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Matt Brown’s Musical Journey: 10 Tracks That Shaped a Legend.

Kono Vidovic July 8, 2024 233 1

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West Londoner, Matt Brown, is one half of the dynamic duo behind the legendary Notting Hill carnival sound, Sancho Panza, and partnership behind the much loved Campo Sancho festival. The DJ, promoter and selector will be playing at the Campo Sancho Festival alongside his partner in crime Jimmy K-Tel in just a few weeks!

Campo is the small festival with a big attitude which returns for its seventh edition. Headliners include Laurent Garnier, Norman Jay, Crazy P’s Danielle Moore, and a whole host of great talent.

Ahead of the Campo Sancho boutique festival we asked Matt Brown to take us through ten tracks that were pivotal in his musical journey. From Ian Dury to Talking Heads to African Bambatta. It’s a list that will take you back in time and really make you remember.

1/ The Damned – New  Rose – Stiff Records 1976

I think the first record I ever owned was Long Haired Lover From Liverpool by Jimmy Osmond, I was 7. But New Rose by The Damned (which is widely regarded as the first ever punk single released in 1976) is a single amongst many others that got me properly into music and collecting records in my early teens.

I was  brought up in the Westbourne Park area of London, which in the 60s and 70s was very bohemian, squats and hippies everywhere. I loved it… Our next door neighbours were Stiff Records, they used to rent the ground floor of our house which was basically a make shift studio space, which they used to store stuff there… 

As a young teenager just getting into music and living next door to Stiff, which I now look back on as an incredibly fortunate period in my life, as it really did have a big impact on my musical upbringing, I got given pretty much everything they released, which was amazing as I was always completely broke! 

The Damned were always hanging around on our street particularly as there was a pub with tables outside just 4 doors down the road, they looked positively terrifying on first sight…

2/ Ian Dury  – Any track off the New Boots and Panties  album – Stiff Records 1977

But I’ve chosen Clever Trevor for its sheer funk and swager 

This album in particular stuck out for me (along with My Aim is True by Elvis Costello) A classic album from start to finish. One day we spotted Ian hanging around outside Stiff. Me, my brother and my best mate Stephen Dubs (son of Alf) who got me into punk and collecting records, all ran off to find our New Boots albums so Ian could sign them. I was reminiscing with my bro recently about this who reminded me that we sat Ian down and interviewed him, he was very accommodating and loved the fact these young tearaways had his album… He signed mine Arseholes, Bastards, Fucking Cunts and Pricks. Ian Dury . What a charmer, love him…

I actually have a couple of his gold discs, but that’s another story…

3/  Talking Heads – Psycho Killer 12” – Phonogram 1977 

I had this on 12” quite possibly the first 12 I ever owned, it had a smiley face on the cover  I seem to remember. I got it off my mate Dubsy, we were constantly swapping and selling records, either with each other or down Portobello Road  or at The Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill. We used to frequent Rough Trade a lot, the original shop when it was in Kensington Park Rd, when a 7” cost  about 50p, it really was the epicentre of alternative music, covered in gig posters and 7” picture covers, not an inch of wall space left blank, it was always an exciting experience going there as a young teenager, it felt like stepping into another world…

This track really hit me with it’s cool undertested funky groove it delivers, coupled with it’s slightly unsettling lyrics. Regretfully this has now passed through my hands, quite collectable now… I recently came across an excellent re-edit of this, it’s on my shortlist of tracks to play at Campo this year…

4/ Specials – Specials – Two Tone Records 1979

Trying to move out of the Punk/ New Wave era as I could easily fill up this whole piece with it… 

I have to include a track from this pivotal label, and to be honest it could be any number of songs from it, but I’ve chosen The Specials as they were the first signing to the label and this is such an iconic album, saying how things were at the time in Thatcher’s Britain. I would buy most Two Tones on day of release, the label really spearheaded the Ska revival. It was such an important part of my youth, where fashion and music collided. I was a bit too young (and skint) to fully embrace the punk threads at the time, but properly got into the short lived mod revival scene, which was quickly superseded by the Ska revival and Two Tone sound, I dived headfirst into this new emerging scene, it really felt like it was ours! fun and exciting if not a little dangerous at times…

I’ve chosen the closing track off the album ‘Your Wondering Now’ I love the melancholy vibe of it.

5/  Grace Jones – Private Life/ She’s Lost Control – Island Records 1980

Both of these tracks I had on repeat through the summer of 1980 as I was in a slightly heartbroken state, pining after someone who wasn’t as interested in me as I was in them, ahh young love… But the start of love affair with Grace, with Sly and Robbie adding their unmistakable magic to proceedings… Private Life is actually written by Chrissie Hynde which I’ve only just discovered today…

This 12” I borrowed off my mate Hugh, I don’t think I ever gave it back, sorry. Very naughty of me…  

6/  Heaven 17 – Penthouse and Pavement – Virgin 1981

This album with it’s fast and frenetic energy really caught my ears, really fresh and forward thinking, I think the whole thing is amazing from start to finish, ahead of the curve of what was coming. I borrowed this album from a friend at school and put it onto tape, which I then proceeded to cain the living daylights of! 

I’m please to say I returned the album to the owner…

7/ Pigbag – Papas Got a Brand New Pigbag – Y Records 1981

When I first heard this track I was like WTF is this! This track was quickly followed up by Sunny Day which is equally good.  I became slightly obsessed with them and bought every track they released on 12”, which wasn’t that many as they only survived a couple of years before disbanding, their sound taking in elements of Punk, Jazz, Funk, and Ska played at a breakneck speed was fresh, they definitely had their own vibe going on and I loved them. I was lucky enough to see them at the Hammersmith Palais, god knows how I got in because I looked about 12…

8/ Black Uhuru – Tear It Up – Live – Island Records 1982

This album become part of the soundtrack to my summer in 1982, I was in 6th form at Holland Park School and had recently met Jim Angell my SanchoPanza partner in crime, we both had small motor bikes and hooked up with a bunch of motor cycling reprobates from Burlington Danes in White City, throughout that summer we all ragged around West London causing havoc. This album we all adopted, it got played to death as we sat around hanging out, drinking and smoking… Happy days

Here’s the link to the whole album, treat yourself…

9/ Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock – Tommy Boy 1982

Perhaps a bit of an obvious choice for some people? But I have to include it, I distinctly remember the first time I heard it, I was at mates house chillin and smoking listening to music (which is what we did back in those days) and he put this on, it literally blew my mind, fried my brains as I’d never heard anything remotely like it before. 

Being a West London boy I was brought up with carnival, I used to go every year, as it was literally on my door step, in the 80s it was much easier to move around, we used go from sound to sound, witnessing this new emerging electro scene, crews of djs, b-boy breakers and dancers battling it out for dance floor supremacy, which would sometimes boil over into a massive face off. This tune would feature heavily, along with Newclues Wikki Wikki, Hashim “Al-Naafiysh, Herbie Hancock Rockit  are a couple that spring to mind, most of these new import tracks would get a UK release on the Street Sounds label run by Morgan Khan, from 1983 onwards this essential compilation series certainly helped fuel the scene, and were the lifeblood for any young skint teenager eager to hear more of this new exciting music, I have most of them packed away in storage…

10/  The Night Writers – Let The Music Use You – Danica Records 1987

Jumping forward by half a decade! But I have to include this track which is produced by the great Frankie Knuckles. If I had to choose one House tune that sums the positive vibes of the time, then it has to be this, one of the greatest vocal House tracks of all time.

Dancing high as a kite and happy as Larry, it really felt like something positive was happening, and something was! It was a joyous unleashing of a disenfranchised youth, downtrodden by nearly a decade of Thatcher rule, the timing was just simply perfect, a pressure pot just waiting to boil over and out of it a youth movement of the like we’re very unlikely to ever see again. The positive energy and the breaking down of barriers, the brining together of like-minded people was and still is to this day Acid House’s greatest achievement. This music delivered were Punk failed, as most of the biggest Punk bands of the time all signed to majors and essentially ruined what the whole thing was supposed to be about in the first place! Luckily that diy ethos of Punk was carried through into Acid House all helped by a little yellow tablet…

The intro still gives me goosebumps when I hear it. Truly Happy Days

Massive thank you!

A massive thank you to Matt Brown for sharing his musical memories with us. Don’t forget to catch him and Jimmy K-Tel at the Campo Sancho Festival, where they’ll be spinning tracks that are sure to get you moving. Stay tuned for more exciting interviews and musical journeys. Be sure to check out the new releases and keep the music alive!

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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco

Kono Vidovic

DJ | MUSIC CURATOR & SELECTOR | PODCAST MAKER | BLOGGER Professional online interpreneur. Coffee practitioner. Electronic music culture maven. Total music guru. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Food & sports fanatic.

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