Tony Humphries Mastermix Dance Party, 1986

Tony Humphries WRKS Kiss FM Mastermix Dance Party 1986

One of the many pleasant aspects of running this blog is getting to know some of the artists/DJ’s in what is sometimes referred to as “the scene with no name” (a term that is only slightly catchier than nouveaux-disco-afro-balearic-cosmic-slomo-edits-scene). A good example of this would be a blossoming bromance with the mysterious collective known as Beard Science – intrepid sonic explorers and veterans of five splendid 12″ releases (with, we hear, a sixth one on the way).

Anyway, one of their shadowy number – lets call him JC – got in touch to tell me about an old cassette tape that he recently discovered in the cellar at Beard Towers. Early indications showed it to be a Tony Humphries mix from the mid 80’s, but to be on the safe side he sent it over to the 500MH lab for further forensic analysis.

Well, the results are in and we can say that this is a classic Mastermix Dance Party session from New York’s WRKS-FM (aka Kiss FM 98.7), hosted by the ever-delightful Yvonne Mobley. Aired in 1986 it shows TH cutting up early House records, contemporary soul/funk and the occasional earlier classic. But in addition to the flawless musical selection, Humphries seems to be pushing the limits of what was possible with two turntables in the context of “proper DJing” (as opposed to pure turntablism). Very ocassionally you fear he might have gone too far, but just when it seems it might all fall apart he brings it back with a disco bomb like “Bad Girls” and it all takes off again.

All in all, sublime stuff which really does sound as fresh today as when it first troubled the airwaves 25 years ago. And to think that this (and mixes just like it) went out to the people of New York every week, commercial-free for three-and-a-half hours.

Finally a word about the artwork which Beard Science created especially for 500MH’s presentation of this mix – lovingly hand-drawn and reminiscent of the great Marvel Comics artist…and native New Yorker…Jack Kirby, this truly is the icing on the (Christmas) cake.

So there you have it – 500MH’s yuletide gift especially for you. Enjoy and stay tuned in 2012…

Download: Tony Humphries – Mastermix, 1986 – Side A (right click)

Download: Tony Humphries – Mastermix, 1986 – Side B (right click)

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