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Pearsall presents Squat Rocking 1

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Pearsall presents Squat Rocking 1

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Mixed in London, November 2005
(72:56, 124.8 MB, V0 VBR MP3)

Zip pack (cut into individual tracks)
Cue file

Style: acid techno-trance and hard house

direct link to the mix:

01. Diplomat – Tantalum Cones (Deathchant)
02. Megamind – Taub (Picotto Mix) (Nukleuz)
03. Kai Tracid – Destiny’s Path (Warmduscher Remix) (Tracid Traxx)
04. Lectrolux – Baloney (Baby Doc’s Supernatural Remix) (TeC)
05. Ironik – Slave (TeC)
06. Immersion – Squat Rock Part II (Smitten)
07. Trash Compactor – Interstitial (No Entry)
08. Medicine Man & Switch – Vitamins from the Pharmacy (One Inch)
09. Rim n’ Chop – The Italian Job (Karim Remix) (DP)
10. The Captain, Superfast Oz & Kristian – Let’s Go (Tinrib)
11. The Hellfire Club – Voodoo Magic (React)
12. K90 – Bomb Jack (Chris Liberator Remix) (Telica)
13. DJ Choci & The Geezer – Silver Box (VCF)
14. DJ Riddler – Riddle Me This (Public House)
15. Greenforce – Afro Acid (Back To The Roots Mix) (Acid Test)
16. Cortex – Cuba (xy²)
17. Bang The Future – Atomik Lullaby (GBT)
18. Propulsion – Without Fear (Mesh)

Cover image used with the kind permission of flickr user edvvc

me playing for Undertow at The Drome, London Bridge, August 2000

The Squat Rocking series of mixes aims to document the kind of music that I played when I was about 17-20 and going out on the London squat party scene. The first parties I ever played at to people besides my friends were squat parties in the summer of 1999, and the sound I was into is what is represented in these mixes – no messing acid techno-trance.

In fact, the first time I played to total strangers was at a squat party in Waterden Road, Hackney, in July 1999. I was only 18 at the time, but I had been dj-ing for about two and a half years at that point, and I had finally gotten to the point where I was confident enough to play out.

Some people think they are DJ gods within a couple of months … I was not one of them!

Happily enough, by the summer of 1999 I was feeling much more confident about playing out to people and so, one weekend, while I was out with some friends at a squat party on Waterden Road, I got talking to to the people behind the Undertow sound system, since they were playing the kind of hard-charging acid trance that I really enjoyed. Anyways, a scribbled address later, the next day I hit the decks to record a demo tape, which I then popped in the post early in the week. I didn’t hear anything back until I got a call from Stelvio on the Saturday saying it was alright if I came down and that they would put me on at some point. Who can argue with that!

So, I rounded up my cousin Ben, who was visiting, and my friends Dan and Marc, and we made our way off to deepest, darkest Hackney Wick. The party was in an old warehouse , with a range of sound systems across the different levels, playing hardcore techno, acid, drum n’ bass, and weird unclassifiable stuff. The Undertow rig was in the first room, right as people walked in from the outside, playing hard and uplifting acid trance.

For me, walking into a squat party was always like walking into another universe, a sort of skewed angle on my otherwise pretty strait-laced middle-class youth. A club is one thing, but the squat party is something else entirely, something wilder and more untamed, something freer.

Of course, part of the problem with freedom is that many people can’t handle it; they abuse it. In my attendance at squat parties there was often a dark edge, and from what I heard things got worse after I stopped going in 2000. Occassionally you would see or hear about stuff that was really off-key, but I suppose that unpredictability was part of the excitement. Fortunately, the Waterden Road parties didn’t have that dodgy element, at least as far as I could tell. The Undertow crew was mostly Italian, and this was always something I found interesting about squat parties – that there would always be loads and loads of Italians, often up to a quarter or a third of the people would be Italian. Possibly this is no longer the case (in fact I’d imagine that there would be loads of Eastern Europeans now), but I always found it interesting that there would be so many Italians alongside the English ravers.

Anyways, so we got to the party and did the usual wandering around, checking out the various soundsystems, poking around the rooms (there was one room where there were families living, with little kids running around, which was a bit grim), and then we headed back to the Undertow room to dance and wait my turn. It was the best anyways, being the most colourful, with the best sound, music and vibe. This night was actually the start of several years of association with them (I went on to play for them a few more times, and bug the shit out of them more times that I can imagine … if any of you stumble on this page, I apologize for annoying you, which I’m sure I did!).

Finally, just before 7 AM, Stelvio says, “You’re on at seven.” Oh shit! The dancefloor was still heaving, loads of people having turned up after the clubs had finished, and it was my responsibility to keep them there.

I was so nervous that my hands were shaking like crazy as I dropped the needle onto my first record (which was, I think, the BK & dBm remix of ’9 Bar’ by OD404). Even today I get nervous playing in front of other people, but this being the first time I was truly terrified! Fortunately I managed to get through the mix smoothly (helped by the fact that the soundsystem was crystal clear) and then I was off! What an exhilirating feeling it was! The crowd was right with me as I upped the tempo to well over 160 bpm and I finished off at nine AM with ‘Reformation II’ by Lab 4. In fact this was probably one of the better, or at least more memorable, sets that I ever played. When it was all over we hung around the party for another hour or so before heading off on the long walk back to Stratford tube station.

Good times.


Written by Pearsall

October 2nd, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Mixes

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8 Responses to 'Pearsall presents Squat Rocking 1'

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  1. Love the mix! =D

    It’s totally insane – and straight to 5 stars on my iTunes. Deffo grabbing the others in the series.


    3 Jan 09 at 10:28 pm

  2. cool, glad you like it! I’m planning on doing some more old skool hard acid trance mixes this year.


    4 Jan 09 at 9:03 am

  3. [...] Undertow at The Drome in London Bridge way back in August 2000. I’ve added it the page for Squat Rocking 1. Very [...]

  4. Fantastic, really interesting topic. I will write about it too!!


    11 Dec 09 at 9:28 pm

  5. [...] Drop The Hammer 5 (Electro) [...]

  6. [...] Hammer 7 Eurotrash 1 Eurotrash 2 Over The Horizon Paradise Lost Rampage Europa 1 Rampage Europa 2 Squat Rocking 1 Squat Rocking 2 Squat Rocking 3 Squat Rocking 4 That Dream Is Over The Dying Light The Waveform [...]

  7. Very nice mixtape :)

    I was looking for something completely different, when I can across this page.

    We have clearly met at some point in the past – iirc, you used to post on UMR, and I think we were both part of the crew which put on the two UMR raves at the Drome? I played at both events, can’t remember if you did though, but you may well have! I remember turning up during the first half of your Undertow set though ;) We must have attended many of the same events, including the Waterden Road squats!

    I don’t want to identify myself, but I used to know some of the Undertow crew back then, and I even used to flyer for them outside various venues/squats for a while.

    My association with that scene was rather brief (late 1999-early 2001), and I went back to the UKG/oldskool jungle scene which I came from, pretty quickly after that (I eventually played dubstep/grime/bashment as well). But I have some great memories of various London squats, as well as nights like Trancentral, Astral Phoenix, venues like Trenz, Tyssen Street, etc. And one of my greatest DJing moments (in any genre) was when I was playing to a packed dancefloor in preparation for the next DJ on – Chris Liberator! I’ll never forget that moment when he shook my hand and took over from me! :)

    Speaking of trouble at squat parties… I don’t know if you were at the huge NYE December 1999 squat in Uxbridge, but it certainly kicked off a bit there, as it often did at several squats I attended – but it did tend to occur in one part of the building, and tended not to affect the whole event.

    Listening to your tape has made me dig out all my old SUF/Smitten/Routemaster etc tunes (I only have them on MP3 now though), and thats’s brought back some memories too!

    I have a very different lifestyle now, but those were indeed great times, and it’s interesting to read about someone who remembers them too :)


    24 Oct 10 at 7:33 pm

  8. hi there,

    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your memories.

    Yes, I was on UMR. Wow, that feels like a long time ago! I think I’ll need to check out the UMR archives on Google Groups, should be interesting reading. :)

    I wasn’t really involved with the Undertow crew, I just pestered them occasionally ( ;) ), but if that August 2000 bank holiday party was a UMR one, then that was the one I played at.

    I didn’t go to the big Uxbridge party in Dec. ’99, although I did hear about it. Anyways, by that time I was kind of going off the squat party thing. I remember going to a party in Hackney Downs that month and there were massive Jamaican crack dealers all over the place and it was totally sketchy … at one point I was sitting in this little room with about 20-odd people and my mate Talal and I were among the four people not smoking crack. Definitely not the scene for a nice upper-middle class boy like myself! I heard that later on there started being more trouble at squat parties as the gang culture really kicked off in London and they realized that these parties offered a lot of prey. That might be bullshit, but I don’t know, because the last proper London squat party I went to was an Underground Sound party in Stonebridge Park in about April 2000.

    Anyways, glad you enjoyed the mix and my essay. If you’ve not read it, you might also enjoy the Pendragon tribute that’s posted elsewhere on this site.




    26 Oct 10 at 9:57 pm

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