Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The best DJ you've (probably) never heard of #4. André Pahl.

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André Pahl is a German artist mainly known for his Safari mixes series — pitched down journeys through uncharted seas, forbidden deserts and distant galaxies. He sometimes forays into the psychedelic, sometimes into the electronic. Percussion drifts from remote islands and rises up to touch tender discosoul in a cinematic exploration of the the slower heart rates of danceable music. Each stage and it’s environs carefully defines a new tone and set to his voyages into the mysterious.
After graduating from Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, he had a rendezvous with Mexico City’s lunatic music scene while living there for some years, co-running the “Nuevos Ricos” label and DJ'd at the bizarre neighbourhood street parties there as well as shady night clubs and art happenings inside jammed subway stations. Now based in Berlin, André who is also a much lauded graphic designer, ploughs a similar furrow as TOLAS favourites Vladimir Ivkovic, Manfredas, Tolouse Low Trax and Ron Morelli. Low slung, dark organic techno and electronica.
Listening to André Pahl’s sets is like being compelled to push yourself inside a forest even though you know it'll be dangerous—head first, then the whole body, submerged deep into a strange jungle world, partly solid, partly made of shimmering liquids. Real deep shit.
You'd do well to check out both his Soundcloud and Mixcloud pages at length for any amount of absolutely amazing musical journeys.


Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X

Friday, 23 October 2015

La Planète Sauvage (a.k.a.Fantastic Planet).

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Right then, if you didn't already know, here's the skinny. Animated sci-fi masterpiece La Planète Sauvage (a.k.a.Fantastic Planet), winner at Cannes Film Festival in 1973 and a staple on BBC1 during the Summer holidays in the 70's when I was a kid is an eminently both bizarre and beautiful film. If you've seen it before, watch it again, if you've not then expect towering blue-skinned figures, tiny humanoids in the midst of revolt, and drug induced tantric sex, vividly magical settings. Whats not to like amongst that then eh? The film takes place in the future in which human beings, known as 'Oms' (which I believe refers to the French word hommes, meaning men), have been brought to the 'Draags' home planet, where they are kept as pets with special collars. The Draags are an alien race, humanoid in appearance but a hundred times larger than humans, with blue skin, fan-like earlobes & protruding red eyes. But I’m not going to go into detail about the film. That should be enough to pique the interest of anyone who's into giant blue people and the other stuff I mentioned. The film is ancilliary as far as this piece is concerned. What I want to concentrate on is the soundtrack. An absolutely remarkable thing in it's own right. The music is by Alain Goraguer who's first brush with fame came in 1965 when France Gall won the Eurovision Songfestival with “Poupeé de cire, poupeé de son,” written by Serge Gainsbourg and orchestrated by Goraguer. Afterwards he went on to create music for other French films, including several other animated ones, The Dead Times (Les Temps Morts)(1965) & The Snails (Les Escargots) (1965), both by René Laloux & Roland Topor, who are also responsible for La Planète Sauvage. The music more than lives up to the heady psychedelic world created in the film. Lush arrangements, funky drums, wah-wah guitar, organ, flute and harpischord fill the instrumental soundtrack placing it somewhere between Eno, Morricone and Broadcast. The official soundtrack, also released in 1973, has been often described as a mash-up between Pink Floyd and Isaac Hayes’ Shaft. And thus, has become a definite source for beat digging and sample searching with the likes of Dilla, Shadow, Madlib, Air and Cornershop raiding it. Anyhoo, the album has been reissued a few times now and doesn't take much tracking down, much to the dismay of many a record snob, although I don't see how that could possibly detract from the value of what is a truly precious piece of music.

 Till next time. Big love. Mark. X

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Newcastle. So good they named it once.

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There are few greater pleasures in life that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids, the introduction of some of Columbia’s finest to your nasal passages or Newcastle picking up 3 points from the Mackems than slipping into a greasy spoon for a nice brew, a read of the sports pages of a decent paper and of course a full English breakfast. It might just be me but I prefer this as a solitary activity, sliding anonymously into a corner to watch the world go by. Peacefully. Unfortunately, these types of establishments are on the retreat in the city of Newcastle as the march of multiculturalism carries all before it in the Toon, much to the delight of the lower-middle classes whose values appear to be shaping the social and physical make up of what was and still in its soul remains, a socialists city. Someone somewhere has decided that they want to have a café culture. They have been on a cheap flight to somewhere hot and they are blinded by the image of some tasty, sultry bird reading Vanity Fair and sipping on a cappuccino and now they want us to like that too. And the Noberatti in Newcastle seem to have fallen for it, hook line and sinker man. In their heads they have just walked onto the set of a Ryan Gosling film and are gagging for frothy whimsy and artisan bread from the beautiful people. Instead they get an unhappy, over-weight, middle-aged shopper with her put upon husband who always seems to need more space and is either too hot or too cold, forever cast on the eternal horns of the take your coat off, leave it on dilemma. Naturally there will be queues in which good old Anglo-Saxon bad humored impatience is never far away from the surface – they've waited more than 2 seconds to be served their phony, grossly over-priced muck-a-chocco-chino by a disinterested minimum wage slave who is as much interested in your ‘coffee leisure experience' as you are in David Beckham’s HELLO life. These are no urban retreats. There is no quiet bolt-hole for you to take a bit of refuge from the general shittiness of life. You are on show and the message is clear – once you have swilled that tepid milky shite down your neck, get the fuck out and we’ll get the next lot of lifestyle dupes in. At its best, sitting in one of these places is like being in a post office queue, at its worst it’s like being at a Mumford & Sons gig. Naturally, some soppy social worker type who imagines she’s at the head of the zeitgeist will be continually checking her brat, Tarquin or Jocaster to stop fucking around, whilst you will be cursing your life.
This is the modern world?
Just say No!

Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Thoughts On Love And Smoking podcast #3. Manfredas (Les Disques De La Mort/Smala)

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For the third installment in our podcast series we're excited to bring you an mix from a man who's been a constant fixture round the top of our list of favourite producers and DJ's for a couple of years now.
Plying his own skewered take on dance music all across Europe as well as his own club night 'Smala' at the Opium Club in Lithuania for some time now. Gradually building a reputation as on of the most exciting DJ's around, he's also put out a stream of brilliantly twisted remixes for the likes of Headman, CAR, Telepopmusik and Moscoman to name just a few while releasing his own studio material on the equally great 'Les Disques De La Mort.'
To celebrate his unmistakable sound we asked him to contribute a mix for the third installment of our podcast series and after much cajoling, bribery and months of hassling him, we were beyond happy when he eventually agreed. So without anymore ado we bring you a thing of sonic substance. Unpredictable, esoteric, experimental, unique and never less than brilliant. Ladies and gents we give you Manfredas. X

Don't forget to check him out on:

We've gotten rid of our old Soundcloud account due to it's temperamental nature of deleting mixes at the drop of a hat and we've migrated across to Hearthis.at so all the podcasts will be available to download over there. Simply click the link below innit!

Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X

Thursday, 8 October 2015


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I am Titchmarsh, the single most terrifying beast in the world. I crush skulls in my fist. I paint trees with the blood of my victims. I wear a hat made from ears, and my car’s seats are made from the skin of sinners. I am Titchmarsh.

If you don’t listen to me, I will rend you asunder and leave your scarred bones on the floor of a public toilet, to be eaten by the dogs.

That said, I am here to talk about tea. Tea, if you will humour me, is the single greatest intoxicant of our time. It is better than cocaine, speed, or cracks. Tea makes me a God, tea makes my garden grow and my cock grow roots. You think you’ve seen a man fully erect? You haven’t until you’ve seen me consume tea and fuck my way through a good area of Sussex in an all night tea fuck-frenzy.

Tea was invented a long time ago, and used to be in black and white. Back then it was sold in giant bin-bags. There were no “tea-bags” back then. Tea would be strained in sacks, condoms, and pigskins. There was only two teas back then. White and black. Milk or no milk. In fact, the first cow was made by scientists for the sole use of tea drinkers.

There are many ways to drink it. It is very versatile. You can drink it in a prison cell. You can drink it in a bin. You can drink it at a funeral. You can even drink it while attacking your family with a fork. Tea can be consumed in any orifice, but must ALWAYS be finished. If you don’t, I will cave your fucking head in. Here are my favourite teas.

1. Earl Grey. – Aromatic, nice with a burned rabbit cock.

2. Normal. – You can buy it anywhere. Put it in a mug and drink the bollocks out of it. The most famous of these is PG probably. Or Tetley. There’s Value, but you’re a cunt if you drink that.

3. Camomile. I don’t know what the fuck this one is. I think it’s probably drunk by rich people or something.

4. Human tea. Made from the secretions of humans. I drink a lot of my own tea. I am made of me. I am made of tea. Do you see? So, to end this harvest of facts, if I see ANY of you not drinking tea, I will drape your intestines over my cock and wank myself to a screaming orgasm.

So there it is. Everything you need to know about my taste in hot beverages. Now fuck off. I have a cup of tea to tip into my juddering fucking maw.

Alan Titchmarsh is a writer of romantic fiction and a lover of tea. He also does something in gardens I expect.

Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Letters To The Editor. Part 2.

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After the success of last months 'Letters To The Editor' feature and coz I couldn't be arsed to write anything cohesive I thought I'd roll it out again for another outing, so here it is back by (un)popular demand.

Letters To The Editor. Part 2.
Dear Mark,
I'm a professional footballer, right. I earn approximately £1.5 million quid a year and in return for that I have a duty to maintain my body at the peak of fitness every day of my working life. I train for a minimum of 6 hours a morning, swim for a further two and work out in the gym every other evening. I don't smoke or drink and I steer well clear of fatty foods such as pork and bacon. I have my heart rate and blood pressure carefully monitored by a team of experts twice a week. My personal trainer maintains that I am the healthiest human specimen he's ever had the privilege to work with. I have a beautiful wife, Linda and two wonderful children, Simon who's six and little Farrah who's nearly three. I drive a Mercedes and live in a large house on the Surry borders. I'll probably pack it in at 33, by which time I'll be a multi millionaire.
Makes you sick dunnit!!
Keith Twattist, Smug, Surry.

Dear Mark,
What's all this I hear about some bloke earning a fortune claiming to have invented the cat's eye. Bloody cheek! That was one of mine. Do you think I'd go to the trouble of doing a cat and then not give the fucking thing a set of eyes? Cats, dogs, trees, whelks, sheep, gravel, all manner of flora and fauna - they were all my idea. Sort yourselves out before I send you a hefty invoice for the lot. Now go in peace or I'll invent a 700 ton hedgehog. And don't think I wouldn't. I've had it up to here with you lot. Alright! That is my word etc, etc. Cheers!
God, Heaven.

Hew, yee!
My doctor tells me I don't know my arse from my elbow. 'Course I don't man,' I said, 'that's your job'. I don't expect you to know how to fix a telly, do I? Just as well he said, cos mine bust. Cheeky bastard. Anyway, turned out the tube had gone so i flogged him a new one for a pony. Good job someone knows what they're doing, eh?
Lou Ferringo, Heaton.

Dear Mark,
I'm a big bloke, 17 and a half stone. I like my grub and I'm not adverse to the odd pint or 14 from time to time. I've always been on the large side since I was a youth. I'm 25 on Thursday and I think it's about time for a total lifestyle rethink. I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and it suddenly dawned on me that I'm not operating at my full potential. Simply put, I feel there's a thin person inside me trying to get out. Blimey! I thought to myself, I don't remember eating that! Anyway, tell me, how can I get rid of the bastard for a couple of hours while I nip down the cafe for a plate of chips and a cuppa with 7 sugars? Oh and get ya skates on fam. I'm bloody famished! Nice one.
Fat John. Cheddar Gorge. South Devon.

Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X