zaterdag 29 januari 2011

Unknown Dutch gimmick rap track from 1986

In 1986 a Dutch popgroup consisting of 3 sexy girls recorded a rap track on vinyl. Is that special? Well, it is in 1986....
The group was called CENTERFOLD and their image was totally based on that of the PRINCE affiliated girlgroups VANITY 6 and APPOLONIA 6. After scoring a hit in 1986 with their track "Dictator" they covered "Radar love" by GOLDEN EARRING later that year. The b-side of the 12" was a track called "Rap"...and you y'all guessed it...this is the rap track I'm talking about.

To have a listen just grab it here:

Centerfold rap track download

Don't be expecting no Sequence Crew or early Salt 'N Pepa but on the other hand I heard worse from 1986, even from the US.

Who cares if they can actually rap right?

woensdag 12 januari 2011

CANE; pimpslappin' wackness since day 1

Eugene Voorn a.k.a. HURRICANE / SUGACANE / CANE / C-BOOGIE / C.A.N.E. / REDLIGHT BOOGIE etc, born in Amsterdam, experienced a troubled childhood. Spending al lot of time outside his home on the streets he came in touch with the early Amsterdam b-boy/electric boogie scene through his cousin Clinton (CLI-N-TEL) who was already dancing at the time (1983).
In 1984 it was human beatboxing that really caught his attention....influenced by DOUG E FRESH and FAT BOYS he mastered the skill of the human beatbox and adapted the moniker BUSY BEAT. It wasn't untill 1985/86 that a boy at his school (Spinozalyceum) challenged him into a rap battle. Being a beatboxer BUSY BEAT was annoyed by the fact that he couldn't engage in a rap battle as hard as he would like to and started developing rap skills aswell.
Like many early developing rappers in Amsterdam, BUSY BEAT came in touch with beatcreator LTH who played a definitive role within the Amsterdam rap scene around 1987. The two combined forces an recorded a few tracks. Check out this early demo track "Busy Beat growns in effect" :

Together with DJ FEARSOME 1, the crew HIGH QUALITY POSSE was formed. After an encounter with the SECURITY CREW (PRINCE CHARLY D & DJ S ROCK E) both crews merged into the crew 2 TUFF in 1988. The group recorded demo tracks and performed, but like many early Dutch rapgroups 2 TUFF was ignored by the many ignorant recordcompanies. Check out this footage of  2 TUFF performances from 1988 and 1989:

The group unfortunately soon dissolved and BUSY BEAT stayed solo (at least untill 2005). Being dissapointed in the lack of opportunities as a rapper within the Dutch musicindustry, he stepped up his streetgame to earn money. Meanwhile he maintained his street cred as a rapper by joining rap battles and performing the occasional show. CANE also continously built his rep of being a buckwild guy, always being on the offensive tip towards wack rappers. Throwing beerbottles and garbagecans at shows are examples of CANE getting hardcore on the less credible.

The Dutch rapscene changed when from 1993 onwards, many rappers started to rap in Dutch instead of English. It was believed to be an easier road to commercial succes. CANE refused to go down that road, it was his sincere belief that rapping in English was the only way to go and stay true to the heritage of hip hop.

In 1995 CANE drops a demo cassette using the moniker HURRICANE. Radio rapshow "VILLA 65" gives the tape some airplay and the tuff title track "There ain't nothin' here yours" ends up on the 1996 Dutch compilation album "Magic Souds volume 2".

One year later CANE drops his first official release as SUGACANE on the upcomming Dutch recordlabel "TopNotch". The track "Let 'em know" is produced by Q.F. and came with this video:

Another underground demo cassette came out in 1997 called "Hurricane presents The Killer Tape". This tape held some new tracks by CANE like "Triple files" and "Batiboy" and featured other artists like DEAMS, MD, UNIQUE and ROWDY. Y'all can download a rip of this tape here:

Killer tape download

Reportedly aimed at Dutch rapper E-LIFE, the track "You can't fool mine" got released on CANE's own recordlabel "Now Or Neva" in 2000. The video had some heavy rotation on musicvideochannel "The Box". Allthough one of his earlier real successes...CANE never really liked the track and claims it should never have been released as it wasn't even proparly mixed.

In 2000 CANE donated the track "Ghetto star" for the rap/r&b compilation album "Social life", this particular track being a very personal track written by CANE for his son.
Allthough the 1995-2000 period saw some releases by CANE, the rapper never got the chance to manifest himself as he would have liked. Several personal tragedies in his life during this time, made him unable to really focus on building a career.

In 2005 a re-energized CANE masterminded a Dutch allstar rap supergroup called "THE MOST OFFICIAL". Petty beefs between rappers and cities got squashed for the sake of joining forces and grabbing the game by the balls. Members CANE, U-NIQ, MR. PROPZ, ROWDY, SONNY D and MD recorded new tracks together and did some tracks using existing beats. DJ 360 mixed these tracks into a 60 minutes mix cd that got released on CANE's "Now or Neva records".

Judging by the public's reaction to the mixtape, the announced cd by the group must have been the most anticipated Dutch rap release ever......unfortunately it all seemed to good to be true. The groupmembers dissagreed on certain businessaspects and the whole project fell apart. Definately a black page in the Dutch rap historybook imo.

What's left in the end is a dope mixtape and a video that was shot for the track "Next block". The video was shot in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague to illustrate the different backgrounds of the rappers.

CANE was hugely dissapointed with the dissolvement of the group, realizing an enormous opportunity got destroyed.
In 2008 CANE worked with famous Dutch kickbox/MMA team "Golden Glory" by writing music for fighters like Eroll Zimmerman and opening up for them at big fighting events in Amsterdam and Seoul. The track "Fight muzik" got released as a video in which CANE uses his latest name REDLIGHT BOOGIE.

In 2009....22 years after CANE's first demotape recordings....his long awaited first album hits the streets. I.m.o. the product of THE most dedicated Dutch rap artist in the game who, after years of personal struggles, business setbacks etc. etc., managed to pull off the by far most credible sounding Dutch rap album untill today. Only features by the best Dutch artists like SHYROCK and DJ CHAINSAW and an occasional appearance by foreign artist like ROCK from HELTAH SKELTAH....CANE carries this album by himself with a large diversity in music and lyrics.

In 2010 a video got released of the track "Heatrock" which features SEAN PRICE. The track does not appear on the album. At the same time the mixtape "Lost 'n found" was dropped featuring Heist- Rockah, Akwasi (of Zwart Licht), Lioth, Fero Tisesty, Reefer Madness, Joe Kickass en M.D. This REDLIGHT BOOGIE project got mixed by JANE DOE and wants to take the listener back to the early days where it all kicked off. Grab this mixtape here:

Lost 'n found mixtape

To seal this piece on CANE up, I'll leave y'all with a download of some of his best tracks, enjoyz.

Misc CANE tracks

dinsdag 4 januari 2011

ELECTRIC BOOGIEMEN; another commercially driven fad

Sorry boys and girls....unfortunately another example of media culture-leeches jumpin' on the whole hip hop bandwagon in the early '80's. Just like with MASTER GENIUS (see my 1st post), this was a Dutch production that got released like a nanosecond after the release of US motion picture "Breakin'" (which itself is a commercial rape of what was going down in L.A. at that time hip hop wise).

In 1983 a Dutch songwriter called Piet Souer and a famous Dutch producer called Hans van Hemert put together a track called "Breakdancing" (what's in a title ey?) and used a b-boy crew called "ELECTRIC BOOGIEMEN" for the recordcover and the video (more info on this crew is appreciated). The track is basically soul disco stuff.....pretty middle of the road dance music.

The artwork in the back is by famous Amsterdam
street artist HUGO KAAGMAN.

The track was a minor succes in Holland but sold an acceptable amount of copies in Germany (you gotta love the neighbour's taste in music, jeez...).

The video is kinda fun it portrays some decent b-boying by the Boogiemen, especially considering this is 1983 y'all! Check it:

In 1984 the boys returned with another 7" called "L-i-n-e u-p" which had even less in common with b-boy music. They dropped the "Electric" part of their name (makes sense to me!) but the cover still portrays the crew kinda b-boy like. If you happen to find this record in a bargain crate for minor change....leave it alone.

Why devote a post to these releases you ask? you know history ain't always laughter and partyhats is it? God knows Dutch hip hop history ain't! I'm off slamming my "Breakin'" soundtrack to sweat cause I got "Reckless" on 12".....haha.

maandag 3 januari 2011

ORLANDO VOORN; rise of a superstar DJ

Dutch champion 85

September 23rd, 1985 saw the final showdown for the mixing championships in Holland. The finale was held in the studio of Dutch broadcastingcompany AVRO, hosted by Robin Albers. Albers was the big pushing force behind turntable mixing in Holland and was the creative force behind the AVRO mixing contest called "3 maal doordraai". Footage of the contest was shown on television through the show "AVRO's Top Pop" (if anyone has this on tape, please get in contact).
The 7 final contestants were Ulrik Saba, Jean Claude Mattimena, Guan Elmzoon (a.k.a. ALL STAR FRESH), Lex van Coevorden, Raymond Adriaans, Ruud van Rijen and a 17 year old kid from Amsterdam called ORLANDO VOORN. The jury consisted of Robin Albers (ofcourse), Peter Duykersloot, Ruther Kroese, Leo Cotino and "Godfather of Dutch mixing" BEN LIEBRAND.
After a display of quality live mixing, it was the kid from Amsterdam that stood out according to the jury, especially because his set was spiced up with some ballsy showmanship. VOORN returned to Amsterdam with 500 Guilders, a mixer and a contract for recording a 12" at Boni Records. But more importantly......he was going to defend the Dutch honour at the DMC world mixing finale held in London.

DMC world finale 86

March 16th, 1986; the world mixing finale was held during the DMC International DJ Convention, held in the Hippodrome in London. 12 national champions (USA, UK, Holland, France, Denmark, Spain, Norway, Israel, Switserland Sweden and Belgium) were going to battle it out on the wheels of steel. The jury consisted of John Morales, James Hamilton, Ben Liebrand (again!), PAUL HARDCASTLE, Sanny X, Les Adams, Alan Coulthard and one of the Three Degrees.
Dutch Champion was up for the 3rd set of the evening and showed up in a cape an wearing some crazy mask. After starting his first record he duck away behind the turntables to get rid of cape and mask and continued his set.
After al 12 sets the smoke cleared and the jury revealed the top 3 of the night:

1. DJ Cheese (USA)
2. Chad Jackson (UK)
3. Orlando Voorn

Alltough 3rd place was an incredible accomplisment, VOORN felt bad about it and grabbed the microphone of host Tony Prince to ask the question: "Is this a mixing contest or a scratching contest?". Prince was angry but everybody knew it were the heavy scratchers that came up 1st and 2nd that night.
DMC 1986 would go in the books as the edition that made the change from live mixing into turntable tricks in the years to come.

Enjoy Orlando's 1986 mix and a cool photo slideshow here:

Dutch champion 86

December 12th, 1986; the annual Dutch live mixing championships were held in discotheque Locomotion in Zoetermeer. Voorn defended his title succesfully against contenders Guan Elmzoon (a.k.a. ALL STAR FRESH), Raymond Adriaans, Ruud van Rijen, Lex van Coevorden, Huub van Dooremalen, Wilfred Hunsel, Ronald Links and Rene van de Berghe.
The jury was made up from Tony Prince, Ben Liebrand, Ferry Maat, Rutger Kroese, DJ Sven and Ruud Vink. They declared VOORN the new champ alltough it was obvious that Juan Elmzoon was knocking on the championshipsdoor hard!

DMC world finale 87

March 9th, 1987; the world mixing finale was held this time at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Before the contest there were already rumours that the competition was fixed and a UK contestant would be winner.....oooh shit!
VOORN prepared a 10 minutes set, only to hear on the night itself the set could only last 7 minutes.....oooh shit!
The whole competition was a mess....most sets were ruined by technical faults due to the organisation. Suprisingly the sets by UK contestants CHAD JACKSON and CJ MACKINTOSH (....I guess they had 2 national champs??) stayed clear of these kind of difficulties.
To make a long story short....CHAD JACKSON from the UK became worldchampion (tricks with a poolstick and a rugbyball...) and the event turned out messy with a lot of politics. VOORN stopped competing after this.

Voorn hits the wax

After a world tour as DJ for MC MIKER G & DJ SVEN ( I guess Sven didn't, VOORN started producing some raptracks under the moniker DJ FIX that hit vinyl. Most notable are:

* Fixomatic - Hurt 'em bad (1988)

Please note that it's also VOORN who does the rapping on this release, NOT the other guy in the picture! (he played bass guitar I believe...)

* B.E.W.A.R.E. - Pick up the pieces (1988)

Nice production using the Average White Band song with a very young Tony Scott rapping. This 12" was brought out by Peter Duykersloot of the famous Amsterdam recordshop "Rhythm Import".
Check it here:

* Born Free MC - Olympic rap jam (1988)

RUDEBOY REMMINGTON already had left BORN FREE MC and was replaced by DJ BLACK BASS.

* Shy Rock - May the funk be with you (1991)

Great 12" with rapper SHY ROCK from Haarlem....I wish they had done more! Check it:

Around 1988/1989 VOORN also recorded a demo with MC TEN (of GOTCHA fame) from Haarlem using the groupname "2 BROTHERZ IN BIZNIZ". Unfortunately this stuff never saw the light of day as an official release. You can grab the track "Music from the lowlands" through this link:
2 Brotherz In Bizniz demo download

Orlando Voorn goes techno and conquers the world

Following a series of dancefloor tracks recorded for the now defunct "Lower East Side Records" under the monniker of FREQUENCY in the early nineties he was introduced to techno God JUAN ATKINS and went on to work with both DERRICK MAY and BLAKE BAXTER. In the years to come VOORN moved to Detroit USA and recorded numerous techno classics using an endless variety of monnikers. In 1994 he made a brief sidestep to his old love hiphop, releasing a very underground 12" with Dutch rapper D-WORD called "Top billin'".....I guess it was still in his vains.

zondag 2 januari 2011


A common misunderstanding within the media is the one of recordlabel DJAX being called the first Dutch recordlabel to release numerous rap acts on lp/cd. Fact is that four years before DJAX released the 24K album in 1990, another Dutch owned recorldlabel called "Hip Hop Records" already started out releasing rap 12"s. As it seems "Hip Hop Records" was a sublabel of "Hotsound Records", a small indy techno/house label from Rotterdam. Owner of "Hotsound Records" was a guy called Erik van Vliet who also owned one of the most respected recordstores in Rotterdam, located at the Pleinweg.

Hotsound recordshop Rotterdam (1986)

Erik van Vliet was also known for his involvement in the synth/italo group LASER DANCE who's 1984 "Lazer Dance" 12" is highly respected within the genre.

"LASER DANCE" in the studio (Erik van Vliet on the right)

In 1986 Van Vliet decided to start releasing rap music because he knew this new music would eventually blow up in The Netherlands. As far as I can tell the following titles got released from 1986 untill 1990:

Extince - Rap around the clock (1986)

I think this was a 7" release only. The recordlabel says "W.M.R." but I'm pretty sure it was released throughout "Hotsound Records".

Mr. Holiday feat. MC Miker G - L.A. against N.Y. (1986)

The best electrofunk track ever to come out of The Netherlands. I'm guessing "Mr. Holiday" is Michiel van de Kuy (the other half of "LASER DANCE") and the dope vocoder rapping is done by MC MIKER G.

Extince feat. Mr. Donald - The milkshake rap (1987)

A very Mantronix sounding track produced by the infamous Peter Slaghuis a.k.a. HITHOUSE (r.i.p.). The track contained some illegal sampling of a Mc Donalds advertising tune.

Extince - The milkshake rap remix (1987)

Due to the illegal sampling the record got remixed and re-released.

Born Free MC - Struggle for jive (1987)

First time on wax for rapper RUDEBOY REMMINGTON. I don't know if RUDEBOY was already in URBAN DANCE SQUAD at this time. The graffiti lettering on the cover is done by DJ ALIEN of Rotterdam rapgroup MOONRUNNERS.

Extince - The girlie girlie prince (1988)

Another Peter Slaghuis production done for EXTINCE

Greyhouse feat. Mellow MC's - Skip to this (1989)

The "Skip to this" track is a wierd combination of hiphouse and ska (!?) but the real winner imo is the track "Down with it" on the b-side, wich is a straightforward hardcore rap track by the MELLOW MC's (CRUSH MC & MIGHTY B) out of Utrecht.

T-Ram - Jump to it (1990)

A hiphouse production. Rapper T-Ram is a total mystery to me.

Funky Rhythms - Gipsy swing (1991)

A 6 track e.p. with mostly hiphouse productions. Rapping by T-Ram and Funky-J.

A few years ago I tracked down Erik van Vliet in Rotterdam because I was after some records from his old catalogue. He was selling science fiction action figures from some backstreet shop....completely out of the music industry as far as I could tell. Cool stories was about Erik witnessing Man Parrish actually making "Hip hop bee bop" in a studio, during a trip he made to NY in 1983. Daaaaamn....the man saw the birth of electrofunk live! Too good of a story not to believe right?


Maybe (but I'm prettty sure) the first hip hop related music ever released by Dutch recording artists was by a mysterious group called MASTER GENIUS who nobody seemed to know within the rap scene of Holland. The first 12" came out right after the release of the USA motion picture "Breakin'" in 1983 and was called "Let's break". The recordlabel is called "Break" and got distributed by "Boni Records" out of Katwijk, Holland. I'm pretty sure this was before the release of "Say what, say who" by ALEX & THE CITY CREW. The track itself is a wierd cut and paste mix of non-hip hop tracks. To be honest; I can't really imagine anyone b-boying to this music but hey....beggers can't be choosers in the lowlands right!

MASTER GENIUS kept on releasing these kind of medleys/mixes, supposedly to be used for b-boying. In 1984 they released 12"s like "That's soul" and "Let's break into the '80's". In 1986 they released a 12" called "Masters" which imo is worth picking up somewhere for the cool picture cover that features graffiti artwork by JOKER from the USA crew out of Amsterdam.

In 1984 there's an album even, highly imagenatively called "The album". I found a funny review on the net for y'all to read, unfortunately I have to agree with the content. Here goes:

Usually I wouldn't bother with reviewing a really bad record, unless it is comedically bad. This doesn't fall into the "comedically bad" category, as listening to it is like having a tooth pulled.
Obviously born from the commerical success of original 80's electro on the continent, this is badly-engineered and just plain slapped-together cut'n'paste Dutch pop electro -- either re-making or sampling famous phrases and melodies from "Keep on Running", "Blue Monday", "Fame", "Living on Video", Edwin Starr's "War", a horribly re-played take on "Superfreak", a variety of 80's euro pop trash, scratching samples (not actual scratching), Woody Woodpecker, the usual plethora of cliched 80's electro vocal samples which pop in and out seemingly at random.
It's entirely possible I am a music facist and am just not getting the "fun" nature of the arrangements. But it's put together really badly. This is literally and figuratively a thousand miles away from Steinski & Latin Rascals territory. Despite the absolutely-sequenced rigid 4/4 and complete absence of funk or rhythm, the arrangement seems incapable of following any structure and breaks happen at unexpected moments, earlier segments pop back in at random for a random amount of bars -- it's just chaos, and not in a good way.
It's padded out with some weak bonus beat-type tracks and effects that I cannot see any self-respecting battle DJ using.
To top it off, Side 2 follows exactly the same format as Side 1, re-using many of the same elements (even drum patterns), but even poppier. far for the first steps by the Dutch in the world of hip hop! (we would pick it up in the years to worries). Despite what's said in the review, the track "Let's break" was a commercial succes in Spain, France, Germany, Denmark and even Mexico.

But....the question at hand still being; who the hell made these records??? Production credits on the records speak of a production duo called "Adams & Fleisner". Not very Dutch sounding names ey? I searched the net for some info...only to find dick! But an article in a Dutch music magazine from 1984 revealed the mystery. Apparently a Dutch production team called "Cat Music" consisting out of G. Hessing, A. Mol, E. van Prehn, C. Bergman and E. Veerhoff were responsible. They had been producing disco since 1980 and decided to jump on the whole electro bandwagon in 1983. Not only using the name MASTER GENIUS but also X-RAY CONNECTION amongst others. "Replay" by X-RAY CONNECTION (1983) is a not half bad synth electro/italo track that made some waves abroad, especially in Germany.

To uphold the "Breakdance camouflage"  this production team used a group of breakdancers as a front. This unit was called the MASTER GENIUS BREAKERS and got used for the coverphotos and even performances (early Milli Vanilli steez yo!). These MASTER GENIUS BREAKERS were THE pioneer breakdance unit from Haarlem city, more specifically the Schalkwijk area of Haarlem.

The "Cat Music" guys also released two, what seemed to be kind of synth battle tools, albums in 1984 and 1986 called "Electric boogie rhythm tracks" and "Raplines".