Talk Talk – Life’s What You Make It (Ben Liebrand Mix) [1990]
June 24, 2012

So, we’re back! Its been a busy old couple of months, relocating here and there. Staying in spare rooms, floors, hotels and most importantly, pubs. I reckon Talk Talk’s seminal downtempo pop classic is a suitable way of summing up the most recent move!

Well, this track likely doesn’t need much of an introduction, the original was huge and Ben Liebrand’s re-edit keeps all the best parts of the original and trims the fat. Keeping that punchy break and immortal baseline at the front of the whole track is probably what makes this mix better than the original, which has a tendency to wander a little in the middle. Liebrands version keeps the track on track and delivers 7 minutes of awesome.

From Wikipedia
“Life’s What You Make It” is a song by the English band Talk Talk. It was released as a single in 1985, the first from the band’s album The Colour of Spring. The single was a hit in the UK, peaking at no. 16, and charted in numerous other countries.

The song was one of the last to be conceived for The Colour of Spring, following concern from the band’s management at the lack of an obvious single among accumulated work. Initially unwilling, Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene, the principal source of original material for the band, accepted the task as a challenge. Friese-Greene: “I had a drum pattern loosely inspired by Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill and Mark was playing Green Onions organ over the top.” (Making no. 3 in the UK Singles Chart, “Running Up That Hill” had been released in August 1985.) The track was embellished with David Rhodes’ guitar hook.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Welcome to the Pleasuredome (Real Altered) [1985]
August 25, 2011

Probably my favourite of all the FGTH tracks, its got that cracking driving bass drum that just dominates all the way through. The original radio release was just a shortened version of the Real Altered mix that you hear. The fundamental difference here is that this 12″ version was most definately designed for dancing rather than as a 4 minute pop track. There’s far less vocal work, much more of that cracking bass riff that makes this track just a relentless floor pounder. An absolutely monster tune. Thanks to Emz who stuck this up on Facebook this morning and ive been listening too all day!

From Discogs
Following an appearance on Channel 4 TV show “The Tube” performing “Relax”, the group were signed up by Trevor Horn and Paul Morley’s new ZTT record label. With the benefit of Horn’s production skills and Morley’s off-the-wall marketing ideas, “Relax” came out in October 1983 and slowly but surely took off. It was already a top ten hit when, in January 1984, BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Read suddenly realised what the song was actually about, leading to a total BBC ban on the disc. From this moment on, Frankie Goes To Hollywood became not just a pop group but a phenomenon. The record went to number one in the UK, and was a smash hit across Europe and even in the USA. “Frankie Says” T-shirts (some dreamt up by Morley, but far more the creations of small-time bootleggers) became the fashion statement of the year, and anticipation was at such a fever pitch that every subsequent FGTH release that year – two singles and a double-LP – went straight in at number one in their home country, an unprecedented achievement and a triumph for ZTT.

Double Dee & Steinski – The Lessons [1985]
July 28, 2011

Lesson One – The Payoff Mix (Mastermix Of G.L.O.B.E. And Whiz Kid’s: “Play That Beat Mr. D.J.”)

Lesson Two – James Brown Mix

Lesson Three – History Of Hip Hop Mix

Cracking piece of classic turntabism mixing from Dee and Steinski, from their legendary EP, The Lessons 1,2 & 3. I’ll turn this over to Alain Patrick over at Discogs, his writeup is perfection! Enjoy!

From Alain Patrick,
At the closing of 1983, the crew from the American label Tommy Boy had the idea of sponsoring a mastermix dispute called ‘G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid’s “Play That Beat Mr. DJ” Mix Context!’, whose idea was mainly to create new master mixes of “Play That Beat Mr DJ” with hooks and cuts of other tunes exactly the way Mr Shep Pettibone used to do in Kiss FM with his accurate technique, releasing whole exclusive versions. The reward offered by the label was pretty generous: Tommy Boy’s complete catalogue and official t-shirt, a hundred dollars, including the possibility or an airplay a special club distribution for the mega mix. The winner would be chosen between ten finalists by a very serious team of judges including Jellybean Benitez and Shep Pettibone himself. Though the hot track of the moment was Shannon’s “Let The Music Play”, the surprise didn’t come out from a DJ or a well-known artist, but by a duo of supreme cut & paste masters named Double Dee & Steinski, that boldly put together an incredible amount of quotes and samples, including Humphrey Bogart’s speeches, N.Y. administrator Fiorello LaGuardia, Yaz, Herbie Hancock, Culture Club, NYC Peech Boys, among others, announcing samplemania’s emergence in the Club culture. After the tape was played, all the judges applauded intensely.

Lesson 1 – Conceived in Doug De Franco’s studio during a little more than twelve hours, “Lesson One” is a melting pot of samples with a plethora of quotes. Let’s talk about some of them here. As we know, the main tune was meant to be “Play That Beat Mr. DJ”, from G.L.O.B.E. feat Whiz Kid, perfect for master mixing, cut & paste. The famous “You see!” vocal sample from Dave DMX’s “One For The Trouble” opens the megamix, sequenced by a regressive countdown from three to one, and just after comes another huge sample, which by the way resulted in the title of this lesson: “Now we come to the payoff!”
While the lyrics of the main tune begin with the funny debut sequence “Punk Rock, New Wave and Soul, Pop Music, Salsa and Rock & Roll”, other fragments goes in and out: “Br-Br-Br-Bronx!”, taken from Malcolm McLaren’s classic “Buffalo Gals” is succeeded by the main “Play That Beat” chorus and suddenly comes “Is the Joint!”, from Funky 4 + 1’s “That’s The Joint”.
The main tune comes back in the middle of other well-known passages like “Check This Out!” (used later by Bomb The Bass in “Megablast”) and, while the vocalist spells the main quote chorus “Play it for (…)”, there is a chain of samples after each quote chorus with a different quote paste: first, a wicked sequence with alternating scratches “for the Punk Rock”, then the famous Apachie percussion of 1973’s ‘Apachie Band – Apachie’ (made by those known as The Incredible Bongo Band) on “Playin’ for the Hip Hop”, the sudden question “Do you love the Supreme Team Show?” from Malcolm McLaren and The Worlds Famous Supreme Team on “Play it on the radio”, finishing with “Playing for the Globe: G.L.O.B.E.” (though these vocals belong to MC G.L.O.B.E, the chained samples were taken from all the mentioned tunes). The cut & paste madness continues with different types of scratches for “Play it in the playground”, “Play it on the street”, until the mentioning of the Whiz Kid name. “Just Play That Beat”!
A little after, the spoken chorus repetition “I’ll Thumble” from Culture Club’s “I’ll Thumble 4 Ya” is followed by another mad sequence of Elvis Presley samples, Lovebug Starsky’s “Starski Live At The Disco Fever”, and the sample “Played it for hurry, Play it for me…Play it…play it!”. When you think you got enough, there is suddenly the electro-funk classic by Herbie Hancock “Rock It” with its strings melodies in the middle of amazing fragments of Malcolm McLaren “Buffalo Gals” effects. The fantastic medley continues with another part of Globe & Whiz Kid’s quote, “Master Mix and those number on tunes”, followed by The Supremes emotional “Stop In The Name Of Love”, followed by the well known backing vocals saying “Everybody say one…one! Bless one time! Everybody say two (…)” mixed with “Good…Good” (from Chic’s “Good Times”) between the counting numbers.
The Lesson One Megamix goes then with the old school quote “New York is brand high!”, and the “Play That Beat” main track returns, continued by the most emotional moment of the master mix, a delicious mixture of a synthesizer sequence with Bernard Fowler’s accapella “Hey, feeling real good, baybe…yeah…so good, so good…’cause I can do it right…”, part of the NYC Peech Boys classic “Don’t Make Me Wait”, followed by the robotic vocoder “Planet Rock! Planet Rock! Planet Rock! Don’t, don’t stop!” (that evokes the legendary tune of Arthur Baker with Afrika Bambaata & The Soulsonic Force). The mix masters duo also didn’t forget to include the sample “It’s not a problem that I can’t fix…’cause I can do it…in the mix” from Indeep’s “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”, and then another amazing one saying “Everybody’s dancing, and we’ve having a real good time!”…
After a quick comeback to the core tune with “Play That Beat! Why don’t you play it for me”, there is a sudden intense sound of a metallic Chinese bongo in the closing whose echoes are underlined by the historical comment from the New York administrator Fiorello LaGuardia: “And say it children: What does it all mean?” Extraordinary!

Colonel Abrams – Trapped 12′ inch version [1985]
April 18, 2011

Time to show some respect to the Colonel. Its still incredible to think this was released in 1985, what could be considered a freestyle track in the vein of Sinnamon. However, the track has far more in common with the House sound that emerged a couple of years AFTER this was released. Incredibly, it was a huge track, well received across the globe and could be pretty much heard everywhere on release. Yet, with a fanastic vocal and the backing of a hit single Abrams effectively dropped off the face of the Earth after 1989, releasing sporadic, average tracks forever in the shadow of this incredible release. Regardless, from a vocal standpoint, Abrams cant be faulted, his voice is close to perfection on this coupled with the direction of the extremely talented Richard Burgess and its not hard to see why its a winner.

From Discogs
This is Proto-House track that came out in 1985. It could easily fit into an early House set and it was played at clubs such as the Hacienda. It could also be classed as a Soul classic. Either way it’s just brilliant Black vocal Dance music of the highest order.

Art Of Noise – Moments in love (Cyberdesign Remix) [2008]
February 2, 2011

Slight sidestep from the days Hip Hop, this awesome remix crossed my path today and I had to share. Taking the Electro-Pop original from Art of Noise and throwing a pretty heavy Progressive beat in the back, brings this classic bang up to date.

From Discogs
Although the original 10-minute version appeared on both the Into Battle release in 1983 and the Who’s Afraid album in 1984, “Moments In Love” wasn’t released globally as a commercial single until 1985, when the song was featured on the Pumping Iron II: The Women soundtrack. Reissues followed in 1986 and 1987, in some markets. Copyright dates indicate the edits & remixes were prepared in 1984.

Singles generally featured shortened edits of the album version. The 12-inch remixes were “Moments In Love (Beaten)” and the slower “Love Beat”. On the Daft compilation, the former was retitled “Love”, and an edit of the latter was called “(Three Fingers Of) Love”. 12-inch and CD singles also included an edit of “Beat Box (Diversion One)”, listed on the releases either as “Beatbox Diversion 10” or just “Beat Box”. In the US, “Moments In Love” was later paired with “Close (To The Edit)” as a double-A-sided reissue, accounted for separately in Discogs.

The Goon Squad – Eight Arms to Hold You [1985]
June 8, 2010

25th Aniversary of The Goonies this month, so this cut is the Freestyle monster that was featured on the sountrack (and deleted Octopus scene from the movie). Although it smacks of 85 so much, Arthur Baker does a stellar job of bringing some fantastic synth mastery to the proceedings.

From Discogs
With the breakdance scene begining lose popularity the music was starting to break into two categories, Rap and freestyle.
Eight Arms to hold you which appeared on the the Goonies movie soundtrack exploded onto the underground dance scene and people did not know what kind of style this music was but in actual fact it was a massively under supported by radio anthem of the dawning garrage/Freestyle scene.
Produced by Arthur Baker, Huge keyboard synth arrangments and a catchy song make this a must for all Freestyle lovers. Should really have been the “Let the Music Play” of Freestyle.

Chip E & K Joy – Like This (House Mix) [1985]
June 2, 2010

Absolute belter of a classic House track, so way ahead of its time, it was a few years after its release that it really exploded in the UK. Its all about that bassdrum & moog, pure and unstoppably analog.

Bio From Discogs
Chip E. started spinning records in 1982, by 1984 he was producing records. In 1985 Street Mix magazine declared Chip E. as the “Godfather of House Music”. In 1987 he became the first (and still the only) Chicago artist to be in regular rotation on all 3 major Chicago radio stations (WBMX, WGCI, B96). Former B96 programming manager Joe Bohannon (Joe Bo) made the decision to add “If You Only Knew” to regular rotation and with that began the transition of the station from CHR (contemporary hit radio) to a Dance Music station. Chip E. took DJ/Remixer Frankie Knuckles under his wing when he co-produced Frankie’s first record “You Can’t Hide”. Other artists Chip jump started into the music world were Liddell Townsel, Kevin Irving, and Harri Dennis of “The It”. By the age of 21 Chip E. was a world wide name. Because of difficulties getting out of a contract with D.J. International records, Chip decided that he would rather not record if he had to do it for D.J. International. Although he does the rare DJ gig in Britain or Italy, to quote Sean Bidder’s book “House – The Rough Guide”, Chip E. has moved into “the realms of mythology”.