Six years ago, Ninja Tune released Now, Listen!, an inaugural mix CD based on the Solid Steel radio show. Two months ago, they released Now, Listen Again!, the eighth in the series, after installments from Amon Tobin, Mr. Scruff, and other like-minded DJs. Like the first, this disc is compiled by Solid Steel regulars DJ Food and DK, and again, the mix's maddening scope is limited only by the DJs' twisted imaginations.

Solid Steel started as a radio show in 1988 by Coldcut's Matt Black and Jonathan More, an outlet for the two to play the music they loved and a showcase for their remix acumen, as they created tracks based on samples (a James Brown break here, some spoken word there) with physical tape edits. This was before the internet and software like Ableton Live and was based as much on skill as an unfathomable degree of patience, a far cry from the current wave of laptop jockeys lazily queuing up audio. DJ Food joined the Solid Steel roster in 1993, DK in 1997, maintaining Coldcut's crazed genre-hopping style and building Solid Steel into an entity beyond its radio beginnings.

DJ Food started as a collective Coldcut project, the name a description of the project's aim of "feeding DJs," with the early Jazz Brakes releases consisting of breaks, loops, and samples. It grew into a family of collaborators, then shrank down to its current incarnation, a solo artist named Strictly Kev. DK's story is a bit more straightforward: He produced the Solid Steel radio show in the wake of Coldcut and DJ Food's busy tour schedule.

The new mix delivers everything listeners expect from Solid Steel. Now, Listen Again! commands your attention throughout, the exclamation point in the title indicative of the thought you're all but forced to give. Just when a particular track or mood gets familiar, the jocks switch it up, tossing in speech or screwing with the tempo. It makes for horrible background music, constantly sucking you in despite your own intentions, as annoying as it is entertaining.

After a signature sampled intro, the mix immediately jumps into the realm of the surreal, with Rakim rapping over the Human League's "Being Boiled." From there, it's impossible to know where one song begins and the next ends. Rock meets funk and hiphop mingles with northern soul along with a few dozen other genre permutations. It's the arc of a raging party, building from varied head-nodding miscellanea and exploding in its last quarter with a collection of MCs and drum 'n' bass.

It's a hodgepodge that DK hopes translates live. In a May interview in Australia's Onion, he says, "There's no point in chucking beats together and thinking 'Oh, that's different.' If it's different, great. But does it still work? And hopefully we've managed to do that. We'll find out when we play it out in the clubs."

DJ Food & DK play Wed June 20 at Chop Suey, 9 pm, $10, 21+.

Get Out!



Uniting Souls is extending last month's three-year-anniversary celebration with the release of their label's latest, Seattle Sessions v2. Headlining the evening is Brett Johnson, the Texas transplant who tends to be completely slept on by Seattle, despite his strong production pedigree. Johnson joins Lawnchair Generals and Jeromy Nail as remixers for the Uniting Souls release, which features Mister Leisure's "Don't Clap Your Hands." See Sound Lounge, 115 Blanchard St, 374-3733, 9 pm–2 am, $5 before 11 pm/$10 after, 21+.



New Zealand by way of Detroit producer Matthew Chicoine (aka Recloose) has one of the most legendary "How'd you get your record deal?" stories around: He slipped his demo into Carl Craig's sandwich. But instead of doing the typical DJ tour circuit, he's kept a reasonably low profile. He's spent the last few years living in Titahi Bay, New Zealand, releasing the follow-up to 2002's acclaimed debut Cardiology and playing live with some of New Zealand's finest musicians. For this, his first trip to Seattle, expect to hear cuts from his upcoming LP, due out in the fall. Baltic Room, 1207 Pine St, 625-4444, 9 pm–2 am, $7 adv/$10 DOS, 21+.


This party doesn't seem to have any theme other than "pay money, hear music," with only the promise of projections of spaghetti Westerns tying the various acts together. The New Law create tracks in the vein of late-'90s Ninja Tune, their beat-centric compositions perfect for either getting laid or getting stoned. Their live/DJ hybrid set is hopefully going to be complemented by OSpud's psychedelic rock and a set of drum 'n' bass by Olcyrus. Lo-Fi Performance Gallery, 429 Eastlake Ave E, 254-2824, 9 pm–2 am, $5, 21+.



The Community Project is steadfast in their dedication to bringing their interpretation of deep house to Seattle. Now they've taken to the (digital) airwaves with a bimonthly show on Oseao internet radio, which you can see being recorded live. For this installment, DJ Alternegro will be manning the decks. Oseao/Electric Tea Garden, 1402 E Pike St, 6–8 pm free.