Friday, 1 February 2013

The Dream Team - Clear My Throat

The Dream Team - Clear My Throat (Joker Records, 1997)

Yesterday I discussed Digital & Spirit's use of a break from Mark The 45 King's Master Of The Game LP. That album also features one of the most well known breakbeat tracks in hip-hop, 'The 900 Number', with its much sampled sax loop. In 1996 DJ Kool used the 'The 900 Number' as the basis for his live call and response track 'Let Me Clear My Throat' which reached number eight on the UK singles chart and got the attention of Bizzy B & Pugwash AKA The Dream Team.

In an entirely half-speed intro they heavily sample the DJ Kool record, using the sax, audience noise and several looped vocals before the "While I got a chance here, let me clear my throat" line is deployed just before the drop. The main body of the track is a fairly typical Joker Records production, a jump-up style tune using a couple of different basslines (mainly a robotic square wave one) and drums which include the 'Tighten Up and 'Think' breaks. The 'Let Me Clear My Throat' samples are used throughout the track and help keep it interesting.

The origin of the loop in 'The 900 Number' is a Marva Whitney record entitled 'Unwind Yourself' from 1967. Whitney worked as a vocalist with James Brown in the late sixties and he dubbed her "Soul Sister #1". She sadly passed away on 22nd December last year aged 68 but had still been performing until shortly before her death despite suffering a stroke while on stage in 2009. I was privileged to see her perform in 2008 at Southampton's Soul Cellar (see picture above) backed by Osaka Monaurail where she put in a typically fiery performance - RIP.

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