The sixteenth edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture:
Tag Archives | Afrika Bambaataa
The ninth edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture:
Been meaning to get this amended article onto the blog. It’s something I originally wrote back in 2003 for Grandslam magazine as a feature revolving around the release of 2 No Wave compilations at the time, one on the re-activated ZE label, the other on Soul Jazz. The piece was originally published under the title ‘When Punk Met Funk’.
A week on Saturday I play a pretty special London gig at Loft Studios alongside NYC edit maestro Danny Krivit, the guy who set the standard back in the ’80s with his classic re-imagining of MFSB’s ‘Love Is The Message’, one of the quintessential New York Disco anthems. Full lowdown on the gig here, at Resident Advisor: http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?440816
Last month I was over in Chicago chilling out in my hotel room ahead of my first gig in the city, at Smart Bar, a venue with a rich tradition, which opened back in 1982. Chicago is, of course, along with Detroit, Philadelphia and New York, revered as a key US city when it comes to the evolution of dance culture (and, indeed, black culture, with, way before House, a deep heritage in Rhythm & Blues, Blues and Jazz, dating right back to the ‘great migration’ of black workers from the southern states, beginning just over 100 years ago).
One of the defining moments of my DJ career took place exactly 30 years ago, on Monday May 10th 1982, when my first radio mix was broadcast on Mike Shaft’s show, ‘T.C.O.B’ (Taking Care Of Business), on Manchester’s hugely influential Piccadilly Radio, which played a major part in bringing black / dance music to wider attention during the ’70s and ‘80s – from Soul, Funk and Disco, through Jazz-Funk and Electro, and on into Hip Hop, House and Techno. I go into its rich legacy in greater depth here:
When I was in Adelaide in February I received an email from DeFacto, the Nottingham based creative agency whose accounts include the Fred Perry clothing brand. They’d already approached me to appear at one of the monthly Fred Perry Subculture nights they hold at The Garage in London, presenting Reels Of Steel for the first time in the capital, so we’d been discussing a possible line-up for a date later in the year. However, they’d just learned of Afrika Bambaataa’s availability for their 20th April date and, quite rightly, saw this as a perfect fit with me, given my Electro-Funk background, with Bambaataa very much a key inspiration (not to mention that, as serendipity had it, this was exactly 30 years on from his era-defining single with the Soul Sonic Force, the mighty ‘Planet Rock’).
As I navigated the winding country lanes on my way to the M5 from Minehead, where I’d been playing the Sunday night 1.00am-3.00am closing slot / graveyard shift at the inaugural ‘House Of Fun’ weekender, I was pleased to discover that there was a programme on the radio about the JFK assassination 48 years ago in 1963. Always a subject of fascination, this would help me whittle away half an hour of journey time as I weaved onwards towards the motorway.