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Mixed in London, September 2008
(138.04 MB, 74:08, APX VBR MP3)
Style: acid techno
direct link to the mix:
01. Kektex – The Next Phase (Tec)
02. Dawn Patrol – Two Lerchers & A Chrome (Cluster)
03. Pounding Grooves – Pounding Grooves 03 (A) (Pounding Grooves)
04. The Advent – War Head (Tortured)
05. Spinning Atoms – Your Flexible Friend (Prolekult)
06. D.A.V.E. The Drummer – Barbed Wire 303 (Boscaland)
07. Watchman – Cut The Midrange (The Chris Liberator Remix) (Prolekult)
08. Helix – Trust This (XY2)
09. Sylverbox – Exciter (Choci’s Chewns)
10. Cosmic Trigger – The E-Spot (Weathermen’s Gun In Your Face Remix) (Stay Up Forever Remix)
11. Lochi – No Sell Out (Smitten)
12. D.A.V.E. The Drummer & Ben Balafonic – Barndance (Bionic Orange)
13. Dynamo City – Poison In The Machine (Routemaster)
14. A&E Dept. – Experiment 4 (Stay Up Forever)
15. Lab 4 – Machine (Havok)
16. D.O.M. – Acid War (Liberator’s 303 Attack Mix) (Stay Up Forever Remix)
17. Well-Paid Scientists – Buzzbomb (C.O.S.H.H.)
18. Skank – People Are Weird (Headcase)
19. Charlie Don’t Surf – Blood On My Giro (Havok)
Cover image used courtesy of Â© Luis Arellano – Fotoscopia.es
For this, the third edition of my Squat Rocking series, I wanted to put something together that reminded me of the exciting and dynamic dj sets I used to hear when I used to go out to squat parties in London. Hence this mix is full of loads of cuts, spinbacks, and other tricks, as I tear through a selection of hard and acid techno.
I’ve already written in depth about my love for acid techno and the mighty mighty TB-303, as well as my time on the squat party scene, so I thought that for this post I would write a bit more in depth about the dj’s I would hear at squat parties. Although of course free/squat parties are still happening every weekend around the country, since I no longer dj outside my bedroom, all of this is written in the past tense, since for me it really is past tense!
One of the things that I always loved about squat parties was that the ‘superstar dj’ mentality was totally absent. Of course, there were well-known dj’s that you would see at many parties, but there was none of the rockstar-esque nonsense that often accompanied dj’s at more commercial events. For instance, I remember going to Frantic’s fifth birthday party at Camden Palace (a venue which is now known as Koko) and seeing a mob of idiots converge on the booth when Lisa Lashes came on, asking for autographs and taking pictures. I was frankly bemused by this kind of celebrity worship, so I asked a guy why everyone was going nuts and he looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “well, it’s a fit bird, innit?”
This kind of thing was very far from the spirit of squat parties! Not, of course, that I am opposed to fit birds, big tits, or fit birds with big tits, but still, this was not why I went out raving …
At squat parties, in contrast, the dj’s were usually on the same level (literally) as the crowd – very rarely were there raised stages or anything like that. Often the dj would be semi-hidden behind speaker stacks or camo netting. Hell, almost always dj’s just mixed straight into the last track of the previous dj instead of stopping the record to play a “hey, look at me!” intro tune. Even the people who were big name dj’s on the scene were never anything but cool, for instance D.A.V.E. the Drummer was very nice to me when I came on after him at a Pendulum sound system squat party in a Canning Town railway arch. It was only my third time playing out and I was absolutely shitting myself but he drifted back after about fifteen minutes to tell me “nice work!”, which he didn’t have to do, but was appreciated by my super-stressed 18 year-old self.
And the style of the dj’s?!?! Man, some of the best sets I ever heard were at free parties. Hard tunes, tight mixing, clever tricks – you would hear some awesome sets at the raves, and this mix aims to capture this seat-of-the-pants vibe (even down to having a dodgy mix out of ‘Exciter’ – oh well!).
To round off this post, I’d like to present some squat party multimedia.
First off, here’s a video from a party in Brick Lane in April 1999 (I was at this one myself):
The party was near Aldgate East off Brick Lane, a huge blue and white office block on the corner of Brick Lane in the East End.
Loads of people are arriving as we turn up around midnight and boom-boom-boom is coming from inside, so we give the Â£5 “donation” and in we go.
Posted on the door is a notice explaining that this is a legal squat and that the squatters live there.
Oh Jeeze, this place is huge. Over something like 7 floors (including the cellar), there were rooms and rooms of sound systems. I lost count of how many there were, but it was much more than the 6 promised. There was everything from London Acid Techno to Tech-house, although most of the music was of the hard techno intense psychedelic variety.
This was a massive squat party in an old office block in the East end. It seemed to carry on in every direction, and you just kept walking through doors and down corridors, continually finding more rooms and more sound systems. There was techno, trance, drum & bass, even a punk band in one room, must have been at least six floors and ten systems in total. The place was packed too, it seemed that just about everyone I’d ever met on this scene was in here somewhere. There was really a feeling of “o fuck, o fuck, this is totally out of control” – and the building was getting totalled, with graffiti and broken glass everywhere. I left feeling totally bewildered and humble, but parts of me said a party like that is just too much!
Strange days. That party was crazy, room after room of mental banging music with hundreds of lunatics all over the place. I don’t really remember the stuff getting smashed up because I spent most of my time in the sound system rooms (when I went to squat parties I wasn’t really one for hanging out away from the music, although I did it sometimes), but it was one of those events where everything seemed to teeter on the edge of total chaos.
And, finally, here’s an article from Muzik magazine about the Liberator dj’s (clicking on the image will take you to a high-resolution scan of the article, although please note it is 2 megs in size):