ODDS ‘N’ BODS
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”