Nick The Record’s top 10 tracks from the eighties that stand the test of time

Nick The Record 80s

We had the pleasure to spend the evening with John Gómez recently, when he warmed up quite expertly for Soichi Terada at our Dance Tunnel party. His more regular DJing attention is focussed on Tangent, a party he runs with Nick The Record that celebrates crisp sound, vinyl and just plain old good music. Any friend of John Gómez is a friend of ours, especially someone he’d trust enough to run a party with so, before Tangent 8.0 this weekend, we asked Nick for a playlist celebrating the golden eighties. Here’s why:

“I love old records. I also love new records but I love discovering new old records most of all. It’s rare that I reminisce and pull out the records that I used to play years ago but once in a while, maybe when I haven’t been on a buying trip with lots of new (old) things to listen to, it’s a rare pleasure to go digging in my own collection.”

Tangent 8.0 is this Friday at Troyganic (Hoxton). Also look out for Nick on Beats in Space radio on 10th May, followed by some dates in USA and Japan in the summer. 

Lola – Wax The Van

Back in 1986 I didn’t know who Arthur Russell was but I was clearly a fan of his sound. I bought this, Indian Ocean –Treehouse and of course Dinosaur L – Go Bang when they were released in the UK in the mid eighties. I got to meet Tom Lee, Arthur’s boyfriend, in the late nineties and I bought a big pile of Arthur Russell records from him. He was amazed at how much interest there was for those records and at how big a pile of money I gave him for them.

Newcleus – Automan

According to many a Rock journo, music all went wrong in the 80s, but as a young teen electro and early rap were really groundbreaking and captured my imagination. The Streetsounds electro compilation/mix albums were always on my Walkman.

G-Force – Feel The Force

There was a space race going on and the first computer games such as Space Invaders had just come out so all this Space Age, futuristic music was the perfect soundtrack to my youth.

Aleem feat. Leroy Burgess – Release Yourself

I couldn’t make a list of favourite 80s records without including Leroy Burgess. He was revered on the underground scene in London, probably more so than in the US. He soundtracked a lot of the eighties for me with Barely Breaking Even and the Logg LP, which we used to hear on the pirate stations all the time. The first records I heard by him and bought as new releases were his stuff with the Aleems, which straddle that line between electro & soul.

Bunny Wailer – Back To School

This one is a LWR pirate radio classic – reggae, rap, disco all fused into one magic tune. In the eighties I would often take the train up to Oxford Street to an under eighteens Saturday afternoon club session at Spats, where Tim Westwood played hip-hop and London’s best break dancers used to go and throw down. After Spats I’d go to Groove Records and carefully choose the one record I could afford with my pocket money, which, one week, was this. Then we’d head down to Covent Garden where there would be more breaking happening.

T-Coy – Carino

I used to occasionally buy records by mail order back in the 80s but we had no audio clips back then. Record shops would put an ad in a magazine with top ten lists. If you were lucky you may have heard some of them on LWR or Kiss FM back when it was a pirate station. If not you’d have to have them played to you down a crackly phone line. This was purchased following a strong recommendation and a 30 second blast over the blower. It’s thought to be one of the first UK house records but I had no idea at the time.

Adonis – No Way Back

This is another record I bought before I knew what house music was. Back then, it was just a great dance record and I was mixing it with hip-hop, electro & soul. I bought this from a market stall in St. Albans. When I think back to that place I wish I had gone through his used section more often as I remember buying the first Fatback Band LP and the Tommy Stewart LP for £2 each as I thought they looked cool. I was right.

Maze – Twilight

I grew up in Hertfordshire half way between Watford and St. Albans and those were the places I first started going out. People tended to play the same records at every jam, some DJs would play the same set every week. As a result there are many classic records I love but never need to hear again. This one came close to being one of those but it’s just so infectious. If I hear it only once every three years I can just about live with it.

Serious Intention – You Don’t Know

This one is just a classic party starter and one I doubt I’ll ever get sick of it. I had it on the UK release with the picture sleeve you can see in the video. It’s a great example of how the New York garage scene influenced the UK scene. This was an anthem here as well as in it’s place of origin. The production and dub effects are so great it still stands up. In fact I might pull this out to play at our next Tangent party on Saturday. I’m sure it will sound epic on our great soundsystem set up.

The Specials – Ghost Town

I absolutely loved The Specials. They were the first band where I had the feeling of being into something, literally, a bit special and a bit different that not everyone got. Maybe it was all the swearing on their second LP that appealed to a ten year old me. And when ‘Ghost Town’ came out it blew me away. It was also incidentally the first record I ever DJd. There was an older lad who lived a few streets away who had an all in one DJ set up and I was intrigued and always asking questions. He was DJing a party one evening and when he was going to the toilet he told me to put on a record and I chose this. When he came back he said I was a natural.

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