Sunday Sounds: When I Hear Music

Today’s Sunday sounds will just focus on one song: When I Hear Music by Debbie Debb. This song gets my vote for “Best Freestyle Song Ever”. Freestyle was an 80s genre of music mostly based out of New York and Miami.

“Freestyle reached its peak in 1987 before it fell in popularity and was slowly replaced by burgeoning house music in 1988. Silent Morning, composed by Noel (poster boy for Freestyle), hugely boosted Freestyle’s popularity and brought it to the forefront of the international scene in 1987, expanding its potential. But, before Freestyle could make a permanent impact, by the late 80s and early 90s, house music, a reincarnation of 1970’s disco, challenged the original, upbeat 1980’s Freestyle.” –

Besides the fact that I just think this song is hot I hear some nice equipment: Roland TR-808, Simmons Toms, Minimoog Bass, Analog White Noise Thunder Noises, and a great Vocoder. Can you pick out anything else? I know everything could have been done with sampling but I’m going to guess most of the stuff used was the real deal to tape.

So get your girlfriend to spray a “Mall Claw” on the front of her hair and head to Dancin in Palisades Park for teen night. Next, repeat after me: ewwwua ewwwua!

Buy this song: Amazon

Published by

Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

9 thoughts on “Sunday Sounds: When I Hear Music”

  1. Great pick! Hard to decide whether to put that as my top Freestyle song, or these…

    Shannon “Let the Music Play”
    Lisa Lisa “I Wonder if I Take U Home”

    Does Company B and Exposé count as Freestyle too? There was always at least one “hot” bit in every great Freestyle jam, like a crazy complicated breakdown or maybe some “in your face” intro. I can’t think of any good songs with male vocals in them though, unless vocoded of course!

    Probably my favorite sub-genre of all time!

  2. Wicked track! Cheers for introducing me to it. Yer ortho, Let the Music Play is a really great track too, I was listening to it today actually, spooky.

  3. Wow , this stuff is still going strong in Miami .This post also made me remember that Lenny Dee & Jimmy Crash dabbled in freestyle a bit …yes i’m getting old ahaha.

  4. I’m a native NY’ my mind there are 2 genres of freestyle, freestyle played at Nuyorican freestyle spots and the freestyle Guidette freestyle spots.

    Do you consider “get da hoe” freestyle by Frankie Bones? It’s an old one and I’m almost positive its on 4th floor recs. I got it buried in my crates, it even got the acapella of Frankie rapping…lyrics is classic! Lenny Dee certainly is a master of all trades. check out BFE (Brooklyn Funk Essentials) dope breaks, dope electro, white rapping..Lenny Dee, Frank “BONES” Mitchell and Bobby Konders is on the credits also…always wondered if its the same Bobby Konders always getting shouted out on video music box.(Mr Chesler, WIre to the ear is the perfect place for an NYC classic lesson on Video Music box.)

    “Running away” by Information Society is my fav. Insoc also made “Something in the air” which aint 100% freestyle but makes damm good use of star trek samples and is one of my fav tunes by them.

    Strafe’s “Set it off” …ill classic..always dropped properly in a freestyle set does some damage on the dance floor. Im not sure if Beltram officially remixed it within the past few years or just sampled it, but the Beltram joint with the strafe samples are off the hook.

  5. All this talk of early Lenny DEE got me nostalgic feeling…here some links I had to share on Sunday Sounds, these tunes are housy/breaky/freestylish:

    Funky Acid Makossa, Frankie Bones off Bonesbreaks label( FRankies Label pre-sonic groove):

    Listen to the rythm flow…more ol frankie stuff..not sure if its him rhymin:

    Subliminal Aurra – Ease The Pressure (Mental Mix) – 1990 ..check dem credits..Lenny’s dabbled everywhere:

  6. ok..that BFE I mentioned..Brooklyn Funk Essentials.. is all over youtube and it aint old electro, or house. SOunds ska-reggeaish, wonder if there is any relation between the two, someone Lenny knows gonna get themselves a nice copyright check for name infringment if no relation..remember that tune was 87, rapper on it called prince charles…Lenny on some ill breaks on that vinyl.

  7. oh yeah, for any of you NYC Residents wanting to hear more freestyle, tune into WKTU 103.5FM on Sundays from 9p-12a. Its hosted by one of the queens of freestyle Judy Torres
    I worked at KTU for 6 years and its amazing how big a following that genre still has. We used to have freestyle concerts all the time with all the classic performers and the energy at those shows were amazing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *