Mixtape number four: Matt Stancombe's 'Botanical Mechanical’

We first met regular contributor Matt Stancombe many years ago in a haze of misspent youth on the not especially mean streets of Cambridge. There’s most definitely some magic water - or what we’ve heard referred to as “disco ley lines” - running through the town that was at one time home to the likes of DJ Harvey, The Idjut Boys, Ray Mang, Tim ‘Love’ Lee, Groove Armada, Hot Chip and many others. He’s one of the most diligent record collectors we know, a smart so and so, and a very likeable fellow. We’re not only thrilled to have him on board the good ship Cosmic Tiger, but also today we are doubly excited to present this beautiful mix he recorded for us. Let him take you on a sonic journey, while you stare into his sad, piercing blue eyes and read a few words about him below.


To say that Matt Stancombe likes lots of different kinds of music would be an understatement. Residing in the ancient Disco Village of Cambridge, UK for the past 23 years surrounded by a group of equally obsessed hoarders of vinyl has proved fertile ground for an education in many different subcultures. “I grew up with rave music, tape packs; dreamscape, fantazia, Dougal, HIxxy, Die, SS, Swane, Randall, Slipmatt.”

How you get from that to Phillip Glass via Amnesia, Cafe Del Mar, the Paradise Garage, the Shrine and the House of Ra, has been the story of his life and reflected in the way he plays records. By day he works in a laboratory figuring out how plants tell the time, at night, moonlighting as a Geisha, indulging the seedy Cambridge underbelly and servicing the elite future leaders of this troubled land. Presenting the unfortunately named Restless Funk weekly radio show on the University radio station for the past 18 years with the degenerate “Barlow”* has been his only saving grace. Here’s a group of records that Cosmic Tiger made him think of, dreamy and interesting, Botanical and Mechanical.

*Editors note: A Barlow is a quasi-mythical and mischievous river sprite, purported by some to be the true keeper of the Fen Tiger.