It’s that time again! Jed’s done some digging with this month’s mix. Enjoy – and maybe learn something. We have, for sure!
Stephane Deschezeaux & Enois Scroggins – She Played You (Springbok Records, 2016)
Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Enois Scroggins has been in the business for over 30 years.
Some of the artists he’s worked with during that time include Ronnie Wilson from The Gap Band, Charlie Singleton, lead singer and guitarist for Cameo, and saxophone player Branford Marsalis. He’s also had success with several gospel groups and appearances on US religious TV programmes.
This track with producer Stephane Deschezeaux comes from Stephane’s digital release Prime Time, released on French label Springbok Records this year. Harking back to classic 80s bangers by the likes of Colors or D-Train, Enois’ soulful hooks grab a-hold of that groove and just keep it bumpin’.
Tomorrow’s Edition – In The Grooves (Atlantic Records/RFC, 1982)
In the GROOVES, plural. That’s how much funk is in this track. This was produced by Adil Bayyan, who also wrote for the Chi-Lites, LaToya Jackson, Candela and Richard Jon Smith. So it’s no mistake that this track has got that unmistakably chunky production you’d associate with those artists. Plus the album A Song For Everyone (which this track is from) is totally banging, too.
In-Sync – Sometimes Love (Easy Street Records, 1987)
That’s IN-Sync, who are in all possible ways better than that other similarly named band. Using that 80s AKAI sampler repeat-voice thing to the max at the start, this track quickly settles into a drum machine-driven groove, backed up with a thick Juno bassline. Typical of Easy Street’s releases during this period, this track perfectly blends elements of boogie with early ‘garage-style’ house.
Uku Kuut – Ralph (People’s Potential Unlimited, 2013; originally recorded 1989)
Uku Kuut is the son of Estonian jazz singer Marju Kuut. During the 80s and 90s, Uku released lots of jams like ‘Ralph’, a good number of which have been collected and re-released by People’s Potential Unlimited. He also recorded a few tracks with his mother on vocals. ‘Ralph’ was originally recorded in 1989 and is featured on the PPU compilation and retrospective Grand Hotel.
Universe – Every Single Night (Instrumental) (MBT Records, 1984)
Formed in 1983, Universe were a British funk band of four young lads, who all seemed in their early twenties to be capable of knocking out a stone-cold classic boogie banger. This seems to have been their only release – but excellent nonetheless. You can hear the excellent arranging in this instrumental version. Some session musicians helped out with their release: assisting with guitar arrangements was J.J. Belle, best known as the guitarist for the Pet Shop Boys, plus notable for working with Grace Jones, George Michael, Madonna and Tina Turner.
The Snapp – You Knock Me Out (Beat Street Records, 1985)
The Snapp’s ‘You Knock Me Out’ was written by keyboardist Ray Miles, who also wrote some tracks for Con-Funk-Shun. Lead singer Calvin Tillery was in Bill Summers & Summers Heat and appeared on Coke Escovedo’s 1975 album ‘Coke’, before fronting The Snapp. Funky dudes.
MSQ II featuring Jeffrey Cheatham – Too Much (Just Enough Mix) (Easy Street Records, 1987)
Another track with that classic Easy Street vibe. Produced by Michael Cameron, who also produced Adeva’s classic ‘In And Out Of My Life’. Before that, he acted as percussionist for George Benson, and wrote Michael Watford’s classic ‘Holidin’ On’ (see Galaxians Mix 8 for details of how much we love that particular track!). Seems like Michael Cameron is responsible for a range of total classics.
Fonda Rae – Heobah (Hey-O-Bah) (Instrumental) (Posse Records, 1983)
Fonda Rae’s probably most famous for ‘Over Like A Fat Rat’ (written by Leroy Burgess), but ‘Heobah’ has got that kind of 80s tropical excitement vibe going on. The instrumental version keeps the groove going with no distractions; dig, if you will, that crisp Linndrum tom in the background, and that chacka-chacka thin guitar riff over the wavy synth lines. Instant party.
Mtume – C.O.D. (I’ll Deliver) (Instrumental) (Epic Records, 1984)
James Mtume wrote a lot of what one might now call ‘G-Funk’ and ‘slow jams’. This is definitely a slow jam. In fact, some people have possibly been born as a result of this track. By the way, C.O.D. means ‘cash on delivery’, so we can only speculate as to what exactly is going on here – possibly something rude. But check out that dub delay over that bass, and those sweet DX7 electric piano chords. DAYUM.
Tramaine – The Rock (Larry Levan Instrumental Dub) (A&M Records, 1987)
This is totally Larry Levan. A Paradise Garage classic, Tramaine’s release also comes with a Shep Pettibone vocal mix, which is nice – but this is better. Larry’s mix just takes a bit of the groove, ditches most of the vocals, and keeps it banging all the way through. There’s nothing even wrong with the vocals. But Larry had the insight – keep the groove going. In fact, you wonder if it’s ever going to stop. But, sadly, it does. And we’re out!