Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Giles Smith picks some of his favourite Moodymann tracks in advance of his appearance at secretsundaze's 10th Birthday

With an artist as prolific as Moodymann its damn near impossible to pick 5 tracks. I really could have picked out 20 killer tracks by the moody one but here's 6 (just couldn't do 5) that popped into my head.

There is no doubt that Moodymann's legacy is rock solid with his discography containing enough bona fide classics to keep you amused on you tube for many hours. We think he is in the holy grail of House producers along with Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Chez Damier and Lil Louis.

1. Misled

I bought "Introducing" his first LP on Planet E in 1996 or was it 7 while in my first year at University in Leeds. I remember the day like yesterday as i also bought Larry Heard's LP "Dance 2000" on the same day! I just remember sticking the needle on the record and being mesmerized with what i heard. It just had the warmth and groove that i was always searching for. "Introducing" was not strictly an LP it was really a collection of the 12"s he had put out prior to that but it was indeed my introduction to Moodymann. "Misled" is just the most sensual, sexy and somewhat melancholy groove. I Just love this woman's subtle vocal hummings, the amazing percussion and the overt eq'ing in the track.

2. Tribute / The day We Lost the Soul

It was a toss up between this and the Chic sampling "I Can't Kick This Feeling" perhaps the most played Moodymann track. I first heard this Marvin Gaye sampling track at Back To Basics in mid to late 90's and Ralph Lawson the resident used to hammer it. I remember him once saying he had it permanently sellotaped to the bag of his bag. I dont think this was strictly true but it served to illustrate a point. I bought it soon after but somehow it went missing. It wasn't until i was in Japan 2 years ago that it dawned on me that i didnt have anymore and snapped up another copy but this time it was for about £35 but of course worth every penny. The groove on this is just slamming and its classic Moodymann in the way that his switches, cut n paste style between two grooves giving it a great dynamism.

3. Live in LA 88

This track really is a beast. Amazing how Moodymann can do extremely soulful almost gospel tinged tracks "Another Black Sunday" or " I'm Doing Fine", slamming House tracks a la "Tribute" and "I Can't Kick This Feeling", deeper than deep "Misled", "Oceans" (nearly made this Top 5) and then just as you think you have worked him out he comes out with this. For me this is real minimal techno! Super stripped down, dark, gnarly yet still bags of soul again with another sexy hummed vocal that just takes the edge off the dark groove. This never fails. Crazy when the keys slide into the mix later in the track too.

4. On The Run

This is a personal favourite and a track i don't hear people talk about very much. The track is totally influenced by the blues with the Uncle's tale of woe at the beginning of the track about wanting to escaspe from his incarceration hence the title. The warm pads and the beautiful swoony guitar licks is just such a potent combination and just slays me every time i hear it. It really doesn't have much of a kick drum and isn't really a club track but that didnt stop me playing it as my opening track at Panorama bar a few years ago (and clearing the floor with it slightly :)

5. Freeki Mutha F cker

What can i say about this record?`Kenny hadn't released a record for a while but when this sleazy joint came out there was no doubt that he never went away. Just unbelievable production and as the sleazy lyrics. Audio lube as someone so succinctly puts it in the comments on you tube!

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