Here’s an end of week surprise – Moodymann has a new album out called ABCD.
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Here’s an end of week surprise – Moodymann has a new album out called ABCD.
Messrs Dixon Jr, Parrish, Wilhite and Pittman will return under the 3 Chairs banner with the first original material in some seven years.
Dillatroit, the EP of unreleased material from the archives of J Dilla on Kenny Dixon Jnr’s Mahogani label finally got released this week.
To complement it’s arrival, the Official J Dilla site have releasesd the above video with Mr Moodymann himself discussing his fondest memories of the sorely missed producer. Rocking a rather dashing “campaign hat”, Dixon Jnr discusses the first time he met Yancey, his ongoing musical legacy on Detroit and beyond and more in a typically amusing six minute conversation.
Kenny Dixon Jnr’s prolific year continues with the announcement of the Why Do U Feel EP, set for release on his own KDJ imprint next month.
Highly regarded London party starters Love Fever and Black Atlantic are bringing the inimitable Moodymann to town in a few weeks, and we have a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader.
The full tracklisting for the forthcoming J Dilla release on Moodymann’s Mahogani imprint has been unveiled.
If you live in London you’ve probably already heard about this weekend’s Secretsundaze 10th anniversary double party – well, here’s your chance to win a pair of tickets to both gigs.
Those of you who frequent the more discerning record shops of Berlin – or at least the catalogue pages of the Hardwax website – will no doubt be aware of the mysterious Livejam crew and their defiantly purist take on house and techno production; nothing but analogue gear, grainy samples, one take recordings and vinyl-only releases for this lot.
Released on the newly minted Decks Reworx imprint, Appointment – apparently made up of four members of the Livejam collective, although whether this is actually true or not remains cloaked in analogue mystery – overhaul the famed Moodymann remix of Chic’s “I Want Your Love”. First released on KDJ Records back in – gulp – 1996, it still stands as one of the best examples of taking a ubiquitous disco sample and breathing new live into it. Kenny Dixon Jnr’s own gravelly spoken word vocal paves the way toward a hypnotic bassline and instantly recognisable looped vocal and slinky guitar samples from one of Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers’ finest moments.
Rather than a merely indulging in a minor tweak or perfunctory tinker, “I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Hits” is given the full Livejam/Appointment treatment – twice. The first remix is almost unrecognisable from Dixon Jnr’s version, eschewing the guitar and vocal samples totally in favour of stripped back drum programming, forming a mighty deep groove that soon locks into the spoken word vocals. There’s not much to it: it’s sparse, raw and thumping, but that, of course, is the Livejam way. The second version retains the vocal loop used in the edit, but it’s buried beneath a raw, gritty thump primed for sweat-drenched warehouse party use. The Livejam sound has thus far been restricted to the realm of secret weapon, but appearing in such illustrious company should ensure plenty more people seek out their records.
KDJ Records revisit Moodymann’s seminal spoken word sex house anthem “Freeki Mutha F cker” for one of this year’s first essential twelve inch releases. Originally a highlight from the Detroit legend’s 2008 Det.riot ’67 album – which incidentally will cost you silly money these days – the track is presented here in previously unreleased extended form on the A Side. Reason enough for Moodymann obsessives to greedily indulge, especially as it’s a glorious rendition, stretching out the original sultry groove before dropping in a tingling piano refrain as the track plays out towards a menacing and orgasmic finale.
There’s just enough room left on the A Side to include a live rendition of “California” a new Moodymann track characterised by a heavy beat, more piano flourishes and some entertaining usage of horns! And then we come to the B Side that contains the two remixes which have been causing much fidgeting and anticipation, and explain why this twelve is going to sell and sell.
For those of a certain vintage, there’s no more exciting a combination of remixers than Juan Atkins and Egyptian Lover. It’s the former who steals the show here, revisiting his Cybotron days on a rework that offers the perfect fusion of organic deepness and cold, raw electro. There’s something wonderful about the unlikely combination of Atkins’ alien beats and bass – in particular the slowly pulsing sub – and the original’s soft focus pianos, whispered vocals and drawn out strings. It’s some futuristic business alright.
In contrast, The Egyptian Lover delivers a remix which was borne out of a spontaneous jam between the producer and Moodymann two years ago at the Mister Saturday Night club night run by Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter. With a swagger typical of The Egyptian Lover, the original bassline is retained but surrounded by a dizzying array of old skool electro 808 cowbells and Tipper sub bass wobbles. It does however lack the far sighted, back-to-the-future appeal of Atkins’ superb effort.
Rush Hour – undoubtedly the vintage Detroit/Chicago reissue kings of 2010 – return with a collection of rare gems from Rick Wilhite, one of Detroit’s most respected purveyors of all things underground. The Godson & Soul Edge compilation showcases the material Wilhite released on Kenny Dixon Jr aka Moodymann’s KDJ Records in the 90s. Although he has never been as lauded as his 3 Chairs cohorts Theo Parrish and Dixon Jr (partly due to a comparative paucity in solo work), Wilhite is nonetheless an important piece in the Detroit electronic music puzzle, thanks to both his productions and his work as a record buyer and dealer.
There are three versions of the inimitable “What Do You See”, which samples a line from Carolyn Crawford’s 1978 burner “Coming On Strong” and builds a track around it with a killer drum roll and analogue blat. There are also three different versions of “Drum Patterns & Memories” – one from Rick himself and two from Moodymann. Theo Parrish’s ‘late’ dub of “Get On Up” is perhaps the highlight here, and anyone who has heard this on a decent soundsystem will know how good those chunky old school kick drums sound when given a workout. Urban Tribe’s remix of “Good Kiss” is a slow burning dub techno bomb, and there’s also a hitherto unreleased track by Rick entitled “30 Days Later” to round things off. What ‘s most impressive is how playable all of these tracks still sound – everything here was first released on 12” back in the 90s, yet it still outshines the vast majority of house music being made in 2010.
Ol’ Kenny brings the goods yet again with Ol’ Dirty Vinyl, a five-track EP released on his own KDJ imprint. Mixing the bizarre with the brilliant is of course the norm for the Detroit legend (check out his Red Bull Music Academy interview if you don’t believe us), and so it proves with this EP.
Things get underway with the title track, one hell of a raw jam with a jacking beat, delicate keys, and a drum machine which drifts off before bringing it home with one more kick. “We Don’t Care” sees Kenny on vocal duties, a timely reminder that he could read out the menu at a takeaway fried chicken store and make it sound sexy. Recorded in the late 90s with Pitch Black City on the sax and piano, it still sounds totally current. “No Feedback” rounds off the three track a-side with another raw slice of deep house that sound like it was recorded in Kenny’s basement.
On the flip, “It’s 2 Late 4 U And Me” – which possibly shows Moodymann’s secret love for text message lingo - was features Amp Fiddler on keys and Bubs Fiddler on bass, and was recorded in London last year. The final tune, “The Hacker”, which Kenny admits in the sleeve notes he “doesn’t remember” making, brings the EP to a close with an ambient buzz.
Review: Aaron Coultate