February 27, 1988: Bam-Bam, Sweet Charles, Blue Zone, Squeezebrain & The Machine, Lightnin Lee & Poppy P


NORMAN COOK’s excellent funkily cohesive 106-108½-106-107-105-107-109-105⅔bpm James Brown ‘She’s The One (Funky Drummer Remix)‘ (Urban URBA 13) cleverly incorporates the drum riff from ‘Funky Drummer’ with drop-ins from Bobby Byrd and other JB-type stuff (Norman, incidentally, not Wildski, was the Brighton Pink Coconut DJ)… Kid ‘N Play’s sizzling import would surely sell here on its own merits to begin with, but has already been promoed by Cooltempo in a much altered slower 108bpm remix by Norman C & DJ D, with added Lou Reed ‘Walk On The Wild Side’-type boo-bedoo’s, and more!… Bomb The Bass ‘Beat Dis’ is now also in a 0-114-113¾-0bpm Gangster Boogie Inc Remix (Mister-Ron DOOD R121), less bassy in fact with altered ingredients… Derek B’s “Lady Penelope”-introed Doctor X In Full Effect remix of Was (Not Was) quotes “bring the noise”, “and the beat goes on”, plus other drop-ins but now won’t include “bass – how low can you go” after all, so as not to upset Simon Harris’s newie on a related label – which hasn’t stopped Supreme Records promoing an 118½bpm UK house track by Project Club called ‘How Low Can You Go’, quoted from the same Public Enemy source!… Adrenalin M.O.D.’s replacement as Warrior Records’ B-side to Jack Factory ‘Jackin’ James’ will be remixed from the ‘Acid Beats 1’ LP (reviewed this ish), X-10-CIV’s ‘Cut It Up (X-10-DED Mix Mk 2)’ – this new group (pronounced “Extensive” – clever, huh?) being Harrow boys Andy Smith, Colin Grainge and Frank McFarlane… LiveWire’s Easter weekender at Prestatyn so far lines up Joyce Sims (with full American band), Terry Billy, Wee Papa Girl Rappers, Simon Harris, CCR Crew, Nat Augustin, Marvin Springer, Chris Paul, Screamin’ Rachel, probably a current chart-topper, and US Warner Bros vice president Benny Medina’s new secret signings (more details to come)… London’s ‘Hip Hop Reggae’ creating Longsy D and Cutmaster MC have been signed in the US by Cold Chillin’ Records, joining Roxanne Shanté, Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie – about whom further exciting news will soon come… Grandmaster Flash ‘Gold’ (reviewed last week on import) and Big Daddy Kane ‘Raw’ are both due here next week, through WEA (now put three and three together!)… ‘Dance Mania Volume 2’ (Needle Records DAMA2), full of current club hits, is actually selling for the included very rare groove from the early Seventies, the girls-souled 97-100⅓bpm The Voices Of East Harlem ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’… Norman Connors’ first album in six years will be on Capitol next month, while Womack & Womack have signed to Fourth & Broadway… Will Downing’s UK release will be his eagerly anticipated version of late great jazz giant John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ – Will’s due here in March with Stanley Turrentine on sax!… Threeway Records, having reissued an old album by him, have now signed Randy Brown worldwide… Keith Sweat apparently was in GQ… Tony Terry, whose follow-up will be ‘Young Love’ in a house remix, had never even heard the Charlie Dee dub of his own ‘Lovey Dovey’ until it was played for him at Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre!… Steve Walsh has a regular spot on London Weekend Television’s Friday evening ‘Six O’Clock Show’, as a roving reporter… Scratch Professor and Chad Jackson (the latter now, even more recently, sporting a vicious “Mohican” hairstyle!) were both on TV’s Night Network prior to the mixing finals, but hardly had time to scratch anything… Phonogram’s club plugging Linda Rogers’ toy boy is streets ahead of the others!… Jasper, Jazzy M, Trevor SF, Linden C, Maxi Jazz, Peter Dominic, Yomi and Steve Harris all bust up a ‘No Sell Out’ night this Wednesday (Feb 24) at Streatham Zigi’s… Linden C’s Thursdays at London’s Limelight star the likes of Derek B and Trevor Madhatter… Robbie Vincent souls Shrewsbury’s Park Lane this Saturday (27), when Derek B and Radio London’s hippity hoppity Dave Pearce join Chris Kaye at Tonbridge’s Angel Centre, and Chelsea’s The Venue at Stamford Bridge has Seventies grooves with Chris Brown and Steve of the Wag… Jamie Trundle is joined by label plugger Nigel Wilton for a Fourth & Broadway promotion night this Sunday (28) at Denver Sluice’s Jenyns Arms near Kings Lynn… Frank (Disco Knight) Allan, in Northern Ireland at Airport 2000 in Templepatrick’s Airport Inn, is seeking entrants for his ‘Miss Airport 2000 1988’ contest – call the club (08494-33390) or himself at Belfast’s Radio Top Shop (0232-232499)… Brian Moore in conjunction with James Campbell & Son (Travel) has arranged special three night travel packages from Northern Ireland for the March 6-8 DJ Convention in London – call Ruth on 0265-4321… Breakout once again during the DJ Convention have an invitation-only private party for DJs, at Gullivers on the Tuesday lunchtime… Bob Masters, setting up a massive pirate radio station in Ashford, Kent (the country’s biggest, he claims), has another Easter soul three-dayer – Sat/Sun/Mon – with Nicky Holloway, Gilles Peterson, Chris Bangs, Leo Ryan and himself at Bournemouth’s Neptune Bar on Boscombe Pier – £15 advance tickets only, from Starship Enterprises on 01-439 2628… Nicky Holloway is promoting his Thursday Amnesia night at Mayfair’s Legends by distributing little pirate pistols which, when fired, spring open and drop a banner saying “Bang!”… PUMP THAT BASS!

STREETS AHEAD, whose hard remix of Was (Not Was) has filled more floors than Jeff Young’s James Bond mix, is in fact the nicely-spoken Shem McCauley from downtown Shepherd’s Bush in West London, currently reading English at the University of Sussex! If you think that’s blown his street cred, check this. Helped at the start by Tim Westwood, he DJed behind Hardrock and Faze One before right now backing the She Rockers (just produced by Griff from the Public Enemy crew), his remixes prior to ‘Spy In The House Of Love’ including Throwdown ‘Bust The Champ’, Kinkina ‘Jungle Fever’ and Shakatak ‘Manic Cuts’. Def enuf?

The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships at last reached their thrilling climax at London’s packed Hippodrome last week — on the eve of the Chinese New Year, the celebration of which delayed things interminably. The audience was really hyped up, a massive and vociferous contingent from Manchester proving a match in volume level for the London posse.

Nevertheless, as I had anticipated, Battersea’s Cutmaster Swift ended up as the winner, UK Champ 1988, after a blazingly started set that — like all the competitors’ (is seven minutes in fact too long?) — went off the boil two-thirds through but was brilliant at its best, his unusual scratching tricks being accompanied by great grimaces and syncopated movements.

Manchester’s Owen D did come second, a decision accepted with commendably good grace by his fans, having wasted too much “time” (as in ‘Al-Naafiysh’!) cavorting with his helpers, who pointed out every trick he pulled, before eventually doing some fast cuts (and ending as usual in a helpers-supported “swallow dive”), but in truth he was fairly routine behind all the hoopla.

Paddington’s diminutive 14-year-old Scratch Professor came third in typically cool and collected style, with a well varied musical programme including many different scratch, transformer and cut-back tricks, as well as a cute running synch of ‘Old MacDonald’ through Public Enemy!

Leeds’ well built Hutchy was greeted by the Manchester mob’s banner which read, “Props, Umbrellas and BMX Bikes ain’t gonna help Sucker DJs here tonight!” but carried on regardless, changing from brolly-scratching John Steed to shoulder-holster Axel Foley during the course of a deceptively simple seeming house set with facile scratches and good long running synchs. He actually picked up his baby BMX bike, and then substituted it as a surprise with a full size bicycle, using the front wheel to scratch! Dulwich’s DJ Haze, the first on stage, did some good “pump me up” fast cuts and transformer scratches but his synchs were messy and his timing was off, probably through nerves. Birmingham’s Tenerife-based Des Mitchell, in his third consecutive final, had a strange slow running start but ended up synching ‘Agadoo’ through Serious Intention, and cut up a seven inch of ‘Tea For Two Cha Cha’. Plaistow’s DJ Pogo, one of the favourites, had a disaster and stopped after just one minute to fiddle with his stylus and pick-up (the setting of which was his responsibility). This threw his timing right off, but he ended up with some face-savingly brilliant fast cuts. And that was it. CJ Mackintosh’s reign has ended, now it’s Cutmaster Swift versus the rest of the World, at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, March 8. Be there!

[Note: as the following week’s column will explain, the photo captions were accidentally switched for Owen D and Cutmaster Swift]


BAM-BAM ‘Give It To Me’ (Serious OUS 10)
Drumkit driven simple jack track with buzzing “acid” synth tones and sexy female groans, filling floors since last October on import, here in 122bpm Instrumental and Street, 122¼bpm Garage and Radio Mixes. A brand new remix is due on white label, already!

SWEET CHARLES ‘Yes It’s You’ (Urban URBX 15)
Curtis Mayfield copying squeakily whinnied distinctively jogging sweet (0-)96-97⅙bpm lurcher (a big “rare groove” around London, covered by Diana Brown & The Brothers, now selling like crazy ahead of full March 9 release) produced by James Brown, as was the flip’s currently much sampled funkily testifying 0-112-113½-113¼bpm LYN COLLINS ‘Think (About It)‘ and her enthusiastically bounding JB-duetted 115-117-117½-118-118½-0(false stop)-117bpm ‘Rock Me Again & Again & Again & Again & Again & Again‘.

BLUE ZONE ‘Big Thing (Extended)’ (Arista/Rockin’ Horse Records RHT 115)
Lisa Stansfield-sung surprisingly soulful and credible self-produced 101⅓-0bpm jiggly jogger with a tuggingly syncopated tricky tempo, thoroughly recommended, originally B-side to the old Motown-style 127⅔bpm ‘Thinking About His Baby‘. Continue reading “February 27, 1988: Bam-Bam, Sweet Charles, Blue Zone, Squeezebrain & The Machine, Lightnin Lee & Poppy P”

February 20, 1988: Rick Astley, Eric B & Rakim, Suzie and the Cubans, Keith Sweat, Mel & Kim


NORMAN COOK and Dancing Danny D seem to have changed their remixing monicker from the Troublesome Twosome to Double Trouble, without evidently realising that the latter name is already used by rival remixing team Damon Rochefort, Mike Morrison and Leigh Guest… Norman Cook, now the Housemartins have disbanded, has remixed not only James Brown and a Nitro Deluxe seven inch on his own but also Eric B & Rakim and Kid ‘N Play with Dancing Danny D, plus he’s producing rapper Wildski – who actually started out as a DJ in Brighton at the Pink Coconut. His notorious ‘The Finest Ingredients’ bootleg mixer from last year in reality being a genuine bootleg, put out by someone else with no benefit to him, of a demo he’d created two years earlier just to show what he could do!… Decca turning down The Beatles was more of a major goof, but Magnet likewise turned down Adrenalin MOD’s ‘Bouncy House’ when offered it by group member Daren Mahomed, who works in their own press office – now it’s being remixed by MCA Records, for whom, of course, group member Maurice Bird is postboy!… Simon Harris’s ‘Bass (How Low Can You Go)’ is huge on advance promo but isn’t out commercially until March 7 – “based” on phrases from Public Enemy and many more, it’s a monotonous 0-113¾bpm juddering jitterer (that runs out of steam, to be truthful) with chugging offbeat syncopation in its 114¼bpm instrumental, and a burbling 97⅚-0bpm ‘The Playback’ flip… Jeff Young’s soundtrack quoting ‘James Bond’ remix of Was (Not Was) is being replaced by a new Derek B remix (using “bass, how low can you go”) to avoid the likelihood of legal problems… Jazzy Jeff’s upcoming newie uses Matt Black + The Coldcut Crew’s ‘That Greedy Beat’!… Tim Simenon, the young Wag Club DJ behind Bomb The Bass, has also created something called ‘Merlin’… Bath DJs Simon Power and Derek Pearce are the latest to whip up some homegrown UK house, the frantic ‘Get On The Floor’ being considered by labels… Jack ‘N’ Chill have been remixing Black Britain ‘Heroin’… Edwin Starr’s withdrawn Stock Aitken Waterman-created ‘Whatever Makes Our Love Grow’ is finally out again in a tidier 119½bpm Grown-up Mix (10 Records TENR 199), but is still more Hi-NRG “disco” than soul… Kylie Minogue’s percussively pattering 115¾bpm Bicentennial Mix of ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ (PWL Records PWLT 8R) is merely different rather than an improvement… Company B, one of the earlier Miami girl acts, could still break through here with the new 120bpm jittery then calmer 1988 Remix of ‘Fascinated’ (BlueBird BRT 48)… Serious Records are holding back Bam Bam ‘Give It To Me’ until February 29 (their pressing’s four mixes are 122bpm and 122¼bpm)… Circa picked up Sheik Fawaz for early March release… Earth Wind & Fire ‘Thinking Of You’, reviewed on import last week, is now out here (CBS EWF T2)… J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E.’s ‘Strong Island’ is of course about Long Island in hip hop speak – not London Island! – while their B-side is the drum-tapped 101⅙bpm ‘Nu Skool’… US producer Teddy Riley’s own group called Guy has just signed to MCA Records… Grandmaster Flash, according to the credits on ‘Gold’, records all his scratches with a Gemini Flashformer (patent pending) DJ transforming device… Rob Nelson had never seen, let alone used, Technics vari-speed decks prior to competing… Disco Mix Club master of ceremonies John Saunderson as usual chucked some Michael Jackson T-shirts out into the audience in Birmingham, but one immediately came flying back rather forcibly to be caught by mixing judge, Radio WM 95.6FM’s Sunday 7-9pm soul jock, Freakie Dee, who thought about it for a moment then threw it straight back!… Wednesday nights on Channel 4 now features at 11.30pm a new three hour music slot hosted by ex-Record Mirror contributors Charlie Gillett and Vivien Goldman, presenting everything from Marvin Gaye filmed in Ostend to – well, you check it and see!… Pete Waterman was inspired to write Mel & Kim’s ‘That’s The Way It Is’ while listening to Capital Radio’s magazine programme of the same name!… Mel Appleby has not been at all fit, suffering for months from slipped and crushed discs in her spine, with dangerous complications from which she is still slowly recovering, having a second operation still to come… Pete Hammond, rather than Phil Harding, seems responsible for all the remixes from the PWL studio this week… Disco Aid has become the Dance Aid Trust, its annual general meeting (open to the public) being this Wednesday (17) at 7pm in London’s Samantha’s discotheque, off Regent Street in New Burlington Street… rm’s sister publication for DJs, Jocks, was voted Best Industry Magazine 1987 at the recent Thames Valley DJ Association show night… Ruthless Rap Assassins with Kiss and AMC play Manchester’s Hacienda this Wednesday (17)… Fingers Inc, Marshall Jefferson, Xavier Gold, Ralphi ‘The Razz’ Rosario and Ce Ce Rogers are this Thursday (18) at Delirium! in London’s Leicester Square Empire Ballroom – everyone there getting three free Uptime organic food pep pills to keep ‘em jacking! – while this Chicago house package next week on Tuesday (23) is at Birtley’s Liberty’s (cleverly an anagram of the place name), near Newcastle-upon-Tyne… Martin Collins, Alex Lowes, Danny Smith and Steve Jason converge again on Gt Yarmouth’s Scruples this Saturday (20) for another soulful sellout (book advance tickets on 0493-669222 after 6pm, if you too are travelling)… Paul Oakenfold and DJ Nancy seriously throwdown in full effect at The Future on Thursdays, in the Sanctuary at Charing Cross Heaven… Houspanic could be the next music trend – a blend of House and Hispanic (ie: the Miami sound)… Derek B’s ‘Goodgroove’ seven inch comes wrapped in a poster sleeve – what’s this, TV star Derek Boland as a sex symbol?… Pressure Records’ head honcho Adrian Sykes’ hair when last seen was in a pompadour like Little Richard – Good Golly Miss Molly!… PUMP THAT BASS!

The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships’ grand final is at London’s Hippodrome tonight (Tuesday, February 16), the last two competitors to qualify being found in the semi-final at Ealing’s Broadway Boulevard (where oddly the audience atmosphere was even deader than in Birmingham). First, the winning rappers were South London’s Einstein and Wolverhampton’s sassy miss Jazzy P, while the only outstanding mixer was indeed the widely tipped DJ Pogo, whose unique scratching style made him a clear winner. Voted a qualifying second was Des Mitchell from Birmingham (via Tenerife), although at Ealing he seemed pedestrian and off form. Disappointed losers were Portsmouth’s Warren Aylward (who shaved during a mix!), Brighton’s Carl Cox (adventurous long running synchs), Doctor K (emotionless fast cuts), and Southend’s Mark Ryder (who couldn’t cut it after headphone problems). As well as Pogo and Des, the battle is between Cutmaster Swift, Owen D, Scratch Professor, Hutchy, and DJ Haze. The fight should be intense! Results next week!



RICK ASTLEY ‘Together Forever (Lover’s Leap Remix)’ (RCA RICK 400) Pete Hammond adds electronic tones and rattling 114½bpm percussion to kick off his remix of this, the most obviously typical dance track from Rick’s album, always surely destined to be a single?

ERIC B & RAKIM ‘I Know You Got Soul (A Double Trouble Remix featuring Norman C & DJ D)’ (Cooltempo COOLX 146)
Norman Cook and Dancing Danny D’s impatiently awaited jiggly infectious 104-103⅔-103⅓-104- 103⅓-0bpm remix has had to edit out all of Michael’s vocals (apart from a sneaky transformer scratch at the end!) but still manages to combine the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’, Bobby Byrd, Maceo, Dennis Edwards and more in a surefire smash (flipped by Eric’s 103⅔bpm original, source of the “pump up the volume” line), stomping all over the concurrent rival release of ‘Move The Crowd‘ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 88).

Fatally slow seeming in comparison, this ominous slinky jitterer has been very cleverly and subtly remixed by both the Democratic 3 featuring DJ Slack (the label’s Julian Palmer!) and Bristol’s Wild Bunch crew, both sliding into riffs inserted from Seventies oldies, plus (all are 91½bpm apart from the 91⅓bpm Wild Bunch mix) the old Album Version and an Extended Beat. Well, what do YOU think of that disc, Marina?

SUZIE AND THE CUBANS ‘I Feel It (Makumba Mix)’ (US Popular Records POP 6)
The ‘Set It Off’ cymbal schlurp meets ‘Jingo’ at 120bpm (Double Dub too) with jangling house piano, butch “makumba” chants and Suzie’s repeated title line, a commercially effective combination – however, the much longer more episodically house-ish chugging 119-118⅓-0bpm Construction Medley flip is far harder, stuttering “my name is Bond, James Bond” and slipping Into ‘The Brutal House’ amongst many other added ingredients. Sweaty! Continue reading “February 20, 1988: Rick Astley, Eric B & Rakim, Suzie and the Cubans, Keith Sweat, Mel & Kim”

February 13, 1988: J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E, Derek B, Earth Wind & Fire, Teena Marie, Taja Sevelle


MCA Records finally decided on Pressure Records as the name for their new black music label – doubtless opening the way for slogans about “pressure cookin’”? – and will definitely be releasing Adrenalin MOD ‘Bouncy House’… 10 Records picked up T-Cut F ‘House Reaction’ from Birmingham’s Kool Kat label, while Sure Delight are finally releasing Spoonie Gee ‘I’m All Shook Up’… Norman Cook of the Housemartins has apparently remixed James Brown ‘She’s The One’ for imminent creative marketing… Champion Records have, typically well in advance (and to typically instant mailing list DJ chart response, which could typically fall off just as fast!) promoed a 110¾-111bpm ‘Set It Off (Bunker 88 Mix)’ by Bunker Kru/Harlequin 4’s, totally revamped from the Harleqiun Fours’ (included 110¾-110⅔bpm) original with added ‘Jingo’-ish bass, scratches, vocals, and a lumbering Germanic electro feel rather than the “pshta-pshta” cymbal beat (0-110¾-111bpm Yojam Mix too), due commercially in about three weeks… Big One have created a buzz with white labels of the Housedoctors ‘Housedoctors (Gotta Get Down)’, a tinkling skittery jittery nervy 0-125-0bpm flier also coincidentally with a “pshta-pshta” cymbal beat, due probably next week… Fourth & Broadway are hoping for great things from Scratchmo ‘Play That Thing’, a weird lumbering brassy lurcher with trumpet and Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong-type scatting (101⅔bpm on acetate)… Jolley/Harris/Jolley’s 95½bpm remix of Barry White ‘For Your Love (I’ll Do Most Anything)’ (Breakout USAF 618) is lushly jiggling with Mike Stevens’ sax emphasised on the 95⅓bpm Sax Dub… Taylor Dayne’s electro drive is replaced (with actually even more pop-ish results) on the 118½-0bpm ‘Tell It To My Heart (House Of Hearts Mix)’ (Arista 609616R), with a piano jangled house dub… Phil Harding’s now datedly routine “jack, jack, jack” remix treatment is applied to the 122bpm Madhouse Mix of the house-styled ‘I’m Beggin’ You’ which topped America’s dance charts but was largely ignored here and is now the UK B-side to Supertramp’s pop-aimed ‘Free As A Bird’ (A&M AMY 430)… Cousin Rachel ‘You Give Me So Much’ (Supreme Records SUPET 121) is now reputedly in a “new 12 inch vocal mix” but still sounds as if it’s sung by a bunch of washer women on their day out!… Motown, following a directionless year of lacklustre sales, have in the States fired most of their “pop” promotion staff, beefed up their “black” department and brought in one-time Stax vice president Al Bell to help them return to their roots, making specifically black music hits that they can then try and cross over to pop (the US market being artificially segregated into musical types by radio)… Serious Records and Needle Records are expanding their DJ mailing list at Unit 30, Sheraton Business Centre, Wadsworth Road, Perivale, Middlesex UB6 7JB (send first a stamped addressed envelope for the application form)… Lindsay Wesker, long departed from A&M, has joined disco plugger Bryan O’Conner to form a new club promotion company, Plateau Promotions on 01-724 7125/402 6632… Jeff Weston, once so closely identified with it that he was even known as “Jeff Shack”, has sold his interest in the Record Shack label (to the owners of Spartan)… Joyce Sims’ first ever UK concert is confirmed as the star attraction (along with a lot else) at LiveWire’s April 2/3/4 Prestatyn 3 weekender (Visa/Access bookings on 01-364 1212, no day passes)… Tony Terry will be in London this weekend, making appearances on Saturday (February 13) at such as Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre record shop at 3pm, and at Soho’s Gullivers in Ganton Street during the night… Marie Thompson and Tigger have stopped jocking at Stringfellows and started their own Metropolis moveable venue one nighters club (the first one was last week at the Camden Palace), plus a members’ magazine called Catalyst which offers all sorts of hairdressing/travel-type discounts to its readers – sounds ambitious!… Krush, M|A|R|R|S and T-Coy too are all due at Middlesbrough’s Madison this Wednesday (9), preceded earlier that evening by Mr Mix-It spinning house at the nearby free admission Norma Jean’s… Chris Paul (no longer at Ealing’s Broadway Boulevard because he’s so busy doing remixes for Fred Dove at WEA!) opens this Thursday (11) Kingston-upon-Thames’s brand new Options (in a three screen café/cinema/bar/restaurant complex) – he’ll be there Thurs/Sats, with Lorri Newman Thurs/Fridays, plus Boilerhouse and Special Branch nights likely on other days… Brian G with DJs Pete and Andy has a ‘Valentine’s Box’ on Friday (12) in the house/funk/rare groove Sweatbox in York’s GG Barnum’s… Eon Irving & Trevor SF funk a ‘St Valentine’s Rave’ on Saturday (13) from midnight to Sunday mid-morning in Soho’s Rupert Street Metro Cinema, both screens showing videos and films… Gary Tee’s ‘Cool ‘n Casual’ Monday dance party at Dunstable’s Cinderellas Rockerfellas has become a 70/70 nite – 70p admission, 70p drinks, and lots of late Seventies classics… DJ Kenny and Stewart Cochrane have started a serious funk/hip hop/house/rare groove/fashion night called Amnesia (popular name, that!) on Thursdays at Stirling’s Maxwells… Sefton The Terminator followed the rap competition with a demonstration of his human beat box blowing at Warrington’s mixing semi-final… “It’s time!” from Hashim’s ‘Al-Naafiysh’ became the big cliché at the Nottingham mixing heat, my hints about the over-use of “this is a journey into sound/pump that bass” seeming to have sunk in by then!… Nottingham contestants included not only Cut Master Swift and Scratch Professor but also Master Scratch and Cut-It-Up-Sy, the best name of all however not getting through from the preliminaries, DJ Weeta-Mix!… John Saunderson, the scintillating (and I mean that sincerely) master of ceremonies at all the Technics Mixing Championships and organiser of the entire roadshow, was in a real Eddie Kidd situation at Bristol’s Papillon, where he was barred from his own show until he’d changed out of his designer jeans!… Bristol’s winner last year, I forgot to mention, ‘Dirty Den’ Murray didn’t even make it out of the preliminaries into the heats this time, which shows how the standard had improved there (the question is, will that remark get me boos or cheers next year?!)… Edinburgh’s Steve Walsh lookalike DJ, Donald Hughes had his ‘Jock Mix 1’/’Trio’ Scottish country dance mix played on Radio Forth by Tom Wilson following my mention of it… Roxanne Shanté’s newie using the Lyn Collins ‘Think’ riff is apparently from a film and cannot be released until March at the earliest, but may now not be a single at all as Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock have already copied it so closely!… Heavy D And The Boyz’ new US release is their album’s ‘Don’t You Know’ rap ballad, flipped by a remix of ‘Moneyearnin’ Mount Vernon’… Les Adams’ purchase of a 16-track Fostex recorder and AMS digital reverb unit, both at £5,000, now values his home studio at £71,000… PUMP THAT BASS!

The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships have now entered the semi-final stage and, as anticipated, the result is real excitement! And despair. Just because a DJ won his regional heat is now no longer a guarantee that he’ll be appearing at the national final in London – first they’ve got to battle through yet again to win one of the two places available at each of the three semi-finals. Crestfallen doesn’t describe the disappointment of the losers, having got so close but not close enough. At Warrington’s shambolically crowded Mr Smith’s (divided up into hexagonal sort of sheep pens seemingly designed to impede any logical progression from one area to another!), following a rap competition from which Huddersfield’s MC Fresh J and Manchester’s Miss D Lite go through to the London final, the scratching was won, as widely anticipated, by Manchester’s Owen D, very much the local homeboy hero, fast cutting, transformer scratching and generally cavorting (he ended up in a “swallow dive” – see photo) to such loud crowd response that much of what he did was drowned.

Second was London’s DJ Haze, much improved from his Stockton heat, doing assured and accurate cuts. Not qualifying therefore were fire-eating Birkenhead’s Mike Clarke (DJ Trix), who still can’t hold his beats together, Glasgow’s George Little, previously a two times finalist who had headphone problems after which nothing went right, Northern Ireland’s Rob Nelson (Robbie B), who had used Technics vari-speed decks but even did a backspin using a seven inch, and Manchester’s Chris Harris, the only one to use “this is a journey into sound”.

At Birmingham’s vast and atmosphere-lacking Dome (with a tubular steel standrel dome framework over the dancefloor), the amusing rap winners were Easy KD and MC Brooklyn, both from Luton. The mixing result was satisfyingly the right one, with London’s Cut Master Swift coming first.

Going through to the final also after coming equal second, was Leeds’ thoroughly entertaining Hutchy, changing his persona from John Steed of the Avengers to Eddie Murphy as he progressed through a slick house tempo music, full of surprises and London’s 14-year old Scratch Professor who again showed remarkable composure while he calmly worked through a well-chosen sequence.

Disappointed losers were the local Phil Docherty, slick enough to be a future challenger, his house-mixing chum Darren Ellis, Cardiff pace-lacking Terry Croft and Reading’s disastrously messy Dodger X. The last semi-final is this Wednesday (10) at Ealing Broadway’s Boulevard.


J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E ‘Strong Island’ (US B Boy Records 88-20/100)
Sizzling hot 95⅚bpm deadpan rap jogger using a fuzz guitar riff from the Temptations’ ‘Psychedelic Shack’ era, actually about London Island in hip hop speak.

DEREK B ‘Goodgroove’ (Music Of Life NOTE 12)
Jauntily jiggling homegrown 0-97bpm rap ‘n scratch using a remake of the Jackson 5’s ‘ABC’ rhythm (in four mixes), good but played so much in advance that the initially amusing Smiley Culture-like lyric is already a bore for many.

EARTH WIND & FIRE ‘Thinking Of You’ (US Columbia 44 07 566)
Staccato (0-)119¼bpm lurcher turned by remixer Bruce Forest into much more smoothly bounding (and street credible) B-side “house” mixes, the 119¼-0bpm House Mix and 0-119¼-0bpm House Mix with Vocals. Continue reading “February 13, 1988: J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E, Derek B, Earth Wind & Fire, Teena Marie, Taja Sevelle”

February 6, 1988: Kid ‘N Play, Tony Terry, Royal House, LL Cool J, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock


BOMB THE BASS are in fact from London, being DJ Tim Simenon from the Wag and studio engineer Pascal Gabriel, a remix of ‘Beat Dis’ already being due … Adrenalin MOD’s ‘Bouncy House’ for the time being is still released on Warrior Records, although now MCA Records (whose employee Maurice Bird is part of the group) are trying to tie up the rights, instead of the previously mentioned Uptown Records — in point of fact, my review really stirred things up! … Derek B’s now white-labelled jauntily jiggling 0-97bpm ‘Goodgroove’ this time trendily uses the Jackson 5’s ‘ABC’ rhythm, and is due commercially in two weeks … Matt Black, having fun playing with his new C-Lab Creator computer sequencer from Germany, is working with Jonathan More on a couple of acid house tunes while, out early March, their megamix of JB beats will launch a James Brown remix series on Urban, and — worth other mixers noting — their ‘Theft Appella‘ seven inch B-side to the new Coldcut ‘Doctorin’ The House’ just contains all the samples they used, on their own without music! … Essex DJ Mark Ryder (photographed two issues ago) is scratching on the upcoming ‘Get Busy‘ by MDEmm … Barry White ‘For Your Love (I’ll Do Most Anything)’ is due in a beefed up Harris & Jolley remix already, with added Mike Stevens sax … Detroit Transmat label owner Derek May’s 124bpm The Mayhem Rhythm Mix of Two Men A Drumstick And A Toothpick (London LONXR 141) is speedily snickety, while there are back-to-back 109⅓bpm Women & Children First Remix and Remixed Vocal Versions of Gladys Knight And The Pips ‘Love Overboard’ (MCA Records MCAX 1223) … Meli’sa Morgan ‘Good Love’ is due as a US remix, while Sherrick’s next single will be his reading of the Originals’ ‘Baby I’m For Real’ … Quincy Jones is apparently remaking New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’! … Larry James, drumming leader of Fat Larry’s Band, has died aged 38 in his hometown, Philadelphia … Joyce Sims is mooted as the live star at the Easter Prestatyn weekender … Morgan Khan plans not only a London-held three day UK Fresh 88 hip hop concert but also a similarly live all-star house music event in Birmingham, in June – in addition, Morgan, obviously thinking anything Germany’s Brian Carter can do he can do better, is planning a 15 LP boxed set of house music past and present, ‘The Westside House Music Box Set’ … Serious Records’ sister label Needle Records has two hot (if somewhat duplicating) compilation LPs due, ‘Mad On House‘ MADD 1) with current jacks by Bam-Bam, Adonis, Jack Factory, Fallout, Mr Lee, House Master Baldwin, and ‘Dance Mania 2‘ (DAMA 2) with Bam-Bam, Adonis, Beatmasters/Cookie Crew, 2 Bad 2 Mention, MSQ II, Spoonie Gee, Cash Money, Jellybean ‘Jingo’ … Mark Kamins’ Arabic records used on ‘Mohamed’s House’ (see review) include in particular a late Sixties ‘Greatest Hits’ album by the now dead Egyptian female singer Sabba … Colin Hudd returns to Gravesend, opening Steps (formerly the Soul Bowl) this Saturday (6), and is looking on 0474-328745 for a female DJ, to train if necessary … Soho’s Gullivers in Ganton Street, attracting a classy soul crowd, restart their old Wednesday party night under the new name ‘Wednesday Live’ next week … Nicky Holloway has already launched an Amnesia night for people with a sense of humour on Thursdays at Mayfair’s Legends … Nigel Wilton, Richard James and Rick Robinson funk ‘Planet Rok’ Thursdays at Deptford’s Champs … Rob Day (with 25 years’ worth of underground funk) and Bob Jones (with jazz and soul likewise), plus guest scratching by CJ Mackintosh, are every Friday at Flim-Flam in its new home, London Bridge’s Royal Oak in Tooley Street (no longer the Special Branch) … Glen Gunner funk/house/raps The Camden Slammer every Saturday at Camden Town’s Electric Ballroom … LWR’s Sunday breakfast man, Lewis Dene reckons Terry Billy’s similarity to Joyce Sims could be because of her Mantronik connection, as female vocalist on 1986’s Hanson & Davis ‘I’ll Take You On‘ … Sabrina’s video for ‘Boys’ is a real eye-popper — a big girl, she keeps bouncing out of her bikini top! … PUMP THAT BASS!

The 1988 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships’ heats came to an end last week, with only the three regional semi-finals to go before the grand final on February 16. At Nottingham’s prettily colour co-ordinated Ritzy (where for some strange reason the audience attendance was the lowest of any heat, crowds hanging from the rafters everywhere else), the mixing standard was very high, London’s Cut Master Swift coming first in brilliantly original but jerkily inconsistent style, his flashes of genius outweighing the messy patches. His mixes are often featured on Capital Radio by Tim Westwood, but live he pulls such stunts as using both hands in rapid turn to scratch the same record, and pushing the mixer switches with his nose!

Equal second with exactly the same marks (so both qualify for the semi-finals) were Phil Docherty from Birmingham’s Stocks, who proved by going on first that this is not necessarily a jinxed position to draw in the evening’s running order, and London’s amazingly calm and collected 14-year-old Scratch Professor (see caption). In Northern Ireland, at Portrush’s Traks (packed by enthusiastic dancers), the standard was not so high, with no scratching, but Rob Nelson from Bangor’s JJ’s came a semi-finals qualifying first mixing perfectly synchronised beats, while equal second were Billy Greer from Bangor’s Matinee and Ken Burrell from Belfast’s Soul City, with Strabane’s Ian Robb third.

Scratch Professor, 14 years old but looking younger, came equal second at the Nottingham mixing heat purely on his ability, not because of his age. Mixing for four years now, after being inspired by seeing a DJ at an open air party in a park, the young Prof from Paddington has already won a scratching competition on BBC Radio London, just over a year ago, and can only get even better as the years go by.

PAUL DAKEYNE (left), one of the Disco Mix Club’s star mega- and re-mixers, has joined Nic Wakefield behind the decks every Monday at Uxbridge Regals.



KID’N PLAY ‘Do This My Way’ (US Select FMS 62307)
Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor cheekily sets this 114¾bpm rap jitterer to Maceo And The Macks’ speeded-up ‘Cross The Track’ backing, complete with that nagging “wheee-eee” tone (instrumental flip), naturally massive!

TONY TERRY ‘Lovey Dovey (Long Version)’ (US Epic 49 07568)
Taking off like a rocket, his album’s catchy ‘Casanova’-ish go-go tempoed swaying jiggly jogger is now in a terrifically jaunty weaving 95⅔bpm remix and tightly percussive Charlie Dee Dub (edit too), a real nagger.

ROYAL HOUSE ‘Party People’ (Champion CHAMP 12-66)
The “party people” phrase from Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force’s ‘Planet Rock’ digitally repeated through elements from Marshall Jefferson’s ‘Move Your Body (The House Music Anthem)’ to make a 122bpm jittery jack track full of crossover potential (sample filled bounding 123½bpm ‘Key The Pulse‘ flip, both in two mixes). Continue reading “February 6, 1988: Kid ‘N Play, Tony Terry, Royal House, LL Cool J, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock”