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Strut announce Celluloid Records retrospective

Next up for the excellent Strut Records is a retrospective of 80s NYC imprint Celluloid Records.

Entitled Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1980 – 1987, the 26-track selection appears to be something of a personal coup for Strut, who describe themselves as “hard-pressed to think of a label whose output so closely mirrors the full spectrum of what we love”. For the uninitiated, Celluloid Records was an imprint overseen by Parisian Jean Karakos which was originally founded in the French capital as an imports specialist but really took off after he relocated to New York in the early eighties, releasing an intimidating 100 plus albums that veered between no wave, nascent hip-hop, afro infused experimental disco and more, which came to represent the vivid music scene of the city in this period.

Central to the Celluloid story is Bill Laswell, the hugely prolific American musician, who hooked up with Karakos in New York soon after the pair had arrived from their respective hometowns, with the label releasing the full spectrum of the producer’s early work as Massacre and Material. This is reflected on the forthcoming compilation, with tracks from the aforementioned Laswell projects featuring alongside other classic productions from the musician such as Deadline’s “Makossa Rocks”, while Celluloid’s involvement with early forms of New York hip-hop is also a key narrative. Thus the cult single “Escapades Of Futura 2000” from The Clash and graf artist Futura sits alongside Afrika Bambaataa and Timezone’s breakdance classic “Wildstyle”, and the compilation closes with “Mean Machine Chant / Mean Machine” from hip-hop progenitors the Last Poets. Elsewhere the Smagghe favourite “Disco Rough” from Mathematiques Modernes, a scratch heavy version of Manu Dibango’s Loft classic “Abele Dance” and a bizarre Beatles cover from Shockabilly offer further insight into the esoteric nature of the label.

Typically for a Strut release, the attention to detail is second to none with all the physical formats featuring rare photos from the Celluloid archives accompanied by extensive interviews with label boss Jean Karakos, Bill Laswell, Afrika Afrika Bambaataa, Time Zone’s Rusty Egan, John Lydon and more, while the digital release includes five bonus tracks.

Strut Records will release Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1980 – 1987 across 2 x CD, 2 x LP and digital formats on February 19.


CD 1

1. Shockabilly – Day Tripper
2. Massacre – Killing Time
3. Ferdinand – Tele, Apres La Meteo
4. Mathematiques Modernes – Disco Rough (Long Version)
5. Thomas Leer & Robert Rental – Day Breaks, Night Heals
6. Snakefinger – Living In Vain
7. Winston Edwards & Blackbeard – Downing Street Rock
8. Lightnin’ Rod – Sport
9. Futura 2000 (Ft The Clash) – The Escapades Of Futura 2000
10. Timezone – Wildstyle (12″ Vocal)
11. Deadline – Makossa Rock
12. Bobongo Stars – Koteja
13. Toure Kunda – Amadou Tilo

CD 2

1. Nini Raviolette – Suis-Je Normale
2. Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Destiny Street
3. Sapho – Carmel (12“ Mix)
4. Ginger Baker – Dust To Dust
5. Last Exit – Big Boss Man
6. Mandingo – Harima
7. Manu Dibango – Abele Dance (’85 Remix)
8. Timezone – World Destruction (Original 12″ Mix)
9. Material, Michael Beinhorn, Bernard Fowler, Bill Laswell & Nile . Rodgers – I’m The One (Dance Version)
10. Grandmixer D.St – Home Of Hip Hop
11. B Side With Bernard Fowler – Odeon (Dance Mix)
12. Fab 5 Freddy – Change The Beat (Male Version)
13. The Last Poets – Mean Machine Chant / Mean Machine

Digital Only:

Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles & Lightnin’ Rod – Doriella Du Fontaine (Single Edit)
Grandmixer D.St – Crazy Cuts
Shango – Shango Message
Modern Guy – Electrique Sylvie (Full Length Version)
B Side – So Hot (Feat. Tony Allen)