March 26, 1988: Rick Clarke, Will Downing, Eric B & Rakim, Doug E Fresh, 3-D


ARTHUR BAKER first concocted an un-released hip hop treatment of John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ back in the early Eighties, in partnership with Jellybean, after whose then current Funhouse club residency the group would have been named… I actually once saw the late John Coltrane, playing at New York’s legendary though long defunct Birdland — fact, back then I saw and/or met most of the jazz greats (Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus, you name ’em), because jazz clubs were just about all there was… Cash Money (who says, “I try to make my turntables talk — too many DJs just scratch”) is having a worldwide tour set up by the Disco Mix Club now that he’s World champ, following what he clams was the toughest contest he’s ever won… Lightning Rich and 14-year-old girl DJ Sporty Shorty are the hometown Philadelphia mixers Mr Money himself admires… Technics Mixing finalists in the future should seriously consider getting their own name recorded on acetate, so that they can scratch it into their mix… Radio London’s hip hop presenter Dave Pearce has a new day job as head of black A&R at Urban… Vendetta Records is A&M’s new US dance label, although to our ears it’ll be rather more pop-orientated than its Breakout UK equivalent… Gravesend DJ Eddie Gordon seems to be taking over from Paul Bunting as club plugger at MCA… Julian Jonah’s muttering and bubbling 119½bpm ‘Jealousy & Lies‘ is now on Cooltempo promo — it being the flip’s 123½bpm Alternative Dance Mix that you’ll find (at 123¼bpm) on this week’s free ‘Cool Cuts 2’ seven incher, along with the 87½bpm Derek B ‘Def Beat Boy‘ and 121¼bpm Jellybean ‘Jingo‘ remixes… ‘On The Edge‘, a sax squealed pleasant jiggly rolling 99⅔bpm reading of Kenny G’s instrumental, is the only tune so far to get dance-floor attention on Walter Beasley’s self-titled album (Urban URBLP 6)… Natalie Cole is about on creatively marketed limited white label in two Motorway Mixes by South London DJ Perry Daniels, the 123¼-123bpm ‘Jump Start/Pink Cadillac’ M1 scratch mix being done live in one take and the 122¾-122½-0bpm ‘Pink Cadillac’ M4 remix flip being created without benefit of master tapes… T-Cut-F’s new 124½-0bpm Union Jack Mix of ‘House Reaction’ is due on 10 Records just after Easter… Biz Markie ‘Biz Is Goin’ Off’ 12 inch, reviewed last week on import, is already out here (Cold Chillin’ W7930T)… CityBeat’s UK pressing of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock ‘It Takes Two’, promoed now but due April 4, is (typically for the label) slower at (0-)111⅙bpm, while Kechia Jenkins ‘I Need Somebody’, due next week (minus the Blaze mix) is similarly 114⅓bpm… Champion have promoed Richard Valentine ‘Come Back Lover’, only in its here 112¼bpm Hard Club Version, 112⅔bpm Percapella, 112½bpm Apache Beats, and 112bpm Club Version — although, to complicate matters (as the seven track import has three differently defined ‘Club’ Versions), this latter is actually the import’s Done Properly Dub!… Virgin have disguised the not entirely “street cred” Well Red’s newie on white label promo as being by DJ D-Zire, but as usual rm blows the whistle!… Teena Marie’s review last week was jumbled with Kashif’s… Mark Farren (Guildford) finds when mixing Kylie Minogue ‘I Should Be So Lucky (Bicentennial Mix)‘ with Rick Astley ‘Together Forever (Lover’s Leap Remix)‘ that their drum patterns are so identical they actually phase (yeah, and Dolly Parton played at 33⅓rpm sounds like Elvis Presley!)… Terry Billy visits Steve Jason’s moveable Rendezvous night this Thursday (24) at Peterborough’s Videotek, while Total Contrast join Mark Purdy this Friday (25) at Kings Lynn’s Manhattans… Saturday (26), Martin Collins, Steve ‘Jammin’ Jason, Jamie Trundle, Chris ‘Charlie’ Brown and Danny Smith all soul Gt Yarmouth’s Scruples beside the seaside… Dave Woodcock and Steve Aspey soul and funk a Sunday (27) extravaganza at Witney’s Palace… Terry Billy is with Jeff Thomas at Swansea’s heaving Martha’s Vineyard on Monday (28)… Rodney Saulsberry will be appearing around the country for 10 days over Easter… Jim Cotter (01-358 0809), an experienced mixing/talking jock and studio engineer, recently of L’Equipe Anglaise, is after ideally a pub-type residency within the M25… Mark Hughes (Worthing 691047), also a mixing talker, was at Bubbles and is after ideally an upfront gig… New York’s New Music Seminar this year is July 16-20, details here from Philip Rambow on 01-960 0154, should the 1988 International DJ Convention have made you a glutton for punishment!… I seemed to meet more Irish DJs than anyone else at the DJ convention’s opening Sunday party, a large and welcome contingent being over from both Northern Ireland and Eire, avid rm readers all, their most frequent comment being that this column is a lifeline for them… Chris Carey — one time pirate ship DJ Spangles Muldoon but now an Irish radio tycoon, currently of Nova Satellite Radio Network – contentiously joked at the radio seminar that “A speech impediment is an absolute must for DJs on ILR!”… GET OFF!

ARTHUR BAKER, the New York based producer behind Wally Jump Jr and other studio creations, has now signed in his own right as a solo artiste with A&M, and is both recording and house hunting here in London. What’s more, he’ll be accompanied on some tracks by James Brown’s legendary sideman, Maceo Parker, whom he located in North Carolina. In case you’re used to Arthur with a goatee beard, it started to fall out so he shaved it off!


RICK CLARKE ‘I’ll Meet You Along The Way’ (WA Records WAT-1, via Jet Star)
No longer on RCA, Rick’s gorgeous newie (self-prod/penned with Peter Hinds) is a gently jogging relaxed 88⅔bpm swayer with some jazzy vibes and chimes behind his scatting and teasing superbly expressive soulful singing —the best to come out of Britain so far this year. Only on white label at the moment, the B-side appears to be a long version. How could a supposedly major label let something this good get away?

WILL DOWNING ‘A Love Supreme (Jazz In The House Remix)’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 90)
In a “pshta pshta” hi-hat hissed more purposefully pulsing 0-119½bpm Arthur Baker remix, this glorious breathily Vandross-ish vocal version of the late John Coltrane’s inspirational jazz classic is still perhaps more satisfying in the flip’s Stanley Turrentine-saxed 0-120⅓bpm Album Mix (afro percussion flavoured 120-0bpm Dub In The House Remix, too).

ERIC B & RAKIM ‘I Know You Got Soul (The Derek On Eric Remix)’ (Cooltempo COOLXR 146)
Getting right away from other “Jackson 5” treatments, Derek B’s jiggly jumpy shuffling 103⅔bpm remix — as exclusively revealed last week — Includes ‘Superstition’-like clavinet notes without quoting the actual tune, flipped by the controversial current Norman C & DJ D Remix and the Original Version to make what must be the best value 12 inch. Continue reading “March 26, 1988: Rick Clarke, Will Downing, Eric B & Rakim, Doug E Fresh, 3-D”

March 19, 1988: DMC International DJ Convention, Keith Sweat, Pebbles, Gwen McCrae, Sargent Tucker


Derek B is the latest remixer of Eric B & Rakim ‘I Know You Got Soul’, his “Eric and Derek” mix having an element of ‘Superstition’ (meanwhile, the Streets Ahead Changing Gears Remix of his ‘Goodgroove’ hit is 98-96⅔-0bpm)… rm’s new readers should note that “bpm” stands for beats per minute, useful information for DJs who need to know the relative speeds of different records so that they can synchronise them together in a mix… Supreme Records have put out Acid House Mixes of Project Club ‘How Low Can You Go’ (SUPETX 125), now a far tougher properly acidic 0-119¼bpm instrumental (apart from its “bass” title line), and Mel & Kim’s ‘That’s The Way It Is’ (SUPETZ 117), a harder driving 118bpm starker and sparser arrangement though hardly hydochloric!… rm’s free ‘Cool Cuts 1’ single has Richie Rich’s 106bpm Trouble Funk mix and Rob ‘Hotrod’ Manley’s 0-119⅓-117⅓-118-0bpm Breakout megamix, while free with rm on ‘Cool Cuts 2’ next week will be exclusive remixes of the aggressively juddering 87½bpm Derek B ‘Def Beat Boy’, ‘Baby Wants To Ride’-ish muttered wriggly quite acidic cantering 123¼bpm Julian Jonah ‘Jealousy & Lies’ (an impressive newcomer), and percussively bounding 121¼bpm Jellybean ‘Jingo’… Jellybean incidentally has a hush-hush double LP due containing unreleased remixes of all his current album’s tracks and more (he got rather shifty when I mentioned ‘Was Dog A Doughnut’, so could something special be coming?!)… Quark Records (the label Blaze are on) is setting up a London branch, co-owner Curtis Urbina purchasing a ready made company while here for the DJ convention – he and Jellybean were at reform school together in the Bronx when aged around 14 to 16 (for joy-riding in cars, that sort of thing), and by the time they next met about seven years later they found they were both in the music business (Curtis then working for the Emergency label)… Danish DJs Kenneth Baker and World Mixing runner-up Mick ‘Cutfather’ Hansen have created an excellent Baker’s Brutal House Remix of Nitro Deluxe, which Cooltempo are considering for UK release – full of overlays, inserts and edits in the current style, it’s very different in spirit from the original but retains that nagging “wheee-ee” noise throughout, it all being a bit LA Mix-like in style… S-Express, sizzling on white label, isn’t now out fully until April 11… Groove’s follow-up will be an updated remake of Herbie Mann’s ‘Hijack’… Fourth & Broadway have picked up Stereo MC’s and Cesare here too, perhaps misguidedly putting most emphasis on the less good vocal versions and, with radio in mind, making ‘Move It’ the A-side (12BRW 94)… I have, for understandable reasons, not had time to review so many newies this week, like the import LPs by Atlantic Starr-ish excellent Visions (US Polydor), rather patchy Mantronix (US Capitol), and a Scott La Rock-remixing Boogie Down Productions twin-LP (US B Boy Records)… Pete Waterman came on stage for the seminar session about sampling with a portable telephone… Alan James Jewell brought a cute Chinese girl trio called Passion with him from Hong Kong, plus two 15 year-old mixing champions, Singapore’s Gabriel Chong and Hong Kong’s Simon Choi (the latter got into the final by, according to 1987 champ, Chad Jackson, copying everything he’d demonstrated while staying at Alan’s over the New Year – Chad was spluttering “I wish I had competed again now!”)… WEA’s often controversial and always idiosyncratic disco plugger Fred Dove finally won the Club Promotion Man Of The Year award… MCA Records’ party at Brown’s was in fact at night, not lunchtime, after the mixing finals, and was so besieged by a roadblock of people that many invited stars couldn’t get through; however, once inside and allowed upstairs to the uncrowded “star bar”, it was the most pleasant part of the entire three day jamboree… Baz Fe Jazz’s new venue, detailed last week, in fact has been unable to open this month… Big ‘H’ is successfully running the fortnightly Friday (this week, March 18) Harry’s House members club in Windsor, details on 0753-652611… Steve Wren jazz-souls Fridays at the Toejammer in Harlow’s Monroes, and Saturday (this one being a Fourth & Broadway night) with Kev Hill at the Sweat Box in Harlow’s HighWire… Sundays at Streatham Zigis are trendy Seventies dance fashion nights, with Carl Cox and Maxine from Brick House and the Boiler House boys Ben and Andy (the latter are with Glen Gunner on Wednesdays at Kingston-on-Thames Options)… John Matthews funks Harrow’s Tudor Club (opposite civic centre) every Thursday… Terry Billy not only looks like but is also a great friend of Janet Jackson… Nicky Holloway – who was having a slight nose job on Monday! – is yet another DJ making a record, under the clever group name of Beats Working… Narada Michael Walden has finally recorded himself again, to reportedly stunning effect… Hindsight are the latest UK soulsters to hit the US black charts, and do comparatively better there than here… Hashim ‘Al-Naafiysh’ has suddenly started selling like crazy again – maybe “its time” has come, after so much use by mixing competitors!… ‘One Bad Apple’ was the Osmonds’ first US chart-topper but never hit here back in 1971, so now, because it blatantly borrowed the early Jackson 5 sound, it’s inevitably become – guess what? – a rare groove!… Slim Gaillard was using the word “def” back in the Forties, as part of his gobbledygook jazz “slanguage” – there ain’t nothing new, attitudes and incidentals stay the same, it’s just the noises that change… GET OFF!


The opportunity to meet people in the same business is what makes any convention worth attending, so, viewed as a three day continuous cocktail party (which is what it amounted to!), the Disco Mix Club’s 1988 International DJ Convention must be judged a great success. By being over three days for the first time, it had the appearance of a more substantial event so that the expense of a visit could be more readily justified, and it was noticeable how many Americans in particular had made the trip this time. I say the appearance, because not much of any substance really went on.

The opening Sunday evening party at the Hippodrome included a host of PAs and pivoted around the Jive Records/Shure Golden Microphone UK Rapping finals — interminably, it seemed, considering there were only six contestants. Marked at each stage (by judges including Derek B, the Cookie Crew, Mike Allen, and US DJ/producer Mark Kamins), the rappers began with a solo and then were paired off to “dis” each other — trade spontaneously rapped insults — which was good fun at first, the most riotously obscene and amusing dis being between American-born MC Brooklyn and London’s Einstein, the big audience pleaser of the whole evening.

But then this process was continued through three more elimination stages, to end up with Brooklyn being beaten by Huddersfield’s MC Fresh J in a final dis to which the weary audience hardly responded. Fresh J (real name Martin Jaffier) won a gold plated £400 Shure microphone, two days’ recording time at Battery Studios, and a red leather Adidas track suit.

Monday afternoon’s actual seminar, further up the Charing Cross Road at the Astoria, featured two panel discussions on the stage, a long way from the balcony where most of the audience continued drinking and talking right through the opening debate about radio, which was informative for those who made the effort to hear it. However, everyone did shut up for the debate about sampling, probably the best that I’ve heard at any convention. Skilfully moderated by Tony Prince, the panel consisted of Arthur Baker, Jeff Young, Chris Hill, Pete Waterman, Simon Harris, Les Adams, Paul Dakeyne and Ben Liebrand. Pete began by stating that in America, sampling is illegal if it contains anything you can recognise, unless — the point he kept repeating — permission is sought to use it. Here, as Les pointed out, guidelines are needed to clarify what one can sample, as the technology itself is not illegal. He then cleverly trapped Pete into admitting that Stock Aitken Waterman are plagiarists, copying the basslines from ‘Trapped’ and ‘Dancing In The Key Of Life’ for the first two Rick Astley hits but with four notes changed, because, as Pete unguardedly revealed they’d thought, “We’ll get away with that”. “A-ha!”, cried the entire audience! But, as Pete maintained, plagiarism (recreating something yourself) is not sampling (lifting the original sound electronically), and he never samples anything without permission and/or payment. James Brown got paid for ‘Roadblock’, Arthur Baker drily muttered, “The Bugga Groove?” – referring to the ‘Roadblock’ remix’s added vocal lines, the owners of some of which were not in fact traceable, as he well knew! Chris Hill, with his ‘Renta Santa’ hit in 1975, used snippets from 20 different artists, all of whom were paid (including even the strings session on a Stylistics clip!), his ‘Top Of The Pops’ appearance costing £6,000 in royalties. Ben Liebrand admitted to building up a drum sound by combining several different samples of Phil Collins, citing economics as his reason — it’s cheaper to sample than pay for live musicians and studio time. Paul Dakeyne, who uses samples in his mixes, has got so interested in the creation of music that he’s now actually learning to play the guitar and piano, because he wants to be sampled by other people! Jeff Young reckoned that by the summer we will be bored silly by sampled volume pumping hits and want to hear proper songs again, while Arthur (who used David Cole to recreate Vince Montana’s vibes sound for ‘Private Party’, rather than sampling it) summed up by saying that comparing sampling with creative music was “like comparing graffiti with Gauguins”. Monday was then lengthily culminated by the World Mixing Final eliminations, which over-ran by hours, with the 19 international winners being weeded down to a final nine. This, however, was in many ways even better than the actual finals the following night, with the best DJs coming across much more exciting than at the Albert Hall.

The Hippodrome and the Astoria had only been open to those actually attending the DJ Convention, whereas the Royal Albert Hall was open to a certain amount of the general public. By the nature of the beast, mixing for competition purposes has inevitably come to mean scratch mixing, as unfortunately, satisfying though they may be, long beat on beat, chord on chord running mixes don’t exactly get people screaming, and they take too long out of the short time available to each competitor. Scratching is fast and furious, ideal for creating maximum impact in minimum time — granted, its best practitioners have developed subtle slow techniques too. Although the evidence would suggest that the majority of Disco Mix Club members are pop-orientated in their tastes —voting for the likes of Sinitta, Bananarama and Rick Astley in their annual poll — these were not the sort of artistes that interested the specifically scratch and rap fans who mobbed the Royal Albert Hall on Monday night!

Luckily, most of the night had been geared very much to their taste, although Tony Prince, with utopian vision, had promoted the evening as a star-studded music biz awards night for the industry in general. Next year he may well have to separate the pop acts from the rap acts, or restrict admission in order to take full advantage of the Albert Hall as a prestige venue, as this year somehow the balance there was definitely wrong. None of this is to suggest that anything ugly happened (indeed, certain behaviour last year when Chad Jackson won was far more disgraceful).

Matt Aitken was booed when he took his place on stage as a judge, and then at the start of the Stanton/DMC World DJ Awards ceremony halfway through the evening, Stock Aitken Waterman had some bottles and cans thrown at them. Obviously, it was pointless continuing along commercial pop lines, most of the other award winners being more “street credible” in any case … an understatement! Check the photographs to see what I mean. Public Enemy were inevitably the real heroes, more so than Run-DMC, but then James Brown strolled on stage and the applause lasted a full six minutes!

But what of the Technics World DJ Mixing Championship finals? Finland’s Kari Vesala did some interesting slurred scratches amongst other tricks; Australia’s jet lagged Andrew Muirhead scratched Public Enemy and Derek B; Hong Kong’s 15 year-old Simon Choi seemed dull on the big night but synched ‘White Christmas’ through ‘Pump Up The Volume’; Sweden’s Robert Watz (who I thought deserved a runner-up place) was a slippery scratcher who brilliantly changed the record speed pitch while transforming to make a stunning finale; France’s Dee Nasty aggressively fast cut the words “nasty” and “bad/good”; Britain’s Cutmaster Swift also did fast “stop/go” cuts and had his usual odd little syncopated tricks but seemed a bit lacklustre; 1987’s defending runner-up, Joe Rodriguez cut up Wild Cherry and Vaughan Mason’s ‘Bump Rock Skate Roll’ at length and actually did running mixes, but seemed dull. In the end, third place went to Holland’s Juan Elmroon, who climaxed his repetitive cut-backs by combining a Cash Money-namechecking record with an obscene comment from another, very cheeky! Second was Denmark’s Mick ‘Cutfather’ Hansen, who cued accurately if sometimes a bit jerkily without using headphones, and synched Run-DMC’s ‘It’s Tricky’ with Olivia Newton John & John Travolta’s ‘Summer Nights’.

Almost inevitably, the winner (by communal wish fulfilment?) was America’s Cash Money — with Marvelous as his record feeder —who began slowly before basically alternating beats, but also stood on a chair to scratch with his foot, then his elbow, before using his mouth and stomach to manipulate the crossfader! A popular win, then, although I must say (as one of the judges) that none of the finalists seemed fantastic on the night. The other judges were Mantronik, Ben Liebrand, Phil Harding, Les Adams, Red Alert, Derek B, Paul Dakeyne, Sanny X, Def Jam’s Dr Funk-En-Klein, and Matt Aitken, all of whom knew what to look for!

CJ MACKINTOSH and DAVE DORRELL collected the award from BOY ‘Loads Of Money’ GEORGE for best single, M|A|R|R|S ‘Pump Up The Volume’. A year earlier, CJ was the UK champion and competing unsuccessfully on the same Albert Hall stage for the World title.



KEITH SWEAT ‘Something Just Ain’t Right (Extended Version)’ (US Vintertainment 0-66776)
Jogged along by percolating Timmy Thomas-type, Anne Peebles ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’-like synthetic beats, his album’s hottest cut is now in a strong soulfully weaving 0-105⅔-0bpm remix (in four versions), obviously targeted at black radio in the US as right now his previous black smash, ‘I Want Her’, is top 10 pop.

PEBBLES ‘Girlfriend’ (MCA Records MCAT 1233)
Perri McKissack used to sing with jazz-funker Bill Summers but her first solo US smash is a frothy, perky 118¼bpm pop chugger with squeaky baroque “strings” —which are missing from the Dance Remix (MCA Records MCAX 1233). Continue reading “March 19, 1988: DMC International DJ Convention, Keith Sweat, Pebbles, Gwen McCrae, Sargent Tucker”

March 12, 1988: Al B. Sure!, Will Downing, Jean Carne, T.Jam, Apollo 11


Derek B has now officially signed to Club Records, with his own label Tuff Audio, for all future recordings while, in a related move, Streets Ahead has created a Changing Gears Remix of ‘Goodgroove’ (76⅚-0bpm off acetate), using Eddie Bo’s ‘Hook And Sling’ as a break beat with drop ins from Joe Tex’s ‘I Gotcha’…

rm next week – as you should know if you’ve been reading the adverts! – will be packaged with a solid vinyl 33⅓rpm seven inch single featuring DJ Richie Rich’s latest “scam”, a 106bpm ‘Richie Rich In Trouble’ scratch mix of Trouble Funk, flipped by Rob Manley’s 0-119½-117½-118-0bpm ‘My Boyfriend’s Private Party’, mixing together Wally Jump Jr & The Criminal Element’s ‘Lighten Up (I Just Can’t Stop Scratchin’)’ and ‘Private Party’ with a bit of LA Mix’s ‘Don’t Stop’ and Shanice Wilson’s ‘I Bet She’s Got A Boyfriend’ in real Hotrod style, well worth getting for what amounts to free!…

Keith Sweat’s ‘I Want Her’ has had its LP Version replaced by a bassily jolting 108½bpm Dance ‘Til Ya Sweat Mix on the B-side of new creatively marketed pressings (Elektra EKR 69TX)… Rick Astley’s ‘Together Forever’ is also due in a largely instrumental 0-115bpm jack track-type House Of Love Mix (RCA PT 41818R) by Pete Hammond with ‘Set It Off’ “pshta pshta” hi-hats and digital punctuations but not much of Rick… Coldcut gave this column a terrific plug on Capital Radio’s mid-evening “teenage” show, the presenters of which, Pat Sharp and Mick Brown, have been produced by Stock Aitken Waterman singing – or, at any rate, going “whoop whoop”! – a remake of the Michael Zager Band’s ‘Let’s All Chant’… MC Jammy Hammy makes a guest appearance on the dub of LA Mix’s follow-up (which will also include the German remix of ‘Don’t Stop (Jammin’)’… ’15 Minutes’, the acid house track due on limited white label from Stoneleigh’s Diamon Duel record shop this weekend, turns out to be produced by none other than Antonio Valesquez and Wolfgang Prinz, from Maplewood, New Jersey – where shop owner, Steve Crosby, has an obviously useful friend… UK releases of the Kane Gang’s ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ next week won’t include the Francois Kevorkian remixes, but will be a completely different Mantronik mix, plus his B-Boy Vocal Dub… CityBeat picked up Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock’s sizzling ‘It Takes Two’ rap smash and Kechia Jenkins’ ‘I Need Somebody’, plus new material by 3D and Cool C… MCA Records are holding an invitation-only DJ party at Holborn’s Brown’s this Tuesday lunchtime, during the International DJ Convention, in competition with Breakout’s party at Soho’s Gullivers… Martin Jaffier, known as MC Fresh J, was due to give our sister DJ monthly, Jocks, a big plug during his Shure Rapping Championship appearance (despite it being organised by the DMC!)… Tony Jenkins has another of his PA-packed Up West nights at London’s Hippodrome this Wednesday (March 9), with Nigel Wilton, Bill Griffin, Ralph Tee and Colin Line dishing out freebies as well as jocking… Kev Hill starts weekly house/funk/grooves at The Outer Limit next to Harlow Mill station (only £1, no dress restrictions)… Friday (11) the Special Branch crew of Pete Tong, Nicky Holloway and Chris Bangs hold a Googly-Do at St John’s Wood’s Lord’s Cricket Ground… Baz Fe Jazz has a new Saturday venue at 145-147 Church Street in Paddington (by Edgware Road tube), Night In Tunisia this Saturday (12) and then every fortnight being for rare jazz and Latin while other types of old but fresh music are featured on a monthly rota… Iain Black, most upfront on Saturdays, has Total Contrast appearing at Colchester’s well equipped Tartan House this Sunday (13)… Paul James, resident every night, is funkiest on Tuesdays at St Helen’s Banana Republic (pub hours)… Richard Short souls Rayners Lane’s Bugsy’s Tuesdays and Harrow’s Mirrabeau Wednesdays, both wine bars and both free… Paul Major has returned to jocking in scratch mix style now, with three SL 1200s, at Leicester’s Leicester Studio Thur/Fri/Sat… Torquay’s Lasers in Coral Island has a new Saturday Power House night with TT Masters cutting up house/funk/soul/jazz… Tim Smith is after good PAs (on 091 285 8234) for Sunderland’s new but already heaving Blue Monkey, as is Dave Gregory (on 01-546 9044) Tue/Thurs office hours) for Kingston on Thames’s soulful Hoofers… Radio Aire’s weekday mid-evening and Saturday 6-8pm soul man, Carl Kingston (on 0532 687886) wants more regular club gigs within 50 miles of Leeds… Capital Radio has followed up my continued belief in Supertramp ‘I’m Beggin’ You’ by putting it on the “A” list (for maximum airplay rotation) even though in fact the actual single was released with little promotion last October and has already been superseded by another – a triumph of good music over bad marketing!… Andy Douglas – at Pzazz, 23 Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G41 – offers money for a desperately needed copy of Alexander O’Neal’s ‘What’s Missing’ remix… Adrian John tips from Telford’s Cascades that Barbara Fowler’s old ‘Come And Get My Loving’ is doing well again in the wake of Joyce Sims and Terry Billy… Joyce Sims’ follow-up, due around Easter, will be a Robert Clivilles and David Cole remix of ‘Walk Away’… Pebbles ‘Girlfriend’, reviewed on import last week, is now due out here (MCA Records MCAX 1233)… Lou ‘Rookies Revenge’ is 94bpm, as chart checkers would have noticed, my review last week forgetting it… US newies that I unfortunately had no time to review this week include Kashif ‘Love Me All Over’ (Arista, breathy tender slow jolter flipped by the new gentle piano instrumental ‘Kathryn’), Mark Imperial & Co featuring Jack N House ‘The Love I Lost’ (House Nation, mournfully moaning slick house bounder), Joe Church ‘I Can’t Wait Too Long’ (Sleeping Bag Records, frantically flying Colonel Abrams-ishly soulful over-busy but adventurous house), Twat Sisters featuring House Master Baldwin ‘Eat My Pussy’ (Future Sound Records, tongue in cheek – or something! – frantic acid house), Kev-E-Kev & AK-B ‘Listen To The Man’ (DNA International, jumbled jerky rap scratching up ‘The Champ’ and much more), Sha-Rock & Inf ‘Wait Stop Start The Clock’ (Young’s Recording Co, another rap set to ‘Clean Up Woman’)… PUMP THAT BASS!

CA$H MONEY actually travelled right across the States from New York to San Diego just to compete in – and win! – the US finals of the Technics DJ Mixing Championships, beating Chicago’s Bad Boy Bill, which means that he’ll probably be the most eagerly awaited competitor tonight (Tuesday, March 8) in the World finals at the Royal Albert Hall! First of all, though, he and the other 18 finalists will have had to win one of the eight places in a preliminary round on Monday in order to meet the defending 1987 runner-up at the Albert Hall, Joe Rodriguez (also from the USA), who of course qualifies automatically, so it can be by no means certain that either Cash Money or the new 1988 UK champ, Cutmaster Swift, make it into the grand final. Disasters can happen, especially in such a volatile art as mixing (mind you, there’ll probably be a riot if they don’t make it!). The other international winners who will have been battling again for five minutes each on Monday to win one of the eight Grand Final places are Australia’s Andrew Muirhead, Austria’s Stefan Beidermann, Belgium’s Phil Watts, Denmark’s Mick ‘Cutfather’ Hansen (a 1986 finalist), Finland’s Kari Vesala, France’s Dee Nasty (a 1987 finalist), Germany’s Romeo Maramigi, Holland’s Juan Elmroom, Hong Kong’s Simon Choi, Israel’s Yoram Vazana, Italy’s Lorenzo Bossina, Norway’s DJ Fresh, Portugal’s Joao Canada, Singapore’s Gabriel Chong, Spain’s Mias Earbajo, Sweden’s Robert Watz, and Switzerland’s KZ. A full 20 competitors one after another at the Albert Hall would obviously have been far too many, especially as there’s no guarantee of the standard of some of the international winners, so that the preliminary weeding out is necessary and should ensure there’s no repetition of last year’s fiasco, when the Singapore finalist spent his entire time slot supposedly “mixing” just two records with a shoe! As well as the “mega” stars promised as winners of the Disco Mix Club members-voted annual Stanton awards, Tuesday night’s World final will also feature stage performances by the likes of Keith Sweat, Taja Sevelle, Derek B, Terry Billy, Shanice Wilson and Boy George – so it should be quite a night! The opening party of the 1988 International DJ Convention on Sunday at the Hippodrome will have already featured PAs by such as Bomb The Bass, Wee Papa Girl Rappers, Fingers Inc, Sheik Fawaz, Déja, Hazell Dean, Glen Goldsmith, Black Britain, Pebbles, Scratchmo, Robe, Asher D & Daddy Freddy, Chris Andrews, plus exhibition mixes by Disco Mix Club stars like Les Adams, Paul Dakeyne, Ben Liebrand, Mike Gray, and of course the Shure UK Rapping Championship finals, while the Monday seminar discussion sessions at the Astoria – including debates on radio, and (with Pete Waterman an important speaker!) sampling – will have been interspersed by PAs from Bam Bam, Roger, Maxi Priest, T-Cut-F, 52nd Street, Dee Dee Wilde and Wayne Hernandez. Full details next week about the winners, and what happened!


AL B. SURE! ‘Nite And Day’ (US Warner Bros/Uptown 0-20782)
Superb atmosphere drenched amorphous sweetly swaying 0-91½-0bpm drifter like Leee John singing Janet Jackson’s ‘Funny How Time Flies’ with some Marvin Gaye whoops and Isaac Hayes ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ guitar (in six mixes, the 0-91⅓-0bpm flip’s translated and sung in French as ‘Nuit Et Jour‘). Cool, for sure!

WILL DOWNING ‘Will Downing’ (Fourth & Broadway BRLP 518)
The huskily teasing Luther Vandross/Colonel Abrams-ish singer from Wally Jump Jr & The Criminal Element has made an excellent soulful essentially self-produced debut LP, with the loping 0-111¾bpm ‘In My Dreams’, jogging 0-106bpm ‘Do You?’, jerkily leaping 120½bpm ‘Set Me Free’ (with Mike Manieri’s vibes), swaying 105½bpm ‘Sending Out An SOS’, drifting 86bpm ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’, rolling 105⅚bpm ‘Security’, slushy 0-32⅔-0bpm ‘Do You Remember Love?’, Deniece Williams’ 0-94⅓bpm ‘Free’, and – the set’s standout – a fantastic lushly cantering 0-120⅔bpm treatment of late jazz great John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’, full of beautiful resonances, tootled by Stanley Turrentine, tinkled by David Cole and moaned by Will with Lew Kirton. Already on import, the album is out here on March 14, while – wait for it! – Arthur Baker’s “pshta pshta” hi-hat hissed more densely chugging 0-119½bpm ‘A Love Supreme (Jazz In The House Remix)’ (12BRW 90) is on promo now and out on March 21. Essential tackle, as some would say!

JEAN CARNE ‘You’re A Part Of Me’ (RCA PL71624)
Still a disappointment live and always (to my mind, anyway) in danger of going tiresomely over the top with her swooping and gurgling vocal style, Jean has, however, in this LP managed to make a consistently excellent real soul set that rightly is selling fast (out here ahead of imports!). Kept in check by such various producers as Grover Washington Jr, Bobby Eli and Nick Martinelli, every track is a gem, especially for listening maybe more than dancing, the only relatively uptempo songs being the superb sultrily jogging 90bpm ‘Heartache’, and wriggly 103⅙bpm ‘Givin’ Up On Love’ and 112⅙bpm ‘Let Me Be The One’, while slowies are the Booker Newberry-duetted 62-0bpm ‘Closer To You’, 62bpm ‘You’re A Part Of Me’, 61¼bpm ‘Walking The Line’, 60⅓bpm ‘Early Morning Love’, 71⅙bpm ‘Don’t Want To Love Anymore’, and Aretha Franklin’s old wailing 44-43bpm ‘Ain’t No Way’. Anita Baker comes to mind, the set’s so good. Continue reading “March 12, 1988: Al B. Sure!, Will Downing, Jean Carne, T.Jam, Apollo 11”

March 5, 1988: Kid ‘N Play, Big Daddy Kane, Simon Harris, S-Express, Spoonie Gee


Coldcut – featuring a top 10 position without Radio 1 support – have a much harder loping 117⅓-0bpm Upset Remix of ‘Doctorin’ The House’ (Ahead Of Our Time CCUT 2R), less gimmicky with added clavinet by Lord Byron III and two cymbal-shushed Acid Shut Up dubs… Derek B’s 117½-117¾bpm Dr Z In Full Effect Mix of ‘Spy In The House Of Love’ (Fontana WASXR 2) doesn’t have much to do with Was (Not Was), but is coupled with the already hot 0-118bpm Streets Ahead mix and Jeff Young’s old 0-117¾-0bpm Jeffrey B Young & Dangerous Mix… CCR Crew ‘Stretchin’ The Pieces’ – the Froggy and KC produced blending of Average White Band ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ and Stretch ‘Why Did You Do It’ – is belatedly in a satirically started 0-100¼-0-100¼bpm Now That’s Played Out Remix (Circle City Records CCYX 1), with a dialogue overdubbed 0-101⅙-0bpm Not So Played Out Remix Part 2 and sax tootled 100¼-0bpm Go Go Stretchin flip… Cousin Rachel ‘You Give Me So Much’ is in yet another 102⅔-0bpm No Way Out Mix (Supreme SUPETX 121), jigglier in Climie Fisher style with overdubbed soundtrack snips and hardly any vocal now… Billy Ocean ‘Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car’ is in a percussively interrupted 116½bpm AA Remix (Jive BOSR 1), strictly for creative marketing rather than musical purposes… Tongue N Cheek have a remix due, rumoured to be by Coldcut… The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu’s confusingly labelled ‘JAMS Have A Party’ (KLF JAMS 26T) is due to be remixed for full commercial release, a Scottish-accented typically maniacal 0-120¾-0bpm revamp of Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘Dance To The Music’… Stereo MC’s and Cesare’s label turns out to be called G Records, their single having been picked up by Fourth & Broadway for the US, where ‘Move It’ will be A-side… Wee Papa Girl Rappers ‘Faith’, as well as an instrumental, on commercial pressings includes the slow rolling 88⅓bpm ‘Bustin’ Loose’… Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor’s various artists-performed rap LP is finally out here, Hurby’s Machine ‘The House That Rap Built’ (ffrr FFRLP 2)… Steve Crosby of Stoneleigh’s Diamond Duel record shop sent me a cassette of the c.124bpm naggingly acid house ’15 Minutes’, apparently from some as yet obscure source in New Jersey but due to be test marketed here on white label, and well worth finding… Bomb The Bass are now confirmed for Prestatyn (their first ever live gig), plus Roxanne Shanté, Biz Markie, MC Shan and Big Daddy Kane from the Cold Chillin’ label (as hinted last week!), Nitro Deluxe, Derek B, possibly Kid ’N Play, Steven Danté, Tony Stone, as well as all the others mentioned last week – which adds up to one hell of a line-up!… Tony Prince is now president of the Dance Aid Trust, which in its first year raised £65,774, from which £38,000 has already been paid to five different charities and further sums are being allocated now… Ralph Tee would appear to be leaving Arista to work (perhaps to the surprise of some) for Ian Levine’s Hi-NRG label, Nightmare… Stock Aitken Waterman and Rick Astley, having picked up all the awards they were due to win, rather noticeably were the first to walk out early from the Music Week Awards 1987 ceremony (at which, as last year, Tony Blackburn made an hilarious master of ceremonies) – perhaps they had more hits to work on?… I’ll be celebrating my 25th anniversary as a DJ during the DMC Convention, quite a thought!… Cutmaster Swift and Owen D’s photo captions were somehow switched last week, as many eagle-eyed readers quickly spotted… Des Mitchell is hanging on here for several weeks before returning to Tenerife, mixing at London West End’s Laceys Thurs/Sat and Southend-on-Sea’s Courtlands in Thorpe Bay Fridays… Chicago’s DJ International Records have opened a European office at Morgan Khan’s Ealing-based Westside Records… DM/StreetSounds are finally due to release on March 21 an eight album, 72 track ‘The Solar Box Set’, which I helped to compile, to mark the Solar label’s 10th anniversary… Casey Kasem’s ‘American Top 10’ is actually seen on TV here, even if it is in the middle of the night, four days before it’s shown in the US!… Warrior Records’ new ‘Acid Beats 1’ LP, cut into the actual vinyl by the matrix number, bears the message “In memory of Fat Larry who’s about to make a journey to the Centre City in the sky!”… Keith Sweat’s next release is rumoured to have a scratch ‘n’ sniff sleeve… PUMP THAT BASS!

CHAD JACKSON is gunning for nobody now that his year as World Champion is nearly up, his successor being the winner of the Technics World DJ Mixing Championships at London’s Royal Albert Hall next Tuesday, March 8. This will be the star-studded culmination of the Disco Mix Club’s three day DJ Convention, March 6/7/8, starting on Sunday with a welcoming party at the Hippodrome before the seminar discussion sessions on Monday at the Astoria. These will be interspersed by the Shure UK Rapping Competition, and by a preliminary sound of the World mixers (to ensure that just the six best are at the Albert Hall!). Full details from DMC on 06286-67276.


KID ‘N PLAY ‘Do This My Way’ (Cooltempo COOLX 164)
Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor-produced Sweet Tee-tempoed 115bpm rap jitterer using Maceo And The Macks’ ‘Cross The Track’ in its three US mixes on the B-side, but here it’s already been remixed by Norman Cook and Dancing Danny D for the radically slowed down 108bpm A-side, with added boo-bedoo’s from Lou Reed’s ‘Walk On The Wild Side’, some “Idi Amin” at the start, and more.

BIG DADDY KANE ‘Raw’ (Cold Chillin’ W7953T)
First UK fruit of Warner Bros’ US vice-president Benny Medina’s new label signing is this sizzling import hit, a Marley Marl-produced 109⅘-109⅔bpm nervy rap jitterer cutting in Bobby Byrd, James Brown, the JBs, and the same ‘Grunt’ screech as Public Enemy (dubapella too).

SIMON HARRIS ‘Bass (How Low Can You Go) (Bomb The House Mix)’ (ffrr FFRX 4)
One of London’s leading hip hop producers throws in a bit of Public Enemy title line, James Brown “ain’t it funky now”, Soul Sonic Force ‘Planet Rock’, and too much more to mention in a monotonous 113¾bpm juddering jitterer with chugging offbeat syncopation, which shows up better on the 114¼bpm instrumental flip (bluesily burbling 97⅚-0bpm ‘The Playback‘ too), the A-side running out of inspiration halfway – although Simon says that’s to make it easier to mix! Continue reading “March 5, 1988: Kid ‘N Play, Big Daddy Kane, Simon Harris, S-Express, Spoonie Gee”