A few years back I used to work at Tokyo’s only alternative cable radio station called radio:on where we recorded hour long shows on to Mini Discs – remember those?
Well, after 10 years or so of DJing and doing shows I have accumulated a ton of promo materials and CD demos and I am chagrined to admit that most of them have ended up gathering dust on a shelf or being used as very convenient coasters for drinks. Not to mention that after a while in my workspace CDs tend to migrate from one case to another and separate themselves from their info sheets and other useful identifiers rendering them bereft of any meaning to me.
I have also come to realize that many, many people don’t do rudimentary things like put their name or contact details on the actual f#$%ng demo CDs they hand out (only on the packaging) and not surprisingly these orphans are the ones that most often have drink stains on them.
Anyway, I was cleaning up at the studio and at some point I ended up mired knee high in a swamp of these unlabeled, obsoleting, plastic data storage discs and my only way out was to dig through them one by one because I used to be on of those idiots who couldn’t label their CDs properly and I didn’t want to accidentally throw away any of my own, older music.
Among the CDs digging into my shins I discovered a rare (unlabeled) copy of a DJ mix I recorded many years ago made up entirely of tracks from the sublime dub techno/house label Mosaic – and a ray of sunlight did pierce the dusty gloom – so I decided to post it here warts and all.
The mix is a DJ set recorded off vinyl most probably live at the radio:on studio/bar sometime in 2003/2004. It was recorded from vinyl to MD and then some where along the line it got onto CD.
You can download the whole set here or listen to it in the embedded player.
Mosaic’s timeless and deceptively simple balance of minimalism and groove remains one of the biggest influences on my music production to this day. It captures the essence of the harder edged dub techno genre perfectly and I still keep an eye out for second hand copies of their records even though I haven’t DJed with vinyl for many years now. Owner Steve ‘O Sullivan and the artists he put out on this label created the perfect balance between sophisticated house and techno, at once both deep and dreamy yet driving and danceable their music crosses multiple mind states and never ceases to move the floor.
The art work.
The art below is modified from the demo CD I used to hand out to promoters. Though I had the art on hand I thought I had lost the mix – no prizes for guessing why – so I am super chuffed to be able to get them back together after so many years.
The image is a photo of me playing one of my very first DJ sets in Japan on the second floor of a huge nightclub in Yokohama Bay called Fire.
It was an inauspicious start – I learned the hard way that you cannot cue mix reliably with open backed headphones.
Live and learn.
This mix is in no way endorsed by or affiliated with Steve ‘O Sullivan, it is just a tribute to a label and music that really, really moves my soul and inspires me to work even harder on my own productions.
Steve ‘O Sullivan: