General Jimmy

Writer / DJ / PR Manager / Fat Bastard

DJ Love: Laurent Garnier (article on Skiddle)

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I’ve loved Laurent Garnier as a DJ for most of my adult life, experiencing a life changing set of his a few weeks after my 20th birthday in Jan 2002. The 18 months prior to it I’d been absorbing clubbing to the intense levels anyone does when they’re faced with an abundance of temptation they’ve never had, and after a hectic NYE I’d vowed abstinence from a certain raving fuel. The Cream reopening, with Pete Tong and prog house tyrant of the time Lucien Foort playing the courtyard, was the first test of an ardent hedonist who devoured a plethora of trance and hard dance.

Lucien and Pete were average that night, but it was the man int he Annexe who had only pricked up a small amount of curiosity prior that blew me away. I didn’t even drink, sucked up by the vortex of his otherworldly brilliance. It proved to me I didn’t need to be peeling my face off the wall to enjoy partying, and that this dance music thing had longevity beyond my weekend escapism.

Anyway, suffice to say the abstinence lasted barely a few months but the musical shift had throughly started. It’s the starting point for an article I’ve wrote on Skiddle called DJ Love: Laurent Garnier which highlights a few of my experiences with my favourite DJ of all time over the years. I’ve not referenced the actual review, what with it coming from a competitor of ours at Skiddle in Pulse, but the night he played all night at the WHP looms large. It’s also the last time I saw Garnier, a near four year absence which I’m frantically trying to put right now.

Decca ‘Reworks’ review

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New album review up on Skiddle

Ropy Ayers ‘Everybody loves the Sunshine’

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“The whole thing sits in this woozy netherworld where jazz, funk and soul collide, never really fitting any of the standard troupes for each and all the better for it.”

Every time the man behind the best vibes in music, in every sense, comes back to the UK we usually bring back my article on Skiddle about his breakthrough UK releases. I am of course talking about Roy Ayers, and the jazz musician heads to Nottingham’s Southbank on Sunday 24th July which, fingers crossed, will follow a day of “folks getting down in the sunshine”. Classic stuff.

The impact of Brexit on the music industry

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“How does voting remain or leave impact on the ravers, gig goers, musicians and festival dwellers of the UK?”

I’ve just co-written a piece on Skiddle which talks about how the impending vote on our status can impact on the music scene. Even though it’s on a music website and clearly focused on what it means for this side of things, the comments section is a hoot.

Saying Goodbye to Nation

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“We’ll never see a club quite like this again, and in the interests of evolution and progress we probably don’t need one. But for one more time Nation was again the hot ticket, the ultimate Saturday night.”

Everyone has their first club they fall in love with. My first experience happened in with a hatrick of dalliances at lost Midlands club Mezzanine, and I even squeezed an appearance at Godskitchen which was an overall favourite during my two year love affair with trance and hard dance right at the start of my raving career. But no club gripped me quite like Cream did the first few times I spent there, as I arrived in Liverpool as a wide eyed teenager in Autumn 2000.

It was a weird time to be going to the club. Although those first few Saturdays spent in there in 2000 and early 2001 were mesmerising, the club’s music policy had moved away from the thunderous trance of recent times for a more progressive template, and it was starting to lose its lustre. I can remember working a shift with someone at my part time job who had poured scorn on me for going, saying “everyone in Liverpool got bored of necking tablets at Nation years ago” (newsflash, I don’t think people will ever get bored of necking anything in this city). But that first year of going it was still regularly packed, and fucking amazing week after week.

Cream’s drop off coincided with my own shifting musical tastes, and slowly the nights at Bugged Out! were more appealing. That said I was still proper shocked when it shut, this seemingly impregnable fortress of party time suddenly shutting despite me seeing a packed courtyard go nuts to a lengthy Mauro Picotto set only a few weeks before the announcement. the news was everywhere, across uni it was all a lot of people were talking about, either smirking indie wankers or die hard ravers. Little did they both know they’d be raving together within a year once the 2ManyDJs effect took a hold…

Saturday 17th October I got to relive that magic (read my Skiddle review of the Cream finale event), and it was literally amazing. The venue was the same sweaty, creaky and dark warehouse it always was, once again bossed by supreme sound, fantastic DJs and a superb crowd, albeit one that was well older than it was back in the day. Seb Fontaine stole the show for me, but listening to Paul Oakenfold crank out the classics was still utterly joyous, and the whole thing was pretty much perfect start to finish.

As sad as it made me, and even more so looking back these past few days, Saturday was a really special and lucky thing for everyone involved. My love affair with Cream was one of a few truly special life affirming moments in dance music, from the way electroclash tore the rulebook up a few years later to being part of a partying family around my own small clubnight a few years later. I’ve tasted Balearic heaven a few times and overseas raves too, but very few of these are things that can ever be repeated, particularly with enough of the people that made it special – my own personal friends form the Cream era were sadly not there at the weekend.

But so many people got the chance to relive an experience so special just one more time. They’ve got another bite of the cherry on Boxing Day as well. Just like clubs like Cream don’t come along that often in our lifetime, neither too do these gilt edged gifts. Everyone grows up and moves on but these fleeting opportunities need to be grasped; I’m just glad I got the chance again.

 

Craig David’s Born to Do it

Historically I’d never been that much of a fan of Craig David beyond his singles. I’ve always been hugely into turn of the century R&B and the Artful Dodger’s pop garage vibes but the two meeting didn’t appeal that much, but I revisited his debut album for Skiddle.

It’s much better than I remember, and has aged remarkably well – making his revival all the more well timed. The man himself even started following me on twitter as a consequence of it – re-result.

Read the Skiddle article here.

BIGGIE SMALLS: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING

A fantastic kickstarter campaign has just started to publish some unseen photos of Biggie Smalls as part of an exhibition. The photos were took by a then aspiring photographer David Mcintyre for Interview Magazine, with the negatives lost up until recently (full story on the video below). They’ve since been found, but David has eschewed the usual push up on social media for exposure route to put them on in an exhibition, but after encountering a lack of funding took to the good old internet to get it.  Fund the campaign here.

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You can read what I thought about BIG’s classic debut Ready To Die, the album these photos originally promoted, here.

MFS: Observatory ‘YY EP’


Most of this EP isn’t really  something for me TBH, well produced rolling techno which will probably sound great in a club but isn’t my bag, but the final cut ‘Y3’ I’m definitely down with. It’s got a decent solid groove on it with a kick that gets a right stomp going on. It’s full of tinkling effects, a fairly illegible vocal and is proper heads down tackle for those serious moments in the disco. Check it for yourself above.

The EP is out now on Butane’s Alphahouse imprint (he also contributes a remix). Head here for more info.

Five unmissable hip hop festival performances (Skiddle article)

New dad and proud father Kanye West first outing since birth of baby North West and he is with maybe future mother in law Kris Jenner with whom he does not always get along! June 27 , 2013 X17online.com EXCLUSIVE

I’ve selected five examples of the best places to head off to get your boom bap fix at a festival this year, with everything from Kanye giving it the big un at Glasto to Run the Jewels begging you to put their dick in your mouth all day in Croatia. Check it here.

New reviews on DMC

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Here’s a round up of some of the reviews I’ve done on DMC in the past few weeks

Maurice Aymard & Sasse Backwards EP

Dave Seaman – ‘Justified Replacement of Lulu’ – (Remixes)

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