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Good, Bad but not evil

Where Are You Going All Naked is a poster for an 1969 Italian comedy movie that I picked up in Camden. I loved the ridiculous title so much that I thought it warranted becoming a song title. I’m also a massive Ren & Stimpy fan and the Space Madness episode is my all-time favourite. When Ren has lost his marbles and is floating in the bath talking lovingly to his bar of soap he utter the line “We’re not hitch-hiking anymore…we’re riding!” I love that line.

2. At Work:
Possibly the second track we ever did, the first one being “In Training” Born from the ridiculous bass sound of my Ensoniq SQ80. That was it, that bass line was the song and everything else was inspired by it. Incidentally I bought the SQ80 from Jonah from Space Time Continuum who bought it from Adam aka Adams who was someone we hung around with a lot at the time until his career went stellar. He wrote Killer on the very same SQ80 and it’s my prize possession.

3. I’m Back:
Again the bass line created this song but it was a bass line that I’d been jamming out on my acoustic guitar. Martin S laid it down on the Akai S2000 and we started playing variations of it across the keys as well as adding in some dampened guitar strokes and of course the Kung Fu samples. This has a real 70’s cop show feel to it as well and embodies both the love of The Beastie Boys and the idea of “Future Retro” music.

4. On Bail From Hell:
A friend of ours, Shend, asked us to work on a few songs of his and we basically took the vocal for this track and discarded everything else. It sounded like a Mexican big band GOOD BAD BUT NOT EVIL TRACK BIO !1 breakbeat voodoo track to us so that’s what we made it in to. I always loved this song so when I was thinking of what tracks to put on the album this was always a contender. It also meant getting back in touch with Shend and asking if he was ok with it which thankfully he was and the result is what you hear. Mexican big band breakbeat voodoo!

5. Return of The Big Boss:
I’ve always loved western movies, kung fu movies (Bruce Lee in particular), Morricone and the way Once upon a time in the West was shot with the soundtrack blasting out a PA whilst filming. I also have a favourite track by an NZ band Blam Blam Blam called “Don’t Fight it Marsha it’s bigger than both of us” Don McGlashan was the drummer for the Blams and he may not remember it but they used to hold free music workshops at the Nathan Homestead in my hometown of Manurewa. That’s where Don taught me to play the drums and inspired me to want to be in a band. I sat down one day and thought about how great “Marsha” was as a track and wrote the guitar line for Return in my head. The rest just followed. By the way the Blams do the best version of the Dr Who theme I’ve ever heard and hearing them play it live when I was 14 was just incredible. Thanks Don!

6. The Killer Blade:
The title comes from watching the local news in London and they were asking a young kid why he carried a knife. His response was “well, it’s the killer blade innit!” as insane a response as that was i thought “what a great song title”. The idea of living on the edge, doing what you do just because you feel you have to, not understanding the meaning necessarily of what you are doing or why resonates. I was a big fan of the David Carradine series Kung Fu (a role he got over Bruce Lee as Bruce was considered “too Chinese looking” by the producers) as a kid. The drifter, righting wrongs, underestimated by all who meet him, the silent hero. The samples all came from various kung fu movies and I wanted it to sound like a Chemical Brothers track as well so a real mix of inspiration that drove this track.

7. ICU:
Intensive Care Unit, not the hospital kind but the human kind. This is all about what I think my favourite humans are, intensive care units. Those people you meet that just have so much love for other people. Another track that started out on guitar and originally inspired by the guitar line in Snap’s I got the power. It’s
also a dedication song to my wife and muse and is about how intense love can be when you meet the right person. A mix of outward global peace “Let’s love again” and being inspired by someone else’s love, how you take that feeling and try to project it out to people you don’t even know. My 12 year old daughter Leia did the video for this on video star and the childlike innocence of the video reflects the emotion in the song.

8. Big Bad Groove:
Before I was a 15 year old punk rocker I was a 14 year old disco bunny. I’ve always thought there was a connection between all genres of energy music, disco, punk, rock, heavy metal. This was inspired by Daft Punk, Saturday Night Fever, Nile Rogers and that poky guitar sample on The Cardigans “Favourite Game” It’s
about when you’re dancing with someone and that energy between you is electric, you get lost in it and everyone else on the dance floor
floats out to the periphery and become a blur. Super happy to lay something down with my long time friend Vix from Fuzzbox who
provides the backing vocals on this track. It’s a tribute to disco and all the joy that a four on the floor track can bring.

I had an album by Asha Bhosle, most people in the UK became aware of her when the Coronershop single “Brimful of Asha” Fat Boy Slim (or Norman Cook as he was then) remix hit number 1 in 1997. I used to play the Asha Bhosle record through a wah was pedal at rehearsals and we’d jam along to it. Martin S coming up with the superb bass line. It became our favourite fun track to play and eventually we decided to do it properly and recorded it. It’s a nod to how much eastern music influences western music. The high energy and the relentless drive of the tabla. I remember watching a late night Bangra show on tv and thinking they were just ravers basically, the energy was exactly the same. I’m convinced dance music started when a caveman started banging a stick on a log. That primal thing hasn’t changed.

10. Broken Beats:
I’d spent the morning on my girlfriends (now wife) stall in Camden Stables and had been hearing a fusion of music playing, some from Keb Darge’s stall 3 stalls down, he would never tell us what the records were! some from the record stall on the corner opposite the pancake hut and other sounds that would drift in and out as the wind carried them. Something just stuck in my head. I couldn’t be bothered waiting for a bus so I walked up to Swiss Cottage to the Jubilee Line station and on the way wrote Broken Beats in my head. As soon as I got home I got the basics down on Cubase and worked on it from there. We actually released this on Crosstrax in 1998 as a 12” and I always thought I could do a good rework with the better technology and equipment I have now.

We used to hear a lot of trance music back in the day floating across Camden Market on a Sunday. That combined with a favourite track of mine “French Kiss” by Lil Louis that had that constant high stab running through it and a jungle drums sample I discovered. The main looping pad the oscillates in and out of time was created like a lot of stuff then because I had a total of 1 minute sample time on the Akai so i’d have to loop stuff and keep the sample really short or I’d run out of memory. I always liked the weird effect you’d get as you change key and the loop goes slower or faster. Happy accidents of sampling. I was really into The Prodigy then as well and they definitely influenced this track.