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Review: Happy Mondays – Excess All Areas – by Simon Spence

Happy Mondays

This is the third Simon Spence book that I have read. He is a very talented music journalist from Manchester with a taste for documenting, wild, stylish cultural movements that have emerged from the Madchester craziness. Excess All Areas covers perhaps the most successful and innovative band to have ridden the early acid house craze that swept the nation in the mate 1980s. With the charismatic Shaun Ryder heading up the band, a true hedonist, a notorious substance abuser, it was always difficult for the true Happy Mondays to translate through the myriad web of journalists who tried to document them. Ryder, much to the annoyance of most of the musical backdrop of the band, Paul Ryder (Bass), Gary Whelan (Drums), Paul Davis (keyboard), Mark Day (Guitar), Mark ‘Bez’ Berry (dancer), got into a habit of blagging the press and feeding them over the top exaggerations of the band’s history and exploits. In hindsight, this was pure marketing genius and led to much of the mystery and notoriety that paved the way for success. However, it sifting all the bullshit, has made the writing of this book that much more difficult for Simon Spence. The early days of a relatively privileged middle class upbringing contrasts with the bunch of Manchester council estate ‘scallies’ they tried to portray themselves as. Sure there was petty crime and shopflifting etc. but nothing serious, although perhaps the addition of Bez to the group was actually verging on real true life crime as he obviously was up to the neck in it as a youngster and quite obviously expanded his mini empire quite a lot under the guise of being part of the band…. Manchester Giants, Factory Records and Tony Wilson picked up the band and signed them which paved their way to success following the ilk of luminaries Joy Division and New Order and allowing them direct access to one of the UK’s most influential music venues, the Haçienda. It all happened at just the right time for this band, as the cultural rebellion against failed Thatcherism took hold of the UK’s disillusioned youth masses and expressed itself in the ‘Acid House’ movement. Ecstasy-fuelled, fashion shifts, mass movement and gathering of people in raves, parties and festivals, vast increase in polydrug clubbing and mainstream ending of anti-drug taboos. A lot of this movement was driven by DJs and the Mondays’ uniqueness was that they…

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AudioSapien joins Shuffle Artist Management

Shuffle Artist Management are pleased to announce that Colombia-based DJ / Producer, AudioSapien, has joined the team. The official AudioSapien website is just having the finishing touches applied http://audiosapien.net  .  AudioSapien’s music styles include Drum & Bass / JungleTek / Elektro / Spiral Tekno. He hails from the UK, having spent a lot of his music career in Bristol. He currently resides in Colombia where his committments to the European Sound System and Free Party Organisers http://nobordersound.org mean that he is one of the busiest Electronic Music DJs on that continent, playing all across the region from Colombia itself, to Venezuela, Brasil and Argentina. AudioSapien has a  lot of forthcoming productions to build on his successful production partnership with Dave Wired http://dirtboxcrew.net AudioSapien’s productions have now been added to Shuffle Radio http://shuffleradio.co.uk You can see more information on other Shuffle Artists at http://shuffleartistmanagement.com

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