Secret Thirteen Mix 203 - Blood Sport

Blood Sport of Blast First Petite

Artwork by Liam Taylor, Nick Potter, Slim Smith

Blood Sport embrace diversity and experimentalism to explain the origins of their aggro-beat with a colourful and ever-surprising mix (listen/download now)

Blood Sport is a three-piece band from Sheffield, consisting of Nick Potter, Alex Keegan and Sam Parkin. At this stage, some could have already heard of the so-called “aggro-beat” - a juicy, fresh, ritualistic genre coined by these guys, and born from a combination of Afro-beat, post-punk, noise and rock. Their sound is reminiscent of post-punk bands like The Pop Group, The Slits or Talking Heads, even Liquid Liquid, or more recently Islet, Gum Takes Tooth and Micachu. Their gigs are likewise well known and highly regarded for their mesmerizing elliptic sound and full-on intensity. As Daniel Dylan Wray of The Quietus said, “When they play live they do so continuously, with no breaks, no pauses, no talking, complete with frantic chunks of improvisation that funnel a disparate set of influences into a sound they have coined as aggro-beat”.

These guys are no slouches in the music world. Earlier in this hectic year Blood Sport released their superb latest LP, Axe to the Root, on Blast First Petite label. They also performed with Hieroglyphic Being on the Moog Sound Lab set on 1st December and will be announcing the release of a new record on Helena Hauff's Return to Disorder label next year. None of this (or the fact that their stuff has been remixed by Richard H. Kirk) is coincidence or miracle, rather it is the result of a truly forward-looking approach to music.

In Secret Thirteen Mix 203, Blood Sport speak about their origins and the close link between the dancefloor and their experimental sound. The outcome is a diverse selection that wakes some innate inner urge to take a dive and share in the sound coming from the speakers. The polyrhythmic frenzy turns this live session, recorded in Sheffield, into an incredible colourful trip where listeners cannot be anything but eager to know what comes next — just like kids waiting to open 18 mysterious presents for Christmas. You name the instrument, the tempo, the style…Blood Sport have it. The mix begins with a pure noise composition by Russell Haswell, but soon it goes on to explore other realms. Post-disco, afro-beat, 90’s house, the ragga of Tiger’s “Rap Pon Ridym”, the amazing “Man On A String (Part 1)” by Shackleton, even the acid madness of Aqua Regia’s “Uh, Ring me, Bye” or Emptyset’s “Amarture” - all fit into this 1-hour long session. Of course, much like their own sound, Blood Sport built this mix upon rhythm and experimentation, resulting in a myriad of contrasting but still perfectly compatible beats that act as the vertebral axis of this terrific compilation. There is a crucial lesson here and we all need to learn it. First step: open your mind, feel the beat and just let yourself go.

Blood Sport’s words about the mix

“This mix draws directly on the approach explored through our label and promotions entity, Hybrid Vigour, which explores the grey area between experimental music and dance music, gigs and 'the club space'. It was recorded live in Sheffield and looks primarily to focus on immediate and claustrophobic 'rhythm' over a more drawn out process we've undertaken in previous mixes.. Rhythm has been the apex around which we have performed, developed and interacted over the last 6 years - starting with afro-beat and travelling across industrial, footwork, and experimental techno. Live, this is delivered through guitars, drums, effected vocals and drums, with DJ sets following the same ethos. It’s a fully combined effort across the three members, with additional sound produced on Zoom G2 processed Stylophone and cassette player.”


01. Russell Haswell - Scratchy (Freeze Dub)/Blast Beats [Diagonal, 2014]
02. Tiger - Rap Pon Ridym [Dug Out, 2013]
03. Scratcha DVA - Step 2 Funk [Hyperdub, 2016]
04. Steve Summers - Partial Print [Russian Torrent Versions, 2014]
05. Mr Tickles - Grinding [Roska Kicks + Snares, 2011]
06. Drums In Victoria Baths - Sacramental Nose Dive [The Audacious Art Experiment, 2014]
07. KMFH - Dr. Crunch [Wild Oats, 2013]
08. Outsider - Pain In My Brain [Jusí Trax, 1996]
09. Champion - Motherboard [Harddrive, 2011]
10. DJ Sotofett & Karolin Tampere feat. Maimouna Haugen - Nondo (Original Mix) [Honest Jonís, 2015]
11. Mpese Mpese Band - Mpese Theme (DrumTalk Remix) [Sofrito, 2011]
12. Crystal - A-C-C-I-D-E-N-T-A-L [Institubes, 2009]
13. Aqua Regia - Uh, Ring me, Bye [Irdial Discs, 1991]
14. Shackleton - Man On A String (Part 1) [Woe to the Septic Heart!, 2010]
15. Jar Moff - Tziaitzomanasou [PAN, 2013]
16. Errorsmith - Never Enough [Errorsmith, 2004]
17. Emptyset - Armature [Raster-Noton, 2012]
18. Marina Rosenfeld - I Launch An Attack.. [Room40, 2013]

About Author

Armando Valdés, the man behind Secret Thirteen album reviews, is a translator, music journalist and a member of noise-ambient + spoken word band “Granny On Donkey”.

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