Sunday, 7 September 2008

Streetsounds Electro 3 (1984)

So here we go at last with Electro 3!

Divine Sounds' Dollar Bill kicks off the album and is cut up by Mastermind just a little in the intro. In fact the refrain, "what people do for money" is what I've always known this song as rather than its other title. It's a cautionary tale of what a little cash can make ordinary citizens do with such stories as Hollywood, hard times and robbery, Green Card issues.
A sampler was used for the 'fresh' scratch which is quite impressive as this is still 1984 and it must've cost about half a million quid. Or something.

A synth line comes in just before the 8-minute mark to denote the start of The Imperial Brothers. Now this is electro. I love this track with its classic 808 beats and those handclaps. There's some nice scratching using many of the hooks and bits that were around at the time. And Herbie gets into the mix, too with some brilliant editing introducing Jam On It. The production on Newcleus' track is so good that you can't dismiss it with its use of the 'chipmunk' voices that may have had a detrimental effect in the hands of anyone other than the founder of Jam-On Productions, Cozmo D.
Cozmo is still around and can be heard on Global Funk Radio on a Friday Night.

Side 2 begins with an ode to the Zodiac signs courtesy of the Boogie Boys. I personally would have been happier with Break Dancer which was also on the Zodiac 12" as this is a real b-boy jam.
Soon enough we hear the intro of King Of The Beat from Pumpkin which is actually a really simple song; drum, scratch, minimal vocals and snatches of synth. Not to detract at all from it but its a real testament to Pumpkin that he was able to create such a great record with it's simplicity.

Davy DMX's One For The Treble (Fresh) is the sort of song that doesn't ever get old. There's a lot of good ideas here from the nice, moving bassline to the filtered scratches and clever drum programming. The Rap Mix I was never a fan of as the track didn't need anything other what Davy had already done.

Herbie cuts in the Fresh 3 MC's Fresh just as Davy is cutting up Fab 5 Freddy and further proves his prowess on the GLI. The Fresh 3 MC's; whatever happened to them? We need more backwards rap!

And so ends Streetsounds Electro Volume 3. The Electro age is still young but growing more confident. The names still suggest a dawning, more futuristic space age with Newcleus and Zodiac that will always be ever-present with the Electro tag. Drum machines and synths still punctuate the air with only slight touches of 'real' sounds from Davy DMX's snatches of Bob James.

Electro 4 will soon come with yet more forays into space. Watch

Download Electro 3

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