Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Smoove, the Northern Monkey

The Revolution Will Be Televised,’ announced Newcastle's break beat DJ Smoove on his Acid Jazz debut album Dead Men’s Shirts. This play on Gil Scott Heron’s famous words made first single from the LP, which gained major radio coverage and went on to reach 23 in the beats and breaks charts.

Then Smoove served us ‘Coming Back’, an infectious slice of up-tempo dance floor funk. With powerful vocals, written and performed by Jess Roberts, a northern funk stomper with an up-tempo 60s beat, a string laced Hammond monster that featured Smoove’s mother on the sleeve.

Such was his success that he was asked to take his pick from the Acid Jazz Records catalogue in order to come up with a number of remixes that celebrate the history of the label. A few of them are mixes of his own material but others feature Soul II Soul vocalist Rose Windross, acid jazz originators The Bukky Leo Quintet (which was the only project ever co-produced by the label’s originators Gilles Peterson and Eddie Piller), and a version of the R’n’B hit from Andy Lewis which features the vocals of Curtis Mayfield protégé Keni Burke. 

 The remixes were compiled into the album, Gravy. The lead track, featuring Dan Roberts on vocals, is an outstanding version of the Spencer Davis Group classic ‘I’m A Man’.

Another stand out track, originally the B-side of ‘All This Love That I’m Giving’, (another Dead Men’s Shirts single), ‘Tired Feet’ is a kitch-beat easy listening mod-fest of the highest calibre. 

Hmmm, Gravy.....yum!

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