January 9, 1988: Public Enemy, Sweet Tee, Jermaine Stewart, Spoonie Gee, Big Daddy Kane

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.


HOT VINYL

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”

December 26, 1987: The Hammy Awards, Capital Houseparty, year-end charts

THE HAMMY AWARDS

I say, chaps! It’s that jolly old time of the year when we open the golden envelope to see who did really well in 1987. Whizzo, what? All statistics are derived from the year-end dance charts, which means that certain record company employees should start worrying now…

BLACK DANCE ARTISTES OF THE YEAR: Eric B & Rakim

RUNNERS UP: Sybil, Alexander O’Neal, Joyce Sims, Lillo Thomas, Jellybean, Cameo, Wally Jump Jr & The Criminal Element, Sherrick, Curtis Hairston, Rick Astley

BLACK DANCE HIT OF 1987: M|A|R|R|S ‘Pump Up The Volume’ (4AD), number one in the year-end chart if both mixes are combined

RUNNER UP: Nitro DeLuxe ‘This Brutal House’/’Let’s Get Brutal’ (Cooltempo), number two likewise if all mixes are combined

RECORD AT NUMBER ONE FOR LONGEST: Sybil ‘Let Yourself Go’ (Champion), six weeks Continue reading “December 26, 1987: The Hammy Awards, Capital Houseparty, year-end charts”

December 19, 1987: Bomb The Bass, Super Star A-Mar, Two Guys A Drum Machine And A Trumpet, Hurby’s Machine, Joyce Sims

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

Jeff Young on his Radio 1 show appeared to think that the originator of ‘Jingo’ was Candido, when in fact, long before even Santana (who popularised it), the tune’s writer Michael Olatunji recorded it on a US Columbia LP around 25 years ago… Jellybean’s album version of ‘Jingo’, it would seem as a result of my prompting, is being 12-inched by Chrysalis this week as the Space Bass Mix, flipped by a new House Mix 2… London have just signed up Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor, representing most of his productions including, of course, the Hurby’s Machine-featured acts, and Salt-n-Pepa (for the world excluding North America), to appear on the new ffrr label – that stands for full frequency range recordings, and old trademark of Decca… ffrr has also just promoed the slower, 118bpm, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley-mixed re-recordings of ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ by Jamie Principle (that, incidentally, is the spelling of Principle used by the guy’s lawyers, who presumably know!)… Magnetic Dance picked up the Microphone Prince here, but only seem to be coupling ‘Rock House’ with ‘Memory Lane’, leaving off the brilliant ‘Hound Dog’ (the track that’ll break him on radio)… Ex-Sample’s basic backing to ‘And So It Goes’ was originally touted to record companies here featuring a full vocal over it by Viola Wills… Robert Clivilles and David Cole, of 2 Puerto Ricans A Blackman And A Dominican, have remixed Mel & Kim’s US-released ‘I’m The One Who Loves You’… Dancin’ Danny D apparently has remixed Total Contrast’s ‘Kiss’ in a belated attempt to turn the tune’s undoubted dancefloor acceptance into actual sales… Ian Levine has remixed Tiffany’s recent US chart-topping revival of Tommy James And The Shondells’ ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ for UK release in the new year, while the Hi-NRG import hit by Havana that Ian’s putting out here has a rival, as former Clash bassist Paul Simonon’s brand new group is also confusingly called Havana… Bluebird Records, already with stores in London’s Edgware Road and in Luton, have a branch opening early January in Streatham’s High Parade… LPs now out here, following full review on import, include the Various Artists ‘Christmas Rap’ (London/Profile LONLP 52), Tony Terry ‘Forever Yours’ (Epic 460504 1), Angela Winbush ‘Sharp’ (Club JABH 27), The Controllers ‘For The Love Of My Woman’ (MCA Records MCF 3404), Doc Powell ‘Love Is Where It’s At’ (Club JABH 28)… Zuzan’s ‘Girls Can Jak Too’ singles have been temporarily deleted until January by Supreme Records – of which label the managing director, is should be clarified, is Nick East, while, of course, Theo Loyla was the Disco Aid night’s co-ordinator… Steve Walsh was spotted getting heavily into rubber at Skin II, seemingly rather concerned that nobody should take a photo of him!… London’s trendier soul crowd, it needs clarifying, are the ones who sport not only flared trousers but also full afro hairstyles and po’ boy floppy caps – the full awful early Seventies Jackson 5 look! – and they’ll be out in force this Saturday (19) at the Astoria for Simon Goffe’s Cortina Party, starring Sharon Redd and Cash Money … Capital Radio’s king of rap Tim Westwood expects Cash Money to join him with Faze One and the London Posse at Mile End Road’s Queen Mary College the night before, Friday (18)… Radio London’s king of jazz, Gilles Peterson joins Dave Malone and Turbo at Great Shelford’s Defreville Arms near Cambridge on Saturday (19)… Tuesday (22) should see a real roadblock, if not a clash, on London Charing Cross Road at neighbouring venues, Just-Ice appearing with Radio London’s Dave Pearce, Roger Johnson and Gilles Peterson at the Astoria while, right next door (actually, underneath!), Busby’s has a Soul Splash with Jeff Young, Tim Westwood, Tony Dortie, Paul French, Disco Gary VanDenBussche, Segue Steve Goddard and more… Chris Kaye is joined by the Cookie Crew on Wednesday (23) at Tonbridge’s Angel Centre… Bank Holiday Monday (28), Chiltern Radio’s king of soul Martin Collins joins Chris ‘Charlie’ Brown, Bob Jones, Dave Malone and Dougie Osborne at Great Bentley’s Tartan House near Colchester… KISS-fm has a special party with Jules of Family Funktion, Norman Jay, Steve Jackson, Colin Faver, Madhatter Trevor, Matt Black + Jonathon More plus others at Soho’s Wag Club on Wednesday, December 30, when Steve Aspey, Paul Morrissey and busy Gilles Peterson groove it at Oxford’s Boodles… Hugh B claims to play the hardest, most upfront music possible in Liverpool at Thursdays Bop in the Mardi Gras Club… Mark Franklyn is getting into soulful gear, and black videos too, at Bermondsey Old Kent Road’s reopened Dun Cow on Fri/Saturdays, while Adrian John is delighted to be able to play nothing but soul, funk, house and hip hop at Telford’s Cascades… I’m afraid that’s it for this column until the beginning of January, but don’t miss next week’s issue of rm as instead there will be the usual Hammy Awards for the disco biz, the year end 1987 dance charts and all the year’s number ones, plus a full track listing of the four hour continuous party music tape, sequenced by myself and Les Adams, which will be broadcast by Capital Radio on New Year’s Eve from 10pm… Cool Yule, y’all, Hot Hogmanay, many thanks for all your cards and presents, and DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


Nicky Holloway and his Starship Enterprises (01-439 2628) have two beezer Doos coming up in London after Christmas, and All Day Doo at Hammersmith’s Le Palais on Bank Holiday Monday, December 28 (3pm-midnight) with guest DJs Pete Tong, Gilles Peterson, Derek B, Norman Jay, Dave Dorrell, Jay Strongman and Ben + Andy, while on New Year’s Eve at the Astoria (10pm-3.30am) Messrs Tong, Peterson and Holloway are joined by Chris Brown, Bob Jones, Chris Bangs, Bob Masters, Rob Day and Johnny Walker. Party people only!


Chris Dinnis, one of the few people ever to find a copy of the legendary rare groove LP by Japanese jazzer Kanu Sukalagwun, has his Saturday 11am-2pm Brunchtime soul show on Plymouth Sound (97fm/1152mw) relayed also from noon by Radio In Tavistock (96.6fm, mono only), but next Saturday there’s a special five hour 9am-2pm Boxing Day With Dinnis show in which he’ll recap the year’s outstanding soul sounds. Early Seventies is the favoured vintage at his Friday nights at Ellacombe’s Monroes, Torquay, while he’s also just embarking on a series of moveable gigs around the area under the name of The Humdinger, playing late Sixties and Seventies soul with an emphasis on mid-tempo material and pure class.


HOT VINYL

BOMB THE BASS ‘Beat Dis (Extended Dis)’ (US Mister-Ron Records DOOD X 12001)
This excellent, if derivative, exciting (0-)113¾-0bpm volume pumping mix-up adapts the M|A|R|R|S bassline, the ‘Shaft’ wukka-wukka guitar, plus beats and bits from all sorts of stuff (even Coldcut’s “this is a journey into sound”), ending up fiercer and more jam packed than ‘Pump Up The Volume’ (edit/bonus beats flip).

**SUPER STAR** A-MAR FEATURING JAY BEE ROCK ‘Grasshopper Meets The Master’ (US Zakia Records PAL-7161)
Inspired by TV’s old ‘Kung Fu’ series, this fascinating concept finds the Master teaching his pupil Grasshopper the art of mixing, illustrating his lessons by scratching rare grooves through a jiggly ‘Bra’ beat before ending with early Sixties Motown classics, the brilliant idea being explored fully in the (0-)110-118-0bpm Club Mix (and Radio Edit) or just to JB beats in the (0-)110-0bpm ‘Grasshopper’s (Hip Hop Style)’. Listen closely!

TWO GUYS A DRUM MACHINE AND A TRUMPET ‘I’m Getting Tired Of Being Pushed Around’ (London LONX 141)
After months of being on promo primarily as the Untouchables (a name in fact unavailable to them), Andy Cox and David Steele from the Fine Young Cannibals now call themselves by their subtle name for the long awaited full release (on December 28) of this self descriptive scratching and leaping 121¾bpm jack track, flipped by the sounds-washed less punchily drifting 115bpm ‘Make It Funky’ and its seasonally-tinged ‘What Are You Waiting For?’ alternative version, featuring fashionable Arabic effects. Continue reading “December 19, 1987: Bomb The Bass, Super Star A-Mar, Two Guys A Drum Machine And A Trumpet, Hurby’s Machine, Joyce Sims”

December 12, 1987: Dance Aid (“in short, the record has been a total cock-up”), Meli’sa Morgan, Fleetwood Mac, Wizzards Of Rock, MG

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

Cooltempo, rather than the anticipated London, have snapped up the sizzling Sweet Tee ‘I Got Da Feelin’’ for UK release … Kool Moe Dee’s ‘How Ya Like Me Now’, despite having shot up our Black Dance chart, is in fact currently unavailable for a few weeks “while royalty arrangements are worked out with other artistes whose material is used” (ie: James Brown?) … Urban’s next James Brown EP will feature ‘She’s The One’, ‘Funky President’, ‘Funky Drummer’ and ‘Funky Drummer Bonus Beats’, all the basis of many recent rap ‘n’ scratch releases … 1988’s Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships area heats will be (this is an up to date, revised list, superceding others you may have seen elsewhere) at Edinburgh Zenatec (January 4), Stockton-On-Tees The Mall (5), Manchester Hacienda (6), South London’s Norbury Sussex Tavern (11), Uxbridge Regals (12), Southampton New York New York (13), Bristol Papillon (18), Leeds Mr Craigs (20), Nottingham Ritzy (26), Northern Ireland’s Portrush Traks (28) – contact the Disco Mix Club on 06286 67276 for an application form, and bear in mind that runner-up DJs may now enter as many subsequent heats as they wish, in the chance of winning at one where the competition could be less fierce (this new move is to ensure that all the really best mixers have a chance to get through, thus strengthening the finals) … CJ Mackintosh will automatically be defending his 1987 title at the London Hippodrome-held UK final on February 16, while Chad Jackson (his predecessor as UK champ and current holder of the world title) has yet to announce if he’ll be entering any of the heats in order to try and win back his crown – it would be diplomatic if he didn’t … Channel 4 is screening on Christmas Day the Paul Simon-hosted gospel show ‘Everybody Say Yeah!’, featuring none other than Luther Vandross, Jennifer Holliday and the Edwin Hawkins Singers, and on New Year’s Eve the Paul Gambaccini-presented ‘The Motown Story’ … Freakie Dee on his Radio West Midlands Sound System Show this Sunday (13) features a special Kool Kat interview segment … Steve Randall has already speculated on his Metro Radio show, to listeners’ agreement, that the backing vocals on Alexander O’Neal’s ‘Criticize’ remix could be by Madonna – whereas, sorry Steve, they’re in fact by Siedah Garrett … Chrysalis sent out mystery white label promos of Living In A Box’s upcoming ‘Love Is The Art’ (LIBX 4), a house flavoured jerkily frenetic 121¾bpm bounder … Mirage’s album will include all their ‘Jack Mix’ medleys edited together with new additions into a marathon jack track – the two guys who (with a girl) front the group on personal appearances are, incidentally, the sons of now Germany based Carl Griffiths, original saxist in the Sixties with Jimmy James & The Vagabonds … Syncopate had planned a luminous pressing of the House Engineers’ ‘Ghost House’, but scrapped it as it wouldn’t play! … Colin Line is updating his DJ mailing list at Impulse Promotions, 10-16 Chaplin Road, London NW2 5PN … Jeff Young is being tipped to follow in Mike Sefton’s footsteps from Phonogram to A&M in the new year … Tom Astor’s Bermondsey situated oriNoco recording studio complex celebrated its first six months with a well organised party (drink and food still going strong eight hours later!), which featured grooves spun by Gilles Peterson on Jerry Green’s sound system while all the music biz’s whizziest kids grooved on down alongside the daddy (if not uncle) of them all, the fast becoming legendary Sparrow Harrison! … Capital Radio’s newly “processed” Chris Forbes did a little bit behind the decks at Gullivers’ farewell party, but things got so frantic and tight what with a full fashion show and lots of PAs that in fact Fatman Graham Canter and myself will be making more leisurely guest appearances at the Mayfair premises, as only seems right, on the actual closing night this Saturday (December 12) – the legendary black music club re-opens to the public (after a few industry parties) next Saturday (19) at its brand new Ganton Street site in Soho … Dave Pearce, Roger Johnson, Ian ‘Muppet’ Stewart, Flip, Colin Levett, Russ B and more get def at Chelmsford’s Chancellor Hall this Friday (11) … Jon Jules has taken over Fridays and (alongside Chris Forbes and the Doo Rags) Sundays at South Harrow Bogarts … Ron Brown has declared Friday a “Wham!-free” zone at Walthamstow Charlie Chan’s, playing just current Black Dance hits plus classic oldies – does that mean “Madonna-free” and “Rick Astley-free”, too? … Mark Langdon and Antonio (The Beast) spin house imports, funk and soul Fridays at Port Talbot’s Raffles … DJ JD and various guests, in a follow-on from successful Tuff nights, have started a Tuesday d>cipher night at Brighton’s Escape Club, needing rap/hip hop PAs (contact Mark Reed on 0424-446376 after 6.30pm) … Tony Blackburn may seem an unlikely but welcomely tasteful champion of Nat ‘King’ Cole in the face of the Rick Astley version of ‘When I Fall In Love’ that many might have supposed he’d prefer … Les Adams and I, in the middle of creating our four hour continuous Capital Radio New Year’s Eve party music tape, found as suspected that the LP version of Jellybean’s ‘Jingo’ has far more balls than the remixes … Giorge Pettus’s self-titled album is now out here (MCA Records MCF 3406) … Salt-n-Pepa’s lively fast sparse 129½bpm ‘Push It’, B-side of their old ‘Tramp’ (Champion CHAMP 12-51), is turning into a pop smash in the States even though they have a new harder hip hop single out too … Flavor Flav, when acting as a mouthpiece for Public Enemy in interviews, presumably thinks it’s def to punctuate every single sentence with “You know what I’m sayin’” – or is that stoopid def? … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


HOT VINYL

MELI’SA MORGAN ‘If You Can Do It: I Can Too!!’ (Capitol 12CL 475)
Getting far more reaction now it’s out here than it ever did on import, this Jocelyn Brown-ish beefily thudding 0-109¼bpm strutter is here flipped by last year’s more soulful lurchingly driving 100⅙-100⅓bpm ‘Fool’s Paradise (Paradise Mix)’ and 1982’s (or earlier?) jerkily rolling c.117-115⅓-116¾bpm ‘Feelin’ Lucky Lately’. The latter is by the Jacques Fred Petrus co-produced Chic/Sister Sledge-inspired group High Fashion, of which she was then lead singer.

FLEETWOOD MAC ‘Family Man (Extended Vocal Remix)’ (Warner Bros W8114T)
Arthur Baker has really excelled himself creating a 12 inch-only 123-0bpm remix of this tuneful bounder that’s now excitingly superior “house”, grabbing instant disco attention. Full of delightful touches, it’s a must – and, what’s more, the flip’s ‘Family Party‘ bonus beats put the needle to the record and tighten up!

WIZZARDS OF ROCK ‘Good Thang/Stone To The Bone’ (US Rank 6202)
The most outrageous steal yet from James Brown, his ‘Stone To The Bone’ being used (with a superimposed new 0-95½-0bpm drum rhythm) as what amounts to the duetting accompaniment for bursts of rap which actually cue him in with “James, tell ’em” (dub flip, and some stoopid human beat-box). The exact same US pressing, incidentally, has been white labelled here by Champion (CHAMP 12-60). Naturally, the sound of now, in London at least. Continue reading “December 12, 1987: Dance Aid (“in short, the record has been a total cock-up”), Meli’sa Morgan, Fleetwood Mac, Wizzards Of Rock, MG”

December 5, 1987: Sweet Tee, D.J. Todd, Rick Astley, Jellybean, Flightt

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

Stock Aitken Waterman’s disappointing ‘Pack Jammed (With The Party Posse)’ is also due on December 13 in a far better (0-)99¼-0bpm Writ Mix (Breakout USAF 620, flipped by the (0-)99¼bpm original), with lots of snips from the team’s other hit productions and John Sachs laying off on the “skiddendaddy” to play instead a high court judge who, by the use of amusing cut ups, seems to be trying M|A|R|R|S for sampling the scream from ‘Roadblock’ – this could indeed make the record sub judice as the “guilty” verdict might be seen to influence the real court case that’s pending! … Les Adams’ 115(intro)-114⅓-114¼-114½-114¾-114⅔-115bpm Montana Sextet ‘Heavy Vibes (Remix)’ (10 Records TEN 204-12), without the benefit of the original master tape, nevertheless incorporates a sax solo and other instrumentation from a previously unheard seven inch version (plus a sneaky ‘Don’t Stop’ reference to his own LA Mix hit!), but don’t expect anything radically different … Third World’s percussion from ‘Now That We Found Love’ and lots more besides is sampled throughout the much wilder 119⅔-120bpm Krush ‘House Arrest (Burn Down The House Mix)’ (Club JABXR 63), flipped by the more acid house-like Rhythim Is Rhythim and other sample-filled 120bpm ‘Jack’s Back (To Frontline Mix)’ … M|A|R|R|S’ 113bpm US remix of ‘Pump Up The Volume’ (US 4th + B’way BWAY 452) has had its samples carefully vetted, and includes a new “Mars needs women” overlaid 113¼-0bpm Bonus Beat … Derek B’s Urban Respray of Eric B & Rakim, on finished pressings rather than the acetate I reviewed, is a steady 98bpm … Ofra Haza’s ‘Im Nin’alu’, the wailing Yemenite folk song featured in the Coldcut mix of ‘Paid In Full’, has now been given a jittery tugging 0-89½bpm disco beat by its original Israeli producer for two back-to-back remixes on limited white label (GlobeStyle OFRA 1, via Ace Records) … Keith Sweat’s excellent import LP has been rushed out here (Vintertainment/Elektra 960 763-1), along with Modernique (Sire 925 633-1) … WEA have usefully circulated on promo-only 12 inch the (unsegued) Dub Versions that are otherwise only available on the CD and cassette of Madonna’s ‘You Can Dance’ LP, the 118-0bpm ‘Spotlight’, 116bpm ‘Holiday’, 0-116⅓-0bpm ‘Into The Groove’, and 149¼-0bpm ‘Over And Over’ – meanwhile, her new commercial single is the swirling dreary slow 46/92bpm ‘The Look Of Love’ (Sire W8115T), no doubt another pop smash regardless … Fred Dove points out that WEA’s computerised reaction profiles of mailing list DJs’ reports dictate the company’s dance music marketing strategy, rather than any activity in rm’s dance charts that may occur as an incidental spinoff – nothing else was inferred last week, when it merely needed explaining why so many Atlantic imports keep hitting the Black Dance chart long after they were originally released, purely because they’ve been mailed out for free to DJs who never previously considered buying them when new … MCA Records, under almost totally new management here following many staff changes, are planning a proper black music department to start in the new year … Disco Mix Club – now short of office space at Tony Prince’s house and moving soon to premises on the nearby A4 between Slough and Maidenhead – managed to get all the record companies’ disco pluggers to dress up for a funny photo as choir boys (and guess who they got as Father Christmas?!) … Supreme Records’ crazy scheduling of the Dance Aid remix for release actually after the Disco Aid charity night had resulted in absolutely zilch chart reaction from DJs, and not much from sales, as of last week, by which time any reaction from November 14 should surely have been felt (the situation may now hopefully have changed) … Graeme Park reckons it’s a shame the critics only got to see the UK Jackmaster Tour at less than enthusiastic London venues, as on the tour’s opening night at Derby’s 20th Century the house went wild as Darryl Pandy, Out Of Control, Full House, Paris Grey, Joe Smooth and JM Silk featuring Keith Nunnally all jacked amongst the crowd out on the floor and sang along in the DJ booth to all the other records that Graeme was playing – altogether fierce, crucial, well wicked (and really rather good, what?) … Darryl Pandy has lost six stones since last he was here, which means he now weighs in at a mere 18 stones! … Jamie Principal’s hyped-up saga continues, Steve Silk Hurley now having done four remixes of the slower Manhattan-recorded remake version of ‘Baby Wants To Ride’, the one that’s due here on London – no doubt Pete Tong will be giving them plenty of plugs beforehand on Capital Radio! … Man To Man survivor Paul Zone is teaming up with brother Armand Zone to form the Zone Brothers, still working with Man Parrish, and debuting with a remake of Sylvester’s ‘Do You Wanna Funk’ … Jack Trax picked up the UK rights to Rhythim Is Rhythim ‘Strings’ from Neil Rushton, while Serious Records are releasing Bam-Bam ‘Give It To Me’ … The Tams’ ‘There Ain’t Nothing Like Shaggin’’, it apparently needs re-emphasising, was recorded only in 1983 and is a lot less old than many people sporting flared trousers, but also a few black guys with full afro hairstyles, po’ boy floppy caps, and flares – the full awful early Seventies Jackson 5 look! … Jay Strongman, Nicky Holloway and Simon Dunmore are tonight (Tuesday December 1) at an “I Spy” doo at Uxbridge Regals … Kashif is due as star PA at Radio London’s Soul Night Out this Thursday (3), for the first time at Reading’s Majestic … Greg Edwards confirms that reports of his jocking on an Irish radio station are unfounded, he is back in London until the building work is completed on his condo development in Grenada – and to prove it, he joins Tim Westwood, Jazzy M and various of the label’s artists this Thursday (3) when Westside Records revive the Streetwave-originated Havoc night at London’s Limelight … Robbie Vincent joins Jeff Thomas at Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard this Friday (4), when Chris Brown guests with Les Fisher and Simon Dunmore at the monthly Rhythm Zone in Northolt’s C&L Country Club … Derek B and Oliver Cheatham join Simon Goffe at this Saturday’s weekly Fever in London’s Astoria … Quila, Greenie and Kev Miller plus guest DJs this Sunday (6) have the second of their fortnightly “cult soul and jazz” nights at Ipswich’s smart La Dolce Vita in Old Foundry Road … Jeff Thomas’ Port Talbot Pharoah’s hip hop gig apparently has foundered, too … Swansea DJ James Lewis may be a bit late with his record company reaction reports for a while, as he and his wife Kim have just discovered their three year old son Christian has virtually incurable cancer – a ghastly prospect, about which I’m sure we all give them our sympathy … World mixing champ Chad Jackson spends Christmas in Australia and New Year’s Eve in Japan, scratching in Sydney, Melbourne and Tokyo, before threatening to make his vocal recording debut in 1988! … Hemel Hempstead DJ Joe Fields’ sister Sally is marrying his colleague Bob Masters next year … Capital Radio, following a disastrous lapse last year, will again have its continuous four hour party tape this New Year’s Eve created by not only myself but Les Adams too, in a co-production this time! … Les, who looks like giving David Grant renewed dancefloor credibility on future productions, points out that when both ‘Roadblock’ and ‘Pack Jammed’ are synched together, the bass drum and snare actually phase, proving they’re common to both, and that Stock Aitken Waterman merely reused the same backing track! … Paul Waller, not Weller, co-produced Black Britain’s ‘Heroin’ – that’ll teach me to read label copy while it’s going round at 45rpm! … Dance Music’s ‘Street Sounds ’87-3’ LP (DM/StreetSounds STSND 873) sneakily includes the original Candido ‘Jingo’, available again no doubt to counter and complement the Jellybean remake … I’m afraid some reviews may seem a bit late, but there just isn’t room for everything and a backlog often builds up that still deserves to be printed … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


Graham Gold tonight (Tuesday December 1) hosts the farewell party at Mayfair’s legendary Gullivers, where he will be joined in the DJ booth by Fatman Graham Canter, the jock whose original residency at the club began the legend and made it London’s premier black music nightspot. Having shared the booth with both Grahams every weekend for about seven years, until 1984, I too will be spinning a few for old time’s sake, and there are sure to be many, many guest stars looking in as friends. Gullivers is due to move, if all goes well, to brand new premises in Soho next week – but don’t stop going to it in Mayfair yet, until I tell you when!


JON JULES (left) and NIC WAKEFIELD continue the partnership started at Uxbridge Regals when, along with John Mathews, they rock the house every Tuesday at The Bass Bin in South Harrow’s The Avenue, on Shaftesbury Avenue (no, not the one in London’s West End!), spinning rare groove, soul, house and all the funk that fits.


STEVE WALSH (seen here with Gloucester’s plucky disabled DJ, Metal Mickey) actually kicks off his new Stock Aitken Waterman-created catchily jogging 105⅔bpm ‘Let’s Get Together Tonite (The All Together Tonite Mix)’ (A1 Records 12A1303, via PRT) with his rabble rousing “say ho, ho, whoah-oh whoah-oh, you wot you wot” chants — and why not? Promo pressings also feature a separate, music-less, “Listen, this is Steve Walsh”-started short seasonal greeting for DJs to drop where they want. Genial 25 stone Steve sounds ever more like the late Eighties answer to Judge Dread.


HOT VINYL

SWEET TEE ‘I Got Da Feelin’’ (US Profile PRO-7169)
No sooner had last week’s column gone to press than this impatiently awaited import arrived and exploded in London! Brilliantly produced by Hurby Luv Bug and Steevee-O (The Boy Wonder), the female rapper does it to a dynamite 111bpm beat that’s shot through with the brass from James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’, while JB’s “yeah yeah yeah” punctuates the flip’s equally good 100½-0bpm ‘It’s Like That Y’All’, which uses the choppy guitar riff from Betty Wright’s ‘Clean Up Woman’ (both in instrumental and acappella mixes, too). Hot, or what?!

D.J. TODD 1 ‘That’s The Way I Cut’ (US Cut Up! TBO Sound CIR-156089)
Todd (One) Brown whips up timely simple party fun with James Brown-started marathon (0-)109⅔bpm scratch mix of KC & The Sunshine Band’s ‘That’s The Way I Like It’ (“uh-huh, uh-huh” – remember?), very deftly done but also in his choice of such a catchy well known singalong song an uncomplicated hip hopper that should have far wider appeal than usual at this festive time of year (edit and tough Dope Beats flip).

RICK ASTLEY ‘My Arms Keep Missing You’ (RCA PT 41684)
Promo-ed separately with a dub too, this brand new (not on LP) Stock Aitken Waterman-created typically vigorous 118bpm canterer could be the B-side factor that boosts his reverential but stodgy 0-38-0bpm A-side recreation of the strings swamped old Gordon Jenkins arrangements of the dead slow ‘When I Fall In Love’ higher in the chart than the now rush-released original, and far more subtle, 0-37⅔-0bpm NAT KING COLE ‘When I Fall In Love’ (Capitol CL 15975), from 1957 and really more deserving of hit status. Continue reading “December 5, 1987: Sweet Tee, D.J. Todd, Rick Astley, Jellybean, Flightt”

November 28, 1987: Kool Moe Dee, Ten City, Wally Jump Jr, Public Enemy, Keith Sweat

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

NEXT YEAR’S DJ Convention in London is confirmed as a three-dayer, March 6/7/8, with a welcoming party at the Hippodrome Sunday, actual forums at the Astoria Monday, and star studded Technics World DJ Mixing Championship finals at the Royal Albert Hall Tuesday… Joyce Sims ‘Come Into My Life’ is in fact not scheduled (at the moment) for commercial release here until after Christmas, when it’ll be flipped by a Simon Harris-created ‘Lifetime Love/All And All’ megamix… Mirage’s current ‘Jack Mix’, following my suggestion some months back in Music Week, looks like being kept permanently in the pop chart by the regular updating of the hit material it includes!… I wasn’t re-serviced with Nina Simone’s exactly 30 years old ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ this time around, but every soul DJ worth their salt has been playing the classic shuffling sophisticated swinger for years anyway, though pop jocks may need to note that in its superior original version (on seven-inch, Charly CYZ7 112) its 118½-119-120½-120-119½-120-0bpm… John Anderson’s terrific twisting 192-194bpm ‘Glen Miller Medley’, essential for mobile and party DJs, is out again as flip to the brassy TV themes-medleying ‘Non-Stop Cops’ (Modern Records POLICE 1, via Priority), (0-)132½bpm on the better seven inch or (0-)133-132¼-132½ on the needlessly extended 12 inch… Huddersfield’s Hotline have a frantic jittery 119⅓bpm London Town Remix of their Gil Scott-Heron-ish jazzy ‘Hell House’ (Rhythm King LEFT R17T), flipped at last by their Montana Sextet-copying 113¼-113bpm Heavy Vibes Mix (done long before LA Mix came out!)… Zuzan ‘Girls Can Jak Too’ is now in a jerky 123bpm US Remix by Jay Burnett (Supreme Records ZANTX 1), and Bobby Womack ‘Living In A Box’ in an untidily synchronised sparsely percussive slower 115⅓bpm Hacienda Mix (MCA Records MCAX 1210)… Matt Black + The Coldcut Crew ‘That Greedy Beat’ and Coldcut featuring Floormaster Squeeze ‘Beats + Pieces (Mo’ Bass Remix)’ are about to be back-to-back on the same 12 inch single!… Coldcut, incidentally, look forward to meeting and possibly working with Israeli superstar Ofra Haza, whose wailing version of the Yemenite song ‘Im Nin’alu‘ (just reissued on GlobeStyle Records NST 117) they used on ‘Paid In Full’… Stock Aitken Waterman’s remix of Dance Aid will be followed by a Les Adams remix, too… Stevie Wonder’s new LP, ‘Characters’ (Motown ZL72001), is especially disappointing in its vinyl version, a tired rehash of dated old formulae with only his brightly chugging 118bpm ‘Get It‘ duet with Michael Jackson likely to get much disco play, whereas its two best tracks are — madly —only available on CD and cassette versions, the typically bounding 0-118bpm ‘My Eyes Don’t Cry‘ and spikily leaping brassy 137½bpm ‘Come Let Me Make Your Love Come Down‘, with BB King on guitar (BPMs for these two are approximate. being off cassette)… Was (Not Was)’s follow-up doesn’t sound like a floor-filler, the trickily introed emptily jittering Level 42-ish 109¾-109½-0bpm ‘The Boy’s Gone Crazy (Walk In The Black Forest Mix)‘ (Fontana SFP912), while Ray Parker Jr’s follow-up will be his slow ‘Over You’ duet with Natalie Cole… Mission’s import LP is now out here, ‘Search’ (CBS 460265 1)… Profile have yet to establish a London office, so London snapped up Run-DMC’s ‘Christmas In Hollis‘ single and the hot ‘Christmas Rap‘ LP for UK release, and are after the terrific ‘Cold Sweat’-based Sweet Tee ‘I Got Da Feelin’‘ — irritatingly unavailable at time of writing yet plugged to death on radio by Pete Tong off acetate (in fact, Pete’s currently being called “PAT” by his colleagues at London, Pete “Acetate” Tong, ‘cos he hardly ever plays anything old enough to be on vinyl!)… Suburban Knight, not White Knight, is one of the Detroit house acts that Neil Rushton is UK licensing agent for (see last week), along with Derrick May’s brand new ‘Nude Photo 88‘ remix of Rythim Is Rythim… I regret the publicity agents who advised us of the venues for the JM Silk-headed current house tour proved to be rather unreliable, the Uxbridge date being at Regals rather than Brunel University, for instance — our apologies… Matt Black + Jonathon More of Coldcut fame are building a DJ mailing list for Ahead Of Our Time, c/o Big Life, 4 New Burlington Place, London W1X 1FB — applicants (this is a subtle touch!) must state why they want to be on such a list… Kool Kat Records are expanding their list for genuinely upfront DJs, Dave Barker being the contact there at Studio House, 10 Bishopsgate Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 1ET… Sandra Browne is updating the list for Passion (covering Debut and SMP as well as other independently promoted product) at South Bank House, Black Prince Road, London SE1 7SJ … Bill Grainger’s previously Scottish DJs-only mailing list is expanding to include some Sassenachs too, at First Class Radio & Club Promotion, Fire Island, 127 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland… Alan Jones and I would actually prefer to receive charts from DJs who buy most of the records they play, instead of listing all the stuff they’ve received for free, but we’ve learnt to live with the imbalance that often occurs in our various disco charts when heavily promoted records do disproportionately better than the ones that are genuinely selling, knowing as we do that not everyone in the real world (ie: the general public!) wants to buy for home listening something that’s a terrific floor-filler: however, WEA’s disco plugger Fred Dove keeps causing us a real problem by repeatedly servicing his mailing list DJs with imports months after they did little or nothing when new, even though (as in the case of the August-released but only just charted Mason ‘Pour It On’ remixes) the records may be genuinely good — a couple he’s mailed out that I never bothered to review when new are Ce Ce Rogers ‘Someday‘ (US Atlantic 0-86687), a Marshall Jefferson-created piano plonked moaning smooth 119⅓-0bpm hustler, and Curtis Hairston’s double-sider with the spurting sparsely percussive (0-)113½bpm ‘Let’s Make Love Tonight‘ and better more urgently wriggling 118-0bpm ‘Take Charge‘ remixes (US Atlantic 0-86682)… I guess some of our Black Dance chart terminology needs clarification at this point: “white label” means a literally white labelled or otherwise unfinished advance pressing that is available for sale in possibly only specialist shops, “promo” means a promotional pressing that is not generally available even at that level yet, and “mailing list promo” means something that is either totally unavailable except to mailing list DJs or else (and here its open to interpretation!) generally available and in our chart despite a total lack of recently monitored sales!… Total Contrast at this point had better hope their sales improve… Tuesday, tonight (November 24), Nicky Holloway guests with Les Fisher and Simon Dunmore at Ealing’s’ Luckys wine bar… Roberto and Toni Forzoni funk the Italian Connection’s eat as much as you can Pizza Party on Saturday (28) at the city of London’s Spatz in Shoe Lane (two passport size photos needed to join on the night)… Andy Henderson souls Brighton’s West Beach Club every Monday, with Carl Cox as guest next week, while Dave Ralph and Chris Lynes spin solid funk at Rhyl’s Mirrors every Tuesday, and Ian ‘Muppet’ Stewart is well crucial every Wednesday at Chelmsford’s free admission BJ’s in Townfield Street… Robbie Dee now has no nights off at all — as well as his Tues-Sat residency at Southend-on-Sea’s Rain, he also handles Sundays at Walthamstow’s Charlie Chan’s and Mondays at Harlow’s HighWire… Chris Williams is being forced to retire from jocking by an operation on his eardrum — currently at Tokyo Joe’s, his other London residencies over the last eight years have included the Birdsnest, Venue, and Roof Gardens… Paul Allen is giving up jocking after years along the East Anglian coast, to don a dickie bow as assistant manager at Peterborough’s Shanghai Sam’s… Dave Joyce’s funkiest night is Monday at Portsmouth’s busy Central Park and Ritzy, where he’s entertainments manager as well as DJ… Jeff Thomas ended up being unable to do better than James Lewis in maintaining the now discontinued Tuesday soul night at Bridgend’s Astons, but is having success with hip hop on Thursdays at Port Talbot’s Pharoah’s… Phil English attracts funksters from across the Fens and further to his Saturdays at The Jenyns Arms, an isolated riverside pub near Downham Market at the romantically named Denver Sluice, Sunday venue also for Jamie Trundle (who jacks Tuesdays at Kings Lynn’s Frontline, amongst others)… Steve Stuart emphasises that the new management at Boston’s Elizabethan Club now bar the underage kids who previously scared off the bigger-spending older crowd who from a commercial viewpoint may be deemed more desirable… LiveWire’s recent experimental Radio 1 weekender at Prestatyn was such a success that it’ll be repeated next Year… Steve Day’s soul shows on Milton Keynes Radio have been extended, now Sunday 5.30-7.30pm and Monday 9pm-midnight… Jay Strongman has been gigging in Berlin and Vienna, where hip hop and rare groove (especially Ripple ‘I Don’t Know What It Is But It Sure Is Funky‘) went down well, and in Florence, where the Italians couldn’t handle hip hop but were into house and Latin… Foster Sylvers ‘Misdemeanour‘ (US MGM/Pride) seems to be one of the most sought old grooves of the moment… Steve Hills (Leytonstone The Cube) points out the bassline similarity between Rick Astley ‘Whenever You Need Somebody‘ and Steve Arrington ‘Dancing In The Key Of Life‘… Chris Paul learnt the sax as a kid by playing along to the theme from ‘Z Cars’… I was dead right, Steve Walsh’s follow-up does go “whoah-oh”!… DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


House Arrest‘ and ‘House Reaction‘ are two of the hottest homegrown house tracks of the moment, both being by Nottingham-based house groups, both of which include Mark Gamble in their line-up. Mark (on the left in both photos) is joined in KRUSH by Cassius Campbell (DJ Cassroc) and guest vocalist Ruth Joy, while his co-members in T-CUT-F are Delroy Joseph, DJ Franklyn McDonald and (unpictured) Leroy Crawford.


HOT VINYL

KOOL MOE DEE ‘How Ya Like Me Now’ (Jive/ Rooftop Records JIVE T 156)
‘Night Train’-introed great ultra-jittery (0-)104⅓bpm toughly worded rap cutting in James Brown beats (edit too), flipped here by the old (0-)88⅓-0bpm ‘Do You Know What Time It Is‘, the hot track from his last album.

TEN CITY ‘Devotion (Club Mix)’ (Atlantic A9153T)
Marshall Jefferson-produced cymbals schlurped soaringly whinneying Sylvester-style 120-0bpm hustling disco bounder borrowing the bassline from Azymuth’s ‘Jazz Carnival‘, a proper song with the potential to be a pop smash (more dubwise 120¼-0bpm Bam Bam’s House Mix and Bonus Beats flip).

WALLY JUMP JR & THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT ‘Tighten Up <I Just Can’t Stop Dancin’>’ (Breakout USAT 621)
Terrific drums thrashed combination of two Archie Bell & the Drells classics (given Janet Jackson’s similarly tempoed ‘When I Think Of You’ bassline now), still better in its 0-116bpm original LP version than the A-side’s disjointed 0-116-0bpm remix although both are likely to be swamped by Jazzy Joyce’s fiercely transformed 0-116-0bpm ‘Lighten Up <I Just Can’t Stop Scratchin’>’ dub mix! Continue reading “November 28, 1987: Kool Moe Dee, Ten City, Wally Jump Jr, Public Enemy, Keith Sweat”

November 21, 1987: The Microphone Prince, Brentford Allstars, Heavy D & The Boyz, “acid” house, Sparrow Harrison

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

NICKY HOLLOWAY’s recent Doo at the cathedral-like Natural History Museum was one of the weirdest and most spectacular gigs ever, with strobes illuminating the dinosaur skeletons, hanging projector screens, cavernously echoing massive sound (just right for Pete Tong and the other jocks’ “acid” house music), and all the vibe of a Sixties hippy happening — appropriate, considering flares were making a comeback!… Derek B’s 97½-98-97½bpm Urban Respray of Eric B & Rakim ‘Paid In Full’ (4th + B’way 12BRX 78) is totally different with groaning girls, clanging guitar chords copied from John Cougar Mellencamp’s ‘Jack & Diane’, Chuck Brown go go beats… Cookie Crew’s new 0-106⅔-106¾-0bpm ‘Females (Get What We Want)’ (Rhythm King LEFT R 12T) rearranges the James Brown rhythms, adding Trouble Funk’s “pump me up”, and transforming “this stuff is really fresh”, among other changes, with a truly transformer-ed scratching 107⅙bpm Cookie Monster Jam Mix flip… Rick Astley’s 114⅔-114¾-115bpm ‘Whenever You Need Somebody (Rick Sets If Off Mix)‘ (RCA PT41568R) uses the old Harleqiun Fours ‘Set It Off’ rhythm (with an instrumental 114½-114¾bpm XK I50 Mix flip)… Wally Jump Jr & The Criminal Element’s fiercely transformed Jazzy Joyce-scratched 0-116-0bpm ‘Lighten Up (I Just Can’t Stop Scratching)’ dub version is now on promo (Breakout USAT 621)… Glen Goldsmith has yet another largely instrumental even chunkier 104bpm Back Yardie Remix of ‘I Won’t Cry’, so far on promo only… Bert Rogers kindly sent me from Germany his own copy of the locally bootlegged Jeli version of ‘Pump Up The Volume’, re-scratched and over-dubbed with added rock guitar intros by such as the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, 0- 114⅓-113¼-114½-0-115-0bpm before then branching out into a very long general disco oldies medley… Pete Hammond and Pete Waterman’s 109bpm PWL Remix of Audrey Wheeler ‘Irresistible’ (Capitol 12CLX 471) is more tightly juddering but not that different… I somehow missed the huskily impassioned rolling (0-)105½bpm La Rue ‘Can’t Let It Go‘ when reviewing the ‘Penitentiary III’ soundtrack LP… Brian Carter, of Germany’s BCM label (already famous for its Chicago house releases), is preparing a massive 100 track boxed set ‘The Story Of House’, on CD too, with an illustrated booklet and all the real rarities, including the music’s source influences… Jamie Principle’s eagerly sought original version of ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ never came out legally but was bootlegged around Chicago last winter, before he made a higher-tech re-recording during the summer for a deal with Manhattan which never materialised, this remake now being snapped up here by London for the next ‘Acid Tracks’ third volume of ‘The House Sound Of Chicago’ compilation series (after which it’ll be a single, too): meanwhile, any actual involvement by the lyrically namechecked “Jamie” in the much faster version reviewed last week as by Frankie Knuckles Presents on US Trax neither confirmed nor denied!… Will Downing, singer with Wally Jump Jr, has house-ified jazz great John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme‘ for his Arthur Baker produced upcoming 4th + B’way solo LP… Birmingham’s Kool Kat Records are UK agents for Detroit’s Transmat label, so Neil Rushton is looking for bids on 021-643 6584 for the hot Rhythim Is Rhythim and White Knight product… Serious Records have got the Bovver Boys to create ‘The Best Of House Megamix‘ out of the year’s top 18 jack tracks for LP release before Christmas… Les Adams has done a Nitro Deluxe-ish Brutal Remix of LA Mix just, strictly, for Germany… Jellybean’s ‘Jingo’ remix is scheduled for singles release next month already, hard on the heels of ‘Who Found Who’ (which has a remix due too)… Steve Walsh’s followup is the Stock Aitken Waterman-created ‘Let’s Get Together Tonight‘ (whoa-oh?)… Morgan Khan married his Dutch fiancée Jacqui just over a week ago, when they were meant to be keeping a cinema date with me!… Man To Man ‘At The Gym’ should have been printed as 130bpm, while commercial pressings of Krush are 120¼-0bpm… Dave Pearce has recorded the Def Jam tour for his Monday 10pm NITE-fm hip hop show on Radio London, featuring Eric B & Rakim, LL Cool J and Public Enemy, the latter of whom were mindlessly verbose (“you know what I’m saying?”) when his studio guests, although by strange contrast they were really sharp when on Tim Westwood’s excellent and all too brief Saturday night 12.15-12.45am Capital Radio slot… Chris Hill was flown to Hamburg by Radio Hamburg (to which he moves in January from that city’s Radio 107) a couple of weekends ago to be on air for two nights purely because the Prince and Princess of Wales were in town, and everything was being done in English to honour them!… Alexander O’Neal sang ‘(Sittin’ On The) Dock Of The Bay’ on TV’s ‘The Last Resort’, a coincidence as, had I the room, last week’s Prestatyn report would have continued about his “robust set that resembled Otis Redding’s in his heavily built rampaging and posturing, if not in the soul of his vocal delivery”… LaToya Jackson, in her many recent TV and radio chat show appearances, has come across a really bright cookie — a lot sharper than Mick Brown, on ‘Night Network’!… Manchester’s answer to Nicky Holloway, the moveable Trash events’ Gerry O’Connell and ‘Madhatter’ Andy Holmes present Matt Black + The Coldcut Crew’s first full live set ever (four decks, keyboard, samplers) this Wednesday (18) at Manchester’s Tropicana in Oxford Street.. Thursday (19) Gilles Peterson guests at jazzy Pearl O’Hara’s one-off Bordello night (normally Tuesdays) at Kensington’s Henry’s Club in Young Street… Derek B, Farley Jackmaster Funk and Bob Jones join Simon Goffe this Saturday (21) at the weekly Fever in London’s Astoria… Graeme Park is def now every Saturday at Derby’s 20th Century… John Matthews, a regular shopper at Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre along with me, has taken over just down the road as main resident DJ at South Harrow’s Bogarts, where that other local lad Chris Paul came to fame… Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Walkers has started a well crucial Across The Tracks Tuesday night with Gary Majnujz (?!), Sid, and Geoff Carr, a bus for the outlying posses running from South Shields via Sunderland (details on 091-584 3249)… Eric B & Rakim’s luxurious gold dollar sign emblazoned T-shirts have now been followed by similar slipmats, for lucky mailing list jocks… Bang The Party by now should have learnt it doesn’t pay to conceal their true identity, first getting into trouble by stamping their UK white label’s sleeve with the confusing initials SAW, then having the same white label stickered in the States with its New York distributor’s name, Watts Music Corporation, the only visible identification and thus reviewed there as such!… DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


SPARROW HARRISON’s face got cropped from the Spooky Soul Sisters’ photo in last week’s cramped conditions, should you have been puzzled by the caption, but here really is the def trooper, surveying his North Wales estate! A prep school chum of John Peel, with whom he ran a music appreciation society as long ago as the late Forties, Sparrow (real name Robert — don’t ask!) led a notorious group called Sparrow & The Gossamers, and turned me on to R&B in 1962 when we used to catch Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies at the old Marquee in Oxford Street. A lot’s happened since then!


PETE WATERMAN has periodically slotted Capital Radio DJ John Sachs’ “skiddendaddy” catchphrase through the upcoming STOCK AITKEN WATERMAN ‘Packjammed (With The Party Posse)’ (Breakout USAT 620), due fully on December 1, a disappointingly dull and contrived organ-based brassy (0-)99⅔bpm funk jiggler that’s too much like though not as catchy as ‘Roadblock’, with nothing really happening to grab one. Back to the drawing board?


HOT VINYL

THE MICROPHONE PRINCE ‘Rock House’ (US Still Rising Records SRR-1007)
A totally wild rap three-tracker (plus instrumentals), featuring this jolting 96½bpm retread of the Commodores’ Brick House’, the 96⅔(-0)bpm ‘Memory Lane‘ which makes better use of Dennis Edwards’ bassline than even ‘Paid In Full’, and the Ed Sullivan impersonation started madly syncopated 83⅚bpm bonus rap ‘Hound Dog’ — yup, Elvis’s, brilliantly combined in fact with ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ in a rock ‘n’ roll rap that leaves ‘Go Cut Creator Go’ in the shade. These have to be heard!

BRENTFORD ALLSTARS ‘Greedy G’ (Studio One GRED 401, via Greensleeves 01-749 3277)
The burblingly chugging dub treatment of James Brown’s ‘Get On The Good Foot’ that we’ve been crediting to the Dub Specialists for want of any other identification when on LP, the basis for Matt Black + The Coldcut Crew’s ‘That Greedy Beat’ (and an influence on Derek B’s ‘Get Down’), is now on UK 12 inch in its original mix and a much thinner less resonant extended remix, plus (all at 109⅔bpm) a new rap treatment as T-SKI VALLEY ‘The Jam Is On‘.

HEAVY D & THE BOYZ ‘The Overweight Lovers In The House’ (MCA Records MCAT 1206)
The heavyweight 0-99bpm rap based largely on the JBs’ ‘Pass The Peas’ is here unbelievably flipped by (also released, MCF 3396) their ‘Living Large’ LP’s next hottest cut, the JBs’ ‘Gimme Some More’ and O’Jays’ ‘For The Love Of Money’-based 98bpm ‘Moneyearnin’ Mount Vernon‘, plus the oddly syncopated 0-79½bpm ‘Nike‘. Continue reading “November 21, 1987: The Microphone Prince, Brentford Allstars, Heavy D & The Boyz, “acid” house, Sparrow Harrison”

November 14, 1987: Prestatyn report, Dance Aid, Sherrick, Public Enemy, Just-Ice, Epee MD

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ERIC B & RAKIM ‘Paid In Full’ is already due out in Derek B’s Urban Respray mix, while their T-shirt is one of the classiest ever, black with a luxurious thick gold dollar sign on the chest … Society ‘Love It’, the previously reviewed Coldcut mix, is out here on November 23 … Chris Paul’s far better (as warned) 123¼bpm House Mix of ‘Back In My Arms’ (Syncopate 12SYX 5) samples vocal phrases from all sorts of volume-pumping disco hits and really jacks along, the one to get … Radio London could be facing some drastic changes as, unbelievably, of all the BBC’s local stations it apparently attracts the lowest percentage of available listeners (despite what Tony Blackburn keeps claiming) … Jeff Young. who played Supertramp’s soulful ‘I’m Beggin’ You‘ Hi-NRG hit at Prestatyn, adds an hour to his weekly Radio 1 dance music show from Friday, Nov 27, running then 7-10pm … Pete Waterman is “doing a Jonathan King”, hosting a Saturday afternoon show on Liverpool’s Radio City, playing the records he thinks should be hits and inviting listeners to send in their own recordings on tape (which he’ll consider for release) … Catherine Buchanan is ‘Famous For 15 Minutes’ this Friday the 13th at 6.15pm on Channel 4, the singer of Jellybean’s ‘Sidewalk Talk’ (and operatic diva on ‘The Opera House’) being revealed as an artily worded rapper with Talking Heads-type appeal … Thursday (12) Tony Griffin and Jerry Hipkiss start weekly soul/funk/house (strictly no yardie music) at Bristol’s smart Parkside Club in Bath Road, with Fred Dove as guest DJ the opening night … Chris Forbes is guest Def-Dance DJ this Friday (13) at London Limelight’s weekly The Chain Gang, followed in coming weeks by Nicky Holloway, Dancin’ Danny D and Jeff Young, while Gilles Peterson and Chris Bangs jazz the basement … Sunday (15) Chris Hill and Paul Morrissey guest with Steve Aspey at Oxford Boodles, and Hazell Dean joins Norman Scott at Luton Bolts … JM Silk featuring Keith Nunnally, Darryl Pandy, Full House, Joe Smooth, Chip E and Frankie Knuckles are jack tracking around the UK, at Derby 20th Century Complex (Nov 14), Kentish Town Town & Country Club (15), Uxbridge Brunel University (17), Brighton Top Rank (18), Bangor University (19), Hull University (20), Bradford University (21), Birmingham Porsche (22), Bournemouth Academy (23), Stockton The Mall (25), Glasgow Fury Murrays (26), Manchester International 2 (27), Sheffield University (28) … Adonis & The Endless Poker ‘The Poke‘ is due as a single from Westside Records, who have also plundered their ‘Jackmaster’ compilation LP to accompany it on strictly promo-only white label with tracks by Nitestar, Patrick Adams, Out Of Control and Hokus Pokus … ConFunkShun’s now solo Michael Cooper, way ahead of January release, has on Warner Bros promo the melodically rolling vocally sinuous 116¾(-0)bpm smoothly chugging ‘To Prove My Love‘ … EMI have tried a scam by not revealing on white label promos that it’s Climie Fisher performing the ponderously go-go-tempoed scratching 90½bpm ‘Rise To The Occasion (Club Mix)‘ (12EM 33) … Manchester’s Expansion Records shop, opening this Saturday, is in fact the north-west branch of John Anderson’s Kings Lynn Soul Bowl shop, and nothing to do with his similarly named record company’s partner Richard Searling … I spent much of my time at Prestatyn turning people onto the excellent new compilation double album, ‘The RCA Victor Blues & Rhythm Revue‘ (RCA PL86279(2)), which documents (with informative liner notes by Jerry Wexler) the progress of black music from 1940 to the mid-Fifties, through sophisticated big band blues, booting instrumentals, jumping shouts and gospel harmonies to climax in the Isley Brothers’ ‘Shout’ — terrific listening for the historically minded, and, as Chris Brown suggests, a good alternative for hairdressing salon and boutique play … Mark (One) Hewitt, now at Derby’s Pink Coconut and Dudley’s Goldsmiths, when jocking in Spain at Lloret De Mar’s Tropics had not three but five Technics SL1200’s to mix with! … I fear there’s so much advertising on these pages this week that there’s hardly any room for reviews, so check the Black Dance chart for new entries’ Beats Per Minute … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


Livewire’s second PRESTATYN WEEKENDER really showed how black music in Britain has polarised into two main types. Although soul and jazz were indeed played, the music that thundered through the speaker stacks to greatest audience response was rap and house. Even Robbie Vincent was playing it! By contrast, instead of the classy jazz and Sixties oldies that were normally featured upstairs, it was Nicky Holloway’s demented Seventies “disco” party that finally packed the smaller floor there. The biggest record by far was Eric B & Rakim, to such an extent that after the opening Friday night’s overdose of “Eric and Derek”, it was virtually banned! The Cookie Crew’s appealing live PA helped ‘Females’ too, while Pete Tong was featuring an acetate of the brilliantly exciting Jazzy Joyce-scratched dub mix of ‘Tighten Up’. The live star, Alexander O’Neal, left ‘Fake’ for his obligatory encore and was all ready to leave (some of the band had even re-boarded the bus) before being persuaded to come back and do his all-time UK classic, ‘What’s Missing’ — which nearly was! A good weekend, with few surprises and no trouble. Prestatyn III is at Easter, April 2/3/4, 1988 – details from Livewire on 01-364 1212.

ALEXANDER O’NEAL got so hot performing at Prestatyn thot he tried to take his tie off — a normally macho act for any male singer, but this time he couldn’t undo the knot, and even with help from the band it took him a hilarious three minutes!

The once again slimline SEAN FRENCH was, as usual, in charge of the Pontins comp’s closed circuit Live Wire Television and radio service, broadcasting interviews, movies and music.

Saturday at Prestatyn coincided with Hallowe’en, and the SPOOKY SOUL SISTERS were the best dressed posse! In the top left corner, incidentally, you can just see local North Wales landowner Sparrow Harrison, on old school chum of John Peel and the man who turned me on to R&B in 1962.

Radio 1’s ROBBIE VINCENT was really chuffed to be given an award for helping make Sherrick’s ‘Just Call’ a top 20 hit, and shored the moment with ConFunkShun’s now solo MICHAEL VERNON COOPER (left) and WEA’s veteran disco plugger FRED DOVE.

Breakout’s ROB MANLEY, Phonogram’s JOHNNY WALKER and Profile’s PAUL OAKENFOLD got so high on “house” (and very silly) that when the time to crash come, they were totally zonked!

Radio Broadlands’ CHRISSIE JACKSON and an enthusiastic visitor from the States, Warner Bros’s vice president of A&R BENNY MEDINA, were the most extrovert dancers on stage, Benny rivalling Morgan Khan’s squirming dance style.


HOT VINYL

DANCE AID ‘Give, Give, Give’ (Supreme Records SUPE T 119) Last year’s Disco Aid charity single totally revamped in 112bpm rinky-tinky happy style by Stock Aitken Waterman, with chinky Chic-ish guitar at times, many of its “allstar” cast like Mel & Kim, Pepsi & Shirlie, Sinitta, Kenny G and Steve Walsh actually being stars this year (inst/edit flip). As the nationally co-ordinated Disco Aid night is this Saturday (14), it’s odd the record isn’t out until Monday.

SHERRICK ‘Let’s Be Lovers Tonight (Extended Dance Remix)’ (Warner Bros W8146T)
Vocally multi-tracked pleasantly swaying (0-)111bpm modern soul wriggler, flipped by the original 112⅓bpm LP Version and wailing staccato (0-)116⅓bpm ‘Do You Baby’, packaged with a poster.

PUBLIC ENEMY ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ (Def Jam 651245 6)
Really intense insistent (0-)99bpm exciting rap jitterer with an ear-snagging screech sound throughout, massive for months and now (after brief deletion) elevated to A-side status, with its useful previously US-only instrumental plus the droning 93bpm ‘Sophisticated Bitch’ and dense 98-86/43-0bpm ‘Terminator X Speaks With His Hands’. Continue reading “November 14, 1987: Prestatyn report, Dance Aid, Sherrick, Public Enemy, Just-Ice, Epee MD”

November 7, 1987: Kool Moe Dee, Alexander O’Neal, Whitney Houston, Roy Ayers, Lanier & Co

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

Les Adams, none other than the LA Mix man himself, has done a “heavy, heavy” remix of Montana Sextet’s ‘Heavy Vibes’, for future creative marketing … Sybil is still “pumping up the volume” in the exciting brand new 0-118-0bpm Z Mix, by the Extra Beat Boys and Phil Harding, of the relaunched ‘My Love Is Guaranteed’ (Champion CHAMPZ 12-55), with an orgasmic “jungle fever” finish … Blue Mercedes have themselves had to point out that, different spellings apart, the two Street Latin Woolf and Street Latin Wolff Mixes are actually one and the same, a fact that was obscured in direct comparison between the two promo copies as, of course, the original pressing of ‘I Want To Be Your Property’ had its labels stuck on the wrong sides! … I wish some people would put their minds into gear and think at the same time as they read this column: nowhere did I say that I refuse to review all EMI releases, just those of their advance promos which contain only one song, as invariably the finished commercial pressings (the ones I will be reviewing) turn out to have different BPMs or contain extra tracks that are worth mentioning too, and doing so after already reviewing the A-side just gets clumsy and clutters up this Odds ‘n’ Bods section – don’t you agree? … Meli’sa Morgan’s UK pressing later this month will include ‘Fools Paradise’ and, hopefully, Hi-Fashion’s old ‘Feeling Lucky Lately’ (on which she sang) … Pete Hammond and Pete Waterman have remixed Audrey Wheeler ‘Irresistible’, and the Cookie Crew, finally out after months on promo, already has a remix due too … CBS, as mentioned last week, omitted from initial UK pressings the import’s much more exciting House Party Mix of Earth Wind & Fire’s ‘System Of Survival’, but have already white labelled this violently snapping 120½-0bpm version (now subtitled ‘Everybody Get Up’) as the A-side of a pressing that presumably is due for creative marketing (CBS EWFQT 1) … Jan Hammer ‘Crockett’s Theme’ has been beefed up considerably for dancefloors by Ben Liebrand in a thudding 95½-0bpm Dance Remix (MCA Records MCAX 1193) … Jellybean’s new 114⅓-0bpm remix of ‘The Real Thing’ is now in a UK pressing (Chrysalis BEANX 1-1) but apparently is only due commercially, with the flip’s Hot Salsa Dub too, as part of the imminent UK release of his Elisa Fiorillo-sung ‘Who Found Who’ US pop hit … Wayne Hernandez ‘Corners Of The Sun’ has been given a lavatory flush-introed brassy loud (0-)109-0bpm Mans Room Mix (Epic WAYNE Q2) … Breakout finally picked up Wally Jump Jr & The Criminal Element ‘Tighten Up/I Just Can’t Stop Dancin’’ for UK 12 inch release, with a new B-side dub scratched by Jazzy Joyce … Alexander O’Neal’s ‘Criticize’ has been pressed in limited numbers as a 10 inch, not very useful for DJs, as its two A-side mixes are “twin grooved” and run side by side, so it’s a matter of luck as to which spiral the stylus tracks into! … O’chi Brown & Rick Astley’s ‘Learning To Live’ has now been withdrawn by Magnetic Dance … Trouble Funk’s ‘Trouble’ has been repackaged on 12 inch (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 80) with their old ‘Drop The Bomb’, ‘Still Smokin’’ and ‘Let’s Get Small’ – yawn! … Franklin Hughes now hosts a Saturday 7-10pm soul show on Coventry’s Mercia Sound 97FM/220MW … Mark Kavanagh is compiling an Irish DJ’s dance chart for fortnightly broadcast on the imminently relaunched Radio Leinster: send him your charts at 43 Thomastown Road, Dunlaoire, Co. Dublin … Ilford High Road’s Centerway has a brand new Music Power 2 disco-specialising record store, while presumably it’s Richard Searling who’s behind the November opening in Manchester’s city centre, next to Victoria Station, of Expansion Records Ltd of Manchester, a specialist soul/jazz/dance/R&B record shop boasting an “unrivalled” back catalogue department … PLASA’s disco equipment exhibition next year will be vastly expanded and at Olympia 2 … London Acoustical Developments have designed their new 942 Professional Disco Turntable to compete with the market-leading Technics SL1200 Mk II deck, similarly vari-speed but with the speed-adjusting slider working more logically so that it speeds up when pushed forward and down when pulled back, while the deck is totally without irritating clutter on the left hand side, leaving clear cueing and scratching access for DJs’ hands … Steve Gurley won the first Milton Keynes Disco-Mixing Championship at Bletchley’s Kincaid’s … Marie Birch and Sound Promotions have moved to South Bank House, Black Prince Road, London SE1 7SJ (01-735 8171) … Steve Rawlings regrets the move from Croydon’s Easy Street to Birmingham’s Libertys of ‘Stevie D’ Drake, the best club manager he’s ever worked for, Birmingham’s gain (he says!) … LL Cool J (who actually missed his plane) and Public Enemy were due as surprise guests at the Prestatyn soul weekender but had to cancel rather at the last minute as they hadn’t time to fit it in (full Prestatyn report next week) … DJ and record importer, the legendary Tony Monson got all fired up at Caister – he fell asleep in front of an electric fire and the trench coat he was wearing caught alight! … Mark Reed has set up a moveable b-boy night in Brighton called Tuff, this week’s venue on Thursday (November 5) being the Escape Club with guests Einstein, Thrashpack and DJ JD, while next Friday (13) it’s the Club Savannah with the Cookie Crew and Faze One … Bob Jones guests this Friday (6) with Simon Dunmore and Les Fisher at their monthly Rhythm Zone in Northolt’s C&L Country Club … Manu Dibango plays Kentish Town’s Town & Country Club next Thursday (12) … Sean French jazz-souls free admission Sunday lunchtimes at Greenford’s Oscars, in the Oldfield Tavern … Jamie Trundle packs upfront Sundays at the Jenyns Arms near Kings Lynn, while Ian P Scott’s heavyweight hip hop pulls around 500 b-boys into Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Rockshots on Tuesdays and Thursdays … Radio Thamesmead veteran Jamie Wisdom is after South East London area gigs on 01-311 3112 (days) … Kevin Ashton (Newquay Frizzbys/Tall Trees) points out that on the original Polydor pressing of Advance ‘Take It To The Top’, the label lists as co-composer one Spagna – the singer, or her brother? … Ralph Adler, like me, was surprised to hear that the Whispers were making “their first ever UK concert visit”, especially as he remembers seeing them with Carrie Lucas at London’s Dominion around seven years ago! … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


HOT VINYL

KOOL MOE DEE ‘How Ya Like Me Now’ (US Jive/Rooftop Records 1073-1-JD)
‘Night Train’-introed sizzling ultra-jittery 0- 104bpm strongly worded rap cutting in chords from James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’, ‘Funky Broadway’ and more (in four mixes), by far the hottest new rap around London.

ALEXANDER O’NEAL ‘Criticize’ (Tabu 651211 6)
In four Steve Hodge remixes, this lurching 115⅓bpm smacker with catchily chorusing girls will certainly now work well and have pop appeal, despite being far from his album’s most popular cut.

WHITNEY HOUSTON ‘So Emotional’ (Arista RIST 43)
Pop-aimed smoothly rolling urgent 120⅓bpm jitterer with Eurythmics, Mel & Kim and Miami disco influences in a remix by Shep Pettibone (dub/acappella flip), Jellybean also apparently having a remix waiting in the wings. Continue reading “November 7, 1987: Kool Moe Dee, Alexander O’Neal, Whitney Houston, Roy Ayers, Lanier & Co”

October 31, 1987: German DJ convention report, Rick Astley, Keni Burke, Montana Sextet, Jackmaster Volume 1

GERMANY CALLING

At the time of writing last week’s column I had never heard of Germany’s DJ magazine, Network Press, and had no idea that last Monday I would be flying out to a convention organised by it in Bochum, between Essen and Dortmund in the Ruhr Valley’s industrial heartland. The magazine’s publisher, record publisher Frenchie Grignon, holds the German franchise for the Disco Mix Club and, in this first ever event of its type there, he combined a local area heat for the World DJ Mixing championships with an experimental DJ forum.

The venue was the Tarm Centre, built in the middle of an industrial park (so no complaints about noise from the neighbours!), the main disco is surrounded by a complex of differently decorated bars and (good) restaurants, several outside in the open air fitted around a swimming pool which, thanks to cunning drainage, laps level with the floor — a great effect, and very pretty when lit up at night. The weather, incidentally, was glorious!

The crowd was much as you’d find at a DJ convention here (the usual quota of fat slobs with scrubby moustaches!), while whenever English was spoken on stage there seemed to be more four letter words than at a Steve Walsh gig! The club’s console area was huge, maybe 20 feet by 10, housing CD players, three record decks, lots of lighting controls, and (as maybe you can see) record storage in roll-out drawers.

The most remarkable thing though was the incredible laser system, which made the Hippodrome look silly. The club’s owners actually make lasers, so naturally use it as a showcase. The first indication of something different was when a live singer was accompanied overhead by an animated pair of hands, clapping in time with the music! Most impressive of all the laser effects was a fully animated multi-coloured cartoon, in which a wolf came out of the forest to be confronted by a monolith as if from ‘2001’, only for this then to become an upright piano played by a pig as all the animals jived around to Louis Jordan’s ‘Boogie In The Barnyard‘! The lasers apparently are controlled and synchronised to the sound by specially programmed video discs.

Amongst the live acts (can you believe German house music with an oompah-oompah beat?) and before the mixing heats, current World Mixing champ Chad Jackson did a long scratching exhibition that must have left the locals with something to think about (two copies of Chic’s ‘Good Times’ fastcut at 78rpm), while Hamburg DJ Jens ‘Jelly’ Ussat proved deft at fast cutbacks too but had untidy overall flow. Jens, one of Germany’s highest paid disco jocks, working in five different clubs with different music to play in each, spends around £700 a month on imports (yet gets all domestic releases for free). Far from the Modern Talking-type Eurobeat one might expect them to be into, German jocks (if not their audiences) are heavily into funk, finding out about the new releases from this very column in rm and, interestingly, from Richard Allinson’s daily 2-4pm (repeated 1-3am) programmes on the British Forces Broadcasting Service. The continued allied military presence there is a big influence musically. For instance, Long Island-born DJ ‘Fly Guy’ Frazier stayed on in Germany when stationed there in the US Army, playing basketball before becoming a DJ two years ago. Living like Guy in Hamm, near Dortmund, England’s Kidbrook-raised Bert Rogers plays funk to American, British and German audiences, joining many jocks in going to Holland to buy his records, Dutch releases being ahead even of the UK in many cases. These and the rm readers I met last week obviously speak English — however, for those there who don’t, I will soon be writing a column also in the fortnightly Network Press, which will be translated and printed in German!


ODDS ‘N’ BODS

Confusion intensifies in the Blue Mercedes ‘I Want To Be Your Property’ saga: apparently the labels were the wrong way around on promo copes of their originally available commercial pressing (MCA Records BONAT 1), so all along the Daktari Mix was the correct title of the A-side and the Street Latin Wolff Mix (with a double “ff”) was the actually better flip’s name. While although pressed with the matrix number BONAX 1, the DJs-preferred previously white-labelled Get Busy Yo! Mix and Street Latin Woolf Mix (with a double “oo”) are now due commercially as BONAY 1 because, in the interim, yet more mixes have appeared commercially as BONAX 1, the vaguely Philly-flavoured 119½bpm DEF B4 Dishonour Mix and good syn-drummed jacking instrumental 119⅓bpm Terence Yo-Yo Mix – all this just to market a pop duo! … Ben Liebrand has remixed Stock Aitken Waterman ‘Roadblock’ for West Germany, where all sorts of new “versions” of M|A|R|R|S’ ‘Pump Up The Volume’ are appearing, the best cutting in Rolling Stones-type stuff … Jellybean’s new UK El Barrio Mix and Hot Salsa Dub of ‘The Real Thing’ have been circulated to key radio jocks only on cassette, so far … I’m refusing to do full reviews of EMI promos featuring just one song, as finished copies always prove later to have extra tracks of interest too, one such that’s selling on white label already (despite the eventual addition of a ‘Dancing In The Dark’ remix) being the excellent soulfully loping and spurting 107-106⅔-104-103-104-102⅓-103⅔-102⅔-103-102⅓-0bpm Lanier & Co ‘I Don’t Know’ (Syncopate 12SY7), Jerry Butler-ish as usual with Gary Barnacle’s sax added to the UK remix … Chris Paul ‘Back In My Arms’, continuing the above EMI promo theme, on finished pressings turns out to be 0-121bpm with ‘City Nights’ 117½-0bpm, while here Audrey Wheeler’s ‘Irresistible’ is 108⅔bpm … Chris Hill reached his chart peak of number 10 twice with, of course, both ‘Renta Santa’ and – the following year – the totally separate ‘Bionic Santa’ (last week’s misprint confusing the two similar titles into one), while Zuzan has been picked up by Supreme Records rather than Serious Records, and it’s Chuck Chill Out rather than Chuck Chill who’s left New York’s KISS-fm … UK 12 inch pressings of Earth Wind & Fire’s frantic, now 120¾-0bpm, ‘System Of Survival’ (CBS EWF T1) turn out to include the more soulful seven inch-flipping 110⅚-0bpm ‘Writing On The Wall’ after all, the pop-aimed A-side song’s mix being stronger too, but minus one of the US pressing’s house-ier alternative versions … Brother D ‘Clappers Power’ apparently was originally released here by Island over five years ago … Black Britain pump up the volume and get up offa that thing on the James Brown-sampling, Timmy Regisford-mixed, Paul Weller co-produced nervily jumping house-ish 122bpm ‘Heroin’, due fully in about three weeks – it’s a hot one! … Champion have promoed, way ahead of release probably in the new year, Blackjack ‘Black Ink Mix’ (CHAMP 12-59), a 120bpm mix-up of familiar jack track elements with the classic ‘Jingo’ (in three parts, 119¾bpm Part 2 being the most subtle), and Raze ‘Caught U Cheatin’’ (CHAMP 12-58), a routine 118bpm house instrumental flipped by an 121⅔bpm Extended House Mix of ‘Jack The Groove’ (possibly one of the mixes previously released, there were several) … UK pressings of the rush released here 117bpm Bobby Womack ‘Living In A Box’ (MCA Records MCAT 1210), proving much better than many people’s initial impressions suggested, include the lurching slow typical 43-45bpm ‘I Can’t Stay Mad’ … Miles Jaye ‘Let’s Start Love Over’, reviewed on import, is now due out here on Fourth & Broadway (12BRC 81) … Stevie Wonder’s 12 inch version of ‘Skeletons’ is (0-)99⅚bpm, still ploddingly dated, and merely long rather than long awaited! … Jeff Young’s amusingly named 0-122bpm Jeffrey B. Young Hearts Run Free Remix of the Was (Not Was) ‘Walk The Dinosaur’ (Fontana WASR 322) 45 still sounds more pop than soul but includes some James Brown/”pump up the volume”-type cuts, starting with the scream from ‘Roadblock’ that launched a hundred writs! … Edwin Starr’s relatively disappointing Stock Aitken Waterman-created single has been withdrawn to undergo a much needed different treatment … 1988’s Disco Mix Club DJ convention will be a three-dayer, Sunday-Tuesday March 7-9, culminating on the last day at the Royal Albert Hall again for a slimmed down World Mixing Final, featuring just the six very best competitors and many more superstar guests … Tony Prince tonight, this Tuesday (27), has organised at Hammersmith’s Le Palais ‘A Night Of A Hundred DJs And Stars’ to benefit multiple sclerosis sufferer Stuart Henry – for a cause like that, as you can imagine there will indeed be a host of real stars present … ‘Give Give Give’, the Disco Aid charity single, in its remixed form will be credited now to Dance Aid as the (all-star) act’s name … BBC Radio 1 (along with Radio 3) will be giving up MW transmission sometime within the next five years, to be on FM only … Thursday (29) Westerham’s Grasshopper Inn has a first birthday ball for the weekly Roadblock night (named long before you know what!), with Richie McRich and Sam Allen … Ronnie McNeir is live at London’s Astoria this Fri/Sat (30/31) … Tuesdays from November 3, Nicky Holloway starts “money”-themed Paid In Full nights with Jay Strongman and Simon Dunmore at Uxbridge Regals, then next Saturday (7) they funk a one-off at South Kensington’s Natural History Museum, actually around the dinosaur skeleton! … Marie Birch funks Cricklewood’s refurbished free admission Production Village every Tuesday, presumably exhibiting the mixing skill she learnt at lessons with Les Adams! … Norman Scott’s protégé singer, signed by Record Shack, is now named Tony Thompson, while Bang The Party (whose notorious use of the initials “SAW” was previously reported) seem to be renamed Watts Music Inc for the USA … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


GWEN McCRAE was the recent guest of JEFF THOMAS at Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard, where, by coincidence, her ex-hubby George McCrae appears this Saturday (October 31). Knowing this, Gwen’s parting shot to Jeff was, “Tell George he owes me $50,000 in maintenance!” Steve Walsh is another guest there this Friday (30), while presenting a live set on Monday (November 2) will be Ronnie McNeir.


HOT VINYL

IMPORTS: my German report obviously took precedence this week, leaving me neither time nor space to tackle the dauntingly large (and expensive) pile of hot new imports, so, as usual, check the Black Dance chart for the very latest BPMs, including those for any of these that hit. In the soul/funk category,

the strong Jocelyn Brown-ish ELEANOR GOODMAN ‘Sneak Preview’ (Trumpet),

haunting slinky JOYCE SIMS ‘Come Into My Life’ (Sleeping Bag),

subtly jogging FIRST CIRCLE ‘Can’t Find A Love’ (EMI America), Continue reading “October 31, 1987: German DJ convention report, Rick Astley, Keni Burke, Montana Sextet, Jackmaster Volume 1”