Thursday, 11 April 2013

Carlito - Heaven

Carlito - Heaven (Creative Source, 1995)

As well as Doc Scott's Blue Note set at the Exit Records 10th Birthday party there will be a Speed set from Fabio. He started up Speed in '94 along with LTJ Bukem, Sarah Sandy and Leo Roche at Nicky Holloway's Mars (formally the Milk Bar) in Charing Cross. It was the first night to concentrate on the more soulful side of Drum & Bass, establishing the careers of Alex Reece and Wax Doctor amongst others and becoming the place to be on Thursdays, attended by serious heads and celebrities alike. Running until summer '97, it is up there with Rage and Blue Note in terms of influence with Rob Haigh of Omni Trio saying it "represented a pinnacle for drum & bass because it signified anything was possible. Musically, anything could go on...".

Essence of Aura were a Coventry based trio who had been DJing and producing since the early nineties. The group's James Mitton-Wade has said that attending Speed led to them being picked up by Moving Shadow with their first release for the label being 'Northern Lights'. When they split up in 1995 Mitton-Wade went solo as Carlito (after Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way) and his productions "absolutely blew Fabio's mind" leading to Fabio setting up the Creative Source imprint with 'Heaven' as the first release. It has a jazzy but driving sound that would be the label's modus operandi as it went on to pioneer the liquid funk style. Opening with light, rolling beats, warm 808 kick bass and bursts of synthetic strings, the track is as lush as the "Heaven" vocals suggest as gentle synths, keys and flutes swirl around each other to lift you up while keeping you moving.

'Heaven' appears as the opening track on the CD edition of Creative Source's Liquid Funk compilation and also received a splendid remix from Peshay in 1999. Unfortunately recordings from Speed are scarce but you can find a Fabio set from a Speed night at the Crime Club in 1995 here. Head over to Rolldabeats for the tracklist.

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