ANDY BUTLER (Hercules & Love Affair)/ PAT MAHONEY (Lcd Soundsystem) w/ Andycapp & Rod Skimmins…Feb 06 @ CircaPosted in 1 BANG THE PARTY events on February 13, 2009 by bangtheparty
BANG THE PARTY – “Won’t give in, won’t feel guilty”
Selected, Mixed and Edited by the
GANG OF TWO
ANDYCAPP & ROD SKIMMINS
1. 6TH BOROUGH DISTRICT – just a memory
2. B.W.H. – stop
3. FRANCE JOLI – i wanna take a chance on love
4. WORLD PREMIERE – share the night
5. FRIENDLY FIRES – Paris (aeroplane remix)
6. GAYLE ADAMS – love fever
7. CRAZY P – lie lost (maurice fulton remix)
8. JACQUES RENAULT – bad skinned
9. HUGH MASEKELA – don’t go lose it baby
10. FOX THE FOX – precious little diamond
11. PUTSCH 79 – arpeggio life
12. MORGAN GEIST – palace life
13. SHARON REDD – love how you feel
14. AFEFE IKU – mirror dance
15. EARTH PEOPLE – dance
16. RECLOOSE – the way
17. LIL LOUIS – club lonely
click below to listen and download
So here it is. To commemorate our second year in existence we decided to make a short but very sweet, positive, upbeat mix. Click below to download the full version.
All track selected, mixed, and edited by the GANG OF TWO:
ANDYCAPP & ROD SKIMMINS
1. INVISIBLE MAN’S BAND – all night thing
2. HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR – raise me up
3. UNLIMITED TOUCH – searching to find the one
4. KERRIER DISTRICT – robotuss
5. LEGACY – word up
6. ROLLMOTTLE – take a break (Maurice Fulton Remix)
7. STEVE ARRINGTON’S HALL OF FAME – way out
8. OWUSU & HANNIBAL – upstairs, downstairs
9. CHAZ JANKEL – my occupation
10. MORTEN SORENSEN – start something
11. TALKING HEADS – this must be the place
12. STAPLE SINGERS – slippery people
13. LOOSE CHANGE – straight from the heart
14. K.I.D. – you don’t like my music
15. GINO SOCCIO – it’s alright
16. RON HALL & THE MUTHAFUNKAZ – the way you love me ( DIM’s T.S.O.P version)
Electro-Funk is undoubtedly the most misunderstood of all UK Dance genres, yet probably the most vital with regards to its overall influence. Central to the confusion is the term itself, which during 82/83 (before it was shortened to Electro) was specific to the UK. From a US perspective this music would come under a variety of headings (including Hip-Hop, Dance, Disco, Electric Boogie and Freestyle), arriving on import here in the UK mainly on New York labels like West End, Prelude, Sugarhill, Emergency, Profile, Tommy Boy, Streetwise, plus numerous others. Just as Northern Soul was a British term for a style (or group of styles) of American black music, so was Electro-Funk, and, like Northern, the roots of the scene are planted firmly in the North-West of England.
Although this has been documented in a number of books and publications down the years, often with a fair degree of insight, the subject is rarely approached with any true depth and attention to detail, the information all in fragments. Perhaps the main reason that Electro-Funk remains a mystery to so many people is because its audience was predominantly black at a time when cutting-edge black music (and black culture in general) was very much marginalized in the UK, and as a result essentially underground. To keep up to date with what was happening on the British black music scene in 82/83 you’d have had to have been a reader of a specialist publication like Blues & Soul or Black Echoes.
In the UK scheme of things Electro-Funk eventually took over from Jazz-Funk as the dominant force on the club scene, but not without major controversy and upheaval. The purists regarded electronic or electric (as they called it) with total contempt, rejecting its validity on the grounds that it was, in their opinion, not real music due to its technological nature (although Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” would put paid to that theory). However, as time went on and audience tastes began to change, even the most hostile DJs were forced to play at least some Electro-Funk. Despite all the resistance, the movement slowly but surely began to gain momentum, sweeping down from the North, through the Midlands and eventually into London and the South.
The reason the Electro scene took so long to fully establish itself in the capital was down to the stranglehold the all-powerful Soul Mafia DJs held on the Southern scene. The Soul Mafia, with big names like Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Froggy, Jeff Young and Pete Tong, continued to concentrate on Jazz-Funk and Soul grooves (later referred to as “80s Groove”). It wouldn’t be until ‘84 that their virtual monopoly of the clubs, radio, and the black music press began to erode as a new order of music replaced the old, laying the foundations not only for Hip-Hop, but also the subsequent UK Techno and House scenes.
As has often been said, Electro is the missing link of Dance music. All roads lead back to New York where the level of musical innovation and experimentation throughout the early 80s period was quite staggering. It wasn’t one narrow style that never strayed from within the confides of an even narrower BPM range, Electro-Funk was anything goes! The diversity of records released during this period was what made it so magical, you never knew what was coming next. The tempo of these tracks ranged from under 100bpm to over 130, covering an entire rhythmic spectrum along the way. There was no set template for this new Dance direction, it just went wherever it went and took you grooving along with it.
It was all about stretching the boundaries that had begun to stifle black music, and its influences lay not only with German Technopop wizards Kraftwerk, the acknowledged forefathers of pure Electro, plus British Futurist acts like the Human League and Gary Numan, but also with a number of pioneering black musicians. Major artists like Miles Davis, Sly Stone, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, legendary producer Norman Whitfield and, of course, George Clinton and his P Funk brigade, would all play their part in shaping this new sound via their innovative use of electronic instruments during the 70s (and as early as the late 60s in Miles Davis’ case). Once the next generation of black musicians finally got their hands on the available technology it was bound to lead to a musical revolution as they ripped up the rule book with their twisted Funk.
Before Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force’s seminal Electro classic, “Planet Rock” (Tommy Boy) exploded on the scene in May 82, there had already been a handful of releases in the previous months that would help define this new genre. D Train’s “You’re The One For Me” (Prelude), which was massive during late 81, would set the tone, paving the way for “Time” by Stone (West End), “Feels Good” by Electra (Emergency) and two significant Eric Matthew / Darryl Payne productions, Sinnamon’s “Thanks To You” (Becket) and, once again courtesy of Prelude, “On A Journey (I Sing The Funk Electric)” by Electrik Funk (the term Electro-Funk originally deriving from this track, “electric-funk” being amended to Electro-Funk following the arrival of Shock’s “Electrophonic Phunk” on the Californian Fantasy label in June).
However, the most significant of all the early releases was “Don’t Make Me Wait” by the Peech Boys (West End), for this was no longer hinting at a new direction, it was unmistakably the real deal. An extreme chunk of vinyl moulded by Paradise Garage DJ Larry Levan, “Don’t Make Me Wait” would quickly become a cult-classic, and eventually even manage to scrape into the top 50 of the British Pop chart, purely on the back of underground support (as would a number of subsequent Electro-Funk releases).
As the first British DJ to fully embrace this new wave of black music, I came in for a lot of personal criticism. Having already become an established name on the Jazz-Funk scene I was seen as a heretic for playing these soulless records, especially those that were regarded as the more blatant ones (for example, the dreaded “Planet Rock” and the rest of the Tommy Boys stuff, Warp 9 “Nunk” (Prism), Extra T’s “ET Boogie” (Sunnyview), Man Parrish “Hip Hop, Be Bop (Don’t Stop)” (Importe/12), and Italian Zanza 12″, “Dirty Talk” by Klien & MBO). I generally opted for the Dub or instrumental versions, mixing them in alongside the more orthodox Funk,
Soul and Jazz-Funk releases of the time at my weekly residencies, Legend in Manchester and Wigan Pier, where the scene first took root. These venues, both state-of-the-art US styled clubs, would become central to the movement throughout the 82-84 period, attracting people from all over the country. The music would also gain further exposure via my regular mixes for Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio (beginning in May 82), and in August 83 I’d introduce Electro to a new audience, when I became the first Dance resident at the Haçienda club.
Electro-Funk’s legacy is huge. It announced the computer age and seduced a generation with its drum machines, synthesizers and its sequencers, its rap, cut and scratch, its breaking and popping, its Dub mixes, its bonus beats and its innovative use of samples. Made to be mixed it inspired a new breed of British DJs to cut the chat and match the beats. Now legendary names like Grandmaster Flash, Tee Scott, Tony Humphries, Larry Levan, François Kevorkian, Shep Pettibone, John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez and Double Dee & Steinski became role-models for tuned-in DJs and would-be remixers, whilst pioneers of the new digital sampling technology, including New York producer Arthur Baker and his collaborator John Robie, British producer Trevor Horn (via “Buffalo Gals”) and, of course, the Herbie Hancock / Bill Laswell combination, with their Grammy winning “Rockit” (Columbia), not only revolutionized black music but instigated a whole new approach to popular music in general.
Electro-Funk was the channel that finally brought the Hip-Hop movement, and all its various creative components, firmly into the UK mainstream, helping to spread its message throughout Europe and beyond. To all intents and purposes Electro-Funk pre-dates Hip-Hop in a British context, the term not coming into common use here until much later. We were more or less clueless when it came to Hip-Hop until late 82, when Charisma Records in the UK unleashed Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team’s “Buffalo Gals” video, which came as something of a culture-shock to say least, bringing the full force of NYC street-style out of The Bronx and into our living rooms, and inspiring a carnival of breakdancing in cities and towns throughout Britain during the summer of 83. Eventually we’d learn of its origins with Kool DJ Herc, spinning his famous merry-go-round of breaks for the b boys. Before this, most people had presumed that the break in breakdancing referred to the damage you might do to your bones if you got the move wrong!
Although the media gradually latched onto this new dance craze, the scene that surrounded it wouldn’t receive any serious attention here in the UK until 1984. This followed the runaway success of the Street Sounds “Electro” compilations (Volume 1 released in October 83), which would take the music to a much wider audience, and result in The Face announcing “Electro – The Beat That Won’t Be Beaten” across its entire front page in May 84, a full two years on from the US release of “Planet Rock”. This substantial delay in recognition went a long way towards obscuring Electro-Funk’s essential role in kick-starting the 80s dance boom, with many UK club historians bypassing the pivotal early 80s period and mistakenly citing Detroit Techno as the trigger. Even the track that gave birth to Techno, the Juan Atkins / Rick Davies 12″ “Clear” by Cybotron (Fantasy), was regarded as an Electro classic here in 83, way before the Techno scene began to take shape, and would feature on the first Street Sounds “Crucial Electro” compilation the following year. Little mention is ever made of the fact that its remixer, Jose ‘Animal’ Diaz, was immersed in NY Electro, with previous mix credits including “We Are The Jonzun Crew” for Tommy Boy, and “Hip Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop)”, which gained a new lease of life following his much sought-after limited edition mix for Disconet (the DJ Only format affiliated to Sugarscoop).
Electro’s star burnt very brightly, initially on the underground and eventually with the club masses. In 1984 the London scene took off in a big way, both in the clubs and on the radio, with the emergence of DJs like Herbie from Mastermind (who mixed the Street Sounds albums), Paul Anderson, Tim Westwood and Mike Allen confirming a radical shift in power on the capital’s black music scene. With the substantial weight of London behind it, the Electro movement quickly went overground enticing an ever-increasing number of switched-on white kids in its on-going search for the perfect beat. With a significant proportion of the British youth, regardless of colour, now grounded in Hip-Hop culture, the new UK Dance era was well and truly under way and it wouldn’t be long before musicians and DJs here began to create their own hybrid styles, most notably in Bristol where Electro was fused with the Reggae vibes of Dub and Lovers Rock, to bring about a unique flavour that would later be known as Trip-Hop. By the end of the decade cities like Manchester and London had become major players on the now global Dance scene, with the UK a veritable hotbed of creativity both in the clubs and the recording studios.
Electro-Funk was the prototype, and Hip-Hop, Techno, House, Jungle, Trip-Hop, Drum & Bass, UK Garage, plus countless other Dance derivatives, all owe their debts to its undoubted influence. Without it’s inspiration, it’s unlikely that British acts such as Coldcut, 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, Soul To Soul, Massive Attack, The Prodigy, William Orbit, Goldie, the Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Fatboy Slim, to name but a few, would have emerged. When all’s said and done, Electro-Funk (or Electro or whatever people choose to call it) was the catalyst, the mutant strain that bridged the British Jazz-Funk underground to the Acid-House mainstream, Until this fact is fully recognized the UK Dance jigsaw will remain incomplete and confused, with countless clubbers, twenty years on, having no idea of the true roots of the music they’re dancing to.
First, read this sentence: Syclops is a trio featuring Sven Kortehisto, Hanna Sarkari, and Jukka Kantonen, with Maurice Fulton behind the boards. Then, re-read it with scare quotes around everything except Fulton’s name, and maybe put scare quotes around those scare quotes, just to be safe. This new DFA “group” (see how that works?) doesn’t submit to interviews, perform live, manifest any Google results unrelated to Syclops, show up on film or in mirrors, have fingerprints or dental records, etc.
Fulton’s penchant for epistemological sleight-of-hand explains why a guy who’s done top-hole remixes and production for Annie, Hot Chip, and Kathy Diamond, and whom is half of Mu, can keep such a low profile. Put it this way: Syclops features the Tin Man on keyboards, the Cowardly Lion on bass, and the Scarecrow on drums, with Maurice Fulton as the Wizard of Sheffield. Pay particular attention to the man behind the curtain.
And anyway, who cares about biographical shenanigans when we finally get what’s ostensibly a proper solo album from Fulton? If he needs to be left alone to make music this good, we should let him be. I’ve Got My Eye on You (rim-shot optional) is DFA’s second direct-hit entrance this year, a contemplative counterpoint to Hercules and Love Affair‘s flamboyant debut.
The clinically exact robo-funk of early single “Where’s Jason’s K” was almost too polished for its own good, but luckily, the acidy B-side “Monkey Puss” (which isn’t featured here) turns out to be a better representation of the album proper: It’s visceral and lyrical, thumping as jaggedly as a distressed cardio patient’s EKG.
We might not get “Monkey Puss” on I’ve Got My Eye on You, but we do get “The Fly”, which features the same kind of strident, Morse code melody, artfully stuttering and ghosting out, interpolated by overdriven bass. It’s a bit like French producer Vitalic’s jaw-clenching vigor, but where the latter tends to plow down the center, Syclops utilizes every minute degree of stereo channel space.
Opening track “NR17” traces a labyrinth of pitched percussion and barely audible sub-tones through your headphones, as flying saucers circle ominously; one imagines that Fulton’s studio comes equipped with a protractor, compass, and tinfoil hat.
These extreme but seamless contrasts– of physical and synthetic sound sources, hectic and placid moods, tricky and candid patterns– typify the album. The loping “5 Out” splashes sprightly lounge piano over clipped vocal samples and sawtooth synth waves. On “The E Ticket”, shaggy jazz drums launch a bass workout flecked with crystalline arpeggios and periodic synth washes. “Mom, the Video Broke” is sort of a mirror image of “The E Ticket”– the latter starts off tight and gradually widens like a cone; the former turns its jazzy percussion into jackhammering mechanical drums as the elongated synth-bass riffs move through fiddly variations.
The title track’s reverb-brushed percussion verges on musique concrète, at stark odds with the celestial fluff drifting around it, and “Naoka’s F”, with chords radiating through a vast array of torqued pings, chirrs, and blips, feels like the view from an airport’s moving walkway– a respite from harried striding, as busy scenery rolls tranquilly by.
Overall, I’ve Got My Eye on You is the sound of preternatural studio expertise being pressed into the service of the listener’s delight. The delicate melodic structures and decorative rhythmic patterns seem to want to please us, rather than just impress us. This befits someone who goes to such lengths to isolate his name and ego from his music, and results in a lot of terrific moments, like when the hushed ambiance of “A Lovely Sunday” suddenly lights up with surprising but weirdly apt G-funk whistles. Fulton’s bio remains shrouded, but this album tells us that he’s a generous and kind of crazily brilliant producer, which is all we really need to know.
click below to listen