Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It Began ... in Chicago

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  • Russell Brown,

    Just a thought while the leg of lamb and potatoes cook ...

    What the house culture meant for me in 1988 was a chance to break out of an indie rock scene that had become dark and dull. It was going from standing listening to drones (don't get me wrong, I like drones) while balancing a plastic pint in a sea of people wearing black, to feeling like part of something that was really happening.

    I recall I particularly appreciated the outbreak of bright colours. Black can be a tyranny.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18656 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I was never into the indie stuff either. I know it's sacrilege to say so these days, but the Dunedin Sound passed me by, and the Flying Nun stuff left me cold. So the advent of House was never a revelation to me as such, just a continuation from the disco music that I have always loved. I'm all about the dancing.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    So the advent of House was never a revelation to me as such, just a continuation from the disco music that I have always loved. I’m all about the dancing.

    TBH, I've always loved the disco. Donna Summer and the Sex Pistols. At Rip It Up, I used to drive the Snake T-shirts guys nuts by repeatedly playing Shannon's 'Let the Music Play' quite loud.

    My Zanzibar favourite was Stephanie Mills' 'Pilot Error'.

    Dancing is good for the soul.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18656 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    One of these days, I will have to raid your itunes or whatever it is you use for your music. And I might let you have access to my more vanilla stuff.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    So the advent of House was never a revelation to me as such, just a continuation from the disco music that I have always loved

    House music, as with techno - the pure stuff not the Europop variety that has usurped the word - is mostly just disco made with machines. The lineage is pretty well defined.

    Put this:

    next to:

    [of course I'm trying to find a way to sneak Loleatta into the thread. RIP]

    I do wonder, though, what much of what listen to now would sound like without those kids in Chicago and Detroit. Very, very different.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3201 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Just re-read the original post and I get it now. It was all in the timing.
    Back in 1985 I was going through a strange time, just got back from Nepal after a tragic love trist that cost me my marriage of 8 years, moved back to Greenwich into a flat overlooking the Thames. I hooked up with some old mates, one of them being Jools Holland and another, a mate from further back, Chris Difford, they had just formed Squeeze, UK Squeeze as they were known here.
    Anyhoo. We had differing opinions of where the music was going. Having a background in the recording industry I played a lot with tape and electronic gizmos and having dropped guitar playing after a hopeless jam with Mark Knopfler, back in the late 70's, and feeling talentless, I took to tearing stuff apart.
    I reworked Bonnie Rait's "Who But A Fool (Thief Into Paradise), cutting and splicing in the old school way, extending the middle break and bouncing the lyric around with repetitive hooks, I thought it was great, everyone else thought it was crap. They thought it crap for several reasons, mostly because Bonnie Raitt was just not cool but also "It wasn't Music" I still think it was good. In my low-fi home studio I knocked out all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff and became known as "That Idiot Barnes"
    After a while I was just not cool enough around the local wannabes and decided to come to New Zealand. I arrived in early 1986 when all was Grey and Pink and they were making money out of money here, about the same time as all you lot left and experienced my legacy back in the UK, apparently it caught on just after I left, bummer eh?
    ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4633 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Cool tale, sir

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    Cool tale, sir

    Cool at last, cool at last. :-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4633 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Bonnie Raitt was just not cool

    The hell she wasn't/isn't. What madness is this? Plays lovely slide guitar. Did Little Feat stuff. She's cool, all right.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    How did you know I liked jazz, andin?

    Yesterday was my psychic day. I know it was cause my language transforms into Yoda-like utterances, and I grow hairs in my ears that give them a slightly pointed look.
    I also correctly foresaw friends were going to see Rango.
    Which I want to see again. That quick fire dialogue in animations is a bugger to keep up with.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1171 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Do you know what? You are a man of hidden and unknown depths.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    My Zanzibar favourite was Stephanie Mills’ ‘Pilot Error’.

    My Zanzibar favourite (yes, I was a bit young, but hey) was this;

    Danced pretty randomly with a certain boy about town of Dutch decent, as I recall. DJs dropping off the wall songs like this in the mix were always highlights for me in the 80s.

    And not sure if this has been posted before, but I love it.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    These are my ultimate pleasure.



    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Really I was born a decade or 2 too early to fully appreciate and understand dance culture and also spent the 80's being a parent with all the financial and time constraints that brought with it. Consequently house/dance/hip hop/rap doesn't really figure in my musical DNA. My default setting has always been around Neil Young/Dylan/singer songwriter stuff and whatever spins off that axis yet last week I pounced on a vinyl copy of New Order's Sanctuary in the second hand shop. Weird though how Bonnie Raitt and Little Feat can end up in a thread about house music. And Jackie I too have a soft spot for KC's Get Down Tonight.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to recordari,

    And not sure if this has been posted before, but I love it.

    What I loved about Ten City (apart from the fact they may have been the only trio ever to have two guys called Byron as members) was that they so perfectly referred to and drew from the great male soul/R&B vocal group tradition which goes back via the Miracles, Temptations etc to the likes of The Ravens and the doo-wop. They kinda tied it all together and were one of the last major acts in a now almost extinct lineage.

    The irony is that producer and mentor of Ten City, Marshall Jefferson - one of the most important creators in the whole scene and vastly influential - personal tastes veer towards heavy metal and hard rock.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3201 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    @Tony. Me too. Dance music to me was Pump It Up or Tainted Love or reggae before it got humdrum .

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2283 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    It’s Sunday, and I’m diversifying.

    Big Fun 1

    And moving to Detroit…
    Big Fun 2

    No relation, as far as I know, except I liked dancing to both.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Donna Summer and the Sex Pistols.

    The irony is that producer and mentor of Ten City, Marshall Jefferson - one of the most important creators in the whole scene and vastly influential - personal tastes veer towards heavy metal and hard rock.

    Well, as a teenage metalhead, I got into it all arse-backward - started listening to crazy industrial stuff - KMFDM, Einstürzende* Neubauten, Coil, etc (now there's some tunes that'll really get a party started and a smile on every dial), and realised that there wasn't really all that much difference conceptually between that stuff and the harder techno. Maintaining a hardcore tribal position after that seemed a bit daft. And here we are. Got some strange looks turning up to clubs and parties with long hair and in all my bogan gear, though.

    *umlauts FTW!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2343 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Got some strange looks turning up to clubs and parties with long hair and in all my bogan gear, though.

    Was that you?

    I liked Coil too, and a bit of SoM. For some reason this reminded me of these guys. They were a bit revolutionary (pun intended) in their time.

    And after that, this seems apposite.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And random.org says the winners are:

    Christopher Dempsey
    Dave Ryan
    Mike Tasman-Jones

    Get back to me with your mailing address, guys.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18656 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And random.org says the winners are:

    Damn, I thought in a randomness contest I had a pretty good chance.

    [coat]

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Russell Brown,

    GREAT!! Thanks! Will email you.

    Oh cool... I'm stoked!

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to recordari,

    Was that you?

    Yep, I was That Guy. Although possibly it wasn't so much the clothes as it was the headbanging, to music characterised by a series of repetitive beats.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2343 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Well, as a teenage metalhead, I got into it all arse-backward - started listening to crazy industrial stuff - KMFDM, Einstürzende* Neubauten, Coil, etc (now there's some tunes that'll really get a party started and a smile on every dial), and realised that there wasn't really all that much difference conceptually between that stuff and the harder techno.

    And before that, Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA et al. So yes, the electronic music was already there. In Sheffield, the same people essentially moved on via Warp Records and made dance music. Bleep!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18656 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Wax Trax! was, not entirely uncoincidentally, a Chicago label...

    Sorta like the dark mirror image of the nascent happy house scene.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2343 posts Report Reply

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