A producer with a genuine aptitude for both Hip-Hop and House music, Nick Wilson ( aka. Mr Beatnick ) is a man currently enjoying the unique position that this puts him in. Although he’s a fair few years in to his more than respectable career, 2013 has arguably seen something of a breakthrough for Wilson. A rapturously received performance at Sonar 2013 was the highlight of a year that saw him deliver a much loved FACT mix whilst also co-hosting an NTS show alongside Cherrystones and Bullion.
Next Monday finds Wilson dropping ‘The Synthetes Trilogy’, a collection of his well received ‘Synthetes’ records, on Don’t Be Afraid. A collection of constantly inventive and melodic electronica, it reflects Wilson’s exhaustive musical knowledge born from years of DJ’ing an record collecting.
In advance of the release of ‘The Synthetes Trilogy’ we decided to pick Wilson’s brain for nuggets of musical related Youtube gold, with the results as eclectic and entertaining as you’d expect. Read on for Furby sequencers, Cat Theremins, live Grime and more…
Ikonika – Mr Cake
I love this video, references Grand Theft Auto with a hint of Outrun, whilst the music is on some 130 BPM future-boogie-funk ish. I love to listen to this record whilst playing Vice City, the album “Aerotropolis” is one of my favourites of the year. Ikonika’s home on Line-play is easily one of the best virtual homes going, I visit her virtually sometimes, give her a heart and play on her pixellated SNES.
The Mind’s Eye – Short Circutz
Cheers to Jodelka for hipping me to this, one of a series of “Mind’s Eye” experiments, 3D rendered animations from the 90s. If you’re grey and balding like me this will teleport you back to the days of early MTV, old school rendered games by Infogrammes, Peter Molyneux’s Populous, parallax scrolling backdrops in RType.. Sit back and bask in the nostalgia for a moment. All about the bit with the chrome dinosaurs.
Ursula Dudziak – Space Lady
If you’ve ever listened to a Pete Rock, Buckwild or Large Pro hip hop record from the early 90s you might have heard a vocal sample that sounds like little bubbles rising.. like “blubblubblubblubdeeeeeeeeebaaaaa”.. It’s a vocal scat sound into a delay, and the voice of a certain polish jazz singer by the name of Ursula Dudziak, who was a force of nature in the third stream of polish jazz in the early 70s and 80s, penned many a jazz dance classic. This one is harder to find, from the 80s and pairs her scats with a nice deep, dubby 80s boogie groove. Precisely the sort of thing I look for when I’m digging in the crates, yo.
Cat plays Theremin
Out to Dobie on this selection, spent a week laughing at it. All about the cat at the end. One of days I want to have a house full of cats and Theremins and use them to make a feline-synth orchestral record. Name suggestions welcomed, if only it also worked with dogs, could have called it the Barkestra.
Mr Beatnick – Waning Moon
Gratuitous cheeky plug time, and yes I hear you sighing, but such is life so DEAL WITH IT. My latest video was put together by my favourite director, Nic Hamilton, who also did some amazing work for Actress, LViz and Lukid, so I was thrilled that he offered to make one for me. Lots of cruising over the surface of the moon, static and monochrome textures. I like to play this on my TV on loop, dress up in a Stetson and pretend I’m an intergalactic answer to Humphrey Bogart. If only that were remotely true.
Circuit bent mechanical furby synthesiser
The circuit bending craze of the mid noughties probably resulted in a lot of solder-burnt fingers, a huge increase in sales of switches and buttons on Thomann.de and several landfills of Casio SK1s and Yamaha VSS keyboards that were blown up as a result of tampering – I should know, I manage to burnt out my SK1 as a 14 year old after prizing the lid off. On the positive side, it did yield this footage of a truly strange creation, enslaved Furby toys chained together. If Abe’s Odyssey were a synthesiser basically, what a hideously demonic, wonderful invention.
Roger S – Deep
Anyone who describes their music – or their taste in music – as “deep house” should be forced to listen to this and watch an educational documentary on what the words actually mean, their context and where the music really came from. It doesn’t come much better than this for me, “deep” in name and nature, thunderous, beautiful and dance-floor-ready to the core. Tip!
Footsie & Trilla Woo Riddim freestyle, Just Jam TV
I’m no grime expert by any means, but I do love the Woo Riddim rather a lot, and have spent a long time watching every woo freestyle I can find on Youtube. I think this is my favourite, bars rattling relentlessly, punchlines agago. Moments like this are why I love grime, that raw unchecked energy that makes you want to go full Tempz on your parents crockery collection or your noise complainant neighbors windows with a sledgehammer.
C – Brand – Wired For Games
One of the first boogie records I fell in love with, this 1983 offering from C Brand on Spring records is futuristic to the core, anticipating the relationship between video games and music by several decades – love that pitched up voice that asks “wired for games, you wanna play?”. Perfect soundtrack to playing Neuromancer on the Amiga 500, my favourite adventure game ever. According to things I’ve read, it was a massive anthem in the arcades in the early 80s, many coins were pumped into Pac Man machines, spurred on by this relentless groove.
Sun Ra – Cry Of Jazz
Only one way to end, since it’s one of my lists we need the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, Sun Ra of the mighty solar myth arkestra. Lots of people go on and on about Space Is The Place but Cry Of Jazz is much less well known – and perhaps much more beautiful, shot in 1959. Immerse yourself, the music and words speak more deeply to the soul than I ever could. Be well citizens, thanks for reading, and watching.