Sue Ryder - Dee View Appeal

28 February 2019


As I've mentioned before, this blog is a personal place and not something that I do for financial gain. In years gone by the waters may have been muddied at times, but at the heart of it, this is just my little corner of the internet where I have shared (mostly) music that I've enjoyed. This post is primarily of a personal nature and I'm well aware that that declaration may be where a lot may stop reading, and that's entirely fair enough. I've nothing fresh in a musical sense to share, so that may see off a few more of you. I will post up a previous mix I've done, something for you to play if you should choose to stay and continue reading.

I've mentioned my Mum, and her real battle living with Multiple Sclerosis, a few times. That's my Mum in the pictures above. The top picture in the collage is of my other half (Lisa), my Mum and I, and this was taken as we had a bite to eat before taking her to His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen last March to see Seonaid Aitken performing a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Unfortunately we had to leave halfway through because my Mum was struggling to keep herself sitting upright. I'd posted about what we were doing on Social Media and even shared a couple of the nice pics we'd taken early in our wee trip out and about. I didn't post about the abrupt end to the evening because on Social Media being real and honest about things isn't the 'done thing'. I really don't like when I fall into the trap of only sharing the positives, but I'm as guilty as the next person.

The picture in the bottom right of the collage is of me, with my Mum, during a Summer event at Sue Ryder, Dee View Court in Aberdeen where she now lives, and I'll be coming back to that shortly. I've posted that picture on Social Media too, but I've never mentioned the fact that this would have been on a good day, and even on the VERY best of days, she is only up for a few hours.

The picture on the bottom left is one taken whilst we were chatting about years gone by, mostly me talking to her because she doesn't really converse any more, it tends to be short answers at the very best. Mild cognitive impairment the "professionals" call it, in reality it's dementia which comes with the territory of M.S for some people that are at an advanced stage. Really, I'm trying to get her to try and think about her own memories and speak about them to me as best she can. The picture was taken in hospital, and is during one of her four stays in hospital so far this year. So far in 2019 she's had around a week at home, perhaps a little more, but not much. She's been hit with several infections, including two bouts of sepsis and currently has a large kidney stone that doctors aren't sure how to deal with (as things stand).

We were due to be taking her to the Music Hall in Aberdeen (having bought rather expensive tickets) tomorrow night (Friday 1st March) to see a Tina Turner tribute, but unfortunately that plan has been scuppered due to the way her health has been this year. It's meant we've had to give the tickets away to someone else in the Sue Ryder facility, which we're happy to do as it means they aren't wasted, but at the same time it's disappointing and quite upsetting that the nice things we try and do to improve her quality of life, are turned upside down because of the nature of her illness. The person that will be going in her place will be taken by a Carer, who will be volunteering out of their usual working hours.

I've probably gone on a bit of a long winded tangent really, when I was really trying to find a way to plug an event my wife is taking part in to raise funds for the Dee View Appeal, which is a campaign to raise money to develop the Dee View facility. It currently has space to care for 24 people, all with complex Neurological conditions like M.S, M.N.D, Huntingtons and those who have suffered brain injuries. It is the only purpose built facility in Scotland and many people who have these conditions are having to live and be cared for in hospices and elderly care homes that are not designed, equipped or staffed to meet their needs. The Dee View Appeal aims to double the size of the facility, and make improvements to the existing building. It's something that is very much needed, especially when you consider those in unsuitable living spaces elsewhere, and the fact that Dee View Court has a waiting list that is only getting larger.

In a couple of weeks time, Lisa (my better half) is going to be joining a group of other mentalists and taking on a Fire Walk where they will walk bare foot, over 20 feet of wooden embers that are burning at 1,236 degrees. All the money raised goes directly to the appeal and will benefit people who need a high level care, for very complex conditions, ultimately leading to them hopefully being able to lead a better quality of life. It's a wonderful centre, with some genuinely amazing staff, so please consider a small donation if you are in a position to be able to do so, no matter the size - EVERY donation helps and is appreciated.

You can donate to Lisa's Just Giving page or direct to Sue Ryder by click the links below.


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Just A Sample

24 February 2019

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When it comes to music, I often live in my own little bubble. I keep an eye and ear out for what friends are doing, but away from that I don't tend to keep my finger on the pulse too much. Probably fair to say I keep one eye on the here and now rather than giving it my full focus. I tend to dig about music that I'm enjoying at any given moment.

One of the things I've really enjoyed doing over the years though, is to check liner notes etc for information on where samples are picked up from, and the Hip Hop scene has always been great for this, especially releases from the late 80's to mid/late 90's - the golden era of Hip Hop music for me. Of course, now we have websites that help us and apps that can identify tracks through hearing small snippets on our phones.

Just in case anyone should stumble across this post and not be familiar with the websites and tools I'm speaking of, I'll give a brief run down on a few that I find useful. If anyone has any additional suggestions, feel free to post the in the comment section below.

The obvious thing to say first is, cross reference is important. It's not unusual to look for an I.D for a track or sample, only to be given some duff info. The two most obvious places for I.D's are Discogs and Youtube. The comments on Youtube videos are a good source of info, if you can abide the rest of the rubbish often spouted in the comment section. Likewise, at the foot of each page on Discogs you often will find people providing I.D's for samples and edits and there are sub-forums dedicated to I.D's on the site too.

If you are looking for sample information there is one site that stands above them all - Who Sampled. It is a treasure trove and I've lost many an hour getting lost down a rabbit hole, and it's across all genres. There is even a great feature where you can jump exactly to the sample point within a song. The only thing I don't like about the site is the use of embedded Spotify players. I've nothing against Spotify, it has it's place, but the players only ever give me a short clip and it sometimes misses the sample point completely. When your search results are linked up to Youtube though, it works great.

The other tool I use quite often, although it doesn't always get it right, is the Soundhound app (on your phone). If I'm struggling to get an I.D of a track, I load up Soundhound, play the track, Soundhound listens and analyses it and gives you what it finds to be the closest match. I'm guessing here, but I imagine it'll be waveform analysis, similar to that used by Youtube and Soundcloud for rooting out copyright material.

Back to the original point of my post. I decided to put together a selection of tracks that have been used in Hip Hop tracks through the years. I had some fun digging for this one, so it might be something I revisit down the line. The selection I have put together are the original source tracks, in full. Click the player below, have a listen and see if you can I.D the Hip Hop tracks they feature in (some have been sampled in several tracks), try and do it without cheating. Most of the Hip Hop tracks are fairly well known. Below the tracklist you will find a Youtube player where I have compiled the Hip Hop tracks I had in mind, and you can check to see if you were right (assuming you've played along). A wee heads up though - some of the tracks in the Youtube playlist are NSFW, in particular track 6 which is very much for adult ears only.



01. Dizzy Gillespie & The Oscar Peterson Big Four - Chicken Wings
02. Smokey Robinson - Quiet Storm
03. Bob James - Nautilus
04. Stan Getz & Luiz Bonfá - Saudade Vem Correndo
05. Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man
06. Brick - Fun
07. Otis Redding - Let Me Come On Home
08. Average White Band - School Boy Crush
09. Silver Convention - Fly, Robin, Fly
10. Jame Brown - The Boss
11. Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle
12. Galt MacDermot - Space
13. Bill Withers - Make A Smile For Me
14. The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
15. Ronnie Foster - Mystic Brew
16. Gary Burton - Las Vegas Tango

The Answers

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Back To Mine 2019

12 February 2019

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Back To Mine 2019

What we're gonna do right here is go back, way back... Well, not that far back really, in fact no time at all but it does feel like a lot longer. In 2016, myself and Andy Pye from Balearic Social pulled together some great people who provided some wonderful music in the form of the seasonal chilled mix series. If you scroll through previous posts on the blog you'll find them all. The following year I handed my side of things over to George Mihaly from Quality Music Lovers Society and it was decided that we'd resurrect the classic Back To Mine series.

The concept isn't new, it's been done by countless others in various guises, but the whole 'Back To Mine' feel was is such a great platform to share great music without worrying too much about mixing or sticking in a narrow parameter of genre. Even the title evokes memories of heading home after a good night out and digging through tape, record and cd collections finding gems that carry meaning, memories or simply sounds to get lost in until the morning light starts filling up your room.

I do want to reiterate that this isn't a "mix" and it's not about pulling out obscure, underground tunes from my collection or throwing the latest hot tracks into a mix. It's a compilation that is a personal journey of music that has some memories or meanings attached to it. I really enjoy digging through my music and pulling things out to use for this so don't be surprised if there is a 2020 version down the line. I'll finish my wee blurb with the caveat that I've used (perhaps liberally on occasion) a touch of reverb to help get those tracks to sit together through some of the intros / outros - it's still not a mix though! One last piece of info - the cover image is taken 50 yards further along the road from where the image for the first 'Back To Mine' I put together came from and is round the corner from my house in Aberdeenshire.

If you prefer to use Soundcloud you can find the mix OVER HERE.

If you prefer Hearthis and want a download, you'll find it HERE.


My previous 'Back To Mine' selection was going to include a handful of the tracks on this selection, and [Re:jazz] was one of those artists. Hard to pick a track from them to be honest because I have a few favourites. This is a cover of the classic Jazzanova track on Compost Records from 2001 and I really love the change of direction. Also worth checking out the [Re:Mix] album.

It's a classic song, covered by many an artist but not with this kind of vibe, which to me is a cross between modern soul jazz and trip hop. I have to say I wasn't overly keen on the whole Head Kandi thing but as with a lot of compilation series, it was a good way to find the odd gem.

Drum 'n' Bass wasn't really a big thing in my neck of the woods, so I wasn't exposed to it and artists from that scene as much as someone would be in London / Birmingham for example. That said, there was the odd bit that would appear on radio and Bukem on the Essential Selection was one of those. When I bought this LP it was bought on the strength of his D'n'B material that I'd heard and enjoyed, so when this kicked in it was way off from what I expected to hear and I loved it and opened doors to explore other D'n'B artists.

In the late 90's - early 00's there was a music channel on Sky, the name escapes me but it could have been Music Choice, or something along those lines. It was a channel that had what was effectively sub-channels dedicated to various genres. At the time I lived North of Inverness and was running an Ebay shop, and doing quite well too. I'd buy record collections and sell online. I loved it. This channel would be running in the background a lot whilst I was researching/cleaning/listing/packing records to post, and this track was one of those that came on fairly often. It just stuck in my head, and I think it's aged quite well compared with a lot of music of the time.

I love this man and his music. Perhaps a bit 'pop' for some folk, but I never tire of him and could have included any number of his tracks.

For the life of me I cannot recall where or how I came across Taj Mahal. What I can say is that this track has been sung in the direction of my better half for the best part of 20 years. Ups and downs, yes, but she's still my queen bee. I often refer to her as 'Her Majesty' on Facebook, and this is what is in my mind when I say that.

No great story behind this. A lot of records I've bought in recent times have come via Ed Davies who runs his own online record store via Facebook and Discogs, although he's been in the industry a lot longer than FB or Ogs. I encountered this through one of his many emails and thought it worth inclusion.

My previous 'Back To Mine' included one my all time faves from Jackie Wilson, and this is another that is up there. Jackie Wilson was behind the first record I ever bought. When I say bought, I mean I badgered my Father to pick it up for me, that was Reet Petit on a white 7", long since lost, but it opened up a different world of music to me.

Another track with no great story attached, other than the fact that I adore Nina Simone. It's a toss up between her and Roy Ayers for the most appearances in my record shelves, so it isn't the first I've shared from her, it won't be the last.

The LP this came from is one of my all time faves. This and 'Protection' are my two favourite tracks and that is in no short measure down to the vocals of Tracey Thorn. In modern times, not many vocalists come close to her in my book.

The first exposure I had to this track wasn't Bob Marley. Believe it or not, I first heard a version by Annie Lennox that had been remixed by Howie B, a version which I can't find online to link to. There wasn't a huge amount of reggae around my household, although I have a love and appreciation for it now, but the first time I heard this version was actually on an Essential Mix by none other than Paul Oakenfold. It sounds crazy; he was a trance DJ, but he did this one mix for the show that was so out of the norm, both for him and DJ mixes that were broadcast at the time and I still listen to it on occasion to this day.

15 minutes and 52 seconds of brilliance. The marriage between the vocals and guitar is something I'd never encountered before, and will forever be a fave as a result.

I've said it before on social media. This is one of my all time favourite remixes. Possibly the BEST remix of any track for me. Can I call this Drum 'n' Bass? I just have. I hate labelling music, but sometimes it needs done. The way McSherry and Cobby transformed the original into this is just amazing. Probably my favourite Fila Brazillia thing too.

Nothing they have done since has come close to Homework. A classic LP, it'll live with me forever although I appreciate it's marmite for a lot of folk. Not me. It's in my top 10 electronic LPs quite comfortably. This track was overlooked by DJ's in general but I loved it, and it was clearly the start of Bangalter going down the path of those filtered loops that he did so well.

Sneer all you like. The Hour Of The Bewilderbeast came out at a time where I had a lot of difficult stuff going on and it was a bit of a soundtrack through that period when I felt like I too was often pissing in the wind. As a side note, just how good was Joan Collins in that video, and how much of a surprise was it to see her bathing alongside BDB?

I picked this up in error. What a good mistake to make though and led me to picking up the rest of Kings Of Convenience releases which of course, I'd urge to look into if you feel so inclined.

A classic track that has featured on so many compilations through the years, there was a point where I couldn't bring myself to listen. That has happened to a lot of tracks over the years, but this is one of the few that managed to return to the fold. Interestingly, Nightmares On Wax has just released a new Back To Mine release, with the actual series having been resurrected - I wager after the popularity of our homage to the series a couple of years back (tongue firmly in cheek).

This might seem a slightly obscure inclusion to a list like this. I cannot recall where I came across this track but I do know took a while to actually ID it. When I did, I felt that if you never found out the name of the track, you could almost guess. It fits and the mood just resonated with me, probably in the very way the title suggests.

JJ Cale. What do I need to say here? Well, I guess the track everyone knows is Cocaine. It was the first track of his I think I heard, but when you dig deeper, there is a lot more quality to be found. This is one of my favourites and I happen to be a fan of the shrub too :)

Quality soul / northern soul music that stands the test of time. I need say no more.

One of the finest vocalists. Ever. Lost to illness in her prime, I often wonder when listening to her just what we might have had yet to come. This particular track has some sentiment attached to it for me, and dL from Decades actually put together an extremely subtle extended edit for me some years ago. Seek and you will find.

No great story attached to this one. I have a load of Sly in my collection so it felt reasonable to include something. This has always been one of my favourites. That's it.

This is another that came about because of Ed Davies. That vinyl pimp causing us music addicts to spend more money than we can afford. In all seriousness, this is from a great 4 track EP, well worth picking up.

Another classic piece of music, covered by many, but never matched.

If you make your debut at the age of 14, in a golden era of soul music, then you must have something about you. Merry Clayton's self titled album is one to own.

That opening hook. It does hook you in. It's the formula that so much music through the 60's / 70's worked on.

What a label Philadelphia International Records was. I say was because it's now owned by the horrors of Sony, but like so many labels of yesteryear, they are hoovered up by the big boys. You just need to look through the artists The O-Jays, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass to name a few. This Billy Paul track is one of my faves though.

I love a track where there is crowd participation. I also love a good protest song. So this ticks the boxes. It's very shameful of us as a species that we haven't moved on very far since the time of this track. People still being shipped off to far flung countries to fight "wars" that shouldn't be fought, all because someone, somewhere is making coin from it.

The Doors, or probably more accurately, Jim Morrison was a bit of an obsession for my other half. It just so happened that when we met I was just discovering their music for myself, and this is up there as one of my favourites.

I opted to finish on a track that I've used to close an actual mix with before. My 'Is Anybody Listening?' mix is probably my best mix. I spent 6 months looking for tracks to us specifically for that mix and it was the last time I planned a mix out to any degree. Since then it's been hit record and see what comes out, and the standards haven't come close. Anyway, I thought this was such a great track to close on, I figured it a good opportunity to plug that mix once more, which you can find here....

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