New mix, on a straight up club tip, recorded a few days ago in a scorching hot London. Follow the link to listen/download.
Props for following!
Kashif’s debut album for Arista Records, the eponymous Kashif, was released in 1983. Pretty much produced, performed, and arranged entirely by the man himself, it’s influence on post disco and dance music is immediately clear - from the syncopated handclaps to the synth basslines. Kashif’s success was a huge hit for Arista, who released a flurry of albums in the following years that replicated the Kashif sound.
As disco suffered a spectacular decline in commercial sales in the late 70s, artists still interested in the genre started to benefit from an increased freedom of expression and experimentation that an unpopular sound allowed them. Kashif was one of the first to set disco within a very structured, almost 4x4 rhythmic drum pattern, effectively paving the way for the first mainstream house records to appear in the late 80s. Whilst Kashif is a great record, a lot of successive Arista output doesn’t make the grade. Below are 3 cuts that hold up the Kashif sound.
Lillo Thomas - Trust Me
Kenny G - Do Me Right (click the link to watch on Youtube)
Howard Johnson - Keepin’ Love New
The first track also came out in 1983 and is performed by one of Kashif’s backing singers. Although Kashif had little to do with this record, the crisp snare on the 2nd and 4th and the bassline are very reminiscent of the man’s signature sound. The second track came out on Kenny G’s second record, G Force, which was also released by Arista in ‘83. Kashif did play keyboards on a couple of tracks (including a sax reprisal of Help Yourself To My Love from Kashif), and executively produced the album. The third track is a Kashif production and came out the the year before his debut album… but is a stone cold JAM, and Howard’s terrible ad-libbing in the video is unmissable.
Check more 3 tracks here.
The last time Real Nice appeared on this blog I touted them as tangible ascending up and comers in London’s house scene. Since then, they have secured releases on Love Not Money and Nervous Records, and seen a remix of one their efforts establish itself as one of the essential tunes of the disco, bass-tinged take on house that has become very popular in the capital (so much so that David August dropped it at the Dynamic Label showcase in the middle of his set - to a raucous reception).
Their parties have been very successful too: assiduously rooted in west london, the great crowd and impeccable music policy (CHOICE CUTS being one of their residents, under a different guise…) have proved very popular amongst westerners looking for good house music and a cheap taxi home.
I normally don’t promote parties on here, even the ones I’m djing at, but Real Nice’s next venture is a real step up not only in terms of line-up and capacity, but also of venue. To those who haven’t yet been to The Loft yet it is a fantastic space, one of the best in the west if not the whole of London. Peep the flyer and make sure you cop some tickets before it’s too late.
Please follow the link for mix#4, recorded live in London in mid February. Clocking in at just under an hour, should help keep that Valentine’s spirit alive and kicking for just a little while longer…
Appearances can be deceiving - at first glance, Norma does not look like your average house producer. Owner and main driving force behind Detroit label Pandemonium, she started making jazz-flecked house in 1994. Once member of Frank Zappa’s touring band, her extraordinary voice and beautiful sax playing give her records a very distinctive and immediately recognisable vibe, even when compared to her partner-in-crime Moodymann’s productions.
Norma Jean Bell - Love’s Got Its Hooks In Me
Norma Jean Bell - Yes I Am (I’m Gonna Get You)
The first track is a B-Side to a Pandemonium 12” from 1998 and is probably my favourite of all her songs - great sax riff, powerful vocal and driving bassline. Norma’s biggest talent lies in the range of expression she gets out of her voice and instrument without losing sight of the percussive elements that are so important in house music. The second cut is off her 2001 album, Come Into My Room, a great album from start to finish: I chose this track in part because of the clever Gill Scott-Heron sample. If listened to carefully, Come Into My Room is filled with interpolations from a wide variety of sources, from Coltrane and Zappa to Scott-Heron, just to name a few. In doing so, she has created an album that has a sound longed for by many and achieved by very few: a strange, alluring, hypnotic brew of past and future, never boring or obvious, stunningly on point on every beat.
I can’t even remember how I found Kiddmisha’s productions on Soundcloud… it may have been one of Jeremy’s (head of very fresh label MLIU) plugs. Either way, the man from Ukraine is making some incredibly dope house beats, with a real 90s vibe to them: stabbed organs and soulful vocal snippets.
Waze & Odyssey
Similar vibes but with a garage bump to their productions comes this duo. With forthcoming releases on petFood and Scucci Manucci, and a bonafide thug disposition, the sky’s the limit for these Gs.
And finally, a free download courtesy of Detroit Swindle. The Dutch duo offer up a great track remixing one of my favourite neo soul artists and is a tried and tested set opener…
CHOICE CUTS hasn’t polluted your airwaves for some time now, apart from the occasional rushed scribbled sidenote. The time away hasn’t been spent in vain, though - having got lost down sonic backstreets, whispered in hush tones to forgotten b-sides and plotted and schemed with the gulliest beats on the corner, the blog remerges with a fresh perspective on music and some stone wall classics to boot.
Joanna Law - First Time Ever (Mellow Groove)
Gwen McRae - Keep The Fires Burning
Eve Gallagher - Love Is A Master Of Disguise (Frankie Knuckles Classic Club Mix)
Wassup with this? Please follow link to listen to/download the latest mix, comprising tracks that I have played out quite a lot over the past couple of months. Enjoy!
Just Gotta Have You – Kashif
Love’s Got Me High (Mark Romboy Systematic Soul Remix) – Terrence Parker
Transatlantic Landing Bay – Space Dimension Controller
Do It To Me (Rollo’s Hot n Fresh Out The Kitchen Edit) – Azuni
The Best Things In Life Are Free (MK Extended Mix) – Janet Jackson & Luther Vandross
Together (Unreleased Vocal Mix) – Interceptor
True – Deep Mind
Dom Dom Jump – DJ Deep & Julien Jabre
Don’t You Love Me (Part 2) (Louis Benedetti Main Mix) – Sir Piers feat. Monique Bingham
Music And The Rhythm feat. Electra Weston – Playin’ 4 The City
The Way I Feel (97 Mix) – Tears Of Velva
Deep Inside (MAW Original Mix) – Harddrive
Nobody Better (Radio Edit) – Tina Moore
The B-side is the natural hiding place of the shy, retreating remix. The dopest of edits can often be found lurking in the shadows, as the A-side gets repeated playtime and steady props. Only a little digging is required to uncover these gems: below are three of my favourites, edits/remixes so flavoursome they surpass the originals.
Mark Morrison - Return Of The Mack (C and J X-Tended Radio Edit)
Montell Jordan - This Is How We Do It (Puff Daddy Radio Mix)
Brandy - Baby (Uptown Mix)
The first cut is essentially an extended version of the radio edit, but is infinitely superior. The piano solos at both ends of the song add depth and texture that are missing in the radio edit. The second tune is a rare remix on the B-side to Montell’s Somethin’ 4 Da Honeyz single, whilst the last cut appeared on the promo single for Baby and is produced by none other than CHOICE CUTS all time luminary D’Angelo.
Before the disappointingly boring ‘64-‘95 came out in 2005, Lemon Jelly were part of a select group of artists who had yet to put out a weak LP, with a string of impressive releases on vinyl (which were all compiled in the classic Lemonjelly.ky) and a fantastic debut album, Lost Horizons. Whilst there is nothing groundbreaking about Lemon Jelly’s take on downtempo, the duo’s music manages to sound fresh and exciting with every listen - which is why ‘64-‘95 was such a let down: it had a staleness to it that shattered the illusion of consistency, and whilst that may have lost them some fans, it had a invigorating opposite effect on me.
Lemon Jelly - Ramblin’ Man
Lemon Jelly - Come
I became more appreciative of Lemon Jelly’s back catalogue, and dug deeper into their early sound. Their music is a traveller’s dream: long, unhurried, twisting and winding its way to a conclusion, as it slowly builds and rapidly strips down. The second track featured above is reminiscent of a slow journey, as it gently meanders through 8 minutes of sonic landscape. Lemon Jelly took this exploration of travel and music in their sound to its climax with the first cut, in which a man lists places he has visited with increasing speed until they just become a flurry of sound and noise, over a beautifully textured beat. The Lemon Jelly project was put on hiatus by the duo in 2008, and looks like that’s where it will stay, perhaps for the best - after all, music is, amongst other things, a product of its time and its place, difficult to cut and paste at will.