TX105 Marshall Jefferson – ‘Ride The Rhythm’ [Remix]
Marshall Jefferson debuts on Trax in 1986 with Kevin Irving issuing dancefloor commands over an insidious vocal loop, splashing hi-hat and jazzy piano, mixed by Frankie Knuckles. The dub is a thing of spaced beauty, an early example of the almost avant garde weirdness which permeated the more experimental Trax tackle.
TX106 Farley Jackmaster Funk – ‘Funkin’ With The Drums Again’
Led by ‘Jack ‘N The House’, this six-tracker is both an example of the kind of basic tracks EPs the label would release and house in its most primitive form, Farley setting up stark funk bombardments, garnished with a few mangled vocal samples.
TX107 Vince Lawrence – ‘Virgo Trax Again’
Vince revisits the Virgo concept he’d begun with Marshall Jefferson on his Other Side label with the Go Wild Rhythm Trax project. Spread over both sides of the twelve are eight short drum tracks, providing a gift to bedroom producers.
TX108 Jesse Velez – ‘Girls Out On The Floor‘
One of the label’s three-figure rarities is this mini-album by the late Jesse, led by ‘Girls Out On The Floor’ before mining similar but more basic seams with the string-drenched electro-pop of ‘Fire 121’, before ‘Do It To The Beat’ strips down to almost just voice and throbbing drum machine thong on the flip (with the odd masturbating rodent interjection).
TX109 Ron Hardy – ‘Sensation’
Also among the rarest (and my very favourite) Trax singles is the only record credited to Ron Hardy under his own name. Adrianne Jett belts out the nearest thing to a song Trax had released so far before getting super steamy on the deconstructed Dub. Derived from European synth-pop and post-disco electronic boogie, it still sounds like a huge, juddering sex-beast, drizzled by the semen of the gods.
TX110 Screamin’ Rachel – ‘My Main Man’
Rachel was an early house pioneer, also appearing on Jesse Saunders’ recordings and here letting fly with a cheeky Latin-flavoured funk-up with sweet, sexy vocal. The attitude and backing could, as Bill Brewster points out, have sat on a ZE release of the time, along with some of the stuff then appearing on Sleeping Bag and Jus Born. It comes in four different versions, the My Main Beat littering the drum acrobatics with ‘what time is it?’ vocal trickery.
TX111 Jackmaster Dick’s Revenge – ‘Sensuous Woman Goes Disco’
Farley’s back again waving his analogue sword as he plants an XXX-rated monologue from Rudy Ray Moore’s 1972 The Sensuous Black Woman album over rudimentary beat-box throb. The flip’s ‘Sensuous Man Goes Disco’ gives the male perspective.
TX112 Adonis – ‘No Way Back’
Soul band bassist Adonis had his outlook swiveled by ‘On And On’, diving into the new house music with the kind of creative gusto which fuelled the movement’s earliest developments. ‘No Way Back’ is acknowledged as a Trax milestone classic, laying down the acid house bass-line/whispered vocal blueprint, stoked by inventive drum programming. One of the tracks to most benefit from the remastering, particularly the percussive mastery of the dub.
TX113 Sleezy D – ‘I’ve Lost Control’
Possibly the most unhinged item in the Trax canon, as blood-curdling screams of escalating mental derangement (inspired by Black Sabbbath and Led Zeppelin) ricochet over one of Marshall Jefferson’s early excursions on the new equipment he’d bought in summer 1984. His party mate Sleezy took the tape to Ron Hardy and it became a Music Box monster as the crowd readily identified with its ‘I’m losing it’ derangement. The b-side flipped the switch on the 303 to add to the carnage.
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