17.01.2011, Words by Zara Wladawsky

First Dispatch \ Off Modern mix

For months we’ve had ideas kicking around our collective heads about how to make an interesting “Month in … “ column, or how to make radio for the internet. The result is Dispatches – whereby we ask four of the most respected bunches of people from around London and the internet to report on their world, introduce Dummy readers to new music and make a mix of the most exciting tracks and ideas every month.

To kick the series off, we’ve asked each team to contribute an introductory mix, and in coming days you’ll be getting ‘Hellos’ from Don’t Die Wondering, Feeding Time and Lightworks. First up is Off Modern, an award-winning bunch of South Londoners that organise club-nights, magazines and art-shows with street smarts and soul. One of their core-members, Felix Petty, has written for us for years, and his taste is music – running from Stax to the Manics to Sampha – is impeccable, so he was the obvious choice for our first edition.

It’s pretty hard to do this kind of thing; at least this one, the first one, is; how do I introduce myself to you? My name’s Felix and I’m twenty-three years old, I grew up in Brighton and moved to London to lose myself when I was eighteen years old. At the age of twenty, with a few friends, we formed Off Modern. We’ve been running a club night and exhibition space at Corsica Studios in sunny Elephant & Castle for over two years now, as well as running various other events in various other places.

This, the first column, is meant to be a sample overview of our taste, except it’s not really very democratic; I’ve chosen forty-five minutes of music that means something to me, or has influenced me deeply.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LIKE ME. Isn’t my taste in music totally impeccable? Probably not, but impeccable taste can also be impeccably boring. The other columnists may well include fantastically rare remixes you haven’t heard and white labels that haven’t been released yet by artists you won’t have heard of. This one doesn’t.

There will be time in future columns for us to talk and blather about the holy NEW in music; this is a repository for things that for reasons of changing taste will have no place being written about a few months down the line, because then we’ll have to talk about the new wave of jukecore records that are totally wowing everyone who works in Phonica.

You know that means nothing to me.

This does; religiously listening to Conor Oberst pour out his misery whilst growing my hair and discovering weed and pills in Brighton as a kid; driving to a music festival in the middle of Norfolk, in a car with six Essex-wide-boys and my friend Jim, watching Fucked Up play three songs before getting pulled off stage, taking MDMA and sitting in a field for nine hours; talking about that show with a friend who was there but now lives on the other side of the world, sitting in her paddling pool, drinking VB and listening to Neil Young in forty degree sunshine with a hot breeze blowing into the city from the desert; drinking espresso and eating ice cream in a café in New Cross with my friend Phil, and talking about Calvin Johnson and Jonathan Richman and books we love; listening to Fugazi and working out that there is much much more to hardcore and punk rock than taking speed and dying your hair green; Phil Spector / Phil Spectre, always slightly mocking but reveling in him and the tenderness that comes out of that gun-loving, power hungry maniac; have you ever felt infinity, time slipping away through the voice of Michael Gira?; what about your Dad, who always played Johnny Cash and Solomon Burke in the car when you went on holiday; or when I’m djing with my friend Will and we always play The Kinks even though secretly we know that none of the other idiots we’re playing records too really understands just how amazing they are so you have to play TUNES for them to get inebriated to, but every time, you’ll try and sneak something in there.

So here it is, forty-five minutes of music for you, I hope you understand.

I. Don’t Know When But A Day Is Gonna Come – Bright Eyes
II. Talk’s Cheap – Flipper
III. Rainwater Cassette Exchange – Deerhunter
IV. When The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
V. David Comes to Life – Fucked Up
VI. Full Disclosure – Fugazi
VII. Big Black Mariah – Tom Waits
VIII. To Know Him Is To Love Him – Phil Spector
IX. Cry To Me – Solomon Burke
X. I Love You – Beat Happening
XI. Lonely Financial Zone – Jonathan Richman
XII. Helpless – Neil Young
XIII. Blind – M. Gira
XIV. Days – The Kinks

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