January 30, 1988: Alexander O’Neal/Cherrelle, Betty Wright, Georgio, Dianne Reeves, The House Sound Of Chicago Vol III – Acid Tracks


MCA Records may have signed Eric B & Rakim but Cooltempo look like stealing their thunder with an outrageous remix by the Troublesome Twosome of ‘I Know You Got Soul’, which (around 104bpm on advance acetate) unbelievably uses huge chunks of the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’ and sneakier snips from such as Dennis Edwards (I hear that Motown have been in touch already!) – this should also eclipse Fourth & Broadway’s rival release of the 91½bpm ‘Move The Crowd’ as, subtle and clever as the remixes by the Democratic 3 featuring DJ Slack and Bristol crew the Wild Bunch may be, the song itself could seem too slow and sedate in comparison to compete (presupposing Cooltempo can actually get theirs out, legally!)… Atlantic are rush releasing Terry Billy ‘Don’t Lock Me Out’ in a fortnight, Serious are releasing Bam-Bam ‘Give It To Me’ in four weeks, CityBeat picked up Vanessa Franklin & Midnight Energy ‘My Mind’… Bomb The Bass ‘Beat Dis’ has been delayed here, presumably to build up (very real) demand, and apparently will be on its original Mister-Ron label distributed by Rhythm King… Adrenalin MOD ‘Bouncy House’ when commercially released will be on Uptown Records, rather than Warrior… Two Men A Drum Machine And A Trumpet ‘I’m Tired Of Being Pushed Around’ is due in a radical Mayhem Rhythm Mix, remixed by Derek May of Detroit’s Transmat label… Jack ‘N’ Chill’s brightly derivative archetypal jack track ‘The Jack That House Built’, already reissued, is now in four mixes (10 Records TENX 174), the spacier 0-125⅓bpm Space Base Mix, trumpet tootled (and sometimes backwards running) 125½bpm Demolition Mix, piano plonked 0-124⅓-0bpm Clubbed and 125⅓bpm Dubbed… Brother Beyond’s guitar plunked cheerfully cantering “Mel & Rick”-ish 119½bpm ‘Can You Keep A Secret? (Extended)’ (Parlophone 12R6174), not the promoed mix, is now flipped by Phil Harding’s far harder less bouncy and more mechanically authentic 119¾bpm House Mix – incidentally, his current “go-go” rhythm programme was possibly first used on his mix of the pop-aimed jaunty slow jiggling 89⅓-0bpm Paul Rein ‘Stop’ (Champion CHAMP 12-56), due out now although originally promoed some months back in the wake of the rhythmically similar ‘Casanova’… Phil Harding also mixed the classily loping soulful 120bpm Oliver Cheatham ‘Go For It’, due on Champion in a fortnight… Full Force are currently producing James Brown… Milton Keynes DJ and label owner Eddie Richards is building a mailing list for Baad! Records c/o 18-21 Middle Street, London EC1, but applicants must first quote the last two words to be found on the “THIS” side of the label’s four-track EP (reviewed last week)… Thames Valley Disc Jockey Association’s annual equipment exhibition, Disco-Ex 1988 (noon-5pm), and 10th anniversary party (8pm-midnight) are this Sunday (31) at Kempton Park Race Course (ticket info on 0734-771450… Northern Soul veteran DJ turned Hi-NRG producer, Kev Roberts has opened the 24-32 track digital Blue Chip Recording Studios in Stafford’s attractively sited Gaol Mews (0785-57097)… Phil Meredith packs Charnock Richard’s Park Hall playing house/funk/rap/rare groove Friday/Saturday nights, and is after PAs on 0257-452090 – near neighbour Rick Astley recently visited the club as a paying customer, when they’d unsuccessfully been trying to book him for months!… Dick Fontaine’s TV film, ‘Bombin’’, about graffiti artists Brim and Goldie with music by David Toop, is on Channel 4 this Thursday (28) at 11.30pm… Paul Jones (ex-Manfred Mann) stood up for and cited Alexander O’Neal as a superb example of a modern singer of songs full of humanity, in the closing shot of a lively edition of ITV’s mid-morning ‘The Time – The Place’ discussion programme, which last Tuesday was all about the pros and cons of the music business over the last 30 years (with various vintages of stars taking part)… KISS-fm jock Gordon Mac is fast becoming a TV celebrity, what with all his appearances as a representative of pirate radio!… Radio Merseywaves cover a far wider area by broadcasting on Medium Wave than any London station, and are currently turning Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway’s ‘Back Together Again’ into a big local revival – but their claim to have made Sinitta’s ‘So Macho’ into a national chart hit may reduce their credibility in some quarters!… Robbie Dee, between jocking at Southend-on-Sea’s Rain from Tuesday to Saturday and Walthamstow’s Charlie Chan’s Sundays, has also been managing to present the weeknight 2-5am show on Essex Radio!… Mike Hollis starts a Saturday 7-10pm soul show on Radio Luxembourg from February 6… Jeff Young left a hole that still no other programme has filled when he left BBC Radio London, his old Saturday morning show being the only one that in playing all the week’s hot new black tracks became a shopping list (at an ideal time for weekend shoppers), thus making it essential listening – unlike the irritating trend among other, newer, soul shows elsewhere to plug stuff that nobody can buy yet even if they want to… Nicky Holloway’s first Special Branch “doo” of the year is next Saturday, February 6, at Kew’s Watermans Arts Centre with guests Pete Tong, Gilles Peterson and Chris Bangs, £6 tickets in advance only (and, advisable, free membership if you send two passport-sized photos) from Starship Enterprises, Premier House, 77 Oxford Street, London W1R 1RB – they have another 3 Day Doo at Rockley Sands on March 18/19/20 for £46, and the third annual soul holiday in Ibiza during May (details on 01-439 2628)… Alex Lowes and Up North Promotions are following the success of their Berwick weekender with a Blackpool Soul Weekend on April 22/23/24 for £40, with such live acts as Randy Brown and the California Executives (details on 091-3890317)… I went from the Bristol mixing heat to look at the sea in Clevedon, where amazingly (this was on January 19!) there were flowers in bloom, and dandelions and daisies… Baz Fe Jazz and Russ Dewbury present the second Soho Goes To Brighton Weekender this Thursday-Saturday (28/29/30) at Brighton’s Concorde in Madeira Drive, with jazz dancers IDJ, the live Tommy Chase Band and more… Rhythm Zone at Northolt’s C&L Country Club is now fortnightly, this Friday (29) Simon Dunmore’s guests being Gilles Peterson and Chris Bangs… Paul Lewis’s retirement party will have many DJ guests at Swindon Brunel Room’s Ampitheatre, which over the last six years he’s kept solidly upfront and funky this Saturday (30) he hands over permanently to his understudy Glyn Prince and gives up jocking for good (sorry I can’t get there, Paul, it’s my mother’s birthday)… Simon Goffe’s short lived Fever night also ends this Saturday (30) at London’s Astoria, with Jeff Young guesting and a full blown American football Superbowl party complete with cheerleaders… Pete Tong, Nicky Holloway, Eddie Gordon, Gilles Peterson and Chris Bangs trendily “do it with flares” (trousers, that is) at The Slammer in Northfleet’s Red Lion this Saturday (30), when Heavy D & The Boyz hit the Sweat Box in Harlow’s HighWire, while Bob Masters, Tony Fernandez, Danny Smith and Steve Jason soul Gt Yarmouth’s Scruples (at last, some other DJs with gigs!)… Tony Griffin has moved from Bristol’s Parkside Club to Birmingham’s solidly funky Bobby Brown’s… Geoff Carr, Bill Swift and Barney play only Black Dance at Birtley’s brand new Libertys near Chester-Le-Street… DJ Appy last week was frantically cutting, not frantically laid out (although the latter was a lot funnier!)… Glady Knight And The Pips’ ‘All Our Love’ LP also has the trickily starting but uplifting jiggly 110½bpm ‘Complete Recovery’, smoothly undulating 100½bpm ‘Love Is Fire (Love Is Ice)’, calmly lurching 0-88bpm ‘Thief In Paradise’, and lots of pleasant slowies, to complete the review… Roxanne Shanté’s upcoming new Marley Marl-produced material uses a break from the James Brown-produced Lyn Collins’ ‘Think’ – now, there’s a novelty!… PUMP THAT BASS!

The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships heats are almost over, and as usual the number of entrants at the later heats has risen as DJs finally decide to have a go. In Bristol last week at the Papillon (a multi-levelled stripped pine club with catwalks and balconies), and in Leeds at Mr Craigs (similarly multi-levelled in black and chrome with gantries), well over 20 preliminary entrants had to be weeded down in afternoon contests at each to end up with eight competitors for the evening’s heats.

The overall standard in Bristol was certainly higher than at the two London heats, but nobody actually stood out from their fellows until luckily the last man proved himself instantly to be the one clear winner, def Dodger X from Reading’s Caribbean Club. The semi-finals qualifying runner-up was house-mixing Darren Ellis from Birmingham, a hobbyist “bedroom mixer” (one of several to do well this year in an increasing trend) who shared the same record feeder as third-place fellow Brummie, Mike ‘T’ from the Pagoda Park (who will be entering again this Thursday, 28, at Portrush Traks in Northern Ireland, the last heat).

In Leeds the standard was by far the highest to be encountered anywhere so far, and it was a really tough fight, only one mark separating the eventual winner and runner-up. Again it was the last man on who had the winning advantage, Hutchy from Leeds’ The News, who actually won the same North Midlands heat last year and in the UK finals did a routine in white tie and tails. This time he came on like a city slicker with bowler hat and furled umbrella, using the latter to scratch his first record … which stuck to the Blue Tac on the umbrella and lifted off the turntable! This could even have been intentionally satirical, because Hutchy is such an entertainer that not only did he then mix and scratch up a storm, he (as pictured) ended by doing a brilliant transformer scratch using a baby bicycle, moving the wheel on the record with his hand on the pedal! His close runner-up was the fast ‘n’ funky Mike Clarke from Birkenhead’s Atmosphere, excellent except he didn’t always hold beats together.

Third was the loud and untidy (but he didn’t use headphones) Angus Kemp from Maidenhead’s Studio Valbonne, while I personally rated Brian Hope, the Kilmarnock “bedroom mixer” who’d come third in Scotland and this time used much brighter records to prove that he could have a real future as an actual remixer of records (even if the acappella of Colonel Abrams ‘Trapped’ did clash keys with Rick Astley!). Remember, the new regional semi-finals are going to see all the first and second placed winners competing again to see which two will be going forward from each into the six places at the UK final, so they should be really fierce! The semi-finals are next Tuesday (Feb 2) at Warrington’s Mr Smith’s, Thursday (4) at Birmingham’s The Dome, and the following Wednesday (10) at Ealing’s Broadway Boulevard. Be there!


ALEXANDER O’NEAL featuring CHERRELLE ‘Never Knew Love Like This (Extended Version)’ (Tabu 651382 6)
Remixed new version of the gently rolling (0-)102½-0bpm attractive singalong jogger, their new ‘Saturday Love’ although maybe not quite so catchy, impatiently awaited off Alexander’s album as its most obvious single (Instrumental flip, and jerkily wriggling giggly Reprise too).

BETTY WRIGHT ‘Miami Groove’ (LP ‘Mother Wit’ US Ms. B MB-3301)
Excellent samba flavoured 108¼bpm slinky jiggler with a lovely atmosphere and strong sophisticated lyrics that tell a story, a likely hit if ever a single and already selling this nicely diverse soul set (to which I will return when I have more time!).

GEORGIO ‘Lover’s Lane (New After Hours Vocal Mix)’ (Motown ZT 41612)
Locomotively chugging ‘Jingo’-ish 0-117½-0bpm house-type rhythms power this superior remix of the Prince styled singer’s otherwise US-aimed funk track, with a vocoder stuttered smacking funk 118-0bpm Club Mix, piano plonked dubwise 0-118-0bpm After Hours Mix, and even more stuttery funk 0-118¼-0bpm Georgio’s Love Dance Mix. Continue reading “January 30, 1988: Alexander O’Neal/Cherrelle, Betty Wright, Georgio, Dianne Reeves, The House Sound Of Chicago Vol III – Acid Tracks”

January 23, 1988: Nitro Deluxe, Taylor Dayne, Risse, The Temptations, James Brown


The original The Beat Is The Law mix of Krush is proving to be more of a floor-filler than their exciting but possibly over-busy Burn Down The House remix… Chad Jackson hopes to be recording his solo vocal debut within the next few weeks, possibly in New York… Barbie Dunne is totally overhauling the DJ mailing list at Dance Music/Street Sounds/Westside Records on 01-840 4800… Gary Gordon’s club promotion company is called now just Music Enterprises, expanding its mailing list at PO Box 1216, London W4 3XA… Linda Rogers wants it clarified that she has in fact replaced Johnny Walker as disco plugger for Club and Phonogram product, on 01-491 4600, Johnny now being at London on 01-846 8515… Jeff Young has left a legacy at his old company home in the shape of his James Bond movie dialogue-filled (0-)119bpm My Name Is Young, Jeffrey B Young – Licensed To ‘Ill Mix of last year’s Was (Not Was) ‘Spy In The House Of Love’, already promoed and due for commercial relaunch next week, coupled with DJ StreetsAhead’s far fiercer virtually unrecognisable chunkily dubwise 117¾bpm Give The Drummer Some mix, these being coupled together (Fontana WASX 22) or also with the old 0-117¾-0bpm Jeffrey B Young & Dangerous Mix (WASX 2)… Jeff Young, in his role as Radio 1 DJ, will be seen on TV during the BPI Awards show giving a potted 90 second history of the development of dance music… Dancing Danny D seems to be staying at Cooltempo, despite many offers from other companies – he and Norman Cook of The Housemartins, calling themselves The Troublesome Twosome, have remixed Eric B & Rakim ‘I Know You Got Soul’… Les Adams is remixing Wally Jump Jr & The Criminal Element ‘Private Party’, even though a US remix has already been on import… Sherrick ‘Let’s Be Lovers Tonight’ has been turned into a largely remade much beefier loping 111bpm Solid Mix, only on mailing list promo (for real!), by Chris Paul – whose next remix for WEA will be of the Detroit Spinners’ ‘Working My Way Back To You’… Eddie Levert will be the father figure, literally, at the Hammersmith Odeon on February 4/5/6, when the O’Jays and Levert appear together… Luther Vandross’s brand new ballad, ‘There’s Only You’, is available so far only on the otherwise fairly rocky ‘Made In Heaven’ soundtrack import LP on US Elektra… Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre is managing to sell the 120 track ‘The History Of The House Sound Of Chicago’ boxed set at only £30, actually below the dealer price… Champion snapped up Royal House ‘Party People’ for the UK… Coldcut’s (0-)117½-0bpm ‘Doctorin’ The House’ (Ahead Of Our Time CCUT 2P) in its remix has a cleaner less resonantly bassy though considerably beefed up rhythm drive and wailing sometimes wordless female vocals by Yazz, plus a similarly cleaner Speng mix of the original version… 2 Bad 2 Mention’s 0-117½bpm Double Trouble mix of ‘Do It’ (Intouch TWELVE 005 R), remixed by Simon Goffe with Double Trouble, is stripped down to a loping 0-117½bpm bare rhythm groove without most of the amusing gimmicks, while other remixes include the more percussive 117½bpm Rick Astley ‘My Arms Keep Missing You (Bruno’s Mix)’ (RCA PT 41684 R), denser 0-104-0bpm John Paul Barrett ‘Never Givin’ Up On You’ (Westside Records WSRX 2), and much chunkier bassline-lurched Jellybean ‘Jingo (House Mix 2)’ (Chrysalis JELR 2-2, as flip to the previously mentioned 120½bpm Space Bass Mix album version)… Mantronix ‘Sing A Song’ is already out here (10 Records TENX 206)… Paul Savory, until recently Ian Levine’s lieutenant at Nightmare, has split away to form Quazar Records… Clapham’s Hip Hop Alliance (01-737 3237) has started the Tuff Groove label for homegrown rappers and DJs who feel their material is tuff enuff, and the Young Gifted And Broke Music Foundation to provide technological equipment for young musicians… Tim Westwood – so cool he sleeps on a tubular steel framework five feet off the floor, surrounded by graffiti! – now presents hip hop on Friday nights between midnight-1am, as well as his Saturday slot, on Capital Radio… BBC Radio Manchester’s ‘Best Of ’87 Mix’ this time was created by Duncan Smith, building flawlessly but very slowly through a subjective but doubtless local selection of “modern soul”, from sophisticated smoochers and joggers to end eventually at ‘The Real Thing’, with only a little hip hop and no house… Mike Askew (Wirral) reports that the New Year’s Eve party on Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio followed Les Adams’ and my pre-announced Capital Radio running order, but played one at a time without actually mixing, and with commercial breaks!… North-West London listeners to Capital and Radio London are suddenly being plagued by interference from presumably some amateur new local pirate radio station… Essex is getting a professionally presented weekend pirate soul station, Stomp FM on 105.4fm in full digital stereo… Rusty Egan has returned as a club host with the Tuesday Chic night at Hammersmith’s Le Palais, featuring Colin Faver, Tim Westwood and himself as DJs, the cavernous dancehall’s balconies being closed off to concentrate the crowd more on the floor from now on (he’s hoping for Joyce Sims to look in this week)… Tony Jenkins has one of his legendary Up West nights at London’s Hippodrome this Wednesday (Jan 20), with guest jocks and star PAs, £5 admission… Simon Dunmore, Bob Jones, Gilles Peterson and Chris Bangs present ‘A New Kind Of Soul’ (and jazz!) at London St James’s Biggles winebar in Masons Yard this Saturday (23), when Spoonie Gee is at Harlow’s HighWire (where Kev Hill’s Saturday Sweat Box night now has no dress restrictions whatsoever)… Desa, Kenni James, Pez Tellett and Rob ‘Yo Man’ Manley hold the year’s first Defhouse gig at Birkenhead’s Atmosphere on Monday (25)… Severn Sound’s ‘Happy Hippo’, Jerry Hipkiss souls Fri/Saturdays at Chetenham’s Gas (in the lower level)… Carl Cox, runner-up mixer at Norbury, cuts up club classics every Sunday in Streatham Zigis… Steve Walsh, sitting next to me as a mixing judge in Uxbridge, suddenly got so excited that he slammed his first down on the table and showered me with a broken glass – but he didn’t seem to notice!… PUMP THAT BASS!

The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships heats continue, last week in London and Southampton. As usual, for some inexplicable reason, the overall standard of the London entrants was lower than anywhere else visited so far this year, and once again the judges were subjected to repeated use of “this is a journey into sound”. Pump that bass, y’know what I’m sayin’?! The heat winner at Norbury’s Sussex Tavern (a music pub rather than a club, so sweatily intimate on the night), Les Adams’ resident venue, was very convincingly the fast cutting DJ Pogo from Jus Badd (see separate photo and review), with messily enthusiastic Carl Cox a semi-final qualifying second and the slick but soul-less Chad Jackson-copying Doctor K third. More about him later. Deserving a place too was Perry Daniels, whose excellent mixing was obscured by the striptease antics of his phallus-brandishing sexy female “helper”, who looked great but didn’t help him at all, in the end. Incidentally, in the afternoon’s preliminaries, Lee Alex ander had scratched using a live python draped around his neck, grabbing its head by mistake instead of the tail! The following night at Uxbridge’s Regals, a converted cinema with appalling sound everywhere except on the dancefloor (which isn’t where the mixing was!), the standard was so low that the previous night’s third placed Chad Jackson clone, Doctor K came first. More deserving I thought was Mark Ryder (see his photo caption elsewhere), who qualified for a semi-final, while frantically laid out DJ Appy was third. Southampton’s heat last Wednesday was the compactly laid out rectangle-emphasising New York New York, where the winner (pictured above) was Warren Aylward, who exhibited Mark Ryder-type confidence in leaving two records running in synch while he helped himself to a drink from the judges’ table. The deserving semi-final qualifying runner-up was slick Terry Crofts from Cardiff Ritzy’s, with Surrey mobile jock Mike Blackadder third. One important point needs to be made — when will audiences learn that it isn’t the tunes the contestants play, it’s the way they mix ’em that matters? Too often there are cheers just because ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ comes screeching through, no matter how badly (or well) it’s been mixed.

DJ Pogo, seen here winning the Norbury heat of the Technics Mixing Championships, supplies the radical beat-bouncing scratches behind MC Mellow on JUS BADD ‘Proud‘ (Tuff Groove TUFF 001, via 01-737 3237), a dry 97¾bpm message rap flipped by the more Cookie Crew-ish 0-94⅓-0bpm ‘Free Style‘, featuring Sparky and Monie Love as well as Mellow over a murkier backing. Of those seen so far, Pogo and Manchester’s Owen D are tipped as the scratchers to watch in the Mixing Championship finals.

MARK RYDER from Essex came a deserving second at the Uxbridge heat of the Technics Mixing Championships, thanks largely to the supreme confidence he showed in cutting from deck to deck after synching up two different records, just flicking a switch (without checking on headphones that the synch was still running) to drop in phrases, the position of which he obviously knew by heart. The fact that one of the phrases was “We’re all going on a summer holiday” from ‘Holiday Rap’ mattered not at all!

MAURICE BIRD, known as ‘The Wildcat’ when scratching the Fraud Squad’s ‘Overweight Beats’ (the Heavy D & The Boyz scam detailed last week), turns out to be MCA Records’ post boy! Plus, together with Magnet Records employee Darren Mohammud and college boy Ritchie Fermié, he’s behind one of the hottest homegrown house tracks, ADRENALIN M.O.D. ‘Bouncy House (Bouncy Mix)’ (Warrior Records WR12 002), a madly jaunty jiggly (0-)119⅓bpm bounder with washing machine noises, spurting breaks, “turn it up” chants, slippery scratches and mucho fun, tucked away as flip to JACK FACTORY ‘Jackin’ James (Club Mix)’, a JB (and others) sampling good beefy 0-119¾-0bpm chugger with naggingly familiar piano (instrumental too).


NITRO DELUXE ‘Let’s Get Brutal (Mega Mix)’ (Cooltempo COOLD 142)
Promoed some time ago but never actually released then, this bass burbled jerkily rolling 116¾-116⅔-116½-116⅓-116⅔bpm much altered remix has added muttering and effects but not much of that ultra-catchy piercing “wheee-ee” hookline (the ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ of house?), flipped by the original 114⅔-115-114¾-115bpm US Mix of this alternately titled variation on ‘The Brutal House’ — which, as every club-goer (if maybe not radio listener, yet) must surely realise, was last year’s biggest actual house hit, bar none. Now maybe at last it’ll follow all the other lesser hits on the reissue trail up the charts.

TAYLOR DAYNE ‘Tell It To My Heart’ (Arista 609 616)
Hunter Hayes’ vocal partner on such as ‘This Time’, Taylor is yet another white girl scoring a huge US pop smash with a datedly electro-backed Shannon-style sound, this extremely catchy if shrill 118⅔bpm surging jiggler being very much a pop song but with a far harder vocal Dub Mix that’s getting more DJ attention here. She, and the similar likes of Exposé and other electro backed US girls have quite an Asian following, incidentally.

RISSE featuring Charisse Cobb ‘House Train’ (Jack Trax 12JTRAX 7)
Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley created pumping (but not really chugging!) jittery simple nagging house canterer in a (0-)119½bpm New York Mix, 119¾bpm LA Radio Mix, 118¾bpm London Mix, and (0-)119⅓-0bpm Chicago Mix, likely to do well. Continue reading “January 23, 1988: Nitro Deluxe, Taylor Dayne, Risse, The Temptations, James Brown”

January 16, 1988: Beatmasters/Cookie Crew, Fraud Squad, Barry White, Royal House, Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships


James Brown, ready for the payback after being bootlegged so much, has given permission for Matt Black + Jonathan More of the Coldcut Crew to remix a variety of his oldies for Polydor!… Coldcut has also just done a simpler and less busy remix of ‘Doctor In The House’, with a vocal version featuring Yaz as flip… Adrian Sykes has given up independent club promotion to head MCA Records’ new black music operation, signing up Eric B & Rakim in the process… Cooltempo for some reason (like radio suitability?) have placed more A-side emphasis on Sweet Tee’s US B-side, ‘It’s Like That Y’All’, which so far has only had token dancefloor support here in comparison with the monstrous ‘I Got Da Feelin’’ AA-side… Public Enemy’s US-only Noise Version of ‘Bring The Noise’ has added squeaky screech noises which are completely missing from the UK-issued No Noise Version… Charlie Singleton’s review last week got split into two parts, ‘Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained’ indeed being the 117½bpm sharply jittering funk snapper by a sometime member of Cameo… Pete Tong clarifies that he isn’t allowed to play London-released records on his Capital Radio show without getting prior clearance, and only plays material destined for the label (if indeed he does eventually get the rights) while it’s still on import… Greg Edwards really let off steam about the UK radio business when he guested with John Leech last Wednesday on Essex Radio, attacking Britain’s daytime programming policies – and declaring himself to be once again open to job offers!.. I hear independently from my German contacts that Chris Hill has become really big news on Radio Hamburg, with one of the top rated shows on this, the second largest private radio station in the country (strange that he never got a gig on air over here)… Brian Carter’s previously mentioned massive 120 track, 12 LP boxed set ‘The History Of The House Sound Of Chicago’ is now finally out at about £42 (German BCM Records BC 70-2060-49, distributed here by Greyhound), possibly most fascinating for the included early examples and influences but also containing an exhaustive selection of big hits – and “rare misses”… ‘Rok Da House’ is claimed to be possibly Britain’s first house track, originally recorded at the Beatmasters’ Soho studio in August 1986, the Cookie Crew being invited to guest on it when it was only available on highly prized (and priced!) acetate before eventually DJ Mark Moore brought it to Rhythm King’s attention…. LA Mix’s next direction could be towards Santana… January’s Disco Mix Club mixes include ‘L Of A Mix’, an edited version of Les Adams’ and my opening sequence from the Capital Radio New Year’s Eve show (of which tapes are most definitely NOT available, sorry!)… Prelude’s man about London, Paul Oakenfold, went to China for Christmas on the spur of the moment… I’m not sure, but wasn’t that Leicestershire DJ Tony Allen competing (unsuccessfully, but with lots of lip!) on the Christmas edition of TV’s ‘Blankety Blank’?… Imagination member Ashley Ingram wrote Miki Howard’s US soul smash, ‘Baby Be Mine’… Derek B’s ‘Get Down’ is due to be answered in anti-sexist style by Sarah Jane… Heavy D & The Boyz hit London’s Astoria Saturday (Jan 16) and Stockton’s The Mall Wednesday (20)… Lien Kerry hosts The Friday Club with reggae, funk and house at Leeds’ Warehouse… Newbury’s new Themes nightspot has Street-Tough Sundays with Sheikh Jnr spinning soul/house/rap/jazz/funk… Disco Gary and Paul French run an Under-18s disco every Tuesday at Gillingham’s The Avenue, no chewing gum allowed!… Steve Aspey has started a Wednesday jazz night at Oxford’s Knights, in Cowley’s Temple Club, free before 11pm… Chris Britton has added funky Fridays at Haringey’s new Arena to his busy workload, but is still after one more (Tues/Wednesday) London area residency on 0442-41700… Barkingside’s Crew disco beside the lake at Fairlop Waters features Robbie Collins Wed/Fri and Terry James Thurs/Sat who’re looking forward to windsurfing, waterskiing and sailing on what may be by now frozen solid. They joke their favourite rare groove is ‘Summer Nights’, the John Travolta & Olivia Newton John one!… Mark Judges (Guildford) points out that Rick Astley ‘My Arms Keep Missing You’ syncopates perfectly over the end of Human League ‘Don’t You Want Me’… America’s pop market, to judge from the arrangements of many of the current US hits by squawking females, seems only just to have caught up with the four years old Shannon-type sound… I don’t notice import prices coming down, despite the weakened dollar… YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN’?

Steve Walsh (no, this isn’t him!) has a lookalike, Donald ‘Shuggy Bear’ Hughes, one of the resident DJs at Edinburgh’s Zenatec. Not only large and ginger-haired, Shuggy’s an excellent mixer too, one of his current showpieces being a continuously running synch between Mad Jocks featuring Jockmaster BA ‘Jock Mix 1’ and a Scottish reel called ‘Trio’ from Andrew Rankine And His Band’s ‘Scottish Dance Party’ LP (Emerald/Gem). A pity he hasn’t entered the Technics Mixing Championships himself.

The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships got off to a wet start. Just as the first heat of the series was about to begin at Edinburgh’s Zenatec, a pipe burst in the water cooling system of a laser, directly above the decks! Once things got going, the Scottish contestants proved to be much more consistently good than last year, although for now the third year running the winner was Glasgow’s ebullient George Little, with a combination of skill and showmanship. Perhaps technically even better as scratchers although less dynamic in their hip hop programming were the runners-up, Stirling’s Adrian Rennie (who didn’t use headphones) and Kilmarnock’s Brian Hope, both of whom qualified to enter other area’s heats if they wish. Well equipped though quite small, Zenatec shares Edinburgh’s old meat market with the associated far larger Fat Sam’s US-Style pizza/pasta/burger/steak eaterie, a successful concept that could well be moving south soon. Stockton-on-Tees’ massive The Mall, recently opened in an old cinema and a rival (though not its boring light show) to such as the Hippodrome and Flicks, housed the next night’s North Eastern heats, where many familiar faces competed, and in fact last year’s Bournemouth winner came first, fast-cutting Brummie Des Mitchell, who once again had flown in from his Tenerife Bobby’s residency. Qualifying for an area semi-final was London’s DJ Haze, while allowed to enter another heat if he wishes was Slough’s messier than usual Avtar Singh. On both these opening nights, the mixers’ over-used cliches were, inevitably, “pump up the volume” and “this is a journey into sound” — the judges may soon start awarding these negative marks, be warned! However, at the North Western heats in Manchester’s Hacienda, the over-worked riff was ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ in a heavily hip hop, rather than house, environment, where the winning home boy was the hotly tipped Owen D. As at most other heats under the competition’s new rules, the runner-up Chris Harris qualified for an area semi-final too, and Jeff Daniels was invited to enter another heat if he wishes, the aim being to ensure that the very best mixers have a good chance to get through to the national finals. In the past, the contestants at some heats have been far more uniformly strong than at others, but only one winner could get through — meaning that some finalists were in fact less skilled than DJs who hadn’t won in other more hotly contested heats. This now should make the final result really crucial!

DJ Haze, from London’s Flim Flams in New Cross, qualified for the semi-finals by coming second in the Stockton-on-Tees heat of the Technics Mixing Championships – and if his “record-feeder” in the centre looks familiar, that’s because it’s current UK champ (and M|A|R|R|S member) CJ Mackintosh’s older brother, Laurence! CJ, incidentally, says he’s “too busy” with recording commitments to defend his UK title, while current World champ Chad Jackson has bowed out of the contest this year, too.

DJ Tim Garbutt from Harrogate wasn’t among the winning mixers at Stockton, but he did very creditably considering it was his first live gig ever. He’s a “bedroom mixer”, a hobbyist attracted to the art of mixing by seeing people doing it on television, and by reading about it in rm. Considering even the pros’ hands can shake when doing an exhibition mix in front of a large crowd, he had real guts.

Virgin Records’ popular club plugger Clare Shave has disappointing news for all her admirers, she’s just got engaged. But who’s her fiancé? You’ll have heard of him, but you’ll have to wait a while and find out in hindsight!


THE BEATMASTERS featuring THE COOKIE CREW ‘Rok Da House (Demolition Mix)’ (Rhythm King LEFT S11T)
The girls’ reissued jack track hit is now really fresh and much fiercer in this more London-orientated flying 125-0bpm remix, with scratching by Dazzle Fresh and an updated rhythm track, plus a terrific janglingly exciting Al’ Nite Al’ Rite Instrumental flip. Everybody, get on up and dance!

THE FRAUD SQUAD ‘Overweight Beats’ (In Effect Records ELI-1)
Although this single-sided jiggly 0-104-106⅔-104bpm scratch-up by Maurice ‘The Wildcat’ Bird of Heavy D & The Boyz’ beats (plus some ‘Bring The Noise’) is made to look like an import bootleg, its obviously English inner sleeve and matrix number soon established it to be a scam masterminded by MCA’s UK product manager, Eli Hourd. Don’t be fooled!

BARRY WHITE ‘For Your Love (I’ll Do Most Anything)’ (Breakout USAT 618)
One of those chocolate voiced muttering “lurve” raps in his classic romantic 94⅔bpm old style, much easier for soul jocks to use than his ‘Sho You Right‘, flipped even more dreamily by the 0-49⅓bpm ‘Love Is In Your Eyes‘ and his jerky 0-86bpm treatment of ‘As Time Goes By’ (you must remember this!) Continue reading “January 16, 1988: Beatmasters/Cookie Crew, Fraud Squad, Barry White, Royal House, Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships”

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


The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships regional heats kicked off on Monday at Edinburgh’s Zonatec and Tuesday at Stockton’s The Mall, other dates to come being this Wednesday (Jan 6) at Manchester’s Hacienda, then Mon (11) Norbury’s The Sussex, Tues (12) Uxbridge Regals, Wed (13) Southampton New York New York, Mon (18) Bristol Papillon, Wed (20) Leeds Mr Craigs, Tues (26) Nottingham Ritzy, Thur (28) Portrush Traks. I’ll be joining the judges at all but the deadline clashing Wed/Thursday dates, the regional semi-finals – which’ll include a rap competition – being in February, Tuesday (2) at Warrington Mr Smith’s, Thur (4) Birmingham The Dome, Wed (10) Ealing Broadway Boulevard, with the UK finals Tues (16) at London’s Hippodrome… I may look large and unlikely, but do come up and say hello!… Radio 1’s Friday night dance music DJ Jeff Young has indeed moved his day job from Phonogram to A&M, while Johnny Walker has shifted within the Phonogram group of labels, now doing club promotion for London and Urban, with further A&R responsibilities for ffrr (the new dance logo)… Dancin’ Danny D meanwhile also could be moving west, if he makes his mind up… Horizon Radio has gone legit broadcasting from Marbella to the Spanish coastline on 96.2FM, starting in March – programme controller Chris Stewart is looking for seriously committed DJs’ demo tapes at 1-2 Bromley Place, London W1P 5HB… Wizzards Of Rock ‘Good Thang/Stone To The Bone’ is already out here on Champion (CHAMP 12-60), Rhythm King having picked up Bomb The Bass ‘Beat Dis’ for Jan 18 release in a similar manoeuvre, merely slapping white labels on the original US pressings… ffrr’s upcoming ‘Acid Tracks’ compilation LP has been promoted in advance by white label singles with Frankie Knuckles’ terrific strangulatedly gospel-ish soulful semi-instrumental 120⅓bpm ‘Only The Strong Survive’ (the Jerry Butler/Billy Paul oldie) flipped by Romance’s moaning 120½bpm ‘All Dis Music’ (LPSMP 1), and Jamie Principle’s previously mentioned slow remake of ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ (FFRDJ 1), now a loping mutterer that sounds almost too slow, in 118-0bpm Club Mix, 118-118¾bpm House Of Trix, 118¾-118-118⅔-0bpm X-Rated, and 0-118-118⅓-0bpm Dub remixes by Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley… Urban’s four-tracker by James Brown, due commercially Jan 18, has the previously unavailable 0-114-115¼-114½-117½bpm ‘She’s The One’, and much scratched 102⅔-104½-102⅔-105-103⅔-103⅓bpm ‘Funky President’, 0-95⅔-96-95⅓-95-96⅔-98-98⅔ (“hit it”)-100⅔ (“ain’t it funky”)-101⅓-99-100⅔-101⅔bpm ‘Funky Drummer’, loop edited 98⅔-0bpm ‘Funky Drummer (Bonus Beats)’ – yup, I just love bpm-ing rare grooves!… Derby’s Submission label owning def dude, Graeme Park, has promoed a superior house double-sider by Groove, with two 116½bpm mixes of ‘Dancing And Music’ plus 119¾bpm Electro Jack and 119⅔ Jazzy mixes of ‘Submit (To The Beat)’, out late January… T-Coy ‘I Like To Listen’ is in a calmer 118-0bpm MP Remix and gently percussive 117¼bpm Nude House Mix on white label (deConstruction NSMR 6242), Pet Shop Boys ‘Always On My Mind’ is in a poundingly unsubtle Hi-NRG 124⅔bpm Remix helped by Phil Harding (Parlophone 12RX 6171), while the Beatmasters & Cookie Crew ‘Rok Da House’ has been reissued to meet northern demand in its hurriedly chanted (0-)123½-0bpm original mix (Rhythm King LEFT R11T), flipped by Ivan Ivan’s much tighter but less engaging new 122½bpm US Remix and piano jangled 123½-0bpm Dub (to be followed next week by a more London-orientated Demolition Mix)… Krush have a ‘Remix Mark 2’ due too… TV commercials for the Brook Street Bureau and The Observer, amongst others, have soundtracks by the Beatmasters… US chart success, with consequent UK TV exposure by Jonathan King and Casey Kasem, has caused the reissue of Pretty Poison ‘Catch Me (I’m Falling)’ (10 Records TENT 187), bright Shannon-esque girl group pop that’s featured in the ‘Hiding Out’ film… Seeborn & Puma’s backing track is the Headhunters’ ‘If You’ve Got It You’ll Get It’… JC Reid (Brighton Club Savannah) find the JAMs ‘Downtown’ and Middle Of The Road ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’ synch together perfectly!… ‘Downtown’ in its video version is presumably the seven inch mix, with a Scottish accented gospel lyric which greatly lessens its impact as a house record – I have Neil Fincham (Edinburgh Styx) to thank for the info that the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu are basically Glasgow’s Bill Drummond, and Neil plus others to thank for sending me copies of ‘Whitney Joins The JAMs’, which in the inevitable way of these things I actually found for myself immediately after saying I didn’t have it!… DJ Pierre (that’s D Jean-Pierre rather than Disc Jockey Pierre) apparently is the common link between Fantasy Club ‘Mystery Girl’, Pierre’s Fantasy Club ‘Fantasy Girl’, and Phuture ‘Acid Trax’… Gullivers moved to its new club premises in Soho’s Ganton Street a couple of days late in the end, which meant that the Mayfair site stayed open a week longer – although the “final” night remained as announced, Fatman Graham Canter making a brief emotional appearance, before I played 50 minutes of all the great clichés… Steve Jerome – who usually recorded as just Jerome – sadly died of a heart attack before Christmas, aged only 35… PWL produced singles for some reason suddenly all seem to be pressed in blue vinyl… Les Adams’ most frequent cry while tape editing in his tiny studio is “Where’s the chinagraph?” – it’s always on the keyboards!… 1988 is a brand new year, so let a man come in and do the funky popcorn, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN’?

PUBLIC ENEMY ‘Bring The Noise’ was actually added in its original version to a very few copies of ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ a month ago, but is now in two different new 109bpm remixes, the Noise Version (US Def Jam 44 07545) being more fully fleshed and exciting than the UK-issued No Noise Version (Def Jam 651335 6), the latter backed more simply by the strutting arrangement of the No Noise Instrumental that’s common to both. We also get their guitar yowled languidly rolling 96bpm ‘Sophisticated‘, the import retaining its original coupling which has just been released separately here, THE BLACK FLAMES ‘Are You My Woman?‘ (Def Jam 651334 6), a lurching 101⅓bpm good modern adaptation of the old Temptations-type vocal group style, flipped less appealingly though by someone else’s ramblingly dated song from the ‘Less Than Zero’ film.


SWEET TEE ‘I Got Da Feelin’’ (Cooltempo COLX 160)
Hurby Luv Bug-produced brilliant 110⅘bpm female rap hinged on James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’, with Betty Wright’s ‘Clean Up Woman’ influencing the flip’s 100½-0bpm ‘It’s Like That Y’All’.

JERMAINE STEWART ‘Say It Again (Extended Remix)’ (10 Records TENR 188)
Phil Harding’s excellent jiggly 0-95⅓bpm go-go hip hop mix starts in two-year-old-sounding Mantronix/Full Force style before the soulfully plaintive song eventually sways attractively through it with really grabbing effect, a potential smash (except the existing seven inch mix is dreadful).

SPOONIE GEE ‘I’m All Shook Up’ (US Tuff City TUF 128023)
Teddy Riley-produced dynamite jiggly James Brown-based 100⅓bpm rap quoting briefly at times from Elvis Presley’s ‘All Shook Up’, with a misleadingly titled though ‘Set It Off’-ish instrumental 108bpm ‘Godfather House Mix’ flip. Continue reading “January 9, 1988: Public Enemy, Sweet Tee, Jermaine Stewart, Spoonie Gee, Big Daddy Kane”