Category Archives: Pioneers

Balearic Mix #45 The Original Balearic Classics 

Barefoot In The Head

A few pics from the early years of Ibiza that capture the original Balearic spirt:


ibiza 5

I have put together a selection of some of the original Café Del Mar / Balearic classics as played in the early wide eyed days of sound-tracked sunsets on the white isle. Balearic pop, tropical shufflers and more. Before the advent of Café Del Mar rip-off comps and identikit chill out music, these tracks set the tone for what was to follow.


Track list:

  1. Art Of Noise – Moments In Love
  2. Antenna – Camino Del Sol
  3. Donna Summer – State Of Independence
  4. Linda Di Franco – TV Scene
  5. Flash & The Pan – Walking In The Rain
  6. Carly Simon – Why
  7. Penguin Café Orchestra – Music For A Found Harmonium
  8. Sueno Latino – Sueno Latino (The Latin Dream)
  9. Tullio de Piscopo – Stop Bajon…Primavera
  10. Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots
  11. A Man Called Adam – Barefoot In The Head (Remix)

ibiza 4

ibiza 3

The mix:

This Is Radio Saint Etienne 

Saint Etienne are far and away one of my favourite bands. Ever since picking up a copy of Fox Base Alpha in the early 90’s I’ve had a soft spot for their blend of pop, Indie, Balearic and post acid house music. Fox Base Alpha is surely one of the defining albums of the post second summer of love era, it’s blend of come-down atmospherics, positivity, pop and nostalgic references was a perfect counter point to the heavier though similarly influenced Screamadelica.

Fox Base Alpha (1991)

So Tough (1993)

Saint Etienne followed up FBA with anyone slice of beautifully measured nostalgia, deep house inspired grooves, and pop, all held together with carefully selected samples. Taking spoken word from the likes of Peeping Tom and Billy Liar ‘So Tough’ played out like a perfect Sunday afternoon. Memories of  music from the night before, washed over with afternoon matinee film references all kicked off with a call for a cup of tea and a bun.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart (1991)

Nothing Can Stop Us Now / Speedwell  (1991)

With their latest ‘Home Counties’ album due next month in June; it seems a good time to share this mix I put together a while back. By no means intended as a best of, these are just a few of my favourite tracks by Saint Etienne. These are pretty much all from the period covered by their first three albums.

Early days image

More info…

Please check out the band’s website for details of the new album, merchandise and tour information.

Home Counties (2017)

The mix:


Whilst looking forward to their new work, for me this is the era of classic Saint Etienne.

A Tribute to David Axelrod by Andy Hickford | Mixcloud

By way of recognition of the passing of David Axelrod I put together this mix. Taking a selection of tracks from some of my favourite albums of his, plus throwing in a scattering of productions I hope that this gives a flavour of his peerless musicianship.

Axelrod work came to be widely used as sample material,  sound tracking computer games and as music to be covered.  Jurassic 5, Dr Dre, Beatnuts and more sampled his work, which was arguably ahead of its time in its recording methods and it’s complexity.

An inspiration to many, from Shadow to Madlib and beyond, David Axelrod may have left us, but his music will love on. 

RIP David 1931- 2017

Track list: 
1. Holy Thursday (Songs Of Innocence)
2. My Family (Heavy Axe)
3. Cannonball Adderley Quintet & Orchestra – Tensity 
4. Jimmy T (David Axelrod)
5. David McCallum – The Edge
6. The Human Abstract (Songs Of Experience)
7. David McCallum – House Of Mirrors
8. Songs Of Innocence (S.O.I.)
9. The Shadow Knows (David Axelrod)
10. The Electric Prunes – General Confessions
11. Freedom (The Auction)
12. Get Up Off Your Knees (Heavy Axe)

(Album title in brackets on Axelrod tracks)


Two selections of early remixes from the genius that is Andrew Weatherall, put together as a tribute to the great man’s enduring work as a musical Pioneer.

The first selection of Andrew Weatherall’s finest remixes from earlier on in his discography. Featuring Primal Scream, The Orb, Happy Monday’s, New Order and more. All vinyl, so excuse any pops and crackles – these records are a couple of decades old.

1. Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (A mix of two halves)
2. Primal Scream – Come Together (Weatherall mix)
3. One Dove – Breakdown (Squire Black Dove Rides Out)
4. New Order – Regret (Sabres Slow ‘n Low mix)
5. The Orb – Perpetual Dawn (Ultrabass)
6. The Grid – Floatation (Sonic Swing Mix)
7. Happy Mondays – Hallelujah (Oakenfold & Weatherall Club Mix)
8. My Bloody Valentine -Soon (Weatherall Remix)

The 2nd installment of my Andrew Weatherall tribute series. More early remixes featuring tracks from Future Sound Of London, Jah Wobble, the Impossibles and more… All from vinyl again.

Tracklist :

1. Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart – Visions Of You (Secret Love Child of Hank & Jonny Mix)

2. One Dove – White Love (Guitar Paradise Mix)

3. Primal Scream – Higher Than The Sun (Dub Symphony In Two Parts)

4. Flowered Up – Weekender (Aubrey Is A Bit More Partial Mix)

5. Future Sound Of London – Papua New Guinea (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

6. A Man Called Adam – Chrono-Psionic Interface (Godiva Mix)

7. James – Come Home (Skunk Weed Shank mix)

8. The Impossibles – The Drum (12″ Weatherall Mix)




The final ICA of 2016 during which there have been so many top-notch guest contributions covering all genres. Today’s is again, something a bit special and epic.  When he dropped the e-mail to me, Swiss Adam said “Please take this off my hands- I keep changing it, adding songs, taking them off, re-doing it. It’s doing my head in.”

Anyone who has ever turned their hand to an ICA will know exactly what he means…..

Andrew Weatherall ‘Just What Is It That You Want To Do?’

‘We want to be free. We want to be free, to do what we want to do. And we want to have a good time. And we want to have a party. And that’s what we’re gonna do. We gonna have a party’

Anyone who’s paid even the most infrequent visits to Bagging Area will know that I…

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Straight No Chaser – The Jazz Messenger


I’ve been flicking back through old issues of SNC and realised what a vital magazine it was. Back in the early 90’s the internet was pretty much non existent, we found record shops in every market town rather than discogs and we relied on flyers and word of mouth for club and gig news. SNC was a central source that supported all of that.
With sections on clubs nights across the country (and beyond), features on vital vinyl retailers and of course the all important reviews and playlists SNC was THE link to all that was happening in the world of acid jazz, funk, soul, broken beat, Latin and every other related genre.
There for the rise and fall of trip hop, the arrival of drum and bass, nu jazz, bruk and much more SNC ensured you were in touch with folk like Gilles Peterson and could keep your finger at least lightly on the pulse from a Midlands market town. 

Things of course seemdled to move a little slower than too. Records would bubble up over months, even years. Imports may be promised for weeks on end by your dealer – but thanks to SNC you at least knew what to ask for.

Below are some extracts from issue #20 starting with those all important charts.

Wonder if there are still any swifty t’s left? 

How you found out about New releases…

Guest reviews from James Lavelle.


David Mancuso and The Loft #4 – A Selection of More Classics


This is the fourth in my series of selections inspired by David Mancuso’s legendary Loft parties. All tracks are recognised as being staples of his sets. Starting out with Chuck Mangione, onto a gospel track and then into some dancefloor soul and disco. A couple of Chicago classics feature before bringing things to a close with some typical end of night tunes.


1. Chuck Mangione – Land Of Make Believe

2. Dorothy Morrison – Rain

3. Fred Wesley – House Party

4. Tamiko Jones – Can’t Live Without Your Love

5. Crown Heights Affair – Say A Prayer For Two

6. Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots

7. Geraldine Hunt – Can’t Fake The Feeling

8. Ten City – Devotion

9. Fingers Inc – Mysteries Of Love

10. Manu Dibango – Soul Makossa

11. Eddy Grant – Living On The Front Line

12. Stevie Wonder – All I Do

A tribute to Frankie Knuckles – Godfather of House


Frankie Nicholls, born January 18 1955 would define, name and popularise what we know as House music. Frankie Knuckles is another true pioneer, sadly no longer with us. He passed away on March 31 2014, however his passing is cause to celebrate and pay tribute. There is no mistaking his influence,  the title ‘Godfather of House’ is not something bestowed lightly, yet it does not sit uncomfortably with the man whose led to the term ‘House’ music being coined. Besides, how many other DJ’s can you name with a street named after them?

It is of course his legendary ‘Warehouse’ club opened in 1977 in Chicago where he both made his name and birthed a genre. Taking inspiration from his time in New York were he had started to DJ with childhood friend Larry Levan he honed his style in the windy city.  Taking disco classics, soul, jazz funk, a touch of rock and spinning it into an irresistible mix he made the Warehouse the must visit place to be. He continued there until 1982 when he moved to the Power Plant, his own club.

It is here he added a drum machine, bought from none other than Derrick May to enhance his dj’ing. This harder, mechanic sound blended with disco began to define the musical sound of Chicago – and what we now call House music.


Having been central to house music’s development, Knuckles would continue to DJ around the world playing a 4 month residency in London at Delerium. He even co-produced the track ‘I Want a Dog’ on the Pet Shop Boys 1988 album ‘Introspective’ signalling his wider influence on the music scene. Of course, it isn’t just his skill behind the decks, thst made his name. As evidenced by his work with PSB, he was a producer of note too.

In 1982 he was introduced to Jamie Principle with whom they re-recorded Jamie’s track ‘Your Love’ and co-produced ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ creating 2 dancefloor monsters in the process. Some 30 years later both of these can still rock a club,  despite the tracks being older than most of the dancers. Knuckles continued to create as well as play music, with tracks such as ‘Tears’ with Robert Owens and Satoshi Tomiie.

Through the 90’s Knuckles was central to the Def Mix Priductions sound alongside David Morales, in this era producing his classic ‘Whistle Song’. He also provided stand out remixes for the likes of Electribe 101 and the anthem ‘Where Love Lives’ by Alison Limerick. He continued to influence and produce, with his remix of ‘Blind’ by Hercules & The Love Affair hitting the heights of his earlier period.

Working right up to his tragic passing in 2014, The Godfather of House leaves a lasting and valuable legacy. With none other than Barack Obama a fan (being key in the naming of Frankie Knuckles Way in Chicago in 2004 & the celebratory ‘Frankie Knuckles Day’ on the 25th August) this is a DJ rightly described as a pioneer.

The mix below is a tribute to the music Frankie Knuckles would play in his early days at the Warehouse. RIP.

Track listing:

1. Gwen McCrae – Funky Sensation

2. Roy Ayers – Running Away

3. Ecstasy, Passion & Pain – Touch & Go

4. Gino Soccio – Dancer

5. Imagination – Burning Up

6. Donald Byrd – Love Has Come Around

7. Loose Joints – Is it All Over My Face

8. ESG – Moody

9. Jimmy Bo Horne – Spank

10. Eddy Grant – Timewarp

11. Frankie Knuckles – Baby Wants To Ride