Thursday, April 29, 2010

'Free Yourself' by Virgo (1986)

This is it... right here.  Man.  
As most of you probably know, there were 2 different groups of producers who recorded as Virgo and released records on Trax.  Here we have Marshall Jefferson and Adonis.  Two monsters of dancefloor magic.  I believe that this cut was a Jefferson solo effort, as Adonis is only credited on one of the other gems on this 12", "My Space."  I'm sure that title sounded a lot doper in '86.  
It seems to me that 'Free Yourself' was beamed down from space, directly to tape.  Even as a space explorer, I don't know where it came from.  It's just amazing.  As soon as it starts, and until it ends, you're in it.  Once it ends, it's almost as if you've had an out of body experience.  Original pressing, sounds tough.  Free Yourselves.

Friday, April 23, 2010

'Going Back To My Roots' (Disco Mix) by Lamont Dozier (1977)

Zartek is in the house, Earth people!  
I know you haven't heard from me in a long time and this was mainly due to my job doing feldercarp cleanup back in the Nelion Galaxy. After 5 years I'd just had it, so I quit.  Now it's all music, all the time. This means you're much more likely to see gems popping up here on AHOF.  Keep your eyes and ears peeled!  
I thought it would be appropriate to return with this (unreal) Dozier classic. Here we have the much sought after disco mix from an original pressing of the promo only single, cut at 45.  
Listen to the words and get lost in this one (pause).  

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back from the Disco Abyss!

As is often the case with the Awesome Hall of Fame, it's been far too long since the last update. I felt that I needed to do something a little special for this comeback post, so I asked my close friend and fellow disco addict, Travis "TK" Disko, if he'd like to be a guest curator. He gladly accepted.
TK and I met through our love of all things dancefloor. He never ceases to amaze me with his
encyclopedic knowledge of disco and house and the depth of his record crates. I'll go to his house, look through an entire stack of records, and not know a single one. That doesn't happen to me often.
TK inspires dancefloor bliss with his sets at Hot Biscuit, the monthly LA party that he hosts along with fellow house addicts, Ian Raikow and Kerri Weavil. Before moving to LA, TK was up in San Francisco throwing the infamous Gun Club party, A&Ring releases on Smash Hit Music, and making tracks with 40 Theives.
So, loyal readers of AHOF, here are 3 selections from TK, and 2 selections from your old pal Zartek. You also may notice that the mp3 artwork style has been updated too. Enjoy!

‘Express’ by 52nd Street 1982

Manchester UK in the early eighties was an instrumental time in music for many. There was Factory records, the Hacienda (what more did you need really), and while there were acts such as Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, New Order, Durutti Column, and Section 25 performing on a nightly basis, there is one band that often gets over-looked. That band is 52nd Street.
52nd Street was far funkier than any other act on Factory (except maybe for Marcel King) and even if you were aware of 52nd Street, most people still really only associated them with their semi-hits 'Cool as Ice,' 'Can't Afford' and 'Tell Me How it Feels.' For me their stand out record was their first ever single on Factory called 'Look into My Eyes,' featuring the vocal talents of Beverly McDonald (before she went on to work with Quando Quango and was replaced by Diane Charlemagne to front 52nd Street).
I'm not really sure why this record never blew up but it's the b-side, 'Express' that is the absolute stormer of a tune. The record came out in '82, but sounds like some futuristic house music and still burns up the dancefloor to this day unlike any other record I own. I don't really know what else to say about it, except grab it, vibe it, love it, and slay it! If I had to get rid of all my dance records tomorrow and were only able to keep one, this might just be it.
-Travis "TK" Disko

‘Wicked (Lucifer Mix)’ by Mistress Mix and Psychic TV 1989

This is one of the many records I picked up at Leopold's in Berkeley back in the day thanks to my old teenage friend and then roommate Nathan, a.k.a 2-4 (if it were'nt for him who knows what kind music I'd be listening to today).
The two bands that really got me into dance music were Psychic TV and Cabaret Voltaire.. Nathan was a huge PTV fan and when he turned me onto 'Jack the Tab's Acid Tablets Volume One,' I never looked back. This track in particular came out a year before on the 'Tekno Acid Beat' compilation and was later released in '89 as the b-side to 'Ja Taime.' I love both records but I always seem to play this version as it's a full sided, loud as hell, 12" pressing.
I don't have too many other records that sound quite like this. Its definitely a late night kind of joint and every time I play it, someone comes up to me and asks: 'WTF is this?? Is it acid house? Is it new beat? Is it balearic?' Who cares! Cheers Nate!!
-Travis "TK" Disko

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

‘Break Loose' by The Reg Mundy Band 1983

Before I moved from SF to LA, I got a call from an old friend who said he had just emptied out a storage unit that belonged to a man I once knew named Michael Garrett. Michael was the resident DJ at the I-Beam Disco on Haight and Shrader from its opening in 1978 to its closing in 1992, as well as the owner of the Castro district's most loved dance music outlet, the CD and Record Rack.
If anyone was lucky enough to have ever been to the CD and Record Rack you'd know going to this place was like going to disco heaven, only you got to come out alive. We used to spend hours in their garage across the street blazing through records and getting real stoked on the ones we found but knowing too well we were passing on some serious gems as we were just learning about disco back then (this was the mid-nineties).
I always wondered what happened to those records after the store closed in 2000 (I think), so when I got the call from this friend, I almost didn't believe it. I went straight to his house and it was confirmed on arrival that these records were in fact the last remaining stock of the CD and Record Rack (the rest got sold off in an auction after the untimely passing of Michael in 2004). The news about his death seriously bummed me out because I was not aware that he was gone.
This is one of the records I picked up that day. I had never seen it before and I have never seen it since. It is one seriously heavy, spaced-out disco funk jam rumored to only have had a pressing of 100 copies. This one goes out to Michael Garrett.. every time I play it.
-Travis "TK" Disko

‘My Soul Unwraps Tonight (Extended Mix)’ by Savage Progress 1984

I heard this track a few years ago on a mix that electro producer Rude 66 did. I know Ruud, so I wrote him and asked what it was. He was like 'You don't know this one?' Alas, I didn't know it! He told me what it was, and I found a copy not long after for peanuts. What initially caught my ear was the back and forth vox between Carol Isaacs and one of the male members of the group (possibly Glynnis). Unique, silly, playful, yet sexy at the same time. This is one of those records that stands alone. I don't have anything else that sounds like it. Apparently the members of the group were all from very different, diverse backgrounds and that's clear in the wonderful noise they made together.
Hopefully your soul will unwrap tonight too.

I insist that you take a minute to watch the video for this one. Words cannot explain...

'Step On Out (Rhythm Track)' by U.S.A. - European Connection 1983

This one makes Zartek do the WonkWonk dance! A very popular dance on Zarnof 4. Go bass! Go! Wonk! WonkWonk!

Boris Midney. His records, as we all know, were either here or there. This one is certainly here. I love the relentless funk bass, and the sick steel drum part that sneaks in late in the song. A choice touch! This is a great record to have in the (physical or virtual) crate. TK always tries to steal this one from me when I'm not looking, so I thought I'd post it for his guest spot here this week and hope that he'll just take the file and bugger off.
Step On Out, TK!

Monday, December 8, 2008

‘It’s Passion’ (Instrumental) by The System 1982

This record is pure fire. David Frank was and is a sick producer and arranger. I originally thought that Frank and singer Mic Murphy called their group ‘The System’ because Frank used the Oberheim System to write and produce. Apparently Frank was using these units, but Oberheim only re-branded the product line after The System had released records and had success. Frank has produced and or arranged such hits as ‘I Feel For You’ by Chaka Kahn, ‘Juicy Fruit’ by Mtume, ‘Sussudio’ by Phil Collins, ‘Higher Love’ by Steve Winwood, and ‘Genie In a Bottle’ by Christina Aguilerra. The dude is a hit maker.
Singer Mic Murphy got his start working for notorious record producer Jacques Fred Petrus at his Little Macho publishing company in New York. David and Mic met while both were on tour with the funk band Kleeer, David playing keyboards, and Mic working as the band’s road manager. ‘It’s Passion’ was The System’s first single, getting the duo signed to Mirage records. Pre-fame Madonna was originally supposed to sing on the record, but she and David had creative differences. David then invited Mic over, and the magic began. The System went on to record a few albums and had a couple of hit singles with ‘You Are In My System’ and ‘Don’t Disturb This Groove’. I’d also like to note that they performed the theme song for one of my favorite movies, ‘Coming To America’.
I can never get enough of this record, so for me, it really is passion.

‘Coda’ by Amin Peck 1982

Amin Peck. Man, I love this record, but I don’t know much about these guys. I have another record of theirs called ‘Suicidal’ that’s also pretty cool. Coda is an instrumental track with basic but well thought out elements. Even the guitar at the end sounds great.
I was given this record by my old friend Barry Lederer back in 1999 or 2000. Barry passed away earlier this year. When I met Barry I was just beginning to get into deep disco and italo. I would ask him about a record that I had heard, and he would respond by playing me 10 other records that blew my mind. In his old office/studio there must have been at least 80,000 records. There was a dedicated record room that was staggering. It had rows and rows of floor to ceiling shelving units, packed with disco, soul, and rock records. It was paradise. I remember looking for Moroder's 'E=MC2' LP and he literally had 10 unplayed promos. That's one small example. We would hang out for entire days just listening to records. Barry would tell me stories from the earliest days of disco. He was there. He not only Djed, but wrote the ‘Disco Mix’ column for Billboard magazine (which he took over from legend, Tom Moulton) and was 1/2 of the Graebar sound system team, famous for designing and building the sound systems for such famous venues as the Trocadero Transfer (San Francisco), The Saint (New York), and Probe (Los Angeles). I miss Barry. I’m thankful for the time that I had with him, and all that he taught me.
Take a few minutes to read more about Barry here.  This one’s for Barry.

‘Another Life' (Instrumental) by Kano 1983

Kano. How do I love thee? Let me not count the ways right now. I’m a huge Kano fan. I picked up the self titled 1980 LP with “I’m Ready” and “It’s a War” on it while still in space high school and was floored by it. The arrangements, vocals, and synth patches were unique and really caught my ear. The writing/production team of Stefano Pulga and Luciano Ninzatti was a dancefloor force that rivaled any of the disco greats, in my opinion. ‘Another Life’ was a single from the 1983 album of the same name. The album also featured ‘Ikeya-Seki’ and ‘Dance School’, two more great Kano jams. The vocal version of ‘Another Life’ features an American singer, Glen White, on vox. Glen’s heart-felt vocals soar over the track, and the 80’s dancefloor power is in abundance. It’s really an exciting record. While I love that version and blast it in my space-cruiser often, I tend to play the instrumental out more because the chorus on the vocal version is a bit much for the typical space party. Kano fans would love it, but how many Kano fans are really out there at a civilian dance party? The vocal version is all over the web, so here is the instrumental.

Take a second to watch this amazing lip-synced performance of ‘Another Life’ from 1983:


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Zartek Heading Back To Earth

Humans. Sorry to have left you. I've been quite busy on all sorts of space journeys. While I love records, sometimes other things such as Feldercarp cleanup can take up all of my time. It looks like the harvest is just about over and I will post soon. In the meantime, tune in to the best internet radio station for disco and electro lovers: Intergalactic FM. Much Love! - Zartek

Monday, June 16, 2008

‘Don’t Leave Me Now’ (Instrumental) by Block Sistem 1983

This is one of my all time favorites. It’s a quirky record, but it has major 80’s computer mojo. When I listen to it, I feel like I’m part of a team working on some groundbreaking new computer system in 1983. Anybody else get that feeling? No? Anyone? Ok. The bassline that’s introduced during the build is my favorite part. That combined with the bleeps and blips, dodgy off-beat tape edits, and the occasional sexy Italian girl asking me not to leave her makes for a charming little Italo gem. I like the instrumental version the best and while the pressing has a few harsh points, the record generally sounds ok. Love the cute bunny logo as well. If this record were about my life, it would be called ‘Leave Me Now.’
Over and out robots…

‘Vena Cava’ by John Robie 1982

It took me years to find a copy of this record. I eventually turned up a copy at the Slarn Festival on Zinnin 4. Cost me 5 lags! John Robie was Arthur Baker’s right-hand man and the programmer and musician responsible for countless electro hits such as ‘Planet Rock,’ and ‘Looking For The Perfect Beat.’
This amazing cut only appeared on the bonus record of Disconet Vol. 4, Program 9. I found the regular record (the one with the sick ‘Glad To Know You’ remix) a few times over the years, but the bonus disc with ‘Vena Cava’ proved to be quite elusive.
I have no idea what Robie’s saying through the vocoder on this song, but I don’t care much. Maybe he’s talking about the workings of the heart, the location of the superior and inferior vena cava. Maybe he’s talking about picking up his dry-cleaning. Whatever the case, Robie was a master programmer and a great musical mind. I hope he’s still out there somewhere making magic.

‘Are You Automatic’ by Electra 1983

“I am programmed for 4 minutes of pleasure” (girl rapidly trying to find the duration control).
Here we have yet another song about cybernetic love. Never can have enough if you ask me. Are you asking me? Are you automatic? Clearly Electra had just about had it with average Earthmen. They weren’t doing it for her and she was sick and tired of not getting off. She needed some programmable robot sex.
1983 was the golden year of Italo, and along with stand out classics like Flagio, Mr. Master, Charlie, and Casco, were some -not quite as good, but still pretty good- records like this one. The beat is the same as ‘Tenax’ by Diana Est, but I never did care for that record too much. Just enough to keep me up.

Monday, January 14, 2008

‘Eric B. Is President (Original 12" Mix)’ by Eric B. featuring Rakim 1986

I was a rap freak long before I was into dance music. One of my biggest pet peeves has always been that the original version of ‘Eric. B Is President’ can only be found on the original 12” releases (Zakia, and then 4th and B-way). The ‘Paid In Full’ LP featured a cheesy remix. Even on the super special re-mastered double CD release the original song is not included. What the fuck! This song is hands down one of the best rap songs of all time and I can’t believe it’s been omitted so many times. The average Joe probably thinks that mega-mix version is the original, having no idea that this raw cut is out there. I have two copies of the original 1986 4th and B-way release. One has been beat to shit, and the other remained sealed. I opened that copy to record for this post. Nasty.

‘Fog’ by Riccardo Cioni 1984

Here’s a deep cut. This is Miami Vice montage music. You can picture Crockett rolling deep in the white Testarossa. Some ill shit just went down. It’s time to get serious. The hot chick he met at the beginning of the episode is [surprisingly] connected to the drug dealer he and Tubbs are trying to take down. And what’s this? They took her hostage because they know that Crockett cares about her. He is ready to throw down. Those nerdy dudes in the van are peeling out too, ready for some recon. Lt. Castillo is still not smiling. That cat never smiles. According to the center label ‘Fog’ was written, arranged, and programmed by ‘S. Head.’ Whoever that dude is, he really held it. Through the fog.

Monday, December 24, 2007

FELDERCARP 2008

Zartek returns. After months upon months of Feldercarp cleanup duty back on my home planet of Zarnof 4, I've returned to Earth with some sonic treats. I hope all of you have been well and have been eating lots of Earth pizza. Happy 2008 humans and robots! Be sure to tune in to the CBS Top 100 2007 on Wednesday December 26th. All day, all awesome. All you need to do is download a VLC player.

‘Video Control’ by X-Ray Vision 1984

Jose ‘Animal’ Diaz getting biz here. This cat was holding down the NY electro scene as a DJ, producer, and mix engineer, and was involved in many classic records such as Cybotron’s ‘Clear’ and Man Parrish’s ‘Hip Hop Be Bop. What more do you need to know? ‘Video Control’ is straight from the mind of the animal himself. Classic beats, dope spacey synths and awesome modulated delay effects. Sights and sounds injected in our minds.

‘What Use? (Remix)’ by Tuxedomoon 1982

I got this 12” years ago on a digging trip with The Baron. These guys were out of SF and were deep in the post-punk/new wave scene happening there in the late ‘70s and early 80s and they are still recording and touring today. I’ve been listening to this single for almost 10 years now and it still sounds just as fresh as when I first heard it. It has this way of cutting off my usual mental noise and making me reflect for a second. What’s the use?

‘Cruel’ by The Men 1979

This is a Human League record under the pseudonym ‘The Men.’ It’s the b-side instrumental version of “I Don’t Depend On You,” which features Oakey on vocals in the classic Human League style. What differs is the use of session musicians and regular instruments as opposed to the HL’s strict electronic production style. Whatever the case, it’s a fantastic record. The bassline and toms just stomp along and the mood is disco bliss. It’s amazing that this record came out in ’79 as it still sounds fresh today. It’s cruel but it’s true.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

DISCO FIELD TRIP



With the help of a very good friend I was able to locate and visit the home of one of my idols here in Beverly Hills. Anybody want to speculate as to who's house this is?
Zartek and Mike B. 'Blazed and Stoked'

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ZARTEK LOVES YOU

Hello AHOF fans. You are probably wondering where I am. The short of it is that I've been in the middle of a large recording studio upgrade and certain units key to digitizing are out for customization. I will be back as soon as I can! I hope you are all having a rad summer.

Back to FELDERCARP CLEANUP!!!

-Your Pal Zartek

Sunday, May 27, 2007

‘Dancing Therapy’ by International Music System 1984

Zartek returns from worlds far away! Take it from me, never visit planet Ooomph9. I hope you humans have had a tolerable month and will enjoy these 3 dance goodies!
Let’s begin with ‘Dancing Therapy.’ I.M.S. made some great records, but this is my favorite of the bunch. This 12” mix is much hotter than the LP version and is cut clean and loud at 45. The message of the song is classic: when you are sad and blue, get on the floor and move your ass.

‘First, Last, For Everything (dub version)’ by Endgames 1982

This dub is pure fire. It is such a favorite that I even debated posting it here. But you know what? Life is way too short for that type of a whording mentality! I sure hope you mystery music hunters enjoy it. Just remember where you got this one, ok? This dub version was mixed by Ray “Pinky” Velazquez. Ray had his hands on many classic records during this era, such as “Over Like a Fat Rat” by Fonda Rae, and “Electric Kingdom” by Twilight 22. He mixed another one of my favorites that I may post here soon IF YOU’RE LUCKY! This record has a simple arrangement, but it’s very effective.

‘Capsicum’ by Stargo 1983

Like many of my favorite records, I first heard this quirky track on the Cybernetic Broadcasting System. If you don’t tune in regularly you are missing out on discovering very cool records. The weekends on CBS are my favorite due to the massive amount of disco madness. Sometimes I can’t handle it!
Capsicum was produced by Robyx a.k.a. Savage. I don’t know what drum machine he was using, but it sure had a noisy output. Just listen during the intro. Aside from that, the drums rule! This is a very cute guy/girl love story type of song with back and forth lyrics that make me smile. I have no fucking idea what ‘Capsicum’ means, although it might very well have something to do with the red chilli pepper on the cover. Maybe it means that their love is SO HOT. Who knows. No I won’t google it. Go screw.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

BE BACK SOON!

ZARTEK IS ON VACATION. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK, MYSTERY WEB SURFERS.

Friday, April 20, 2007

‘Laserdance’ by Sponooch 1979

This record is nuts. I would have loved to be in the studio with these guys. The A-side is a crappy, campy disco track called ‘Crime Buster,’ but the B-side is money. This record is pretty scarce. I remember people saying that it was only on 7inch. I was stoked to find the 12.” Whoever these guys were, they sure loved phasers and flangers. I can relate to that owning many myself. The whole track is full of modulation madness. I like to listen to this record when doing space-cleaning. It would take some large nads to play this record out. I wonder what modern day crowd wouldn’t stop dancing, look up with giant question mark’s on their heads. The crowd that can hang with this record… that is the crowd I long for!
Take out your disco lasers and your pants lasers and get some space-cleaning done.

‘Automatic Lover’ by Sylvia 1978

I’ve played this record a lot. It’s a wee bit fuzzy in the beginning. There are two pressings of this single. The other one (with a more boring label) is a shitty pressing. This one sounds fine, cut at 45 and full of space-disco life. Sylvia Robinson had a gold record with her hit ‘Pillow Talk’ and founded All Platinum Records and Sugar Hill Records with husband Joe Robinson. Her story is far too long for this post. Let’s get back to ‘Automatic Lover.’ I really love this recording. Her vocals, wet with plate reverb, soar over the top of the disco arrangement. The phasing bass-line bounces the track along while subtle synth touches peek in here and there. The “robot” voice is really funny. I can’t tell if they ran it through a synth filter or an lfo or what, but it’s far from vocoded. Get your dancing shoes on robots. This record is programmed to deliver automatic satisfaction.

‘Free Soul’ by John Klemmer 1969

Sometimes I just need to put on a record like this and drink some space-lemonade. The depths of space can be lonely sometimes. Enter ‘Free Soul’ by John Klemmer. This song always gets the mission moving. Klemmer released a slew of records, but this is the only one I have. Cadet Records, 1969? So many great records were released on this label during this time period. Great music, artwork, and quality pressings. Klemmer just wyles out on the sax. Near the end of the song he even starts yelping here and there. Just feeling it so hard! (PAUSE) I hope you’ll enjoy this summertime groove as much as I do. 
As per John's request, I've taken this link down.  Since the original post, 'Free Soul' has become available on iTunes

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

3 picks from guest curator STOEROK

Space taxes continue to fester. But, there is hope! My homie Stoerok has picked 3 pieces of hot wax for some tax relief. I love these records. Thanks Stoe! -ZARTEK

'Small Time Hustler' by The Dismasters 1987

How dope are the Urban Rock designs. Dope label, dope sleeve. Dope. And this song is dope. New York City, 1987, a sample from Hustler's Convention. Sign me up. These guys rhyme like they mean it too. A solid group that should have made more records. Listen and I'm sure you'll agree. Way-out-in-BROOKLYN.

'Love and Happiness' by Monty Alexander 1974

What is it about a good Al Green cover. It's just bound to kill. I call it a testament to his music and a reminder of how good the songwriting really is. When you hear the melody in another setting away from the Reverend himself, it hits you. Magic. Now, Monty's version. This is one of those strong songs that is made still better as you hear the tricky samples nestled throughout. The Beatnuts own this thing. And in 1999, we all really wanted to own it too. Badly. Not everyone was up on it and the first time you heard it your mind was blown. I need to thank Baronrok for graciously handing me this obscenely inexpensive copy at Roundagain in Providence. And Monty, tell those haters to go screw. You shredded it.

'Smooth' by Lazy Laz 1989

Bumrush! Someone had some deep crates in 1989. An early sample of Bohannon's 'Save Their Souls' is looped up for this dirty rumbler of a track. Co-produced by Greg Nice and polished up by Audio Two, you already know it's going to deliver. Lazy brings it on the mic too. Now, if someone wants to make a t-shirt with the Bumrush! logo on it, please send me a few. Smoooooth.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Space Taxes

I've been most busy with Space Taxes. There truly isn't any place to hide from taxes. Even Zarnof 4 taxes us Zarnofians to pay for Feldercarp cleanup. Check back in a day or so for 3 heat rocks from guest curator and close space homie, Stoerok. He's picked a couple of rap rarities and one digging classic. All 3 records cleaned and recorded here on the space cruiser. Next week I'll be back with some disco heat. - ZARTEK

Sunday, April 1, 2007

‘Peace of Mind’ by Top Choice Clique 1989

For you real nerds out there, this is not the reprint. Mike Fields, aka MC Force went to the same private school as me. He was about 4 years older. A classmate of mine had the cassingle (with picture cover) and when he played it for me, my mind was blown.
He got the tape from his older brother who was in the same grade as Mike. I couldn’t believe that somebody who went to the same tight-ass private school as me had made this. I think it was the first time that I though ‘maybe I can actually make a record.’ Anyway, I became obsessed with this track. This was probably back in 1991 or so. One day on a trip to Skippy White’s records in Central Square I came across the 12 inch. Skippy’s had helped to fund the pressing I think, due to their credit on the label. Unfortunately, Skippy’s closed last year. At some point this (and their earlier 12”) became cult records with the whole ‘Random Rap’ scene. It spawned an unlicensed repress and new fans of the track. I feel lucky to have gone through high school rocking this. Really a classic record. This one’s for Boston and Cambridge.

‘Crossover (white label promo remix)’ by EPMD 1992

This isn’t the ‘Trunk Mix.’ This is another remix that was only on this white label. I love it. It’s got most of the elements of the original beat, but with some different samples and some added treats. My boy Baronrok had this copy, and it’s in pretty clean shape. Slight groove distortion towards the end, but rockable. EPMD was it.

‘In The Trunk (Glove Compartment Street Mix)’ by Too Short 1992

Too Short on a Primo beat? I’m in. I remember getting this at Planet Records in Kenmore Square. That was one of my favorite spots. They always had promo copies of every new rap record I was looking for. Man, that was my spot! Damn. There was a fire in the building at some point and it closed. They re-opened somewhere else but it just wasn’t the same. Anybody who was going there around 1990 or so would know what I’m talking about. Anyway, back to the song. Too Short just loves rapping about bitches and how many records he’s sold. Guess what? He does both on this track. The real draw here, however, is the udeen hot Primo beat.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

‘Distant Planet’ by The Voyagers 1983

This song might as well be called 'Zartek’s Theme.’ I am in fact from a very, very distant planet. This is one of the best Discomagic releases. It has that nostalgic 80’s feeling you might get from watching ‘Splash.’ Maybe not. Hahahahaha. This is one of my favorite records to listen to on my space cruiser during epic journeys through the galaxies.

‘It Ain’t Reggae (But It’s Funky)’ by Instant Funk 1976

This track is just a floor slammer. I never get tired of it. If my foggy memory serves me correctly, somebody like Kenny Dope used it for a house record. But again, it could have been anybody. I HAVE NO MEMORY. I never get tired of the envelope filter bass playing on this record. Slamming.

‘The Escapades of Futura 2000 (dub)’ by Futura 2000 & The Clash 1982

The vocal version of this is a little hokey to me. It’s fun, but I wouldn’t play it. The dub, however, is great. It’s basically just a rad Clash instrumental with the echoed voices of Futura and my homie Fab Five Freddy sprinkled here and there. I would have killed to have been downtown during this era. I guess I’ll just listen to this record and fantasize some more.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Communicating with ZARTEK

I am often not on planet Earth. Just last week I was called back to Zarnof 4 for Feldercarp cleanup. AGAIN! The Glak creatures have been mating more than usual this centon, producing way too much Feldercarp. Who has to deal with it? ZARTEK.
I noticed that there were hundreds of downloads last week. Fantasmo! If you would like to communicate with me, but do not want to leave a comment, now you can use E-mail. My friends at Computer Life were kind enough to give me an Earth E-mail address. zartek [at] computerliferecordings [dot com]

‘The Garden’ by ‘Lectric Workers 1982

It took me a long time to find this record. It’s so wacky but so hot. The vocalist, Funny Randon (nice name), is singing about some girl on girl encounters. Italo production Gods, Rago & Farina, just go wild on this one. Unlike ‘The Man From Colours’ and ‘Life With You,’ the sound quality on this record is totally acceptable. I don’t know how those other records got to sound so amazingly poor, even though the music was so great. ANY WAY YOU WANT IT.

‘Stress (Large Professor Remix)’ by Organized Konfusion 1994

I love this track. It's certainly one of my favorite rap records. The Buckwild produced LP version is already hot, but Extra P just killed it on the remix. This takes me back to high school. Driving around in the ’87 Legend with the JL audio subs rattling my trunk. I must be old cause now when a car goes by with blasting bass I’m like ‘Idiots!’ It was fun to be one of those idiots back then.

’24 Hours From Culture – Part II’ by New Musik 1981

New Musik was a synth-pop band fronted and produced by Tony Mansfield. Tony Mansfield was the man. He was the producer behind some of the best records of the 80’s. ‘Always Something There to Remind Me’ and ‘Promises, Promises’ by Naked Eyes, along with most of the ‘Hunting High and Low’ LP by Ah-Ha. I got this record in 1999 from my friend Barry Lederer, famous for being one half of the Graebar sound system team. He pointed it out and enthusiastically said, “I think you’ll like this one!” Sure enough I did. The A-side, ‘The Planet Doesn’t Mind,’ is also a great track, but ’24 Hours’ is a little more off the beaten path. Some pure, dark, electronic sex music right here. I think it was on some comp recently but frankly I don’t give a damn. Put this on next time you’re getting some!

Monday, March 12, 2007

‘It’s Your Rock (dub)’ by Fantasy Three 1983


My good pal The Baron from my hometown of Newton hooked me up with this one. The record was totally beat to shit. Somehow a few runs on the Nitty Gritty machine did it justice. Totally rockable now. The vocal version is pretty hot. Your garden variety rare early rap record. But the dub… So hot. I love it. Lots of tape edits, flanging drums galore, vocal stabs with panning delays, the synths. They really laced it. It’s your rock now.

‘Playback Fantasy’ by O’Gar 1983


O’Gar was a radio DJ in Italy. That my friends, is all I know about him. He made a few singles. This is one of my favorite Italo songs. It is of the ‘PiƱa Coladas, sunglasses and bikini girls’ variety. Blast it and have no shame. GIVE IN!

‘Change Your Mind’ by Sharpe & Numan 1985

I absolutely love the production on this record. ‘80’s synths to the max, sample stabs, roto toms, a PPG Wave solo (I think) and of course Gary Numan. The mix is fantastic too. Bill Sharpe? I don’t know anything about this guy, but he held it down on this track. Whoever owned this record before me beat up the beginning a little bit, so you’ll here some crackling. The Nitty Gritty can’t fill in scratches. Otherwise this record sounds fantastic. Change your minds.