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Colleen meets Ross Allen on NTS1

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Ross Allen interviewed Colleen on NTS1 during his "Soup to Nuts" show on NTS Radio, ahead of the "Balearic Brunch" series starting Sunday, 5th November 2023.

 

Colleen Joined Ross Allen on NTS1 for a two-hour-long interview, returning on her life-long relationship with Music. An English DJ who presents a weekly radio show on NTS, an online radio station based in Hackney, London, Ross Allen worked as A&R for the record labels Filter (Dorado), Blue (Island), and Domino. He founded his labels, Casual Records, in 2003 and Foundation Music, in 2020. Of course, these two know each other very well, which allowed for a heartwarming, relaxed and deep-diving musical interview!


Listen back to Ross' interview with Colleen:

 

PLAYLIST


1967 - Moody Blues Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon)

1975 - Silver Convention Fly Robin Fly

1976 - Jonathan Richman Roadrunner

1982 - Lene Lovich Blue Hotel

1983 - New Order Age Of Consent

1983 - Midnight Star Freak-A-Zoid

1975 - Brian Eno I'll come running (To tie your shoes)

1992 - Mr. Fingers What About This Love?

1987 - Lola Wax The Van (Jon's Dub)

2000 - Romanthony Bring U Up (Floating Groove Vocal)

2016 - Moloko (Eric Kupper, François K. mix) Forever More (Vocal Mix)

2021 - Lady Blackbird Lost And Looking (Cosmodelica Remix)

1968 - Van Morrison Astral weeks

 

THOUGHTS & LINKS


I very often think about what drives each one of us to certain people... Sensitive as I am, I am very often driven by a Feeling, something intangible, something you can't explain with words, and it very often transcends the person itself. This is what happened to me with Colleen. Of course, you might think this blog is an "only praise" place. It is, but there are many reasons behind that reality, and the most important one is Music. But I won't go further in another "subjective" point of view; I will do better than that. Following the interview, I'll tell you a story supplemented with information that will, as always, enhance your listening experience. Are you ready? Let's go then...

The show's opener retains an ocean of information about Colleen. It greatly represents how careful she is about starting a set, a show, or an interview; it's all about setting a tone, an ambience, a rhythm, a feeling, putting Music on the only pedestal it truly deserves: attention and utmost respect. There you have it, you already know that you're going to spend two great hours!

Fun fact: If you listen carefully throughout the show, you'll hear that each time Ross puts his Mic on, the sound of the music slightly goes down ^^

Talking about her love for music, I just came to think about one of Colleen's previous interviews she did on Ant Bangos X zine where she said: "I'm attracted to 'music people' and vice versa. I'm not into the ego thing or playing the superstar Dj role and I think that appeals to the people that engage with what I do." I just love so much how Ross conducts this interview, he's so gentle, so laid-back, and so close; we feel he's loving this moment very much, and he transmits his palpable happiness to the listener!

As Colleen shares memories of her young years discovering music, including the Moddy Blues aforesaid album, I couldn't help but think how important it is to share music with children from a young age, and there are some albums which are greater than others to share with your kids, "Days of Future Passed" to me is absolutely one of them because as Colleen reminds us, it is a concept album and it has a story that a child can listen to, understand and keep in his imaginative life. We could also think about other records like "Quadrophenia", "Tommy", "The Autumn Stone", "Yellow Submarine", "Ogdens Nut Gone Flake" and of course "The White Album" (wait a little bit longer to share "The Wall"). All of these will draw the child into a Musical wonderland from which he will never go back! Of course, don't forget to share with your children some classical music, Beethoven's 9th Symphony is an absolute mind-opener!! This is how my parents raised me; oh dear, see the result? A blogger (laughs)! Also, Colleen sharing her memory of her first turntable, made me think that we all have our own cherished memories with music, listening to it, discovering it!

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Colleen's first turntable must have been looking something like that ^^

Fun Fact: If you listen closely, you'll hear when Ross hits the play button of the 1210s! All of these small sounds really bring us closer to our musical friends (bringing up another extract of Colleen's interview with Ant Bangos X Zine where she said, speaking about "Balearic Breakfast" "As I'm broadcasting from home, it has made it all more 'real'. Sometimes you can hear the plumber working on the shower or my daughter in the room above the record library. It has enabled me to throw down the guard and allow myself to be who I really am". There you go!

Listening back to "Fly Robin Fly", I just remembered that vinyl compilations really helped me get into the disco era; if you love disco, then you must take the time to listen to the "Super Disco d'or" two-volume LPS. By the way, did you already pay attention to how wide the soundstage is on that track?!

Also, if you're a regular listener of Balearic Breakfast, you'll have noticed that Colleen played Mr Finger's "What about this Love" in another version, namely this one, which is, furthermore, present on her "Balearic Breakfast Vol. 2" compilation (read more about Colleen's passion for Mr Finger's 1992 album "Introduction" here and head over here for another great interview of hers she did for Dust & grooves (an absolute must-read by any means!)).

A real Kaleidoscope, this interview with Ross made me think about another interview I read online and that I included in this blog where Colleen shared her love for radio and how it all led her to host Balearic Breakfast!

Speaking about the loft, you always feel how humble Colleen has remained for all of these years. This, of course, with the fact that she is a heavy worker, absolutely motivates me to be more and more precise in the way I write the articles here, and, in itself, explains the existence of this blog. Another thing is that, whenever I listen to her, it seems there is always a lesson to learn... Colleen shared with us how much pressure she felt when David invited her to play some records at the loft because he only had two Koetsus back then, and if something happened, then that was it. True story: I bought a Koetsu a few years ago and when setting it up, my father was watching over my shoulder. And I kept saying to myself all the time,"That's a 5-dollar baby; keep cool". Suddenly, I touched the diamond with my finger, and my father screamed in horror. I immediately answered him, "Oh God! You're frightening me more than me ruining this cartridge. For god sake if you can't handle this, leave me alone, argh! (laughs)!" There you go, another lesson as to how to be "Balearic": elude pressure. We'll dive deeper into that subject soon on the blog, though; laughs!

By the way, did you notice that the Family section of the blog starts with an interview David Mancuso gave to Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton, where he shares how important requests were to him? I chose to do that to enhance the fact that, to me, it is obvious that Colleen has a musical "Balearic" background even though it might not be the "publicly acknowledged" one.

The last part of the interview shows how much "Balearic" it is, sharing memories about the hip-hop years and about François Kevorkian's importance in Colleen's life (with whom she had an interview during a memorable Classic Album Sundays evening), not forgetting about Roisin Murphy and other great people that crossed Colleen's life!


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