Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Set It Off  

Under the guidance of legendary NYC DJ Walter Gibbons, "Set It Off" by Strafe was a massive underground club hit upon its release in 1984. Gibbons (who mixed the track) was co-founder of the Jus Born imprint which was basically formed as a catalyst for the "Set It Off" single. The track had such a profound impact that they went on to produce a female vocal version in 1985, a 1986 remix 12" as well as "Set It Off II" in '87. With its stark groove, the original version was a masterful blend of early electro, house and techno styles. Still, I quite enjoy the single as it evolved over the next several Jus Born releases.

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Strafe aka Steve Standard still performs in NYC to this day. The late great Walter Gibbons (pictured above) died in 1994 and donated his massive record collection to an SF based aids charity where it was auctioned off. Many pieces of his collection are still floating around the Bay Area.

Strafe - Set It Off

Harleqiun 4's - Set It Off

Strafe - Set It Off (1986 Remix)

Posted by Magnum | 6 comments

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6 comments: to “ Set It Off

  • February 4, 2009 at 5:41 AM  

    weird, i was just singing this in the shower this morning, wishing i could have a copy. AWESOME!

  • February 4, 2009 at 9:57 AM  

    Incredible record, a big fave of DJ MOJO's Detroit WJLB show in the mid to late 80s and on, a classic for sure. This and Nitro Deluxe's "Let's Get Brutal" are a must have.

  • February 4, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

    I think you called it. Set It Off and Lets Get Brutal are my two favorites of mid eighties house era, the Jamie Principle classics falling close behind. They have a crossover quality and hook that was rare at the time I feel.

  • February 11, 2009 at 7:42 AM  

    Hi BT Magnum,

    This really is one of my favorite tracks of all time. I remember being on the pitch dark dance floor in the basement of Malcolm X House in college in '84 or '85. This track came on, and everyone lost it! It was mixed with a few other versions [one with a rap, maybe Number 1 - "Set It Off (Party Rock)" or the one by Masquerade]. Can you believe the '85 track by Harleqiun Four's has a vocal by none other than Barbara Tucker? Also, the 1986 Remix is by Kenny Carpenter. This track's lineage really is one of the most fantastic in the history of 80s underground.

  • February 11, 2009 at 7:43 AM  

    Alas, I forgot: Thank you so much!!!

    Peace, Jerome

  • February 16, 2009 at 10:56 AM  

    Nice selection. Talk about being ahead of it's time! Track has a 'haunting' feel that just kills it. Thank you for sharing your excellent collection and site.