What a jaw dropping track this is. Linda Clifford has a voice that must have obliterated dance floors back in the late 70′s. She collaborated with some huge artists like Curtis Mayfield and had a hugely successful solo career of her own. But for me, this might be THE seminal Linda Clifford tune. Its chocked full of groove, a vocal that is both powerful and reserved, leaving plenty of room for the huge choruses. The Salsoul flavored instrumental takes a backseat throughout the entire tune, like the guys knew they were playing with the some serious talent. The breakdowns are perfectly timed giving Clifford’s voice center stage at all the right moments. The 12″ extension goes on a bit at the end but the girl has to get her breath back right? Tune of the week right here.
For the most part, all the Deltron 3030 tracks are basically perfect. An example of mashing two behemoths of beats together without any financial or social constraints. Del The Funky Homosapien has been one of my favourite MC’s for years, Dan The Automator has always blown me away with the complexity of the beats he lays down. If you’ve never listened to any of their stuff, both separately or as Deltron, I’d rectify that asap.
On the other hand though, despite my earlier gushing, this would be one of those rare occasions where the remix clearly betters the original Deltron offering. Clouser shifts gears into a nice breaks flavour and throws some devilishly evil synth strings behind Del’s lyrics, turning the track into a dancefloor destroyer. Rough, brutal and fucking brilliant.
An absolutely brilliant remix from Vimes. A track that just screams Summer into your face at a deafening volume. I cant see how this wont wind up everywhere. The vocals from Salvat are almost melancholy had it not been for the arm waving, uplifting arrangement from Vimes.
Comming from the seminal Cowboy records, I first clocked this track playing on Neil Macey’s Fantazia 92/93 NYE set. In itself, the mix is a classic as far as I am concerned, a real showcase of what the UK was doing with House music at a time when the whole dance music scene was fracturing into what we know now.
This track is easily one of those tracks that transcends genre’s though, a bonafide dancefloor destroyer. Its got everything that made that time so exciting like the exceptional electronic production and brilliant sample work. This track never feels overlong, just a relentless pounder thats got you locked into a deep ass sound on the dancefloor. Well, for about 5 minutes it does, it lulls you into thinking its another well produced Progressive banger. Them around the 5 minute mark, you suddenly notice the track beginning to build up, with glorious sweeping synth strings swirly around you and that stacatto vocal hook. All culminating in a fade that makes you think the track is over. But its not, nope, your about to get smashed in the face by a piano riff so uplifting that you and thousands of others will find yourselves swinging from the rafters, going harder, smiling wider than you have ever done before. What a fucking tune this is.
This record was one of my most wanted for years until I managed to get it ID. A very simply prog house tune with one of the most uplifting piano’s I have ever heard with the stuttering vocal sample “Do you have the power”. Was played out a lot by sasha early 1993.
First off, there’s definately not enough reggae or dancehall around these parts. Time to correct that. Secondly, talk about a banger. This is an incredible release from Shuga that I caught on the David Rodigan’s 1 Extra show last Sunday. Taking the arrangement from Sound Dimensions’ Bobby Babylon Riddim, Shuga lays down a rocking dancehall drenched vocal over the top. Shuga’s vocals are some of the smoothest i’ve heard in a long long time. Complements the instrumental perfectly and turns this into a propper arm waver.
Get it on loud, crank the bass, and kick back.
To complement the previous post, here is the second playlist from those guys over at the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA). This time however its a collection of some of Frankies fantastic original productions and remixes. Its a fantastic collection of some of the best known productions including collaborations with Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Chaka Khan and much much more. Enjoy!
As you might imagine, the tributes have been comming in hard and fast since the news was formally announced. The following playlist was put together by the geniuses over at Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) and its a stellar snapshot into those old Philly and gospel sounds that shaped what the Warehouse and in turn Frankie’s reputation. Taken directly from the tracklist Frankie listed in the seminal book “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” , its an awesome collection of tracks. So give the history a listen and have some fun fun. Learn the words, sing along. This is music for dancing!
I found out last night that Frankie Knuckles had died aged 59 and I cannot overstate how gutted I was. Frankie Knuckles wasnt just a DJ or Producer, he was one of a very small cadre of people responsible for creating the sound that has played in my head and heart for as long as I can remember. Sounds a bit spiritual I know but its hard to explain that music to me has always been about the kickdrum, the high hat and piano or soulful vocal hook. Sure my tastes have mellowed over the years but at the very beginning of my own personal musical journey, it was House music and specifically the Soulful House sound synonymous with ChiTown/NYC that I loved. Imagine me. locked onto as a young 8 year old lad, the John Peel radio show on a Sunday night, taping the imports that he played during the show. House music is probably the first thing I would say that defined me as my own person with my own taste. The first thing I found on my own.
Frankie Knuckles was responsible for the music at the Warehouse in Chicago, often credited with the origin of the name “House”, a shortened version of “The Warehouse” music that was in such demand in early 80′s Chicago record stores. The history of House Music is littered with DJ’s and producers held in high almost godlike reverence but almost all agree that Frankie was deserving of his title as the “Godfather of house”. A guy who took the records available to him after the death of commercial disco, rolled in a drum machine in the booth thanks to Derrick May and helped pioneer a sound that has dominated global music for over thirty years. Sure it was going to happen sooner or later but this soon, man I wanted to see Frankie just one more time…
So today the web has been rammed full of tributes to Knuckles, Twitter exploded last night with tributes, Facebook has been busting at the seams with friends all posting their favourite Frankie Knuckles cuts. He has a legacy that transcends his death for as long as there is a Kick Drum, a snare, a highhat played over a soulful vocal and an uplifting piano riff, therein lies some of Frankies DNA, a fingerprint that will outlive all of us left here reflecting upon his body of work.
Thank you for the music Frankie.
It still boggles my mind how anyone could dislike this track even considering how overplayed its been over the years. Its got a killer bassline, drenched in Reggae tuned riffs and Layton’s vocals over the top just destroy any opposition anyone could have to this track. If your head isnt nodding from the get go, there has to be something wrong with your soul man.
Its one of those tracks that has really never fallen out of favour with me. From the second I hear Johnny Dynells “Tank Fly, Boss Walk” sample at the beginning, I have a massive grin on my face. Stick with the 12″ mix, the radio edit just isnt long enough. Hard to believe this track came out 24 years ago last week…
Written by Norman Cook aka. Fatboy Slim, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, “Dub Be Good to Me” was the sole number one single for Cook’s genre-hopping outfit Beats International.
The track started out as an instrumental with the title “The Invasion of the Estate Agents”. While also included as the B-side to this single, it originally appeared as the B-side to Norman Cook’s 1989 single “For Spacious Lies”. This instrumental track is heavily based on the bassline from The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton” with a sample of the distinctive “harmonica” theme from the epic western film Once Upon a Time in the West, written by Ennio Morricone. This instrumental, in slightly remixed form, had vocals added from The SOS Band’s “Just Be Good to Me” (as re-recorded by Lindy Layton) to form “Dub Be Good To Me”. The track also features the distinctive vocals of David John-Baptiste, more commonly known as DJ Deejay or just DJ. The opening and closing line “tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty you’re listening to the boy from the big bad city, this is jam hot, this is jam hot” was from Johnny Dynell’s 1983 hit “Jam Hot” and became an instant classic and was repeated often, being used as the most common reference to the song. The song was a massive hit, spending four weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart in February 1990. It was the seventh best-selling single of 1990 in the UK. In the U.S., the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and #76 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Keeping on the Nas flavour but mashing it together with one of the seminal James Brown cuts was a masterstroke of genius. The Boss from James Brown being not just one of the best from the Godfather but also one of the best Funk Soul tracks of all time. Nas’ lyrics fit into this badboy like butter, completely flawless. Full respect to the YouTube guy, ESyms, this is amazing.