July 30, 1988: Steve Walsh, Jo Ann Jones, Longsy D + Cut Master M.C., Rick Clarke, James Brown

BEATS & PIECES

Urban have pressed on “promo” copies of a four-track 12 inch that contain two tracks each from their new ‘James Brown’s Funky People (Part 2)’ and ‘Urban Classics 2’ LPs, respectively 1972’s brassily burbling and tumbling (0-)96½-96-94½-97bpm Hank Ballard & The Midnight Lighters ‘From The Love Side’, 1970’s piano nagged rolling and preaching 0-99½-100-100½-0bpm Myra Barnes ‘The Message From The Soul Sisters (Parts 1 & 2)’, 1972’s squeaky early Jackson 5-style Foster Sylvers ‘Misdemeanour’, 1971’s glorious blue-eyed Philly soul swinging 117½-115½-115-116bpm The Mob ‘I Dig Everything About You’… WEA have now promoed Terrajacks ‘Houseplan’, a frenetic samples studded choppily jumping jangly 0-122¾-123-0bpm volume pumper that’s already been white labelled around Merseyside for months… Double Trouble (his mum knows him as Leigh Guest) has created a megamix for Syncopate, the 0-118-117½-117-117½-0bpm INSYNC 1, combining Brass Construction ‘Movin’’, Chris Paul ‘Turn The Music Up’ and Carol Cayne ‘What My Love Can Bring’… Warner Bros are preparing an album of remixed oldies by Chaka Khan, ‘I’m Every Woman’ being remixed by Dancin’ Danny D, ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Frankie Knuckles, ‘Slow Dancin’’ by Hank Shocklee amongst others… Steve Walsh, always one to say things for effect, actually confirmed to me that he was born in Walsall, but quite rightly his mum should know and she tells me that he was London born and bred – however, his Irish born dad did live for years in Walsall… Les Adams at Norbury’s Sussex Tavern, only a music pub and not a vast great place, raised £1,310 in just two hours for Steve Walsh’s family trust – mind you, he sold even the shirt off his back to do so!… Les has also just created a full 24 track remix of the Funky Worm ‘Hustle! (To The Music)’ but for Disco Mix Club release only – a bit of a breakthrough, the very first mix they have featured done from master tape rather than disc… Marshall Jefferson is doing a house remix of ‘Somebody Save Me’ as the follow-up for By All Means… Jellybean’s still only promoed ‘Coming Back For More (Part 1)’ is now also in a more smoothly jiggling 114½-0bpm vocal version gruffly nagged by Richard Darbyshire from Living In A Box… 88 Light + Sound Show, the annual PLASA equipment exhibition this year is at Olympia 2 in West London’s Hammersmith Road from Sunday to Wednesday, September 11-14, discount £2 advance booking forms having to be returned by August 19 – to get yours, contact PLASA, 7 Highlight House, St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, Sussex BN21 3UH (otherwise it’s £5 on the door)… Edinburgh DJ Donald Hughes, the Steve Walsh lookalike ‘Shuggy Bear’ pictured by this column back in January, still presents the Radio Forth Dance Chart on Saturdays 8-9pm, and now hosts a Sunday 2-4pm ‘The Scottish Chart’, compiled from retail sales in – you guessed – just Scotland… Lindsay Wesker has moved with Kiss Records and Goodfoot Promotions to Unit 14, Backstock Mews, Backstock Road, London N4 (01-359 2969)… Marie Birch’s new Sound Promotions address is 31 Norfolk Place, London W2, and not as misprinted last week (when it should also have been Gipsy Kings, Yello, Dave Ball, Blue Moderne, S’Xpress, Fon Force, etcetera – well, it’s probably my fault for delivering the copy late!)… Monday (August 1 – what, August already?) finds Liverpool’s Mardi Gras having another No Sell Out night, number 8, the monthly pack jammed underground house/rap/funk/reggae/soul event, while up at Darlington’s Zhivagos a £3 North East Frontline jam has the Wee Papa Girl Rappers and a DJ cast list including Hutchy, Alex Lowes, Herbie Mack spinning jazz/soul/rare groove… Swansea’s soul boyo Jeff Thomas also now hikes on Tuesdays to 5th Avenue at Torquay… Dorothy turns out to be two white girls and their reggaefied single is of Prince ‘Still Waiting’ rather than Diana Ross’s ‘I’m Still Waiting’ – which latter is what the white label promo called it… NANU NANU!


HOT VINYL

STEVE WALSH ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now (Party For The World)’ (A1 Records 12A1 304, via PRT)
Quite a revelation, the late and sadly missed giant amongst DJs sounds far more polished than before on a tasteful and really excellent long smoothly flowing (0-)111bpm revival of McFadden & Whitehead’s singalong soul anthem, starting off with doodling piano before being presented as a live performance with the crowd support increasing as Steve breaks halfway into some rap and a “party for the world” call and answer session (including an inevitable though brief “you wot, you wot?” exchange), so good that it would have been a smash regardless of the circumstances – the flip’s jiggly lurching 97bpm ‘I’ll Keep On’ is less remarkable but especially ironic.

JO ANN JONES ‘Share My Joy’ (Champion CHAMP 12-81)
Sybil’s producer James Bratton has followed the example of Jellybean and Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor by assembling an upcoming ‘The James Bratton Project’ on which his creations are performed by individually credited different artistes, first UK release from it being this excellent striding 116½bpm bubbly kicker (dub/edit too) with rippling vibes and cooing girls behind the superbly soulful unhurriedly wailing Jo Ann, a voice that’ll drive those with a taste for the old style wild!

LONGSY D. + CUT MASTER M.C. ‘To The Rhythm’ (Big One VV BIG 10)
Creating the maximum rhythm from the minimum ingredients of a resonant bass thrummed madly jaunty 93⅓-93½-93¾bpm syncopation, cutting in the Upsetters’ ‘Return Of Django’ and James Brown’s ‘Funky President’ amongst others (Dub Rap Mix/Bonus Beats flip), these beat bouncing reggae hip hoppers claim to be “like Zanussi, the appliance of science” – I’ll drink to that! Stay still if you can! Continue reading “July 30, 1988: Steve Walsh, Jo Ann Jones, Longsy D + Cut Master M.C., Rick Clarke, James Brown”

July 23, 1988: Chris Paul, Deluxe, Mr Lee, Alexander O’Neal, Al B. Sure!

BEATS & PIECES

Steve Walsh’s funeral was attended by so many – all the “names” in the business you can think of (apart from noticeably, the old jazz-funk “mafia”) – that most were outside the chapel in the sun listening to the service on loudspeakers, over which at the end was played ‘I Found Lovin’’, which initially gave one a start (but not as much as the unfortunate way in which the smoke from his cremation then blew down onto the departing mourners) … Paul Hardcastle was one of the very last people Steve spoke to on the telephone just before his fateful operation, asking “I’ll be alright, won’t I?” … Gary Smith and Peter Ferrant were due to have Steve with them at Romford’s Hollywood two weeks ago, so turned it into a tribute night and raised £2,900 towards his family’s trust fund (they also got 1,800 rowdy clubgoers giving him a minute’s silence!) … Thursday, August 18 is the date for the Hammersmith Le Palais benefit night for Steve’s family, which the Disco Mix Club are organising – one can see why they would leap in, but they’ve caused resentment amongst some of Steve’s longer standing colleagues … Bomb The Bass’s long awaited follow-up is a double A-side, the Merlin-featuring ‘Megablast (Hip Hop On Precinct 13)’ being another ‘Beat Dis’-type 0-114⅓-0bpm jerky shuffler full of rather tired samples, and the Lorraine-featuring ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ a reedy shrill 0-119¾-0bpm Latin hip hop jitterer, both a bit disappointing … Public Enemy’s import LP is now out here (Def Jam 452415 1) … Full Force’s remix of James Brown ‘Static’ is due here early August … Ben Liebrand has remixed the Four Seasons ‘Oh What A Night (December 1963)’, out in Europe already but unfortunately I can’t tell you what it’s like as it was only sent me on CD! – speaking of which, amongst their many other compact disc dance music releases, Germany’s BCM Records have kicked off a four-track ‘Classic Dance Tracks On CD’ series, Volume 1 (BC 50-2150-44) featuring Fred Wesley ‘House Party’, Stone ‘Time (Tic Toc Remix)’, Rod ‘Shake It Up (Do The Boogaloo)’ and Michael Zager Band ‘Let’s All Chant’ (the recent remake) … Raul featuring J Bonell ‘Guitarra’ (Spanish Blanco Y Negro), now a Euro smash, could be a Balearic Beat worth checking, probably compatible with the big instrumental remixes of both the Thrashing Doves ‘Jesus On The Payroll’ (US A&M) and Mandy Smith ‘I Just Can’t Wait’ (PWL Records), all having been reviewed at different stages in the past … Supreme Records still haven’t released the Project Club ‘Dance With The Devil’ commercially yet – originally scheduled for June, it’s finally out on July 25, by which time it’ll be far from “the first” Balearic Beat single! – the finished copy’s Balearic Mix being very slightly altered and coupled now with the also 120¼bpm but very different raucously sung house-ish ‘Amnesia (Up All Night Mix)’ alternative treatment of the same rhythm, minus any chimes … Balearic, as feared, is already being used by record companies as a tag with which to try and foist any old rubbish onto the public … Jon Jules, Glen Gunner, Jagger, Rocky and Diesel, plus Adrenalin MOD member Richie Fermié playing acid live, have turned every other Tuesday (that’s fortnightly, next one July 26) at Greenford’s Barbarellas into “the hottest Balearic night outside Spectrum” – they actually get many Spectrum and Trip regulars coming for a sweat with them! … Graham Gold’s re-edit is in fact “the more brightly remixed B-side” of the Hudson Giants, reviewed last week from inaccurate label copy, Pascal Gabriel’s remix being therefore the frankly less good A-side – Jeff Young, incidentally, played Graham’s Public Enemy megamix on Radio 1 last Friday … Cornish mixing DJ Tristan Bolinho now precedes the relayed Radio 1 chart on BBC Radio Bristol every Sunday afternoon with a well positioned soul show, which I managed to hear while driving all the way from Somerset to Bournemouth, plus he hosts what I presume also to be a soul show for two hours every weekday evening on the same station – nice work, if you can get it! … Roger Squire’s Light & Sound showroom in Manchester has combined with the local Piccadilly Sound & Light and moved as the Piccadilly Squire Megastore to new premises at 130 Broadway in Salford’s Metroplex Enterprise Zone, near the end of the M602, opening this Thursday (21) … Marie Birch is moving her Sound Promotions mailing list yet again, to 31 Norfolk Place, London W21 (01-258 0035) … Benny Wilson has graduated from DJ to manager to owner of Stoke Newington’s The Cotton Club, at 20 Stamford Hill (01-806 3765), and is looking for good mixing DJs to play acid house, rap and Seventies disco on the GL1 mixer – will his phone be hot or what?! … Johnny Kemp ‘Just Got Paid’ has actually been withdrawn prior to a full relaunch the first week in August, when Johnny will be over doing PAs, to try and boost it into equalling its US success … Shirley Lewis reckons that Bros fans have been buying her single on account of her long standing relationship with Luke Goss … Syn-Dee, whose ‘It’s Best To Be A Girl’ will be out on August 1, is young and English, and previously rapped with Boy George … Love Street, revivers of ‘Galaxy’, turn out to be Stephen Mallinder, Dave Ball and Ruthjoy from Krush … Smith & Mighty’s members and confederates, Rob Smith, Ray Mighty, Jackie Jackson, Krissy Kriss, MC Kelz and DJ Linx, are all from Bristol … Sabrina ends the rap in ‘Boys’ with the line “Every boy that’s got a c**k”, according to Vincent O’Brien of Tollcross, Glasgow, who reckons Auntie Beeb’s censorship standards have slipped in this instance! … I’ve been so swamped by the last minute arrival of overdue mail that there’s no time to review albums this week by such as Burrell (already BPM-ed in The Club Chart last week), Masters Of Ceremony, James ‘D-Train’ Williams on import, and many more out here … Burrell are twins called Ronnie and Rheji, which (spelling apart) might sound familiar! … I actually began my DJ-ing career in a club, Esmerelda’s Barn, owned by the more infamous twins, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, and as a matter of coincidence bought my mobile disco equipment exactly 20 years ago this month, and am still using it – the very first purpose built mobile unit ever made, it was built to last by Pepe Rush, who in the Sixties was the pioneer of club sound installation, the console he sold me actually being a prototype which needed to be adapted for little things like tape input/output! … NANU NANU!


HOT VINYL

CHRIS PAUL ‘Turn The Music Up (Extended Version)’ (Syncopate 12SY 13)
The West London DJ/remixer/instrumentalist’s thudding jittery scurrying 119-0bpm Players Association revival takes a while to become recognisable but then there’s no disguising the distinctive jiggly guitar and braying brass that he’s wisely retained amidst (for once!) his own breathy vocals, while the flip is a screams greeted good jittery bounding 0-118¾-0bpm ‘House On The Move’ jazzy keyboards and guitar instrumental with occasional vocoder and girls choruses, almost better than the plug side.

DELUXE ‘(I’ve Got A) Feeling’ (The Dance Yard Recording Corporation/Unyque Artists UNQ 3T, via Spartan)
Delores ‘Deluxe’ Springer follows up ‘Your Loving Drives Me Crazy’ with another sultrily crooned sparse sinuous 84½bpm bumpily jogging “street soul” swayer that was recorded in Master ‘The Beatcreator’ Tee’s bedroom studio, flipped by the equally sparse 108bpm ‘My Mama And Papa Always Told Me (Club Remix)’ and gently jiggling (0-)105bpm ‘Passionately’, with some male rap and ragged harmony, all of them enough off-key in lovers rock vocal style to give them that nagging charm.

MR LEE ‘Pump Up London (Club Mix)’ (London USAT 639)
Possibly anthemic enough to be the first real acid house crossover hit, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds, Scotland and various UK clubs being namechecked as well as London during the bursts of staccato chanting in this Mike ‘Hitman’ Wilson-mixed acid synth sizzled 125¾-126bpm thumper, flipped by a brand new 125½bpm Acid Dub and the import’s 125¾-0bpm Acid Mix of ‘Pump Up Chicago’. Continue reading “July 23, 1988: Chris Paul, Deluxe, Mr Lee, Alexander O’Neal, Al B. Sure!”

July 16, 1988: Steve Walsh obituary, Mantronix, Public Enemy, Stetsasonic, Mica Paris

BEATS & PIECES

As I hope you realised, last week’s column was printed before tragic events overtook its lead story … Steve Walsh’s untimely death has had one beneficial side effect, in that it appears to have given some of our fatter DJs a keen sense of their own mortality, and encouraged them to diet in earnest … Steve was chairman of the Dance Aid Trust, which has selected as one of three nominated charities for support this year the Christian Lewis Neuroblastoma Trust Fund. which become a registered charity on June 6 — young Christian’s own tumour is still undergoing chemo- and radio-therapy but has not shrunk (he’s the son of Swansea DJ James Lewis, who has written with local musician Maldwyn Pope a song called ‘Christian’, described as “not a bass bomber but a catchy pop dance number’, for which they seek a deal on 0792-896928) … S-Express have indeed changed their name’s spelling to S’Xpress, to make it more phonetic and prevent people pronouncing it as “S”- “Express” — incidentally, it really is very misleading sometimes having to review 12 inch versions of such as their new ‘Superfly Guy’, which turns out to be a much catchier song in its edited seven inch/video form … Gwen McCrae’s review last week was premature as her single isn’t now out until July 25, when the brand new jittery Jocelyn Brown-ish ‘Eighties Lady (Seventies Trammp Mix)‘ will be the A-side, merely flipped by the track previously promoed and reviewed … Groove’s ‘Hijack The Beat’ seems likely to be remixed extensively before it’s out commercially … Martyn Young of M|A|R|R|S created the Afro-Acid Remix of Mory Kante’s ‘Yé Ké Yé Ké’, and has another Mory’s House Remix ready to follow it, too … ffrr are previewing their ‘The House Sound Of London Vol IV — The Jackin’ Zone‘ album with a pair of 12 inch promos containing the frantic samba flavoured 125½-0bpm The House Addicts ‘Come Together‘ flipped by the Dancin’ Danny D-created “acieed”-chanting burbling 124¼-0bpm D. Mob ‘We Call It Acieed‘, and the Jazzy M talked and Julian Jonah moaned, Bam Bam co-produced, Fingers Inc backed jittery smooth (0-)122bpm The J&M Connection ‘Living In A World Of Fantasy‘, plus its more melodic 122¼bpm One For The Ladies Mix semi-instrumental, flipped by the synth washed and piano nagged slippery throbbing 0-120⅓bpm Richie Rich ‘Salsa House‘ … Inner-City ‘Big Fun’ is the next (and only logical) single to be pulled from 10 Records’ tedious ‘Techno!’ double album … Acid Fingers couldn’t possibly be Simon Harris’s new “house” alter ego? … Virgin have promoed on totally blank white label the particularly strong, jaunty girl rapped scratching and jiggling 108⅓bpm Syn-Dee ‘It’s Best To Be A Girl‘ … Jellybean’s new instrumental ‘Coming Back For More’ will in fact be followed by a vocal version featuring Richard Darbyshire from Living In A Box … Eddie Murphy, in his hilarious new film ‘Coming To America’, successfully shatters his old stereotype by playing four totally different characters — including an old white Jew called Saul! — while co-star Arsenio Hall likewise plays four characters, the make-up jobs being fantastic (incidentally, when you see it, which you must, the kid in the barber’s choir is Cuba Gooding Jr, presumably son of the Main Ingredient member) … Leroy Burgess is recording himself again and producing others for Zoo Experience Records in London next month … CityBeat have combined their previous releases by Philadelphia rap acts Cool C and 3-D into a six-track £3.99 mini-LP, ‘CityBeat Hilltop Hustlers‘ (CBLP 2) … Lindsay Wesker (playwright Arnold’s little boy) has co-founded the new Kiss Records label, debuting with — it has to be said — a very intelligent compilation LP of Salsoul oldies, ‘Salsoul 1‘ (LIPS 1), including such as Jimmy Williams ‘All Of My Lovin’’, The Strangers ‘Step Out Of My Dreams’, Surface ‘Falling In Love’ … Urban’s new ‘Urban Classics 2‘ (URBLP 5) includes such eagerly sought rare grooves as the squeaky Jackson 5-style 89⅙-88⅚bpm Foster Sylvers ‘Misdemeanor‘, and New Orleans chanting pattered and wah-wahed 0-111-112-113½-109bpm The Wild Magnolias ‘(Somebody Got) Soul, Soul, Soul‘ … Charly R&B have released a great double LP of Sixties material, classics and rarities, recorded by the likes of Aaron Neville, Ernie K-Doe, Benny Spellman, Eskew Reeder, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and The Showmen (featuring General Johnson) for the late Joe Banashak’s various New Orleans labels, ‘Mr Joe’s Jambalaya‘ (CDX26) … Big Dee Irwin, the singer/songwriter who 30 years ago led the Pastels doo wop group but is better remembered for his hit duet of ‘Swinging On A Star’ with Little Eva 25 years ago, has been signed (under his real surname, Ervin) by 2000 AD Records, the label that veteran record plugger Golly Gallagher is now running here … James Brown’s past cohorts, including Bobby Byrd, Vicki Anderson, Lyn Collins, Marva Whitney, Maceo Parker, the JBs, Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns are all live at London’s Town & Country Club in Kentish Town next Wednesday/Thursday (20/21) … James Brown’s CD is packaged more colourfully than the brand new bag given to his ‘I’m Real’ LP here … Keni Stevens’ old ‘Blue Moods’ album on Jam Today will soon be on CD with extra mixes and unissued songs boosting it to 13 tracks … T-Coy’s latest latin house jangler ‘Night Train‘ (a new tune) is due on promo now … Dave Rogers, a regular shopper along with me at Rayners Lane’s Record Centre, has himself set up a small specialist Soul Shop at 789-791 London Rood in Hounslow, supplying black and dance music plus imports for the locals there … Sarbani, the girl whose ‘(Ish Ka Deh) Marmaleh‘ Bhangra house single turns out to be produced by Andy Cox of Fine Young Cannibals, is the Wolverhampton teenager who won the national Bhangra dance contest on TV’s ‘Network East’ … Culture Shock’s pioneering ‘House Bhangra‘ only ever hit (in a small way) the Indie, rather than dance charts … North West London’s postal disputes held up DJs’ charts (and new UK releases) this week … NANU NANU!


STEVE WALSH died on Sunday, July 3, following an operation on his fractured left leg in Paddington St. Mary’s Hospital. His great bulk of around 26 stone, which gave him such a commanding presence on stage, proved to be his undoing. Apparently people who are very overweight are liable to get calcium deposits around their joints, bits of which can break off during this type of operation and get into the bloodstream, causing a blockage and heart failure. This is what happened when, made fully aware of the risk, Steve agreed that surgeons should put a plate in his leg, as otherwise his fractured femur might not have mended sufficiently to bear his weight and allow him to walk again. This four hour operation was successful, and Steve woke up after it, before his heart stopped twice, the second time there being no reviving him. Four evenings earlier, on Ibiza in the Balearic islands, Steve was being driven in a convoy of cars back from the final sunset shot of the third day’s filming for his new single’s video, when a car shot out of a side road straight into the car he was in, throwing him through the windscreen. In addition to a broken leg he suffered four broken ribs, a black eye and facial lacerations. Put in traction, he was flown home by air ambulance for medical attention close to the Paddington apartment he shared with wife Sue and three young daughters (one only weeks old).

Steve himself was born on September 20, 1958, in Walsall, although into a South London family with colourful connections about which he later loved to boast. Moving north of the river, he ended up at school in Paddington with classmates Paul Hardcastle, Billy Idol, radio DJ Gary Crowley and actor Phil Daniels. I first met him when he was 17, and we spent many hours talking about the art of DJ-ing, as he was even then determined to learn as much as he could in order to get to the top. While still a teenager, he talked his way into running very successful soul sessions on Sundays at the Lyceum, with which he made his early reputation. Soon there was a “Walsh Force” who followed him by the bus load to his out of town gigs. At this stage he was often accused of copying other better DJs’ styles: he was, however, much younger than his size suggested, and still learning by other people’s example. Cutting a Henry The VIIIth like figure with his red hair and massive girth, he commanded instant attention when on stage, not only because of his bulk but also, even more important for a DJ, he was loud and could be heard. Subtlety and Steve Walsh were the opposite ends of the spectrum, yet, against all odds, and showing again his determination to get things right, by painstaking practice he became one of the few disco DJs to make the successful transition from live stage work to radio, modifying his stentorian stage manner into the necessarily more intimate “one to one” style of the radio presenter. At one incredible period he was actually presenting soul shows on Guildford’s County Sound plus both London’s Capital Radio and BBC Radio London, before finally opting for the latter. (Most recently he also introduced the “Boogie Box” show on the Music Box cable TV channel.)

At Radio London his Sunday and Monday night soul programmes, in which he introduced far more new music than when on stage, were overshadowed perhaps by his partnering Tony Blackburn in the wildly successful Radio London Soul Night Out live broadcasts, these latter being really what established his reputation as London’s number one disco name. Everyone loves a fat man, and he only had to walk on stage with his arms spread wide and a smile on his face for the crowd to erupt. Indeed his actual disc-jockeying at such gigs was reduced to the predictable rotation of a few well proven favourites, one of which, Fatback’s ‘I Found Lovin’’, he eventually recorded himself and took into the top 10 last autumn. His simplistic “you wot, you wot?” catchphrase chant thus caught on nationally, and perhaps summed up his unpretentious live appeal. It certainly helped him at last to become the nation’s embodiment of a “disco DJ”. Prior to this, back in the early Eighties, for three years his face had appeared in advertisements on the front page of London’s Evening Standard newspaper, endorsing Svenson’s hair-weaving process, making him even then the first “mere” disco DJ ever to be given such prominence in an advertising campaign totally unconnected with the disco business.

Through all this, he surprisingly never let his ambition, and enjoyment of such fleshly pleasures as his Rolls Royce, weaken his commitment to the black music that some might have considered could hold back an entertainer in his position. Although the records he played at gigs may have been predictable, they were far from obvious to a pop crowd (he had long been an early champion of Aswad, for instance), as he always played primarily for the black market. It is a mark of the gap his untimely death now leaves that the organisers of a special tribute night, being planned for Hammersmith’s Le Palais to benefit his wife and daughters, cannot think of any other current figurehead from the disco world who could handle such an event as Steve would have done himself. He will indeed be missed.

(The single for which he was making the ill fated video, his “you wot”-studded rendition of McFadden & Whitehead’s ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ will ironically still be issued by A1 Records on August 18, while his manager, Martyn Levett, has set up the Steve Walsh Family Trust, c/o Barclays Bank, Crouch End Branch, 46 The Broadway, London N8, account number [redacted], sort code [redacted], all to benefit his widow and children, as Steve seems to have spent his earnings as he made them.) Perhaps it is fitting that he should share with you the secret of his stage success, “Always look at the audience, look into their eyes as you are talking.” He learnt this, and passed it on.


LEIGH GUEST is the sole remaining original member of the Double Trouble remixing team but still uses its plural monicker for his work (joined though as he often is these days by the separately credited Simon Goffe, fuzzily glimpsed lurking behind him here), Leigh alone creating special mixes now for Chris Forbes’ Capital Radio soul show every Saturday night. Come to think of it, in this photo, Simon Goffe is (very appropriately!) the face behind the face behind the name on the label!


HOT VINYL

MANTRONIX ‘Join Me Please … (Home Boys — Make Some Noise) (Noise It Up Mix)’ (US Capitol V-15386)
Although this (0-)95-0bpm remix of their disappointing album’s wordy jitterer (with home boys making background noise) is the plug side, together with its LP version and dub, plus the dull booming 0-87bpm ‘Get Stupid (Part III)‘, it’s the flip’s brand new break beat-cutting 0-108-104-105⅓-103¾-97⅓-98⅓-0bpm ‘King Of The Beats’ instrumental scratch mix that’s selling it.

PUBLIC ENEMY ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ (US Def Jam BFW 44303)
Interspersed with brief snips of live crowd reaction from their London concert (which is flattering to us considering that it’s the US pressing), this tracks crammed typically angry rap set to the b boys’ heroes exploded immediately for the “bass” repeating (0-)105½-0-105½-0bpm ‘Night Of The Living Baseheads’ but also has the (0-)107⅔bpm ‘Cold Lampin With Flavor‘, (0-)101bpm ‘Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic‘, (0-)117bpm ‘Caught, Can We Get A Witness?‘, (0-)96½-0bpm ‘She Watch Channel Zero?!‘, 0-108⅔bpm ‘Party For Your Right To Fight‘, (0-)99⅓bpm ‘Louder Than A Bomb‘, (0-)91 bpm ‘Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos‘, already issued 0-99⅚bpm ‘Rebel Without A Pause’, (0-)110⅕bpm ‘Bring The Noise’, 98½bpm ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’, 0-100⅓-0bpm ‘Prophets Of Rage’, and short 100½bpm ‘Mind Terrorist’, 0-107⅚bpm ‘Show Em Whatcha Got’, instrumental 97⅔bpm ‘Security Of The First World’. It’s a bit militant!

STETSASONIC ‘In Full Gear’ (Breakout AMA 9001)
Another tracks crammed though less angry rap set, with the excellent ‘Expansions’ basslined 0-108-0bpm ‘Talkin’ All That Jazz’ (which makes the point: “tell the truth, James Brown was old, ’till Eric and Rak came out with ‘I Got Soul’ — rap brings back old R&B, and if we would not, people could have forgot”), Force MD’s featuring dreamy (0-)40½-81pm revival of the Floaters’ ‘Float On‘, Mohawks ‘The Champ’-cutting wordy 104-108⅔-0bpm ‘Miami Bass‘, 98⅔bpm title track, 95bpm ‘Stet Troop ’88!‘, (0-)91⅓bpm ‘This Is It, Y’All (Go Stetsa II)‘, 97⅓bpm ‘It’s In My Song‘, 112bpm ‘Pen And Paper‘, reggae 88bpm ‘The Odad’, already issued 103bpm ‘DBC Let The Music Play’, 0- 101bpm ‘Sally’, and short 0-101bpm ‘Rollin’ Wit Rush’, bongo pattered 95-0bpm ‘Freedom Or Death’, organ instrumental 0-100⅔-0bpm ‘Music For The Stetfully Insane’. Continue reading “July 16, 1988: Steve Walsh obituary, Mantronix, Public Enemy, Stetsasonic, Mica Paris”

July 9, 1988: S-Xpress, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, El Bee & Tee, Bang The Party, The Funky Ginger

BEATS & PIECES

STEVE WALSH, checking out the Balearic Beat at first hand on Ibiza (and filming his ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ video), had his leg broken when the car he was being driven in crashed — lucky it wasn’t his recently resprayed Roller! … Supreme Records evidently didn’t have their Project Club single in the shops to meet the demand following my Balearic Beat article, even greater demand though apparently being for the Fini Tribe whose chimes it borrows … Fourth & Broadway could suddenly find The MLK Project ‘I Have A Dream’ (12 BRW 93) starts selling for the B-side’s Martin Luther King uninterrupted speech sequence, used on top of the other records by the Balearic jocks … Gino Soccio ‘Dancer‘ could make a useful Balearic reissue, as so much that’s played actually sounds like it — in point of fact, Balearic Beat is going to be a useful banner under which record companies can reissue even more dodgy old material than they did with Rare Groove! … BBC Radio 2 reclaims sole use of its FM transmitters in October, leaving Radio 1 covering only 60 per cent of the country on its own FM network then, it will be maybe two more years before the latter is complete … Chiltern’s soul jock Martin Collins is being considered by Radio 1 for a pop programme … Pete Tong points out that it was London/ffrr’s promotion of the remix that made Salt-n-Pepa’s ‘Push It’ cross over at last, closely tied in with its strategically placed live performance on the Nelson Mandela show … Wembley and Harrow post offices have been on strike, causing Fred Dove to ship his DJ mail-outs over for posting from WEA’s head office in Kensington … Wayne Hernandez’ original version was of course the Bulletin Mix, my confusion of it last week with the new The News At 12 Remix was because I keep being sent copies of the old one — anyway, there’s the possibility of yet another ‘Bad, Bad News’ as by WH Posse, a samples scratched more chunkily jiggling faster 117bpm “illegal mix” cutting ‘Think (About It)’ and more (but I didn’t tell you this!) … Camberley JW’s DJ Dave Roarty has in fact created another strictly promo-only ‘Illegle 2‘ mix (the mis-spelling is deliberate) combining Alexander O’Neal, Temptations and much more, including “important” radio announcements, out of Nick Kamen’s 0-120bpm ‘Bring Me Your Love’ … Greg Wilson has also used radio samples from around the world on Greyhound-distributed limited white labels of the girl chorused 0-122½bpm lively volume pumping Credit To The Edit ‘(Non Stop Radio) The Rhythm Of Life’ (CTTE 001) … Chris Paul’s now promoed scurrying 119-0bpm remake of the Players Association’s ‘Turn The Music Up‘ takes a while to become recognisable but then there’s no disguising the jiggly guitar and braying brass that he had to keep amidst his own breathy vocals! … Jellybean’s next UK single will be the slightly Oriental flavoured jittery thudding and chugging 114¾-0bpm ‘Coming Back For More‘ instrumental theme from the forthcoming film, ‘The Man In The Glass Booth’ … Republic Records have promoed ahead of July 25 release the M-D-Emm-produced ‘Pump Up The Volume’ tempoed 116½bpm Kikkit ‘Love Fixation‘, a heavily bounding instrumental strider influenced by the early Eighties output of such New York disco labels as West End and Prelude … Coldcut’s follow-up will feature Junior Reid from Black Uhuru on the go-go-ish ‘Crazy Thing‘, promoed in a fortnight, while they’re also releasing 19-year-old girl rappers Lazy & Lisa’s ‘Bad Young Sisters‘ on Ahead Of Our Time, which label also currently has their latest strictly limited ‘Hot Plate 4’ 12 inch, featuring the acidic instrumental 120½-0bpm ‘Acid Drops‘ and 120bpm ‘Acid Ant Attack‘ by Acid Ant, (0-)120½bpm ‘Deep‘ and 0-121¼-0bpm ‘Stepper‘ by Sweet Tooth Sonny, plus the loopingly edited 124-0bpm bonus beat, ‘Juice’ by Juice … GRC’s third and final previously unreleased track on their ‘House Music Vol 1’ double album compilation is due on Urban 12 inch in three weeks, Phoenix ‘Everybody (Get Loose)‘, a Damon Rochefort co-created 118-0bpm pastiche of lots of disco oldies all revolving around an intertwining of Tony Rallo’s ‘Holdin’ On’ and Aleem’s ‘Get Loose’ … Millie Scott’s upcoming UK 12 inch on Fourth & Broadway will be the gently swaying 104bpm ‘To The Letter‘, flipped by the two songs that make up her current import single … Sybil’s producer James Bratton is following Jellybean and Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor with an album called ‘The James Bratton Project’ on which different singers perform his productions, the first single from it being promoed here by Champion ahead of August 1 release, the Jo Ann Jones-credited soulfully unhurried 116½bpm ‘Share My Joy‘ with rippling vibes and cooing girls … Angela Winbush’s currently imported juddery 108bpm ‘C’Est Toi (It’s You) (12” Remix)‘ has been promoed on Club (JAB 67), with no release date scheduled, flipped by the sultrily wailing (0-)61½bpm ‘Hello Beloved‘ duet with Ronald lsley … Gregory Hines’ classy import LP is totally created by Luther Vandross in his own style — count up the number of BPMs and reviews I’ve got through in this issue and then work out why I have unfortunately not had time to cover it and other new albums this week, OK? … NANU NANU!


PUBLIC ENEMY have the hottest import album of the week, ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ (US Def Jam BFW 44303), biggest track so for being the “bass”-repeating (0-)105½-0-105½-0bpm ‘Night Of The Living Baseheads’, while another hot rap set that’s out here is STETSASONIC ‘In Full Gear’ (Breakout AMA 9001), biggest track initially being the Force MD’s-featuring sweet (0-)40½-81bpm revival of the Floaters’ ‘Float On‘ ballad, both LPs however being so jam-packed with tracks that I just haven’t had time to review them fully this issue. Sorry!


 

PAUL OAKENFOLD is the Balearic Beat pioneering DJ behind ELECTRA ‘Jibaro’ (ffrr FFRX 9), a Phil Harding & Ian Curnow-produced extremely catchy and commercial remake of Elkin & Nelson’s German CBS-issued Continental oldie, with ‘Jingo’-style chants (featuring pouting Paul plus — shhh! — Rick Astley amongst others) and a simple percussive 0-109bpm bounding beat, likely to be the biggest Balearic crossover of those heard so far — this one, however, not being due commercially until July 25 (with a much more subtle 0-109-0bpm Spanish version B-side, and the strange episodic 106-0-73½bpm ‘The Future: Edition 1’, in which ‘Stone Fox Chase’ meets Ofra Haza, Chaka Khan, “Beatles”, Pink Floyd and many more).


HOT VINYL

S-XPRESS ‘Superfly Guy’ (Rhythm King LEFT 28T)
Chugging and thumping 117½-0bpm percussive jiggly thudder with chanting girls, wailing guys, dialogue samples and various breaks, quite bright but monotonous and less catchy than their number one (repetitively looping jiggly 117-0bpm ‘Lolly-Pop‘ and bongos pattered moody 99⅓-0bpm ‘Funky Killer‘ flip). What’s with the slight name change? Continue reading “July 9, 1988: S-Xpress, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, El Bee & Tee, Bang The Party, The Funky Ginger”

July 2, 1988: The Funky Worm, Loose Ends, Bobby Brown, Freddie Jackson, Full Effect

BEATS & PIECES

Jazz & The Brothers Grimm ‘Disco Nights’ turns out to be the co-creation of Phil Fearon – I shoulda guessed!… Robert Clivilles & David Cole have remixed ‘Ha Cha Cha’ as Brass Construction’s follow-up reissue… Steve Walsh’s next single is his inimitable reading of McFadden & Whitehead’s ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’, complete with “you wot”’s! (Steve, chuffed at the TimeLords’ “you wot” quotes, evidently missed the Nelson Mandela birthday bash crowd chanting his catchphrase too!… Morgan Khan has signed the Gap Band plus the whole Total Experience label for the UK to Westside Records… Dave Lee of M-D-Emm has left his Rough Trade day job to work full time on his own Republic Records label… Nottingham DJ Graeme Park has promoed the upcoming new Groove single on Submission, ‘Hijack The Beat’ adapting Herbie Mann’s old ‘Hijack’ into a bubbling and leaping 0-120bpm East Midlands house groove, flipped by a thudding and bounding 126⅓bpm new acidic remix of ‘Submit (To The Beat)’ with some ‘RR Express’ quotes… 10 Records’ mailing list DJs have charted, ahead of July 11 release, the Timmy Regisford-mixed rumbling and jolting choppily worried 112bpm Burrell ‘I’ll Wait For You‘, by identical twins from New York; likewise, the label’s promoed particularly tedious double album of stark acid house, ‘Techno! The Dance Sound Of Detroit‘ (DIX 75), is hitting with its best track, the Paris (a girl) sung bounding 120¼bpm Inner-City (featuring Kevin Saunderson) ‘Big Fun‘, plus the deadpan girl whispered shuffling 120⅔bpm Mia Hesterley ‘Spark‘ and frantically jacking 126¾bpm Eddie ‘Flashin’’ Fowkes ‘Time To Express‘ (fuller review when I’ve more time)… Scotland was terrific last week, but thanks to a side-trip to the sundrenched Lake District on the way back I had no time to pick up such evidently happenin’ imports as (on LP) Womack & Womack, Najee, New Edition, and (on 12 inch) Ultra Magnetic MCs, D Train, Schoolly-D (check The Club Chart for BPMs if they hit)… Big Daddy Kane’s new single will be his album’s now sizzling ‘Set It Off’… Matt Bianco’s ‘Wap-Bam-Boogie’, plugged by radio and clubs since the off, has finally been made the official A-side… Wayne Hernandez’ remix, credited last week as The News At 12 Mix, turns out to be called the Bulletin Mix… Simon Harris has created two remixes of Jack E Makossa ‘The Opera House’ which will be released by Champion separately along with the two original old mixes, making four different records in all, at the same time on July 18!… Champion meanwhile are chuffed by the eventual crossover pop success here of Salt-n-Pepa ‘Push It’, to which they own the UK rights (despite ffrr claiming the remix), obviously made into a hit by the girls’ Nelson Mandela birthday bash appearance, which at the time looked out of place in the running order but its chart place proves was better accepted by TV viewers than the rock-biased live audience… Norman Cook is guest DJ and one of the judges at Brighton Club Savannah’s £100 mixing competition this Friday (July 1), entry forms available in advance from the club at 32 Old Steine, Brighton… Tim Westwood presents MC Lyte, the Audio Two and Wrecks-N-Effect at Brixton Fridge’s teenage 6-10pm Illin this Sunday (3)… Chris Paul, whose new single will feature his own vocal on a remake of the Players Association’s ‘Turn The Music Up’, says his Thursday gig at Kingston-upon-Thames Options needs more men as it’s full of women, and his acid house Friday at the Camden Palace is now so steaming that Steve Walsh looks in for free… Swansea Martha’s Vineyard is so heavingly full that a glass conservatory has been added to the front, due for completion on Monday… Westerham’s Road-block club is organising a £6 coach party next Friday (8) to see Ten City, Marshall Jefferson and Bang The Party at Brighton’s Club Savannah (coach details on 01-668 1527 between 6-7pm)… Airto and Flora Purim will be live at Hammersmith Le Palais on July 18 (Monday) for a Funky Street Samba Party… Danish DJ Kenneth Baker has been signed as an artiste by MCA Records here… Natalie Cole’s ‘Everlasting’ video wittily reverses the Robert Palmer ‘Addicted To Love’ formula with emotionless cool male musicians swinging their hips behind her… Gary Hickson (0254-62411 office hours) is after a pair of the old Sennheiser HD424 headphones (2K resistance) as Simon Johnson, his colleague at Radio Lancashire, has the only pair at the station and is fed up with Gary always borrowing them!… NANU NANU!


NICKY HOLLOWAY, showing off his new profile in best Frank Sinatra style, is the Balearic Beat pioneering DJ behind BEATS WORKIN’ ‘Sure Beats Workin’ (It’s A Trip Mix)’ (ffrr FFRX 8), a jauntily rolling 0-113¼-0bpm instrumental leaper which combines the distinctive harmonica from Area Code 615’s ‘Stone Fox Chase’ (the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ theme, inspired in this case though by a Canadian disco version by Icarus) with a new backing track and bursts of Winston Churchill speech.


HOT VINYL

THE FUNKY WORM ‘Hustle (To The Music)’ (Fon FON T15, via WEA)
Creating quite a buzz, Sheffield’s answer to the Seventies revival is this Julie Stewart-sung and DJs Parrot and Ping Pong-scratched nervily shuffling 120¾bpm jitterer quoting from the old ‘Spanish Hustle’ rhythm riff, with an even better spikier 121¼bpm Manu Dibango-ish instrumental Blow Job flip.

LOOSE ENDS ‘The Real Chuckeeboo’ (Virgin V2528)
Classily packaged and produced long-awaited new album, sticking to their typical tempo range with the US-issued jiggly jogging 99bpm ‘Watching You’, rolling soulful 0-102bpm ‘(There’s No) Gratitude‘, Nick Martinelli-produced flowingly mixed 99⅔bpm continuous title track medley of the swaying ‘Tomorrow’, chunkier ‘Mr Bachelor’ and weaving ‘You’ve Just Got To Have It All’, jauntily wriggling 105bpm ‘Hungry‘, cheerfully jolting 101⅙bpm ‘Life‘, jerkily rolling 97⅔bpm ‘Remote Control’, lightly lurching 106⅔bpm ‘Is It Ever Too Late’, slightly Marvin Gaye-ish 107⅓bpm ‘Easier Said Than Done’ and 103⅓bpm ‘What Goes Around’.

BOBBY BROWN ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ (US MCA Records MCA-42185)
New Edition’s now solo old leader sounds solid if sometimes derivative on a consistent album with the juddery jogging Cameo-ish 102⅓-102½bpm title track, Change-ish slinky roiling 0-107¾bpm ‘I’ll Be Good To You‘, lovely old Philly-style 53bpm ‘Take It Slow‘, smacking “purple”-tinged (0-)110¼bpm ‘My Prerogative‘, ‘phonecall started tortuous 82⅔bpm ‘AII Day All Night’, swaying 73⅜bpm ‘Roni’, smoochier 77½bpm ‘Rock Wit’cha’ and 83½bpm ‘I Really Love You Girl’. Continue reading “July 2, 1988: The Funky Worm, Loose Ends, Bobby Brown, Freddie Jackson, Full Effect”

June 25, 1988: “Balearic Beat”, Public Enemy, Guy, Kraze, Loose Ends

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!


BALEARIC BEAT

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.


HOT VINYL

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”

June 18, 1988: Tracie Spencer, Eric B & Rakim, Al B Sure!, Masters Of Ceremony, Dinosaur L

BEATS & PIECES

Public Enemy’s new single is due now on import 12 inch but began selling two weekends ago on seven inch, the totally typical 98½bpm ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’ with familiar vocal patterns and a nagging “noise”, flipped by the more tensely jittering 0-99⅓-0bpm ‘Prophets Of Rage’ (US Def Jam WS4-07934)… Gwen McCrae ‘All This Love That I’m Giving’ has also suddenly started selling on seven inch as people discover that it’s flipped by the weaving slow 0-80½-80⅓bpm throatily soulful ‘90% Of Me Is You’ (Flame Records MELT 7)… James Horrocks, incidentally, has taken Gwen as well as Taffy with him from Rhythm King to his own new label, The Dance Yard… Yo Yo having left to engineer exclusively for Stock Aitken Waterman, the remixing Extra Beat Boys are now Jamie Bromfield and Kevin O’Reardon… LPs reviewed in full on import and now due out here are James Brown ‘I’m Real’ (Scotti Bros POLD 5230), Run-DMC ‘Tougher Than Leather’ (London LONLP 38), and Magic Lady ‘Magic Lady’ (Motown ZL 72367)… Bass Records, whose two debut releases were pressed like US imports (not that they fooled me!), turns out to be a new subsidiary of Champion… ‘Powercuts’, the Vibrettes ‘Humpty Dump’-pivoted rare groove megamix presumed to be a bootleg as it was originally on totally anonymous white label, turns out to be produced by Mick Power and Brian ‘Baam’ Mitchell, and credited as being by Power Cut Crew on Vinyl Lab Records (VL 0003, distributed by Rough Trade/The Cartel)… Coldcut’s currently promoed ‘The Only Way Is Up’ creation for Yazz and the Plastic Population is hi-hat hustled speedy 0-124½-0bpm old fashioned Hi-NRG disco!… ‘I Feel Dynamic’, the Smiley Culture-ish 121½-0bpm UK rap scratched by DJ Sasha to James Brown’s ‘(Call Me) Super Bad’ beat (to quote my original review), was due out on March 15 by the Dynamic 3 but has only now surfaced, credited instead to The Dynamic MC’s (still on Tuff Groove TUFF 002)… Annette Taylor ‘It Must Be Right’ is another that amazingly is only just now out commercially on Cooltempo, when – like Julian Jonah too – I thought it had been out for months (it would be very useful if the white labels people send me could include such little details as the release date and the name of the record company, as I’m not clairvoyant!)… Curtis Mayfield is about to tour here and may find that the re-issue on his own Curtom label, via Ichiban Records, of the ‘Superfly’ soundtrack LP is suddenly rather timely!… James Brown’s ‘It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World’ is currently to soundtrack to a Tennents Extra lager commercial, and Ray Charles’s joyously boogieing ‘Mess Around’ from 1953 is highlighted in the hilarious ‘Planes, Trains And Automobiles’ film – could they deserve re-release?… M-D-Emm, temporarily deleted in the hope that real demand will build, based the ‘Give A Little More Body Action’ remix on a combination of Brass Construction ‘Partyline’ and the Jammers ‘And You Know That’… Leigh Guest, the Double Trouble remixer, this weekend starts creating a 15 minute megamix for Chris Forbes every Sunday morning on Capital Radio at around 2.30am… Broadcasting Research Unit poll findings indicate that only 36 per cent of the population wants more radio stations, most people apparently being happy with existing services… Passion and Debut have moved addresses to Skratch Music House, 81 Crabtree Lane, London SW6 6LW (01-381 8315)… GEE st Records look like forming a Westbrook/G Records label with Chicago producer Bam Bam for house release here… Bournemouth’s The Academy disco has launched its own MusikTek label… Eric B & Rakim, currently doing interviews in London, may be due for a real “volume pumping” remix!… Nicky Holloway has swapped his now defunct “doos” for the Saturday “Trip” at London’s Astoria, causing roadblocks outside while inside the acid house and Balearic beats (full details next week) get all the trendies waving their arms in the air – the result is the most like a late Seventies New York disco that I’ve ever encountered in London (which is not necessarily a recommendation, as the “disco dross” syndrome is becoming apparent too)… Johnny Walker’s upcoming acid/Balearic gigs in London are Thursday (16) at Future in Hungerford Lane’s The Sanctuary, Friday (17) at Enter The Dragon in Kensington’s The Park, Saturday (18) at Elysium in Clink Street with Steve Proctor, and every Monday at Spectrum in Charing Cross’s Heaven… Simon Dunmore and Bob Jones in contrast play modern soul upstairs at Soho’s Wag every Tuesday… Robin King of the defunct Delirium is opening a new small members club in Covent Garden at the end of July, for “affluent acid fans”… Paul Simpson was all ready to release a remix of Serious Intention ‘You Don’t Know’ in the UK until he heard LA Mix’s adaptation of its chorus in ‘Check This Out’, which he’s hoping to make some money out of!


HOT VINYL

TRACIE SPENCER ‘Symptoms Of True Love (The Symptomatic Dance Mix)’ (Capitol 12CL 490)
A shrill swirling 120bpm breezy bounder by one of the youngest US nymphets yet, a 10 year old, quite soulful in her way, with remixer David Todd adding pixilated piano, and more loosely bubbling jaunty 120⅔bpm The Mercyful Energy Mix (Percussapella too).
[the artist’s age is corrected to 13 in next week’s column]

ERIC B & RAKIM ‘Follow The Leader’ (MCA Records DOPET 1)
As already exclusively revealed, their eagerly awaited new label debut is a typically vocal toned fast talking 0-110-0bpm strange rumbling and swirling dramatic throbber with “strings” and things in the backing, to create a totally new type of accompaniment for a rap, all very atmospheric and compelling (dub/acappella flip).

AL B. SURE! ‘Off On Your Own (Girl) (Street Mix)’ (US Warner Bros/Uptown 0-20952)
Billed on the sleeve but not the label as side one, although it is the main vocal version, this ethereally squeaked nagging tricky bumpily wriggling 0-97⅚bpm “go go hip hop”-type half-stepper will probably be too strange and specialist for mass acceptance outside soul circles and thus makes an odd choice of follow-up, the other side’s 97⅔bpm Remix being even trickier and more dub than song (tighter jittering 0-97⅚bpm Radio Edit, and the previously announced Spanish translated 0-91½bpm ‘Noche Y Dia’ version of ‘Nite And Day’, too). Continue reading “June 18, 1988: Tracie Spencer, Eric B & Rakim, Al B Sure!, Masters Of Ceremony, Dinosaur L”

June 11, 1988: James Brown, Full Force, J.M. Silk, Jazz & The Brothers Grimm, Meli’sa Morgan

BEATS & PIECES

L.A. Mix ‘Check This Out’ is now on CD single, just in its original 12 inch mixes, one of only a few disco hits to get this treatment so far… ‘Tricky Dicky’ Richard Scanes is helping fill the void left by Record Shack’s closure and opens another Hi-NRG shop, Trax in London’s Soho at 55 Greek Street, Hazell Dean performing the opening ceremony next Wednesday (June 15) at 1 pm — meanwhile, veteran gay DJ Dicky’s existing Record Cellar in Newport Court will continue more as a collectors’ shop… rm’s Hi-NRG chart, incidentally, is compiled with scrupulous honesty but can only be as good as the DJs’ chart returns that we receive, which means its critics have themselves to blame if they don’t send us their own returns (it’s fair to point out that the critics seem evenly divided both for and against a certain prolific Hi-NRG producer, so we must be doing something right if the chart manages to offend everybody — so stop your bickering, girls, or we’ll use the space for something else!)… Pete Waterman only identifies himself as “The Hitman” on his Saturday 10am-noon Radio City show (soon to be more widely networked), without apparently plugging his real name at all — although he does rather plug his productions!… Charlie Dickson’s soul show on County Donegal’s DCR FM 100 has moved to a new midnight-3am time slot on Sunday and Monday mornings (that’s Saturday and Sunday nights)… Psychic TV’s use of the Superman name and DC logo has, as suspected, attracted the attention of trademark owners DC Comics and caused the rapid withdrawal of ‘Tune In (Turn On The Acid House)’, in that form anyway… Pascal Gabriel’s pseudonymous solo is at last now due out, on WEA, credited on the sleeve’s sticker as “Emilio Pasquez presents Batman — quality sonic sounds from the pink sandbox”… S-Express have been filming a video in New York for their upcoming ‘Super Fly Guy’ – super fly, fly, fly-fl-fl-fly guy? (or doesn’t anyone remember the, what amounts to stuttered and scratched, Dickie Goodman send-up of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Superfly’, a real rare groove?!)… M-D-Emm’s ‘Get Acidic’ is 121¼-120⅔bpm not too easy to read last week… The Funky Worm’s nervily shuffling 120¾bpm ‘Hustle (To The Music)‘, its correct title, will be out commercially at the end of June actually on FON through WEA, and does drop into the ‘Spanish Hustle’ rhythm riff, while it’s the flip’s 121¼bpm Freestyle Sax Mix that’s Manu Dibango-ish — the trio from Sheffield comprise DJs Parrot and Ping Pong with singer Julie Stewart (previously seen dancing behind Krush)… Area Code 615’s distinctively harmonica-ed ‘Stone Fox Chase‘, best known as the theme tune from TV’s ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ but long established as a US break beat and due to reappear here soon as the basis for various new bass bombers (well, it beats workin’), is currently selling as an old import in a 110⅔bpm disco remake from 1986 by Icarus, on Canadian Unidisc (MM-012)… Rhythm King are promoting their upcoming ‘Latin Hip Hop’ compilation LP with white labels of the weedy shrill Shannon-meets-Madonna type 0-122⅓bpm Sa-Fire ‘Let Me Be The One‘ — if this is Latin hip hop, you can have it!… The Mafia ‘ABC’, described last week, turns out to emanate from Waterlooville (Portsmouth) based BBH Records… Brand New Heavies lead singer is called Linda Muriel… GEE st Records rapper Goldtop gets his name because, a nice idea, he’s actually a white boy with bright blond hair!… Skinny Boys ‘Get Pepped‘ has already been promoed here hard on the heels of the import, on Jive (JIVE T 177)… Martyn ‘Griff’ Griffith is the latest South Wales soul jock to try weekly funk/house/hip hop at Bridgend’s Astons, starting this Wednesday (June 8)… 10 Records are having a private “house” party this Thursday (9) at Mayfair’s Legends, ahead of 10pm public admission, with Kevin ‘Reese’ Saunderson, Derrick May and Blake Baxter jocking and PAing (supported on the wheels of steel by London’s own Paul Oakenfold and Colin Faver) — but, even more interestingly, Kool Kat get a bigger look in when the same “techno” trio check in on Sunday (12) at Kingswinford’s Christopher’s America (between Dudley and Wolverhampton) with PAs by T-Cut-F, Hotline and more plus DJs Mike Pickering, Graeme Park, Neil Rushton, Kenni James and Winston… DJ Tee has brand new equipment to play with at South London’s refurbished Thomas A’Becket in the Old Kent Rood, funkiest on Fri/Saturday… Pieces Of A Dream’s album sleeve features such artily minimal typeface lettering that the song title ‘Feeling For You’ comes out reading “IIIIIN’ IOR YOI” — really useful for radio DJs! … Bowlegged Lou, no oil painting himself, in Full Force’s hilarious ‘Def (I Love All The Women In The World)‘, refers to Fergie (that’s HRH the Duchess of York to you) as “pretty — pretty ugly”!… GET OFF!


HOT VINYL

JAMES BROWN ‘I’m Real’ (US Scotti Bros FZ 44241)
Good God! UHH! Huh-huh! He’s back, the grand old man of heavy heavy super funk returns in blazing form, but helped immeasurably by the production and writing of Full Force, whose witty approach to this album is reverential although there’s also a slightly tongue-in-cheek element of pastiche as they expertly recreate the feel of his classic old grooves, actually adding crackling surface noise to give that authentic old sound to the storming 0-109bpm ‘Static (Part 1 & 2)’, original saxist Maceo Parker blowing on the (0-)112-0bpm ‘She Looks All Types A’ Good‘, 108-0bpm ‘Keep Keepin’‘ and 54bpm ‘You And Me‘, while tricky funk flows on the 100⅚bpm ‘Time To Get Busy‘, 100bpm ‘Can’t Git Enuf‘, 0-105½bpm ‘I’m Real‘ and human beatboxed 99-98⅓bpm ‘Godfather Runnin’ The Joint‘. In fact, to show how much Mr Brown needs Full Force, the frantically untogether 0-129¼-128½-129bpm ‘It’s Your Money$‘ is his only unaided solo creation, and easily the set’s worst track. That apart, you gotta have it, you need it!

FULL FORCE ‘Your Love Is So Def (F.F. Remix)’ (US Columbia 44-07828)
Even though the original version is from their (pre-‘I’m Real’) most recent LP, and their vocal enunciation and interplay are slinkier, the meaty beaty beefy bruisers weave and worry through a funky drummered 112bpm jerky tense rhythm that’s obviously inspired now by close encounters of the Brown kind – Mr Brown himself being scratched into the dubwise 111⅔-112-0bpm ‘Your Love (So Def — So Dope Mix)‘, while Bowlegged Lou’s 111⅓-111¼-111⅓-0bpm ‘Def (I Love All The Women In The World)‘ is hilariously about Vanity, Patti LaBelle, Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Joan Rivers, Lady Di and Fergie, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, and many more (111⅓bpm Single Version too).

J.M. SILK ‘All In Vain (London Mix)’ (Jack Trax JTX 16)
Staccato mournfully sung cymbal schlurped 119-0bpm lurching and bubbling house thudder in four mixes, more stuttery in the B-side’s Dub and Insane Mixes — and more of a song than most Chicago house. Continue reading “June 11, 1988: James Brown, Full Force, J.M. Silk, Jazz & The Brothers Grimm, Meli’sa Morgan”

June 4, 1988: Will Downing, Glen Goldsmith, E.U., London Rhyme Syndicate, Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo

BEATS & PIECES

TONY BLACKBURN was abruptly replaced by Andy Peebles last Thursday at Radio London, ahead of his planned departure date, which will leave him more time in which to check out America’s oldies radio stations prior to joining Capital Gold in July … Roger Scott in turn is quitting Capital Radio after all these years to take over the Saturday afternoon ‘Stereo Sequence’ on Radio 1 from Johnnie Walker, who is moving to the Radio Radio satellite service … Mick ‘Loadsamoney’ Brown may have knobbed me off on ‘Night Network’ but he’s made up for it since, possibly over using on Capital Radio my “oh get off/not again” Hammapella from LA Mix’s remix (it really is very strange driving around and suddenly hearing my own voice unexpectedly on the radio!) … Pete Waterman’s Saturday afternoon Radio City show is being networked across most ILR stations from July, when split frequency broadcasting becomes widespread … Tony and Christine Prince of the Disco Mix Club held their annual barbecue and tennis tournament two Sundays ago, with great food and good fun for all — see the photos to get the flavour! … The Mafia ‘ABC’ is possibly the best limited circulation white label mixer since Coldcut’s ‘Hey Kids What Time Is It?’ — created by an anonymous Torbay lad, it in similar 111-0-102-102⅔bpm style starts with Nina Simone ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ and then blends the Jackson 5 ‘ABC’ with James Brown ‘Funky Drummer’ before combining Public Enemy’s “bass how low can you go” with Cheryl Lynn ‘Encore’ (with a monotonous piano looping 118½bpm ‘Gismo’ flip by JFK) … Eric B & Rakim’s brand new MCA Records debut on June 20 will be ‘Follow The Leader‘, a typically toned fast talking 110-0bpm densely rumbling strange swirler with dramatic slabs of “strings” in the backing —meanwhile, Fourth & Broadway’s rival release of the murkily meandering 0-92⅔-92¾-0bpm ‘As The Rhyme Goes On (Pumpin’ The Turbo — Chad Jay In Effect)‘ has Sefton The Terminator’s human beatbox and Chad Jackson’s transformer scratches but still sounds tired … GQ’s ‘Disco Nights (Rock Freak)’ from 1979 is the next retrospective remake, as the rap augmented 120½bpm Jazz & The Brothers Grimm ‘(Let’s All Go Back) Disco Nights‘ on Ensign … Ten City’s totally remade seven inch is indeed beefily concise, on the 120¼-120bpm ‘Right Back To You’ and especially the 0-104bpm ‘One Kiss Will Make It Better’ … Ellis, Beggs & Howard (whose ‘Big Bubbles, No Troubles’ was recently reviewed) turn out to be vocalist Austin Howard with ex-Kajagoogoo guitarist Nick Beggs, and keyboardist Simon Ellis … Tim Palmer at CityBeat has been badgering Sleeping Bag Records for over a year to remix Dinosaur L’s ‘Go Bang’ (which he released here), and is not entirely happy that the Todd Terry Project ‘Bango’ (on Sleeping Bag) amounts to that remix, so he’s rushing a UK remix of ‘Go Bang’ by Hard Times Productions instead … Byron Byrd of old US funk group Sun turns out to have produced Blaztzone, and owns Blip Blop Records plus a 24-track recording studio in Plumstead, South-East London! … B/Ware, the label that now has Pablo, is tying in with Crash Recordings to release The Funky Ginger ‘Slaughterhouse’ fully here on June 13 … Ian Levine is considering buying Soho’s liquidated Record Shack shop now that Bluebird have dropped their option … Morgan Khan’s ambitious plans for the UK Fresh 88 hip hop extravaganza seem to have scaled down in size, it now being held just on August 6 in a tent on Wormwood Scrubs in West London (mind you, the tent holds 10,000 — I hope security is good!) … South Eastern Disco Association has its annual SEDA 88 disco exhibition this Sunday (5) at Gravesend’s Woodville Halls, noon-6pm … Robbie Vincent starts weekly this Thursday (2) at Bagshot’s Pantiles (no T-shirts for some reason) … Friday (3) finds Eon Irving and DJ team Pleasure funking Vauxhall’s The Arch for a Pleasure Dome … Saturday (4) Paul Oakenfold and Manchester’s Mike Pickering (with T-Coy) kick off Trip, at London’s Charing Cross Road Astoria for the next five Saturdays … M-D-Emm actually list my review’s beats per minute on their label now, right down to the fractions — a first, and why not? … Les Adams has swapped his old 8 track sequencer for a 24 track computer sequencer, his latest studio equipment acquisition — ‘Check This Out’ in fact only cost £58 to record, the price of two reels of tape! … GET OFF!


DISCO MIX CLUB recently moved into a brand new purpose designed office building, just off the A3 to the west of Slough by Exit 7 of the M4, with three studios and warehousing downstairs and the office suites above — not that you’d know it looking at this! Tony Prince seems to have the whole building to himself, while DMC’s star mixers tower over him, (l to r) Ben Liebrand, Les Adams, Paul Dakeyne, plus new recruit John Cecchini (personality DJ of 1986/7, his role will be more administrative).



BEN LIEBRAND, Holland’s star remixer, has been busy beefing up the beats of two established pop classics. Now the B-side of Wouldn’t You Love To Love Me?’ on 12 inch, TAJA SEVELLE ‘Love Is Contagious (Ben Liebrand Remix)’ (Paisley Park Records W8127TX) becomes a brightly uptempo 111¼-0bpm canterer with the original slow waltz-type beats behind her delicate vocal filled in by S-Express-ish hissing hi-hat and tumbling percussion (the remix that first surfaced on the Disco Mix Club subscription service), while PHIL COLLINS ‘In The Air Tonight (Extended Version)’ (Virgin VST 102) is likewise filled in by a lazily chugging 0-94½-0bpm rhythm (flipped by Phil’s own more gently augmented 47¼/94½bpm ’88 Remix, and the old brassily lurching 106bpm ‘I Missed Again’). Taja in particular is causing a sensation, bringing the once sweet slow song a whole new lease of life as a much in demand dancer.


LES ADAMS has already remixed an alternative very different more loosely striding 119¼bpm L.A. MIX ‘Check This Out (The Salt Lake City Mix)’ (Breakout USAF 629) — so called because it incorporates noises from the Osmonds’ ‘Crazy Horses’! — this version, you may be relieved to hear, being without my “heckling”, although the 12 inch does include the Hammapella from which radio stations are already rather over-using MC Jammy Hammy’s isolated “get off”, “oh get off” and “oh not again” catch-phrases! There’s also a new Lyn Collins ‘Think’-sampling 117¼bpm Bonus Beats, plus the original 117-0bpm Fierce Vocal and Sweaty Cuban dub. Incidentally, the ultra-commercial 117½-0bpm seven inch version, which so catchily combines all the best bits with my own modest contributions (naturally I’m not biased!), is the one that’s turned it from a dance hit into a pop smash … and is not available in any even remotely similar form on either 12 inch.


JOLLEY HARRIS JOLLEY set out to rival Stock Aitken Waterman as a producing/writing/remixing team and seem to be fast achieving their aim. Matt Aitken was in fact a school chum of the two Jolleys and lived with them until early last year! Seen here as the latest faces behind the names on the labels, Brian Harris (left) owned the Music Machine dance record shop in Leeds before he started writing songs for Chappell Music, and then plugging for the Sonet label. Anna Jolley actually had a huge Continental hit around 1979/80, ‘Like They Do In The Movies‘, sung solo as Anna. Mark Jolley was a bassist, and sound engineer at Trident Studios (the Jolleys are no relation of onetime Imagination producer, Steve Jolley). The threesome united two years ago to form their production company Reproduction Ltd, which debuted with Exception’s ‘Slap You Back‘ (featuring Anna’s vocal) on CityBeat, since when they have steadily increased in reputation producing Patrick Boothe, Emma, Glen Goldsmith (their biggest success to date), Shirley Lewis and newcomers Reid, plus remixing material by Barry White, Chic, Mica Paris, Swimming With Sharks, and Brenda Russell (her upcoming ‘Gravity‘).


HOT VINYL

WILL DOWNING ‘In My Dreams (Club Remix)’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 104)
His album’s tripping swayer remixed by Will in London to beef up the now more thudding 0-110⅘bpm beat, and emphasise the lovely lush wordless shimmering harmony surges which are its main attraction, reminding me of something from a Busby Berkley soundtrack of the Thirties (in three mixes). Continue reading “June 4, 1988: Will Downing, Glen Goldsmith, E.U., London Rhyme Syndicate, Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo”

May 28, 1988: James Brown, Roxanne Shanté, Rick James, Rose Royce, Brass Construction

BEATS & PIECES

NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN himself says that Narada is pronounced to rhyme with “Florida”, which we always knew — and makes a nonsense of those “NAR-da” instructions that accompany his current hit!… Glen Goldsmith’s follow-up is the Jolley Harris Jolley-created fast 119½bpm nervily churning ‘What You See Is What You Get‘, already promoed… The Jets’ US smash coolly syncopated jaunty “purple” ‘Rocket 2 U‘ has taken its time to appear here on 12 inch, the seven inch being 121½-0bpm… Coldcut are soon releasing a twin 12 inch compilation “album” of their past productions, plus remixes and newies, comprising material released on their own label, called ‘Out To Lunch With Ahead Of Our Time‘ – which, however, has been preceded by a limited 200 copies ‘Hotplate 3‘ 12 inch with the ‘Set It Off’-ish “pshta pshta” hi-hatted (0-)116½bpm God And The Prophets ‘Work Me‘ and remixed meandering funky drummered 0-102½-0bpm Floormaster Squeeze ‘Kick Out The James (Again)‘, both with beats plus separate samples… WEA are jumping onto the brand new purpose built “rare groove” bandwagon with the Sheffield recorded ‘Funky Worm‘, nothing to do with the Ohio Players’ oldie, being a Manu Dibango plays ‘Spanish Hustle’-style Seventies jazz-funk type tune by a girl led group who also are called Funky Worm!… Island meanwhile are launching a new Mango Street logo aimed obviously at the same pirate radio DJs who seem to break all this “new” rare groove stuff, with Overlord X’s 0- 107⅔bpm ‘The Earth Is Moving‘, a London rap scratching jittery old Donald Byrd grooves… DJ Master Scratch has created what’s promised is the accurately titled T-Cut-F ‘House Reaction (The Final Mixdown)’ (10 Records TENR226), a good bounding 125-0bpm remix adding LL Cool J’s bit from House Gang’s ‘Cool J Trax’, Reese & Santonio’s ‘Bounce Your Body To The Box’, the “can you dig it?” from Larry Williams & Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s old Northern Soul hit ‘Too Late’, and more… Whitney Houston’s ‘Love Will Save The Day‘ has already had lots of radio play in anticipation of its singles release, but approval is still awaited for a new remix before it actually appears on 12 inch — which didn’t stop it somehow being included in Capital Radio’s supposedly sales based London Dance Chart lost week!… Chad Jackson and Sefton The Terminator are remixing Eric B & Rakim’s old ‘As The Rhyme Goes On’ to help enable Fourth & Broadway grab a bit of belated action…  Midlands house label Kool Kat has picked up the Terry Baldwin (Housemaster) featuring Bud Latour acid four-tracker, possibly to launch a new offshoot logo, there evidently now being new rap and deep house vocal remixes of ‘Delta House’ about… Marie Birch has licensed Smith & Mighty’s ‘Anyone’ to try and give it further mileage on her own Beatmaster Records… Ten City’s US seven inch versions are all new re-recordings as the 12 inch mixes keep developing so much that that they are virtually impossible to edit — as Fred Dove discovered, although edit them he has had to for UK 12 inch release, ‘One Kiss Will Make It Better’ being most drastically shortened, from 10:21 to just 4:37 … Tim Smith, after my recent comments, has managed to swing not only a soul show, but a daytime soul show onto Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Metro Radio, every Sunday afternoon 2-4pm, called ‘Essential Rhythm’… Louil Silas Jr and Timmy Regisford didn’t end up with time to do a London gig last week after all, but will be back in August when it’s promised that a four-handed mixing night will be properly planned!… Todd Terry Project’s ‘Back To The Beat’ is 120½bpm, last week’s review somehow omitted, Teddy Pendergrass ‘Joy’ is 103⅔bpm on UK 12 inch, the dub and instrumental being 103½bpm, while it’s Blaztzone (rather than Blaztone) who do ‘Blast The Walls Out’… ‘Tribute (Right On)‘ by the Pasadenas having been played so much on radio in its more vocal seven inch edit, I now realise that it’s not so much jazz-funk as Philly soul in (Archie Bell-ish) style… Soul II Soul’s female singer appears to be Rose Windross rather than Windrush as the promos spelt her… London group Sahara have changed their name to Intimate Connection for US releases… ‘Tune In (Turn On The Acid House)’ despite a colourful label crediting it to Superman on the DC Records Inc logo (highly unlikely!), turns out apparently to be by Psychic TV – more indie boys getting into acid (and confusing rm’s readers even further?)… Cooltempo emphasise that the Taurus Boyz consist of Dancin’ Danny D and (the Adventures’ producer) Gary Bell, while Kevin Henry is merely guest vocalist… Blow consists of trumpeter Gordon Mathewman and keyboardist/programmer Adam Routh… Nigel ‘Nick’ Halkes, a regular correspondent for seven years since he set up a mobile disco in Bristol as a 13-year-old, is a big boy now and muscling into the music business with strong New York contacts, his first deal being the US release on Easy Street of The Funky Ginger’s already reviewed ‘Slaughterhouse‘, a UK production that was only ever on obscure white label here last year… Joe Field, another correspondent from an early age, still busy around Milton Keynes/Hemel Hempstead/Watford, now also handles Thursdays at Soho’s Gullivers in Ganton Street — and has started a Voice Box service on 0442-216605 which supplies a number of famous voice impersonations for answering machine messages (WEA Promotions already have a “Ronald Reagan“)… Tony Hodges has set up a High Wycombe-based mobile catering company called Col. P’Funk Catering Corps (0494-449855), covering the area west of London, each van carrying its own SL1200s equipped disco unit and a DJ as driver, serving up food and funk!… Ray Keith joins Dave Malone, Guy Palmer and Turbo to funk/rare groove Sudbury’s Jades on the A134 this Thursday (26), then they’re all joined by Radio Orwell DJ Busta Brooker at Colchester’s LAristos on Monday (30)… Saturday (28) finds Simon Goffe, Steve Wolfe, Danny Smith and Jamie Trundle souling Gt Yarmouth’s Scruples, and Gwen McCrae appearing live with Martin Collins, Steve ‘Jammin’’ Jason and Chris ‘Charlie’ Brown at Peterborough’s Wirrina Centre… Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley is live in concert this Saturday (28) at the Sweat Box in Harlow’s HighWire, where on Bank Holiday Monday (30), Gwen McCrae then likewise appears at a noon-2am alldayer with Pete Tong, Jeff Young, Kev Hill, Gilles Peterson, Bob Jones, Nicky Holloway, Eddie Gordon, Les Knott and more, plus PAs by Will Downing, Wee Papa Girl Rappers, Soul II Soul and Mac Thornhill (all for £7!)… Sunday (29) sees Martin Collins, Chris ‘Charlie’ Brown, Stu Banks, Dave Malone, Rayon & Owen, and Ray Keith (some of these guys is busy!) at an undergraduate do in Cambridge’s Ronnelles… Bank Holiday Monday (30) also features the noon-1am Pres Jam alldayer at Gt Yarmouth’s Tiffanys with Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Jeff Young, Froggy, Ian Reading, Johnny Walker, plus PAs by the CCR Crew and Unit B3 and another doubtless more rare groove-ish non-midnight alldayer at Putney’s Micawbers with Jasper the Vinyl Junkie, Jazzy M, Ray Stevens, Nigel Wilton, Keith Diamond and Steve R… Simon Dunmore and Jon Jules are joined by Jay Strongman at Greenford’s Greenford Hotel on Tuesday (31) for their more or less fortnightly Soul City night, held the second and last Tuesday of each month (next on June 14)… Jon Jules, John Matthews, Phil Edgart and Mixer B funk the under-19s Bass Bin every Saturday lunchtime at South Harrow’s The Avenue… Nottingham DJ Graeme Park’s only regular weekly gig these days is actually in Sheffield, on Wednesdays at the Leadmill, now that Derby’s 20th Century has closed!… Andrew Holmes, the “original” Madhatter DJ, spins upfront stuff at Big Beat Sundays in Royton’s Scandals… Gordon ‘Fizz’ Phillips has swapped several of his Kent gigs to move to Ashford’s Dustys on Wed/Sat/Sundays… Mica Paris next month supports Will Downing at the Bottom Line club in New York before both fly back to London, Mica going on to Paris as support for Ray Charles at a jazz festival while Will plays July 2/3 at the Dominion with his own band (which includes Brian Jackson)… I still think James Brown says “get offa my chip” at the start of the US version of ‘I’m Real’, even if the current hip hop expression is “my own tip” (chip surely meaning microchip, alluding possibly to sampling?)… Mick Brahn, considering all the namechecks I’ve given Mick & Pat recently, might at least have waited until my two seconds’ appearance before “knobbing off” the LA Mix video on Night Network — but then, despite his Bass Weejuns collecting “Mr Supercool” image, he obviously had no real knowledge of ‘Check This Out’ and its send-up nature, as his denigrating comment about it being “yet another record that features ‘this is a journey into sound'” proved (yup, it had got that close to my cameo “heckle”!)… GET OFF!


GARY TAYLOR, the suave Californian soulster in somewhat Michael McDonald style, recently had his classy new largely downtempo listening LP reviewed in full on import, and now it’s out here — ‘Compassion’ (10 Records DIX 77) — together with a jarringly inappropriate juddering 0-108¾-108⅙-0bpm Club Remix of the rolling title track, ‘Compassion’ (10 Records TEN X 232), more techno-flash than song like this (in three mixes, plus the dead slow ‘Follow’, not on LP).


HINDSIGHT recently visited the US to promote their debut single there, and while being interviewed on Stevie Wonder’s radio station KJLH were overheard by TV presenter Don Cornelius saying that their biggest ambition was to appear on his show, ‘Soul Train’ (a weekly black music dance party with a few lip-synched PAs). “Find those guys!”, legend (and the press release) would have us believe Cornelius shouted, and the upshot was that they did indeed appear on the May 21st edition, coast to coast across the States. Henri Defoe and Camelle Hinds ore here seen looking happy with Don Cornelius to prove it!


MIKE ‘HITMAN’ WILSON, resuming our faces behind the names on the labels section, is the often credited Chicago house master who most recently, together with buddy Mr Lee, has been behind the House Gang on his own International House Records label — their ‘Hittrax II’ four-tracker, incidentally, will soon be out here on Kool Kat while its hottest track, the LL Cool J-scratching ‘Cool J Trax‘, will also be on the upcoming GRC double LP ‘House Music Vol 1’.

 


HOT VINYL

JAMES BROWN ‘I’m Real (F.F. Hyped Up Mix)’ (Scotti Bros JSBX 1)
For some reason his Full Force-produced jerky funk jitterer is only here in this impetus losing 105⅚-0bpm joltingly abrupt US B-side version, which may sound more “modern” but then that is hardly the point considering everyone wants Mr Brown to sound like his classic oldies again – which indeed he does on the UK-only flip’s far more traditional excellent 108-0bpm ‘Keep Keepin’‘, featuring Maceo Parker on sax and in a comedy finale, the side that’s been selling it on pre-release.

ROXANNE SHANTÉ ‘Go On Girl’ (Breakout USAT 633)
So impatiently awaited that it was by a huge margin the biggest seller on pre-release in last week’s Club Chart, this Marley Marl-produced distinctively pitched frenetic 115⅔bpm jiggler (Dub too) is extremely like Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock as both make the same use of Lyn Collins’s ‘Think (About It)’, the sparser bumping and scratching Sparse Instrumental and Rapid Radio Vocal being 115bpm.

RICK JAMES ‘Loosey’s Rap’ (Warner Bros W7885T)
Much plugged by the likes of Robbie Vincent but not out fully until June 6, this mesmeric chunkily rolling jogger is a salacious lips licking song of praise to a young lovin’ machine, who then answers in the distinctively rapping shape of Roxanne Shanté, at 100⅓bpm in Rix Mix and its Instrumental, with a denser 99⅓bpm Marley Marl Mix and Big Daddy Kane/Roxanne-rapped version, plus a drily thundering 0-119½bpm stuttery Loosey’s House Of Trix Mix, terrific! Continue reading “May 28, 1988: James Brown, Roxanne Shanté, Rick James, Rose Royce, Brass Construction”