16 April 2008


From a simpler time. If you liked House, you probably liked Hip Hop too. This Stylus compilation (which peaked at #5 in the album charts in April 1988) provides a near-perfect snapshot of what was popular in the UK at the time. Among others you got Coldcut rubbing shoulders with the Beatmasters, Salt 'n' Pepa, The Real Roxanne, Spyder-D, Cookie Crew, Derek B and Eric B, Bomb The Bass and Rob Base. This is the shit that was blasting from the cassette player in my Ford Cortina back then. I loved it all. No micro/niche hang-ups back then. My hatred was reserved for indie shamblers, leftie-pop bores, hair-metal buffoons and, worst of all, the casual U2/Dire Straits/Genesis/Huey Lewis fans. Like the politics of the '80s, everything was clear black and white. Us against them. Viva the dance revolution!

This record has a gatefold sleeve, and one of the fun things in the centre-spread is a "Hip Hop & House Speak" glossary. Some of those imported words and phrases (like 'chillin', 'illin' and 'dissing') have since become part of the everyday language of the generations that followed, whilst others have faded from use or never caught on (I can't recall ever using the word 'bussing' to describe 'pumping up the volume'). James Horrocks' short essay provides us with some background on da scene's development:

"...While Hip Hop and House battled side by side for floor space in London - the north of England had adopted the up-tempo rhythm of House, replacing the Motown-inspired northern Soul scene as the north of Watford sound".

The 'North Of Watford Sound'? So the divide was already in place in '88, with the North eschewing Hip Hop's influence for a purer sound that would shortly develop into the homegrown 'Bleep' scene (in 1990, Original Clique actually released an EP called "North Of Watford"), whilst the Capital kept the Hip Hop connection running from early 'ardcore and ultimately through to jungle. A neat view of history, but then how do you explain Bradford's Unique 3 with their schizophrenic mix of UK rap/breakbeat and minimalist bleep-house or DJ Hype bringing the hip hop flavas to the early Warp catalogue? Clearly the battle lines couldn't be quite so neatly drawn on the map.


On the subject of Hip-House, how about a drop of the hard stuff...

Found this double-vinyl set for £3 in a charity shop recently. He's one of those characters I'd almost forgotten about, but Fast Eddie (along with fellow Chicagoan Tyree) was up there with Todd Terry for a time - a prime exponent of export-strength acid-hip-house ruffage. I liked the brutality of his sound (compared to the more precision-tooled UK copyists) the raw breakbeats and rare groove samples looping over tuff 808 house beats and 303 squiggles, best exemplified on tracks like "Acid Thunder", "Yo Yo Get Funky" and of course the genre-naming "Hip House". This Radical Records compilation came out in 1989, just at the peak of the Hip House phenomenon. I would've almost certainly bought it back then if I'd known of it's existence, but now it's nice to reacquaint myself with him 20 years on.

Side 4 is one of those 'megamix' things that were so common back then - all Eddie's best bits edited together by Double Trouble in an exhausting 10 minute collage that's surely ripe for a bit of mp-freakery...



  1. Fantastic! I've got both of these (although I always thought the comp LP was a bit of a guilty pleasure as really we should have owned all the original US import 12s).

    And I LOVE fast eddie although, agreed, it was a close thing between him and Tyree Cooper, the Producer, Awesome Super Duper Trooper

  2. top stuff still lovin the hip-house...

    ...FWIW i was so in lust with betty boo

    and still thinkin of doing this t shirt for ya...


  3. Does anyone have the track listing for that record?

    I had this tape in the 80's (which i've since lost) called; 'Rapin up the house' Does anyone have it? It was such an awesome mix and I can't find it anywhere. Would love a copy!

  4. tracklist here:

    and was this the tape you had?

  5. Hey thats it!!! Thanks so much. I must of been looking in the wrong places

  6. I had this album on vinyl and played it to death back then. If anyone can help I am trying to find a rare house/hip hop track from about 87/88 which was an up tempo dance track themed on Dirty Harry... Not D Bop but something else.... It had a sample loop playing "It's disgusting that a police officer should know how to use a weapon like that... like that... like that....." If anyone has any ideas on Artist or track name I would be well grateful! Thanks :)