StreetSounds Electro-2 front coverStreetSounds Electro-2 back cover
click each image above to enlarge

StreetSounds Electro-2  (Side A) & (Side B)…

Title: Electro-2  (Side A) & (Side B)
Mixed by: Herbie (Mastermind) Laidley
Year: 1983
Label: StreetSounds
Media Source: Extracted from Audio-CD.

StreetSounds Electro-2  (Side A) & (SideB) (mp3)

 

Tracklisting

  • A1: The B-Boys – “Two, Three, Break” (5:01)
    Produced by Vincent Davis
  • A2: The B-Boys – “Cuttin’ Herbie” (4:36)
    Produced by Vincent Davis
  • A3: Xens – “On The Upside” (5:53)
    Produced by Mark Liggett & chris Barbosa
  • A4: Hashim - “Al-Naafiysh” (6:06)
    Produced by Jerry Calliste Jr.
  • B1: Rammellzee Vs. K-Rob – “Beat Bop” (10:10)
    Produced by Jean Michel Bassouiat
  • B2: Two Sisters – “B-Boys Beware” (Club Mix) (5:50)
    Featuring Emcee Popper G.L.O.B.E
    Produced by Raul A. Rodriquez
  • B3: Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel - “White Lines” (Don’t Don’t Do It) (7:33)
    Produced by Sylvia Robinson, Melle Mel & Joey Robinson Jr.

StreetSounds Electro-1 front coverStreetSounds Electro-1 back cover
click each image above to enlarge

StreetSounds Electro-1  (Side A)…

Title: Electro-1 (Side A)
Mixed by: Herbie (Mastermind) Laidley
Year: 1983
Label: StreetSounds
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

StreetSounds Electro-1  (Side A) (mp3)

 

Tracklisting

  • A1: The Packman – “I’m The Packman” (6:35)
    Produced by Bobby Robinson
  • A2: Newcleus – “Jam On Revenge” (The Wikki-Wikki Song) (7:49)
    Produced by Joe Webb
  • A3: West Street Mob – “Break Dancin’ – Electric Boogie” (5:02)
    Produced by Joey Robinson Jr. & Lealand Robinson
  • A4: C-Bank - “Get Wet” (7:52)
    Produced by John Robie

StreetSounds Electro-1  (Side B)…

Title: Electro-1 (Side B)
Mixed by: Herbie (Mastermind) Laidley
Year: 1983
Label: StreetSounds
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

StreetSounds Electro-1  (Side B) (mp3)

 

Tracklisting

  • B1K-9 Corp – “Dog Talk” (9:35)
    Featuring Pretty C.  Produced by Archie Ivy
  • B2: G-Force – “Feel The Force” (7:24)
    Featuring Ronnie Gee & Captain Cee.  Produced by Will Crittendon
  • B3: Project Future – “Ray-Gun-Omics” (6:40)
    Produced by Rahni P. Harris Jr. & David Spradley
  • B4: Captain Rock – “The Return Of Captain Rock” (8:23)
    Produced by The Fantastic Aleems

Street Sounds Electro

I have decided to record digitally my entire StreetSounds Electro compilation series.

I will record every single StreetSounds vinyl of mine into Protools, with as much digital restorations as possible and widened stereo-field.  I do believe that I make the best vinyl-rips than most music collectors and bloggers out there. My 30+ years experience in pro-audio says so!

As I’ve stated in my previous StreetSounds article over a year ago, Electro since the early 80′s was electric funk and hip-hop music, mainly for break-dancing, bee-bopping, and body-popping. In my opinion, the word electro today has been hijacked in the form of 4/4 dance music and not anywhere near its true roots.

THEREFORE, STAY TUNED FOR DAILY POSTING OF EACH ELECTRO MIX.

Streetsounds History…

Morgan Khan

Streetsounds was part of the UK Streetwave stable of labels created by Morgan Khan. A Hong Kong-born Indian who grew up in London, Khan had worked in the UK record industry since the mid 1970′s, working for such names as PRT Distribution (a division of Pye Records) and R&B Records, for whom at the time Imagination were the up and coming stars of the day.

Khan founded the independent Streetwave record label during 1981 to specialise in releasing Electro and Hi-NRG releases. Within a year of creation, Streetwave began the StreetSounds series of albums; compilations created from some of the hottest 12″ imports of the day. These releases made available a selection of the most contemporary dance floor hits within the financial reach of those wanting to hear the freshest sounds. In the early 80′s a 12″ single was priced around £2 and you would pay over £4 for an import 12″. The Streetsounds series offered usually 8 to 12 full-length 12″ mixes for under a fiver. Understandably, the Streetsounds series was met with considerable enthusiasm and, some might say, mighty relief.

This series would run for over 6 years and contain over 50 albums. By far the most coveted of the Streetsounds releases were the Electro series. These albums introduced the UK to the developing hip-hop scene from America – a stroke of genius that brought electro and early hip hop from the underground to the UK high street and, one could argue, helped in the creation of the UK’s hip hop scene.

The Electro series ran for a total of 27 albums (and one box set) from 1982 to 1988. The albums were initially labeled StreetSounds Electro with the title morphing into StreetSounds Hip Hop after release 12 in 1986.

All of the albums were competently mixed by a series of the best remixers of the day – predominately from the UK.  A large proportion of the mixes on the early releases were completed by a London-based hip-hop sound system from the early 80s. Headed by “Herbie The Mastermind” (aka Herbie Laidley) the team also featured Kiss FM radio DJ’s Dave VJ and Max LX who were also members of UK electro outfit Hard Rock Soul Movement, responsible for the massive “Double Def Fresh” release.

My digital recording process & audio quality of vinyl records are top-notch …



click each image above to enlarge

Old video: recording session ripping vinyls Electro-6, 7, and 9…

Killer synth-R&B-dance track from 1986.     Rumors… I can still take more more!

1986 was a great year for electronic R&B which incorporated the new urban sound, hiphop, funk, soul and dance music — a sound that later became known as the New Jack Swing in the late 80′s. New Jack Swing was pretty much hijacked by Teddy Riley [watch video] who took that genre to a whole new level. But Rumors was one of the very first tracks with that sound — a sound so poundingly raw, with a spine that keeps the drums, baseline and overall groove fused together as one. I remember this track hitting the top of the charts around the world. I bought a few different copies of the 12-inch records from Canada, USA and England.  I’ve also bought Rumors on Canadian-issued maxi-single cassette tape.  Why?  Because I liked the different artwork covers!

Almost every artist of this genre was utilizing the very latest electronic and groundbreaking musical instruments at that time.     E-mu SP12 [watch video] and Linn-9000 [watch video] were just the revolutionary sampling drum machines used in the industry. Their factory sound/samples that came with those two machines were legendary — practically used on thousands of tracks out there.  The SP12 had 24 onboard drum sounds plus 8 additional memory allocations for loading custom/user samples. Since the SP12 had no built-in floppy drive for backup, I am not sure how the user samples were stored. However, the SP12 was quickly superseded by SP1200 in 1987 which had a built-in 3.5″ floppy drive and more sampling memory.

Almost all the drum sounds on Rumors were from the SP12/1200. I recognize that snare very well to be from E-mu Systems’ factory sample collection. Just that snare alone could be heard on Jody Watley’s – Looking For A New Love,  Janet Jackson’s – Control by the two big-time producers Jam & Lewis, and even Kraftwerk’s – The Telephone Call… just as few examples.

The TR-808 drum sounds on Rumors, to my belief, were samples of the real 808 drum-machine loaded into the SP12/1200.  Most of the synth sounds, particularly the main melodic/stabby one, was from a Roland Juno-106 [watch video]. I know that Roland sound, because I, too, own a 106 and few other kinds.

Read more information on Timex Social Club here (wikipedia) –and– here (TSC official site).

Timex Social Club – “Rumors” (Social Club Mix)…

Artist: Timex Social Club
Title: Rumors (Social Club Mix)
Year: 1986
Label: AM Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Timex Social Club – “Rumors” (Social Club Mix) (mp3)

 

Timex Social Club – “Rumors” (Social Club Dub)…

Artist: Timex Social Club
Title: Rumors (Social Club Dub)
Year: 1986
Label: AM Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Timex Social Club – “Rumors” (Social Club Dub) (mp3)

 

Timex Social Club – “Vicious Rumors”…

Artist: Timex Social Club
Title: Vicious Rumors
Year: 1986
Label: AM Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Timex Social Club – “Vicious Rumors” (mp3)

 

Peter Gabriel - "In Your Eyes" (Special Mix) 12" record atop 1/4-inch reel tapes at Hashmoder's studio.Ah, this is one rarity from an outstanding, legendary British artist: Peter Gabriel. There was an actual 12″ record of In Your Eyes which featured the Special Mix. But what made this particular record more special was that the track In Your Eyes (Special Mix) was also featured on the B-side of a Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush 12″ single Don’t Give Up.

I have never opened nor played this record before. Thus, after nearly 25 years, I’ve unsealed it and recorded the track on the B-side to digital.  Therefore, a triple special indeed!

Peter Gabriel – “In Your Eyes” (Special Mix)…

B-side of Gabriel/Bush 12" record of "Don't Give Up" which features Peter Gabriel's - In Your Eyes (Special Mix) track.Artist: Peter Gabriel
Title: In Your Eyes (Special Mix)
Year: 1986
Label: Virgin Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Peter Gabriel – “In Your Eyes” (Special Mix) (mp3)

 

I must be one of the few lucky ones to own this amazing track on a 12-inch record. I believe only few thousand copies were pressed back in 1984.

Where was I when I’d bought the record?     Ah yes!     It was sometime in late October 1985, after school, at Starsounds record store on Young Street in Toronto. Starsounds was a great record store that sold only 12-inch records of every genre, especially to DJ’s. At that time, I was looking for synth/techno/pop tracks when Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer was hot. Flipping through Starsounds’ bin of old/unsold records, my fingers came to a stop at this one particular vinyl with gloriously colored luminous-orange sleeve: Section 25.

I held the record up in a tilted-angle closer to my eyes just to read its center label. It was hard to read, because the words and fonts were ultra moderno that were printed with light, shiny luminous colors. Yeah… a record looking great in graphic-design but lacking in function (such as reading its textual content).

Even though I had no idea who Section 25 was, my gut said: This the record you’re looking for, buddy! Just the words 45 A Factory Record and Restructure From Fact 90 on the center label were enough to convince me the record was INDEED an electronic one that was meant for me. Still in my formal shirt/tie/jacket school uniform, I bought the record with my only $20-Canadian. Going home in the subway (the TTC), I was staring at the record and second-guessing what it might sound like. Once I got home, I ran to my room and dropped the needle to the record. The usual at the start of any record: few seconds of crackles, scratches and pops…

…And then there was music!

The track on Side-B starts with reverse tom-tom drums followed by reversed-&-gated 808 claps in 1/16th-note progression. Then –BAM– the beat drops like a cyber-atomic bomb: → Heavy industrial baseline → Synth bleeps/zaps all over the stereo-field → Lush synthesizer and Mellotron pads → Cyberpunk female lead vocalsWhispery male backup vocals. Electronic techno industrial pop bliss → → Hands down, an absolute electronic industrial masterpiece!

Section 25 – “Looking From A Hilltop” (Megamix)…

Artist: Section 25
Title: Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix)
Year: 1984
Label: A Factory Record
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Section 25 – “Looking From A Hilltop” (Megamix) (mp3)

 

Music Video: Section 25 – “Looking From A Hilltop” (version 2)…

It’s been a long time; I shouldn’t have left you.
Without a strong article to blog a post to.
Think of six months you had to wait through.
Time’s up.  I’m sorry I’ve kept you…
waiting for this, with your hand on the mouse, soon…
as you click it, turn up the volume!

Heh. How ya like my own take on Eric B & Rakim’s – “I Know You Got Soul” lyrics above!

And hey… Thank you for your patience.

In the long break which I’ve taken away from my blog, I was going through and reorganizing my entire vinyl and CD collection. I was listening to a lot of music, as well as searching and buying a lot of new and used records and CD’s from niche record stores, thrift stores, garage sales and internet. I’ve added more music to my arsenal in the past few months, especially certain old-school tracks which I’ve been searching for years to find… such as the 12-inch extended version of Promises Promises by Naked Eyes.

What the hell is it about this track which makes it deliciously and emotionally congenial? …And why is it so immortal?

Oh, I know… It is the plethora of rich, creamy & lush layers of weaving sound textures in a sea of sound-design bliss — an artwork trademark of Naked Eyes’ two British members Pete Byrne (guitars & vocals) and Rob Fisher (synthesizers & keyboards). They deliver Promises Promises with such bliss, thickened with consistency and splendiferous substance of utmost quality in the beautiful combination of different musical elements, threaded and embedded deeply in the song’s inner core and exterior fabric.

According to Wikipedia:

Naked Eyes was one the very first bands to make significant use of the Fairlight CMI sampling beast of an instrument.  Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush had used the Fairlight on prior efforts, but the usage had been far less than Naked Eyes would employ on their debut effort.

However, before becoming a two-man band, Byrne & Fisher had formally played in a band called Neon with future members of Tears For Fears — also a two-man band who used the Fairlight extensively. The relationship between the two bands is perhaps why both bands had similarities in their use of rich, epic sound-textures in the music, albeit each having their own musical styles.

The lyrics of Promises Promises was obviously about a person’s disappointment in his/her significant-other who made countless promises but was not able to keep nor follow through any one of them. If having read the lyrics without listening to the music first, one might have gotten an impression that the song would be slow and sappy.     Sappy/slow it was not!       Surprisingly, this track was paced at mid-tempo with:

  • Tight drums at the core;
  • Percussive marimba’ish synth stabs;
  • Lush synth pads and swells coming in & going out through both left/right channels of the stereo-field;
  • Echoey electric guitar licks drenched in reverb ambience; and
  • Moderate and not over-the-top vocals with not too many words.

●●● Overall sound-&-feel of the song was (and still is) moody and emotional but hopeful.

Moody… Emotional… These are exactly the feelings I go through sometimes when thinking about how I might’ve been given the short-end of the stick in life. I start to loathe myself many times for being a middle-eastern person born in Baghdad, Iraq. And then I wish that I wasn’t born an arab nor a muslim –– I really do hate my religion!

I renounced Islam when I was 6.5 years-old in 1977. I was mandated to attend “Quran” class at the end of first day of school (Rosary) in Abu Dhabi. I was late for that class. As soon as I entered the classroom, the arabic teacher asked me to recite any verse from the Quran. I had no idea what she was talking about, because I wasn’t aware to have a religion.  All of a sudden the bitch slapped me hard on my face, almost knocking me down to the floor and blacking-out. That very moment… I made up my mind: FUCK THIS! AND FUCK ISLAM!!

After being slapped and physically abused for nearly three years, my stuttering became severely worse, as I was living in fear of those kinds of people. And because of those sons of bitches, I loathed (and still loathe) myself for being a brown, muslim arab. Therefore I moved to England and Canada with my parents at a young age of nine years in 1980. I was happy to get away from the middle-eastern world of autocratic and punitive Islamic-states in Arabia. During all my years living in Europe and North America, I’ve adapted and became accustomed to modern western civilization and culture.

But whenever I do feel down like that, I can simply shake it off by either thinking of Promises Promises or playing the song. Perhaps a lot of the good promises in my life where broken or never fulfilled, but I am being hopeful at the end of each day.

Naked Eyes – “Promises, Promises” (Extended Version)…

Artist: Naked Eyes
Title: Promises, Promises (Extended Version)
Year: 1983
Label: EMI America
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Naked Eyes – “Promises Promises”  (Extended Version) (mp3)

 

Naked Eyes – “Promises, Promises” (Instrumental)…

Artist: Naked Eyes
Title: Promises, Promises (Instrumental)
Year: 1983
Label: EMI America
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Naked Eyes – “Promises Promises” (Instrumental) (mp3)

 

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