NN – Hey Timmy, thanks for having a chat and doing a mix for us. How you coping in lockdown?
TS – Thank you gents, some days better than others. Two kids and two parents cooped up at home has its moments but glad of a patch of grass at the back and a studio in the house. 🙏 Everyone is healthy though so that’s the main thing.
NN – Glad everyone is healthy. I suppose that gives you some extra time in the studio then and you were able to do a mix for us. What was your inspiration for the selection? It has a feel-good vibe to it – is that intentional? To lift the spirits?
TS – Yeah it truly has. I’ve been aiming to do a few hours every day across a range of creative projects. Trying to form some sort of routine to the day and with music being so good for improving your mood that’s been helping. The weather at the minute really impacted on the feel of the mix. I had some great new things friends had made and given to me alongside some older records I’d picked out to play on some vinyl only situations gigs. Music to have a glass of something nice with in the sun for definite, and yes we got enough doom and gloom so upbeat and sun kissed was the agenda.
NN – For sure, it gives us something to look forward to, when we can get on the dance floor again! You’ve been championing the Belfast scene, supporting local artists and putting on successful nights in various guises since the 90’s. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
TS – I fell in love with the Street Sounds Electro compilations in the 80s and DJ culture through watching films like Beat Street and that led to me really starting to collect music and wanting to share that music with others. (A friend Jonny Lyons helped instantly swell my collection because he liked a leather jacket I had so I swapped it and 20 Regal for a box of 12”s he had). I was really lucky to be a teenager at the explosion of the acid house era here so I got to experience a lot of amazing sets and that really helped shape me. I learned how to mix and bagged gigs at Kelly’s and the Conor Hall and after that gained the confidence to start some nights of my own. I always remember how accommodating some DJs were to me when I was starting out, so I always like to support others with a real passion for the music.
NN – We caught the tail end of the 90’s but would have loved to experience the early days. You have been very supportive of us and we have really enjoy playing alongside yourself and Jordan at Ballyhackamore Social. How and when did you two guys team up?
TS – Well the 90s were great but I’m not one for dwelling on the nostalgia side too much, as there is still great stuff happening all the time. It’s that thing where if you have the right mix of people, the right music and environment you can always create something special. Doing nights in the suburbs has that raw new territory feel and adds some unknown excitement. I could easily see how important music was to you both and it’s hard to find music lovers who are drawn to the side of things you guys are and love having you on the team at the socials. Jordan and I actually met while delivering music workshops together, Dj’d together a few times and I remixed one of his 12”s and generally just clicked personality wise. We both care a lot about the detail in what we do, so it’s that passion thing again and as a result decided to start throwing some nights of our own.
NN – That’s it, you gotta keep moving forward. As you eluded to earlier you have a number of projects on the go – anything releasing soon? We know you had to recently postpone a UK tour for Black Bones…
TS – There are a few things coming this year. We have our first EP of original material as Black Bones on the ace Touch Sensitive label as well as a compilation project on there too. The BB7 12” landed in stores last week and the great UK tour around the Night Drives record has been rescheduled for now. I also have a solo 12” for Jordan’s Nocturne label and some other collaborative projects that are being worked on at present.
NN – Fantastic, looking forward to hearing Night Drives and didn’t know about the compilation – love a good comp. Thanks again for taking the time and looking forward to the party when this is all over.
TS – My pleasure guys.
Next up we have a Dubby mix. Music is the answer folks.
GIMME FIVE POST PUNK MIX
Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks and The Light of Saba
The “Light of Saba” is a compilation of the work of Jamaican saxophonist Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks and his collective, The Light of Saba.
Originally cutting sides in the 1960s at Studio One, Cedric Brooks ended up studying music in Philadelphia in 1968 and this resulted in a major artistic and personal turning point as he enrolled at the esteemed Combs College of Music. Brooks’ musical and philosophical horizons expanded through meeting saxophonist Sonny Rollins, avant-garde vocalist Leon Thomas and members of Sun Ra’s outer-worldly Arkestra.
When Brooks returned to Jamaica in 1970 he began recording at Studio One making an instant impact on Burning Spear’s Door Peep. Brooks recorded some forceful instrumentals under the name Im & David with the trumpeter David Madden. His determination to start an afrocentric group that would explore Jamaica’s rich musical traditions and the Rastafari faith resulted in the formation of the Mystics along with Madden and their aim was to push the boundaries of jazz-influenced reggae.
The group was renamed Light of Saba in 1974 and the eponymous album that soon surfaced was a complex stew of instrumental reggae jazz with African rhythmic underpinnings. The “Light of Saba” is a superb compilation of tracks from the Light Of Saba, which was basically a loose conglomerate of musicians centred around saxophonist Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks and trombonist Calvin ‘Bubbles’ Cameron.
For Spring/Summer 2020 Satta have taken influence from the artwork featured on the 1974 album for their Washed Black Light of Satta Tee.