19th Fleet – Star Raid
Midnight Sun Records (US) [MSR 1002] 1985
19th Fleet were actually the production duo of Kevin Calhoun (R.I.P.) and Matt Noble and this track was a result of their experimentation with sampling, synthesizers and drum machines. Not bad for a bit of ‘messing about’.
The duo worked on a lot of hits of the time, helping to birth the Latin freestyle sound with tracks like Leather & Lace’s “Tender Heart” with Matt being the in-house producer for 25 West and all related labels. They helped produce classics such as Dynamic Duo’s “Knights of the Turntables”, Sha-Quan “Don’t Fess”, B Beat Girls “For The Same Man”, etc.
I’m not really clued-up on the technical side of things or on the old equipment but for those of you that are, here are a few details of how the track was made, courtesy of Matt.
I am doing all of the Low Pitched Speech things and Kevin is doing the High ones.Both were sampled and pitch shifted, using an Ensoniq Mirage Sampler.
The music was sequenced using a Roland MSQ-700 Sequencer and the synths that we used were the Ensoniq,Casio CZ 101 and Roland Juno 106.I think we programmed with a Yamaha RX-15 Drum Machine and triggered 808 Samples in the Ensoniq.The”Dive Bomb” sounds were done by Kevin using the whammy bar on his Stratocaster.It was recorded to a Scully16 Track 2″ analog tape machine and mixed down through a Trident 65 Console to a 1/4″ Revox Tape Machine.I think we did it in about 3 hours.
More recently Matt has been involved in the production and engineering for artists as varied as Donny Osmond, Procol Harum, Jennifer Rush & Rihanna. For the hip hop heads out there he was also one of the engineers on the classic Akinyele album Vagina Diner.
Kevin was the engineer for Nocera’s “Summertime Summertime” which was one of the big Latin freestyle hits that managed to cross the pond to the UK and for the hip hop heads, he played the guitar riff on the dirty dub mix of the Mantronix hit “Join Me Please”.
The duo also appeared on Paul Shaffer’s 1989 release ‘When The Radio Is On’ and actually wrote all the lyrics for Ecstasy (Whodini) and Will Smith.
A huge thank you to Matt for talking to me about this release and providing some valuable information regarding it’s creation.
Star Raid (Club Version) [6:30]
Star Raid (Dub Version) [5:36]
Star Raid (Radio Version) [3:30]