Archive for the ‘Freestyle’ Category

Alexander O’Neil – Criticize (Ben Liebrand Remix) [1987]
October 13, 2013

An apt response to being off the grid for almost 6 months. Work’s a beast! Anyway, lets get back to it with this belter from O’Neil. Liebrand does what he does best and punches up the original arrangement with a face slapping bassdrum and catchy as all hell bassline. Thankfully he keeps the entire vocal arrangement from O’Neil although I could have definately done without ‘ALEX BABY’ hitting the track so often! But if you push your way thorough the intro, the rest of this is a soaring freestyle classic.

From Discogs
Fantastic record with a special nice video along . This was a big hit and in heavy rotation in 1987 on MTV . Whenever this one came up i was delighted . A female drummer , the impressive body of Alexander O`Neal weraing a suit and tie , while singing these fabulous lyrics , that couldn’t fit my feelings at the time any better : “Don’t criticize my life style . Don’t criticize my friends .. All You wanna do is criticize “.
Damn i wish i had this 12”..

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Vindahl – Sometimes ( 12″ Groove Version ) [2011]
June 17, 2013

If you havent purchased Tokyo Dawn’s seminal Electro/Groove/NuDisco/Funk compilation “The Boogie”, get right on that now. Its a huge assortment of the freshest sounding electro work i’ve heard in the past 10 years with Vindahl’s Sometimes being a real standout belter of a tune. This doesnt just rock you slowly, its a moog driven behemoth of electrofunk evoking memories of ’84 Freestyle flavour with a solid and unstoppably crisp modern delivery. Its so slick, its almost unbearable but that bassline just carries your ass along for a cracking ride.

For the record, this compilation has about 12-14 different, practically unknown artists that contribute to it and absolutely every single track sounds better than anything any of the heavy hitters have put out in recent memory. Anyone wanting to hear some seriously progressive Electropop would be doing themselves a serious disservice by not diving into that back catalogue. Start your journey right here.

From TokyoDawn.com
Co-founder of the vanguard soul collective Boom Clap Bachelors, Vindahl has been involved with numerous offspring projects such as Ivory & Gold, Robi, Kris Mars and Non+.

“Vindahl – Serendipity”, the first album project to be released under his real name has been his secret heart project for more than four years now. Musical influences as diverse as Talking Heads, Trevor Horn and Prince shimmer through, complemented by lyrics often based on themes of duality.

Corporation Of One – The Real Life [1988]
March 26, 2012

I reckon you could credit Corporation of One with the instigation of sampling Themes for Great Cities since this went stratospheric in 1988. I mean, hell it samples everything else as well! You have Queen, some Al Pacino from Scarface as well as that instantly recognisable string section from Simple Minds. But its how they are used that makes this track such a belter. Its breaks are clean and crisp, the moogy bass makes another appearance some four years before Farley and Heller got their hands into it.

Corporation of One was the pseudonym of Freddy Bastone, one extremely prolific remixer from the Bronx who’s work ranged from remixing Queen (surprise surprise), Bananarama, Brandy, Judas Priest, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Radiohead, Rod Stewart, and Taxi Doll.

Bassomatic – Fascinating Rhythm (Lisa Loud Mix) [1990]
September 14, 2011

Probably one of the very best tracks released in 1990 and one of the very best examples of why electronic music became so huge. Since, this track isnt a house tune, nor is it a hardcore track. Its not techno, its not ragga, reggae or any other classification. Its all of them and none of them all at the same time. I also had no idea that Mr William Orbit was actually part of the Bassomatic crew, not that im surprised. Now I hear this track again and you can see his signature style all over it. Catchy hooks, rolling basslines, irreverent breaks in composition to keep the melody interesting but most of all, flawless production. The bass is pushed to the very limit of its range, so its loud without distorting, absolutely crucial to this track as the bassline is what dominates the entire track. I could gush about Fascinating Rhythm for hours, its without a doubt one of my favourite tracks of all time.

From Discogs
I remember very well hearing this for the first time aged just 9 years old on the Chart Show that used to be on Saturdays on ITV at 1200hrs, and i absolutely loved it. I think from that moment on, without realizing it, i knew i was going to end up being a music junkie. I still do to this very day. It’s all about the Lisa Loud remix here, odd because i never knew she provided the killer remix it until recently.

The track is a very odd hybrid of hip-hop tempo and break with a house feel and house sounds. The vocal is actually very good and fits perfectly. Those chrods are sublime and there are some nice keys in the chorus that compliment the vocals. It’s very hooky and very melodic.

It just goes to show how good those early acid house days really were, this tune is a melting pot of influences, whereas records today have to be neatly filed as house or techno, or trance, or dubstep which is not what music should be about.

The Octagon Man – Free-er Than Free [1989]
July 12, 2011

Brutal breakbeat beast from Jonathan Saul Kane aka The Octagon Man. Dripping in Electro tinged synth but featuring a break that had more in common with its hardcore brethren, I would consider this to be a perfect meshing of the two genres. Absolute cracker this is.

From Discogs
This is one of my favourite tunes ever, and certainly my favourite by JSK. Real tranced out dubby breakbeats with the sample “wooh…it’s all in my head.” This release is just awesomly simple and pure, you just dont want it to end. I cant think of any more words to describe what this tune means to me.

London Funk Allstars – Sure Shot [1995]
May 1, 2011

Probably my favourite track on London Funk Vol 1 and the opener for The Dirtchamber Sessions is this cracking breakbeat led stormer from the London Funk Allstars. Its nice and simple, the break is clean and fresh and the bass is rocking. Nothing but a pure head nodder.

RIP Loleatta Holloway
March 22, 2011

Loleatta Holloway

Its a sad sad day for music. We lost one of the truly great female vocalists. In this day of autotune and refined marketability, Holloway continued to find cuts of her vocals in all manner of music, in many cases without any financial compensation. Her voice remains one of the most sampled in the history of music with Love Sensation being one of the most prolific accapella’s of all time.

I grew up with Loleatta Holloway’s voice, from the originals back in the early to mid Eighties to the rise of the sampler and House & Garage tunes from 1987 onwards. From that point on, I dont think ive heard more than 20 different electronic tracks before I find one with a vocal from Holloway. Ive lost the plot with her, i’ve danced around a field with her voice floating across the fields, heard in raves, mixtapes, hardcore, house, drum & bass, commercials, movie trailers, on my ipod about four times a day and i’d hazard a guess that she was playing the day I got married. There are very few artists that I know of that can claim to have been in the collective audio unconscious of sample based music lovers for almost four decades.

She was one of the truly great vocalists of our time and one that will be very sorely missed by me. In an effort to do any kind of justice to this memory, lets get the music underway.

RIP Loleatta Holloway, you were fucking amazing.

…the key to her appeal is that she doesn’t push herself too far to the front. The pleasure of listening to divas like Whitney or Rihanna is that it’s an aspirational experience – women want to be them, men want to be with them. Holloway is a different proposition: a collective experience, of mutual understanding and shared joy. She takes the utopian ideals of clubland – sex, community, abandon – and massively amplifies them back at the dancers, singing to each one of them and the club as a whole. As her voice surges onto and fills the dancefloor, it really does feel like we’re all getting stronger.
Taken from a Great Obituary from the Guardian

Bomb The Bass – Dont Make Me Wait (Club Mix) [1988]
March 7, 2011

The A of the double A side release from Bomb The Bass that included the now legendary Megablast. This track on the other hand is a complete departure from the hip hop, sample driven Megablast. Nope, this is a freestyle vocal monster from Lauraine and what a cracker it is. Sadly, its definately beginning to show its age but tracks such as this were groundbreaking in getting a whole new generation of contemporary UK female vocalists out into the mainstream, out from under their Music Mogul overlords and over produced ballads and right up front with the best of them. Couple this with Shannon’s “Let The Music Play” and your laughing. Fantastic.

In response to arnewpunkt, it may be that some folks may be having trouble playing this outside of the US ( Bastards! ), so find attached a bunch of other links, see if this helps!

Bomb The Bass – Dont Make Me Wait original music video!
Bomb The Bass – Dont Make Me Wait (Club Mix) Alternative link!

Shannon – Let The Music Play [1983]
December 8, 2010

An absolute milestone in the history of dance music. One of the best vocal tracks of all time for me, i’d not listened to it in ages and up it popped on the iPod this morning – cue lots of singing in the car and hammering on the steering wheel. Why? Perfectly executed synth work, incredible proto-acid 303 business and those bassdrums, pure, unadulterated punch as only the 808 could make.

From Discogs
An undisputed classic as well as a critical record in the evolution of dance music, Shannon’s groundbreaking ‘Let The Music Play’ was, in some ways, a throwback to the diva-dominated days of 70s disco. For 1983, this cut made use of some truley cutting edge production techniques. Up until that point, electro was very much a masculine thing. When ‘Let The Music’ was released, not only did it elevate electronic music to a new high, it was also the first time we heard a robust female vocal backed by wholly synthetic music – something that has since dominated mass appeal dance music. Additionally, it also did the impossibly difficult task of transporting dance music back over to the masses (a feat for the mid 80s), something absent since disco itself.

Les Rhythm Digitales – Soft Machine [1996]
November 18, 2010

One of my favourite tube tracks, great when you’ve had a heavy night and your feeling a bit shifty in the morning.

es Rythmes Digitales’s Darkdancer album was way ahead of it’s time so people didn’t know what to do with this excellent release from 1999 when it came out. Most anyone who was into electronica back when this was released they were either dancing to the euphoric beats of trance or chilling to a downbeat track in the backroom of a club.

As I listen to this album today it still sounds very fresh. Every track is very nicely produced by Stuart Price aka Les Rythmes Digitales, aka Thin White Duke, aka Zoot Woman. He even brings on Shannon of Let The Musi Play fame and the Wouldn’t It Be Good musician Nik Kershaw on a couple of the tracks. The album sounds like the early 1980s dance music with the added electronic elements of today.