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Minimix 17: John Mahon

November 9, 2011 by Synth Eastwood

This weeks mini-mix comes from the Richard Brandson Pickle of Irish dance music, John Mahon. Co-founder of Ireland’s premier music promoters Bodytonic, and one of the main energies behind the success of The Bernard Shaw & The Twisted Pepper. Guilty of serving beer and art to the masses whilst reigniting the flame of car-boots. These days you can find John up a ladder, drill in hand as often as you can behind a set of decks. So in the spirit of continuity todays mini-mix has been recorded atop that ladder. Thanks John, Great Mix. Do enjoy.


Track 1
Steve Reich & Pat Methany – Electric Counterpoint – Fast (Movement 3)

I love Steve Reich’s stuff. Endlessly layered, epic, dramatic compositions. He’s “the greatest composer alive” depending on what music magazines you read. Great track to bookend a mix with.

Track 2
Weather Report – River People

This is one of those curve ball tracks that Theo Parrish drops in his no holds barred sets that blows your mind. Weather Report are an American jazz band who had their hay day in the late 70’s/early 80’s who apparently caused alot of beard stroking and beret removing with their weird fusion stuff. I like the drama of this tune, really arresting on a BIG sound system

Track 3
Marvin Gaye – I want you (Danny Krivit Edit)

One of my musical heroes, the first time I heard his ‘Whats Going On’ album I felt like i’d watched a really good film and put it straight back to the start. I recently found the documentary that was made about Marvin when he moved to the quiet fishing town of Ostende in Belgium to get away from the brain melting madness of L.A. In it there’s a scene where he’s practicing with the band, wearing a tracksuit and kicking back on a sofa, jamming and singing this…spine tingling stuff. I thought Id play the accapella edit here which really shows off his voice and also gives another of my inspirations Danny Krivit a look in too

Track 4
Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s – Doing it to death

The first ever concert I went to was James Brown Live in The Point Depot in 1992 and it blew my ikkle mind. Heres a fine example if Jim and his loyal trombonist and composing buddy Fred Wesley going off on expansive groove odyssey. Sold a million copies back in ’73 and still fills the dancefloor every time.

Track 5
Gil Scott-Heron – The Bottle

The first thing that grabbed me about Gil’s music was that he sang about things like getting beaten up and heroin. He made me listen to lyrics and with his voice. It gave his tunes a raw edge. He was also an amazingly engaging showman and poet (the Grandfather of Hip Hop apparently) and I was lucky enough to see him play a home coming gig in Central Park in NY last Summer to alot of his original uptown Harlem and Bronx crowd. RIP Gil.

Track 6
Nick Straker Band – A Little Bit Of Jazz (Shep Pettibone MasterMix)

Along with the likes of Tom Moulton, Arthur baker, Francois K, Shep Pettibone was one of a crop of NY studio wizards prominent in late 70’s and early 80’s. The pioneered the tape edit, producing extended dub or instrumental mixes of tracks for club play. These were the tools the likes of Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy et al used to create the legendary atmospheres and experiences in Studio 54, Paradise Garage etc that went on to create the mold for clubs world wide and pretty much changed the face of music. If I could go back in time it would be to the middle of Larry’s dancefloor, with a track like this playing on their revolutionary soundsystem whilst a thousand people dance in the sunken dancefloor and Larry flicks off all the lights.

Track 7
Mr Scruff – Cheeky

There cant be too many DJ/producers out there who straddle the credible/main stream line like Scruff. Whilst your Mam probably knows who he is, Andy Scruff is also one of my favourite DJs, insisting on playing 5 plus hour sets with the type of anal attention to detail with the sound setup the likes of David Mancuso was famous for. And it pays off when you listen to his consistantly flawless DJ sets packed full of everything from dancehall to techno, appealing to the chin strokers but also with one eye (foot) firmly on the dancefloor. A DJ’s DJ. This is one of my fave tracks of his.

Track 8
John Gibbs & The US Steel Orchestra – Trinidad

Thought this was a handy track for getting my love for latin/disco/funk/orchestral/percussion and Miami Vice steel drums in.

Track 9
Falty DL – Make it difficult

Up on the same platform as Pearson Sound, Fourtet and that, NYC beat maker Falty has gone large in the last year. Its house/2-step/garage/idontknowwhat. I like his contribution here to the 90’s house revival, released on Dublin’s All City Records.

Track 10
Moodyman – Shades of Jay Pt.1

From the the Detroit School of Fuck You, the until recently illusive Moodyman’s tracks are legendary and this is a stone cold killer.

Track 11
Virgo Four – It’s a Crime (Caribou Mix)

Probably my favourite tune of the moment, Caribou remixes Chicago house veterans Virgo Four. I like the direction of this track. Apparently Caribou and Fourtet went to see the aforementioned Theo Parrish in London’s Plastic People club a while back, had an epiphany and hit the studio and you can hear the results it in this. A track of two halves. Dark, moody with a side of epic acid.

Track 12
Jessie Ware And Sampha – Valentine

Lovely lovely tune from earlier in the year, two great young English vocal and beatmaking talents. Future pop stars perhaps.

If you would like to listen to other mixes in the series. Click here.
If you hate streaming you can download here.

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    We started this blog in early 2011 to reflect the different events, ideas and projects that interest and influence Synth Eastwood. Please mail blog@syntheastwood.com with any content you think might interest Synth Eastwood. Everything is welcome.

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    For our Minimix Series we ask creatives of all disciplines to select 30 minutes of music for your listening pleasure. Music to dance to, music to work to, music to get hubba hubba to. So far we've had some amazing mixes from folk like Jape, Shit Robot, Conor & David and Toby Kaar. A lot more to follow too. Click above to tune in.