Z3 - Tripple Threat 01

Z-3 MC’s – “Triple Threat”…

Artist: Z-3 MC’s
Title: Triple Threat
Year: 1985
Label: Beat Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

PZ-3 MC’s – “Triple Threat” (mp3)

 

More About Z-3 MC’s…

According to UnKut music blog:

Duke Bootee put in some amazing work following his contributions to both parts of “The Message”, most notably his production and powerful Linn drum programming for a number of Beauty & The Beat (his own label) and Profile singles. Records from the Point Blank MCs, MC Crash, K-Rob, Z-3 MC’s and the Duke himself all bore a common sound – loud drums, heavy scratching and a healthy dose of Shout Rap.

Z-3 MC’sTriple Threat” featured DJ Cheese’s recorded debut, as these youngsters from Baltimore went for theirs with a little help from a human beatbox and a cheesy “King Tut” keyboard riff (which would have been pretty awesome at the time, I guess). “King Kut” soon followed, as New Jersey’s Word of Mouth delivered a more polished though very similar song, replacing the Egyptian tune with an off-key “London Bridge Is Falling Down” melody and focusing more on praising the work of the mighty Cheese than shutting down toy MC’s. Both of these tracks still hit hard, but I’d have to say that I prefer the lesser-known “Triple Threat” if I had to choose between the two.

Music Video: Word Of Mouth f. DJ Cheese – “King Kut”…

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Grandmaster Melle Mel -King Of The Streets 01

I am so glad that I got this 12-inch record back in 1985, because it is a rare and (perhaps) a solo single release of Melle Mel. I have speculated all these years that King Of The Street is the sequel to Beat Street Breakdown track (watch music videos below) by Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & The Furious Five.

Grandmaster Melle Mel – “King Of The Streets”…

Artist: Grandmaster Melle Mel
Title: King Of The Streets
Year: 1985
Label: Sugar Hill Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Grandmaster Melle Mel – “King Of The Streets” (mp3)

 

“Beat Street Breakdown” - Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & The Furious Five…

“Beat Street Breakdown” (live performance) – Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & The Furious Five…

http://youtu.be/_krJT3otj-E

Click here to watch short video of the recording session of this 12-inch single at my home-studio.

Although Hey DJ was released in 1984, but the first time I’ve heard and bought it was in Christmas time 1986 in England. Lots of good tracks with similar sound and feel, like this one, were released at that time. Stellar production on this 12-inch single. As mentioned in the blog/post previous to this one,  Doug Wimbish on the bass and bass-synthesizers; Keith LeBlank on the drums; and synth & drum machine programming by Jack Waldman, Clifton Chase and Craig Peyton. Although Stephen Hague produced this track, Malcolm McLaren was somehow involved heavily in Hey DJ (check out the music video below).

World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Hey DJ” (Extended)…

Artist: World’s Famous Supreme Team
Title: Hey DJ (Extended)
Year: 1984
Label: Charisma Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Hey DJ” (Extended) (mp3)

 

World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Hey DJ” (Extended Instrumental)…

Artist: World’s Famous Supreme Team
Title: Hey DJ (Extended Instrumental)
Year: 1984
Label: Charisma Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Hey DJ” (Extended Instrumental) (mp3)

 

Video: World’s Class Supreme – “Hey DJ” (produced by Malcolm McLaren)…

Worlds Famous Supreme Team

The production on this LP is stellar. Doug Wimbish on the bass and bass-synthesizers; Keith LeBlank on the drums; synth & drum machine programming by Jack Waldman, Clifton Chase and Craig Peyton; background vocals by Divine; there’s even a five-member horn section; and the list goes on. One of the tracks is even produced by Malcolm McLaren (“Hey DJ“).

I decided to post Misery because of how it sounds. Nice keyboard layers. It’s an emotional track produced by Bradshaw Leigh. Even though the title of this track may seem like a downer, but in fact the track is very powerful, uplifting and inspirational in the positive direction.

I used to walk around Toronto and London a lot back in the day while listening to Misery on my walkman. The track’s powerful note and chord progressions served as the driving soundtrack to the vivid visuals which I’ve imagined/created in my head, going through my own kind of transcendental and meditational real-life montage. If I remember correctly, there were few images of beautiful faces from pretty women going through my mind, like a music video in slow motion. Heh, I was only 15 years old!

World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Misery”…

Artist: World’s Famous Supreme Team
Title: Misery
Year: 1986
Label: Charisma Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Misery” (mp3)

 

Doug Wimbish (featuring Fats Comet)…

Previously blogged about Doug Wimbish on September 18, 2009 (click here to read)

Title: Don’t Forget That Beat
Year: 1985
Genre: Electronic Funk Drumbeat Industrial
Comment: Doug Wimbish is one bad-ass bassist. He collaborated with Fats Comet on this track. Both are from the UK. Their sound is like Art Of Noise meets Africa Bambaattaa meets Ministry (of 1985 sound).

Doug Wimbish [featuring Fats Comet] – Don’t Forget That Beat (mp3)

 

Mantronix - "Simple Simon"

Spring 1988, Denham Village, Buckinghamshire, UK ….. on the way to Syco Systems (high-end pro audio shop — by appointment only — caters only to high-end clientele and famous artists such as Peter Gabriel) to pick up the gear for my first studio (see pictures below)  ….. I heard this track by Mantornix on the radio.

Notice: If you need to know more about Mantronix and the man himself, Kurt Mantronik, refer to my previous blog Hanson & Davis. Please read that first and then come back here and continue reading this blog/article.

I used to dream about having a Linn-9000 one day, so I could load my own drum samples and program beats with its sequencer; I used to sit for hours and drool over the brochures of the Roland D-50 synth and think about how breathy and paddy (also see video below) my tracks would sound along with the Linn-9000 drums pulsing underneath. The D-50 was revolutionary at its time (1987), because it was the first synth to have built-in effects, such as the the reverb, attack-transient samples and linear synthesis, among many other things. When I went to Syco Systems with my dad to buy the new gear, Kendall Wrightson (see quick shout-out below) informed me that the Linn-9000 was no longer in production, because its parent company went bankrupt; however, its designer Roger Linn had come up with a much better machine through Akai. He pointed his finger towards the Akai MPC60 at the other end of the room. It was GORGEOUS. It looked like a mean machine with a tilting LCD screen! Oh, those 16 square rubber finger pads. I didn’t hesitate to add it on the transaction. Kendall said something along the lines that he had one in stock, boxed and with Tony Banks’ name on it (yes, Tony Banks — the keyboardist of Genesis), but Tony didn’t want it at the time. When I looked at the box, sure enough his name was in fact printed on the shipping label.

After picking up my new studio gear from Syco, I stopped by Our Price record store, bought the 12-inch of Simple Simon and then drove home from London to my parent’s country-home in Denham Village. I love this track through and through. It’s very melodic and street-emotional, especially the bassline. Love the guitars (which are not real but tone-sampled and played from a keyboard sampler). The sound and style is very different from Mantronix’ previous releases which were more freestyle-based. Simple Simon sounded more mature but still had that “Mantronix” feel … perhaps it was the snappy, hard drum samples and programming coming from an E-mu SP-1200. Whatever it was, it certainly had the Mantronix‘ stamp with MC Tee‘s rap vocals. These two guys really stood out with this one.

I used to play both A and B sides of the 12-inch. Check out the amazing editing and fast-gating on You Dubba Regard mix, which were very hard to produce. Around that same time of year, the Latin Rascals were doing clever edits like this, with stutters, splice-edits and gated chops. Check out their sound/edits on Information Society’s – What’s On Your Mind which I’ve blogged about previously.

Quick shout-out to Kendall Wrightson:

Kendall Wrightson
who was my personal salesman at Syco Systems. He was very well-known in the pro-audio industry, for representing and selling high-end gear like the Fairlight (watch Kendall’s demonstration), SyclaviersSSL mixer consoles, etc.. There were times when Kendall used to let me and my best friend Noel Derblich to go inside one of Syco‘s studio rooms and transfer samples from the E-mu Emulator-III (also watch video here) to my Akai MPC60 drum-sampler/sequencer (64 midi channel, 99 tracks). Kendall was also featured in several documentaries about music technology.

Mantronix – “Simple Simon” (You Gotta Rock Hard)…

Artist: Mantronix
Title: Simple Simon (You Gotta Rock Hard)
Year: 1988
Label: 10 Records (UK)
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Simple Simon – “Simple Simon” (You Gotta Rock Hard) (mp3)

 

Mantronix- “Simple Simon” (You Dubba Regard)…

Artist: Mantornix
Title: Simple Simon (You Dubba Regard)
Year: 1988
Label: 10 Records (UK)
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Mantronix – “Simple Simon” (You Dubba Regard) (mp3)

 

My first studio with nice gear which I've bought from Syco Systems, London. Kendall Wrightson was my personal salesman. See his videos below.

Kendall Wrightson at Syco Systems, demonstrating the Linn-9000…

Kendall Wrightson at Syco System, demonstrating the Fairlight…

Roland D-50 synthesizer demonstration of its sounds/presets…

E-mu Emulator-II demonstration of its sounds/presets…

Mantronix - “Simple Simon”…

The Original Concept

The Original Concept members were Doctor Dré (the guy from MTV), T-MoneyRapper GEasy G and Wildman Steve. This 12-inch from 1986 is one of the few singles not produced by Rick Rubin who produced pretty much every other track during the early days of Def Jam Recordings. Let me tell you how kick-ass this track is. It starts off with a backward turntable-scratch effect which then quickly scratches forward towards rev-up solo guitar riff which is then interrupted by a spoken word sample, drenched in dark-room reverb, “PUMP THAT BASS.” That sample should trigger your memory. Yes! You’ve heard it before on millions of other records, but it originated here — this track by The Original Concept (I think)! The vocal sample finishes it measure very quickly and then proceeded by the main beat, starting with a monster 808 kick and snare that sounds like a trash-can (probably sampled into an E-mu SP12 drum sampler). Very original track indeed. Absolutely killer scratching and freestyle MC’ing. Play the track now!

The Original Concept – “Pimp That Bass”…

Artist: The Original Concept
Title: Pump That Bass
Year: 1986
Label: Def Jam Recordings
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

The Original Concept – “Pump That Bass” (mp3)

 

Like the name of the label suggests, ColdCut were ahead of their time. In Summer of 1987 when I moved back to England to start grade-11 highschool at ACS Hillingdon, on the very day my plane touched down at Heathrow airport, the first thing I did was go down to Our Price record store in Uxbridge, Buckinghamshire, and looked for hiphop records. Going through all the singles in the 12-inch section, I came across ColdCut’s Beats + Pieces …. there was something magical about this record when I touched it, even though I had no clue who ColdCut were and what they sounded like. I took the risk to invest and bought the record among others. Once I played the Beats + Pieces at home, I was BLOWN AWAY.  Just what I was looking for.  Something cutting-edge with samples and loops pieced and scratched together on top of a tight main beat/loop sampled from Led_Zeppelin‘s track Kashmir. Ever since that day, I’ve been a religious follower and fan of ColdCut.

Coldcut – “Beats + Pieces” (Mo’ Bass Remix)…

Artist: Coldcut
Title: Beats + Pieces
Year: 1987
Label: Ahead Of Our Time
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

ColdCut – “Beats + Pieces” (Mo’ Bass Remix) (mp3)

 

Coldcut vs. Eric B. Rakim — Not Paid Enough…

In 1987, Eric B. & Rakim were on a standstill and not going anywhere in the charts until ColdCut remixed their track Paid In Full which was absolutely incredible, filled with chopped samples that were pieced/scratched together ColdCut style. The most famous vocal used in that remix was from Ofra Haza‘s Yemenite Im Nin Alu track (the original LP version from her Fifty Gates Of Wisdom album, released in 1984), which then catapulted Ofra Haza back to the top-10 music charts followed by her smash-hit remix of Im Nin Alu in Summer 1988.

All in all, it was the doing and the genius of ColdCut to come up with such beautiful and timeless remix of Paid In Full …. bringing Eric B. Rakim to the top of the music charts and also making Ofra Haza one of the most internationally famous/successful singers in the world (she even did most of the vocal soundtracks for Steven Spielberg’s The Prince Of Egypt animated movie). At the end of the day, ColdCut never received as much credit as they deserved. In 1989, ColdCut released an album with an instrumental version Not Paid Enough.

I tip my hat for ColdCut.
They deserve a standing ovation.

Coldcut – “Not Paid Enough”…

Artist: Coldcut
Title: Not Paid Enough
Year: 1987
Label: Tommy Boy
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

ColdCut – “Not Paid Nough” (mp3)

 

Eric B. & Rakim – “Paid In Full”…

Artist: Eric B. & Rakim
Title: Paid In Full
Year: 1987
Label: 4th & Broadway
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Eric B. & Rakim – “Paid In Full” (mp3)

 

Ofra Haza – “Im Nin Alu” (1988 Remix) music video…

Ofra Haza – “Im Nin Alu” (Original version, 1984) music video..

Eric B. & Rakim – “Paid In Full” (The ColdCut Remix) music video…

http://youtu.be/wEkC5tIMj-M

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