BEATS & PIECES
The 1989 International DJ Convention is the next, now rapidly approaching, big date that should be in every jock’s diary, held at London’s Leicester Square Empire on March 12/13, Sunday having the welcoming party and Sleeping Bag Records sponsored Shure ‘Golden Mic’ UK Rapping Championship finals while Monday’s all day session includes seminar discussions and the preliminary eliminations for the 1989 Technics World DJ Mixing Championships — the finals of which, and the superstar studded DJ Awards ceremony, are then on Tuesday (14) at the Royal Albert Hall (full booking details from the Disco Mix Club on 06286-67276/633227124, three day tickets for non DMC members being £50, one day tickets £15) … Shure ‘Golden Mic’ rap finalists, selected at the UK mixing semi-finals, are slow talking freestyle Brian ‘Uncle B Nice’ Bennett, patois style toasting MC Daddy The Baddy, dreadlocked angry fast Daddy Dru (who all came first in their areas), sassy Jazzy P (as in Pauline), fast toasting Crazy Cool Desine, confidently haranguing DJ Oski Osic, 11 years old Samm E.E. (photographed twice in rm last week!) … Leigh’s Ruebens continued to prove hard to spell last week — the correct version (we must get it right at least once!) being R-U-E-B-E-N-S – where for some reason semi-finalists Tim Garbutt and Krazy K failed to show up (rather negating the Stockton heat where both had qualified), while Scotland’s Adrian Rennie couldn’t get the night off work! … Simon Harris is hosting a Music Of Life hip hop jam at the Café De Paris after the Royal Albert Hall world mixing final, with Tim Westwood, Derek B, Madhatter Trevor and live rappers throwing down … De La Soul’s weirdly conceptual, dialogue interspersed ‘3 Feet High And Rising’ album is proving hard to find on Tommy Boy import but will be BPM-ed should it hit The Club Chart this week, along with any other mile high pile of import 12-inchers that I picked up but didn’t have time to review … EPMD’s old but now much remixed 107⅓-107-0bpm ‘I’m Housin’‘ (107⅙-106⅚pm Instrumental) and totally altered 87⅔-0bpm ‘Get Off The Band Wagon‘ have been promoted by Sleeping Bag Records ahead of commercial UK release in a fortnight, these mixes not being scheduled for US release at all! … MCA Records have picked up Vicky Martin’s recently hot but now dormant ‘Not Gonna Do It’ import, which won’t be out until the end of March … Living Beat Records have remixed 1982’s Sinnamon ‘Thanks To You’ for UK release … ‘One Kiss will Make It Better‘ may not be on the vinyl LP of Ten City’s ‘Foundation’ album but an edited version is on the cassette and CD, along with extended mixes of ‘That’s The Way Love Is (Deep House Mix)’, ‘Right Back To You’ and ‘Devotion’ — any self respecting DJ should of course already have the originals on 12 inch anyway, but even so it seems a pity that vinyl buyers are so poorly served, even if the (Germany EQ-ed and pressed) LP is already low on volume by being so cramped … I’m not surprised I instantly recognised that the basis of The Dynamic Guv’nors present Jazzy Jason ‘M.U.S.I.C. (Use It)‘ is Tyrone Brunson’s The ‘Smurf’ — they actually used the remix I did of it as part of my 1983 medley of it with C.O.D. ‘In The Bottle’, on Streetwave! … Paul Simpson has re-recorded his “sleeper” from last year, ‘Musical Freedom’ (which somehow got lost between poorly co-ordinated promo and commercial release), this time featuring the vocals of Adeva! … New Jersey Queens & Friends ‘Party And Don’t Worry About It’ will be the backing beat of the Cookie Crew’s next B-side… Jon Sharp has started a Recuts dance division at Orpington based record distributors Pinnacle (0689-70622, ext 222), specialising in sales, marketing and promotion for smaller indie dance labels – those currently distributed include Music Of Life, Living Beat, Hot Melt, Warrior and Rham! Records … Marie Birch of London’s Sound Promotions (01-864 4484) and Everton Webb of Birmingham’s Sidestep Promotions (021-643 6584) have joined forces in PA’s Unlimited to organise personal appearance tours nationwide for the artistes … Tim Raidl, promoting indie dance labels from his Luton based Define Promotions UK (0582-412460), is also touting for business as a remixer – he created the Martin Luther King overdubbed Fingers Inc ‘Can You Feel It’ mix among other recent projects for Jack Trax … Jamaica’s veteran sound system DJ and legendary dub creator, King Tubby was robbed and then shot dead outside his house early in the morning two Mondays ago … LiveWire’s ever growing list of confirmed appearances for the Prestatyn Easter weekender now includes Ten City, Kym Mazelle, Midnight Star, Adeva, Inner City, Jomanda, Monie Love, Smith & Mighty, Longsy D and MC Duke … Jungle Brothers plus Richie Rich and guests next week start touring Manchester Legends (March 1), Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush (2), Northampton Roadmenders (4), Norwich Arts Centre (5), Brixton Fridge (6), Brighton Top Rank (8), Ipswich Corn Exchange (15) … DJ Richie B this Thursday (23) replaces the Roadblock night with a new more eclectic deep house/hip hop/garage/funk/go go/soul Gangster Boogie weekly gig at Westerham’s Grasshopper Inn, Moorhouse — meanwhile, the same thing also now happens at Greenford’s Oscars Nightclub, starting on Monday next week (27) before switching thereafter to every Wednesday … Sixties jazz organist ‘Big’ John Patton headlines at Brighton’s Jazz Bop 2 this Friday (24) in the Top Rank Suite, with Gilles Peterson, Baz Fe Jazz, Russ Dewbury and Bob Smith at the decks and many other live attractions … Brian Davies and guests play the latest funky stuff on both vinyl and video every Wednesday from next week (March 1) at Kidderminster’s Weavers Nitespot (only £1 before 10pm) … DJ Kid ‘D.F.M.’ Smurf, the super duper dance floor master, garage houses Leicester’s Helsinki Bar Wednesdays/Saturdays, the Bear Cage Fridays … London’s currently “resting” KISS fm jocks will be organising a musical week away in Majorca at the end of September, full details of the £195 holiday on 01-354 0893 (no Wallys!) … Theo Loyla on his retirement from disco plugging will become the manager of Gatefield Sounds record shop in Herne Bay, handy for home but hardly the nerve centre of the music biz! … Shep Pettibone’s Power House Mix of Will To Power ‘Fading Away’, reviewed on import and promoed here in that form too, is now on UK release (Epic 6546518) … James Lee ‘Wild Stroke Of Luck’ in its commercial form turns out to be very different from its far better Turntable Orchestra-ish promo mixes, beware … Alan Coulthard, despite all his much vaunted qualifications, seems to have bypassed his proposed career as a music biz lawyer to concentrate on remixing … Les Adams, believe it or not, is apparently becoming as hot in the States as Toddy Terry is here! … GIVE IT SOME THAT, KID!
Arthur Baker is currently in the country overseeing the final preparation of his “solo” album on Breakout — in Jellybean-like style the first single (due early April) will feature Shirley Lewis while also supplying vocals on the album are Robert Owens, Will Downing, Jimi Somerville, Martin Fry, Andy McClusky of OMD and more. Arthur began to judge the Technics mixing finals, but then either got bored, or disgusted, or else had something better to do, and walked out halfway!
Cutmaster Swift, defending 1988 champ, came on last in the finals of the 1989 Technics UK DJ Mixing Championships and, as anticipated by the smart money, pulled it off to be the winning champ again! With delightful grace, grimaces and gyrations, his skill packed seven minutes included a Guy ‘Teddy’s Jam’ synch (good to find someone using this neglected killer), 45rpm fast cuts, and a hilarious “acieed” satirising trance dance with his T-shirt pulled over his head. In case the few photogenic stunts give a wrong impression to people who were not there, his manipulation of the decks was all important – and, what clinched it for him, Swift’s most stunning trick of all sounded like an expertly flawless fast cutback using two copies of a record to repeat the same phrase, except that there was only one record on the deck, and Swift was manually lifting the stylus back a groove precisely on the beat without any discernible break in sound! You has to see it to believe it!
A close and thoroughly deserved second was DJ Pogo, whose locomoting fast accurate tricks were breathtaking and gained a fantastic response, one of his new stunts being the manipulation of the mixer’s crossfader with his shoulder – he seemed like the winner until Swift followed him on stage.
Third was the crowd pleasing 15 years old Scratch Professor, who for my money was more “show business” than “scratch business”, appearing initially in shades with a pair of slinky Robert Palmer-style femmes fatales undulating behind him as she stood on a chair with his foot on the record (rather than the mixer, which was a switch), his mixing being reasonably accurate but with messy transitions at times – he repeated his “bad meaning good” fast cuts and ‘Bad’ transformer scratch.
DJ Biznizz to my mind was better, doing almost flawless fast cuts with lots of flash, and manipulating the crossfader with his tongue and foot.
One of the leading favourites to win, DJ Jay, who it must be remembered is only two years older than the young-for-his-age-looking Scratch Professor, was disappointingly much less accurate than usual, fast cutting but with jumps and skips, to cool audience response. The very partisan London audience at the Empire obviously perceived the finals to be an exclusively hip hop event, any suggestion of house (apart from Swift’s satire) getting a cool reception, and any overly acrobatic antics that detracted from the pure skill of scratching being actually booed.
Merseyside’s DJ Trix was given a hard time but won the crowd around with his “bring the noise” and other fast cuts in a typically slick, accurate and clever programme that was easily the equal of most of the aforementioned London jocks, but Manchester’s zanily acrobatic DJ Leaky Fresh, who scratched well apart from some sloppy cutbacks, was rudely booed, while Sheffield’s Mink was plagued by a repeatedly jumping tone arm yet attempted acrobatic tricks which were doomed to fail.