I have decided to record digitally my entire StreetSoundsElectro 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 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.
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 Clubhere (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.
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)…
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.
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 vocals → Whispery 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.
While the norm for most tracks go anywhere between 3:30 to 6:00 minutes in length, I prefer 15:00 minutes or longer, like the four seasons. Give me 4 long tracks to fill the hour, and I’ll be one very happy Iraqi. I love tracks that take me on long journeys through various movements. One of my all-time favorite synth-pop groups is PROPAGANDA from germany … who sound like twisted ABBA + Industrial + TechnoPop + Darkness. My favorite Proganda track is P:Machinery. I’ve taken two 12-inch vinyl versions of that track and conjoined them together as one … the way I want to listen to P:Machinery by:
Digitizing them into Protools; Spending two long months cleaning them up; Getting rid of every single scratch/pop/click; Restoring deteriorated sounds through various RE-SYNTHESIS processes and techniques; Splicing the tracks to separate clips; Re-arranging and layering clips to my taste; Throwing in my own synth-stabs, chops and other minor subtleties; Adding & automating series of chained top-notch effects throughout the mix, utilizing parameters some of you could not even pronounce ... thus resulting with more dynamic and reverberated DEPTH to the mix; Fattening the bottom-end; Widening overall stereo perception; and Mixing, engineering and mastering my version of P:Machinery the way I think it's supposed to be heard.
To my taste, P:Machinery sounds better than 'sick' ... more like master piece of shit which blasts sonically across the stereo-field ... not one element standing still but constantly moving all over the place.
Although he produced only a handful of tracks of renown and disappeared into obscurity almost as quickly as he had emerged from it, Manny ( Man ) Parrish is nonetheless one of the most important and influential figures in American electronic dance music. Helping to lay the foundation of electro, hip-hop, freestyle, and techno, as well as the dozens of subgenres to splinter off from those, Parrish introduced the aesthetic of European electronic pop to the American club scene by combining the plugged-in disco-funk of Giorgio Moroder and the man-machine music of Kraftwerk with the beefed-up rhythms and cut’n'mix approach of nascent hip-hop. As a result, tracks like “Hip-Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop)” and “Boogie Down Bronx” were period-defining works that provided the basic genetic material for everyone from Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys to Autechre and Andrea Parker — and they remain undisputed classics of early hip-hop and electro to this day.
Man Parrish Boogie Down Bronx (dub version) PLAY TRACK
What made Trevor Horn’s productions stand out was his unique and genius production techniques and the heavy use of state-of-the-art pro-audio gear, which made him become the torch-bearer for the kind of technology-led pop music which was hip and incredibly disciplined. Trevor Horn’s 12-inch remixes were uniquely long (anywhere from 8 to 13 minutes in duration) and told stories which took the listeners through long instrumental journeys at the begenning of tracks until the climax is reached (around the 5/6 or 7 minute mark). After the climax, the original or alternate full vocal version of the track takes over from that point on to the end, lasting additional 3.5 to 5 minutes in length.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood Relax (12 inch Sex Mix) PLAY TRACK
Trevor Horn is the guy who produced and performed “Video Killed The Radio Star” world-wide smash-hit track. I did some major digging and discovered some fascinating, forgotten facts and hidden gem tracks from The Buggles. In 1980, the Buggles’ duo Geoffrey Downes (keyboards) and Trevor Horn (vocals) — who were coming off an international success with their new-wave album The Age of Plastic – to help out on a new YES album. Downes suddenly left Buggles when Trevor learned that YES’ keyboardist Rick Wakeman was leaving the band, and therefore snatched him as well as lead-vocalist Jon Anderson to work on the next Buggles album Adventures In Modern Recording. The Buggle’s second album was completed in 1981 but was never released or charted. The album was a gem masterpiece.
The Buggles I Am A Camera (12 inch version) PLAY TRACK
We’re back! For the third year in a row, Hype Hotel, presented by Taco Bell’s Feed The Beat program, will be bringing blogger-curated music showcases to Austin. Hype Machine tracks music that bloggers all around the world are talking about and presents it all in one place for easy discovery. That’s also what we do […]
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Last July, I biked over to a post-apocalyptic loft roof to catch a bit of FMLY FEST. I ended up seeing Headaches and Megafortress, who both created a pleasant wall of noise. But in addition to the music, I couldn’t help but notice the energy of the crew who organized the event: rolling with […]
I’ve been a BlackBerry user for 7 years, so it was naturally exciting when BlackBerry showed interest in working with us on a native Hype Machine app for their new line of phones. With their support and the team at Smoke Labs, we were able to make this app a reality! The first release […]
Blogs have always been vital to what we do—they are the reason the Hype Machine exists and helps you discover new music. Folks asked for a better way to discover blogs in our directory (and keep their feeds fresh). We tested a number of approaches and landed on the Blog Recommender. The feature is […]
Our friend Ian just launched an app called Mote.io that allows you to navigate sites with your phone. Naturally, one of the first sites he built support for was the Hype Machine. Mote.io gives you the ability to play, pause, favorite, skip and return to previous tracks. You can also search and click around […]
Station to Station, a public art project by Doug Aitken made possible with support from Levi’s, is a train traveling across the United States, bringing music, art, and cultural happenings to ten cities along the way. From live performances by artists like Patti Smith, Dan Deacon, and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, to talks from […]
The great traveling SpinMedia Soundwave Tent sets up in Seattle this weekend at Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival. Find us by the Fountain Lawn (view map), DJing with a few of our favorite artists and bloggers. The schedule runs as follows… Saturday, August 31st, 3PM – 5PM Featuring: FensePost, Seismic Sound, Washed Out Sunday, […]
Mac Thornhill is still in the game, producing records from his home base in Quebec. During the 80's he was probably one of the best r'n'b vocalists to come out of Canada and a couple of his really early records can fetch some coin, including this second or third single, Make Life Worth Living, which has a sweet instrumental side. I only though […]
This is one I had to double, then triple check that we hadn't posted before, its that much of a classic and indicative of the sound we wanted to capture on the blog. 'So In Love' came out on maybe my favorite New York based label, Silver Cloud, and has Jocelyn Brown on vocals and future Leroy Burgess producer Stan Lucas on the mixing boards. […]
Its that time of year again, and as is customary on Valentine's Day we break from normal programming to bring you a guest mix of deep, crusty, sweet soul 45's. This time, as a follow up to 2009's Blood From My Soul, San Francisco's finest exponent of the genre, Deejay OM, brings us Part 2 of his epic journey through the process of love, […]
Here is another indie '80s soul record to file in the M.J. impersonator section along with Alfonzo and Michael Sterling. Timothy Marrow's self released Killer Moon sounds like it was recorded in an afternoon with a borrowed synth and drum machine. Every little mistake and looseness in the meandering bass line is captured in its full glory over a […]
well this is pretty quick. Konrad OldMoney remixed the entire G I R L album and dropped it available for download on his soundcloud. As it currently stands, his views on soundcloud are over double that of Pharrell’s official page… … Continue reading →
New jammy from dudes Tanner and Self-Help out of NYC. As heard on TWRK Volume 3 on Diplo and Friends BBC Radio 1 Xtra. Grab the free download while you can √ ___________________________________ Get @ Nick Bike Twitz! √ Follow … Continue reading →
RnB heater from my man Illo out of Ottawa. Slip back into summer with this one. Cop the free download √ ___________________________________ Get @ Nick Bike Twitz! √ Follow Schitz you Twi†Z!! √ Hear† Us on HYPE!! √ Like Us … Continue reading →
I’ve been waiting for awhile now for this one to see the public eye in full. Move Slow is a super tight single from Vancouver homeboy Pat Lok featuring the vocals of Alo. If you were listening close it was … Continue reading →
Just wanted to second a couple of other comments on your site and say that yours is by far one of the best music resources I've found. A similar but now sadly defunct site called Retro Wonderland came a close second! Keep up the good work. All the best."
And all the best to you too, Elliot, for your lovely feedback you've emailed me :)
From: Yaron Sarel
"...just discovered your site, and I wanted to tell you that you make me one happy Israeli guy. I work as a sound engineer, living in Tel Aviv, and I love the 80's. In fact, two good friends of mine and myself formed an oriented-80's synth band. After years of playing rock, for some reason I have never imagined I would be playing this kind of music. I used to listen to as a kid (before I discovered the electric guitar). Your work brings back to life this music i miss and love so much. Thank you sir!"
And thank you, Yaron, for your lovely feedback.
Mp3's on this site are for sampling and promotional purposes only and will only. Most of the mp3 tracks on this blog/site are remixes, extended and limited versions which are deleted, no longer available for purchase and would not be heard otherwise. However, please support these artists. If you are one of these artists and would like your music removed from this site, please notify me, and I will endeavor to remove them as soon as possible.