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Rachid Taha
Rachid Taha cover art

A Whirly fave from the Shoreditch days is the Prankster (Justin Robertson from Lionrock) remix of Voila Voila by Rachid Taha, under the production of System 7's Steve Hilliage. Released as a CD single and 12" on Barclays Records, with the former featuring another classic, Indie. Both of these tracks also feature on the superb compilation Going Global, also on Barclays Records. Albums include 'Ole Ole' on Mango Records and 'Diwan' on Island Records.


Back to Shoreditch and a couple of classics were 'Hablando (Accordian Mix)' and 'El Ritmo Barbaro (El Flagelo Mix)'. Both tracks were based around the accordian, with the former a real hypnotic 'every week' classic back in the day and the latter a slightly darker and harder slice of euro house.

Recycler cover art

Recycler are a French duo who very efficiently manage to stay anonymous. Their sound is a mental fusion of bigbeat and breakbeat with acid 303's and Middle Eastern elements, sounding like Joi, Swami, Transglobal Underground and the Dhol Foundation rolled into one. It was obvious then that they should exile their home country and join forces with Nation Records back in 1998 with their debut single releases 'Fuh 115' and 'Deumtouch', followed in 1999 by the album 'AlphaBhangraPsychedelicFunkin'. Their second album, 'Iboga', was also released on Nation in 2001.

Safri Duo
Safri Duo cover art

Played-A-live (The Bongo Song) was a regular tune on the Whirly playlist back in 2002, followed by the uplifting carnival anthem 'Fallin' High' from the 3.0 album (also a CD single) in 2004.

Salif Keita
Salif Keita cover art

Albino vocalist/composer Salif Keita was born in Djoliba, Mali, in 1949. He broke all traditional rules to fufil his ambitions of a career as a musician. Early recordings with Les Ambassadeurs led to Keita composing 'Mandjou', which told the history of the Malian people and paid tribute to Sekou Toure. Seeking international success, the band was renamed to Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux/Internationales and in 1980 he took three members of the new line-up to the USA, where he recorded 'Wassolon-Foli', blending electric reggae with acoustic Malian folksong. In 1986, following a dispute, Les Ambassadeurs split, with Keita going on to lead a new outfit, Super Ambassadeurs. 1987 saw Keita pursue a solo career, debuting with the astonishing rock-flavoured album 'Soro', recorded in Paris and successfully fusing traditional Malian music with hi-tech electronics and western instrumentation. The marriage of influences was further developed on the 1990 album, 'Ko-Yan'. Its successor, 'Amen' was recorded the following year with the aid of jazz musicians Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul, with guitar work by Carlos Santana. However, the reception afforded both was lukewarm, and his live performances of this period were judged to be wildly erratic. 'Folon', produced by Wally Badarou, represented something of a return to form, with the title track and a revised version of 'Mandjou' his most outstanding songs since 'Soro'. A regular Whirly fave is the wonderfully uplifting Jambo Sana 12" remix of Africa, a CD single/12" from the album 'Folon'.

Sello cover art

'Umbala Ma G-String' by Sello 'Chicco' Twala is a wonderful laid back afro-influenced dance track. This one is very bouncy and catchy. Another Whirly afro-dance tune is 'Modjadji (The African Dub)', recorded under the name Chicco.

Space Penguins
Space Penguins cover art

A closing track from one of my U-4-IC tapes was the Atlantis remix of 'The Electrofunk' by the Space Penguins. This takes the well known hook from the 70's classic Hot Butters 'Pop Corn'. Subsequently this has become a popular Whirly tune.

System 7
System7 cover art

System 7 are the ambient/techno dance duo featuring Miquette Giraudy and the more celebrated Steve Hillage. Giraudy is a former film-maker (films included 'More' and 'La Vallee') from the south of France, where she met up with Hillage's band, the cult synth prog rockers Gong. Hillage enjoys his own cult following through his work with Kevin Ayers, Gong and the Steve Hillage Group, and had become enveloped in the ambient house explosion via the work of Spooky, the Drum Club, Orbital, Black Dog and Fluke, before collaborating with another listening favourite, the Orb. In turn System 7 have been joined on vinyl by a host of rock, pop and dance stars; Alex Paterson (Orb), Youth (Killing Joke/Brilliant), Mick McNeil (Simple Minds) Paul Oakenfold and Derrick May. Their recording career started in August '91 with 'Miracle' on Ten Records, after which they moved to Big Life but sought their own Weird & Unconventional imprint. Their first album, aptly titled 'System 7', featured a series of singles including 'Sunburst/Miracle ('91), 'Habibi' ('91), 'Freedom Fighters' ('92) and 'Altitude' ('92). Their second album, '777', featured the singles '7:7 Expansion' ('93), 'Sinbad' ('93) and also the wonderful track On the Seventh Night, a live version of which can also be found on the Earth Dance compilation. '95 saw the ambient 'Point3 Fire/Water' album, from which came the best System 7 remix to date, i.e, the Plastikman remix of 'Alpha Wave' by Richie Hawtin (which also features on the remix album 'System Express'). Their 4th album, 'Power of Seven' ('96), saw a change in style with elements of drum and bass featuring in their material. Following the remix album 'System Express', is the 'Golden Section', which features the excellent single 'Rite of Spring'.

Swami cover art

The album 'Desi Nu Skool Beatz' was originally released on Simon & Diamond Duggals own Sub Dub label, although when the label folded Nation Records (home to Fun-Da-Mental and Transglobal Underground) came to the rescue and re-released the album. Best described as a highly energetic fusion of politic-free Punjabi/Pakistani folk and breakbeat style dance - I add the "politic-free" phrase since so much of the music related with the Asian underground comes with extra baggage these days, and hence its so refreshing to hear an album/music from this genre that is free from these political rants (important though, as they are). Without a doubt this is the best long player on Nation for a long time. 'Mehbooba' is a regular on the Whirly playlist from this album.

Syndrome cover art

A track that I introduced to Monkey Pilot was Heyo (Nana Ae) by Syndrome, which was actually released in '97 on Universal Music. As the title suggests this is a trance/tribal crossover - much in the same genre as Dario G's Sunchyme, although not as cheesy. Steel drums, uplifting piano melody and catchy chants add to a solid beat and an all round excellent track that has since become a Whirly anthem.

Telepathy cover art

Telepathy Multimedia produced the '95 album 'Out There', which was a cocktail of tribal, folk and dance music. They played live at WOMAD in the Whirly tent in '96 (I think!), although not much has been heard from them since then. However, an absolute classic track written by Telepathy and Francis Bebey, that's been on the Whirly play list for many years, now features on the new Whirl-Y-Waves Vol.2 compilation.

Telepathy cover art

Formed in 1988, Timeshard are Gobber, Sim and Dream Angstrom. In the late 80's/early 90's they were involved with the free party scene, playing psychedelic electronic music. Gigs included Megadog, Whirl-Y-Gig, Megatripolis, HerbalT and the Bubble Club. Their discography includes the cassette only albums (released on their own label): 'Who pilots the flying saucers?' ('93), 'Hyperborean Dome Temples' ('94) and 'Timeshard Live' ('96). On the Planetdog/Ultimate label Ultimate in the UK and Europe (Mammoth Records in the USA) they released Crystal Oscillations ('94), Zero Ourobouros ('95), Hunab Ku ('96). Time Shard have also featured on many compilation albums, including 'Peel Your Head' (John Peel sessions), 'Ambient Amazon' (Tumi International), 'Transmissions from the Planet Dog', 'Totem Dubnology Vol.1', 'Beyond the Black Hole', and 'Ambidelic Space'. Remix work for other artists include Hyperborea, BOM, Suns of Arqa, Chumbawamba and Land of my Mothers (signed to V2 and vanished). Current releases are now on their own label 'Neomusic', the first of which was the compilation album (1998)- 'Now What Kind Of Music Do You Call That? Vol.1. 'Nwkomdyct? Vol.2' was released as a free MP3-only album given away with Computer Shopper magazine in Sept '99.

Tranquility Bass

A very early ambient Whirly track was 'Mya Yadana' by Tranquility Bass. It was one of those tracks played as the Whirly got started early in the evening. Very ambient, primarily composed of lots of unusal samples, and amazingly catchy. It featured on a US compilation titled Excursions in Ambience on Caroline Records.

Transglobal Underground
Tgu cover art

Natacha Atlas provides eastern vocals, chants and wails to the raps of the TGU Crew. Famous for their live performances - Balinese tribal masks and Natasha's chiffon-draped belly dancing in a hypnotic, dazzling display, fusing together the sound of global music with the dance scene of the 90's. Famous for their excellent '91 hit Temple Head, which also features on their first album 'Dream of a 100 Nations' (and recently resurrected in a world-wide coca cola advertising campaign). Its a Utopian concept, where tribal chants collide with spicy Eastern melodies, mantras soothe the staccato rapping, and speed driven BPM culture is gently woven into a shimmering dancescape. This is Jah Wobble, Loop Guru and Fun-da-mental rolled into one.... this is the global sound of TGU. 'Dream of a 100 Nations' was originally recorded for the De-Construction label but was shelved by the label for reasons best known to De-Con themselves. Nation Records became home for TGU, with a string of albums and EP's, including 'International Times' ('94), the remix album 'Interplanetary Meltdown' ('95) featuring the excellent Dreadzone remix of Lookee Here, 'Psychic Karaoke' and their last album on Nation, 'Rejoice Rejoice' ('98). Whirly faves include Temple Head, Delta Disco from the album 'Rejoice Rejoice', Scorch from the album 'Yes Boss Food Corner' on Mondo Rhythmica Records, and more recently Yellow and Black Taxi Cab and The Sikhman and the Rasta from their latest album 'Impossible Broadcasting'. Also, the 'Whirl-Y-Waves Vol.1' compilation exclusively features the excellent track Mambo On and Whirl-Y-Waves Vol.2' features Bhimpalasi Warriors, which also features on 'Yes Boss Food Corner' .

Rados cover art

Rados (pronounced 'Radosh') are Paul Riordan and Kent Davies, a project named after Ivan Rados who provides ethnic sounding vocals in the majority of this music. Their debut album, 'The Transparent Man', is a wonderful excursion through powerful and atmospheric down-tempo electronica, backed by glorious ethnic sounding vocals and thought provoking spoken samples. From this album are the two recent parachute tracks, 'My Soul is at the End of the Universe' and 'Immortal Sounds'.

React II Rhythm
React II Rhythm cover art

Another remix from Justin (Lionrock) Robertson is that of React II Rhythms classic Intoxication, which was originally released in '92 on Guerialla Records along with remixes by Leftfield. It was then re-released in '97 with a new mix from Nick Muir and John Digweed on Jackpot Records. The harmonica fuelled 'Lionrock Hoe Down Mix' used to be a Whirly fave.

Sabres of Paradise
Sabres of Paradise cover art

Andy Weatheralls well known project is the Sabres of Paradise, responsible for the classic album 'Sabresonic' and the re-released version, 'Sabresonic II', which feature the classic David Holmes remix of Smokebelch. An early Whirly fave was the incredibly cheesy gay anthem Wilmot.

Saccoman cover art

A trance gem from '98 is the Pyramid mix of 'Distant Planet' by Saccoman. Released in Germany on ZYX music and also featuring on many trance compilations.

Sash cover art

I never thought I'd see the day when a piece of music by Sash! made it onto my web pages - but here it is! The ATB remix of 'Colour the World' ditches the cheese of the original Sash mix and concentrates on the carnival atmosphere, resulting in an uplifting Whirly tune that's currently being played on a regular basis. Also, 'Adelante' is worth checking out, which features a similar uplifting theme w/o the cheese.

Scope cover art

Scope is James Gillespie, who released the 1994 12" Bacchanal on Sperm Records, and is responsible for remixes of Boomerang's Catch It, Yum Yum's 3 Minute Warning and Force of Nature's Cyclone. Bacchanal is an oldie Whirly favourite - very tribal and uplifting. It was only released as a 12" on Sperm Records, although the 'Floored Mix' features on the Sperm Records compilation 'The Sperm Bank', whilst the superior 'alpha mix' features on the Trance 6 compilation.

The Secret
Secret cover art

The Secret played at Whirl-Y-Gig at the 2000 New Years Eve gig. A big hard trance tune combined with uplifting celtic style vocals that Monkey Pilot has been playing since then has been 'Blow Wind Blow', released as a vinyl on Pendragon Records and now features on the Secrets second album.


A harder trance fave is 'Butterfly Trip' by SFX (who are actually Astral Projection under a different guise). This features on the 'Trust in Trance 2' compilation along with the original Whirly version of Astral Projection's Mahdeva.

Sidestepper cover art

Sidestepper is English producer Richard Blair. Whilst working on location in Colombia for Peter Gabriel's Real World label he fell in love with Salsa's seductive rhythms and decided to stay and explore Bogota's underground music scene. The offspring of this love affair was 1997's Logozo EP, a truly groundbreaking marriage of insistent British drum-and-bass with salsa's brash horns and nagging pianos. Sidesteppers debut album 'More Grip', released in 2000, spawned the single and whirly fave 'Hoy Tenemos'. 'Logozo' is also a Whirly regular.

Space Raiders
Space Raiders cover art

The electrified and distorted spoken sample of 'I Need the Disko Doktor' can be heard regularly at Whirl-Y-Gig at the moment. This is infact the Phats 'N' Small Mutant remix of '[I Need the] Disko Doktor' by the Space Raiders. Whilst quite a slow trance track, the combination of funky guitar riffs and hammond organ generate a real uplifting vibe.

State of Bengal
State of Bengal cover art

Flight IC408 and the Beatmasters remix of Rama Communication are both drum and bass classics. Both feature as singles, with Flight IC408 better known for its appearance on the excellent compilation album 'Anokha' by Talvin Singh.

Sultana cover art

Another oldie ('94) Whirly fave is Te-Amo by Sultana, released on Union Records and also as a 12" on XYZ Records. The 'Caliente Mix' features loads of recognisable samples in this trancey latino/flamenco track. The John Digweed remixes are also pretty good, and are classics in main-stream clubland.

Sundance cover art

A recent tune played at Whirl-Y-Gig is this mainstream happy-house dance track titled Sundance by Sundance. Although its little on the cheesy side, it's still a very uplifting track. Trainspotters will probably notice the catchy piano piece is actually from the David Holmes remix of the Sabres of Paradises Smokebelch. Released on React Music in '97 as a CD single and 12" [CD REACT109]. Also released by Sundance is the superb single The Living Dream with mixes by Transa and The Swimmer.

Suns of Arqa
Suns of Arqa cover art

The Suns of Arqa are old friends of Whirl-Y-Gig, where they have played live on numerous occasions. They "attempt, through music, to bring to light the spiritual teachings from the great mystical traditions of the world...", so it says in the covers of their albums. Led by the mighty Wadada, Suns of Arqa are a continuously changing sound, adopting stray musicians that happens to cross their path. The result is an interesting sound, with instruments like sitars, bagpipes, diderido's, violins, pakhawaj and tablas adding to the more conventional bass and keyboards. Their discography is impressive, with albums including 'Live with Prince Far-I', 'Land of a Thousand Churches', 'Alap-Joe-Jhala', 'Arqaology', 'Kokoromochi', 'Jaggernaut - Whirling Dub', 'Cradle', 'Shabda' and 'Total Eclipse of the Suns - remixes of 1979-1995'. They are probably best known for their collaboration with Astralasia, the result of which was the incredibly folky Sul-E-Stomp, and then the Swordfish remix of Govinda's Dream. The former was released as a single under Astralasia, whilst the latter was released as a single under Suns of Arqa, although the best mix of Govinda's Dream features on a rare white label 12" featuring four Swordfish remixes.

Talvin Singh
Talvin Singh cover art

Tabla player Talvin Singh's solo debut OK shares a much stronger affinity with the musical structure of a classical Indian raga. Singh doesn't simply add Western club beats behind previously existing Indian music through sampling or remixing. Rather, he exploits the inherent tendencies of "intelligent" drum 'n bass and classical Indian music (ethereal chords and complex time signatures respectively) to find a natural point of intersection between the two, thereby developing an entirely new style. Talvin has also released the spacey Asian drum 'n bass '97 compilation album 'Talvin Singh Presents Anokha: Soundz Of The Asian Underground', which was put out as an accompaniment to Singh's weekly club of the same name.

Travel cover art

'Bulgarian' is a scorching trancer that's currently being played at Whirly, featuring an uplifting chant and pounding beats. Released as a 12" on Tidy Trax.

Tribal Drift
Tribal Drift cover art

The '95 debut album from Tribal Drift, 'Collective Journeys', is a trancey/tribal/ambient/call it what u like little number. Didjeridoo's, tribal beats and chants send you on a journey into the land of Aborigines. The highlight is definitely 'Volcano' (available also on 12"), a 9 minute stomping drum/didge affair with one build-up after the next, that's been played at Return to the Source a number of times.

TUU cover art

TUU founders are Martin Franklin and Mykl O'Dempsey. The group's first CD release, the album 'One Thousand Years' initially came in a lmtd. ed. wooden and aluminium box (only 500 copies). Subsequent copies were produced in the regular CD jewel case. The title track "One Thousand Years" featured on the seminal Planet Dog "Feed Your Head" album encouraging the band into playing more live appearances. Concerts included the Ambient Weekend at the Melk Weg, Amsterdam, Passage Du Nord Ouest, Paris, the WOMAD festival and various clubs and venues in the UK. The second album, 'All Our Ancestors' ('95 on Waveform Records), develops TUU's spacious meditation pieces into invocational territory, a hallucinatory travelogue exploring a magical reality. New music from Ancient sources. Water drums, clay pots, Indian bamboo flute, and Tibetan bells and gongs shimmer over an ocean of electronics. Samples of mantra chanting monks and Arabic melodies weave in and out of the mix while the trio build and layer their mesmeric grooves. '97 saw the release of their third album, 'Mesh', on the Hearts of Space label. TUU attempt to open a window into what contemporary shamen have described as the archaic revival; the wave of ambient experimentalists tapping into the hidden dimension of the ancients. TUU bring the archaic, esoteric, and inchoate to soaring, pulsating life.

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