Friday, December 31, 2010

Acid Ted

A word from Acid Ted:

Happy New Year to you. To get the new year off to a cracking start, I’m offering you the chance to get an exclusive mix from the marvelous but mysterious Error Operator. This mix is not available anywhere else. All you have to do is make a small donation to charity. Email me with the reply and I’ll send you the mix. It’s that simple.
You WILL want this mix. It starts with the brilliant but brooding “Moth” by Burial and Four Tet before going on to mixes of Foals and Burial himself. It even has some Tinie Tempah bfore ending with James Blake and ultimately coming a full circle to a remix of Four Tet. This is a quiet evening with a bottle of fine red.

ACID TED MIX by Error Operator
1. Burial & Four Tet – Moth
2. Foals – Spanish Sahara (Mount Kimbie Remix)
3. Burial – Archangel (Boy 8-Bit Remix)
4. Gold Panda – Snow & Taxis (Throwing Snow Remix)
5. Tinie Tempah – Pass Out (SBTRKT Remix)
6. Andreya Triana – A Town Called Obsolete (Mount Kimbie Remix)
7. Break
8. Joy Orbison – Hyph Mongo
9. James Blake – CMYK
10. Four Tet – Love Cry (Joy Orbison Remix

I’d like others to benefit from the time that Error Operator has put in. In particular, to raise money for research on brain tumours in children. Brain tumours are the commonest solid tumours in children in the UK and USA. More children now die from a brain tumour than any other childhood cancer. If you want a copy of the mix, here’s how to donate:

TO DONATE: Give directly to the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust (UK) by donating here or Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (USA) here or to a children’s cancer charity in your own country. Once you have done so, you will get an emailed reply from them. Forward that email to me ( and I will send you a link to the mix.

Please, please donate. How much you donate is up to you (£5 = US$7 / EUR5). If you need to know why these charities are so important, see my story here or little Thomas’ story here.

Finally, if any readers are bloggers themselves, could you please promote this mix on your sites. It’s in a good cause. Thank you. Email me with the link and I’ll send you a copy of the mix.

And my sincere thanks and gratitude to Error Operator for making this appeal possible.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Spinster's Rock.

As an adjunct to the Tracie post, and by way of introduction, I've relaunched the Spinster's Rock Wordpress site as a kind of "Everything Box" extension of Castles In Space. It's a repository for stuff I've accumulated over the years, some new pictures and just... stuff.

I've posted one of Tracie's non album singles over

I'm also asking for contributions from you lot. Be it something cool, something awful or something that moves you and that you think will move others. Please get in touch with me at if you have anything that you would like to share/inflict.

The homepage for Spinster's Rock is here. Have a look and it should give you an idea of the type of things I'm looking for. More to come, though. Much more.

Thanks for listening. Get involved.

Your pal,

Nolan Micron.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tracie - Far From The Hurting Kind

What we have here is one of the great lost Eighties pop albums. Tracie was signed to Paul Weller's vanity label Respond in the early Eighties and had a brace of good Motown/mod influenced pop singles before the album appeared. Featuring one track written by Elvis Costello and a clutch of tracks penned by Weller himself, the songwriting is of a uniformly high standard. Although wearing it's Eighties production values rather loudly (the album was co-produced by Weller), the quality of the songs and the vocal performances from Tracie shine through. I think the ballads work best, but it's all good. This is a lovely artefact in common with Weller's output at the time, featuring a heavy Sixties retro vibe and sleevenotes by Tracie herself (supposedly). Having said that, the cover itself is a disaster area and I suspect that they were self-consciously veering too far away from the "sex" angle to the detriment of the overall finished product. Ah well. That was the Eighties for you. Sexual politics all in a muddle etc.

If you enjoy this, I recommend that you buy the brilliant Cherry Red re-issue which contains those early singles and a further selection of session tracks, B-sides and extended version in a lovely package. Cherry red are hitting the ball out of the park with just about every one of their pop reissues, so you should probably go and check them out anyway.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Blue Pearl - Naked In The Rain Remix 12"

Blue Pearl were a short lived techno/house duo consisting of American female singer Durga McBroom and infamous early post punk/acid house scenester, Youth (Martin Glover). Naked In The Rain is a classic example of early house/pop music and did pretty well in the British charts on it's release in 1990.

This 12" features a pair of remixes from David Morales, whose work I find patchy at best. There's no denying he was on top of his game here though, perhaps due to the strength of the raw materials with which he was working.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Gorillaz - The Fall

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Neneh Cherry - Buffalo Stance 12"

I pulled this one out to assist with the present wrapping on Christmas Eve and it hasn't been out of earshot ever since. This got played out to the family more than once on Christmas day and it went down a treat. Especially the "What is he loike...?" bit. Fucking genius.

Here's the Wikipedia page. And it should be noted that the contribution of Bomb The Bass/Tim Simenon can't be underestimated on this brilliant EP.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce...the high hat..."

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Human League - Hysteria

And while we're at it...

This is much, much better than I remember it being. I think it suffered from being the album after "Dare".

I might get something else up here later on.

Happy Christmas.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Limited Availability

Christmas treat for you all. The Cerrone mix is awesome.

Be quick.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Egg - Wall 12"

I have no idea why I haven't posted this brilliant record before now, but it is truly a classic slab of spacey house pop. There's the original version and remixes from Mylo and Atomic Hooligan. The Mylo mix is the one that will get your Christmas party bouncing, but all three tracks on this are great.

The Discogs bio tells us that "The Egg were formed in the UK from a conglomeration of various Oxford-based dub-influenced dance music acts...hey have developed a unique sound combining hip-hop, psychedelia, ambient and house, resulting in what has been described as a "fluid trance groove".

I'm not sure if they are still active, but the band still have a live website here.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps

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Camp As Christmas Part Two

Apologies for the slight lag, but work commitments, Christmas preparations and a nasty bout of Manflu have conspired to prevent me from getting this mix up here. Response to the first one was pretty good, so many thanks to all those who took the trouble to download and listen. If anything, I think this second part is slightly better.

I had an interesting discussion with a friend about what "camp" actually was. It's kind of hard to pin down isn't it. I'm convinced it's not just about the gay thing and that there's a weird, slightly indefinable quality about it. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it all, but I'm not sure I agree with some of that. Perhaps that's an American interpretation. Initial selections for this mix were rejected at the last minute for not being at all camp. I've also steered clear of tracks that were simply by gay artists. As I've said before, this isn't intended to be reductive in any way - it's a celebration.

As with the last part, I've uploaded an enhanced podcast with full artwork in AAC format and a standard MP3 file. Both are ripped at 320 Kbps. Interestingly, downloads for the MP3 beat the AAC by about 2 - 1 for the first part. I'd go for the AAC myself. It has scans of all the single sleeves and chapter markers.


Brilliantly, Castles In Space Reader Graeme took it upon himself to create artwork for the podcasts. Part Two already features the above image, but for those who wish to update the first part with the matching cover, here is the art for Part One.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish - Male Stripper 12"

The 7" mix of this was included on the first Camp As Christmas mix. Here's the full glory of the 12".

My gay posts have only received one complaint so far. Next up is the Camp as Christmas Part Two Mix. Sure to make your Christmas party go with a swing. Honourable mention should also go to Seedy for posting Jon Savage's brilliant compilation of Queer Noises.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Pet Shop Boys - Disco

Perhaps their finest album, what self respecting gay themed blog series would be complete with a sprinkling of the genius that is Pet Shop Boys?

This album accompanied my move from the North West to London and soundtracked many a pre-club dressing up ritual for me and my friends. Still sounding brilliant after all these years. Pet Shop Boys have contributed so much to British pop and dance culture. The cliche was that they were like The Smiths with synthesizers, but that's pretty much true. Lyrically rich, musically inventive, and what tunes. Their 12" single remixes are like a an ever-evolving history of British dance music.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Camp As Christmas - Part One

Christmas. It's quite gay isn't it.

All the sparkle and emotion. Seeing family. Love. Bitchiness.

I fucking love it. I love it so much I've spent more time than you would believe doing a big old camp podcast/mixtape.

I'm not doing a tracklist as I think this one might be enjoyed more as a beautiful surprise. Like finding out that your bezzie is bi-curious.

There are two versions. An enhanced AAC file with full artwork and an MP3 with a lovely picture of your host, Mr Kenneth Williams.

The plan is that there will be another one of these before Christmas, but as this one has almost killed me, it might take a few days.

There were a few rules:
1. It had to be ripped from a record in my singles box
2. It had to be camp
3. I had to love the song without irony.

Happy Christmas to all the beautiful people (that means you). x


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Monsoon - Ever So Lonely 7"

I'm doing a few posts for all the gays out there, in a post-ironic sort of way. Are we post irony now? It's hard to keep up. Anyway, these are definitely intended as celebratory and in no way reductive. Here we go - kicking off with this one.

"Ever So Lonely" was released 5th March 1982. Initially it was top of the gay (Hi-Energy) charts and then went to be a Top 10 hit in the UK and a hit around the world.

Sheila Chandra was in TV's 'Grange Hill' for several years (at the time, one of the most radical kids TV programmes). She played Sudhamani Patel - a stereotypically reserved and sulky Asian girl who was being set up for an arranged marriage and whose family ran a corner shop.

This is a great track, although the B side, "Sunset Over The Ganges" does little to dispel those accusations of stereotyping. It's still great, though. She's got a great voice. And indeed, she is "still going". And why not?

Vinyl rip at 320K bps.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Icicle Works - Love Is A Wonderful Colour 7"

Perhaps the best Autumn record ever.

Arguably, the defining, founding fathers of the whole "cosmic scally" movement (c.f. The Coral, The La's, The Lightning Seeds et al), this fantastic band are woefully underrated. Ian McNabb has a great voice and his phrasing on this beautiful, beautiful lyric is bordering on the transcendental. I never, ever get tired of hearing it, the imagery is so strong.

On the Barrow scene, we had a running joke that all of his vocal melodies were broadly similar, but what the hell, if it isn't broke etc. etc.

On my very first trip to London with Neil, Mike and the very beautiful Michelle, we saw them at the Astoria (now sadly deceased) on the Charing Cross Road. The venue was probably about a quarter full. They were great beyond belief. They suffered from patchy album syndrome, but as both a live prospect and a classic singles band, they were AMAZING.

McNabb still continues to do great work and remains horribly under appreciated.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Hits Of House Are Here - Double 12" Album.

Obvious, (but none the worse for that) selection of early pop/house hits. "Including Full Length 12 Inch Versions" screams the cover. This is kind of a companion piece to this, as most of the samples are sourced from tracks featured on here.

Shamelessly nostalgic, I know, but it's that time of year isn't it.

I'd rather jack, than Fleetwood Mac.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Brand New Brilliance. The 24 Hour Rule Applies.

Voices tumble over voices creating a cloud of half-heard words, and VHS-tainted synths bubble up beneath them, dragging us right back into a world of thick-knit sweaters and Marathon bars.

A late contender for album of the year. Trust me.

[Sorry, you've missed this one.]

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