The Power of a Decent Remix

This track just totally floored me. It’s a remix of In for the Kill by La Roux which has been done over by dubstep star Skream.

It’s just huge. When it kicks in just after the 4 minute mark it’d be better with a donk on it, obviously ;-) but apart from that it’s a masterful remix. It takes a nice, but unremarkable, original and turns it into something epic.

I would have embedded the original, but Universal have diasabled embedding so I can’t. If you want to make the effort you can go to YouTube and hear the original.

Donk Donk Donk Donk Donk

I’ve just been on a very strange voyage. A voyage into Donk.

I’m going to rewind and retrace my steps so that you can join me. Come with me. Come to the Donkside. Take a trip to the heart of Donkness…

Here’s where the rabbit hole opened up. A simple P.S. at the bottom of an email from Little Boots…

Google Mail - Hi from last day of album recording

I click the link. It takes me here. To this video.

I was convinced that it was a spoof. As if there’d be a genre called Donk. Everything is wrong about the video. The knowing subtitles over subtle Northern Accents. The presenter’s slight grin when he’s chatting to folk. The funnily named shops. Everything. There’s no way I’m falling for a prank like that. It reminds me heavily of the episode of Brass Eye where they whang on about Cake (the made up drug). And all the characters and the interviews look like they could be setups or clever edits.

So the I popped out and went round to Curtis’ house and showed it to him. And he (and his son Max) both went “oh yeah, Put a Donk on it”. So much for the fake thing then. And once again I’m behind the curve.

Here are the real Blackout Crew with their real hit Put A Donk On It. With a real 4 million views on YouTube. Holy crap!

Oh yeah, the YouTube page features a link to go and buy the real MP3 from the real iTunes store. Put a Donk on that. Seriously.

So at this point it becomes clear that Donk is no joke. And the donkumentary (sorry) is also no joke. So I watch part 2, and part 3 and part 4 and part 5. Back to back. Mouth agape. Unable to pick my jaw up off the trackpad. It’s fucking incredible. So many amazing moments. So many brilliant lines. So many stunning characters. The films do have a touch of that Vice maggy sneeriness (to be honest, you’d really struggle not to given some of the situations). Having said that it’s a bloody amazing bit of documentary footage and well worth the 20 minutes or so it’d take to watch the whole lot.

It’s an amazing tour of an incredible, almost unbelievable scene that’s rooted in a chunk of the North of England. Although there’s undoubtedly Donk mutations elsewhere. To be honest it’s pretty close to a lot of the hard-dance scene in a lot of ways – fashion, sound, people, drugs. Trakky-wearing gurners with glo-sticks have always existed at ‘that’ end of dance music. But you can’t ignore Donk – it’s just got such an awesome name.

Interesting dress code mutations too…

Picture 18

There’s a full article about it in Vice Land. Which, if you can’t be bothered to watch the videos (shame on you) is a decent summary of what goes on in the video series. But nothing can quite deliver the faces of Donk quite like seeing them moving and gurning – with blue WKD stained tongues :-p

MUSIC WORLD - DONK - Part 5 of 5 - VBS.TV

What smacked me between the eyes is really how naive I am to things that go on outside London and Brighton. Sure I’ve been to ‘hard dance’ things and danced amongst the day-glo-mong-puppets in my time. And tried in vain to keep up with music that’s twice as fast as my heart. But it’s always been a passing toe-in-the-water at a festival or something like that. I’ve never been and lived the Donk.

I sit in endless meetings where people pretend to understand ‘the young people’. But they only really view it through a really tiny window. A window where the view extends just outside the central line. So the best you’ll get is someone who’s really bloody ‘on it’ because they went to a Dubstep night, once, for 10 minutes, until they felt a bit sick. Or someone will drop Dizzee Rascal, yet again, into a presentation, because it’s a shorthand for urban and street (but not too urban and street).

One day I want to see Donk in a segmentation. Please let it happen. Please. Fuck it. I might even take my next Keynote presentation and ‘Put Some Donk on it’.

Want to hear a bit more Donk?

Here’s what happens when you Put Some Donk on the Ting Tings.

And don’t worry all you London-based marketing agencies – Dizzee’s been Donked too. Imagine that – it’s a north-south Donk mash-up. Stick that in your presso and feel the client Kudos.

This is where my Donk journey ended for today. If you want to carry on there’s plenty of Donk out there, just get searching.

So after all that it’d be easy, and kinda logical, to do what Vice did and conclude:

After a week in the northwest immersed in donk culture, it was impossible to deny that it’s the bottom-feeder of the already bottomed-out dance-music food chain. It’s parochial, drug-centred, racist, sexist and violent, and that’s what makes it so, well, special. For all its flaws, donk perfectly mirrors the generation of kids and the society that created it: totally and hopelessly fucked, in every sense of the word.

But there’s something else in there too. Sure it’s built around escapism and getting fucked out of your mind on pills and cheap booze. And it’s pretty much the soundtrack to getting the living pulp kicked out of you. But at least they’re making something that’s theirs. Doing something together. Sharing in a scene that they own. Something they love.

Oh crap. I can feel it coming on. A silent-flash-Donk-rave at Doncaster Station. Life is for sharing after all.

February Mix Now Live

This latest mix was recorded when it was so cold in the loft that my fingers were numb. Hopefully it hasn’t led to it being a crock of crap.

Actually I’m pretty chuffed with how it turned out. It’s quite chugging and if I had to pick another word, perhaps brooding. Deep and dark brain music…


  1. You Don’t Answer (When I Call) – Mr. White
  2. Bergwein – Efdemin
  3. Five Boroughs – Stefan Goldmann
  4. Moment – Damian Lazarus
  5. Appently So – Audiofly X
  6. Early Morning – Skatebard
  7. Aranda (Lawrence Mix) – Egoexpress
  8. Pink Flamingos – My My
  9. Colors – Gui Boratto
  10. Hold On – Holy Ghost!
  11. Sunrise – Yeasayer
  12. Sapphire – Zombi

You can download it through iTunes here. Woo!

If you like any of the tracks most of them can be purchased through Beatport or Boomkat. Both excellent vendors of electronic (and other) music.

The Manilow Punishment

Brilliant crime-fitting-punishment story in the LA Times…

So when teenagers land in front of him for blasting their car stereos or otherwise disturbing the peace in this small northern Colorado city, Sacco informs them that they will spend a Friday evening in his courtroom listening to music — of his choosing.

So what kind of thing do they get subjected to:

Young people in Fort Lupton know that if they’re caught, they’re in for a night that could begin with the “Barney” theme song, move on to an opera selection and end with Boy George’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.”


And does it work? Read the article to see some of the results. But it seems to be summed up in this quote from one young offender:

“If you see a cop car, turn your volume down,” said Gehrig, a convenience store clerk.

It’s not changed their behaviour fundamentally. But it works as a kind of deterrent. All they need to do is automate the whole thing: if you get busted (by the robot ears around town) your stereo automatically gets taken over for 24 hours by

Much better (and more fun) than ASBOs for sure.

How to ‘Do The Internet’ with Little Boots and Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap - Tour Shenanigans (part 1)

There’s lots that us try-hard webby / advertising folk can learn from these young ladies about how to ‘do’ social networks and audience engagement.

I hate myself for even writing about this stuff in ‘those’ terms. The words ‘audience engagement’ give me a strange bile-y sensation in the back of my throat. In both of these cases I’d chow down on a family bucket of Kentucky Fried Hat if someone had set out with a cyncial objective of how to engage audiences. What makes this stuff good is that you can tell this is what they enjoy doing. It’s what they love. You get the sense they’d be doing it whether they were flogging 10 records or 10 million records.

And that’s the stuff you can’t fake. Well not without expensive directors and decent actors and catering trucks and heavy editing.

Both of them have amazing videos on YouTube. They both feel totally natural. They don’t give a hoot that their clips aren’t 100% perfect. And they feel like we’ve been given a real window into their musical world. Their videos have got music and talent at the core, but the edges are the bits that give you personality, quirkiness and ultimately likability.

I’ll start with Little Boots, because she’s got a Tenori-On and can play it better than anyone else I’ve ever seen, check this Hot Chip cover, make sure you wait for the vocals to start.

It feels so accessible (like she’s used the same kind of camera, computer and mic that lots of us have) yet the talent and quality shine through.

She takes suggestions for her Funtime cover versions via MySpace (or YouTube). And manages to go far and wide with what she delivers. Including her take on Happy Hardcore anthem ‘Heart of Gold’

I’m also a big fan of the fact that she uses the supporting YouTube text really well. So many people hardly even bother. And it makes a difference. It properly helps to cement the whole story and rams it home that this isn’t a YouTube channel that’s being looked after by a label-monkey. For example:

this is a song i’d long forgotten about till recently… i’ve been getting back to my blackpool roots a bit lately, spent much of my teen years listening to bonkers compilations 1 through 5 so here is a classic… heart of gold… such a sad song when you think about it!!! i’m not sure how well know it is to the rest of the world but anyways…. sorry the tenorion isn’t loud enough but didn’t wanna wake my housemates up! my fav bit is where it rhymes ‘just’ with ‘justify’ in the same line. genius.

Admitting listening to the Bonkers Compilations is about as ‘real’ as you can get ;-)

There’s some more text that expertly disses a twatty comment on the same clip. It’s a wee bit rude so I’ve not copied it here.

And she’s got a website with a blog and a Facebook page which includes a seemingly exclusive Facebook exclusive – a Tenori-On version of Stuck on Repeat which is an amazing track (the Fake Blood mix is especially good music fans). EDIT: And I just spotted it’s also the FREE single of the week on the UK iTunes Store.

And furthermore if you sign up for her mailing list you can get a rather smashing free mixtape. It’s like Christmas all over again!

Enough Little Boots hype. On to Imogen Heap. Her vBlog as she calls it, is totally different. She rambles on and on and on and comes across as totally loopy most of the time. But through all the insanity you can’t help but smell brilliance and a sincere passion for the music and what she does.

I’ve got a feeling she’s the kind of person who might annoy some people with her slightly dithery-middle-class-niceness. But I find it quite charming, in 10 minute chunks at least.

What I especially like about is that she’s been leaking out bits and bobs of her new album. But it’s literally playing fragments of songs as they’re in development (when you get to about 3 mins in you’ll see what I mean), so there’s no way that pirates can rip it off, but it gets the work out there in a really nice way. And from looking at all the comments you can see how much anticipation the clips are managing to build.

And she gives Etsy a mention too, which is nice.

And there’s a website, a Facebook, a MySpace. And they all do their individual jobs well.

So what are the things we should learn from them:

  • Keep it real – be yourself. There is no template for this stuff so don’t try and create the thing that you’re ‘supposed to do’ on YouTube.
  • Get the audience involved in what you’re doing
  • Imperfection is OK (actually much better than OK, it’s good, it’s human, it’s real)
  • Use all the tools out there – and use them with each other, use them for things they’re good at
  • Post regularly
  • Give away free stuff when you ask people to sign up for something

All things we’ve all heard before. But nice to see a couple of decent ‘case studies’ out there. Yuk. There goes the bile-y taste again. They’re not bloody case studies, they’re people doing awesome stuff. Well done ladies. Sorry for tainting your good names with marketing gobshite.

More Church and Bass

YouTube - Holy Ghost VS Twisted Individual & MC GQ - @ Baptazia - part 1

It’s like a funny sledgehammer. Crude but brutally effective. I love the fact they’ve started using annotations to add another layer of humour too.

And another…

It can’t be long before someone does one of these as a proper promo video…

And Baptazia is a genius name for a religio-rave.

Thanks to Garry at Anorak for this new tip off. Nice one.

I Haven’t Got Anything Interesting To Say Today

I’m almost ready to write something marginally profound. But my brain’s a little too tired to pull it off, so I thought some of you might like this instead:

I was going to say how it reminded me of Zip-a-dee-doo-dah but without the Acid House connotations, then I found this clip on YouTube and realised that the Nathan Fake video is way less fucked up…

Credit Crunch Minimix


To try and lift everyone’s spirits I’ve put together a little (30min) mix of uplifting feel-good tracks to see if I can raise the mood of the internet. It’s a mix of styles from soul / mashups / hiphop / drum and bass / other so there’s something to suit some people in there.

Tracklist and download link at or via the iTunes podcast.

I Have A Podcast – Plus A New Mix


My (ir)regular mixes are now available as a podcast through iTunes. Hooray.

And as an incentive to go and visit there’s a brand new mix up there today.


  1. Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap
  2. Roter Platz (Original Mix) – Burger, Voigt
  3. (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (Superpitcher Kompakt Remix) – Dntel
  4. Cruise Control – Martin Buttrich
  5. Headphone Silence (Henrik Schwarz Remix / DF Noizy Edit) – Ane Brun
  6. Rock Saga – The Rice Twins
  7. Come Into My Life – Jurgen Paape Feat Alison Degbe
  8. The Feeling – Toby Tobias
  9. New Day – Kate Havnevik
  10. On My Own – Ulrich Schnauss
  11. The Sky Was Pink (Holden Mix) – Nathan Fake
  12. Man With The Red Face – Mark Knight, Funkagenda
  13. Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan Pearson Remix) – Cortney Tidwell
  14. Killing for Love (Beatfanatic Remix) – José Gonzalez


I Had To Have This Album


Because the idea of Galaxy Toobin’ is well good the Galaxy Toobin’ Gang’s album jumped out of the Boomkat newsletter at me.

Then I read the description:

“The cold and beautiful synths of Galaxy Toobin’ Gang are transmitted through the same feeric wave-spaces as those of Laurie Spiegel, Terry Riley or Tangerine Dream and convey perfectly the sensation of simultaneous wonder and alienation that the members of the Peabody expedition must have felt when flying between the abnormally regular shapes of a monstrous mountain range hidden deep into the heart of a eternal screaming whiteness. Galaxy Toobin’ Gang’s debut album is a truly timeless sounding piece of work created by Elliot Lip and Speculator.”

Then I bought it.

Then I listened to it.

And it was awesome.

If you’d like to buy it too – or sample some of the tracks – Head to Boomkat.