Tuesday 17 February 2015

Posted by Johnny Jupiter | File under : , , , , , , , , , ,
Spinna was an icon of the indie hip-hop scene who switched rides on an early lap some way round the course of his DJ/production career, and, if he hasn’t yet reached the finishing-line, has accumulated trophies already in the form of some sizeable dance hits. The biggest of those, his mix of Shaun Escoffery’s ‘Days Like These’ is inexplicably not on either of the two lavish double albums (one track per side apart from LP 1, side C, which has two) this comes as, though it IS found on the CD. That early release (and its immediate predecessor, ‘Space Rider’ which was particularly big in New York) immediately put Spinna up there with the big boys in the world of house, and he’s stayed there pretty much ever since. If there’s a better vocal record in the last few years, I’d like to hear it (and please post it to me via this site)!
A high proportion of the material here is also vocal, but there are a couple of deeper, techier instrumental  tracks to spice up the vibes (and one of those, his Acid Power mix of Karizma ‘The power’ seems to be exclusive to the vinyl). Anyone who likes their house music rooted in the black American tradition will find much to enjoy here, but don’t expect four sides of gospel-style wailing. The original material is quite disparate, but there’s a marked tendency for Spinna to work with bands, and tracks that start out more ‘musical’ in the first place. A Spinna sound, grooving and funky, but never ‘hard’,  unites all the material here. A few personal favourites: Louie Vega with Raul Midon ‘A Better Day’, like sounding like a 21st century Jose Feliciano.; Fertile Ground, ‘Live In The Light’ –fierce, spiritual – and Tortured Soul ‘Why’, deep and dark. This is a well-deserved first retrospective for someone that’s helping to keep alive a vital strain of our dance music heritage.

The Sound Beyond Stars is available on vinyl, CD and MP3 directly from BBE
Or via iTunes


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