Eddie Richards is one of acid house's principal pioneers. A hugely important figure, he started out DJing in the early 1980s when he and a pal put together a rudimentary DJ system — and called themselves the Ministry of Sound, years before the infamous Elephant & Castle club adopted the same name.
In the mid-'80s he landed a residency at the Camden Palace in London and was one of the first DJs in the UK to start playing this new-fangled house music stuff that was making its way across the pond from America. By '88 he was playing at Heaven in London and the Hacienda in Manchester, as well as becoming a resident at the legendary Clink Street parties near London Bridge. Clink Street was where he was given the prefix 'Evil' Eddie Richards as he used to play dark, techy and long at these grimier, dirtier parties that were kind of the antithesis of fluffier acid house nights like Shoom!
Clink Street is also where he began his association with Mr C, and unlike the soon-to-be Shamen rapper he didn't mind playing the huge raves that spawned out of the acid house explosion such as Sunrise, Energy and Helter Skelter. As Eddie explains below, he had a chart hit in 1988 with 'Acid Man' and as the '90s unfolded he cemented his place as one of the first wave of 'tech house DJs' thanks to his residency at Wiggle alongside Terry Francis, Nathan Coles et al.
Eddie was also the first person in the UK to start a DJ agency — Dy-Na-Mix in 1990 — and was one of the first DJs to record a mix CD in Fabric's celebrated series — a club where he still sometimes plays, as well as at gigs across the world. Eddie has just relaunched his Storm label to cater for the renewed interest in his older tracks from DJs such as Guy Gerber, Cassy and Subb-an. He'll be re-releasing choice ones, with remixes from new producers to supplement the tracks...
01 Marvin Gaye What's Going On?'
“I remember this well because a tape of the album was left in the van I acquired for my first job as a TV repair guy after leaving school. Actually two tapes... this, and Pink Floyd 'Dark Side of the Moon', they were all I listened to for months.”
02 Billy Butler 'Right Track'
“I'm glad I got to experience the awe-inspiring dancers at the legendary Wigan Casino all-nighter before it closed. Northern soul attracted people from all over the country and Wigan was its heart and soul — my first taste of a proper music 'scene'. This song is one of my favourites and a classic from the period.”
03 Patrick Cowley 'Megatron Man'
“It could be said that this song was responsible for starting off my career as a professional DJ. After I heard it, I went to visit Heaven in London and met up with Colin Faver, who was instrumental in getting me a residency at Camden Palace. I love the cover too.”
04 Killing Joke 'Turn To Red'
“Rhythm and groove are probably not words that immediately spring to mind when thinking of Killing Joke but they definitely had it and I'm attracted to those qualities in all types of dance music. The track also goes into a locked groove that plays 'Red... Red... Red...' endlessly. Ten years ahead of its time.”
05 Various 'Heavy Duty Breaks'
“Was this one of the first-ever album mega-mixes? And could it be one of the earliest DJ mixes made using a sampler? I'd bought a Greengate DS3 Sampler card with 1.5 seconds and 8-bit sampling for my Apple IIe, and put together this mix along with Youth of Killing Joke for Illuminated Records of all their artists in 1984.”
06 Deekay Jones 'New York New York'
“This track reminds me of my days endlessly digging for something fresh, and when I found this track I was blown away. It's so raw and gritty and dark. Right up my alley. Released on the super-obscure 'Pulse of New York' compilation which has since been bootlegged a few times.”
07 Double Dee & Steinski 'Lesson 1: The Payoff Mix'
“This was the pioneering record that fuelled the sampling craze and was influential to a lot of DJs — including myself. I got my copy directly from Steinski when I visited New York, but it wasn't commercially available for years due to it using copyrighted material.”
08 Pierre's Pfantasy Club 'Fantasy Girl'
“Acid house hit our shores in around 1987 and like a lot of others I was gobsmacked. It was a totally different sound. This is a great example of that distinctive 303, but the original version of this song on RSO was quite hard to find, so some friends made this version along with new mixes.”
09 Macattack 'The Art of Drums'
“Baad! Records was the brainchild of Steve Rumney and myself who wanted to make our favourite rare import records available domestically. We licensed this go-go gem from Future Records & Tapes in Washington DC. It has been sampled many times since and remains a classic today.”
10 Jolly Roger 'Acid Man'
“I made this for fun at home on a four-track Teac tape machine and gave it to a friend to play on pirate radio. Someone at Virgin Records heard it and it got released, reaching No.21 in the national pop charts! It possibly would have got even further had it not been banned by Radio 1. Wow, imagine, I could've been on Top of the Pops. Hahaha!”
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