Fallout – The Morning After (Sunrise Mix) [1987]

Im amazed its taken me this long to post this up here since its one of the best tracks on the planet. Yet again, another simple composition but so damn effective with its ridiculously catchy riff, driving 808 bassdrum and high hat (so clean!). Add some atmospheric strings and you well onto a winner. Delivered up by two of the behemoths of dance music, Lennie Dee and Tommy Musto. I cant imagine how they must have felt when they finished this one, probably the same instant joy that this track brings to anyone that hears it. For the first time, for the millionth time. Its a total classic.

From Discogs c/o Alain Patrick
What makes a tune so unique? Sometimes those synthesizer timbres it took so long to create, or the melodies that catch you almost instantly; the strings, the basses, or the drums. And sometimes, it will be just the combination of these elements together.

A dance music masterpiece built up with special, strong synth timbres is a sure shot. That was the case of “The Morning After (Sunrise Mix)”, and believe-me or not, like the compositions that stand the test of time, it went further than that. Produced by the amazing couple of
talents Lenny Dee and Tommy Musto back in 1987 and released on the legendary Fourth Floor Records, it quickly became a reference. Lenny & Musto were both music makers from the Big Apple – a natural center for Sounds of all genres. They got along with the best of their background and put into this amazing classic. “When we did the tune, it was the real beginning of House music. I was vibing on loads of Peter Gabriel, Paul Hardcastle, Mr. Lee, etc. We did not go in the studio to copy these guys, we had just finished “Bamboo”, my first EP for The Fourth Floor Records, so we went in to work on the next record with no real idea except that I wanted to make a deep track that had string based influence and a deep feel”, declared Lenny Dee about the “The Morning After”‘s first steps.

The powerful piano basslines appear brilliantly in a perfect combination with a flute-simulation melody that goes along with atmospheric strings and typical Brooklyn-style House beats (just listen to the music from people such as Tommy Musto, Frankie Bones, Lenny D. and Joey Beltram back in the end eighties and you’ll notice
that there is something about their rhythm that is behind their essence). “The track started off with the 808 Drum machine, I made the beats & fill patterns. We created the drum grooves pretty fast. Musto had just got the first Roland linear synthesizer called the D 50 whose strings were a big part of the vibe. As I was looking for a deep mellow trip – the linear sounds brought a lush wide atmosphere”, said Lenny about the equipment used. “It was fantastic, and it’s the back bone of the new sounds made today with newer Digital synths”.

They both (Lenny and Tommy Musto) used the Casio CZ 101 for the bass lines – which they wrote after the drum patterns, chained together in the 808 live while mixing – that gave the changes a real on the fly feel. Later, they used to their advantage when editing the final verson. The strings really came out durring loads of passes, and they found out the final notes which leaded to the suttle yet eerie feel that “The Morning After” is known for.

Despite having a House mood, the track’s snares were deeply broken, creating a singular rhythmic synchronization with the organ basslines and some piano-stabs improvisations. Everything is so rhythmic, so syncopated, like a sort of XXIst Century swing. The result, as good as it gets, is a non-labeable timeless tune that you could certainly play it today on a House, Techouse or even a Breakbeat repertory.

According to Lenny, “The Morning After” would be about thirteen to seventeen minutes long; many differant versons of the tune were made. But the final verson is a comp edit done on reel to reel tape which Tommy & Lenny edited at a later day. “This is probally what took the more time – the mixing of the track” said Lenny. Back in the days, the sequencing was not done on a computer so they had to manually edit every piece & compensate for cuts live prior to the final version. “All in all the track consisted of ten to twelve tracks. I think this is why it still has a great feel & great sound, which by the way was totally helped by Herbie Powers Jr”, claimed Lenny Dee. “He is one of the World’s best mastering engineers. He worked at Frankfort Wayne Mastering in NYC. When he heard the track, he insisted to do it, which for us was a complete surprise as he only worked on mastering music that he wanted to do”, stated Lenny again with enthousiasm.

The name ‘Fallout – The Morning After’ was a reference to Lenny & Musto. They used to DJ in a private after hours called the RoofTop on the 23rd floor of a building in New York which was filled with crazy people from the Disco scene, as well as from dance music in general and yes, drugs. “There were many late mornings DJing from midnight to three o’clock on the next day afternoon. Hence ‘The Morning After’ – the effects of this schedule was a Fallout of the mind & body. So, we named the title ‘Fallout – The Morning After’, says Lenny Dee.

“The feel of the track was what we felt every weekend. I guess this is still true today with people & new parties. I am happy we un-knowingly touched on that. We were just expressing what we heard, played & most importantly what we went through along the way in our life”.

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One Response

  1. It’s a great track – I just wrote a blog post about Tommy Musto last week that you might like: http://www.afterthegarage.com

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