The Journal of Jon Hicks, one half of Hicksdesign.

Troika #19: Bleeps

Troika #19: Bleeps

In the early eighties I was really into artists like Jean Michel Jarre, Depeche Mode and Howard Jones. I loved synths! After about ’86 I moved away to more guitar-based music, Metal and then a wee folky phase in the early nineties.

During my last year at college in 94 I started rediscovering electronic music. As well as purveyors of ambience like Aphex Twin and The Orb, I also got into the slightly more ‘dancey’ end of the spectrum, even though I wasn’t a fan of dancing or nightclubs. I kind of just nodded my head along ;)

So, without interruption, here’s the three tracks I’ve chosen from : Leftfield, Future Sound of London and The Chemical Brothers. Enjoy!

  1. ‘Storm 3000’ – Leftfield
  2. ‘Dead Skin Cells’ – Future Sound of London
  3. ‘One Too Many Mornings’ – The Chemical Brothers
    This one is an all time favourite. Pure bliss!

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #19: Bleeps as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

Troika #18: Randoms

Troika #18: Randoms

Troika number 18 is a straightforward simpler episode! The only thematic link this time is tracks that I’ve discovered either by shuffle or playback glitches. Random songs! (Maybe a little bit of swearing too)

  1. ‘Cissy Strut’ – Butch Cassidy Sound System
    Butch Cassidy Sound System is a pseudonym Michael Hunter, who composed music for Grand Theft Auto.
  2. ‘Auditorium’ – Mos Def feat. Slick Rick
    From 2009’s album ‘Ecstatic’
  3. ‘Babe you turn me on’ – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
    Listen out for the bit where Nick Cave compares ‘Babe’ to an atom bomb, followed by an impression. In all seriousness, its a beautiful song

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #18: Randoms as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

Troika #17: The Scotch Egg

Troika #17: The Scotch Egg

This Troika is a musical representation of one of my favourite foods – the mighty Scotch Egg!

Scotch Eggs, just in case you’ve never come across such a delicacy, consist of three layers (just like a Troika!). At it’s core is a hardboiled (but can be softboiled) egg, wrapped in sausage meat and then coated in breadcrumbs before frying. Some fancy ‘artisan’ scotch eggs do things like substitute smoked haddock or black pudding for the sausage meat, while others wrap in crisps rather than breadcrumbs! They’re all tasty, but this one is dedicated to the ‘classic’ no-nonsense scotch egg.

So here we are – less waffle with this episode, lets get on with it! Here are the ingredients in this Troika Scotch Egg:

  1. ‘Breadcrumbs’ – Deca
    This is my kind of hip-hop. Laid back, quality wordplay and great samples! Deca is an artist (in the musical and physical sense) from Brooklyn.
  2. ‘Valley of the Sausages’ – Mr Scruff
    This is the first track I thought of when I decided to do this theme. A great pick from Mr Scruffs ‘Trouser Jazz’ album.
  3. ‘Egg’ – The Garden
    And so we got to a bass & drums duo from Orange County, California, who describe their style as ‘Vada-Vada’ to avoid being pigeonholed.

The Guardian has a nice little article if you want to familiarise yourself with history and global variations of this king of picnic snacks.

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #17: The Scotch Egg as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

Troika #16: Diddly-dum! Diddly-dum!…

Troika #16: Diddly-dum! Diddly-dum!…

With the new series of Dr Who starting this weekend, I decided it was time for a Troika on the iconic TV theme! There has been a lot of ‘official’ versions and many more covers (including a terrible disco-ified one by Mankind in 1979), but here is the original, along with my two favourite unofficial versions!

  1. Doctor Who (1963 original theme) – Ron Grainer & Delia Derbyshire
    Ron Grainer wrote the score, but it was Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic workshop that brought it to life, using techniques that she and Dick Mills invented as they went along. It was revolutionary, and their work continues to inspire electronica today, especially in bands like Stereolab
  2. ‘Dr Qui’ – Bill Bailey
    Bill Bailey is the first artist to be featured again on Troika, and this time it’s for his Belgian Jazz (with french lyrics) version of the theme. (He also appeared in the show as Droxil in ‘The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe’ fact fans).
  3. ‘Dr Who’ – Orbital (live at Glastonbury)
    The men with laser beams for eyes regularly perform this lively EDM version in their live set. This one is taken from the 2004 Glastonbury Festival. They came back in 2010, and performed it with the then Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith. Not sure how much he actually did – maybe just twiddled a few knobs?

P.S – sorry for the abrupt ending, thats how the last track finishes! Tsk…

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #16: Diddly-dum! Diddly-dum!… as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

Troika #15: Sub Dove Rivers

Troika #15: Sub Dove Rivers

Troika number fifteen is all about twins from Manchester called Andy and Jez Williams. They started off recording in the 1980s as Static Mist before forming Sub Sub with bassist Jimi Goodwin in 1988. Their earliest single was ‘Spaceface’ but it wasn’t until 1994 that they had their first big commercial hit with “Ain’t no love (ain’t no use)” with Melanie Williams. The video for that song is great, as Melanie gets a studio to herself, while (initially at least) the band have to sit on the plumbing at the back:

A few years later, Jimi and the Williams twins ended Sub Sub, but stayed together and changed direction into an Indie Rock band on as Doves. According to Wikipedia), “the band’s studio caught fire and burned down, leading the band members to abandon their previous dance-oriented style and start afresh as alternative rock band Doves in 1998. On the band’s change of direction, Jez Williams said: “We were faced with a really black and white decision: throw the towel in or carry on. And if you’re going to carry on, you’ve got to put everything into it to justify it, because before that you’ve lost everything. That was quite a liberating feeling, actually.”

When Doves played live they often played old Sub Sub tunes (check out Spaceface, at one of their last gigs at the Eden Project). They went on hiatus in 2010, and now the Williams brothers are recording without Jimi Goodwin, under their new name ‘Black Rivers’. We finish with my favourite track off their self-titled debut album, ‘Voyager1’.

  1. ‘Ain’t no love (ain’t no use)’ – Sub Sub feat. Melanie Williams
  2. ‘Pounding’ – Doves
  3. ‘Voyager 1’ – Black Rivers

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #15: Sub Dove Rivers as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

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