Egyptian Lover – “Freak-A-Holic” (12 Inch Long Versionl)..

Artist: The Egyptian Lover
Title: Freak-A-Holic (12 Inch Long Version)
Year: 1986
Label: Egyptian Empire Records

Egyptian Lover – “Freak-A-Holic” (12 Inch Long Version) (mp3)

 

Music Video: The Egyptian Lover – “Freak-A-Holic”…

Since the Egyptian protests are all over the news lately, I’ve figured why not post some of Egytpian Lover’s oldschool electro hip-hop tracks.  The very first time I’ve heard an Egyptian Lover’s track was back in 1984.  A track titled Egypt Egypt on a DJ-mixed electro/hip-hop compilation record, released by StreetSounds, called Electro-5 on side-A — which is also available on this site. The second track I’ve heard by Egyptian Lover was My House On The Nile on StreetSounds Electro-6, side-B, which is also available on this site. And the third track I’ve heard by Egyptian Lover was Girls on StreetSounds Electro-7, side-A — again, also available on this site. After being exposed to those three tracks between 1984 and 1985, that was when I’ve decided to hunt and collect  as many Egyptian Lover 12″ singles as I could find on the market.  I’ve bought several of his 12″ singles on vinyl back then from Toronto, London and New York.

The Egyptian Lover is Greg Broussard — born on August 31, 1963.  He’s an American musician, rapper, vocalist, producer and DJ from Los Angeles.  Greg Broussard was one of the first men to pioneer the hip-hop/electro sound from LA.  One of his main influences was Man Parrish’s track track Hip-Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop) — whom I’ve also blogged about on this site — so click here to read that article.

With just a Roland TR-808 drum machine among other flagship analog synthesizers and digital samplers, Greg Broussard rocked (and still can rock) the house.

Egyptian Lover – “Egypt, Egypt” (12″ Vinyl)..

Artist: The Egyptian Lover
Title: Egypt, Egypt (12″ Vinyl)
Year: 1984
Label: Egyptian Empire Records

Egyptian Lover – “Egypt, Egypt” (12″ Vinyl) (mp3)

 

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)

 

In 1983, Malcolm McLaren released two singles, Buffalo Gals and Double Dutch, both of which becoming worldwide top-10 smash-hits. Those two tracks hit the international music charts before his LP Dutch Rock was released. Dutch Rock album proved to be highly influential, bringing hip-hop to a wider audience, especially in the UK.

Giacomo Puccini, Madam Butterfly operaIn 1984, Malcolm changed his tune to opera on his next maxi/EP single release of Madam Butterfly which was an electronic, synth-pop modern-classic track, based on Giacomo Puccini’s 1902 classic-opera Madam Butterfly’s“Un Bel Di Vedremo” final aria (watch videos below). For those of you who are not familiar with Puccini, perhaps you might recognize his “Nessun Dorma” aria from his Turandot opera (which is still part of today’s popular culture). Nessun Dorma has achieved pop-status by Luciano Pavarotti’s recording of it, used as the theme song of BBC’s television’s coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup soccer in Italy; and it subsequently reached #2 on the UK singles music chart (the highest placing ever by a classical recording).

Malcolm McLaren’s Madam Butterfly is arranged with a drum-machine, atmospheric synthesizers and spoken/sung R&B verses (with opera backup vocals). The production on Malcolm’s Madam Butterfly is stellar. The track was produced by Steven Hague who settled for nothing but the best in overall production. I know for a fact that a Fairlight CMI-2 was used, because Madam Butterfly (Un Bel Di Vedremo) starts with the Fairlight’s famous factory sound-preset ”aah” voices coming in slowly and rising gradually in amplitude, serving as a bed/pad sound layered in the background throughout the track. Watch music video below to hear that sound. I know all the Fairlight sounds inside-out, because I’ve heard them millions of times since 1980 when the Fairlight beast of a sampler/workstation instrument was used on countless of tracks by other famous artists and groups in that era (for it’s unique sound, powerful sample/sound processing engine and music sequencer). Watch this video of the Fairlight being demonstrated by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. As for the chord melody in Madam Butterfly, it is a sound of an upright-harp with softer/slower attack transient; though there’s no telling what synthesizer or sampler brand used for it. It could’ve been a custom-sampled harp sound for the Fairlight, or a factory-sample bank coming from a then-popular E-mu Emulator-II, but my guess is that the harp and the bassline-sound were factory-preset patches from a Yamaha DX7 synth. Watch this YouTube demo of the DX7. Harp sounds from synths and samplers sound almost exactly the same and very difficult to distinguish them apart. Also, the drum-machine used in Madam Butterfly is an Oberheim DMX (which was just as popular as Roland TR-808, LinnDrum and E-mu Drumulator and SP-12 drum-machines at that time).

Attention new music producers: I have compiled and categorized .wav samples of almost every classic drum-machine and electronic drum-kits made by man.  Download drum_kits.zip

I used to own the 12″ vinyl of Madam Butterfly which I bought in 1984 from Our Price record store in Uxbridge town center (Hillingdon, Buckinghamshire, UK). But I gave it to my friend Mister P-Body (Arizona) in June 2001 (just before I moved back to West Vancouver, BC, Canada, on July 1, 2001), as I had already owned a copy of it on CD-single which I’d purchased in 1988. To this day, I’m still playing the track over and over again. I have never gotten (and still never get) sick of listening to Madam Butterfly — takes on me on long mind trips each time.

Malcolm McLaren – “Madam Butterfly” (Un Bel Di Vedremo)…

Artist: Malcolm McLaren
Title: Madam Butterfly (Un Bel Di Vedremo)
Year: 1984
Label: Virgin Records; Charisma Records

Malcolm McLaren – “Madam Butterfly” (Un Bel Di Vedremo) (mp3)

 

Malcolm McLaren – “Madam Butterfly” (On The Fly Mix)…

Artist: Malcolm McLaren
Title: Madam Butterfly (On The Fly Mix)
Year: 1984
Label: Virgin Records; Charisma Records

Malcolm McLaren – “Madam Butterfly” (On The Fly Mix) (mp3)

 

Malcolm McLaren – “Death Of Butterfly” (Tu Tu Piccolo)…

Artist: Malcolm McLaren
Title: Death Of Butterfly (Tu Tu Piccolo)
Year: 1984
Label: Virgin Records; Charisma Records

Malcolm McLaren – “Death Of Butterfly” (Tu Tu Piccolo) (mp3)

 

Stage Performance: A preview of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” opera…

Opera Performance: Puccini – “Madama Butterfly” (Un Bel Di Vedremo)…

Stage Performance:
Pavarotti sings “Nessun Dorma” final aria of Puccini’s Turandot opera…

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)

 

This is one super sick track that defined the true meaning of techno-electro hiphop. Drum machine tight beats, rolling mechanical techno bassline, synth zip-zaps, reverse-then-slap-forward claps, synth pads, vocal erotic samples, synthetic scratching samples, really sweet processed orchestra stabs/hits, and serious rhymes. 808 Beats stands on its own plateau. Although The Unknown DJ raps about his 808 drum machine, but the drum machine sounds in this track aren’t from a Roland TR-808 at all …. not even close; but my best guess would be that they come from Oberheim DX or DMX.

The Unknown DJ – “808 Beats”…

Artist: The Unkown DJ
Title: 808 Beats
Year: 1984
Label: Techno Hop
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

The Unknown DJ – “808 Beats” (mp3)

 

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