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Roots - Pussyfooting

August 12th, 2012

Roots - PussyfootingROOTS

  • Pussyfooting
  • Music De Wolfe
  • 1982
  • UK

Roots was yet another studio band who worked for the production music library company Music De Wolfe and it’s sublabel Rouge Music. They recorded several albums, so this time we’re not talking about a one off band. Their 1982 released album was called Pussyfooting and what you can expect from the year, it was pretty much disco oriented. All the tracks were composed by the well known library composer duo Chris Rae and Frank McDonald.

The album is described as modern group moods featuring electric piano and brass. It starts with midtempo disco funk jam “On the job” with funky beats but a slightly cheesy saxophone. Next up is “Gringo”, the type of disco that doesn’t move me that much. It’s followed by a midtempo disco track “Human spirit” with a hint of reggae on it’s beat. Then comes another uptempo disco take, the title track “Pussyfooting”. Next up is a cosmic disco track “The force”. The elctro funk sounding “Borderline” ends the side a. It could’ve been a great track if there wasn’t this annoying synth ruining the song. B-side starts with a nice disco-funk track “Grafter”. It’s among the best songs on this albums. It’s followed by a percussive uptempo “Jackpot” with a strong Love boat feeling and a hint of some jazzfunk sounds. Next is mellow downtempo “Happy event” followed by jazzy midtempo disco track “Happy hour”. After them comes the standout track, almost five minute long banging uptempo disco funk cut “Party people” with a nice long percussion break and catchy horns. Then comes another dull uptempo disco track “Fun house”. Dark, heavy and spacy electrofunk track “Cliffedge” finally ends the album. Pussyfooting is maybe not a great album as a whole but at least there’s one really great track worth buying the album for that track only and several good and decent tracks to follow.

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under disco, europe, library | No Comments »

Remigio Ducros - La palla é rotonda

July 1st, 2012

Remigio Ducros - La Palla E RotondaREMIGIO DUCROS

  • La palla é rotonda
  • Vroommm
  • early 1970s
  • Italy

There were several small Italian production music library companies that were active some years from late 1960s to maybe mid 1970s and then just faded away. Vroommm was one of those, it was extablished in late 1960s and released small but diverse selection of records. In honor of the ongoing football European championships I bring up one of their records, a concept album by the Italian composer Remigio Ducros, La palla é rotonda (in English ‘the ball is round’). Different styled compositions relating to sports and especially football was the thing in this album.

Musically this album is quite diverse and maybe not funky as could be expected by the composer. There’s weird moog tracks, dark and spacy synth tracks, light and moody vocal tracks and so on. There’s highlights of course too. The downtempo synth track “Calcio al ralenti” is pretty ok as well as the midtempo moogy and funky “Una partita agitata”. There’s however four tracks above the others. “Contropiede”, a guitar heavy latin influenced uptempo groover. A funky midtempo breakbeat track “La rimonta”. A midtempo drum and percussion track “Pressing” and a little similar sounding but funkier “Sgambetto”. This nowadays very rare album is maybe not worth the full price but if seen cheap enough, don’t hesitate to pick it up.


Calcio al ralenti


Una partita agitata


Contropiede


La rimonta


Pressing


Sgambetto

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, europe, library | No Comments »

Sound Prospect - Hit Man

June 22nd, 2012

Sound Prospect - Hit ManSOUND PROSPECT

  • Hit man
  • Peer International Library Limited
  • 1977
  • UK

Six years after the Bigroup album, Peer released an album called Hit man. It’s credited to a group called Sound Prospect - without a doubt another made up name for some group of session musicians strictly built for a library record.

Hit man starts with the funky uptempo title track “Hit man”, that sounds like it’s taken straight from some blaxploitation soundtracks. It’s actually just what the title says, a great chase funk track with some serious suspence feel and also the best track of the album. Next one is a midtempo track “Catcher” that sounds better by the name than actually is. After some decent and not so decent tracks comes “Even balance”, a funky midtempo jazz jam with some nice organ work. It’s followed by funky downtempo jazz track “Als blues” and more mellow sounding midtempo “Stevie bee”. Mellow but groovy “Mount calme” is also worth to mention aswell as the last track, “Latin -a go-go”. Hit man isn’t maybe one of the best library albums around but it still has it’s moments.


Hit man


Catcher


Even balance


Al’s blues


Stevie bee


Mount calme


Latin a go-go

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, europe, funk, library | No Comments »

The Bigroup - Big Hammer

June 19th, 2012

The Bigroup - Big hammerTHE BIGROUP

  • Big hammer
  • Peer International Library Limited
  • 1971
  • UK

Peer International Library Limited was a London based production music library company that was established in the late 1960s by Dennis Berry (aka Peter Dennis). It was closely affiliated with the other library company Southern, - which was also run by Dennis Berry. They often shared releases and that’s why certain titles appear on both Peer and Southern catalogue. This album here, called Big hammer, was credited to a band called The Bigroup, but without a doubt it was some studio musicians group with a made up name for the album. And it was also released on Southern.

The opening track “Big hammer” starts the album strongly. It’s a banging midtempo psych funk track with a hint of oriental vibe every now and then. A stronger oriental vibe comes with the next one, a downtempo sitar and flute driven mellow groover “Anna purna”. I’m not exactly sure if it actually is a sitar but sounds a lot of it. After the dramatic “Devil’s stronghold”, comes “Rolling”. It starts promisingly with a nice break, but then turns into a melancholic midtempo groover. Next up are two quite heavy downtempo psych funk tracks called “Beat norm” and “Heavy lift”. After them comes one of the best tracks on the album, “What’s coming”. It’s a strong upbeat track with heavy breakbeat drums and some wailing melodies on top. Then there’s again two mellow but psych heavy tracks called “Blow-suck blues” and “Gentle swell” before we get to the last track, “Bombilation”. “Bombilation” is a great midtempo organ driven psych funk groover with some electric guitar work (I’m still not a fan of those) and banging beats. All the songs are relatively long for a library record, all the tracks except one are over three minutes what makes it a more pleasant one to listen.


Big hammer


Anna purna


Devil’s stronghold


Rolling


Beat norm


Heavy lift


What’s coming


Blow-suck blues


Gentle swell


Bombilation

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, funk, library | No Comments »

The Ben Bernard Group / The Paolo Zavallone Group - The ‘77 sound / Musical cocktail (no. 3)

May 29th, 2012

The Ben Bernard Group / The Paolo Zavallone Group - The 77 Sound / Musical Cocktail (No. 3)THE BEN BERNARD GROUP / THE PAOLO ZAVALLONE GROUP

  • The ‘77 sound / Musical cocktail (no. 3)
  • Bosworth Music
  • 1977
  • UK

Bosworth Music is propably the oldest production music library company around. It was established in London in 1892 for sheet music production. In the 1930s Bosworth moved to 78rpm production and finally in 1966 they started to produce 33rpm records. Despite the long period of production their output catalogue was relatively small. And although they were quite a small company, they had some well known musicians in their catalogue; Klaus Doldinger, David Snell, Syd Dale, Geoff Bastow, Johnny Teupen and Paolo Zavallone among others. Better known with his pseudonym El Pasador, Paolo Zavallone was born in Rome, Italy and did a career as a singer and a composer. I have no idea of his commercial doings, but his library stuff is pretty funky. He also did a bunch of soundtracks and some other projects under different names. Among these was a pretty good disco release in 1977, under a moniker Bimbo e i Milionari. Ben Bernard (also known as Benito Bernardo) instead was a pseudonym of soundtrack and library music composer Bernard Ebbinghouse. He was born in Germany but moved to England in 1935 at the age of eight. He did a long career and composed quite a large amount of soundtracks and scores.

This release was a split album quite typical for some library music companies where each group had their own side. A side was appointed to The Ben Bernard Group while The Paolo Zavallone Group got the b side. Ben Bernard starts his side with a midtempo groover called “Mister big”. It’s followed by a downtempo “Rings around Saturn” and uptempo “Slick Chick”, latter being actually a quite decent track. Then comes “Cockney character” and “Ducks ‘n’ drakes” that are both a way too jolly for me. Last one by Ben Bernard is called “Walkin’ easy” and it’s also a quite nice funky track. Paolo Zavallone’s side is clearly the better and more funky side. It starts with a track called “Gambling”. It starts with a nice percussive break and the same funky beat continues throughout the whole four minutes of this uptempo funker. Next up is a mellow piano driven “Patricia” followed by a little heavier cha-cha esque track “Friendly cha-cha”. Then comes the jazzy “Garden party” with a sort of a break in the end. Another good one is the last track “Subway music” that actually reminds me of their better known and compiled track “Yellow fever”. It starts with a nice break and has several other breakdowns throughout the song.


The Ben Bernard Group - Mister big


The Ben Bernard Group - Slick chick


The Ben Bernard Group - Walkin’ easy


The Paolo Zavallone Group - Gambling


The Paolo Zavallone Group - Friendly cha-cha


The Paolo Zavallone Group - Garden party


The Paolo Zavallone Group - Subway music

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, library | No Comments »

Paul Kass / Simon Haseley - Prototype

September 21st, 2011

Paul Kass / Simon Haseley - PrototypePAUL KASS / SIMON HASELEY

  • Prototype
  • Music De Wolfe
  • 1972
  • UK

Established in 1909, Music De Wolfe is the originator in production music library business. They started releasing their recorded library records in 1927 with the advent of ‘Talkies’ and the company is still active in the production music scene. With it’s over 80000 titles it’s one of the main players in the industry. During the 1960s and 1970s it was also among the funkiest production music companies, together with KPM, Themes International and Peer International. Music De Wolfe had also several sublabels for production library music such as Hudson Music, Rouge Music and Sylvester Music.

In 1972 composers Paul Kass and Simon Haseley made an album called Prototype. It’s one of the funkiest among all the funky library records. It’s full of breaks, funky rhythms, groovy organs and banging beats from funky easy listening to jazz funk, funk rock sounds and beyond. For example “Filibuster” by Paul Kass starts with a break and continues as a midtempo rockish heavy funk tune having another tough break in the middle. Another great song by Paul Kass is “Causeway”, again starting with a break and continuing as a bboy friendly uptempo library funk track with heavy breaks, some percussion and nice breakbeat rhythm. And there’s more to mention. “Heavy Mob” and “Fast burner” are great funky library tracks too. Although Simon Haseley’s side is not as funky as Paul Kass‘, it still has some really great tracks. Midtempo “Hammer man” is a cheerful but at the same time quite heavy track with its funky banging drums. The last track “Response” is clearly the best one from Haseley. Funky drums and organ along the driving wah wah guitar makes it a great library funk track. What’s also nice compared to most of the production music library records around is, that most the songs are full length instead of those one to two minute themes there usually are on this type of records.


Paul Kass - Filibuster


Paul Kass - Causeway


Paul Kass - Fast burner


Simon Haseley - Hammer man


Simon Haseley - Response


Simon Haseley - Prototype

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under easy listening, europe, funk, jazzfunk, library | No Comments »

Guy Pederson & Raymond Guiot - Contrebasses

March 9th, 2011

Guy Pedersen - ContrebassesGUY PEDERSEN & RAYMOND GUIOT

  • Contrebasses
  • Tele music
  • 1970
  • France

Established in the late 1960s, Paris based Tele music may not be as famous as the bigger French production library companies like Montparnasse 2000 or Chappell, but it was equally good when it comes to funky library releases. Contrebasses from 1970 was a concept album composed by well known session musicians Guy Pedersen and Raymond Guiot. The musical scenery is built around the bass sound but there’s of course other instruments involved too than the double bass of Guy Pedersen - drums and percussion played by André Arpino and flute, piano and harpsichord played by Raymond Guiot.

Music in Contrebasses is pretty much what it should be when it comes to a library release. Quite wide variety of styles from downtempo drama to uptempo funky beat. There’s three tracks that go over the others. Midtempo groovers “Indian pop bass” and “Les copains de la basse” and uptempo “Bass session”. Contrebasses is definitely one of funky ones among those countless French library records that were released.


Indian pop bass


Les copains de la basse


Bass session

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, library, rare groove | 1 Comment »

Alan Hawkshaw / Alan Parker - The rock machine

January 19th, 2011

Alan Hawkshaw / Alan Parker - The Rock MachineALAN HAWKSHAW / ALAN PARKER

  • The rock machine
  • Themes International Music
  • 1973
  • UK

Alan Parker and Alan Hawkshaw both did a long and prestigious career as library music session musicians, composers and arrangers for numerous labels. They were also both playing in various bands. Alan Parker in Blue Mink, CCS, Philamonics and Ugly Custard, and Alan Hawkshaw in Shadows and most notably in the legendary British funk band The Mohawks to name a few.

Themes International was a London based library music label, founded by Alan Parker in 1973. Unlike most of the other library labels, Themes was quite strictly concentrating on music for television and movie scores. It’s also one of the funkiset around. They released around 50 releases between 1973 and 1987. The rock machine was their eleventh release and it’s a mixture of midtempo and uptempo funk. All the tracks are quite heavily guitar driven very similar to Bruton’s Heavy rock. And these rock guitars slightly disturb me. All the tracks are actually good too, there’s no fillers on this one. The funky uptempo breakbeat groovers “Outburst”, “Bulldozer”, “Brainstormer” and “Flashpoint” from Alan Hawkshaw with the midtempo “Monza Straight” and uptempo “Trailblazer” from Alan Parker are the highlights of The rock machine. No breaks but a lot of bboy friendly music and the wailing Hammond B3 of Alan Hawkshaw, that’s what it’s all about.


Alan Hawkshaw - Outburst


Alan Hawkshaw - Bulldozer


Alan Hawkshaw - Flashpoint


Alan Parker - Monza straight


Alan Parker - Trailblazer

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, funk, library | 1 Comment »

Various - Heavy Rock

January 3rd, 2011

Various - Heavy rockMIKI ANTONY & TOM PARKER / IRVING MARTIN & BRIAN DEE

  • Heavy rock
  • Bruton Music
  • 1978
  • UK

I bought this way back from a record fair for two euros. I bought it because it was cheap, it was published by Bruton and it sounded suspicious. Little did I know that there was actually a really great bboy track with breaks and all plus some other really great songs too. I guess one should never judge a record by it’s cover (or the title).

Bruton Music is a London based library music label that was founded in 1977 by Robin Phillips and is still functioning to this day. They have a really wide variety of music from action themes to classical and everything in between. Bruton Music has also a sublabel called Peer International, that have a small amount of releases and almost all of them are pretty good. Bruton Music was briefly owned (from 1982 to 1985) by the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson, who was a fan of their releases. Many of the releases by Bruton sounded like they’re straight from some British cop series from the 1970s with compositions minding of chase scenes and other action or dramatic sequences. But not this one. I’m not sure what they even meant when naming this album Heavy rock, because this ain’t even close to the term heavy rock as we know it. Although this was not originally brought up by Bruton, but it was first released by a small production library company called The Regency Line in 1975. Anyways, maybe back then in 1975 heavy rock meant guitar driven heavy groove, because that’s what this album is about. And that guitar work still disturbs me a little.

Miki Antony and Tom Parker were responsible for all the songs in side A. While Tom Parker is a pretty well known multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, Miki Antony instead seems to be mostly a session musician involved mainly with library music only. Together they did anyways the best track on this album, magnificent rock’ish afrofunk track “Portugalia” with wailing fuzz guitars and a quite long percussion break in the middle. Other ones on the first side ain’t bad either, electric guitar driven funky library music in general. For example uptempo bboy/chase funk track “Tension in the city”, uptempo half minute percussion beat “The mysteries of Mars” and the midtempo funk groover “Dirty Rat”. All tracks except the last one on side B were composed by the accomplished library music duo Irving Martin and Brian Dee, who were involved with other library labels too. Their side is a little different from the A side. It varies more from bluesy and mellow easy listening to pace rhythms and even reggae. Their best track is fast beat track “Havin’ a ball”. There’s also one song composed by Norman Warren on the B side called “C for Charlie”, and what a song it is. Really cool and mellow funk track as a balance to this otherwise hectic album. The only minus is that most of the songs are only minute or so long as it’s normal for the library albums. At least six of the tracks from this album was used in the British police drama series The Sweeney.


Miki Antony & Tom Parker - Portugalia


Miki Antony & Tom Parker - Tension in the city


Miki Antony & Tom Parker - Dirty rat


Miki Antony & Tom Parker - The mysteries of Mars


Irving Martin & Brian Dee - Havin’ a ball


Norman Warren - C for Charlie

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, funk, funkrock, library | No Comments »
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