Category Archives: Electro

THE FOSTER & MCELROY COLLECTION

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Thanks to their work with Timex Social Club and Club Nouveau in 1986, Oakland natives Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy became known as one of the most innovative producer/songwriting teams in the R&B business. Along with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, they were responsible for laying the early groundwork for what would become New Jack Swing by mixing hip-hop, electro, go-go, and pop rhythms into the more traditional R&B recipe.

Their early success with singles like “Rumors” and “Situation #9” gave them the power to sign and make hits with a slew of Bay Area acts, including Tony! Toni! Toné! (Foster & McElroy produced their entire debut album in 1988), Samuelle (they wrote his #1 R&B hit “So You Like What You See”), and, most famously, multi-platinum phenomenon En Vogue.

As usual, Foster & McElroy won with En Vogue by injecting unexpected influences into their music, mixing the image and harmonies of ’60s girl groups like The Supremes with modern hip-hop. Their 1990 platinum debut Born To Sing produced the #2 pop hit “Hold On,” which made brilliant use of James Brown’s “The Payback,” one of hip-hop’s go-to breakbeats at the time. En Vogue’s triple-platinum sophomore album, Funky Divas, made them certified crossover stars, producing three top ten pop singles and garnering five Grammy nominations (not to mention the honor of performing the Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper theme song, which was also produced by Foster & McElroy). Spend some time appreciating the catalog of these R&B icons with Uggh…Nice Watch’s compilation of 30 Foster & McElroy gems…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + LINKS…

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THE GIORGIO MORODER COLLECTION


It’s hard to imagine a time when synthesizers didn’t dominate popular music, but in the early 1970s, anything beyond acoustic was a pretty avant-garde act. Producer/singer/songwriter Giorgio Moroder was at the forefront of making electro go pop, through his innovative work in disco, pop, and film scores.

Raised in a German-speaking part of Northern Italy, Giorgio made his career in Germany’s music scene in the late ’60s when krautrock artists had started sprinkling synths into their traditional rock formulas. In 1976, he hit it big with Donna Summer’s “Love To Love You Baby,” a funky, orgasmic club anthem that turned the unknown singer into the definitive artist of the disco era. A year later, Summer, Giorgio and longtime partner Pete Bellotte released “I Feel Love,” a hard-hitting electronic disco record that is often credited as the missing link between acoustic disco and modern house music. Other German electro artists like Kraftwerk might have been more musically radical, but Giorgio brought the synthetic revolution to the dance clubs and pop radio before anyone else. He would go on to compose a string of hugely successful soundtracks, from 1978’s Midnight Express to 1983’s Scarface, phasing out classical-style scores in favor of futuristic sounds that would dominate the ’80s. I collected over 25 of my favorite Giorgio songs for the latest Uggh…Nice Watch compilation…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK…

THE TREVOR HORN COLLECTION

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It’s hard to say exactly what kind of music Trevor Horn makes. This British genius is widely acknowledged in his home country as one of the greatest pop producers of all time, but in the states, his amazingly diverse discography is largely overlooked. Using a fearless mix of synthesizers, samples and live instrumentation, Horn made it clear that he was playing by his own rules as the driving force behind both Art Of Noise and The Buggles in the late ’70s. And his early-’80s work on Malcolm McLauren’s Duck Rock—including the seminal track “Buffalo Gals”—still stands as some of the most instantly-recognizable (and most sampled) beats in hip-hop history.

But aside from his more experimental work, Trevor kept winning throughout the ’80s by bringing his innovative touches to a string of mainstream hits from acts like Yes, Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. In the ’90s, he reinvented himself as the man behind Seal (he’s written and produced practically every song the singer has ever recorded), and since then he’s been staying busy with an unpredictible slate of work, from faux-lesbian teens t.A.T.u. to indie rockers Belle & Sebastian. I compiled 25 of my favorite Trevor Horn-related tracks for one of this week’s Uggh…Nice Watch releases…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK!!

THE CLIVILLÉS + COLE COLLECTION

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Anyone who came up in the early ’90s probably still has the ubiquitous order stuck in their head: “EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!” But there’s much more to C+C Music Factory than one-hit-wonder status—David Cole and Robert Clivillés, the masterminds behind the group, are in fact one of the dopest production duos of all time. Starting in the late ’80s with a house crew called 2 Puerto Ricans, A Black Man And A Dominican, Clivillés and Cole churned out a steady stream of hits that fused the NYC club music they loved with pop music. After early crossover success with freestyle-infused girl group Seduction, their stock as mainstream songwriters grew, leading to high-profile work with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. In fact, before Mariah discovered hip-hop, it was her house-driven collaborations with David Cole (“Emotions,” “Make It Happen”) that defined her sound. Sadly, Cole suffered from spinal meningitis, and he passed away in early 1995 at the peak of the group’s power. I put together 25 of my favorite C+C-related productions for a new Uggh…Nice Watch compilation…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK!!

THE JIM JONSIN COLLECTION


Over the last 8 years, Miami producer James “Jim Jonsin” Scheffer has given his career a complete makeover. While local Florida music fans might know him as DJ Jealous J, a legendary DJ/rapper/producer in the state’s electro bass scene, today’s urban music fans know him as the 808-friendly pop producer behind smashes like T.I.’s “Whatever You Like,” Soulja Boy’s “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” and Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop.”

But Jonsin’s journey began in the late ’80s, when he started producing and performing bass records under the name Jealous J for the independent Cut-It-Up-Def label, including some joints that are widely considered classics of the genre. He was particularly well known for his precise cutting and scratching skills as a DJ. Jim continued working with Heat Wave Records and Dynamix II Records through the mid-’90s, but by that time the bass scene was becoming a shadow of its former self.

During the late ’90s, he released a more trance-flavored album under the name DJ Devistada, while founding a hip-hop-oriented label under Warner Brothers called Paper Chasers that would never come to fruition. But the big change in his career came with the national crossover of Miami rap. Jim started producing a few album cuts for Trick Daddy and Trina, before linking up with producer Bigg D and forming a new production crew called The Unusual Suspects. The partnership only lasted a few years, but the hits they made together finally turned Jim into a viable mainstream pop producer. I’ve compiled some of my favorite Jim Jonsin-related joints from the last 20 years for this week’s Uggh…Nice Watch release…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK!!

THE NELLEE HOOPER COLLECTION

nelleehoopercollection_coverWhen it comes to British music, Nellee Hooper has been at the center of some major movements. He started out in the early ’80s as a founding member of influential Bristol DJ crew/sound system The Wild Bunch, who eventually spawned trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack.

By the late ’80s, Hooper had moved to London and joined up with Jazzie B in a new group called Soul II Soul, who, for the first time, brought a unique brand of British soul music to the international pop charts. His work on early albums by Björk and Massive Attack led to Hooper becoming one of the most in-demand producers in popular music, making huge hits for superstars like Madonna and U2. Trust me—if you’re not familiar with Hooper, you’ll be amazed at the diversity of truly classic records he’s produced. I’ve compiled some of my favorites for this week’s Uggh…Nice Watch release.

CLICK HERE FOR THE TRACKLISTING + DOWNLOAD LINK!