Saturday, 9 August 2008

Various Artists - Groovin' High Vol. 1

105 MB
256+ VBR LAME mp3
CD rip from Stepping Stone SI 8506-2
Scans from

Sticking with the Stepping Stone label, here's an early compilation from them, notable for early efforts from a few of today's broken beat and left-field heavy hitters. Some of you will recognise the sample from Tenório Jr.'s "Nebulosa" from his 1964 masterpiece Embalo (also available on Mr. Bongo's Brazilian Beats series) as the source for the first track. Spotters will also easily check the Fela sample ("Everything Scatter") running the Kwaanza Posse's "Wicked Funk."

1 Marden Hill - Hi Jack
2 Ute - In The Meantime
3 A Forest Mighty Black - Fresh In My Mind
Kruder & Dorfmeister - Definition
Silent Poets featuring Menelik - La Vie
6 Deep Freeze Productions - Sometimes
7 Solar System - Stop It
8 Vibrazioni Productions - Make A Stand
9 Mighty Truth - Heavy Knowledge
10 Kwanzaa Posse - Wicked Funk
11 Nobukazu Takemura - Crescent

Marden Hill's story was covered on yesterday's post, so no need to go into it here. Following them are UTE, who were composed of Ian Dixon, Wayne Eliiott, Joseph (?), Jonathan Lee and Krazy Cool D-Zine. Not a lot of info on these guys, with only Ian Dixon and K.C.D-Z. having credits outside of the group's 2 LPs; the former playing horn on a handful of tracks for acts like Blame and Primal Scream while the latter lent vocals to D*Note's first full-length Babel (more D*Note coming up on Soundological in days to come).

A Forest Mighty Black was the brainchild of Bern Kunz and this track was the B-Side on the first release from a fledgling Compost label. This compilation is the first time their classic track would appear outside of the 12" single format and it has since become a staple of the Acid Jazz/Trip Hop/Broken genres. It also appears on 1998's full-length Mellowdramatic.

Kruder & Dorfmeister should need no intro and this particular song is the lead on their (and their label G-Stone's) debut release G-Stoned (the one with the cover that riffs on Simon & Garfunkle's Bookends).

Japan's prolific Silent Poets enlist the help of French MC Menelik for the title track from their fifth LP Words and Silence. One of the forefathers of a Japanese scene that includes United Future Organization, DJ Krush, Monday Michiru and others, this was one of the first chances for folks in the West to hear them but not the last as SP continues to be a going concern.

Deep Freeze Productions were around for quite a few years but there is a distinct lack of info for the ensemble and songwriting credits on their releases consist of three last names: Sim(m)s/Jones/Belben. The first two names are way too common to dig into and the last one is likely Paul Belben, who had some releases with a similar jazz-heavy style around the same time on Gilles Peterson's Talkin' Loud label.

Solar System only released one full-length, their self-titled debut on Stepping Stone in '96. Basically a duo composed of Chris Standring and Rodney Lee, most of their recorded output is out under their own names or as session musicians for artists such as Jody Watley, Jedi Knight Tom Middleton and 4Hero among others. Their LP is highly acclaimed and comparisons to the Crusaders, Wes Montgomery, Joe Sample and Steely Dan are well-deserved. Anyone sitting on this LP is urged to share!

Consisting of Federico Di Bonaventura with vocalist Laura Piccinelli, Italian team Vibrazioni Productions were active throughout the latter part of the 90s and this track is from their debut Exspressione Globale on Right Tempo Records subsidiary Roots. Their R&B flavoured jazzy neo-soul is heavily comped and they are among the usual suspects on most collections put out by labels such as Acid Jazz, Talkin' Loud, Instinct, etc.

Mighty Truth only put out one LP, 1996's From The City To The Sea on Tongue & Groove. Their tracks are credited to Julian Bates (samples), Alex Gray (keys - UFO, Baby Fox, Dubtribe, King Britt), Willy Wondera (vocals) and Isabel Dunne (cello - Ravi Shankar, Brand New Heavies, Roots Manuva, MJ Cole, Zutons) but they also counted Mike Bennett (drums - Birdhouse, Johnny Blas), Steve Walters (bass - James Taylor Quartet, Kylie Minogue, Pet Shop Boys, Beverly Knight) and Dave Priseman (trumpet, flugel horn - Quiet Boys, Vibraphonic, Mr. Electric Triangle, Akasha) among their numbers.

Kwanzaa Posse, who were comprised of Funk Master Sweat and Keyb Tortora, only released 3 singles on the Flying Records from '91 to '93 and Wicked Funk was their first. Not only the first for them, it was the first Fela-sampled track to get recognition and was released a couple years before Aicd Jazz/Trip Hop took off, so this track was highly influential on the scene. Outside of those singles they've done loads of remix work over the years for a wide variety of artists but moreso for Les Negresses Vertes than others.

Another forefather of the Japanese scene (so "fore" that he's sometimes credited with bringing Hip Hop to Japan due to his DJ efforts in the mid-80s) was Nobukazu Takemura, who went by the monikers Child's View and DJ Takemura for quite a few years but has returned to using his full name. He has appeared continuously on truckloads of electronica compilations for 15+ years (including Royaltie$ Overdue posted recently on Soundological) and is still going strong. He's branched out to include noise/art rock elements in his sound (starting most noticeably with Scope in '99) which has seen him release much of his later catalogue on indie labels Thrill Jockey and Bubblecore as well as his own imprint, Childisc. He still keeps a hand in the selector business, and was responsibe for 2005's outstanding jazz comp Shibuya Jazz Classics: The Nobukazu Takemura Collection.

Pick up this essential piece of electronic jazz/funk/soul history HERE or in two parts HERE (1) (2).

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