BEATS & PIECES
Pascal Gabriel (currently calling himself Emilio Pasquez!) has been snapped up by MCA Records from under the noses of both Phonogram and WEA… S’Express’s upcoming ‘Superfly Guy’ is sadly less catchy than their chart-topper, a monotonous 117½-0bpm chugging thudder with chanting girls, shouting guys, various percussive breaks and some sampled speech… Phil Harding and Ian Curnow have not only remixed the Four Tops’ new debut single on Arista, ‘Indestructible’, but also created a frenetically scurrying and stuttering 0-120-121½-122-122⅓-122¼bpm remix of their classic ‘Reach Out, I’ll Be There’ for imminent Motown release!… MCA Records, as you probably heard, are in the process of buying Motown (whom they already distribute in the US) for $85,000,000, which does not include the still independent Jobete publishing division… US pressings of the Mac Band featuring the McCampbell Brothers ‘Roses Are Red’ are available here at normal UK price, which is why there’s been no new review… Ten City is now out here with the full length import version of ‘One Kiss Will Make It Better’ as A-side (Atlantic A9088TX), flipped by the full Extended Mix (but no NY Mix) of ‘Right Back To You’… Breakout have picked up Mr Lee ‘Pump Up London’ and Stetsasonic ‘DBC Let The Music Play’ for UK release… Anthony & The Camp’s previously reviewed import LP is now out here, ‘Suspense’ (Warner Bros 925 648-1)… James Brown’s album sleeve for some reason has been totally changed for the UK and made to look cheap… Tiffany ‘I Saw Him Standing There’ should be (0-)160⅔bpm, and Tony Terry ‘Forever Yours’ 63¾-0bpm, while Tracie Spencer isn’t quite that young, she’s just turned 13!… Les Adams, remixing Desireless’s follow-up, ‘John’, is available for live mixing gigs via DMC on 06286-67276 (actually, as you read this, he, LA Mix partner Emma Freilich and myself are on the way back from watching the longest day staying light all night on the north-west tip of Scotland!)… Robert Clivilles and David Cole have remixed Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King’s ‘Hold On To What You’ve Got’ for imminent UK release… Jaki Graham is due to return with ‘No More Tears’, a jittery smacker in a stuttery 106⅚bpm Fon Force remix and producer Derek Bramble’s own even more juddery 0-107⅓bpm Home-Base Mix, too violent possibly for pop fans… Gwen McCrae’s brand new ‘Generate Love’, a jittery lurching 107⅚bpm ponderous basher, is due in three weeks on The Dance Yard, the James Horrocks label which has also signed Hackney soul group Deluxe… Ingram Inc ‘Zone’/’House’, originally reviewed on Bass Records, is now on Champion (CHAMP 12-71)… GRC are boosting their ‘House Music Vol 1’ compilation with 12 inch promos of its previously unissued The North South Connection featuring Legacy ‘Gotta Keep Dancin’’, a smoothly jittering 0-122¼-0bpm acid disco bounder borrowing from Hamilton Bohannon’s ‘Let’s Start The Dance’ and other Seventies classics (there’s a commercial Bam Bam remix due later), and Charm ‘Housegirl’, a girl giggled and man muttered sparse 0-120¼bpm acid bubbler… London DJ Jazzy M shares vocals with Julian Jonah, and both co-produced, with guitarist Bam Bam, the Fingers Inc and Larry Heard accompanied ‘Living In A World Of Fantasy’ which, credited to J & M Connection, will be the first single from ffrr’s upcoming ‘The House Sound Of London, Vol IV – The Jackin’ Zone’ (a switch on the series’ previous title)… Edgbaston’s Libertys opens a Monday night Insomnia club for club people – ie: for only those employed in the club and bar industry – with DJs Wee Willie, Paul Jones, Freeky Dee, Paul Dakeyne, Mixmaster Kiwi and Pete Roberts due in that order between next Monday (27) and August 1… Tuesday (28) sees Stu Allan, Malcolm T, Wes & Kim, the Midnight Mixer and Paul Williams funk/house/grooving Wigan Pier… Tony Cochrane, taking Shirley Lewis on a PA tour of Scottish clubs, had an unexpected extra passenger, her boyfriend Luke Goss from Bros – who kept his presence low key but still caused something of a stir!… NANU NANU!
Last summer London DJs Nicky Holloway, Paul Oakenfold, Johnny Walker and Danny Rampling holidayed in Ibiza in the Balearic Islands (pronounced “Ballay-aric”), and, getting away from the rowdy tourists on the coast, discovered inland a club scene that bowled them over. At such expensive nightclubs as Amnesia, Ku Club, Pacha, Glorys, Es Paradis and Manhattans, the local DJs mixed together a diverse cross-section of dance music, from acid house to the Thrashing Doves, to Spanish rock, Prince, and Cyndi Lauper (in other words, these previously black music specialising London jocks were experiencing the standard upmarket DJ-ing style!). This so inspired them that once back in London they started no longer to conform to other people’s preconceptions of what they ought to be playing, and formulated instead the concept of “Balearic Beat”, defined by Nicky as “anything you heard on holiday but would be too frightened to play back at home because people would think it was too commercial”. This doesn’t mean straight Eurodisco, it’s less tacky than that — more like New Order ‘Blue Monday’, Nitzer Ebb, Split Enz, Code 61 ‘Drop The Deal‘, crossed with acid house.
Danny’s short lived Shoom club set the ball rolling, Paul (with Nancy Noise) now Balearics The Sanctuary on Thursdays and, with Johnny Walker, Spectrum on Mondays (both at Charing Cross’s Heaven), while Nicky is currently running Trip at the Astoria on Saturdays. Packed with trendies, many more white than black, Spectrum and Trip both mix acid house, indie dance rock, Martin Luther King speeches, psychedelia, tribal chants and off-the-wall oldies amidst Sixties-style light shows and lasers, many of the frantically arm waving dancers wearing hippy dress (and taking drugs to keep up the pace, it not being called “acid” for nothing). Balearic Beat records are already beginning to appear, Nicky Holloway being behind Beats Workin’ ‘Sure Beats Workin’‘ (on ffrr soon), a jauntily rolling 0-113¼-0bpm instrumental leaper combining ‘Stone Fox Chase’ (the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ theme) with bursts of Winston Churchill speech, Paul Oakenfold being involved with Electra’s upcoming cover of Elkin & Nelson’s old ‘Jibaro‘, while now out is The Project Club ‘Dance With The Devil (Balearic Mix)‘ (Supreme SUPET 131), a monotonously looping instrumental jitterer interspersed with a female title line, percussion breaks, some naughty praying on the flip’s 120-0bpm Cult Mix, and clanging chimes borrowed from the rattling and bashing old 129½bpm Fini Tribe ‘Let The Tribe Grow‘ (Cathexis Recordings CRF 611, via Rough Trade), one of the style’s indie influences. The danger is that everyone will leap onto the Balearic bandwagon and flood the market with dross, because it is so simple and, also, because it’s so white, other DJs will stop bothering to play soul because in reality it’s what their audience deep down would like to hear anyway. It’s fun, for the moment.
PUBLIC ENEMY ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’ (Def Jam 652833 6)
Yes, the nation’s favourite rappers are back, in totally typical 98⅓bpm style right down to the repeated JB sax squeal “noise”, flipped by the urgently jittering 0-99⅙-0bpm ‘Prophets Of Rage’ and its more tensely dubwise 0-99½-0bpm Power Version, plus an acappella 100bpm ‘The Rhythm, The Rebel’ from ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ especially for samplers to use!
GUY ‘Guy’ (US Uptown/MCA Records MCA-42176)
Teddy Riley’s own trio make strong chunkily danceable soul on the 0-108-0bpm ‘Groove Me’, 0-104⅔bpm ‘Teddy’s Jam’, 110bpm ‘Don’t Clap – Just Dance’, 107bpm ‘‘Round And ‘Round (Merry Go ‘Round Of Love)’, 0-99½bpm ‘My Business’, 110¼bpm ‘Spend The Night’, 109⅓bpm ‘You Can Call Me Crazy’, 105⅓bpm ‘I Like’, 75bpm ‘Piece Of My Love’, 82¼bpm ‘Goodbye Love’, even the two slowies being quite funky in a consistently good set.
KRAZE ‘The Party (Club Mix)’ (US Big Beat BB-0002)
Very simple raucously shouted exciting 121bpm piano nagged house leaper (in four mixes), much used by such pioneering “Balearic beat” DJs as Paul Oakenfold, and worth finding by pop jocks. Continue reading “June 25, 1988: “Balearic Beat”, Public Enemy, Guy, Kraze, Loose Ends”