ODDS ‘N’ BODS
The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships regional heats kicked off on Monday at Edinburgh’s Zonatec and Tuesday at Stockton’s The Mall, other dates to come being this Wednesday (Jan 6) at Manchester’s Hacienda, then Mon (11) Norbury’s The Sussex, Tues (12) Uxbridge Regals, Wed (13) Southampton New York New York, Mon (18) Bristol Papillon, Wed (20) Leeds Mr Craigs, Tues (26) Nottingham Ritzy, Thur (28) Portrush Traks. I’ll be joining the judges at all but the deadline clashing Wed/Thursday dates, the regional semi-finals – which’ll include a rap competition – being in February, Tuesday (2) at Warrington Mr Smith’s, Thur (4) Birmingham The Dome, Wed (10) Ealing Broadway Boulevard, with the UK finals Tues (16) at London’s Hippodrome… I may look large and unlikely, but do come up and say hello!… Radio 1’s Friday night dance music DJ Jeff Young has indeed moved his day job from Phonogram to A&M, while Johnny Walker has shifted within the Phonogram group of labels, now doing club promotion for London and Urban, with further A&R responsibilities for ffrr (the new dance logo)… Dancin’ Danny D meanwhile also could be moving west, if he makes his mind up… Horizon Radio has gone legit broadcasting from Marbella to the Spanish coastline on 96.2FM, starting in March – programme controller Chris Stewart is looking for seriously committed DJs’ demo tapes at 1-2 Bromley Place, London W1P 5HB… Wizzards Of Rock ‘Good Thang/Stone To The Bone’ is already out here on Champion (CHAMP 12-60), Rhythm King having picked up Bomb The Bass ‘Beat Dis’ for Jan 18 release in a similar manoeuvre, merely slapping white labels on the original US pressings… ffrr’s upcoming ‘Acid Tracks’ compilation LP has been promoted in advance by white label singles with Frankie Knuckles’ terrific strangulatedly gospel-ish soulful semi-instrumental 120⅓bpm ‘Only The Strong Survive’ (the Jerry Butler/Billy Paul oldie) flipped by Romance’s moaning 120½bpm ‘All Dis Music’ (LPSMP 1), and Jamie Principle’s previously mentioned slow remake of ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ (FFRDJ 1), now a loping mutterer that sounds almost too slow, in 118-0bpm Club Mix, 118-118¾bpm House Of Trix, 118¾-118-118⅔-0bpm X-Rated, and 0-118-118⅓-0bpm Dub remixes by Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley… Urban’s four-tracker by James Brown, due commercially Jan 18, has the previously unavailable 0-114-115¼-114½-117½bpm ‘She’s The One’, and much scratched 102⅔-104½-102⅔-105-103⅔-103⅓bpm ‘Funky President’, 0-95⅔-96-95⅓-95-96⅔-98-98⅔ (“hit it”)-100⅔ (“ain’t it funky”)-101⅓-99-100⅔-101⅔bpm ‘Funky Drummer’, loop edited 98⅔-0bpm ‘Funky Drummer (Bonus Beats)’ – yup, I just love bpm-ing rare grooves!… Derby’s Submission label owning def dude, Graeme Park, has promoed a superior house double-sider by Groove, with two 116½bpm mixes of ‘Dancing And Music’ plus 119¾bpm Electro Jack and 119⅔ Jazzy mixes of ‘Submit (To The Beat)’, out late January… T-Coy ‘I Like To Listen’ is in a calmer 118-0bpm MP Remix and gently percussive 117¼bpm Nude House Mix on white label (deConstruction NSMR 6242), Pet Shop Boys ‘Always On My Mind’ is in a poundingly unsubtle Hi-NRG 124⅔bpm Remix helped by Phil Harding (Parlophone 12RX 6171), while the Beatmasters & Cookie Crew ‘Rok Da House’ has been reissued to meet northern demand in its hurriedly chanted (0-)123½-0bpm original mix (Rhythm King LEFT R11T), flipped by Ivan Ivan’s much tighter but less engaging new 122½bpm US Remix and piano jangled 123½-0bpm Dub (to be followed next week by a more London-orientated Demolition Mix)… Krush have a ‘Remix Mark 2’ due too… TV commercials for the Brook Street Bureau and The Observer, amongst others, have soundtracks by the Beatmasters… US chart success, with consequent UK TV exposure by Jonathan King and Casey Kasem, has caused the reissue of Pretty Poison ‘Catch Me (I’m Falling)’ (10 Records TENT 187), bright Shannon-esque girl group pop that’s featured in the ‘Hiding Out’ film… Seeborn & Puma’s backing track is the Headhunters’ ‘If You’ve Got It You’ll Get It’… JC Reid (Brighton Club Savannah) find the JAMs ‘Downtown’ and Middle Of The Road ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’ synch together perfectly!… ‘Downtown’ in its video version is presumably the seven inch mix, with a Scottish accented gospel lyric which greatly lessens its impact as a house record – I have Neil Fincham (Edinburgh Styx) to thank for the info that the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu are basically Glasgow’s Bill Drummond, and Neil plus others to thank for sending me copies of ‘Whitney Joins The JAMs’, which in the inevitable way of these things I actually found for myself immediately after saying I didn’t have it!… DJ Pierre (that’s D Jean-Pierre rather than Disc Jockey Pierre) apparently is the common link between Fantasy Club ‘Mystery Girl’, Pierre’s Fantasy Club ‘Fantasy Girl’, and Phuture ‘Acid Trax’… Gullivers moved to its new club premises in Soho’s Ganton Street a couple of days late in the end, which meant that the Mayfair site stayed open a week longer – although the “final” night remained as announced, Fatman Graham Canter making a brief emotional appearance, before I played 50 minutes of all the great clichés… Steve Jerome – who usually recorded as just Jerome – sadly died of a heart attack before Christmas, aged only 35… PWL produced singles for some reason suddenly all seem to be pressed in blue vinyl… Les Adams’ most frequent cry while tape editing in his tiny studio is “Where’s the chinagraph?” – it’s always on the keyboards!… 1988 is a brand new year, so let a man come in and do the funky popcorn, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN’?
PUBLIC ENEMY ‘Bring The Noise’ was actually added in its original version to a very few copies of ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ a month ago, but is now in two different new 109bpm remixes, the Noise Version (US Def Jam 44 07545) being more fully fleshed and exciting than the UK-issued No Noise Version (Def Jam 651335 6), the latter backed more simply by the strutting arrangement of the No Noise Instrumental that’s common to both. We also get their guitar yowled languidly rolling 96bpm ‘Sophisticated‘, the import retaining its original coupling which has just been released separately here, THE BLACK FLAMES ‘Are You My Woman?‘ (Def Jam 651334 6), a lurching 101⅓bpm good modern adaptation of the old Temptations-type vocal group style, flipped less appealingly though by someone else’s ramblingly dated song from the ‘Less Than Zero’ film.
SWEET TEE ‘I Got Da Feelin’’ (Cooltempo COLX 160)
Hurby Luv Bug-produced brilliant 110⅘bpm female rap hinged on James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’, with Betty Wright’s ‘Clean Up Woman’ influencing the flip’s 100½-0bpm ‘It’s Like That Y’All’.
JERMAINE STEWART ‘Say It Again (Extended Remix)’ (10 Records TENR 188)
Phil Harding’s excellent jiggly 0-95⅓bpm go-go hip hop mix starts in two-year-old-sounding Mantronix/Full Force style before the soulfully plaintive song eventually sways attractively through it with really grabbing effect, a potential smash (except the existing seven inch mix is dreadful).
SPOONIE GEE ‘I’m All Shook Up’ (US Tuff City TUF 128023)
Teddy Riley-produced dynamite jiggly James Brown-based 100⅓bpm rap quoting briefly at times from Elvis Presley’s ‘All Shook Up’, with a misleadingly titled though ‘Set It Off’-ish instrumental 108bpm ‘Godfather House Mix’ flip. Continue reading “January 9, 1988: Public Enemy, Sweet Tee, Jermaine Stewart, Spoonie Gee, Big Daddy Kane”