Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Rampage - Why? (Smokin Studio Mix)

Rampage - Why? (Smokin Studio Mix) (Almo Sounds, 1995)

I've recently become unhealthily obsessed with Carly Simon's 'Why' (check out the unintentionally hilarious video), an reggae tinged pop track written and produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic. It featured on the soundtrack to flop 1982 movie Soup For One but was played by Larry Levan at the legendary Paradise Garage club in New York before becoming a Balearic classic on the Ibiza club scene in 1989. This led to CJ Mackintosh using the instrumental for his 'Why Edit' of A Tribe Called Quest's 'Bonita Applebum', which is where I first became familiar with it. But what sparked my recent interest in the track was the use of the "La di-da di-da" melody on the gorgeous 'Scissors' by Kuedo (AKA Jamie Vex'd) from his excellent Severant album.

I recently found out there is a drum & bass version of 'Why' by Rampage, who were responsible for the incredibly dodgy jungle remix of 'Here Come The Monkees'. Fortunately this track is somewhat better, probably thanks to the involvement of Joe and Tobi Brodie of Smokers Inc who just use resung vocals from the Carly Simon track without any of the original instrumentation, thereby avoiding too much cheesiness. The intro features looped "Tell me why, don't know why" vocals with mellow guitar and beat-switching between the 'Think' and 'Humpty Dump' breaks before the full vocals come in with a simple 808 kick bassline. Later a big overmodulated bassline is dropped alongside an Amen/Think combination making for nice contrast to the smoother sections. A surprising good version of the track which is now pretty hard (not to mention expensive) to get hold of.

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