by Wrongtom

Before we get started on part 2 of the Duppy Writer story, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my dad when I was growing up. A man of few words, yet he loved language. After a few beers he was known to recite macabre verses from Hilaire Belloc or nonsense from Edward Lear (for ref: Sheila E raps a bit of Lear in the middle Prince’s ‘It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night’), and he coveted records by George Melly, Peter Sellers and The Kingston Trio. …


by Wrongtom

September marked a decade since the release of my Duppy Writer album with Roots Manuva. With? Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch as it’s a remix album, but it has my name on the cover next to his, which I never expected to see there, and I’m still surprised I even got to make it.

How did an unassuming dub producer with little more than a string of remixes for an indie-pop group come to be working with national treasure Roots Manuva, I hear you ask? …


by Wrongtom

Sometime in the early 00s, at the behest of absolutely no one, I decided it was time to name what I saw as an overlooked and misjudged genre. It might sound callous to spotlight the likes of Lighthouse Family, China Black and mid 90s Roachford, and dub their chart-friendly take on modern RnB as “90s Mum Soul” but, as snarky as it might sound to the artists involved (and any mums of the 1990s), I assure you I genuinely liked these records.

There was no reason for my revision of history. At the time I’m sure no one…


by Wrongtom

Host

Who’s Zoomin whom? Not me. Not much anyway. I think I can count the number of group calls I’ve made via Zoom on one hand, and that’s in total, not just during lockdown. Most of you probably aren’t as technophobic as me, and I hear you’ve been having big nights in with your gang, throwing Zoom parties, doing quiz nights, and generally waving two fingers in the face of that fun-sucking virus.

I have an aversion to video calls. In fact I’m not a big fan of talking on the phone, preferring to chat in person wherever possible…


by Wrongtom

In my studio surrounded by stuff circa 2003

I’ve often been accused of hoarding. True, I have a lot of stuff, and it’s all important. The thousands of records which line my studio? I covet every last one of them, despite probably not having enough life left to listen to them all in full. The tubs of old DATs featuring unreleased tracks I made 20 years ago? Priceless, and if I ever get my DAT player fixed I’ll unleash them on the world, or at least the handful of people who actually click things I’ve linked to on Twitter.

Hoarding is a disorder. The NHS website…


by Wrongtom

The Moorish Zionist Temple Of The Moorish Jews by James Van Der Zee

In August 1940, Mike Todd was running a jazz joint in Flushing Meadows on the outskirts of the New York World Fair. The previous summer he’d convinced the Fair’s president to stage his hit Broadway production of The Hot Mikado. The jazz re-imagining of Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic ran for 2 seasons, becoming one of the fair’s hottest attractions, during which, Todd opened his own nearby venue Gay New Orleans, introducing even more tourists and fair-goers to the jazz he grew up on back in Chicago.

Todd’s friend Mezz Mezzrow mustered up some cash and headed to the…


by Wrongtom

With the current furore surrounding Kanye’s presidential campaign, I was reminded of the time Dizzy Gillespie ran for head office. What started out as a joke when the trumpeter’s agent printed “Dizzy Gillespie for President” badges became a fully fledged campaign in the wake of JFK’s assassination in ’63, with Dizzy as a write-in candidate for the ’64 US election.

Like Ye, many saw the bebopper’s bid as a publicity stunt, but Dizzy, in the thick of the civil rights movement, wanted to promote change. He began wearing dashikis on his campaign run which called for “a more…


by Wrongtom

Sometime back in 1988 I was in a cafe with my mum, down a back alley in Kingston Upon Thames. A lanky and bedraggled man lumbered in with his scrappy little dog and settled on the next table. I recognised him instantly, I even recognised his dog. This guy was the face of an advert for milk in which he takes his dog for a dawn run through Battersea Park, soundtracked by Jan Hammer’s woozy synths, before helping himself to the contents of a milk float.

Milk advert

Like the milkman above, I was well aware who he…


by Wrongtom

I ❤️ NY

“The city may be man’s most significant creation, but as we know, living in one has its price. The endless onslaught on the senses often results in either immunity or collapse.”
Milton Glaser, Art Is Work.

Milton Glaser was in a cab on his way to his studio when he scrawled 4 glyphs in red pencil on a scrap of paper. He’d been hired by the state of New York to work alongside advertising agency Wells Rich Green in an effort to entice tourists into their faltering city. William Doyle headed up the project.

Glaser, a Bronx-born, Manhattan…


by Wrongtom

Mixmag’s Hard-Fi covermount CD cover

Back in April — which now seems like a lifetime ago — Mixmag announced it would be pausing it’s print run for three months. This week they extended this hiatus “until clubs and festivals return properly in 2021”. Whilst their digital platform is still going strong, I can’t help but feel sad whenever an institution like Mixmag loses it’s physical presence. Over 3 decades of monthly magazines, now potentially down the pan thanks to this rotten pox.

Ok, let’s set the way-back machine to March 2006. I was in the throng of my tenure with indie pop stars…

Motive Unknown’s Digest

A roundup of key news in tech, music & apps. It is curated by Darren Hemmings, founder of Motive Unknown. Signup at site for FREE daily email summary!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store