001 My Life Music: Danny Whitehead

 

Danny Whitehead has been a big inspiration to me as a DJ for many years. We first met at Cafe Mambo back in 1996, it was my first day as resident and Danny had already been playing there since the previous year along with other residents Steve Lawler and Jason Bye. Steve had actually tipped me off about Danny being a great DJ with his eclectic music taste, when I started. We then played together at Cafe Mambo for many years as residents and along with Jose Padilla, Danny is the only D.J in the world to have held residencies at Cafe del Mar and Cafe Mambo!

So It made perfect sense for us to ask Danny to launch our ‘My Life Music’ series of mixes, the idea being to give the DJ complete freedom to select music from their collection. Danny’s mix captures the vibe of his legendary day time sets from Ibiza perfectly. [PG]

“This recording is a mix of various bits and pieces from movies and my little library of curiosities. Its really my favourite thing recording mixes like this. Since the old days playing in Cafe del Mar etc I had still made these kind of mixes but didn’t know if anybody wanted to hear them. So I would just play them to my wife in the car or on the way to gigs or whilst sharing earphones on the beach. But thanks to some friends, mainly Pete Gooding I have started putting mixes online and it’s great just to hear anybody else likes some of the weird stuff I like.

I have always done mixes since I was very young my dad bought an excellent Sony studio cassette recorder with faders and various filters. I would play with all the switches and the levels and obviously it would sound hideous, but it was trial and error and taught me how to make things sound good.

Michael Kiwanuka starts of the mix I heard this guy play on a radio station somewhere back in September 2011 and couldn’t believe the voice on this guy and the sweeping melodies reminded me of Terry Callier – Love Theme from Spartacus, they don’t make many like that. But now he seems to be getting well deserved radio play, good for him. I also play Capatin Beefheart in the mix, a funny bloke as well as ace music legend, read some funny quotes when he sadly passed away recently.  I laughed hard reading this extract because you can almost taste the madness…

Relationships within the band were fraught, and Beefheart’s enormous force of personality bordered on the tyrannical. Band members subsequently claimed that they were more or less imprisoned by him and deprived of food and sleep. Cigarettes had to be smoked “the Beefheart way” — that is, held vertically at all times to display the smoker’s intelligence.

When one band member drew a gun on him, Beefheart ordered him to his room in disgrace. At Beefheart’s insistence, the band members were renamed on the Trout Mask Replica album cover as Antennae Jimmy Semens, The Mascara Snake, Rockete Morton, Drumbo and Zoot Horn Rollo.

Unsurprisingly, members came and went frequently. In the mid-1970s Jeff Morris Tepper, who played guitar on later Beefheart albums, was accused of listening to so many Beatles records that he was “humming ‘C’ in the middle of his head”. Beefheart’s solution was to confine him to a cupboard for three hours while ceaselessly playing Red Cross Store by Mississippi John Hurt through the door until he “really heard it”.

A Magic Band drummer given a tape of drum parts to learn found himself listening to the sound of Beefheart and his wife washing up, which “percussive activity” he was expected to render musically. Anyway back to the mix, it’s a good example of the kind of tracks I like. Something a bit special, music that sounds like a movie in itself, enjoy!

Cheers, Danny”

Tracklisting:

01. Michael Kiwanuka – Tell me a tale
02. College – A real hero
03. Gil Scot Heron – Me and the devil
04. Captain Beefheart – Observatory Crest
05. Prince – I Wanna be your lover (dimitri from paris edit)
06. Jona Lewis – You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties
07. New Order – Confusion (Instrumental)
08. America – A horse with no name
09. Manu Delago & Klovn – Mono Desire (Asger Baden Remix)
10. Jose Padilla – Adios ayer (Paul Daley remix)
11. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Light in darkness (808 State remix)
12. Gil Scot Heron – Blue Collar
13. Brian Eno – 8M1

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