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…

Mito Automat Vangelis - Droid Pulstar

Mid Summer 2009, a very close and longtime friend of mine RC Lair came to my side of town and hung out with me. Before going inside the Ocean Club for drinks, we stayed inside my car to listen to the entire Hale Bopp mix CD which he’d done in the mid 90′s. All the tracks on that CD were retro classics of electric disco/dance/italo ranging from the late 70′s through the mid 80′s. By the time we reached track-05, I was going through the car’s roof from excitement. The track was just THAT awesome … pure electronic analog circuitry … melodic and true to its form and genre its era. And I JUST HAD TO HAVE IT … and own it! So I asked RC who/what that track was, but he couldn’t remember from the top of his head, and he wasn’t going to look through his entire record collection at any time soon, because they were all stored in boxes. Now I was on a serious mission to hunt for a full-length copy of track-05. After six weeks of unsuccessful digging and searching, I still had no name of the artist nor title of the track.

A few days later, my producer friend Peter Hecher exposed me to Casco who was an Italian legend DJ and Italo music producer. I checked out his MySpace page, his main site and all other webpages related to him; listened to all his amazing original/classic Italo tracks; and downloaded few of his old live mix-sets. When listening to one of his Italo mix-sets … low and behold … track-05! Thus immediately I sent Casco an email requesting him to identify track-05 for me. Few hours later he sent me a reply, “Mito – Droid.

After searching the net for days, I was able to find only bad quality MP3 copies. But just recently, over the net, there was a nice fellow from Europe who had an actual 12-inch record of Mito/Droid and, at my request, was kind enough to record and send me a good quality .wav digital file of it.

However, during the entire period of searching for Mito/Droid, I had discovered that it is in fact a remix of an original 1978 “Droid” track by Automat. According to SongBooks blog:

Automat was a project of a disc, from the Italians Musumarra, Gizzi and Maggi. The first two were members of the pop band La Bottega dell’Arte that was successful in Italy between 1976 and 1984. The “Automat” LP was released in 1978 as a kind of demo Synthesizer MCS70 (Memory Controller Synthesizer 70) built by Maggi. The funny highlight of the LP is the band Droid, who say they were the opening theme of a TV news at TV Globo (Brazil) in the early 80′s. In fact parts of this theme were used twice in television news, in one of them no Globo Esporte noon. This all in it for 81/82. But it was common to the Globo television, since I remember that was used in the novel called “Brilhante”, type in 80/81. There are many more electronic themes that the Globo TV used in the field of the Fantástico.

I was able to find and download the entire Automat album on torrents. There were only four tracks in total, and all of them were in mono. At first I’d thought it was an accident by the person who recorded the album to digital, but in fact the original source of recording was done in mono. So I took the liberty to re-master Automat’s Droid, making it pseudo-stereo, adding true stereo ambient reverbs with independent left/right parameter settings, and enhancing the track’s overall low, mid and high range across its spectrum frequency (by using Waves Linear Phase Multiband plugin, among other RTAS plugins, in Protools). I’ve included both the original/mono and my enhanced re-mastered versions for comparison.

All in all, I find that Droid sounds very similar to VangelisPulstar (1976). To my ears, it seems that Droid borrowed heavily from the melody of Pulstar with noticeable variations, although both manage to stand out away from each other at the same time.

As a bonus, I managed to find a great Italo remix of Pulstar by Hipnosis (thank you Beat Electric).

Mito – “Droid” (12″ Remix)…

Artist: Mito
Title: Droid (12″ Remix)
Year: 1982
Label: Zanza Records

Mito – “Droid” (12″ Remix) (mp3)

 

Automat – “Droid” (Hashmoder Remaster)…

Artist: Automat
Title: Droid (Hashmoder Remaster)
Year: 1978 (2009)
Label: EMI Odeon

Automat – “Droid” (Hashmoder Remaster) (mp3)

 

Automat – “Droid” (Original, mono version)…

Artist: Automat
Title: Droid (Original, mono version)
Year: 1978
Label: EMI Odeon

Automat – “Droid” (Original) (mp3)

 

Vangelis – “Pulstar” (Vangelis original)

Artist: Vangelis
Title: Pulstar
Year: 1976
Label: RCA

Vangelis – “Pulstar” (mp3)

 

Hipnosis – “Pulstar” (remix of Vangelis)

Artist: Hipnosis
Title: Pulstar
Year: 1982 ?
Label: ?

Hipnosis – “Pulstar” (mp3)

 

Vangelis

Vangelis in his studio, early 80's.

What a gem this track is. Summer 1988 …. What’s On Your Mind comes out …. one of my all-time favorite retro electropop tracks by Information Society. The Latin Rascals did killer job in editing the club-mix version, and by such editing (especially in the breakdown) was very difficult to do at that time when there was no Protools; the only digital-audio multitrack recording/editing that could be done at that time was on very expensive proprietary systems such as the Synclavier (also read my other blog post here) or Fairlight CMI. It’s amazing how this track still stands the test of time. Brilliant production nonetheless. A lot of gating and stuttering effects. Automation wizardry.

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (Club Mix)…

Artist: Information Society
Title: What’s On Your Mind (Club Mix)
Year: 1988
Label: Tommy Boy
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (Club Mix) (mp3)

 

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (What’s On Your Dub Mix)…

Artist: Information Society
Title: What’s On Your Mind (What’s On Your Dub Mix)
Year: 1988
Label: Tommy Boy
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (What’s On Your Dub Mix) (mp3)

 

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (The 54 Mix)…

Artist: Information Society
Title: What’s On Your Mind (The 54 Mix)
Year: 1988
Label: Tommy Boy
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (The 54 Mix) (mp3)

 

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (Pure Energy Mix)…

Artist: Information Society
Title: What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy Mix)
Year: 1988
Label: Tommy Boy
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (Pure Energy Mix) (mp3)

 

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (Percapella)…

Artist: Information Society
Title: What’s On Your Mind (Percapella)
Year: 1988
Label: Tommy Boy
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (Percapella) (mp3)

 

Streetsounds logo

Electro back then was electric funk and hiphop 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.

I am providing you with four Electro albums for download. I recorded them directly from vinyl into Protools (Electro-6, 7 & 9 in particular), digitally restored as much as possible, and widened the stereo field, among other quick fixes. Go ahead an compare my mastered versions to the same ones you find elsewhere — mine sound the best.

Streetsounds Recordingstreetsounds 03D
Streetsounds Protools Mastering

Streetsounds History…

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.

Electro-9…

Mixed by: Herbie (The Mastermind) Laidley
Year: 1985
Restored & remastered by: Hashmoder

Streetsounds Electro-9 (mp3)

 

Electro-7…

Mixed by: Herbie (The Mastermind) Laidley
Year: 1985
Restored & remastered by: Hashmoder

Streetsounds Electro-7 (mp3)

 

Electro-6…

Mixed by: DJ Maurice Assisted by DJ N
Year: 1985
Restored & remastered by: Hashmoder

Streetsounds Electro-6 (mp3)

 

Electro-2…

Mixed by: Herbie (The Mastermind) Laidley
Year: 1983

Streetsounds Electro-2 (mp3)

 

Track-List of Electro-6, Electro-7 and Electro-9

streetsoundselectros

Video of ReMastering Session of Electro-6|7|9…

Hashmoder’s Original Music Tracks & Mix-Sets

Original Music Tracks & Mix-Sets Of Omar Hash

About Omar Hash (aka Hashmoder) Music Tracks…

Agenda Artist: Omar Hash
Programming, sound-design, mixing, mastering: Omar Hash
Hedinas
(Part 1 & 2)
Artist: Omar Hash
Guitars: Alan Moon & Phil Western
Programming, sound-design, mixing, mastering: Omar Hash
Tutumaraia Artist: Omar Hash
BG vocals: Kou
Vocoder: Omar Hash
Programming, sound-design, mixing, mastering: Omar Hash
Tranquil
(Vocal)
Artist: Omar Hash & Kou
Vocals: Kou
Guitars: Alan Moon
Programming, sound-design, mixing, mastering: Omar Hash
Strings provided by: Collective Soul
Tranquil
(Instrumental)
Artist: Omar Hash & Kou
Vocals: Kou
Guitars: Alan Moon
Programming, sound-design, mixing, mastering: Omar Hash
Strings provided by: Collective Soul
Between You & Me
(rough demo)
Artist: Omar Hash
Programming, sound-design, mixing, mastering: Omar Hash
Affair To Remember
(rough demo)
Artist: Omar Hash
Programming, sound-design, mixing, mastering: Omar Hash
Colour Speaks Artist: Phil Western & Tim Hill
Comment: I have nothing to do with this track.  The reason it’s listed here is because I happen to love it.
Body Flowers
(Body Fluid Mix – Hashmoder Edit)
Artist: Ernest St. Laurent
Editing: Omar Hash
54 Min Hour Artist: Omar Hash
DJ-mixing, editing, engineering, mastering: Omar Hash
Project June Artist: Omar Hash
DJ-mixing, editing, engineering, mastering: Omar Hash
Devon Artist: Omar Hash
DJ-mixing, editing, engineering, mastering: Omar Hash
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