THE PAUSE BUTTON KING: Remembering Paul Mulhearn, 30 Years On / by Mr Spin



Tony Spin takes us on a personal journey, a turning point deep in Manchester’s hip hop history.


Remembering Paul Mulhearn, 30 years on…

Tony Spin, October 2017


Back in 1986 teenagers and young adults from the North West of England would tune in to Stu Allan’s Souled Out show on Piccadilly Radio. In June 1986, Stu was covering for Lee Browne who was away for a few weeks. After only a couple of weeks, the listening figures went through the roof. This was due to Stu playing Hip Hop, Soul and House music. He was given the job full time in July 1986 and ran the show until 1991.

As well as playing all the latest imports from the USA, Stu also ran regular competitions for up and coming DJs and mixers to send in their best mixes for airplay. I had been creating pause button mixes since 1984, getting better which each one, self taught and determined to win one of Stu’s competitions.

No turntables, no samplers, just a bog standard home hi-fi unit twin tape deck connected to a ghetto blaster to record the master mix.

So, in the autumn of 1986 Stu announced on his show he wanted the listeners to create a mix for the best of 1986. The weeks passed and the excitement grew for the announcement of the winner.

Since the early 1980s, Piccadilly Radio always had an end of year ‘best of’ mix. The likes of the mixgods Greg Wilson and Chad Jackson would spend weeks creating the perfect mix and listeners would be ready to press the record button on the ghetto-blaster. A full year of the best tracks in one show, fantastic stuff!


On Sunday December 21st 1986 Stu announced the winner. A guy called Paul Mulhearn from Rainford in St Helen’s, a name I had not heard before. There were quite a lot of great DJs in Manchester, so it was a real surprise. Slightly gutted I did not win, I thought okay, let’s hear it then. I released the pause button and the TDK90 started to record the Paul Mulhearn Best of 1986 mix.

After a few minutes, I had realised this guy was good, very good. The mix was the best I had ever heard. It was a proper megamix with 100 tracks, including samples. I remember thinking this guy must be a professional and have all the best kit. It was only at the end of the mix, 45 minutes later, that Stu explained this was a pause button mix. No turntables, no samplers, just a bog standard home hi-fi unit twin tape deck connected to a ghetto blaster to record the master mix.
At the time I was still unaware of BPMs, keys, pitch control etc. I was a total amateur compared to Paul, who had somehow made the perfect mix: perfect timing, perfect flow, a great start, middle and ending with the most basic equipment you could use. It was simply outstanding. You could tell how good it was – Stu’s tone expressed his excitement and amazement, he sounded super chuffed and gobsmacked that he had just played such an incredible mix.


Over the following weeks I would play Paul’s mix on most days. Wow!

In 1987 I remember Stu mentioning he had received a letter from Paul, about a new mix he was sending in and that also he had a job opportunity. Stu said he was really pleased for him. A few weeks later Stu played a short mix by Paul which was a kind of jingle mix for the Souled Out show.

Only 7 minutes 30 seconds long, but again it was perfectly produced, mixed and demonstrated Paul had started to branch out showing he was capable of creating tracks and home made sampling, yet again on the same hi-fi equipment.
Inspired by Paul’s Best of 1986 mix and that he used similar equipment to myself, I spent months creating more pause button mixes and hassling Stu for airplay. By now the likes of Owen D had his mixes played on Souled Out but he was using turntables and scratching.

Also, the likes of Chad Jackson, Grandgroove, DJ KA & Dolby D and others were getting airplay. The difference here was these guys had the equipment and regular DJ slots in the clubs in Manchester. Paul never DJ’d out, he never had a turntable, he specialised in pause button mixes, it was all he had.

I could not believe what I was hearing and cannot remember the rest of the show.

The months went by. The show format had changed with the Hip Hop hour renamed to Bus Diss in July. By this time, my parents had separated and we were living with my Gran until we could find a house. It was a difficult time. 17 years old, I was feeling very low and only Stu’s show on Sunday seemed to cheer me up.

On Sunday the 25th October 1987, Stu made an incredibly sad announcement: that he had received a letter from Paul’s mum, that Paul had taken his own life on the 17th October, aged only 18. I could not believe what I was hearing and cannot remember the rest of the show. It was my first experience of losing someone that inspired me. A few weeks earlier DJ Scott la Rock also died. I remember getting Paul’s mixtape out, and playing it over and over again for the whole week. I just couldn’t believe it!


I eventually got radio airplay on various stations between 1988-1990, and even had my Best of 1988 Droppin’ It mix released on Manchester’s indie Label Bop Cassettes.

I often thought Paul would have achieved the same success with label releases.

I carried on mixing until 1991, but my equipment broke and I did not have the funds to buy new kit.

Hip Hop had changed from being creative and fun, and turned into gangsta rap. Explicit lyrics obviously made it difficult for Stu to play on air, the golden era had ended, samplers were getting sued and Hip Hop / Rap was heading into a different era. Without the mixing equipment and less tracks that I liked or could hear on the radio, I decided to quit mixing at the end of 1991. My last pause button mix was the Best of Rap 1990 mix.


Fourteen years later, for some reason I wanted to start mixing. I can’t remember why. I might have been reading something like PC Pro and spotted an advert for music mixing software. I had no experience whatsoever, and no kit.

The first thing I did was go into the loft and locate my archive of mixing tapes and Stu’s radio shows with plenty of others, over a thousand. They hadn’t been touched since 1995.

I found my Sony Walkman and popped in a tape. The Bus Diss music played… how wonderful. What amazing tracks. I then thought I would check out the early 1980s, some Electro, Sam Browne, Southside Radio, some Mike Shaft Taking Care of Business, Chad Jackson mixes… then I thought: Paul Mulhearn, 1986!

I then played that tape for the first time in 18 years. Immediately, my eyes filled up. I was 17 the last time I played Paul’s mix – I was 35 now, a married man with children.


In 2006 I started to convert some of my favourite mixes from all those years back, including Paul’s. I did an internet search and noticed Mr Scruff had a website that detailed his history, which included a mention of Paul.

I thought: how lovely, there’s the name again.

I started mixing again later that year and did some radio shows. I couldn’t really find that many old radio shows that had been uploaded onto websites, mainly because at the time Myspace was, I think, the only place, and they only accepted short mixes.

I found a recording of Stu Allan’s Souled Out show from late 1986 which was a chart rundown with listeners who had sent in their top 10 National Fresh diss called ‘National Wash’. Paul’s was number 10 with ‘Mum, I don’t want to listen to National Fresh, so please unstrap me from the Stereo!’ – Mike Allen took no offence to Stu’s chart, he found it quite funny. Mike quoted ‘It was a national show and I was hanging out fresh washing each week. I don’t find that offensive’. R.I.P Mike Allen.


During 2007 -2011 I carried on making mixes and tracks, radio shows etc. I wanted to start converting my collection of Stu Allan’s radio shows, so signed up to Mixcloud in 2011.

One of the first uploads was Paul’s Best of 1986.

It was fantastic to be able to play his mix whenever I wanted, and soon people would follow, repost and comment on what a great mix it was.

2012 -2016

Come December of every year, I would think back to the days when you could look forward to a Best Of mix. They were special times, but sadly no longer happened. I’ve not done one since 1990! So I decided to make a Best of 2016 Soul mix.

Towards the end of 2016 I had been trying to locate someone from Paul’s family and initially searched in Devon. I remember Stu saying the family had moved in 1987 to Devon. I just wanted to say how I thought he was brilliant and sadly missed, but certainly not forgotten. After a few weeks, I struck lucky and managed to find Paul’s older brother Mark via Twitter. The power of social media!

I made contact on the 17th December 2016. Mark confirmed he was Paul’s brother and he was now living in Belfast. I mentioned how Paul inspired so many wannabe mixers and I had uploaded two of his mixes. Mark had never heard them, and was delighted to be able to hear his brother’s mixes and skills.
Mark was happy his mixes were available on the internet for people to listen to, and he sent me a photo of Paul mixing that was published in a local St Helen’s newspaper.

Mark was never a big Hip Hop fan, more into the likes of the Stone Roses. Like a lot of brothers, Paul and himself had different tastes in music. The following day Mark sent the photo of Paul that was featured in the local newspaper in 1987.


I was gob smacked when I saw this photo. I had tears in my eyes, and soon after was in tears. My 10 year old daughter asked why I was so upset. I explained that Paul was for me was very special person: I wished that I had met him, and he was still alive today. Such a fantastic photo. The mystery of what Paul looked like, his equipment, notepads detailing the tracks, vinyl records, tapes and actually mixing, so so special. The photo sums up the mix itself.

In early January I notified Mark I wanted to make a feature to remember Paul, and release it later in the year to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Paul’s passing. Mark gladly granted permission, and was delighted that Paul was still remembered and inspired so many people.

Over the next few months we had many discussions and Mark kindly answered the questions that he could. I would spend many months researching other areas for this feature.

The mystery of what Paul looked like, his equipment, notepads detailing the tracks, vinyl records, tapes and actually mixing, so so special. The photo sums up the mix itself.

Paul was born in Liverpool in August 1969 and lived on Thickwood Moss Lane, Rainford, St Helens, Merseyside, England. He had one brother, Mark, who is 3 years older. He went to West Park High school in St Helens.

At the age of 15, he started to get into music. He used to travel from Rainford to Manchester’s Spin Inn Records, to buy records. He had a lot of vinyl records and tape cassettes, mostly old school Electro, Hip Hop, Soul and very early House. He also had tape recordings of his favourite shows: Souled Out with Stu Allan, Piccadilly Radio. He always listened to Stu’s shows. Paul also liked Depeche Mode, who were his favourite band.

Paul made the mixes in his bedroom when he was only 17. He used his Dad’s Amstrad SM104: a vertical record player with a double tape deck connected into a Black TOSHIBA RT-90S boom box. Totally self taught!

Black TOSHIBA RT-90S boom box: the same model Paul used in his mixes.
Black TOSHIBA RT-90S boom box: the same model Paul used in his mixes.

Paul would have recorded the loops, samples and edits and master mix on various tapes. He would have carefully researched which sounds would blend. He somehow beat matched without any specialised equipment or training, there was no such thing as pitch control. He would have used the Amstrad SM104 volume to control the playing track mixing in and out, and swapping tapes around in both units for the samples and so on.

The mix would have taken months to produce, spending hours every day putting it altogether, working out the perfect selection of tracks, beat matching on a tape deck, making samples, mixing genres etc.

Paul’s Best of 1986 featured a hundred songs and samples. Only a handful are still unknown.

The track listing was never published back in 1986. Stu Allan ran a competition for listeners to send in their list of tracks, and the one who was the closest would win tickets to a Mantronix concert along with vinyl records. It was never announced if anyone won the competition.

Below is the track listing compiled with help from many friends on Facebook.

Paul Mulhearn – The Best of 1986 Mix

Intro Samples
Indeep – Last night a DJ saved my life
Herbie hancock – Rockitt
Fab 5 Freddy Sample
1. Ice T – Dog In The wax
2. Mixmaster Gee – The Manipulator
3. Schoolly D – Gangster Boogie
4. M.C. Dollar Bill – Lifestyles Of The Fresh And Fly
5. Run Dmc – Is It Live
6. Ice T – You Don’t Quit
7. Run DMC – Hit It Run
8. Word Of Mouth – Coast To Coast DJ Cheese
9. The Junkyard Band – The Word
10. The Kartoon Krew – Batman
11. The B Boys – Girls (Part 2)
12. Salt & Pepa – I’ll Take your Man
13. Mantronix – Needle To The Groove
14. Mantronix – Hardcore Hip Hop
15. UTFO – Split Personality (Remix)
16. M.C. Chill – The Prophecy Part 1
17. Beastie Boys – Hold It Now, Hit It
18. Easy Mike Feat MC Sure Shot – The State We’re In – It’s Too Political (intro)
19. Easy Mike Feat MC Sure Shot – The State We’re In – It’s Too Political
20. Fat Boys – Breakdown
21. Steady B – Bring The Beat Back
22. Real Roxanne & Howie Tee – Bang Zoom
23. Biz Markie – Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz
24. High Power – OK I’m Loosin’ Up
25. Lovebug Starski – Saturday Night (House Rocker)
26. World Class Wreckin’ Cru – B.S
27. Tears For Fears – Shout (Remix)
28. Eze T – Kicking Butts
29. Tricky Tee – Leave It To The Drums
30. The Freshmen – Who Me
31. Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal – Saturday love (Extended Version)
32. Boogie Boys – ColorBlind World
33. SkiBone – Take it to the Top
34. The Two – The Real Grandmaster
35. Mantronix – Ladies
36. Stetsasonic – Just Say Stet
37. Whistle – Just Buggin
38. Melba Moore – It’s Been So Long
39. Loose Ends – Nights Of Pleasure
40. Klark Kent – Gettin Busy
41. Eric B & Rakim – Eric B. is President
42. Latin Rascals – Bach to the future
43. Ultimate III – Ultimate III
44. T LA Rock – Bass Machine
45. Mantronix & T La Rock – Breakin Bells
46. Fat Boys – Sex Machine
47. Pretty Ricky & Boo-Ski – It’s Mine
48. Mtume – Juicy Fruit
49. The Masterdon Committee – Get Off My Tip!
50. 12 41 – Success Is The Word
51. Loose Ends – Slow Down
52. Grandmaster Flash – Style Peter Gunn theme
53. Mtume – Breathless
54. Rap-O-Matic Ltd – Lies, Lies
55. Troublefunk – Still Smokin
56. Steady B – Cheatin Girl
57. Marley Marl – The Man Marley Marl
58. Timex Social Club – Rumours
59. Aleem – Confusion
60. Disco Four – Stomp,Stomp,Clap
61. Mantronix – Bassline
62. Alfronso – Time Bomb
63. Seville Ft Jazzy J – Envious
64. Run Dmc – Peter Piper
65. TACKHEAD – Is There A Way Out (King of the Beat)
66. Cutmaster DC – Brooklyns In The House
67. Choice MC – Brooklyn Style
68. Nu Shooz / Spyder D – I Cant Wait
69. Dr Jeckyl & Mr Hyde – Transformation
70. One Way – Don’t Think About It
71. Lovebug Starski – Saturday Night (UK Fresh live intro) Eight Wonder
72. Awesome Foursome – Monster Beat
73. Mac Attack – The Art Of Drums
74. Mac Attack – The Art Of Drums D C Street Rap
75. Hardrock Soul Movement – The Beat Is Mine
76. Sir Mix A Lot – Square Dance Rap
77. Vicious Rumor Club – Rumors Rap
78. Bobby Jimmy And The Critters – Bag Bobby Jimmy Jam
79. D.S.M – Destiny
80. Afrika Bambatta – Bambatta Theme
81. BB&Q Band – Dreamer
82. Nocera – Summertime Summertime
83. Masquerade – Solution to the problem
84. Abdul Tariq – Education
85. M.C. Chill – Open Your Eyes
86. Aleem Ft Leroy Burgess – Love’s On Fire
87. Mel n kim – Showing Out
88. Raze – Jack The Groove
89. Farley Jackmaster Funk – Love Can’t Turn Around
90. Byron Davis – My Hands Are Quicker Than The Eye
91. Cameo – Word Up
92. Run DMC – You Be Illin’
93. Egyptian Lover – The Lover
94. Pleasure Boys – Remix
95. World Class Wreckin’ Cru – He’s Bionic
96. Worse ‘Em – Triple M Bass

The response to the airing of Paul’s mix on Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio was huge in the North West of England. Stu Allan rang Paul, to notify him how massive a mix it was.

Local newspapers in St Helen’s contacted Paul. One of them took the photo of Paul in his bedroom using his equipment for the newspaper article. Mark believes it was in the St Helen’s Star and possibly the Liverpool Echo.

For the last 5 months, I have tried to obtain a copy of the article. Speaking to libraries and newspapers, I still have not been successful. St Helen’s Central Library is closed until further notice. I have been informed they will have a copy on the archives!

Paul’s close friends and family heard Paul’s mixes. Paul did make more mixes, but it is unknown what happened to them.

At the beginning of 1987, Paul was offered a job working for NME as a journalist. Paul’s parents were planning to move to Devon. Paul never moved. He sadly took his own life before his parents moved down there.

Paul was cremated at St Helen’s Crematorium. Being a huge Depeche Mode fan, the family played the band’s music at his funeral.

A few days before the 30th anniversary of Paul’s passing. I noticed a Amstrad SM104 vertical record player for sale on auction site. This model is very rare. It was manufactured in 1984 and only three have ever been listed on the likes of eBay.

Amstrad SM104
Amstrad SM104

I quickly purchased the item and was gob smacked to find the item for sale was only 2.5 miles from Paul’s house. This could be Paul’s equipment! I have no way of guaranteeing this is the case, but owing to how rare they are, there is a possibility. Mark cannot remember what happened to his music collection or the equipment, possibly it was given away?

When I collected the item from Rainford it felt very eerie, the thought that I may now have the unit that Paul made the amazing Best of 1986 mix on. The address was only a short distance from Paul’s house.

The Amstrad SM104 is now proudly set up in my home music room.

The great Paul Mulhearn’s legacy will live on forever, securing such an important piece of megamix history.

To celebrate Paul’s life and his outstanding talent, I reached out on social media to friends, DJs and artists, to obtain their personal statements about what Paul and his mix meant to them. As each one arrived, it made the story even more sadder. The statements confirmed Paul was indeed a mix genius who, without any doubt, would have been a big important figure in the music industry.


Amazing, obviously very talented. I also started doing cassette pause button mixes but nothing as creative as this. I don’t even know how he did it, other than the fact that it sounds like he did take the time, to BPM the tracks and has the fastest ones at the end. Just shows that you don’t need a ton of equipment to make something really special, talent is the most important thing.

Simon Harris, Music of Life

I’ve spent my life trying to prove myself to the Musicians Union who expelled me in 1964 because I was playing records when the band I sang with had a break. DMC was born on that backdraft. How I would have loved to see Paul M do his ‘pause mix’ during that MU meeting. My case would have been made. DMC pays homage to our lost soldier.

Tony Prince DMC

I used to think I was good on the pause button but this was ridiculously good!

CJ Mackintosh M/A/R/R/S

Paul must have been a very talented and influential young soul, gone too soon.

Peace & Blessings

Joyce Sims

This was an amazing mix selection of pre-golden era hip hop and pause button style mixing, Paul was WAY ahead of his time! Couldn’t have pieced it together any better than this … WOW!

DJ Mercury Mikey D & the L.A Posse

I have always been credited with being someone who pushed barriers forward in recording music but was not aware of Paul until recently. To see what this young guy was doing with just cassette decks is bordering on genius. It’s such a shame that he’s not around, especially with today’s technology, as I think he would have taken things to a different level. R.I.P Paul

Paul Hardcastle

Incredible! I used to think that I was a master of the pause tape, but I am wowed by the ingenuity and creativity behind this mix! And the realization of what he did with such limitations, I can only imagine what he could have become with access to the technology that was available then, and what was to come afterward. He could have been a wizard with a splice block, tape and a razor blade, but can you imagine him in the digital realm? Gone way too soon! Rest In Peace.

Cozmo D, Newcleus

Coming Straight From The Lyrical King From The Boogie Down Bronx! I must Take Time To Acknowledge Paul Mulhearn Who At The Tender Age Of 17 Created One Of The Best Mixes using some of the explosive songs Found On My Lyrical King LP! Paul Developed A Unique Talent Of Using The Pause Button!Much Respect Due!!!!

T LA Rock

The skills of creating mixes by pause button editing on cassette decks was a skill that gave many of us our creative start into music production, editing and DJing. Paul learned these skills and took them to the next level. An incredible amount of forward planning, preparation and timing were required, and a judicious selection of tunes. He would have become an amazing producer if he would have carried on developing his skills. His 86 mix is simply a thing of genius. A true talent. Amazingly he lived in my locality, only a few minutes up the road, yet, unfortunately, I never met him.

Chad Jackson

Amazing! Never thought I’d hear this again either! Incredible! Just think what he could’ve come up with today’s technology! People still talk and ask me about this mix! His name hasn’t been forgotten either. Made a big impact on Souled Out & Bus Diss! in such a short time. For those that don’t know, because he couldn’t afford turntables, he did this mix entirely on 2 cassette decks and the ‘sampling’ effect was done using the pause button of one of those decks. I had a couple of phone conversations all those years ago with Paul – I just wanted to let him know how brilliant his mixes were and that the reaction from the listeners was phenomenal. He was quietly spoken and clearly quite pleased but a bit embarrassed and shocked about it too and overwhelmed that I was loving what he’d spent hours creating. He said “Thank you, Stu – I’ll get some more mixes to you soon”. Sadly, we heard no more. I’m still saddened by what happened. His memory will truly live on. R.I.P.

DJ Stu Allan – Souled Out / Bus Diss, Key 103 / Piccadilly Radio

Have really enjoyed this mix! And I’d love to offer these words: I was talking to Laurent Garnier – probably the most inventive and influential of all DJs in France in the last thirty years. He said that great DJs are less about their ego than their contribution to collective history. I like that phrase ‘collective history’. The pioneers are those who contribute most. People who blaze a trail for others that follow. Listening to Paul’s stuff from 1986, the talent shines through and the unique technical brilliance. Truly a pioneer who enriched that great collective history.

Dave Haslam

After listening to Paul Mulhearn’s ‘flow’, I feel personally ‘gripped’ that we’ve been deprived of his unique way of expressing how he heard the sounds and or more importantly – the ‘pauses’. Paul Mulhearn hasn’t gone anywhere – you can hear him and his love of sound in the ‘pause’.


Big Ups & R.I.P to Paul Mulhearn! He had a great ear & passion for Hip Hop & it is evident in the vibe created on his pause button mixes… truly an incredible talent!

Mix Master ICE, UTFO

Wow. Hold up, I just heard that mix. It’s a hard mix to do with vinyl but pause tape mixing! Forget about it. This is incredible. Paul had a special talent to be mixing like this back then. Technology was no where close to what we have today. Wow, is all I can say. Man it’s an honor for one of our fallen heroes!

DJ Cash Money

Paul Mulhearn was definitely a shining star, his pause bottom mix tape lives today 30 years later, we all are still fascinated by his artistic delivery and formula, unfortunately he took his life prematurely, who knows what he would have been today, may he Rest In Peace.

DJ Sammy B, Jungle Brothers

Paul Mulhearn’s pause button mix is phenomenal. I couldn’t even believe this was done using the pause button technique. I started out making pause button tapes back in the early 80’s. The original Public Enemy #1 demo was done using the pause button technique. This in my opinion, is the epitome of the art form and it is just a shame that he is no longer around.

DJ Johnny Juice

I never knew about Paul at the time, having left Manchester a few years before his mixes were broadcast. Listening to them now you can’t help but be impressed by his ingenuity, and wonder what he might have done with less basic equipment at his disposal. That he did this bouncing between a twin cassette and a ghetto blaster is what I’d call a prime example of mother of necessity – finding a means not only to bring out your creativity despite your technical limitations, but using these very limitations, as in this case, to your artistic advantage.

DJ Greg Wilson

Classic mix. Not heard this for years! Paul Mulhearn was a massive influence on my own early pause tapes. The young Paul Mulhearn’s pause button mixes were aired on Stu Allan’s Souled Out show on Manchester’s Piccadilly 261. He was one of many teenagers who spent countless hours at home, inspired by the early ’80s cut up culture, and especially by fast edit specialists such as the Latin Rascals. What set Paul apart though was the sheer quality and intensity of his mixes. A far cry from the slick, polished tape edits of the time, his rough, lively mixes really capture the spirit of the mid ‘80s, and were notable for the fact that he did it all on three cassette decks! At a time when a teenager could only dream of owning Technics turntables, hearing something like this was a big inspiration to myself & many other DJs.

Mr Scruff

Paul Mulhearn’s pause tape mix is something really quite special, sitting in front of the radio/cassette player, with your finger on the pause button is something most people from my generation did on a regular basis. BUT this wondrous mix by Paul is on a completely different dimensional plane. The skill and beat matching is mind blowing, considering the level of technology (or lack of it) that he has used to create this mini masterpiece. It jars my mind thinking just how far he could’ve taken it, if given more time. A giant of a talent and a mix I heard played in many gaffs and cars back in the day. I take off my cap to you Paul.

Kermit Leveridge, Black Grape / Ruthless Rap Assassins

Back in the day it took more skills and timing to make a mix as we didn’t have the tools we do today. I come from that era in the 80’s and Paul Mulhearn was most definitely in a different league as you go to this ‘button’ mix paused with tape decks is simply amazing. Dedication and passion for his mixing art. Today we honor his legacy and i am glad to say I’ve been around to witness the true skills not even with 2 turntables but with a tape deck. R.I.P Paul Mulhearn and may you rock in heaven.

Orlando Voorn

Only REAL DJ’z know how complex this technic is and Paul’s passion for Hip hop makes him an incredible Pause DJ, because it takes so much patience precision and persistence to accomplish this impeccable seamless mix pause tape production. I know because I was nice with this as well. He would have been a Super producer and I say super producer because this skill is the superhighway to Super producer Status, there would have been nothing that would have stopped him from being one DJ/ Producer to reckon with NUFF SAID !!!!! RIP MY FELLOW DJ May your efforts and contribution to our Hiphop legacy LIVE ON from The Original DJ SPINDARELLA from Salt n Pepa 85″ I’ll take your man “, my mic sounds nice, Tramp , definitely a show stoppa and I’ll keep PUSHIN it – Hiphop FO-EVA!!! –

Original Spindarella, Salt N Pepa

His mix was and still is the best mix I have ever heard and I still listen to it a couple of times a year. 30 years later nobody has come close to creating anything like this, even with the technology we have now. SKILLS!

DJ Mark One, Texas

I remember taping this mix off the radio back in the day, this was one cassette you daren’t tape over. This is something you blasted on your 3D super woofer when you were with your mates. There was nothing like this, and until the modern digital age came there was nothing that followed. For Paul to make this mix using a tape decks, pause button and a couple of C90s is a work of magic, unbelievable for its time and still unbelievable today. It isn’t just the skill involved in making this, it’s the imagination in crafting a sublime mix equal to anything you would hear from the giants of the industry. Such a shame we never got to find out what Paul could have gone on to be, but that’s no doubt he would have been a monster on the music scene for many years!


Still my most favourite mix from back in the dayz of old mucker. Reminds me of the dayz spending many times in Spin Inn Records in Manchester as a young writer.

Chris Jenky

I was an avid listener of Stu Allan, taped most of his shows. Was and still am a massive hip hop fan. I started mixing and DJing about 85. Sent tape after tape with my mixes on to Stu, must’ve drove him mad! There was always a Best Of year mix and various mixes played. But then, he played Paul’s mix which was absolutely mind blowing. All the magic tunes of the year put together in the most smooth and thought out way, it was so clever and way above anything I could ever do. Me and my mates would listen to it all the time. Years and years passed, I always had Chad Jackson’s mixes to listen to but could always remember this mix but couldn’t remember who did it – until about a year ago when Tony Spin posted a link to it and made my day. I took the dog out for a long walk and listened to it once again, and wow, it was just as magic as when I first heard it. R.I.P Paul what would’ve become of you? You were surely going to be something special.

Anthony Burke, DJ Ant B (Bus Diss mix winner)

Just listened again and it’s still amazes me. All beat mixed perfectly and imaginatively beyond belief. How good would he have become with today’s technology? Every time I listen, it still blows my mind. Total respect. A master of his art R.I.P.

Waxmaster, WBLS Radio Manchester

I use to list to Souled out & Bus Diss and loved Paul’s mixes, it got me into doing tape to tape mixes and bought an Amstrad Studio, but no where near the standard of Paul . I always wanted to know more about Paul Mulhearn, I know he came from Helens, as I myself am (along with Chad Jackson ). I always felt so much pride to have world class mixers from my town. I really wish I’d have known him personally!

Mike Ingham aka INCH 197

Always loved it when i was growing up!

Stephen Travis

Top mix, pause buttons, wow it was an art to do this! so many good tunes, really took me back to the good old days

Steve Twirl Black

How did he do it! – hats off to you Paul (amazing technique and Mix!!!) and rest in peace.

Dominic Headford


Nathan ”JMFNK” Winslow

We knew Paul from Spin Inn, when it was on Cross Street. My homie Vice D met him first when he was talking about the pause mixes that had been broadcast a couple of Sundays back with Russell. So whenever he was in and we were in we used to meet up. I never had 1200’s and was doing pause edits myself back then, but I couldn’t believe what he could do on ghetto blasters. We were shocked when Stu announced his death, because we were young. There was a short period of a few months when in was Paul & Scott La Rock. It was a time of shock and sadness but also of exciting music. Can you imagine Paul in a proper studio or on the decks? Necessity is the mother of invention. “All you have to do in this place, is think of something and there it is….”

Apa Che Tee

Beyond incredible. 30 years on, I can still remember with clarity recording this live from Stu Allan’s show. Impeccable timing & blending, still baffling how Paul did this with cassettes. I pray his family take some comfort in the esteem Paul was held in by all who had the privilege of appreciating his phenomenal talent, he will never be forgotten by us, ever. RIP – never forgotten.

Jason Kingston

Still awesome even to this day..!

Keith Deejaykwill Williams

Such a shame kids will never know what pause button mixing is, and how hard it was. I became super quick at rewinding and pausing tapes. But Paul Mulhearn was amazing… different level!

Darren Carberry

Ahead of the game! Legendary legacy!

Ivor Griffiths

His mixes were amazing!!

Steven David Moules


Daniel Christian Roche


Kenny Grogan, Spin Inn Records Manchester

Remember his mixes like it was yesterday, amazing talent!

Paul Smith

I remember taping his mix when Stu Allan played it on his show. I was blown away and he inspired me to try it myself. Knowing the time it took me to make just a 5 minute mix I can appreciate the time and effort he’d put into his mixes. I think I still have the tape of Paul’s winning mix, it was so good!

Stephen Fletcher

Enough respect this guy was a master of the C90!

Gareth Dav

Respect to Paul, a pioneer in his own right!

Mark Thorpe

Remember I taped that mix when I was a kid then playing it over and over and still listen now. R.I.P Paul.

David Lewis

Wow, its great in one respect to see the face to that mix that Stu played on the radio all those years ago, I do still have it on tape, that mix is legendary. RIP Paul Mulhearn.

Pete Hayes

Still my favourite mix nearly 30 years on, for how he did it was amazing, even with the likes of Ableton etc these days I’vee no heard a better old school hip hop mix since.

Knik Kila

Was a really inspiring mix. I listen to it a lot even today

Nick Walker

Phenomenal. Truly PHENOMENAL. Also, what a monumental photograph. This sums up EVERYTHING!

Mikey DON, Krispy 3

Nice photo of Paul R.I.P. If some had not told it was PAUSE button Mix you would never have known, IT WAS THAT GOOD!

Tony AJ Smith

Still have the MP3 rip of the show and the tape – talent!

Derek Bevan

A history lesson!

Johannes Grummel, Germany

Whole lot of talent and a pause button, so good to hear again!

Howard Johnson

A clearly talented man and still leaves me baffled as to how he did this via the pause button technique??? Clearly had lots more to give this industry. Great loss,

D.J Phurty

Thanks for everyone who helped complete the track list and sharing your memories

GOD BLESS Paul, your mixes will live on forever

Mr Spin


Agent J aka Jamie Groovement: writer, host, DJ and teacher. @jamiegroovement

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