Category Archives: Big C

Various Artists – Skinnymalinky Records

Various Artists
“Skinnymalinky Records”
1995-1998 Skinnymalinky Records (UK)
2002 Gusto Records (UK)

01. Mothers Pride – Floribunda (Full Blossom Mix)
02. Alex Whitcombe – Ice Rain
03. The RAH Band – Living for the Nightlife (Main Disco Mix)
04. Yekuana – Canis Loopus (Thousand Rains)
05. Beat Foundation – Virginia (Golden Mix)
06. Vadis – Past And Present (The Present)
07. Beat Foundation – Foundations II (Main Mix)
08. Satellite – Early Bird (Original Mix)
09. Rumpus – Space Funk (The Caterpilla)
10. Beat Foundation – Save Me (Mike Monday Remix)

INFO > In 2002, Gusto Records acquired the back catalog of Andy Cato’s defunct Skinnymalinky imprint (refer to this earlier post for info about the label). While intending to reissue much of Skinny’s original material, Gusto only released one 12″ featuring remixes of Beat Foundation’s “Save Me.” In an effort to make up for Gusto’s disappointing failure, here’s my unofficial compilation of the few Skinnymalinky tracks ever available on CD.

UPDATE > I discovered an unreleased Skinnymalinky tune in my collection that I’d previously overlooked: Rumpus “Space Funk (The Caterpilla)” (now included as track 9 above). According to the source CD, only 50 copies were pressed and sent to select DJs in July 1998, right before the label closed up shop. Among the lucky recipients was DJ Keoki, who included “Space Funk” on his mix CD, “Inevitable Alien Nation.” Had “Space Funk” received a proper release, it would have been assigned catalog number SMR02198.

Los Del Mar – Macarena

Los Del Mar
“Macarena”
1996 Pulse-8 Records (UK)
CD LOSE 101

01. Macarena (Radio Version)
02. Macarena (Mar Fe Mix)
03. Macarena (Gregorio Mix)
04. Macarena (Beat Foundation Full Frontal Mix)
05. Macarena (Beat Foundation Infinity Dub)

INFO > No, this isn’t another April Fool’s joke. Yes, “Macarena” is one of the most annoying one hit wonders of all time, so it’s surprising to find a couple of great remixes here. When Pulse-8 licensed the single for a UK release, the label thankfully enlisted Beat Foundation to overhaul the tune as a progressive house workout—the ‘Infinity Dub’ is a hidden gem among BF’s credits.

Trivia > This is not the original “Macarena,” but rather a cover version—Spanish duo Los Del Rio wrote and recorded the song that became an international hit in 1995 and spawned the short-lived dance craze.

MACARENA

Bullitt – Cried To Dream

Bullitt
“Cried To Dream”
1996 VC Recordings (UK)
VCRD 11

01. Cried To Dream (Amazonian Vocal) 10:04
02. Cried To Dream (Dub Mix) 08:20
03. Cried To Dream (Beat Foundation Delta Remix) 08:41
04. Cried To Dream (Beat Foundations Infinity Dub) 08:39
05. Cried To Dream (Amazonian Dub) 10:07
06. Cried To Dream (James Reid’s Radio Edit)* 03:51

*Bonus track, sourced from: Various Artists “Max Volume 1”

INFO > Bullitt was a one-off project by brothers Ben and Sam Harris, who ran dance specialty shop Casa Records in their hometown of Bromley, Kent during the 1990s. Hooking up with Dave Billing, the trio wrote and produced “Cried To Dream,” which was signed to Virgin subsidiary VC Recordings and remixed by Blue Amazon’s James Reid and Beat Foundation. Ben Harris would go on to form Dirty Vegas in 2001 and hit the charts with “Days Go By.”

NOTE > Due to a manufacturing error, all copies of this CD were pressed with a faulty TOC resulting in offset track start times; that problem has been corrected here.

CRIED TO DREAM

Alex Whitcombe & Big C – Ice Rain

Alex Whitcombe & Big C
“Ice Rain”
1998 Xtravaganza Recordings (UK)
0091075 EXT

01. Ice Rain (Xtravaganza Edit)
02. Ice Rain (Alex Whitcombe & Big C Original Edit)
03. Ice Rain (Heliotropic Epic Vocal)
04. Ice Rain (Xtravaganza 12″)
05. Ice Rain (Alex Whitcombe & Big C Original)

INFO > Originally released on Skinnymalinky (SMR01196), “Ice Rain” was licensed to Xtravaganza after Skinny folded in 1998. While the original was credited solely to Alex Whitcombe, Big C (Andy Cato) received equal billing on this reissue, which includes new vocal mixes from Heliotropic (Gez Dewar and Nick Hale) and Alex Gold.

ICE RAIN

Mothers Pride – Floribunda

Mothers Pride
“Floribunda”
1998 Heat Recordings (UK)
HEAT CD013

01. Floribunda (Radio Edit)
02. Floribunda (Big C Remix)
03. Floribunda (Tall Paul Remix)
04. Floribunda (Original Mix)
05. Floribunda (Andy Mowat Remix)

INFO > This summery progressive house choon was the first release on Big C’s Skinnymalinky label (SMR00195). Licensed by Heat in 1998, the reissued single features an updated mix by Big C, alongside remixes from Tall Paul and Andy Mowat.

FLORIBUNDA

Beat Foundation – Shelter EP

Beat Foundation
“Shelter”
1996 Skinnymalinky Records (UK)
SMR00996CD / SMR01096CD

01. Give Me Shelter (Radio Edit)
02. Give Me Shelter (Rawhide Mix)
03. Rain or Shine
04. Wedded Blysse
05. Seven Steps
06. Give Me Shelter (Velvet Mix)

INFO > Also issued as a double 12″, Beat Foundation’s “Shelter EP” was Skinnymalinky’s only compact disc release. Featuring uncredited vocals from Molloy, lead track “Give Me Shelter” appears in two versions—the smooth ‘Velvet Mix’ and epic ‘Rawhide Mix.’ Rounding out the release are storming “Rain Or Shine,” shimmering “Wedded Blysse,” and ambient “Seven Steps.”

SHELTER EP

Skinnymalinky Records

I was surprised to not find more information on the web about the brilliant but short-lived UK progressive house label, Skinnymalinky, and its artist collective, Beat Foundation. The imprint was founded by 6 foot 8 inch, Yorkshire-born Andy Cato (born Andrew Cocup), who was taught to play piano and trombone by his father, a professional jazz musician. In 1987, Andy won Yorkshire’s Young Jazz Musician of the Year award and would go on to graduate from Oxford University. Introduced to acid house by his cousin, Andy took up DJing and tried his hand at production with a piano house track, “Get The Music.” After selling out the initial white label pressing, Andy secured a proper release on Rumour Records in 1992 under the alias Seventh Sense.

Cato adopted the name Big C and set up Skinnymalinky Records in London at the end of 1994. Produced by Big C and Anselm Guise as Mothers Pride, “Floribunda” became Skinnymalinky’s first release in 1995. Looking to create unique sounds, Cato sought out like-minded collaborators with similar musical backgrounds. Mike Mukhopadhyay, also a classically trained musician, had learned piano, saxophone, and bassoon while growing up, playing the latter in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He completed a music degree at The Queen’s College Oxford and then moved to London in 1994. Andy and Mike recorded Skinny’s next single as Fatback Boogaloo.

Enter Dan Hewson, who like Cato played piano and trombone and is a fellow Oxford grad, and like Mukhopadhyay was a member of the National Youth Orchestra. Dan’s father is producer, arranger, and conductor Richard Anthony Hewson, who has provided his talents to many popular artists, including The Beatles, The Bee Gees, James Taylor, Diana Ross, and Herbie Hancock. When Andy, Mike, and Dan formed Beat Foundation, the trio started making some real magic, with productions punctuated by funky basslines, epic builds, and cascading pianos. Other artists on the Skinny roster included Rumpus, Yekuana, and future house star Sander Kleinenberg. Dan Hewson’s father also released a single under his alias as RAH Band.

While continuing to produce material and remixes as Big C and with Beat Foundation, Cato connected with Alex Whitcombe to become Qattara in 1996, following a collaboration issued on Skinny the same year. The duo released their productions through Whitcombe’s Steel Fish imprint; after their first single was licensed by Positiva, requests for remixes soon followed. Meanwhile, Mike Mukhopadhyay was creating tracks and remixes with Simeon Friend as Distant Drums, and Dan Hewson released a solo single on Skinny as Dan Factory Spook.

In 1997, Andy Cato initiated a new venture with Tom Findlay which began as a club night, then became a series of parties, and eventually the two started recording as Groove Armada. Andy and Tom would find great success with this project, scoring huge hits in 1999 with their singles, “At The River” and “I See You Baby.”

To better focus on Groove Armada, Cato shut down Skinnymalinky in 1998, and a remixed re-release of “Shelter” licensed to VC Recordings became Beat Foundation’s swan song. Cato also bowed out of Qattara, but recommended Mike Mukhopadhyay (now Mike Marshall) to carry on in his stead with Whitcombe. In addition to Qattara, Alex and Mike released material as Altura and Blonde L. In 2000, Mike Marshall rechristened himself once more as Mike Monday, and strongly established his new identity via a string of top-notch singles and remixes.

Dan Hewson joined Jerry Bouthier and Simon Grainger to form Electrique Boutique in 1998, scoring a hit with their single, “Revelation.” Later, Hewson would collaborate with Paul Dakeyne as Hyperkarma and also provide string arrangements for productions by Groove Armada. He now produces traditional jazz with numerous collaborators between the UK and Portugal.

In 2002, Gusto Records acquired the Skinnymalinky back catalog for a reissue project that never came to fruition. One single was ultimately released—new remixes of Beat Foundation’s “Save Me” by Mike Monday and John Johnson.

Andy Cato, Mike Monday, and Dan Hewson all continue to produce music of quality and distinction.

ANDY CATO
MIKE MONDAY
DANIEL HEWSON

SKINNYMALINKY Discography

After the letter prefix, the first three digits signify the sequential release order and the last two digits indicate the year of issue.

SMR00195      Mothers Pride “Floribunda”
SMR00295      Fatback Boogaloo “Wide Open Spaces”
SMR00395      Beat Foundation “Save Me”
SMR00495      Mothers Pride “Nightflight”
SMR00596      Various “The Green EP”
SMR00696      Rumpus “Feel Free”
SMR00796      Big C “Daylight”
SMR00896      Yekuana “Sarawak”
SMR00996      Beat Foundation “Shelter EP” (Part 1)
SMR01096      Beat Foundation “Shelter EP” (Part 2)
SMR01196      Alex Whitcombe “Ice Rain”
SMR01296      RAH Band “Living For The Nightlife”
SMR01396      Dan Factory Spook “Same Old Acid, Same Old Lies”
SMR01496      Sander “Save The…”
SMR01597      Rumpus “Atacama”
SMR01697      Yekuana “Canis Loopus”
SMR01797      Beat Foundation “Virginia”
SMR01897      Vadis “Past And Present”
SMR01997      Beat Foundation “Foundations II”
SMR02097      Satellite “Early Bird”

MALINKY GROOVES Discography

MGR00196     Malinky Grooves Volume 1 (6 Feet Under/Boomer)
MGR00296     Malinky Grooves Volume 2 (Brainchild/Hide & Skin)
MGR00397     Malinky Grooves Volume 3 (Life According To Bozo)