#120: Electro-Funk August 1983

In this transmission, we’ll be heading back 40 years to August 1983 and counting down the top 20 Electro-Funk 12″ records according to Groove Records, Soho. ‘Electro-Funk’ brought together 808 and DMX drum machines, synthesizers, turntable scratching and FX- heavy extended dub versions as a backdrop to uptempo raps on space themes and the struggles of late 20th century city living.
The emergence of Electro-Funk in ’82/’83 introduced a generation to breakdancing, body popping, graffiti, rap, cuttin’ and scratchin’.

Cloud Nine (Ready Mix) by Play By Numbers
Keep It on (Instrumental) by G-Five
The Lone Wolf Theme (Instrumental) by Quadrant Six
The Grand Mixer Cuts It Up by Infinity and Grandmaster D.ST
Nasty Rock by The “P” Crew
Clear by Cybotron *
Get Wet (instrumental) by C-Bank
Ray-Gun-Omics by Project Future
It’s Your Rock (Instrumental) by Fantasy Three
Fourteen Days by Lex
The Roxy by Phase II
Dance Sister (Instrumental) by N.Y.C. Peech Boys
Girls Night Out (Serious Party Dub) by Ladies Choice
Jam on Revenge by Newcleus
London Bridge is Falling Down (Dub Mix) by Newtrament
Shango Message by Shango
Street Justice by The Rake
Wildstyle (Original Mixes) by Time Zone
High Noon by Two sisters
Rockit by Herbie Hancock

All Tracks have been edited unless marked *

First broadcast on Radio Reverb 97.2FM & DAB, Brighton, UK on 6th August 2023.

Sourced from

Playlist notes:
20 – Cloud Nine (Speciality Mix) by Play by Numbers
Only available track by this artist. Released on Ice Water records,  whose only other release was a  7″ single of Rolling Stones covers by Television guitarist Richard Lloyd. Produced by Harley Fine who still runs a studio in New York.

19 – Keep it on (instrumental and vocal edit)  by G-Five
A tribute track to the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team who swept the LA Lakers in the finals in May 1983.  G-Five released two singles, both on Novarro Records. In 1983, writer and producer, Kae Williams Jr also worked on records by Funk artists, Cashmere and Galaxxy.

18 – Lone Wolf (instrumental and vocal edit) by Quadrant Six
The first appearance of keyboardist and producer, John Robie, a crucial part of 1982 Electro blueprints, ‘Planet Rock’, ‘Hip Hop Be Bop’ and ‘One More Shot’, working under the name Quadrant Six. Atlantic records.

17 – Grandmixer Cuts it Up! By Grandmixer D.ST with the Infinity Rappers
Another prominent figure from this time, D.St, originally named ‘Dee Street’, known as D-S-T, before changing his name to the current ‘DXT’. The Infinity Rappers appeared on D.St’s ‘Why is it Fresh?’ mix in 1984, ‘Home of Hip Hop’ single in 1985,  and with Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin  of the Last Poets on ‘Mean Machine in 1984. All released on Celluloid records. NY based arm of French label. The back cover is part of a Futura 2000 graffiti artwork, that links up with four other record covers.

16 – Nasty Rock by The P crew
The vocoder B-side of the smoother, ‘Party Rock’. Short-lived electro outlet for songwriter and disco, soul and boogie producer, Patrick Adams on Prelude Records.

15 – Clear by Cybotron
A 21 year-old Juan Atkins goes some way to inventing Detroit techno on this Fantasy Records classic with a punchier (uncredited) remix by Jose Animal Diaz, that would eventually replace the original mix on Cybotron’s album, ‘Enter’. Part of the peerless ‘Street Sounds Crucial Electro’ compilation LP released in the UK in 1984.

14 – Get Wet (instrumental) by C-Bank
John Robie returns on a Electro-Freestyle C-Bank project on Next Plateau records. A follow up to their 1982 hit,  ‘One More Shot’.

13 – Ray-Gun-Omics by Project Future
Following appearances on P-funk records by George Clinton and Boots Collins, Rahni P. Harris, Jr. made a one-off electro track under the name ‘Project Future’. Released on Capitol Records. Appeared on Street Sounds Electro 1 compilation released in UK in October 1983.

12 – Fantasy Three – It’s Your Rock (instrumental and Vocal edit)
Old school Hip Hip group from Harlem, NY. Produced by Master O.C, and creatively re-edited by Aldo Marin on the instrumental. Specific Records

11 – Fourteen Days (vocal and dub version edit) by Lex
Released on ‘Flip’ a short-lived sub-label of Vanguard Records which aimed to specialize in new wave dance/rock music but only released ‘Fourteen Days’ and a Scottish synth-pop track. Produced by Ray ‘Pinky’ Velazquez,  A&R man and “Disco consultant” for Vanguard who also mixed the classic ‘Electric Kingdom’ for Twilight 22 in 1983. . The track is written by three members of Düsseldorf post-punk band, Fehlfarben and is an English language cover of their 1982 track, ‘14 Tage’. The track was mixed by Mark Berry, who is also credited on tracks by Two Sisters, Man Parrish, Planet Patrol, C.O.D and Freeez in 1983.

10 – The Roxy by Phase II
Music by Material, scratches by D.ST. Phase II was a Bronx Graffiti artist, active in the 1970s, who is credited with bubble letter style of writing known as ‘softies’. Phase II had created graffiti walls for Roller Rink nightclub, The Roxy, a place that was highly influential in Hip hop circles from 1982 – 83.
UK release of track previously only available as a 1982 import on Celluloid records. The back cover is part of a Futura 2000 graffiti artwork, that links up with four other record covers.

9 – Dance Sister (biofeedback) by NYC Peech Boys

Produced by Larry Levan and Michael de Benedictus, released on their Garage Records label (named after the Paradise Garage where Levan was resident DJ). After releasing four singles, NYC Peech Boys split up in 1984.

8 – Girls Night Out (Serious Party Dub) by Ladies Choice
A side project for Lotti Golden and Richard Scher, whose other project, Warp 9 had several hits in this era. Released on Arthur Baker’s Streetwise Records         

7 – Jam on Revenge (Wikki Wikki Song) by Newcleus
First single by Brooklyn collective on Sunnyview records. First of a series of classic electro records released by Newcleus on the Sunnyview label. Second track on Street Sounds Electro 1 compilation released in October 1983.

6 – London Bridge is Falling Down by Newtrament
An edit of Vocoder and Dub mixes. Credited as the first UK hip Hop record, by London DJ, Bertram Johnson, on Jive records. The track was produced by Roy Carter, a musician from brit-funk bands, Heatwave and Central Line. Used as cover art for this transmission.

5 – Shango Message by Shango
Shango was a collaboration between Afrika Bambaataa and Material on Celluloid Records that resulted in a few singles and a 1984 LP, ‘Shango Funk Theology’. Also released ‘Zulu Groove’ single in 1983.

4 – Street Justice by the Rake
A one-off release with a hard-hitting rap by Keith Rose chronicling robbery, rape and revenge, released on Profile records. The subject matter follows the trend set by the 1982 success of ‘The Message’. Profile Records released the first singles by Run DMC and Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde.

3 – The Wildstyle by Time Zone (original mix)
This is the original mix (featuring recordings from 1933 musical, ‘Footlight Parade’) before Francois Kervorkian was brought in to tidy up the mix for re-release later that year. The original backing track was recorded in Germany by Rusty Egan and credited to ‘Wunderverke’. Vocals by Bambaataa, Amad Henderson, Motivator and French female rapper, B-Side. Released on Celluloid Records. Final track on the peerless UK compilation LP, ‘Street Sounds Crucial Electro 1’.

2 – High Noon by Two Sisters
Produced by ‘Hip Hop Be Bop’ team of Man Parrish, Engineer Mark Berry and DJ and producer, Raul Rodriguez. The vocalists were sisters, Theresa and Tracey Pesco. Co-written by Tessa Marquis. Two Sisters went on to release multiple singles, remixes and an LP in 1983 before disbanding. Released in the USA on Sugarscoop records, in the UK on Morgan Khan’s Streetwave label.

1 – Rockit by Herbie Hancock
Groundbreaking dance and pop hit from the unlikely source of a 43 year old Jazz pianist, an experimental production team, Bill Laswell & Michael Beinhorn (Material), and a young scratch DJ, Grandmixer D.ST. ‘Rockit’ was the first single from Herbie Hancock’s LP, ‘Future Shock’ that was released in August 1983 and continued the experiments present in this single.

Research for this transmission includes various 1983 editions of ‘Black Echoes‘ magazine (‘Britain’s only soul, funk ‘n’ reggae newspaper) and the invaluable archive of James Hamilton’s columns for Record Mirror for 1983 housed at
Groove Records charts for 1984 onwards have provided some historical perspective and can be found at:

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