17 September 2004

Oh fuck. After yet another e-mail wondering what the hell happened to my Martin Rushent revelations, I've decided to give in and reveal what little I know. I really wanted to do something special with this one, and there was so much info I wanted to glean from Martin but, despite his assertions that he would answer my questions when he had the time, no further information has been forthcoming, and I really don't want to keep hassling him like some sad wanker. So here's what he's given me so far, in his own words...

A very dear friend of mine - Andrew Lauder - head of A&Rr of UA Records and then Radar records - played me an album by Grandmaster Flash.

I thought this record was amazing - GMF was doin it by scratchin' records and I thought i could do something similar using studio fx and splicin tape.

The first remix I did this way was Homosapien remix with Pete Shelly from The Buzzcocks.

I did the remixes for Love & Dancing at the same time as I mixed the Dare versions.

In fact the b sides of some of the singles were the remixes of the a sides.

By the time Dare was dun - we had almost an album's worth of remixes - so I suggested I do a couple more and put it out as Love and Dancing - which we did.

After Dare had been successful in the USA I went over to find L&D had revolutionised the US dance scene !!

Whilst on tour with the Buzzcocks I stumbled over the
Linn Drum (LM-1)in development and ordered one.

So in summation:

influences from USA

Grandmaster Flash
the Linndrum machine

there were a few other unfluences - reggae dub
James Brown

There u have got it

So essentially Martin is saying that the early '80s US dance scene was influenced by him, not the other way around. I must admit I was fascinated by the thought that all those st-st-stuttery edits, which would become so predominate in club remixes, originated from Martin's desire to emulate Flash's turntable technique. It's also important to remember that, although remix albums can often smack of 'cash-in' these days (even Go West were doing it by '85), there wasn't really anything like it when L&D first hit the racks. The nearest comparisons would be with Jamaican dub albums, whose influence Martin acknowledges. Soft Cell's "Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing" came shortly afterwards (more on that here). L&D's success would've been far from assured at the time, especially as they decided to release it under the 'League Unlimited' moniker. It was a pioneering concept, and potentially risky as there were no real precedents with which to gauge audience reaction. The other vital point in Martin's comments is that, rather than being cobbled together as an afterthought, most of the L&D mixes were recorded during the Dare sessions - the result of Martin's feverishly inspired tinkering after the rest of the League had gone home for the night. It was a labour of Love. And Dancing.

I should also mention that Martin is writing his autobiography, and also remixing 'Dare' once again "using all the latest computer stuff". The League don't seem too sure whether Martin is up to the job, but bare in mind that Martin has been in talks with Autechre's Skam label about releasing a solo album. If the Skam people are taking him seriously, so should we!

That's it, folks - hope you're not too disappointed after such a long wait...