TX147 Pleasure Zone – ‘Fuck Charley’/‘House Nation’
Spacey clatter and title on repeat for the kind of ghetto rawness fired up by Hardy at the Music Box, probably making a lot more sense in an acid-fuelled black sweat-box at six in the morning than on a CD player in sunny Cornwall on a Monday afternoon but, like many other items on the set, crucial as another example of the primal missives being assembled at the lowest budget levels with punk-like fervour at the time. Created by James Anderson and Kevin Jones, ‘Fuck Charley’ was joined by three other minimal riff and drum machine titles: ‘House Nation’, ‘Jana’ and ‘Hold These Nuts’ (the latter aspiring to shadowy Master C&J intoning over bass-line, except he’s requesting the listener hold his nuts).
TX148 Doctor Derelict – ‘Dance Doctor’
Mispelt ‘Derilict’ on the label, this was a pseudonym for Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders’ step-bro’, then a local DJ-producer soon to embark on a successful career at Jive, signing names including R. Kelly and Mr Lee. Here, he whips up a stark and spooky pair of space-whooshing jack tracks, complete with slowed down and sped up voices and its own unique sense of gravity and rhythm.
TX149 Dean Anderson – ‘Don’t Stop’
After appearing as Boris Badenough and Farm Boy, Dean comes out under his own name for some basic jacking whoopee based around ringing electro motif, pungent groove and Phuture-voiced title hook, dubbing it up on the flip.
TX150 Frankie Knuckles – ‘Baby Wants To Ride‘/‘Your Love’/ TX151 Frankie Knuckles – ‘It’s A Cold World’/’Bad Boy’
Trax’s 50th was suitably monolithic (well, 49th as there wasn’t a 143 but 151 – the real 150 – is also worthy of celebration, if that makes sense). Although credited to Knuckles, the two singles comprised four of the tracks which Frankie had written with the underrated Bryon Walton, aka Jamie Principle, whose damaged angel tones sometimes recalled a steamier Marc Almond but entered a different dimension of night-time sleaze and soaring rapture. According to Bill’s notes, the pair assembled a package consisting of ‘Your Love’, ‘I’m Gonna Make You Scream’, ‘Baby Wants To Ride’, ‘Cold World’, ‘Bad Boy’ and the sublime ‘Waiting On An Angel’, which was first to emerge [on Persona in 1985] while the others were still being played on tape and cassette.
‘Baby Wants To Ride’ is the ultimate heavy breathing sex hump tingler, while ‘Your Love’ probably better known as the backing track under Candi Staton’s accapella which provided the bootleg for ‘You Got The Love’ (as later warbled to great success by Florence). The original is one of the greatest love songs of all time, with ‘Cold World’ a close second; enigmatic, edgy and unbearably beautiful. ‘Bad Boy’ laid in obscurity until Acid Rain, here again as a bold statement from the gay subculture which underpinned and motivated early Chicago house music.
TX152 Marshall Jefferson Presents Hercules – ‘Lost In The Groove’
The unstoppable Jefferson unleashes another dark persona over harsh but compulsive groove bent around the Sinister Riff and that chilling string sound. The mighty Hercules uses slowed vocal for his effective depiction of a guy hopelessly mired in dance floor delirium as the rhythms get murkier, drums go on heat and screams go up. ‘It’s time to lose control…’. There’s also a stripped-down heavy breathing steam-bath dub; truly astonishing in its other-worldly strangeness. Herc would rise again on ‘Seven Ways To Jack’ for Dance Mania.
TX153 Dancer – ‘Boom Boom‘/‘Am A Dog’
After ‘Boom Boom’s spaced-out berserkness, where every sound seems to be fighting for its place in some kind of raging parallel sonic cauldron, ‘Am A Dog’ sees George Clinton’s Atomic Dog dragged to the Music Box to leg-humping effect by Jack Frost (Adonis) and Sidney Winters (aka Fat Albert). It sounds like nothing on Earth – just a flickering, spitting acid pulse, weird Martian voices, stick insect masturbation drum machine and, out of nowhere, disembodied female soul voice, all drenched in echo (including dog loop). Howl along as the pair unleash the barks and ‘baroos’.
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