August 27, 1988: “The frantically empty acid house of the late Eighties is being created specifically to keep ecstasy motivated trendy Londoners dancing on a high”


Take this how you like, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the frantically empty disco music of the late Seventies was created (not that we in Britain necessarily realised it at the time) specifically to keep drugged gay New Yorkers dancing on a high, and now the frantically empty acid house of the late Eighties is likewise being created specifically to keep ecstasy motivated trendy Londoners dancing on a high (a fast beat and surface excitement being so common to both styles that many acid DJs are now mixing in Seventies disco oldies without anyone noticing the difference!) – my point being that if the music is appreciated primarily by people speeding on drugs, who are in the minority, why isn’t more being done at the moment to cater for the tastes of the majority, who don’t need artificial stimulants to appreciate a good tune? … Gee St Records have picked up the Jungle Brothers here, ‘I’ll House You’ possibly being due a for UK remix but definitely out on 12 inch and added to UK pressings of their album before they visit for gigs here next month … Maze were mooted but now, as well as fireworks, November the 5th at the Prestatyn weekender will see the first ever exclusive UK concert by Keith Sweat instead … Gullivers DJ Graham Gold is the latest jock to become a recording artiste, co-producing himself with Phil Harding and Ian Curnow on ‘Shikisha’, described as “more Yazz than LA Mix with a touch of Todd Terry” … “They really like acid here”, Kevin ‘Reese’ Saunderson remarked drily, in the understatement of the night, when DJing at Nicky Holloway’s most recent “doo at Kew” (actually the venue’s in Brentford, across the river, but that doesn’t sound so good!) … Nicky Holloway, amongst an armoury of slick acidic tracks, plays the start of Tyree ‘Acid Over’ at 33⅓rpm before jacking up to the correct 45rpm precisely as the main impetus kicks in, and also dramatically shifts the vari-speed during different phases of Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’ (the Eighties remix version), to ecstatic reaction … I haven’t time this week to BPM the slew of strong acid house albums that are out, including two rival double LP sets, ffrr’s ‘The House Sound Of London Vol IV – The Jackin’ Zone’ and Breakout’s ‘House Hallucinates – Pump Up London, Volume One’, plus two hot import compilations, Hot Mix 5 Inc Records’ ‘Acid’ and the Junior Vasquez remixed mainly Arthur Baker productions on Minimal Records’ ‘Rough House Vol 1’ … Westside Records are countering Serious’s 10 album boxed house set with a 14 album, 120 track, limited edition ‘House Of Hits’ box set! … Ace Records have just released a whole slew of old Stax albums in their original late Sixties/early Seventies sleeves, including Isaac Hayes ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ … Westside Records have signed New York’s Bassment Records for the UK … Andrew Beer is building a DJ mailing list at Warrior Records, PO Box 798, London W14 9NT (01-801 0254) … Bill Medley’s new version reminds me, which now exalted national radio executive, when a producer on local radio, asked the record library for copies of “those two old Hollies hits, ‘He Ain’t Heavy’, and ‘He’s My Brother’?! … Island have signed the Leslie Drayton Orchestra … Chrysalis picked up City Heat’s ‘City Heat’, real “yuppy soul” considering the song is set in a city cocktail bar after work … Raheem the rapping vigilante’s ‘Dance Floor’, reviewed as an import last week (when the fact it’s based on Eddie Kendricks ‘Keep On Truckin’’ was left out), is already on 96⅔-0bpm UK 12 inch (Breakout USAT 642) and getting perhaps more pop than hardcore attention … Kool G Rap & DJ Polo ‘Poison’ (US Prism) only ever hit The Club Chart for one week at number 90 at the end of May, but has been selling steadily for the last 14 weeks – and while we’re talking longevity, Shy Rose ‘I Cry For You’ (US JDC) has been bubbling around the Hi-NRG chart since late last October, without ever getting higher than number seven, so will it last for a whole year? … Nicky Holloway and ecstatic Johnny Walker “Balearic” The Devil May Trip this Tuesday (23) at Uxbridge Regals … Sunday (28) sees Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Chris Hill, Chrisse Jackson, Colin Hudd, Eddie Gordon, Danny Smith and more at Great Yarmouth Tiffany’s 6pm “alldayer”, and Stu Allen, Rob Manley and Steve Woolfe at Manchester Legend’s allniter … Bank Holiday Monday (29) has DJs Huge, The Klass, David T and more at No Sell Out 9 in Liverpool’s Mardi Gras, also Steve Allen, Nick Graham and more plus Chapter + The Verse at Peterborough’s Millionaire Club, a noon-midnight alldayer at Putney’s Micawbers with Jazzy M, Jasper, Nigel Wilton, Steve Roberts and more, and Chad Jackson cutting up Preston’s The Place … Neil Fincham, awarded a gold disc on his departure from Styx, has moved across Edinburgh to continue his funk, soul, jazz policy on Thurs/Fri/Saturdays at the new Morrisons in Morrison Street … Bloxwich’s Flix has become the refurbished Starlight Club, with DJs Ray Young Tues/Fri, Shaun Sullivan Thurs, Scott Brazil Sat … Gary Steel souls Chesham Stages every Thursday … Phil Simmons, recently at the Empire in London’s Leicester Square, has now moved actually to Leicester to jock Thur/Fri/Sat at The Studio … East Midlands club jock Glen Ross writes a weekly music column in Leicester’s The Times … Mark Hughes is excited at the prospect of being the club jock involved in a live link up between Worthing’s Sterns Nightclub and Southern Sound radio on Saturday, September 3 … RSW, creators of the already reviewed funkily drummed ‘Biting My Nails’ on Mute, turns out to be Renegade Sound Wave (with a dreadful vocal version as commercial A-side!) … NANU NANU!


BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS ‘Stop The Violence (Extended Mix)’ (US Jive 1121-1-JD)
Brand new tougher (0-)91⅙bpm “hard” remix of KRS-One’s reggae-ish bass thrummed sombre anti-drugs and violence message rap (only ever out here in its LP version), with some plinky plunky African kalimba, and a dubwise style false finish (instrumental/edit too), flipped by the amusing 0-102bpm ‘Jimmy’, a thinly disguised warning to wear a condom! Meanwhile, KRS-One’s new UK release is the bass jolted wordy unremixed 91bpm ‘I’m Still No. 1’ (Jive JIVE T 179), also flipped by the here 0-101⅔bpm ‘Jimmy’ plus the previously oddly disjointed 76½bpm ‘Essays On BDP-ism’ with Scott La Rock.

M.C. SYN-DEE ‘Best 2 B A Girl’ (Virgin VST 1111)
Promoed for ages to great acclaim and finally out properly (still at 33⅓rpm despite the label saying 45), this is the correct nomenclature for the now subtly remixed and more smoothly rounded jiggly bass throbbed go-go-ish 108⅓bpm infectious female rap, sure to be big (scratching 108⅔bpm Instrumental and funky JB drummer sampled 100bpm ‘Low Down Bonus Beats’ flip).

STETSASONIC ‘Talkin’ All That Jazz’ (Breakout USAT 640)
Due fully on September 5, their excellent unhurriedly talking justification for sampling James Brown and others’ oldies is burbled by Lonnie Liston Smith’s ‘Expansions’ bassline in the 0-107⅚bpm main A-side mix and its 0-107½bpm Instrumental and by Donald Byrd’s ‘Dominoes’ bassline in the flip’s 107⅚bpm Dominoes Mix and its 107⅔bpm Instrumental. Already big on LP, it’s a hot one! Continue reading “August 27, 1988: “The frantically empty acid house of the late Eighties is being created specifically to keep ecstasy motivated trendy Londoners dancing on a high””

August 20, 1988: Diaz Brothers, Tina B, EPMD, Nu Shooz, Johnny Kemp


The Urban All Stars, rather than its creator Norman Cook, turns out to be the correct label credit for the terrific ‘It Began In Africa’ megamix, finished 12 inch copies also including the Jackson Sisters’ ‘I Believe In Miracles’ and ‘When Your Love Is Gone’, and Maceo & The Macks ‘Cross The Track’ … Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis will again be producing the long awaited new Janet Jackson LP … London Leicester Square’s Empire Ballroom has had another fatal stabbing, during a privately staffed function – this will not affect the Steve Walsh family benefiting Soul Night Out there this Thursday, when the myriad of PAs will include Joyce Sims, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Wee Papa Girl Rappers, Derek B, Glen Goldsmith, Princess, Steven Danté, Rick Clarke, Mica Paris, Pasadenas, LA Mix, Tongue In Cheek, Ruby Turner, Phil Fearon, David Grant, Sid Haywoode, Total Contrast, Krush, Jazz & The Brothers Grimm, Mirage, Simon Harris and many more (including surprises), Edwin Starr being due to lead them all in an ‘I Found Lovin’’ finale for the Radio London broadcast, the evening’s presenters including Tony Blackburn, Jeff Young, John Sachs, Mike Shaft, John Saunderson, John Ceccini, Gary Crowley and Dave Pearce … Paul Oakenfold filmed the video for Electra on Ibiza without mishap, Ben Liebrand having done a Spectrum Remix of ‘Jibaro’ … Eric B & Rakim ‘Put Your Hands Together’ has initially been remixed for the UK by Sheffield’s FON Force, apparently just one of several remixes … Longsy D + Cut Master MC have been signed by Cold Chillin’ in the US, Marley Marl remixing their earlier ‘Hip Hop Reggae’ for release there … MCA Records picked up The Kraze ‘The Party’, the exciting Balearic house raver about which I enthused some time ago, only a few (albeit major) jocks playing it so far … Republic Records have signed Phase II ‘Reachin’’ and Blaze ‘Can’t Win For Losin’’, both being remixed for the UK (along with Kikkit ‘Love Fixation’) by Blaze, who have left Quark in the States for Warner Bros … Sweatbox DJ Steve Wren has quit his day job at Polygram to become club plugger at Jive, taking up the position Jon Williams left vacant on his move to Phonogram … PRT Distribution is starting its own Nite Shift Promotion service for the benefit of contracted labels, Darren Ensom setting up the DJ mailing list on 01-648 7000 (extension 207) from September 3 … Criminal Records, the UK label that releases Tongue In Cheek, has started a club mailing list at 22-23 Red Lion Street, Holborn, London WC1R 4PS … The Dance Yard Recording Corporation has also moved to Unit 7, Grand Union Centre, West Row, Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5AX (01-969 2296) … RJ’s Latest Arrival’s import LP is due here imminently (EMI-Manhattan MTL 1035), Najee’s is already out (MTL 1026), as is Gregory Hines’ (Epic 461027 1) … Jeffrey Osborne’s LP is out here next week (Breakout AMA 5205), its first single here being a Gail ‘Sky’ King remix of the, to my mind not that special, ‘One Love – One Dream’ title track … Syn-Dee is touring Stockton’s Mall Tuesday (16), Sheffield’s Leadmill Wednesday (17), Manchester’s International Thursday (18) and Segers Friday (19) … Gordon Mac is Tony Monson’s guest DJ this Wednesday (17) at Chelsea Sloane Square’s Roberto’s … Double Trouble in its roadshow form consists of mainman Leigh Guest with Michael Menson and Carl Brown, mixing it up this Friday (19) at Southend-on-Sea’s Mr B’s … Gerald G Holley is acidic Saturdays at Aberdare’s Deckers (due for a £250,000 refit in the new year) … Jeff Young is so well supplied with pre-releases these days that at his Swansea Martha’s Vineyard gig he earned the nickname “JAY” (to go with Pete ‘Acetate’ Tong’s “PAT”!), his guest appearance at Jeff Thomas’s Monday soul night attracting not only myself but also MCA’s Eddie Gordon, Island’s Nigel Wilton, Jive’s Steve Wren, Virgin’s Mervyn Anthony, Marshall Arts’ Ray Edwards, Kool Kat’s Neil Rushton and Everton Webb, plus a Hotline PA, most of the “taffia maffia” including Barry Island’s Steve Wiggins and megamixing Noise Boyz – one incredulous observer wondering why Youngie attracted so much attention, a question he answered for himself when I asked if he was having a good time, as he replied, “Yeah, he’s playing great stuff!” … NANU NANU!


DIAZ BROTHERS ‘Here We Go Again (Diaz Mix)’ (US Bassment Records BM-0073)
Great for DJs in a jam, this instantly exciting 0-112¾-0bpm Craig Bevan creation combines the Lyn Collins ‘Think (About It)’ break beat popularised by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock and then Roxanne Shanté, Public Enemy’s continuously repeated title line (and some “boyee”), plus Clint Eastwood’s “do you feel lucky, punk?” dialogue (acidic Instrumental), flipped by the Zapp ‘More Bounce To The Ounce’-based 111bpm ‘We Bad (Bad Mix)’ (inst too).

TINA B ‘Bodyguard’ (US Vendetta Records VE-7004)
A&M’s US equivalent of the Breakout dance label features Arthur Baker & David Cole producing Arthur’s wife on a nastily noisy US-aimed (0-)112⅔-0bpm Janet Jackson-ish cranker, but luckily it’s in five mixes and the flip’s samples based ultra funky infectious Vocal Hip Body Mix and Hip Body Beats are just right for the UK, well worth checking.

EPMD ‘Strictly Business (12” Vocal)’ (Cooltempo/Ensign COOLX 172)
Helped immensely by ‘I Shot The Sherriff’ being slotted through it, this stutteringly remixed sinuously rolling (0-)96½-96⅓-0bpm chatting reggae-rap jiggler is in four mixes, due out fully on August 30. Continue reading “August 20, 1988: Diaz Brothers, Tina B, EPMD, Nu Shooz, Johnny Kemp”

August 13, 1988: “Enough ACIEED already! Remember soul?”


HASTILY ARRANGED so that a date could be announced, the Steve Walsh tribute Soul Night Out will no longer be at Hammersmith’s Le Palais where its Mecca owners (who never supported the Walsh-fronted Dance Aid nights either) have decided that their regular Thursdays are doing quite well enough now that the venue’s been refurbished, so, still on the some date – Thursday, August 18 – the Radio London-relayed event will instead be held at Leicester Square’s Empire Ballroom, where the First Leisure management have welcomed this benefit night for the late DJ’s family (nowhere will it be the same without Steve actually being there, although one thing that might revive the authentic atmosphere would be a PA by Aswad) … Marshall Jefferson has remixed Chris Paul ‘Turn The Music Up’ … Jolley Harris Jolley are remixing Pieces Of A Dream ‘Rising To The Top’, to coincide with the group’s UK visit next month — in fact their import LP is now out here (EMI-Manhattan MTL 1030) … Derek B is producing a rap by basketball stars the Harlem Globetrotters, for release on Beatmaster Records! … S’Express, still with an apostrophe but with the “E” back in place, now appears to be the way in which the name is officially spelt … BlueBird Records finally did take over the old Record Shack shop in Soho’s Berwick Street, and are now open there … Les Cokell has opened his own “High Energy” specialising shop (stocking rare oldies including those hard to find Hot Tracks and Disconet subscription discs from the States), called Energhighs Records in the Clone Zone, 37-39 Bloom Street, Manchester 2 (telephone 061-236 1398) … Sylvester is widely reported by US trade papers to be suffering from AIDS … Dave Randall’s disco promotion service Clubnet has moved to Unit 7, Grand Union Centre, West Row, Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5AZ (01-968 9661) … No Strings Attached is the name by which South London remix DJ Perry Daniels now is credited (on such as the new Natalie Cole medley, see her review), Perry handling samples and mixing while colleague King Enri programmes the drum machines and produces, and Enri’s brother ploys keyboards and engineers — their latest total production being their own ‘House On The Hill’, a ‘Hill Street Blues’ soundtrack dialogue sampling house chugger that’s set for release soon on a major label … Chapter 8’s keenly awaited new LP will be out here on Capitol at the end of the month, as close as possible to its US release (there are already cassette promos in circulation) … ‘Put Your Hands Together‘, emerging as the hottest cut or their new album, will be Eric B & Rakim’s follow-up single in about three weeks … ‘Talkin’ All That Jazz’ will likewise be Stetsasonic’s follow-up on September 5, while the next Rose Royce reissue is ‘I Wanna Get Next To You’ … Beats Workin’ ‘Sure Beats Workin’’ would appear to have been withdrawn by ffrr, presumably in the hope that it might eventually build up the consumer demand that so far has yet to materialise — Balearic being all talk and ecstacy rather than a real chart force despite the hype … Robin King from Jack Trax points out that the Night Writers ‘Let The Music (Use You)‘ has been something of an anthem for the last 18 months or so, at London’s more seriously trendy Balearic-type venues (except, he hastily adds, it’s much more solid and soulful than that might suggest!) … Sound Assassins buyers seem to prefer the flip’s more percussively spacious (0-)117¾-0bpm Spectrum Edit version of ‘Get Out Of My House!’ (reviewed last week) … Loose Ends’ latest album has so far sold a quarter of a million copies in the US during its first six weeks … Desa, with guests DJ Trix and DJ A-Ski, has opened The Bassment on Fridays in Merseyside’s rendezvous for serious groovers, inside Birkenhead’s Comet Car Park (this bizarre address being behind Hamilton Square sta-tion in Argyle Street) … York’s seriously crucial Sweatbox hosts a cruise on the river Ouse this Saturday (13), leaving Kings Stoith at 7pm with DJs Bri G, Rockie and Soul Pete then getting down (or off?) at the Bonding Warehouse … Norman Scott is back doing one hour guest spots most Mondays at the reopened gay Bang disco in London Charing Cross Road’s Busbys … Johnny Walker guests next Wednesday (17) at Tottenham Websters’ weekly acid house Buzz night – acieed! …  Kingston-upon-Thames Hoofers has pure acid Thursdays with Jazzy M, Jasper (The VJ) and Steve Roberts … Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre owner Jon Jules, not to be outdone, bought an “F” reg white Vauxhall Astro GTE convertible, while poor Les Adams is only able to drive his Toyota Supra for short distances while his bum heals — he had a huge cyst cut out of it just as his “F” reg dream car was delivered … NANU NANU!


D.J. JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCE ‘A Nightmare On My Street (Extended Mix)’ (US Jive 1125-1-JD)
Another slow talking vignette of contemporary American teenage life — about the perils of horror movies! — this ‘Amityville (House On The Hill)’-type 85¼-0bpm rolling “spooky” rap is the duo’s new US single (Instrumental/Edit too, and slippery scratching 0-127½-0bpm ‘Rhythm Trax — House Party Style‘), while here we get again ‘Parents (Just Don’t Understand) (Danny D Remix)’ (Jive JIVE R 169), Dancin’ Danny D speeding up the amusingly chatted US smash to a more usefully jiggling 92⅚bpm tempo with rare grooving piano and brass, its main appeal though still being as a potential pop crossover once enough people have seen its popular video (and provided Derek B hasn’t already satiated the market here for first person story telling raps!).

JEFFREY OSBORNE ‘One Love — One Dream’ (US A&M SP-5205)
Faithful fans will immediately lap up this overdue return on LP by the soulful baritone — seemingly more given to singing the American national anthem than making records these days! — although there’s not an awful lot on it for the dance crowd. Best bets there are probably the vigorously lurching 112½bpm ‘(You Can’t Get) Love From A Stone’, pleasantly swaying 96⅓bpm ‘Can’t Go Back On A Promise‘ and spikily leaping and kicking happy Brazillian style 119½-0bpm ‘La Cuenta, Por Favor‘, otherwise the joltingly rolling 116bpm title track and gruffly sincere slow 65bpm ‘Cindy’, 0-33-0bpm ‘My Heart Can Wait Forever’, 0-37½bpm ‘All Because Of You’, 29-58-0bpm ‘True Believers’ and 75/37½bpm ‘The Family’ are radio aimed, while the tensely jerking 111¼bpm ‘She’s On The Left’ is a tighter vocal version of his new import 12 inch, reviewed separately in Hot Vinyl.

CHUBB ROCK ‘Caught Up (Remix)’ (US Select FMS 62317)
Maybe not quite so innovative as ‘Follow The Leader’ but just as excitingly different, this urgent rap is based in spasmodic spurts on James Brown’s ‘I Got Ants In My Pants’ beat, with “man – woman – earth – infinity” pauses and rhythm shifts breaking up the momentum and making it so unusual, in 108-108̿⅓-108⅙bpm Remix, 109-109⅓-109⅙bpm Instrumental, 108⅓bpm Bonus rapid re-edit and 95bpm Original mixes, the latter completely unlike the rest and quite funny in sexist Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince style, bragging about the stiffness of his Johnson and other attributes! Continue reading “August 13, 1988: “Enough ACIEED already! Remember soul?””

August 6, 1988: Eric B & Rakim, Phase II, Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Inner City, Swan Lake


BOBBY BROWN has been given The Mac Band featuring the McCampbell Brothers treatment by MCA Records, import copies of ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ being sold here now at UK 12 inch price (as MCAT 1268) … Disco Mix Club founder Tony Prince blagged his way into New York’s MK club by telling the receptionist he was one of the directors — she mentioned this to someone who knew better, and six burly bouncers tracked down Tony just as he was giving an impromptu flamenco display on stage! … Betty Wright reportedly was the sensation of the New Music Seminar in New York, preaching as if in church to ecstatic crowd response in a 40 minute diatribe during the ‘Soul Souled Out’ seminar session, describing how she got her record deal for ‘No Pain, No Gain‘ (which proved to be a big black hit) — after being turned down by 36 different record companies, she did a reverse payola and borrowed the money from a disc-jockey to put it out herself! … Paul Kindred is starting a club mailing list at CityBeat, 17-19 Alma Road, London SW18 1AA, while both Froggy and Sean French seem to be handling the mailing list at Circle City Records, PO Box 244, Barnet, Hertfordshire EN4 0EW … Ensign picked up EPMD ‘Strictly Business’ for a remixed UK 12 inch … T-Coy are the latest remixers of the Funky Worm … Supreme have still not released the Project Club ‘Dance With The Devil‘, presumably in the hope that accumulated advance orders will give it a high chart entry — the trouble is that, although I have indeed been mentioning it a bit within the Balearic context recently, it really isn’t THAT outstanding, so don’t get too frustrated at not being able to get it! … Serious are unbelievably compiling all ten of their previous house music albums into a box set called ‘Serious…The House Story So Far‘, but no price is mentioned! … M|A|R|R|S managed to hit the US in a big way but now the word from there is that “volume pumping” samplers are dead, thus dashing the hopes of such as S’Xpress, LA Mix, Simon Harris and Bomb The Bass … Jazz & The Brothers Grimm ‘(Let’s All Go Back) Disco Nights’ is rumoured not to have had Radio 1 play because the title contains that dreaded word “disco” —which didn’t stop Steve Wright from digging out the original GQ ‘Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)’! … Florida’s B.V.S.M.P. already have a follow-up out in the States, ‘Be Gentle‘ … Chris Hill, original “godfather” of the old jazz-funk “mafia” jocks, would indeed have attended Steve Walsh’s funeral had he not been in Texas at the time … N. Dorsett (Letters page last week) has a mistaken idea about the small amount of money that’s paid to most soul presenters on local radio (they have to make their living from the gigs that result), and about the cost of a council flat — we also purposefully didn’t mention the expense of maintaining a dual lifestyle, leaving that to the tabloids … Channel 4 of the end of this month start what should be a fascinating four part series, ‘Brown Sugar’, tracing on film the careers of great black female entertainers from the early 1900’s to the present, featuring such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Adelaide Hall, Josephine Baker, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandridge, the Shirelles, Crystals, Ronettes, Marvelettes, Martha & The Vandellas, Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Pointer Sisters, Donna Summer, Tina Turner and more, beginning on Saturday, August 27 … ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head‘ will be Narada’s follow-up … Morgan Khan these days sports a full head of wavy hair instead of his customary skinhead cut, making him look so much older that at first I didn’t realise it really was him! … Jeff Young wrenches himself away from his new Banstead home to join Jeff Thomas next Monday (8) at Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard, upon which so many record companies’ dance music pluggers also look like descending that — if the weather’s good — I may well end up there too … Plymouth Sound presenter Chris Dinnis hosts Humdinger 2 at Exeter Quay’s Boxes next Wednesday (10), planned as a three-monthly upfront event, advance bookings on 0392-39477 after 6pm (ask him to play Kanu Sukalagwun’s rare groove!) … Lyndon T and Chris Johns boogie down at Paddington’s Starlight Club every Fri/Saturday … Barry & District News dance music columnist Steve Wiggins now jocks and VJs at Barry Island’s brand new Warehouse, with over 30 video monitors at his disposal … Les Adams got so fed up with my Japanese car having more nifty “extras” than his cherished Audi that he’s just bought an “F” reg Toyota Supra, with air conditioning and the works (but he still doesn’t have an illuminated keyhole, na na na-naa na!) … I’m afraid a flying visit to sun-drenched Jersey (and day trip to France) last week kept me from reviewing the Hot Vinyl in as great a depth as I’d have liked, so check The Club Chart for extra BPMs as usual (everyone else takes several weeks’ holiday, so don’t complain) … NANU NANU!


ERIC B. & RAKIM ‘Follow The Leader’ (MCA Records MCG 6031)
Possibly nothing on this eagerly awaited album stands out as startlingly as did its revolutionary 109⅔-0bpm title track hit on first hearing, in similar swirling style being the slippery scratching 117¼bpm ‘No Competition’, slow piano preambled then scrubbing (0-)111⅓bpm ‘Put Your Hands Together‘, funky drummered 106-0bpm ‘Lyrics Of Fury‘ and rumbling 111½-0bpm ‘Musical Massacre‘, plus there are the jazz-funky 99½bpm ‘The R‘, freakily throbbing and scratching 0-103½bpm ‘Eric B. Never Scared‘, moodily meandering 93½bpm ‘To The Listeners‘, jinglebells backed chatting then jolting 94bpm ‘Microphone Fiend‘, jogging instrumental 97bpm ‘Beats For The Listeners‘ and even more makeweight 0-114bpm ‘Just A Beat‘. Like it or not, they’ll need a Coldcut-type remix to go Top 20 here again with anything else off this.

PHASE II ‘Reachin’ (Brotherhood Mix)’ (US Movin’ Records MR003)
Blaze-produced typically excellent soulfully sung and piano plonked creamily thumping smooth 0-120½-0bpm hustling churner building powerful nagging tension (in four mixes), full of timeless joy and hope, well worth checking. This may not be the most hyped newie of the week, but it sure is the best!

THE BROOKLYN FUNK ESSENTIALS ‘We Got To Come Together’ (US Minimal Records 4)
Arthur Baker created excitingly driving 0-123bpm instrumental, funkily drummed through chattering beats, anxious title line shouts and “alldayer” whistle blasts (in five mixes), hot for the likes of CJ Mackintosh but apparently not that widely distributed on import, although it’s now also on a StreetSounds album here. Check it, in some form! Continue reading “August 6, 1988: Eric B & Rakim, Phase II, Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Inner City, Swan Lake”