Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1979-1987 Various Artists on 2LP + CD
Best of One of New York's Most Groundbreaking Labels!
Strut has had the good fortune to be able to closely examine some incredible, seminal labels in retrospective form, but they're hard-pressed to think of a label whose output so closely mirrors the full spectrum of what they truly love than Celluloid Records. Touching on everything from breakdance classics and early hip-hop singles to experimental disco and no wave, and even some classic soul and funk and world music fusions, Celluloid's output is an unparalleled representation of the no-rules musical landscape of the early 80s, in New York City and beyond.
Celluloid Records was formed in Paris during the late ‘70s by Jean Georgakarakos (often referred to by the shorter name Jean Karakos), who had spent the previous decade co-running French record shops and the spiritual jazz label BYG. The label gathered steam following Karakos’ fateful trips to New York in the early ‘80s. It was there that he met Bill Laswell, who had himself landed fresh in the Big Apple from Michigan, Karakos began releasing the full spectrum of Laswell’s early work, from the avant-rock cacophony of Massacre to his fluid, dance / post-punk production outfit, Material.
Karakos also became involved in the nascent hip-hop scene in New York, releasing Time Zone’s breakdance classic “Wildstyle,” featuring Afrika Bambaataa and French MC B Side. In 1983, both he and Laswell worked with Herbie Hancock on his electro smash, “Rockit.” From the resultant publishing income, Karakos and Laswell continued to explore early hip-hop culture and a slew of classics followed: successful 12"s by Hancock’s scratch DJ, Grandmixer D.ST, Fab 5 Freddy’s groundbreaking French / English slo-mo rap “Change The Beat” and graf artist Futura 2000 on the cult single “Escapades Of Futura 2000” backed by The Clash. Time Zone would also re-surface with Bambaataa and collaborator John Lydon (PiL / Sex Pistols) with the apocalyptic chart smash “World Destruction.”
By 1986, Laswell's work for Celluloid became increasingly sparse as he was pulled onto major projects for Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, PiL and more. The label, meanwhile, continued its eclectic path with recordings by jazz legend Eric Dolphy, John McLaughlin and the Welcome To Dreamland compilation of out-there Japanese pop overseen by regular Laswell cohort, Fred Frith. African music also continued to feature heavily in the label’s later output through world pop stars like Kassav and Toure Kunda.
Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1979-1987 is released in conjunction with Jean Karakos and Celluloid Records. This 2LP edition features rare photos from the Celluloid Records archive and extended interviews with label owner Jean Karakos, Bill Laswell, Afrika Bambaataa, John Lydon, Rusty Egan (Time Zone) and more!
Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1979-1987 Track Listing:
1. Shockabilly – Day Tripper
2. Ferdinand – Télé, Après La Météo
3. Mathématiques Modernes – Disco Rough (Long Version)
4. Modern Guy – Electrique Sylvie (Full Version)
5. The Last Poets – Mean Machine Chant / Mean Machine
6. Winston Edwards & Blackbeard – Downing Street Rock
7. The Futura 2000 feat. The Clash – The Escapades Of Futura 2000
1. Material – I'm The One
2. Timezone – Wildstyle (12" Vocal)
3. Manu Dibango – Abele Dance ('85 Remix)
4. Fab 5 Freddy – Change The Beat (French And English Rap)