If there was a disco Brit award going for outstanding contribution to house music then we're pretty sure that X-Press 2's Rocky would be its first recipient. A Balearic pioneer in the '80s, he formed a DJing partnership with co-pilot Diesel and the pair were soon persuaded to get in the studio with Superstore favourite Ashley Beadle resulting in a string of hugely influential 12"s for the legendary Junior Boys Own imprint not to mention and a ton of subsequent dance floor bombs including the No.1 single Lazy with David Byrne and recent bunker busters like the vogue-tastic Opulence. X-Press 2's mega new album hits the streets in March.
Sir Rocky was kind enough to lay down a hot mix for Superstore boss Dan Beaumont's radio show Rhythm Connection with Nadia Ksaiba which you can listen to in full right here.
1. Robert Owens - One Body (Kaine Interpretation)
2. Fun Boy Three - Faith, Hope and Charity
3. Blunted Funk Project - Think Twice
4. Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band - Cherchez La Femme
5. Volta Cab - Be Madly In My Love (Daniel Bortz Remix)
6. Rare Earth - Happy Song Or Dance (Remix)
7. Yello - Lost Again (Greg Wilson Re Edit)
8. Eddie C - Dub Up The Edit
9. Badder Than Evil - Hot Wheels
10. Looped break
11. Janet Jackson - When I Think Of You
12. Jack Frost & The Circle Jerks - Shout
We are honoured to have him is guesting at Robert Owens's residency at Society at Superstore on Thursday Feb 23rd and he was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us...
When did you first get bitten by the house bug?
I remember first hearing house around 85/86. There were very few DJs playing exclusively house but a few guys were starting to mix the odd track into their sets. I can remember being on the dancefloor at Delirium and Nitro Deluxe Let's Get Brutal pumping out of the system. Half the floor cleared but there was a hardcore that got with it. It sounded like music from outer space and you could definitely feel a difference coming. I also used to listen to a lot of pirate radio back then. Particularly LWR. I would listen to Jazzy M's show and write down any tracks of interest. I'd then go to Groove in Greek St and spend my hard earned. The point where I knew everything was going to change was when I went to Shoom at the end of '87. That was like the turning point.
Why did you you form X-Press 2?
Well we'd started remixing tracks and it was a natural progression to start making music. It was Terry Farley that suggested we make a track for his label, Junior Boys Own, so we teamed up with Ash (Ashley Beadle) and the rest, as they say, is history.
Can you describe your first trip to New York when you heard your own records in a club?
We went to the New Music Seminar in the summer of 1994. We'd already heard that Junior Vasquez had been playing our tracks, mixing 2 copies for 20 minutes! For us, the main purpose to that trip was to visit the Sound Factory on the Saturday night. We went to Sound Factory bar on the Friday for Louie Vega but had an early night to be on good form for Saturday. I can remember having butterflies in the queue outside Sound Factory but once we got in, we were blown away! Everything about it was just perfect. The sound, the lights, the space, the crowd and the DJ. We found a little plot on these big white steps in on corner and made that our base. I don't remember exactly which track Junior played, but Danny Tenaglia came running over and said, "Come with me, I'll take you to meet her." we went up to the booth, which was amazing (carpet, art on the walls and a kettle!) and stood there like a couple of dumbstruck schoolboys. I think we managed a "Thanks for playing our tunes mate", and that was it. Quite simply, the best night I ever had in a club. At that time, no club in the world came near to the Factory.
Why is house music as exciting now as it's ever been?
I think because of its ability to constantly change and evolve.
What is your favourite Robert Owens vocal?
One Body was my number 1 tune from last year. So I'm going to go with that.
Can you name three records that you wish you made?
Isolee - Beau Mot Plage
Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock
Mr Fingers - Can You Feel It
Rocky plays next Thursday 24th February at Society Presents: Robert Owens from 9pm - 3am.