Time keeps on slipping into the future and this is exactlly where we are heading with our second label comp. MORE MPM SOUND introduces a whole gang of new artists who are adding their moods and grooves to the music of Lefties Soul Connection, DJ Day, A-ko, Devil McDoom and Imperial Breed.
If you have a rough idea what MPM is about you will not be suprised to hear some soul, some funk and some jazz here. And some afro-beat and rock too. We are old school like that and we still consider this beautiful mash-up of styles and attitudes a long lost relative of hip-hop. So let me give you a little run-down on who is with us this time.
Breakout is a new group that was brought to my attention by Hawkeye. When he told me that the trio was working on a live version of Planet Rock I smelled MPM material and e-mailed them on the spot. If you touch a classic of that sort you have to deliver something special and that's what Breakout have done by taking Planet Rock back to it's roots as a heavy afro-funk tune with an Eastern twist.
One of the tracks that Bambaataa and Arthur Baker used for their orginal Planet Rock was The Mexican, a b-boy classic by British rockers Babe Ruth. The song was a hit at Kool Herc's block parties in the Bronx as well as at David Mancuso's Loft in Manhattan which defines my concept of Melting Pot Music better than any liner notes can. It was pure coincidence that Marc Hype & Jim Dunloop were recording a new version of The Mexican in Berlin while Breakout were doing their thing in Hannover. Hype and Dunloop are coming with a 100% sample free version that features Sara Bourgeois on vocals and trades Babe Ruth's all so rocky moments for some samba soul. According to Gerald Jazzman Gerald this is THE version of The Mexican to have.
When I started MPM four years ago I felt pretty disconnected from my local scene and didn't expect many homegrown artists to join the label. But to my own surprise, that's what happened. Hawkeye who lives in Hamburg is coming through with the sample-heavy "Meet Me At The Roosevelt" here and also conducts the mystery funk band Imperial Breed. With their heavy use of vintage synths Imperial Breed have been dubbed the missing link between Manzel and the Poets of Rhythm. The Axt and Sticky Dojah (who also works at the MPM office) are Le Scratchfunk from Aachen. Their out of print 12" The Go Off !! aka The Krautbreak Anthem is a DJ-favourite strictly build from Eastern European breaks. Hooking up with DJ Adlib from Cologne took me a while. The funny thing is that I've known Adlib for years from behind the counter at the Groove Attack record store and as a member of the turntablist crew Noisy Stylus. But I only checked for his beats after he became my friend on Myspace. We borrowed Everyday featuring MED from Danny Breaks' Alphabet Zoo label while Adlib is working on a new project for MPM.
I have to give props to Devil McDoom for hooking me up with The Phobos Peepl from Copenhagen. The righteous space funk of M.Dejean's one man band is adding a new flavor to our sound and is also available on 7". I only found out later that M.Dejean is an old friend of Upskiboo (both used to be members of the Stylus Force crew), another Soul Strut regular turned MPM artist from Scandinavia who I got in touch with through the mighty Raj Mahal. Upskiboo is featured with the cowbell-driven hammond work-out Search Song, taken from his Summer Heat EP. McDoom himself comes with some funked up UFO-ology. What started out as a short skit turned into a little song of it's own and sports all the spooky trademarks tricks the Swedish beat devil is known for.
While Denmark and Sweden are close to the German border, it is a five hour flight from Cologne to Tel Aviv where Kutiman is playing his multi-coloured afro-beat. Thanks to the interweb it only took me three seconds to check his music and I was more than suprised when I heard No Groove Where I Come From for the first time. I had no idea about what's hot in Israel and to me this is Melting Pot Music in it's truest sense.
Back in Amsterdam Lefties Soul Connection have enjoyed a real buzz with their Hutspot album. Over the summer the Lefties have played every major festival in the Lowlands and are right now recording their second album. Here, they represent with an unreleased DJ-Edit of their massive cover of DJ Shadow's Organ Donor.
With The Soul Scapes from North England we are finally adding a British group to the MPM roster and the genius library funk sound of Soul Summer serves as a much needed break before young A-ko takes us to Chicago with the main cut from his 12" of the same name. Last but not least we have Palm Springs' finest DJ Day, the only artist featured with two songs on this LP. Why? Because Day is the man!
No matter if he is getting busy on the breaks as in Gone Bad or laying down a soul-dripping latin-jazz groover like Lovebug, he just rules.
Oliver "Olski" von Felbert, Cologne, September 2006