ODDS ‘N’ BODS
Jet Star turns out to be the successor to the old Pama label, and — guess what? — it at last will be reissuing the original Mohawks ‘The Champ‘ in the new year … Jean Knight ‘Mr Big Stuff‘ is easily available here on Old Gold (OG 9534), presumably still 93bpm … UK DJ Mixing Championships heats start in January at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Walkers Tuesday 6, Edinburgh Ampitheatre Wed 7, Manchester Saturdays Tues 13, Barnsley Japanese Whispers Wed 14, Birmingham Millionaires Mon 19, Bristol Chasers Tues 20, Bournemouth Clouds Mon 25, with the UK final at London’s Hippodrome Tuesday, February 10 … I hope to be judging at all these venues, so see you there! … London’s Royal Albert Hall is the prestigious site of the final International Mixing Championships, transformed by Avitec Electronics into a massive disco for the occasion, on Monday March 9, the day after the Disco Mix Club’s 1987 International DJ Convention will once again have been at the Hippodrome (Sunday, March 8); tickets for both events are available singly or combined (the latter the better deal, while all are cheaper if bought before Feb 15 – call 06286-67276 for full details) … Disco Aid to date, with lots more money still to come, has raised £32,000 — better than nothing, but a long way short of expectations … CBS might now find takers for the James Brown 12 inch, having replaced the flip’s ‘Living In America (R&B Mix)’ with a Message House Mix of the charging full tilt (0-)126-0bpm ‘Goliath’ floor burner, remixed by Chris Lord-Alge, as too is its newly extended more delicately starting 108⅓-0bpm A-side, ‘How Do You Stop‘ (Scotti Bros JAMES 01) – typically, this yet again throws away an album’s hottest track on a B-side (shades of ‘What’s Missing’) … Phonogram have given up with ‘Victory’, replacing the A-side of Kool & The Gang’s 12 inch with ‘The Throwdown Mix‘ (Club JABXR 44), a typical neat 111…124½bpm Les Adams megamix of ‘Get Down On It/Ladies Night/Fresh/Big Fun/Straight Ahead/Celebration/Misled/Emergency’ – in fact, all the hit floor-fillers that fit, nicely timed for Christmas! … Hindsight’s subtitle ‘Spare A Dime Mix’ always led one to expect a remix and, sure enough, ‘Small Change’ is now also in a dubbier 111⅙bpm ‘The Corn Xchange Mix’ (Circa YRTX 1) – a pity the original hasn’t done as well nationally as it deserved … 5,000 copies of the originally promo-only current Loose Ends 12 inch twin-pack finally reached the shops commercially in yet another creative marketing ploy by Virgin, who now, along with some sort of cassette pack, have at least four configurations of ‘Nights Of Pleasure’ on sale, not counting seven inch – maybe if the right songs in the right mixes were widely available from the start, none of this manoeuvring would be necessary … CityBeat are starting a regular remix series of 12 inch four-trackers, The Ultimate Mixes ’87, kicking off with Arthur Baker’s four radical revamps of Freeez ‘IOU’ and Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk’s four of John Rocca ‘I Want It To Be Real’ (the inspiration behind Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley ‘Jack Your Body’!); the Freeez remixes are house-styled 121¼bpm Club Dub and 121bpm Club Vocal, go go-ish 105¼bpm Shakedown Vocal and Instrumental (CityBeat CBE 1209), due Jan 5 … rm’s next full BPM column after the Hammy Awards and Christmas won’t be until January 8, so note that also due on UK release earlier that week are the remixed 0-104⅔-0bpm Naturals ‘Funky Rasta’ (Cooltempo COOLX 140), and (all on Champion) Raze ‘Let The Music Move U’ (119¼)/’Get Down’ (119½)/’Control Me’ (128¼bpm) (CHAMP 1227), Gary L ‘Time’ (120½bpm) (CHAMP 1228), Libra Libra ‘I Like It’ (120¼bpm) (CHAMP 1226) … DJs, please post your next charts to us no later than Monday, January 5 … Hank Ballard & The Midnighters attracted lots of faces, including Capital’s Peter Young and Charlie Gillett, Radio London’s Robbie Vincent, Radio One’s John Peel, DevonAir’s Dave Treharne, WBLS’s Tim Westwood, the Monster Raving Loony Party’s Screaming Lord Sutch, and – to my delight – the guy who graduated from being a punter to DJ with me at The Scene 21 years ago, Brian Peters … Richard Searling presents his Top 50 personal soul choice of 1986 on Red Rose Radio between 10pm-2am on January 1 … Heatwave are recording here an album and single for February release via PRT … Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk has remixed First Choice ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ with new vocals added by Roshelle Fleming … Brian Mason (Cricklewood Ashtons) thinks he can detect a similarity between more than just the titles of Robbie Nevil ‘C’est La Vie’ and T.S. Monk ‘Bon Bon Vie’, while likewise Bruce ‘Dr Juice’ Nelson (Sheffield Sinatra’s) suggests the Davis/Pinckney Project ‘You Can Dance (If You Want To)’ and Men Without Hats ‘Safety Dance’ … Krystal’s ‘Precious, Precious’, now I’ve checked, is not the old Jackie Moore song, but with so similar a title line the modern song could well have been a rearrangement … Heavy D. & The Boyz (due as a remix) has much the same ‘Triple M Bass’ as Worse ‘Em (now promoed here on Champion, at 97⅚-97⅓-97-96⅔-0bpm, which means I hadn’t spotted the US Profile pressing should really be 0-98⅓-97⅙-0bpm in similarly decelerating stages) … Steady “B” also has a 12 inch (with remixes as well as the already reviewed LP versions) of the modern “talking blues”-style ‘Cheatin’ Girl‘ and scratched bragging rap ‘Bring The Beat Back‘ (US Jive/Pop Art 1023-1-JD) … Ready For The World’s smoochily “probing” 0-64⅗bpm ‘Love You Down‘ topped US Black 45s, Freddie Jackson Black LPs, Dead Or Alive Club Play too in Billboard … Sharon Dee Clarke doesn’t have much acting to do as the night nurse in TV’s ‘The Singing Detective’, she’s usually asleep! … Pez Tellet & Andy Gould are promoting the brand new RJ’s on New Brighton promenade as a “serious dance venue’, to counter the area’s many fun-pubs, and they’d welcome offers of PAs on 051-639 5746 … Boxing Day (26) Rob Day and the Brothers Slide start the weekly Friday Escapism for all vintages of funk at New Cross Cupids (in Goldsmiths Tavern), as a replacement for the defunct Flim-Flam – which will return in February at a new venue … I don’t know why my ‘Hit List/Disco Round-Up’ reviews in the latest issue of JOCKS have been printed so far out of the right running order that most of the lead reviews come last, but it’s even got me confused! … Christmas is almost here — many thanks for all your cards, and KEEP CHILLED!
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS wore marvellous last Thursday at the Hammersmith Palais, turning the clock back to the Fifties and Sixties without making any compromise to more recent musical developments. Hank, with his tidily lean face looking ever youthful, began making hits in 1954 and surely couldn’t have been much more dynamic even then, while the Midnighters vocal group stood out on their own especially singing ‘My Girl’, member Caesar Valentino doing back flips and splits during his solo Jackie Wilson tribute, and guitarist Billy Davis revived all the redundant blues licks you never thought you’d see performed again (as was everything) in such perfectly dated style. Soul, blues, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll combined, with inevitably ‘The Twist’, to make an educational blast from the past and back to the future.
Friday (19) LWR’s Jasper and Jazzy M (seen above) with Rick Davis, Crazy Larry and Grandmaster Richie Rich start a “Syndicate” of DJs funking East Sheen’s the Bull; Sunday (21) London Charing Cross Road’s Astoria is funked from 4pm by Jeff Young, Simon Goffe, Tim Westwood, CJ Carlos, Gordon Mac, Jasper and BB&Q, while Graham Gold joins Joe Field souling Hemel Hempstead’s Heath Park; Monday (22) BB&Q are with Rick Davis at Uxbndge RegaIs; Wednesday (Christmas Eve) Northfleet Red Lion’s late night fancy dress Slammer has Chris Hill, Pete Tong, Eddie Gordon, while there are separate funk and jazz rooms at Hemel Hempstead’s Heath Park with Joe Field, Bob Cosby, Dave Ealand, Doug Osbourne and Big Blow; Christmas Day (25) Glasgow Dunlop Street’s Warehouse has BB&Q and 4AM (from 6pm!); Boxing Day (26) Preston Easy Street’s 4pm limited 600 admission Soul Sauce has Richard Searling, Kev Edwards, Kenni James and Roy Rose, while Camberley Cambridge Nite-Spot’s annual Frenchies beach party is hosted as ever by Chris Brown; Saturday (27) Great Shelford (Cambndge) De Freville Arms is souled by Martin Collins, Graham Gold, Tony Fernandez and Joe Field; Sunday (28) Leeds Tiffany’s alldayer stars unspecified jocks; Tuesday (30) Steve Allen souls Peterborough Millionaire. Those are the ones that arrived in time — it’s not a complete list, I know.
THROWDOWN ‘The Champ’ (HardBack BOSS 3)
Gilles Peterson, Paul Phillips and George Michael’s cousin Andros Giorgio have produced with musicians from Hi-Tension, Kandidate and the Team Ten Horns a note for note 111bpm remake of the reedy organ driven UK-recorded 1968 break beat classic by the Mohawks, currently numero uno on most DJs’ want lists (however, for good news, see Odds ‘n’ Bods!). Based on the chant and structure from Lowell Fulsom’s ‘Tramp’ – better known by Otis Redding & Carla Thomas – it’s still instrumental on the A-side (edit too), while the AA-side adds in Faze One and DJ Streets Ahead for a 0-100⅔bpm ‘Bust The Champ’ rap ‘n’ scratch (edit/beats too) that’s up to US standards of toughness.
HOWARD HEWETT ‘Stay’ (US Elektra 0-66827)
Shep Pettibone and the Latin Rascals have concocted five remixes of the Shalamar star’s hottest album track, a mesmeric jittering Jam & Lewis-ish swaying jogger that ends up excitingly pent up but is most immediately passionate in the 98½bpm Before Midnight Mix and slow burns in the 99bpm After Midnight Mix, with 98¼bpm Dub, 98⅓bpm Instrumental/Bonus Beats too.
NITRO DELUXE ‘The Brutal House’ (US Cutting Records CR-210)
Rapidly building over the past two weeks, this bass and jittery percussion boosted ever shifting 114½bpm instrumental reverts to the Bohannon, BT Express type of Seventies rhythm but with greater modern clarity and some squeaky doodling synth tones nagging through it all. The flip’s 114⅔bpm ‘Let’s Get Brutal’ and its 114bpm Dub are differently textured shorter treatments. Continue reading “December 20, 1986: Throwdown, Howard Hewett, Nitro Deluxe, Master C & J, Prince Phillip Mitchell”