The Lonely Traveller

Back when I started this, the Internet was a lot more promising. You could assume that your words would be indelibly etched forever into the conciousness of humanity.

I’ve seen the future, I can’t afford it

Turns out, that’s not quite the truth. Corporate greed has overtaken the thirst for knowledge, one could write up a detailed passage of a certain Rock Group’s album developments or release dates, but for that same group to pull your words from Wikipedia and turn you to their truth instead. And if their truth is sourced from false data, who decides what the actual truth is now? Turns out it’s just some guy in Eastern Europe who is willing to revert your article more often than you can publish, even if it’s better sourced. And now we’ve allowed AI to just flat out lie about things, and it can invent sources even if they’re not real.

There aren’t many truths, the above is from my fight with Wikipedia about My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless release date, and I’ve recently heard that Queen have someone that keeps their wiki entry lean to make sure that nothing diverts from their story. Discogs is still around, but if it turned into a casino overnight I wouldn’t be entirely surprised.

But, I diverge. I find myself with more time on my hands these days, and I wanted to go back to some old, old drafts and finally finish them. So, today, probably about 15 years since I actually started on this; Streets Ahead.

Shem McCauley DJ’ed for LWR, in a time where scratching was more of a novelty in the UK, he was prolific and contributed to a few chart bothering singles. Was in Norman Cook’s orbit, and I’m fairly sure the last line in this is an intro for him.

From 3:45, duck scratching.
James Brown - Payback (The Final Mixdown) Mixed by Norman Cook & Streetsahead
The James Brown remixes of this time tended to have the remixers names filed off.

Anyway, I wanted to gather a few of the likely less known tracks from his earler Hip-house adjacent works, so see below.

Streets Ahead

1 Betty Boo – Hangover (Saturday Night Remix)
2 Bomb The Bass – Keep Giving Me Love (Streets Ahead Ubiquity Mix)
3 Bomb The Bass – Winter In July (Streets Ahead Brighton Daze Mix)
4 Derek B – Goodgroove (Streets Ahead Changing Gears Remix)
5 Wee Papa Girl Rappers – Faith (Streets Ahead Remix)
6 Rappin’ Is Fundamental – Rapping Is Fundamental (Streets Ahead Brighton Daze Remix)
7 Roxanne Shanté – Go On Girl (Rockin’ The Park Mix)
8 Was (Not Was) – Spy In The House Of Love (Streets Ahead Mix)
9 Simon Harris – Bass (How Low Can You Go) (Streets Ahead Bass Below Zero Remix)
10 The Beatmasters Feat. Betty Boo – Hey DJ, I Can’t Dance (To That Music You’re Playing) (EM-Q Mix)

(This doesn’t cover some other things I’ve just found to exist such as Herb Alpert & Definition of Sound remixes, nor the Indie adjacent sutff such as Blur & Space remixes, mainly because I have no interest in listening to Blur.)

And post this stuff, he went on to slightly more progressive / house stuff. First one I can seem to find is this, Ramp.

Rock The Discotek

Actually this one’s a bit weird. Early mixes were credited to Ramp, later (like this from youtube) to Simon Rogers & Ian McCauley. Although Discogs credits Ramp as Simon and Shem McCauley. So was Shem known as Ian? or is the Internet lying? I’ll leave you to make up your own minds but this track with a Big Daddy Kane sample and a vibe close to later Slacker work is very likely to be Shem, IMO. Simon is perhaps better known for other affairs, such as Leuroj (released on Skint, so in Norman Cook’s orbit) E-Zee Possee, and, uh, The Fall.

And now, Slacker. This is Streetsahead’s final form I guess. Progressive yet still kind of unique. There are a number of Slacker releases listed over on discogs that I’ve never heard so they were pretty prolific but I’d suggest starting with these two and going from there.

I’m just scared you know, everybody is.
Scared Face, Sad Face, Happy Face, Your Face.

Slacker on Discogs.

RIP Shem.