December 24, 1988: Beloved, Liz Torres featuring Master C&J, Seduction, Intense, Jocelyn Brown, 1988 Year End charts


RM’s 1988 Hammy Awards will appear in the next issue, the first of the new year, so that this week’s new Hi-NRG and Club Chart positions will count in the reckoning of the various annual performance awards – can you stand the suspense? … Serious Records are indeed being put into liquidation, although Mahesh Bajaj’s other Needle Records and Low Fat Vinyl labels will continue to trade, the previously mentioned winding up petition against Serious having frozen the company’s accounts and caused cash flow difficulties (as so often happens in similar cases) … Rob Manley, now that he is installed as club promotions manager for Virgin’s labels, has relocated to the offices of Siren/10 Records at 61-63 Portobello Road, London W11 3DD (telephone 01-221 7535) … EMI dance label Syncopate’s staff believe in Kym Mazelle so much that they have done something that in my long experience is unprecedented – sent their mailing list DJs a record from a rival company, RCA, on which Kym duets with Dr Robert of the Blow Monkeys, calling the act though Robert Howard & Kym Mazelle for the good breezily galloping if derivative 119¾bpm ‘Wait’, due out on January 9 … CJ Mackintosh & Dave Dorrell’s remix of Eric B & Rakim ‘The R’ has surfaced commercially first on import (US UNi Records UNI-8012) … Cooltempo are creating a big buzz ahead of January 23 release on the Dancin’ Danny D produced terrific Monie Love ‘I Can Do This (Uptown Mix)’, a Whispers ‘And The Beat Goes On’ synched infectious jumpy 115⅓bpm female rap jiggler by 18 years old Monie and scratching DJ Pogo, who hits a harder James Brown groove for the flip’s Downtown Mix … Phonogram are finally about to reissue on Casablanca 1982’s Jeff Young re-edited 0-126¼-126-125¼-125½bpm megamix version of the late Patrick Cowley’s remix of Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’, better late than never as it was much revived in “acieed” mixes during the summer of love … Les Adams has remixed Bäs Noir ‘My Love Is Magic’, as also supposedly has Ben Liebrand, although it’s the 122¾-0bpm original Ronald Burrell & Tommy Musto mix that’s been promoed ahead of January 19 release – meanwhile, Les’s US-issued mix of the Funky Worm ‘Hustle (To The Music)’ is top of Billboard’s US Club Play chart … Bomb The Bass’s separately charted “remix” (as I was told it was) of ‘Say A Little Prayer’ seems really to be the original, harder, album version! … Richie Rich’s previously UK released ‘Salsa House’ and ‘Turn It Up’ have been coupled back-to-back and are selling here on US Mercury … UK copies of The DJ Fast Eddie’s LP (DJ International Records DJART 902, via Westside Records), as warned when reviewed on import, include a Double Trouble created ‘Jack To The Sound (Megamix)’ of its tracks, 0-122-126⅓-0bpm, which is strange, as nothing on the album runs quite as slow or fast as those outer parameters! … 4AD Records, apologising unreservedly for not first obtaining permission before M|A|R|R|S used a two second sample of Stock Aitken Waterman ‘Roadblock’ in ‘Pump Up The Volume’ – to complete last week’s report – gave a donation at Pete Waterman’s request to the Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children, and a substantial contribution towards legal costs … Dee Clark, melismatic falsetto swooping soul stylist of the Fifties/Sixties/Seventies, meanwhile is looking forward to the possibility of a place in a home for fallen rock ‘n’ roll stars that a current US Revival tour of more mobile veteran rock, pop and soul stars is hoping to fund … ITV’s ‘The Hitman And Her’ comes from Hammersmith’s Le Palais on New Year’s Eve – it’ll be interesting to see if Pete Waterman can whip up the blasé London crowd as much as the livelier ones he (quite rightly) prefers up north … Donald ‘Shuggy Bear’ Hughes, presenting Radio Forth’s Dance Music Chart on Saturdays 5-6pm and a Scottish Chart on Sundays 2-4pm, has a special 5-7pm programme on Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve to sassenachs!) featuring 1988’s best dance tracks, including his own megamixes … Big ‘H’, Russell Potts and Barry Jeffrey have a 2pm-midnight Boxing Day alldayer at Slough’s Furze Hotel, while Richard Searling, Pete Haigh and more take it all day from 3pm-2am on the same soulful December 26 at Whispers between Leyland and Bamber Bridge … Chris Wright, Simon Goffe, Gordon Mac and Paul Anderson make it ‘Slide’ at Camden Town’s Electric Ballroom next Wednesday (28), for the more discerning class of groover … DJs Jazzy M and Steve Harris, whose Vinyl Zone London record store is in fact at precisely 112 New Kings Road, Fulham, host the “sound of progressive dance” Thursdays at Brixton’s Fridge … British Record Industry Awards nominees for best international male artist are Michael Jackson, Prince, Alexander O’Neal, Luther Vandross and Terence Trent D’Arby – in America’s equivalent, that would be the R&B line-up … MCA Records’ UK managing director, Tony Powell points out that much less inter-relationship than originally envisaged will take place between the black music rosters of MCA and Motown in the States, solo albums by group members and duets by each other’s artists being the probable limit of the label hopping … Billboard’s dance music columnist Bill Coleman makes a guest vocal appearance on the Clivilles & Cole created ‘Seduction’ by Seduction, presumably doing some of the philosophical muttering along with Carol Cooper … Jan Hammer’s Marathon Mix of ‘The Runner’ (the “shattered” Bob Geldof milk guzzling scene) turns out to be a Graeme Park mix … Chris Brown calculates that Jean-Michel Jarre ‘Revolutions’ played off 45rpm at 33⅓rpm plus 8% would be 104bpm – however, the calibration on Technics desks’ slider controls of +8 and -8 do not correspond to actual mathematical percentages, as a check against the separate strobe control will show … Gary Grimmer kindly points out that of course the shrill guitar “noise” from Big Daddy Kane ‘Set It Off’ is from the guitar break in the full length album version of James Brown ‘Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved’ – thanks! … thanks also for your many cards and seasonal greetings – please manage to get charts to us in the mail as soon after Christmas as possible too, so that there isn’t too great a hiccup … Mistletoe & Wine, Dandelion & Burdock, Light & Mild, Coke & Crisps, whatever you’re on – HAVE A GOOD ONE!

THE BIZ are a carefully assembled glamorous British answer to Shalamar, though with the different sexual ratio of Yasmin Evans, Austin Howard and Suzette Smithson — almost a black Bucks Fizz! — whose debut 113bpm ‘Falling‘ 3-track 12in has already sold out on white label advantage pressing but is due this week again in its fully remixed final form from the new Midas label. If your club gets offered them for a PA, grab ’em — as we discovered at Gullivers last Saturday, they really do do “the biz”!

Look closely at the above! It’s the photo and caption we ran about six years ago which introduced Yasmin Evans to the world. Who? She’s now better known as YAZZ!


BELOVED ‘Your Love Takes Me Higher (Sex Mix)’ (WEA YZ 357T)
Detroit’s ‘Magic Juan’ Atkins has used a fairly naff UK effort as the basis for a remixed blazing, bounding and twittering unstoppable 124½-124¾-125bpm basher with some female whispering and groaning buried in the mix halfway, plus an alternative similarly driving before then title-repeating 124½-124¾-125-0bpm Rise-Up Mix, only on promo at the moment just waiting to explode.

LIZ TORRES featuring MASTER C&J ‘Touch Of Love’ (Black Market Records BLMK 004, via PRT)
Instantly massive, this anxiously plaintive pleading hi-hat hissed and bass bubbled simple purposeful strider is almost more like Hi-NRG than house, and should have much gay appeal, in 123½bpm Club Mix, 123¼bpm Radio Mix, 123⅓bpm Club Dub Mix and Dub Edit versions, all with different sound density.

SEDUCTION ‘Seduction (Vocal Club Mix)’ (US Vendetta Records VE-7014)
Clivilles & Cole (or, as they put it here, Cole & Clivilles) created shouting started but then bass burbled philosophically muttering 0-120¼-120⅓bpm pattering pulser, this and the amusing comments and Arabic chanting started more percussive 120¾bpm Club Mix both being needlessly interrupted halfway by the Brat Pack’s “don’t be so f***in’ serious”, while the flip has vigorous hammering piano jangled jack tracking 0-123bpm ‘Every Body “Jump”‘ and bass and synth thrummed jittery 120½-0bpm ‘Devote Yourself‘ instrumental bonus tracks plus an acappella girl started more tranquil flowing organ instrumental (0-)120¾-121bpm The Reprise Loft Mix. Continue reading “December 24, 1988: Beloved, Liz Torres featuring Master C&J, Seduction, Intense, Jocelyn Brown, 1988 Year End charts”

December 17, 1988: Inner City, Cameo, Big Daddy Kane, ‘The Garage Sound Of Deepest New York’, Maurice


Stock Aitken Waterman’s case against M|A|R|R|S (for the unauthorised use of a snip from ‘Roadblock’ in ‘Pump Up The Volume’), long anticipated as a test case about sampling, appears to have ended up by being settled out of court in Pete Waterman’s favour, thus depriving the industry of some possible legal precedents … DJs (as well as actual radio stations) convicted of pirate radio broadcasting after January 1 will be personally barred from working on any legal community stations for five years – and, to ease the pressure of the anticipated applications, it seems that each local London station’s licence will be offered in staggered stages, one licence every three months or so … I was right in suspecting that the UK final of the Disco Mix Club’s UK Mixing Championships might be moved (probably to February 15) to prevent a clash on the originally announced night with the BPI Awards ceremony – which Tony Prince and entourage obviously want to attend, too! … Ten City will be appearing live at the Prestatyn weekender over Easter weekend … Jazzy M (possibly London’s leading authority on house) and Steve Harris have opened a Vinyl Zone London record shop down at the Putney Bridge end of the New Kings Road … Tyree’s terrific ‘Tyree’s Got A Brand New House’ album, on scarce white label ahead of ffrr release, is going to explode for the 124¼-0bpm ‘Turn Up The Bass’, which uses the Lyn Collins ‘Think (About It)’ break beat similar style to The DJ Fast Eddie’s ‘Yoyo Get Funky’ … “garage” and “deep house” are obvious forecasts for 1989, but what’s the betting “hip (hop) house” will be even bigger? … E.S.P. ‘It’s You’ (US Underground UN 108), first reviewed two years ago, is the latest “deep house” revival, a space bass underpinned gently pulsing 119bpm synth throbber with quietly muttered moaning, and what at the time seemed like a European flavour … S’Xpress’s next single will be ‘Hey Music Lover (G-oo-d Vibration Mix)’, an acidically twittering 0-124-0bpm jerky bounder eventually quoting from Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘I Want To Take You Higher’ and ‘Dance To The Music’, the commercial pressing (not due for six weeks!) adding a more vocal 124-0bpm Music Is My Life Mix while the promo is flipped just by the repetitive thumping twittering 0-114¾-0bpm ‘Have A Nice Day’ (in a Hide The Sausage Mix?!) … MCA Records have circulated US promo pressings of Pebbles ‘Do Me Right’, a quite soulful repetitive (0-)107⅙-0bpm jogging swayer co-penned by ConFunkShun member Michael Cooper and produced by Charlie Wilson, rather than the often ubiquitous seeming L.A. & Babyface this time … Wee Papa Girl Rappers’ commercial pressing of ‘Soulmate’ is flipped by a more vocal 118⅙bpm Reactor Mix as well as the now 117⅚-0bpm Phosphoric Mix of the tedious jerkily acidic ‘We Know It’ … Westbam ‘I wanna do Monkey Say Monkey Do’ is indeed now out here on Doctor Beat (DRX 612, via Dance Trax) … Hemel Hempstead’s Chris Britton apparently missed my original review of Ben Liebrand’s Summer ’88 Remix of The Four Seasons featuring Frankie Valli ‘Oh What A Night (December 1963)’ – suitable for 25th anniversaries right now? – when it was revealed to be 105⅙-104-106-104-105⅙(break)-104bpm, out here as in Holland on br. music (1245277, via Prism Leisure Corporation) … do pay attention! … I reviewed a few weeks back what turns out to have been one of only 250 initial private pressings of the Dynamic Guv’nors’ ‘Rock The Discotheques’/’Acid Jackson (Let’s Go)’, which to satisfy the (deserved) demand that resulted, is now being pressed up and promoted properly … Manchester’s Stu Allan, presenter on Key 103 (the new name for Piccadilly Radio’s new split frequency MW service) of Thursdays’ 8-10pm ‘Bus’ Diss!’ hip hop and Sundays’ 10pm-2am ‘Souled Out’ soul/house shows, is another radio jock who’s set up his own label, 061 Records debuting next month with the Roxanne Shanté-ish dissing Lady Tame’s ‘Loud Ladies’, while Stu himself will record as M19 using guest vocalists to suit different types of music (in Jellybean style) … Nigel ‘Nick’ Halkes, writing to me since he was a 14 year old DJ in Bristol, now runs the club mailing list at Secret Promotions, 83 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5HP (send a stamped addressed envelope for an application form) … Jude James is promotion manager at the brand new S.P.J. Records, 2 Queens Parade, Brownlow Road, London N11 2DN, where he’s building a club list for an upcoming new single by Freeez … ‘And The Break Goes Acid’ on the Frankie ‘Bones’ presents Bonesbreaks Volume 2 EP is apparently ‘Bailando’ by Alaska, which Julian Palmer (part of the Democratic 3, who produced it!) claims has been lifted from the Matey Mix seven inch edit … Tricky Dicky Scanes’ most recent Balearic sales chart from his Trax shop in Soho’s Greek Street listed: 1 Amnesia ‘Ibiza’ (Belgian InDisc), 2 Taste Of Sugar ‘Hmm Hmm’ (Belgian Antler), 3 A Split Second ‘Flesh’ (Belgian Antler), 4 William Pitt ‘City Lights’ (Sierra), 5 Lexicans ‘Asia Girls’ (Italian House Label), 6 2 To The Power ‘Make Your Body Groove’ (PWL white label), 7 Raul featuring J. Bonell ‘Guitarra’ (Spanish Spitfire Music), 8 Tijeritas ‘Bamboleo’ (Spanish Epic), 9 Code 61 ‘Drop The Deal’ (German BCM Records), 10 Turntable Orchestra ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ (US Music Village) … Belgian “new-beat” could be wiped out at a stroke if the tabloid press latch onto the fact that Belgium has the highest percentage of heterosexual AIDS victims of any country outside Africa, surely making “new-beat” in the eyes of The Sun a far greater threat to our nation’s youth than even “acieed!”? … I.D.J. jazz dancers appear with DJs Malone, Turbo and Gilly this Friday (16) at Colchester Venue’s Xmas Jazz Bop … Westerham’s Roadblock posse take a return double decker Brighton bus Trip 4 to the Club Savannah this Saturday (17), with pick up points in Bromley and Croydon too (£7 tickets on 01-668 1527, evenings) … Kid Batchelor, Colin Faver, Eddie Richards plus guest jocks, MCs and rappers head a special Warriors Dance night at Confusion this Sunday (18) in Soho Greek Street’s Billstickers … Dakeyne cuts up Electrik Curcus next Monday (19) in Bristol’s Papillon … Jeff Thomas has gone deep, deep, deep, (that’s house-wise) up the valley to Merthyr Tydfil Charbonnier’s on Thursdays … DJ Kid ‘The DFM’ Smurf spins acid/rap/funk/soul at Leicester’s Bear Cage Thurs/Saturdays – ‘DFM’ stands for Dance Floor Master, by the way! … ‘Teddy’s Jam’ is due in a killer remix from Teddy Riley’s group Guy … ‘Love Follows’ will at last be Steven Danté’s next single in four weeks’ time … Bobby Brown already has ‘Roni’ (from his album) hitting as follow-up to ‘My Prerogative’ in the US, where Luther Vandross’s new single is ‘She Won’t Talk To Me’ (with a Clivilles & Cole remix rumoured to be due) … I think it needs pointing out how long it takes to BPM accurately some of the current multi-version releases – for instance, with four different subtly shifting mixes, Boyz In Shock took me something like three quarters of an hour to review, just one single (once I’d established that the first version wasn’t running smoothly, I had to check every minute over and over to get it right, which is nothing less than the devotion to accuracy that you surely expect, but it does explain why there isn’t time to review everything!) … NANU NANU!


INNER CITY ‘Good Life’ (US Virgin 0-96591)
British chart rules unfortunately limit the length that a record must be to qualify as a single, which means that this far better value 40 minutes long (yup, count ‘em!) six-tracker even at import prices is a more economical buy than the suddenly puny seeming UK 12 inch, smash hit though that may be. Now you can get on one piece of vinyl the brand new excitingly frantic 125-125¼bpm Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, more garage styled 121-121¼bpm Kevin ‘Master Reese’ Saunderson, and twiddly acidic 125⅓-125½bpm Mike ‘Hitman’ Wilson mixes, plus (elevated on import to track one, side one) the fluttery urgent 125-125¼bpm Derrick ‘Mayday’ May and (our A-side) the now rather thin seeming 125¼bpm ‘Magic Juan’ Atkins mixes, as well as the 122¼bpm Les ‘L.A. Mix’ Adams remix of ‘Big Fun’. Go for it!

CAMEO ‘Skin I’m In (12” Remix)’ (US Atlanta Artists 872 315-1)
While this afro chanting introed sleazily lurching 0-102bpm return to their exaggeratedly enunciated smacking wriggly old ‘She’s Strange’ style is not exactly original now, it’s at least back in a groove that we always used to go for here – but that was five years ago (102bpm Dub, 0-101⅔-0bpm Album Version, and ‘Candy’-copying short 0-107½bpm ‘Honey’ too). Single sided 0-101½-0bpm UK promo pressings (Club JABX 77) are of the album version, for some reason.

BIG DADDY KANE ‘Wrath Of Kane’ (US Cold Chillin’ 0-21082)
This very violently frenetic and exciting 125½-0bpm rap ‘n’ scratch (with an abrupt dead stop halfway, followed by “bring it back, Cee” and a slithery scratched turbo-charged re-start!) is definitely hip hop rather than house, but nevertheless hits the hot ‘n gettin’ hotter “hip house” groove and has exploded as the brand new flip that’s selling the A-side’s Staple Singers based slinkily cranking 98⅔bpm ‘I’ll Take You There (Remix)’ (more harshly mixed 98⅔bpm Edit, too). Continue reading “December 17, 1988: Inner City, Cameo, Big Daddy Kane, ‘The Garage Sound Of Deepest New York’, Maurice”

December 10, 1988: New Beat Part 2, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Alexander O’Neal, Vicky Martin, Dee Major, Jomanda


STOCK AITKEN WATERMAN have remixed Kool And The Gang’s ‘Celebration’ for supposedly rush release, but have just been preceded by Jon Williams & Carl Daniel’s rival 121¾-122-121⅔-121¾ surprisingly unincongruous acidically twittering ‘Celebration ’88 (The Moet Mix)‘ (Club JABX 78), with a similar though thinner 121⅔-121¾-121⅔ Chandon Mix flip — when I broke the news to Mike Stock, he said “It sounds like someone’s pulled a flanker, I’ll get right on that!” … Home Secretary Douglas Hurd has declared that anyone convicted after January 1 of illegal broadcasting will be barred for five years from applying for the new “community of interest” local radio licences — to put this in perspective, the DTI’s radio investigation service has so far this year made over 300 raids on 58 pirate stations in London alone (I hope they caught the idiot who was swamping Capital Radio’s FM frequency in Central London last Wednesday!) … Channel 4 this Wednesday (7) show at 10.10pm an hour long documentary on ‘Club Culture‘, looking at rap, house and a bit of Balearic in a rather wordy way, talking to names who matter and more who don’t in a poorly researched style — mis-spelling Africa Bambaataa, Danny Dee, and (sniff!) not once mentioning RM … MCA Records, number one in just about all sales categories for 1988 in the US trade papers’ year-end lists, are nevertheless making sweeping staff redundancies right through their American operations, and are about to move their many successful black acts over to Motown (which they now own) to leave the parent label for — dare one say? — white acts … Serious Records would appear to have survived a court hearing for their winding up, but meanwhile of course the company’s Mahesh Bajaj has also recently started the separately run Low Fat Vinyl label along similar lines … Adeva ‘Respect’ is out here on January 3 … Adonis apparently is disguised as Jack Rabbit Martin for the deep house-ish ‘Only Wanted To Be‘ (on promo white label ahead of inclusion in Westside Records’ imminent ‘Acido Amigo‘ double LP), romantically mumbling through a loosely flying 125½bpm beat, city sound effects and gently wailing background girl, his vocal electronically slowed down for the otherwise galloping 125¼bpm seriously acidic flipside version … Tyree’s upcoming ffrr album declares “from Tyree Cooper —Todd ain’t God!” … Double Trouble have just completed a reputedly “killer” Todd Terry megamix for Germany’s ZYX label … Dutch house is what’s going to happen instead of Belgian “new-beat”, if you believe a certain rotund A&R star … Jade 4 U is possibly the artist, not 101, on the confusingly labelled Belgian ‘Rock To The Beat’ version … Chris Paul, now acid is cooling off here, has started a possibly weekly Wednesday acid night guest with London DJs at Tito’s — in Palma, Majorca! … Chicago DJ Fast Eddie, whose next UK single will be ‘Hip House’, is touring here this month at Maidstone’s Warehouse and Folkestone’s Tonights (Thursday 8), Birtley’s Libertys (Fri 9), Chippenham’s Gold Diggers (Sat 10), Twickenham’s The George (Sun 11), Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard (Mon 12), Peterborough’s Gables (Tues 13), Westerham’s Grasshopper Inn and London’s Dingwalls (Thurs 15), Gravesend’s Slammer (Fri 16), Gillingham’s Catch 22 (Sat 17), Welling’s The Station (Sun 18) — why so much in Kent?… Key 103FM’s hip hopper Stu Allan has his fortnightly dance night at Preston’s Gatsby on Monday (12) … Phil Collins ‘Two Hearts’ is of course 155½bpm, not as printed last week — incidentally, I picked up on the comment hidden in last week’s Kiss AMC ad, and after careful comparison agree that ‘Let-Off’ does go back to the Supremes rather than to Phil Collins for its ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ bassline (they use some ‘Reflections’ too, I now notice), but what had made me assume otherwise at first was the suspicious fact that both Kiss AMC and Phil are exactly 196bpm, the Supremes however being around 194-198 … NANU NANU!

Capital Radio/Night Network star rap presenter, Tim Westwood (above) and studio engineer Chris Bevington have launched their own rap label with their self-produced TROUBLE ‘I Get Hype’ (Justice JTT 002), an exciting Public Enemy-ish frenetically churning and scratching ‘Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose’-based fast talker by North London’s M.C. B, D.I Jay and beat programmer Reinforced Gus (like it!), in 111¼bpm main vocal, 111⅓bpm Mono and 111bpm Instrumental mixes (sparsely booming slow chatting 84¾bpm ‘I Guess It’s Dope’ too), plus MICHEE MEE & L.A. LUV ‘Run For Cover’ (Justice JTT 001), a Scott La Rock and KRS-1 produced (obviously some time ago) in Canada plaintive scolding 90⅓bpm jiggler by the Toronto based West Indian female rap duo (lurching 93½bpm ‘Elements Of Style‘, and instrumentals, too).

Confusingly, these girls also have out on import the newer MICHIE MEE & L.A. LUV ‘Victory Is Calling’ (US First Priority Music 0-96593), a reggae toasting style started guy heckled lead swapping jittery 98⅚bpm wordy throwdown (funkily backed similar stark strident 0-94⅔bpm ‘On This Mic‘, and dubs, too), the word play being all important and very good.

IF IT’S DECEMBER, IT MUST BE BELGIUM – PART TWO!  Continue reading “December 10, 1988: New Beat Part 2, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Alexander O’Neal, Vicky Martin, Dee Major, Jomanda”

December 3, 1988: “If It’s December, It Must Be Belgium” – New Beat report


MCA RECORDS have, in their usual style, released US pressings here at UK prices of Bobby Brown ‘My Prerogative’ ahead of full UK availability this week (as MCAT 1299) … Black, Rock and Ron ‘Black, Rock and Ron’ is of course based on Ripple’s ‘The Beat Goes On’, whose ‘I Don’t Know What It Is But It Sure Is Funky’ is used by Kid ‘N Play ‘Rollin’ With Kid ‘N Play’ — incidentally, the latter’s ‘2 Hype’ album, reviewed in full on import recently, is now out here on Cooltempo (CTLP 10) … Raze ‘Break 4 Love’ was released here by Champion back in May but is charting now in its current US hit pressing (on US Columbia 44 08164) which seems strange as its 119⅓-0bpm Spanish Fly and 119-0bpm French, Italian, and Caught In The Act mixes were all in fact out here then … Adeva’s Rough Mix and Rough Dub turn out to be a slightly slower 117½bpm, the other three versions being confirmed at 119bpm … Les Adams has created a much beefier remix of Code 61 ‘Drop The Deal’ (an early example of “new-beat”), whereas his 0-125-0pm remixes of Maurice ‘This Is Acid (A New Dance Craze)’ (due on Breakout in a fortnight) could rekindle the whole “acieed” thing, fiercest being the flip’s ‘A Day In The Life’ adopting K & T Mix — that’s the Kev & Trev Mix, the S & T Mix being Sharon & Tracyl … Les has also totally remade (stripping away all of Patrick Cowley’s backing to leave just the original vocal) Sylvester’s ‘Do You Wanna Funk’ in updated beefier style for European release, something which maybe Domino Records should investigate as a replacement for their big selling original version and Housey Housey Mix here —incidentally, this Portsmouth based label has just reissued its old pairing of Donald Byrd ‘(Fallin’ Like) Dominoes’/ ‘Change (Makes You Want To Hustle)’ (DOMT 5) following both tracks’ recent use by respectively Stetsasonic and Blow … ‘Hello Children … Everywhere‘ (EMI EM 1307), a double album of children’s favourites from the Fifties and earlier, looks as if it could be useful for mobile and party jocks … I hope that all the really good mixers whom I keep being assured do exist in Bristol will enter the upcoming UK DJ Mixing Championships heat there (as detailed last week), and the same applies to mixers everywhere — if you all enter and make the contest truly tough this time, you’ll leave no room for the amateurs who sometimes get through at certain heats just to make up the numbers (that way there’ll be no shame even if you don’t win when competing against your equals) … Disco Mix Club’s UK final of the DJ Mixing Championships at the Hippodrome on February 13 now clashes with the BPI’s annual televised British Record Industry Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, which could well deflect record company interest from the mixing (in turn, the World DJ Mixing finals at the Royal Albert Hall on March 14 will also be filmed by BBC-TV, and will be an advance ticket only affair this time, to cut out the rude boys) … Cash Money shows off his New Music Seminar US mixing champion’s belt on the sleeve of his new single, evidently in the belief that this award has more relevance for his American audience than the fact that he beat the whole world in London! … Run-DMC’s movie ‘Tougher Than Leather’ would appear to be causing murder and mayhem in some US cinemas, patrons shooting each other in the stalls … ‘I’m Housin’‘ will be EPMD’s next US single … Arnold Jarvis ‘Take Some Time Out‘ is yet another current “deep house” revival, from April last year .. Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley — inspired by his OMD mix? – has just remixed New Order ‘Fine Time’ … Chris Moore now presents both weekend soul shows on Cardiff’s Red Dragon Radio, 5-7pm Saturdays and 7-9pm Sundays (he obviously wants all soul/dance-type records sent to the station to be addressed to him) … Tim Westwood, Richie Rich, and Hardrock’s Max ‘N’ Dave are joined this Tuesday (29) at Camden Lock Dingwalls by the Demon Boyz, Too Tuff, Trouble, The London Posse, DJ Pogo, Cutmaster Swift … The peripatetic Shoom! seems to have settled every Wednesday at Busbys in London’s Charing Cross Road … Mark King has moved from Putney to present upfront Fridays at Camberley JW’s … Les Adams’ mixing night at Milton Keynes’ The Club at The Point has switched to Friday, as they couldn’t afford him on a Saturday! … John ‘Superstar’ Saunderson is at Southend-on-Sea Mr B’s Thurs/Sat, Ealing Broadway Boulevard Fri/Sun … Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ album may have sold over 2,250,000 copies here but neither it nor the singles from it have had anything like the lasting impact that ‘Thriller’ did, at disco or any other level … ‘Twist And Shout’ was first recorded by the Top Notes on US Atlantic, released here at the time oddly as a Nino Tempo & April Stevens B-side, their version being continuously flat out frantic and very different from the subsequent Isley Brothers recording … ‘The Hitman And Her’ has become much improved now that it visits clubs where better camera angles can be used, and especially now that Pete Waterman has come out from behind the turntables, the result being really good madcap (if still shambolic) fun, Pete’s comments and asides being the best ingredient … Pasadenas producer Pete Wingfield playing piano behind Robin Beck on ‘Top Of The Pops’ — the real thing? … You all know my feelings on acid house, but we’d like to know yours, being DJs and acid club goers, so fill in the questionnaire on page 12 and get it back to us pronto… NANU NANU!

LES ADAMS and I are for the next few weeks creating the five hour continuously mixed New Year’s Eve party music tape for Capital Radio, and in the process finding out just how good is this, Les’s brand new home studio. No longer in South London’s Worcester Park, this custom fitted, totally carpeted, and at last relatively spacious studio is 50 miles up the M1 in Les and Emma’s recently purchased Newport Pagnell house (close to the third L.A. Mix member, Mike Stevens).


WHY BELGIUM? Why should this country have reduced music to a bare electronic minimum, to create a local craze that is now being aggressively promoted as the new beat, or “new-beat”, “nieuw-beat”? It’s a country with no black music tradition (despite the Congo!). Instead there is a prosperous Silicon Valley electronics industry, and the emphasis in everyday living is on technology, the conspicuous consumption of the latest cars and electronic equipment setting the lifestyle of the well-heeled young. Already CD singles have a significant share of the dance music market. Television beams in from all around Europe, Britain included, making Belgium a melting pot. A soulless melting pot. It seems inevitable that electronic music would get a hold on such a place. Slow to change, the clubs there were still hung up on the Barry White/Gloria Gaynor “disco” syndrome until an Antwerp DJ called Fat Ronnie started to build a reputation for himself in 1985 by playing German and British electro-pop. As an antidote to fast “disco”, he and others began playing Hi-NRG and instrumental B-sides at the wrong, slow, speed, which created new low frequencies and phase shifts. Using Technics decks, it become common for 45rpm records to be played at 33⅓rpm “plus 8%” (on the vari-speed control). As Fat Ronnie had ended up in a club called Ancienne Belgique, the music became known by the club’s initials as “A.B.-Sounds” (hence the mysterious subtitle on the previously reviewed ‘New Beat — Take 1‘ compilation LP). Just as club trends spread here, so the word spread across Belgium and neighbouring countries, the mobile club crowd driving from city to city on the right nights for the right venues. Inevitably, purpose made records then were made for this still underground market, but — just as with the big “house” hits here — certain surprise hits leapt up the local charts without any radio support (the big difference in Belgium is that now they just don’t dance if the beat is fast — and it’s a totally drug-less scene). Only recently did the name of the music change to “nieuw-beat”, as several record companies set about catering to the market, a market based largely on Antwerp’s influential USA Import record shop. The best records however tend to be made by the DJs themselves, the worst being cynical cash-ins (sound familiar?). The first company to recognise the trend, Antler Records set up the Subway label, whose Maurice Engelen actually wrote to me about “new-beat” some months before the style’s records were more widely available here. He describes it as “a new form of repetitive dance music, combining post-electronic synthesisers and samplers, a dose of pathos and a portion of passion, a diet of ’round about 110bpm and the typical Belgo-European sound as it was developed by bands such as Front 242, A Split Second, Cabaret Voltaire and D.A.F.” I can see why I wasn’t terribly interested at the time — just the sort of stuff I’ve tried to avoid! If “new-beat” has any real effect in Britain, I feel it’s more likely to accelerate the next revival cycle, and reawaken interest in the late Seventies/early Eighties “new romantic” era British electronic acts who originally inspired the Belgians. The time gap seems about right for history to repeat itself, each generation looking back with nostalgia to the music of their big brothers and sisters, as any study of the UK charts will show. In the meantime, today’s Belgian kids are packing places like Ghent’s Boccaccio on Sunday night and doing a pose-y slow standing still dance to the stuff that Belgian record companies are hoping they can persuade us to like as well.

As previously mentioned, a variation on Reese & Santonio’s ‘Rock To The Beat’ has been huge in Belgium, the hit that’s assimilated it being GHENTLON ‘Cheebala’ (R&S Records 880011), most ‘Back To The Beat’-like in the flip’s thuddingly tumbling and twittering 119⅓-0bpm Jolly Boy Mix, the Acid Freak Mix being more routinely acid house-like. However, there is also a confusingly labelled “ecstasy, ecstasy”-introed phonetic (0-)121bpm remake of the actual Reese & Santonio tune, 101 ‘Rock To The Beat‘ (Speed 001), with a noisily chugging 117⅓bpm ‘Saigon Nightmare‘ flip.

Previously mentioned, THE MAXX ‘(The Biggest Illegal Export) Cocaine‘ (German BCM Records 12009) is a documentary quoting and “cocaine”-repeating ploddingly thumping 0-109⅚-0bpm twittery synth chugger, while The Maxx created (back in February) one of the big “new-beat” hits, CONFETTI’S ‘The Sound Of C…’ (German Ariola 611 891), a synth driven thumping and twittering 0-109⅓-0bpm lurcher with deadpan male repeated elaboration of the title line insisting “this is a new style of music”.

More recent are JADE 4 U ‘That Boy (Acid Mix)’ (Subway Records SUB 043), a Tubeway Army type buzzing synth chorded rolling 107⅙bpm instrumental chugger with monk-ish wordless chanting, enough like 1979 to sound comfortingly familiar now; T.99 ‘Slidy‘ (Who’s That Beat? WHOS 4), breathily intoned and phonetically rapped “it’s new beat, it’s a new style” 109bpm synth tinkled lurching chugger; MISS NICKY TRAX ‘Acid In The House‘ (KAOS dance records KAOS 004), dull monotonous sibilant title chanting jittery 114¾bpm twittering lurcher. Another usefully exhaustive compilation album is ‘New Beat — A New Style Of Music‘ (German BCM Records 33015), which by the looks of things I’m going to have to detail next week as I’m running out of room!

Continue reading “December 3, 1988: “If It’s December, It Must Be Belgium” – New Beat report”