retro


Past>Forward Vol. 2 – The 50 Pound Note Retro Mix – The Metro, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
(Original upload date 18 April 2007)

DOWNLOAD (77.3 MB, 192kbps, 56:12)

Walking Away (SMD Mix) by Information Society
Bizarre Love Triangle (12″ Version) by New Order
True Faith (Morning Sun Remix) by New Order
The Different Story (Razormaid! Mix) by Peter Schilling
Losing My Mind (Disco Mix) by Pet Shop Boys
Das Omen (Razormaid! Mix) by Mysterious Art
Strangelove (Pain Mix) by Depeche Mode
Join In The Chant (Burn!) by Nitzer Ebb
Theme From S-Express (US 12″ Mix) by S-Express
Crucified (The Nuzak Remix) by Army Of Lovers
I Sit On Acid (Mixin’ Up The Acid) by Lords Of Acid
Welcome To Paradise/Headhunter (Razormaid! Mix) by Front 242

“DROP THAT GHETTOBLASTER!”

Located at 156 W Main Street in downtown Lexington, The Metro was in operation from roughly 1990 to 1993. It came third in the succession of gay-owned bars (Cafe LMNOP, Great Moments) that appealed to a mixed crowd and played alternative dance music. During regular hours it was a dyke bar but on Friday and Saturday nights from 1:30 to 4:30am DJs Chad and Joe would spin bands like Depeche Mode and New Order for an 18-and-up crowd that was a mixture of gay/straight/male/female/white/black/young/old. During the fall of 1990 it became the first gay club I’d ever set foot in, a full year before I turned 21.

I was already DJing a dance music show on the college radio station which then approached the bar to have me do an industrial music night on Thursdays. I got to know Joe and Chad and within a year I was regularly filling in for them on Saturdays, too.

This is the first of two mixes that capture the sound of those nights. By the tail-end of 1991 James Brown Is Dead came along and suddenly techno wiped away melodic, song-based dance music. I started DJing at The Bar in May of 1992 so my Metro days came to an end.

I hope someone from the old crowd finds this mix; I’ve not seen any of them in 15 years.

As a side note I’d like to add that I had a lot of trouble recording this mix. I had to do it five or six times due to repeated technical difficulties, and it made me laugh because these are the songs I learned how to DJ with, and it was like my skills had reverted to that beginner level all over again. I should have left a great big train wreck right in the middle of it for old time’s sake.

retro


Past>Forward Vol. 1 – The 50 Pound Note Retro Mix
(Original upload date 28 March 2007)

DOWNLOAD (81.8 MB, 192kbps, 59:29)

Big Strong Man (Wild Boys Remix) by Tanz Waffen
Cccan’t You See (Razormaid! Mix) by Vicious Pink
Always On My Mind (Razormaid! Mix) by Pet Shop Boys
You Think You’re A Man (12″ Mix) by Divine
Homosapein II (Icon Mix) by Pete Shelley
Give (Dance Mix) by Missing Persons
Knocking On Your Door (Mark Saunders Remix) by Erasure
Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat
Rush Hour (7th Heaven Remix) by Jane Wiedlin
Keep In Touch by Re-Flex

“Well keep in touch, won’t you?”

After spending several years doing a dance music show on my college radio station, in 1995 I switched over to an early Saturday morning shift and began Past>Forward which explored the history of electronic music. Beginning with Edgard Varese who is considered the godfather, I sought not to explore just dance but all forms of electronic music. Did you know that in 1967 The Monkees were the first band to use a commercial synthesizer on a pop record? With the success of Wendy Carlos, Gershon Kingley’s successful single Popcorn and Kraftwerk’s Autobahn the listening public gradually became aware of synthesizers but the watershed moment (for me) would have to be Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, created by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte in 1977. The melding of affordable synthesizers and sequencers with disco rhythms would give birth to an explosion of danceable pop bands all through the ’80s, which brings me to this new series.

Based on our mutual adoration of Vicious Pink’s Cccan’t You See, my friend Denny asked me to put together a retro mix for him to listen to at the gym. I thought this would be a good excuse to bring back the Past>Forward name and create a mix series that pays tribute to the music that made me want to be a DJ in the first place. While there may at times be some crossover between this series and Kiss The Future the bulk of Past>Forward will be songs released between 1980-1990. I’ve also considered doing an all-disco mix (pre-1980), and I’ll have a chance to focus on specific labels like San Francisco’s Megatone Records which raised the bar for high energy dance music.

Most of you will be familiar with all the artists in this first mix. Re-Flex is the same band that did The Politics Of Dancing, and their only LP (sharing the same title, released in 1983) was a strong early influence on me. Keep In Touch was the last song on the album. The one artist here that almost no one knows is Tanz Waffen. The name is German and translates as “dance weapon” but the band was actually a male/female duo from Austin, Texas. Big Strong Man was their only official single (although other songs were released by the Razormaid! remix service).

I liberally borrowed “past forward/passed forward” as a name and concept from a Die Krupps singles compilation released in 1991.

retro


View on Flickr.

My outfit for the Kavity ’80s-themed party in San Francisco. Photo manipulation by Hubbs.

retro


Kavity Door Prize – The 50 Pound Note Retro Mix
(Original upload date 10 February 2006)

DOWNLOAD (107.8 MB, 192kbps, 1:18:25)

Jay talks about John Hughes and Shermer, IL, from Dogma
9 To 5 by Dolly Parton
Let Me Go! (12″ Version) by Heaven 17
Atomic Dog by George Clinton
Samantha finds out what happened to her panties from Sixteen Candles
19 by Paul Hardcastle
I Heard A Rumour (Horoscope Mix) by Bananarama
Sussudio (Extended Mix) by Phil Collins
Boy (Extended Version) by Book Of Love
(Keep Feeling) Fascination (Groove Collision TMC Mix) by The Human League
Big Time (Electrokingdom’s Main Mix Extended) by Peter Gabriel
I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (White Label) by Hall & Oates
Love On Your Side (White Label) by The Thompson Twins
Sex (I’m A…) Dwarf (Soft Cell vs. Berlin) by Peter Black
Bigmouth Strikes Again (White Label) by The Smiths
Never Say Never (Long Version) by Romeo Void
I’m Gonna Miss You by Milli Vanilli

I was asked to mix one of the door prize CDs to be given away at Kavity, an 80′s-themed party in San Francisco. Some of these songs were in my final set – others weren’t. I tried to strike a balance between original mixes of classic tracks, some edgier fare, and new mixes of old favorites. I wanted it to be retro without feeling tired and boring.

Kavity was the 2nd of 3 annual parties: Kandy, Kavity, and SugarKRASH.

retro


Show #32 – Future Retro
(Original upload date 31 January 2006)

DOWNLOAD (44.8 MB, 128kbps, 1:37:41)

The Walk (Infusion 12″ Mix) by The Cure
Shout (Solaris Original Mix) by David Bowie
Need You Tonight (Static Revenger Mix) by INXS
Homosapien II (Icon Mix) by Pete Shelley
Situation (Future Funk Squad’s Downstairs @ Fabric Mix) by Yazoo
Shake The Disease (Tiga Mix) by Depeche Mode
Whip It (HMS & M Mix) by Devo
Decadance (2 Risk E Remix 12″) by Duran Duran
(Keep Feeling) Fascination (Groove Collision TMC Mix) by The Human League
Bizarre Love Triangle (The Crystal Method Extended Mix) by New Order
I Get Excited (Razormaid! Mix) by Pet Shop Boys
Obsession (Club Mix) by Xymox
Cccan’t You See (French Extended Mix) by Vicious Pink
Don Quichotte by Magazine 60

Inspired by the 2006 Rhino Records compilation of the same name, here’s a collection of new remixes of ’80s classics, alongside some overlooked gems.