Monday, June 9, 2008

Check The Sample

The legendary Gang Starr are one of hip hop's super groups - consisting of the legendary producer DJ Premier and MC Guru their style is equal parts jazz, funk and hip hop. One of my favourite cuts of theirs is Jazz Thing, which is one of those records that you can play in both a disco and a jazz set, I think that Defected even included it on a disco compilation a while back. Check The Technique is a record that I seemed to hear played out every once in a while while I was in England and it generally gets me on the dancefloor, although to be fair it doesn't take much. Premier has sampled the Marlena Shaw version of California Soul, which most people consider to be the definitive version and it's being used on an advert out here in the States at the moment but I can't remember for which product, sorry.

Marlena Shaw is of course probably best known for her work on Cadet and Blue Note and she was famously sampled on Blueboy's Remember Me that was absolutely massive in the mid 90s. Remember Me is probably one of the best b-sides ever from a financial point of view next to Sister Sledge We Are Family, which was broken by Kenny Carpenter at Studio 54 before other DJs cottoned on and it became the wedding dancefloor behemoth that it is today. Marlena still belts it out and I think she's touring the states at the moment.

Gang Starr - Check The Technique

Marlena Shaw - California Soul

My favourite version of California Soul is still the sublime Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye version, which is easily in my top 10 records of all time. I need to get another copy as my 7" is practically worn out from all the times I've played it.

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