August won’t go down as my favourite month, with Monday 2nd bringing the unwelcome news that my ‘Just Buggin’ radio show was being dropped from the FM107.9 schedule. It was nothing personal – all ten of the station’s specialist shows fell under the axe. Management had evidently decided to pursue a more ‘upmarket’ breed of advertiser. Apparently, professional people don’t listen to urban or dance music. So the house, electro, D&B, indie and hip-hop shows all got the indiscriminate chop, to be replaced with more computer-controlled generic playlist music.
Needless to say, the other specialist jocks were as gutted as I was. It was unfortunate that none of us were given the opportunity to do a final show to advise listeners of what was happening. But it’s not the first time I’ve lost a show, and my long experience has taught me that this is how all stations operate.
‘Just Buggin’ ran for over three and a half years, and while its loss is a blow, I can’t say it was a huge surprise. If anything, it was incredible that it was allowed to run for so long, given its non-mainstream music policy – a distinct rarity in legal, corporate radio.
Anyway, all is not lost. ‘Just Buggin’ now has a new home on the on-line station Recharged Radio, and runs every Sunday from 8-10pm UK time. We’ve tweaked the format slightly; there’s now a more-or-less equal split of upfront and old-school sounds, all preserving that real boom-bap hip hop sound. You can tune in, or get the Listen Again links all via http://www.rechargedradio.com
My last JB 1079 interview turned out to be with T3 of Slum Village, who have just returned with a new album, ‘Villa Manifesto’. It’s appeared on the Black Sheep mag website. Here’s where to check it out:
On a brighter note, Friday 6th saw the Dr. Dre instalment of my ongoing Beatmasters mix series get an airing on Charlie Sloth’s late night Hip Hop M1x show on 1Xtra. Charlie was rocking out to it if the generous supply of airhorns and effects samples were anything to go by. You can listen back to the broadcast here:
The latest Beatmasters volume is all about the King of New Jack Swing, Teddy Riley, encompassing his very long and varied production career. The full lowdown on that one is right here:
Saturday 7th saw me spinning at The Apartment in Swindon. The spot is know for its soul, funk, R&B and hip-hop events, and draws a loyal crowd of ‘steppers’ who always liven up the dancefloor. King Pin was due to see me spinning alongside 1Xtra’s Ronnie Herel. In the event Ronnie didn’t show due to some mix-up or other, so I ended up playing the whole night myself. I finished the night chatting loudly in a residential street with Swindon DJ Stu Campbell. When lights started coming on and curtains twitching it was time to move on.
Another of my mixes got an airing on Tuesday 17th. This saw the Pete Rock Beatmasters mix getting blasted by Stretch Taylor on his Ghetto Heaven show on London’s Colourful Radio. Stretch is one of the few real DJs keeping it real out there by hammering proper soulful, funky grooves, and the show comes highly recommended. Catch it every Tuesday from 9pm-midnight at www.colourfulradio.com
Bank Holiday weekend involved my monthly set at The Bridge, Oxford on the Saturday. The thought of the sheer weight of the crowds saw me slacking off from attending Notting Hill Carnival for another year, but I did feel inspired to put together a mix comprising many of the flavours of carnival. It starts in reggae territory before moving through jungle and soca, and ending with some blues party-style lover’s rock. You can listen to and download the whole thing from here:
From a personal point of view, August was the dullest month of my year so far, and I’m happy to be rid of the bastard. With trips to Latvia, Ibiza and New York in the diary, September looks to be a whole lot more inspiring. Bring it on!