S IS FOR SECRET KNOWLEDGE (PT 1)

Kris Needs and Wonder were Secret Knowledge. Two posts on them. Next time, some remix work. This time, their own work.

From NME.com: Collective featuring the writing skills of singer Wonder (b. West Virginia, USA) and Kris Needs, a man with a long and shady history. His chequered past includes stints in pub rockers the Vice Creems, and a part-time position as John Otway’s bongo player. He began writing for ZigZag magazine in 1975, going on to take over the editorship in 1977. In the 80s and 90s he concentrated on writing dance music reviews for Echoes and other magazines. Wonder, meanwhile, had formerly fronted a Munich, Germany-based jazz/blues band titled Strange Fruit. Unlike many of the predominantly soul-based female vocalists who regularly added their voices to house cuts, Wonder was responsible for writing lyrics as well as the occasional melody (including “Sugar Daddy”). The duo met in the late 80s in New York, recording a one-off rap single together, “Rap Too Tight”. Once they had returned to the UK, and Needs had discovered the burgeoning acid house movement, they cut their first track under the Secret Knowledge flag, “Your Worst Nightmare”. Influenced by the deep house of New York’s Strictly Rhythm Records label, they followed their debut with “Ooh Baby”, one of the first releases on Andy Weatherall’s Sabres Of Paradise label. Next up came one of the biggest club hits of 1993, “Sugar Daddy”. In its wake Secret Knowledge were elevated to the status of hot producers/remixers. Among their other collaborative monikers are Delta Lady (reflecting a more urbane, funk-based side to their nature), 4 Boy 1 Girl Action (whose “Hawaiian Death Stomp” combined Needs with DJ David Holmes and members of the Sabres enclave), the Rabettes (featuring Weatherall’s girlfriend Nina’s assorted rabbits and guinea pigs), Hutchbern, The Pecking Order (featuring various impersonations of chickens) and Codpeace (with Alex Paterson of the Orb). Needs also stepped out as a remix artist, converting artists from many fields incuding the Boo Radleys, Saint Etienne, Love And Rockets, and Nitzer Ebb. They clashed with the compilers of the excellent Trance Europe Express 2 in mid-1994 over their contribution, “Afterworld”. The lyrics addressed Wonder’s cousin, an AIDS sufferer, but the track was deemed to be out of context on an otherwise instrumental set. While compromises were still being discussed, a vocal-less version was “inadvertently” included instead, as Needs discovered after returning from touring with Primal Scream. They issued the “correct” version on his Stolen Karots label instead. Secret Knowledge’s debut album was belatedly released on Deconstruction Records in 1996.

Secret Knowledge – Sugar Daddy 96 (Liberator Stay Up Forever Mix)  

Secret Knowledge – Love Me Now (Secret Knowledge Mix)  

Secret Knowledge – I Dig your Ass (Derrick Carter Mix)  

Secret Knowledge – Escape To New York  

Secret Knowledge – Afterworld   from Trance Europe Express Vol 2

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~ by acidted on November 16, 2009.

5 Responses to “S IS FOR SECRET KNOWLEDGE (PT 1)”

  1. […] Knowledge have appeared here more than once, so no need for introductions (previous post here). But Scott is a different matter. Here’s a bio from the DJ […]

  2. […] Knowledge have appeared here more than once, so no need for introductions (previous post here). They were reknowned ligger and journalist Kris Needs together with vocalist Wonder Schneider. […]

  3. […] Knowledge have appeared here more than once, so no need for introductions (previous post here). But Scott is a different matter. Here’s a bio from the DJ […]

  4. […] Knowledge have appeared here more than once, so no need for introductions (previous post here). They were reknowned ligger and journalist Kris Needs together with vocalist Wonder Schneider. […]

  5. […] #11, and just missing out on the top 10, is Secret Knowledge (Kris Needs and Wonder – more here) and their 1993 classic release Sugar Daddy on Weatherall’s Sabres of Paradise label. The […]

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