In January 2012 I received an email from Lee Perry. My first thought was ‘surely not’, but it wasn’t – this was the other Lee Perry, not Scratch but Wolverhampton’s very own Peza.
This weekend Colin Curtis celebrates his 50th anniversary as a DJ with a special event at The Exchange in his home city of Stoke-On-Trent. Colin started out in his mid-teens at Newcastle-Under-Lyme’s Crystal Ballroom, before making his all-nighter debut at Stoke’s hallowed Golden Torch, one of Northern Soul’s foundation venues, eventually becoming one of the scene’s leading figures as a result of his legendary ‘70’s partnership with Ian Levine at the Blackpool Mecca. Info about the anniversary date here:
Here’s a short overview I wrote for DJ Mag’s Disco edition last year, outlining some of the musical threads that resulted in the evolving Disco movement’s expansion from the underground into the eye of mainstream attention as the ‘70s unfurled.
I’ve written / adapted some sleeve notes for the new Joey Negro / Z Records compilation, which I’ve reproduced below. The album is available now on CD and digital, whilst there’s also a vinyl double-pack available, featuring 8 of the tracks, 2 per side. You can purchase the various formats here:
Back in 1966, The Beatles’ record producer, George Martin, executed my favourite singular edit of all time. John Lennon had been working on the now iconic ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ – he’d recorded 2 versions, and was faced with the dilemma of wanting to use the first section of one recording, but take the rest of the track from a completely different and more progressive version. His comment to George Martin, when the producer pointed out the difficulties of matching pitch and tempo, was ‘you can fix it’. The fixed version is the definitive one that we all know, two recordings perfectly merged together by one decisive splice. You can hear it, if you listen carefully, at just before the minute mark, on ‘going to’:
Just uploaded the 6th digital edition of the Discotheque Archives series I’ve been putting together for DJ Mag with the help of Josh Ray. Each month it focuses on a classic DJ, a classic club, a classic record and a classic record label – these are generally a combination of US and UK, with the odd European inclusion, each concerned with aspects of pre-Rave club culture.
I’m in London this evening for Tim Lawrence’s ‘Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor 1980-1983’ book launch at The Institute Of Light, which is hosted by Pages Of Hackney. I’ll be talking to Tim about his hugely impressive, highly informative, often deeply emotional excavation of New York nightlife in the early ’80s. I blogged about it recently:
Back in the early 2000s, when I began to explore the internet properly, discovering a number of DJ forums discussing dance culture and its history, it was clear that the early ’80s had been largely obscured. This was the period that followed the supposed death of Disco in 1979 (prompted by the vitriolic racist / homophobic ‘’Disco Sucks’ campaign fronted by WLUP Chicago shock jock Steve Dahl), and preceded the emergence of House music during the mid-’80s.
Whilst London’s Acid House era is defined by nights like Shoom, Spectrum, Future and The Trip, there was also a crucial off-the-beaten-track warehouse party in Alperton near Wembley called Hedonism, which helped define the spirit of the era. Although there were only a quartet of gatherings in all, taking place between February and May ’88 (the event originally intended as a one-off), their impact would resonate throughout the capital.
The third edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture: