A Kick in the balls: Soundhog Interview Pt 2
The second part of our exclusive Soundhog interview, in which we find out if he still likes any of his older bootlegs, DJing at club Bastard and where it all went wrong.
52 Scrubs, Crazy Dick, A Day In Tracy’s Life, Shansun, Double Freak, that Kelis/LCD thing… maybe a couple of others. I’m not the one to ask. There aren’t too many I did which I’d describe as absolute shit, but even the good ones are ‘of their time’, by their very nature. Who wants to hear Missy Elliot in 2012, with or without Focus underneath? Not me, for one. I’d like to think more recent things like Whole Lotta Helter Skelter or the Goldfrapp/Edwyn Collins track might become semi-classics once day, but that doesn’t look like happening at the moment. We’ll see. I certainly consider the last two or three Radio Soundhogs to be ‘up there’ with anything made by more famous and/or successful people, I just wish more people had heard them.
7. You did a series of tapes for Radio Wales. How did that come about?
I only did one proper thing, and that was the 30 minute set I did in December 2002, which I like to think shook a few people up. A presenter on there (Adam Walton) had played 52 Scrubs a couple of times, and just got in touch asking if I could do a ‘session’. We became mates and he’d usually be the only person taking any notice of what I was doing, which I’m grateful for. I’ve actually been doing a guest spot on the show for the last 6 years or so now, talking ineptly about a weird record from the past every week. My very own crazy music show has not been forthcoming, sadly… the swines.
I went several times from mid 2002 onwards, often on consecutive months, which was quite a mad thing to do considering I’m over 200 miles away [North Wales] from where it was held [London]. I DJ’d there three or four times I think. It was put on by the right people for the right reasons. The room was tiny, it was always packed out, the PA was insanely loud, everyone was drunk, the mixer had few working knobs, the ‘decks’ were one DJ CD player and one CD walkman, people would dress up or do some sort of performance art type stuff in the middle of it all, the toilets were horrific, the aircon rained sweat… it was absolutely bloody brilliant.
Not everything/everyone was a success, granted, but you really could get away with murder if you did it well enough. The complete opposite of the horrendous wankery that the rest of the dance music/clubbing world had turned into. I don’t like to use the old line ‘you had to be there’, but really you did. It was the originator, but I’ve no doubt that it (along with Boomselection, The Remix and GYBO) has been nicely airbrushed out of The Official History Of The M***up ™ because they happened in the wrong part of the world. Bastard should have taken over the world, not what came after from elsewhere.
Cynical bandwagon jumpers, people rewriting history, people with more than one eye on the $ (not the £). There was a (*cough*) spirit that was lost in translation / export / import. It’s like every good thing in music/art/whatever. It gets bastardised (ha!), watered down and and whored out for people’s own ends. It’s the way of the world. Nobody used the term “m**hup” in 2000-2003. The widespread use of the term coincided with a massive shift in the music and the people making it, and not for the better. It was like having your car stolen, then returned with a great big turd lying on the bonnet and all the locks changed.
Now that we’re surrounded by the fall-out of those days, it’s difficult to remember just how it felt at the time. People may well scoff when I say bastard pop in 2000/1 was just as exciting to me as any of the pivotal moments in pop history must have been at the time (Beatles, psych, punk, house, whatever) but for a year or so it honestly was, even for a cynical music snob in his late 20s. ”Yeah, yeah… shut up, Grandad.” Maybe one day someone’ll write a book about it…
To sit there as a nagging reminder of what could have been, mostly. When I was into all this between 2000 and 2005ish, I actively kept an ear on what was happening in pop music, for the sake of finding new and interesting stuff to work with if nothing else. Since I stopped making tracks and DJing, I go out of my way to avoid it, as I don’t have to pretend I like it anymore. I’m still surrounded by and consuming interesting music from all periods and genres, and always will be.
I still make the odd ‘bootleg’ track (which people insist on calling ’m**hups’, much to my chagrin but I know the battle was lost years ago…), remix/edit or occasional mix-set for the 300 or so people who still listen, and a small amount of original work in a few different genres under different names when I can be bothered. I’m not sure why I’m still hanging on, in spite of all the frustrating times and the numerous kicks in the balls the previous decade has doled out, but maybe it’s just something I can’t quite turn off. The great big fool that I am…
Soundhog – A Witty Title Involving Rockets And Losing Sleep [Goldfrapp v Edwyn Collins]
I hope that’s convinced you that Soundhog’s work has been unfairly overlooked. He was the one that most consistently mixed the sounds of the time with work from classic and prog rock from the 70s into something new.
And if you want something extra special, Soundhog did an exclusive mix for Acid Ted that is still available. You really won’t find it anywhere else. It is an astonishing mix of tracks. Not just the tracks themselves but they way that they have been chopped up and reassembled in Soundhog’s inimitable style. If you want a copy, make a donation through Acid Ted’s fundraising page here. Money goes to research into brain tumours.
The tracklist is:
Bassomatic – Fascinating Rhythm
Sub Sub – Jaggernath
The Prodigy – Poison
Bomb The Bass – Beat Dis (Freestyle Scratch Mix)
DJ Mink – Hey, Hey, Can You Relate?
Renegade Soundwave – Biting My Nails
The 25th Of May – It’s Alright
MANIC – I’m Coming Hardcore
Joey Beltram – Energy Flash
Chemical Brothers – Chemical Beats
N-Joi – Malfunction
Digital Orgasm – Running Out Of Time
Mental Cube – Q
Carl Cox – I Want You
2 Bad Mice – Bombscare
Altern-8 – Hypnotic St-8
Fatboy Slim – Song For Lindy
E-Lustrious – Dance No More
…plus odd little bits of other things in there.