Alex might be interested in doing a SPW type event in Croatia. I came back and managed to convince him that this might be a good shout as we had cut down SPW to once a year, so this could possibly replace the November event. The rest is history as they say !


• Your musical career has taken you on an incredible journey, what can we expect from you in 2014?

Definitely want to be out there playing out in more clubs and festivals in the sunshine.

Also got Vol 2 of ‘Private Collection’ coming out on BBE early next year.


• Name 3 tracks that sum up the sound track to your life?

Ronnie Laws – Always There

The Dramatics – What You See Is What You Get

Donald Byrd – Places & Spaces




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