This week’s mix comes courtesy of Greco-Roman founder Alex ‘Full Nelson’ Waldron in celebration of ten years of the progressive label. In the last decade, Alex and the Greco team have put out records by the likes of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Drums of Death and Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard.
Now, as they move on to the next ten, they’re showing no signs of slowing down – Greco-Roman are in it for the long-haul, and their exclusive oki-ni mix reflects just that. Entitled ‘MARATHONNOTASPRINT’, the mix offers a leisurely jog through Alex’s record collection, featuring tracks from Brian Eno, Jonwayne and The Orb amongst others.
Following the release of Marathon, Not a Sprint! – 10 Years of Greco-Roman and Track Record (compilations celebrating the music coming out of the label), we caught up with Alex to talk a little more about his mix, his favourite moment of the last ten years and how he’d limber up for that aforementioned marathon. Read on or listen to the mix above.
Alex - how would you prepare for a marathon? Bananas. Good for serotonin levels and energy. Lots of bananas.
What would your race uniform look like? Would you go slick and professional or are you going for the novelty look? Slick and professional, definitely. To research the compilation, I went to the Olympic Stadium in Athens where the first ever Olympic Games were held. We wanted to look sharp for the tour, so I bought so many t-shirts and medals from the gift shop that the guy gave me a free mug. And then a magnet. I take this very seriously.
Who from the Greco-Roman line-up would complete the marathon in the shortest time? Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is on a big LA-inspired health-kick right now. I reckon it’s him.
Which famous athlete are you most like and why? 80s squash legend Jahangir Khan. Never hit the ball too hard. Clever placement of the ball. Serious lobs.
Tell me a little about your mix and the concept behind it? I used to run a lot when I lived in Berlin. I would run along a section of the old Berlin Wall and then round a former East German running track in a park that had some great Soviet statues displaying these huge, bionic men. I ran for just under an hour, which is the length here, and the mix is the journey; some quick stretches, a light jog slowly rising to a sprint over the course of 30 minutes, before a warm down and some more stretches.
In general, I wanted the tone to be really ambient and dreamy – like the transcendent state induced by adrenalin. This is a mix for running, not dancing, so there are no bangers here. Bangers are for people who didn’t train for years in Eastern Europe.
What are your favourite tracks from the mix and why? There are a lot of my favourites here actually – this mix also happens to be a lot of tracks I play in warm-up DJ sets and that I listen to at home. For example, I spend a lot of time listening to Eno, Cluster, Roedelius and all the various related projects from that German scene. Yello’s Solid Pleasures is one of my favourite albums, while JeanGa, George and Amine have both graced Greco-Roman recently.
Moving on to Marathon, Not A Sprint! and Track Record, what can we expect from the albums? Marathon, Not A Sprint! Is all about the pop highlights that the label has put out, delivered at a leisurely pace. Track Record is the longer, sweatier athletic pursuit. Both albums should be enjoyed in track pants.
What’s been your favourite moment of the last ten years? Stopping the music in the middle of our 10th anniversary party in London and giving out half-time oranges to everyone in the crowd. Parties aren’t about the music, they are about the people. Music is just the sticky dance floor that brings them together.
If you could go back ten years and tell yourself anything at the start of Greco-Roman, what would you say? Keeping receipts in a Tesco bag for 3 years is not going to cut it with the HMRC.
What’s next for you guys? After a mammoth summer we are taking a breather while we finish some more records. Things often take a long time with us. But remember; it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
Marathon, Not a Sprint! – 10 Years of Greco Roman and Track Record is out now.
Check out the oki-ni Mix Series archive here.