Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Mary Anne Hobbs Leaving Radio One

Firstly, I hadn't really been checking if / what people had been downloading off here for a week or two because it seemed to me that I wasn't really put anything new or that interesting up and no-one was bothering listening to anything so it was a bit of a surprise that all the numbers had shot up, even some older stuff that had had no listens before. Maybe there is a bit more call for me to put stuff up than I realised, so I'll try to make up for the lack of recent activity now.
Now tonight marks the end of Mary Anne Hobbs show on Radio One. Don't get me wrong - I am a big fan and any criticisms I'm about to make must be balanced out with the fact that over the years she has introduced me to hundreds of great tracks I would never have heard anywhere else, especially in the years before the internet when I taped her show religiously.
I know her legacy will be for breaking dubstep to the masses and I guess that's definitely justified but to me there was a lot more to her shows than that - both for the better and worse. I don't really want this to be negative really so I'll keep this bit brief but, to me, she did have a few years lost in the wilderness after big beat died but before dark garage / dubstep came along. Some of the stuff she played and guests booked sort of from '99 to maybe even as late as '03 were either questionable (Sister Bliss and Faithless?) or instantly forgettable (hmmm..... nope, it's gone). 
Some of my favourite memories are the night Roni Size made a new track live out of samples listeners phoned in (I tell you, kids don't know they're born these days!), The Wall Of Sound birthday parties (I think 5th and 6th - certainly when Jon Carter just took over proceedings), how much Mary Anne would go all school-girly whenever Richard Fearless of Death In Vegas came in,  the night Suicide came back, the time she went on holiday and David Holmes and Portishead took over for a couple of weeks (this was when the show was still 4 nights a week), Steinski and Plus 1 back to back turntablism, the Tim Burgess set (if anyone has this mp3ed, drop me a note - its a classic in this household) but perhaps best of all - the fact you had to get the tracklists on Ceefax! (God, the kids these days etc etc...). I'm trying to think of mistakes / things going wrong / guests not showing up type tales but I must have forgotten anything like that over the years. 
So the mixes I have digitally (one day I will get round to sorting them tapes out before they disintegrate to nothing). 
Primal Scream : Although the Aphrodite 'Woman that rolls' sample was warmly familiar, I'd completely forgotten about "You are about to enter a big beat zone!" speech bit at the start of the mixes! Retrospectively, we are probably thankfully that this Scream Team mix didn't take us into a big beat zone at all, instead going for the all over the shop approach dropping jazz, reggae, kraut, punk. It dates a bit better than what I could guess would have been on the rest of the show - Fatboy Slim, Skint, Wall Of Sound etc.
Spiritulized : This is a live session, not the classic award winning Jason Pierce mix but I like the bits inbetween the session tracks, it gives a really good reminder of how good the Breezeblock was - pretty eclectic, a classic in there with brand new stuff and a mention of The Bluetones!
Bjork : One of the all time greats. I remember the night this went out thinking it was something very special and there was a lot of hype around it, Bjork playing childhood nursery rhyme favourites and Public Enemy.
Dr Octogan : I guess this must have been just before the show changed names to Experimental, a short little mental mix from Kool Keith
Kode 9 Presents Burial : A mix of tracks promoting the first lp. You've got to give her credit, once Mary Anne got onto dubstep, she got into it big time.
I think I will forever associate Mary Anne with just one word: "Mighty!" (she did seem to describe everyone as mighty for a good few years) but I think it needs taking back and applying to Mary Anne herself.

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