Nasty Rox Inc. signed to ZTT in 1987, the first spark of a London dance music scenethat was set to explode at any second. Managed by Dave Dorrell and with Nellee Hooper originally on decks and MC Kinky on percussion, they fused a bass/guitar/vocals rock line-up with scratching, samples and a house music mentality. The Face called this “home grown HM hip hop collective, the epitome of kitchen sink smash and grab hysteria” and they were on the front cover of NME and awarded Single Of The Week with their debut 12” Escape From New York.
The band went on to record a legendary ZTT album, Ca$h, replacing Hooper with M/A/R/R/S’ CJ Mackintosh and toured extensively, from Moscow (where the strains of Art of Noise’s Moments in Love would be played before the band took to the stage) to London (supporting James Brown).
CJ Mackintosh: “I got a phone call after I won the DMC UK Mixing Championships in 1987 from Dave Dorrell who had the band together already: Dan Fox on vocals, John Waddell (King ND) on guitar and Mark Townsend (Leo T). I took a trip down to the rehearsal studios to try DJing with a live band and really enjoyed it and they took me on.”
“We did some great gigs around the UK and Europe in 1988 and 1989. Some good and some really bad as I don't think the public were ready for our kind of music. The stand out gig was supporting James Brown at the Brixton Academy which is some ways was strange because we were really classed as a rock band. You had a lot of people in the crowd looking at us and thinking ‘what the hell is this?’ but after a few tracks they got into it. For me it was hard taking it live after the studio sessions as I could add as much scratching and drop-ins as I liked in the studio but when it came to doing it live I didn't have four hands to do it. I had to use a sampler too for some of the drops in and then hit the decks for the scratch parts when doing it live. I had to be very prepared before the gig - all my records had to be in order of track and I even had floppy's to load in between so it was totally full on for me!”
“Nobby’s One was a track John had for a while. We always were trying to put a song to it but it never quite worked so in the end I decided to just take it and add tons of samples and scratches on the top instead, which worked a treat. In a strange way I think the track was too funky for Dan’s vocals to be added on top. If I recall correctly we added the samples and scratches in one session. Just having a laugh really with samples. The track took a couple of weeks to record as it was all live.”
“I was into all the tracks on our only album, Ca$h. Escape From New York was obviously a stand out track as it was the only single to be released from the LP. 9th Wonder was a track I liked as it was fun recording it and doing it live. There was a 10th Wonder featuring Derek B rapping that was never released. That was great as it was a complete mixture of music. It even had an acid bassline going thru it.”
extract from the book accompanying
Zang Tuum Tumb, The ZTT Box Set
Nasty Rox Inc