Electro is aural sex AKA Streetsounds Electro re-mastered…

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Anyone over the age of 30 from a British based Hip-Hop background is aware of the importance of the Streetsounds record label and of course the influence the Electro series of compilations had on young ears during the 80s. Im not gonna spout off about the heritage, Morgan Khan, or the significance of early 12″ independent Hip-Hop releases making their way in compilation form across provincial UK and Ireland, that’s been done. Below is the dangerous Dave Pearce hosted BBC 6Music Streetsounds themed show from earlier this year featuring some interesting discussions with Morgan.

To me, in 2010, I’ll be honest, they arent exactly a series I’ve gone back to a huge amount. Once in a blue I’ll do an ‘Oyster’ [touch in, touch out] and have a swizz through one of the volumes I have an attachment to, but they are not a series I keep on heavy rotation.

The reason for this is the lack of quality of those original releases, yeh, they sounded fine, yet with advances in digital formats and the ability to re-record and improve on the original without having to wait for a feckin box-set re-issue with marketing bells on, well, im more than happy that people like Hashmoder are around. When it comes to specific volumes, I have my own personal favourites, I recall the first time I heard them, where I heard them, and which ones were the best to dance to.

Pullin out the Mr Sheen to polish the lino was a standard, but top-rockin and throwin shapes to the B-Side of Electro 5 on cassette, blastin that block-rockin soundtrack in the faces of the lumbering masses in Belfast City Centre of a Saturday afternoon circa 1984 was something that offered master of records status at a very young and naive age, bless.

Via EBay a few years back, I recall a mate buying a heap of the so called ‘remastered ELECTRO’ series when theyd first been transferred to CD. I remember hearing about them in a fit of excitement, and also recall hearing them for the first time and thinking, what the feck, who put these together, and why do they sound like shit-all squared, what a total waste of money, did a monkey record these in a coal-shed using string and a bit of good fortune ? Whoever it was, was a chancer.

Ostensibly, there has never been a better time to listen to the Electro series than now and this fella Omar is the reason why, the clip gives you an insight into why. This nerd-boy/ man-fan, HASHMODER [both terms delivered with nothing but sentiments of appreciation],  is the don-dada of vinyl transfers in my opinion, essentially cos he is particular about properties of sound.

This fella has transferred the first few releases and seems to be continuing to do so, the recordings sound crisp with warm low-end, clinical highs, and a real nod to the sound that the original composers where going for. These are evidently labour-intensive and detailed restorations, to the point where elements of records that you may have heard numerous times since childhood now feature new sounds, sampling and instrumentation. Strangely, some editions are better than others for some reason, Electro 3 sounding the crunchiest to me.

You may think you recognise every little nuance and sequence of these classic releases, feck that, learn to think again peoples, I GUARANTEE there are shards of sounds you will discover for the first time listening back to these earlier volumes. Nevermind the fundamental ‘pops and crackles’, hats off to this man for taking the time, and going into great detail with the compression, the noise reduction and the general process of remastering a piece of vinyl from a generation ago.

If anyone knows who Carver Design were, or if anyone has info on Red Ranch, Paul Jenkins and the folk that did the layouts for the first few Electro releases, get in touch. The later designs received typesetting love from agencies such as Graphic Entertainment/ Workhouse 42, Contemporary Graphics and De Facto, again, any info, let us know…

Equally, let us know your earliest memories of Streetsounds/ Electro and the effect the compilations had on you as a record collector, b-boy, writer [shouts to AD2000 from one of the original BOMB SQUAD as he so astutely referred to Northern Irish writers].

Get involved over at his, or hit him up @hashmoder and do yer bit to thank the man. As ever, big respect is automatic. Oh, and nice porch…

Aural sex available here – http://www.hashmoder.com – and dont just rip and run, offer some thanks and praise, it is deserved…

Btw. if anyone comments on the fact that he may be recording from the ESSENTIAL ELECTRO BOX SET series and not from the individual volumes, go play with traffic, like now…and if you only listen to music through your lap-top speakers, the same goes for you, stroll on…

Biggest shouts to the Sheridan brothers from Belfast, Tony and Stephen, true originators…

5 responses to “Electro is aural sex AKA Streetsounds Electro re-mastered…

  1. Hi Craig, get in touch. I have some info for you.

  2. Re Paul Jenkins, I was told when Maharishi did some Electro cover art themed T-shirts (mid-2000s?) a guy with his daughter happened to be browsing instore @ DPMHI/MHI store (dunno which) and someone on the shop floor overheard him telling her “look at these, daddy designed some record sleeves like this years ago”. They grabbed him gave him some tees and he was happy as.

  3. @Andrew

    They were piss poor werent they, I remember looking forward to a colleagues purchase turning up [in the full knowledge that I would get rips of them before I even needed to ask]…..but the quality was DUFF beyond comprehension, beyond belief. They just sounded shit, period. He was, and im sure many others, were gutted.

    I guess thats why I felt compelled to point folks in this guy Omars direction, im just wholly consumed by the releases again after so long, and after that little 192 kbps bump in the road

    Did you ever find out who compiled them, was it a name we’d know or just some opportunist, I’d love to see what the chumps gotta say now, and in light of the possibility of Morgan remastering again properly at some stage

  4. very good articla, keep up the good work

  5. Just wanna thank you so much for your awesome & kind props!

    I will be recording Electro-10 through 22 this weekend. I’ll have them online (one by one) starting this coming Monday (Nov/29/2010) through the first 10 days of December.

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