Thursday, 13 March 2014

Jack Rabbit ‎– Only Wanted To Be

Me and James used to DJ back in the 80's and the concept behind this song was about a crush he had on my ex girlfriend's best friend . We all used to hang out together but she only saw him as a friend and believe it or not he actually cried over this girl. He was one of the coolest cats you would ever want to meet. R.I.P. " Rabbit " that's what we called him back in the day,we rarely called him James 

If there is a Robert Johnson of Chicago House Music, it's James "Jack Rabbit" Martin.

For nearly 25 years, Martin's poorly distributed (and often poorly pressed) records have been discovered, re-discovered, treasured, bootlegged, bought and sold for extortionate prices. It's not uncommon for an original pressing of his only long player, There Are Dreams And There Is Escape, to fetch several hundred dollars from record collectors (at press time, there is but one up for grabs on - for the asking price of $970.02).

In 1988, James Martin's four track record There Are Dreams And There Is Escape was pressed by Yoton Records, an imprint which Martin appears to have created especially for his first original release. Yoton released no other records; its business address was a small house at 10847 S. Prospect.

UK label Westside Records released a version of There Are Dreams' "Only Wanted To Be" as a white label. In a one-sheet preserved and posted to, Westside's Paul Ruiz alludes to the buzz about Martin in the country. "If you've gathered who Jack Rabbit is, you can convince yourself that this one of the softest records he's ever made!" But the real treat was what was on the flip: an acid mix that is absolutely mental, and - adding to the legend of Jack Rabbit - has still never been commercially released.

This is a fact: what is often regarded as the greatest acid record ever made has been limited to bootlegs and a reported 200-run white label pressing.
Terry Matthew

This is a rather rare record that has recently been bootlegged. I’m pretty sure my (bootleg) copy has the labels on the wrong sides. The title of the release is ‘There Are Dreams And There Is Acid” and both tracks features a very high level of sound quality and production compared to other acid house records of the time, with individually effected drums – heavily flanged hi-hats and reverbed claps. Whereas a lot of acid tracks are just quick jams knocked out in an afternoon (and it’s true that if you gave 100 monkeys 100 TR808s and 100 TB303s, you’d probably get more than 70 decent acid tracks) this track stands out as a seriously thought-out song with fantastic sounds and structure.

The vocal is oddly disconnected, like those Italo records in which you can tell the vocalist doesn't really understand English and is singing the words phonetically. And really with that climbing bassline and spartan chords, it does remind me more of an Italo record than anything else in Jack Rabbit's catalog.

For the acid remix, you have simple drum patterns and a 303 line - relatively simple by Jack Rabbit standards - vibrating like a rubber band. But note that little 2 note rise buried in the mix that throws the whole thing awry again and then takes over entirely just before the fade at 4:00. This is a more subtle track than the pyrotechnics of "Rabbit Trax" - and still raw as fuck.

It wouldn't be a legend if there wasn't the rare b-side obscurity. And this is a rarity among rarities. The white label from UK label Westside Records was released with 200 copies to start with and obviously that number has dwindled significantly since 1988. Phuture's "Your Only Friend" is an obvious reference point with that demonic voice of the River Styx that takes a bit too much satisfaction in calling you out and rattling in the steel ribcage of this incredible track. This is nearly the only track with those creepy vocals from the era that doesn't sound kitschy today. It sounds terrifying.
Terry Matthew

Im not sure really how to start this review about this 12, as no matter what I write it just wont be able to tell you enough. I had this white lable for a long time before I knew who actually did it. This 12 is all about the side that was never released, the acid mix of 'only want to be'. I have a large collection of acid house from the time but this was truely and is still the darkest piece of them all. The production is magnificant, the acid line and 707 that runs the trk is sublime but the genius is in the f-ked up vocals and the dark story of emotion that it tells...Such a shame that he only released a few trks.... The 'jack rabbit' was a master of the Acid House. If you are after the definitive acid house trk of all time, you have found it.  

"Such a shame that he only released a few trks"

FYI:James "Jack Rabbit" Martin died of an asthma attack in 1990, this is the reason why he didn't go on to release more trax.

R.I.P. James



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