Carrying on from last week's round-up of my festive, seasonal AND Christmassy Facebook and Wikipedia sponsored count down of my favourite ever Top 20 Christmas songs in the world...ever is this; this week's round-up of Tonka's Top 20 Christmas Songs numbers 15 to 11.

Number 15

Johnny Mathis – When A Child Is Born

Although Johnny Mathis doesn’t mention the baby Jesus by name, there is no doubt that this song is all about the virgin birth of our Lord Saviour.

This is what Christmas is all about, lads. Let us not forget that YOUR new PlayStation 4, YOUR new DVD player and YOUR new puppy is being delivered by Santa because 2013 years ago this month the three Kings delivered gifts to Mary, Joseph and their new kid, Jesus.

– Why Tonka?
– I don’t know.

This is what Christmas is all about though. Santa wouldn’t have started delivering presents to us if the three Kings had never followed that star to Bethlehem. If Joseph hadn’t plonked his heavily pregnant missus and all of their possessions on the back of that donkey before setting off on a MASSIVE journey, there’d be no flying reindeers doing all of the donkey-work for Santa. If that tiny star didn’t exist Santa wouldn’t have a fucking clue where to moor himself on his round-the-world journey on Christmas Eve.

No Jesus: no Santa.

That’s the message Richard Dawkins doesn’t WANT you to hear.

I love When A Child Is Born by Johnny Mathis because it’s nice.

Number 14

Greg Lake – I Believe in Father Christmas

Somebody at Time Out once said that ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’ by Greg Lake is Christmas cynicism at its most tuneful. I just think that it’s a lovely little tune that slots nicely into my Top 20 Countdown.

Greg Lake believes in Father Christmas. Tonka believes in Father Christmas. EVERYONE believes in Father Christmas. I honestly don’t see the point in calling this song ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’: he should have just called it ‘Father Christmas’.

And why wouldn’t you? Father Christmas is fucking brilliant. He flies all the way around the world every year, delivering presents to children young and old. He has a gang of flying reindeer who are HAPPY to pull him around all night in a sleigh. Santa is a jolly, fat old bastard with a beard who drinks billions of glasses of sherry in ONE night and he does not stop laughing about it.

Elaine Paige did a wonderful cover of it on her 1986 Christmas album called ‘Christmas’.

Number 13

Jane McDonald - Cruise Into Christmas

A long time ago, Jane McDonald charmed the eyebrows off of everyone in the United Kingdom with her unique personality, bubbly personality and brassy northern personality. In the late nineties you couldn’t move on TV for Jane McDonald whirl-winding about the channels getting all cocky and winking at the camera as she elbowed her way into etc, etc.

‘Cruise Into Christmas’ could easily be misconstrued as a non-so-subtle nod to the enormous gay following she built up by singing cabaret songs on the telly. It wasn’t. It was an over the shoulder glance back at the show that birthed her into our consciousness forever, The Cruise.

Sorry, this is the laziest one I’ve written so far. Look, I’ve even copied something from Wikipedia:

Unbeknown to many; Jane’s first TV performance, was as a guest dancer on the 1983 Black Lace video for their hit single ‘Superman’ which was shot at the Casanova's night club in Wakefield, where she worked as VIP lounge manager.

Please come back tomorrow for number 12. Please.

Number 12

Enya – We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Who better to sing this festive standard than etc, etc.

Number 11

Tidy Boys - Coca Cola

I was reminded of this track after engaging in some top, top banter with someone on Twitter who I think is mates with someone out of Pittsburgh Track Authority.

I remember dancing along to 'Coca Cola' at The Mezzanine in Wolverhampton. The Tidy Boys were hosting their Christmas party in the early noughties and I, like approximately 2000 others, stomped my feet so hard to this that the sound we created actually enhanced the recorded kick drum. The echo and natural reverb created a booming noise I'd not heard before or since. Know what I mean?

Skip to 4.25 if you hate hard house but still want to know why this qualifies as a Christmas song.

What a round-up! Please, please, please keep going onto my Facebook page EVERY day up to and including Christmas Day to see this brilliant collection draw to a close. If you can't be fucked to do that, come back in a few days for the summarised package of numbers 10 to 6.

"Holidays are coming, holidays are coming..."

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If you're a follower of my work you'll know that I'm counting down my Top 20 Christmas Songs on the official Weekly Review of Dance Music Facebook page every day this month. I'll be revealing my number one song on Christmas Day.
- Why, Tonka?
- Because it's Christmas and EVERYONE else is banging on about their top 100s and 8s of the year so I'm keeping it real and celebrating CHRISTMAS. These rich, famous DJs don't need their heads made any bigger. December is all about the baby Jesus, presents, Santa, getting fucked as often as possible and Christmas songs.
This is the first easily digestible summary of the official countdown that's been going on in Facebook. I'll be producing these every five entries. They're great for syndication on websites with a bigger readership than mine. Eh, RA? Eh, Pulse? Eh?

Here's number 20 to 16. Join me in five days time for numbers 15 to 11.

Number 20

Harry Belafonte – Mary’s Boy Child

In 1956, Harry Belafonte recorded a cover of the Boney M Christmas disco smash hit Christmas song, Mary’s Boy Child, and it went to the top of the UK charts in no time. With it’s calypso rhythms displacing the original Boney M disco beat, it proved to be a popular song over here AND in the West Indies.

It’s one of my favourite Christmas songs because the lyrics concentrate on what this season of goodwill is all about: the Nativity of the baby Jesus. If Jay Z and Kanye West did a cover of this song it would be ruined by shouty ad-libbed intrusions about buying Beyoncé an expensive watch and taking Kim Kardashian on a round-the-world trip for Christmas!

Also, and maybe more importantly, Mary’s Boy Child reminds me of 1994. A young, pre-teen Tonka standing up with his dad in the now-seated Birmingham Road End and singing praise to the best West Brom centre forward West Brom had ever seen.

Hark now hear the angels sing, a king was born today,
His name is Bobby Taylor and he’s better than Stevie Bull…SHIT.

Number 19

Mud – Lonely This Christmas

Great British glam rockers, Mud, take on the Elvis Presley classic in the style of the man himself (Elvis). Lonely This Christmas was the first UK Christmas number one by a glam band with a drab name, and their appearance on the 1974 seasonal edition of Top of the Pops is notable for the half-a-second shot of Jimmy Savile slyly zipping up the fly on his tracksuit trousers before introducing Mud as “the dirtiest band in the world.”

I like Lonely This Christmas by Mud because it evokes memories of being really glad that I wasn’t lonely at Christmas as a kid. Even as a grown up I’ve never been lonely at Christmas and I know for a FACT that I never will be. I might be cold at Christmas but I’ll never be lonely so stick that up your arse, Nicky Chinn, you four-eyed Bo Selector looking shit house, you.

Number 18

Mike Oldfield - In Dulci Jubilo

It’s a Christmas instrumental with no sleigh bells in it. Sounds shit? January to November it is, but in the month of December, Mike Oldfield’s In Dulci Jubilo is pure festive pantomime music. I love it (in December)!

In Dulci Jubilo is Latin for Double Jubilation, and was street slang for ‘double penetration’ in the days of Homer, Ulysses and the infamous Greek anal sex parties hosted by Cleopatra and John Anthony.

I like this piece of music because I just do and it’s Saturday afternoon so I’ve got better things to do than concentrate on Tonka’s Top 20 Christmas Songs.

Number 17

S Club Juniors - Sleigh Ride

Back when it was illegal to say you wanted to fuck Frankie Sandford out of The Saturdays. This song is fucking brilliant AND it's about Christmas; a perfect song for this type of Top 20 countdown.

Here it is, lads:

Number 16

Gary Glitter – Another Rock n’ Roll Christmas

Twelve years before Gary Glitter became a paedophile he released a rockin’ n’ rollin’ Christmas song that, lyrically, was either a cry for help or a MASSIVE wink to people like me who read into things too much by using the power of hindsight.

Check out some of the lyrics I’ve taken as a sample to highlight that he was actively writing about child abuse as far back as 1984. When, in 1996, he finally came out and was arrested for acting on his urges I wonder if the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was handed a lyric sheet for Another Rock n’ Roll Christmas and SACKED for gross misconduct AND negligence? Was he sacked? Was he?


‘I love to hear the children sing’

‘You'll never guess what you've got from me!’

‘We better hold each other tight
You never know it might snow tonight’

‘Guys and Girls
Stay up late’

‘I'll pull my cracker
Let me be’

‘All dressed up
So here we go’

‘Tonight old Santa never, ever stops
Going down the chimney tops’

‘You'll be rocking, In your stocking
When you see your big surprise
Cause I'll be rocking, in your stocking
You won't believe your big blue eyes’

‘Come on in and join the fun’

‘Cause there ain't gonna be no silent night!’

‘No-one's looking, kiss me quick’

Context aside, it’s a fantastic pop song and I love it. Gary perfectly captures the madness and excitement of a mid-1980s Christmas Eve party in a working men’s club with chugging guitar work, a sprinkle of sleigh-bells and a desperate vocal that seems to be screaming for Santa to hurry up and get his bastard presents down the chimney before wake-up time.

I can well imagine getting off with a fat old slag in the Oldbury Labour Club with this blasting through the speakers.

Durr, durr, durr, durr, durr, durr, Kidsmass...
Durr, durr, durr, durr, durr, durr, Kidsmass…

That's a great selection so far, and they're the songs I think the least of! The best is yet to come.
Keep checking the official Weekly Review of Dance Music Facebook page EVERY DAY up to and including Christmas Day.
I'll be back soon with loads more words and sentences in a variety of outlets.

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WRDMore Merchandise

My nan keeps telling me that Christmas comes earlier every year. She also says that Muslims bomb us because Elton John got married to a bloke. This year Christmas falls on the 25th December, just like every fucking year since the baby Jesus was born. Know what I mean?

That said, WRDM brings you NOW it's latest line in Christmas fashions, gift ideas and high-concept art. Put simply; Christmas gifts for modern people, or people who want to be modern, who have great taste, loads of money and an interest in the Weekly Review of Dance Music.
WRDMint Ecstasy E Tablets

Get fucked whilst not feeling like your teeth are going to fall out. Mouth rot is now a thing of the past thanks to the scientists at WRDM who have, once again, spotted an easy gap in the market, chopped some Polo mints in and filled it.

Mint Ecstasy comes in spearmint, mint, mint choc chip, Polo, peppermint and cool breeze. Girls will definitely want to get off with you if you've taken a few WRDMint Ecstasy E Tablets.

Mint Ecstasy

£5.00 per unit in the club
OFFER: £10.00 for three in the club

£3.00 per unit outside the club
OFFER: £10.00 for five outside the club

Mad Dog Deon Christmas Wrapping Paper

A man from Walsall with a skull tattooed all over his face will make for a fun, light-hearted start to Christmas morning. Wrap presents for loved ones, friends and colleagues with Mad Dog Deon Christmas Wrapping Paper from WRDMHQ. Watch your little boy's eyes brighten up when he starts tearing at the mush of a man who got told off on telly a few years ago for having a tattoo of a skull on his face and for mucking his missus around.

Deep down, cocka, underneath the rough packaging, he's alright. Just like the gifts that you unwrap at this holy time of the year.
Mad Dog Deon Christmas Wrapping Paper

£12.99 per roll
OFFER: £25.00 for two rolls

Tall Paul Bookmark

Sick to DEATH of ruining the pages of your book by folding the top corners in every time you have to prepare to get off the train/fall asleep? Preserve the appearance of your books by using a WRDM Tall Paul Bookmark.

Tall Paul is the United Kingdom's tallest professional DJ and is ideally suited to squeeze into and tower over novelty books like The Big Book of Football's Funniest Quotes. I can also say from personal experience that the WRDM Tall Paul Bookmark comfortably stands shoulder to shoulder with tomes such as Bill Brewster's How to DJ (Properly): The Art and Science of Playing Records, Ulysses by James Joyce and The Bible by Jesus.

Tall Paul Bookmark

£4.00 per bookmark

WRDM presents Danny Baker presents Boiler Room Bloopers

We all love Boiler Room and we all love football blooper videos. Don't we? Eh? We do, don't we? Eh? I've called in some MASSIVE favours and roped in the king of football blooper videos, Danny Baker, to present WRDM presents Danny Baker presents Boiler Room Bloopers.

They tell you it's streamed live, don't they? This specially commissioned DVD contains outakes, train-wrecks and the sight of a pissed-up reveller being sick in the background during the recent Ivan Smagghe/Andrew Weatherall love-in that you WOULDN'T have seen whilst watching it "streamed". Know what I mean? Danny Baker provides hilarious commentary.
WRDM presents Danny Baker presents Boiler Room Bloopers


Postman Pat for WRDM by Jeff Koons

Postman Pat looks like it was designed by Jeff Koons. I've always thought that. So, I picked up the phone, rang a number and asked Jeff Koons to do a picture of Postman Pat for this edition of WRDMerchandise. He was only too happy to oblige as he is a big fan of my words. He scribbled the above on a piece of A4 paper and handed it over with his usual flourish.

I only have one of these so we'll have to go to auction.
Postman Pat for WRDM by Jeff Koons

Start the bidding at £48,000

I'm bored and tired now. I promise to be back next week with LOADS more stuff.

Check me out in other mediums though.

- Where, Tonka?

Ran$om (more to come) (more to come)


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Lady G cocktails slip right down your throat and deposit a honey-sweet after-taste, leaving you with a precise need to go back for more. Over and over. Again and again. I slurped on Lady G, draining every last drop from her. Eagerly devouring her. Banging bars and demanding more. Licking the rim. Trickles of warm, tasty goodness at times escaping my mouth and dribbling down my chin, inviting me to use the tip of my tongue to slowly lap up the escapee juice. Mmm. Lady G cocktails taste so fucking good.

I also drank a load of Heineken, double vodka Red Bulls and occasional wine.

- Where, Tonka?

- On the media boat.

- Which media boat?

- The one next to the London Eye on Thursday night for the Red Bull Revolutions in Sound Channel 4 TV and internet extravaganza which I was cordially invited to by all of my showbiz friends from the world of dance music.

The London Eye is a big metal wheel on the banks of the River Thames fringed with see-through capsules that are usually filled with fat old German blokes, Italian students and people who work on it. Thanks to the Red Bull Music Academy, for one night only it was to be manned and womanned by DJs, punters, broadsheet and tabloid journalists, wankers, competition winners, me and people who work on it. I left Waterloo behind at six o'clock sharp and walked briskly towards the South Bank with the encouraging message of My 1st Song by Jay Z in my head phones. Stay busy. Stay working. Stay hungry. Stay humble. Know what I mean?

After boarding the boat I was wrapped in two paper wristbands: an orange one with a trendy hashtag on it and a white one, Twice as Nice 11. A young lady whose name I didn't believe told me that I was to "board the wheel" at 1915, the bar was "over there" and that it was "free". Off I popped for a couple of Lady G cocktails and a lager. I had an hour to kill so I settled down next to a different young lady and banged on about what a great writer I am without even offering to get her a drink!

Clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp.

Up came the stairs for a wristband was a young man I'd, regrettably, had a long standing #beef with on; Funster out of Mixmag. Here's a photograph taken after we'd shared a drink, a handshake and a chat about life. He said I was actually a nice person, and I say the same back in print, despite out-bantering him ten nil and not understanding much of his lingo. #youth #slang

At 1910 I was told to come back in ten minutes as there was a delay on boardings. After getting another beer and chatting with a lovely young man from The Times I returned to the Eye and queued up for a bit. Up I queued. I was half pissed now and smiling at everyone. Halfway up the ramp, flanked by everyone else, I felt the first pangs of a heavy pull on my bladder. By the time I got to the boarding area I was absolutely fucking busting.

- What number, love?

- Eleven.

- That's gone.

I was ushered towards the exit so I went back to the boat for a slash and another drink. After smashing through the boat's front door, the Red Bull executives saw that I was not on the pod and panic spread. An order was sent to the accreditation team to radio back to the wheel and demand that access to the Twice as Nice pod for the second revolution is granted. This was, in their words, mission critical. How the fuck I ended up on the Boiler Room capsule is anyone's guess. After queueing up for a second time I wasn't even asked to show my wristband when I got to the front and I strutted straight onto the first pod that arrived.

A young lady offered me a bottle of Heineken. I took my coat off, squeezed it over the back of the hand rail and pushed my way to the decks area so I could be on the telly. As the mechanics cranked and we were all hauled into the air, Loefah and Lil Silva played track after track of great dance music with occasional hoots and hollers from the people on the microphone. Beat after beat after beat was great, the crowd was great and even the bass lines were great! We were so high up. I pushed my nose against a window and looked up and down the river. It occurred to me that if I'd boarded Twice as Nice when I was supposed to, everyone in the capsule would have been dancing in a pool of piss. Life always works out great for me. Out across the city I stared and smiled. Big Ben winked at me, St Paul's Cathedral nodded it's dome and that chimney stack on the Tate Modern told me to fuck off and get back to the party. I grabbed another lager and put my arm around Thris Tian's shoulder.

- Not a bad life is it, mate? I screamed.

- No, mate.

- Did you see that Ben Klock video?

- Yeah.

- Did you like it? I slurred.

- Yeah, yeah. It's funny, he replied in the least convincing way possible.

I left him alone, wondering if he'd seen the Boys Noize one, and clambered on top of the bench for a dance. We were on the decline and I thought this might be my last chance to dance on the bench of a London Eye capsule with a beer in my hand. I peeped into the ear of a nearby young lady that I'd never heard of Loefah or Lil Silva but I'll probably Google them when I get home. One thing I will note is that Loefah is the only DJ in the world who I wouldn't pick a fight on - he looks like he would definitely fucking batter me. Lil Silva, on the other hand, is a lovely looking young man who I could well imagine being extremely polite in conversation.

The atmosphere in the capsule was electric. When Loefah played the Phats and Small/Outhere Brothers mash-up of that Nightcrawlers track with the Kym Sims acapella laced over the top of it, the entire airborne collection of excited revellers exploded in an explosion of dance and great delight.

I danced all the way down to the bottom and even did a little jig as I left the pod with my coat under my arm. I bowled down the ramp in the cold, quickly putting my coat on, and jumped back on the boat to join all of my new found media chums for some more drinks, top-class banter and a couple of burritos.

Skream was playing upstairs and everywhere you looked was a superstar DJ. Danny Rampling standing on his own in what looked like a denim waistcoat, Todd Terry towering over a couple of smaller fans, Goldie, Skream playing records in a DJ booth and Andy Daniell fending off autograph hunters at the top of the stairwell. I strode over, rescued him and we talked about how every single Defected track has a vocal on. That, I remember.

Typically, we were papped. I hate the News of the World.

Red Bull Revolutions in Sound was a resounding success. I'm glad that I went and if they ever do another one I hope to be invited back.

Red Bull Revolutions in Sound

I'll be back next week with more news, reviews, interviews, clues, blues, Remix of the Week, the very first ever WRDM podcast and OTHER stuff for OTHER websites.

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MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Danny Rampling

I don't know who they are but they say you should never meet your heroes. They can fuck right off because this time last week I was sat in the swanky Met Bar in London spilling Cosmo cocktails all down my vest and sneering at the sweethearts tramping the rainy streets outside as I met and chatted with a hero of mine, and he was nothing less than generous and charming.

Danny Rampling's contribution to furthering the cause of dance music in the UK is beyond argument, as is his furtherings outside of the Great British Isles. He is without a doubt one of the first Englishmen to swallow an ecstasy E tablet in Ibiza.

Click went Record on the dictaphone in my pocket as I secretly recorded our conversation. Here is the transcript:


Q. For anyone unfamiliar with the name Danny Rampling could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A. I have been DJing for over 20 years and created the blueprint for the UK rave scene and electronic music explosion in late 80s.

Q. Has continuing to stay relevant in the music industry been a walk in the park or a MASSIVE pain in the arse?
A. Whatever we chose to do in life as a craft, when you get to the top of your game it's important to be mindful of changes within the business.

Fashions come and go and we in Britain are somewhat critical of success at times. Staying relevant is a challenge in itself and to stay on path is by keeping focused and doing what you do with passion and positive energy.

I don't waste precious time concerning myself with critics and negative energies.

Whatever we do, if we do it with love and passion to the craft results happen. The music industry is a beast at times and you don't let it bite too hard. If it does, you get up and keep going.

Q. Open or closed hi-hat?
A. Good question. Both open and closed. It ain't just about the hi-hat, it's the melody that gives you goose bumps from a good tune and strong catchy lyrics over tired old vocal samples.

Q. What made you choose the moniker Danny Rampling as a DJ name? Did you ever toy with prefixing it with DJ like a proper DJ (DJ Danny Rampling), or suffixing it with something more exciting like Sub Wooooofa (DJ Sub Wooooofa) or Beatz Manipu-L8R (DJ Beatz Manipu-L8R)?
A. There was no need to add Dj to my name as I'm proud of who I am and for not avoiding the tax man. Was in the early days of Kiss pirate radio, given an adopted name of Rampo for a while.

The market has changed with DJs now and often real names are no longer used. Allesso Avicci as example.

Q. You're playing with Mark Moore in one of the London Eye pods in November. Can you remind him that he hasn't answered the MASSIVE QUESTIONS I sent to him in December last year please?

Q. What can the lucky people who get into the pod expect from your party - are you tailoring a special set, how long does the party go on for?
A. There will be Three DJs: myself and my wife Ilona Rampling and a dear friend, and original Shoom DJ, Mark Moore, who created an early acid house number one with S-Express We will play many Shoom classics and have a quick hour party over London skies.

Q. Could you please arrange 2 x guests in the pod for me and Mrs Tonka?
A. I wish I could. Red Bull gave us only 2 guests sadly, and all others are competition winners. Thank you for the support. Let me know if you need anything else.

Q. I spend a lot of time in Southwark. Is the gym you started Shoom in still around?
A. It's a data storage office as you enter Thrale Street on Southwark Bridge entrance to the street, first black door on the right hand side.

Q. Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A. Often stone cold sober and at work as a DJ: just a couple of drinks to get into the flow of the party. Seldom been terminated, not a good look at all.

Q. Do you have any advice for any of my younger readers who are eager to get themselves into the dance music industry or should they just buy Everything You Need to Know About DJing and Success?
A. Well, yes, there's a wealth of advice and tips in my book. I spent two years writing it so that would be a starting point as an additional tool.

Educate yourself in music production and DJ courses. Learn all you can daily as it will help greatly, and never stop the desire to learn; very important. And show up, get out there and network to get results as no one will come into your home and offer you an amazing DJ slot or record deal.

Q. Lorraine Kelly or Carol Vorderman?
A. Beg your pardon?! I'm a married man and very happily in love with my wife.

Q. What kind of music do you listen to at home?
A. House. Electronic. Chill out. Classical. Rock. Reggae. Pop. All different styles.

Q. How does playing out in Asia compare to the rest of the world?
A. Everywhere has the vibe, the spirit of club culture, which we have collectively shaped over the years. I love playing Asia as I can take time out and visit beautiful beaches and historic sites and eat wonderful food.

Q. Have The Millionaire Hippies run out of money?
A. They went with the demise of Deconstruction Records.

Q. Anything else you want to plug?
A. I have just launched a new music download site with a wealth of hard to find classic music in partnership with Mastermix.

The site is called: Rampling Digital.


What a lovely man! Please join me in shaking Danny Rampling's hand, patting him on the back and wishing him all the warmest for the future. If I manage to get myself into one of the pods next week I'll still give the Shoom one a 10/10.

Please Follow Danny on Twitter by clicking here: @dannyrampling

Like him on Facebook too:

Get on the outside of this:

Mark Moore: if you're reading this, get in touch.

I'll be back next week with loads more of this kind of thing and a little something extra so stay with me, please don't ever desert me for The Daily Mash or that Being Boiled YouTube channel. I can do better, I know I can, just trust me. Things will pick up and I'll be writing posts that WILL make you smile and you WILL love me again. You will. I'm the same person I've always been, I swear. You just need to stay with me, ok? Please. Just stay.

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Tube of the Week

This week's WRDM Tube of the Week is a video of Ben Klock playing his famous brand of crystalised minimal techno to a room full of Boiler Room types on Boiler Room before, I won't tell you. Just watch this, listen to the tunes he's playing and tell me that he's not the best fucking DJ on the planet at the moment.

The video was created by an obscure European art collective called Being Boiled and, if this first foray into whatever the fuck it is is anything to go by, I'm sure that they have a fantastic career ahead of them as something in dance music.

Ben Klock - Being Boiled

Follow them on Twitter: @BoiledBeing

I'll be back next week with more things.

In the mean time, follow me on Twitter and "Like" me on Facebook if you want!!!

Twitter: @tonkawrdm

Spooky Stories:

The Haunted Nightclub

On a dark and stormy night, a handsome young body-building dance music journalist called Tonka locked the front door behind him and took steps towards the garden gate. The raging and famous October 2013 winds threw the old wooden entrance open before him and, in a second, sucked it shut. Tonka was a brave man but the unusual action of the gate, working with the wind, took his breath away. This did not usually happen. For reasons unknown, Tonka was running late after having arranged to meet his friends Draper, Micky John, Robbo and Cozza in their favourite pre-club haunt, The Red Prince and Duck, around Spitafields, London. “Why do you agree to meet at 9pm when you know you won’t get there until 9.15pm?” he whispered to himself, not knowing the answer.

He whispered to himself until the bright lights and busy atmosphere of Northolt tube station snapped him out of the negative vibes he had created for himself on the five minute journey from home/WRDMHQ. The leafy, upcoming west London suburb evoked feelings of purity, danger and youth and poked at the fire within.

“Life as we know it. Pure and proper good vibes here. Lovin’ it, man.”

East bound. End seat. In popped the black Sony headphones and on slid the black, 8GB iPod Nano. Shuffle.

Neighborhood #3
Arcade Fire


Bingo Bango
Basement Jaxx
The Singles


Sunset at the Café Del Mar
Tabula Ra-Sa
Café Del Mar: Ibiza


After approximately one minute of luscious pads and generously spaced percussion, Tonka thumbed at Shuffle again.

The Struggle Within


99 Problems
The Black Album


Las Velas No Arden
Alejandro Vivanco
Sci-Fi Hi-Fi Volume 2

“Back when Luciano was good and I’ve landed on the best track on this compilation. Sorted.”

This was the type of music Tonka was expecting to hear at the opening of London’s newest nightclub that night. Da Place Ta Be was a mysterious new build on the grounds of the ghostly old Turnmills. Little was known about the mastermind behind the club or how it was to be funded. Some words on the street said that it was an old homosexual man called Tony, a retired hard house DJ from Birmingham who disappeared in the nineties. Others insisted that it was a shady conglomerate of former promoters of previously successful nights; Madders, James Hetfield from Cream, the Miss Moneypenny’s twins and Mike Manumission. Tonka didn’t really care who was running it as long as the DJs played minimal techno, techno, minimal house, tribal house, house and deep house; this was something he asserted regularly on his Twitter feed, Facebook page, weekly column for Ran$om Note and blog, the world famous and hugely successful Weekly Review of Dance Music.

An edgy underground viral campaign by 1000 Heads had the symbol of the club; a gaudy portrait of Buddah's face chalked gold, all over bus stops in north, west, south and east London with additional graffiti peppered around the other major cities of the United Kingdom using permanent marker pens. Resident Advisor even created an Events page for it and put it at the top of its Top London Clubs section before a beat had been dropped.

So sure was Tonka and his chums that Da Place Ta Be was going to be their new favourite club they had the words tattooed on the back of their calf muscles in Old English Text font.

The underground train puffed into East London station at exactly 9.12pm. Twelve minutes late, as usual. Still, Micky John was pleased to see his old friend burst through the pub doors. “Tonka, mah wee cadge-rattler, yee. How the fuckin’ Hell ahh ye?”

“Just get the fuckin’ beers in now, you stupid Scottish cunt. I’m starving.”

If there was a king of banter in the group, Tonka wore the crown. He plonked himself down at the table where the rest of the group had huddled, slapped Cozza playfully in the face and spat in Draper’s empty pint glass.

“Lucky that glass is empty, Tonk”, peeped Robbo.

“Why’s that?” replied Tonka.

“He’s not into swallowing spit, is Draper. He swallows spunk!”, spluttered Robbo.

Quick as a flash, Tonka boomed “You should fucking know!” and Micky John rocked over with a tray full of lager.

During a lively discussion about Tulisa, football and pubic hair a chill ran down Tonka’s spine. “Did anyone else feel that?” Inappropriate responses flew back and nothing more was thought of it. An old man with a toothbrush moustache entered the bar and stared at the collections of bottles behind the two young lady cocktail shakers before his attention turned to the junction of air vents grooved into the ceiling. Behind and above the bar was a shelf full of spirits. Behind the spirits stood a wall. Within that wall housed a hole, and through that hole was the sheet metal casing of the air vent access spindle. Etched inside the air vent's first chute in blood bore the legend,

Star Cult: Da Place Ta Be

“Who’s playing tonight then, Tonka?” grumbled Cozza.

“All I know is that I had a direct message on Twitter from the promoters, whoever the fuck they are, saying that Star Cult are playing an all-nighter and they want me to come and review it. Should be fucking ace, lads.”

This group of young men sat around their table, slaughtering pints of Fosters and refusing to admit to one another that they didn’t have a clue who Star Cult were. Such was the determination to know about the underground. To be cool. To know.

Tonka was one of the most well-connected young men in the UK, and most certainly in London. VIP AAA guest list is a given in every single English nightclub. Tonight was no exception. Inside the velvet lined walls of the club, the beats were sparse, minimal, overwhelmingly tribal and understandably deep. Techno on a plate. Da Place Ta Be really was the place to be that dark and stormy night. Upwards of 4000 people packed onto the dance floor in Hellraiser masks and danced incessantly, like zombies, to Michael Jackson’s Thriller (Sandwell District remix). Star Cult knew how to select. Star Cult were DJs without profile. Up high, over the crowd the DJ booth stood erect, like a space-age altar previewing the forthcoming dreams of those who come to worship. Tonka, Micky John, Robbo, Draper and Cozza danced around the edges, licking Mandy and sniffing up poppers to the delight of desperate congregation with their hands held out.

“Only in places like this can you beg for poppers and not look like a fucking…”

The music came to a halt as Vincent Price took up his monologue. The lights slowly came up and every single person on the dance floor stopped dancing and gasped. Was this a dramatic transition to Bobby Picket’s Monster Mash (Ben Klock edit) or an act of gross misconduct on behalf of the lighting and sound engineers?

It was neither.

An overhead projector from inside the DJ booth flickered and sprayed an image onto the velvet draped opposite wall, sending the congregation into a uniform 180 degree head spin. Tonka spat out his lager when he saw what he saw.

One shot scanned out the inside of a cave to reveal Madders, Mike Manumission, James Hetfield from Cream and the Miss Moneypenny’s twins stood wearing army fatigues, laughing, Uzi AK-47 automatic machine guns dangling from their hands whilst a thin and wrinkled Tony De Vit sat, strapped to a small wooden primary school chair with bicycle chains.

“Inhumane! Cruel!” wailed a young lady, who only two minutes previously had been pretending to be Uncle Fester. The DJ booth’s bullet-proof window opened and a green laser beam shot out, landing square between her eyes, melting her whole head and killing her instantly. Tonka stood conspiratorially on Draper’s toes and spoke under his breath, “Fuck me, he’s alive. I always thought there was something dodgy about a grown man dying of pneumonia in England. It’s too clement for that. Too fucking clement.”

“SILENCE!” boomed Madders, “you fuckers have got it coming tonight.”

Mike Manumission raised his hand and spoke in a slow, calm, almost Germanic voice. “You thought hard house was dead. You sneered at those who attempted to maintain its popularity. Mixmag staffers got lazy and no longer ventured outside of London. You began mingling with the jealous dogs who derided the hugely popular hoovers and horns sound in favour of a stripped down, slower, “cool” sound. Our clubs have gone, replaced with faceless, warehouse parties with not a recognisable logo between them. This man was your only hope and you let him die.”

“He’s still alive!” slurred Micky John at the top of his voice.

“You let him die”, hushed James Hetfield from Cream in Liverpudlian before pressing the fore-end of his gat to TdV’s temple and squeezing the trigger. As the hard house encased skull exploded and sprayed brains all over the camouflaged trousers of the five maniacs, the projected image scrambled and the lights in the club went down.

Walk The Night by the Skatt Brothers started up and the crowd began to dance. If you’re on ecstasy and dance music is playing, to dance or not to dance is not the question. Tonka understood this more than anyone so he strutted and jived to the middle of the dance floor, MDMA rising up through his spine. His jaw swirling, body shivering, limbs loosening. Joy filling his mind, body and soul despite the confusing, cold-blooded celebrity murder he had just witnessed on a four metre square flat white in a brand new nightclub. The evening had become incomprehensible and suddenly long-winded.

Tonka made his way to the unisex toilets for a piss and a look in the mirror. There seemed to be a consensus throughout the club that the laser beam murder and the slotting of Tony De Vit on a big screen had been a mass hallucination caused by a bad batch of pills. Tonka chuffed over to the east African gentleman and spent a two pound coin on a strawberry lollipop. “Am I the only one who thinks there’s something more to this than a few dodgy Vera’s?” he asked. The old man just laughed.

“What’s so funny?” asked Tonka.

“Nothing, mate” he said in a broad West Midlands accent before scurrying away towards the DJ booth.

To cut a long story short, Tonka finally slumped to his knees on the dance floor, a spear hanging out the back of his head, surrounded by the severed faces of his best friends and the slow march of a brigade of clowns retreating towards their Big Top in the chill out room. Madders approached the microphone stand for the final time and announced in an over-the-top manner that Star Cult are, “gonna play one more!”

Madders stepped back to reveal two silhouettes advance. Tony De Vit and a cryogenetically persevered Adolf Hitler stepped out from the shadows and prepared their Technics 1210 MK2 turntables for one last 12". An arrogant high-five and a lot of over-enthusiastic nodding accompanied the kick-drum intro as Cuz I’m Rockin’ by F1 filled the heavy air of murder on the dance floor to an almost empty nightclub.

Tonka lay bleeding to death in a pool of his own boiled blood and on the final beat, Da Place Ta Be evaporated into Hell, leaving nothing but your own interpretation of events.