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R.A.W. – Turntable Psycho

Download Side A – 45:53, 84.0 MB

Download Side B – 45:55, 84.1 MB

256kbps, 44.1kHz stereo

Stereo rebalanced, normalized, treble boosted

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We’ve got a true classic right here. Though it was released in ’97 this tape almost exclusively features tracks circa 1992 and thereabouts. This is a great era as most genres of techno had yet to branch from the trunk, so to speak, meaning that just about everything was jungle plus inklings of something (or more likely, some things) else.

This is a very solid mix of all kinds of primordeal jungle with near-flawless mixing, some awesome scratching, and some dangerous mashups. What really sets this tape apart is the meticulous post-production work. The concept of using a four-tracker to make mixtapes was explained to me by DJ Shane from LA via IRC which was quite a relief because I almost went nuts trying to find the versions of my favourite tracks from this tape with all the awesome samples superimposed. Keep in mind that this tape was revisited at least once before being published and it will be apparent just how much effort went into this very unique creation.

That’s all I have to say about this awesome tape, except that I’ve got at least one other R.A.W. mix to share (No Darkness). I’d now like to take a moment to recant my tale of the time I saw R.A.W. perform.

‘Twas at the Labyrinth Lounge in downtown Toronto that I had the rare and distinct pleasure of seeing this man grace the decks. He played complex and intelligent jungle with lots of wacky breakbeats and those oldskool chords that make me nuts. However, I’m getting ahead of myself so I’ll start at the beginning.

Having heard that one of my favourite all time DJs, R.A.W. from Los Angeles, would be playing nearby, I rounded up a posse and headed downtown. I got an amazing free parking spot right around the corner. I walked into the venue and was greeted by a representative of the Chills Tobacco Company, asking if I’d like to enter a raffle for a 6 foot bong for a couple of bucks. Why the hell not, I rationalised, and traded a Toonie for half a playing card. The seven of spades or thereabouts as I recall.

So I spent the night bopping around to the great beats of some of Toronto’s finest jungle DJs (and this is a city that knows its jungle). Finally my main man R.A.W. stepped up and totally tore the house down. I didn’t know what to expect, having only heard his old mixtapes and wondering how he’d represent at a jungle party. I’m understating by saying that every track he laid down had me slackjaw-awed. Just as his mixtapes featured tracks with this inexplicable comfortable fit spanning multiple genres, so was his track selection this night.

The music spoke to me that night, saying it was all for me. Every beat, every chord, every snare, just for me. I cannot sufficiently articulate this so I don’t expect you to understand what I mean when I say this. However, perhaps this will give you a clue.

My friends were pooped by 3am and took off, but I was determined to stay for the raffle. Finally, about 45 minutes later, the MC called for the music to stop, produced a handful of playing card halves, and called one out. It wasn’t mine, but no one replied. The MC called out another card. Not mine. No reply from the audience. The third card was the charm – it was mine and I raised my half in the air and approached the stage. I’d won a ridiculously huge and impractical Chills bong with a ludicrously tall red plastic shaft and a green alien head at the base. The crowd applauded.

I was then pulled aside by a photographer from Tribe Magazone – a free Toronto publication focused on the local rave and club scene. I was asked to pose with my new smoking aide and to smile for the camera. I somehow could only oblige one of these requests. The poor photographer took 4 or 5 pictures of me but for the life of me I was simply powerless to curl my lips. I had smiled so much that night that my face was just exhausted and couldn’t muster a grin if my life depended on it. Thankfully the photographer gave up before too long.

On my way out the door I was offered $200 for the bong by a fellow partygoer. I replied in the negative, saying I’d keep it forever to remind me of the night I saw R.A.W. I carried the ridiculous thing out the door and onto Bloor Street, even more thankful at my advantageous parking spot. I went home, stashed it in my bedroom, and had some explaining to do to my parents the next morning regarding my new acquiry.

I now proudly display this piece in my living room and think of this night every time I see it. Perhaps it might have served as more than a display piece were it not significantly longer than the human arm, but the sentimental value alone gets me lifted.

Categories: 90 Minute Tape, Everything, Hardcore, Hardcore - Happy Hardcore, Hardcore - Old Skool Anthems, Hardcore - Old Skool Breakbeat, Jungle - Old Skool Dark, Jungle - Ragga, Techno - Acid, 1992 |

18 Comments

  1. Ish November 25, 2007 @ 12:03 am

    I live in L.A. and I use to go hear R.A.W. play all the time. i believe this tape came out in 1992. I bought it at some rave in 92. I tried to buy it from a website but never recieved it. Thanx for making it available. You are right this tape is very good.he put out a ragga jungle cd that is really good if you can find it you will enjoy it.

  2. Brian November 25, 2007 @ 12:49 am

    I’ve seen some of his sets at http://www.pureacidmixtapes.com which is a very old and reliable website. Maybe I’ll splurge on a few.

    Thanks for setting me straight on the year of release. You’re very lucky to have had the privilege of seeing him spin back in the day. He’s still got it, though!

    Thanks for writing, Ish. Be sure to check out his No Darkness mix also on my site!

  3. Ish November 25, 2007 @ 1:07 am

    I just finished listening to the turntable psycho download and I’m not sure if that is the original recording. If I remember correctly there is a some parts left out. I remember that the sesame street song was on the original mixtape.

  4. Brian November 25, 2007 @ 10:51 am

    I always suspected that my copy might be kind of wonky. Both sides have 30 minutes of uninterrupted play and then they break before continuing for another 15 minutes at another pace. I really think I will buy a few of his mixes just to have a pristine copy.

  5. Anonymous September 3, 2008 @ 5:50 pm

    this is not the o.g turntable psycho this one part 2 the first on was a mix tape that was black on one side and white on the other

  6. Anonymous September 3, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

    sesame song was on the black and white one

  7. Brian September 3, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

    Yeah, I suspected that this was some weird mixtape medley. It seems to fade in and out into something totally different a couple of times. Plus, this is a copy of a copy of a copy. Thanks for having the keen ears to verify my suspicion.

    Can’t say that I’m sorry I missed the Sesame’s Treat rendition. Smart-E’s wasn’t exactly Altern-8.

  8. EROCx1 March 4, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    Yeah, my copy of Turntable Psycho is different too. Strange.

  9. EROCx1 March 4, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

    Loved listening to this again. I’m all euphoric right now =o) Its been so long and when I mentioned mine not being the same. I may be confusing it with Wake up LA. I used to plug both into my Walkman and load up on herbal energizers then go to gym and bust breaking, pops and raver moves on the treadmill or while running on the beach & streets. I remember getting all sortsa strange looks from people. Thanks Brian!

  10. trikome May 6, 2010 @ 1:09 am

    Would love to hear the original tape.. I lost my copy of the version that was released and bought another copy from acidmixtapes.. but this mp3 gets way more listens

  11. trikome May 6, 2010 @ 1:09 am

    * released in ’97

  12. pozole August 27, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

    I used to have the original tape but lost it. Can someone upload it somewhere? You are right, this is not the original one. I remember on the B side it started with a sped up version of “Blasphemous Rumors” and a sample of a guy saying “You’re sketchin to death, man”. Anyone remember that?

  13. Anonymous September 25, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    R.A.W put out 2 tapes with tha same name, one in 1992 one in 1997, both are available on my site at http://www.incision-recordings.com/blog/wordpress/?p=1999

    the two releases had different tracklistings, dunno why he didnt just call it vol 2

  14. Brian September 27, 2011 @ 7:43 am

    Anonymous, your site is fan-friggin-tastic! I’m going to set up a link to your site when I’m home from work today. Thanks for commenting!

  15. tox September 27, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    Thanks mate, always working on adding new stuff. Thanks for the link.. ill return the favour

  16. The Sleezstak June 27, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    Greetings!
    Your website is awesome and the writing makes it a joy to read.
    I remember seeing R.A.W. many times. It became an obsession to hear the music. The wonderful noise smashing my head, a perfect balance of auditory S/M , was welcomed.
    Turntable Psycho is a masterpiece.
    Hellborn, Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles also.
    Sheet One by Plastikman……. also gets the job done! Pure techno.

    Thats my 2 cents.

  17. trance101 January 19, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

    i love raw i actually i have alot of tapes from him.and have some sets from powertools

  18. Andrei May 15, 2013 @ 1:59 am

    Wow man great job! Turntable psycho was the first techno tape I ever purchased! I got it at Beat Non Stop on Melrose in Los Angeles in 1992! So awesome!!

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