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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Medium Wave Roadshow

Don't worry we're still here!. In case you haven't noticed, Podcast 16 is right there and if you haven't listened to it yet then shame on you. No ramblings on that one from me as we've already got Episode 17 in the bag and I'm far more excited about that one.

We've actually been busy firing up the Fun Bus for some Medium Wave Mobile Disco evenings. These are not club nights, but where we get to play birthday parties, weddings etc..Invite only I'm afraid Podfans!.

These are generally enormous fun, albeit something of a white-knuckle ride when you realise you have a room full of party people dancing and YOU are responsible for keeping them there.
Like when we do the Podcast, DJ Rules loads up his gramaphone, and packs the boot of the Fun Bus with enough old vinyl to fill ten branches of Help the Aged. Dr Volume on the other hand hoists the laptop onto the Stanton Uberstand, plugs in the Novation Nocturn, wires up the NI AudioKontrol Interface, boots the hard drive, and loads the floor-filler Mp3s into Native Instruments fantastic 'Traktor' software. This incredible program has actually been carefully designed around the fact that the person operating it may well be a bit worse for wear having been enjoying some "hospitality" and a first dibs on the Buffet Supper. My favourite feature is the HUGE flashing light which alerts you to the fact that the track currently playing is going to finish in 30 seconds giving you just enough time to cue up 'Musclebound' by Spandau Ballet. It even has a Cruise Control which will play random tracks if you forget to cue something is actually called that as well. Genuius.

Other than the modus operandi of our playing music, all the normal Medium Wave rules of promoting new music and exploring the outer limits of recorded sound go out of the window. It is someone's party and we are obliged to "do some old"!. The only rules are, keep 'em movin' and keep swapping genres as neatly as possible. There is also a temporary ban on 'Rappers Delight' but that's another story.

We do maintain however, that it is possible to get people dancing, singing & clapping along with records they know and love without playing a genuinely bad tune. Boyzone are strictly off limits, there is no need to bust out the Grease Megamix, YMCA or the dreaded 'I Will Survive'. But.... Song 2 by Blur is a genuinely brilliant record. Fatboy Slim made some incredible party floor-fillers that have saved our bacon many times. All Motown classics, as ubiqitous as they are, still sound astonishing through a hired 500w PA. The intro to "There She Goes" by The La's always comes with an audible 'yesssss' in any room in which it is played. You could fill an hour with just the best moments of Kool and The Gang and nobody would complain....and I never get bored of 'Teenage Kicks' . Oh, and in case you were wondering the Mic stays switched off, unless we need to announce 'Last Orders' or someone at the party wants to slur a few words.

Just don't double-book us with one of those 'Funky Vocal House' DJ's you get in every bar in every small town every Thursday, Friday and Saturday..(this has actually happened to us)...we'll only mither him off the decks and ruin his 4 hour "set".

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Pod Against Racism

UK Listeners/Readers. Please don't let the reactionary idiots who voted N**k Gr*ffin and that other scumbag nobody knows the name of get away with it. (I'd love to know what Music these f*ckwits approve of since pretty much all known music is the product of a multi-cultural mash-up)

For starters, Please take the time to sign the petition against the Fascist BNP.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

I said I want to Podcast...

Greetings Podfans, Episode 15 of Medium Wave is just a click away and just in case listening to it isn't enough here are your hosts with some information about it.
First up, DJ Rules...king of the simile, master of the metaphor, this week he reckons we're a Picnic.....

DJ Rules Writes:
"People...Its summer in the city and everyday is a stoned soul picnic at Medium Wave. So settle yourself down on DJ Rules' Gingham blanket and lets open that wicker hamper and explore the aural delights of a fine Medium Wave spread.

Next to the paper plates I see a delicately wrapped copy of The Premiers' "Farmer John". Looking as juicy and appealing as it did back in '64 this is an East LA crazy hep cat workout driven by a gaggle of screaming pedal pushing lovelies known as the Chevelles Car Club: the record was the party and if you see "Kosher Pickled Harry" do let me know. For the story behind this tune check out

Sitting snuggly beside the ham sandwiches neatly cut by Dr Volume rests the rather more contemporary Mr Day with DJ Vadim and the Curtis homage "If I Can't Love You". Presented as a delightful 7" white vinyl pressing this slab of pure 70s stoop funk is one of DJ Rules tunes of the year so far. With the vocals and melody floating along like a crisp packet on a hot New York sidewalk Mr Day is clearly going to stay a believer and I'm right beside him. Find out more or purchase at

Perfect as a side dish I have also packed a good helping of sunshine pop with The 5th Dimension's "Good News". Originally known as The Versatiles, a name change and the support of Jim Webb (songwriter) and Bones Howe (arranger) saw these 5 crazy cats purring slick soaring soul harmonies. You may well remember "Up-Up And Away" as well as "California Soul" and "Stoned Soul Picnic" (written by Laura Nyro - ed) everyone a winner baby and that's no lie...check out

Finally every picnic needs a slightly left-field nibble, I personally go for anchovies in olive oil but this time decided to pack a little Coco Rosie with "By Your Side". From their 2004 debut La Maison De Reve this slice of Lo-Fi Parisian playfulness is rocking my boat in ways that the good Doctor finds difficult to understand but then we don't all like anchovies...
So people that's DJ Rules and his hamper of summer goodies, enjoy the treats and roll one for me x"

And now over to our correspondent Dr Volume....

Dr Volume Writes:
"Get yer Factor 15 on, make sure you're carrying an umbrella...its the old curmudgeon Dr Volume here. Firstly, what on earth is "Stoop Funk"? I've just Googled it and the only thing it came back with was...this very blog entry by DJ Rules! As for Coco Rosie..I recall it got very good notices when it came out but its one of those records I can very easily judge as one that I simply do not like. I just find the rather self-consciously "fragile" production values rather mannered. Deliberately squeaky 'iccle-girlie' vocals are also one of my pet hates, see also Talulah Gosh, The Cranes and Deerhoof. I like Anchovies though. Especially their third LP "Double Squid and Patatas Bravas".

Anway I played some records as all seems a long time ago and I'm now busy deciding which Swell Maps track to put on next weeks show (at the moment, its all of them but I'm sure I can narrow it down).
Well, I played the rather fine Junior Boys who are now 3 albums in and still doing a fine job of imagining what 80s Electro Pop might have been like if the Fairlight and the Linn-Drum had never been invented. Its pop music alright, but also full of air and space..kind of Dub-Pop. Not that I have anything against the Trevor Horn style kitchen-sink approach but its an interesting exercise.

I gave Deerhunter a spin too. These are much blogged already so I won't add to the mountain of publicity that has already been heaped upon them, but I must say they were excellent at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds last week. They continue to do that weird thing of playing very loud, intense music almost without a break and then pausing to riff with the crowd in a very disarming way, somewhat at odds with the Psychedelic maelstrom still ringing in your ears. This gig ended with a rather protracted attempt by a (tired & emotional) Bradford Cox to ring his mum over the PA System (aided by their laconic sound engineer). He eventually succeeded and god knows what Mama Cox thought of the message left by her son speaking through a digital delay with 200 rather merry fans cheering in the background.

Good to get a Chrome track in too. This one pushed DJ Rules' Lo-Fi garage rock button! I got this on the strength of the sleeve, and all I can say is the cover accurately depicts what it sounds like:

Also in my selection were tracks by the excellent Ametsub, Working for A Nuclear Free City and the mighty Boredoms. Thanks for listening. Podcast 16 coming very soon, I've been down to the bargain basement for this one so should be good. "

That's all from your two resident DJs. Stick around for Episode 16. Oooh Matron...."

Listen on....

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Medium Wave Record Shop now open!

I was only thinking today how nice it would be to run my own dusty old Record Shop. What could be more fun than sitting behind a counter, pricing up the new Hyperdub 12"s, fighting with DJ Rules for control of the shop sound system and sneering at customers coming in and asking for The Killers on CD. Of course these days it would probably be more profitable to just go ahead and burn money rather than go to the trouble of renting a shop, ordering stock etc.

Still for now, you can actually visit our very own virtual record shop here! :

Early days for our hosts although it is quite a nice idea and I hope it takes off. If you're not sure how it works, basically you can create your own 'store', give it a name and a shop front and add tracks to it. You can write reviews of the tracks and basically promote the music you like to other people. The USP here is that if someone else buys a track from your 'store' you get points which are effectively kind of like Rock & Roll Nectar points (or Green Shield Stamps if you're the wrong side of 35 like me) which you can put toward buying your own downloads.
Yes, its downloads only I'm afraid which won't please our man DJ Rules who is a dedicated buyer of black wax. I suppose in theory there is no reason why this model shouldn't apply to physical purchases as well at some point.

For us, for the time being, this is a nice way of plugging the artists we play on the podcast. We're not big fans of file-sharing and I think I speak for us both that we believe you should pay artists for the music you like especially if they aren't signed to a major label or earning shedloads from film rights etc. We would more than happily pay a small fee to each artist when we play their music on the show but alas the PRS don't allow a pay-as-you-go rate for this, only a very expensive subscription which is completely out of proportion for a podcast like ours, and of course does not cover us for territories outside of the UK which is pretty useless when we have listeners all over the planet.

I'm afraid we're not stocking everything I'd like to at the moment. In fact, I've found it much harder to get hold of some of DJ Rules' stuff than my choices especially some of the older pre 2k stuff but music is being added to the site all the time so do keep popping in. Looking forward to your custom, and ring the bell if the door is locked, DJ Rules will probably be round the back having a crafty snout.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

We ate peanuts and played records

The man with the dog walked past and cast a glance through the window. The local teenager shuffled on by parading the now and anticipating the event. A Toyota pulled up and a man stepped from the vehicle with a rather large bag. The rain started falling as the mic stands were set up and at 9.45 a rather angular and bovine young lady passed by with a takeaway. At 10pm the lights were dimmed and the scotch eggs had been eaten. The show started at 10.15 precisely. DJ Rules explored his full repertoire, stepping gently into J Dilla and Slum Village and directing the orchestra into a statesman like version of 'Fall in Love' conducted by Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood Ferguson. As the night fell and the city slowed a touch of Ariel Pink 'Getting High in the Morning' was deftly introduced followed by The Millenium Psych-ing out 'To Claudia on a Thursday'. As the last peanuts were crunched and the Carlsberg drained a stirring rendition of the Phreek classic 'Weekend' was reinterpreted by Class Action aka Leroy Burgess. At 12.30 the mics were unplugged and at 1am the Toyota reappeared and a tall man climbed into the back. I do hope the bovine young lady enjoyed her takeaway and you enjoy this performance of Medium Wave.

DJ Rules with acknowledgement to Dom Cerulli and the sleevenotes for the 1965 classic; Milt Jackson at the Museum of Modern Art.

J Dilla and Slum Village (

Ariel Pink (

The Millenium (

Class Action aka Leroy Burgess (

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Medium Wave is 14...

...and we've reached that difficult age. Fittingly, this is the second attempt to produce Podcast 14, the first version is now rotting on the cutting room floor largely due to me not quite getting into the usual spirit of things.
Not only did I not quite have the right "vibes" in my "record bag", I was feeling a bit "off". This caused me to take far too much umbrage at DJ Rules rather too quick dismissal of Brian Wilson. I also failed to see the funny side of his insistence that he never saw the magnifcent Snub TV in the late 80s because every time it was broadcast he was at a Motorway services on his way to an illegal rave. It was all downhill from there. Fear not, we did it all again and this time we've produced a damn fine show for y'all.

You may be wondering why a forward-thinking Podcast such as ours has this week aligned itself with the ubiquitous "rock royalty" that is Bob Dylan. The reason is, I was following reports of his recent gigs on The Word Magazine Podcasts. I am quite hooked on these at the moment, and despite not sharing their love of Springsteen, Dylan etc. the ramblings of Mark Ellen (of Whistle Test fame..and the man who suggested reading out the address for donations at Live Aid just as Bob Geldof launched into his famous 'fook the address...give us yer fooken money' rant) and Smash Hits man David Hepworth are a delight to listen to, packed with really funny anecdotes and musings on popular culture...just like Medium Wave but 20 years in the future!

Anyway, neither DJ Rules nor I are particularly fans of 'Bawb', but in following the discussion on his recent appearances at the O2 I happened upon a clip on Youtube of one his 'performances'. I was aware that Dylan likes to 'reinterpret' his songs, and that his voice isn't quite what it was but nothing could prepare me for..........well listen to the podcast and you'll find out.

Also on the show: the fantastic Art Brut, and as they say of The Replacements (who I really must get around to hearing) how come I've only just discovered Art Brut?!
Warp Records veterans and pioneers of complex jazzy Puzzle-electronica Plaid, spiky and angular New Wave monsters Pere Ubu (if you have any interest in Punk or New Wave you should be able to get their first two LPs on the NHS) , "Doyen of the dubstep scene" Martyn, the excellent spartan electronic thumpings of the splendidly monikered Shed, and The Horrors.

Yes, The Horrors. If you'd asked me a couple of weeks ago I would have sworn I'd never play anything by a cartoon Goth band with unfortunate Peaches Geldof connections (second Geldof mention already!) on the Podcast but their new LP is really rather splendid. It evokes The Chameleons and The Bunnymen with lurching My Bloody Valentine-esque guitar noises and creepy Hammer House keyboards..what's not to like? It also begs the question, is Geoff Barrow of Portishead (who is in the chair for this one) perhaps going to emerge as a bit of a Brian Eno/Martin Hannett maverick producer for our times? Underachieving Tesco-indie bands, please form an orderly queue.

Anyway thats my take on things, I'm sure my co-presenter DJ Rules will be along in a moment to enlighten you further....