Seeing as the mixtape has received an impressive 5,000 downloads in it’s first fortnight, DJ Slick Dixxx and I felt it might be nice to shed some light on the audio content. Tha Knows.
Joe Cocker – Woman to Woman
I first heard this piano break on Ultramagnetic MC’s ’87 smash, Funky. It was later sampled by Dr Dre for Tupac’s “comeback” joint, California Love in ’95. It was a revelation to discover Joe Cocker wrote the original back in 1972. So dope.
Kid Acne – South Yorks
South Bronx by BDP was made using the same SP 12 Ultramagnetics’ used to write Funky, which belonged to the group’s producer, Ced Gee. He also co-produced BDP’s first album, Criminal Minded. Stick that in your pub quiz.
I Monster – A Sucker for Your Sound (Toddla T & Ross Orton remix)
A mix from the minds of three contemporary heavyweights, this is a seminal track in the ever-evolving history of Sheffield Bleep.
One of the greatest UK rap records of all time. Originally released as a promo 12″ on FON in 1989 and a year later received an official release on the newly established Warp label. Extremely forward thinking in terms of production, with a Latin Rascals inspired bombardment of chopped drum breaks, courtesy of a young and gifted Rob Gordon. Strangely, this is the only 12″ to be released by the group (also known as 2Wice The Trouble) despite the fact it’s an absolute banger.
Although Altern 8 are not from South Yorkshire, they did sample Asterix (a young Chris Duckenfield) at the start of this track, who certainly is. The sample was taken from Asterix & Space’s pirate radio show and lead to them doing the remix, I’m tellin’ ya. Probably one of the bestest rave tunes, ever.
Rodney Manuva lived in Sheffield for a few years and in that time recorded a bunch of tracks with the likes of Toddla and (Daddy Freddy) Bozzwell. This remix by Ross Orton and T Willy is one of the many smashers from that era.
Chris Duckenfield forms one half of Swag, purveyors of deep house and peers of Metro Area, Ian Pooley, Jimi Tenor and the like. Also a product of the Warp stable, Chris’ influences are as varied as his fans, and the sheer funk at work in this particular track is sure to make him some more.
One of the few Sheffield acts on this compilation plying their trade abroad, Fitzroy North is the latest of a number of guises for Tom Watt, who showcases a type of machine-funk reminicent of Mr Oizo or Sirius Mo. This track is named after the choice brand of beer for street-drinkers around Barcelona, where he now calls home.
These lads are relatively new on the circuit but whose no-sounds-barred attitude to production has already led to international recognition, notably from Kid 606, whose banger Mr. Wobble’s Nightmare they remixed up right nice. I wanted to include this original production of theirs to demonstrate the sheer scale of the noise they produce, contributing to the Sheff tradition of combining ragga and electronics with the immense vocals of a well-known Jamaican toasting legend.
Another relatively young producer, Rogue State has been at the forefront of bass music in Sheffield for several years as a DJ, and now as a label owner and producer. This track is particularly tough.
This is one of the first songs to be produced with entirely electronic intruments, way back in 1978. We included a clip from Phil Oakey’s interview from the truly insightful Made In Sheffield documentary to illustrate the anarchic ideals of the band as they were getting started.
“I think this bike’s been knicked” claims Captain Kurt, sampled from seminal early ’90’s doco Tales From A Hard City, which depicts the lives of a bunch of unemployed young people trying to find their way in the adult world. It seemed perfect to drop over Fat Truckers, Superbike. One of the freshest acts to emerge from the Steel City, who, after recording a short-sharp-shock 10 track Lp, chose to crash a burn rather than re-record and fade away.
I think we did a gig with Mu when I played drums for the short-lived 3 piece, Bobby Liverpool and the Redneck Heartbreakers. Our guitarist gave the “singer” a black-eye on stage and that was the end of that. Mu’s career however has been far more successful. And just as punk.
Tom Jenkinson used to live in Netheredge. A leafy residential district of southern Sheffield, which has historically been home to more musicians than any other part of the city. It’s basically like Williamsburg, Brooklyn, only with a few less Hipsters. Anyhow, this track in particular is a great example of this phenomenally talented individual’s output, even if he does claim he’s gonna “f*ck you with his red hot c*ck”.
This is a glimpse into a side of Sheffield’s consumption of music that very few musos/journos/students are very clued up on: the world of Niche. In terms of popularity, the garage/bassline nights held in Sheffield have far more appeal locally than many of the other tracks on this mixtape, so it’s only right that we represent that facet of life in South Yorkshire. This is an anthem by Pitsmoor’s finest, Oris Jay, recently turned into a WAG anthem by cheeky Scouse producers Cahill.
I used to share a studio with these lovable scamps. They recorded their first single in our old flat and even let me spray-paint the double-decker bus they’d just bought with their 1st album advance. It should have been a sitcom. Come to think if it, there was a documentary, which is arguably just as good. They even made their own horror movie. Lovely chaps.
A significant part of the new-romantic movement of the early-eighties, Martin Fry lets everybody know about the perils of courting Northern lasses in this wedding DJ favourite from 1982.
Apparently Beth Ditto had never heard of the original (released by Heaven 17 in 1983) and kept forgetting the words in rehearsal. I love the shambollic, yet anarchic nature of this version. Great ending to the mix. Ta!