The genius of a lot of records of the 90’s came from great music of the 70’s. One only need to think of soul, jazz, funk and rock. But once you discovered some of the originals that were sampled part of the magic went away and we compared the new vs the old. Such was the case for Portishead who sampled Lalo Schiffrin for Sour times, or Take yo’ praise by Camille Yarbrough who was used by Fatboy Slim on Praise you. One of the first record of the 90’s and a true classic, Blue lines, by Massive attack featured heavily sampling from the 70’s : Billy Cobham Stratus was used on Safe from harm and William De Vaughn was covered on Be Thankful for What You Got. Then Ike’s Mood from Isaac Hayes was used on One love, and Lowrell : Mellow Mellow Right On became the breakbeat for Lately. Tom Scott & the LA Express has been one of my favorite break : it was used on the song blue lines. A great song from a great album, Blue lines, that has aged a bit but still, coming from 1991, it’s quite an achievement.
Tom Scott & the LA Express : Sneakin’ in the Back (1974)
Massive attack : Blue lines (1991 : Blue lines)
Here is timeless album that is a take on the disco sound with its organic instruments. Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani’s first and only full-length is a landmark album in many ways. Largely responsible for the comeback of the electronic disco sound, the first album of Metro Area, is still being played by DJs from all genres, either in nu-jazz set or house or cosmic disco heads. With its unique sounds, accurate yet intricate arrangements and tight funky grooves, Metro Area is a timeless album. Caught Up, the third 12 inch taken from the album, is a timeless midtempo classic, like the dream night encounter of deep Detroit house with tender disco strings played live, the whole recorded with analogue equipement and acoustic instruments and percussions which gives it a unique warmth. An essential release that was just put #2 on the top 100 records of Resident advisor during the span 2000-2009.
Metro Area : Caught up [2002 : Environ : Metro area album]
John Daly is from Cork, Ireland, now relocated to Galway. For many years he has been producing music and djing. Along with releases on his label, Feel music, he has also had several successful releases on labels such as Francois K’s Wave Music. On his first album released in 2009, and called Sea & sky, Daly displays a touch that is simply magical. It was with much anticipation I awaited the delivery of his artist album and wasn’t disappointed in any way : its a deep, discoid groove for the 21st century. Some tracks are more in vein with deep house or cosmic disco, but those I prefer were the ones were he showed amazing skills on analog synths. Especially the track Exp3, (AKA 2 Sequencers Are Better Than One) which sounds a lot like Jean-Michel Jarre with its oceanic depths as he is soaring through the atmosphere. This song unfolds into peaks and valleys, or coast along the shoreline before heading for the horizon almost like classic krautrock. Very hypnosis in terms of structure. A good introduction to Daly’s work with a keen mood for chill-out vibes and evolving whirlwinds.
John Daly : Exp 3 (AKA 2 Sequencers Are Better Than One) [Sea & Sky : Wave music, 2009]