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Return Of The Vibe – Part 3

Posted by edd_jedi on 22nd May 2019

Jedi Recordings #23, our joint release with Stormtrooper Recordings for their 25th anniversary, is now in stock. As you might have seen, we’re running a competition to win a one-off Stormtrooper Recordings BMX, so here’s some details from Olly:

For our fourth release on Stormtrooper, we bagged a really good Kniteforce remix of Hold Me In Your Arms. I can’t remember exactly how that happened, but I sometimes used to tag a ride up to London with Brisk in his MK3 Astra GTE, and he introduced me to Luna-C at his attic studio in Loughton.

When our new releases were ready for collection from the pressing plant, which was usually PR records in Wimbledon, I’d jump in my old MG Metro and head up the M3 from Bournemouth, cut across to the A3 and head into Wimbledon to collect the records (because it was usually cheaper back then to pick them up myself than get charged £50 for a distributor to pick them up!) If it was an Underdog release, I’d fit as many records as I could into the Metro (I swear I once got 2000 in there which tested out the hydro-eleastic suspension) and head up to Soho to drop a couple of boxes to Nicky at Blackmarket Records, then head out of town on the M4 to see Phil at Vinyl Distribution in Reading. If it was a Stormtrooper release I’d head up to see Lee at Mo’s Music Machine and drop most of the records there for distribution.

I’d keep a box or 2 and then head to Camden to see Jimmy J at Remix Records. They always had a joint on the go out the back, it was pre skunk days so it was still possible to function for the rest of the day! They could really shift some units of hardcore and I got to know Jimmy, Colin and Richie quite well. Maybe that’s where the deal got sorted for the Jimmy J and Cru-L-T remix, either way it helped put Stormtrooper Recordings on the map.

So, why a BMX competition? Well, I used to run Underdog, Stormtrooper and Burning Bush Communications, but I didn’t write any of the tunes. I made sure that the tunes would get onto vinyl and into the record shops, but the running around I used to do was just logistics.

When it came to organising this 25th anniversary release, I sent a few messages to my contact list, and gave a little artistic direction. I’m over the moon with them, and the reaction (and sales) have exceeded expectations. However I think I had a little bit of fomo because I didn’t really add to the creative process. I’m not a musician or producer, but I wanted to put a bit of myself into this campaign.

When I was trawling through the loft looking for stuff I’ve kept from the ’93-94 era for the Vinyl Fantiks Underdog represses, I found some old VHS tapes from back in the day. At the time I lived in a shared house with Rebel Alliance who had a studio in his bedroom, Brent from Vinyl Fanatiks, and our mate Cheggers. I’ve got some everyday footage from the house, and it’s like a boring episode of ‘The Young Ones’ crossed with ‘Men Behaving Badly’ except it’s not as funny.

In one clip, I caught a glimpse of the BMX I had back then. I loved that bike, it was an old chrome Aero that I had during my school days in the 80s with black Skyways. I still had it in my early 20s, and seeing it again reminded me of happy times bombing around Charminster late at night on the way to the off license, jumping off kerbs, and when all the original label artists got signed elsewhere that BMX took me down to the beach to look out at the sea and plan my next move.

I stupidly left it in Mixmatt’s mum’s shed, so I don’t have it any more. But I started pining for another one even though I’m now 46! I went out and bought a generic chrome BMX off eBay and I’m pleased to say it’s still a great feeling riding a BMX. I now have about 4 or 5 of them scattered around at work. I saw a black and white Raleigh Burner on one of the forums I’ve joined and thought “that’s Stormtrooper colours, I reckon I could build something like that and use it to promote the record that’s coming out!”

I found an original 1984 Mk2 Burner frame and forks on eBay, the ones with an oval tubed frame and the “R” cut out on the forks. When the frame arrived it was straight, but it was more cream than white due to ageing of the paint. So I talked to my friend Cheeky Scott who is a car bodywork specialist (he usually does Porsches) but he was happy to paint the Raleigh Burner as a favour and to be honest pretty much anyone my age I mention BMX to starts smiling and reminiscing about their BMX memories.

So I got the front part and forks painted a Mercedes black, and the rear alpine white, basically a mono version of the iconic old Team Burner paint scheme (which was blue at the front and white at the back.) Then I started accumulating parts and I sourced:

I asked Esemdesigns to make up some custom Raleigh Burner decals and Stormtrooper Recordings label decals for the forks. But apart from the decals and vintage frame, pretty much everything else is brand new or in mint condition.

Putting it together was great fun and took me back to the 80s, I haven’t done anything music related for a while and anyone in this industry knows things aren’t always straight forward so it was theraputic to have to beat in the bottom bracket with a heavy mallet and piece of 2×3. Once that was fitted the rest of it came together pretty quickly, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. Raleigh didn’t make a Burner in these colours and with the custom decals it is truly a one-off, in fact I never actually owned a bike this nice and I’m a little bit gutted to be giving it away! Although I now feel like I’ve contributed something creative to this release which is what I wanted to do.

I told Edd I could put it together for £300, but it’s cost at least £500 just in parts. I don’t think this will be the last BMX I put together as it’s been too much fun, in fact I have a BMX side project planned and I found a blue and silver seat post that could form the basis of an R2-D2 build.

So the bottom line is everyone who buys a copy of this 25th anniversary vinyl via Bandcamp by 1st June is in with a chance of winning this bike. You have a roughly 1 in 200 chance of winning it. I see a lot of raffles on Facebook where if you don’t win anything you lose the price of your ticket, but for this competition everyone who buys a record is already a winner because you are guaranteed to get a decent slab of wax and winning the bike is just a bonus! As long as you can ride a bike I can guarantee if you win this it will raise a smile when you get on the saddle.

So that’s it from me except to say thanks again to Brent from Vinyl Fanatiks for reviving my interest in music and BMXs, and also Edd for making this release possible. This has been an enjoyable trip down memory lane and as it’s been a success, there’s more new material on its way from the Stormtrooper/Return Of The Vibe stable – old skool is back!

You can buy the record on its own, or there are various bundles including 25th anniversary t-shirts, slipmats, stickers, CDs etc. Here’s all the links:

Jedi Recordings #23 Vinyl only
Vinyl + bonus CD + stickers
Vinyl + t-shirt + bonus CD + stickers
Vinyl + t-shirt + slipmats + mug + bonus CD + stickers

Every purchase of the vinyl or a bundle via Bandcamp by midnight on June 1st 2019 receives 1x free entry into a prize draw to win the BMX.

< Part 2