dirty martini

old music for new people

welcome to jazz club. nice October 15, 2008

so many people think they don’t like jazz. jazzfunk is really just laidback funk music. the 70s did it best – vocal or instrumental.

welcome to jazzclub

bossa rio – with your love now

chico hamilton – magic fingers

gene harris – losalamitoslatinfunklovesong

george benson – breezin’

harvey mason – til you take my love

incognito – parisienne girl

rotary connection – i am the black gold of the sun

roy ayers – sensitize

sergio mendes – the real thing

shakatak – night birds

s.o.u.l – soul

tania maria – come with me

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garage city: masters at work June 25, 2008

by 1993 it was clear that us heavyweights david morales and masters at work would define the 90s garage scene. david went for the house crowd with vocal club bangers and the big money remixes. masters at work retained their latin flavour and took on leftfielders like jamiroquai and brand new heavies.

i made my first trip to the ministry of sound that year and was almost perplexed by the alcohol free bar and bizarre location. a million miles from the clubs up and down the country who were rocking the hell out of ‘oh carolina’ and ‘mr vain’ and peddling test tube cocktails.

how different my 17th birthday could have been if I had lived in London and able to frequent the ministry more often…instead of technicolour vomit and fat djs I could have been shaking it to a legend.

download 1993 mix

bizarre inc – took my love

hardrive – deep inside

sound of one – as i am – fire island mix

jamiroquai – emergency on planet earth – danny tengalia remix

shara nelson – down that road – def classic mix

mariah carey – dreamlover – def club mix

dajae – u got me up – danny tenaglia mix

ten city – fantasy – masters at work mix

janet jackson – if – brothers in rhythm mix

joe roberts – lover – k-klass klub mix

judy cheeks – so in love – west end in love club mix

martha wash – give it to you – maurice’s underground playground mix

aftershock – slave to the vibe – club mix

black sheep – strobelight honey – def mix

house of virginism – i’ll be there for you – stone’s club mix

masters at work – i can’t get no sleep – her fantasy mix

reese project – so deep – k.o.k club mix

incognito – givin’ it up – uplifting club mix

garage city 1992

garage city 1991

 

garage city: the beginning April 26, 2008

the bacardi club chart was the closest i really ever got to garage in 1991. i was still at school, after all.

on the occasions my borrowed/faked ID got my 15 year old self in to a club or bar (and this is 91 so we are talking wine bar not the current club/bar/chill incarnation), it was either playing music ten years out of date, or simply red. and i had to be home by 12 unless we were puling the old ‘say you’re staying at mine and i’ll say i’m staying at yours’ trick. becuase if you’re sleeping over at a friend’s…you would need a sheer chiffon shirt with hotpants. good job my mum had stopped trying to pack overnight bags for me by then.

we did have the occasional illegal night put on in some dodgy warehouse but i only remember ever going to one. and of course, 1991 was mostly about rave anyway.

download here

brand new heavies – stay this way – morales’ eclipse mix

mariah carey – someday – new 12 inch house mix

incognito and jocelyn brown – always there – morales mix

fortran 5 – look to the future – joey negro future reality mix

reese project – direct me – joey negro disco blend mix

alison limerick – where love lives – classic mix

dionne – if u want my love

deep sleep – love me

korda – move your body

mass order – lift every voice – classic boot mix

jomanda – got a love for you – hurley’s house mix

mk and alana – burning – mk mix

those guys – tonite

djaimin – give you – syndromad mix

mariah carey – emotions – 12″ club mix

ce ce peniston – finally – classic mix

m people – how can i love you more

 

 

i love 1982: boogie nights February 7, 2008

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after disco, what was left for the clubs?

in 1982, the musical landscape was split pretty much between the last hangers on of disco, ska heads, fizzling out punk and the mainstream. hiphop was emerging but it would be ten years before the soul boys and girls hooked up with the rappers.

reluctant to let go of disco, but needing a new direction, boogie was born to fill the glitterball shaped void. it was so seamless most people didn’t even realise anything had changed. out went the strings, in came the bass. we also had bouncy blue eyed soul, and baby boy bands.

check out the start of the decade, 1980, and 1981, the last days of disco.

download 1982 here

amuzement park – make up your mind

this band exemplified the boogie soul movement.

barbara lynn – you make me so hot

saucepot barb was already a bit of a veteran by the time this was released. of course these days, a 25 year can be called  a veteran… 

carly simon – why

carly is quite annoying. but everyone loves this and it has been sampled and covered – by a tribe called quest for ‘bonita applebum’, a garage/dancehall cover by glamma kid and shola ama. written by chic, a rare demo by the group apparently does the rounds in ibiza. interesting.

damaris carbaugh – what about my love

sampled more than 20 years later for shapeshifters’ massive ‘lola’s theme’.

jocelyn brown – i wish you would

anyone with even a passing interest in 80s soul should already have ‘somebody else’s guy’. jocelyn and her big voice has gone on to work with incognito and todd terry, amongst others. 

klymaxx – all turned out

these sassy 80s girls ruled the early 80s dancefloors , way before the seminal ‘meeting in the ladies room’.

maze – before i let go

the 70s funk instrumentalists plus frankie beverly had two of the biggest boogie hits – this, and ‘joy and pain’ later covered by donna allen. quite badly.

musical youth – never gonna give you up

the uk’s answer to new edition. well not really, their music was completely different. but the uk wasn’t exactly able to tell the difference in 1982.

patrice rushen – where there is love

patrice dominated boogie (forget me nots, haven’t you heard, remind me) but she also did downtempo. this track was later sampled by smooth aka juanita stokes, who is by now probably 45 but is probably promoting herself as ’21’ if her track record is anything to go by.

prince  -1999

to omit this song from a 1982 list of any kind would be to totally underestimate its impact then, since, and now. no longer a gimmick now that the millenium has passed, it can be enjoyed for what it is. god it make you feel bloody old though.

real to reel – can you treat me like she does

not to be confused with reel 2 reel as in – i like to move it move it – as parodied by big breakfast puppets zig and zag.

skyy – call me

enduring 70s/80s band who peaked during the boogie period. later this track was interpolated by nicole ray on ‘seventeen’.or is it nicole wray? or just plain nicole?

 

original sin November 17, 2007

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 how annoying was it when your parents pointed out that your new favourite mc hammer tune was in fact a total ripoff?

well, there are so many tracks that i thought were originals and found out later that they were in fact mere updates. some are terrible – notably any of liberty x’s many cover versions – and some are actually just different as per some of the list below.

i think i must be getting old as i get furious when i hear updates of 90s house music on kiss fm that doesn’t sound better than the original – what’s the point in that?

download here

bootsy collins – i’d rather be with you

hands up who thought beyonce’s ‘be with you’ was a welcome respite from the screechy ballads that populated the rest of ‘dangerously in love’? how many spotted that she’d totally ripped off this track? that girl just does not learn.

cool notes – i should have loved ya

popularised by narada michael walden, this was actually a demo by brit lovers rockers turned jheri curled soulsters, the cool notes.  i prefer this version.

george benson and al jarreau – nothing’s gonna change my love for you

this is a ballad, a slushy one at that. but what mr benson and mr jarreau must have been thinking when they saw bouffant hawaiian glenn medeiros strolling alongside crashing waves crooning their song all the way into the top ten cheesiest records of all time, is anyone’s guess.

gloria jones – tainted love

it was easy to assume the all conquering soft cell version was the original. but with many of the early 80s classics, there was a reggae, or in this case, a northern soul classic lurking in the shadows. i bet that writer got paid.

otis clay – the only way is up

thank god for this northern soul classic. the horrific acid-pop-rave of yazz is now put into perspective as the irritating and unnecessary cover version it really was.

patti labelle – if you asked me to

patti’s belting vocals are relatively calm on this track, and a million miles and some light years better than frozen featured freak celine dion’s.

ready for the world – tonight

as appropriated by twista for girl tonight. i stumbled upon this by chance.

side effect – always there

well, i love the david morales remix of the incognito version and i had no idea there was a disco era original, but it makes sense. i have both on my ipod – i usually plump for originals but the incognito version is amazing. i’d even go so far as to say that i prefer their cover of stevie wonder’s ‘don’t you worry ’bout a thing’ and i LOVE stevie.

siedah garrett – do you want it right now

this really is the track that won’t die. right now we have a remix of the degrees of motion version, which at the time of release in 1992 i thought was the original. in the mid 90s there was a bootleg-gone-legit version blending it with get decor’s passion’. then i discovered a taylor dayne version from the late 80s and now this which i think predates it. degrees of motion provided the soundtrack to a happy summer for me – 1992 – and had the balls to record the video for ‘shine on’ at the same shoot at this one.

silk – freak me

you would have had to really watch a lot of mtv europe in the early 90s to spot this one as r&b did not feature heavily in the mainstream video playlists. when another level released this in 1998 many people thought it was their song. those that knew thought ‘ damn, fat little dane bowers sounds just like that guy from silk.’

sos band – just be good to me

to be fair, many of you are probably thinking i’ve gone mad with this one. but, in the uk, the main target audience of beats international’s ‘dub be good to me’ had no idea that this existed. so different, and both are cool. although this version is severely lacking a ‘tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty, you’re listening to the boy from the big bad city, this is jaaam hot.’

valentine brothers – money’s too tight to mention

not too far from the simply red classic we all know and, if not love, well, it wasn’t bad. it’s just that after hearing this original you wonder what the point was. but you can’t fault the flame haired one for trying to bring soul music to the masses.

 

sex and the city: season three soundtrack November 9, 2007

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this might be my favourite series. one of the first of three moments that always make me cry is in here. when carrie tells aidan that she’s been sleeping with big at charlotte and trey’s wedding. my friends and i are always divided on the big vs aidan debate. i think big is the one but the movie may yet prove me wrong.

this, for me, is the series where the girls’ friendship comes into its own. i love the way each character reacts to carrie and big’s affair. i love how they all end up alone by the end of the series but never seem happier.

cosmopolitans, as carries cocktail of choice, feature heavily, and we are introduced to the flirtini – pineapple, vodka and champagne. yum. i made some strawberry cosmopolitans in honour of rewatching this series. for research purposes, obviously.

download here

amber – object of your desire

andrea true connection – more more more

carol douglas – doctor’s orders

de la soul – thru ya city

de la soul and chaka khan – all good

donna summer – bad girls

groove armada – sex and the city theme

incognito – parisienne girl

jesse cook – that’s right

nick gilder – hot child in the city

steppenwolf – magic carpet ride

talvin singh – traveller

 

100% acid jazz July 14, 2007

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in contrast to the frenetic house, techno, new jack swing and jungle scenes of the early 90s, genres that mirrored these scenes but with a slowed down tempo started to arise. ambient and balearic became the comedown music of choice for tired clubbers, and jazz jungle emerged for those too knackered, or rhythmically challenged, for drum and bass.

acid jazz may have been a backlash against the studio produced sounds of the time, or just a natural regression back to a more organic era. i don’t think, for the first few years, i really thought about it that much or recognised acid jazz as any different. one of the first really big tracks, ‘always there’ by incognito, was remixed into a us garage anthem anyway, as were many brand new heavies tracks. acid jazz probably blended more effortlessly with the house and garage crowds than the more obvious affiliate of new jack swing.

acid jazz, thanks to its socially conscious and intelligent lyrical content, was a saving grace for me at university when looked down upon by miserable indie kids and oh so alternative rockers alike. they felt able to decimate house and garage music for its lack of lyrical content, jungle for its london-centric, chavtastic appeal and well, they just dismissed r&b entirely. stating a preference for acid jazz usually left them speechless and for that i was grateful. i’ve never understood quite why fans of such insipid and regressive music feel they have superior taste but i never miss an opportunity to put them in their place.

it’s so true that you will never see your first year uni friends ever again. and that you really need music in common in order to suddenly become flatmates with a bunch of strangers. on my first night at university i sat in my room in the grubby halls of residence and wondered how on earth i was going to cope. to my left, a mature student was blaring out eric clapton, across the hall, elton john.  i wandered downstairs and found a group of greasy helmet heads swaying to suede. after an uncomfortable night in the local pub in which we discovered none of us had anything in common, we awoke the next day to the sound of a latecomer unpacking her belongings to the dulcet tones of michael bolton. she played him every sunday morning until someone broke into her room and stamped on the cassette.

once the caring sharing and huggy early nineties had given way to laddism and ibiza, acid jazz faded. soon it was viewed as too worthy and retro to compete with the futuristic beats and sculpted r&b unleashed by timbaland, the neptunes and roc-a-fella.

the live instrumentation in amerie and beyonce’s work are a nod to the principles of acid jazz and should we ever return to the crystal wearing, cleansing new age era then perhaps it will resurface. well, we’ve revived everything else. in fact the 90s revival is well overdue – i seem to remember spending my 21st birthday at an 80s night in 1997. 

90s jazz funk classics – download here

brand new heavies – close to you

carleen anderson – mama said

clusterfunk – do me right

corduroy – mini

d’influence – midnight

diana brown – masterplan

incognito – don’t you worry ’bout a thing

jamiroquai – blow my mind

leena conquest – boundaries

liquid soul – i want you to want me

repercussions – promise me nothing

young disciples – apparently nothing