Archive - in the mix

Morrissey’s guitarist in conversation and in the mix in Limerick

10 October 2013 by musiclimerick, No Comments

GUITARIST/ producer Boz Boorer will take part in a public interview with Dr Eoin Devereux in University of Limerick, before playing a DJ set later that night in Dolan’s.

Boz Boorer is best known for his work founding the new wave rockabilly group the Polecats and later for his work as co-writer, guitarist and musical director with Morrissey a position he has held for the last 22 years.

The Polecats had hits in the ‘80s with ‘Rockabilly Guy’ and ‘Jeepster’ on Mercury Records. Since joining Morrissey’s band, Boorer co-wrote ‘Speedway’, ‘Now my Heart is Full’ and ‘I’m Throwing my Arms Around Paris’ with the ex-Smiths icon. Boz has performed and recorded with a vast list of major artists including David Bowie, Imelda May and Adam Ant.

Dr. Eoin Devereux, the man behind Morrissey and Bowie symposia at the University, will interview Boz about his life, interspersed with live solo performances of some of Boz’s most recognisable and influential work. Later Boz will play his DJ set in Dolan’s.

Boz Boorer will be in conversation with Dr. Eoin Devereux at Tower Theatre, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at 1pm and will be on the decks for a DJ set in Dolan’s from 11pm on Friday October 11. Admission is free to both events.


Grandmaster Flash to play Limerick

6 August 2013 by musiclimerick, No Comments

ON the first pop record with rapping to top the charts, Debbie Harry name checked hip hop’s pioneering DJ Grandmaster Flash.

On Blondie’s ‘Rapture’ in 1980 Debbie rhymed ….

“Fab Five Freddie told me everybody’s high
DJ’s spinnin’ are savin’ my mind
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
Francois sez fas, Flashe’ no do”.

Grandmaster Flash is one of the founding fathers of hip-hop. Flash was likely the first DJ to remix songs by seamlessly repeating the instrumental breaks with two turntables and a mixer. He also pioneered ‘cutting’ – pushing and pulling the turntable’s needle from which ‘scratching’ developed.

Together with his band of rappers, The Furious Five, on the Sugarhill label multi-million selling and groundbreaking hits ‘The Message’, ‘White Lines’ and ‘The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel’ in the early eighties showcased the hip hop sound that dominates the airwaves worldwide today.

Flash (Joseph Saddler to his relations) spent his teenage years going through abandoned stereo equipment taking speakers and radios out of old cars and working with them in his room, figuring out how the equipment worked. To cut between records and extend the funky breaks, Flash invented The Quick Mix Theory, The Clock Theory and the Peekaboo System.

“A lot of it was trial and error, I had to go through countless needles and turntables to find the right ones for these techniques”, Flash revealed in a NPR interview. “I found the right mixer but it didn’t have a system where I could pre-listen to the next track in my headphones. I had to create a new system which I called the ‘peek-a-boo’ system’ where I had to rig the mixer to listen to the next track.

“The Quick Mix Theory was a system for taking two records and manipulating them back and forth so that I could just keep that instrumental break going for maybe 45 seconds, and then more. The Clock Theory involved marking the vinyl with tape or a crayon to find sections of the track quickly”.

When Flash first performed his DJ’ing style in public, he got a mixed reaction. He soon realised that his mixes needed live vocal entertainment to get a party started. His first MC was Keith Wiggens (AKA Cowboy). “He reminded me of a ringmaster at a circus, he had a very commanding voice. He came up with ‘Get your hands in the air, everybody say ho, hey. It turned out to be the perfect diversionary tactic to get people off looking at me and to follow the MC while I go through a series of breaks seamlessly to the beat.”

‘The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel’ was the first major release to showcase these cutting and MCing styles. The track was built on the bassline of Chic’s 70’s hit ‘Good Times’ (another legendary innovative act due to play Limerick soon!)

Flash’s techniques are prevalent in the classic hip hop of Public Enemy, NWA, Jazzy Jeff, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Eminem and influenced the UK’s Big Beat scene (Jon Carter and Fatboy Slim), DJ Shadow and Beck in the 90s and more recently the block rocking 2manydjs.

These days Grandmaster Flash is regularly headlining musical festivals and events with artists such as N*E*R*D, Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy, Missy Elliott and many more. Among his many awards are the Pioneer Award from Source Magazine, the New Music Seminar Hall of Fame Award, the DMC Hall of Fame Award, B.E.T.’s Diamond Award and Billboard Award. In June 2004 he was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame with a plaque dedicated at 161st street and the Grand Concourse, and a street named after him in New York. And to top it all off, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in New York as the first hip-hop artists ever!

Grandmaster Flash DJs at The Library on Friday August 9.


Rockin’ Ibiza

5 April 2012 by musiclimerick, No Comments

A DJ set well worth checking out is the Ibiza Rocks set from Limerick’s John Kelly. JK has always had the knack of combining his love of House and Indie music into a credible DJ set. This set mixes dance music that rocks with indie sounds that make you wanna dance. This Ibiza Rocks set is quite similar to his Saturday night set in an indie club in Ennis. John explains, “Nearly every track here is a personal edit/mix to get them into the time frame without, I hope!!, messing up the track’s fluidity, the edits and samples were burned to 3 CDs, three hotcued CDJ MK3s/a DJM 600 and some very annoyed neighbours later … here we are … If in 30mins time you have a smile on your face … it’s job done.”