Cornering the market in ex-punk DJs: Kris Needs plays at Love Boutique. Sat 2 Aug
The wonder stuff
Kris Needs and Wonder are making music together on and off the dancefloor. All it takes is SECRET KNOWLEDGE. Words: Rory Weller
Kris Needs and Wonder are probably the oddest couple in dance music today. Needs is a fortysomething ex-punk who used to hang with Sid Vicious and Wonder is a soul diva from Ohio. They live together in Aylesbury. Together they are Secret Knowledge. creators of the l993 dance floor classic ‘Sugar Daddy' and. despite rumours to the contrary. they haven‘t split up. They have both been exceptionally busy
_ mind.’ Wonder people — Wonder has been in
the States working on solo projects with the likes of
Tracy Lords and Arthur Baker. while Needs has been Dling. producing and writing for dance magazines. ‘There‘s a German word. “yanein”.‘ says Wonder. describing the state of the band at the moment. ‘lt‘s a mixture between yes and no. We never really split up.
; bttt we are back together.’
The relationship began in New York eight years ago when Needs was working as an editor for a hip hop magazine. and Wonder was trying to pitch a track she had released on her own label. When she met him. she realised she had not only found a soul mate. but also a rare. untapped musical talent.
Needs had dabbled with making music before. in his punk days. but felt rather helpless in the studio because he didn‘t know how to play an instrument. Wonder took him round the studios she was working in and showed him how far developments had come.
’When Irvine Welsh gets pissed all I can hear is “blhergh. blhergh. blhergh". You'd never know he has such a brilliant
‘l’m responsible really.’ she giggles. ‘Because he hadn’t been in a studio for a long time. he didn’t understand you didn‘t need to work any of that stuff any more. You get an engineer. you pay him and you tell him your ideas. that’s how it is now.‘
Without this encouragement he might never have looked at a mixing desk again and wouldn’t now be involved in one of this year’s hottest new projects — Irvine Welsh’s disco sensation ‘Hibee-Nation’. Needs is producing the tracks and has set up a label with Welsh called Bubbles Recordings. Although Wonder was abroad when the first single ‘The Key To The House Of Love (Gies lt)‘ was recorded. she‘s singing and writing for the project from now on.
‘I was over at his house last night‘ she says. ‘And there‘s just so many things going on with that guy I can’t keep up.‘
Wonder believes Welsh is a formidable writing talent. but although she can generally decipher the Edinburgh dialect. she occasionally has problems. ‘When [Welsh] gets pissed. all I can hear is “blhergh. blhergh. blhergh”. and I look at him and think. you’d never know he has such a brilliant mind.’
Needs and Wonder are putting their full energy into Bubbles Recordings and are wholly tied up in Welsh’s passion for the new disco-age. According to Wonder. Needs wants to be the new Phil Spector. the whole wall of sound thing.
Here and there Needs and Wonder are catching time to work on Secret Knowledge together and hope to come to Glasgow with some new material. Distanced from their old contract with Deconstruction. they are in talks with major record companies to sign a new deal. Prepare yourself for more strange sounds. like Primal Scream’s Duffy having a pee and Needs singing into a bidet. as we heard on their debut album 50 Hard last year. Remember. knowledge is power.
Secret Knowledge play live at Love Boutique, The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 2 Aug.
preview CLUBS Club news
JUST HOW MANY times have you sat in the hairdressers' and wished they'd play something other than Celine Dion? Glasgow's funkiest salon DLC up Mitchell Lane reckon that the time has come to say no to dreary background tapes and have introduced live DJs to their Wednesday £15 student cut special. Mellow cropping vibes come courtesy of Paul Cawley (Phar Out), A Burd Called Ger (Bar 10) and Jilkes and Hatch (Knucklehead) among others.
ONE OF GLASGOW'S best loved characters Paul ‘Crafty' Crawford of the Sub Club is all set to leave the country and head out to 02 to set up home with his fiancee and do label work for either EMI or Arista. As befits the man who has been Subbie PR manager for over four years, he's leaving on a high with a stunning testimonial night on 8 Aug featuring the dream line-up of Gene Farris, Phil Perry, Ralph Lawson and Domenic.
THE EAST COAST Project are hosting an all nighter (10pm-5am) at The Jaffacake on Wed 27 Aug. Blacka'nized are headlining, fronted by Calvin Hudson (aka AJ) and new rhyme partner Gospel Fish, a dance hall artist from Spanish Town, Jamaica. Support comes from The Basic Collective, featuring Nicola King on vocals and DJs Joseph Malik, Eh? Wunl, Unkle Fawaz and Gavin.
ALAN FROM JOY is putting the finishing touches to The Summer Of Love Dance Party which will take place in the 1500 capacity Ross Theatre (formerly the Ross Bandstand), Princes Street Gardens on Sun 24 Aug. The open-air event is a benefit for Waverly Care, an AIDS Trust which supports SOLAS and Milestone House. The line-up includes a selection of DJs from Joy, Taste, Luvely, Tribal Eunktion, Burger Queen, Sublime, Fun Times and Tackno. Tickets are available from The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh, 0131 226 5138. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
Alan Nicholls: Joy DJ and organiser of The Summer Of love Dance Party
25 Jul—7 Aug 1997 "IE llSTTI