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Friday, March 3, 2017


Brooklyn trio Newcleus were the definitive Electro act.  Though they only released two full albums.  They had a nice string of seminal electro/freestyle hits. Block party favorites they originally started in 1977 as Jam-On Productions.

I'm surprised that I haven't blogged about them before because I was so into them.  Their sound really touched my soul.  I'm kind of surprised that they weren't much huger chart successes then they were because it seemed to me that their music was so ever-present at the time.  The idea that they had to speed their vocals to resemble the Chipmunks in parts was definitely part of the magic.  Their biggest pop hit "Jam on It" took it up to #56 on the U.S. Top 100.  Though several of their songs made the R and B Top 40.

I also think that their sound has held up very well.  It certainly makes me want to shake my tail in 2017.

Their first release Jam on Revenge was in 1983 which I've mentioned before is the legendary year for me and my going to the disco youth.  Their sound certainly mixed in very well with the Italo Disco which I hold so close to my heart and for which most of my blog is dedicated.

But with a vocoder and Jonathan Fearing on the mix how could they go wrong anyway?

Their songs have also been used in a few video games including Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX, Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 and DJ Hero 2, the latter even featured a newly re-recorded version.

By the mid 80's they still had a few releases but their sound was sort of on the decline as that hot new genre "house music" was making for the greatest impact on the dance floors.  I will thank my friend DJ Chris Baron for turning me on to Cyborg Dance and Space is the Place.  He even did a genius edit of Cyborg Dance.  In 1985 I was in D.C. and heard an awful lot of Hi Nrg and early House so progressive Electro like this wasn't on my radar and my trips to New York City were few and far between because I was studying.

Cyborg Dance and Space is the Place
The debut single Jam on Revenge

I have to admit I also love this sound because it reminds me of Shaun of the Dead, a film I really love and featured Electro obsessed characters.

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