BEATS & PIECES
George Benson has added an extra date this weekend at Wembley, and so won’t be a surprise visitor to North Wales (where I’m sorry to hear that Prestatyn will be a firework free zone) … Supreme Records picked up the Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock album here, from which ‘Get On The Dance Floor’ will inevitably be their first single but not until January … DJ Bob Masters incidentally has just joined the label as dance music product and club promotion manager … Westside Records now have exclusive UK rights to Chicago’s Trax Records product, the long term deal covering all back catalogue and future releases … Motown, newly reinvigorated following their purchase by MCA Records, have signed the Pointer Sisters and Leon Sylvers, amongst others … Sharon Davis has written a weighty ‘Motown – The History’ (Guinness Books, £14.95) which covers the legendary record company’s entire existence, perhaps a little bit too thoroughly during the most recent era with which she herself has had her closest involvement, Gordon Frewin supplying an exhaustive looking discography which will doubtless prove most useful (and throw up some surprises?) … ‘The Hit Factory Vol 2’ (Fanfare/PWL Records HF4), continuing the compilation of “the best of Stock Aitken Waterman”, already includes their only just US released SOS Band/Princess-style 100bpm ‘Tell Him I Called’ by Miami girl duo Sequal … Bananarama’s ‘Greatest Hits Collection’ album is being promoted by a probably quite useful 0-120½…126bpm ‘Bananarama Megamix’ of their biggest hits on special limited edition “not for resale” promo (ffrr MEGA 5) … Timerider’s typically European (0-)119⅓bpm thudding electro instrumental ‘Cocoon’ (Lisson Records DOLEQ 8) has, as previously warned, been reissued from last year now that it’s used both as the theme tune to TV’s ‘The Hitman And Her’ and in ‘The Fruit Machine’ film (from Germany’s XYZ Records, and apparently 1985, it is not a PWL creation) … Kym Mazelle’s import pressing of ‘Useless’ (US EMI-Syncopate V-15406) contains all the Marshall Jefferson and Clivilles & Cole mixes on one piece of vinyl, making better value than the split UK release … Vesta Williams’ ‘Vesta 4 U’ LP is now out here (Breakout AMA 5223) … Neneh Cherry ‘Buffalo Stance’, reviewed last week off an uninformative promo pressing, turns out to be produced by Tim Simenon … I had forgotten that Rickster ‘Night Moves’ was in fact American, on US Vinyl Pak back around January … Children Of The Night ‘It’s A Trip’ is wrongly labelled, the Killer Instrumental Mix properly being Mike ‘Hitman’ Wilson’s Psychedelic Remix … I can’t say I’m looking forward to BPM-ing Ten City’s upcoming album, which producer Marshall Jefferson confesses uses live drums (by Philly veteran Earl Young) and will “mess up a lot of DJs”! … Stetsasonic’s follow-up, advisedly for the pop market, will be their album’s revival of the Floaters’ ‘Float On’ … Derek B appears to be having trouble coming up with a crucial enough mix of his long delayed next single, ‘Who Dares Wins’ … Roger Tovell is now head of music at Severn Sound, where the new librarian/producer Jerry Hipkiss’s 6-9pm ‘Saturday Soul’ show plays soulful dance music and deep house, refusing to revive the flagging careers of failed pop musicians/computer programmers who’ve jumped on the nearest passing bandwagon (we know just who he means!) … I fear that Capital Radio’s clever rescheduling of their Saturday night black music programmes, with Pete Tong starting his chart rundown at 7.30pm, followed by Tim Westwood at 8pm, must be keeping many people tuned who might otherwise have switched over to Radio 1 for the inestimable Robbie Vincent soul show – Robbie, by the way, had over 5,000 callers to the “information line” he plugged on Radio London prior to moving to LBC! … Greater London Radio, as Radio London has now become, isn’t anything like as good with presenters as it was during its continuously segued test transmissions, which seemed to attract more listeners than ever while they were running! … Stuart Coleman’s excellent Sunday ‘Echoes’ oldies programme sadly has not carried over to GLR (maybe LBC could give him a slot?), one of his last guest interviewees being Record Mirror’s legendary 1960s journalist Norman Jopling – who has recently resurfaced, writing the liner notes for a scrappy Ike & Tina Turner compilation on Start, and promoting the new 12 Inch Grooves series of “collectable club favourites” that Old Gold Records have just started, the first CBS originated batch including back-to-back Marlena Shaw ‘Yuma/Go Away Little Boy’/Starship Orchestra ‘New York, New York’, Ned Doheny ‘To Prove My Love’/Hawk & Co ‘Nite-Life’, Eddie Murphy ‘Boogie In Your Butt’/’Party All The Time’ and others by Melba Moore, Bobby Glover, Jimmy Messina, Kenny Loggins, The Futures, Dee Dee Sharpe Gamble … Stylus Records seem likely to get a puzzled reaction to their TV advertised ‘The Rare Groove Mix’ album, a follow-up to their successful ‘60s Mix’ series, which for some misguided reason they didn’t think would sound so commercial if titles ‘70s Mix’ – far from “rare groove”, the totally pop contents contain such real rarities as Dawn ‘Knock Three Times’, Mud ‘Tiger Feet’, and Derek & The Dominos ‘Layla’! … Finesse Conditioner’s telly commercial use of Irma Thomas’s ‘Time Is On My Side’ reminds me that at the same time in 1964 that I sent Bessie Banks’ ‘Go Now’ over from New York as material for the Moody Blues, I also sent Irma’s record, which London based Denny Cordell then passed on to the Rolling Stones, whose cover version became their very first US hit! … I can recommend for any hungry Prestatyn visitors this weekend to try at lunchtime the eat as much as you like for around £6, help yourself starters, main courses and puds at the Dinorben Arms in Bodfari, a picturesquely sited hilltop village about 10 miles due south of Prestatyn down the western slopes of the Clwydian Range – leave the camp as if for London, first right (after the railway bridge and sharp bend) on the A547 towards Rhuddlan, once you’ve got into the countryside turn left in a dip (soon after passing the dramatically big hill) to go through Dyserth, and then head straight (with just one right hand fork as you leave the houses) along a country road through Rhualtt and Tremeirchion to Bodfari, where the pub is impossible to miss as it dominates the village (the food may be more “gourmand” than “gourmet”, but I promise you won’t regret the outing) … I myself, if you’re all there, will be further down the Vale Of Clwyd at the even better Cerrigllwydion Arms in Llanynys, my “local” when in North Wales – and if you feel bold enough to find that, you’ll have to buy a map! … Gilles Peterson and Rob Galliano join Hugh Bryder to “acid jazz” Liverpool’s Mardi Gras Club on Thursday (3) … Saturday (5) finds Kid ‘N’ Play, Salt-n-Pepa, MC Duke and the Fly Girls at the Brixton Academy, while Ray Keith, Guy Palmer, Dave Malone and Turbo bring acid, deep house and def beats to Colchester’s The Venue … Jeff Thomas is joined at Swansea Martha’s Vineyard by Royal House on Monday (7), and James ‘D Train’ Williams the following week … Nigel Hill, after five years mobile, is now resident six night a week at Weston-Super-Mare’s Mr B’s, where he starts an acid house night next Wednesday (9) with guests the Moody Boys and This Ain’t Chicago, plus Baby Ford the following week … Dave Evans has also jumped on the bandwagon, with acid Mondays at Stockport Hamiltons … Norman Cook sends greetings from Brighton to point out that it was of course he who created the “illegal mix” of the Osmonds’ ‘One Bad Apple’ (something not made apparent by its plain white label), and that he’s now jocking at Downbeat with Streets Ahead on Wednesdays and Jacky on Saturdays … Barry Island’s veteran (though not that old) jock, Steve Wiggins would welcome a change of South Wales scenery if anyone in clubland is interested (on 0446-733196, office hours) – he offers upfront soul, reggae, pop, golden oldies, party sets, even fruit from his shop! … Dee Dee Wilde supports Will Downing on his UK visit later this month, at Manchester’s Apollo (19) and London’s Hammersmith Odeon (20/21) … Castle Beat ‘I Shot The Sheriff/Deputy Of Love (Medley)’ finally appeared in someone’s chart, at number one for Danny Rampling of London’s legendary Shoom, no less … DJ Trix has at number one in his Birkenhead Bassment chart, “DJ Trix Live On Stage’ – like it! … Glyn Prince at Swindon’s Brunel Rooms Ampitheatre combines The Mafia ‘ABC’ and Osmonds ‘One Bad Apple (Illegal Mix)’ in a megamix … Mark Devlin (Witney) tips that the original mix of Bam Bam ‘Give It To Me’ synchs perfectly with the Patrick Cowley remix of Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’ (which was due to be reissued but now appears to have been put on hold) … Mike Shawe (2 Marlwood Drive, Brentry, Bristol BS10 6SJ) offers any price for a copy of Blare ‘Nightlife’ … NANU NANU!
The gadfly of dance music fashion has darted on, just as you thought “acieed!” was where it’s at. Those same pace-setting London jocks who launched the still locally limited “Balearic beat” trend, but who ironically ended up better publicised for the “acieed!” orientation of their gigs, have dropped acid like a hot brick now that it has crossed over commercially (naturally, they cite a variety of other justifications!) and instead are latching on to the Balearic related Belgian variant of electro Europop known as “new beat” (about which I mentioned several weeks ago, although it became garbled in the printing, that the previously reviewed Amnesia ‘Ibiza‘ is a prime example). Already, dedicated fashion victims are following their lead and snapping up copies of a domestically distributed Belgian compilation album, A.B.-SOUNDS ‘New Beat — Take 1‘ (Subway Records SUB 034, via Rough Trade), even though it merely sounds like the experimental electro tinkerings of Blancmange, Yazoo and other similar British “new romantics” of the early Eighties, but without such strong songs. Its biggest tracks, which are indeed OK, include the tinkling, twittering and muttering densely chugging 0-112bpm A SPLIT SECOND ‘Flesh‘, “taste of sugar” and “do you wanna suck my (bleep)?” punctuated James Brown-cutting 0-114bpm TASTE OF SUGAR ‘Hmm, Hmm‘, and to an extent the imperatively muttered and girls entreated martial chugging 108⅔-00bpm EROTIC DISSIDENTS ‘Move Your Ass‘, the rest being the dialogue overlaid nervily jittering deceptively slower sounding 0-120bpm S.M. ‘S.M.‘, “hey Mister Dee Jay” chanted jauntily synthed rolling 112bpm ELECTRIC SHOCK ‘Don’t Talk About Sex‘, Oriental flavoured ploddingly attractive jogging 98½bpm JADE 4 U ‘Rainbows (Instrumental)‘, “Chinese” girls chatted trotting 112bpm SECRETS OF CHINA ‘Chinese Ways‘, Tibetan flavoured jiggling 108bpm SHAKTI ‘The Awakening‘, gruff “dance” prodded drily electronic lurching 108⅙bpm BEAT BEAT BEAT ‘Beat In The Street‘, droningly undertowed simplistic Euro-rapped 0-110⅓bpm DIRTY HARRY ‘D’Bop‘, sometimes old “electro”-style instrumental 0-113-0bpm IN-D ‘Virgins In-D Sky’s‘ and monotonous depressing dense 110⅓-0bpm SNOWY RED ‘Euroshima-Wardance‘. I can’t say they do anything for me, much. From the some Belgian Antler Records source and selling on 12 inch for several weeks now, MAJOR PROBLEM ‘Acid Queen (Dirty Version)‘ (KAOS dance records KAOS 003) is a kinky “show me your pussy”/”get down on your hands and knees” muttering and groaning purposefully lurching 113bpm twittery heavy thudder (fully instrumental flip), while getting “new beat” attention also has been LAIBACH ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ (Neue Slowenische Kunst/Mute 1MUTE80T), the Rolling Stones tune being most recognisable in the AA-side’s frequency fluttering juddery (0-)117⅔-0bpm electro treatment with sampled stuttery Jagger chatter, the A-side being a resonant throbbing and chugging 123bpm instrumental that doesn’t seem particularly related (it’s hard to know from blank white labels, there also being a more recent and properly printed but confusingly labelled remix three-tracker).
The above are only a few examples, there being a lot of good material according to Nicky Holloway, just back from trawling through record shops in Belgium, who incidentally points out that nobody actually sat on the floor at Rockley Sands as only about half a dozen acid trax were played there over the entire weekend, the Balearic groove having already moved on to new beat (in combination with other stuff) by then! Nicky is in fact returning to London’s Astoria this Saturday (November the Fifth), leaving Prestatyn early, to start a weekly Made On Earth night in the new non-acidic style (absolutely NO Smiley T-shirts admitted), with guest jocks Mark Moore and Trevor Fung this first night after which Pete Tong will be his regular partner. Meanwhile, Paul Oakenfold’s Monday night at Heaven has already changed its name to Spectrum Presents Fantasia, with a similar acid-free policy of new beat, garage and deep house. Could it be that “Belgique, Belgique!” (as in, “Bel-jeek, Bel-jeek!”) will become the new “acieed!” chant? Inevitably, Pete Tong is ensuring that London/ffrr are in on the new trend at the beginning, the series-continuing ‘Balearic Beats Vol 2 — New Beat’ album already being in the pipeline, as basically the above reviewed Belgian compilation with its more duff tracks substituted by better. I can already anticipate the first Hercule Poirot Remix…
THE PARTY BOY ‘The Twilight Zone (Remix)’ (Urban Acid URBX 27)
Chris ‘Bam Bam’ Westbrook recorded here for the ‘Urban Acid’ album (its best track) and subsequently remixed this mystically muttered, child giggled, synth bubbled and twittered 123bpm sparse simple acid treatment of the TV theme, a real mood piece for trance dancing (alternative 123bpm B-side mix more like — but not — the album version).
ERIC B & RAKIM ‘Microphone Fiend (Remix)’ (MCA Records MCAT 1300)
Also separately promoed with its own instrumental and seven inch version as flip but commercially available like this, the US choice of follow-up is this DJ Mark-The 45 King (rather than Red Alert) remixed wordy slow rumbling 93½bpm murkily churning jogger with bursts of jingle bells and a fiercely scratched finish, AA-sided by the more UK compatible fast talking jittery ‘Put Your Hands Together’ in the already separately promed (0-)111-0bpm Fon Force Mix, overlaid by resonant synth tones, and (the decisive winner on promo in The Club Chart) Graeme Park’s (0-)112bpm Parkside Mix, with Humphrey Bogart “play it!” intro and overlaid “acieed” sirens nagging away.
S.L.F. (STREET LEVEL FUNK) ‘Show Me What You Got’ (Warriors Dance WAAF 005T, via Spartan)
North West London’s Keith Franklin, Keith Sealy, Eddie Andrew and Birmingham’s vocalist E Major create an impressive “acid soul” fusion on the vigorous old fashioned soulfully harmonised but acidically backed frantically flying and sadly short 124¼bpm Vocal Mix, well worth hearing, the piano plonked and synth twittered clonking instrumental 125bpm Acid Mix Part 1 and 124½-0bpm Acid Mix Part 2 being fierce though nowhere near so distinctive or interesting. Continue reading “November 5, 1988: New Beat: “The gadfly of dance music fashion has darted on, just as you thought “acieed!” was where it’s at.””