Guy is my friend and a Londoner. He’s a part my favorite DJ trio, Customs, who call themselves as “better than good time”. He picked 5 records that have a late 80s/ early 90s North London connection: “It’s my neck of the woods, and where a bunch of DJ friends live today. But also home to a strong music community back then – which lives on now through the local record shops”. Fantastic vibes from my favorite city on Earth.
Wisdom – Klung Klusion (Simba Music Works, 19??)
My nearest spot is the Little Record Shop in Hornsey. I’ll drop in to see David there whenever I can. It’s also the first destination when we have friends staying from out of town. Luckily, I went digging there with James (Calypso Steve) from Redlight Records a couple of years ago. He chucked this 12” in my direction – “looks interesting”. We gave it a listen. We wondered if it was “the B word”. It’s a lovely, strange and kinda versatile record that’s often been in my bag since. The only downside is that James now knows this spot. When you walk in and David says “Oh, your friend James was just here” – you might as well Grandpa Simpson yourself straight back out the door.
Destination – Just In Time (Rafiki Records, 1983)
From what I’ve heard, Alan (at Alan’s Records) and David (Little Record Shop) often divvy up collections together. Both of them are patient characters who deal earnestly with all the on-the-spectrum nerds who come through their doors daily. Alan’s is further afield for me – in Finchley – but normally worth the trip (it was in this case!). It gets steady drip of stock from North London’s old Caribbean music communities. There was a big sound system scene around where I live, in Finsbury Park, and also where this record looks to have come from – Kilburn. I love finding these crossover type records, where a reggae band were trying their hand at disco, or something like that. About 45 seconds in there’s even a strange bleed, almost like different recordings were happening in spite of each other. It all rolls together beautifully into an end-of-the-night odyssey type jam.
Sam – American Cars / Life (Progression Music Ltd, 1991)
I guess most of the Krossfingers crowd will know about the Soul of Haringey LP. It was produced with our local council’s support. Living in Haringey borough, I’ve learnt it wasn’t unique. This 12” was a Haringey Arts Council project too. I caught Robert at Zen Records on a quiet Sunday afternoon a while back and, after he’d got a feel for some things I liked, it was one he produced from under the counter. Apparently a local Tottenham college were selling the copies back when it was pressed – but quickly ran out after word spread. I completely fell in love with the ‘Club Mix’ of Life at first listen.
Cheryl Glasgow – Glued To The Spot (Live Records, 1987)
OK so this is my bit of wild conjecture. Since I read the insert of this 12”, I’ve wondered if Cheryl Glasgow is the key to it all. It says: “Cheryl Glasgow is a small, brown, fat girl … She works as an administration officer, for Haringey Council. In the last year she has: Fallen down a drain, got two convictions for fraud and deception, written seven no. 1 singles, moved home, moved her Mother’s home, completed her new home, gained the eleven pounds in weight that Fergie lost, cried a lot, bought an expensive leather jacket, been in a car that hit a dog, joined, and been sacked from, a group in three days. Phew! She’s a game lass.” Was Cheryl the reason why Haringey Council backed all this sweet music? 🤔
Blue Nouveaux – Darkness In Me (Black & Blue Records, 1990)
If you look at Google Maps around here, you’ll see there’s a WAREHOUSE DISTRICT. It’s not exactly a hive of industry. More a warren of bollarded streets that suss vehicles fizz down in the twilight hours. We do our loft parties in one of these warehouses, and a bunch of our friends live in the communal spaces around there. This record was recorded on the other side of the tracks – in a squat commune on Granville Road. Blue Nouveaux was a project of Celia Hemken, an artist, filmmaker and musician who got air time from John Peel. It sounds like this little experiment was probably recorded as a one-take in the “dilapidated Munster’s House” just a short stroll from where I live today.
Texts, images Guy Bingley