I love music that plays somewhere in that glitterball-lit realm between disco, house, dub, funk, rock 'n roll, and pop. This site will host mixes I've made and songs I like that dance across the genres. Let me know what you think. And if you've got a party or night you'd like moving to this sound, drop me a line on rorychallands (at) gmail (dot) com.


I'm off for a long weekend in Berlin, the city of the 24 hour party. I was wondering whether to put up some modern Berlin minimal techno as an appropriate post. But Christ, that stuff bores the tits off me most of the time.

So in a slightly different vein here's Liza Minelli's untouchable turn as Sally Bowles from the 1972 musical film, Cabaret. Set in the doomed and decadent glimmer of Berlin just before the rise of the Nazis, it's a film that manages to be both exuberantly joyful, and darkly sinister at the same time. In my view Cabaret is the best musical ever written. I can't think of any others that juggle such a potentially incongruous cocktail of totalitarian politics, sexual abandon, romantic love story, and cracking songs with anything near the humanity and skill that is pulled off in Cabaret. If you haven't seen it, do it. Schnell!

At the centre of it all is Liza Minelli. This was the role she was meant to perform, and by 'eck she puts some welly into it. She owns pretty much every scene she's in, and sings the shit out of every song she's given.

I grew up with the soundtrack to this playing often in the house, and it's now a constant companion on my iPod too. Masterful. So I'll be humming this along the streets and alleys of Germany's capital. Life is a cabaret, old chum.


It doesn't have to be like this...

House music is undeniably hedonistic. But sometimes it can also be immensely soulful too. And Someday from 1987 is an absolute, no arguments, stone-cold, soulful house classic. It's instantly recognisable, with that Marshall Jefferson bassline and piano riff having been sampled infinitely down the years. His production on this is nothing short of immaculate.

But it's the words that give Someday it's beauty, sung by CeCe Roger's honey-dipped voice. Early house music often had a yearningly utopian message. It was music that reached for a better future. You know - one love, one planet - all that crap. It may sound cheesy now, but listen to Someday and you get the feeling maybe that future's still worth striving for.


Wrap Your Arms Around Me

A little thought experiment for you. Try to imagine yourself as a big, burly queen who cries salty tears into his moustache at musicals, pampers his Chihuahua, and has a collection of leather sailor hats in his wardrobe. Not working?

OK, now play this amazing Villa edit of Agnetha Fältskog and then try again. There you go! Easy, wasn't it?

Thanks to the wonderful Oh, Baby I Like it Raw blog for putting this on my radar. There are a couple more Villa edits from the Mindless Boogie stable available for free download here.


Better Safe Than Sorry

And here's a new mix for y'all too. It's the most recent one I've done and I made it for my very good friend James' birthday. One of his many virtues is that he's very safety conscious. So I called it the Better Safe Than Sorry mix.

It starts pretty mellow with a bit of Fleetwood Mac (you can't beat The Mac!) and St Etienne, but this is certainly a harder edged mix than many I've done. It moves through some bumping, disco-y rap and pretty camp early house, before then getting a bit more deep and dirty.

I made this mix before Michael Jackson died, but now the inclusion of the Holy Ghost! edit of the amazing Get On The Floor seems very apt. It's Jackson at his most positive and effervescent, and Holy Ghost! wisely leave it mostly alone. It's just drawn out a bit, with a longer breakdown in the middle and a few well chosen effects to bring it up to date.

And if you recognise the last track, try not to think too much about its most famous usage. It's the song Buffalo Bill is listening to in Silence Of The Lambs when he's doing his make-up and trying on the human skin mask. But don't let that put you off. It's a beautiful song about countering cynicism and doomy nihilism. I love it.

Fleetwood Mac: Over My Head, St Etienne: Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Andrew Weatherall Mix), The Bangles: Dub Like An Egyptian (Todd Terje Edit), Monie Love: It's A Shame (Red Zone Mix), Q-Tip: Breathe & Stop (The Revenge Mix), Fox The Fox: Precious Little Diamond, Raze: Break 4 Love, Lil' Louis & The World: I Called You, Kink & Neville: Full Flight, Azari & III: Hungry For The Power, Inner City: Big Fun (Magic Juan Mix), Laura Winslow: Neighbourhood Romeo, Laid Back: White Horse, Den Haan: Release The Beast, Visti & Meyland: All Nite (Trentemoller Remix), Caroline Crawford: Coming On Strong, Michael Jackson: Get On The Floor (Holy Ghost! Edit), Q Lazzarus: Goodbye Horses


Perfecting the Groove. You bitch.

It's a well known scientific fact that the elusive entity called 'the Groove' was perfected in 1982-1983. People had been having a go at it since the 1400s - but early attempts were stymied by the fact it's pretty much impossible to get your funk on with a lute.

The 50s and early 60s were too wired on speed to really dig 'the Groove', and in the late 60s they liked to call themselves 'groovy' - but that's not the same thing at all. By the mid 70s they actually started to really get close - but there wasn't quite enough dorkiness around to truly find the sweet spot.

Because that's the thing... perfection of 'the Groove' actually relied on just the right alchemy of coolness and nerdiness that the early 80s supplied in almost obscene quantities. Take the dudes on the right, for instance. You wouldn't have thought they were members of the high Magi who'd driven 'the Groove' to it's zenith. They're from Denmark. It's like spies, though. The best ones are the quiet dudes who could be lab technicians, but actually know 478 ways to kill you with a lavatory brush.

So in 1983 Laid Back released White Horse on the world. It's got a stripped back drum pattern. It's got weird, staccatto peeps and sqwacks. It's got jerky, spazzy synths. And then the bassline rolls in, scoops up all those dorky elements and fuses them into one motherfucker of a perfect groove. If George Orwell had known there'd be music like this in 1983, he wouldn't have written 1984.