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


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!


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.


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”

October 24, 1987: Eric B & Rakim (Coldcut remix), Audrey Wheeler, Mission USA, Society, Total Contrast


Steve Walsh’s old mate CJ Carlos looks like being the next London DJ to make his vinyl debut as a vocalist – Steve, incidentally, has now beaten Chris Hill’s chart peak of number 10 (reached twice by Chris, with ‘Renta Santa’), the previous biggest vocal hits by a UK disco DJ … Master Mix label owner Lewis Hayes points out it was the agreement between ‘Top Of The Pops’ and Equity (rather than the Musicians Union) which enabled Equity member Steve Walsh to leapfrog ahead of the higher placed Fatback in appearing on the programme, but now, despite the change in their line-up, Fatback too have appeared on the show … M|A|R|R|S’s so effective exotically Eastern-sounding female singing halfway through the remix turns out apparently to be Turkish … London Weekend Television’s Thru To 6 service a couple of Sundays ago, presumably by mistake, played the whole of the original mix of ‘Pump Up The Volume’ at 33⅓rpm instead of 45rpm, and it sounded good! … Criminal Element Orchestra’s drum thrashed ‘Put The Needle To The Record’ is now also in a 116bpm New Vocal Remix (Cooltempo COOLR 150), with a falsetto fellah ramblingly wailing through it, some Michael Jackson muttering, and an “I am the god of hellfire” drop-in from The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, plus a New Dub Version … 1980’s punchily loping Mystic Merlin ‘Mr Magician’, newly added to the B-side of its singer Freddie Jackson’s current 12 inch, is 113⅓-112⅓-111¾–113¼-113(break)-114¼bpm … Sherrick’s pleasantly swaying wriggly (0-)111bpm Extended Dance Remix of ‘Let’s Be Lovers Tonight’ has finally been elevated to A-side status, but oddly on promo only so far, in a denser and brighter 99¼bpm Extra Beat Boys Remix (RCA PT 41498R) … Champion have promoed, months ahead of eventual release, the previously Eurobeat-associated Paul Rein’s slow but bouncily lurching jittery 89⅓-0bpm ‘Stop’, with a trendy A-side mix by Phil Harding … Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam’s US chart-topping delightful evocation of the early Sixties vocal group sound, ‘Lost In Emotion’ is on 12-inch in a richly harmonised 119⅓-0bpm Full Force Remix, with vintage sax by Sidney Philips … Paul Barry’s ‘Complicated’ has been improved by a new livelier, rhythmically ‘Pump Up The Volume’-ish, 109⅓-0bpm Reconstruction Mix (MCA Records COMX 1) … Glen Goldsmith will be in an even harder second remix, too … DJs buying Blue Mercedes should note that the actual hot mixes are still, at the time of writing, only on promo, the Get Busy Yo! Mix and Street Latin Woolf Mix – this latter not to be confused (check the spelling very carefully) with the commercially released Street Latin Wolff Mix, of which the B-side Daktari Mix is indeed OK, and the vocal basis of the edited instrumental Get Busy Yo! Mix (it’s all a dastardly marketing ploy) … UK pressings on Sure Delight of the already reviewed Spoonie Gee ‘The Godfather’ turn out to be somewhat faster, at 106¼-106½bpm … Zuzan ‘Girls Can Jak Too’ has in fact been picked up for release next week by Serious Records, with the same ZANT 1 catalogue number … BBC Radio 1 starts its stereo 104.8FM transmission in the Greater London area on October 31, at 6am … I must say the Sunday broadcast of the brand new Gallup chart, before anyone anywhere knows what’s in it, has made it really exciting … Dave Pearce was doing the afternoon soul show again on Radio London, unfortunately just for the one week, good listening while it lasted … John Sachs is sounding tougher in the mid-morning slot on Capital Radio now, although it’s Kid Jensen in the evening who’s being given good toons to play … London jazz jocks Baz Fe Jazz (currently doing gigs in Korea and Japan for four weeks!) and Gilles Peterson are spearheading the upcoming release through Ace Records of the entire jazz catalogue of such US labels as Fantasy, Prestige, Riverside, Milestone … Charly Records have just issued all 15 of the New Orleans-recorded 1961-2 tracks by General Johnson’s original group, The Showmen, including of course the classic ‘It Will Stand’, on the LP ‘Some Folks Don’t Understand It’ (Charly/R&B CRB 1165) – now those are rare grooves! … Guy Carlton is expanding the mailing list at Secret Promotions, 83 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1 … Simon Dunmore, weekly on Wednesdays at Uxbridge’s The Villa, joins Clinton Cambridge and Les Fisher in taking the Rhythm Zone to Ealing’s Luckys wine bar this Tuesday (October 20), and then the third Tuesday of every month … The Whispers, amazingly in their first ever UK concert visit, are at Manchester’s Apollo Theatre this Wednesday (21), followed by the next three nights (23-25) at London’s Hammersmith Odeon … Danny Smith heads a ‘Home Boy Caister Warm-Up’ this Thursday (22) at Great Yarmouth’s The Brunswick in King Street … Chris Bangs guests next Tuesday (27) with Steve Aspey at Oxford’s Parkers, St Clements … Gullivers needs extra soundproofing at its new Soho site, where it should now be opening on November 14 … Graham Gold points out that the Barbara Mason tracks reviewed last week were on a 1980 album (something else that’s hard to tell from a white label!) … Bob Swift of Wickford’s Phaze 4 Disco Roadshow has practical experience of the recently mentioned Harris SP12 mixer, saying that the built-in BPM counter is “very suspect”, and that further modification was needed to the inputs so that he could use jingles at the same time as crossfading between turntables … US soul group Mission have had to be called Mission USA here, presumably so as not to clash with The Mission … Eon Irving, a mine of info following his New York visit, reveals that the source of certain current hip hop terminology may be traceable to legendary radio DJ Mr Magic, who, on his twice weekly WBLS rap show, greets listeners as “all you fly girls and fly guys” and “troopers and troopettes”, while various areas get called “the Boogie Down Bronx”, “Moneymakin’ Manhattan’, “Moneyearnin’ Mount Vernon” – that last upstate location’s tag being the title of a current Heavy D and the Boyz track … Wax Master Torey ‘Pop Sax’ is at least playlisted on New York radio WNYU, about the only action it’s had anywhere – which is a pity, as it struck me as being rather good … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!

ANIELA has finally met up with ALAN COULTHARD, and compared notes. As previously mentioned, Alan came from Cardiff to study law at the University Of London while mixing in the evenings at Le Beat Route (subsequently he helped found the Disco Mix Club, and is now a barrister), whereas Aniela used to mix at Le Beat Route and has just gone to University College, Cardiff, to study law — and she will also be mixing at the local Ritzy, in one hour guest spots most Fridays, Saturdays and (the upfront night) Mondays! What’s more, her Students Union has such a flourishing soul club that it’s even getting Alexander O’Neal for a gig, so whether Aniela will ever actually do any studying seems doubtful!


ERIC B & RAKIM ‘Paid In Full (Seven Minutes Of Madness – The Coldcut Remix)’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRC 78)
Already massive on white label, Matt Black + the Coldcut Crew’s brilliant (0-)98bpm remix of the burbling rap uses all sorts of terrific overlays before finally getting to Eric B, whose originally hot enough, Dennis Edwards borrowing, conversational 98⅔bpm Album Mix is now the flip, along with the juddery scratching 0-99⅔-0bpm ‘Eric B Is On The Cut’.

AUDREY WHEELER ‘Irresistible’ (Capitol 12CL 471)
Starting with a sneaky reference to Whitney Houston before hitting its own groove, this sinuously wailed soulfully weaving 109bpm jogger has a beefy bassline and backbeat (inst/edit flip), which should now help it build on its initial import success.

MISSION USA ‘Show A Little Love’ (CBS 651222 6)
Nick Martinell-produced extremely strong ‘Casanova’-ish bouncily breezy 95⅙bpm soulful jiggly jogger (edit too, and similarly syncopated 104⅙bpm ‘Sensuous Mood’), hot already on import. Continue reading “October 24, 1987: Eric B & Rakim (Coldcut remix), Audrey Wheeler, Mission USA, Society, Total Contrast”

October 17, 1987: On The One, Living In A Box, Spoonie Gee, Cookie Crew, Stevie Wonder


Two weeks ago I reviewed 1982’s Montana Sextet ‘Heavy Vibes‘ purely as a wind-up, as many must have guessed, although also it seemed inevitable in the current LA Mix-inspired Philly revival atmosphere that it must surely soon be due for re-release — and indeed now it is, prompted in part by that very review, but on 10 Records rather than Virgin! … Stock Aitken Waterman have remixed the all-star Disco Aid single, ‘Give Give Give’, for this year’s November 14 nationwide charity disco night, the charities chosen to benefit being Help The Aged, the Stuart Henry Multiple Sclerosis Appeal, and the organising committee’s own new Discos For The Disabled (full details about participation from the secretary, Theo Loyla, 6 Tomay Cottages, Hawthorne Corner, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 6TH) … Steve Walsh, despite being lower in the chart, appeared last week on Top Of The Pops in place of the originally scheduled Fatback because of a Musicians Union ruling that allows only the original recording line-up to appear —and, unfortunately, lead singer on the four-year-old original version of ‘I Found Lovin’’, Michael Walker, has long since left the group … Tony Blackburn, despite endorsing Odyssey’s hits LP in TV commercials, to his credit on Radio London really slagged off the dreadful M&M remix of ‘Inside Out’, included in the set he’s advertising! … Clare Shave is building a gay disco mailing list at Virgin, 553-579 Harrow Road, London W10 4RH … Simon Brown has taken over as DJ co-ordinator at Juliana’s (01-603 1313), recruiting jocks for the disco installation company’s European and Middle Eastern contracts … Stockport’s Quaffers, in Bredbury, hosts a Disco Exhibition North 87 this Sunday (October 18) noon-6pm, and Monday 11am-5pm (followed by a Shownite), £1.50 admission on the day … UREI 1620 mixers, as used by Jellybean and most of New York’s DJ legends, are available in the UK at £999 (VAT included) from Harman Audio UK Ltd, Mill Street, Slough, Berkshire S12 SDD, sole distributors of JBL loudspeakers as well (anyone interested, contact Sean Martin) … DJs Martin Rawles and Andrew Phillips have changed their name from the Southampton Funkers to the less regionally limiting 2 Damn Bad, and successfully created a live mix on BBC Radio Solent using the station’s unadaptable equipment only after treating an emergency cut-off switch as if it was a “transformer”, much to the angry engineer’s amazement! … Coldcut featuring Floormaster Squeeze ‘Beats + Pieces’ is now out officially in a beefed up 0-104-0bpm Mo’ Bass Remix (Ahead Of Our Time CCUT 1, via Rough Trade) … Derek B ‘Get Down’, as previously warned, is now out here in its 102⅓bpm US Sexist Mix (Music Of Life NOTE 007R), still with risky lyrics … Total Contrast, having flopped with ‘Jody’, return (on white label so far) with the urgently jittering percussive jerky 117⅙bpm ‘Kiss‘, its emphatic title line like ‘Fake’ although the sound is more a cross between Britfunk and, surprisingly, P’funk … Epic don’t appear to have scheduled it for release yet but are promoting on white label a beefed up (0-)119⅓bpm remix of the archetypal “house” cliché-filled — and no less exciting for that — Full House ‘Communicate’ (originally on US DJ International Records) … Brother D ‘Clappers Power’, reviewed on import last week, is already due here via Rough Trade (RTT209), now somehow (0-)107⅔-107½bpm … Heavy D and the Boyz’ LP review omitted the actual lead track (now on unremixed US 12 inch), the JB’s ‘Pass The Peas’-based 0-99⅙bpm ‘The Overweight Lovers In The House‘, while Ragtyme ‘Fix It Man’ should have been 125bpm … The Untouchables is, of course, the Fine Young Cannibals’ second “house”-related hoodwink — incidentally, if you haven’t seen the film ‘Tin Men’, they appear in that as a quite authentic seeming 1963 American bar room group! … Chris Paul makes his TV debut in an episode of the next Lenny Henry series, playing, appropriately enough, a DJ … Earth Wind & Fire are due back imminently with “a contemporary sound”, it says here … Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers are live (and highly recommended) this Friday/Saturday (16/17) at London’s Charing Cross Road Astoria … Kev Hill and Steve Wren revive this Saturday (17) the weekly Sweat Box at Harlow’s newly opened High-Wire (the much revamped old Whispers) … Dartford’s Flicks has also had a more rapid refit, including brand new street frontage, colour scheme, and video screens … KISS-fm’s DJ team funk The Base every Saturday in Camden Lock’s HQ Club (smart dress) … Andy Henderson jazz-funk-souls Mondays at the West Beach Club in sunny Brighton, where Jackie Becker and Simon Kirby funk Tuesdays at The Cornerhouse in the Royal Escape Club … ‘Mr Rare Groove’ Bill Shannon and Chris Britton delve into the rare and modern soul vaults Tuesdays at South Harrow’s Bogarts … Keni Burke, when last heard, was due to be making his first ever UK appearances next week at Kentish Town’s Town And Country Club (Oct 23), Caister Soul Weekend (24), Berwick Soul Weekend (25), and Cambridge Corn Exchange (26) … Lanier & Co are amongst the guest acts confirmed (as well as the full concert by Alexander O’Neal, plus a surprise special star) for LiveWire’s Halloween weekender at Prestatyn, October 30-November 1, which promises to be even better than before (carefully vetted advance booking only, on 01-364 1212) … Warren Fatman Thompson claims his Fridays and Sundays at Johnson’s in Saline, near Dunfermline, are the hippest nights in Scotland — which they probably are, if he plays what’s in his chart … I see that red and white spotted handkerchiefs are catching on, now being worn in pirate fashion on people’s heads … Eon Irving (London Munkberry’s), while in New York, found at Times Square’s Music Factory record store a bootleg break beat album containing all the various records used in Kid ‘N Play’s ‘Last Night’ — so which came first? … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!


ON THE ONE ‘Who’s Really Bad?’ (US Bassment Records BM-0061)
Hard on the heels of Simon Harris’s rap treatment, here’s Craig Bevan’s house-ification of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’, basically instrumental in three mixes, the 116bpm Serious Groove/Electro Groove and its edited Radio Groove being electronically jittery while the bounding 118bpm Serious House Version/Bassment House Version brings out the keyboards more excitingly. Extremely useful and likely to be large!

LIVING IN A BOX ‘The Bootleg Mix’ (Chrysalis LIBB 3)
Turning out to be the A-side now of their lacklustre ‘So The Story Goes’, this terrific house-style 114½bpm jittery piano jangled instrumental chugger isn’t actually a remix of any specific track, being freshly created by Dancin’ Danny D out of his own rhythm with samples from the group. All aboard!

SPOONIE GEE ‘The Godfather’ (Sure Delight Records SDT 3, via EMI/Jet Star)
Marley Marl-mixed roadblocking 103⅔bpm tribute to James Brown by this claimant to the title of “Godfather Of Rap”, the longest lasting import hit of recent months. Continue reading “October 17, 1987: On The One, Living In A Box, Spoonie Gee, Cookie Crew, Stevie Wonder”

October 10, 1987: Simon Harris featuring 3 Boom MC’s, Heavy D & The Boyz, Bananarama, Glen Goldsmith, Cameo


The Untouchables, also known as Two Guys A Drum Machine And A Trumpet, turn out to be none other than the Fine Young Cannibals in now their “house”-related hoodwink! …. Shakatak’s Manic Cuts scratcher is not in fact CJ Mackintosh, who it sounds like, but Shem McCauley – maybe better known as DJ StreetsAhead … Stock Aitken Waterman are taking M|A|R|R|S to court over their use of ‘Roadblock’ in a scratch – had they asked for permission it would have been given, but this test case (probably not heard until next year) is being brought to obtain a ruling about the whole use of samples and scratches, in the hope of clarifying the law … Kool Kat Records and Warriors Dance settled out of court for £500 with Stock Aitken Waterman for misleadingly printing the initials “SAW” on sleeves of the, at that stage uncredited, white label of ‘Jacques Theme’ – they still claim the initials stood for the slogan “Sinful And Wicked”, but the record’s artistes were only later revealed as being Bang The Party … Spoonie Gee’s ‘The Godfather’, the year’s longest enduring import hit, has finally been signed for UK release – not by a major label, but by the Jet Star distributed Sure Delight Records … DMC Records, ostensibly an outlet for commercial productions by the Disco Mix Club’s stable of mixers when set up a year ago, has been disbanded (for the time being) largely because its releases to date were so low in street credibility that the likes of Les Adams opted to take LA Mix to a major label, instead … Nigel Wilton is building a new DJ mailing list at Fourth & Broadway so send him full work details (phone numbers included) at Island Records, 22 St Peters Square, London W6 9NW … Virgin are restructuring their club promotion, Justin Lubbock being replaced as head disco plugger by Clare Shave, who, nevertheless, looks like maintaining her recently announced link with Erskine Thompson at independent promotion company Hot Licks … Serious Records have scooped DM/StreetSounds by snapping up for a ‘Hip Hop 87’ LP such hot hits as Eric B & Rakim, Kid ‘N Play, B-Fats, Spoonie Gee, Roxanne Shanté, Derek B, Salt-n-Pepa and more … Westside Records’ first fruit from their deal with DJ International Records will be a 21-track double album of largely unreleased or little known house tracks, ‘Jackmaster Vol 1’, creatively marketed insofar as once the double LP’s initial pressing runs out the set will become an 11-track single LP with the missing tracks unavailable in any other future form … Maze Records are reissuing from 1984 Harold Faltermeyer’s percussively augmented 0-117bpm London Mix of ‘Axel F’ (MCAT 949) to tie in with the new ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ film … Paul James and Steve Roberts of Birkenhead’s Sir James Club funk a ferry ‘cross the Mersey this Thursday (October 8), aboard the MV Royal Iris … Jeff Thomas has started souling Thursdays at Aberavon Promenade’s Pharoahs in Port Talbot … Jonathon More, Bob Jones, Rob Day and guests have two floors of noise on Fridays at Meltdown in Tooley Street near London Bridge … Saturday (10) Simon Goffe’s guests at London’s Astoria are Longsy D and Cut Master MC, Jay Strongman, Nicky Holloway, CJ Carlos … Sunday (11) Jon Jules, Nic Wakefield and more are funking Southampton Mayfair’s 3-12pm alldayer, while Kev Ashton and more are similarly at Redruth Peventon Hotel’s 3.30-11.30pm event … Tony Norris, still souling Bexleyheath Drayman Fri/Sun, is at Erith Diana’s on Thursdays now, and on the weekend KSR (Kent Soul Radio) … Brian Connolly (Alvaston Beatbox Disco), pulling up his anorak hood, reports that Birmingham’s PCRL 103.55FM can be picked up as far away as Derby … Nick Halkes, back from his New York summer job at WBLS, reports that Chuck Chill appears to have left KISS-fm’s weekend hip hop shows, leaving Red Alert to take over alone … John Sachs is finding it harder to be a housewife’s choice than an after-school kids’ hero, his new boringly bland morning show on Capital Radio being no match for Tony Blackburn’s cheekily presented black pop on Radio London … Tony Blackburn, meanwhile, is becoming demented in his plugs for colleague Steve Walsh’s cover version of ‘I Found Lovin’’, which last week was overtaken quite convincingly by Fatback’s original in the national chart, not that he ever lets one know it! … Steve Walsh incidentally has a namesake, DJing at Liverpool’s Pen and Wig … Rick Astley obviously isn’t best pleased that Magnetic Dance have issued his duet with O’Chi Brown, off her album from last year, on which then the label didn’t give him any credit and for which now reputedly he receives no royalties – can the label expect any further productions from Stock Aitken Waterman following this? … Abigail Mead, co-creator of ‘Full Metal Jacket’’s backing track, is actually the film director Stanley Kubrick’s daughter … Janet Jackson’s next album will be a stop-gap “stocking filler” for Christmas, containing all her hits in remix form … Atlantic are launching Madame X here by sending clubs their video ahead of the single … Bruce Forest’s Street Groove mix, only available so far on import(US A&M SP 12238), of Thrashing Doves ‘Jesus On The Payroll’ is fast becoming the next ‘Chief Inspector’-like underground cult hit in London, a jitterily syncopated 0-96½bpm instrumental with nagging piano by David Cole of ‘Do It Properly’ fame – remember, you read it here first! … Chris Paul’s disappointingly dated ‘Back In My Arms’ will also be out in far better proper house remix, to match its fast tempo … Mixdoctor Les Adams, now better known as LA Mix, last week had people coming from Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire to see him mixing at Norbury’s Sussex Tavern, in South London (he’s there Tues/Thurs/Friday) … Matt Black did a set at the Doo At The Zoo, mixing and scratching up James Brown grooves just as good as on his Coldcut records … Terence Trent D’Arby ‘Dance Little Sister’, as suspected, is terrific mixed out of Wally Jump Jr ‘Tighten Up’ … Archie Bell & The Drells’ original ‘Tighten Up’ had a rhythm which I’ve already mentioned was revolutionary for its time (1968), while other equally innovatory rhythms from that era included the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’ (1969/70), Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Move On Up’ (1971), Isaac Hayes’ ‘Theme From Shaft’ (1971) and the O’Jays’ ‘Back Stabbers’ (1972) – far from an exhaustive list, of course, although ripples were felt from these for ages … Hi-NRG chart deadlines are later than this column’s, so there’s no knowing how the following have fared this week, but in the roadblock of stuff bubbling under last week were Jacqui Berne ‘Don’t Get Serious’ (Hi Hat), Desireless ‘Voyage Voyage’ (CBS), Evans & Fisher ‘You Set My Heart On Fire’ (Canadian Boulevard), Amanté ‘Give It To Me’ (US TSR), New Order, M|A|R|R|S, Pepsi & Shirlie, Chic, Edwin Starr, Sybil, Mandy ‘Positive Reaction’ (PWL) … Theo Loyla’s highest new entry in his latest chart was Michael Jackson – fair enough, but ‘Thriller’? (I kid you not!) … KEEP ON JAMMIN’!


SIMON HARRIS featuring 3 BOOM MC’S ‘Bad On The Mike (The Bad Rap)’ (London LONX 162)
Although the man behind London’s Music Of Life hip hop label, scratch mix producer Harris has signed solo to London, debuting with an obviously timely 113⅓bpm rap (by the 3 Boom MC’s) based on Michael Jackson’s current hit plus some echoing words from his “bad self”, James Brown (in four mixes).

HEAVY D. and the BOYZ ‘Living Large’ LP (US MCA Records MCA-5986)
Possibly the strongest most consistently useable rap set ever, with the JB’s ‘Gimme Some More’/O’Jays ‘For The Love Of Money’-based 98⅙bpm ‘Moneyearnin’ Mount Vernon’, Jackson 5 ‘I Want You Back’/’ABC’-based (0-)97⅔bpm ‘Overweighter‘, 98½bpm ‘I’m Getting Paid‘, 0-92½bpm ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me‘, 0-96bpm ‘Dedicated‘, 0-101- 102½bpm ‘Here We Go‘, 96⅓bpm ‘Chunky But Funky (Remix)‘, 105⅔bpm ‘On The Dance Floor‘, 100⅔bpm ‘Mr Big Stuff (Remix)‘, 0-79⅔bpm ‘Nike‘, 96½bpm ‘Rock The Bass‘, 0-38⅛/77¼-0bpm ‘Don’t You Know‘. Hot stuff indeed, which makes MCA’s decision to repromote ‘Mr Big Stuff’ all the stranger.

BANANARAMA featuring Stock Aitken Waterman ‘Mr Sleaze (Rare Groove Remix)’ (London NANX R14)
The version that’s really worth getting, Bananarama’s vocals having been all but removed from this ‘Roadblock’-like (0-)101½bpm burbling instrumental funk groove with James Brown’s veteran trombonist Fred Wesley brought to the fore. Flip to the also remixed (although still vocal!) cheerfully cantering 117⅓bpm ‘Love In The First Degree (Eurobeat Style)’. Continue reading “October 10, 1987: Simon Harris featuring 3 Boom MC’s, Heavy D & The Boyz, Bananarama, Glen Goldsmith, Cameo”

October 3, 1987: Hotline, Montana Sextet, BB&Q, Terence Trent D’Arby, Hi-NRG round-up


LONGSY D & CUT MASTER M.C. ‘Hip Hop Reggae’ has had “a lickle bit a’ remix” on one side, flipped far more essentially by a terrific 94bpm instrumental scratch mix showdown now credited as the Big One Crew featuring Cut Master MC ‘Reggae Got Soul‘ (Big One W BIGN 5), cutting in ‘Pump Up The Volume’, ‘Am I The Same Girl’, ‘You Know I Got Soul’ and much more … Dancin’ Danny D has “done it properly”, creating a piano jangled and sample spiked house-type instrumental ‘Bootleg Mix‘ of Living In A Box (I presume it’s what began as their ‘The Liam McCoy‘), 114½bpm on acetate, doubtless destined to be creatively marketed soon — it rocks! … Double Dee & Steinski are back together again, with a legal new cut-up due on Fourth & Broadway … Heavy D and the Boyz ‘Mr Big Stuff’ is being relaunched a year later in a remix by Simon Harris (who, despite having his own Music Of Life label, has signed as an artist to London) … Derek B has a harder US Sexist Mix due out, and has cut a Christmas track for Stateside release in a various artists seasonal hip hop album on Profile! … Les Adams’s beefier 0-112⅓bpm Under Attack Mix of Working Week ‘Surrender’ (Virgin VS 998-13) has at last improved the jittery jolter naggingly wailed by Julie Roberts … Freddie McGregor ‘That Girl (Groovy Situation)’ is now also in a more dubwise 88bpm Groucho Smykle remix (Polydor POSPA 884) … Chris Paul’s belated follow-up to his ‘Expansions’ remake will be out in just over a week on Syncopate, the rather frantic 0-120½bpm ‘Back In My Arms‘, like a jittery mixture of dated Britfunk vocal and Paul Hardcastle’s remixes of D Train (so not entirely October 1987?), while also due around then but already hitting on promo are the very slick jerkily 117⅔bpm Masterpiece ‘I Can’t Wait‘ (Serious Records) and pleasantly straightforward William DeVaughn reviving 99⅚bpm Oliver Cheatham ‘Be Thankful For What You’ve Got‘ (Champion) … I have so many reviews already written and piling up to be printed that the week’s really hot import LPs will have to wait until next issue, so check the Black Dance chart for BPMs to such sets as Heavy D and the Boyz (great “rare groove”-based raps), Mission, the Controllers, Angela Winbush … ‘Funky Like A Train’ was also recorded in a rare live version by the Equals on an LP called ‘Live At Marble Arch’ (the location of Phonogram’s studio, where the party atmosphere session took place) … John Cougar Mellencamp may be an unlikely source for an excellent faithful 116-0bpm remake of James Brown’s 1967 funk classic ‘Cold Sweat’, probably useful for rare groovers and hidden as 12 inch flip to his current ‘Paper In Fire’ (Mercury JCMX 8) … Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam ‘Lost In Emotion‘, at its most useful on 0-119⅓-0bpm seven inch (CBS 651036 7), is a Full Force-produced brilliant evocation of New York’s early-Sixties doo wop girlie groups, huge in the US and worth hearing by nostalgists… Chris Brown clarifies that Epee MD ‘It’s My Thing‘ in fact uses as its main backing the Whole Darn Family ‘Seven Minutes Of Funk‘, a 1976 LP and 12 inch track on US Soul International, earlier than Grandmaster Flash … Nicky Holloway points out a similarity of the bass riffs between Michael Jackson ‘Bad’ and Gary L ‘It’s Time To Party‘ (not that long ago on Champion) — so who heard which first? — plus Nicky’s also trying to trace (on 01-439 2628) a Dutch-released track a DJ was playing in Ibiza, Elkin & Nelson ‘Jibaro‘ … Steve Wiggins (Barry) hopes it was an rm reader who stole from his car a briefcase containing all his lists of BPMs, which, being useless to most people (except perhaps readers of this column?), he’d naturally like it returned to the address on the case … I try to cover in our sister DJ monthly Jocks every single dance record that’s currently happening, but unfortunately there were so many to cram into the current October issue that, as chance would have it, most of the actual pop chart hits got left out, and the Hi-NRG reviews didn’t fit at all — however, starting a regular monthly round-up in rm, the missing Hi-NRG column appears here this week (so tell your friends!) … Scottish jocks are helping make a likely pop hit out of the irritatingly catchy Tony Esposito ‘Papa Chico (Dance Mix)‘ (InDisc BLUT 1), a hauntingly atmospheric surging repetitive lethargically jaunty 99⅓bpm Eurobeat jiggler … Fashion’s one time leader De Harris has classily re-recorded the group’s 1982 pop club hit, ‘Love Shadow (Dance It)‘ (Arista RIST 32), a subduedly 107½bpm subtle surger … Walt Disney film classics are the theme at Northfleet Red Lion’s The Slammer this Saturday (Oct 3) with Pete Tong, Gilles Peterson, Chris Bangs, Nicky Holloway, Eddie Gordon, Maggot and more … Stamford’s Scotgate Inn starts a weekly Soul Cellar this Sunday (4) with Steve Allen and Mark Adrian … Les Cokell and Wayne Siddall jock at Manchester’s new gay Rockshots complex, with separate Hi-NRG and house/funk floors … Mike Shaft, three stone lighter, had to spend £600 on new clothes for his regular appearances on BBC 1’s daily morning ‘Open Air’ public access TV show … Tony Blackburn’s own recording of ‘I Found Lovin’’ is taking its time to come out on Creole … Mike Allen’s reference for years to his radio listeners as “troops” surely didn’t influence the new US hip hop slang replacement for “b boys”, now becoming known as “troopers” (which is, in fact, also the brand name of a new shoe)? … DON’T STOP JAMMIN’!

This weekend it’s all change for legal radio’s soul output. In London, Capital Radio launches two new shows hosted (and compiled) by Peter Young, Friday 9pm-midnight (although just this week it starts at 8pm) and Saturday 1-3pm, followed on Saturday evening by Pete Tong 6-8pm, Jakki Bramble’s poppier ‘Dance Party’ 8-10pm and David Rodigan’s reggae 10pm-midnight. Chris Forbes then holds together the next four hours into Sunday morning, under the programme title ‘All Right All Night’, which for the first hour features Tim Westwood’s hip hop (Chris and Tim are seen here, above, discussing the arrangement), with the hour between 1-2am coming live from a different club each week — John Sachs will be broadcasting from the Limelight for the first show — followed by Alex George’s jazz 2-3am, and presumably Chris on his own until 4am. Meanwhile on national BBC Radio 1, Saturday finds Robbie Vincent moving forward a day for his 7.30-10pm show, newly extended, with Andy Peebles filling his old Sunday 9-11pm slot with a new “real soul”, while (not starting until October 9) Jeff Young begins a Friday 7-10pm “dance music” show which will feature pop as well as black music.


HOTLINE ‘Hellhouse’ (Rhythm King LEFT 17T)
Much more like old fashioned “electro” than current house, this Huddersfield duo’s frantically spiky (0-)119½bpm jitterer has husky ‘In The Bottle’-type singing and jazzy brass, with a calmer more COD-like ‘House Of Hell’ flip (a subsequent remix will be flipped by a Heavy Vibes Mix of their earlier ‘Rock This House’).

MONTANA SEXTET ‘Heavy Vibes’ (Virgin VS 560-12)
Dynamite loping and swinging 114bpm vibes and percussion instrumental (114⅓bpm in Paul Simpson’s longer Club Mix), closely modelled on LA Mix ‘Don’t Stop (Philly Jazz)‘ and sure to be huge now as a mixer with it.

BB&Q ‘Riccochet (Club Mix)’ (Cooltempo COOLX 154)
Really snappy Dancin’ Danny D-remixed infectiously loping 117bpm jiggly trotter from their two-year-old (at least) last LP, from which Shep Pettibone’s 108⅔-0bpm ‘Dreamer’ remix and the 0- 101⅙bpm ‘Genie’ are on the flip, too. Continue reading “October 3, 1987: Hotline, Montana Sextet, BB&Q, Terence Trent D’Arby, Hi-NRG round-up”