Monday, Nov 13 2006 | 12:50

Cologne’s DJ Olski presents the second compilation on his label Melting Pot Music. Over the past four years Melting Pot Music has established itself as a top player amongst like-minded labels like Tru Thoughts, Stones Throw, Daptone, Breakin Bread and Raw Fusion.

The new compilation “More MPM Sound” includes a brand new edit of the Lefties Soul Connection cover of DJ Shadow’s “Organ Donor” by Hawkeye, Breakout’s “Planet Rock”, as well as new tracks and mixes by DJ Day, Hawkeye, The Phobos Peepl, Devil McDoom, and many more.

Release information:

Time keeps on slipping into the future and this is exactly 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 its 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 Hanover. 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 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 built 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 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 mebers 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 its 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 its 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

Tracklisting & artist info:

01. Breakout (Hanover, Germany) – Planet Rock Pt.1 – single released Sept. 06
Massive afro-funk cover of the Bambaataa-classic! Played live and chops later. Causing a storm on dancefloors worldwide.

“Freakin’ sick … love it!” Mad Mats (Raw Fusion, Sweden)

“Killa!” Tom Wieland (7 Samurai; Les Gammas, Germany)

“You made me robot dance in my bedroom. I feel like RJD2!! Great tune!!” Diesler (Tru Thoughts, UK)

“Planet Rock! Enormous! Dirty! Killerrrrrr!!!!!!” Dom Servini (Wah Wah 45, UK)

“That shit is a killer track, great work guys!” Freddie Cruger aka Red Astaire (Jugglin´; GAMM, Sweden)

02. DJ Day – Gone Bad – single released Dec 05 & Lovebug – single released May 06
Day cut his teeth with Aloe Blacc and DJ Exile back in the Emanon days before he started his own career. His music is something special. He rocks the club with serious breaks and boogie but is equally deep and soulful. “Gone Bad” was the a-side of his first 12″. “Lovebug” is a future bossa gem originally released on Sound In Color.

“I’m a big fan of his stuff and this new 12″ is no exception. Hype funk edits in the same vein as Red Astaire or QSO” Oliver Wang aka O-Dub (Soulsides, USA)

03. DJ Adlib – Everyday feat. MED – single released July 06 on Alphabet Zoo
Top turntablist (Noisy Stylus) and rising supa producer Adlib hooks up with Medaphoar aka MED (Stones Throw). MPM is no longer rap-free. But we only borrowed the song from Danny Breaks’ label.

04. The Phobos Peepl (Copenhagen, Denmark) – Bike Ryder – unreleased
Space Funk madness from Denmark. It’s the keys, baby (all played live by the way). The Phobos Peepl are part of the Nobody Beats The Beats clique. “Bike Ryder” is the a-side of their forthcoming debut 45 for MPM.

05. Kutiman (Tel Aviv, Israel) – No Groove Where I Come From – unreleased
Afrobeat from Israel? This is what MPM is about. Ophir “Kutiman” Kutiel is a one man orchestra who recorded this song after a long stay in Jamaica where he worked with the Marley family. Think early Antibalas going on a trip to space with heavy vintage synths and semi-rock vocals.

06. Imperial Breed (Hamburg, Germany) – On The Run – single released July 06
The mystery funk band from Hamburg produced by hip hop media assassin Falk “Hawkeye” Schacht who also did “Still Jivin” on our “Breakbeatraer” Soul Strut EP. Hawkeye has put together some of the best German funk musicians for this Manzel meets the Poets Uptown excursion.

07. Devil McDoom (Karlskoga, Sweden) – Watching Sleazy UFOs Passing By – unreleased
Devil McDoom has a sound of his own and his songs are always the darkest on MPM. But he never fails to add some humour too. Here he serves us an exclusive sci-fi interlude that is 100% pre-Star Wars.

08. The Soul Scapes (Sunderland, England) – Summer Soul – unreleased
Library funk band from Sunderland and first British act on MPM. “Soul Summer” is as lo-fi as you can get and we like it like that. Bandleader Ron Graham is specialized in Italian horror soundtracks and actually plays this music with his other group The Giallos Flame.

09. A-ko (Iowa City, USA) – Chicago – single released Feb 06
Iowa’s finest turned 19 this year. That makes Ak-o still the youngest member in the clique, but his influence on the MPM sound is massive. Jazzman Gerald says it best:

“A young man on a mission to create proper musical work from cut & paste methods at which so many try and fail… this record proves that with finesse and taste it CAN be done. I like it all!” Jazzman Gerald (London, UK)

10. Lefties Soul Connection (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – Organ Donor (Hawkeye’s Hyphy Edit) – unreleased
The Lefties version of DJ Shadow’s “Organ Donor” has been the best selling 45 on MPM with over 5.000 copies sold. Hawkeye is taking things one step further with this DJ exclusive. His edit is not exactly Hyphy but fans of Josh Davis know the deal.

“Lefties comes with the hot heat.” Turntable Lab (USA)

“Some of the grittiest funk to come out of the European scene in many many years – and a totally mindblowing full length set.” Dusty Groove (USA)

“Rocks in the way only a funk band from Amsterdam can.” Hip-Hop Connection (England)

“Sweet, dirty funk – raw and without pretension” InTheMix.com (Australia)

11. Hawkeye – Meet Me At The Roosevelt – unreleased
That good ol’ sample magic. Hawkeye is getting his fingers dusty with this little breaks and beats goodie. Relax your mind …

12. Le Scratchfunk (Aachen, Germany) – The Go Off!
The Krautbeat anthem, as “The Go Off!!” has been dubbed by many, caused a lot of sweat on the dancefloor and amongst diggers. This cut’n’paste monster is made of European rares only and it never fails to rock the party hard. Le Scratchfunk’s vinyl supplier Sticky Dojah is also a serious DJ.

“Hard hitting uptempo breaks galore, superdry basslines, great for both scratching routines and playing at the club. A sureshot!!!” Marc Hype (Berlin, Germany)

12. Marc Hype & Jim Dunloop (Berlin, Germany) – The Mexican (Radio Version)
Two turntables and a funky piano. This is what former ITF champ Marc Hype and keyboard meister Jim Dunloop are about. Their club sets are pure dynamite. Here they are replaying Babe Ruth’s eternal b-boy anthem (no samples!) with the wonderful Sara Bourgois on vocals.

“This is THE version of “The Mexican” to have” Jazzman Gerald (London, UK)

“A richly funky take on Babe Ruth’s breakbeat classic “The Mexican” – with a heavy emphasis on the heavy beats and rolling bongo sound that make it one of the defining tracks for a beat digging generation!” Dusty Groove (Chicago, USA)

13. Upskiboo (Copenhagen, Denmark) – Search Song – single released May 06
Old school hip hop head, dusty finger and another NBTB disciple with big beats and real music. “Search Song” is a heavy but deep hammond-workout aken from his “Summer Heat” EP.

“Kinda like a cross between a live DJ Shadow and a funkier Cinematic Orchestra, new Melting Pot Music artist Upskiboo is the epitome of what is good about this scene.” Phonica Record store (London)

Audio Files: Listen

The compilation VariousMore MPM Sound” (Melting Pot Music) has been released November 10, 2006.

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