ODDS ‘N’ BODS
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”