archive of disco columns by James Hamilton, pioneering British disco journalist
I came across his stuff when researching Energy Flash in the British Library, I think by the Nineties he was writing for DJ magazine maybe - as opposed to Record Mirror, his home in the disco and post-disco club music days. And I was struck by -
A/ his very precise measurements of b.p.m. - and not just the main b.p.m., but the b.p.m in all the different sections of the track.
B/ his great nifty turn of phrase which in extremely compressed manner could convey the vibe and flavour of a groove and also the various key appeal-elements in a track (the bass, the synth-riff etc). All of this done in not more than a tweet or two's worth of words per track.
His column was very useful for my researches because he reviewed a lot of ardkore and rave tunes as well as house etc. His having monitored the bpm down to fractions of an integer (he measured the tempo by brain and hand, apparently - counting it out and tapping) enabled me to track the monstrous increase in b.p,m. between a late 91 tune, say, and how fast tunes had got by mid-93. It was like a jump of something 20 to 25 bp.m. in around eighteen months - a surge that felt cataclysmic and apocalyptic at the time and that had effect of driving away huge swathes of the rave audience into more clement zones of the dance culture, winnowing the audience for breakbeat down to just a (pill)headstrong hardcore. Rave dived into a Zone of Fruitful Intensification.