May 21, 1988: “Detroit’s own brand of acid house is more correctly called techno”

BEATS & PIECES

Ben Liebrand’s beat augmenting ‘Love Is Contagious’ remix, created originally just for Disco Mix Club release, has proved so popular (as reflected in The Club Chart) that it will soon be added to Taja Sevelle’s current ‘Wouldn’t You Love To Love Me?’ B-side… James Brown’s UK release of ‘I’m Real’ next week will oddly feature just the import’s 105⅚-0bpm ‘Real (F.F. Hyped-Up Mix)’ B-side as the main A-side here, flipped however by the Maceo Parker-saxed strong 108-0bpm ‘Keep Keepin’’… Tony Blackburn, in impending drastic changes at BBC Radio London, is actually quitting to move to arch rival Capital Radio, presenting the new Saturday/Sunday 7-10am breakfast show on Medium Wave for the split frequency Capital Gold oldies service when it starts on July 2 – this may seem like a climb down from his five days a week mid-morning soul show but reputedly will earn him three times as much (it’ll be interesting if his programme is followed by Roger Scott, as they’ve always professed to be the best of enemies!)… ILR stations permitted to run concurrent split frequency programming on FM and AM do seem to be using medium wave for golden oldies… Peter Waterman, Peter Stringfellow and Music Week editor David Dalton are amongst the guest speakers at the Dance Aid Trust’s gala luncheon next Thursday (May 26) at London’s Metropole Hotel (£45 ticket details on 01-607 8311)… GEE st Records have promoed a few white labels of the James Brown/Bobby Byrd/Public Enemy-type samples crammed new unpretentiously chugging 111½-0bpm Richie Rich ‘Turn It Up’, a likely crossover hit which in fact will be out commercially in early June on Club… Brand New Heavies ‘Got To Give’ is a deliberately rare groove-styled girl sung meandering specialist 90½bpm wriggler building to a predictable buzz on Cooltempo white label, while the original cold-cutting Steinski & Mass Media returns soon on Fourth & Broadway with the rumbling jittery strange 0-110-0bpm ‘Let’s Play It Cool’… Pedro, who turns out to be the barman at Soho’s Gossips, was inspired by my review of the ultra rare Beat Freaks 12 inch to track down a copy and then he did indeed recreate its bootlegged James Brown B-side’s Sly & Robbie backing track, with the ska group Maroon Town, to make his own ‘Goodfootin’’ – which is now out commercially on Beware (UM 001)… I had no time to BPM the excellent import soul LP from By All Means, the oddly named group consisting of Jimmy Varner with Lynn Roderick and Billy Shephard, so check The Club Chart… George Pettus is currently supporting Whitney Houston’s concerts, so his old ‘My Night For Love’ has been re-issued here, as has Angela Winbush’s ‘Angel’… Charly have picked up from MCA Records the nine year old rare groove album by Jeffree (Charly R&B 1178), reviewed a year or two back when it came around again on revived import… Visions’ album is due here next week on Urban (URBLP12)… GRC’s first ‘House Music Vol 1’ double album compilation, out next week, will include one side of various house rhythms which buyers can use as the basis for their own house creations in a competition… Cooltempo’s latest predictable ‘Fierce II’ compilation (CTLP 5) includes the unreleased relentlessly jittering dull instrumental 115½bpm No Smoke featuring The Addis Possi ‘Abele’s Dance’, and Dancin’ Danny D’s gospel girl nagged house-ified 115½-0bpm remix of Fun Boy 3 ‘Faith, Hope And Charity’… Champion have picked up Royal House ‘Can You Party’ (123bpm here, with 121½bpm Original Mix) and Orange Lemon ‘The Texican’ (117bpm), although the latter’s A-side here will be ‘Dreams Of Santa Anna’ (115⅔-115⅓-0), both doubtless destined to be on white label promo for months in Champion’s usual style… Club’s white label pressing of Click ‘Freq Jam’ mistakenly features the secondary 122½-0bpm Varda The Drums Girl mix twice instead of the main Straight To The Phreek mix!… Sade’s album has had ‘Paradise’/’Turn My Back On You’/’Keep Looking’/’Give It Up’ coupled on a club promo-only 12 inch… Joyce Sims’ remake of Barbara Acklin’s classic ‘Love Makes A Woman’, her current US single, seems likely to be re-recorded before it’s released here – possibly by PWL… Kylie Minogue’s original Australian version of ‘The Locomotion’ is apparently not considered good enough for her upcoming UK LP, and will be remade by Stock Aitken Waterman… Timmy Regisford and Louil Silas Jr are in London this week, and could well be doing a special invitation-only night behind the turntables at a central club!… Glen Goldsmith joins Warren Aylward at Southsea’s 5th Avenue Wednesday (18), and Jammin’ Steve Jason at Cambridge’s Ronelles Friday (20)… Hazell Dean return to Luton Bolts on Sunday (22)… Tim Westwood and Jules start hip hopping South Harrow Bogarts weekly from this Sunday… Detroit’s own brand of “acid” house is more correctly called “techno”, and – just as with house itself in Chicago, go-go in Washington DC, and even reggae in Jamaica – it’s another world force in music that has a hard time getting radio recognition in its own home town!… ‘Hittrax II’ by House Gang, reviewed last month, is proving hard to find on import although the LL Cool J-cutting ‘Cool J Trax’ acid hip hop mix is huge for those few who have it… Fourplay’s label (on their import reviewed this issue) bears the warning “Unauthorized reproduction will result in injury by the Original Gangsters Of Freestyle”!… ITV’s Tuesday evening series ‘King & Castle’ is largely filmed (the debt collectors’ office location) just a couple of corners from where I live, not necessarily a recommendation for the backwaters between Harlesden and Willesden although the neighbourhood is getting yuppified!… GET OFF!


Mr. Magic, the pioneering New York hip hop jock whose ‘Rap Attack’ radio show on WBLS was immortalised six years ago by Whodini in ‘Magic’s Wand’, is the presenter of a special promo-only cassette package that’s currently number one in every b boy’s wants list, ‘The Cold Chillin’ Power Hour‘. Housed with biographies and photos in a customised little folder, this features the Cold Chillin’ label’s artistes Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté, Kool G Rapp, Big Daddy Kane, MC Shan and Marley Marl in a radio style presentation on one side, and neatly segued on the other. Strictly promotional, from the States!


PERRY DANIELS, the South London DJ responsible for Natalie Cole’s Motorway Mixes, has now similarly remixed Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King using records rather than master tapes (see REMIXES). He and producer partner King Enri do have full studio facilities, but — plug plug! — are available for further budget jobs on 01-690 6875. Perry can be caught mixing live at Westerham’s Grasshopper on Fridays and Sidcup’s Danielles on Saturdays … and if he still has the same female helper from his Technics UK Mixing appearance, it should be quite a show!


HOT VINYL

BRASS CONSTRUCTION ‘Movin’ 1988 (Extended Mix)’ (Syncopate 12SY 11)
Brilliantly remixed by Phil Harding, Randy Muller’s 12-year-oid classic demo disco groove is still jaggedly pushing but beefier and now as near as possible to steadily tempoed, at a fractionally fluctuating 0-121½-0bpm, flipped by a “whoa-oh whoa-oh” overdubbed 121⅔bpm Let’s All Chant Mix (nothing to do with Mick & Pat!). Sizzlin’.

THE TODD TERRY PROJECT ‘Bango (To The Batmobile)’ (Sleeping Bag Records HAKT 16, via Westside Records Ltd)
Huge on import, the Dinosaur L ‘Go Bang’-based girls chanted and giggled nervily skittering here 122⅔-0bpm house-ish racer (122⅓-0bpm Bonus Bang) is flipped by the controversial similar but easier ‘Back To The Beat‘, which samples and scratches all sorts of stuff through the washing machine beat of Reese & Santonio’s ‘The Sound’.

REESE & SANTONIO ‘Back To The Beat (with ‘The Sound’)’ (ffrr FFRX 7)
Setting the scene for another confusing sales split, in 2 Puerto Ricans ‘Do It Properly’ style, this Detroit techno team reply to the Todd Terry Project’s use of their ‘The Sound’ through ‘Back To The Beat’ by now recreating ‘Back To The Beat’ through Kevin (Reese) Saunderson’s ‘The Sound (Power Remix)’, a nervily bubbling 122¼-125-122¾bpm acid jitterer full of the same samples (flipped by Derrick May’s recent 123¼bpm ‘The Sound (Acid Remix)‘, from their ‘Bounce Your Body To The Box’ import B-side, and the brand new 0-122bpm ‘Rock To The Beat‘, like an effete Kraftwerk). Confused? Continue reading “May 21, 1988: “Detroit’s own brand of acid house is more correctly called techno””

May 14, 1988: M-D-Emm, James Brown, The Pasadenas, By All Means, Animal Nightlife

BEATS & PIECES

Due commercially on May 23, the freshly re-EQed full length soundtrack LP version of Rose Royce ‘Car Wash’ is 108(intro)-113-114-116-114½-115⅔-118-119-122(break)-120-123bpm, and the flip’s S-Express-like ‘Is It love You’re After’ 116-118-120-121⅓-121-116-120-121bpm (not a major news item in itself, but, what with telephone interruptions, that info took three quarters of on hour to calculate — so be grateful, people!)… Disco Mix Club’s subscription service mixes have always been eligible for our dance charts, given enough DJ support, but the first ever actually to hit The Club Chart are both from the ‘April 88 Mixes 1’ LP, Paul Dakeyne’s alternative 98-97⅚bpm remix of the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’, and Ben Liebrand’s rhythmically augmented 111⅓-0bpm Taja Sevelle ‘Love Is Contagious’ (emphasising the waltz tempo’s triple time beat) — subscription details for bona fide DJs on 06286-67276… Coldcut have produced their ‘Doctorin’ The House’ singer in her own right on the upcoming Yazz & The Planet Squeeze ‘Only Way Is Up‘… WEA’s man of the year has been winding up DJs with a white labelled ‘Illeagle Mix‘ that’s actually Nick Kamen’s ‘Tell Me’ given a juddering (0-)108-114-108⅓-107⅔-108-108⅓-108bpm bass bombing megamix by Camberley DJ Dave Roarty, sampling such as Dave & Ansell Collins, James Brown, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Janet and Michael Jackson… T.U.F.F. (T.ested U.nder F.ull F.orce) ‘We’ve Got A Hot One For You‘, on Sonoscope promo, is yet another “Lady Penelope” started totally unoriginal ‘Thunderbirds’ scratching 0-120½-0bpm volume pumper — when will they ever end?… MC Jammy Hammy’s cries of “get off” and “not again”, as heard on LA Mix’s ‘Check This Out’, stem from the UK heats of the Technics Mixing Championships, when a certain degree of impatient intolerance on my part as a judge led to the coining of these catchphrases every time some unsuspecting DJ decided to scratch mix “this is a journey into sound”!… Les Adams’ ‘Luther In Love’ megamix, the side that’s been selling it, is evidently left off the flip of Luther Vandross’s new ‘I Gave It Up’ remix – likewise, ‘PO Box 2000’ is being left off the Brothers Johnson 12 inch here (to be replaced by their old ‘Ain’t We Funkin’ Now’)… Will Downing, whose current US single is the album version of ‘Sending Out An SOS‘, has totally remixed ‘In My Dreams’ as his UK follow-up… Guy’s members, as well as producer Teddy Riley, are lead singer Aaron Hall III and bass guitarist Timmy Gatling… RCA’s 12 inch club promos will soon have a new generic sleeve featuring a vertical list of Beats Per Minute figures, the appropriate one for the enclosed record being underlined (somehow in a tie-in with Technics turntables)… Club have picked up the underrated Click ‘Freq. Jam‘, one of the UK’s better acid trax… May Day bank holidays left me no time to BPM new LPs by the provocatively posing naked (and sex obsessed) Prince, back on romantic form Teddy Pendergrass, typically sophisticated Sade, and (on import) US radio-aimed Randy Hall, disappointingly downtempo Johnny Kemp… Dave Prater, the one time partner of Sam Moore in Sixties soul duo Sam & Dave, died last month in a car crash… New York’s B Boy Records has signed here to Westside Records, one of the first UK releases being a double LP distillation of three old Boogie Down Productions albums… Meli’sa Morgan’s June 18/19 London debut at the Hammersmith Odeon will be supported by saxist Najee… The Pasadenas follow an invitation-only preview this Thursday at London’s Ronnie Scott’s with a short tour around Wakefield’s Roof Top Saturday (May 14), Bristol’s Papillon Monday (16), Glasgow’s Cotton Club Friday (20), and Liverpool’s Quadrant Park Saturday (21)… DJs Brian G, Pete Funnel! and Rockie house/soul/rap/funk York’s hard and crucial Sweatbox every two weeks, this Saturday (and the second Saturday in each month) at the Windmill, followed on the last Friday of each month (starting May 27) at Keatons… Sunday (15), DJs Fat Tony, Dave Dorrell, Tim Westwood and more man a noon to midnight dance marathon of Hammersmith’s Le Palais to raise money for on AIDS hospice… Dartford’s Flicks raised £2,700 at its most recent charity allniter, all for local good causes… Tony Masters and Paul The Soul Man, plus guests, have a Sixties and Northern Soul alldayer at Torquay’s Coral Island Showbar this Sunday (15), noon-10.30pm… Chris Dinnis returns next Wednesday (18) to Boxes on Exeter’s Quay with Bob Smith for a “real soul” Humdinger 1 (£1 advance tickets on 0392-39477, after 5pm)… Mick Fuller funks upfront Mondays at Brighton’s Swifts, and Sundays at Hove’s Palmeira (pub hours)… Simon Dunmore, Jon Jules and Paul Warren are hard ‘n’ upfront weekly at the Tuesday Soul City in Greenford’s Greenford Hotel, on Uxbridge Road… Paul McBride souls and funks Belfast’s Wellington Park on Wednesdays, saying “We need as much plugging as possible for soul here in Belfast”… Portsmouth mixer Warren Aylward hosts a weekly Wednesday Goodgroove soul night at Southsea’s 5th Avenue… Jeff Thomas, of Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard fame, also souls Thursdays at Merthyr Tydfil’s revamped The Kooler (formerly the Kirkhouse)… Martin Jay counts down The Club Chart from rm every Thursday at Lewisham’s Mid Kent Tavern… Tim Smith only ever seems able to slip soul records onto the air at Metro Radio over bank holidays, but at Newcastle upon Tyne’s Blue Monkey he has added a Klassix night on Thursday for oldies and rare grooves… Steve Cochrane, already ramming “Rick Astley and Madonna-free” Freestyle Mondays, has taken over Fridays as well at Harlow’s Highwire, with Rose Royce guesting this week (13)… Nick Power funks up Fridays at Braintree’s “wild style” Ice Club in the Essex Barn, and is slightly more commercial on Saturdays at Hatfield’s Partners… Mike Knight funks and hip hops Sundays at Aberdare’s Baverstocks Hotel… Damon Jay has moved from London’s Gullivers to join John Mayoh jocking at Wakefield’s Casanovas, mixing acid, funk, and soul Fri/Sat/Mon, and especially Wednesdays… Martin McSweeney, back in a club as resident jock at Rotherham’s Harveys Nightspot, is also busy producing a “jazz house” project… Disco Dave Singleton, still at Eccles The Rainbow after 11 years, has started an agency and (on 09252-6018) is after a pair of Manchester/Merseyside girls for a kiss-o-gram and go-go dancing work… South Wales DJ Steve Wiggins has his own Up-Front music column in the Barry & District News now… London’s Evening Standard last week ran a competition, “The Garage club was credited was being the birthplace of house music, in which American city?” — ignoring the fact that house was born at and named for the Warehouse in Chicago, one assumes they meant the Paradise Garage in New York!… I seem to be joined by many other readers in rating ‘Hooperman’ as the best new thing on TV: another creation of Stephen Bochco (of ‘Hill Street Blues’) with Terry Louise Fisher, the Sunday evening half hour series stars John Ritter (of ‘Three’s Company’) as a San Francisco police inspector and the delightful Debrah Farentino as his apartment block’s janitor, plus an enchanting little dog called Bijou… Chester Browton, from Selsey, suggests I might contribute to the rare groove craze by listing what I consider to be the best Seventies funk records never to break commercially — the trouble is, I really don’t remember the Seventies, they passed in a blur (however, if you want to know about the Sixties…!)… GET OFF!


HOT VINYL

M-D-EMM ‘Get Busy (It’s Partytime!)’ (Republic Records MDM001T, via Rough Trade)
From much the same stable as ‘Beat Dis’ and ‘S-Express’, this must be one of the next volume pumping crossover hits. Created primarily by Rough Trade’s Dave Lee (second left), DJ Mark Ryder (kneeling) and Mike Chill (right), with Lincoln Anderson and Caffy, it’s in three very different mixes, the Peoples Choice ‘Do It Any Way Ya Wanna’-ish chunkily routine 0-118¾bpm Club Mix (inspired also by Loleatta Holloway ‘Hit ‘N’ Run’, MFSB ‘Love Is The Message’ and the Salsoul Orchestra ‘You’re Just The Right Size’, without sampling any of them), the jazzier cool house 120¼-0bpm Busy House Mix (speeding up an old Black Heat riff), and —biggest in London — the rare grooves-like S-Express-ish 117¼bpm Body Action Mix, sampling phrases from the likes of Joeski Love, Cameo, Micronauts, Soul Sonic Force, Fatback Band, JR Funk, Jammers, B Boys, Trouble Funk, Sweet Tee, Johnny Dynell and MFSB (all the horns though being original, merely typifying the flavour of the period).

JAMES BROWN ‘I’m Real’ (US Scotti Bros 4Z9 07805)
“All you copycats out there get offa my chip”, shouts Mr Brown as he kicks into the first single from his eagerly awaited Full Force-produced LP, a deliberately archetypal 0-105½bpm jerky funk jitterer given modern transformer scratches and juddery edits (especially in the really fierce 105⅚-0bpm ‘Real (F.F. Hyped-Up Mix)‘ flip) while remaining basically the same old James Brown that all the copycats have so long admired.

THE PASADENAS ‘Tribute (Right On) (The Q Street Mix)’ (CBS PASA T1)
Pete Wingfield produced, Richie Rich remixed, terrific mushy hi-hat shushed Seventies style 0-107bpm jazz-funk jiggler with music history tracing vocals, by the old Finesse disco dance troupe, right on target for the latest retrogressing trend. Continue reading “May 14, 1988: M-D-Emm, James Brown, The Pasadenas, By All Means, Animal Nightlife”

May 7, 1988: James Brown, Emilio Pasquez, Guy, Whodini, L.A. Mix featuring MC Jammy Hammy

BEATS & PIECES

 PHIL HARDING’S 1988 remix of Brass Construction’s ‘Movin’’ is now promoed on Syncopate ahead of May 23 release — beefily evened out of a fractionally fluctuating 0-121½-0bpm, it’s flipped by a “whoa-oh, whoa-oh” punctuated 121⅔bpm Let’s All Chant Mix (nothing to do with Mick & Pat!)… Roxanne Shanté’s eagerly awaited Lyn Collins ‘Think’ (and thus ‘It Takes Two’) based 115⅔bpm ‘Go On Girl‘ has likewise been promoed by Breakout ahead of May 30 release, but is now available on the ‘Colors’ soundtrack LP (Warner Bros 925 713-1), full of sombre raps from which Salt-n-Pepa’s 0-97⅙bpm ‘Let The Rhythm Run‘ is the other liveliest newie… Jive have white labelled the Wee Papa Girl Rappers’ upcoming ‘Heat It Up‘, a jauntily jittering 0-115bpm chugger with a catchy “It’s like that, yeah, so heat it up” chorus… DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s excellent ‘He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper’ double LP is now out here, with a proper gatefold sleeve unlike in the States (Jive HIP 61), fully BPM-ed on import… ffrr’s version of ‘The Sound (Power Remix)’ will be credited to Reese & Santonio rather than Kevin Saunderson, and called ‘Back To The Beat’ (this line got left out last week) — meanwhile, the label has already serviced DJs with Kool Kat’s pressing of the Power Remix plus ‘The Groove That Won’t Stop’, flipped by the Exclusive Motor City Remix and Original Version of ‘The Sound’, just to add to the confusion!… DMC are offering three videos covering all the Technics mixing finals, UK (plus rapping) on Tape 1, World elimination heat on 2, and the Royal Albert Hall World final plus star-studded awards on 3 — details from 06286-67276… Steve Mason is updating the house and hip hop DJ mailing list at Club Preview UK, 6-9 Salisbury Promenade, Green Lanes, London N8 0RX (01-809 1460)… Ian Taylor’s new Eurobeat/Hi-NRG label is starting a DJ mailing list, Chartflow (UK), Mail Out Service, PO Box 29, London E2 9EX… Baad! Records owner DJ ‘Evil’ Eddie Richards has been promoting weekend PA’s by UK acts in Milan’s top clubs, which he finds to be very upfront with excellent scratch mix DJs — and in fact the best club there needs a UK mixing jock to work for six months (send Eddie a cassette of your live mixing for consideration, at 49 Drayton Road, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 3EL, or call 0908-647632 for further info)… Eddie, incidentally, has spotted that both the Jungle Brothers ‘Because I Got It like That‘ (picked up here by Ton Son Ton) and his own label’s Sindecut ‘Sindecuts Kickin Yeah!‘ (recorded last November) both use Sly & The Family Stone’s old ‘You Can Make It If You Try‘… Aldeoni E Dos Santos’ refreshingly different Brazilian house ‘How Many Sugars‘ has sadly been turned into a routine samples crammed 123¾-123⅔-122⅓bpm scratching jacker by Kevin Ford, due on May 23 as Dr K ‘T.D A. (How Many Sugars)‘ (still on IMW), remixed by Leigh Guest of Double Trouble with the ubiquitous Simon Goffe… ‘Tune In (Turn On The Acid House)‘ is yet another 0-128¾bpm UK acid effort that’s credited to Superman and promoed on DC Records Inc (oh yeah?) — but vinyl-etched references to the Greedy Beat Syndicate and Fon Force provide further clues! — with samples crammed 0-125bpm and muttering 0-126½bpm ‘Jack The Tab‘ B-side trax… Royal House’s new ‘Can You Party’ is of course basically a revamp of their earlier ‘Party People’… Mica Paris is already due this week for a Jolley Harris Jolley remix… Al B Sure! has followed ‘Nuit Et Jour’ by now recording a Spanish language version of ‘Nite And Day’, while Raze ‘Break 4 Love’ is for some strange reason also out here with Spanish, French and Italian language mixes (Champion CHAMP X12-67)!… Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson is making her recording debut on Cooltempo… Kool & The Gang’s lead singer on their big UK hits, James ‘JT’ Taylor is going solo… Alexander O’Neal’s US newie is a remixed ‘The Lovers’… Virgin have had promotional slipmats made plugging Well Red… “London’s top dance music store”, City Sounds about to be moving… Glenn Gunner from Camden Town’s Electric Ballroom (and Rayners Lane’s Record Centre) funks Brixton’s Fridge this Friday (May 6), when Hereward Radio soul presenter Steve Allen and Nick Graham start a weekly ‘credible’ dance night at Peterborough’s Millionaire Club… Derek B and Angie Winbush join Simon Goffe and Jasper next Wednesday (11) for a Fools Paradise special at Uxbridge Regals, filmed by BBC2’s new ‘Behind The Beat’ dance music series (which will have been featuring Mahesh Bajaj and Serious Records this coming Monday (9) at 7pm)… Netphase’s latest Caister Soul Weekender (the 21st under that name although with neither the same venue nor DJ team now) is next weekend, May 13/14/15, a few last minute places possibly being available on 01-367 9118 — so late on in the spring, this one could actually be quite summery!… Paul Williams and other South Wales ‘Taffia Mafia’ jocks put on a benefit night in Merthyr Tydfil’s Charbonnier’s this last Bank Holiday, to raise further money for the Christian Lewis Neuroblastoma Fund…


DANNY POKU — this week’s face behind the name on the label — is better known as Dancin’ Danny D, one of the UK’s major remixers. A big Leroy Burgess fan and one of the first to get into rare groove, Danny began jocking just over four years ago at Earls Court’s La Vie En Rose in London and often did nights at Gullivers too. As a remixer his best known label credits are for Loose Ends’ ‘Gonna Make You Mine’/’Slow Down’/’Nights Of Pleasure’, Gwen Guthrie’s ‘Rent’, Timex Social Club’s ‘Rumors’, Nitro Deluxe’s ‘This Brutal House’, Total Contrast’s ‘Jody’, Living In A Box’s ‘Bootleg Mix’/’Love Is The Art’, Kid’N Play’s ‘Do This My Way’ and Eric B & Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’, while as a producer he was behind DSM’s ‘Warrior Groove’ and the current Taurus Boyz. Having been its club plugger for a while, he’s now UK label manager of Cooltempo — nice work if you can get it!


HOT VINYL

JAMES BROWN ‘Payback (The Final Mixdown)’ (Urban URBA 17)
Norman Cook and Streets Ahead’s brilliant totally new 0-110⅙-0bpm megamix is even more compulsively danceable, ironing out the rough spots as it smoothly integrates all that it uses to a continuous ‘Funky Drummer’ beat — without any boring ‘Sex Machine’, too! This is soul power! Norman’s older Funky Drummer Remix of ‘She’s The One’ also replaces ‘Stone To The Bone’ on the flip.

EMILIO PASQUEZ ‘Sounds From The Pink Sandbox (Batman)’ (WEA YZ180T)
Previously reviewed as a presumed bootleg, this ‘Bango (To The Batmobile)’-ish ‘Batman’ soundtrack quoting lively simple scratching 120-0bpm bass bombed chugger (acid instrumental ‘Do It Again Emilio‘ flip) turns out to be — as exclusively revealed last week — the secret work of Bomb The Bass and S-Express co-producer, Gabriel Pascal!

GUY ‘Groove Me’ (US Uptown Records MCA-23852)
Hot producer Teddy Riley’s own group debuts in superb Keith Sweat style, cutting the organ from ‘The Champ’ to a mellow 0-108bpm slinky soul vocal jiggler (in four mixes). The song is brand new, nothing to do with King Floyd (or Fern Kinney)! Continue reading “May 7, 1988: James Brown, Emilio Pasquez, Guy, Whodini, L.A. Mix featuring MC Jammy Hammy”

April 30, 1988: Ten City, True Mathematics, Prince, Soul II Soul, Royal House

BEATS & PIECES

EMILIO PASQUEZ turns out to be the creator of that ‘Batman’-based ‘Sounds From The Pink Sand Box (Volume 3)‘ mystery “yellow label”, due now for full release on WEA credited to Emilio — but in reality (as ‘Beat Dis’ label copy readers might by now have guessed!) this is the pseudonym of Bomb The Bass producer and S-Express member, studio engineer Pascal Gabriel… Jon Williams is moving from Jive in three weeks to run the Club label at Phonogram — meanwhile, his limited edition white label Wee Papa Girl Rappers ‘Faith 1’ remix, incorporating George Michael, has been changing hands for £50 as if it was a bootleg, demand is so intense, although his latest white label remix will eventually get full release, the 0-112½-0bpm ‘Play It Again Sam‘ (Jive JP 1) being in fact Samantha Fox’s current Full Force produced ‘Naughty Girls Need Love Too’ US hit with her vocals stripped off and volume pumping samples added!… E.U. ‘Da’Butt’ has also been in great demand (catching importers on the hop) following Chris Hill’s success with it at Prestatyn, and isn’t out here until the end of May… MCA have acquired Rose Royce ‘Is It Love You’re After’ (S-Express’s inspiration) from the old Whitfield label to be the flip of ‘Car Wash’, merely re-EQed rather than remixed… Break Boys ‘And The Break Goes On’ is being rushed here next week on Hardcore, while Todd Terry Project ‘Bango (To The Batmobile)’ will finally be on Morgan Khan’s new US-licensed Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records logo — however, this latter may not be without problems, as previously reported, because the flip’s ‘Back To The Beat’ borrowed ‘The Sound’ and now London will be issuing Kevin (Reese) Saunderson’s tit-for-tat ‘The Sound (Power Remix)‘ and ‘Rock The Beat’!… Do It Properly?… Leigh Guest, sole remaining member of the Double Trouble remixing team, has signed exclusively to Serious Records as a megamixer, while ex-partners Damon Rochefort and Mike Morrison are starting their own GRC (General Recording Company) label along the lines of Serious with a ‘House Music Vol 1‘ compilation its first release… Taurus Boyz has apparently been totally revamped by Dancin’ Danny D… Tyree ‘Acid Over’, the only real “acid track” on ffrr’s ‘Acid Tracks’ compilation, is due at last as a remixed white label… Essex mixer Mark Ryder, as tipped months ago, has teamed with Rough Trade’s music expert Dave Lee and partner Mike Chill to create M-D-Emm ‘Get Busy (It’s Partytime)’, due fully on May 9, another volume pumping bass bomber but in three very different versions, the routine 0-118¾bpm Club Mix, cooler 120¼-0bpm Busy House Mix, and rare grooves jammed more ‘S-Express’-style 117¼bpm Body Action Mix (the one that’s biggest in London)… Limelight DJ Hamish MacDonald is masquerading as ZPL on the very S-Express-type bass bombing 0-112¼-0bpm ‘Disco’, promoed now but not due on Jive until June… Pebbles’ follow-up has already been promoed, ‘Mercedes Boy‘, a jittery lurching 114⅔bpm canterer that I still consider is Madonna-pitched pop… Georgio’s as yet unscheduled follow-up is the hi-hat hissed simple striding wriggly 116¾bpm ‘Bedrock‘, with scratchy brass… I got the spelling wrong in my warning, but in case you still don’t realise, the ponderously chugging juddery (0-)103⅚bpm Myk ‘Mr Heartache’ is in reality Kim Wilde with Junior… Annette Taylor ‘It Must Be Right’, new last week on import, is already promoed here on Cooltempo… The JAMs’ newie is now credited instead to The KLF, and called ‘Burn The Beat‘ (club side) with ‘Burn The Bastards‘ the Scottish accented ‘Dance To The Music’ side, both still 0-120½-0bpm… New York’s black radio DJ Hal Jackson (see the Robbie Vincent caption) was already a veteran star of WWRL when in 1964 I went to his testimonial all-dayer at Harlem’s Rockland Palace Ballroom where amongst others I met Dizzy Gillespie, Arthur Prysock, Tony Bennett, Babs Gonales, Eddie Jefferson, the Four Seasons… Brook Benton, the chocolate voiced soulster best remembered for his Fifties and Sixties hits, sadly died earlier this month… James Brown was probably generalising when he said he’d influenced the Beatles amongst other unlikely UK groups, but even so his egocentric appearance on Robbie Vincent’s excellent Radio 1 soul show from New York seems to have hurt his credibility, younger listeners, finding him out of touch… Tony Blackburn is sampled saying ‘OK gang, what do you think, is this a load of garbage?’ on the M|A|R|R|S/Bomb The Bass sending up 0-109⅔bpm Star Turn On 45 Pints ‘Pump Up The Bitter (Brutal Mix)‘ (Pacific DRINK 1)… Mick & Pat’s video features, in the background, Mike Stock on keyboards, Matt Aitken on bass and Pete Waterman – or is that A Linn? – on drums (however, I think another more fully produced alternative video may have replaced this by now)… Portsmouth label Domino Records have stickered last year’s weedy 121¾bpm remake of The Michael Zager Band ‘Let’s All Chant’ (DOM 6T) as the “original hit version” — which it isn’t, so be warned… WEA’s man of the year has sent jocks an import 12 inch of John White ‘Victim‘ (US Geffen Records 0-20798), on Alexander O’Neal-type jolting jogger still in its old 102¾bpm LP Version… Ray Keith, Dave Malone, Guy Palmer and Turbo get def/rare/soulful at Sudbury (Suffolk) Jades this Thursday (April 28)… Friday (29) finds Stu Banks and Max Rees bombing the house at Harston Village Hall in Cambridgeshire, and Gilles Peterson guesting with Steve Wren and Les Knott at Harlow Monroes’ weekly Toejammer… Mike Allin is joined at Milton Keynes’ The Point by Wee Papa Girl Rappers on Saturday (30), when Nicky Holloway’s threatened last “Doo” ever is at Streatham Ice Rink with Pete Tong, Gilles Peterson and the usual crew… Gt Yarmouth Tiffanys’ Sunday (May 1) 6-12pm Beach Ball stars Chris Hill, Pete Tong, Gilles Peterson, Chrissie Jackson, Nicky Holloway, Eddie Gordon, Paul Dakeyne, Bob Jones, Danny Smith, Craig & Marcus… Bank Holiday Monday (2) then finds Chris Hill, Pete Tong, Jeff Young, Chris Brown, Kev Hill and Froggy at Portsmouth Ritzy’s all-dayer, Liverpool Mardi Gras Club having its fifth monthly No Sell Out up-front funk-up, Clinton Cambridge spinning compact disc soul at Uxbridge’s free admission The Villa Venue Bar and Tim Westwood, Graeme Park, Simon Goffe, Tony Dortie, Paul French at Gillingham The Avenue’s Soul Stew (publicity for which was sent me actually stuck around a can of Campbell’s Chicken Stew — delicious, if a bit runny!)… Tony Jenkins still needs a few more PAs (on 0895-73486) to help ram jam another Up West night at London’s Hippodrome next Wednesday (4)… Graeme Park wants to be known as a Nottingham DJ, which is where he lives, but as the only regular gig amidst his globe-trotting seems to be in Derby, a “Derby DJ” he’ll remain until he can prove otherwise!… GET OFF!


ROBBIE VINCENT, sitting in for Jeff Young this Friday (April 29) on Radio 1’s 7-10pm dance show (with Les Adams creating a special megamix), so impressed the locals during his own recent live broadcast from New York that Hal Jackson, the veteran black radio jock there and current owner of the Apollo, has invited him to do a show live at that world famous Harlem theatre!


TIMMY REGISFORD —returning to the faces behind the names on the labels — was born in Trinidad but has lived longer now in New York, where he’s had a Saturday night show on WBLS since 1983 while becoming famous internationally as a remixer of countless dance hits, and producer of such as Colonel Abrams (partnered initially by Boyd Jarvis, with whom he shared the short lived Fleetwood label). Having worked also for Atlantic, he currently heads MCA Records’ New York A&R department.


HOT VINYL

TEN CITY ‘Right Back To You’ (US Atlantic 0-86574)
The fastest selling import in a while (on the heels of the enduring ‘Devotion’, this Marshall Jefferson and Byron Stingily-created surging episodic bounder has Sylvester-style vocals in Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley’s 120bpm Extended Mix or is instrumental in Marshall Jefferson’s trumpet led excellent 119¾bpm NY Mix, while as an even longer and equally good coupling there’s the Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk mixed rollingly pattering jittery 104bpm ‘One Kiss Will Make It Better (House Mix)‘ – not that the latter soul track is “house” at all. With over 27 minutes of music on the import 12 inch, WEA’s problem here will be what to include on the UK pressing, limited by chart rules to just 20 minutes. You’ll get it all if you buy this now!

TRUE MATHEMATICS ‘K.A.O.S.S.’ (Champion CHAMP 12-76)
On UK promo for some time but pipped to the post in sales terms last week by the import pressing on Select (which ought to teach Champion, who always promo things too long!), this Hank Shocklee co-produced obviously Public Enemy-ish KC & The Sunshine Band ‘That’s The Way (I Like It)’-cutting 104bpm busily juddering jittery rap is double AA-sided (instrumentals too) with the electronically compressed “telephone call”-like rapped lethargically jiggling 99bpm ‘For The Money‘, set to a James Brown sampling variation on the old ‘Bo Diddley’ beat.

PRINCE ‘Alphabet St. (Album Version)’ (Paisley Park Records W7900T)
Idiosyncratic as ever though funkier than usual, the purple prancer’s latest is a starkly percussive jerky rambling 104⅔bpm choppy jitterer, with a psychedelically expanded 0-104⅔bpm This Is Not Music, This Is A Trip dub. Continue reading “April 30, 1988: Ten City, True Mathematics, Prince, Soul II Soul, Royal House”

April 23, 1988: The dance charts explained, James Brown, Run-D.M.C., Derek B, Grandmaster Flash, Coco Steel And Lovebomb

BEATS & PIECES

ANDY PHIPPEN, it can now be revealed, has bought and already moved into the old Summit Records shop, newly renamed Rhythm Inn, at 79 Praed Street by London s Paddington Station, his Rayners Lane assistant (and star DJ in his own right) Jerry Green moving there too… Soho, meanwhile, is fast becoming a battleground between rival dance music record shops, the latest to open there (at 47 Beak Street) being a larger branch of Jim Milton’s Brixton-based Red Records… Tim Simenon is starting his own Bubble Bunch label, primarily for DJ pressings in the manner of Coldcut’s original Ahead Of Our Time concept, although it will also release his Bomb The Bass follow-up, ‘Megablast‘ (based on ‘Bambaataa’s Theme‘)… Pressure as a label name has already been used here, so MCA Dance will now be the self explanatory new name of Adrian Sykes’ operation… London’s GEE st Records, and indeed G Records, are maybe surprisingly named after an actual Gee Street where the labels and their studio are based, only a block away from rm’s typesetters near the Barbican… Serious Records have rush released Trax Records’ Various Artists ‘Acid Tracks‘ LP (DRUG 1), the semi-compilation with Mr Lee, Armando, Townsell and Phuture Pfantasy Club on one side and Jack Frost And The Circle Jerks on the other — reputedly, Jack Frost’s side (four tracks in all) only took one hour to record, which doesn’t sound unreasonable considering that Ca Sa’s ’15 Minutes’ is apparently titled after the time it took to create!… Les Adams has remixed Penthouse 4 with a modern beefier house sound, and Phil Harding’s remix of Brass Construction ‘Movin’’ shouldn’t upset purists, beefing up the beat considerably while maintaining the original groove… Streets Ahead has already remixed Roxanne Shanté’s ‘Go On Girl’, although the original mix isn’t due here on Breakout until May 16 (the similarity to Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock ‘It Takes Two’ is remarkable, but both do use Lyn Collins’ ‘Think (About It)’ as their basis)… Alan Coulthard, amongst the April 88 Mixes on Disco Mix Club, created an excellent megamix of S-Express with — not surprisingly! — Rose Royce ‘Is It Love You’re After’ and ‘RR Express’… ‘Theme From S-Express’ reminds WEA’s man of the year, Fred Dove, also of an old US hit which was promoed here on Atlantic but never released, Spin ‘We Sacrifice‘, but Mark Moore tells me that although he knows somewhere he must have the record, he can’t remember it and is not conscious of any similarities… Pedro ‘Goodfootin’’ is indeed English, will be distributed here in five or so weeks by Rough Trade and does use the Sly & Robbie-created unreleased James Brown backing track that briefly turned up as a Beat Freaks B-side!… PP Arnold sings lead on the Beatmasters’ upcoming ‘Burn It Up‘… Steve Walsh lookalike, DJ Shuggy Jock Master Scratch from Edinburgh’s Zenatec, now has a weekly Saturday 8-9pm Dance Music Chart Show on Radio Forth — you may remember my detailing his earlier megamix use of the Scottish country dance track, ‘Trio’, from an Andrew Rankine & His Band LP on Emerald/Gem, which he now finds fits exactly into the break of Rick Astley’s ‘Together Forever’, after which ‘Marie’s Wedding’ from the some LP then goes over the break of Rick’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ — hoots mon!… Mike Shaft’s official audience figures for his Saturday 8-11pm on BBC Radio Manchester beat commercial rival Piccadilly Radio three to one during the same slot… Glenn Gunner is yet another London club DJ, together with partner Jagz, to create a typically simple — and, in this case, US-style — acid house track, Trance ‘Sound Of The Future’… Glenn Gunner plus Andy Collins and Lee Drummond party hardy at Ealing’s Broadway Boulevard this Thursday when Carl Cox and the Rhino Boys — or could that be rm’s own Rhino Bros? — start funking and scratching Brighton’s Night Fever… James King, here for Up North Promotions’ April 22/23/24 Blackpool Soul Weekend (last minute enquiries on 091-389 0317), is also singing his soul at Birtley’s Liberty’s this Friday (22), Gt Yarmouth’s Macmillans Club Sunday (24)… Saturday (23) the Harlow DJ All Stars – Tony Poole, Terry Munro, Les Knott, Ashley Tyrell, Richard Hookham, Mark Jones – jazz-soul a charity Funk De Mambo night at Harlow’s Kingsmoor Recreation Centre in Paringdon Road… Defhouse Sixteen is a first anniversary bash at Birkenhead’s Atmosphere on Monday (25), with Desa, Kenni James and Dave Ralph introducing T-Cut-F, 52nd Street, Twin-Beat and Wee Papa Girl Rappers – meanwhile, Defhouse Seventeen is already set for Bank Holiday Monday, May 2… Cooltempo’s ‘Fierce Tour’ with Kid’N Play, NT Gang, Taurus Boyz and Julian Jonah collides with Jeff Thomas on Monday (25) at Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard… Greg Wilson is returning to his 1982-84 haunt, Manchester’s Legend, for a one-off nostalgic electrophonic phunk revival next Wednesday (27), playing Peech Boys, Sinnamon, Soul Sonic Force, and indeed all the stuff that I too enjoyed playing during the same era in London at Gullivers… Charly has gained UK rights to such US salsa labels as Fania, Tico, Vaya and Cotique, so you can expect lots of Latin compilations… Nini ‘Instant Attitude’, the Janet-ish cranker reviewed on import last week, is here 115bpm on Move & Groove Records (12GMT 5)… Jackie Jackson of Smith & Mighty used to sing backing sessions for Peter Gabriel… Manchester DJ George Andrew’s distinctive writing has been missing from our chart returns since last summer, with good reason as he’s now in Canada, jocking on top of Toronto’s CN Tower in Sparkles, the highest nightclub in the world!… Breakout will at last soon be releasing here, back to back, the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced old Hi-NRG hits, EG Daily’s ‘Love In The Shadows’/’Mind Over Matter’… I find it strange, considering rm prints a Hi-NRG Top 50 now, that I am still not sent for review some of the Hi-NRG “hits” that do come out here – don’t the little record companies concerned want proper coverage and the chance to expand their market, especially in the current national Top 20 climate?… GET OFF!


EMBARRASSING MOMENTS at Prestatyn, Number Two! During the last day’s grand finale it was suddenly thought that a good idea would be, after all this time, to revive McFadden & WhItehead’s ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ — but nobody had a copy until Radio 1’s dance music DJ JEFF YOUNG dipped into his record box and pulled out the entire series of DM/StreetSounds’ ‘Anthems’ albums (which of course contain it and all the other great weekender clichés)! I wonder what this photo’s worth to label owner, Morgan Khan?


SIMON HARRIS gets small y’all, in front of the London scratch mix posse of (l to r) DJ POGO, CUTMASTER SWIFT and STREETS AHEAD, in the house at Prestatyn.


MARK KAMINS, the legendary New York DJ who really discovered Madonna, is in fact SHEIK FAWAZ, whose ‘Mohamed’s House’ hit contains samples of the now dead female Egyptian singing star Sabba, amongst others, that he used to play for atmospheric effect of Harem.


DANCE CHARTS

Some explanation of the way in which rm’s dance charts are compiled is possibly in order, to satisfy the enquiries of several readers.

All are based on DJ’s chart returns, which are meant to reflect perceived floor reaction, but, as we realise that it’s obviously impossible to categorise exactly in a ranked order just how big each record is on the floor, we interpret the DJ’s chart positions into general bands of acceptance by way of a points system. We give seven points for number one, six for Top Five, five for Top 10, four for Top 15, and three for anything lower than that — this being because a conventional inverse points rating would be impractical as we get chart returns ranging from a Top 10 to a Top 50 or more, 20 or 30 positions however being the preferred norm.

Once all this is worked out, a very carefully (and secretly!) formulated sales factor is added to The Club Chart, to ensure that the most recent weekend’s big sellers are included, on the reasonable supposition that, if so many DJs have bought them, the records are likely to have been played as well! In practice, though, it really is only the biggest sellers that enter the chart in this way, by far the major contribution to chart movement overall being DJs’ input — however, thanks to the inevitable time lag caused by mail and compilation delays, the DJs’ reactions obviously relate to club plays at the very least a week before The Club Chart is printed, and sales input is needed to “sweeten” the finished result, keeping it up to date.

The formula is consistently shown to work (it’s uncanny the number of times that DJs’ points have matched previous, first, week’s sales points to the exact number!), my only regret that, as the chart is so scrupulously honest in its compilation, it often seems slow moving (especially in comparison with such ‘playlist’-style listings as Tim Jeffery’s Cool Cuts). One reason why the chart is a Top 100 is to give all the records that are happening a chance to show up somewhere, though, frustratingly at the moment, a number of actual sellers are often kept out even of the 100 by non-selling promos that have merely been serviced to chart-returning DJs for free. Still, just because DJs are buying a record it isn’t necessarily going to prove a floor-filler when they play it, so I reckon everything works out fairly.

The Pop Dance, Scottish Dance and Hi-NRG charts are compiled in same way, but without any sales and to an earlier deadline, by just Alan Jones (who does the preliminary work on The Club Chart, which I complete over the weekend). DJs returning to us should note that we need your charts by Wednesday every week, so please post them if possible no later than Monday, to James Hamilton/Alan Jones, RM, Spotlight Publications, Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7QZ. We ourselves do not supply printed chart forms, so use your own paper — and, please, be honest in assessing floor reaction.


HOT VINYL

JAMES BROWN ‘The Payback Mix — Keep On Doing What You’re Doing But Make It Funky’ (Urban URBX 17)
Originally titled on promo as ‘Coldcut Meets The Godfather’ but finally out commercially with all mention of Coldcut totally removed, Matt Black and Jonathan More instead being credited just on the sleeve as its mixers, this brilliant 0-110⅙(most of it)-109(final ‘Sex Machine’)-113-110½-0bpm megamix of Mr Brown and associated acts is already a massive dancefloor smash, coupled now with 1973’s sinuously jiggling 101-100½-99½-98⅓bpm ‘Stone To The Bone’, 1969’s relentlessly thrashing and screaming 117-115⅔-114-115⅔-114⅔-113⅔-116-114bpm ‘Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose’ (in a remix), and 1967’s classic brassily chugging 111⅔-113-111⅔-113-112⅓-113bpm ‘Cold Sweat‘ (which’ll always remind me of driving through the Texas desert with it blaring from the radio, as “the brand new sound of Brown in our town, mama, layin’ it down pound by pound — my, my, my!”). Norman Cook and Streets Ahead’s ‘The Final Mixdown‘ revamp of the A-side is also apparently due this week, though surely seems unlikely quite so soon?

RUN-D.M.C. ‘Run’s House’ (London LONX 177)
Worth the wait as more def and fresh than their latterday pop output, this rebellious 0-99⅙bpm angry shouter is coupled with the much more excitingly scratched 103bpm ‘Beats To The Rhyme‘ (instrumentals too), though both may of course prove too juddery and hard for their pop fans. Tough!

DEREK B ‘Bad Young Brother (Billy Beat Remix)’ (Tuff Audio DRKB 112)
Really fiercely scratched hard and heavy 100⅔bpm rap judderer, bowing in his own Phonogram-distributed label, another that’s concerned more with regaining street credibility among the b boy rebels rather than pop fans (excellent Bad Young Dub, and a 99⅚-0bpm remix by Steve Ett too, all at 33⅓pm). Continue reading “April 23, 1988: The dance charts explained, James Brown, Run-D.M.C., Derek B, Grandmaster Flash, Coco Steel And Lovebomb”

April 16, 1988: Prestatyn ‘Pres Jam’ report, The Break Boys, Narada, Pedro, E.U., DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

BEATS & PIECES

Streets Ahead and Norman Cook will be following Coldcut’s ‘Payback Mix’ with a James Brown mix of their own… Rose Royce trendily much revived ‘Car Wash’ is being reissued in a new, slightly augmented, re-edit… Germany based Brian Carter’s latest box set is, unbelievably, a five LP/bonus 12 inch, 41 track compilation of the ultra-rude Blowfly ‘X-Rated’ (BCM Records BC 70-20 69-49, also available as a CD three-pack, BC 50-20 69-42), with a T-shirt included too, the point about the “Blowfly” alter ego of soul singer Clarence Reid being that he puts totally obscene new lyrics to well known hits!… Robbie Vincent’s 7.30-10pm soul show on Radio 1 this Saturday (April 16) comes live from New York City, with James Brown, Randy Muller, Timmy Regisford and other superstar guests promised!… BBC2-TV’s music investigating ‘Behind The Beat’ series, starting later this month, filmed some strangely chosen bits of the Prestatyn weekender, just on the opening night… Nitro Deluxe’s name was printed in the Prestatyn programme as ‘Intro Deluxe’, which actually sounds quite good, doesn’t it?… Jimmy Castor’s unexpected appearance at Prestatyn was a big thrill for me — I was able to meet him at last, and tell him that 21 years ago (as a fan of his first ‘Hey Leroy‘ hit) I had actually rung his door bell in the Bronx, but he was out!… Cutmaster Swift and DJ Pogo (both of Technics mixing fame) made sure they were standing dead centre of the stage front to watch the Cold Chillin’ acts at Prestatyn… Steve Walsh, a first time visitor to any LiveWire weekender, was well impressed during his brief Saturday night stay, but evidently couldn’t take the pace and passed out cold in a chair, this year’s prime “zonked on house” victim!… Steve, incidentally, turns out to be the producer of Julian Jonah, and behind the UK release of Cappella… I must admit to not originally being bowled over by LA Mix’s upcoming samples-crammed 117⅓-0bpm ‘Check This Out‘ (despite being sampled myself on the flip!), but it really was one of the few newies that cut through the crowd at Prestatyn, thanks in large part to its Serious Intention ‘You Don’t Know’-derived hookline… Peterborough’s jammin’ Steve Jason has started a Friday 6.35-10pm dance music show on Hereward Radio 102.7fm, reflecting rm’s various club charts… Tim Westwood heads up the weekly Sunday 3-8pm Illin for under-18s at Brixton’s Fridge… Motown’s upcoming new Hits Of Gold seven inch back-to-back reissue series will include the Jackson 5 ‘ABC’/’The love You Save’, and a useful coupling of the vintage Contours ‘Do You Love Me’ (one of the all-time party stormers) with Barrett Strong ‘Money’ (the hit that kicked off Motown)… TV’s ‘Falcon Crest’ last week featured ‘Twist And Shout’ during a party scene, using an ancient LP version by the Miracles!… Mahesh Bajaj, amidst making staff changes at Serious Records (could future remixes be by Single Trouble?), had all his business files stolen from his car while parked outside the Wag Club — so bear with him if there’s a hiccup in communications… Gregg Diamond & Bionic Boogie’s ‘Fess Up To The Boogie’ B-side isn’t quite as fast as printed, only 117bpm!… Capital Radio’s chanting Mick Brown made his UK Top 100 debut as part of the Monty MCs ‘Holiday Rap (With A Capital C)’… Kim Wilde is masquerading on a current clubs-mailed promo as “Mick” (another whistle blown!)… Stock Aitken Waterman won a staggering 11 Ivor Novello Awards at last week’s luncheon… Dance Aid launches its 1988 charity appeal in a businesslike way with a gala luncheon of its own on May 26 (Thursday) at London’s Metropole Hotel, with guest speakers from the disco music industry (£45 ticket info on 01-607 8311)… World Class Wreckin Cru ‘Turn Off The Lights‘, here the B-side to Sargent Tucker, is the first US Hot 100 hit ever to chart in Billboard as only a 12 inch, with no seven inch available… Salt-n-Pepa ‘Push It’ has won a gold disc in the US, the first single to do so this year despite peaking at only number 19 in Billboard’s radio playlist (rather than sales) orientated Hot 100, yet more proof of how false a picture that chart gives — because of the tune’s essentially instrumental nature, easy to talk over, it received far more radio airplay than was reported… GET OFF!


LIVEWIRE’s Prestatyn team were (L to R) Kev Hill, Johnny Walker, Chrissie Jackson, Chris Brown, Nicky Holloway, Paul Oakenfold, WEA’s Fred Dove, Ian Redding, Froggy, Jeff Young, Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, LiveWire boss Adrian Webb, Cooltempo’s Steve Wolfe, Maggot, Pete Tong and (front) Chris Forbes, while Gilles Peterson, Eddie Gordon and Tim Westwood somehow missed the photocall!


PRES JAM, as LiveWire’s Prestatyn soul weekender seems now to be called, went without a hitch over Easter on its third visit to the North Wales Pontins holiday camp. If the DJs’ choice of hip hop, house, Seventies oldies, jazz and (mainly on the closed circuit radio/TV) soul seemed predictably safe and rather low key, this appeared not to disappoint the crowd, who apparently never grew tired of ‘I Want You Back’ whether it was by Jackson 5 or Eric B & Rakim! Sadly, though, this weekender has become a time of musical entrenchment rather than experimentation, maybe because, thanks to current recording techniques, not many unknown newies have the power to cut through on first hearing in a large room.

Amongst the many star PAs, I really felt for Nitro Deluxe, who only has 10 per cent sight and was led on stage for what should have been a three minute slot, which he kept lengthening because — who can blame him — he probably had the greatest audience response he’ll ever have in his life. Terry Billy so enjoyed herself that she spent the entire weekend, up all night with the best of ’em! Wee Papa Girl Rappers were hanging out, too, but Simon Harris was crestfallen at being booed on stage, mainly, he thinks, because his record kept jumping. At least he was working live, whereas everyone else used a cassette — and, anyway, surely his friendship with Public Enemy gives him credibility even if he is in the top 20?

Capital Radio’s Tim Westwood made the journey just to introduce (in impressively full effect) the disappointingly rather ragged Cold Chillin’ crew of scolding shrill Roxanne Shanté, boringly striding and shouting MC Shan and Big Daddy Kane and — easily the standout — Biz Markie. His opening human beatbox demonstration, impersonating Doug E Fresh and the Fat Boys before putting the mic against his neck and even the top of his head to amplify his own style, was terrifically exciting, capped by the appearance of TJ Swan to rap ‘Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz’.

Chubby young Al B. Sure! put on a squirming performance before the main Easter Sunday event, Joyce Sims’ first ever live gig anywhere with a backing band, which proved to be interesting as, when you consider she pits her distinctively plaintive vocal pitch against Mantronik’s electronic rhythms when recording, the live percussion turned ‘All And All’ into a Latin tune!

Her new US single, the revival of Barbara Acklin’s swinging ‘Love Makes A Woman’, as it does on record, featured the surprise guest appearance of Jimmy Castor (‘The Everything Man’) on sax, a highlight for those who knew what was happening. Pres Jam 4 is over the Guy Fawkes weekend of November 4/5/6 (booking details on 01-364 1212), so fireworks are a foregone conclusion, while heavily hinted as the star live attraction is — wait for it — Frankie Beverly and Maze! Whoosh!

HOT VINYL

THE BREAK BOYS ‘And The Break Goes On (The Original Freestyle Groove)’ (US Fourth Floor Records FF 1090)
Tommy Musto co-created terrific frantically exciting 119bpm percussive ‘Set It Off’-ish throbber based heavily on George Kranz’s ‘Din Daa Daa’, but a real journey into sound too, in six mixes (118¾bpm And The Dub Goes On), sure to be huge!

NARADA ‘Divine Emotions (Remix)’ (Reprise W7967T)
Pronounced now as “NAR-da”, Michael Walden returns in his own right with a great loose limbed 117⅓pm smacking strider like an updated cross between D Train and his old ‘Tonight I’m Alright’ style (Single Mix, and tightly lurching 111½bpm ‘Tighter‘ too, the good 117⅙-0bpm Dub Mix being due here on later pressings).

PEDRO ‘Goodfootin’’ (B.U.M. UM 001)
Nothing to do with either of the possible Pedros, Waterman and Tong, the latest bootleg styled, though doubtless later to be proved legal, “scam” is an infectious jerkily chugging 0-109⅓bpm shuffler sampling James Brown’s voice – to what could possibly be the Sly & Robbie backing track to the unreleased JB session that you may remember snuck out briefly as an ultra-rare ‘Beat Freaks’ B-side (Dub Mix flip), rather good.

E.U. ‘Da’Butt’ (US EMI-Manhattan 56083)
A massive US black hit (from Spike Lee’s ‘School Daze’ movie) but largely unknown here until Chris Hill brought a copy home from the States, this Marcus Miller-produced jauntily bumping go go jiggler proved to be one of the few newies that really cut through the crowd at Prestatyn, thanks to its “when you feel that notion put your backfield in motion” and “sexy sexy” chants, in 97bpm Extended Soundtrack, 97⅙-97½bpm Radio, and jerkily edited dubwise 96⅓-97½bpm B-Boy Mixes (Radio Edit too). Continue reading “April 16, 1988: Prestatyn ‘Pres Jam’ report, The Break Boys, Narada, Pedro, E.U., DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince”

April 9, 1988: Gregg Diamond & Bionic Boogie, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E., Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Al B. Sure!

BEATS & PIECES

1987 UK mixing champ, M|A|R|R|S member CJ Mackintosh has also transformer scratched on Nasty Rox Inc’s bass pumping jiggly go-go-tempoed 0-100bpm ‘Escape From New York’, using Chuck Brown’s ‘I Need Some Money’, promoed now and due commercially (in a different mix) on ZTT at the end of the month… Jay Strongman, scratching with Gene And Jim Are Into Shakes, has been jocking at a warehouse party in, of all places, Moscow – using one deck, a cassette machine, and the 20 records he was allowed through customs!… Capital Radio’s Help A London Child charity-boosting DJ Duo, chanting Mick Brown and Pat Sharp, are pleased to be in any chart, but somehow hadn’t anticipated that the first one they’d hit would be Hi-NRG!… Rick Astley’s original recording partner, Lisa Fabien (remember their ‘Where You Gonna?’ as Rick & Lisa?) is due to make her own solo debut with the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced ‘Better Than Ever’… Rayners Lane’s Andy Phippen made a premature announcement of his retirement from record retailing, as in a swift turn of events he’s about to set up shop in a bigger way than ever at an already established more central London location, about which my lips are temporarily sealed!… DJ Jazzy Jeff & The French Prince’s new import ‘He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper’ double LP, which I’ve had no time to review yet so check The Club Chart for BPMs, includes a “bonus scratch album” of live jams… Kool Moe Dee’s newie, due next week, is the Cameo-style rolling slinky 0-93-0bpm ‘Wild Wild West’, complete with spaghetti western whistling… Derek B’s follow-up, on his own Tuff Audio label through Phonogram on April 18, is the fiercely scratching much harder ‘Bad Young Brother (Billy Beat Mix)’, 100⅓bpm on acetate… “Turntable Terroriser” (and smartarse!) Ernie Hartley from Shropshire reckons, Jackson 5 apart, the bassline through ‘Goodgroove’ is from 1979’s ‘The Walk’ by The Inmates – which I remember as being rather fast, so is it syncopated at half speed?… Network Press, the German DJ mag (their equivalent of Jocks) for which I write as well, has suddenly crossed over to general consumers following massive TV and radio coverage, as it was the only publication there to review the unreleased “black album” by Prince – remarkable to think this fact could generate so much interest (just one thing, if you want to subscribe, it is all written in German, my stuff too!)… Tony Jenkins, Nigel Wilton, Bill Griffin, Ralph Tee and Colin Line have another ram jammed Up West night this Wednesday (6) at London’s Hippodrome… Gilles Peterson, Chris Brown, Eddie Gordon, Craig & Marcus jazz-soul Sleeze! This Thursday (7) in Gillingham, above Catch 22… Sunday (10), Tony Poole and Terry Munro are joined by Rob Cosby jazzing Old Harlow’s Cheeks… Jeff Thomas, saying “It takes two to bango, y’all” (like it!), has added a free admission, no dress restriction, quality soul and jazz Sunday Club Soul Nite at Swansea’s already heaving soul oasis, Martha’s Vineyard… Phil Harding didn’t do the Bunker Kru’s better Pink Ink Mix, it was the creation of Cardiff-based “bedroom mixers” Steve Teear and Ian Gallivan, the Noise Boyz – who seem to be the duo behind that TWC “mixer” reviewed last week (it, or something else by them called ‘Who Gizza 4 X’ is due soon legally on Jam Today)… Utopia appears to be the act’s name credited with that ‘Walk On The Wild Side’-based “mixer” which I reckoned might be titled ‘Girl (You Rock My World)’, while the acid track by Click is correctly titled ‘Freq Jam (Straight To The Phreeek)’, with further Varda The Drums Girl, Acid Deluxe, and Trip Out Sister mixes (in that order)… Joyce Sims’ correct catalogue number for ‘Walk Away’ is LONX 176… Narada’s good dub mix will be missing from his 12 inch on initial UK pressings next week, but will be added later… EMI’s ‘Best Of Brass Construction’ compilation will include a remix of ‘Movin’’ by – shock, horror! – Phil Harding… Les Adams’ new Yamaha unit is actually a synthesiser, but his now even newer Roland TR-909 is a drum machine (for only another £185 second hand, although he had to drive to Stockport to get it!)… Graeme Park had better hurry up with Groove’s revival of ‘Hijack’, as the title has been hijacked by new rap group Hijack, on Music Of Life… Tony Blackburn gets thanked (amongst many) on the sleeve of Grandmaster Flash’s new LP!… Frankie Beverly is still with Maze, despite some people’s scepticism, now they’ve signed to Warner Bros… Loose Ends have 16 new recordings which they’re now weeding down to an album’s worth… Prestatyn photos and story next week… GET OFF!


LOUR SILAS JR is the name you’ll see, more likely than not, as remixer of any American releases on MCA Records. He, too, began his career as a disco DJ, jocking in such clubs as Contempos, Disco 9000 and Moody’s, as well as mobile, in Los Angeles from 1976 to 1983. More faces behind the names on the labels, soon!


HOT VINYL

GREGG DIAMOND & BIONIC BOOGIE ‘Hot Butterfly’ (Urban URBX 16)
Marvin Gaye-influenced attractively swaying 87(intro?)-89½-89-89⅓-89⅔-91⅓-91bpm jogger with French phrases, sung in typically distinctive style by Luther Vandross (during his session singing days), a rare groove from 1978, flipped more mundanely by the dated “disco” 177bpm [sic]Fess Up To The Boogie‘ and 145½bpm ‘When The Shit Hits The Fan‘ (neither led by Luther).

ROB BASE & DJ E-Z ROCK ‘It Takes Two’ (CityBeat CBE 1244)
Infectious jumpy (0-)111¼bpm rap duet set to Lyn Collin’s ‘Think’ (semi-instrumental flip), massive on import for ages, and still likely to do well now that it’s finally out here.

J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E. ‘Strong Island’ (Hardcore/B Boy Records HAKT 11)
Deadpan 96¼bpm rap jogger (about the trio’s native Long Island) with a Freda Payne fuzz guitar riff, big on import for a while, now flipped by the disjointedly starting dreary 90⅔-0bpm LEVI 167 ‘Something Fresh To Swing To‘ (Instrumentals too). Continue reading “April 9, 1988: Gregg Diamond & Bionic Boogie, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E., Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Al B. Sure!”

April 2, 1988: “It’s impossible to keep up with the deluge of disco dross that record companies are now pouring out”

BEATS & PIECES

Norman Cook and Dancin’ Danny D have reverted to their Troublesome Twosome nickname to prevent confusion with the longer established Double Trouble remix team of Leigh Guest, Mike Morrison and Damon Rochefort (whose prior claim I have upheld by referring to the newcomers as Norman C & DJ D)… Coldcut’s 0-110-109(Sex Machine)-113-110½-0bpm ‘Payback Mix’ of James Brown tracks is on single-sided promo as ‘Coldcut Meets The Godfather’ ahead of April 11 release, when it’ll be flipped by ‘Stone To The Bone’, ‘Give It Up Or Turn It Loose (Remix)’, and ‘Cold Sweat’, while Urban next Tuesday release Gregg Diamond & Bionic Boogie ‘Hot Butterfly’, a Marvin Gaye-influenced but actually Luther Vandross-sung (in his session singing days) 87(intro?)-89½-89-89⅓-89⅔-91⅓-91bpm swaying disco jogger from 1978… Phil Harding and Ian Curnow have created a radically different remix of ‘I Want You Back’ by the Jackson 5 for release on Motown!… ’15 Minutes’, the Antonio Valesquez & Wolfgang Prinz-created acid house track, turns out to be credited to Ca Sa as artists, on Diamond Duel (DISC T2), but still as a white label… Mantronix’s already reviewed ‘In Full Effect’ LP is now out here on 10 Records (DIX 74)… Fourth & Broadway have shrink-wrapped the old Eric B & Rakim ‘Paid In Full’ album with a bonus LP containing the known remixes by Coldcut, Derek B, Democratic 3 and the Wild Bunch, plus a brand new volume pumping Richie Rich remix of ‘I Know You Got Soul’ that won’t be out in any other way… Walter Beasley’s album track ‘On The Edge’, mentioned last week, is a new US 12 inch (Polydor 887 413-1)… Ceejay ‘A Little Love’, the Bananarama-like Dutch canterer, is 119¾bpm… Hazell Dean ‘Who’s Leaving Who’ on commercial 12 inch is in a smoothly bounding new 119½bpm Bob’s Tambourine Mix (mixed in fact by Pete Hammond!)… Critical Mass, whose ‘No Nonsense’ I said was by Two Guys A Drum Machine And A Trumpet, are – to be picky – drummer Martin Parry of Fine Young Cannibals and trumpeter Graeme Hamilton of both TGADMAAT and his own Birmingham band, End Of Chat… Cappella ‘Push The Beat/Bauhaus’ is also about on a bootleg as DJ Megamix Vol 2 ‘Very Interesting’ – be warned… Run-DMC ‘Run’s House’/’Beats To The Rhyme’ will be rushed on white label ahead of April 25 UK release… S-Express is now due commercially next Tuesday (April 5) but Gwen McCrae goes back to April 18… US Capitol have signed Smith & Mighty and S-Express, while 4th + B’way picked up Bomb The Bass Stateside… Champion have the Basement Boys and Black Riot here… Wally Jump Jr ‘Private Party’ is due in a Simon Harris acid house mix and then another Les Adams remix… James Horrocks has left Rhythm King on a hot streak to start his own label… DJ Jon Jules takes over ownership of Rayners Lane’s Record Centre this week, Andy Phippen retiring from record retailing to set up a studio and label (doubtless starring Chris Paul?)… Bluebird have bought Soho’s Record Shack shop, to expand their ever growing chain… Samantha Fox has been produced in the US by Full Force, with a remix to come by Derek B, while Mantronik has produced Amazulu… Les McKeown of the old Bay City Rollers is currently producing acid house (which must take all of 15 minutes!)… Jim Cotter, following last week’s mention, is still after a talking gig but meanwhile is mixing again at Soho’s Jaqueline’s… Nicky ‘Nosejob’ Holloway’s Easter Doo at London’s Astoria has Pete Tong, Derek B, Gilles Peterson and Chris Bangs this Thursday (31), when Steve Jervier, Horace and Chris Brown rock Soho’s Wag… Saturday (2) sees Wag DJs Paul Guntrip, Brother Marco, Dave Henley and Justin Langlands, plus a mechanical bronco and visuals on an Inter City Hustle at Brighton’s Corn Exchange (next to the Dome), while Aadil, Paul French, Simon Goffe, Mark Ryder, Kev Edwards and Disco Gary VanDenBussche throw down the Easter Big Beat at Maidstone’s Kent Hall… Easter Day finds the Wag taken over by such Groove Gladiators as Jay Strongman, Richie Rich, Colin Faver, Gordon Mac, Steve Jervier, Danny Ramplin [sic], Madhatter Trevor and DJ Tee… Roxanne Shanté, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, MC Shan and the Cold Chillin’ roadshow are not only at Prestatyn on Saturday, but also Nottingham Rock City Sunday (3) and Brixton Academy Monday (4)… Bank Holiday Monday also sees Defhouse Fifteen at Birkenhead’s Atmosphere with Desa, Kenni James and guests, Steve Allen heading a Shindig at Peterborough’s The Millionaire Club with the instruction “dress to sweat”, Nitro Deluxe at Swansea’s Martha’s Vineyard, and the Bratt Pac’s upfront evening at Colnbrook’s Queens in aid of Capital Radio’s Help A London Child appeal… ‘Let’s All Chant’ is not Capital jock (and sometime ‘Roxy’ TV presenter) Pat Sharp’s recording debut, he had a Norwegian number two partnering Amanda Redington on ‘Catch 22’!… Hamburg radio star Chris Hill recently presented on UK TV one of Night Network’s ‘N-Sign Radio’ segments (by coincidence he owns the Ensign label!), showing the Al B Sure! video which he’d been given in Germany – before WEA UK’s “man of the year” Fred Dove even knew it existed… BBC2-TV’s Sunday evening ‘Showtime At The Apollo’ series is well worth seeing, despite Eartha Kitt’s embarrassing links, and so many of the acts filmed around 1954/5 at the Harlem theatre being “tastefully” staid… ‘Internationally Known’ is another volume pumping bootleg-ish megamix circulated on mysteriously uncredited cassette, doubtless as a scam, but Carl Kingston has been followed by Paul Stead and James Whale in playing it so much on Radio Aire that their Leeds listeners are clamouring to know who it’s by, and nobody does know!… Scratchmo’s funky scatter is Satch, the resident chauffeur at Island Records… Les Adams, who synchs S-Express from halfway through Cappella to get perfect echoed effects, has added a £1,400 Yamaha TX 802 (the drum unit used by Stock Aitken Waterman) to take his home studio’s equipment up to £72,500… The Club Chart last week missed the beats per minute from some new entries that had been reviewed but unexpectedly didn’t fit – in fact, it’s impossible to keep up with the deluge of disco dross that record companies are now pouring out, like in the late Seventies “disco boom”, so, bird in the hand style, it’s the reviews that I’ve already done that (if they fit) get printed first… GET OFF!


GAIL ‘SKY’ KING — in our increasing quest to bring you the faces behind the names on the labels —started her career as assistant studio engineer for Arthur Baker before learning to edit with the Latin Rascals. Her first label credit was for the edit of Vinnie Monaco’s ‘Rappin’ Rocky’ (US Powerhouse Records) and her first major success, back with Arthur, was Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Big Love’ remix. Her other hits include Russ Brown ‘Gotta Find A Way’, Temptations ‘Look What You Started’, Criminal Element Orchestra ‘Put The Needle To The Record’, Prince ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’, Club Nouveau ‘Lean On Me’ and Wally Jump Jr ‘Tighten Up’, latterly as producer too. You have to realise that in the States, the “remixer” often deals in broad concepts while it’s the “editor” who does the work!


HOT VINYL

TAJA SEVELLE ‘Wouldn’t You Love To Love Me?’ (US Paisley Park Records 0-20826)
A lot funkier than her current UK smash, this wriggly jittering chunky lurcher is 12-inched as a 105⅓-105⅙bpm Jellybean Vocal Remix which suddenly surges brightly into its last half, with his percussive 105⅓-105⅙bpm Dub too, plus a jerkier violent 105⅓bpm Paisley Park Mix and jigglier chugging 105⅓-0bpm Joe Blaney Mix. The Bean’s is best.

NARADA ‘Divine Emotions (Remix)’ (US Reprise 0-20874)
Always a bigger name here during his own hit-making heyday around eight years ago, Narada Michael Walden is now mostly known in the US as the hot producer behind such as Whitney Houston, but blazes back at last in his own right with a dynamite loose limbed 117⅓bpm smacking strider like an updated cross between D Train and his old ‘I Shoulda Loved Ya’ style, with chording synth and piano jangled percussion remixed by Shep Pettibone (Single Mix and 117⅙-0bpm Dub Mix too, plus the tightly lurching 111½-0bpm ‘Tighter’).

JOHNNY KEMP ‘Just Got Paid’ (US Columbia 44 07588)
Teddy Riley co-produced trickily introed but then snappily strutting strong 116½-0bpm infectiously building jerky funk canterer with all the class of his Keith Sweat work (in four mixes). Say ho! Ho ho ho. Continue reading “April 2, 1988: “It’s impossible to keep up with the deluge of disco dross that record companies are now pouring out””

March 26, 1988: Rick Clarke, Will Downing, Eric B & Rakim, Doug E Fresh, 3-D

BEATS & PIECES

ARTHUR BAKER first concocted an un-released hip hop treatment of John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ back in the early Eighties, in partnership with Jellybean, after whose then current Funhouse club residency the group would have been named… I actually once saw the late John Coltrane, playing at New York’s legendary though long defunct Birdland — fact, back then I saw and/or met most of the jazz greats (Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus, you name ’em), because jazz clubs were just about all there was… Cash Money (who says, “I try to make my turntables talk — too many DJs just scratch”) is having a worldwide tour set up by the Disco Mix Club now that he’s World champ, following what he clams was the toughest contest he’s ever won… Lightning Rich and 14-year-old girl DJ Sporty Shorty are the hometown Philadelphia mixers Mr Money himself admires… Technics Mixing finalists in the future should seriously consider getting their own name recorded on acetate, so that they can scratch it into their mix… Radio London’s hip hop presenter Dave Pearce has a new day job as head of black A&R at Urban… Vendetta Records is A&M’s new US dance label, although to our ears it’ll be rather more pop-orientated than its Breakout UK equivalent… Gravesend DJ Eddie Gordon seems to be taking over from Paul Bunting as club plugger at MCA… Julian Jonah’s muttering and bubbling 119½bpm ‘Jealousy & Lies‘ is now on Cooltempo promo — it being the flip’s 123½bpm Alternative Dance Mix that you’ll find (at 123¼bpm) on this week’s free ‘Cool Cuts 2’ seven incher, along with the 87½bpm Derek B ‘Def Beat Boy‘ and 121¼bpm Jellybean ‘Jingo‘ remixes… ‘On The Edge‘, a sax squealed pleasant jiggly rolling 99⅔bpm reading of Kenny G’s instrumental, is the only tune so far to get dance-floor attention on Walter Beasley’s self-titled album (Urban URBLP 6)… Natalie Cole is about on creatively marketed limited white label in two Motorway Mixes by South London DJ Perry Daniels, the 123¼-123bpm ‘Jump Start/Pink Cadillac’ M1 scratch mix being done live in one take and the 122¾-122½-0bpm ‘Pink Cadillac’ M4 remix flip being created without benefit of master tapes… T-Cut-F’s new 124½-0bpm Union Jack Mix of ‘House Reaction’ is due on 10 Records just after Easter… Biz Markie ‘Biz Is Goin’ Off’ 12 inch, reviewed last week on import, is already out here (Cold Chillin’ W7930T)… CityBeat’s UK pressing of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock ‘It Takes Two’, promoed now but due April 4, is (typically for the label) slower at (0-)111⅙bpm, while Kechia Jenkins ‘I Need Somebody’, due next week (minus the Blaze mix) is similarly 114⅓bpm… Champion have promoed Richard Valentine ‘Come Back Lover’, only in its here 112¼bpm Hard Club Version, 112⅔bpm Percapella, 112½bpm Apache Beats, and 112bpm Club Version — although, to complicate matters (as the seven track import has three differently defined ‘Club’ Versions), this latter is actually the import’s Done Properly Dub!… Virgin have disguised the not entirely “street cred” Well Red’s newie on white label promo as being by DJ D-Zire, but as usual rm blows the whistle!… Teena Marie’s review last week was jumbled with Kashif’s… Mark Farren (Guildford) finds when mixing Kylie Minogue ‘I Should Be So Lucky (Bicentennial Mix)‘ with Rick Astley ‘Together Forever (Lover’s Leap Remix)‘ that their drum patterns are so identical they actually phase (yeah, and Dolly Parton played at 33⅓rpm sounds like Elvis Presley!)… Terry Billy visits Steve Jason’s moveable Rendezvous night this Thursday (24) at Peterborough’s Videotek, while Total Contrast join Mark Purdy this Friday (25) at Kings Lynn’s Manhattans… Saturday (26), Martin Collins, Steve ‘Jammin’ Jason, Jamie Trundle, Chris ‘Charlie’ Brown and Danny Smith all soul Gt Yarmouth’s Scruples beside the seaside… Dave Woodcock and Steve Aspey soul and funk a Sunday (27) extravaganza at Witney’s Palace… Terry Billy is with Jeff Thomas at Swansea’s heaving Martha’s Vineyard on Monday (28)… Rodney Saulsberry will be appearing around the country for 10 days over Easter… Jim Cotter (01-358 0809), an experienced mixing/talking jock and studio engineer, recently of L’Equipe Anglaise, is after ideally a pub-type residency within the M25… Mark Hughes (Worthing 691047), also a mixing talker, was at Bubbles and is after ideally an upfront gig… New York’s New Music Seminar this year is July 16-20, details here from Philip Rambow on 01-960 0154, should the 1988 International DJ Convention have made you a glutton for punishment!… I seemed to meet more Irish DJs than anyone else at the DJ convention’s opening Sunday party, a large and welcome contingent being over from both Northern Ireland and Eire, avid rm readers all, their most frequent comment being that this column is a lifeline for them… Chris Carey — one time pirate ship DJ Spangles Muldoon but now an Irish radio tycoon, currently of Nova Satellite Radio Network – contentiously joked at the radio seminar that “A speech impediment is an absolute must for DJs on ILR!”… GET OFF!


ARTHUR BAKER, the New York based producer behind Wally Jump Jr and other studio creations, has now signed in his own right as a solo artiste with A&M, and is both recording and house hunting here in London. What’s more, he’ll be accompanied on some tracks by James Brown’s legendary sideman, Maceo Parker, whom he located in North Carolina. In case you’re used to Arthur with a goatee beard, it started to fall out so he shaved it off!


HOT VINYL

RICK CLARKE ‘I’ll Meet You Along The Way’ (WA Records WAT-1, via Jet Star)
No longer on RCA, Rick’s gorgeous newie (self-prod/penned with Peter Hinds) is a gently jogging relaxed 88⅔bpm swayer with some jazzy vibes and chimes behind his scatting and teasing superbly expressive soulful singing —the best to come out of Britain so far this year. Only on white label at the moment, the B-side appears to be a long version. How could a supposedly major label let something this good get away?

WILL DOWNING ‘A Love Supreme (Jazz In The House Remix)’ (Fourth & Broadway 12BRW 90)
In a “pshta pshta” hi-hat hissed more purposefully pulsing 0-119½bpm Arthur Baker remix, this glorious breathily Vandross-ish vocal version of the late John Coltrane’s inspirational jazz classic is still perhaps more satisfying in the flip’s Stanley Turrentine-saxed 0-120⅓bpm Album Mix (afro percussion flavoured 120-0bpm Dub In The House Remix, too).

ERIC B & RAKIM ‘I Know You Got Soul (The Derek On Eric Remix)’ (Cooltempo COOLXR 146)
Getting right away from other “Jackson 5” treatments, Derek B’s jiggly jumpy shuffling 103⅔bpm remix — as exclusively revealed last week — Includes ‘Superstition’-like clavinet notes without quoting the actual tune, flipped by the controversial current Norman C & DJ D Remix and the Original Version to make what must be the best value 12 inch. Continue reading “March 26, 1988: Rick Clarke, Will Downing, Eric B & Rakim, Doug E Fresh, 3-D”

March 19, 1988: DMC International DJ Convention, Keith Sweat, Pebbles, Gwen McCrae, Sargent Tucker

BEATS & PIECES

Derek B is the latest remixer of Eric B & Rakim ‘I Know You Got Soul’, his “Eric and Derek” mix having an element of ‘Superstition’ (meanwhile, the Streets Ahead Changing Gears Remix of his ‘Goodgroove’ hit is 98-96⅔-0bpm)… rm’s new readers should note that “bpm” stands for beats per minute, useful information for DJs who need to know the relative speeds of different records so that they can synchronise them together in a mix… Supreme Records have put out Acid House Mixes of Project Club ‘How Low Can You Go’ (SUPETX 125), now a far tougher properly acidic 0-119¼bpm instrumental (apart from its “bass” title line), and Mel & Kim’s ‘That’s The Way It Is’ (SUPETZ 117), a harder driving 118bpm starker and sparser arrangement though hardly hydochloric!… rm’s free ‘Cool Cuts 1’ single has Richie Rich’s 106bpm Trouble Funk mix and Rob ‘Hotrod’ Manley’s 0-119⅓-117⅓-118-0bpm Breakout megamix, while free with rm on ‘Cool Cuts 2’ next week will be exclusive remixes of the aggressively juddering 87½bpm Derek B ‘Def Beat Boy’, ‘Baby Wants To Ride’-ish muttered wriggly quite acidic cantering 123¼bpm Julian Jonah ‘Jealousy & Lies’ (an impressive newcomer), and percussively bounding 121¼bpm Jellybean ‘Jingo’… Jellybean incidentally has a hush-hush double LP due containing unreleased remixes of all his current album’s tracks and more (he got rather shifty when I mentioned ‘Was Dog A Doughnut’, so could something special be coming?!)… Quark Records (the label Blaze are on) is setting up a London branch, co-owner Curtis Urbina purchasing a ready made company while here for the DJ convention – he and Jellybean were at reform school together in the Bronx when aged around 14 to 16 (for joy-riding in cars, that sort of thing), and by the time they next met about seven years later they found they were both in the music business (Curtis then working for the Emergency label)… Danish DJs Kenneth Baker and World Mixing runner-up Mick ‘Cutfather’ Hansen have created an excellent Baker’s Brutal House Remix of Nitro Deluxe, which Cooltempo are considering for UK release – full of overlays, inserts and edits in the current style, it’s very different in spirit from the original but retains that nagging “wheee-ee” noise throughout, it all being a bit LA Mix-like in style… S-Express, sizzling on white label, isn’t now out fully until April 11… Groove’s follow-up will be an updated remake of Herbie Mann’s ‘Hijack’… Fourth & Broadway have picked up Stereo MC’s and Cesare here too, perhaps misguidedly putting most emphasis on the less good vocal versions and, with radio in mind, making ‘Move It’ the A-side (12BRW 94)… I have, for understandable reasons, not had time to review so many newies this week, like the import LPs by Atlantic Starr-ish excellent Visions (US Polydor), rather patchy Mantronix (US Capitol), and a Scott La Rock-remixing Boogie Down Productions twin-LP (US B Boy Records)… Pete Waterman came on stage for the seminar session about sampling with a portable telephone… Alan James Jewell brought a cute Chinese girl trio called Passion with him from Hong Kong, plus two 15 year-old mixing champions, Singapore’s Gabriel Chong and Hong Kong’s Simon Choi (the latter got into the final by, according to 1987 champ, Chad Jackson, copying everything he’d demonstrated while staying at Alan’s over the New Year – Chad was spluttering “I wish I had competed again now!”)… WEA’s often controversial and always idiosyncratic disco plugger Fred Dove finally won the Club Promotion Man Of The Year award… MCA Records’ party at Brown’s was in fact at night, not lunchtime, after the mixing finals, and was so besieged by a roadblock of people that many invited stars couldn’t get through; however, once inside and allowed upstairs to the uncrowded “star bar”, it was the most pleasant part of the entire three day jamboree… Baz Fe Jazz’s new venue, detailed last week, in fact has been unable to open this month… Big ‘H’ is successfully running the fortnightly Friday (this week, March 18) Harry’s House members club in Windsor, details on 0753-652611… Steve Wren jazz-souls Fridays at the Toejammer in Harlow’s Monroes, and Saturday (this one being a Fourth & Broadway night) with Kev Hill at the Sweat Box in Harlow’s HighWire… Sundays at Streatham Zigis are trendy Seventies dance fashion nights, with Carl Cox and Maxine from Brick House and the Boiler House boys Ben and Andy (the latter are with Glen Gunner on Wednesdays at Kingston-on-Thames Options)… John Matthews funks Harrow’s Tudor Club (opposite civic centre) every Thursday… Terry Billy not only looks like but is also a great friend of Janet Jackson… Nicky Holloway – who was having a slight nose job on Monday! – is yet another DJ making a record, under the clever group name of Beats Working… Narada Michael Walden has finally recorded himself again, to reportedly stunning effect… Hindsight are the latest UK soulsters to hit the US black charts, and do comparatively better there than here… Hashim ‘Al-Naafiysh’ has suddenly started selling like crazy again – maybe “its time” has come, after so much use by mixing competitors!… ‘One Bad Apple’ was the Osmonds’ first US chart-topper but never hit here back in 1971, so now, because it blatantly borrowed the early Jackson 5 sound, it’s inevitably become – guess what? – a rare groove!… Slim Gaillard was using the word “def” back in the Forties, as part of his gobbledygook jazz “slanguage” – there ain’t nothing new, attitudes and incidentals stay the same, it’s just the noises that change… GET OFF!


DJ CONVENTION

The opportunity to meet people in the same business is what makes any convention worth attending, so, viewed as a three day continuous cocktail party (which is what it amounted to!), the Disco Mix Club’s 1988 International DJ Convention must be judged a great success. By being over three days for the first time, it had the appearance of a more substantial event so that the expense of a visit could be more readily justified, and it was noticeable how many Americans in particular had made the trip this time. I say the appearance, because not much of any substance really went on.

The opening Sunday evening party at the Hippodrome included a host of PAs and pivoted around the Jive Records/Shure Golden Microphone UK Rapping finals — interminably, it seemed, considering there were only six contestants. Marked at each stage (by judges including Derek B, the Cookie Crew, Mike Allen, and US DJ/producer Mark Kamins), the rappers began with a solo and then were paired off to “dis” each other — trade spontaneously rapped insults — which was good fun at first, the most riotously obscene and amusing dis being between American-born MC Brooklyn and London’s Einstein, the big audience pleaser of the whole evening.

But then this process was continued through three more elimination stages, to end up with Brooklyn being beaten by Huddersfield’s MC Fresh J in a final dis to which the weary audience hardly responded. Fresh J (real name Martin Jaffier) won a gold plated £400 Shure microphone, two days’ recording time at Battery Studios, and a red leather Adidas track suit.

Monday afternoon’s actual seminar, further up the Charing Cross Road at the Astoria, featured two panel discussions on the stage, a long way from the balcony where most of the audience continued drinking and talking right through the opening debate about radio, which was informative for those who made the effort to hear it. However, everyone did shut up for the debate about sampling, probably the best that I’ve heard at any convention. Skilfully moderated by Tony Prince, the panel consisted of Arthur Baker, Jeff Young, Chris Hill, Pete Waterman, Simon Harris, Les Adams, Paul Dakeyne and Ben Liebrand. Pete began by stating that in America, sampling is illegal if it contains anything you can recognise, unless — the point he kept repeating — permission is sought to use it. Here, as Les pointed out, guidelines are needed to clarify what one can sample, as the technology itself is not illegal. He then cleverly trapped Pete into admitting that Stock Aitken Waterman are plagiarists, copying the basslines from ‘Trapped’ and ‘Dancing In The Key Of Life’ for the first two Rick Astley hits but with four notes changed, because, as Pete unguardedly revealed they’d thought, “We’ll get away with that”. “A-ha!”, cried the entire audience! But, as Pete maintained, plagiarism (recreating something yourself) is not sampling (lifting the original sound electronically), and he never samples anything without permission and/or payment. James Brown got paid for ‘Roadblock’, Arthur Baker drily muttered, “The Bugga Groove?” – referring to the ‘Roadblock’ remix’s added vocal lines, the owners of some of which were not in fact traceable, as he well knew! Chris Hill, with his ‘Renta Santa’ hit in 1975, used snippets from 20 different artists, all of whom were paid (including even the strings session on a Stylistics clip!), his ‘Top Of The Pops’ appearance costing £6,000 in royalties. Ben Liebrand admitted to building up a drum sound by combining several different samples of Phil Collins, citing economics as his reason — it’s cheaper to sample than pay for live musicians and studio time. Paul Dakeyne, who uses samples in his mixes, has got so interested in the creation of music that he’s now actually learning to play the guitar and piano, because he wants to be sampled by other people! Jeff Young reckoned that by the summer we will be bored silly by sampled volume pumping hits and want to hear proper songs again, while Arthur (who used David Cole to recreate Vince Montana’s vibes sound for ‘Private Party’, rather than sampling it) summed up by saying that comparing sampling with creative music was “like comparing graffiti with Gauguins”. Monday was then lengthily culminated by the World Mixing Final eliminations, which over-ran by hours, with the 19 international winners being weeded down to a final nine. This, however, was in many ways even better than the actual finals the following night, with the best DJs coming across much more exciting than at the Albert Hall.

The Hippodrome and the Astoria had only been open to those actually attending the DJ Convention, whereas the Royal Albert Hall was open to a certain amount of the general public. By the nature of the beast, mixing for competition purposes has inevitably come to mean scratch mixing, as unfortunately, satisfying though they may be, long beat on beat, chord on chord running mixes don’t exactly get people screaming, and they take too long out of the short time available to each competitor. Scratching is fast and furious, ideal for creating maximum impact in minimum time — granted, its best practitioners have developed subtle slow techniques too. Although the evidence would suggest that the majority of Disco Mix Club members are pop-orientated in their tastes —voting for the likes of Sinitta, Bananarama and Rick Astley in their annual poll — these were not the sort of artistes that interested the specifically scratch and rap fans who mobbed the Royal Albert Hall on Monday night!

Luckily, most of the night had been geared very much to their taste, although Tony Prince, with utopian vision, had promoted the evening as a star-studded music biz awards night for the industry in general. Next year he may well have to separate the pop acts from the rap acts, or restrict admission in order to take full advantage of the Albert Hall as a prestige venue, as this year somehow the balance there was definitely wrong. None of this is to suggest that anything ugly happened (indeed, certain behaviour last year when Chad Jackson won was far more disgraceful).

Matt Aitken was booed when he took his place on stage as a judge, and then at the start of the Stanton/DMC World DJ Awards ceremony halfway through the evening, Stock Aitken Waterman had some bottles and cans thrown at them. Obviously, it was pointless continuing along commercial pop lines, most of the other award winners being more “street credible” in any case … an understatement! Check the photographs to see what I mean. Public Enemy were inevitably the real heroes, more so than Run-DMC, but then James Brown strolled on stage and the applause lasted a full six minutes!

But what of the Technics World DJ Mixing Championship finals? Finland’s Kari Vesala did some interesting slurred scratches amongst other tricks; Australia’s jet lagged Andrew Muirhead scratched Public Enemy and Derek B; Hong Kong’s 15 year-old Simon Choi seemed dull on the big night but synched ‘White Christmas’ through ‘Pump Up The Volume’; Sweden’s Robert Watz (who I thought deserved a runner-up place) was a slippery scratcher who brilliantly changed the record speed pitch while transforming to make a stunning finale; France’s Dee Nasty aggressively fast cut the words “nasty” and “bad/good”; Britain’s Cutmaster Swift also did fast “stop/go” cuts and had his usual odd little syncopated tricks but seemed a bit lacklustre; 1987’s defending runner-up, Joe Rodriguez cut up Wild Cherry and Vaughan Mason’s ‘Bump Rock Skate Roll’ at length and actually did running mixes, but seemed dull. In the end, third place went to Holland’s Juan Elmroon, who climaxed his repetitive cut-backs by combining a Cash Money-namechecking record with an obscene comment from another, very cheeky! Second was Denmark’s Mick ‘Cutfather’ Hansen, who cued accurately if sometimes a bit jerkily without using headphones, and synched Run-DMC’s ‘It’s Tricky’ with Olivia Newton John & John Travolta’s ‘Summer Nights’.

Almost inevitably, the winner (by communal wish fulfilment?) was America’s Cash Money — with Marvelous as his record feeder —who began slowly before basically alternating beats, but also stood on a chair to scratch with his foot, then his elbow, before using his mouth and stomach to manipulate the crossfader! A popular win, then, although I must say (as one of the judges) that none of the finalists seemed fantastic on the night. The other judges were Mantronik, Ben Liebrand, Phil Harding, Les Adams, Red Alert, Derek B, Paul Dakeyne, Sanny X, Def Jam’s Dr Funk-En-Klein, and Matt Aitken, all of whom knew what to look for!

CJ MACKINTOSH and DAVE DORRELL collected the award from BOY ‘Loads Of Money’ GEORGE for best single, M|A|R|R|S ‘Pump Up The Volume’. A year earlier, CJ was the UK champion and competing unsuccessfully on the same Albert Hall stage for the World title.

 


HOT VINYL

KEITH SWEAT ‘Something Just Ain’t Right (Extended Version)’ (US Vintertainment 0-66776)
Jogged along by percolating Timmy Thomas-type, Anne Peebles ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’-like synthetic beats, his album’s hottest cut is now in a strong soulfully weaving 0-105⅔-0bpm remix (in four versions), obviously targeted at black radio in the US as right now his previous black smash, ‘I Want Her’, is top 10 pop.

PEBBLES ‘Girlfriend’ (MCA Records MCAT 1233)
Perri McKissack used to sing with jazz-funker Bill Summers but her first solo US smash is a frothy, perky 118¼bpm pop chugger with squeaky baroque “strings” —which are missing from the Dance Remix (MCA Records MCAX 1233). Continue reading “March 19, 1988: DMC International DJ Convention, Keith Sweat, Pebbles, Gwen McCrae, Sargent Tucker”