Back in the late 50s to early 60s, when I was a bairn, comedy records were all the rage in the UK. Opuses like Tommy Cooper’s spooky Don’t Jump Off The Roof, Dad (You’ll Make A Hole In The Yard) and the early George Martin masterpiece Auntie Rotter by Peter Sellers burned images of grotesque violence into my unformed brain that have never been erased.
I suppose Gary Asquith, being about the same vintage, was similarly traumatized. His way of dealing with it was to meet the beast head on, to channel his inner Bernard Cribbins and bring the world Probably A Robbery. I’m sure the I’m Too Sexy chaps were taking notes.
Thus my last mix with Daniel Miller was a minor hit, and I was able to end my innings with head held high. Silly as it is I love it, not least for the classic Asquith couplet:
The funniest thing…I just wanted to sing, but the notes wouldn’t come my way.
The advent of “rave culture” propelled Jeremy Healy into that top tier of superstar DJs, where he has remained to this day. He also had a record label called More Protein, in partnership with his old mate, the estimable Boy George. Their first release was Everything Starts With An E.
You won’t see this one listed on my Discogs resumé; it was done under the alias, given to me by Jeremy, of Sir Frederick Leighton. Truth be told, Sir Fred was a bit of a lost soul: somewhat above it all, but also an outlier; forced, despite his heightened sensibilities, to grub around with the salt of the earth to earn his crust. And yet more truth be told, Sir Fred was somewhat appalled by Everything Starts With An E. In fact he thought it was a fucking nightmare, MC Kinky’s fierce performance seeming to convey the sensation of being dragged into a parallel universe by a yellow DMT goblin of questionable intentions.
Obviously this impression informed the musical parts I added to the track. There is a pervasive atmosphere of doom, and at one point the gates of hell open up, with deep droning synths and apocalyptic choirs ushering sinful partygoers across the stygian divide.
Now here’s a funny thing. As a result of this remix I became the secret co-author of a Renegade Soundwave classic, a fact they probably aren’t even aware of themselves.
In 1990 RSW did their own mix of Everything Starts With An E. As usual their mix has the best bass line. They also used quite a few of the elements I had added to the track. Two years later they released their own Women Respond To Bass, which itself included some elements of the E-Zee Posse track, including, bang in the middle, the “gates of hell” section! Those mischievous magpies…
The Renegades left Rhythm King and were beamed up to the Mute mother ship, fitted with Flood, set for stardom. I still got to do the odd session with them though, and one of the first in the new Mute Studio on Harrow Road was this fab floor filler, which did the rounds as a white label for a while before its official release on the B side of Space Gladiator. A Rico personal fave.
Mute Records launched a new subsidiary called Rhythm King, a label that was to make a lot of noise over the next couple of years. Their message was loud and clear: DJs are making hit records now and they’re here to stay. As a longtime Jeremy Healy collaborator I was of course down with that.
The first signing was this trio of post punk refugees, three of the funniest and most talented characters I ever worked with: Gary Asquith, Danny Briottet and Carl Bonnie. Their song Cocaine Sex really blew the cobwebs out when I first heard it and I couldn’t wait to work on it. It had already been masterfully recorded by Paul Kendall but a bass sound courtesy of the Roland Juno 106 pulled things into focus.