It’s well known that the music libraries of the 60’s and 70’s have become serious sample fodder for hip-hop and electronic producers. But the music has also become a staple on adventurous dance floors a la carte, or in some cases after subtle tweaks from a gifted editor. That’s exactly what Manchester producer Waiwan has done with his expert take on the Keith Mansfield classic “Crash Course.” We’ve posted a download to our Soundcloud page, and the original version is available on Music For Dancefloors: The KPM Music Library, which is out now.
The term “sleaze” as applied to disco goes back to the mid-70s, and was used to describe the slower, often vocal-lead tracks that DJs would spin toward the end of a party, in many cases in the early hours of the morning. The always informative Horse Meat Disco guys used the sub-genre as an inspiration for one of the discs on their third compilation with us, and there is of course an ongoing and healthy debate taking place online as to what technically is and isn’t bona fide “sleaze.”
As Dennis Citizen Kane (the man behind the Disques Sinthomme / Ghost Town labels, one of our favorite DJs in New York, and another great source for disco history and information) is launching a new club night at the Soho Grand this Friday featuring some authentic sleaze sounds, we thought we’d take the opportunity to have him share some of his favorites.
Says Kane: “These songs are not ranked in any specific way, they are just 10 great sleazy jams, they all have tremendous atmosphere and great sonic palettes. All of them convey such an intense mood and intimacy, elegant, erotic, exotic, and modern.”
Sleaze to Please – 10 sleazed-out jams selected by Dennis Citizen Kane
10 Pino Presti – Disco Shitan
9. Shock Taktix ~ Morocko
8. Puccio Roelens – Northern Lights
7. Jo Dassin – Le Jardin Du Luxembourg ( TeeTwo Mariani Edit )
6. Night Creatures – That’s the night
5. Crystal Bird – Tunnel
4. Francis Lai – #1
3. Marti Cane – Love the way you love me
2. Bob Chance – Jungle Talk
1. Double Fantasy – Food for fantasy
The story of Celluloid Records is a complicated one, and one that goes deeper than the music. Vivien Goldman did a fantastic job of outlining some of the label’s history and context in her liner notes for Change The Beat, and now we have the pleasure of learning even more from some of the key players in the label’s storied history. Filmed in Paris and New York City, this two part series features producers and musicians Bill Laswell and DXT (formerly Grand Mixer DST) and founder / owner Jean Karakos. Part two in the series will be posted shortly. Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story is out now on double CD, double vinyl w/ CD insert, and digital download.
Ashley Beedle is one of those incredible DJs who has most likely forgotten more about music than most of us will ever know. Hyperbole aside, it’s a thrill to hear him speak about his early nightlife experience, the transition from soundboy culture into early club days, and the music that soundtracked the different times of his life. We’re honored to have Ashley on the line-up for our Christmas Party this week, and hope you can join us for what promises to be an incredible evening!
You used to talk about soul clubs in North London that you went to when you were young. Can you tell us about those days?
Yes, I was 16 or 17 when I was going to places like Bumbles, which was either in Tottenham or Palmers Green, and the Royalty in Southgate. I actually saw Marvin Gaye perform there. At the time, I was dabbling with sound systems and I was involved with Stateside which was a sound up in Wembley. My cousin Ricky Bushell hooked me in and I travelled around with them. Already at that stage it wasn’t just about being a pure reggae sound – 2-step soul had started to come in since reggae was a very male phenomenon at his height. The DJs had realised that they had to appeal to the girls and it was soul tunes like Natalie Cole’s ‘This Will Be’ that worked and got them onto the floor. Norman Jay was doing that too with Joey on his sound.
My first club experiences were really during my last year at school when London’s West End was big. Clubs like Crackers and Obie J’s. Where I was living, Harrow (North West London) had a big club scene at the time – there was a big Asian and black population there and the soulboy thing was big. Places like Harrow Leisure Centre, the Kings Head at Harrow On The Hill, Circles in South Harrow, the Headstone in Harrow & Wealdstone and the Co-Op disco which was very influential. There was a white guy, Dave, who ran a sound system called Channel One – not the reggae one we know today – and he played big reggae hits next to tracks like Fatback Band ‘Spanish Hustle’ and ‘Going To See My Baby’, then Elton John’s ‘Philadelphia Freedom’, Mass Production – ‘Cosmic Lust’. I went to Wembley too – the Hop Bine. The dancers from Crackers used to go there and they moved around different clubs and cut each other up. It was a really interesting time. Hammersmith Palais did a Sunday gig where Kelly’s Roadshow played . The biggest tunes were The Real Thing’s ‘Can You Feel The Force’ and GQ hits like ‘Standing Ovation’. I remember there was a turning point when jazz funk became too insular – you’d be paying £20 for a rare album with just one playable track on it. Then kids got into Slave, Freeez, the Brit funk wave which was massive during the early ’80s. There was crossover with the punk scene too as punks took elements of Soulboy fashion like mohair jumpers and plastic bag tops while studded belts and winkle pickers crossed into the soul crowd. That doesn’t often get mentioned.
Which were your favourite clubs during the heyday of electro and boogie around ’83-’85? Any life-changing club moments at that time? Where did you used to buy your records back then?
This was a strange time for me – I opted out a bit during this period. I was checking bands like The Clash, A Certain Ratio, Orange Juice and Siouxsie And The Banshees. At the same time, Rob Mello and I used to go to Bentleys where Derek B was the main DJ. I first started to hear electro and boogie there, all mixed up, just as the B Boy thing was coming through. Then there was Spats in Oxford Street where Tim Westwood was the resident. He’d play that US remix of Tears For Fears with the big break, Ryuichi Sakamoto ‘Riot In Lagos’. It all changed so quickly. Boogie was big and I got totally caught up again after being an indie kid for a while! I had blue plastic brothel creepers, a quiff, the lot! There was a lot of crossover with electro and boogie. A seminal record back then was Terence T ‘Power’ which was a big record when pirate station LWR first started up. Rumour had it that it was Terence Trent D’Arby behind it but it wasn’t! It came out and I remember that you could only get it in Tower Records in Piccadilly. We had no mobiles so it was all word of mouth at that time – a collector called Rajan tipped me off that they had copies. I got there and the queue was round the block! I used to go to obvious small shops like Groove Records in Soho but HMV and Tower used to have some good records back then too. Groove would sometimes even buy their copies there. Reggae shops too – Hawkeye in Harlesden brought in UK boogie tracks and soul to broaden their selection.
How did you find the transition from sound system DJ to club DJ back in the day? Or was it a natural move for you? Where did you first cut your teeth as a DJ in clubs?
I started to make my name when I was with Shock sound system. When we started that, it was just before acid house. Rare groove was really going on but then these proto house records started to appear. I went to Meltdown one night, a club run by Jonathan More and Norman Jay at The Crypt in Brixton. They were playing proto house records mixed in with Fela and James Brown and then eventually all these other house records appeared and they played them too. There was a 12 called ‘JB Traxx’ by Duane & Co. – a massive record. That was the vibe, then Trax came in. We were then given our own room at Clink Street and that was the first time that we did longer sets, playing 2-3 hours. None of us really went to Shoom at the time but the Shoomers came to Clink St after Shoom had finished. We were playing the black end of house which was very different to their sound and we still played soul too staying tru to our suburban soulboy roots. Then Phil Perry, who had Queens in Windsor, approached me to play there – that was the first time I saw Phil, Breeze (God rest his soul) and Weatherall. They played odd records but I adored them and I kept going up to booth asking ‘what’s that, what’s that!’ Tracks like Les Negresses Vertes ‘Zobi la Mouche’, ‘Oh Well’ by Oh Well, Belgian new beat. All coming in at different angles.
You’re in Manchester now? How are you finding life there… and music?
It’s one of the best moves I’ve ever done. London was good but personalities had started to outstrip what the music was about. I found that none of them talked about music – it was all about their careers. I met with T. Williams and listening to his stuff buzzed me up again. Julio Bashmore too. Floor-edged UK funky house that references the older stuff we played but in a great new way. I did my ‘Yardism’ EP in response to that (which is doing well, may I add!). So, I moved to Manchester partly to get out of London and my partner is also studying here. There are so many little scenes here – everyone knows each other and everyone is really helpful. There’s some really new stuff up here and, dare I say it, it may be a bit ahead of London! Wet Play is a great night, Red Laser Disco, Hot Milk playing bashment (which Eoin Mcmanus who is connected to the Oi Polloi store is involved with). Another lot called New Bohemian, Irfan Rainey flying the flag for black house music – he runs a night called Community. Then the Electric Chair crews influence is here everywhere. They really were the forerunners of a lot of stuff happening in Manchester now.
At the Strut party, we’re looking forward to you getting back to the original vinyl. Do you get a chance to spin the rare older tracks as a full DJ set these days?
I do and I don’t. I try and keep a balance, making sure that I’m playing new material but bringing in old tracks too. I mix it all up. If you’ve been DJing as long as me, you start to know what your records are about. DJ Harvey said that you start to understand that when you hit 40! I’m looking forward to the Strut night – it should be great fun.
We love throwing parties in London: the incredible DJ talent, the lovely people, and, in the Tamesis Dock, an incredibly unique floating venue. We’re particularly excited about our holiday party this year, which sees us returning to the Dock with a cracking line-up that is sure to make your Yuletides bright.
It’s a pleasure to be linking up once again with Ashley Beedle. One of the most talented and adventurous selectors we know, Beedle goes way back with Strut. His Grassroots mix is one of the first releases on the label, and he has continued to share incredible sounds with us, through his Inspiration Information collaboration with Horace Andy in 2009. For the holiday party, he’ll be laying down a set of classic soul and boogie. We asked him to give us a rundown of some of his all-time favorites to get you in the spirit. Here are “ten killers definitely shaking my tree this Xmas!” courtesy of the man himself.
1. Logg – You’ve Got That Something
2. Terrance T – Power
3. Average White Band / Ben E. King – Star Of The Ghetto
4. Slave – Spice Of My Life
5. Steve Arrington – You Meet My Approval
6. D Train – Keep Giving Me Love
7. GQ – You’re The One For Me
8. Gwen Guthrie – Outside In The Rain
9. Gwen McCrae – Keep The Fire Burning
10. Sahara – Love So Fine
We’ve had the good fortune to be able to closely examine some incredible seminal labels retrospective form, but we’re hard-pressed to think of a label whose output so closely mirrors the full spectrum of what we love than Celluloid records. Touching on everything from breakdance classics and early hip-hop singles to experimental disco and no wave, and even some classic soul and funk and world music fusions, Celluloid’s output is an unparalleled representation of the no-rules musical landscape of the early 80s, in New York City and beyond. CHANGE THE BEAT: THE CELLULOID RECORDS STORY 1980 – 1987 is out February 19th 2013 on Strut.
Celluloid Records was formed in Paris during the late ’70s by Jean Georgakarakos (often referred to by the shorter name Jean Karakos), who had spent the previous decade co-running French record shops and the spiritual jazz label BYG. The label gathered steam following Karakos’ fateful trips to New York in the early ‘80s. It was there that he met Bill Laswell, who had himself landed fresh in the Big Apple from Michigan, Karakos began releasing the full spectrum of Laswell’s early work, from the avant-rock cacophony of Massacre to his fluid, dance / post-punk production outfit, Material.
Karakos also became involved in the nascent hip-hopscene In New York, releasing Time Zone’s breakdance classic “Wildstyle”, featuring Afrika Bambaataa and French MC B Side. In 1983, both he and Laswell worked with Herbie Hancock on his electro smash, “Rockit.” From the resultant publishing income, Karakos and Laswell continued to explore early hip-hop culture and a slew of classics followed: successfull 12’s by Hancock’s scratch DJ, Grandmixer D.ST, Fab 5 Freddy’s groundbreaking French / English slo-mo rap “Change The Beat” and graf artist Futura 2000 on the cult single “Escapades Of Futura 2000” backed by The Clash. Time Zone would re-surface with Bambaataa and collaborator John Lydon (PiL / Sex Pistols) with the apocalyptic chart smash “World Destruction.”
By 1986, Laswell’s work for Celluloid became increasingly sparse as he was pulled onto major projects for Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, PiL and more. The label, meanwhile, continued it’s eclectic path with recordings by jazz legend Eric Dolphy, John McLaughlin and the Welcome To Dreamland compilation of out-there Japanese pop overseen by regular Laswell cohort, Fred Frith. African music also continued to feature heavily in the label’s later output through world pop stars like Kassav and Toure Kunda.
Change The Beat is released in conjunction with Jean Karakos and Celluloid Records. Formats include 2CD, 2LP and digital. All physical formats feature rare photos from the Celluloid Records archive and extended interviews with label owner Jean Karakos, Bill Laswell, Afrika Bambaataa, John Lydon, Rusty Egan (Time Zone) and more. The digital version of the album features five extra tracks not featured on the physical formats.
1. SHOCKABILLY – DAY TRIPPER 3.43
2. MASSACRE – KILLING TIME 2.54
3. FERDINAND – TELE, APRES LA METEO 3.36
4. MATHEMATIQUES MODERNES – DISCO ROUGH (Long version) 4.45
5. THOMAS LEER & ROBERT RENTAL – DAY BREAKS, NIGHT HEALS 3.58
6. SNAKEFINGER – LIVING IN VAIN 3.43
7. WINSTON EDWARDS & BLACKBEARD – DOWNING STREET ROCK 4.54
8. LIGHTNIN’ ROD – SPORT 2.35
9. FUTURA 2000 (ft THE CLASH) – THE ESCAPADES OF FUTURA 2000 6.57
10. TIMEZONE – WILDSTYLE (12″ Vocal) 9.14
11. DEADLINE – MAKOSSA ROCK 11.03
12. BOBONGO STARS – KOTEJA 7.39
13. TOURE KUNDA – AMADOU TILO 2.46
1. NINI RAVIOLETTE – SUIS-JE NORMALE 6.34
2. RICHARD HELL & THE VOIDOIDS – DESTINY STREET 4.41
3. SAPHO – CARMEL (12“ mix) 6.34
4. GINGER BAKER – DUST TO DUST 5.32
5. LAST EXIT – BIG BOSS MAN 1.03
6. MANDINGO – HARIMA 6.05
7. MANU DIBANGO – ABELE DANCE (’85 remix) 7.00
8. TIMEZONE – WORLD DESTRUCTION (Original 12″ mix) 5.37
9. MATERIAL, MICHAEL BEINHORN, BERNARD FOWLER, BILL LASWELL & NILE . RODGERS – I’M THE ONE (Dance version) 7.31
10. GRANDMIXER D.ST – HOME OF HIP HOP 7.12
11. B SIDE with BERNARD FOWLER – ODEON (Dance mix) 5.46
12. FAB 5 FREDDY – CHANGE THE BEAT (Male version) 7.37
13. THE LAST POETS – MEAN MACHINE CHANT / MEAN MACHINE 4.02
JIMI HENDRIX, BUDDY MILES & LIGHTNIN’ ROD – DORIELLA DU FONTAINE (Single Edit) 4.46
GRANDMIXER D.ST – CRAZY CUTS
SHANGO – SHANGO MESSAGE
MODERN GUY – ELECTRIQUE SYLVIE 7.38 (Full length version)
B SIDE – SO HOT (feat. Tony Allen) 4.05
Shark Vegas was a Berlin-based outfit, lead by Factory Records’ German representative, Mark Reeder. Despite an excellent pedigree, including Bernard Sumner on the boards and the infamous Connie Plank recording, the group’s music remains an overlooked entry in Factory’s vast catalog, and performance footage of the group is extremely scarce. You can imagine our surprise then when we turned up this recording of a performance of the track “You Hurt Me,” which also happens to appear on Fac. Dance 02, in a dig through the !K7 video archives. Call it synchronicity. From the lighting to the video quality to the instruments on stage, every element is perfectly evocative of the era. Fac. Dance 02 is out now.
One of the most rewarding parts of working on This Ain’t Chicago was the ability to learn about the golden age of the UK underground party and acid house scene from the people who were a part of it. By virtue of the word of mouth nature of the scene, the inside story hasn’t been widely shared in same manner as, say, accounts of the early days of hip-hop in New York. As a supplement to the music on the compilation (and the excellent liner notes by Dave Swindells), we sat down with some of the major players, including Lesley Lawrence of Bang The Party, P-Mac (producer for May), Kiss FM DJ Colin Faver, and of course Richard Sen, to speak about the parties, drum machines, labels, and drugs that inspired the music. These guys are a wealth of knowledge and talent, and it was an honor to listen to their stories.
Even though the first volume of our celebration of Factory Records’ dance catalog was a full double album worth of music, we couldn’t help feeling that the legendary label’s dance-leaning output was still fertile ground for exploration. One look at the track list for Fac. Dance 02 should show that there is still plenty A-list material to be collected. In addition to indisputable classics from groups like ESG and A Certain Ratio, we’ve also gathered some wonderful oddities, including Cheba Fadela’s Algerian rai blast, “N’Sel Fik”and the heavy dub and reggae stylings of The Wake, X-O-Dus and ACR alter ego Sir Horatio. Fac. Dance 02 will be out September 18th, with detailed track notes by Factory biographer James Nice, together with rare photos. The digital version of the album features five tracks not featured on the physical formats.
1. A CERTAIN RATIO – THE FOX 3.47
2. ESG – MOODY 2.46
3. MINNY POPS – BLUE ROSES 2.33
4. THICK PIGEON – BABCOCK + WILCOX 3.44
5. BITING TONGUES – MEAT MASK SEPARATIST 4.57
6. SIR HORATIO – SOMMADUB 7.18
7. X-O-DUS – SOCIETY 4.20
8. THE DURUTTI COLUMN – SELF PORTRAIT 4.40
9. SECTION 25 – KNEW NOISE 4.43
10. SHARK VEGAS – YOU HURT ME 6.59
11. FADELA – N’SEL FIK 7.06
12. KALIMA – LAND OF DREAMS 6.47
1. 52nd STREET – CAN’T AFFORD (Unorganised mix) 10.02
2. NYAM NYAM – FATE 8.06
3. A CERTAIN RATIO – LUCINDA 3.53
4. ESG – YOU’RE NO GOOD 3.09
5. SWAMP CHILDREN – SOFTLY SAYING GOODBYE 4.09
6. QUANDO QUANGO – GO EXCITING (12” mix) 5.57
7. SURPRIZE – IN MOVIMENTO 5.33
8. ANNA DOMINO – TAKE THAT 4.13
9. THE WAKE – HOST 7.57
10. ROYAL FAMILY AND THE POOR – VANEIGEM MIX 6.22
11. SECTION 25 – SAKURA 3.58
12. AD INFINITUM – TELSTAR 3.13
As savvy listeners return to the joys of classic Acid House, revelers with their fingers on the pulse are taking inspiration from the energy and spontaneity of the late 80s warehouse / underground scene for a fresh run of quality events. Accordingly, a mere one day after our NYC celebration Richard Sen will be joining the absolutely killer line-up of A Little Summer Of Love to celebrate the golden age of UK House Music. Feel the love!
Saturday June 30th @ Westbourne Studios (242 Acklam Road, London)
A Little Summer of Love w/ A Guy Called Gerald, Noel Watson, Richard Sen + more
7:00 PM – 2:30 AM