Saturday, 31 August 2013


The top 3 items all come from a 1999 issue of Straight No Chaser magazine.
Off Centre was a fortnightly club-night that started up in 1997 at the 333 in Hoxton, London, with the idea behind it being to present dance music that was more leftfield & experimental while staying rooted to a soulful, jazzy kind of vibe.
The top article tells a bit about the club, the people involved, the music and the visuals that went with it.
The club itself was on 3 floors, with drum & bass, hip hop and funk featured in the basement - the middle area playing jazz, latin and garage - and the top space blasting out the reggae & dub.
In 1999, Off Centre brought out a compilation album showcasing the variety of music they specialised in, and so the 2nd item above is an advert for it.
Under it is a review of the album - and underneath that is the CD from my collection - the top notch cover graphics the work of Graham Rounthwaite.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


I mentioned the Wag in the passing on yesterday's post, so I thought I'd be as well to give the club a mention here as I have a few bits & pieces on it.
The photo at the top of the pile was taken by my brother in 1987.
The ad under it is from an issue of Soul Underground magazine dated 1988 and was for an Easter / Kiss FM event.
Next, also from 1988, is a flyer for an end of the year party.
Following that are some small ads displaying typical midweek action at the club - the Monday one is from the music paper, Check Dis, dated 1992 and is for a hip hop / rare groove night called Mutherland. The other 2 are from a 1994 issue of The Ticket magazine and are for Bombay Jungle and Leave My Wife Alone, with a wide variety of music styles being played.
Although the club catered for just about every type of music that cropped up on the underground dance scene over the years, it had a particularly strong bond with Acid Jazz and the item under the small ads actually comes from an issue of Acid Jazz News dated 1994 featuring a photo gallery taken at one of their Leave My Wife Alone nights, capturing a mixture of clubbers & celebs, with Big Cheese Allstars the band on stage.
Finally, and keeping the jazz scene going - in the mid 1980's, UK band, Working Week, made a promo video at the Wag for their single "Venceremos (We Will Win), which was directed by Julian Temple incidentally. This vid ended up on a VHS compilation tape made by NME called "Video Bongo". It just so happens I have an original of this at home and a few years ago I converted it into DVD format. So the last item above are 3 screenshots taken from the Working Week video showing the exterior & interior of the Wag being put to good use.
2o years the Wag lasted - from 1981 to 2001.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


This tasty EP came out sometime around December 1992 / January 1993 in the UK, and consisted of 4 tracks that were in the nu soul, jazz not jazz, abstract funk, kind of territory. Sounded fresh at the time but it seemed to slip through under the radar unnoticed.
The label, Destination X, started up in 1991, and as far as I know released only 3, maybe 4, singles, and so didn't get beyond 1993.
Their "M with arrow" artwork reminds me of the Wag logo!
The short review at the top is from an issue of Touch magazine dated December 1992 - and the vinyl to go with it is from my shelves at home.

Saturday, 24 August 2013


In the mid 1990's, I used to get newsletters from Dorado Records containing information about new releases, gig updates and other related stuff.
In 1995, they started up a subsidiary label called Filter, which was more for experimental kind of material, and so once that was up & running, details about Filter became a regular part of Dorado's newsletter content.
The top 2 items above are an example of the sort of thing Dorado would include with their updates - the first being a review of a compilation called "Filter - Killing Music" - plus a few other bits & pieces in there about the label.
The second item is a page of Filter merchandise available via mail order.
Underneath that are 3 promo stickers - one for the "Filter - Killing Music" album, another with the Filter logo and the green one with details about a single they released by The Fire This Time called "At Least American Indian People Know Exactly How They've Been Fucked Around" - kinda catchy!
Lastly, I have put up the "Filter - Killing Music" CD from my own collection showing the acts & details that appear on the cover. This was released in 1996.
Incidentally, the illustration on the album sticker was done by graphic artist supremo, Ian Wright, although I'm not sure if he also did the "F" logo design.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


The item at the top is a piece taken from a Rough Guide book that gives the details on one of UK's earliest attempts at an acid house record, the speaker bursting track by Baby Ford, "Oochy Koochy".
I have plucked out a copy of the 12" single from my collection, the original version above released on Rhythm King.
The vinyl only has the one track on it, and on the flip side it has all sorts of amusing scratchings!

Saturday, 17 August 2013


I was making my way along to Uptown Records in D'Arblay Street, London, back in June 2002 and was passing the Dark & Cold shop in the same street, when I encountered a hip hop posse doing their thing to camera outside on the pavement. So I ended up taking a snapshot of the moment, which is the photo at the top.
I thought I'd do a piece about Dark & Cold here because they are more than just a fashion store.
Underneath the top picture is another image showing the shop front which was taken in October 1997 and in the window in amongst the hip hop gear you can see an issue of Touch magazine and The Source. Later, in 1998, the situation was reversed when The Source magazine from the USA did an article about the UK hip hop scene and Dark & Cold was given the spotlight treatment, singled out as being one of the best clothing shops to visit in London.
The item under the 2nd photo is one of the earliest features I have on the shop and was published in Touch magazine in May 1995 when Dark & Cold had only been in biz for 6 months.
Not only did the shop stock the latest hip hop garments, they also sold records, mags, DVD's and other related lifestyle stuff and the next article, which appeared in Undercover magazine in 2002, is a short review of one of Dark & Cold's compilation DVD's called "UK Hip Hop Untapped - Vol.2". These were made by and released under the Dark & Cold banner and showcased the best of UK's underground hip hop scene - so as well as special performances at the shop itself, material also included promo videos, live action, behind the scenes footage, interviews and so on.
Which brings me back to the posse in the top photo!
For those of you who didn't spot who it is, I can reveal all and let you know that it's the Bury Cru. This actual performance I captured is one of the goodies that crops up in "Industry Lockdown Vol.1" DVD, which is the bottom item featured above.
And Dark & Cold are still going strong today.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Dipping into an old chart from 1992 published in Straight No Chaser magazine, this here is a playlist featuring some of the sounds played at the Beatbox in Wuppertal in Germany. A mix of 70's rare groove, funk and jazz in the main, along with a record that came out in '92, a 4th & Broadway release by Dodge City Productions called "The Clarity EP".
This is my 12" vinyl copy above with 4 tracks.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


The Rumpus Rooms in London was a club in the 1990's run by The Merry Pranksters and played a wide range of underground sounds rather than specialise in one particular genre, concentrating on cutting edge material in the main. So, Drum & Bass, Techno, Hip Hop, Breakbeat, Funk, Reggae and so on, were all given a spin.
The item at the top is an advert that was published in UK Vibe magazine in 1996, and is for a compilation album called "The Rumpus Rooms", showcasing the kind of music played at the club.
There is also mention of an event to officially launch the album that took place at The Blue Note in Hoxton Square with a variety of DJ's doing the biz.
I have plucked out this very album from my own collection to accompany the ad. It's a double CD that came out on Ninebar Records in 1996, and as well as the tasty variety of music, it also has some rather nice graphics done by Peter J Hill.

Saturday, 10 August 2013


The top item is from 1995 and was published in Mixmag as part of their "50 Best Record Labels In The World" special feature. It's a brief overview of New York house record label, Strictly Rhythm.
The item under it is an album review that was published in The Ticket magazine in 1994 and is for a compilation of Strictly Rhythm tracks released on React. Strictly Rhythm being quite prolific back then meant there were quite a few compilations brought out trying to keep up!
Lastly, I have plucked out the Third Album in the series from my own collection, this LP being on double vinyl.

Thursday, 8 August 2013


Here's a few bits & pieces pertaining to an album MC Solaar brought out in 1994 called "Prose Combat".
The top item is an ad that appeared in Wire magazine, announcing the UK release of the album as well as a one-off gig at Clapham Grand in London.
Next is a review of the American version of the album that was published in Straight No Chaser magazine.
Following that is another review, this time one that was Wire magazine's album of the month.
Underneath that one is another mention of the record, with Prose Combat given a short review and making the playlist of DJ Chillfreez who was a contributor to Underground News magazine in the States.
Finally, the LP cover itself from my own collection - this UK double vinyl version having a slightly different tracklist to the French & USA release.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


The top item is a promo postcard for 2 releases relating to Black Jazz Records that came out in 1996 on Universal Sound.
Under it, are a couple of reviews of both albums - the first was published in Straight No Chaser magazine that same year, and also from '96, two short recommendations from UK Vibe mag.
I never got 'round to buying the Doug Carn album for some reason but he does crop up on the compilation release that I did purchase - the CD cover above being from my collection.