Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Recent Thoughts 3

I suppose jazz was my long-term introduction to house, techno and everything else, but hip-hop cemented it. The first hip-hop albums I can remember buying were the debuts of Mantronix and Schooly D. Very innovative and while of their time, in the case of Mantronix at least, ahead of it. Schooly D though, is one of my all-time favourites. That debut, so stark and original, highlighted the rapping over stark, powerful beats, and I've yet to hear a better backing . . .Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions,Run DMC of course, The Beastie Boys, Eric B & Rakim etc . . . were all consumed with veracity. I was also into go-go, so Troublefunk and Chuck Brown also made it into my playlists. I went to loads of gigs at this time, seeing PE's first live appearance at the Hammersmith Odeon, with Eric B & Rakim and LL Cool J, who was headlining. I remember going to Brixton Academy and seeing a Cold Chillin' showcase, with Biz Markie, Cool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane, amongst others. I was at the infamous Electric Ballroom PE gig, were Professor Griff made his equally notorious "white man is the devil" speech, and girls were getting terrible abuse on the way out, and Hursty, who I was with, was on the verge of getting beaten up for refusing to buy a whistle. Boogie Down Productions at The Town and Country Club in Kentish Town was one of the best at that time . . . in total i thin I saw PE around five or six times, EPMD & Stetsasonic around three times each. EPMD were shit live, they just lip-synched, Stetsasonic, on the other hand, really put on a show. They weren't called a hip-hop band for nothing. I saw De La Soul in Brighton, as well as Ice T, after which friends of mine suffered racist attacks from people who had been at the gig! I was n't just watching and listening to hip-hop though, other gigs were being attended as well as other records being bought. Unlike punk, were I never saw all the bands I wanted to, The Clash being the biggest miss, I think I saw just about anyone who was anyone in the hip-hop world between the years of 1987 and 1993, after that I started to lose interest and had already made that shift over to house and techno. While living in Paris I was still going out a lot. I remember seeing Gangstarr at Le Cigale, along with Massive Attack. I also saw one-hit -wonders Arrested Development, and British Acid Jazz and souls stars Galliano and The Brand New Heavies. The best groups I saw over there though were the UK holy trinity of live "rave" performers: The Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Orbital.

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