Nicolas Jaar @ fabric

I have become far too accustomed to music with around 126 beats every minute.  And I have never gone into London on a midweek night and then had to go to work the next day (granted I took a half-day so only working 1pm-5pm).

So this was kind of unchartered territory but I like to get out of my musical comfort zones into something more challenging from time to time, and Nicolas Jaar really did catch my ear a year or more ago, with his track, Time For Us, buckets of emotion and more twists – far away from my usual preferences of Cocoon (who I am obsessed with, and I love it that way), Crosstown Rebels, Visionquest…and many many other labels that I don’t have at the top of my head…but house/minimal/techno stuff…you know what I mean.

I went with my good friend, Matt Powell, who is actually quite an accomplished DJ though will never shout about it and will probably take a baseball bat to my head for promoting him, but hey, I like to share what I believe is good music, good DJs, etc with anyone who is willing to listen.  And plays vinyl.  Crazy stuff.

According to another blogger, the advertised warm-up DJ of Gadi Mizrahi was not in attendance, I cannot confirm this as I did not pay attention to the DJ booth (fabric kind of takes my attention away from the DJ booth, I just cannot be bothered to look at the DJ even if it is Sven), and it was apparently Soul Clap to warm-up, and close.

I like their music, I love listening to it at home, and on journeys.  I don’t think I quite got into it as much as I thought I would, though I appreciate the pushing of boundaries by playing Madonna.  Indeed.  That isn’t to take it away from them, they did their jobs very well, as they were not the main act.  I would very much like to see them in control of room 3 perhaps, or maybe even in room 1 on a Saturday though I know that is pushing it – but it doesn’t have to be fabric, just somewhere with a good intimate feel to it.

Anyway, it was Nicolas Jaar’s night.

Though, before him was Valentin Stip.  I had never heard of him, or his music, and I soon found myself not wanting to be on the dancefloor, the emotion was too sad, too meloncholic for my liking – I go to nightclubs for fun.  If I want to be miserable, I can go to a Wetherspoons and pick up some 50-year old whore for the night.  It might have been good.  I don’t know, I don’t think I am in a place to judge.  I just really did not feel it, or maybe want to feel it – perhaps I should have given him longer, but there was such a good friendly crowd at fabric, that I was more interested in talking to people and meeting people.  How unusual.

Nicolas Jaar was good.  He didn’t blow me away.  But I only like a few of his productions, love a couple and the rest don’t tickle me.  I would see him again, though preferably at a concert venue, or maybe on a festival stage?  And I can definitely recommend seeing him, or listening to his music.  Especially the track I linked to in the second paragraph.

It was a very enjoyable night, I am very glad I went, and would do it again.

I didn’t get quite as much out of it musically as I had hoped for, but I conclude that I simply prefer music from Sven, Ricardo, Seth et al.  Which is no slight whatsoever on the artists and DJs of the night, just my preference.  But I will be seeing more of them.  Maybe I will be converted?  It took years to convert any of my friends to Cocoon!!

* I am going to write about what I am going to do in the next few weeks so if you are only interested in what I thought of my night out, you can stop reading now, though me being me I may drift into it as I do tend to waffle on and get quite off topic at times.

19th August, Innervisions present An Evening At The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari at The Roundhouse.  I have wanted to go to The Roundhouse for a few years now, I have been intrigued.  And I have a lot of time for Henrik Schwarz, Ame and Dixon.  I don’t really know what to expect at all.

I am also going to do the Saturday of SW4.  Sven is playing.  Why would I say no?  And I have never seen Underworld live.  I don’t care who else I see, I shall just enjoy whatever I find.  Well…except the trance tent.  I might go see Tiga, actually.  Not my cup of tea nowadays but I used to love what he did in the mid-2000’s prior to electro-house and I do like a musical challenge.

And I am quite glad that there are events in Reading that I actually want to go to.  Yes, I know there are many places to have a good fun night, and Reading is a good night out, but I am a music man and I am passionate about my music so want to hear good underground music.

The outside:inside festival in the centre of Reading is a pop-up festival, so it says.  I am intrigued, although initially put-off by the price of £15, however, I have good friends playing later on tomorrow (Saturday 30th) as Elsewhere, so I am feeling obliged to use some more of the overdraft I have paid off today.  I am not sure about the rest of the music, but I will have good friends around.  And it should be good.

And last but not least (except for your wallet as it is free!), is the Elsewhere party run by 3 very good friends in Reading.  At the laidback Afro Bar, with good house music all day long and a very friendly folk inside (I should know as about 95% of them are Facebook friends…oh and real friends/pretty people that I just like to stare at) – it is just a really good day.  This is Saturday 13th August.  Well worth a visit, even if only for an hour – but try staying for only an hour!

UK 2011 Q2 GDP Growth of 0.2% – And The Future Of The UK economy

I note that GDP growth for the second quarter of 2011 is only 0.2%.

Nobody should be worried about this.  As the below historic graph shows, quarterly GDP growth has always been very volatile.  Just look at the quarters of very low or no growth after the recession in the early 1980’s for an example.

There are many dangers out there to the UK economy in the short-term, mostly external such as potential oil price shocks, a US debt default, further problems in the Euro-zone and most likely a default by at least one of the very heavily indebted countries in the Euro.  Internally, not reducing and eliminating our structural deficit is the main one, and also not encouraging private-sector growth.

I am not going to get worried about a few quarters of GDP growth below expectations.  We have just emerged from the worst recession in decades, which should really have been worse but instead we “saved the banks” (or rewarded reckless behaviour depending on your point of view), “protected home-owners” (or rewarded reckless borrowing depending on your point of view) and “injected huge amounts of money into the system through quantitative easing” (or created inflation to reduce the debt, and yet again punish those who are innocent in creating the recession, depending on your point of view).

It is going to take many years, and perhaps a decade or two, to restore the country to long-term growth.  The boom-years of 2000 onwards were funding through borrowing – very little productive gains were made in the economy.

I thoroughly believe that by paying debt back, we will be in a stronger position.  Imaging that right now, you added the monetary value of everything up that you owned.  But you owe about 70% of that value in loans.  And this is increasing by about 10% a year.  At some point this becomes unsustainable, those who have lent you money will stop lending and demand it back, or higher interest rates.  When this happens, the debt repayments become unfeasible.  The Greece debt is 160% of it’s value.  The UK’s debt is heading that way.  Therefore the UK government is doing the right thing in trying to get to a position by 2015 where we are not adding any more to our debt.

Good economic times are over, and we have to get used to that.  But not forever.  In the 1970’s, the UK was known as the sick-man of Europe, in regards to the economy.  A couple of decades later, we had the 5th largest economy in the world.

For those that want to know a bit more about why I am so confident about our mid-term to long-term economic future (unless we let the fucking socialists back in again), there is an excellent 3-part documentary on the BBC iplayer called ‘Made In Britain’.  It explains the history of the economy, the present, and the likely future, including why the UK has many special factors which can make us stand out as a place to invest in, and why the future of the UK economy is bright.

Not only that, it is a good guide as to what those who want a good employment future should think about doing in the future, it should be an inspiration.  Perhaps the most important lesson for anyone to take out of it, is ‘don’t stand still’.

I fully recommend 3 hours of your life to watch this, if you are vaguely interested.  You might even be inspired to a greater future.

So What Have I Been Doing/Going To Do?

You may have noticed a lack of blogging recently – I tend to have these phases of 2-3 weeks where I reduce my productivity, and this was one of those – firstly I had a crazy party weekend, then a week of chilling, then last week going back to work I found quite difficult due to how relaxed I was and just didn’t really get around to blogging at my usual pace – or anything for that matter.  Not even partying.

Anyway, I am back with a vengeance now.

So what have I been doing?

The chances are that if you are reading this, you have a pretty good idea that I went to Cocoon In The Park, the weekend of 9th July so shall not repeat this.  Added to going out until 5am on Thursday night, all day drinking on Friday and then going straight to Cocoon In The Park, and only 3 hours sleep between that an all-day Sunday session – the beginning of last week was quite the write-off.

But this was ok as I took last week as holiday.

Sadly I way over-spent (approx £400-£500 that weekend – wtf???!) so last week became very much about relaxing and spending as little money as possible, which I did rather sucessfully.

Though I still managed to go out every day and do something, and didn’t quite manage the target of 3 days without an alcoholic drink – achieving a whole zero days without a drink.  Well – I was on holiday 🙂

Also had my sister down on the Saturday which was lovely, went to the free outside:inside thing at the Forbury Gardens.  And I spent plenty of time in the sunshine, topped up my pre-Ibiza tan.  On my arms anyway.

Last week I didn’t do too much, mainly just getting back into the swing of work, but the weekend just gone I had plenty of fun with a visit from my very good friend, Julie, whom I met at university back in 1998 and became very good friends with.  Also drinks with various trouble-makers like Rick, JP, etc on Saturday but I had to decline the opportunity of paying £15 to the outside:inside festival – I did want to go support Matt, Dan and Terry but £15 is quite a fair amount of money and most of the other acts were bands which just isn’t my thing.  And my financial situation does need a little improvement – so it was not justifyable.  £5 yes, £8 perhaps, – £15 up yours!  I can get into fabric for £10!  Or Cocoon Ibiza for…erm…€50 (plus flights, hotel and €20 drinks…ok maybe this logic doesn’t add up).

I will however make up for it and be there for roughly the whole 8 hours for their next event at the Afrobar in Reading on 13th August (Saturday).  It is a supremely enjoyable day event from 4pm until midnight, with excellent house music, very nice crowd and free to get in.  Thoroughly recommend it.

Sunday I cleaned the flat and caught up with washing and ironing as I have loads planned this week, and Monday night I slept for 13 hours – also because I have loads to do this week.

So, this week:

Tuesday; meeting another university friend (the second out of two that I managed to keep in touch with, not that I am too fussed, they are the two really really good ones).
Wednesday; hopefully playing badminton with JP (if anyone else ever fancies a game let me know – I am trying to get less unfit but I refuse ever to do anything dull as shit like the gym/running…sorry if you like it, I appreciate many people find minimal as dull as shit, so each to their own).
Thursday; Nicolas Jaar, Soul Clap and Gadi Mizrahi at fabric.  So looking forward to this – three of the most exciting relatively new artists/DJs to come out of America for a long time, bar Seth, for me.  fabric better get their air conditioning sorted out as apparently it was like an oven there this weekend.
Friday; Sorry but I do not remember.  I am sure I have booked something but I cannot figure out what.
Saturday; Maybe fabric.  Ricardo is playing but I only saw him a couple of weeks back so I am not overly desperate to go.  But if anyone else I know wants to go then I am there like a shot!

Busy week 🙂

Oh, did I mention I have booked flights to Ibiza?!

European Solidarity

Many issues in Europe at the moment, such as the tragedy in Norway, seem to come down to some individuals not being accepting towards people who are not of the same race, culture, sexuality, etc as them.

From my reasonable but certainly far from exceptional understanding of European history, events over the previous decade in Europe, in various countries, such as those back in Holland around 2004 which I cannot remember off the top of my head (please can someone remind me so I can reference it) going back to and the rise of such far-right parties and beliefs like we have in England, with the EDL, have so many similarities with the build-up to World War 1 and World War 2.

Two things need to happen.

Firstly, there needs to be a complete and thorough talk about what the European Union should be for.  Every member of the European Union should be consulted.  We like each other, we are similar to each other, but if we are not careful we will end up at war with each other (check your history if you don’t believe me).

Secondly, there needs to be less unnecessary hatred of people for such ridiculous things as the colour of their skin, their sexuality, their religion, their music tastes, etc etc.

If someone is evil, then fair enough, hate them, but don’t hate everyone else in the culture that they represent.

Anyway, that is me over, I do not want to end up fighting in some stupid war.  I want to be partying, just like our predecessors did in the 1930’s…before the war.  Sort it out human beings.

RIP Amy Whinehouse

It is indeed a very sad story.

I have no interest in her music, I am led to believe it is very good but it doesn’t tickle my tastes.

However, there is a greater story here of a human being.

And I do hope that anyone who has appreciated her music, appreciates that you have to look after those around you – and they will in return.

It is very easy to turn to substances to help you perform, they might be a hell of a lot of fun in the right place and time, but they are not necessary and can be rather destructive if misused.

I might sound like a hypocrite writing this after several pints but those who know me will know otherwise.

Anyway, my point is, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you have a problem, we are all human, and don’t be afraid to ask anyone that you think might need a hug, for a hug.  And spare some time for one another.

All can be good.

The Most Important Website Of The Day (And The Next 4 Days?)

No, not my blog, before you think I have really gone way over the top with the whole ego thing (yes I do control the weather before you ask but that isn’t enough to have the most important website in the world).



England vs India.

If we win the series by two clear tests, then England will become the best test cricket team in the world.

India are currently ranked the best.

I cannot see it happening.  It is a huge challenge.  India are fantastic at cricket but England are as good now as I have ever known them to be in my lifetime.

Sadly I do not want to subscribe to Sky Sports to help pay Jimmy Bullard’s wages so he can go to London nightclubs at then get a taxi to the training ground (in Hull, before you ask), disrespectful little shit, assuming rumours are true (suspended for two weeks from Hull City), so hence this website will be very useful.

If you don’t like cricket then – I do not understand why this would be the case, it does not make sense.

I wish I could spare more time for watching cricket – alas I have other priorities.

Anyway, I am busy, which is why it took until 230pm to write this post quickly, lots of work to do.

Video Diary of Cocoon In The Park by…people on Youtube

These are the best videos kindly uploaded by other Cocoon In The Park folks to Youtube.

It is a pretty reasonable description of my best day of 2011 which has put me on such a high all week.

I hope you enjoy.

I will also compile a list of the tunes played at some point.

The ones with stars are my particular favourite moments if you only have time for a few.

Oh if you want to watch them all continuously, they are on my Youtube channel – this link should work – let me know if it doesn’t as this is the first time I have tried this out.

Seth Troxler
A bit more Seth

***Reboot – Caminando. An amazing moment, skip to 1 minute in if you are in a rush
This is the same Reboot moment but another angle I still get tingles down my spine that the whole crowd did this!

*Ricardo playing MDMA not the best sound quality
Ricardo playing ? and a good video of the dancers
**Ricardo playing Planet Rock
**Ricardo feels love 🙂
*Ricardo playing Cassius – Sounds Of Violence (Franco Cinelli remix) …and the whole crowd were singing…not sure if keeping this
Sven’s Housier Start
Sven playing Caribou – Sun yes I know it is upside down.
Sven playing Benoit & Sergio, and a great view
**Sven – Hungry For The Power
Sven’s intentions
Destructive Sven
***Sven Talking (including how to pronounce his name!)
***Sven’s One More Tune

And the after party in Leeds (I wasn’t at this party).

Holiday Plans

In case you haven’t worked it out already, I am on holiday this week.

I intend to use my time wisely.  I’ve had my 4 days of partying (and I so want to go back to Cocoon In The Park right now…getting a bit emotional, sob!) and now I have a to-do list:

1. Recover from the weekend!  Half achieved.
2. Replace my kitchen light – requires walking to Homebase though, grrr.
3. Start looking for somewhere new to live.  And ideally someone to share with.  I’m in no rush but I just want to free up some of the large amount of cash I spend on rent and bills to do more partying.
4. Download the 500 tunes on my to-download list, listen to them, and the other 400 I still need to listen to.  Perhaps a bit ambitious this one to do in full.
5. Try and resolve my last remaining issues with Traktor and practise how to mix using it, and if I get vaguely acceptable then maybe do a mix that has been in my mind.  Yes, my first ever mix.
6. Sunbathe.  This might have to wait until Thursday.
7. Two weather forecasts.
8. Clean my flat.  Sober.  Joy.
9. Maybe do some art but only if I get time.  I haven’t actually done any since New Year.  I still have some Absinthe.
10. Defrost freezer so I will be able to fit both some yorkshire puddings and curly fries in it.
11. Clear out some of the junk that I keep collecting.
12. Do Thursday evening’s washing up.  Or was that Wednesday’s?  Any potential flat-mates reading, I am not like that when I share!
13. Someone I know wanted some CDs of my favourite DJ so I shall sit down and sort that out.
14. Maybe a game of badminton.  Was supposed to go on Monday but I was, quite predictably, dying.
15. Read the DJ Mag’s and Mixmag’s from 2010 that I still haven’t read.  Oops.
16. Have a pie from Sweeney Todd’s.  Probably the easiest item on my list.
17. Get a copy of The Weather Man on DVD as JP keeps going on at me to watch it!
18. Play Cityville.  Slight obsession.
19. Write to the owners of the best nightclubs in the UK (if I can find their e-mail addresses) and suggest that they open a franchise in Reading.  Our underground scene needs it.
20. Thank the producers of my favourite wine, JP Chenet, for the free gifts.  There is a story behind it and there will be a blog post.

I will report on my achievements.  75% success rate will be good.

Oh, did I mention that I have booked Ibiza flights for 10th September?  Yippee!

And did I mention that I really want to be back at Cocoon In The Park right now?  I’m a bit delicate, look after me if you see me, ta, and enjoy your week x