Andrew Weatherall, Primal Scream producer, acid house legend, RIP

Legendary musical force Andrew Weatherhall -- who produced Primal Scream's seminal album Screamadelica, famously remixed the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Meat Beat Manifesto, and as a DJ helped turn the world on to acid house -- has died. He was 56 and suffered a pulmonary embolism. From The Guardian:

Following a young adulthood in the post-punk scene, Weatherall became a key figure in countercultural – and occasionally mainstream – British music after becoming one of the key DJs in the acid house movement of the late 1980s. He was recruited by Danny Rampling to play at London nightclub Shoom, and soon founded the record label Boy’s Own Recordings and the production outfit Bocca Juniors.

Further musical projects included the group the Sabres of Paradise, which splintered into the duo Two Lone Swordsmen with Keith Tenniswood, though perhaps his most famous musical work was with Primal Scream on their breakthrough 1991 album Screamadelica. By taking the band’s anthemic songwriting and adding samples, loops and the euphoric energy of Ibiza, Weatherall’s production made the album one of the most celebrated of the 1990s....

He spoke of the eternal appeal of DJing in a 2016 Guardian interview: “It’s quite vampyric, DJing. You’re never going to have that feeling of hearing that record for the first time again, but if you look into the eyes of someone who’s hearing it for the first time, it’s a nice vicarious feeling. But it’s not selfish. I think I’ve never lost that thing I had when I was 12 years old and inviting my mates round to my house.

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Marvelous mix of chill-out, ambient, and experimental sounds from DF Tram

My old friend and favorite DJ, DF Tram, pulls threads from from far-out jazz, psych, experimental ambient, spoken word, downtempo EDM, and avant-garde classical to create transgenre ambient mixes. A crate digger of the highest order, he has turned me on to countless artists, tracks, and albums that I'd never hear anywhere else. A collaborator with Alex Patterson, Mixmaster Morris, and Youth, DF Tram has toured with The Orb and performed at the most prestigious electronic music festivals in the world including The Big Chill, Glastonbury, and OZORA. Above is his live set from the 2019 OZORA Festival. Lose yourself.

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How pioneering DJ Grandmaster Flash hacked together his first mixer

As a teenager in the 1970s, hip hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash hacked together his own DJ mixer in his bedroom. At the time, he was attending a vocational high school in the Bronx where he had developed some electronics repair chops. Flash needed his Sony microphone mixer to have a cueing feature enabling him to preview his mix through headphones before sending the audio to the speakers for everyone to hear. So he hit Radio Shack for the parts to make his own musical tool, and history.

For more on the development of DJ mixers, see this classic Cuepoint feature.

(via Kottke)

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Newly digitized mixtapes from 80s and 90s club DJs

What is a preservationist to do when someone drops off a plastic grocery bag full of 30-year-old cassettes created by some of San Francisco's most influential DJs? Digitize them, of course. Read the rest