ODDS ‘N’ BODS
LAST WEEK I tried to draw attention to the Rolling Stones sleeve‘s offensively racist caricature of black people by deliberately using certain inflammatory words in their shameful historical context (prompted by the sleeve’s period art style), for which I apologise if they, in turn, gave unintentional offence — as a champion of black culture, I used them to express my own sense of disgust, which should have been made more clear … Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre’s press embargo being broken elsewhere, I can reveal that owner Andy Phippen’s “hot product” (due now on Island in April) is a dynamic remake at the ‘Set It Off’ tempo of Lonnie Liston Smith’s ‘Expansions’, performed by South Harrow Bogarts DJ/one man band Chris Paul – possibly another Paul Hardcastle? … Streetwave, having missed the remake, are instead following most recently Bluebird, and originally RCA, re-re-re-reissuing the Lonnie Liston Smith original in their DJ Limited Edition series … Alexander O’Neal’s UK follow-up will be reissued ‘A Broken Heart Can Mend’, with ‘What’s Missing’ (presumably the US remix) at last as an A-side not until after that … Colonel Abrams’ ‘Speculation (Remix)‘ will be flipped by his soulful ‘Table For Two‘, which surely could have been a change of pace hit in its own right … EMI’s originally stated intention was for the Tavares reissue to be a one-off no matter how successful, hence its having all three of the hottest Ben Liebrand remixes, but now two more will make a follow-up, ‘It Only Takes A Minute’/’More Than A Woman’ … LL Cool J’s B-side so-called Original Version of ‘Rock The Bells’ confusingly really was the original, subsequently re-recorded faster with scratching for the issued LP version, that now being remixed with yet more scratching (most noticeably a ‘Good Times’ cut) as his current A-side — all clear?… Viola Wills has a Diva Remix due, but a Three Degrees remix will not now be out, after all! … Five Star actually have something fresh, not from their album, due next week, the 106⅔bpm ‘Can’t Wait Another Minute‘ which was produced in Los Angeles by Richard James Burgess … William Bell will finally be out here on Absolute, through Pinnacle … Samantha Fox’s sexily groaning 105bpm 12 inch is far better than the seven inch and an alternative “blue” version is promised soon, too! … Pete Waterman is having to do yet another remix of Princess ‘After The Love Has Gone’ for its US B-side — incidentally, a Stock-Aitken-Waterman touring roadshow of the acts they produce seems likely in the summer … StreetSounds/Streetwave hope to hold a massive UK Fresh 86 hip hop jam at Wembley Arena on July 19 … Radio London’s Soul Awards night this Thursday (27) at Hammersmith Palais is likely to be sold out, so beware of ticket touts … Scotland’s cable TV subscribers via the same service also get Radio Six, on which the Craig Davis presented ‘Eurobeat Show’ is repeated three times during Saturdays … Janet Jackson topped US Black 45s in Billboard, more from airplay than sales even though she also topped 12 inch Sales (and Colonel Abrams Club Play) … Seventh Avenue PA for Adrian Parkin’s weekly gay nights at Huddersfield 42nd Street Good Friday and Whalley Munroes (in The Sandpiper) Easter Sunday … Soho’s Le Beat Route remembers Marvin Gaye on video next Wednesday (2) … Graham Gold should maybe move to South Norwood as he funks Crackers Fridays and Limelight Saturdays there (and isn’t in Peckham now at all) … Val Young’s Valentine’s Day husband is actually Dennis ‘Shorty’ Andrews, of Process And The Doo Rags (whoops, Motown gave me the wrong nickname!) … Easter Bunnies can and will be funky — GET LOOSE!
DJ CHEESE (above), as briefly mentioned last week, won the Technics International DJ Mixing Championships at the Disco Mix Club’s 3rd International DJ Convention two Sundays ago. The event in general was the biggest yet, so big in fact that next year’s seems likely to spread across two days of forum discussions in a proper convention centre, complete with an equipment exhibition, all for much the same money. Jonathan King proved the most stimulating speaker of a long, hot, tiring day at The Hippodrome this year (something like 2,800 people turned up), but by far the greatest attraction was the mixing. When you realise the judges included star remixers John Morales, Ben Liebrand, Pete Waterman, Les Adams, Alan Coulthard, Sanny X, plus Paul Hardcastle, Greg James (American mixing jock/sound installer now running Hammersmith’s Spin Offs disco store), Sheila Ferguson of the Three Degrees, and myself, you’ll see that the result should have been beyond dispute.
Certainly the crowd went wild whenever anything hip hop was played, as the third placed Orlando Voorn from Holland did himself discover in his own hard set (his hot mix combined One Way “let’s talk about”/lan Dury “sex and drugs and rock and roll”), yet in his acceptance speech he complained “Is this a scratching competition or a mixing competition?” — sentiments repeated by others. The third place was in fact a tight decision as other worthy contenders included Denmark’s fast moving Mick Hansen, Sweden’s hip hopping Roger Tuuri, and Belgium’s dynamic Kris Kastaar, so Orlando should count himself lucky.
Second, almost inevitably, was Manchester’s Chad Jackson, largely repeating his UK Championship-winning set with the added gimmick of scratching blindfolded, as well as behind his back, with his nose, elbow and foot.
He was however beaten at his own game by New York’s Cheese, who also scratched behind his back (much faster than Chad), with a boot, and handcuffed! More importantly, though, what he did with the few records he used was brilliant, creating his own beats to the judges’ jaw-dropping astonishment, and repeatedly backspinning to the exact same “get fresh crew” point in one record without using headphones. No, he didn’t synchronise long running beat on beat, bar on bar mixes, but that’s been done already and now it’s 1986 and mixers have other skills to master. Anyway, Cheese (who flew straight back to Canada for two gigs before returning) and Chad are currently touring the UK in a friendly “battle of the scratchers” which should be worth catching — more than could be said of the Convention’s other supposedly star turn, by Jermaine Jackson, whose lacklustre lip-synched performance was only enlivened when young Warren Mills jumped on stage to whip up more reaction.
- DISCO MIX CLUB are selling for £5 (£6 abroad) a C60 cassette of the six best International mixers’ live championship performances (PO Box 89, Slough, Berks SL1 8NA).