Get your roller-skates on! For the latest in our long-running exploration of Mr. K's edit crates comes this pair of underground hits that rocked the legendary Roxy in early '80s New York City. As a resident DJ, Danny Krivit saw it all unfold in real time. "A lot of the hip hop played at Roxy's Friday night dance party was cutting edge for the dance scene," he recalls. Although hugely influential on new dance music being made, the hip hop records coming out were rarely in the groove enough for roller skating - the rest of the week, when Roxy's dance floor was turned over to the skaters, the music had to have the correct tempo and groove to keep the wheels turning. "These two songs were an unusual exception in that they were strong for both Roxy's Friday night dance party and Roxy's roller skating crowd," Krivit explains. Orange Krush were an essential part of the early hip hop scene, but are rarely acknowledged, probably because they only released this one single under their own name. Led by veteran Larry Smith, they performed all the music on the early Run-DMC albums, and were managed by Russell Simmons before he founded Def Jam. For this recording the group also brought in Maureen Reid, a session singer who had done backup vocals for Fatback Band. Predating Janet Jackson by half a decade, she sizzles with a delicious dressing down of a would-be Romeo: "I don't want to hear that you think I'm fine... I got eyes and I'd like to see / what it is you're gonna do for me!" Mr. K's edit preserves the signature drum intro and finally makes this very hard to find single more widely available on 7-inch.
Malcolm McLaren was a true impresario, a shrewd recognizer and organizer of talent whose own abilities, however, stopped at that point. As such, he relied on an entourage of musicians and energetic performers to bring his visions to life. In WHBI's World's Famous Supreme Team, a pair of radio hosts with an easy flow on the mic, he found a ready connection to the nascent hip hop scene in NYC. Now he just needed musicians to back them up, but not just any musicians... It had to be cutting edge. Enter the Art of Noise, a British band dedicated to exploring the latest technological innovations in music making. "World's Famous" is what happened when the two came together under McLaren's direction. Music that veers from highly musical, jazzy improv to block-rocking sampled drums and scratches is overlaid with the practiced patter of Sedivine and Just Allah, the eponymous Supreme Team themselves. Ditching the far too short album version that McLaren first released in 1983, Mr. K's edit is an extended take that adds a couple iconic vocal drops from other McLaren singles and allows plenty of room for Anne Dudley's suave piano solo ("Anne, bring in the organ!") and the groove, a perfect pulse for skating.
As usual, these cuts are virtually unfindable in their original 7-inch form and have been carefully remastered and edited for maximum utility and club-friendly sound.