Various ‘Celluloid – The Electro Years’

Why is it fresh?

  1. Grandmixer D.ST. ‘Crazy Cuts – Long Version Intro’ (0:55)
  2. Infinity and Grandmixer D.ST. ‘Grand Mixer C.I.U.I.’ (9:10)
  3. Phase II (music: D.ST.) ‘The Roxy’ (7:02)
  4. Time Zone (Afrika Bambaataa) ‘The Wildstyle Instrumental Mix’ (8:36)
  5. D.ST. and Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin (from Last Poets)
    ‘Mean Machine – Dub Version’ (4:05)
  6. Grandmixer D.ST. ‘Crazy Cuts – Long Dub’ (6:55)
  7. Konk ‘DJ Mixers’ (4:041)
  8. Fab 5 Freddy (vocals: Beeside) ‘Une Sale Histoire Part 2’ (336)
  9. Shango (Bambaataa+Laswell) ‘Shango Message’ (7:07)
  10. D.ST. and Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin ‘Mean Machine’ (6:25)
  11. Futura 2000 ‘The Escapades Of Futura 2000 – The Escapades Rap’ (7:38)
  12. D.ST. ‘Mega-Mix II – Why is it fresh?’ (8:20)

Totla time: 80mns
Collection assembled by The Micronauts

Grandmisxer D.ST., Fab 5 Freddy, Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin,
cover for Back In The Days book, Konk LP covers.

French Jean Karakos founded Celluloid with Jean-Luc Young in 1976 after the demise of BYG Actuel. Celluloid first published new-wave and no-wave artists like Alan Vega, Cabaret Voltaire or Tuxedomoon. They started releasing NY hip-hop artists in 1982, possibly thanks to the Bill Laswell connection. Grandmixer D.ST., Fab 5 Freddy or Afrika Bambaataa had all been mixing for a few years already in various NY clubs, inspired by original B Boys Grandmaster Flash or Kool Herc, when they went on to release their first 12” records for Celluloid. The label eventually released 2 compilation albums collecting those choice cuts: ‘Rap It!’ and ‘The Electro Years-Why is it fresh?’. Bill Laswel and Martin Bisi (from Material) produced most of these between 1982 and 1984. To the basics of hip-hop as defined by Flash and others, Celluloid artists and producers added a new-wave flavor, enhanced the role of keyboards and bass, and stressed the producer’s role. The addition of bass and electronic to hip-hop break beats was a masterstroke, giving depth and texture to the music and propelling these tracks into the future. I assume the numerous bands that went on to be produced by Bill Laswell in the 1990s had this kind of trickeries in mind. Anyway, this is an extraordinary collection of vivid hip-hop tracks with great and varied vocals by various male and female performers, along creative rhythms and sounds, using a profusion of synth-bass, speech-synthesis, processed instruments. On a side note, Futura 2000 was a NY graffiti artist, here joined by The Clash members. During the buoyant and lively ‘The Escapades of Futura 2000’, Futura quotes several influent visual artists of the time like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.


3 Responses to “Various ‘Celluloid – The Electro Years’”

  1. 1 Tomás June 27, 2008 at 2:49 am

    i was looking to some hip hop music, but i didn’t know where to start. But now i know.

  2. 2 David Read September 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    This is a great album, Infinity and Grandmixer do a peachy job on track 2.

  3. 3 continuo September 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Thank you both for your comments.

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