After three years of dropping strictly 45s and 12" it is about time to release a big record. So this is the first official LP on MPM. The tracklisting is slightly different from the one that we did with Inpartmaint in Japan in August and yes it is also available on vinyl.
I started Melting Pot Music with a simple concept: I wanted to release music that fit in my personal collection and in my dj-sets. My vision of how these records should sound was pretty clear but I had no idea where to find the bands and producers who could make these records. The chances to meet them in my hometown were rather small. Cologne is best known for minimal techno and the last local band that I digged was Can. So I took a deep look into my crates and recorded a mixtape that summed up that sound that I was looking for. I named it "Soul Power" after the club night that I did at that time at Studio 672. When the CDs arrived from the pressing plant, I had my record case packed for a DJ-tour with Egon from Stones Throw. I only sold a handful of CDs at most gigs but at our last night in Amsterdam one of the promoters handed me a tape of his band Lefties Soul Connection. "What a funny name" was my initial thought but when I listened to the tape at home, I was shocked. These guys weren't funny at all. Their raw funk was dead serious and hit harder than most of the new funk bands that I knew. We pressed up 500 45 singles of "Doin' The Thing" and started selling them in December 2002. I knew that we had a dope record but I wasn't sure if people would feel the same. Much to our surprise all copies were gone within less than four weeks and MPM was born. Two and and a half years later the Lefties are one of the most in demand European funk bands and I have been lucky finding a whole gang of gifted musicians who share my vision of a raw and rugged sound that is brand new but never forgets it's roots, even if these roots are only borrowed.
In the beginning I used to call MPM a hip-hop label that doesn't release rap records. But this may not be true anymore when DJ Day and Devil McDoom are really coming through. Other people have named MPM a funk label which is also fine with me but when you look at how I run this little enterprise it is also an internet label. We don't release our music on the net, we are releasing old-fashioned vinyl records, but this is where we find our music. I don't spend my nights at sticky basement clubs scouting new talent. Soulstrut, Soundclick and Myspace is where I dwell and this is why MPM has such an international roster. Connecting with people in Amsterdam, Paris or Grimes in Iowa through music and ending up doing records together is always an exciting and enlighting experience.
This album is not only an introduction to the sound of MPM, it is also a journey that takes the listener around the globe in 14 tracks. We kick off in Palm Springs where DJ Day treats us with some lovely California soul. "Four Hills" is a Native American saying that represents the life cycle (infant, adolecence, adult, elder) and since music is going in cycles too this song is the perfect opener. The next stop is Amsterdam where Lefties Soul Connection are doing the "Peacock Strut" which is the anti-thesis to every cliche that Amsterdam has in store: No stoners, hookers or tulips in here, just raw and gritty funk. The same can be said about "Hip'n Soul Shake" by the Malcouns from Munich. Best known for their trippy afro funk they are here featuring Poets of Rhythm-singer Bo Baral. The song that was originally released on the band's own label Watou Records.. We stay in Germany for a moment with Imperial Breed a new funk band produced by DJ Hawkeye. Recorded with karaoke mics, "Horny Pipin' Bats" proves once again that you don't need a real recording studio to record an authetic funk record. Next we are off to Tours in France, where the 13 piece afrobeat orchestra Massak recorded "A.S.U." live and direct back in 2001. It's only a three hour drive from Tours to Paris, where hip-hop producer Dela is jamming with his band Soul Village. Their take on the classics "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" and "We Gettin Down" has been available in Japan too, thanks to the Jazzy Sport label. The Vietnam Veterans also happen to be French but they are coming from different age and time. The beautiful psychedelic folk sound of "I Give You My Life" was originally released in 1984 and is a love song that Vets singer Mark Enbatta wrote for his daughter Cynthia. Around that time young A-ko was still attending kindergarten in Grimes, Iowa. But when the 17 year old producer dropped his first 45 "Soul '69" even the "The Fader" magazine in New York went bazerk about the cut'n paste soul of this bedroom prodigy. The next stop is Kopenhagen, the capitol of Denmark and home of the mysterious Queen Eve & The Kings, a funk big band that only released one 45 single. "All Hail The Queen" will go down in history as one of the wildest funk recordings of the early 21st century. Also from Skandinavia comes 21 year old beatmaker Devil McDoom. He lives in Karlskoga, Sweden and proves once again that new and exciting music can be found in the most unlikely places. His dark and moody breaks-score "Cafone Going" will find it's place on Expedit shelfs next to Lalo Schifrin and the "Deathwish" OST.
This is what Melting Pot Music is about. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Olski - fresh for 2006, you suckers!
"DJ Olski always comes with the heat, and his label has become one to watch. And listen to, of course!" -
Egon (Stones Throw Records)
"With their appreciation of the past and a superb feel for the shape of things to come, MPM is one of the best (and, sadly, most slept-on) labels around". -
Hua Hsu (The Wire & Urb magazine)
"DJ Olski and his notorious Melting Pot label is one of Europes best and most reliable supplier of high quality funk, soul, jazz and afro grooves!!!" -
Mad Mats ? (Raw Fusion / Jugglin' Records)
"MPM ist ein Hip-Hop-Label, das keine Rap-Platten veröffentlicht" -
Olski (Melting Pot Music, Köln)
"For DJ Olski the music on this album and his label are true labors of love... Sample-happy junkies should make this a mandatory purchase, perhaps it may move a few to find a drum set and make their own homemade beats and breaks." John Book (Music of America)
"With refined taste and his own great label to back it up, Olski has compiled a gem of an album that?s guaranteed to please the pants off of any fan of all things funky. In taking the best bits of old and new funk and mashing it up with their own European influences, the artists of Melting Pot Music have undeniably proven their worth." In The Mix (Australia)