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Review: Altered State – The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House – by Matthew Collin

altered state

I’ve already read a Matthew Collin book – This is Serbia Calling – so I was chuffed when I stumbled upon this work, a history of UK dance music culture. As a DJ and Promoter for 24 years I’m quite aware of a lot of the history of dance music in the UK. This book, however, filled in many of the gaps, and was a thoroughly entertaining and enlightening read. The well known story of how acid house culture came to the UK via Ibiza’s Summer of Love where Nicky Holloway, Danny Rampling, Paul Oakenfold and Trevor Fung experienced the delight’s of Alfredo weaving magic on the White Isle and brought back their ideas to the London clubscene, is a familiar tale, often recited religiously in club culture publications like Mixmag. The author gives a comprehensive account of the beginnings and it was great to hear the true story and what bliss these guys must have experienced. Shoom, Spectrum and the Milk Bar launched successfully and the early adopters were soon welcoming new ‘Acid Teds’ and a hippy revival based on lush house electronica began to hit the mainstream. The book looks at London and Manchester in detail as well as exploring some of the less likelier destinations of UK club culture like Blackburn and later the countryside free party and rave movement. The study of the fracture of dance music into its various sub-genres and the movement of people that followed each branch provides much analysis and we see Warehouse parties, techno anarchists, drum and bass division and later the emergence of new genres like speed garage, grime and dubstep. The book focuses a lot on the role of narcotics in this new ascendant youth culture. The critical importance of ecstasy (MDMA) to the whole movement which eventually led to a massive increase and normalisation of drug culture across the country, with polydrug use becoming popular and clubbers and ravers exploring acid (LSD), cocaine, heroin, ketamine, amphetamines and the various different types of cannabis. It’s amazing how much anti dance music propaganda was spread by the media. Governments were scared and there was a great deal of legislation set up to counter the whole movement. Enlightened masses were a danger to the establishment and the whole culture was seen as an alternative political situation. The long-running battles between promoters, DJs and the UK Police was interesting and it was…

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Anaesthetic

anaesthetist

I’m going to re-kick off one of my favourite parts of End Of Terror, as its reincarnation surfaces; the #EoTVib – with one of my own productions that I made in a post Christmas holiday post-mental hospital haze… Here is Wez G – Anaesthetic The lazy techno beats reminded me of proper doctors in proper operating theatres who do real medical work (unlike charlatan psychiatrists). There’s like an electronic pulsing of an anaesthetized patient, undergoing a medical operation… The samples and vox are weird as are the fx and music overall… I think it’s an original piece of music and although I’ve categorised it as techno it is more experimental and I think a piece of sound art…. Either you’ll like it or hate it…. Either way I hope you feel / don’t feel it…. Anaesthetic – it does / doesn’t wear off… 🙂 More Wez G: http://djwezg.com

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Reelhouse Records

reelhouse

I’ve been in discussions the past 48 hours with CN Williams, head of Swansea-based electronic music label, Reelhouse Records. Clifford has kindly agreed to sign several forthcoming Wez G releases… I had a busy week last week, with several tracks having the finishing touches applied to them in the mastering studio. It is pleasing to be able to announce that the debut EP of my Megman vs Wez G project is all ready to go. Boom Beat Zoo EP will demonstrate the exciting fusion of live guitars with electronica. Megman Merrett, a talented Caldicot musician with much experience, has been hammering out hits in the studio with me for a couple of years now… Boom Beat Zoo EP, so called because of the animal association with most of its tracks, is an exciting debut EP, which will hopefully start to generate us a fanbase and assist us in funding further Megman vs Wez G EPs and hopefully a studio album…. The aim is, that once we have finally discovered our true sound, that we take this unique project to live audiences. Boom Beat Zoo offers a glimpse of the sound we are establishing. It covers a wide variety of genres, appealing to electronic aficionados as well as those who prefer acoustic music. Some of it is Cafe Del Mar-esque chillout, others more dancefloor friendly bangers and the epic Kicking Squirrels reminds me, as the producer, very much of the sound of legendary Rock n Roll band, the Doors. I’ve been hard at Ableton to give the project its necessary instrumental oomph and it’s been a steep learning curve… We have about 40-50 unfinished jams ready to progress and we are hoping that the public get behind the release and spend a few pennies on helping to finance the continuation of Megman vs Wez G. Reelhouse Records have taken the plunge and signed the debut EP and we look forward to striking up a successful business relationship with perhaps Wales’ finest independent dance music label. When you look through the Reelhouse back catalogue it is a bit daunting to see such luminary figures releasing tunes there, as Byron Stingly and Lenny Fontana, to name but a few… We hope that our sounds are fully appreciated by the Reelhouse market.   The second new track to be released on Reelhouse Records is a Wez G original: Shine Melody is a funky touch-edged disco…

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Head Alchemy

Head Alchemy

I felt like a bit of a change, a bit of an up-tempo feel to the mix to warm those toes in the murky winter weather… I’d recently put together a nice acid house feeling dub for a Brazilian vocalist to work on and wanted to fit it into the mix… It is Hacienda style Acid House… This mix flows from Acid House to techno and back down to Acid… I wanted to bang it up to full-on Adam Beyer style techno and add in some Goa Trance but unfortunately couldn’t get the tempo geared up that high in 80 minutes… Some nice Laurent Garnier tracks thrown in and he has been a big influence on me as a DJ – I’ve never seen anyone at all demonstrate crowd control on a dancefloor like he does… He’s like an operatic conductor and his versatility and range of music in his sets is astonishing… I started off in the scene listening to a lot of techno and playing it so I guess this mix is taking me back full circle… :::TRACKLISTING::: 1. Wez G – Brasil Acid (Dub) [White] 2. Joey Beltram – Energy Flash (Original Mix) [Transmat] 3. Irregular Synth, Andrea Frisina – Dub City (Lutzenkirchen Remix) [Gate Null Recordings] 4. The Japanese Popstars – Heavy Hitter (Sharooz Remix) [Bedrock Records] 5. Paul Ritch – Run Baby Run (Original Mix) [Drumcode] 6. Gabriel D’Or, Bordoy – Kepler 69 (Original Mix) [MKT rec] 7. Soulik – Enjoy This Trip (Original Mix) [Audio Elite] 8. Möd3rn – Mö 3 (Original Mix) [Mod3rn] 9. Scan X – Midnight (Laurent Garnier Edit) [WTF! Music] 10. 04LM – Tragicaller (Original Mix) [Soma Records] 11. Gayle San – The Porter (Original Mix) [H-Productions] 12. Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Grillen im Park (Dreher & Sm.art Remix) [DJ Series] 13. Mark Henning – Blackout (Original Mix) [Soma Records] 14. Syco – Danaka [Oxygen Music Works] 15. Laurent Garnier – Jacques In The Box (Chicago Bordelo Remix) [Ed Banger Records / Because Music] 16. Dax J – Spotlights (Original Mix) [Unknown Territory] Wez G – Head Alchemy by Wez G on Mixcloud

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Circles

Back in my (younger) clubbing days I can remember watching a drug awareness video. They put a load of rats in a box, gave some of them speed which caused them to run around crazily hyperactive. The ones they gave ecstasy also sped up, but ran around the box edges in nice neat continuous circles. The E’d up Rats were following one of the most basic of symmetrical desires. This mix has a nice circular flow to the beats. I’m not equating my audience with rodents, far from it. Enjoy the full force of dance music as its supposed to feel, just remember not to touch any cheese or you might get electroshocked! :::TRACKLISTING::: 1. Dominik Eulberg – Der Tanz Der Gluehwuermchen (Kollektiv Turmstrasse “Dirt Glow” Remix) [Traum] 2. Pional – Where Eagles Dare (Original Mix) [Permanent Vacation] 3. 6th Borough Project – Changin’ (Original Mix) [Delusions Of Grandeur] 4. Bas Amro – Ten (Original Mix) [Freerange Records] 5. Metronomy – Everything Goes My Way (Ewan Pearson Remix) [Because Music] 6. Maya Jane Coles – Little One (Original Mix) [2020Vision] 7. Robag Wruhme – Donnerkuppel (Original Mix) [Kompakt] 8. Timid Boy – The Jazz Club (Simon Beeston Remix) [Microzoo] 9. Tiefschwarz – Dominate My Sensations feat. Mama (Feos & Leicher Remix) [Souvenir Music] 10. 9west – Chasing Demons (Original Mix) [Dessous Recordings] 11. Kolsch – Opa (Original Mix) [Kompakt] 12. Paolo Mojo – Wasted Youth (Original Mix) [Deeperfect Records] 13. Ray Kajioka – Spark (Original Mix) [Kanzleramt] 14. Tale Of Us – Dark Song (Original Mix) [Visionquest] 15. Fergie – The Edge (Ian O’Donovan Remix) [Excentric Muzik] 16. Luke Abbott – Brazil (Slow Version) [Border Community] Wez G – Circles by Wezg on Mixcloud

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Ghost In The Bed

Mixing this haunted house made me think of a ghost under the covers with me. Twisted tech with minimal vocals, the mix builds to a crescendo with an old reworked classic, Jaydee – Plastic Dreams, which was one of my Shuffle DJ partner (Damo)’s signature tunes back in the day when we rocked the best of the country’s dancefloors from the tip to the toe of the Uk. :::TRACKLISTING::: 1. Dual Shaman – Ocean Breeze (TJ Kong & Nuno Dos Santos Remix) [Wolfskuil] 2. Maceo Plex – Under The Sheets (Original Mix) [No.19 Music] 3. Audiojackerz – I Dont Know U (Original Mix) [Kushtee Deep] 4. Zoo Brazil – Slob (Nick Curly Remix) [SCI + TEC Digital Audio] 5. Deetron – Starblazer (Original Mix) [Rejected] 6. Tim Green – Lemon (Original mix) [Cocoon Recordings] 7. Olivier Giacomotto – Feed The Beats (Original Mix) [Definitive Recordings] 8. Aril Brikha – Palma (Original Mix) [Art Of Vengeance] 9. Fabian Argomedo – Fire (Original Mix) [Snatch! Records] 10. Audiomatiques – Talcum Powder (Original Mix) [MKT Records] 11. Wise D & Kobe – Horns (Original Mix) [South American Grooves] 12. Jaydee – Plastic Dreams (Koen Groeneveld Remix) [Spinnin’ Records] 13. Keith Carnal – Make You Mine (Original Mix) [Hotfingers] 14. Stephen Advance & Daniel Orcam – Demon From The Dark (Original Mix) [Drugstore Records] Wez G – Ghost In The Bed by Wezg on Mixcloud

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