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The action that wasn’t televised. The Road to Freedom.
Aciiieeed comes to London. Independent record stores.
The Hector Lavoe story. Sex, nostalgia & vinyl mania.
Dominican tales of geekdom. Yes we can.
Kid Creole goes to town. Spirit dance and Cubano chants.
Golden-era boom bap. The blues in black and white.

INTRO... Let’s Get Lost, O Zelador, James Pants, Fever For Da Flava, PAPER CUTS:
Book of Warriors, Cody Hudson, Heavenly Sweetness, HEATWAVE, The Other Side
of Prince, FLASHLIGHT: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble @ ICA, LUVDANCIN: Jazz Re:
Freshed, The Do Over & Boogieboxx... Shawn Jackson, MOST UNDERRATED: Twelve
Beats & Terry Tester, The Long Lost WE ARE... 18-19, SHOOK TEK 60-61, NOW
THEN (with Welson Creep) 62-63, REVIEWS 64-73

EDITOR: Jez Smadja hael Beretta, Kyoko Ishima, Nicky Dracoulis,

Tamar Nussbacher, Matt Crossick, Benji
ART DIRECTOR: Matt MonkeyBoxer Lehmann, Maga Bo, Mitchy Bwoy, Evgeniy K, Johnny Pitts, Keith Baker, Charles Waring,
Will Page, J’M Irie, Adam Green, Ryan Proc-
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Sarah Marshall, Al tor, Raggy, Garth Cartwright, Amar Patel,
Burton, Andy Thomas Max Cole, Kay Suzuki and Sunil Chauhan.

ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Ben Verghese, MIchael SPECIAL THANKS TO Da Boss Paul Bradshaw,
Krasser, Helene Dancer, Andres Reyes Mr BI & to everyone for supporting we thus
CONTRIBUTORS: Vince Vella, Ed Aarons,
Simon Creasey, Arnaud Crassat, Mr. SHOOK
Beatnick, Alex Stevenson, Sanjiv Ahluwalia, 130 Trent Gardens, London N14 4QG, UK
Helene Dancer, Frank Dubya, Gabriel Mid- 0044+ 208 292 4533
dleton, Gervase de Wilde, Johnny Chandler,
Adam Hussam Murray, Gwyn Moxham, Dom
Servini, Snoopy, Hugo Mendez, J’M Irie,
Welson Creep, Gwen Webber, Dee Science,
Adeola Johnson, ill WIll, Lady B, Paul Camo?, Printed by: UPG, Tel.: 44 (0) 1344 382 111
Alasdair Purves, Samera Owusu Tutu, Rap-

In a gruff, whisky-barrelled voice, the narrator After receiving the gift of a trumpet as a boy
of this film half-whispers: “Everybody has a story and later cheating his way out of the army, Chet
about Chet Baker. When Charlie Parker first heard taught himself to play and sing, quickly rising to
Chet play, he called Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, prominence in the 1950s West Coast ‘cool jazz’
and said, ‘This little white cat out here is going to scene. The phenomenal tone Chet produced
give you a lot of trouble.’” through his trumpet drew comparisons with
Released in 1988, ‘Let’s Get Lost’ is not Miles Davis (a man who once famously joked that
so much a documentary about Chet Baker, but Chet sounded “worse than me even while I was a
rather an obsession with the magnetic personality terrible junkie”). Unlike Miles, though, Chet always
and ineffable cool of this West Coast wild child. snubbed the experimental, choosing to stick with
Originally scheduled to be just a photoshoot with conventional romance and love songs. He was
Chet, photographer/director Bruce Weber ended a hopeless romantic and inspired those same
up following him from the West Coast to the East, feelings in the people he met. In one interview,
then across the waters to Europe. “At first I wanted actor and screenwriter Lawrence Trimble recalls
to do some more photographs of him,” confides arriving in at the Paris jazz club Le Chat qui Peche
Weber “but he seemed kind of frail, so I thought and attempting to engage a beautiful French girl
maybe we should do a little three-minute film of this in conversation. “Don’t talk to me – I’m in love with
man. Because you never knew whether you would Chet Baker,” she snapped. He could only reply “So
see him again, from day-to-day. He’d just disappear, am I”.
go on the road, with no phone number, no address, Perhaps this infatuation, felt so strongly by
no way to reach him, and I thought here was a way all whose he touched (not least by Bruce Weber
to have something of the way he moves and talks, himself), is part of the appeal that his lovers Joyce
along with his music.” Knight Tucker, Diana Vavra and Ruth Young and his “In late 2002 I travelled to Rio de Janeiro. I
As a photographer, Bruce Weber is most last wife Carol Baker try to explain to us through visited several capoeira groups based in the
famous for his work with Calvin Klein– the the film. Chet is always looking for sympathy, always south zone of the city. During one of these visits
homoerotic 1980s underwear posters and trying to get us on side. His interviews are often I had the good fortune to meet with Master
Kate Moss portraits are some of his best-known incoherent, yet he looks past the camera with such Russo (the Russian). He cut a very striking
work– but he’s also directed a number of films. doe eyes that you can’t help being put under his figure. He came from Rio’s notorious north
His first feature was ‘Broken Noses’, a study of the spell. zone, far from Copacabana and Ipanema’s post-
boxer Andy Minsker. A year later he returned with The mystery here, for both the filmmaker and card beaches. Russo lived all his life in the vast
‘Let’s Get Lost’ and walked away with the Critics the audience, is that the music and the image, the Baixada Fluminense,” explains director Daren
Prize at the Venice Film Festival and a nod from the man and the myth, are all completely inseparable. Bartlett. “I attempted to explore Russo’s life,
Academy. You can help be spellbound as Chet’s silky lounge and to show the hidden beauty of the Baixada
Filmed in 1987, during the last months of lizard vocals segue seamlessly in and out of his Fluminense, the sense of community and
Chet’s life, Weber discovers a withered man who bursts of inspired trumpet playing, and transfixed belonging which exists there.”
has long lost those pretty-boy looks which saw him at the same time by the image of his face, hollowed O Zelador (The Caretaker) takes a journey
labelled ‘the James Dean of Jazz’. His teeth had by years of drug abuse and perversely fascinating . into the lesser-known side of Brasil as it is lived
all been pulled out some time in the mid-‘60s (the Interviewed in Cannes in 1987 a heroin- on a daily basis. It doesn’t indulge in favela-
worst blow a trumpeter could suffer), and years starved Chet (who in his younger days used to walk tourism or the glorification of AK-toting ghetto
of heroin abuse had claimed the rest of him. We from Paris to Rome just to cool out) reveals that youths, but instead looks at one man’s struggle
find nothing but pieces of a man – narcissistic, his favourite high, a speedball cocktail of heroin to preserve the traditions of capoeira against
insecure, manipulative and unreliable. And yet and cocaine, would rightly scare most people to all odds. During the military dictatorship in
despite all of this, you can’t help be drawn to the death. Ever a man of contradiction, Chet then tells Brasil, from the ‘60s until the ‘80s, capoeira
mystique, a man whose frayed edges render him us about the values he tries to instil in his children and other forms of cultural expression were
oddly appealing. – that they should find something they’re good brutally suppressed, while today, as capoeira
The viewer is thrown into the unpredictable but at doing and do it better than anyone else. We has become commercialised and exported glo-
seductive world that Chet inhabits. We watch as are reminded that nobody could ever argue that bally, Russo’s Roda de Caixas keeps the historic
beautiful girl spins herself dizzy against the sunset Chet did anything otherwise. Try as we might to forms of the culture alive.
and the sparkling waters of Santa Monica Bay. Or be repelled by his drug abuse, his self-indulgence “O Zelador’s worth for me is as a record of
with Chet sat in the back of a drop-top car, with two or his attitude towards the women that loved him, black cultural struggle, championing the African
women draped across him, as he whispers sweet we cannot fail to see Chet Baker as Bruce Weber descendants’ hugely important cultural contri-
nothings to them in Spanish. This ageing, possibly clearly does – as a restless hero who let nothing bution to contemporary Brasil,” says Daren. For
dying, playboy, with wrinkles etched deep into his get in his way. Says Weber, “I thought he’d outlive the viewer, however, it’s also the little insights
skin, is still trying to live the summer of eternal all of us. You have to remember he was a real – the inside of Russo’s house, the thoughts of
youth. It should be enough to make you writhe in cowboy from Oklahoma, he had this way of getting his wife Eliane, and the shots of the Rio streets,
your seat. But somehow he pulls it off. That was over things.” that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
Chet Baker for you.
He was born in Yale, Oklahoma in 1929. Let’s Get Lost is out now on DVD O Zelador is out now on DVD
4 5

Sometimes, raising your musical game is all about finding the perfect creative
match. Peanut Butter Wolf and James Pants have taken it one step further.
When you invite each other to DJ at your own weddings, you know you’ve really
hit on some exciting chemistry.

James Pants may operate under a moniker that has raised some eyebrows in the
UK, but his debut album, Welcome, is anything but… well, pants. From Egyptian
Lovin’ robo pimp to synth-pop fashion victim, Welcome sees him take a cosmic
journey through rock, nu wave and 80s throwback territory that’s destined to
sweep away all complacency from hardcore hip-hop fanatics.
“It’s been hard to find a new artist who’s doing the older style of music I’m
into, like synths and drum machines,” says Peanut Butter Wolf, who’s always had
a keen eye on the back catalogue shelves. “James’ music is all over the place, too.
He’s got stuff that sounds like alternative rock music – that’s something else I’m
excited about. It’s a different sound, but I think my taste in music is all over the
place and my DJ sets are like that too. I try to make Stones Throw a reflection of
James Pants, a long-time Stones Throw fan, is proud of his musically
schizophrenic approach. “I really like every genre – I try and make it all. I was on
a big 60s psych rock kick for a while, then on the electro kick, so there’s a few
like that [on the album]. And the disco kick. I get really obsessed with a particular
sound and try and pretend I was in those bands.”
For his next album, James is once more planning a chequered approach. “I’m
into gospel music at the moment, so I’m trying to do something along those lines.
I’d also like to work with people like the Silver Apples and Gary Wilson.”
Wolf says James has come a long way; a far cry from the Texas high school
student who came to see Wolf DJ the same night as his high school prom and
offered to take him record shopping the next day. “We realised we liked similar
stuff, then he showed me some mixtapes and some of his own production and,
every step of the way, there was a new surprise.”
Such was the mutual musical respect that they DJed for each other’s
weddings; Wolf playing some Joan Jett, Kriss Kross, Jackson 5 and Kraftwerk,
with a slow-jam set thrown into the mix, too.
“For his wedding, I played freestyle music,” says Pants. “His wife’s Hispanic
and loves that kind of stuff.”
It’s clear that diversity’s what makes these artists tick, and Wolf is adamant
that Stones Throw will continue to reflect this passion. “The Baron Zen Remixes
were something else that showed another side of what I’m into – it didn’t do so
well for us, so that was a bit of downer,” he says. “But people can go back and find
out about the record eventually.”
That’s what make the label so special; Wolf’s unwavering dedication to putting
out records that are in it for the long haul. With James as his sidekick, you can
expect more of the unexpected from Stones Throw, a label that still has plenty of
cards up its sleeve. You wouldn’t want it otherwise, would you?


Ave.To was born when hip hop producers Oddisee and Back on the indie scene after parting from Virgin. If you
The Unknown began collaborating with Kolai, a musician like Dwele you will love this because it is pretty much
and producer who has, until now, mostly put out dance in the same style as all his other work. Jazz infused
music. Funky rhythms, dubbed up beats and great horns. soul with beautiful harmonies, His voice just makes me
feel good every time I hear him sing and I also love his
STACY EPPS “THE AWAKENING” (JAPANUBIA MUSIK) songwriting and the horn arrangements.
Atlanta based singer Stacy Epps has worked with Madlib,
MF Doom, J Rawls and OH NO among many others. STEPHANIE MCKAY “TELL IT LIKE IT IS”
Following on from her Ruff Draft Mixtape this is her long (MUTHAS OF INVENTION)
awaited debut album and it was worth the wait. Has Her debut album was produced by Geoff Barrow from
guest appearances from Bilal Salaam and Muhsinah. She Portishead and it had a very trip hop sound throughout.
is coming to London in September, don’t sleep! This album has a much more funky feel and her amazing
gritty vocals really sound just right with the beats. Check
JESSE BOYKINS III “DOPAMINE: MY LIFE ON MY BACK EP” the single ‘Jackson Avenue’ on which the Bronx soul sista
(NOMADIC MUSIC) celebrates New York’s early hip hop days.
Sounding like a mixture of Musiq Soulchild and Dwele,
22yr old Boykins has an old school vibe but this music YAMEEN “NEVER KNOWS BEST” (ROPEADOPE DIGITAL)
is true neo soul for the 21st century and it will be This is BAD! I guess you would file it under hip hop but it
interesting to hear how his sound matures in future definitely takes the music to a different level. Some really
releases. Check the track ‘Tabloids’ on his myspace for a dubbed up, funky beats and guest appearances from
taster. Georgia Anne Muldrow, Maylay Sparks and Lady Alma
among others. Hip hop experimentation at the highest
Jay Denes (Blue Six) produces a beautiful, sophisticated
album celebrating the 10th anniversary of the label. JIMMY ABNEY “RETURN TO FOREVER”
Deep house beats and smoother than silk soulful vocals, (YORUBA SOUL ORIGINALS)
it could almost have drifted in from the ocean on the Osunlade discovery and a very soulful vocalist who sings Shumeng Ye is a graphic design student, born in China and currently
summer breeze. and plays keyboards in the style of Marvin Gaye. In residing in Finland. In 2006, at Shanghai airport, she saw a cleaning lady
fact he does a version of ‘Come Go With Me’ and also wearing a pair of Warrior basketball sneakers. Puzzled by the unknown
AYAH “PROBLEM WOMAN” (MIXTAPE) covers Heatwave’s ‘Star Of The Story’. The grooves and brand, she decided to find out more. Not only was she surprised to
Great R&B release from this Toronto singer which uses arrangements are all pretty basic and stripped down but discover that the sneaker had a name, Warrior, but to her bigger sur-
many beats from Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man soundtrack. the album flows very nicely. I know from the online buzz a prise almost everyone in her family had once worn them. In the 1970s,
Her name means miracle in Arabic. You can download of lot of peeps been waiting to get hold of this. Warrior basketball sneakers were a much sought after status symbol
the project from in China and many teenagers dreamed of owning a pair. Three decades
2000BLACK “A NEXT SET A ROCKERS” (THIRD EAR) later, the sneakers are still well-known amongst the Chinese popula-
ERIK RICO “A HIGHER FREQUENCY EP” (LIFE NOTES) Dego from 4 Hero and Kaidi Tatham from Bugz In The tion. They’re worn by the elderly and by poor villagers at construction
This guy’s album, Journey Back To Me, dropped as a Attic have crafted a modern soul masterpiece here. I love sites or pulling rickshaws. Today’s Chinese youngsters dream of Nike or
digital only release at the end of last year. The new EP every track. Has vocal contributions from Face, Ferraz, Converse.
continues the story with very soulful vocals over some Nadine Charles, Rasiyah, Ty, Vanessa Freeman and Lady
great jazzy broken beats. We’re going to hear much Alma from Philly. You need to hear it, what more can I Inspired by the Warrior’s classic style, Shumeng took pictures of people
more about Erik Rico in the near future. say? wearing the kicks in various areas of China. The pictures have been
released as the Book of Warriors, and each copy is accompanied by a
NATHEN HAINES “RIGHT NOW” (VILLAGE AGAIN) pair of Warrior sneakers. Through the book, she hopes to tell the story
Really good 6th solo album from this saxophonist Catch Colin Faver has a weekly show on Solar Radio behind the shoes and to show a different side of China. Not the indus-
/vocalist from New Zealand. Has guest vocals from every Saturday at midnight ( trial and economical power, but the daily life of a country with its own
Marlena Shaw, Tama Walpera and the wonderful and Sky Digital Channel 0129) and a weekly Soul distinctive sneaker culture.
Vanessa Freeman. House, Broken Beat, Jazz and Soul. music show on Life FM every Monday from 10PM till
It’s all here and produced and played with assurance. Midnight. (103.6 FM,
8 9
CARIBBEAN AND BEYOND It's been a long time coming but JDAVEY finally
Words: GABRIEL HEATWAVE drop their debut album – The Beauty in Distor-
tion. Skream releases his Watch the Ride mix for
New book and prints by Cody Hudson, Struggle INC available from HARMLESS. COMMON is set to come with Invincible
Over the past few years, a bunch of 90s ragga classics have been given the relick
Summer, produced by Pharrell Williams. BURIAL
treatment and elevated to the version hall of fame. Steely & Clevie’s 2005 SLEEPY DOG will be doing the DJ Kicks series for !K7. Braps to
rhythm - actually an original creation with a retro feel - is widely credited with kickstarting Finn Peters on his latest Butterflies offering. SLY
the recent spate of 90s throwbacks such as GI GI/GIGGY, BADDIS and UNFINISHED BUSINESS & ROBBIE have been in the studio with AMP FIDDLER.
(Showtime). Now it seems that Jamaican producers will be making inroads into the 00s Plus there’s a bunch of Sly & Robbie TAXI reissues
catalogue before the decade is even out. Scatta, the man behind 2003’s groundbreaking like Taxi Meter out on digital download. Word
COOLIE DANCE rhythm, has just dropped a new version of his massive 2001 production on the street is that an Ashley Beedle/Horace
MARTIAL ARTS, which spawned two Greensleeves rhythm albums and hits from BEENIE MAN, Andy collaboration is in progress. DJ BLAQSTARR
BOUNTY KILLER, ELEPHANT MAN, Capleton, Sizzla and Merciless. The 2008 update knowingly releases I’m Bangin #2 with a full-length on its way
titled SELF DEFENCE already has its own dance move and boasts a LADY SAW & CECILE via Mad Decent. It’s been a long time coming, but
combination alongside cuts by Elephant Man, Tony Matterhorn, Macka Diamond and more. expect the MADLIB installation of the Beat Genera-
tion series for BBE soon. Sweet harmonies: Lalah
Two of my favourite 90s-style bashment rhythms from this year have been Ward 21’s Hathaway’s Self Portrait album. THE BUG drops
DEM GAL SITT’N and ESTROGEN, both of which have been voiced exclusively by female artists. his London Zoo album on NINJA TUNE – soundboy
It’s great that Ward 21 have been pushing new artists like TIMBERLEE, NATALIE STORM fi dead! K-SALAAM brings together Kweli, Bobbito,
and Tifa alongside veterans like MACKA DIAMOND, Lady Saw and Lady G, using the musical Dead Prez and Capleton on ‘Who’s World Is This’
FRANK DUBYA FROM NUFF STYLEE GIVES US A for VP Records –heady stuff. NAS’ new Untitled
equivalent of all-women shortlists to prevent the usual suspects Beenie Man, Elephant Man
TASTE OF THE LOTUS-FLOWER BLOSSOM FROM etc from hogging the limelight. And both rhythms have produced bona fide hits that might album has a track about the Fox network & he’s
THE GARDEN OF HEAVENLY SWEETNESS. otherwise have gone unnoticed by many dancehall listeners. However, it’s disappointing been outside the Fox HQ making speeches to
that pretty much all of the cuts on the Estrogen rhythm are concerned with putting down the cameras. PURSUIT GROOVE releases some
Breaking out of the Metro, torrential rains are chucking it down on Franck: An industry-wise mover who’s product managed for N*E*R*D, other women. It would have been nice if more of the artists had taken the opportunity to heavy beats on Wild Art Forestry. UK b-boy ninja
Boulevard St. German. Idyllic preconceptions of Paris are dispatched Justice, Kelis, Lenny Kravitz, We Are Scientists and more; later an indie NABA drops Underwater Napalm – it’s the bomb.
promote solidarity in such a male-dominated world. Here’s a selection of lyrics:
quick smart. Joining the people scurrying for cover I head to label project manager at EMI. A dedicated music head who’s in Classic Cannonball Adderley, produced by David
rendezvous at Odeon. Several calls to Franck [Descollonges] love with physical product. Unashamedly citing an early affection Axelrod, is out now via Stateside. The LINDSTROM
LADY SAW : “Tell a dutty girl fi come off a mi ride”
from jazz label Heavenly Sweetness end with inaudible for commercial radio, tuning into alternative rock and bad Euro- album is almost good to go. Elaste Vol 2 is mixed
NATALIE STORM : “Him say your sitt’n smell like donkey doo-doo”
by Tom Wieland. And make sure you check the
reception. Mobile-rage ensues. But then a recognisable club music; before finding acid-jazz, soul, disco and the heavy SPICE : “Nuff gal a hype and them name no mention” new George Pelicanos novel, The Turnaround.
face emerges from the melee; making up the other half of influence of Mo’ Wax. TIFA : “Some girl smell like the bottom of the barrel”

Heavenly Sweetness team, Antoine [Rajon] arrives on scene. Collectively they share one unifying vision. A home where music is TIMBERLEE : “Bounce a gal cah dem nuh hot like we”
My introduction meets with a welcoming smile, handshake a true sanctuary, even if it goes against the grain. A place where
and assurance that all is well – ‘Tout va bien’. feeling holds sway over puritan ideals or genre snobbery. Where MAVADO is continuing his prolific run of hits both on and off the hottest rhythms running
Quickly we head for sanctuary in a nearby Sushi house things from the past (see their John Betsch’s ‘Earth Blossom’ dancehalls right now. Some of his biggest tunes, like Don’t Worry, Overcome and On The
as Franck arrives fresh from a meeting where he’s been & Doug Carn’s ‘Al Rahman!’ re-issues) happily collide with new
We have a pile of goodies to give away
Go, are one-away productions that only he has voiced – a sure sign of A-list status in an
securing airplay at FIP Radio. Buoyed up by good responses horizons (check the offbeat Afro-centricity of Anthony Joseph’s industry dominated by the multi-artist rhythm track. On The Go is a tribute to the speed of
courtesy of Stones Throw, Faber & Faber,
or just buggin’ out on the new test pressings he produces, Spasm Band, the now jazz-funktion of The Rongetz Foundation Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, with the lyric “Jamaicans faster than bullet” holding true BBE, Black Dog Press and Mr Bongos.
his bright eyed enthusiasm to meet new people and talk or Four Tet rubs for Anne Wirz and drum legend/vocalist Doug despite the fact that Powell’s world record was recently broken by fellow Jamaican Usain This includes the James Pants album
music is clear. Over miso, yakitori and sushi, conversation Hammond). Ideals mirrored in format availability, “People want Bolt. ‘Welcome’, the Fania remix album ‘I Like
flows. Key influences, spiritual jazz, religion, scene snobs, the vinyl, so we press it. If they want CD or mp3, we do that too.” So,
digital-age, b-more edits, disco, hip house and more get batted it’s in your bag no matter how you roll.
It Like That’, the landmark Cuban film
Finally, we’ve done a half hour mix of Caribbean rave music - bashment, funky, soca, garage,
around. This ‘think tank’ reveals that both individuals’ distinct All too quickly our meeting is over. Outside, skies clearing, I get bassline and jungle - to promote the new night we’re running with Ben Dubstar called
‘Memories of Underdevelopment’ (reis-
backgrounds unlocked something special when combined my idyllic sunny Paris moment. Pondering a connect with two Immediate Sounds. You can listen to and download it from sued by Mr. Bongos), a handful of copies
back in 2006. cats that are a juxtaposition of widely different characteristics of Junot Diaz’ ‘The Brief Wondrous
Antoine: Zen-like mp3/CD user, now leaving his disque-junky and backgrounds, it appears that their diversity is actually the TOP FIVE TUNES Life of Oscar Wao’, Emma Pettit’s ‘Old
days behind; found jazz via the cultural explosions of hip hop, label’s strong suit; resulting in a no holds barred approach to 1. MR VEGAS - Daggering
acid jazz and nu-soul. Entrenched in jazz heritage as founder the furtherance of jazz ideas. Two modern day activists if you will,
Rare New’ from Black Dog Press, and a
2. PALEFACE & KYLA - Do You Mind (Crazy Cousins Remix)
of Paris Jazz Corner record store, man behind leftfield imprint pushing hard against automated responses and projected beliefs 3. TARRUS RILEY & SIZZLA - Who’s Gonna Save Us
bunch of Kon & Amir’s ‘Off Track Vol.2:
Isma’a (working with Osunlade, Jephté Guillaume, King Britt, of “how jazz should be done”. 4. MAVADO - On The Go Queens’.
Four Tet, Nickodemus & Osiris, Anne Wirsz and more), Utopian? I don’t think so. Spiritual? But of course. Elitist? Nah, 5. ELEPHANT MAN & LIEUTENANT STITCHIE - What A Mighty God
producer of the Philly Jazz Series releases and promoter definitely not. This is just that good old angel-spun-love-supreme, a Just email and tell
of live events (one such show bringing Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid little piece of ‘Modern Day Folklore’ for famished souls…This is Heavenly For more writing from The Heatwave, visit
together for the first time). Sweetness, dig in. (Frank Dubya / Nuff Stylee)
us something good.
10 11



EARLY YEARS funk workout, it utilises George Clinton’s playful cartoon

Prince’s childhood best friend André Cymone, was funk and James Brown’s tight groove influences to the
pivotal in his rise to fame. Not only did his mother, core. A monumental funk record, it’s playful, naughty
Bernadette, raise an abandoned 13-year-old Prince but and very danceable. Another brilliant b-side is ‘17 Days’
she gave the pair carte blanche to lay down the ground- which is on the flip to ‘When Doves Cry’. A devastating
work for the future Minneapolis sound during bedroom piece of soul, it’s the story of a broken heart – simple but
rehearsal sessions. Cymone would later find fame as a brilliant in execution.
sought-after producer but his solo work included ‘The
Dance Electric’ – a futuristic ride into dark, sensual funk. COLLABORATIONS
The track, which was released in 1985, was the school I still vividly remember the time I first heard Eric Leeds’
friends’ first work since André left Prince’s band after ‘Overnight, Every Night’ on the radio in the early ‘90s –
the Dirty Mind tour in 1981. It has been said that André its whirling horns leaving an immediate impact as did the
provided much more input into Prince’s work then he tough drumming and bass. It seemed familiar, though it
was given for credit for. was the delightful piano solo that really made me sit up
?uestlove cites Prince’s 1983 ‘Irresistible Bitch’ (b- – and then I found out it was Prince. However well I knew
side to ‘Let’s Pretend We’re Married’) as the first gang- his work, I was not expecting him, at the height of his
ster rap track. Definitely the monotone, dark and sexist powers, to drop a straight-ahead jazz track.
lyrics earmarks a later trend in hip hop (and mostly not Jill Jones self-titled album is surely the most sought-
a pleasant one). Add to the cannon the song’s incredible after Prince associated record. The album highlights
funk sound. slightly off-centre vocals, pop meets soul sensibilities,
all manner of weird Prince musical eccentricities and
PAISLEY rich strings provided by Prince’s in house orchestral
Prince’s most fruitful creative period was between arranger, Clare Fisher. A truly brilliant record.
1985-1988 where he released a handful of albums and Ex-Revolution members Wendy and Lisa who were
was involved in several more. Creating his own Paisley integral to Prince’s sound, from Purple Rain through
Park recording studio in Chanhessen, just outside of to Parade, recorded a multi-layered atmospheric jazz
Minneapolis, engineers were on call twenty-four hours track called ‘White’ on their acclaimed debut album.
a day in case the Minneapolis wonder, as was often the Part haunting soundtrack (they later recorded the music
case, had an urgent need to record in the middle of the for Heroes), part subtle jazz-funk with no less than Tom
night. ‘She’s Always In My Hair’ from Prince’s Paisley Scott on trumpet, this is a monstrous record, which
period (circa Around The World In A Day) is a wonderful rarely gets the praise it deserves.
piece of psychedelic soul, up there with the best Norman If being an artist associated with Prince was an
Whitfield produced Temptations numbers and simply artistic hindrance, it did not stop The Family through
one of the best records Prince has ever produced - and their eponymous debut releasing one of the finest
it didn’t even get to be an album track. soul/funk albums of the decade. Making a minor noise
On a similar tip is ‘Why Should I Love You’ which on its release in 1986, the album played a delight of
is not on many people’s radar, appearing as it does as funk grooves, rough-end jazz and beautiful orchestrated
the penultimate track on Kate Bush’s The Red Shoes drapes of soul (the strings were led by jazz legend Clare
album – an incredible track, full of out-there pop, crazed Fisher). The album featured in many best of decade lists.
yet subtle drums and off-centre vocals from the two ‘The Screams of Passion’ is probably the best-known cut,
protagonists. that is, until Sinead O’Connor butchered ‘Nothing Com-
pares 2 U’ six years later. But in ‘Susannah’s Pyjama’s’
B-SIDES (named after band member and ex-Prince belle Susan-
Prince’s b-side output served as a creative outlet for his nah Melvoin) here is an astonishing piece of Minneapolis
more experimental and Black music orientated work. jazz – boxed drums, funky grooves and some heady alto
‘La, la, la, he, he, hee’, the b-side to ‘Sign O’ The Times’, saxophone from Eric Leeds, making this one of the finest
continues the tradition. An epic 10-and-a-half minute pieces of Prince-related material

phots: KYLA


Clubs are played out. Outrageous cover charges and snooty
partygoers, watered-down drinks and weak DJs, it seems like you
can’t really have a fun night out in California without going through
these headaches. Thankfully, a few years ago Aloe Blacc, DJ Haycock
and Jamie Strong from Stones Throw have come up with The Do
Over, a creative, carefree party nestled in the complicated, over-
hyped LA social scene.
The Do Over goes down every Sunday afternoon during the
summer, perfectly capturing that sunshine party vibe. The idea
behind the Do Over is that after you’ve spent your weekend wasting
too much money on drinks, you can head over to the Do Over and,
well, do your weekend over again, without all the pretentiousness.
The outside of the venue is pretty nondescript, but once you pass
the bouncer and corridor you enter the best backyard party you’ll
see in Southern California. Their famed sangria is quite delicious, but
not nearly as tasty as the musical treats from each week’s mystery
guest DJs. Everyone from Karriem Riggins, House Shoes, Neil
Armstrong, B+, DJ AM, Flying Lotus and J. Rocc have shut shit down
on the decks, and that is just a partial line up of 2008. The sound
system always sounds just right, the sangria is never too bitter or Exchanging the bustle of Paris for the more relaxed climbs of rapture only truly begins as beat-legend Fulgeance takes to the stage.
sweet and somehow there always seem to be some of the most Besancon, high in the Alpine hills of north-east France, the Boogieboxx Rocking a pair of old-school MPC 2000s and a dj mixer, Ful-g’s live sets
beautiful people around in attendance. The Do Over is injecting the hosts (June, Moog, Narqo, Zo, Lalie & Sté), guests (Fulgeance & Debruit) are something to behold. Wasting no time, man swaggers back and
fun back into going out in Los Angeles, but if you go be warned, shit and a squad of other B-town affiliates have all converged for a night of forth between these 16 Bit rhythm machines. Gesturing with Gallic
gets live so hold on tight to you glass... sangria stains don’t come out musical mayhem. flair, he’s ever the showman… think vintage Agassi shape-shifting with
in the wash. (Andres Reyes) Gridlock in the main bar has forced many into the backroom Mick Jagger at a James Last concert. Switching sequences, muting
confines, where Rekick [Musique Large] unlocks the crowd’s party tracks and expertly pad drumming his way through the funk rumpus of
fervour; with reaction to Flylo’s ‘Parisian Goldfish’ signalling they’re now ‘Impulsinfionnetta’, the American Splendour riffin’ ‘Revenge Of The Nerd’,
ready to rumble. The energy levels rise another notch shortly afterwards and the jackin synth trauma ‘Absolute Belta’. A sound that’s undoubtedly
when Debruit is introduced; the first of tonight’s live sets. cosmopolitan, partway between post-dilla, classic 90’s breakbeat and
From the opening strains of ‘Pure Check’, this usually reserved Miami bass…A sound he’s dubbed ‘Low Club!’
performer grins wildly with empathic accents underpinning each laptop Ending on one final drum pad workout of epic proportions, it’s over.
tap and mixer trim. Live-wired on machine code, he teases somatic call The room momentarily stunned into eerie silence, like the vacuum
‘n’ response from his audience. created after a blast.
With relentless execution the set rips through the tech minefields Even the day after the event as Debruit, Rekick and I journeyed back
of ‘So Bailé’ and ‘Kaerb’ (from the ‘Coupe Decale’ EP on Musique Large) to big-time Paris, the conversation continually returned to sentiments
alongside selections from his self-released ‘To Nartik Kef’ album and of the real warmth, highly-charged energy and unshackled enthusiasm
sneak peeks of new material sporting a B-more-meets-hip-house swerve. shown by the patrons and organisers at Boogieboxx. It’s always good to
Corralling key elements from yesteryear, he slices and grinds them into a be reminded that sometimes ‘Big tings gwan’ where you least expect to
reformed pop ‘n’ lock platter of electro-delectation like a beat-butcher. find them and that the true rhythm of life lurks within small things often
This spectacle should be enough to satisfy most parties, but the overlooked… A microeconomics lesson in living LARGE. (Frank Dubya)

On a Thursday evening in London, those – there’s been Azymuth live and direct in ‘Toprock’ MacKenzie who have slaved tirelessly
in the know make their journey down to session, there was Leon Ware who dropped to keep live music alive in the capital – bringing
Portobello Road. A stone’s throw from by to guest on Mark de Clive Lowe’s show, hundreds of artists through the doors of Mau
the railway bridge, where all the Carnival and Kaidi “Kat” Tatham running scales like Mau’s in the space of five years, and bringing a
soundsystems used to play back when, is Herbie Hancock circa Sextant. We can’t smile to so many faces in attendance. With the
a little bar call Mau Mau’s, and outside the forget Silhouette Brown doing it after dark, release of their Jazz Re:freshed album, a double
venue, people just hang out in the street, and Julie Dexter, Eric Appapoulay and a CD pitting lesser-known but highly promising UK
POWER TO UPROCK swapping CDs and phone numbers, working loop station making one-drop reggae (check talent like Green and Obenewa, against stalwarts
out where the afterparty is, talking about the YouTube for the clips), Sadly Brian Jackon of the scene like Jason Yarde, Joy Jones, Azymuth,
latest records and catching jokes. never did make his gig (UK Customs is a Reel People, Fertile Ground and previously
Inside, at around 9PM (okay, actually bitch), but RAMP certainly did represent, and unreleased material from Rasiyah and Kaidi
more like 10PM by the time everyone’s got when the first chords of ‘Daylight’ came in, Tatham, this is how we get down on a Thursday
inside), and for just £5, the Jazz Re:Freshed and everyone in the audience screamed, the night in London town.
family (because everyone there is family) have band had to wheel and come again.
been treated to some of the most incredible But big names aside, respect is due the Grab a copy of this limited pressing from
live performances in this intimate little venue promoters Adam ‘Rock’ Moses and Justin What you waitin’ for?

14 15
Rappers rap, but Shawn Jackson makes music. Though the Inglewood- happened on the spot. The first time I met them cats, I wrote something
born MC might not be a household name yet, he’s already making fans on the spot and recorded it (‘Soopafly’, which was in 2005) and after that
out of heads like DJ Exile, Guilty Simpson and House Shoes with his they start bragging to other cats in the studio like “yeah, this nigga mad How did you meet? L : Starting as a child I studied piano and flute and sang in school choir
smooth delivery and deadpan humor. After relocating to Rhode Island to professional... bang them shits out in no time...” That shit was pressure! Laura : We met in high school orchestra and dated for two epic months. groups. In college I learned to edit film using computers, and when I real-
perfect his craft, coming back and linking up with Newman from Giant But they’re so free and creative with their music, it’s just no sense of Then four years later we ran into each other two days in a row under ized that ProTools works in the same way, it was easy for me to pick it up.
Panda and dropping some limited pieces of wax, Shawn Jack finally bounds, and I appreciated that. That is real artistry. very mysterious circumstances, and there was a sense that destiny was
dropped his debut album, First of All… via Tres Records. at work. Do you share similar tastes or do you disagree about things?
What other projects do you have going on now? Alfred : In high school, it was probably too intense a relationship for either L : We agree about the important things. But sometimes it’s fun to
Shawn Jackson. Jack-O. Shawn Jack. What other aliases do you have? I got the New Jack Hustle album in the works, entitled SoundCheck that of us at the time, and after years of not talking we quite fortuitously met disagree, especially since I’m always right.
Jimmy Swagga, Montgomery Huxtable, Vin Mariani & Swagmire...giggety. should be out in October on Tres – that one’s also going to be obnoxious. again. A : I disagree.
I got a 7” coming out with my man Ben Grymm in the UK soon. Always
So the album, First of All…, is finally done. What where you trying to do other stuff too... ya’ll just keep up, aiight? Did you work together before starting a relationship? How do you balance a working and personal relationship?
with this record? A : No, in many ways our music together is because of our commitment. A : We don’t. But that imbalance feeds the project.
I was basically trying to stay within my lane and start off by making a Final thoughts? L : I think our music is entirely a product of our love, I can’t imagine the L : We’re still figuring that one out... Alfred’s touring a lot for his own
quality hip-hop album. Although I’m flexible with various styles and a Yeah, every rapper out there who has Gangstarr’s Hard To Earn record, music being possible without it. music, which cuts into both our working and our personal time.
broad taste for beats, I know I’m hip-hop first, you know? That’s just me. which you should do, by the way, put that on and listen to Guru’s rant in
the intro. Take a long good look in the mirror and see if you apply as that How long have you been working together? What are the disadvantages/advantages of being a couple in a band?
I see you have a gang of Jack Sample Pros production on the album. same clown he’s talking ‘bout. If so, just fall back. Oh yeah, buy First Of A : Since 1998, to differing amounts of productivity. L : The biggest advantage is being able to work in our pyjamas. Also, I
What made you choose to go with them for the bulk of the record? All... it’s dope. think touring is easier, because Alfred’s the only person in the world I
Man, it was nothing premeditated by any means. Everything always just When and why did you decide to work on a project together? don’t get sick of. We live together and we have a studio in our din-
A : It was rather inevitable... ing room, so you’d think it would be easy to find time to work, but it’s
L : When we got together I had just moved back to LA with a collection somehow harder because we’re always around and the instruments
Possibly the most outrageously slept- and how to make it come through your of toy pianos I had picked up at garage sales during college. Alfred was and equipment are always around, so the possibility of music just gets
on production unit in the flip-flop nation speaker – loud, clear and crisp.” trying to teach himself guitar, so we were both fooling around with these camouflaged by the mundane. We really have to schedule it in advance
right now… Vintage beatsmith Marc new instruments, and it only made sense to put them together. One or it doesn’t happen.
Mac knows (he commissioned a trio Most underrated producer? night when we were having tea, Alfred proposed that we could make a A : Laura’s a perfectionist, I’m more spontaneous, hopefully that ends up
of dope remixes for the Visioneers’ Joc Max, BusCrates 16 Bit Ensemble or formal go of our music, perhaps even a career. That sounded fantastic, being the tension that makes it all interesting.
‘Dirty Old Remixes’ EP in 2007) but the Robin Hannibal (of Owusu & Hannibal). but also like a pipe dream; that possibility never would have occurred to
rest of the world seems inexplicably me, I don’t have much confidence. Do you think being in a personal relationship adds a different dimen-
content to wallow in ignorance of Favourite slept-on rap LP? sion to a collaborative bond?
their boom-bap/bump-snap mastery, Kwest Tha Madd Ladd: ‘This Is My First Did you have any reservations about working on a project together? L : When we’re composing or producing, it’s certainly convenient to have
TWELVE BEATS & TERRY despite production credits for fellow Album’ L : I was terrified. I remember the first time I tried to play and sing a that level of understanding where we can finish each other’s sentences.
TESTER AKA THE WORKS homegrown Danish soul ensemble song I had written in front of Alfred, it took about a half hour for him to As for performing, it’s wonderful to sing love songs with someone you’re
Vincent Van Go Go, French chanteuse Most underrated MC? coax me into it. I was sure he’d break up with me once he heard my in love with.
words: ALEX STEVENSON Lily M, Bay Area resident Jahi, Rawkus Inspektah Deck (often drowning in a sea music and especially my voice...
photo: RASMUS WENG CARLSEN affiliate Kojoe and Kansas City spit- of Wu…) A : I think sometimes it’s harder to express yourself in front of a Would you discuss personal details about your relationship in your lyr-
kicker Reach. Heavyweight collabos loved one then a stranger, somehow more is on the line if you disagree, ics? Are any of the songs you’ve written about or to each other?
with the Stones Throw fam – Oh No, Most underrated club banger? it’s almost as if you’re calling into question the entire relationship. A : Every song is extremely personal, but thankfully encoded in little poet-
Wildchild, Roc C, DJ Romes, Planet Booty Cologne: ‘Shake Wut Ya Mama ics and musical flourishes.
Asia and Rasco – are forthcoming on Gave Ya’ [Machine Nun/A:larm] How would you describe the project you’ve been working on? L : We sometimes get personal in our lyrics, but I think we have a pretty
Danish indie Sonny B Records. And if A : Love songs, sad songs healthy relationship so it’s not too gruesome. We have a song about
you don’t know, now you know. Most underrated beverage? L : Romantic lullabies being in the Ballroom Dance Club in high school, and having to dance with
Carrot juice or Fernet Branca… No wait.. each other even after we’d broken up, which was quite bittersweet.
Terry on Twelve: birch juice! What influences do you draw on?
“Twelve is a beast. He fully understands A : Each other mainly, but also the instruments we use lead us in certain How would you compare this work to other collaborations?
the art of keeping it grimy – like a next Most underrated sandwich? directions. A : It’s interesting, this is much harder in some ways than other collabo-
generation Pete Rock. Dude got good Avocado, rocket and mayo on wholemeal rative work I’ve done, mainly because with The Long Lost I’m not always
ears.” rye! A bourgeois favorite… What are your respective backgrounds? the person behind the mixing desk or computer.
A : I started by playing bass clarinet and slightly later double bass. In col- L : I think it would be difficult for me to collaborate compositionally with
Twelve on Terry: lege I studied classical music and jazz, but quickly switched to electronics anyone besides Alfred; I don’t know anyone else who shares our sensibil-
“Terry knows exactly where he wants and production. Now it seems I’m drawn back to the improvisational and ity.
to take a track, how to take it there, through:composed music I had run away from for a while.
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18 19

Two events, one Olympic month, in October of the International Olympic Committee, in a the message across to society that we had a
1968, Mexico City. Both began with the firing showdown of wits and nerve. problem. Not a problem that we can close our
of a gun. 200m finalists Tommie Smith and “It was called the Olympic Project for eyes to because it will lead to destruction.”
John Carlos both burst out the blocks and Human Rights for a reason,” Tommie Smith But even on the starting line at the
made it past the finishing line, Tommie in a told an audience in Paris earlier this year. “It Olympic track in Mexico City, Tommie Smith

world record time, before taking their famous was more than civil rights; that’s why it was half-expected a gunshot to ring out, and that
victory stand, fists raised, on the winners called human rights. It’s just that the pressure gunshot would not be from the race officials.
podium; but for the Mexican protesters of was taken by the black athletes; we stepped out
Tlaltelolco Square, when on 2 October 1968 and did what should have been done by young But the upheavals of the Olympic Project
the sound of gunshots rang out, the bodies groups much earlier. It wasn’t dope smoking, for Human Rights were not the only cause
started falling. arm-pumping punks, as the other protesters of promising to disrupt the Olympics. Mexico
all types from that era are portrayed. We were was the first developing nation in the history
Let’s rewind a little... On the campus of San students, and we were very dedicated.” of the competition to be awarded the Games.
Jose State University, which boasted the Like the Bus Boycotts of Montgomery When the massive riots broke out across
track team known as Speed City, a hotbed of and the Freedom Riders before them, the France in May 1968, CIA agents contacted the


political activism was brewing in the mid-’60s. black athletes who signed up to the Olympic President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz to make sure
Discussions on campus amongst the black Project were playing with fire. Hate mail filled a similar outburst was not about to threaten
students had seen them asking questions their mailboxes, they received death threats proceedings there. Mexico had been a model
about their status as second-class citizens and and even worse... Harry Edwards was being of US-sponsored stability and prosperity (even
about the injustices at the heart of the ‘land of tailed by the CIA and one morning he found his in the ‘60s the US was already exporting
the free’. Why was it they could only get $2.50 democracy). Meanwhile, across the rest of
an hour jobs cleaning cars? How were they “It was the Latin America and the Caribbean, socialist
supposed to survive on their $75 a month uprisings inspired by Fidel Castro and Che
stipend? And why was it that white students Olympic Project Guevara erupted with regularity.
always came up to them and asked “What In Mexico everything appeared to be fine
sport do you play?” as if the only reason they’d
for Human Rights. until July 1968. It all began quite innocuously
be at San Jose State was through a sports It was more than with a fight that broke out between rival
scholarship? The fact was that white students students of the Mexican National Autonomous
at San Jose simply couldn’t come to terms with civil rights; that’s University (UNAM) and the National
this new black presence on campus, and when Politechnical Institute (Poli). When antiriot
the black students started carrying around
why it was called police intervened, pursuing the students
books, talking about sociology, law and human human rights. through the neighbourhood, violently beating
rights, this only scared them more. those involved, and making 20 arrests, the
In 1967, at the World University Games touch-paper was lit for a movement that would
in Tokyo, San Jose State student and Speed swell over the next two months, involving not
City member Tommie Smith made an dogs on his doorstep, cut up in pieces. But the just students but workers, teachers, doctors
announcement about the upcoming 1968 athletes refused to be intimidated even if 1968 – in fact, almost all sections of society.
Mexico Olympics which would send shockwaves was the year that Martin Luther King and In the high schools across the capital,
across America. “A boycott is possible and is Bobby Kennedy were both assassinated. there followed strikes and sit-ins and, like
probable,” he told the press. “The reasoning is: The Olympic boycott, despite gaining the Olympic Project for Human Rights, the
Why should we participate for a country then national attention, never did occur. Harry students formed a National Strike Council to
come back to our homes and be denied some Edwards couldn’t convince the nation’s athletes put forward their demands to the President.
of the rights which should be given us?” that the cause was worth sacrificing all the Clashes with police became more frequent,
Later that year, Harry Edwards, an older hard work and financial rewards. So four out and each new demonstration that took to the
San Jose alumnus who had politicsed the of the seven Speed City runners – Tommie street attracted more citizens to the cause.
younger students like Tommie Smith and Smith, John Carlos, Lee Evans and Ronnie Ray By the end of August, students were calling
teammate John Carlos, set-up a platform Smith – qualified through the heats and arrived marches of between 300,000 and 600,000
to question the racism at the heart of the in Mexico City for the finals. Their presence people, and police were using ever more brutal
athletics world. He called it the Olympic Project there did not mean the fight was over. John tactics to break up the marches. The United
for Human Rights. It would lobby for a complete Carlos, the most militant of the team, explained, States had been adopting similar policies
The ’68 Olympics in Mexico City will be remembered as boycott of the Olympics by black athletes “A statement needed to be made relative to against protesters. In Detroit and Chicago, the
across America, and it would see Edwards go the suffering of people of colour and I felt that police had ordered antisniper rifles, carbines,
much for what happened outside the Games. head-to-head with Avery Brundage, the head the Olympics would be the ideal place to get shotguns, 150,000 rounds of ammunition and

20 21
A melting pot of Funk, Big Band Raw Instrumental Funk from this
even helicopters in anticipation of civil rights the National Strike Council and were forcing while amongst the 1500 arrests made on that Jazz, Turntablism, Rock & Hip Hop new crew hailing from Brighton,
troubles. When on 18 September 10,000 them into the line of fire as gunshots rained day, a number of people ‘disappeared’. To this from Israel’s Premier crew. Bonus England. Features the sold out
Mexican troops invaded the UNAM campus, it down on the balcony. As bullets continued to day, it is still not known what happened to the track from the sold out 7" single is 45 ‘Boom Boom’ and a cover of the
was a sign of things to come. They rounded-up fly from all directions, some people tried to dead and it’s unlikely that the truth will ever their jaw-dropping version of Rage Soul Drifters ‘Funky Soul Brother’.
the students at gun point and made 1,000 take shelter in the church on one side of the surface. Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in CD/LP
arrests, hoping to find the leaders of the plaza, but its doors had been bolted on the the Name’.
National Strike Council, but the movement’s orders of the archbishop. People in the crowd The Tlaltelolco episode has an important
leaders had been tipped off about the raid and recall how bodies were being piled up by the place in Mexico’s collective memory, even if the
were already long gone. army and then loaded into trucks. And as government continues to withhold film footage
Across Mexico, news spread of the civil the demonstrators were lined up against the of what happened that day, vital documents
disturbances even if the state-controlled walls and prodded by bayonets and guns, they about the bodies and information regarding the (RUSSIANS AT WORK)
media imposed a blanket silence. In the capital, all remember the hideous sound of gunfire role the American secret services played in the Disco, Funk & Soul from the new Adrian Gibson compiles the Rare
students were giving workshops and evening which continued relentlessly for two hours. At brutal repression. When the Olympic Games Super-producer from Russia. Vinyl only, long deleted 12" singles to
classes to workers and peasants. They were opened just a week later, the world remained Orgone’s Fanny Franklin & Sofi celebrate the first five years of
distributing information to publicize their students created silent about the massacre. Tommie Smith Ocran are among the guests. Freestyle Records. Includes Sleeve,
struggle and making use of their education and John Carlos would make their own stand Features the singles ‘Where is Roy Ayers, Nick the Record, Karl
– engineering students created balloons that silk-screen posters for human rights on the winner’s podium with the Love?’ & ‘Taking Your Seat’. Denson, Lewis Taylor, DJ Graham B,
would burst at a certain altitude, scattering clenched fists, black gloves and black socks. Ron Blake, Lanu & more.
leaflets across the city, and design students
with slogans like ‘We They would be sent home from the Olympics,
created silk-screen posters with slogans like Demand Solutions’ and never be allowed to represent their
‘We Demand Solutions’ and ‘We Don’t Want country again.
Olympic Games, We Want Revolution’ that and ‘We Don’t Want “The right to speak your mind is the
were pasted across the walls of the city. Oil greatest right that anyone has in society,” JAZZ JUICE - SPEEDOMETER - NO MAN
Olympic Games, We WORRIES (DJ FORMAT’S
workers were violently threatened by police
Want Revolution’
said John Carlos in a recent interview with the NUEVA LATINO 7"
when they made demands to their bosses. And BBC. “We are running right now in a parallel FUNKY PEOPLE REMIX) 7"
when doctors and nurses were arrested for situation to 68... Looks like what took place
treating students wounded by police, they too
that were pasted then is about to take place now. We had an
Stay On The Groove 4 - More Modern Funk Anthems (CD), Phuture Motion - Carne Negra (12"),
went on strike.
On 2 October, protesters organized a
across the walls of unjust war then with Vietnam, we have and
unjust war now.”
COMING SOON Diesler - Tracks On The Rocks (CD), The 7 Samurai - Cuba Revolucion! (CD)
demonstration at La Plaza de las Tres Culturas, the city. But back in 1968 people believed they
better known by its Aztec name, Tlaltelolco. could stop wars, overthrow governments and
10,000 people soon filled the square. Fom the great personal risk, the residents of Tlaltelolco end injustice. Tommie Smith and John Carlos
third-floor balcony of the Chihuahua apartment sheltered some people in their apartments, sacrificed their careers for the cause of human
block, the leaders of the National Strike which were raided and ransacked late into the rights. The dead of Tlaltelolco sacrificed their
Council addressed the crowd. Meanwhile, night. Meanwhile, the Chihuahua apartment lives in the hope of a brighter tomorrow. “The
300 tanks, jeeps and armored cars, as well block caught fire after being pounded with tank goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute
as 5,000 soldiers and hundreds of police had artillery. to building a peaceful and better world by
surrounded the square and blocked off all the The following day, when the Mexican educating youth through sport practised in
exits. The army and the president’s special newspapers reported the events of the accordance with Olympism and its values,”
unit, the Battalion Olympia, dressed in civilian previous day, they put the death-toll at between states the Olympic Charter, optimistically. As
clothes, infiltrated the crowd and at 18:10, 4 and 30. The real figure, though it has been the Beijing Olympics kicks off, wars continue
when the signal was given, the troops began impossible to determine exact numbers to rage on in the Middle East and Africa in the
opening fire on the demonstrators. because of the cover-up, was at least 300. It’s name of oil: Western powers vying with China
Chaos erupted as the demonstrators, said that the army dropped the bodies of the and India for the planet’s resources. Given that
under a hail of bullets, ran from one side of dead out in the Gulf of Mexico, while others the Iraqi althletes will be conspicuously absent
the square to the other, only to find the exits maintain that mass graves were dug in the from the Games this year, will anyone be
blocked by the soldiers. Meanwhile, in the army’s training ground, and were covered over prepared to make a stand in 2008?
Chihuahua apartment block, the Battalion in the night. Families were too scared to report
Olympia had surrounded the members of missing children for fear of being persecuted,

words: ED AARONS photos: DAVE SWINDELLS flyers: JUJU

The thing you don’t realize about growing up Hedonism. Future. Delirium. Spectrum. RIP. Shake ‘n’ Fingerpop nights. They played a
in Britain in the mid ‘80s was that there just And that was just the beginning. mixture of styles – anything from classic 70s
wasn’t a lot going unless you were really in Danny Rampling (DJ and founder of funk to soul and disco, occasionally mashed
the know. That era was all about Style Culture Shoom): “You will always get people saying ‘My up with a sprinkling of house music. But even
– bars and clubs in the West End of London mate played ‘acid house’ back in 1984, and Norman was getting slack for playing house. As
where people would get dressed up (strictly some of the records had been around for a had happened in America, the gay scene was
no trainers) and throw money about. Rare couple of years, but it wasn’t until 1988 that it far quicker on the uptake
groove was the flavour of the month – funk exploded and took the whole country by storm. “Most of the places in London that were
and soul mixed with the nascent sounds of Myself, Nicky Holloway, Johnny Walker and playing house were the gay clubs,” recalls
hip hop, electro and go go; and the door policy Paul Oakenfold had a complete revelation in Johnny Walker, a funk and soul DJ at the time.
at clubs was always strictly enforced (or just Amnesia in Ibiza the summer before and were “DJs like Colin Faver would play at Heaven but
plain segregated) to keep trouble at bay. So totally inspired. I had a crystal-clear vision of most of the mainstream West End clubs were
the black youth would end up at blues parties what I wanted to create back in England, and very much black music like disco, soul and early
where soundsystems like Rapattack would I’m sure that others felt the same.” hip hop. In 1987, I was playing at a club called
play, while at the West End clubs like The Party-goers across the Atlantic had long Frenchies in Camberley and I tried to bring in
Wag it was all about styling and profiling with since been introduced to the early house sound a few early house tracks from America to the
the celebrities of the day – Spandau Ballet, in clubs like Chicago’s Warehouse and the dismay of some of the punters and my fellow
Bananarama and Boy George all in full effect. DJs. They thought I’d lost the plot!”
Clubs generally finished at around 3am, and Then, suddenly, While Danny Rampling, Paul Oakenfold
even in the warehouse parties which attracted and Johnny Walker went on to recreate their
a mixed crowd, the vibe was still a little moody. all that changed experiences of Ibiza back in London, at clubs
But change was in the air. Margaret like Shoom and Spectrum, Colin Faver had
Thatcher had been voted in for a third time as
overnight. It felt that came back totally inspired from a trip to New
Tory prime minister, famously declaring “There the whole attitude York where he saw Larry Levan at the Paradise
is no such thing as society.” She was going to Garage: “On a Wednesdays we did Pyramid
be proved wrong. With the arrival of house thing got washed at Heaven, and then we started Busbys on a
music to the shores of the UK, the face of away, even if one of Monday. They were mixed clubs, predominantly
youth culture would never be the same again. gay. And the atmosphere there was the closest
“House came from America but London my mates said I’d sold I’d seen to New York. People shouting and
has always been the music capital of the screaming and putting their hands in the air.
world,” explains Mr C, the cheeky Cockney
my soul to the strobe You’d never seen that before in the UK. This
chappie who in ’88 became resident alongside lights!” was slightly before Shoom took off.”
Colin Faver at London’s infamous Clink Street Artist Nicky Spiers recalls how quickly
nights. “There were so many pirate radio attitudes changed towards the emerging
stations around at that time and that helped to scene. “A lot of people were very hostile
spread the word about what was going on. We Paradise Garage in New York, but in 1986 towards house when it first arrived. It was
took bit of Chicago House, Detroit Techno and only Nude at The Hacienda in Manchester perceived as music for gays. I remember some
even weird German pop records, mixed them and the Garage in Nottingham were devoted of the hip hop element actually throwing stuff at
up together and created a culture out of it.” solely to the music. Paul Oakenfold had opened the Watson brothers (Noel and Maurice) when
In the capital, Jazzy M’s ‘The Jackin’ Zone’ Funhouse in south London in ‘87 but it had they started playing it. They even had to put
show on the pirate station LWR broadcast the failed to capture the imagination of the public. cages around the DJ box so they wouldn’t get
new house sound coming from Detroit, Chicago “The rare groove scene was so enormous hurt. Then, suddenly, all that changed overnight.
and NYC – Todd Terry, Mr Fingers, Ten City, and so good – it wasn’t they didn’t like house, It felt that the whole attitude thing got washed
Joe Smooth, Frankie Knuckles, Lil Louis – while they just didn’t need it,” says Terry Farley, one away, even if one of my mates said I’d sold my
through the course of 1988, the music was of the faithful behind the Boy’s Own fanzine and soul to the strobe lights!”
the foundation for a brand new style of parties the seminal Boy’s Own parties. But that’s not to It didn’t take long for the message to
that were springing up like pawn shops in a say that house was being ignored by everyone spread. Shoom, set up by Danny and Jenni
recession: in dingy fitness centres, cavernous – the most popular underground movement of Rampling in a small fitness centre in Southwark
pub basements, film studios and abandoned the time were warehouse parties featuring the late 1987, attempted to spread the gospel
warehouse spaces across the city. Shoom. likes of Soul II Soul and Norman Jay’s legendary that Danny had absorbed by watching DJ
top left: sweating at the Trip/ middle left: Colin Faver & Trevor Fung at Heaven/ bottom left: queuing outside The Trip/ top right: Paul Oakenfold, Lisa Loud & Ian St John at Shoom
middle right: The Hug Club crew at Shoom/ bottom right: Johnny Walker

26 27
Alfredo at Amnesia in Ibiza. Although Shoom came up, off their faces, to grab a pint in the head down to Black Market on a Saturday
was invite-only, soon queues were stretching local pub filled with the early-morning market which was almost like a rave itself, where New
half-way down the steet. Danny Rampling would traders before going back to the dance later in York DJs like Todd Terry would pass through
play alongside guests like Colin Faver and the afternoon. and play records on the booming soundsystem.
Andy Weatherall. “You could play anything you “There was such a mix of people,” adds With so many new tunes arriving from Chicago
wanted there,” says Colin. “Andy Weatherall Nicky Trax, the promoter of Confusion. “Like and New York, there’d be certified classics
was playing stuff across the board. I used to there was this baker, and lots of other early each and every week. And all along Oxford
play house and vocal garage next to Human birds who would come out of the club and go Street, you’d hear Kiss FM in the shops,
League, Visage, Heaven 17 and David Bowie. straight to work. And the police didn’t have still a pirate at the time, broadcasting the
Alternative dance music. I don’t know if people a clue what was going on. They’d be called forthcoming raves over the airwaves. If you
were so off their heads, but everybody was because of noise as clubbers left, and once were that way inclined, you wouldn’t need to
happy, I know that much. The thing I remember because a couple were having sex in a nearby go to sleep for the next 12 months. Heaven
about Shoom is getting the next record on the garden.” on a Monday, the Wag on Tuesday, Miami
turntable and the sweat dripping off my nose Over the course of that summer of 88, at Legends on Wednesday, back to Heaven
and onto the record. And I’d have to wipe it off the exclusive and expensive fashions popular for Delirium on Thursday, then Enter the
the record before I cued it up. Because that amongst the West End crowd went out the Dragon and RIP on a Friday. Then, around the
fitness centre was small and it was hot, so window and in came the Chevignon jackets, the middle of 88, people started doing their own
hot. You’d end up like a flannel, head to toe, like Lee dungarees, the bandanas, the ponchos, parties. You’d hear people say, ‘My dad’s got
you’d just had a shower. And the crowd would the Day Glo and the smiley face t-shirts (the a warehouse,’ or ‘We can break in to this spot
literally be there, right in your face. Fantasic logo inspired by Alan Moore’s Watchmen for here.’
vibe.” DC Comics). “There was this shop called World Outside clubs, people were handing out
In February 1988, Mr C, Kid Bachelor, who would import all these crazy hats and photocopied flyers for all sorts of new nights,
Evil Eddie Richards and Colin Faver launched aztec jackets, and Keith Haring t-shirts from and to keep the police at bay promoters were
Fantasy in Camden Lock, believed to be New York,” recalls Nicky. Like with punk, people using ever more sophisticated tactics to keep
London’s first exclusively acid house night. discovered that they could make their own the venues secret. But regardless, the risk of
That lasted for three months before they self-styled culture – there were people making being raided by the police, and the opportunity
moved to Smithfield Market and began RIP banners, hiring soundsystems, putting out to use your charms to convince the police to
(Revolution In Progress) on the Saturday night. magazines (Jocket Slut), there were designers let you go on, was half the fun. When the police
RIP then relocated to Clink Street, a former (Blue Source, Trevor Jackson), clothes stores, did raid the clubs, and they found a bunch of
prison a stone’s throw from London Bridge. A DJs, promoters, people pressing up their beaming hippies on the dancefloor, they often
grimy dungeon of a place, the venue attracted own records, and then there were the record didn’t know how to react. Ecstasy had only just
hardcore football hooligans and gangsters shops. arrived in the country and people were trying
mixed with Day-Glo ravers and celebrities like “I used to go buy imports every week on their hardest to keep it a secret.
Phillip Glass, Nigel Kennedy and Lofty from Greek Street from Groove,” says Colin Faver. “I remember the police decided to raid the
Eastenders. Before long, A-Transmission “And they used to keep a bag under the club and they all ran in, but they hadn’t done
had started on Fridays and the weekend counter for me, so I used to get all the new their homework. They turned up at 1.30am but
was rounded off on Sundays with Zoo, which, stuff. Used to spend a fortune every week on we ended at 1am and we were taking down
according to Mr C, was an apt name given the these imports. And then the Trax label started the banners, unplugging the soundsystem
state of the punters after three days of raving. creeping in. I used to see this red label, really and were ready to go home,” says Nicky Trax.
“One memory that really sticks out for me rough-looking, with lots of pops and holes “There were about 40 of them that turned up
is when the police did a raid on a night in Clink on the vinyl – looked like it’d been recycled in seven vans, and came charging in. They had
Street and they got everyone outside,” says Mr in Mexico and shipped back to Chicago. And a good look around and one of them, a young
C. “People were standing around buzzing their Dance Mania, all these labels started creeping copper, found this bottle of amyl nitrate and
tits off and the old bill decided to try and clear in. But the music then was relly basic – like he said ‘What’s this?’ He took a huge sniff and
the area by putting on the siren of the police a drum box and some guy screaming sexual went bright red. We all just fell about laughing.”
car, not knowing that it was the main hook in sounds. It wasn’t saying that much but it was What also happened that summer was
Todd Terry’s ‘Can You Party’. Everyone started quite interesting because it was different. It that everyone from all walks of life came
jumping on the cars and going mad – it was was like 120bpm which was quite fast, and we together under one roof, perhaps for the first
hilarious.” Ashely Beedle, also a regular at RIP mixed it in with The Human League and Simple time ever. You had posh boys like promoter
and later a resident there, remembers leaving Minds. It mixed in perfectly.” Tony Colston-Hayter running around with East
the club with a bunch of mates as the sun While some went to Groove, others would End hard nuts, you had Terry Farley, a casual

top left: roadblock

middle right: Shoomers in shorts / bottom right: I feel another rush coming on

28 29
from Slough, holding hands with The Face Derrick May, Lil Louie Vega probably doing his paying tax. Not only that, we were at these
editor Robert Elms through the strawberry- first gig in London, Micky Oliver, Arnold Jarvis. massive raves, listening to our favourite music,
flavoured smoke at Shoom, you had Wayne And we picked up a new MC Noize.” All of the meeting tons of like-minded peopled and having
Anthony, a kid from Hackney who had worked next generation of DJs would pass through on the time of our lives,” explains Nicky. This wasn’t
with Mel and Kim, pulling off one the biggest Sunday nights – there was Fabio, Grooverider, what Maggie Thatcher had envisaged, but acid
parties of the year with 4,000 people under Spoony, Smokin Jo, Timmi Magic and Norris Da house had created a booming industry, one
one roof for the Genesis New Year’s Eve bash. Boss Windross to mention just a few. responsible for the splurge of dance culture
Everyone was high on hope and right on one, Like all good things, the spirit of 88 couldn’t that’s since conquered the globe.
matey. last forever. While remnants of the love magic Of course, once the establishment finally
And there was never a shortage of US remained throughout 1989 at clubs like cottoned on to what was going on, a bill was
DJs passing through the capital. The record Confusion and Dance Wicked (run by Roy The rushed through Parliament – the Bright’s
labels had got hip to the demand for acid Roach who also worked in Quaff Records in Entertainments (Increased Penalties) Bill raised
house, and people like Hippie Torales from the Ladbroke Grove), or the occasional Boys Own the stakes by introducing £20,000 fines for
Club Zanzibar in New Jersey, Detroit’s Kevin parties and small Balearic sessions like Queens unlicensed parties, and meanwhile the Criminal
Saunderson and Chicago’s Robert Owens were and Haven Stables on Sunday afternoon, the Justice Act was being prepared. When
all coming over to the UK to sign record deals. criminal and commercial elements started to introduced, it would provoke outrage amongst
“Robert Owens came over in 1988 and never the defenders of civil liberties, and would see
left. He just stayed in London because he loved This wasn’t what the parties finally forced back onto licensed
it. The people from Chicago might have had the premises where the powers-that-be could
music and some clubs, but they didn’t have the Maggie Thatcher had collect their dues in full.
clubs like ours, the mix of people. London was The party was finally over, and it was back
kicking,” adds Nicky.
envisaged, but acid to work. But for those who lived through 88,
She launched Confusion on a Sunday night house had created there’s still the memories. “I can close my eyes
with Martin Confusion, a scion of the fashion and see what it was like in Amnesia, standing
and gay scene, at Bill Stickers, which was an a booming industry, on the dancefloor getting emotional about
OTT restaurant in Soho, “it was something like one responsible for the tunes Alfredo was playing,” says Johnny
your grandma’s worst decorating nightmare Walker, who now lives in Spain and is thinking
with little cherubs, marble tables and it lent the splurge of dance of writing a book about his first experiences
itself very much to our mad little party”. Sunday in Ibiza. “Twenty years have gone by but the
was the only night of the week when there
culture that’s since good thing is the movement has progressed.
Mr C’s biggest tunes on the Clink Street dancefloor:
1. Fantasy Girl by Pierre’s Phantasy Club.
wasn’t already something going on, back when conquered the globe. I’m always very modest about the role we’ve
2. Machines by Laurent X
Sunday clubbing was still unheard of. In the played – I just enjoyed being a DJ and that’s
3. Take Some Time Out by Arnold Jarvis
main room they had Roots and Kid Batchelor all I wanted to do. When something is planned
4. Your Love by Jamie Principal & Frankie Knuckles.
DJing and E-Mix on the mic, while in the move in. “I met people in my club who made out and manufactured then it will never take off
5. Real Life by The Corporation Of One.
OddBod room, she invited Ashley Beedle from more money than me doing their business. – the whole thing has to happen naturally. We
6. Strings of Life by Rhythm is Rhythm.
Xpress 2, some of the guys from Soul II Soul And they used to laugh at me,” says Nicky Trax. started off with just a few hundred people but
7. Promised Land by Joe Smooth.
and Shakespeare. Tony Colston-Hayter, a plucky young promoter, it grew to take in thousands and then millions
8. I’ll House You by the Jungle Brothers.
After a run in with the management at had teamed up with the well-known gangster as the years have gone on. Whether you’re at a
9. Voodoo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald.
Bill Stickers, they moved around the corner Dave Roberts, and with massive outdoor full moon party in Thailand or most cities in the
10. Security by The Beat Club.
to Shaftsburys on Shaftesbury Road. “It was a events like Sunrise they were controlling not world, you can see the effect of that summer.”
really tacky disco so I got Derrick Yates to do just the parties but also the security and the
Mr C’s top 10 musical memories from ‘88:
some artwork (he did the original Funki Dred drugs. With bigger and better-managed events, There’s a special night to mark the 20th
1. When We Used To Play by Blake Baxter
logo for Soul II Soul) and he did all these really acid house went mainstream. In the spirit anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’ on
2. Taste My Love by Kim Mazelle
crazy sexy banners as well as coming up with of individualism and free-market enterprise Saturday August 30 at The End in London.
3. New York by Deekay Jones
the iconic Confusion logo, a winking sun face. promoted by Margaret Thatcher, the Mr C will headline in the main room alongside
4. The Way I Feel by Lil Louis
Akeem The Dream also contributed some generation of 88 were nothing if not a product some very special guests, while Danny
5. The Dance by Rhythm is Rhythm
amazing décor and even a rasta-flavoured of the times. Rampling hosts a Shoom reunion in the
6. Drifting by Jomanda
birthday flyer, and it was great to have such “Tony Colston-Hayter and Dave Roberts AKA Bar. Go to for more
7. Dream Girl by Pierre’s Phantasy Club
a fired up creative crew around me. The third managed to really stuck two fingers up at the information. In the next issue of SHOOK we’ll
8. Smile On Me by Aqua Regia
week we had Adamski and Jimi Polo do a PA. world and that was what everybody loved; that have the view from Manchester & the electro
9. Washing Machine by Mr. Fingers
And we went on to have Tony Humphries, they were getting away with it. They weren’t scene in the days leading up to the Hacienda,
10. I’m In Love by Shalor

30 31

It’s May Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe, two wild New Yorican of big sounds
1963. Despite the time
his father’s dudes, took salsa from El Barrio and gave it to –Jefferson
protests, Hector the world. Hector’s nephew, Lil Louie Vega, Led Airplane, Funkadelic,
Juan Perez arrives in Zeppelin and of
Nueva York aged just 17. shows some love to the greatest salsa course James Brown. There
He’s a singer and he’s resolved singer of all time, a man whose where were the summer street parties
not to go back home until he’s fulfilled the bands (a mix of boricuans,
message was simple: No
his ambition – to make the big time. A Cubanos, and Dominicanos) let loose,
countryboy, un jibaro from the heart of the while the food stalls would sell stews, meats,
hay quien te aguante, plantains,
island of Puerto Rico, when he arrives on his mofongo. And on Sunday afternoon,
No one can hold
sister Priscilla’s doorstep, he has no idea about at joints like Hunts Point Palace, the Colgate
life in the big city and he’s disappointed not to
you back. Bronx and Gardens, the Psycho Room, you’d pay $1.50
see New York as he’d imagined, full of bright to hear one band after another. But this music
lights and larger-than-life characters. Instead, despite his diminuitive also started to travel way beyond the Barrio to
during that long hot summer, he discovers the frame – he was 5’6” – Willie Mexico, Columbia, to Cuba… even to Africa, via
grimy ghetto streets of the Bronx lined with earned himself a reputation as Cap Verde. The boogaloos, guaguancos and
boarded-up stores and firebombed buildings something of a tough guy. His first album for danzons created a new dance craze wherever
(Jewish lightening, they used to call it). And the Fania Records was recorded in 1967. Willie they travelled.
only bright lights anywhere in sight are those was just 17 at the time, but he was already the Together, Willie and Hector cut a bunch
of the Cross-Bronx Expressway that they’d just real deal – a trombonist who was writing all of albums together into the late’60s and early
erected through the borough, bringing nothing the arrangements and directing the musicians ’70s – The Hustler, Cosa Nuestra, Lo Mato (Si
but fast cars and trouble in its wake. exactly how he wanted. That album was called No Compra Esta LP). Louie remembers how
“He came here from Puerto Rico with ‘El Malo’ – the bad boy – and he looked like Hector would come over to his mom’s house
nothing. And the first person he came to see a real little gangster on the cover. This was with the test pressings and play them on the
when he came to New York? He came to my long before the days of Puff Daddy or all those record player. The music took influences from
mothers house. I was a three-year-old kid and other phony rappers these days. And on that all over – jazz, African music, Columbian music,
my uncle was living in my house, and his soon- record Hector Lavoe was the voice (‘la voz’ music from Panama, funk, rock – but the lyrics
to-be wife Puchi, she lived in my house too, and became ‘lavoe’). He brought the smoothness spoke to them about their lives, the unforgiving
my mother took them in, of course, open arms, where Willie Colon came across rough, he was grind of life in El Barrio. Hector was the poet of
and I was a little kid running round,” says Lil’ charming where Willie was off-hand. Just listen the Barrio and he was adored by his people. He
Louie Vega about his uncle Hector Juan Perez, to ‘Quimbombo’, the way Hector jumps on the reciprocated, dedicating a song to his people
soon to be better known as Hector Lavoe, ‘El melody through the soneo. These locos are – he called it Mi gente. My people.
Cantante de los Cantantes’. making history right there in the studio. “He was very warm person, very friendly,
Hector’s older brother, Pito, had pitched “Hector could ad lib his ass off – he could and he would walk in anywhere and you had
up in New York a few years earlier and things sing a love song, he could sing a street song, to notice him first of all…You could go up and
hadn’t gone well. He got himself a bad habit and he had the best of both worlds. He could get talk to him and he’d talk to anybody. I mean
ended up overdosing in the street. Gone like raw on you and sing these beautiful songs – he he’d talk to the bum in the street or to a multi-
that. Tragedy, it seemed, clung to this family’s had this voice that could stretch that far and millionaire. He was a people’s person and
destiny like the rot. But you couldn’t fault the that’s what Willie loved about him,” says Louie. everybody really loved him because he was so
young Hector Lavoe for clinging to his dreams “Willie would go into the studio and create real and he would always help a lot of people.
of success. He had a talent, some would say a magic, and my uncle would just come in, not It comes from his upbringing. He was brought
blessing – and he couldn’t just give up on that. writing anything down, and a lot of those songs up in the country in Puerto Rico, in the small
In a short amount of time in the city, he was that you hear, obviously the lyrics were written towns, and that’s the way they are – they like
already hanging out in the clubs and rehearsal for the verses, but when it came to the vamps, to help each other, they’re caring, and when
rooms, and whenever he got a chance to get he was just improvising and doing what he felt, Puerto Ricans moved over here in the late
up and sing, he wouldn’t think twice. “He went what came from his heart.” ’50s, they brought back who they were and I
to auditions and stuff for bands because they Hector loved Willie like a brother and think that helped a lot in the nighbourhoods.”
were always looking for singers and he ran into together the pair were about to take salsa
Willie Colon pretty quickly,” says Louie. to stratospheric levels. From the Lower East In those days, musicians would play sometimes
Side all the way up to 150th , the sound of three concerts a day. Eddie Palmieri, Willie
It was Johnny Pacheco, the main man at Fania, Willie, Ray Barretto or Eddie Palmieri could be Colon and Hector Lavoe had the Bronx
who introduced Willie to Hector. Willie was this heard in grocery stores, in the beauty salons, locked down while Johnny Pacheco and Ray
New Yorican type dude. He was born in the pumping out of car stereos alongside the other Barretto took care of the Cuban clubs in Lower
32 33
The fashion was for bright plaid shirts and pleated, peg pants, really
and Brooklyn.
real pimp gear and thesde parties used to go on all night, nice that he
and of course there were a lot of beautiful girls. recognized what
The fashion was
I was doing.”
for bright plaid shirts Larry Harlow remembers how at the end of Just like his
and pleated, peg pants, the night, they’d pick out girls from the uncle, Louie has always
real pimp gear and these
parties used to go on all night, crowd to take home – “You, you, you been surrounded by a crew of
hugely talented musicians whether
and of course there were a lot of and you,” they’d say – and then with Masters at Work, Nuyorican Soul
beautiful girls. Larry Harlow remembers they’d stay up for three and now Elements of Life. Gene Perez on
how at the end of the night, they’d pick out
girls from the crowd to take home – “You, you,
days, drinking and bass, Lusito Quintero on percussions, Albert
smoking. Menendez on keyboards and Ricardo Ramos
you and you,” – and then they’d stay up for
While on guitar have helped inject some magic into
three days, drinking and smoking. But there was
Hector and the the music. “I think that’s very important that we
also heroin going around at the time. That stuff
rest of the Fania Allstars carry on that spirit that Fania had. That MFSB
doesn’t leave you alone. Follows you around
were turning the party out from had, or the JBs. We have our own little JBs
for the rest of your days. Suffice to say, Hector
Argentina to Zaire (where they shared over here, bringing all the music we have to life.”
was introduced to it and was soon hopelessly
the bill with Stevie Wonder at the Rumble Last year, Louie and the Elements of Life
addicted. He started turning up late for
in the Jungle), back in the Bronx, along the created a reworking of ‘Mi Gente’ for Fania.
rehearsals and for concerts, if he made it at all.
tracks of the No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 trains, a “When I was doing that track, they gave me
His audiences forgave him, even the musicians
second-generation of Puerto Ricans and Afro- out-takes of other songs and I heard Hector
forgave him, but he was eventually fired from
Americans were taking James Brown breaks, speaking and it really touched my heart to
Willie’s band which caused him a great deal of
German electro records and throwing down hear his voice speaking normally during the
grief. It took him some time to realize that Willie
salsa dance steps in a totally new way. session. You could hear him just doing his thing,
was actually doing him a favour. Hector went
“You’d walk down the block and there’s a singing all his parts, and creating them on the
solo in 1975, recording such classic albums
block party going on. I’d see my sisters hustling spot. I’ve been speaking to Fania about taking
like La Voz, De Ti Depende and Comedia. Willie
to a lot of disco records and joining hustling more of his music and other Fania stuff and
still produced those albums which spawned hits
contests, then I would go down the block and creating a whole album out of it. There might be
like ‘Mi Gente’ – Hector loved to sing that at the
hear Afrika Bambaataa and Jazzy Jay doing all something really interesting with Elements of
beginning of his sets – ‘De Ti Depende’ and the
the early hip hop breakbeats, and they were Life and Nuyorican Soul. I’m already starting to
10-minute version of ‘El Cantante’, featuring
playing all kinds of music – funk, rock, disco get a lot of the masters they have, I’m choosing
those epic strings and taken from the Comedia
– and creating these long breakbeats and songs…”
album which went platinum in 1977.
everyone would be loving it. Jazzy Jay, he was
At the height of his success, Louie Vega
my mentor. He helped me out when I was 13 Hector Lavoe sadly passed away in 1993. He’d
remembers seeing Hector at Madison Square
years old, he recognized me. At those block contracted AIDS from sharing needles but that
Gardens. “I was a kid and I knew I had an uncle
parties and the jam sessions which a lot of the was just the last in a series of tragedies. In his
and that he was a singer but it was not until I
early break dancers used to come out to, I was final years he’d seen his mother murdered in
went to Madison Square Gardens with my mom
a kid there, hanging out watching them DJ and Puerto Rico, his son Hector Jr accidentally shot
and the family that I fully realized… I remember
kinda dreaming. That was in the Bronx River dead by a friend and his house burned to the
sitting all the way at the top – we weren’t even
Projects, right down the block from where I ground. At the funeral at Saint Cecilia’s church
in the front – and he came down from the roof
lived, Bradford Avenue,” Louie recalls with pride. on East 106 Street in the heart of Spanish
and there were 17,000 people screaming like
With members of the Rocksteady Crew like Harlem, thousands of fans, who turned up
crazy. He was doing all these ad libs on the
Crazy Legs, Bobbito Garcia, and Tony Touch, with boomboxes blasting El Cantante’s music,
spot, and they were funny, and he had a real
the block parties were filled with the children of gathered in the streets. After the ceremony,
sense of humour. He would see a woman in a
Fania and funk. the procession weaved its way through the
red dress in a crowd, and he would tell you a
When Louie started to make it as a DJ New York streets for five and a half hours,
whole story within the melody of the song, and
in the mid-’80s he remembers how his uncle revisiting all of his favourite haunts. He’d seen
ad lib about this woman and make it feel almost
Hector came up to him one day. “I started his dreams come true, he’d become a legend,
like it was written on the spot.
playing in NYC in the club scene in ’86 in a club and all through the afternoon you could hear on
“Afterwards, when we went to see him
called Heart Throb which was the old Funhouse. people’s stereos his defiant voice singing ‘No
backstage and all these women were trying to
My uncle heard about me and when I went to Me Llores Mas’. “If I die tomorrow, don’t cry for
tear his clothes off… oh my goodness. And then
his house once, he was like ‘I heard you’re a me, go dancing instead. The party’s calling, so
we went to the hotel where he was staying at,
big DJ and everybody loves you and they know go cry your crocodile tears somewhere else.”
and he had a big beautiful suite and all these
you and you’re really good’ And then he started
people around him and we would go up to see
giving me advice about the business. It was
him and talk some for a little bit .”
The Brief Wondrous Life of
Oscar Wao It was also reported that Oscar drooled on himself and didn’t wake up for the meal or
the movie, only when the plane touched down and everybody clapped.
“What’s going on?” He demanded, alarmed.
“Relax, Mister. That just means we’ve made it.”
Junot Díaz sent out a warning signal in 1996 with ‘Drown’, a The beat-you down heat was the same, and so was the fecund tropical smell that he
collection of razor-edged stories taking place between New Jersey had never forgotten, that to him was more evocative than any Madeleine and likewise
and the Dominican Republic. This year, he returned with The Brief the air pollution and the thousands of motos and cars and dilapidated trucks on the road
Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a bittersweet tale about Oscar de Léon, and the clusters of peddlers at every traffic light (so dark, he noticed, and his mother said,
an overweight nerd of Jabba the Hut proportions, who lives in Jersey, dismissively, “Maldito haitianos”) and people walking languidly with nothing to shade
is obsessed with sci-fi and role play games, and has become deeply them from the sun and the buses that charged past so overflowing with passengers that
from the outside they looked like they were making a rush delivery of spare limbs to some
worried that he’ll be the first Dominican male ever, in the history of
far-off war and the general ruination of so many of the buildings as if Santo Domingo
that island of hot-blooded pimps and playboys, to die a virgin. was the place that crumbled crippled concrete shells came to die–and the hunger of
the kids’ faces, can’t forget that– but also it seemed in many places like a whole new
country was materializing atop the ruins of the old one: there were now better roads
and nicer vehicles and brand-new luxury air-conditioned buses plying the longer routes
Every summer Santo Domingo slaps the Diaspora engine into reverse, yanks back as
to the Cibao and beyond and U.S. fast-food restaurants (Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger
many of its expelled children as it can; airports choke with the overdressed; luggage
King) and local ones whose names and logos he did not recognize (Pollos Victorina and
carousels groan under the accumulated weight of that year’s cadenas and paquetes,
El Provocón No. 4) and traffic lights everywhere that nobody seemed to heed. Biggest
and pilots fear for their planes–overburdened beyond belief–and for their themselves;
change of all? A few years back his grandmother La Inca had moved her entire operation
restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, malecones, beaches, resorts, hotels, moteles, extra
to La Capital–“we’re getting too big for Baní”–and now the family had a new house in
rooms, barrios, colonias, campos, ingenios swarm with quisqueyanos from the world
Mirador Norte and six bakeries throughout the city’s outer zone. “We’re capitaleños,”
over. Like someone had sounded a general reverse evacuation order: Back home,
his cousin, Pedro Pablo (who had picked them up at the airport), announced proudly.
everybody! Back home! From Washington Heights to Roma, from Perth Amboy to
La Inca too had changed since Oscar’s last visit. She had always seemed ageless,
Tokyo, from Brijeporr to Amsterdam, from Lawrence to San Juan; this is when basic
the family’s very own Galadriel, but now he could see that it wasn’t true. Nearly all
thermodynamic principle gets modified so that reality can now reflect a final aspect, the
her hair had turned white, and despite her severe unbent carriage, her skin was finely
picking-up of big-assed girls and the taking of said to moteles; it’s one big party; one
crosshatched with wrinkles and she had to put on glasses to read anything. She as still
big party for everybody but the poor, the dark, the jobless, the sick, the Haitian, their
spry and proud and when she saw him. First time in early seven years, she put her hands
children, the bateys, the kids that certain Canadian, American, German, and Italian
on his shoulders and said, “Mi hijo, you have finally returned to us.”
tourists love to rape– yes, sir, nothing like a Santo Domingo summer. And so for the
“Hi, Abuela.” And then, awkwardly: “Benedición.”
first time in years Oscar said, “My elder spirits have been talking to me, Ma. I think I
(Nothing more moving, though, than La Inca and his mother. At first saying nothing
might accompany you.” He was imagining himself in the middle of all that ass-getting,
and then his mother covering her face and breaking down, saying in this little-girl voice:
imagining himself in love with an Island girl. (A brother can’t be wrong forever, can
“Madre, I’m home.” And then the both of them holding each other and crying and Lola
joining them and Oscar not knowing what to do so he joined his cousin, Pedro Pablo,
So abrupt a change in policy was this that even his sister Lola quizzed him about it.
who was shuttling all the luggage from the van to the patio de atrás.)
“You never go to Santo Domingo.”
It really was astonishing how much he’d forgotten about thee DR: the little lizards
He shrugged. “I guess I want to try something new.”
that were everywhere, and the roosters in the morning, followed shortly by the cries of
the plataneros and the bacalao guy and this tió Carlos Moya, who smashed him up that
first night with shots of Brugal and who got all misty at the memories he had of him and
his sister.
Family de Léon flew down to the Island on the fifteenth of June. Oscar, scared shitless
But what he had forgotten most of all was how incredibly beautiful Dominican
and excited, but no one was funnier than their mother who got done up like she was
women were.
having an audience with King Juan Carlos of Spain himself. I f she’d owned a fur she
“Duh,” Lola said.
would have worn it, anything to communicate the distance she’d traveled, to emphasize
On the rides he took those first couple of days he almost threw his neck out.
how not like the rest of these dominicanos she was. Oscar, for one, had never seen her
“I’m in Heaven,” he wrote in his journal.
looking so dolled-up and elegante. Or acting so comparona. Belicia giving everyone a
“Heaven?” His cousin Pedro Pablo sucked his teeth with exaggerated disdain. “Esto
hard time, from the check-in people to the flight attendants, and when they settled into
aquí es un maldito infierno.”
their seats in first class (she was paying) she looked around as if scandalized: “These
are not gente de calidad!”
36 37
Respect is due : August Darnell You’re two music obsessive brothers,
growing up in The Bronx in the early ‘70s.
most important thing in your life. But it was
a great neighbourhood. It was a melting pot
streetwise bragging.”

The counter cultural advancements of the without being a cliché. A lot of Italians and Irish, While it was Darnell who became best known

previous decade, coupled with New York’s alongside Jews and Puerto Ricans. It was a for his exuberant style, the whole Savannah
economic meltdown and the subsequent cheap fantastic conglomeration of every ethnic group Band look and sound was the brainchild of the
housing for the arts, have paved the way for and we learned a lot from there.” older sibling. “It was my brother’s idea really
clubs like The Loft and The Gallery. You have a though, because he was very much into the
passion for the sounds you are hearing on the Survival came in the form of music, as forties,” Darnell admits. “He was enamoured
dancefloor and on the streets, and decide to immigrants clung to their ancestral roots not only by the look but also the music. So his
start making music for the kings and queens of while making a claim on the streets. “Each idea was to combine the 1940s styling and
the scene. But what to do to fit in? The answer group brought their own contribution,” Darnell harmonies with the disco beat. He was an
you decide is obvious: You reinvent yourself as enthusiastically recalls. “So you heard the incredible songwriter and the ideas always
a pair of zoot suited playboys from the 1940s; Italian arias next to the salsa of the Puerto came from him.”
mixing soul and disco with big band jazz and Ricans and I grew to love all of that. And then
swing. you had the other Caribbean influences, the To offset the wild amalgam of musical styles

Jamaican reggae and calypso. And then mixed came the ghetto realism of August Darnell. “My
This was the decision made by one August in with that you had all the funk, because lyric writing always came out of life,” he recalls.
Darnell and his older brother Stony Browder James Brown was a god in The Bronx.” “It was autobiographical to some extent but
Jnr when setting up Dr Buzzard’s Original From the spats-hoofed jazz cats of the ‘30s to was always disguised. So it was all about the
Savannah Band back in 1974. The dead- escapism that came with the daily grind. We
end exotica of these disco mavericks sowed had just come out of the Vietnam War, which
the seed for one of the most successful US
August is tapping into of course we had lost. Then there was the
groups of the early ‘80s. And while chart hits this heritage when he economy going to hell. So there was this whole
from Kid Creole and The Coconuts like ‘Annie feeling of just letting our hair down and that is
I’m Not Your Daddy’ and ‘Stool Pigeon’ evoke
recalls the liberation what I drew on. Hedonism became the religion
pop’s golden age, the mutant disco released he felt when he first of the day. I remember someone saying to
by August Darnell and his cohorts actually me one day at a club ‘we live today because
made him a star in the underground clubs long
put on a pair of baggy tomorrow we die’. Everyone was so high on

before he became a household name across pants, two tone shoes drugs but there was a need for that because
Europe. the world was doing us all in. So there was a
and fedora and sang purpose in the exuberance.”
“I have been thinking about the route that drove “Zoot Suit City’” on ‘I’ll
us from these kids in The Bronx to creating Augmenting the grit and flamboyance were
these egotistical flamboyant characters, and
Play The Fool’, the raw and sexy soul vocals of Cory Daye (the
I think it had more to do with the cinema that singer of such disco classics as ‘Pow Wow’)
anything else,” explains August Darnell on the the Kangol and Adidas clad b-boys of the early whose evocative voice added colour to the hard
cusp of the release of a retrospective of his ‘80s, the street styles of The Bronx have always time lyrics. “We had created this whole fantasy
work . “My dad was a movie fanatic and he took been loud and proud. August is tapping into world so were all dressed in ‘40s clothes and
us to see many films when we were younger this heritage when he recalls the liberation he Cory Daye, bless her, she was the apotheosis
that I grew to love those guys Humphrey felt when he first put on a pair of baggy pants, of the femme fatale,” Darnell says fondly.
Bogart and Edward G Robinson. And they were two tone shoes and fedora and sang “Zoot “She dressed that way and was a big fan of
all such sharp dressers.” Suit City’” on ‘I’ll Play The Fool’, the opening actresses like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
track of Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band’s She had this incredibly sultry voice and was a
As Darnell recalls, the bleak yet pulsating first LP. “It was a braggadocio kind of thing stylist who combined Billy Holliday and Peggy
streets that he and his brother roamed as kids really. You’ve got to remember that the zuit Lee and when she opened her mouth you just
created a fertile ground for self-discovery. “The suit came out the era of the depression when fell in love with her. So she was a big part of
Bronx was everything to be honest with you. they were telling everyone to be careful with our success and we would not have had the
Without the Bronx I would not be the person how much cloth you use because of the war. success we had without her.”
I am today because it was the foundation for So the disenfranchised people of Harlem said:
everything. At the time you don’t know if it was To hell with that, we’re going to go the other The Savannah Band sound, which was loosely
a bad neighbourhood or good neighbourhood way and use more cloth and turn our noses up held together on the debut LP by future
– it was just our neighbourhood. So your at the authorities, and show you not only are Odyssey producer Sandy Linzer, reached its
survival instincts become extremely important. we surviving but we are larger than life. And zenith on ‘Cherchez La Femme’, which became
How you get from day to day becomes the there was a real freedom for us in that same a huge underground club hit. August and Stony

38 39
didn’t hang around in making the most of their as explorers in the jungle, holding a copy of
new found fame. “We’d go to Studio 54 all the Manhattan’s Yellow Pages. “The album took
time because it was the place to be seen,” everything I had learned from the Savannah
Darnell recalls. “But then also The Gallery Band, just putting more emphasis on the
which was a lot more down to earth and less Caribbean,” explains Darnell. “My brother
commercial.” Bronx-born DJ Andre Collins was more into the South American music but
who went on to play at the fabled black gay wasn’t really into the reggae and calypso, but I
sanctuary The Warehouse, recalls the effect was a massive Bob Marley and Might Sparrow
‘Cherchez La Femme’ had on Gallery heads fan.” The post punk mutant pop reached a
when DJ Nicky Siano dropped it. “I remember peak on ‘Tropical Gangsters’ which established
when it really, really hit me. I was at The Gallery August Darnell’s star status, containing as it
one night with my friends, upstairs in the did the massive hits ‘Annie I’m Not Your Daddy’,
lounge area. Nicky put on the song, and toward ‘Stool Pigeon’, and ‘I’m a Wonderful Thing
the end of the song, where the background Baby’. With his brightly coloured zoot suits and
singers go, “oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, that’s amora”, cartoonish backing band, Kid Creole left an
I was leaning over the balcony and the entire indelible image when he appeared on Top Of
dance floor was singing that part and rocking The Pops in 1981. “The UK was the first place
back and forward. I remember it like it was to embrace us,” recalls Darnell fondly. “We
yesterday.” needed to know at that time that someone was
getting what we were doing.”
While the glamour of Studio 54 was a draw
for the wide-eyed brothers they were also Arriving in England, Darnell found a culture
aware that their music was being embraced with its ears wide open as new romanticism
by a whole other group of hedonists. “One took hold. “It was like a breath of fresh air,”
of the greatest scenes at that time was the he recalls. “Because the radio was not as
gay scene over on Fire Island,” Darnell recalls aligned as in America where you had these
avidly. “They had some of the greatest clubs strict categories. There was a much healthier
over there. There was a marriage between the mix of music and people didn’t say ‘it’s not
gay scene and disco that was so profound. It black enough or its not white enough or its
was music for the outsider and escapism. This too R&B or too pop. They just embraced it.”
loud beat and the hi hat which provided a way As Kid Creole became a household name,
to escape all your injuries and problems, and Darnell sought inspiration once again on the
add to that some strong drugs and you had dancefloor. “The clubs in London were great
the escapism of the Fire Island clubs. And we really didn’t care. We were about having fun back then. We would go to Le Beat Route and
Manchester – to a full dancefloor on which the not have gone anywhere. They just took to and mirrored the crossovers taking place on the
were very lucky because for some reason The and letting our friends get a piece of the pie.” Blitz, but there were many others that I can’t
sprung oak surface had been an original host made it their own.” dancefloors of Manhattan. “We would check
Savannah Band became the darlings of the gay remember.”
to that music all those years before!” out every club imaginable,” Darnell recalls. “This
set and that is how we became famous. So it Joining the newly named Kid Creole at Ze, was
Around this time, Michael Zilkha and Michael was a mighty period and we were very lucky
was because of places like the Ice Palace that the engineer Bob Blank. A collaborator with While Island Records, who licensed the Ze
Imagine the scene at these legendary clubs Esteban had set up the Ze record label to to live in it. That was such an amazing time for
the record started to get the attention it did Arthur Russell on Lola’s ‘Wax The Van’, Blank albums, took good care of Darnell artistically,
when the dancers first laid their ears on capture the eclectic soundtrack of early ‘80s clubs and there’s never been any time like it.
and eventually became the hit record.” was also the man responsible for producing a move to Sony in the eighties saw Darnell’s
August Darnell’s next project, Machine and the New York. As fiercely independent as imprints The quintessential club at the time was Studio
the classic ‘Together Forever’ by Exodus, as creative energy sapped away. “That was the
classic ‘There But For The Grace of God Go I’. like 99 and Factory, Ze acted as a perfect 54 but there was a whole load of others we
While the record crossed over to the charts well as Musique’s ‘In The Bush’ and he perfectly biggest mistake of my career,” he laments.
The song tells the story of a girl who is moved forum for August Darnell’s next musical would go to including one in a church called
and became a surprise Top 10 hit in mid-‘70s complimented the eccentric productions of “Chris Blackwell understood and loved Kid
away from her Bronx neighbourhood by her explorations, as he became not just the label’s The Limelight. And then you had the punk
America, it was to be the last major success Darnell. “He made everything sound larger Creole. He couldn’t offer us the kind of money
parents, to a place “with no blacks, no Jews, biggest star but just as importantly its main clubs The Mudd club and Studio 57 and in a
for the group in the US. Their next LP ‘Meets than life,” enthuses August. “He was extremely Sony were offering, so being a capitalist I
and no gays” but “turns out to be a natural writer and producer. way that had a better reputation than Studio
King Pennett’ and its follow up, ‘Goes To important to everything because if you get the went for the money. And after that the band
freak”. August recalls how the session came 54. It was a dirty place but everyone hung out
Washington’ flopped and for his next major wrong engineer that is the end of it right there. crumbled because Sony didn’t get it.”
about: “I never had any ambitions to become a He recalls the reason for this change in there all works of life from the top echelon to
success August Darnell would have to look Bob tried everything and in some ways he was
producer, but when these opportunities come direction. “The direct cause of Kid Creole was the bottom. And for some reason all the punks
across the water, where unbeknown to him, more unorthodox than us. He was out there.” With the contract terminated, August took
up you have to take them. So I went in the the falling out with my brother. I was quite loved disco, so it really was ‘no wave’ because
the leftfield disco of The Savannah Band had solace on the road, a journey that continues
studio and the keyboard player Kevin Nance content with The Savannah band. We had a you would hear the strangest combination
already made its mark. Darnell and Blank’s distorted, almost surrealist, to this day. “Kid Creole never actually stopped.
had that great riff and I said I’m going to go hit record, loads of dough, signed to RCA. But of music. I loved the eclectic aspect of that
production reached a peak on the aptly The original girls all quit as the touring became
away and write some controversial lyrics.” at that time I found my brother dictatorial. So – respecting that music comes from different
In the mid to late ‘70s, hallowed clubs like titled ‘Spooks in Space’ by Aural Exciters and too much and they went off to have lives. And
it was sibling rivalry… Being an upstart I didn’t directions. And then the first Kid Creole gigs
Crackers in the West End of London, The Cristina’s self titled LP. These were just two I struggled for years to find girls that could fit
Released in 1979, this incredible slice of like being categorised or fenced in as I was were actually at a punk club called The Squat
Blackpool Mecca, and The Ritz in Manchester of many side projects which saw Darnell work in their shoes. But through that time we never
political Latin disco was also tailor made for the bursting at the seams with ideas, and wanted Club a filthy little club; so in the beginning it
were jumping and spinning to a wild concoction on classics such as ‘Deputy of Love’ by Don stopped touring, so that is the reason we are
gay, black and Hispanic dancers at clubs like to write some music. But he said he was the was a punk scene and only developed into
of jazz funk and disco. The unique sound of Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band still here today.” With the release of ‘Going
the Paradise Garage in New York. writer of music and I wrote the lyrics… So I said something different later on.”
The Savannah Band was eagerly devoured by and ‘I’m An Indian Too’ and Coati Mundi’s ‘Que Places: The August Darnell Years’ on Strut and
to him alright man I’m gonna go out there and
the open-minded DJ’s and dancers. Working Pasa/Me No Pop I’. “It wasn’t about us trying a series of festival dates over the summer, the
“While people went to Studio 54 to be seen, form my own band.” Kid Creole’s first two albums ‘Off The Coast
for RCA at the time, legendary Northern Soul to be crazy, but it was basically me expressing overlooked music of this unique disco outsider
at the Garage it was all about the music and Of Me’ and ‘Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places’
DJ Richard Searling remembers the group’s myself and everyone who was in that alternate and his eccentric accomplices looks set to
the sound system,” recalls Darnell. “It was an Moving to Ze, Darnell and his new songwriting expanded on the themes of the Savannah
impact in the North West clubs. “Tracks society expressing themselves,” states Darnell reach a new audience. Respect is long overdue.
unbelievable place full of electricity and energy. partner Andy Hernandez (later to become Band, as Darnell in the words of writer Peter
like Cherchez La Femme enriched the Soul about this heady period.
It was really magnificent and I have to salute Coati Mundi) found a group of like-minded Shapiro “attempted to universalize the plight
alldayers by bringing a dab of colour and class ‘Going Places – The August Darnell Years’ is
the gay community at places like The Garage eccentrics, bursting with creative energy. “It of the mulatto misfit”. On the cover of ‘Off
to the proceedings. The throwback ‘40s vibe The mutant disco that burst out of Ze, out now on Strut.
because without them ‘Grace of God’ would was like Motown on Acid,” Darnell laughs. “We The Coast of Me’ the group are dressed
worked wonderfully in venues like the Ritz in

40 41
words RYAN PROCTOR Hip-hop fans love to reminisce about the good What initially made you decide to set-up No to establish a brand name so that when fans
old days. Ask any longstanding rap fanatic Sleep? and collectors see something from No Sleep
his or her thoughts on the music’s much- It’s funny because there wasn’t really any they know it represents a certain sound and
celebrated late-80s-to-mid-90s golden-era and impetus to make me start the label, it was level of quality from hip-hop’s golden era.
you’ll probably have to threaten to snap their more something that I gradually just got into.
rare test-pressing of Big Daddy Kane’s ‘Raw’ For the last few years I’ve been working with How much of a market is there for the type
in-half in order to shut them up. They’ll tell you Lord Finesse and one of the things him and of releases you’re putting out?
what a profound impact Public Enemy’s classic me got into was doing simple CDs to sell as It’s a small, small niche market. Obviously
1988 album It Takes A Nation Of Millions merchandise at his shows, one of which was there’s been a small market for vinyl for a
To Hold Us Back had on their socio-political the Rare & Unreleased project. I thought that while now, but it’s not really that much better
worldview. They’ll be able to recall exactly where was too much of a good CD just to sell at for CDs. For example, I know there were
they were the first time they heard Biggie’s shows as there was a lot of material on there thousands of people who got into Godfather
seminal 1994 debut Ready To Die. They might that his fans would want who perhaps couldn’t Don’s Nineties Sessions CD, but that didn’t
even laugh about the day they almost ended-up make it to a Lord Finesse performance. So we translate into sales. Of course, downloading is
in a record store fistfight over the last copy added a few things to it, put it out with proper hurting everyone nowadays, and if you’re only
of Street Smartz’ 1996 subterranean smash distribution and it did pretty well, particularly putting out music to appeal to a relatively small
‘Problems’. Yep, hip-hop fans love to reminisce overseas in places like Japan. At that point, audience anyway then it becomes even harder
about the good old days. to get everyone in that audience to support
But back in the day you what you’re doing. I think there are still a lot
James DL is one of those hip-hop fans. Spend of people who would go out and buy CDs, but
anytime talking with the 33-year-old from Long had to really dig and you I think they’re disenfranchised with the music.
Island, New York and it soon becomes clear wanted to know and have Hip-hop has become so bad that older fans
that rap music has been much more than have stopped going to the record store to look
just the soundtrack to his life; it’s been both a everything. That’s what for it. I think that if they knew there was a new
passion and an obsession. Introduced to hip- No Sleep is about, finding album out from an artist they liked back in the
hop culture at a young age, James became a day they might be inclined to purchase it. It’s
key-player in the NYC underground scene of the stuff that maybe you just about getting the word out there. Those
the 90s via his successful college radio show, heard on the radio but fans are out of the loop but they’re still listening
helping introduce the likes of J-Live and Talib to their old Brand Nubian or A Tribe Called
Kweli to listeners via numerous late-night studio never picked up, or those Quest albums. That’s one of the reasons why
freestyle sessions. He also worked for the now tracks that weren’t on a I felt it was so important to establish a brand
defunct independent label Hydra (temporary name with No Sleep, because the chances
home to Godfather Don, Screwball etc). particular album, are if you like one of our releases you’ll like the
others, so it gives people something to look for.
Last year, DL threw himself back into the
indie game by establishing his No Sleep Buckwild had reached out to me and we did What is it about hip-hop’s golden-era that
imprint. Disillusioned with the greed-obsessed a similar project containing a lot of his remix makes it such a special period to you?
industry circus that hip-hop has become in and production work from the 90s for artists People might accuse me of being stuck in the
recent times, James sought to help similarly like Organized Konfusion, Artifacts and Brand past, and I guess I am to a certain degree, but
unimpressed fans rediscover the creativity of Nubian. I was also involved in putting out the when albums like Showbiz & AG’s Runaway
rap’s glory days by releasing vintage (and often unreleased Ill Biskits album Chronicles Of Slave and Diamond’s Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop
previously unheard) material from back-in-the- Two Losers. I’d say that was probably when were coming out, you just couldn’t get enough
day favourites such as Lord Finesse, Kwest Tha I decided to start No Sleep because I was of the music. There was a feeling you used
Madd Lad and the aforementioned Godfather putting out these CDs on separate labels, but to get when you heard a record like Tribe’s
Don, plus new mix-CD projects like DJ Boogie at the same time, all of the CDs were really Midnight Marauders for the first time. I think
Blind’s Definitive D.I.T.C.. coming from the same source, which was me. I we need to preserve that feeling as much as
was using the same guy for all of the cover art, possible because that’s not coming back. I
With many more releases in the pipeline, the same mastering guy, the same distribution, don’t think young kids today fully understand
James DL sat down with Shook to explain so I decided to set-up my own label to enable just how exciting hip-hop used to be. It’s kinda
exactly why he wants to take us all back to the me to keep putting out similar projects but also easy to be a hip-hop head now because it’s
future. be able to cross-promote them better. I wanted all about just going on the internet message

42 43
coolin’ out...
with Lord Finesse, Nick Wiz,
Kwest and DJ Boogie Blind
What do you think is the biggest we did it. It also lets the mature hip-hop
difference between today’s rap game fan reminisce on what it was like when
boards every couple of days to check in on things. But and the golden era? they were still growing and loving the
back in the day you had to really dig and you wanted music.
to know and have everything. That’s what No Sleep is Lord Finesse: The difference I see
about, finding the stuff that maybe you heard on the between today’s rap game and the So far No Sleep has concentrated on
radio but never picked up, or those tracks that weren’t golden era is that there were so many the 90s hip-hop era - can you name a
on a particular album, and putting them out there in a classic artists and albums created favourite album from that period?
physical form for the people who actually still want to back then compared to now. There
own a copy of everything they like. was an extreme focus on the quality of Lord Finesse: I can’t really cut the list
the production and the lyrical content. down to just one favourite album and
Would you ever consider releasing a new artist Today’s rap game is more image driven. would be lucky if I could even cut the list
through No Sleep or do you want to keep your to a top twenty.
releases strictly old-school? Kwest: I think it’s become more focused
I probably want to keep the label as just being more of on financial gain than really trying to up Nick Wiz: The Cella Dwellas’ Realms
a vintage sound. But I actually am working on a project the ante skills-wise. Dudes step in the ’N Reality. When we were recording
right now with Buckwild that will be all vintage beats booth and say anything just to get a that album, we weren’t thinking about
but with vocals from a newer artist who people know. cheque. It’s all about who has the best anything other than making great music.
I can’t really say too much about it at the moment, but car and the most money etc. Most MCs
when it comes out I think it’ll have a pretty big impact. today don’t really show skill, if they even DJ Boogie Blind: Ice Cube’s Amerikkka’s
have any to begin with. Most Wanted just because I wanted to
What’s next for the label? see Cube do it up without N.W.A. and he
Well, the next thing is me and Godfather Don are DJ Boogie Blind: In the golden era, definitely made a classic.
putting out the Kool Keith / Cenobites album again everybody was being creative. Nowadays
with some additional songs that were recorded during people concentrate on your hustle more Do you have a particular favourite
the same mid-90s period but never released. Also, than your actual talent. recording and / or performance
I’m putting out a double-CD with Nick Wiz, who I feel memory from that same period?
is one of the more slept-on producers from the 90s. How important do you think it is for
It’s all stuff that he did between 1992 and 1997 with a label like No Sleep to be out there Lord Finesse: My greatest memories are
artists like Channel Live, Cella Dwellas and Rakim. I’m giving exposure to music from the associated with the recording sessions
also doing an unreleased album with Shorty Long who past? I did with Big L and The Notorious B.I.G. I
people will remember from his work with Lord Finesse. will forever remember working with two
Lord Finesse: A label like No Sleep of the immortals of hip-hop.
You’ve already worked with some of hip-hop’s greats educates new fans and it gives archive
like Lord Finesse, Buckwild etc, but is there a dream collectors a chance to purchase history. Kwest: I remember being in Firehouse
project you’d like to put together? Studios in NYC recording and the
I would love to do a CD with DJ Mark The 45 King and Nick Wiz: It’s definitely a great look engineer came in and said someone
be able to go through his archives because he must because there’s people out there that wanted to see me outside. When I went
have so much stuff that I’d want. I’ve actually spoken still want to hear that classic sound and out, The RZA was there with a few other
to him before and he told me ‘Yeah, I did about thirty No Sleep provides that. Wu-Tang members. He said he liked my
songs with Marky Fresh’ which, just as a fan of hip-hop, song ‘Lubrication’ and gave me props.
I’d love to hear. I’m not sure how much of that stuff Kwest: The younger generation forgets They had just dropped Enter The Wu-
he’d still have though, but that would be a project I’d where hip-hop came from and only know Tang and for him to say that about me
love to be able to put together. the current artists. No Sleep resurrects was an honour.
the past music and lets them see how


Carleen Anderson plus Marco Nelson plus Femi Fem equals the
Young Disciples, one of the most underrated British acts of the
‘90s. It’s fine time we tracked back down the Road to Freedom.

Aside from the occasional short-lived success and creatively minded souls who inhabited the Anderson. Proud of his African roots and keen
story (Junior or Labbi Siffre) and the odd same world. to support local events, he began spreading
criminally overlooked outfit (Cymande) things Perhaps inevitably before long someone the word. A school friend subsequently booked
weren’t too fine for home-grown UK soul until would declare a new group from the same Norman Jay to play a leaving-do and Good
the spring of 1988. If you’d been listening to scene to be the ‘next’ Soul II Soul. When they Times did the party. “Norman picked up on my
some of London’s pirate stations at the time did, that act was the Young Disciples. It was enthusiasm for the music and got me involved
or had been out clubbing, chances are you’d nonsense, of course, and no self-respecting from there on, albeit unofficially.”
have heard the debut release proper from one artist ever wants to be the ‘next’ anybody. They Around that time, Femi picked up that
of London’s best soundsystems. Soul II Soul’s need to be unique and the Young Disciples Barrie Sharpe was pretty much the only DJ
‘Fairplay’ struck a chord that spring and whilst were. operating regularly out of the West End playing
it failed to set the UK charts alight, in just over They started out as a duo consisting of funk and soul. “His Black Market night at
12 months the group would be internationally Marco Nelson and Femi Williams. Marco, The Wag was a big influence on me and the
known and on the verge of breaking America part Irish, part Spanish, had been living in legendary Cat In The Hat nights too.” Marco
in a way few UK acts whatever the genre have Reading since his early teens and during was equally impressed: “I met Femi at Black
done. the late ’70s and early ’80s found that “the Market. What most people forget is that at
A collective with DJ Jazzie B at its centre, Caribbean Club, London Street, Reading was that time most places were playing what was
as Soul II Soul’s hits got bigger and news incredibly important. Fatboy HiFi was the called Good Groove but Barrie was hammering
arrived that success abroad had begun to resident soundsystem and failing that tapes of all these James Brown cuts and obscure funk
eclipse their UK triumphs, inevitably they Jah Shaka and Scientist were played between tracks and it brought in a really mixed crowd
began to foster great pride. Not only were live bands like the A1 Vegetables, Mighty which I liked. It reminded me more of Reading
they making critically acclaimed soul records, Ballistics and Mike Cooper/Lol Coxhill.” Femi, than it did most London clubs I’d been to and
commercially they seemed to know no bounds. meanwhile, was from West London, Acton and it felt very positive.” Sharpe (then a partner
Coming from London’s relatively small club Ealing to be precise, and whilst still at school in The Duffer of St George) also had a band
scene their success was inspiring not least had begun hanging out at local club nights called Diana Brown & the Brothers who played
to the musicians, artists, dancers, designers organised by George Power and Paul ‘Trouble’ original funk tracks with the odd cover thrown

46 47
in for good measure. “He wanted to get as Holland which Marco and Femi attended. It was MC Mello and friends. The sleeve design was equipment it added up to a truly unique sound. that it was the most played tune at Carnival
many people in the band as possible, you know here that they first heard Carleen Anderson directly lifted from a Harlem Youth Percussion “We produced the record with a real hip-hop that year was the “highest accolade it could’ve
two drummers, two bass players, so I got sing. As well as backing vocals, she was given (Haryou) album from some 20 years earlier head on, looping everything and then gathering got.” The same month saw the album also hit
involved.” a solo spot during Bobby Byrd’s section of the and it underlined the thinking behind the act. round the desk and all controlling separate UK stores and the charts where it climbed to
Meanwhile, in clubland things were show. Taking centre stage she sang a powerful “Femi and I saw it very much as a collective elements to create dynamics” recalls Harris. number 21.
changing as Good Groove increasingly gave version of Deniece Williams’ ‘Free’. Chatting to at that time. The door was open and if you Femi and Marco remember listening Critically acclaimed, the album would
way to new funk nights with DJs prominently her afterwards the seeds of a friendship were had something to contribute you could. So it heavily to how Marley Marl, Wreckx-n-Effect, En subsequently be nominated for the first
featuring James Brown and JB related sown and they would all keep in touch after she brought together all these people who shared Vogue and Tribe Called Quest “put it together” Mercury Music Prize. As debut albums go it’s
productions in their sets. On pirate radio, returned to the USA. Despite the underlying similar tastes, feelings and so on.” Phonogram and Femi notes “the drums were just as a highly impressive record with a guest roll
shows on a similar tip started surfacing feeling that the Rare Groove scene had already (Talkin’ Loud’s parent company) however important to me as a lyric.” Marco reveals call that includes Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis,
right across the dial. Kiss FM, itself a pirate peaked, the London show was a great success. wanted them to resemble a traditional group. “Femi’s objectivity and attention to detail was Master Ace, Johnny Lytle, Paul Weller, Mick
at the time, and in particular Norman Jay That same year Norman Jay would spend Whatever the label’s concerns, that same invaluable. He could pick out something was Talbot and Maceo Parker. For many, part of
became something of a focal point for what some 10 weeks championing house music month, with a working title of ‘Young Ideas’ wrong however small, when the rest of us had the record’s appeal is the unique combination
was now being called the Rare Groove scene. at Dingwalls to a largely indifferent audience they started work on an album. Carleen, a our ears elsewhere and he really effected the of traditional instruments (including ones all but
It was 1985 and aided by Judge Jules and before High On Hope finally took off and single parent who’d been working in a bank overall sound of the album.” Femi’s talent in forgotten at the time like Moogs and Clavinets)
“When I started designing for Talkin’ Loud,
using the name Family Function/Shake & developed into one of the new house scene’s in Hollywood, was still in the UK. She recalls the studio seemed to flow partly as a result of and the whole hip-hop, R&B production
I had to come up with some stuff that was
Finger Pop, Norman Jay began organising a better-known clubs. “I didn’t consider it logical to pursue a career Marco’s. “Marc was the most knowledgeable sensibility which manages to blend sample-
radically different. At that time the whole Blue
series of one-off club nights. Like the Soul II Not long after, Gilles Peterson rang me in show business. The return of emotional guy on Black music that I’d met. He answered based tracks with ones recorded live.
Note thing hadn’t blown up. The only way y ou
Soul soundsystem, more often than not they up Marco and asked whether he had anything fulfilment didn’t seem likely enough in being a million questions in one go and he put a lot of “A lot of interviewers and reviews at the
could check the sleeves was by looking at the
operated outside of the West End, favouring to contribute to an album he was gonna open a performer. Plus, the financial security was things in place for me. There was a mountain I time found it quite quirky that we hadn’t just original records. I used to rifle through Gilles’
instead disused warehouses often in either the his new label Talkin’ Loud with. “Femi had been iffy, at best. Having been raised with the needed to climb in the studio and as a musician sampled everything” recalls Marco. Indeed box at sessions to get inspiration. When I
east end of London or south across the river. strict disciplines of the Pentecostal Christian he helped me do that.” it’s a remarkable mix and one which adds to started doing the Young Disciples, that first
Over the next two years Family Function/Shake doctrine, stability, no matter how humble, was As 1990 drew to a close, rumblings the album’s highlight, the three part ‘Freedom sleeve was based on a really obscure record
& Fingerpop established themselves as one of
People forget but always the preferred route”. But Anderson’s between the USA and Iraq, which had been Suite’ which begins with ‘Freedom’ before by the Harlem Youth Orchestra. But when we
the best illegal party organisers. Massive Attack were told chosen career wasn’t in financial services going on all year looked more and more like giving way to ‘Wanting’ and finishing on ‘To Be did Apparently Nothin’, that’s when the whole
Capitalizing on the mass appeal of the to drop the Attack from either. “Had Reagan not cut the arts funding ending in war. UK involvement was a foregone Free’. thing started to take form. They came to
James Brown sound, Marco and Femi got for the schools, I would have been a music conclusion and with the new year little more “Freedom came to me while I was driving me with Joe Henderson’s Mode for Joe – a
talking to biographer Cliff White. White, who their name. The Young teacher period, from then to now.” than two weeks old US bombers began air home from an office job in Georgia a few sleeve split up into three. It was still a taboo
worked for Charly Records and had been Disciples’ next single But Marco convinced her that she could attacks on Bagdad. “I remember seeing the years before I moved to England,” remembers in design terms to ‘sample’. You just didn’t
involved with Marco and Femi in the Got To Get make a steady, decent living as a backing TV and it was the first ‘live’ televised war and I Carleen. “Listening to news about the lifetime rip off people. That was a no-go area at that
Your Own compilation they’d put together, gave
‘Apparently Nothin’ also vocalist in London and the opportunity of was definitely nervous”, remembers Marco, “it incarceration of Nelson Mandela I had resigned time. But if hip-hop artists were sampling,
them the number for Bobby Byrd. Femi recalls suffered. Released on “recording an album alongside the backdrop trod on the optimism of the new decade and myself to believing he’d never be freed. I was in why couldn’t designers too? I like to think that
“Marco rang Bobby up and said do you know of starting my life over” proved too much of loads of shit started happening. People forget a terrible panic to get home to the piano and those sleeves are right up there in terms of
23 February 1991, the the sampling generation, the first time it had
how big all this music is over here, especially a draw to pass up. And although the initial but Massive Attack were told to drop the record it before the song left me. Bobby (Byrd)
in London? He was like, who are these kids record was quickly sessions were booked for only a few weeks, Attack from their name.” The Young Disciples’ was the first person I saw; ‘Please don’t say been done. That whole aesthetic is common-
from London ringing me about records I made the group’s campaign for more studio time next single ‘Apparently Nothin’ also suffered. anything to me, I’ve got to get this song down place these days, but back then it was really
pulled because people taboo.” (SWIFTY)
15 years ago?” Yet by 1986 he and Vicky coincided with her gaining a 6-month visitor’s Released on 23 February 1991, the record before I forget it!’ Poppa Byrd immediately
Anderson had agreed to come over and do
weren’t sure if it was an visa. Lady luck was playing her part beautifully. was quickly pulled “because people weren’t understood and kept everyone away from the
a PA. Family Function / Shake & Fingerpop anti-war song. In the studio Marco recalls “we constantly sure if it was an anti-war song” recalls Marco. front room while I sang ‘Freedom’ into my
together with Femi and Marco promoted had to define our roles as we went along Talkin’ Loud’s Club Promotions manager cassette player. I’ve learned since that songs
what would prove to be a highly successful very inspired by the whole Soul II Soul thing and because we hadn’t done anything like this Wendy K remembers “the week it was going like that won’t go away from their messenger.
(and legal) gig at London’s Town & Country also the success of people like Coldcut and had before.” Carleen agrees “everything was done up the chart it was 41 or 43 and the head of By the time the song was released on the
Club (now the Forum). Afterwards, Marco and been pushing to make a record so we literally quite randomly. We were lucky that Paul marketing came in and said Radio 1 have a album, so was Nelson Mandela. What strength
Byrd discussed the possibility of getting the had a very basic version of ‘Young Disciples Weller owned the studio, so costs were at problem with the lyrics, pull the record. We all of faith”.
other JBs together for a concert and over the Theme’ and a rough instrumental at that point. a minimum, which allowed for a very loose went mental.” Aside from a reissue of ‘Get Yourself
coming months plans were honed. We’d done them both at Solid Bond during atmosphere. Nearly every song on the album After ‘Apparently Nothin’ was withdrawn, Together’, there would be just one further
Before arriving in the down time and he really liked them. He gave us had that intense level of spontaneity, nothing influential underground Soul & Dance shops release from The Young Disciples, an
UK in ‘87 for the show, some money and we did a third track and he was ever planned it was always, ‘let’s try this like Body Music knew demand had long since eponymous EP which appeared a year later in
the reformed signed us for an album on the strength of that.” or that.’” outstripped supply. “The next thing I hear is the autumn of 1992. Featuring the excellent
JB’s had The Young Disciples contributed two The engineer on the album, Dill Harris that it’s been bootlegged and I’m sent out ‘Move On’ and ‘All I Have In Me’ in very different
a gig in tracks to Gilles’ 1990 debut Talkin’ Loud aka Sir Demus, hailed from Camden but had to a shop in Tottenham to pose as a wack forms from their original album versions, it
album. ‘Step Right On’ featured UK rappers only recently returned to the UK having spent American DJ and I end up coming back with 3 would have made a great bridge to a second
The Outlaw Posse and the ‘Young Disciples time in the USA learning the ropes in the copies” recalls Wendy K. And it wasn’t just the long player. But by then it was too late and a
Theme’ would again feature a UK rapper, this studios over there. Marco recalls “Dill had Soul and Dance shops either. Dub Vendor had lack of commitment from Phonogram coupled
time MC Mello. Talkin’ ‘Young Disciples Theme’ been working in New York, he was tea boy or placed the record at the top of their charts for with changing attitudes within the group put
was then released as a single in October in its something on Most Wanted’s Calm Down and weeks reflecting the support the record was paid to a follow-up LP.
new guise as ‘Get Yourself Together’ featuring had been working on KRS 1 records. We knew also getting from the underground reggae Time can be a hard judge but listening to
the vocals of Carleen Anderson. Whilst that getting a good engineer was critical and scene. “With the bootlegs we were able to Road To Freedom today, 16 years on from
musically upbeat it now featured a thought- he was just that.” Demus’ experiences in the go back to Radio 1 and say this is why we’re when I first did it still sounds wonderful to me.
provoking lyric discussing peace and personal USA meant he knew how to use the equipment re-releasing this record” remembers Wendy Most of the values that informed its creation
liberation. It would stall at number 68 but it favoured by the hip-hop community at the time K. With the war over there was nothing to still hold true and in terms of today’s musical
hinted at much. The sleeve featured Marco, which would prove crucial in the making of stop them supporting it either and Apparently landscape I’m inclined to say it fits in even
Femi and Carleen but also gave equal billing Road To Freedom. Combined with being able Nothin’ climbed to No.13 on the UK chart in better now. Time then perhaps, to reconvene
to the group’s manager, engineer, rapper to use Solid Bond’s traditional live rooms and August 1991. For Marco though, the fact on the banks of the soul river?
Old Rare New is a gorgeous new book chronicling the independent record store,
‘Independent’ is an exhibition of Spencer
Murphy’s photos documenting Soho’s
record stores: Jean-Claude looking crisp as
ever at If Music (which has since relocated
to Regent Street), Nicky Blackmarket in his
speaking to artists, store owners and DJs about the art of collecting vinyl in a underground bunker on D’Arblay Street,
time when it’s future is, once again, under threat. With Devendra Banhart, Will and JP at Vinyl Junkies (after his audition
for the Passion of Christ). In 2007, Deal
Oldham, James Lavelle, Bob Stanley, Simon Reynolds, James Lavelle, Joe Boyd, Sean Real pulled its shutters down for the last
time, as did CD City. Much as we love shop-
Bidder… this is a serious tribute to our collective obsession with black wax. ping online for music, there’s nothing quite
like being hustled out of half your paycheck
when the record distributor turns up with
the latest US imports. Keep supporting
DAVE KEENAN PHIL BARTON love the thrill of a record and the thrill of a your local record shop!
Owner of Volcanic Tongue, Glasgow. Owner of Sister Ray, Soho. packet to be opened an enjoyed. The BBC are
on the phone again. “Can we film in your shop?
“My favourite record shop is one that I have Berwick Street, London. The ‘golden mile’ of We’re doing a piece about how vinyl is back.”
never been to, even though I’ve spent long independent record stores. Well that’s the I tell them it never went away, but sure it’ll be
hours day-dreaming my way through its racks. expectation. The reality is things have changed. okay, come back next Tuesday. The racks will
Modern Music in Tokyo is, I’m told, about the Kids don’t collect records anymore, they steal be bulging with goodies, they’ll film it as usual,
size of my own Volcanic Tongue record shop tunes instead. The album is too old for people, say how quaint it is and then give the public
in Glasgow, a single-room empire up a flight of the kids want byte-sized easily digestible tracks. the impression that we all belong in a kitsch
stairs, rammed almost literally to the ceiling We’ve waved goodbye to a lot of friends around museum.
with treacherously-balanced piles of rare and here in the past few years. Unable to make the
new vinyl. Volcanic Tongue is kind of modelled rent, unable to compete with the net. We look STUART BAKER
on a fantasy version of Modern Music, like one around and the hardiest are still here, but for Owner of Sounds of the Universe in Soho, and
of those guys who build painstaking replicas of how much longer? head of Soul Jazz Records.
Noah’s Ark using hermetic clues gleaned from We look to our loyal customers for a bit
Biblical exegesis. of hope. The guy who comes in every Saturday “I started the shop when my friend, Alec Liddell,
There’s a shop in Edinburgh that has the and myself first travelled to America to buy
same reputed chaos feel of Modern Music and second-hand records. We had found a book
you end up picking up Charles Tyler records called Record Shops in the USA and we used
on Ak-Ba or Terry Riley’s Shandar side with this as a guide. We flew to New York and hired
a crushed spine and corners after rescuing a car (we didn’t hang around there). Someone
it from the weight of six or seven crates of in a record shop in Britain had casually said, “if
fucking Who rarities. I once also scored so big you go to St Louis, all the records are $1.” So
in an obscure Central Scotland record shop off we went. Needless to say they weren’t $1
(which, again, I have sworn not to reveal) when at all. I would say it’s the most fun we’ve ever
I walked in mere days after an entire free had, driving to a town in America, going to a
jazz collection had just been purchased that I telephone kiosk and looking up record shops
thought I was actually going to puke. to visit in the town, going from one shop to
Hard to believe it now, but back when Fopp another as fast as you can to reach another
had only two Scottish shops, they somehow town on the same day. Sometimes you’d look
got their hands on a collection of insanely rare in the yellow pages at your hotel and the page
free jazz, and at squat prices too. The Fopp in with record shops would be torn out and you’d
Cockburn Street in Edinburgh had the bulk of know you weren’t the first.
the killers, as I discovered one day while flicking A funny time we were in a shop in
through the used jazz bins and coming across Chicago–the late Ruby Sales suggested we see
monsters like Alabama Feeling and Babi Music looking for Captain Beefheart rarities. ‘Oasis his son. “He’s got a load of crap but you may
alongside every single Incus side, etc. It was the Bloke’ who phones every week and wants Oasis find something.” That was enough for us and off
first credit card I owned and I applied for it that promo gear. ‘Monday James’ who buys every we went. The building was on the edge of the
afternoon in order to score the entire collection new release, every week. Terry, who drops off city, a huge factory, and we had to climb into a
(since then, more turned up from this amazing a bag full of vinyl every Wednesday that he’s 30 feet wide goods lift to get to the top floor.
collection, though I heard there was quite a sad picked up from jumble and car boot sales. Everything was on pallets and as we looked
story to it). By the time I got the card, some ‘Helmethead’ the courier who sold us all his through the records we heard a rumble. A few
bad-ass had already been there and scored vinyl and is now trying to get it all back. ‘The seconds later, a huge iron ball came through
Babi, but I walked away with the cream of the General’ and ‘Swiss’ who are culturally worlds one of the walls! “Don’t worry, they’re starting
rest and a serious lifetime jones. apart but feed our drum & bass racks. Paul to knock the building down ,” said the son.
from Cyprus who calls us to say he’s moved Some good records though.
to Mongolia and can we still supply. They keep
us going, they are in love with the music, they Old Rare New by Emma Pettit is published by
Black Dog, £19.95.
words: BEN VERGHESE Music, Sex and Nostalgia. Trunk Record’s captivated,” says Jonny. Having waded through and made sense of

tagline captures the discrete charm of this The chase then began with some the material, it took another year sorting out
boutique UK label which is quite like no other phonecalls to the States: “The response from the licensing and correctly matching titles to
– “a peculiar London label specialising in music the organisation was one of slight confusion. tracks. With the BBC showing no desire to
everyone else has forgotten about,” as Jonny Only one person remembered there had been release the music, Gubby looked elsewhere for
himself has it. A self-professed nerd with daft some jazz made four decades ago. As soon a suitable label.
taste in music, he’s held down a radio show on as we were over this, then the legal wheels Trunk Records seemed the logical choice,
Resonance FM called OST for several years turned and three months later they were in a having released music from Radiophonic
Whether it’s forgotten TV music, lost-classics from the BBC Radiophonic which indulges his taste in vaguely obscure film position to actually do a deal. I’m pretty sure Workshop members, Delia Derbyshire and
Workshop or one-off recordings by 70s porn stars, you’re bound to find music, and you can always count on him to play no one there had ever heard the album, or for Brian Hogdson, in The Tomorrow People
a diverse selection ranging from soundtracks that matter even seen it. Jonathan Klein was (2006). Jonny Trunk leapt at the chance to
something special in Jonny’s trunk. to ’60s advertising jingles to TV themes. He’s invisible until about a week before release, then house the John Baker tapes. An avid follower
also the proud holder of the record for the sent me an email. He doesn’t say much, has no of Maida Vale’s auditory outputs, the first tune
shortest ever song to be in the Top 40 singles record of the session, no photos, no nothing.” he sang as a child was the theme to Dr Who.
charts with The Ladies’ Bras, a cheeky 35- Available via Jonny Records, it’s a whole lot “Without the Radiophonic Workshop, you’d
second serenade to hosiery. easier to get hold of now than in 1968 when certainly have less electronic experimentation.
Meanwhile, with Trunk Records, which you had to send off a cheque to the New York Artists like the Aphex Twin would sound a whole
prides itself in bringing lost music to light, City Synagogue. lot different, and it’s likely that the EMS Synthi
Jonny has helped expose his finds to fellow and other important early synthesizers would
OCD music anoraks. Set up in 1997, the Another great story comes with the arrival of have been created.” The recordings from these
soundtracks to Deep Throat, Dawn of the Dead a collection of music by John Baker, an integral “alchemists of sound”, along with the musique
and The Wicker Man are just some of the part of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop who concrète movement, have undoubtedly shaped
gems to be released by the label, in addition to passed away in 1997. Arriving through the the way many make music today. Amongst of
forgotten TV music (Bod, The Clangers, Ivor the summer in two CD volumes and a single LP all those sonic pioneers, John Baker’s work
Engine), plus the library delights of Basil Kirchin, compilation, it will be the premiere release retains a unique edge and charm.
Desmond Leslie, the Bosworth archive and “There is lots of humour in his music
Studio G. The label also holds down a sideline Without the Radiophonic but it can also be jarringly intense, quite dark
in pornographic ephemera with the titillating Workshop, you’d and manic,” elaborates Alan Gubby. “As I
Mary Millington Talks Dirty and Flexi-sex, a certainly have transferred the tapes it became apparent
collection of little 7” recordings of dirty-talking less electronic John’s diversity and volume of output has been
floozies that were given away with top-shelf experimentation. Artists criminally underrated until now. The number
magazines like Penthouse and Hustler in the like the Aphex Twin of compositions is mind-boggling when you
‘80s. would sound a whole lot consider how long it took him to record then
The catalogue moved into more salubrious splice the fragments of sound. He has often
territory last year with the addition of two
different, and it’s likely been dismissed as a tunesmith or composer
masterful long-lost British jazz LPs. Michael
that the EMS Synthi and of small ditties but his personal tapes revealed
Garrick Trio’s Moonscape was originally other important early he was very comfortable with abstract styles,
pressed a mere 99 times onto 10” back in synthesizers would have music concrète and reverse tape effects too.
1964. Jonny managed to secure a copy for been created. He combined real drums and jazz instruments
£160, and after getting approval from Mr with tape effects on very basic recording
Garrick, it got a “full waxing”. Also issued was of solo material from any of the renowned equipment. He was way out there in electro
Mike Taylor Remembered, previously never BBC Radiophonic Workshop members, a and jazz terms, very groovy and avant-garde,
released on vinyl, documenting the miraculous timely arrival marking the 50th year since the when he was allowed to be!”
1973 memorial session to the late jazz pianist Workshop began. Possessed with the necessary scientific
featuring the cream of the UK jazz artists–Neil Jonny Trunk explains: “Volume One is and technical skills for the manual handling
Ardley, Ian Carr, Norma Winstone and Dave pure Radiophonics – cut and paste madness techniques the Workshop used, Baker’s
Gelly. and more. Volume Two is a little more free, music benefits from compositional excellence
But it was the discovery of a remarkable and is his work from home, playing the piano, and exceptional piano playing. In a poignant
never-seen-before Herbie Hancock record soundtracks, his insane library work and some biography, John’s brother details the troubles
which is perhaps the most astonishing find to killer adverts”. he dealt with through his life and his tragic
date. Hear, O Israel: A Prayer Ceremony in Jazz A long-time Radiophonics appreciator and demise. A musician who has never received
was written by a Jonathan Klein, a seventeen- collector, Alan Gubby chanced upon an internet the ovation he deserves, The John Baker
year-old musician, who was encouraged by post by John Baker’s brother stating he had a Tapes make for a quintessential Trunk release.
his Rabbi to reinterpret Friday night prayers box of John’s old records and tapes and was Jonny adds “At the moment I really love ‘Au
in a jazz style. Performed at New York City unsure what to do with them. Recognising Printemps’, but I really do like ‘Dial M For
Synagogue in 1968 with a cast of musicians the need to archive the material, Gubby made Murder’. The use of a telephone is obvious but
that included Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and contact and the pair met up. “There were inspired, and the last half of the tune is not a
Thad Jones, as well as the young composer just over 30 reels of tape in John’s collection, million miles away from the sound of Detroit
Jonathan Klein, and the Rabbi on mic duties, around 10 vinyl LPs of library music, jazz and two decades later. But these opinions will have
the service was recorded for posterity and lots of photographs and personal documents,” changed by tomorrow I’m sure.”
issued in a very limited pressing, a copy of Gubby says. “The process of transferring
which fell into Jonny’s hands in 1999. the tapes took about 6 months, with many
“With its Hebrew song and prayer mixed late nights repairing the numerous edits and thanks to Jak Kilby for the Mike Taylor photo.
in with New York modern jazz I was totally splices John had used to create his tracks.”

52 53
“First of all it takes a certain amount of that I was pleasantly surprised to have even After going solo in the late seventies,
talent,” explains Chaka Khan when breaking gotten a nomination. I mean I was expecting Chaka coninued to spawn a string of classics,
down the key to her longevity in music. “I’ve something, I just didn’t know what. I wasn’t including ‘I’m Every Woman’ and ‘Ain’t Nobody’.
paid my dues. In fact I’ve paid a lot of dues. I’ve expecting to win two Grammy’s. I can tell you And of course ‘Feel For You’, her cover of
been doing this for a long time now. I’ve been that much for certain. I knew the album would a Prince B-side, with Stevie Wonder on
through a lot. I think that people recognise get some sort of notice but I wasn’t thinking it harmonica, was one of the biggest songs of the
that I am authentic – at least in my musical would be all that. My friends and family were all 80s. Her albums and singles alike have won
communication the anyway. To be honest, I telling me I was going to win both. I told them to her a total of ten Grammy’s during her long and
don’t really think about it that much. I just know forget it. I was happy just to be acknowledged. illustrious career as a genre defying artist.
that I am both happy and thankful.” Then lo and behold I won both. That to me was But in today’s climate, where music is over-
Spoken like a true artist, Chaka Khan, is the a sign that I did the right thing when making saturated and over-played, artists like Chaka
link in the chain between the great soul singers this album.” Khan are too easily forgotten. Especially when
like Aretha Franklin and R&B divas like Mary Born in Chicago in 1953, Chaka Khan it comes to the kids, what with their bubblegum
J Blige and Faith Evans. She’s brought joy to was first known as Yvette Marie Stevens. urban bangers from the likes of Soulja Boy and
the lives of so many with hits like ‘Sweet Thing’, She took on the Afrikan name Chaka Khan Chris Brown. But there is one artist today, a
‘Through the Fire’, ‘Ain’t Nobody’ and ‘I’m Every while working as a teenager for the Black man who can stand next to the word quality
Woman’ through the 70s, the 80s and even Panthers as part of their Free Breakfast For with assurity, who owes a part of his career
the 90s (when she released Come Into My Children programme. Already, from a young to the lovely Chaka Khan. Kanye West, after
House, a collaboration with Prince). Now in the suffering a near fatal car accident, told people
00s, she’s back again. With the help of Jimmy that it was Chaka’s song ‘Through The Fire’
Jam and Terry Lewis, the original 80s R&B which helped nurse him back to good health. So
hitmakers behind Janet Jackson, Alexander “Guess I grew up fast deep was its influence that the young Chicago
O’Neal, Change and the Sounds of Blackness, producer/emcee sampled the track on his first
Chaka comes with a throwback record in Chi-town: school out, single, ‘Through The Wire’.
designed for the iPod generation. Explaining how it all came about, Chaka
“It was a wonderful experience making clean up, homework, says, “He called me and asked me if he could
Funk This. We did the album in mostly use the song because he had been in a terrible
analogue. A lot of it was live. It wasn’t Pro
lights out… Mama was accident and it had helped him to recover. So
Toolsey in the slightest. It felt like being back strict, kids running in how could I say no?” Continuing, Chaka jokes,
in the studio during the seventies.” Taking “But I didn’t know he was going to speed it
us back a decade, Chaka explains how she and out. Streetlights up and make me sound like a Chipmunk. But
came to work with Janet Jackson’s preferred then later on I found out that was what he was
production duo. “I’ve courted a few labels over meant you’d betta be in renowned for. I’m just glad I could have been of
the past ten years and things weren’t really some assistance in helping him to get better.”
right for me. So I just continued to work on the that house. Oh, back in On the flipside, Chaka makes it clear that
road and pay the bills. Finally a label came to she’s not the biggest fan when it comes to
me who wanted to sign me. They were a great the day.” sampling records. “I think there needs to be a
label and were really supportive, and they tried lot more legislation when it comes to sampling
to find me the right producers but couldn’t. So a record. I mean, if you can’t play the music
my sister/manager Tammy said, ‘Why don’t age, she’d been a member of both the groups then what the hell are you doing? Be a DJ.”
we take Jam and Lewis up on their offer?’ Lyfe and The Babysitters but it wasn’t until she Followed by a giggle, she adds, “That’s how I
We’d been talking for years about working became lead singer of the band Rufus that feel. If you’re going to be a musician then be a
together but it never came about, until now. people started to stand up and take notice of musician. Play the instrument. If not then get
They ended up leaving their Minneapolis home this fiery, harmonising powehouse. Building somebody that can. I think that Pro Tools and
and moving to Santa Monica, right up the a good reputation thanks to their self-titled programs like that are more for enhancing
street from me, so I paid them a visit and asked debut album, things didn’t really take off for music that has already been done.”
them if they would be interested and they were. the threesome until the release of a Stevie Both elegant and beautiful, parting ways
Very, very, very interested. And that, as they Wonder-penned single on their 1974 album with Chaka Khan is a hard thing to do. But with
say, is where it all began.” Rags to Rufus. ‘Tell Me Something Good’ a busy schedule, which includes a quick trip to
Released in the States last year, Funk This sounded like a track plucked from the Sly Stone the ITV studios, and then a rest before a night
garnered a huge amount of attention which songbook, with electric guitar and a popping time performance to kick off her album launch,
was then followed by two Grammy nominations electric bass, and when it hit radio it went on it’s amazing to see that musicianship and
and two Grammy wins – one for Best R&B to achieve Gold certification. A succession of politeness still exist within the genre. You just
Album, the other for Best Vocal Performance hit albums followed through the decade: Rufus need to look in the right place, and Chaka Khan
By A Group Or Duo, for ‘Disrespectful’ with featuring Chaka Khan produced ‘Sweet Thing’ is always in the right place at the right time.
Mary J. Blige. “It was special,” says Chaka of and Ask Rufus (1977) featured ‘Egyptian Song’
her recent accolades. “However I must say and ‘Better Days’. Chaka Khan’s Funk This is out now.



A young saxophonist from Cuba currently making moves in New York jazz
circles, Yosvany Terry has now been immersing himself in ancient
traditions from Dahomey and the music of Arara
Yosvany Terry career as a leader and & the Afro-Caribbean Legacy. You see, my use congas and bata drums along with piano,
sideman has already gotten off to a teriffic parents were born in Cuba but my father is of bass, sax and chekere. We want to take the
start, sharing the stage with luminaries like Jamaican descent while my mum has Haitian Youruba legacy into the 21st century.
Silvio Rodriguez, Steve Coleman, Roy Hargrove relatives from Benin. I was raised in a very The other musical venture is called Ye-dé-
and Eddie Palmieri, and he’s quickly become religious family (though I took my own religious bgé & the Afro- Caribbean Legacy. Ye-dé-gbé
one the most respected young saxophone path later in life) but as a kid I was exposed to is a phrase in the West African language Fon,
players in the jazz world. Born in Camaguey, rituals and all that. I felt the need to represent originally spoken in Dahomey, now called Benin.
Cuba, a magical town in the middle of the island my real roots, focussing on my rich Caribbean It means ‘with the approval of the spirits’. In
that has given birth to some of the finest horns heritage. I started the Afro Cuban Roots this project I try to unify the legacy of traditions,
player in Cuba such Cesar Lopez and Julio project in 2007. The aim is to travel back and spiritual and musical, practiced throught the
Padron, both from Irakere, Yosvany is now explore the Yoruba tradition in Cuba which Pan-African regions. In 2007 I went back to
based in New York City where he’s amazed by goes back more than 500 years ago. Take the Matanzas province in Cuba to study and
the levels of musicianship and creativity. On a all that knowledge and combine it with fresh rediscover the Arará tradition with Mano, a
summer afternoon in Central Park, Vince Vella elements, new musical concepts of harmony master of the Arará legacy. Arará tradition
met up with Yosvany to talk about his music and different things that I have been doing with originated in Benin. Both project are a unique
and his message. my regular quartet. opportunity for me to express hundreds of
years of tradition by re-integrating those
V V: While in Cuba, you performed with
We play for different almost forgotten obscure rhythms into the jazz
many giants of cuban music such as Chucho gods of the youruba tradition. I want to record an album with this
Valdes, Fito Paez and Cubanismo… Tell me band and take the project around the world….
about your years in Havana. pantheon : Osain, Ogun,
Chango and Yemaya. V V: What was it like working with Gonzalo
Y T: I was playing with a lot of people but one of Rubalcaba on ‘Avatar’?
the most exciting projects was with Columna People can see through
B. I was one of the founders of the band along Y T: I absolutely loved the album, so beautifully
with Roberto Carcasses on piano, Descemer
the dancer the way crafted. It was simply a joy. We knew each
Bueno on bass, Dafnis Prieto on drums. Also, different Orishas other in Cuba, I always used to go to his gigs,
Anga Diaz took part in the recordings for the but it wasn’t until we met here in NYC that we
album. We used to play a lot, the band was manifest, the way they finally got to know each other properly. It’s been
so tight, at that time in 1998 we were really move, feel and transmit an amazing learning experience. I got to play
doing something different in Cuba. The material with one of my heroes and also it was a great
was fresh and musically diverse. We’ve put out the music. opportunity for my own composition to be on a
there some very interesting stuff and people beautiful album.
were challenged by that… Making music with V V: You also have a Yoruban dancer on
Columna B was like starting a trip without stage right? V V: How did you hook up with Eddie Palmieri?
knowing where your destination is. It was a
limitless workshop basically. A great sonic Y T: Yeah that’s really important for me, the Y T: Since I’ve moved here, I started going to
exploration, fusing deep jazz with Afro-Cuban dancer is a direct connection to the roots. I the sessions Eddie used to do at the Phoenix
elements. strongly believe that since its origins, music room in Manhattan. Then one day he called me
and dance have always been together, they for a gig, maybe because trumpet player Bryan
V V: You’ve been living in New York since both need each other. The dance is a really Linch was playing there too. Since then he’s
1999. As well as playing with big stars in strong element that needed to be represented been calling me on and off for different things.
the jazz circuit, you’re leading three different in the project. We play for the different gods I recorded few things with him and an album
bands? (Osain, Ogun, Chango, Yemaya) of the Youruba ‘Simpatico’ that won a Latin Jazz Grammy in
pantheon. People can see through the dancer 2006, Sadly, they ran out of ink to write my
Y T: There’s my jazz quartet, there’s Afro the way different Orishas manifest, the way name on it.
Cuban Roots and then there’s Ye-dé-bgé they move, feel and transmit the music. We

56 57
Charles Burnett was born in Mississippi in a wave of bad luck, all set against the stark Earth’ as Stan and his wife try to inject some
1944. His family relocated to Los Angeles and day-to-day goings-on of the Watts ghetto in the passion back into their loveless relationship;
he was brought up in the suburb of Watts. He mid-1970s – the alcoholics, the small-time and elsewhere Stan’s little daughter sings
studied at UCLA film school in 1967 and a thieves and the local thugs. Despite all this, along to Earth, Wind & Fire that’s playing on
decade later Killer Of Sheep (1977) became Stan tries to keep his dignity and the values he the radio, though she doesn’t know any of the
the first feature film offering from one of holds dear – a theme later explored in To Sleep words.
America’s most interesting and yet, still to this With Anger (1990). Burnett’s film offers no
day, relatively unrecognised, contemporary easy answers and no easily definable heroes Burnett has been around for quite some
independent filmmakers. A fascinating director or villains... just explorations, observations time now, but it’s only in recent years that his
and an anomaly in American cinema, Burnett of the African-American experience without unique directorial offerings have been given
can be seen as the missing link in the history sensationalism or Hollywood stereotypes. the platform that they deserve. Warming by
of modern African-American independent Burnett explained, “I come from a working-class the Devil’s Fire, his contribution to Scorsese’s
filmmaking. Everybody knows about Spike Lee’s environment and I wanted to express what The Blues (2003) series, is a very personal
voice, vision and success within the Hollywood the realities were. People were trying to get account of a young boy’s relationship with
mainstream. There’s Oscar Micheaux (1885- jobs, and once they found jobs they were fully his Uncle and the music of the Deep South.
1951), one of the first visionary, independent, concerned with keeping them. And they were Considering Spike Lee is the only black creative
black voices in American cinema. And who confronted with other problems, with serious voice able to consistently work in mainstream
can ever forget the legendary Gordon Parks? problems at home for example, which made Hollywood, Burnett and his cinema come as a
But we seem to have forgetten about one of things much more difficult”. breath of fresh air in a diaspora whose diversity
America’s first contemporary Black auteur is still deeply, and painfully under-represented.
filmmakers. As African-American film critic After watching Killer Of Sheep, it would be Burnett is a filmmaker whose films are truly
Armond White once put it, “Burnett makes easy to make the connection with Fellini, worth watching again and again. With Namibia:
most other filmmakers seem like decadent Visconti, Rossellini or say De Sica’s Bicycle The struggle For Liberation (2007) in the
escapists. Despite conveying the humanist Thieves (1948). Burnett’s films share much in process of being released and a project entitled
emphasis of Jean Renoir, Burnett has never common with the Italian neorealist movement Red Soil in pre-production for 2009, Charles
received Lee’s sheer public promotion. Burnett – honest, often brutal, reflections of real life Burnett remains a unique, and visionary auteur
prompts a national self-examination.” and the moral challenges our protagonists filmmaker whose whole body of work deserves
face. However, the main underlying theme in a wider audience and appreciation. It seems
Killer Of Sheep is considered Burnett’s seminal his films remains the importance of the family like finally his time is now.
masterpiece. He brought something new and unit in one’s survival, as an individual and as
revolutionary to the table after an onslaught of a community... and ultimately Burnett tries to To Sleep With Anger. (1990, USA).
the Blaxploitation genre films (Donald Bogle’s deal with these universal truths throughout all Danny Glover turns in an unforgettable
informative book Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, his films. performance as Harry Mention, the good-
Mammies & Bucks: An Interpretive History for-nothing, gambling drifter whose arrival at
Of Blacks in American Films, is worth a read If Blaxploitation provided one side of the Afro- the middle-class family home of his old friend
for anyone interested in the subject). In Killer American experience, glorifying the pimps and Gideon (Paul Butler) coincides with all kinds of
Of Sheep we are given a film imbued with gangsters working for the Man, Killer of Sheep trouble. Harry’s old Southern ways threaten to
refreshing realism, contemplative honesty and would show how it was like for the rest of black tear the Gideon’s family apart as he corrupts
visually poetic truths, something that Hollywood America who struggled on with their jobs and the youngest son of the family. In the clash
was obviously trying to avoid with its output their families and tried to instill some dignity between Deep South traditions and modern
of cinema releases at the time. Released in and pride in their children. Burnett decided city living, this is a dark, wise and witty tale.
1977, Killer of Sheep appeared in the same to shoot Killer Of Sheep on real locations in
year that Jim Kelly starred in Black Samurai Watts, with a lot of handheld camera work, The Glass Shield. (1995, USA).
and Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby starred in and a cast of mostly non-professional actors. Corruption, power, discrimination and racism
crime comedy A Piece Of The Action. Ironically, It was filmed over a series of weekends in are the focus of this drama revolving around
the only remotely black representation in a 1973 but took another four years before it was Rookie black officer Johnny ‘J.J.’ Johnson
mainstream Hollywood blockbuster was James released. In the spirit of the ‘60s avant-garde, (Michael Boatman) and his struggle to ‘fit in’
Earl Jones’s voice as the galaxy’s ultimate ‘dark the film draws its force from a gritty black & as the first black cop in his department. in his
Charles Burnett: the blues in black and white. lord’ Darth Vader in Star Wars… Go figure!
Whether people were aware of it or not, after
white documentary-style cinematography. Full
of long-takes where the camera lingers on its
pursuit of justice, J. J. is forced to confront
deeper truths when challenged by his moral

almost two decades of American upheaval main characters, as if trying to reveal some obligation to right the wrongs he encounters.
through Civil Rights and the Vietnam War, long-forgotten secrets, there’s a lyricism to the Ice Cube and Lorri Petty (Point Break and Tank
escapism was firmly on the bill in Hollywood . film that’s reminiscent of Bresson’s Au Hasard Girl) turn in solid performances.
With Killer Of Sheep, Burnett chose instead Balthazar (1966).
to show us the real America through an L.A. Warming By The Devils Fire. (2003, USA)
community, stunned and in a dreamlike daze, The flim also boasts an incredible soundtrack A part of Martin Scorsese film series, The
staggering towards an uncertain fate, like (which Burnett never bothered to license Blues, the film is best described by Burnett
lambs to the slaughter, in the face of a new because he couldn’t imagine his film ever himself: “The sound of the blues was a part
Conservative backlash. getting a commercial distribution) – it features of my environment that I took for granted.

the blues, gospel, soul and spirituals of Etta However, as years passed, the blues slowly
Killer Of Sheep follows Stan, a slaughterhouse James, Paul Robeson, George Gershwin and emerged as an essential source of imagery,
worker, as he becomes increasingly detached Little Walter: music of an older generation, humour, irony, and insight that allows one
and numbed by his job. The strain begins to tell music from the South before the pressures to reflect on the human condition. I always
in his relationships with his wife, his family and of city living began to take their toll. Like a wanted to do a story on the blues that not only
friends. We learn he is suffering from insomnia Tarantino film, music is always there in the reflected its nature and its content, but also
and we watch him trying to cope with the background. In one moving scene, the plaintive alludes to the form itself. In short, a story that
frustrations of being poor, struggling against voice of Dinah Washington sings ‘This Bitter gives you the impression of the blues.”
58 59
Music technology has traditionally borrowed using Arduino, ignorance can be bliss because
from other interactive disciplines such as at the end of the day, it’s about the idea and
gaming and video manipulation. Now that the implementation, not the technology, which is
Internet provides a resource for components something artists and musicians are great at!
and information, more and more musicians are
beginning to construct their own custom devices What are the most simple and the most
from scratch. The knowledge that exists online complex applications of the Arduino platform
E D I T O R : BENJI LEHMANN for interactive projects comes on one hand from you have come accross?
the field of physical computing which has lead to
the development of platforms like Guitar Hero, There is truly a range of great projects that have
and on the other hand from circuit bending been built on Arduino or electronics. A simple
and hacking, which provide insight into how application is Brock Craft’s Brockenspiel http://
components in existing consumer devices can be,
made to behave in ways they weren’t intended to. which is an Arduino hooked up to a card reader
The largest obstacle in creating devices like and solenoids on a xylophone. Whenever
midi controllers is creating an interface between someone swipes their card to get into the room,
the analogue signals of a joystick or fader and the reader feeds in a few numbers that match
the digital world of midi. I spoke to Alexandra that card and convert them into pulses that
Deschamps-Sonsino from consultancy Tinker activate the solenoids that hit the xylophone and
about a platform called Arduino which is being produces a unique tune for each person.
adopted by artists and musicians to overcome
this problem. A more advanced project is Three Pieces by
Simon Kirby
What do you think has driven the recent featured-project/three-pieces/ who created
surge of interest in recycling electronics an acoustic orchestra for the Palm House of
and harnessing them for new projects. the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. The MOOG have cemented their place in the KOR G have announced the Nano series of FUT UR E AUDI O W ORKSHOP have
Has it always been around or is it a new instruments are played robotically, controlled by Guitar market, after the introduction of the controllers. Despite their small size, all three launched a virtual instrument called Circle
phenomenon? two Arduinos. Motion detectors and a soil sensor Mooger-Fooger pedals some years ago. The controllers offer a refreshingly flexible level of Synth, which aims to provide a more intuitive

ARUD I N O allow them to react to people in the space and to first ever Moog Guitar will be the limited functionality. The nanoKEY features a great- interface for exploring synthesis. Circle Synth
Tinkering has always been present as a behavior, the state of the plants to remix the music they’ve edition Paul Vo Collector Edition Guitar. The feeling 25-key velocity-sensitive keyboard offers a modular approach in the spirit of the
regardless of the technology. This would take composed especially for the installation. AAAAA maple top guitar with a mahogany that’s ideal for song production. The keys can classic modular systems, but adds modern
many forms from fixing a motorcycle, or building body and ebony finger board will be a much also be set to send MIDI control data, further processors like bitcrushers and waveshapers
a boat on your weekend or fixing some plumbing. What is the future of the Arduino platform? sought-after axe even without the addition of expanding its potential. The nanoPAD features to the traditional selection of filters and
Now the accessibility of new technologies and Is the first mainstream consumer electronics the patented Moog electronics. Each guitar 12 highly responsive trigger pads, also capable oscillators. The midi learn function is fast and
electronic components at low cost is allowing project created on an Arduino on its way? will be individually signed by Moog associate of sending both notes and MIDI control data, intuitive, and with Circle’s high contrast, single
people to tinker with them in the same way, with and guitar inventor Paul Vo and will carry a plus an X-Y pad with roll and flam functions pane interface you can see everything at a
the same curiosity and enthusiasm. It’s important to remember that Arduino is a sealed Certificate of Authenticity identifying it giving you a unique interface for realistic drum single glance while performing live on stage.
prototyping platform. Once you’ve reached the as the first ever Moog Guitar. The Moog Guitar programming. The nanoKONTROL offers nine
What are the origins of the Arduino platform? point where you’re happy with your project, the offers three unique modes…Sustain, Mute faders, nine knobs and 18 switches plus a full Future Audio Workshop Circle Synth: $199/
next step is to create custom-electronics that and Controlled Sustain. In the Sustain mode, transport section for expansive control. Eu149 (available from futureaudioworkshop.
The Arduino platform was developed by Massimo reduce the size of your project dramatically. In it provides infinite, powerful sustain on every
Banzi, Gianluca Martino, Dave Mellis, Tom Igoe a way this is a big step, one that projects like string and at every fret position; Mute removes Korg Nano Series: £49.00 - £59.00
and David Cuartielles while at the Interaction Fritzing ( are trying to support. energy from the strings, resulting in a variety
Design Institute Ivrea, in the north of Italy I suspect that an ecology of services and of staccato effects; Controlled Sustain allows
around 2005. The group developed Arduino products will start to appear around Arduino. the musician to play sustained, single-note or
as a reaction to the fact that no flexible, open Right now we are seeing an ecology of products even polyphonic lines with strong sustain and
and cheap prototyping platform was available such as shields ( effortless clarity. In this mode, the Moog Guitar
to interaction design students at time. The rant/2008/02/new-kit-arduino-ethernet-xport- sustains the notes being played while actively
platforms they found were too expensive, were shield/) or new and more specific versions of the muting the notes not being played.
broken easily by students who didn’t quite know board ( as well
what they were doing and were closed and as ) but I suspect we’ll start seeing communities Moog Guitar: £3,999.00
proprietary. After a few different iterations, the and help and support services appear in the near
Arduino NG was born which was easy to use, future.
whose community was based online and was
open-source. Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino is the CEO of 2. Power supply – it’s best to avoid any project 4. Breadboard – in the early days of
Tinker, technology and design consultancy
F I V E T H I N G S…
that will require more current than a battery electronics, components were so big they
Why has Arduino been so widely adopted by based in London and Milan. She has a T O BU Y BE F O RE can supply – mains electricity is powerful needed to be strapped to a large surface
artists and musicians working with physical background in industrial and interaction enough to administer a serious, perhaps during prototyping, hence the use of
and interactive computing? designer and attended the Interaction Design
fatal, electric shock. For prototyping purposes breadboards. Now though this term refers to
Institute Ivrea where she met the other EL E CT RO N I CS P R OJ E CT though a dedicated power supply which plugs a miniature white board which allows quick and
Arduino was always aimed at non-technical founders of Tinker. She has been involved in in to the mains and allows you to regulate the easy patching of jump wires.
creative people like designers, so it was a projects for clients such as Nokia, Motorola, 1. Multimeter – this is an invaluable tool current in a circuit saves on batteries.
natural step for artists and musicians to pick it Droog design, Thinglink, Jaiku, Blast Radius, which will tell you how much current is flowing 5. Jump Wires – all decent electronics shops
up as well. We’ve seen fantastic applications of and Blyk. She is an active speaker on the at any given point in a circuit, and can also 3. Wire cutters/strippers – all electronics will sell you a box of pre-cut and stripped jump
Arduino together with Max MSP, Puredata or next generation of technology-aided product be used to measure resistance. Using a projects involve patching wires at some point, wires which you can easily employ when at the
Flash to make sound or interactive pieces that design and is based in London. multimeter properly will help to avoid damaging for obvious reasons. early stages of designing a project. Use these
are truly compelling in ways that more technical components. to patch connections on your breadboard.
people might not be able to achieve. When
Features the mind- In 2005 Jay won the
blowing, analog Foyle’s Young Poets
synth stomper competition.
‘Frequency 7’ Her book ‘Your Sign is
which still sounds Cuckoo, Girl’ is highly
incredible today. recommended.
A prime example She is also a big fan
of how 80’s Euro of comics/zines (she
Synthpop helped sketches herself) and
shape the techno kindly produced this
sounds of Detroit. piece for Shook (right).

Detroit stand up! While the Metroplex Julian was a member

Danny tackles the imprint put out of Sun Ra’s big band.
harsh realities of Model 500 classics, In 1970 he joined
hood life in the Juan Atkins Herbie Hancock’s
Motor City and dropped this little revolutionary
doesn’t hold back. gem on Thunder Mwandishi group.
Words resonate Records in 1987 ‘Love, Love’ is a
with his fierce (the only release on highly rhythmic and Killer electro funk.
delivery. His debut this label) under his expansive slice of Produced by Eric
LP entitled ‘Hot Channel One alias. spaced out fusion. Matthew’s of ‘Gary’s
Soup’ is out now. Prepare to dance. ‘Kosmigroov’! Gang’ (responsible
for many innovative
80’s cuts). Head
straight for the
instrumental ; crisp
percussion, tidy
Dwilt Sharpp speaks The DIY philosophy. arrangements and a
10shun (beat The work of
primarily of women, tasty bassline.
maker from San electronic wizard
sex and love. The
Diego) releases Todd Osborn
film ‘The Face to
unique illustrated (Osborne). Synths,
Another’ by Hiroshi
records in small vocoders and
Teshigahara (1966)
quantities via warm analog keys
made a significant
the web. ‘A drum twist in and out of
impact on him ; his
savage exploring shifting patterns.
sounds are inspired Rhythms skip
unchartered filthy Head nodding
by the style, fashion, to a minimal
sound possibilities’! beatstrumental
image and aesthetics house groove and
of this period. atmospheric flavours
build gradually,
falling in and out of
the mix. Check FXHE
for raw house vibes
The first major New label ‘devoted and challenging
retrospective of a David Crosby’s debut to modifying yet inspiring
BBC Radiophonic solo LP. Slated by obscure musical productions.
artist. John’s critics, praised by fans. relics from the
tape manipulation A sun drenched outing distant past to
techniques were of exquisite songs, better serve the
highly innovative delicate harmonies eccentric tastes
and just an everyday and refined guitar of the modern
job for him at the playing. Supporting discotheque’! This feature was inspired by a recent trip to Detroit.
BBC workshop. cast include Carlos Artwork by Susumu (Shouts to Gillespie, DL Jones, Dat, Michael Geiger & Kelly Frasier)
Fascinating stuff. Santana, Neil Young Mukai (Zongamin). To hear the featured artists on this page check the
and more! ‘Now Then’ mixtape:
62 63
Lorez Alexandria ‘For Swingers Only’ (Dusty Groove)
When the news trickled through in May 2001 Eldee Young. Two more albums followed for Earth’ there’s a real soulfulness in her delivery.
that jazz singer, Lorez Alexandria, had died aged King and then, in 1960, Alexandria inked a deal The album’s closer, a swing-driven version of
71 from kidney failure, it received very little with Argo, a subsidiary imprint of the Chicago the Billie Holiday-associated tune, ‘That Old Devil
media attention – there were no eye-catching Chess label. ‘For Swingers Only’ was the singer’s Called Love,’ reaffirms Alexandria’s ability to take
headlines, no raft of celebrities and famous fourth and final offering for Argo and the follow- a well-known song and make it indisputably her
musicians queuing up to pay glowing tributes up to 1962’s ‘Deep Roots,’ an album that some own.
and no last minute TV specials slotted into the consider Alexandria’s finest long player. Despite its high quality and consistency, on
broadcasting schedules. There were, however, Helmed by Ramsey Lewis Trio producer, its release in 1963 ‘For Swingers Only’ didn’t
a few perfunctory lines printed in local LA Esmond Edwards - who would make a name make a lot of noise commercially. But although
newspapers, where Alexandria had lived since for himself as an executive at Verve Records in Argo may have lost faith in Alexandria’s ability
the 1960s, but that was all. It was as if Lorez the late-‘60s - ‘For Swingers Only’ showcases to reach a big audience and didn’t renew her
Alexandria hadn’t even lived, let alone died. Alexandria’s burnished voice in a delicious small contract, the singer had a fan in producer Bob
Jazz anoraks may have mourned the group setting: she’s backed by a stellar quintet Thiele, who was a leading mover and shaker
passing of this opulent-voiced Windy City led by pianist, John Young, that also features at the recently formed ABC/Paramount jazz
chanteuse, but the world at large seemed coldly Coltrane bassist, Jimmy Garrison. Interestingly, imprint, Impulse! As Thiele observed in the liner
indifferent. But that was no real surprise to the opening cut is the Hoagy Carmichael-penned notes to Alexandria’s debut LP for the company,
those that knew of Alexandria and her relatively ‘Baltimore Oriole,’ an allegorical tale about love, ‘Alexandria The Great,’ in 1964: “The number of
small body of work - sadly, she had lived as she life and fidelity as seen through the eyes of a good singers can be counted on fingers – Sarah,
had died, in obscurity. But although she was blackbird native to the USA. Alexandria initially Ella, Billie…and now Lorez. She will be noted as a
far from being a household name, the gospel- recorded the song on her King debut album wonderful singer by merely singing the way she
reared singer born Delores Alexandria Turner on and it was obviously a tune she felt a great feels – pure, unadulterated and (with) simplicity
August 12th 1929 in Chicago had accrued over affinity for as she revisited it a third time later of style. This album will be the first step towards
the years a cult following that, thankfully, remains on in the ‘60s. Ronald Wilson, who appeared opening the ears of the world to a great singer.”
to this day. Her enduring appeal, I believe, is on Alexandria’s previous rendering of the song, Despite Thiele’s optimism, the singer who
due to her well-modulated contralto voice; it’s returned to represent the blackbird’s song started out singing a capella in her local Chicago
a rich, dark and caramel-hued instrument with with mellifluous obligato flute passages that church as a member of a gospel group failed
more than just a hint of Sarah Vaughan in it. It’s counterpoint the vocals. Alexandria’s earlier to make the breakthrough that Impulse! had
also unequivocally a voice that has ‘star quality’ version for King had a slightly funkier undertow anticipated and left the company in 1966.
stamped all over it and listening to it on this first- due to the presence of guitar, but what makes Alexandria then turned up at Pzazz, a label
time reissue of her hard-to-find 1963 Argo LP, this second stab at the song superior is the set up by Paul Gayten in the late-‘60s and cut
‘For Swingers Only,’ only deepens the mystery of quality of the vocals – there’s a greater maturity a couple of pop-slanted albums. She recorded
Lorez Alexandria’s failure to capture a large and and assurance at work. Alexandria’s sense sporadically in the ‘70s, ‘80s and even the ‘90s
attentive audience. of pitch – she slurs and bends notes without until a stroke in 1999 finally put paid to her
Certainly, her recording career began going off-key – combined with her timing and signing career.
promisingly enough. As a 25 year-old she interpretation of the lyrics is uniformly superb. In recent years, there has been a
fronted a 45 on the Blue Lake label by big band The album’s mood becomes more nocturnal resurgence of interest in Lorez Alexandria and
leader King Fleming called ‘Williams’ Blues.’ on a slow re-tread of Rodgers & Hart’s ‘Little copies of her original vinyl albums now command
Although her contribution was uncredited, it Girl Blue.’ Even though it’s rendered as a torchy, big prices. There have been a couple of CD
got her noticed and three years later, in 1957, after-hours ballad, a subtle sense of swing still reissues, but this one from Dusty Groove is the
she signed to Syd Nathan’s Cincinnati-based pervades the groove. By contrast, there’s an most significant yet – it’s worth purchasing
King label where she cut a well-received debut upbeat, finger-clicking rhythm to the standard ‘All just for ‘Baltimore Oriole’ alone, which to my
LP, ‘This Is Lorez.’ The album’s supporting Or Nothing At All,’ featuring sterling solos from ears is one of the most arresting jazz vocal
musicians included pianist Charles Stepney flautist Wilson and pianist, Young. On ‘Traveling performances ever. Let’s hope that this cult
(later a groundbreaking arranger/producer at Down A Lonely Road,’ Alexandria imbues singer’s other collectable Argo LPs get reissued
Chess Records) and future Ramsey Lewis Trio her performance with a lovely melancholy too. It would be a tragedy for jazz lovers if they
bassist and Young-Holt Unlimited co-founder, wistfulness, while on the blues-drenched ‘Mother weren’t. (Charles Waring)

V/A “Nigeria 70 – Lagos Jump” (Strut)
V/A “Nigeria Rock Special” (Soundway) Maga Bo “Archipelagoes” (Soot Records)
While super heavyweight triple LPs like Nigeria Beatles. Sir Shina Peters kicks the door open youths. Back then heads were checking The Maga Bo, a Rio de Janeiro based producer showcases a dizzying range of deep-rooted the combinations of the best Jamaican vocal
70 might eventually have been the downfall with the storming Shrine funk of ‘Yabis’. Lagos Chambers Brothers, Cream and James Brown. and sound engineer, and sometime Shook influences, moving around the continent groups.
of the great Strut label, you always had to Jump brings to life the Lagos dancefloors This raucous LP honours those influences. contributor, releases his long-awaited album to make unimagined connections between The MC-driven tracks are complemented
admire Quentin Scott’s attention to quality and of the ‘70s, jumping to everything from the Your ears may already be familiar with the Archipelagoes this summer. Bo, whose name genres: grimey Arabic language dubstep by the work of taarab master Mohammed
detail; which makes the return of this series freakbeat of Ify Jerry Crusade to the African excellent BLO, whose ‘Chant To Mother Earth’ ‘Maga’ comes from his tall frame, travels rubs shoulders with melodic dancehall and Issa Matona, from Zanzibar, whose oud, violin
and the continued renaissance of the label roots reggae of Chief Checker. The psych rock shows the influence of bands like Led Zep, but to record sound for documentaries and crunching hip hop beats. playing and singing appears on three tunes
even more welcome. Compiled by Scott and of The Immortals ‘Hot Tears’ is a sound that’s nothing will prepare you for the sheer depth of on the way sets up impromptu recording Opener Nakhil is one of three tracks in the second half of the album. You can hear
Duncan Brooker with extensive notes from developed on the more ‘out there’ Soundway rock and pysch coming out of Nigeria at this sessions with his portable studio to work recorded with Moroccan MCs Bigg and K- just how influential Islamic culture has been
John Collins, Lagos Jump captures a golden LP. Since Strut’s demise, Soundway have time. Let the storming ‘Adieu’ by Ofege lead on collaborations with local musicians. The Libre, whose verbal dexterity ornaments Bo’s throughout East Africa on tracks like the
period in Nigerian music when, inspired by the stepped into the void, releasing the excellent you into a world where flares and platforms resulting tracks are incorporated into a live hip hop beats to fashion a crunked-out take bumping Longa Nahawada, which sounds like
internationalist Pan African scream of Fela Ghana Soundz LP’s. Once again, they come were matched by the screaming fuzz funk of set which combines them with found sounds on North African rap. At the other end of the a dancehall riddim made with a bellydance
Kuti, young musicians looked beyond High correct here with an album set to test your bands like Action 13 and the freak beats of and street beats from around the world. continent in which localised hip hop scenes competition in mind.
Life and explored everything from the rebel preconceptions of African music. Fela was not The Wings. Strut v Soundway. 1-1 at half-time. Digitalisation has made finding new are flourishing, South African vocalist Teba Bo’s mixdowns never fail to bring his
music of James Brown to the exotic pop of the the only artist to be shaping the tastes of Lagos (Andy Thomas) music easier than ever, but meeting people, Shumba displays a raggamuffin sensibility on collaborators’ work to the fore, whether
agreeing, arguing, sharing ideas is still the Nqayi and Abaphantsi. it’s the forceful delivery of MCs like Xuman
most fruitful way to pursue an interest in ‘Fire’ with Xuman features a bumping or Teba or the more delicate interventions
others’ music or culture. An emphasis on dancehall beat and is based around a nagging of Matona. The achievement of the album,
collaboration and the exchange of knowledge hook from Senegalese Kora player Edouard aside from the determination and skill
and ideas makes Maga Bo’s work stand out Manga. Xuman, a key member of Dakar required to work in such a range of different
from that of over-developed world producers based crew Pee Froiss, is a domineering circumstances, is pulling these varied threads
who grab the signifiers of others’ cultures presence on the mic, his French language together into something satisfyingly complete.
(usually acapellas or vocal samples, but often incantations convey a force of meaning which A treacly layer of sub-bass and a sharp ear
music, too) and use them in disembodied form is still accessible to the non-Francophone. for rhythmic variation underpins it, connecting
to add an exotic veneer to their work. Still in Senegal, Saye Mbott features all- scattered archipelagoes into a coherent sonic
Archipelagoes, the product of several female crew Alif, whose combination of sweet state. (Gervase de Wilde)
trips to Africa over the past few years, singing and gruff rapping in Wolof recalls

V/A “African Scream Contest - Raw and Psychedelic

Afro Sounds from Benin & Togo 70s” (Analog Africa)
Frances Falceto and the Ethiopiques series
rightly receive the plaudits for uncovering
was found, because the result is some of the
most stunning music to come out of Africa
is an apt title for the storming opening track
‘Mi Kple Dogbekpo’ by Lokonon Andre & Les
also worth checking...
one of the lesser-known musical corners of during this golden period, when the dancehalls Volcans with its storming horns and trance Vampi Soul Goes to Africa, a collection of afrobeat, highlife and soul from Fela Kuti, Tony Allen, Orlando Julius and more... The third
Africa, while others search out even rarer exploded in a riotous display of modernity. like percussion. One of the most influential in the Congotronics series, out now on CRAMMED. is by the KASAI ALLSTARS from Kinshasa. The album is called In The 7th Moon, the
gems from across the continent. Now into The ears of Benin and Togo’s musicians have tunes of the period, we’re told in the extensive Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic and just like Konono No 1 before them, this is an album
its third release (after the excellent Green always been tuned into the sounds of the and beautifully designed booklet, was ‘Gbeti of hypnotic, polyrhythmic rave music taking electric mbira, balafons and guitars and some heavvy chanting. New on SOUNDWAY is SIR
Arrows and Hallelujah Chicken Band LPs countries that surround them, mixing the Madjro’ by Orchestra Poly-Rythmo De Cotnou
VICTOR UWAIFO and Guitar Boy Superstar. Uwaifo received Africa’s first ever gold disc in 1969, blending rock and highlife with ancient
from Zimbabwe) Analog Africa comes with sound of Highlife and Soukous with the Cuban and when you hear the lysergic James Brown
‘African Scream Contest’ which is a result music so beloved on this side of Africa. As screeches its not hard to see why. Whether culture of the Benin Obas. On its way is the new album from Adesiji Awoyinka, better known as SIJI, an artist of Nigerian descent, born
of music obsessive, label owner Samy Ben home to Voodoo, the country’s musicians are rocking Fela style jams or getting a little in Britain, and currently living in Baltimore. His last album came out on BBE and this one is more on an afrobeat tip. Adesiji drops in
Redjeb’s days spent digging through dusty also schooled in the ancient rhythms that psych rocky, the album’s tracks demand your September and features productions from King Britt and Rich Medina. To see the behind-the-scenes video, check
warehouses for precious recordings. Like made these rituals such a powerful force attention, and trust me by the time you get to Another artist who’s been working with King Britt is ZAKI IBRAHIM, born in South Africa and now living in Canada. Blessed with an an-
Falceto before him, Samy found an incredibly against slavery. And so when local young the Hammond led Afro-Cuban of Les Volcans
gelic voice and a beautiful personality, she’s currently signed to District Six, and her debut is in the works. Finally, a big shout to SOMI and
rich musical heritage even more treasured players looked to the music of James Brown closing track you’ll be screaming for more.
because much of it was recorded direct and his ilk for inspiration, it was always going Hardcore African music from start to finish. her New Africa Live movement in New York. She graced the stage of Ronnie Scott’s during her trip to London and blew everyone away.
from fragile master tapes. And thank god it to be a heady brew. ‘African Scream Contest’ (Andy Thomas)

66 67
Scuba “A Mutual Antipathy” Karl Hector & The Malcouns musical history, but either way, school anthems such as the jazzy
initial impression with a trademark together washed over by Koushiks bringing you right up to date, kicks space to shine with three featured
(Hotflush Recordings) “Sahara Swing” (Now-Again) Detroit has been running shit for classic ‘93 ‘Til Infinity’ and battle-
epic sound that can be heard on own, some would say ‘buried’, Phil off with their first ever single, cuts each - all produced by master
As David Bowie knew only too Southern Germany doesn’t seem a minute now. Nick Speed protégé ready ‘Rock It Like That’. Over a
the first couple of cuts on The Art Spector informed vocals, heavily Jaguar’s ‘That’s Your Problem arranger Larry Mizell. A worthy
well, relocating to Berlin can have like the obvious place to find dirty, Danny Brown, armed with a sharp decade later, the gimmick-free
Of Vibration and were all over his reverberated and oft unintelligible. Baby’, and picks up speed with reminder of great music, that
a critical impact on a musician’s psychedelic afro-jazz influenced sense of humor, intense delivery lyricist is living proof that a real
last offering Gravity. After exploring So often a red light signal for tasty re-versions of Steely Dan’s continues to inspire. (Vince Vella)
auditory output. Since making made grooves, but that’s exactly where and passionate writing, is poised to MC is still a real MC, regardless
this album more deeply though, ‘wack’ vocalists this gives Koushik’s ‘Peg’ and Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rappers
the move from North London, the rather suspiciously monikered inherit the keys to the city. Although of the era in which they may find
it becomes clear that Natural voice a dreamy and surprisingly Delight’ in a free-jazz stylee. Over 2562 “Aerial” (Tectonic)
Scuba has seen his Hotflush Karl Hector & The Malcouns hail on paper street raps from an ex- themselves. The follow-up to Opio’s
Self might have just found a more endearing quality. ‘Coolin’ sounds two CDs, we’re treated to an epic Dave Huismans’ astonishing debut
label flourish, peaking with this from. More commonly known as con might sound like the furthest 2005 solo project Triangulation
comfortable and commercially great somewhere between a looped selection that covers more bases (2562 refers to his Hague district
premiere full-length solo release. The Poets of Rhythm (give or take thing from progressive hip hop, one Station, Vulture’s Wisdom is a
viable balance, without having to funk rhythm section and John than the US military. From afrobeat code) for Pinch’s Bristol-based
The LP starts tremendously and a member or two) this new project listen to a Danny verse will show succinct album that blows weed
sell out. The addition of Andreya Barry’s Orchestra scoring a Bond (Afrodizz on Fela’s ‘Kalakuta Show’) Tectonic label collects the two 12”s
grows from there. ‘Systematic for the increasingly open-minded that he’s far from another mixtape smoke in the face of current rap
Triana’s vocals on ‘The Rising’, along soundtrack underwater. ‘Corner to the hip-hop on the ‘Sweetest he recorded for the label and six
Decline’ steps into life with open- Stones Throw camp (and more rapper. His debut album Hot Soup trends. No lengthy tracklisting. No
with some proper club bangers in of your smile’, really feels like the Hangover’-laced joint fon ‘AB Slash’ fresh, seemingly minimal, sparse,
ended basslines, robust drums specifically their Now-Again imprint) is produced almost entirely by guest appearances. No obvious
the shape of ‘In The Morning’ (which albums pinnacle building and and the neat version of ‘Tighten instrumental tracks. Reminiscent
and otherworldly flickers. Live travels the same Sun Ra inspired Nick Speed and is a testament radio ‘hits’. Just one artist, one
has more than a nod to Mr. Scruff) building, yet never really climaxing Up’ by DJ Graham B... and that’s of Basic Channel and Pole, they
drums, played by Jazzsteppa, road that the UK’s Heliocentrics to Danny’s songwriting abilities producer (The Architect), a
and the furious ‘Alright Turn it Up as it should do. Despite its flaws only scratching the surface. CD1 is reveal hidden, complex depths when
showcases the sonic depth Scuba tend to wander down, albeit with a as well as Speed’s versatility as a notepad full of spirited verses,
Now’, will without a doubt garner the album actually sounds better more rootical, CD2 more upfront, played through a decent sound
has produced. Closer to Geiom somewhat more global mind space. producer. The subject matter stays and a crate packed with dusty
the man a legion of new fans he with every listen. I think its time to but the quality control, with a system - not really one for tinny iPod
than Burial, the crafting of rhythmic ‘Sahara Swing’ takes its cue from centered mostly on the streets of samples. ‘About Love’ finds the
has deserved for so long. Hip-hop unearth Koushik’s previous offering. couple of exceptions, is consistent phones, this! Huismans’ imagination
soundscapes is comparable to both the revolutionaries of black music the D, struggling and smoking weed, Hiero hero remembering an
heads will probably head straight (Michael Krasser) throughout. (Jez Smadja) and innovative use of tempo
peers. However, Scuba’s full-length from all sides of the planet, and but Danny’s writing and Speed’s episode of emotional vulnerability
to ‘Breathe Deep’ as it features and texture gives the album an
debut owes as much to Brian Eno instruments from those far flung musicality keep the album from over disjointed drums and spliced
the dextrous rap skills of Canadian irresistibly broad appeal, branching

MC Abdominal, and more laid back V/A “Freestyle - Single Minded” V/A “On the Corner” (Blue Note) out beyond a niche circle of dubstep
and Richard D.James as it does to reaches work together rather than ever sounding repetitive. The energy soul snippets, whilst the ominous
beat heads and dubstep kids will be (Freestyle) Over the course of three decades, fans. This is partly thanks to his
contemporary 2-step variations. against each other to create a of the Juan Atkins-sampling single ‘Stop The Press’ launches lyrical
more than happy with introspective Five years ago, when Adrian Gibson the Blue Note label put out close to disconnection from the recognised
The ghostly synths are particularly very heavy album indeed! Afro funk ‘What Up Doe’ is infectious and missiles at uncreative individuals
joints like ‘Feet Keep Moving’ and started up Freestyle label, the new 400 albums of ambitious, daring centres of the dubstep world.
reminiscent of the Aphex Twin’s influences are all over this LP, from inventive, but it’s even doper that masquerading as MCs in today’s
‘Ghost In The Machine’ respectively. funk sound was still pretty niche, and now legendary music. The Linking Detroit with Berlin and
ambient works. A pivotal release in the dancefloor friendly ‘Koloko Pt.1’ the same duo can turn around and cluttered hip-hop scene. Only the
The Art Of Vibration is without a save the occasional 7”s from the archives have spawned a number Bristol, Aerial is a future classic.
the evolving techno-tinged strand to the super deep ‘Followed Path’. produce the heartfelt ‘Two Steps limp ‘Cali Girls’ interrupts the
doubt a less militant and more likes of Kay Dee or the Breakestra of compilations, yet there is still (Keith Baker)
of dubstep— led by Skull Disco Elsewhere, ‘Jabore Pt.3’ (I’d love Back’ without either cut sounding album’s flow, but things get right
diverse album than its predecessor, project. When Freestyle pressed enough material for many more.
and the Dutchmen, Martyn and to hear the other parts to these unnatural. It’s pretty refreshing to back on track with the Dilla-esque
but each track, regardless of up their initial 12”s, they were Selected by Dean Rudland, the Blue Allez Allez “Best Of Allez Allez”
2562— the LP is more for home tunes – they’re not on the album!) find a new artist who isn’t afraid production heard on ‘I Need A
tempo, still has Nathaniel’s prints all shipped in batches of just 100. Note Explosion series leans toward (Eskimo Recordings)
listening than clubs. Recognising is a gloriously introspective joint, to contradict himself by getting Money Tree’ and the loose, freestyle
over it, and by rights this should be This was long before the whole the funkier end of the scale. On the Out of Belgium in the early eighties
the need for these basslines to be and ‘Mystical Brotherhood’ takes a sensitive on track like ‘Head’ and vibe of ‘The Prize’. Opio’s decision
the LP that breaks this young man Daptones explosion of late, before Corner features fusion classics came Allez Allez, perhaps one of
heard in the German capital over trip into a very spiritual, yet funky, then getting with his crew and to work with only one producer
into something resembling the big Mark Ronson jumped on the from the ‘60s and ‘70s such as the most cultish of all the European
an adequate system, Scuba has jazz plain. The nineteen tracks on telling you that “D. Brown pump like here was wise as it lends Vulture’s
time. (Dom Servini) bandwagon, and before the new the beautiful ‘Losalamitoslatinlov no wave bands. With fans such as
kick-started Sub:stance at Berlin’s this album take the listener on an Reebok” two songs later. Whether Wisdom a welcome synergy,
sound of funk broadcast its way esong’ by Gene Harris - a soulful Quiet Village and Lindstrom (who
techno Mecca, Berghain. Recent authentic, dusty trip through desert, consoling his girl or selling crack, allowing the Souls man ample
Koushik “Out My Window” across the stratosphere. In those seventies jazz funk work out. Bobby provides one of the mixes here) the
guests included Mala, Shackleton jungle, Harlem street corners and Danny raps every verse like it’s his opportunity to bring back some of
(Stones Throw) five years since their first release, Hutcherson’s takes a jazz stab at group’s African flavoured art school
and Appleblim. Voyaging through back to Bavaria where a group of last. “Danny Brown not the rest of what rap’s been missing, without
Following up 05’s collection Be Freestyle has gone from ashy to The Stylistics’ soul hit ‘People Make funk had all the elements to break
jerky thrusts (‘Twitch’, ‘Disorder’) talented German musicians have these niggas,” he hollers on ‘Sittin’ necessarily having to wallow in
With, which sadly I missed out on, classy – amalgamating a catalogue The World Go Round’, while Ronnie out of their little enclave and see
and the tranquillity of ‘The Upside’ produced something very special So High’. Now it’s up to the heads to nostalgia. (Ryan Proctor)
Koushik fuses his love of the soft which would put many other labels Foster’s ‘Fly Away’ and ‘Cheshire them join the post punk elite. Their
and ‘Stolen’, A Mutual Antipathy and very convincing indeed. (Dom recognize. (Andres Reyes)
‘psyche’ pop groups of the 60’s and to shame, not only releasing a Cat’ (both produced by George first full length album Promises
shares an affinity with F.U.S.E.’s Servini) Natural Self “The Art of Vibration”
cut-and-paste sample montages vast array of singles from artists Benson) are also worth looking out was recorded at Ultravox’s studio
exemplary 1993 album, Dimension Opio “Vulture’s Wisdom, Volume (Tru Thoughts)
of instrumental Hip Hop. ‘Out My as diverse as Chaka Khan, Reggie for. ‘Inside You’ by Eddie Henderson with Heaven 17’s Martin Ware
Intrusion, especially in its halcyon Danny Brown “Hot Soup” One” (Hiero Imperium) Nathaniel Pearn’s middle name
Window’ is the theme tune for Watts, Lewis Taylor, Kokolo (Headhunters and Herbie Hancock on production and Joy Division
moments. Depicting a wailing beast (Libido Sounds) As a member of Oakland foursome should be ‘Drama’. Although
hazy slacker afternoons looking Afrobeat Orchestra, The Beatnuts, trumpeter) is a dark and brooding photographer (and director of
under siege, Luke Berry’s cover art Detroit just doesn’t stop. Maybe it’s Souls Of Mischief and the wider the man himself is wonderfully
up at the ceiling and staring into The New Mastersounds and tune, sampled by Jay-Z on his ‘Closer’) Anton Corbijn taking
is apt, an abstract mirroring of the the plight of a city in a depression Hieroglyphics collective, slick- understated in nature (albeit
space. Twinkly keys, mellotron Aroop Roy, but also wikkid albums Reasonable Doubt album. Donald care of the arty photography. But
album’s flux between aggression while the rest of the country is in tongued MC Opio spent the early- with a razor sharp wit) his music
strings, harmoniums, crusty loops from Sirius B, Marva Whitney and Byrd and the gifted flute player strangely, both Promises and its
and acceptance. (Ben Verghese) recession, or maybe it’s the deep to-mid 90s crafting timeless true counterbalances this deceptive
and programmed beats sit happily Jazzinho. This label compilation, Bobby Humphries are given ample predecessor African Queen flopped

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before their singer Sarah Osbourne have the energy of ‘Dust’, it’s an of piano-led jazz improvisation freaked-out late-‘60s eccentricity, Reain “The Metaphorcast” Spacek sounds incredible on the Little Brother And Justus For All to the bluesy acoustic Portishead
left to marry Heaven 17’s Glenn incredibly catchy slow jam that with notated orchestral passages, Gal has an oddball charm that (Stand Alone Recordings) Katalyst track from his recent BBE (Hall of Justus) treatment of ‘Breathe Now Blues’
Gregory and sing on the group’s should cross over rather nicely. Do Across The Crystal Sea bears a endures even though I imagine Hailing from West London, this album, wordsmith Stacey Epps While officially a re-release of their to a twisted afro-beat jam with
The Luxury Gap LP. Perhaps it’s not fear though, those trademark strong resemblance in terms of its to truly appreciate it, you’d have debut set from regular Jump Off comes across more in ya face 2007 mixtape of the same name, electric guitar on ‘Pieces’ which I
because Allez Allez could never Recloose horns can be found all raison d’être and use of classical to drop a few microdots of acid. competitor Reain (pronounced than Jean Grae, and then Yaw’s this time as stand-alone tracks predict will be a big hit everywhere
quite find their own voice, with over this album. Tyna does a pretty music themes with Ogerman’s File under weird and wonderful. Rain) is a refreshing break from ‘Where Would You Be’ carries you without the mixing skills of DJ soon. We continue with the feel
African Queen a little too near to impressive job on the Cameo- 1965 pairing with pianist, Bill Evans, (Charles Waring) the seemingly endless stream over like an Anthony Hamilton joint Mick Boogie, but now with tighter good string accompaniment
Grace Jones’ Compass Point work, influenced ‘Emotional Funk’ and on the Verve album Bill Evans With of unimaginative street tales – people have going crazy to track production and 5 new tracks, it is of ‘Unrequited’ sounding like a
and ‘Allez Allez’ perhaps wearing alongside synths galore on ‘So Cool’, Symphony Orchestra. Unlike that Saint “About Time” currently coming from the UK this one down. And then there’s still a credit to these North Carolina long lost Beatles melody. ‘Lose
its ACR and Siouxie references but for me, the brassy ‘Solomon’s album, a vocalist is featured here (Domination Recordings) rap scene. Possessing an obvious Roger Robinson and Charlie Dark’s natives that this stands up as a You’ is a definite favourite and a
too proudly. But that’s not to deny Alive’ is the club friendly bomb that – namely smoky-voiced Cassandra Known for his work as a member natural rhyming ability, the witty ‘Prayer For Angry Young Men’ and full-length album better than many melancholic winner too, difficult to
the pure punk funk energy that should keep butts shaking. With Wilson, who is sensational on of underground crew The Good wordsmith fills his verses here the Invisibles on ‘Spiral’, So, so, so efforts heard recently by equally describe concisely, but as they’ve
bursts out of the speakers on Perfect Timing Recloose continues melancholic renditions of ‘Lazy People, Long Island, New York MC with memorable punch lines and much of talent out there. Will the seasoned pros. With beats by a said themselves “...a truly beautiful
the appropriately entitled ‘Wrap to explore his own unique sound, Afternoon’ and ‘(All Of A Sudden) / producer Saint attempts to put a dash of humour, whilst also mainstream ever swtich on to it? host of hip-hop’s best underground song..”. When I playlisted ‘Free’ on
Your Legs (Around Your Head)’. and seems to have maintained his My Heart Sings’. An absolute gem a fresh twist on the traditional offering a little food for thought (Solomon Diop) producers including Brooklyn’s previous radio shows, people were
And dropped peak set in a dirty knack for choosing vocalists who of an album. (Charles Waring) East Coast boom-bap sound on his along the way. The upbeat ‘Who DJ Spinna, Ohio’s RJD2, Cali’s going crazy asking for more Jet
warehouse, cuts like ‘She’s Stirring show off that sound perfectly. latest release. Accompanied by a Am I?’ finds Reain determined to J Rawls & Middle Child “Rawls & DJ Babu, alongside Khrysis and Tricks... well, now you have it. Finally
Up’ and ‘Marathon Dance’ will put (Dom Servini) Gal Costa “Gal” (Dusty Groove) supporting cast of subterranean leave his mark on the homegrown Middle” (Groove Attack) of course 9th Wonder from the out, Remote Control is available
the likes of The Ting Tings in their Gone, perhaps, are the days when stalwarts that includes El Da scene, whilst the entertaining ‘Rap J Rawls, the master of the head- crew’s home state there is a great on iTunes. The best of British soul.
place. A long overdue retrospective. some forms of popular music Sensei and NYOIL, Saint does a Game’ is peppered with clever nodder, here hooks up with array of sounds here from the all (Raggy)
(Andy Thomas) threatened to lay siege to common fine job of balancing his split duties video game references. Displaying guitarist, keyboard player, rapper grown-up Little Brother. Guest MCs

Recloose “Perfect Timing” Danilo Perez & Claus Ogerman decency and bring down the walls between the microphone and the his mischievous side, Reain and and accomplished vocalist Middle & singers including Oh No, Kardinal diskJokke “Staying In”
(Sonar Kollektiv) “Across The Crystal Sea” of civilization but back in 1969 sampler. ‘Wisdom Over Weapons’ associate Precise go back-to-back Child for what looks like being a Official, Cormega & Rhymefest on (Smalltown Supersound)
Since being snapped up by Carl (EmArcy) when singer Gal Costa - real name features Raw Produce’s Cadence on the funky ‘Carnival’ like the UK’s perfect meeting of styles. Middle’s all but three of the album’s sixteen Alongside Lindstrom and Prins
Craig over a decade ago, Matthew Even though he’s 78 now, Claus Maria da Graça Costa Penna delivering anti-war sentiments over answer to Kid-N-Play, chasing girls sassy vocals, rocky guitar licks and tracks ensure that this is their most Thomas, Oslo’s Joachim Dyrdahl
Chicione has managed to release Ogerman can still create magic. Burgos – released this, her second Roy Ayers-style vibes, whilst on the with a good-natured cheekiness impressive rap skills play off Rawls’ diverse and well rounded album to has been causing a quiet storm
a solo debut album, orchestrate Give him an orchestra and he LP for Phillips, the authorities in smoothed-out ‘Thought You Should and a can of Red Stripe in-hand. laid back productions perfectly, date. While the more mainstream with his dubby disco productions
his own live band, emigrate from can conjure up a sound that is her native Brazil almost perceived Know’ Saint accurately describes Yet the young MC can also get whether it be smooth cuts like crunked up sounds associated and his hometown Sunkissed
Detroit to New Zealand, and both breathtakingly beautiful and it as a revolutionary gesture. his sound as being “something serious when needed, as evidenced ‘Til The Sun Comes’, the salsa with the Dirty South, bumping out nights. ‘Staying In’ should see the
is now ready to unleash what powerfully evocative. Famed for The music was radical, certainly for your intellect that’s easy to on the piano-laced ‘Beauty’, with influenced ‘Lovers On A Stroll’ or of studios and jeeps, are a dime a name of the classically trained, Ollen
could turn out to be his hottest his opulent and often haunting - a kind of overtly experimental, groove to”, backed by a lush blend its positive, life-affirming lyrics (“If I the brasher ‘By Your Side’. There’s dozen, Little Brother has always Abstract (Norway’s answer to the
joint yet! Impressive newcomer orchestral arrangements for both psychedelic-tinged proto-punk rock of keyboards and horns. The could, I’d make time pause for the a little nepotism which may not sit taken the more time-consuming but late John Peel) schooled producer,
Rachel Frasier kicks things off on jazz and pop records in the 1960s - while the countercultural lyrics Honey LaRochelle-assisted ‘If You right cause, To find peace, Lives so well with listeners outside of the thoughtful approach to music and it join the likes of Rune Lindbaek
mic duties with the very catchy and ‘70s – when he worked with (sometimes sung sweetly but often Would Just...’ is a hypnotic slice of are lost when we fight wars”). U.S. on the intro to the latter track, shows. (Spin Doctor) and Todd Terje. While he is happy
‘Catch A Leaf’ – a mid-tempo soul artists as varied as Frank Sinatra, screamed by a hysterical Costa) summery soul that finds the Strong Whilst comparisons could be made and on the Earth, Wind & Fire to accept comparisons with his
cut that emerges successfully Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, offered both political and social Island producer confidently stepping between Reain and fellow London influenced skits, but these quibbles Jet Tricks feat. Adefunke mentor Hans Peter Lindstrom
from the sound of something like Oscar Peterson, Cal Tjader, protest at Brazil’s repressive right- out of his trademark hip-hop zone lyricist Yungun, the up-and-comer aside, Rawls & Middle combines “Remote Control” (who signed him to his Full Pupp
demented chickens. Perfect Timing George Benson, Stan Getz and wing military government. With with impressive results. Elsewhere, definitely shows enough personality some very strong song-writing I love supporting independent label), in truth Joachim treads his
features vocalists galore, including Anthony Carlos Jobim – Ogerman its bold blend of styles – lysergic ’The Session Part 1’ offers rap and charisma on the mic to ensure and quality beat making which soul and funk music with that own path down the Cosmic disco
Tyna, Justin Chapman, Jonathan fell off the radar in the ‘80s and rock colliding with pop, bossa nova, relationship therapy courtesy of he stands out amongst his peers. make this a top notch listening UK edge. Paul Elliot and Jamie highway; one that is inspired as
Crayford, Genevieve Marentette, ‘90s until Diana Krall coaxed him percussive African grooves and folk talented femcee Eternia and Anti-, (Ryan Proctor) experience. Other highlights include Lawrence from Jet Tricks have much by his classical training as
and a name that may be more out of retirement in 2001 for music from Bahia, a northern part whilst Canada’s Muneshine debates the James Brown sampling ‘Can I been methodically fusing their the electronic music he heard as
familiar to most readers (and fans her million-selling Look Of Love of Brazil, where Costa hailed from the merits of today’s popular hip- V/A “Brownswood Bubblers 3” Be Real’ (using the rarely touched diverse tastes and styles on this, a 15 year old on Abstract’s radio
of Recloose) Joe Dukie. Having album. Now, the veteran German – Gal crystallized the ‘60s Brazilian hop on the jazzy ‘Can’t Relate’. A (Brownswood) ‘King Heroin’), the exasperated Jill their debut CD. Together with show. ‘Folk I Farta’ sets the scene,
delivered the Fat Freddy’s magic for arranger is back with a remarkable cultural movement called Tropicalia. lively, organic collection of tracks, The Brownswood brethren & Scott style pleas of ‘Don’t Lock My lyricist Adefunke supplying brilliant opening with classical piano before
the massive ‘Dust’ on Recloose’s collaboration in tandem with the The two main leading lights of About Time comfortably occupies sistren return with possibly the best Drummer Up’, and the glorious spoken word, plus Faye Houston morphing into a glorious slice of
Hiatus On The Horizon, Dukie and Panamanian-born jazz pianist, Tropicalia were Caetano Veloso the middle ground between Bubblers outing to date. Kicking off ‘Music Over Madness’. An essential and Marcus Malone on vocals, trippy glacial disco. The title track
Chicione had their work cut out to Danilo Perez, who has recently and Gilberto Gil, who, significantly, throwback rap and new-school with a Bullion nugget and swtiching purchase for lovers of hip-hop and they’ve encompassed all corners captures the eloquence of Dyrdahl’s
follow it, and although the Dukie- impressed as a member of Wayne appear on this album and also expression. (Ryan Proctor) straight into Joey Negro, things soul music alike. (Dom Servini) of heavy musical styles; from the writing, bringing to mind - in its off
featured ‘Deeper Waters’ doesn’t Shorter’s band. Combining periods contribute several songs. For all its start to get nasty from track 3, massive block party anthem ‘Free’ key beauty - the avant pop of the

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Yellow Magic Orchestra. Elsewhere, when Sam Sparro has conquered (or Aim) put it on the map with dancefloor madness. Alongside and Harvey’s mix of Crue-I Grand and early eighties. Originally a his Italian contemporaries by Bob Osborne “Osborne” (Ghostly)
the young producer wears his the pop charts with his disco his solid downtempo sounds. He’s the original Fania tracks, this 2cd Orchestra’s ‘Time & Days’. Great member of prog rock band Goblin Day and Tom Sison at the Baia Rasmus Faber “So Far” (BBE)
influences even more proudly on his pastiches, surely the time is now for still representing Cumbria and set (and double vinyl) features stuff. Jazzanova’s mix, on the other (not the only prog band to spawn a Degli Angeli, Baldelli took over Phil Asher “Phlash & Friends”
sleeve (such as on the techy Ame Sunburst Band. (Jez Smadja) has run his own label, ATIC, from remixes by the likes of DJ Format, hand, despite including Henrik disco producer), Claudio Simonetti from the DJs on their return to (Archive)
styled ‘Storre Enn Forst Antatt’), his hometown since 2006. A Life Bugz in the Attic, Masters At Schwarz, Recloose and Jazanova went on to become probably the America before moving to the club A little triplet of house flavoured
but he’s always got a little hook The Golden Arm Trio “The Tick- of Consummate Ease by fellow Work producer Louie Vega, themselves, sadly never seems to most famous Italo producer and where he took on legendary status. albums which should be doing
or melodic diversion to catch you Tock Club” (Rickety Fence) Barrovian, Gripper, sits comfortably Nicola Conte, Gilles Peterson get off the ground. (Keith Baker) his two tracks here demonstrate Cosmic nestled on the edge of big things over the forthcoming
off guard. By the time you get to This is Graham Reynolds’ fourth in the groove of Aim’s bouncy and Simbad, to name a few. The why. Kasso’s ‘Brazilian Dancer’ Lake Garda and from 1979 until months. The Osborne album is
the cinematic wonky disco of ‘The album released under this breaks and rolling rhythms. Gripper remixers were smart enough to V/A “Mary-Anne Hobbs presents (a monster on the dancefloors of 1984 it became home to Baldelli’s from a guy called Todd Osborn.
Dinner That Never Happened’, you’ll pseudonym, and it’s an eclectic (Graham Newby) has been around realize that meddling that magic Evangeline” (Planet Mu) NYC), is a perfect example of Italo wild experimentation, as with little Apparently in his spare time he
have more than enough reason for combination of intense crime for some time now, DJing all over too much would be a disaster. A follow-up to the seminal Warrior Disco – teetering perfectly on the technology he manipulated records makes hovercrafts and customizes
Staying In. (Andy Thomas) jazz, string heavy classical pieces, the world with a record collection Sticking closely to the original, Dubz sees Ms. Hobbs once edge of tack and soul, as is Easy manually by slowing them down arcade games, but all I can say
cinematic interludes and a plethora segueing from garage punk to they’ve chosen to concentrate again exploring the dark side of Goings’ ‘Do It Again’ - a glorious adding his own effects to create is that he makes killer dancefloor
Joey Negro & the Sunburst of punk influenced brass cuts that funk, disco, electro and house. on bringing the production bang experimental electronic music. slice of cod funk offset with some strange but familiar soundscapes music that’s a mix of classic house
Band “Moving With the Shakers” almost defy explanation. It will This is his first solo album and it’s up to date. A standout track is Proving she has good friends typically dodgy lyrics. If there is that sent the devoted chemically and garage (yes, ‘88 is definitely
(ZRecords) come as no surprise to you that a comfortable affair; there aren’t Louie Vega’s remix of ‘Mi Gente’, in grimey places, Evangeline one track to epitomise the Italo enhanced dancers into outer space. the sound of this summer) with
Dave Lee, better known as Joey Reynolds has written a number any surprises but the output is well originally recorded by his uncle contains 16 moody tracks with 11 sound, it’s Kano’s ‘Now Baby Now’ Like all the iconic DJ’s (whether 303 acid basslines like Mr Fingers,
Negro, has been a staple of of film soundtracks (including the produced, if not a little vanilla at Hector Lavoe. With the assistance exclusives from iTAL tEK, Flying - a raucous slice of Hi-NRG disco Ron Hardy dropping Visage, Alfredo but is also versatile across minimal
the house scene since the ‘90s score to Phillip K. Dick’s ‘A Scanner times. ‘The Interpreter’ starts off of percussionist Luisito Quintero, Lotus, Magnetic Man, Shackleton, with computerised hand claps, playing ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’, Freude Am Tamzen techno or UR-
while his vinyl mania has seen Darkly’), as well as several concert the programme nicely and plots a Louie has created a sublime Pinch, Surgeon, Boxcutter and the driving synth lines and a vocoder Grandmaster Flash cutting up style space jazz. ‘Our Definition of
him becoming one of the leading pieces, and these influences are path through warm soundscapes, masterpiece. Bugz in the Attic mysterious Cult Of The 13th Hour. vocal; imagine Divine jamming with ‘Mary, Mary’ or Larry Levan A Breakdown’ is like Moodymann
revivalists of the classic disco abundant on The Tick-Tock Club. so velvety beats and has a lovely horn give a proper funk treatment to There’s not a duff track in sight. The Chaz Jankel and you’re close. But spinning Pat Benatar), Baldelli meets Bridget Fonda’s Workout
sound. With the Sunburst Band, you can easily weave your own story section. Singer Niko’s contribution ‘Plastico’ by Ruben Blades and bar has been raised once more. the biggest revelation to my ears revelled in experimentation and Plan; and this segues straight into
he indulges his love for the soulful as the album switches from the on ‘The Daddy’ is deep in Grand Willie Colon – a song that cleverly (Keith Baker) is the wonderfully entitled ‘Wojtyla surprise, but perhaps went further ‘Ruling’, a hands-in-the-air anthem
sound of P&P, Kalimba, Salsoul pensiveness of tracks like ‘Dmitri Central territory, the Manchester criticizes America’s material Disco Dance’ by Freddie The Flying than any of his contemporaries - where Spiritual Life Music meets
and De-Lite by taking up the role of Dmitryevich’ to the spy mayhem label to which Gripper contributed. dreams. 4Hero’s beautifully Dutchman & The Sistina Band, a creating a whole sound around the Basement Jaxx. But there’s so

musical director of a full live band of the title track, and then calms He gives house a go on ‘Zombie’ orchestrated remix of ‘I Didn’t V/A “Disco Italia - Essential Disco crazed slice of lysergic disco that manipulation of vinyl. This excellent much else on here... This really
that boasts Tony Remy on guitar, again with ‘The End of Speedy Jinx’ and it’s a deep, cocktail-swilling, Want to Have to do it’ (Ralfi Pagan) Classics 1977-85” (Strut) is every bit as warped and daft compilation brings you closer to the should be a massive album and
Julian Crampton on bass and before that track moves once again summertime affair. There are few typically impresses, while Simbad In his insightful sleeve notes, Bill as its title. But it wasn’t all about floor of Cosmic with a collection of can’t speak highly enough of
Alexander Bennett on keys. The into some kind of string-driven rough edges and quality endures and Gilles Peterson join forces for Brewster cites Italo Disco as an mad lyrics and druggy synths – as obscurities from names you might it. Elsewhere, on BBE comes a
lead single ‘Rough Times’, featuring chase. Further in, there’s light relief throughout. Expect to be soothed a dubby sci-fi twist to ‘ Saona’ by important link in the post-disco demonstrated by the killer boogie of know (from English pop romantics retrospective of Swedish house
the vocals of Yolanda Wynns, is an from the almost comedic horns and cosseted. (Helene Dancer) Morales’. (Vince Vella) chain that connected The Loft and Kotey’s ‘Love (Is Gonna Be On Your Thompson Twins to Canadian new maestro Rasmus Faber’s on a
uptempo house groove that has ‘hit’ and quirky flavour of ‘The Duchess Paradise Garage with the Music Side)’ by Firefly and ‘E Fatto E Sorde! wavers Martha and the Muffins) more soulful vocal-led tip.You
written all over it. The vocalists on of Parma’ before things tense up V/A “I Like it Like That” (Fania) V/A “Southport Weekender Box and Warehouse, as well as E?’, an alternative side by Tullio De to those you probably won’t (such should be familiar with ‘Ever After’
the record include Leroy Burgess, again on ‘Greyhound’, and eventually Founded in NYC in 1964 by Volume 7 Mixed by Jazzanova & being a vital component in the Piscopo, to his more well known as German abstractionists Strafe (trust you’ll know it when you hear
Diane Charlemagne (Moby, Goldie find their conclusion with the composer/bandleader Johnny Mr Scruff” (suSU) template of early house music. It’s Balearic/Loft classic ‘Stop Bajon’. Fur Rebellion and Torch Song, an it) which is reminiscent of that
etc,), Pete Simpson and Taka Boom melancholic ‘Dsch’. Reynold’s notes Pacheco and police officer/lawyer The Southport Weekender, now certainly true that both Larry Levan With everyone from Idjut Boys to early William Orbit project), but Scandinavian jazz sound from the
(Chaka Khan’s sister). There’s on each track help make The Tick Jerry Masucci, Fania is probably in its 21st year, takes place twice and David Mancuso in New York Lindstrom digging the Italo sound, the overall effect is what makes early ‘00s, but with a tuff beat and a
even a Bowie cover in the shape Tock Club an entertaining curiosity the most important Latin label of all a year at Southport Pontins and were feeling synth heavy tracks by it’s time to go back to the original this such an insightful document of sultry vocal. Another heavy track is
of ‘Fashion’, flipped into a boogie that’s well executed with some time. Producing a raft of reputable regularly attracts a 5,000-strong the likes of Claudio Simonetti, and source. (Andy Thomas) what Baldelli was doing in the early ‘Get Over Here’ – pure soul heaven,
workout. But my personal favourites beautiful musicianship, although as releases, it was responsible for crowd of party people. Continuing that Ron Hardy and the Hot Mix 5 eighties and can still do if you are it reminds me a little of the MAW
are the subtler tracks like ‘Dusk’ a whole piece of work it may not bringing the freshest sounds from this series of acclaimed mixes by DJs in Chicago saw a glimpse of V/A “Cosmic Disco?! Cosmic lucky enough to catch him going remix of ‘Nights Over Egypt’. Finally,
which reminds me of Maze’s bear frequently repeated listening. the barrio to worldwide attention. such luminaries as Gilles Peterson, the future in the raw DIY sound of Rock!!! Mixed & edited by Danielle Cosmic today: creating a wild and watch out for the new album from
‘Twilight’ and, while on the subject (Dom Servini) This compilation pulls together Joe Claussell, Jazzy B and Kerri Italo acts like Klein & MBO. This Baldelli” (Eskimo Recordings) warped tapestry of sound where Phil Asher. From the album taster
of Maze, the downtempo ‘Put A some of the finest releases ever Chandler, Scruff and Jazzanova excellent compilation by Bearfunk’s Whether mixing T Connection the ordinary becomes extraordinary I’ve heard, this is going to be next
Lyric In It’ that borrows the guitar Gripper “A Life of Consummate pressed by the label; tracks from step up to the decks. It’s a game Stevie Kotie (himself influenced with Moebilus or slowing down and where pop becomes avant- level runnings, with guest spots
line from ‘Joy and Pain’. Closing Ease” (ATIC) Ray Barretto, Ruben Blades, of two halves with Scruff laying by the Italo sound as one half of Depeche Mode 45’s to 33 to garde and your head becomes... from Ommas, Karizma, Dego, Mark
with ‘We Can Live Forever’ that The industrial northern town of Hector Lavoe, Pete Rodriguez. down a tight, party mix of Funk and Chicken Lips) eschews some of the create strange Afro flavoured drug well, confused. And we love that. De Cilve Lowe, Benji B, Bopstar,
has an EWF ‘Brazilian Rhyme’ vibe, Barrow-in-Furness may not be at It’s an explosive fusion of Afro- Northern Soul – with tracks from better-known tracks in favour of music, Danielle Baldelli is one of Enough here to keep web forums Lady Alma, Zansika, Zed Bias. Deep
the Sunburst Band have delivered the top of the UK tourist trail, but Cuban, Puerto Rican, soul, jazz, Theo Parrish, Gloria Scott, Wayne the wide variety of styles that came the great deconstructionist DJs. like DJ History entertained for electronic soul. (Jez Smadja)
a highly polished album. In a time musically, producer Andy Turner funk and r&b that promises pure Carter’s ‘Wahoo Wahoo Wahoo’ out of Italy in the late seventies After being inspired like many of months. (Andy Thomas)

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