In a perfect
world, Samantha Fox would be Charo. Here's the scoop:
Fox contributes a flirtatious vocal on
"Sugar," one of 12 tracks on
Wowiezowie (Twisted), the new album from United
Kingdom-based DJ-producer Superchumbo, a.k.a.
Tom Stephan. But Fox, the soft-core
pinup-cum-'80s pop singer,
wasn't his first choice. "We were going to
approach Charo," he admits. But concerns that the
coochie-coochie Love Boat guest star
didn't have enough clout in Europe nixed that notion.
Besides, he notes, "next thing we know, she turns up
on The Surreal Life."
Wowiezowie is still packed with stellar moments. For
"Tranquilizer," a saucy number that nips the
vocal hook from Rod Stewart's "Do Ya
Think I'm Sexy," Stephan is joined by a former
paramour: Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys.
"He's still a really close friend,"
says the producer, 35. "But in the studio, it
was different: Now I'm working with one of the
Pet Shop Boys. I was a little intimidated."
The album also
features the three number 1 club hits that have made
Superchumbo a go-to remix producer for A-list acts like
Kylie Minogue and Missy Elliott. But Stephan became a
big name on the circuit by following his own muse, not
pandering to popular tastes. When he unveiled his 2003
hit "This Beat Is," pundits warned it would
flop because it was too dark. A chart-topping
position, bolstered by heavy rotation by peers including
Erick Morillo, proved naysayers wrong.
penchant for hard tribal beats--accented with a sense
of humor (he's a huge John Waters
buff)--reflects his own ground-zero club
experiences dancing to Junior Vasquez and Danny Tenaglia.
"I'm always trying to re-create my
experiences at Sound Factory," he says. Hence
"Dirtyfilthy," a "bitch track"
featuring cross-dressing vocalist Celeda. "Back
in the day, there were always lots of freaky, bitchy drag
queens around," Stephan reminisces.
"Plus, I can't stand really serious house