Saru Bobo Kun (saruryujin) wrote in _thelounge,
Saru Bobo Kun

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Samples from a conversation at 'Electro-Funk roots' between Norman Cook and Greg Wilson

Greg Wilson: What do you think now of this current early-80's Proto-House revival, and just the renewed interest in the records that were released during this period and what was happening.

Norman Cook: Well a lot of those records still have the same charm, they still stand the test of time whereas a lot of dance music doesn't, it's very much there for six months and off. I'm more worried about Electroclash recycling all the worst bits of the 80's.

GW: I find it interesting from the fact that at least it's a kind of hybrid that's developing there and there's all sorts of ideas being thrown into the melting pot.

NC: I think the Electroclash thing is definitely listening too much to A Flock Of Seagulls and not enough to 'Egypt Egypt' (Egytptian Lover).

GW: But do you think it will evolve that way, that the people will eventually, again a bit like the way it was back then, like with yourself, you walked into a New Romantic / Futurist night hearing one side of things, but all of a sudden you were hearing something completely different that was taking you off in another direction.

Read it all at the source

NC: My sister was at University down in Brighton and I came down to stay with her and someone said 'oh, there's this New Romantic night'. I didn't know what New Romantic really was; I'd only read about it in magazines. So I went down there and the first record they played was 'Planet Rock'! I think it was like the week it came out, and that was such a seminal record, I mean it was played in amongst all the Depeche Mode, Human League etc. Basically I went out and bought 'Planet Rock' the next day, and it was good because I kind of side-skipped New Romantic deejaying (laughs). I remember they also played 'Sex Machine' and I'd never heard that before either.

GW: Right, I mean cos the whole kind of Futurist / New Romantic thing was quite interesting. I had friends (Paul Rae and Ralph Randell) who were big DJ's in Manchester on that side and they really kind of mixed it up in what they played.

NC: Well yeah, and also we then found out that Hip Hop had kind of come out of Kraftwerk and some of the European records that influenced Bambaataa and Arthur Baker and people. They always cited, you know, sort of European electronic records as their influence and then they did their spin on it and then we came back and did our spin on it.

GW: For me it's like that's the atom being split, Bambaataa having the open-mindedness to play Kraftwerk to a black audience in the Bronx, you know, that was a pivotal moment.


I'm a lot more optimistic in a sense, on one level with the Electroclash thing you will get a lot of the arse end of what was going on, just like you would when they had all the 70's revival, it was all the Bee Gees and Abba and I was pulling my hair out saying 'some of the best black music ever made came from this decade'.

NC: Yeah, right.

GW: But eventually you do get people digging deeper and getting more into it. Even Larry Tee, the New York DJ who coined the term Electroclash, is now looking into the Electro-Funk period himself. So I think that as they dig deeper into it there is going to be more people looking for what it was back in that period of time from the black music side, as opposed to what you're saying from the Flock Of Seagulls big haircut kind of thing, which is probably the most visual aspect of that scene at the moment. There is definitely something in the air, you know, and certainly a lot of like-mindedness going on, there's a lot of people who are thinking in a similar direction.


GW: [mentioning the Chemical Brothers] Surely they've got to be influenced by Electro.

NC: Oh yeah.

GW: You can hear it in their sound, but I haven't read anything with them talking about that period of time. But I mean it's like A Guy Called Gerald, 'Voodoo Ray', which is seen as the pivotal early British House record when, in effect, he's come in totally from an Electro background, he was one of the regulars at my club, Legend in Manchester. When he made that record he wasn't thinking of making a House record, he was just making something with the same spirit as those tracks he was listening to in the clubs, and it just so happens that he kind of came into that. I think at that time the early House scene, or the Acid House scene or whatever, I thought was great, I loved all those kind of cut-up type things, the MARRS and the S Express, and I think it was really wide-open at the time, it was only later there was this kind of sub-division and it just became narrow areas.

NC: Yeah, I think what happens is as more and more people jump on the bandwagon the people making it get more and more purist and try to make it less accessible, and eventually it becomes inaccessible or just bland, and then it needs somebody to come and add a different element to kick it up the arse.

Source used: Electro Funk Roots
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