Mine for a quid, suckazzz…
- “Fuck the Legal Stations” b/w “I’m Not In Love” (SUAD8) – Rum & Black
- “Dance Before the Police Come” (remix) b/w “Genesis”/”Rest In Peace” (SUAD15) – Shut Up and Dance
- “Wipe the Needle” b/w “Juggling” (SUAD12R) – The Ragga Twins
Having had my appetite whet by the ever-entertaining Woofah and the Ragga Jungle Soul Jazz comp Rumble In the Jungle, I expected great things from these singles which were the only I recognised in a box of 90s dance 12″‘s. The Ragga’s “Juggling” is actually pretty dope: good flow, decent riddim, fonky samples–no worries. As for the rest, well if I had 50p, instead of losing 50p, for every time I’ve been minorly disappointed in this way…okay, I’d have probably spent it on something else stupid but I’d have a lot fewer shitty records. This is a case, I think, of “ya had ta be there” (like our friend Peverlist maybe?) to appreciate this music because while it’s in no way lame beyond redemption, the collection of influences and sounds (especially when those lush keyboard pads come in) jars to these ears without some sort of endorphin enhancement.
I will hang on to these records because I know there will be times when I’m just in the mood–I just won’t be in the mood that often.
In case you missed our mix on Exotic Pylon’s radio broadcast last week, the show is now available as a download from here. Well done Farmer Glitch for putting it all together, and many thanks to Jonny Mugwump for indulging and encouraging us. If all goes to plan we’ll be doing another one next month.
Here’s a complete 100% accurate tracklist for our section of the show, complete with links to the original blog posts for anyone curious to know where these sounds came from…
Miha Kralj – Odyssey / John Glenn in Friendship 7 – Man in Orbit
Kenny Everett – Captain Kremmen (Extract)
Biddu – Chic Chica Chic Chica Chic
David Essex – Street Fight
Mikis Theodorakis – Penia
Los Dourados – Jungle Fantasy
Sarr Band – Double Action
Russ Henderson & His Carribean Boys – West Indian Drums
Deco Disco with Camp Galore – Ballin’ The Jack
Disco Top Pop II – Hocus Pocus
Pete Winslow – Don’t Stop Me
Andy Fairley – A Nation Responds
I was young, hip and groovy enough to buy Nasty Rox’s debut single “Escape From New York” when it came out (on 12″, natch). I thought it was okay, but obviously not impressed enough to buy the subsequent album, “Ca$h”, released and executive-produced by Trevor Horn and his ZTT label. Presumably no one else did either because Nasty Rox Inc. were never heard from again after this.
But having come across the album for a quid recently I’ve been enjoying backtracking to 1988 and reacquainting myself with this short-lived band who helped pioneer the dance/rock crossover. Or perhaps I should say partially enjoying, because the rock band elements sound bloody awful and dated in a way only late ’80s rock bands can.
The only thing, then and now, that ever gave the group a smidgen of musical credibility was the sure-handed turntable skills of C.J. Macintosh. He’s the fella who did all the clever scratching on M/A/R/R/S’s “Pump Up The Volume”. Along with Coldcut, he was a precocious talent who cut his teeth spinning at some of the earliest UK hip hop/dance parties in the mid-80s. Yet still it’s a mystery how such an unassuming-looking white english kid (23 when he made this record) got that good, that quick.
Consequently, it’s the tracks where C.J. is most prominent that still sound most impressive, especially on “Wooba Wubbaa I” with it’s dexterous manipulation of then-fresh samples like the Moog intro to The J.B.s “Blow Your Head”, and pitched-up, feminised Travis Bickle plaintively asking “Are You Talking To Me?” over and over again. “Wooba Wubbaa II” is equally satisfying – a moody, minimalist variation of Bomb The Bass’s “Beat Dis” with rippling, portentous piano loops – like DJ Shadow, a decade too early. Unfortunately C.J. never seems to have become the dj megastar he clearly deserved to be. I suppose it didn’t help that he allowed his career to be dragged down by working with dodgy groups like Nasty Rox Inc.
A lot of money was spent on this record–not by me, obviously–but everything about the look and feel of this 1979 Ralph McTell album screams large cash advance; from the textured Hipgnosis sleeve (an atypical modern looking but muted break from their usual hyper-realistic fare of the time and also featuring a heavy card inner bag with lining) to the top of the tree session players (ex-Fairports, ex-Lindisfarnes, Roger Kirby arrangements, etc.). Warner Communications had hit big in the preceding few years with AOR albums by former sixeventies blues devotees, folk purists, cosmic cowboys and lank haired singer songwriters (e.g. F. Mac, Jackson Browne, D. Straits, and so on and on and on) and no doubt the thinking was that the power of the paycheck and an LA gloss (via Chipping Norton studios) would do for McTell. In the liner notes, the guitarist calls the sessions “the most enjoyable I’ve ever known” and certainly with everyone trying to out-tasteful each other you can imagine all present nodding appreciatively during playback as the effects of a few shared doobies kick in.
I’m not saying the album lacks bite or anything, but even given the diminished expectations of a California-styled Album Oriented Rock album with its attendant lyrical banality and perfectly played “mature” country tinges, these pleasant, pointless whisps of songs have about as much teeth as a newborn gumming its mother’s teat.
A classic example of early ‘Intelligent Dance Music’, I bought this on CD at the time (during that period when I was young, foolish and thought CDs were cool). Not mega-rare, but still reasonably collectible these days, I found this vinyl edition in amongst a bunch of nondescript ’90s dance twelve-inchers in Barnardo’s for £1.00. Result!
One small problem: the first disc is missing. It’s inner sleeve is still in there, forlorn and empty, so presumably the vinyl was accidently left on a turntable at some rave back in the day. But I bought it anyway.
Got home, went on Discogs and found a seller trying to flog a Near Mint disc 1 on its own for £1.50. So now I have the complete release, still at a significantly reduced price. I say again: Result!
This is a quick note to let all you Thrifty fans out there know that we have a special guest mix on the Exotic Pylon radio show tomorrow night (Wednesday 23rd March at 10pm GMT). Featuring a selection of tunes from the many records we’ve featured here over the past couple of years, this is a shorter version of what would’ve been ‘Thrifty Bits Vol.2’, if we’d ever actually recorded it. Hopefully we will be providing a regular monthly 20-30 minute mix for the show.
More details here.
Trading on the good name of the like-titled early 70s U.K. Rhino collections while apparently trying to appeal to nascent B-Boys at the same time, these cheap ‘n’ cheerful mid-80s reggae comps come with plenty of well-worn classics (“Israelites”, “Love of the Common People”, etc.), a bit of Lovers Rock for the ladies (“Am I the Same Girl?”, “Girly Girly”, etc.), a smattering of Dee Jay for the Rudies (“Come Back Charlie”, “Kool and Deadly”, etc.), a couple obscurities for the obsessives (Nitty Gritty’s “Man in a House”) and some then-contemporary chunes to bring us up to date. Two separate sleeves for albums that were, I think, originally sold as a pair.
Note: Sponsored by Puma.