March 29, 1986: Technics International DJ Mixing Championships, Ca$hflow, Modern-Nique featuring Larry Woo, Princess, Fingers Inc


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).

Continue reading “March 29, 1986: Technics International DJ Mixing Championships, Ca$hflow, Modern-Nique featuring Larry Woo, Princess, Fingers Inc”

March 22, 1986: Alexander O’Neal, The S.O.S. Band, Art Of Noise featuring Duane Eddy, Russ Brown, Tippa Irie


NEW YORK’S brand new Stringfellows opened last Wednesday with a live two-way satellite TV link that joined it to the original London club both visually and musically, Tigrr spinning the sounds in the big Apple and Marie Thompson here – forget International DJ Mixing, how about Intercontinental?! … 4th + B’way are rushing Circuit’s 1984 version of ‘Release The Tension‘ for the first time on 12in here, to counteract J-A Groove’s new treatment and cash in on its Colonel Abrams connection … London had already circulated white labels of Serious Intention ‘Serious‘ (LONX 93) before last week’s import review was printed … Cherry Red’s associated labels are getting really involved with go go, Baad Records releasing not only Macattack but also the equally hard to find Osiris ‘War On the Bullshit‘ (plus a ‘Roots Of Hip Hop’ EP), and Dance the brand new Ayre Rayde ‘Sock It To Me‘ plus oldies and newies by Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers – drop the bomb! … Cooltempo, after the track was first circulated privately on cassette a year ago, is the label that finally picked up the exciting instrumental ‘Go Go Gadget‘ by Louie Oxley (keyboadist on Tyrone Branson’s ‘The Smurf’) … Island’s go go movie ‘Good To Go’ is now scheduled for a summer release, with a UK visit from Trouble Funk and/or EU to coincide … L.L. Cool J’s labels were wrongly printed, the slower long B-side version of ‘Rock The Bells’ being the new one, so no wonder everyone still prefers the shorter scratching A-side LP version — now it’s out here (Def Jam/CBS TA 7003) the 12in also includes the foul mouthed new exciting unaccompanied rap interplay ‘El Shabazz‘ … Arista actually added the US 0-119bpm Dub Mix to their 12in of Aretha Franklin ‘Another Night’ (ARIST 22-657) before rapidly eclipsing it with the current Les Adams megamix … 12in copies of the 10in promoed tempoless Force MD’s ‘Tender Love‘ will be flipped for the first 10,000 by the hip hop ‘Force MD’s Meet The Fat Boys‘ (owned jointly by WEA, hence the limited edition) … Theresa Davis featuring Jerry Butler is now also on US 12in, as for a while evidently has been Andrew Barrax … Sam Cooke’s rippling 128-129-0bpm ‘Wonderful World’ classic from 1960, used in the Levi’s 501 commercial, has been reissued on 7in with the 130bpm ‘Chain Gang’ (RCA PB 49871), and on 4-track 12in, all also being on a new double album ‘The Man And His Music’ (PL 87127) … William Bell when last heard was still up for grabs, a deal with Virgin having fallen through … Steve Collins has returned to Capital Radio’s Sunday 1-5am pre-dawn shift, the great thing about his record selection being that nearly all are from what Robbie Vincent calls “the little label collection”, largely unfamiliar (though new), and very soulful indeed – there’s always something worth jotting down to try and buy — however, the bad news is that Froggy seems to be alternating with him and will be back this weekend … Adrian Allen (South Shields Chelsea Cat) has so impressed ’em at Radio Tees he sits in hosting the next two Saturday’s 6pm ‘Nightlife’ soul shows … Alan James Jewell actually came back just for the 3rd International DJ Convention all the way from Hong Kong, where he’s still Bacchus’s star DJ at Hollywood East, a video jock on live TV, and starts a radio show in May on British Forces Broadcasting Service (not surprisingly maybe the colony’s hottest station!) … Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal’s ‘Saturday Love’ remix was actually by an uncredited John Morales, who’s also just remixed the Shalamar oldies ‘Take That To The Bank’, ‘There It Is’ and ‘A Night To Remember’ for a bonus 12in that’ll be twin-packed with a TV merchandised hits LP, only the latter title’s remix being due on regular commercial 12in too, slightly in advance … Disco Mix Club could soon have a rival, modelled more on the US Hot Tracks and Disconet concept … Jermaine Jackson is getting back together with his brothers in the Jacksons for their next LP, and with Michael Jackson for his too – it seems his label move away from Motown and Berry Gordy Jr’s grasp has helped heal those family recording rifts … Michael Jackson and Prince are both oddly getting to look ever more like mid-Fifties black rock ‘n’ roll superstar Little Richard, one of whose apt sayings is “make-up can’t fix up!” … America’s record labels are running scared of news reports that several independent pluggers have mafia connections, this new payola scandal causing them to stop using even innocent pluggers — meanwhile, Billboard continues incorporating easily manipulated radio playlists along with sales in its charts, the root cause of the problem (at least Whitney Houston ‘How Will I Know’ and Rene & Angela ‘Your Smile‘ have each just successively topped the US Black 45s chart while number one in sales too) … Keith Sweat as long suspected is really Keith Crier of the group GQ … Bronx dancers have a new move called “the helicopter”, one guy standing and twirling another by the waist over his head in spreadeagled rotor style … CJ Carlos still funks like a good ‘un, but he’s also discovered there’s money to be made out of both Spanish and Jewish teenage nights (he’s Portuguese himself)! … I can’t understand why the terrific Alyson Williams ‘Yes We Can Can‘, much played on radio, is so slow to go in discos … DJs, early Easter deadlines mean we need your charts by Monday morning, so break with habit and please post ’em NOW .. GET LOOSE!

52nd STREET’S ‘I Can’t Let You Go’ now has a less languid 102⅓bpm New York Remix shoving the original Extended A-side onto the 12in flip with the Jazz Version (10 Records TEN 11413), while in other vinyl revamps America’s Mildred does indeed here become MILLIE SCOTT for the 0-110⅓bpm UK re-edit of her gloriously whomping brassy ‘Prisoner Of Love‘ (4th + 4 B’way 12BRW 45) with the dub version’s intro and rap break spliced into it, and CHERRELLE has a belated clumsy (0-)100⅓bpm Remix of ‘Will You Satisfy?’ (Tabu QTA 6927) with a more interesting 100⅔bpm Dub-Dance Remix flip.


New York’s Cheese won Sunday’s International Mixing Championships, seriously scratching even when handcuffed! Closely second was Chad Jackson, and third Holland’s Orlando Voorn — who grumbled “Was this a mixing or a scratching competition?” It was state of the art, 1986 stylee.

(NOTE: There will be a full report in the following week’s column.)


ALEXANDER O’NEAL ‘What’s Missing (Remix)’ (US Tabu 4Z9 05361)
Once past a superfluous cheap intro this 111bpm Louil Silas Jr remix of his current UK hit’s hottest 12in dance side strides more strongly than before with beefier beat and rolling repetition building infectious intensity around a fresh break (inst flip). Essential!

THE S.O.S. BAND ‘The Finest’ (Tabu TA 6997)
Comfortingly familiar 109⅔bpm steadily driving Jam & Lewis roller with Alexander O’Neal’s eagerly anticipated contribution amounting to some mumbling, and a few echoing phrases (acappella interrupted instrumental, and old 67⅘bpm ‘I Don’t Want Nobody Else’ flip).

THE ART OF NOISE featuring DUANE EDDY ‘Peter Gunn’ (China WOKX 6)
Duane’s twangy guitar recreates his 1959 instrumental classic while the Noise’s typical 120bpm beat thrashes on through varied breaks to create floor-pounding power. Talk about hot! Continue reading “March 22, 1986: Alexander O’Neal, The S.O.S. Band, Art Of Noise featuring Duane Eddy, Russ Brown, Tippa Irie”

March 15, 1986: Atmosfear, Tease, Dino Terrell, Junior C. Reaction, Cut Master D.C.


JERMAINE JACKSON follows in Whitney Houston’s footsteps as main live star attraction at this Sunday’s 3rd International DJ Convention at London’s Hippodrome — an essential meeting place for DJs even if you aren’t interested in a career on Radio One! — where Kurtis Blow, Davy DMX and AJ Scratch are also expected to look for a rap ‘n’ scratch demonstration, which is not to forget the International DJ Mixing Championships featuring from the USA DJ Cheeze and from the UK Chad Jackson, amongst other contestants … Thorn EMI’s purpose designed VJC instant cue three “deck” video mixing console will be the first prize and has attracted so much interest at the UK heats that clubs interested in buying or leasing it had better call Ted Edgerton on 021-502 5152 fairly sharpish to be sure … Les Adams has megamixed an excellent smooth 110-123bpm ‘Zoomin’ To The Freeway Mix‘ (using ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who/Another Night/Integrity/Freeway Of Love’) to be Aretha Franklin’s new 12in A-side (Arista ARIST 32657), flipped by just the ‘Another Night’ 7in tracks … Timmy Regisford’s good (0-)117¼bpm US Remix and 117bpm Dub of Colonel Abrams’ ‘I’m Not Gonna Let’ (MCA MCAX 1031) is now out here too, with his 114¾bpm Extended Version of ‘Trapped’ added to the flip … Mildred Scott seems likely to be called Millie Scott on re-edited UK release, as evidently everyone falls about laughing when they hear the name Mildred! … I don’t … London are releasing Joyce Sims … Aleem featuring Leroy Burgess’s single is nice enough but reputedly pales into insignificance alongside their upcoming LP … PRT as a record label has been abruptly scaled right down to a holding operation that’ll repackage back catalogue, their distributed labels remaining unaffected although licensed labels (relying on other in-house services) have all had to find new homes – Record Shack for instance rapidly relocated to RCA … London’s latest fast-rising dance label signs itself off as Lovebeat International, New York — Paris — Harlesden! … Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre could be the next record shop to start a label — owner Andy Phippen has certainly got some hot product in the can … Frankie Johnson Jnr — who of course was that muscular Disco Dancing winner a few years back — now has a more starkly rhythmic 110bpm remix of his soulfully sung ‘Whenever You Call Me’ (Debut DEBTXR 3003) … Paul McCartney has been asking around to establish who is the currently hottest remixer, so what’s he got planned? … Julie Roberts ‘More Than One Night‘ (Bluebird/10) might be worth reissuing, as A-side this time … Sonet have reissued their less than classic racing (0-)120⅔bpm James Brown ‘Bring It On … Bring It On‘ (SONL 2258) … Fat Larry’s Band ‘Zoom’ has belatedly been remixed on US Omni with different instrumentation, sounding kinda like ‘Theme From A Summer Place’ without the pizzicato strings, while the Winans ‘Very Real Way (Remix)’ on US Qwest is flipped by the M&M Remix of ‘Let My People Go’ … UK release of the LP ‘A House Full Of Love — Music From The Bill Cosby Show‘ (CBS 26824) makes Grover Washington Jr’s 126bpm ‘Poppin’‘ cheaper for jazz fans … Alexander O’Neal seems to have outpointed Cherrelle at their live concerts … Whistle, back in Britain next week, may be just buggin’ but they do like the ladeez – and seem to be trying to revive the ancient craze for Davy Crockett coonskin caps … DJ Cheeze amidst a busy schedule cuts ’em up at Harlow Whispers Saturday (15), and somehow is meant to Join Mix Wizzard Paul Dixon & Kenny B at Edgbaston Faces Sunday (16) … Mayfair Gullivers’ lease runs out in August, when it’ll have to close, and not earlier as was wrongly reported elsewhere to trade damaging effect — Graham Gold is now there only Mon/Wed/Thur, instead funking Peckham La Plaza (ex-Kisses) Fridays, and South Norwood Limelight with CJ Carlos Saturdays … CJ himself still funks like a good ‘un – meanwhile, onetime Horizon Radio mailman Chris Stewart is running his Porsche with help from the Mecca circuit (and why not?) … Tony Monson & Jez Nelson start cerebral soul-jazz-bop-latin-fusion Thursday (13) at Beckenham Harrietts in the Clockhouse Tavern … Jerry Green & Brother To Brother soul-funk-jazz-latin Watford Stix in St Albans Road Thursdays too … Friday (14) the Scottish Soul Society’s northern soul allniters return to Dundee Marryat Hall … ‘Harlem Shuffle’ as revived by the Rolling Stones (with Bobby Womack) is remarkably uninspired, Bob & Earl’s 1963 original remaining far more exciting … Full Force, Mantronix, Whistle, Kurtis Blow and the other “go go hip hop” hits are prompting even pop jocks to pull out their Little Benny-type go go oldies again – so maybe Island should think about scheduling their ‘Good To Go’ movie soon? … Seventh Avenue for the last several weeks have been top of the Eurobeat chart by a remarkable margin of two to one over the record below it … rm’s BPMs although still done the hard way, by hand, tally with those done independently by computer — unlike others we could mention! … GET LOOSE!

ATLANTIC STARR are making their UK stage debut at rate payers’ expense when in a final flourish the Greater London Council brings them in for a single concert at the Hammersmith Odeon next Saturday (22). Doubtless they’ll do promotional gigs too, as their slushy sweet 40/80-79¾-0bpm duet ‘Secret Lovers‘ (A&M AMY 307) has taken off like a rocket, possibly thanks to its 12in flip (labelled wrongly in reverse order) having the insistently pushing fluid 108⅔bpm ‘One Love (Dance Mix)‘ and pleasant mellow swaying 106bpm ‘When Love Calls‘ for added value.


ATMOSFEAR ‘Personal Column’ (Elite DAZZ47)
With oddly familiar clever lyrics, quavering chicks create nagging tension over a jiggly jaunty half-stepping 95bpm beat and brass on one of Britain’s most original productions in a while, flipped for the first 5,000 copies by the original old ‘Dancing In Outer Space‘ and if you think I’m about to BPM its wildly wandering beats again, you’ve another think coming!

TEASE ‘Firestarter’ (US Epic 49-05339)
Very soulful, this husky vocal group’s haunting excellent piano accented steadily wriggling 95⅓bpm swayer is flipped by the snappily jiggling 117¼bpm ‘Baby Be Mine‘, which makes a change from “(inst/edit)” – even if it ain’t so essential.

DINO TERRELL ‘You Can Do It (It’s So Easy)’ (Lovebeat International LOVT 3)
Something of a grower, this Leroy Burgess-prod/penned soulfully moaned here 106¾ 0bpm rambling tugger is phrased like a sharper gospel accented Luther V (inst/acappella flip). Continue reading “March 15, 1986: Atmosfear, Tease, Dino Terrell, Junior C. Reaction, Cut Master D.C.”

March 8, 1986: Slave, Mildred Scott, Aleem featuring Leroy Burgess, James Cobbin & Prime Cut, Ruth Dawes


WHITNEY HOUSTON, denied as reported a newcomer nomination due to some niggling technicality, went ahead and beat ’em all anyway to win the Grammy for best female vocal, period! … Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal ‘Saturday Love’ belatedly topped US 12in Sales, Val Young Club Play in Billboard — Val (who seems unlikely for a re-edit now) marred Michael ‘Smoothie’ Gibson from Process And The Doo Rags on Valentine’s Day … Alexander O’Neal contributes a song, ‘The Finest‘, to The SOS Band’s next album (produced of course as he is by Jam & Lewis) … The Chicago Bears’ shufflin’ and tappin’ William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry is to replace Mr T in ‘The A-Team’ … Effectron, despite earlier assumptions they were British, turn out be a genuine Washington DC go go group, their similarity to Micki Jessup being less than coincidence — he sings the lead! … North Sea pirates are due to be joined by the solid soul WSOL 801, manned by four black DJs, and the pop Stereo Hits 576 (the old Caroline wavelength on MW but in stereo), the 10 strong DJ team being primarily American … Froggy’s seemingly endless six week stay on Capital Radio thankfully did end — a nice guy, he’s just irritatingly inept as a programme presenter … New York remixer Bert Bevins is the latest to tout for work in lucrative London … The Three Degrees (with Miquel Brown filling in for pregnant Helen) have as predicted the first of several remixes already in the can, but amazingly it doesn’t copy anything! … Paul Hardcastle (whose Lenny Henry Crucial Remix is 102⅓bpm) also has a mix with male vocal by Kevin Henry, not necessarily for release … Cameo’s rock radio-aimed 47½/95bpm slowie ‘A Goodbye‘ is being bolstered on 12in twin-pack for funk fans by some vintage oldies, promoed now but due next week … Jive have reissued Sinnamon ‘I Need You Now‘ (JIVE T36), a building 113-114-114½bpm soul burbler that always was a black underground “sleeper” three years ago … Total Contrast’s LP is finally out here (London LONLP 15), as is Juicy’s (Epic EPC 26886), while the continuously mixed ‘The Very Best of “D” Train — 47 Minutes Of Nonstop Dancing‘ (German Prelude 260.07.083) could interest some … Quincy Jones, Isley Brothers (including ‘Shout’) and Isley Jasper Isley (just ‘Caravan Of Love’) are on StreetSounds’ ‘Artists 4‘, a single LP this time … Streetwave are starting another label, Brilliant … A version of ‘(Nothing Serious) Just Buggin’’ in a note perfect 102-0bpm cover briefly appeared here with no artist mentioned on a supposedly French label Hip Hop Juice, the same version but credited to Tin Tin (no relation of Stephen Duffy) also being withdrawn from StreetSounds’ upcoming ‘Electro/Hip Hop 11‘ — at least this silly stunt finally forced Whistle into the shops on UK pressings (incidentally, their TV theme quote, now almost mandatory on hip hop records, is apparently from ‘Green Acres’) … Britain’s Danté, his name nicked in America, will be called Steven Danté when his Colonel Abrams-ish 113½bpm ‘Give It Up For Love‘ comes out at the end of March … EMI lost Roshelle Fleming despite already making some re-edit improvements of their own … Eastbound Expressway’s anthemic ‘You’re A Beat’ will be on Passion —which may be why Record Shack are trying desperately to sway opinion away from the term Eurobeat and back to Hi-NRG! … Seventh Avenue’s horridly jolly Baltimora-sings-Ottowan style 120⅓bpm ‘Love’s Gone Mad‘ (Record Shack SOHOT56) is finally out fully here, other current UK-released Hi-NRG hits including the rattling 132½bpm Divine-ish Lana Pellay ‘Pistol In My Pocket‘ (Sublime WMET 101) and 0-132¼bpm People Like Us ‘Midnight Lover‘ (Passion PASH 12-51), galloping 0-130¾bpm Street Angels ‘One Bite (John Morales Remix)’ (Calibre CABLS 207), 125½bpm Angel Chorus ‘Devil On My Shoulder‘ (10 Records TEN 90-12) and 135bpm Astaire ‘Fire Me Up‘ (Passion PASH 12-52), chugging dated Eurodisco 121¾bpm Eartha Kitt ‘This Is My Life‘ (Record Shack SOHOT61), clumsy crashing 118¾bpm Nicole ‘Don’t You Want My Love?‘ (Portrait TA6933), while — a Sylvester-ish 115bpm bounding throbber with Colonel Abrams touches too — L.I.F.E. ‘All Played Out‘ (US Dance-Sing DS 802) is due here soon on Lovebeat International (LOVT 4) … Grace Jones’ emptily racing (0-)143-145bpm ‘Love Is The Drug (Remix)‘ sounds unnecessary for most jocks … Pal, twin sisters Rhett & Sinden Cellier and chum Rebekha Sweet, were all former secretaries at Motown in the Martha Reeves and Rita (Syreeta) Wright tradition, so it’s a shame their debut 159bpm ‘Talk We Don’t‘ (Motown ZT40562) is so awful … Colonel Abrams’ title now it’s a single in the States is indeed called ‘I’m Not Gonna Let’, without the ‘You’ … Viola Wills although now living in Minneapolis makes a twice weekly 2,000 mile journey to Los Angeles so she can continue studying studio technology at UCLA – crazy! … Frankie Johnson Jnr moves on stage as if a descendant of descriptively nicknamed dancer Snakehips Johnson, except the latter didn’t do a strip (which was then hilariously sent up at Radio London’s Soul Night Out by Tony Blackburn) … Steve Walsh was not at The Hippodrome this Wednesday after all, but Thursday (6) finds Chris Hill kicking off the first weekly “Bognor” DJ-hosted jazz-soul night at Reading Majestic, plus Paul Major & Micky T celebrating Birmingham Pagoda Park’s award for its rocky waterfall decor … Mick James, not Jones (the name given the judges), was the Stourbridge mixing DJ in Birmingham … Midas Media are updating their DJ mailing list on 01-379 0776 … I may no longer be able to review the weekend’s latest newies but the Disco chart remains as up to date as ever and, as you may have noticed, now includes at least the accurate BPM of anything not previously covered … GET LOOSE!

CHAD JACKSON as anticipated won the Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships, with an athletic 10 minute set in which he managed to scratch behind his back, with his elbow, chin and bare foot! Scratch is all he did though, his antics (reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis’) obscuring for most judges the more musical worth of runners-up Jon Davis and John Robinson, who were visually exciting too. Jon, a black DJ from Bude in Cornwall, was the mixer whose brilliance I enjoyed and voted for most, while John, who globetrots for the Juliana’s disco chain, did an excellent Madonna medley that was just right for The Hippodrome. Interestingly the best mixers in all the preliminary heats had been from areas well away from London (Chad is from Manchester), which seems to confirm that while London jocks may be too blasé (or frightened!) to enter it’s the provincial DJs with possibly most to gain who try harder. And of the six finalists, four all used the Harleqiun Four’s ‘Set It Off’!


SLAVE ‘Thrill Me’ (Certain 12ACERT 6) is another characteristic murkily rolling 112bpm lurcher with exaggerated enunciation and chatter, flipped by a 116½bpm remix of the older ‘Jazzy Lady‘, both being on their LP ‘Unchained At Last’ (Certain LPACERT 1) with the better even more datedly typical 117¾bpm ‘I’d Like To Get You‘. Meanwhile, ex-member Mark Hicks has released as DRAC ‘I Want Your Love‘ (US Ichiban Records 12-104), a choppily chugging 113½bpm version of their type of groove with funky muttering and toy hooter blowing, rather brighter than the real thing but still really only for veteran Slave fans.

MILDRED SCOTT ‘Prisoner Of Love’ (US 4th + B’way BWAY-421)
Detroit recorded in exuberant old Jocelyn Brown style, this solidly strutting 110¼bpm happy jumper leaps along so infectiously it’s already exploding in both soul and gay clubs (two strong dubs too). A biggie!

ALEEM featuring Leroy Burgess ‘Love’s On Fire’ (US Atlantic 0-86825)
Huskily worrying Leroy tells the Fantastic Aleems when to “sing it for me, boys”, rather as Rick James did the Temptations, on a nervily jittering 116¾bpm wriggler full of soul in the fast skittery Colonel Abrams style (good vocal dub/edit flip). It’s a grower. Continue reading “March 8, 1986: Slave, Mildred Scott, Aleem featuring Leroy Burgess, James Cobbin & Prime Cut, Ruth Dawes”

March 1, 1986: Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Lonnie Hill, Alyson Williams, 52nd Street, Brilliant


JON DAVIS, from David Henry’s in Bude, Cornwall, is another serious contender for the Technics 1986 UK Mixing Championships (the final tonight Wednesday 26 at London’s Hippodrome), having won the Bristol heat with a brilliant mix started by The Jungle Book’s ‘Bare Necessities’ synched through Full Force ‘Alice’ — during which two girls came up to ask for a dedication! … Avtar Singh and Cardiff’s Martin Rogers were runners-up at Bristol’s Papillon, so plushly decorated that even the Gents is carpeted, where Jon’s Bude buddy Tristan Bolitho and super-cool New Yorker Don Bell also deserved credit. (The latter, as Dr D & Magic Man, with Kurtis Blow, Davy DMX and AJ Scratch at Warwick University on Thursday fortnight, 13) … Durell Coleman was in crowd pleasing great voice as opening act at snowbound Wakefield’s Casanovas the night before, where Hull’s Paul Dakeyne was the convincing winner, Halifax’s Dave ‘Hutchy’ Hutchinson being the only other mixer with any idea of what it was about (er, heard about the jock who thought the Technics turntable’s vari-speed slider was the volume control?!) … ‘Trapped’ and ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who’ were latterly added to the judges’ hate list, and ‘Set It Off’ was still heard everywhere! … DJ Cheese is confirmed as competing for America at the International Mixing final on March 16 at the Disco Mix Club’s DJ Convention (he’ll be doing a short tour too), highlights of the convention and mixing to be broadcast on Robbie Vincent’s Radio One show the following Sunday (23) … Paul Hardcastle, showing off some fancy footwork on ‘Top Of The Pops’, has added lots of Lenny Henry in a remix, other remixes planned or due being Whistle and Colonel Abrams … Effectron ‘Don’t Stop That Go Go Beat’, now properly out on MDM Records (MDM 5-12), says on the label that it was recorded in Washington DC … Phil Black opens up Barry’s brand new Pebbles Night Spot this Friday (28), Mantronix play London’s Heaven Monday (3), Steve Walsh’s Soul Set returns to London’s Hippodrome Wednesday (5) … Johnny & The Roccos’ authentic Western Swing-style rockabilly 7in ‘I Hate The Disco‘ (Off Beat NS 113, via Ace), despite lyrics about “monkey music”, struck me as being so good that I checked the rock ‘n’ roll trio live last week, to find leader Bob Fish recreating all the old licks from Elvis Presley’s earliest recordings on the guitar they were first played on, Scotty Moore’s 1949 Gibson (which cost Bob only £2,000) – this may not mean much to most of you, apart maybe from jocks in Scandinavia where the group have had hits, but for me it was real goosebumps time! … Billy Ocean surely doesn’t sing “go and get stuffed”? … GET LOOSE!


EVELYN ‘CHAMPAGNE’ KING ‘High Horse (Remix)’ (RCA PT49892)
Not out here fully until March 10 but due earlier on white label and import, this friskily wriggling 118½bpm skittery jitterer (remixed by its producers Allen George and Fred McFarlane) is flipped by her classic racing 132½-133-132-133½-134-134½-135¼-134¾bpm ‘Shame’ from 1978, and the brand new speedily bubbling 122¼bpm ‘Take A Chance‘. They’re all kinda fast.

LONNIE HILL ‘Galveston Bay’ (10 Records TEN 111-12)
Extended by some controversial intro-lengthening edits, this gorgeous lush mellow 96⅔-97¼-97½bpm surging soul crooner has wide, even MoR, appeal. Popular for many months on import LP, the 96½-97-97⅓bpm untampered original is on the flip anyway, with the Tex-Mex/Sam Cooke-ish 126½-127bpm ‘My Sweet Love’.

ALYSON WILLIAMS ‘Yes We Can Can’ (US Profile PRO-7090)
Produced by Def Jam’s Russell Simmons, mixed by Shep Pettibone, this solidly smacking powerhouse jittery 102⅙bpm revival of the Lee Dorsey/Pointer Sisters’ classic should prove well nigh irresistible combining as it does catchy familiar lyrics and happy rhythms (inst flip). Stay still if you can can! Continue reading “March 1, 1986: Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Lonnie Hill, Alyson Williams, 52nd Street, Brilliant”