Earlier in ’83 and while excitedly cutting up tape for fun, I made a madcap edit of a track called “Heaven Sent” by Paul Haig that I’d received from Island Records. They pressed it up as a DJ promo and to my knowledge, this is the first example of a ‘re-edit’ by a British DJ. The following year, I would make a series of what I called ‘turntable edits’ focusing on better-known tracks to be played elsewhere on Piccadilly Radio. Two of these, by Chaka Khan and Scritti Politti, would appear on my 2005 compilation Credit To The Edit).
By this point I was no longer a DJ. I’d retired at the end of 1983 to pursue my ambitions of becoming a remixer/producer. In 1984, working alongside a pair of Manchester musicians and under various aliases, we recorded all but one of the tracks on the UK Electro album. It was part of the influential Electro series released by Street Sounds – the first mix series issued in Britain. UK Electro was also the first British dance album to utilise samples, miniscule soundclips in comparison to what’s possible today, played into the tracks via an Emulator. This would act as the forerunner for the heavily sampled British dance tracks that would score big later in the decade via artists like S Express, M/A/R/R/S, Bomb The Bass and Coldcut.
Mixing finally became the norm for the majority of British DJs with the growth of house music in the UK during the latter part of the 80s. Before that, the microphone had been an essential tool of the trade. With samplers, notably the Akai S1000 and S3000, and then home computers becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, many of these DJs then began making records of their own on the programs available. With programs like Cubase and Logic coming to prominence throughout the late 80s and early 90s, hits were not only being forged in the studio, but also in the bedroom.