The Orb’s 1997 single Toxygene is a blast of uptempo brilliance, almost a pop song, and their biggest hit (number 4). It began life as a remix of a Jean Michel Jarre track, Oxygene-8. Jarre didn’t like it and dumped it. Further pissing Jarre off, The Orb released it themselves as a single, adding insult to injury by claiming that ‘the French are always 5 years behind anyway’.

This version starts with ambient noise, voices and found sounds before passing traffic and the sample ‘now wait a minute’ bring it to life.


Across 2 cd singles and a 12″ there were a myriad of remixes, including ones from Thomas Fehlmann, Steve Hillage, Fila Brazillia, Way Out West and Kris Needs. This is the longer of the two Kris Needs versions. Unapologetic, pumping techno- it may not get replayed too many times.

Toxygene (Kris Needs Up For A Fortnight Remix)

The Top Of The Pops appearance is a another occasion where, like the famous Blue Room 3D chess game, The Orb took a different approach, this time spinning around on the waltzers in silver spacesuits while fiddling with keyboards and computers…

Out Of Our Brains On The 5.15

Passing one of Sale’s many charity shops on Saturday I wandered in to peruse the box of vinyl. I left a few minutes later having rescued Secret Knowledge’s Sugar Daddy 12″ for the princely sum of £1.99. Yes, I’ve already got the original release but this one was in a different sleeve and had a different version (the Sugar Caned Mix) and another remix on it too (by Paul van Dyke, trancey). Secret Knowledge were Kris Needs (journalist, friend of The Clash and Primal Scream, legendary caner and crow’s nest hairdo owner) and Wonder (vocals, big voice). Sugar Daddy came out in 1993 on Sabres Of Paradise and is a long, thumping house track, a big club tune of the time. Also on this charity shop classic is an equally good remix by The Disco Evangelists (David Holmes and Ashley Beedle), with a nod of the head to Quadrophenia. It is a banger.

Sugar Daddy (Out Of Our Brains On the 5.15 Mix)

Four Boy One Girl Action (And Man Ray)

That’s a heading which may bring some disappointed traffic this way. Four Boy One Girl Action were an early 90s acid-house supergroup (of sorts) who put out a 12″ single in 1993. The Hawaiian Death Stomp was released on David Holmes’ Exploding Plastic Inevitable, the four boys being Holmes, Kris Needs, and Gary Burns and Jagz Kooner moonlighting from Sabres Of Paradise. It’s long, it’s ‘progressive’, it’ll bugger your speakers if you play it very loud. This is the B-side.

The Hawaiian Death Dub

Today’s Man Ray is Salvador Dali. You didn’t need me to tell you that.

Jah Wobble (And Man Ray)

We love the bass here at Bagging Area Towers and never moreso than when being played by Jah Wobble. After a spell out of the music industry (partly spent giving gnomic announcements to commuters on the London Underground’s tannoy system) Jah came back with post-acid house outfit, The Invaders Of The Heart, resulting in the epic Visions Of You single and then in 1994 Becoming More Like God. What you have here is Secret Knowledge’s remix which clocks in at a nifty fourteen minutes and one second. A 12″ single where Kris Needs redefines expansive and epic. Hope it doesn’t wipe out the rest of my Boxnet bandwidth for this month.

Today’s Man Ray portrait is of another American lost in Paris, painter Karin Van Leyden. Well, you didn’t want a picture of Jah did you? Or Kris Needs?

Becoming More Like God (Secret Knowledge To Hell And Back Mix)