Chad Jackson & Steve Mac

Chad Jackson & Steve Mac

For some reason, the Jack Said What (JSW) crew can’t help saying Chad Jackson’s name affectionately. It probably stems from the time that JSW associate Klaus Blatter immortalised Chad in one of his songs, his origin story ‘Ball Bearing Factory’. Chad reputedly met Klaus in the 1980s, when Chad was a resident at the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester. 

A hip-hop fiend as a teen, Chad taught himself to scratch — practising for many months in his bedroom — and in 1986 entered the DMC turntablist world championships. He scored well with a routine that included scratching with his nose, chin, elbow, barefoot, behind his back and even blindfolded, doing a deft pirouette spin or two as he mixed in tracks like ‘Le Freak’ by Chic. This routine wasn’t quite enough to win him the trophy, so when he returned the following year for the 1987 competition, he’d sharpened up his skills further. 


Mixing in everyone from rocker Eddie Cochrane to LL Cool J, his piece de resistance was pulling out first a snooker cue to scratch with and then a rugby ball. The judges awarded Chad first place. He was the DMC World Champion!

A natural extension of his was to make his own sampladelic record. His hip-house track ‘Hear The Drummer Get Wicked’ was constructed by the use of snippets from tunes by The O’Jays, Gang Starr, Kool & The Gang, Public Enemy, Soul II Soul, Bobby Byrd and more. In a precursor to the PLUR mantra adopted by ravers, its “Peace, unity, love and having fun!” refrain — nicked from a chant by James Brown and Afrika Bambaataa, no less — resonated with the burgeoning acid house scene, and the single shot to No.3 in the UK pop charts. Chad appeared on Top Of The Pops, and became a bona fide pop star.


He’s spent the last 30+ years immersed in music — releasing records, DJing everywhere, journeying through his record collection for his radio show and teaching music to a new generation of youngsters. Every so often he heads down to Brighton to hang with the JSW crew — playing at their nights, recording with Steve Mac in his Bunker studio. Releasing his sequel record ‘Get Wicked Again’ on KAB Records, the occasional label offshoot, and getting played by Mary Anne Hobbs and others.

Released on Valentine’s Day yesterday, ‘Spread Love’ from Chad and Steve Mac features a gently gurgling bassline that gives way to a mysteriously omnipotent force in the clouds urging us to “spread love”.


Irvine Welsh: “Legend is an overused term these days, particularly in the music business where hyperbole is the order of the day. But as an eighties dance music obsessed world champion DJ, former Hacienda resident Chad Jackson, who steered us through electro, hip hop and disco into the turbulent waters of acid house, is fully deserving of such an accolade.”

© justaweemusicblog.com  

Write a comment

Comments: 0