V IS FOR VINYL BLAIR

Never understood why a techno artist would use such a weak pun as a name. Turns out it was the combintation of Steve Jones and William Nastri (better known as DJ Billy Nasty). Vinyl Blair was on Leffields’ Hard Hands record label but was never particularly successful.

RA: BILLY NASTY has been DJing half his life; a career that has seen him spin professionally since 1990. He has continually travelled the world as one of the most in-demand techno / electro DJs. As a result, he has been one of only a handful of more ‘underground’ DJs who has consistently featured in the annual DJ Mag Top 100.

Having spent a handful of formative, pre-house years, soaking up the rhythms of rare-groove, go-go and funk, Billy was already a committed DJ when house music exploded in the UK in the late eighties. He secured a job at the cutting-edge, Camden-based, Zoom record shop in the latter stages of 1989; this frontline job was extremely important and allowed Billy to regularly meet other prominent figures on London’s burgeoning club scene, as well as helping him to enhance his reputation as a DJ.

At the beginning of 1990, Billy took up his first residency at The Exploding Plastic Inevitable night (with accomplice and Lost founder, Steve Bicknell), at the legendary BrainClub in Soho. It ran for two and a half years with Billy playing a mixture of sounds and styles that proved a precursor to the progressive house scene that followed.

By 1991, Billy’s reputation behind the decks was such that he was invited to record the first mix for a new CD series entitled, Journeys By DJ. Seamlessly weaving between artists of the day – including Leftfield and Eagles Prey – Billy gained entry into the Guinness Book of Records for producing the first commercially-available DJ mix. Shortly afterwards, he undertook his first studio project when invited to remix St Etienne’s Join Our Club; he later accompanied the band, as tour DJ, on their 1992 Japanese tour.

Throughout 1992-93, so many bootleg mix tapes of Billy’s were flooding the UK that they proved the ultimate marketing tool and resulted in requests for his presence at burgeoning nights nationwide, most notably: Venus, Renaissance and Back2Basics.

At the front of the pack when Progressive House boomed in ‘93, Billy’s DJing schedule went through the roof. Besides being a regular at four of the most prominent clubs in London (The Drum Club, Open All Hours, Final Frontier, and Strutt), Billy began to reach wider audiences as he travelled the whole of the UK and undertook an increasing amount of European gigs. He enjoyed studio adventures with Dave Wesson (Zoom owner) as Shi-Take – who had a six-single career on the shop’s in-house label – and also, future Chemical Brothers engineer, Steve Dub, as Vinyl Blair; the latter partnership led to releases on Leftfield’s recently founded Hard Hands label.

1995 saw Billy’s workload multiply further still, to the extent, that, working at Zoom was no longer an option: he was now DJing 3-5 times a week in the UK and further afield. Such a hectic schedule required greater levels of professionalism and, it was with this in mind, that the Theremin DJ agency was launched; initially it looked after fellow UK DJs – Jim Masters, Mark Williams and Phil Perry – but European DJs were quickly added to the roster: Adam Beyer, Marco Carola, Umek, The Youngsters and Oliver Ho, as well as many others, would not be so widely regarded amongst UK clubbers if it had not been for their association with Theremin.

In 1996, with the airmiles continuing to stack up, Billy was nominated for best national DJ, as well as best Radio One Essential Mix, at the Muzik magazine awards. He also played peak-time sets at the seminal Tribal Gathering festivals in the UK and Germany. Billy’s style had shifted dramatically by 1997 and he was now widely-regarded as one of the premier exponents of hard-edged techno.

 A random selection of tracks from the early 1990s, mostly in early techno trance style:

Vinyl Blair – Mazzoslamma  

Vinyl Blair – The Trancespotter [Turbo Nation Trance Groove]  

Vinyl Blair – Dubble Bubble (Aloof Mix)  

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~ by acidted on January 13, 2010.

5 Responses to “V IS FOR VINYL BLAIR”

  1. […] Remixes Pt 2″, released on Leftfield’s Hard Hands label. Previous post on Vinyl Blair here. This is a much more dub influenced track, a bit like Victim from a couple of days […]

  2. […] Blair was Billy Nasty and Steve Jones – see previously here. His work as Vinyl Blair tended towards the uncompromising side of techno. This track is no […]

  3. […] Blair, apart from being an awful pun, was William Nastri (Billy Nasty) and Steve Jones (more here). Most of their work is unsubtle, straight ahead techno of the beat-you-into-submission variety. […]

  4. […] Blair were Billy Nasty and Steve Jones (Steve Dub). They have appeared here a few times (see here). This remix was released on Hard Hands Records (Leftfield’s label) and was Vinyl […]

  5. […] labels. Tortured was active in the mid-90s and released stuff from heavy duty techno artists like Billy himself, The Advent and Umek. But also released stuff from less aggressive techno people like Dave […]

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