For this episode of the Close Encounters... Minicast, Dan Collacott, Imran Mirza and friend of the show, Stuart Giblin, celebrate their fandom for one of the most revered trilogies in film history - 'Back to the Future' - but we go as far as to pitch a potential fourth installment within the franchise. Ever wondered whether Marty became a the rock star he always wanted to? And ever wonder where Doc & family ventured off to on the magical train of time travel? We can answer none of those questions but don't let that put you off listening to the episode for the fun of it more than anything.
Episode #64 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Dan, Imran and friend of show, Rich Roth, take a veritable journey through nostalgia as we each look at the forms of entertainment that we now love but that we seemingly missed upon initial release.
With an entertaining array of discussion points from music to 90s US sitcoms to 80s teen believe-in-yourself-you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-minds-to movies, we ask how we possibly let some of these treasures slip through our hands first go round. Plus, there's an extensive, fairly nonsenical pre-amble, focusing on coffee, living overseas and Bovril on bread.
Capitalising on everyone having lost their minds for the excellent Season Four of Netflix's Stranger Things, rapper Mega Ran connects with producer Amerigo Gazaway for a fascinating Stranger Things-inspired project bringing The Upside Down from our screens to our speakers with 'STRANGERS: Back to the Lab'.
The thrilling connection between Gazaway and Mega Ran, even on paper, is a brilliant combination with both artists continually thriving upon opportunities to bring two seemingly disparate worlds together - in true Vecna fashion of course.
Mega Ran's unique take on hip-hop has found itself a home alongside some fascinating collaborations including Joell Ortiz, MURS and Del The Funky Homosapien; but even more engaging than that, when perusing the Phoenix, Arizona, native's vast Bandcamp releases, you can't help but marvel at his penchant for using his music to celebrate all the forms of sport and genre fiction that provides inspiration. With releases celebrating everything from classic video games to pro wrestling, his heart is endearingly worn on his sleeve. 'STRANGERS: Back to the Lab' isn't even the first Stranger Things tribute bearing Mega Ran's name! That distinction dates back to 2017 and the release of Season Two which spawned an eight-track release ('STRANGERS') with each track focusing on a different Hawkins character.
And then there's Amerigo Gazaway - a DJ and producer who has cultivated an exceptional reputation through his "dream-come-true" concept releases that unify soul and hip-hop icons from different generations reinventing the notion of a "mash-up" project. With past releases bringing together the music of Mos Def and Marvin Gaye, Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone, Common and Stevie Wonder, amongst others, the Stranger Things style project in this fashion marks a natural extension to Gazaway's musical ideals, again, very much in line with Mega Ran's.
Set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things is a show about that explores the town's supernatural events as a group of children attempt to thwart the evil Vecna from gaining control of their world. 'STRANGERS: Back to the Lab' showcases the show's deliciously moody and synth-heavy score providing some brilliant new takes on the show's seminal pieces.
The tracklist for the release is included below as well as a link where you can download the project via Bandcamp. Frankly, to say anything further would just ruin the nice little surprises throughout, particularly regarding the samples and music, etc but we will say that we hope you enjoy the release as much as we do.
1. Strangers [prod. by K-Murdock]
2. The Hellfire Club [prod. by Amerigo Gazaway]
3. The Nina Project [prod. by DJ DN³]
4. Superheroes & Monsters [prod. by Amerigo Gazaway]
5. Vecna's Curse [prod. by Lost Perception]
6. The Upside Down (feat. Ray Wimley) [prod. by Lost Perception]
7. The Massacre [prod. by Amerigo Gazaway]
8. The Dive (feat. Glennellen Anderson & Dillon) [prod. by DJ DN³]
9. Superheroes & Monsters (Mega Ran Remix) [prod. by Amerigo Gazaway]
Spearheaded by IDW Publishing's 'The Last Ronin', this episode of the Close Encounters Minicast features Imran Mirza connecting with MISTA VEE in Melbourne, Australia, over their shared fandom for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. An incredible story that tells a story set in the future where Michelangelo is the only Ninja Turtle left standing against the Foot Clan following their conquest of New York, and seeks vengeance against their master for his lost family and friends.
Beyond 'The Last Ronin', conversation veers towards the masterpiece that was the live action movie from 1990 and its accompanying soundtrack; then there's discussion around the original TV series, The Nickolodeon reboot, original graphic novels...
Episode #63 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Dan, Tee-J and Imran delve into the presentation of women within action films.
Episodes #59 and #60 of this podcast series saw the team review the 80s action movie genre specifically through the movies 'Cobra', 'Big Trouble in Little China' and 'The Wraith' (all from 1986) and in an unofficial follow-up to that conversation, we look at how women were positioned within those films and ask where Hollywood's reluctance to feature women more prominently comes from. Tossing aside the notion of the damsel in distress, the team celebrates some of the incredible performances of female-fronted movies citing some of our personal favourite roles and performances. We conclude with a discussion about women in super hero films and the importance of films like 'Wonder Woman' (2017) and the Disney+ series 'Ms Marvel (2022).
Carl Jones' What Samples? show continually presents innovative new ways and ideas to celebrate 90s hip-hop and this extra special set sees Carl show some love to our friends over at 4 Ever in Electric Dreams and the epic list of 100 90's hip-hop tracks that they compiled earlier this year:
Carl breathes some fantastic life into the list by presenting the second of a series of shows dipping into some of his favourites from the list in his distinct fashion. Carl continues to present What Samples? as his undying love letter to hip-hop and we're so proud to be able to host these for your listening pleasure.
Episode #62 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Dan, Tee-J, Imran and friend of the show, Richard Roth, discuss the news of Vince McMahon's retirement from WWE.
Many never believed they'd see it in their lifetime but the WWE seeks to journey into a new era under the guidance and leadership of Stephanie McMahon and Paul LeVesque (HHH). What does this mean for the WWE product, how will it impact the company's overall culture moving forward and what impact is this likely to have on pro wrestling rivals, AEW?
Episode #61 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Tee-J, Imran and Dan discuss the abundance of comic book films and TV.
Is this the golden age of comic book visual entertainment or has the peak passed and we're now reaching an oversaturation point? We look at Marvel's impact on the genre, the variety of streaming services available and ask the pertinent question - what was the last thing you watched that wasn't rooted in comic book lore?
Episode #60 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Tee-J, Imran and Dan settle down to classic movies that we've never actually seen.
Following on from Episode #59 which sees the team allocated their movies to watch in the fourth of our 'catching up with the classics' series, hear our first-time reviews of three movies within the theme of 80s action including 'The Wraith' (1986), 'Cobra' (1986) and 'Big Trouble in Little China' (1986).
Plus we kick the episode off with Dan's incredible real-life 80s action hero story of saving a drowning woman. It's true. It's a real thing that happened. Click to hear all about it.
Episode #59 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Tee-J, Imran and Dan settle down to classic movies that we've never actually seen.
For the fourth in our 'catching up with the classics' series, we each pitch three movies we haven't seen to the group with them voting on which movie each person should watch. This go-round sees the team explore the glorious genre of 80s action movies as we seek to fill the gaps within our own catalogues. There's lots of preamble about the genre itself as we look at some of the icons of the time with a small dalliance into horror territory as well.
Plus we ask the all important questions, "What does the 'Tee' in 'Tee-J' stand for anyway?"
Tune into our next episode - Monday 4th July - to hear the full reviews for each of our picks.
The 4Ever team...
Welcome to 4ever in Electric Dreams which is the virtual HQ and home to our burgeoning podcast network spearheaded by our flagship series, Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind (C.E.N.K.).
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