Feeling groovy in the heart ? Here is an anatomy of dance masterpiece !
I must have been 12 years old. It was storming every club, every radio station and ghetto blaster. Everyone in high school was asking if they’d heard of it. It was fun, danceable, listenable and damn funky. Kinda like house music meets hip-hop, meets funk, meets disco. You can see why with the diverse amount of samples in that record. Back then, I had no idea what a sample was, and thought wow Bootsy Collins is genius playing that bass. Well, he is a genius but I think the whole credit to that record goes to Japaneese DJ Towa Tei. The bass of Groove is in the heart comes from of Bring down the birds by Herbie Hancock, while the amazing flute snipet comes from a disco record called Get up by Vernon Burch. The record has an staggering amount of other samples :
- Theme from the TV series Green Acres (vocal sample: looped “I” sample (“I-i-i-i-i-i“), sung by Eva Gabor.
- Billy Preston “Uptight” from the album The Wildest organ in town : 1966 (breakbeat under rap by Q-tip)
- The Headhunters – “God Make Me Funky” from the album Survival of the Fittest, 1975 (drum roll)
- Ray Baretto – Right On” from the album Barretto Power, 1972 (cowbell)
- Bel-Sha-Zaar with Tommy Genapopoluis and the Grecian Knights – “Introduction” from the album The Art of Belly Dancing, 1969 (intro music, vocal sample: “We’re going to dance, and have some fun“)
Fashion designer, Kieren Kirby a.k.a. Lady Kier met Russian native Dmitry Brill a.k.a. Super DJ Dimitry in 1986 in New York City and they later met Towa Tei in a dance-club. They began composing music using samples, drum loops and sound effects. Inspired by funk icon Bootsy Collins. He accepted a collaboration with them after hearing a demo tape. While their first album, “World Clique” released in 1990 contained the massive club hit “Groove Is In The Heart” the band also brought colorful costumes and videos and were very distinctive by bringing back the style of the 60’s and 70’s into actual music and fashion with a futuristic style. Deee-Lite is also one of the few dance acts to have played live at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival in 1991.
“Groove Is In the Heart” is funky and cheerful and compares the new feelings of infatuation with hearing a good groovy song. Parliament and Funkadelic bass player Bootsy Collins played bass and provided guest vocals, and the rap is provided by Q-Tip of ATCQ. The song was accompanied by a psychedelic music video with Deee-Lite, Q-tip, Maceo Parker and Bootsy innit together over a cartoon background of various shifting shapes and colors. The video ending features Collins saying, “I just wanted you to know that groove is in the heart, and Deee-Lite have definitely been known to smoke… on stage, that is!” and Lady Miss Kier exclaiming “Deee-groovy!” Yes indeed, Deee-groovy in the heart !
Herbie Hancock : Bring down the birds [1966 : Blow up soundtrack]
Vernon Burch : Get up [1979 : Chocolate city] (Check out at 2 min 22 sec, the flute kicks in)
Deee-Lite : Groove is in the heart [Elektra : 1990] (That version is the sampladelic version from 1996)