ODDS ‘N’ BODS
HOT POP — Polydor and WEA will be merging worldwide in the next few months, this however is not the reason for last week’s unexpected appearance of Al Jarreau and Serge Ponsar on WEA International, as Al is signed direct to that label anyway and now gets properly identified, while Serge although black is actually French and an international signing in his own right . . . Island picked up the ultra-hot Italian-recorded Club House medley for rush release next week, and put out a remix of Gwen Guthrie ‘Hopscotch’ a week later — but confusingly follow it with a Larry Levan remix another two weeks after that (more fuss than the song warrants, I reckon) . . . Skratch Music’s new PRT-distributed Passion label is rushing out Electric Mind ‘Zwei‘, one of the best mixers of the moment . . . South African jazzers Sakhile’s eponymous ‘Sakhile‘ 99bpm hotsie is now on white label 12in prior to their album’s release next week on the new Jive Afrika logo . . . Phil Fearon & Galaxy get the moody advance white label treatment again for their new 120bpm ‘Wait Until Tonight (My Love)‘, which doesn’t have as good a beat or strong a hook as their hit . . . Y Records new NYC (New York Connection) label has licensed a whole bunch of rappers from Enjoy to put on a twin-pack album made up of two 4-track 12in singles next week . . . 21 Records here go back a release to ‘Space Cowboy‘ for the next Jonzun Crew 12in, presumably hoping for pop crossover success . . . New York Citi Peech Boys are currently in this country purely to do club gigs, and are still looking for suitable venues with enough stage space (book ’em on 01-221 6136 from Neil Brett at Wasted Talent) . . . David Emery, currently ferrying Helen Shapiro around Northern radio stations for his new Pacific Promotions service, still needs jocks in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a few dolly birds for occasional promotional work persuading shop owners to put up posters, etc — plus, David wonders where all the vivacious out-going young people are in Middlesbrough, as a mate’s singing telegram service can’t find any there (call 0632 814001) . . . Oldham-born Tony Prince of Radio Luxembourg and Disco Mix Club fame has been made honorary president of the North West DJ Association and in that capacity heads home to speak at a NWDJA meeting this Sunday (10) in Oldham’s Belgrade Hotel, Manchester Street, at 2pm (free admission, non-members especially welcome) . . . Alan Coulthard’s featured megamix on July’s Disco Mix Club cassette is of Human League . . . Nick Heyward lookalike John Osborne starts weekly upfront hot funky vinyl at Bletchley Peaches this Wednesday (6) — which was yesterday for most people outside central London, but maybe he’ll get some commuters who bought RM for the train! — plus Nick sorry, John still has upfront Tuesdays at Ilford Room At The Top and joins David Rodigan ‘n’ Steve Walsh Sundays at Streatham Cats Whiskers . . . Nick Ratcliffe and Steve Walsh are currently teamed for the next few Tuesdays at Guildford Cinderellas Rockerfellas — and speaking of big Steve, it was he who at their Capital Radio recorded London concert introduced Mezzoforte as “possibly the best band to come out of Iceland”! (think about it) . . . Robbie Vincent is Martin John’s special guest this Thursday (7) at Croydon Laurels (ex-Scamps), the same night as Jeff Young joins Joe Field & Mike Allin to kick off Thursdays at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar . . . Paul & Robin Wheeler’s Jacksons Nightclub in Staines re-opens Thursday (alternative music), Friday (jazz-funk), Saturday (disco) in a triple-pronged ceremony . . . Tony ‘Flanger’ Glass now does Fridays at Rayleigh Croc’s, with 10 foot video screens and civilised sound equipment . . . “Disco is dead” says Shalamar singer Howard Hewett (the uncharismatic one without a haircut), who can’t have done badly out of disco before switching to pure pop — still, presumably now I won’t have to review any more of their boring records . . . Tavares play Watford Baileys from next Monday (11) for six nights . . . Heatwave’s Keith Wilder at Mayfair Gullivers last weekend was non-plussed by LaFleur’s remake of ‘Boogie Nights’, which he’d never heard of . . . Flash Gordon’s new Bedminster (Bristol) residency is spelt McLouds — which is why if the neighbours complain it’s all down to the name — while as you probably realised, Richard Jon Smith’s free megamedley cassette is with the first 5,000 of his new 12in . . . South Eastern Discotheque Association next year change their annual exhibition to a later date in June and at Gravesend’s Woodville Halls, tied in with a celebration of their tenth anniversary (don’t panic, you’ll get full info nearer the date!) . . . Bob Heather (Southampton Top Rank Ice Rink) mixes Forrest ‘Rock The Boat’/Man Parrish ‘Hip Hop’/Indeep ‘When Boys Talk’/’Last Night A DJ’/Toto Coelo ‘Milk From The Coconut‘ . . . Pete Haigh, mixing urban contemporary at (deep breath) Caton Scarthwaite Hall (Sun)/Standish Cassinellis (Thurs)/Heysham 42nd Street (Mon)/Standish Hartley Hall (Fri) — can’t he go back to being just Pete Haigh & Frenchie (Blackpool)? — wants to identify the UK white label of Night Moves ‘Trans Dance‘, a c.118bpm “great mixer with loads of current faves” . . . Tom Robinson is evidently re-recording the superb ‘War Baby’ for 12in . . . Mark Clark, nattering in the current Thames Valley DJA newsletter, is upset in his Mark One record shop by the DJs who stick to chart hits without buying anything new, no matter how hot it obviously sounds, concluding very realistically that they could improve their reputation no end if punters were able to remember that they first heard the next number one played by that particular disco . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes in his West End record shop natters to boys town jocks from around the country and reckons most think the use of Hot Tracks remixes of older faves is short sighted as well as selfish because punters can’t then buy what they hear — better tell that to the Disco Mix Club too! . . . Alan Jones has some side deals going with our Nightclub chart and so offers record tokens “out of the hat” as inducement to contributing jocks — however, the same address applies for all charts, and it’s only when he’s opened the envelopes that he divides the charts into the different types, so anyone stands a chance of winning . . . James Brown has remixed and extended ‘Bring It On . . . Bring It On’ for UK 12in pressings, making it sound much more tidy and useable (although I still think it’s a shame that only the current chart system has made this a hit when so many of his monster classics missed having a fair shot at the chart in the old days) . . . Diana Ross’s new ‘Ross’ LP is largely with the same team as on Donald Fagan’s ‘The Nightfly’, but not aimed at our market . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Northumberland Hotel), evidently the marrying kind, is reminded by Central Line ‘Surprise Surprise’ of Funkapolitan ‘As The Time Goes By’ . . . TV-AM’s Saturday morning Space Watch slot last week had a mind-blowing sequence which in one continuous shot went ever-outwards from the open palm of a guy sunbathing in Chicago to the furthest reaches of space before zooming back and on into the guy’s hand until reaching the inner space of one of his atoms — what a video that would make! . . . I got my disco console plus two record boxes under the closed luggage lid of my Datsun Cherry 1.3GL hatchback, without putting the seats down, so yah-boo and sucks to you, Jim Kershaw! . . . PHEW, WHAT A SCORCHER!
HERBIE HANCOCK: ‘Rockit’ (US Columbia 44-03978)
The sensation of the weekend, the hottest record of the decade! You won’t believe it until you’ve heard it, but Herbie’s gone electrophonic with an incredibly powerful 111bpm 12in explosion co-produced by Material which began as an ultra-funky instrumental before Grand Mixer D.S.T. then took two copies and scratched them into the hottest pool of melted vinyl you’ll ever hear this or any heatwave. Phew!
MICHAEL WYCOFF: ‘(Do You Really Love Me) Tell Me Love’ (RCA RCAT 348)
Huge on import LP and now on UK 12in with its dead catchy hook sensibly added to the title, this Webster Lewis-produced brilliant classy 105-106bpm soul jogger after an acapella title chant intro builds cumulatively (through enough instrumental to let mixers vari-speed back up out of the slower Mary Jane Girls/Funk Masters/SOS Band/etc), ending up a real mind nagger . . . not a crossover maybe, but a soul must!
BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘We Can Work It Out’ (Capitol 12CL 299)
Hopefully not now too late on 12in, this infectious socking jittery 117-119-118-117-116-118bpm (acapella fade) groove in the ‘Movin’ tradition is their best since in fact that classic and to rekindle interest has a 2-track flip of last year’s sparser 117-118-119-120bpm ‘Do That Thang‘ and 1976’s speeding 126-127bpm ‘Ha Cha Cha (Funktion)‘. Continue reading “July 9, 1983: Herbie Hancock, Michael Wycoff, Brass Construction, LaFleur, Bob Andy”