Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S





Working the late-night shift… Ben Lovett

It’s a month of poignant memories, this one. First up, Junior Boys Own has finally released its glorious book and CD Acid House’ Retrospectives. They really should be classed as important cultural documents.

As we said here back in September, the "fantastic four" of Terry Farley, Andy Weatherall, Steve Maize and Cymon Eckles were pivotal to house music’s British birth following seismic revolutions in the States and Ibiza. Without them, who knows where we’d be at today?

The four, under their Junior Boys’ Own tag, published fanzines, threw parties, connected friends and pressed vinyl – each activity gave the UK’s fledgling, late 80s dance music scene major impetus and the rest, as they say, is history.

JBO’s new double-CD Acid House Scrapes & Capers: 20 Years Of JBO, released via Defected Records, is an undeniable tour de force – as relevant to the rave veterans as to the young bloods.

Uplifting piano riffs, peppy drum machines and infectious vocal snippets are order of the day on anthemic tracks ranging from the very first JBO release, Bocca Juniors’ Raise – a veritable, stompin’ classic lying somewhere between Balearic and Big Beat – to recent Wiley inspiration DSK’s What Would We Do.

Elsewhere, there’s Terry Farley’s epic remix of Primal Scream’s Loaded, the club mix of Happy Mondays’ psychedelic Madchester jaunt Hallelujah and early, evolutionary material from Underworld, The Chemical Brothers and drum & bass’ dons Goldie and Rob Playford (via that intensely dark ‘n percussive Process remix of The Shadow.)

More subtle, soulful club vibes are captured on tracks like Black Science Orchestra’s outrageously funky, swaggering New Jersey Deep and Ballistic Brothers’ similarly poised I’ll Fly Away – both with Ashley Beedle at the helm. And there’s still room for euphoric dancefloor re-interpretations of major 90s bands The Farm and James. It’s all on here and the better for it.

Scrapes & Capers is both education and annihilation – the perfect formula for life-changing dance music.

That recipe is faithfully and entertainingly archived in JBO’s accompanying book, Boy’s Own – The Complete Fanzines, 1986-1992. Overseen by reputed dance music scribes Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton ( the publication re-presents all 12 Junior Boys Own magazines and intersperses them with cracking anecdotes, stories, photos and interviews from those in the thick of things; Weatherall, Farley, Oakenfold, the list goes on….

It’s amazing to think that in six years of operation the boys only managed to fire off half a dozen issues but at over 440 pages, Brewster and Broughton’s book recognises their intrinsic value and the incredible story behind them. The Complete Fanzines manages, quite deftly, to add coherence and substance without dampening the sense of creative electricity that was undoubtedly powering through the entire JBO team at the time.

The banter, the killer tunes, the parties… it’s all laid bare here in a smart annual-style hardback. Check for more – great autumn, fireside reading; er… if you’re not out clubbing that is….

Elsewhere, New Order bassist Peter Hook has released his own retrospective book and CD, both on the heady days of Manchester’s legendary Hacienda nightclub. Hook’s book, amusingly titled How Not To Run A Club, offers an effective, chatty mix of personal stories (from those that attempted to run the Hacienda) and laugh-out-loud anecdotes, but also edges into darker territory – razor-sharp accounts of violence and criminal activity within the club, and insightful passages on Greater Manchester Police’s attempts to revoke the Hacienda license, and its eventual closing down.

In terms of the club’s classic music policy – there’s much written on that too. A number of memorable playlists is also listed throughout. How Not To Run A Club is a rollercoaster of a read; shocking, entertaining, chaotic and inspirational all at the same time. Check for more.

Accompanying the book is Hook’s Hacienda Classics triple-CD compilation. This is another extremely weighty, extremely poignant package of dancefloor tunes. Refreshingly, Hook has decided to compile and mix the tunes that he himself enjoyed on the Hacienda floor, rather than a pretentious ‘archive’ track-list likely to disappear up its own hole. Belting late 80s and early 90s house is therefore order of the day – Richie Rich, Inner City, Mr Fingers, Todd Terry and 808 State for starters. Genius.

And so out with the old and in with the new! So to speak….

I managed to catch hold of the Filthy Dukes last fortnight, as they set about promoting their excellent new compilation for London’s Fabric nightclub. The Dukes, of course, have made quite a name for themselves in recent times – their Kill Em All club night, which first launched in 2001 in Camden, has comprehensively established itself as one of London’s essential club nights.

These days you’ll find it at Fabric, hence the album tie-in. Fabric Live 48: Filthy Dukes is another solid addition to the superclub’s comp canon, smartly bottling Kill Em All’s potent electro-clash sound; a sound blending funkin’ disco-pop, hooky indie guitars, jagged synths and sweeping electronica, all in the name of infectious dance.

FabricLive 48’s tracklisting bounds eclectically from Gallic housers Daft Punk to electronica dynamo Aphex Twin to alternative singer/singwriter Jack Penate. “Yes, it’s quite hard to get our sound across” opens Olly Dixon, one half of the fast rising trio alongside Tim Lawton and recent recruit Mark Ralph. The trio promote Kill Em All, DJ, record and, increasingly so, tour as a live act.

“I think there’s a similar approach in whatever it is we’re doing” Dixon continues. “But DJing is a major love and it’s great to come back to that after a live show; I actually think the live shows have reignited our love for DJing. The new CD was a lot of fun to pull together and is pretty representative of our influences - krautrock, pop, electronica, disco, hip-hop, house.”

Nevertheless, the live show has been an absolute priority for 2009. So far this year, the Filthy Dukes have made 33 live festival appearances compared to just 10 DJ ones. “Live on stage we all play synths, samples, guitars, bass and Tim sings. We also have a drummer,” Ralph outlines. “There’s something particularly fresh and creative about playing live; it’s also easier to build up rapport with a crowd. Our live fans are some of the most loyal….”

Next month, the boys will be easing up on gigs and sets, to concentrate on writing for their next studio album due early next year. Debut offering Nonsense In The Dark, of course, earned strong reviews if also a few surprised reactions. “It was a real song-based effort” Ralph explains. “We aimed to mix live and electronic sounds and ended up with dancey, disco-pop, I guess you’d call it. Up to that point, people probably knew us as DJs playing harder beats.”

Filthy Dukes’ first single, Tupac Robot Club Rock, arrived in 2005, four years after that opening Kill Em All night in North London. Countless remixes and collaborations followed; and then Nonsense, in March. “In terms of how long we’ve been involved in music, we are relative newcomers to the studio” Lawton admits.

Ralph, a long-term producer, joined at the time when Tim and Olly wanted to concentrate more fully on production, and things have picked up pace ever since. “We’ll be on to album two very shortly and we’re already considering material for album three” Lawton teases. “That said our studio process has never been pre-meditated. We’re keen to push ourselves and climb to the next level but it has to be fairly spontaneous; that’s where the good material lies.”

Lawton continues: “We don’t want to give too much away but you can expect plenty of the flavour that has got us to this point. The economy is in a mess, so you could rightly argue that it’s not the best time to be making music. But there’s a lot of exciting new things happening in dance music right now, and we’re confident about our chances and the support we have. Next year should be a goodie….”

Time for some reviews...


Mathias Kaden – Studio 10 (Ger Germany)

Sophisticated house sounds from Kaden, who layers a full range of musical instruments around the trusty 808. Fender Rhodes, Lowrey organs, violins and even flugelhorns take a bow, and the Chicago-inspired beats sound nice and precise. This album has been some two years in the making and the results are more than worth it.

Dave Lee – The Many Faces Of Joey Negro Vol 2 (UK Z)

Lee pulls lots of great faces on this double-CD delight. One CD concentrates on relatively recent disco gems like Doug Willis’ Philly-fired Nu Dimension and Z Factor’s We’ll Keep Climbing; the other collects weighty remixes. That includes quality Joey Negro re-rubs of old skool numbers by Marshall Jefferson and Grandmaster Flash; not to mention fresh twists on the impressive Lee catalogue by Spen, Dennis Ferrer and Jimpster. The standard is high (and funky) throughout. Another top job.

DJ 3000 – Galactic Caravan (US Motech/JP Underground Gallery)

Refined Detroit techno from local boy Franki Juncaj, who learnt his trade under the watchful eye of Underground Resistance and Submerge, and who has already helmed two favourably received albums, Migration and Blood And Honey. The third, Galactic Caravan, is another breath-taking progression, fusing deep electronic rhythms with ethnic influences inspired by his Albanian roots and the eclectic Hamtramck neighbourhood he lives in. The blend of punch and finesse is spot on.

Various Artists - Defected Clubland Adventures Vol 2 (UK Defected)

This release effectively continues Defected’s 10th birthday celebrations, gathering 46 original and remixed classics from, yes, you’ve guessed it, the past 10 years. The three CDs are all very good, each doing well to balance comp ‘regulars’ with debutantes. The range of beats and styles is extensive too. Head honcho Simon Dumore is on mix duties; expect major tunes from MAW, Copyright, Sandy Rivera, Ame and DJ Spen.

Bugz In The Attic – Got The Bug 2: The Bugz In The Attic Remixes Collection (UK BBE)

The West London beatsmiths’ original Got The Bug comp buzzed into range back in 2004, on V2 Records; artists under the remix lens included 4 Hero, Macy Gray and Amira. The sequel, here, is undoubtedly a step up; evidence of the Bugz collective’s progression as artists much in evidence. At the same time, Orin Walters and co. continue to ensure they don’t take things too seriously. Their music here is bold and, at times, chaotic, but nothing less than quality. Remixes of Amy Winehouse (In My Bed), Mark de Clive-Lowe (Move On Up) and latin kings Ruben Blades and Willie Colon (Plastico) are particular highlights; as is the Attic’s own exclusive offering Expressions – a stunning tribute to Soul II Soul’s Fairplay. Music with a big, big smile on its face.

Various Artists – Starstyling Vs Moodmusic (Ger Moodmusic)

Engaging compilation collaboration between Moodmusic big cheese Klas Lindblad and Berlin fashion-design company Starstyling, originally put together for the latter’s show at Berlin Fashion Week earlier this year. Lindblad pulls together 13 suitably stylish techno and house-inspired cuts, including those from Tigerskin, Penner+Muder and Lindblad himself. Continental chic.

F**kpony – Let The Love Flow (Ger BPitch Control)

Pennsylvanian Jay Haze does it again on this, a second long-player under the Fuckpony alias. Following 2008’s Love & Beyond[, his latest album release is a true masterpiece and one that shows Haze’s subtle, mellow side; a side at complete opposites to the jagged tech he regularly records elsewhere. That’s not to say Let The Love Flow is a safe record; far from it. Haze, with a well-documented reverence for the history of US house music, takes Chicago’s traditions and then runs and runs with them. Punchy kick drums support both deliciously understated hooks and powerful melodic sweeps, and yet the overall vibe remains ‘afterhours’ rather than ‘aftermath’; guest vocals from Chela Simone and Laila Tov are immaculate on tracks I Know It Happened and the gorgeous Fall Into Me.

Haze treads lightly and yet stamps his mark most effectively. It’s fair to say he’s hit a highly soulful, highly emotive nerve for which listeners will surely thank him.


Rob Marmot & My Digital Enemy – Double Dance (UK Floorplay)

Floorplay faves My Digital Enemy buddy up with Marmot, resident at Ibiza’s Wonderland this summer, for a growling house groove with plenty of dancefloor allure. The beats ‘n’ builds are solid, as is Prok & Fitch’s sharp remix. Good solid crowd control.

And that about wraps things up for this month - keep yourselves warm, and catch you real soon!

Ben ;-)


Please feel free to contact me at B&S with any dance orientated news that you feel would benefit others - Cheers!

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