vendredi 24 septembre 2010

Betty Boo - Where Are You Baby (1990)

It is 1990. Americans Deee-Lite are huge, so marketing dictates that England needs its own version. This turns out to be Alison Moira Clarkson to play the role of Betty Boo, replete with high-pitch yank twang, comic-style shenanigans, and a rhyming dictionary absolutely full to the brim with nonsense like:

"Oh why has he disappeared, this feeling is really weird. You're precious and you're dear, can you feel the weight of these tears?" Nonsense. To her credit, she was only 20 years old at the time.

Unfortunately, after her first, very successful single "Doin' The Do", the comic value of Betty Boo wore very thin, very fast. However, her undeniable success - essentially the carbon copy of an American blueprint - made it imperative to... export her sound back to America! And so it was that Shep Pettibone came to work on "Where Are You Baby", toning down the saccharine side of the 'song', stealing a bit of Salt 'n' Pepa bassline for extra cred and finishing up with a half decent version, altogether darker with the majority of the track devoid of Boo's oh-so-amusing rap. The sleeve of the single was toned down too, with less comic-strip posing and more sultry pouting (and extra flesh).

Funnily enough though, the passing of the years has helped me reevaluate the Pettibone mixes, and I can now appreciate them as extremely well programmed, with a lot of extra punch (rather than the original, deliberate soft waddle they had in the UK versions). Have a listen!

The US CD-single is not so easy to get hold of now, so hopefully some people will appreciate finding the Pettibone vocal and dub in good quality from a CD rip (I couldn't find anyone else offering it on the web). I'm including the other US-specific mixes in the package too.

Once again (and I say it so often I don't even know why I bother any more), these mixes are now unavailable to buy. Anyway, enjoy.

To download the American mixes of
Betty Boo "Where Are You Baby" (52MB),
click here.

vendredi 17 septembre 2010

Steve 'Silk' Hurley feat. Risse - Chain of Fools (1989)

Follow me, if you will, back in time, 21 years back. In 1989 Steve 'Silk' Hurley was only 27, (and just 25 years old at the time of "Jack Your Body"). His Wikipedia page calls him a one-hit wonder, which I think is hilarious, as he produced and remixed shitloads of great tracks over a couple of decades. Even if his busiest period (the nineties) is now behind him, I don't think he's going to get bored any day now.

In the late 80s, his "Work It Out" album for Atlantic was an early major label attempt to cash in on the Chicago house sound, and it spawned - or tried to spawn - a couple of singles, notably Chain of Fools with vocalist Charisse Cobb (credited as Risse). However, it would seem that the track didn't really catch on, despite the fact that it very much resembled Hurley's astonishing remix of Roberta Flack, perhaps the finest he's ever done.

12"s of Chain of Fools aren't particularly hard to find, but CDs of it are (it wasn't on Discogs, which is always a good sign, and doesn't seem to have been on any CD compilations). I managed to stumble upon a promo CD almost by accident on eBay, and it wasn't very expensive. As the back cover shows, Hurley produced, arranged, mixed and edited the track. He probably also taught Risse to sing, built the studio and invented the polio vaccine. I suppose that in those days, if you didn't big yourself up, nobody else would.

It's a shame that the CD doesn't contain the House Of Trix mix and Extended mix that are on the 12", but hopefully some people will be pleased to have the track in CD quality at last. You can listen and download below. Enjoy!

P.S. I did send a message to Mr. Hurley via Twitter to ask if he had any more info on Risse (can't find anything on the web). I'll add it if he gets back to me.

Bonus! Chain of Fools acapella (here), found on the scientician weblog, de-clicked and boosted.

jeudi 9 septembre 2010

M0by - M0ve (MK Blades mix) (1993)

It's funny how a track can do nothing for you at one point in your life, and completely blow you away at another.

Going through my old vinyl collection, I came across a 12" with this on it, and found it just amazing. Marc Kinchen was on great form in the early nineties, with a trademark sound that never got tired (although not all his mixes were at the same level), somewhere between NY house and almost-cheesy dance. His subterranean Nightcrawlers sound sparked a host of copycat records and soon his mixes became part of the blueprint of what was to become speed garage.

So this mix entirely passed me by back in 1993, and apparently the label didn't think it fit for CD release either (or not in the techno-rave sound they were pushing for Moby at the time), as it only ever featured on an American promo CD... that I found on the web and snaffled up immediately. Since then I've listened to it so much and love it to such a point that it's the only track on my iPhone in Apple Lossless, and I have a shitload of music, believe me.

The track's built out of sparse, carefully combined elements, a killer deep bassline, a few fake horn stabs and a bit of shrieking diva. It's really hypnotic, a great, jacking track that is just as devastating today, 17 years after its original release.

Have a listen and download it if you like by simply clicking the download button. Hope you love it as much as I do. So pleased to have found it on CD. And once again, there's no way to buy the track legally anywhere. Records companies are so dim sometimes...