Sunday, 21 April 2013

DJ SS - Keep On Moving

DJ SS - Keep On Moving (SS Roll Out Mix) (Formation Records, 1997)

Yesterday I went up to Leicester for a night out with friends. I hadn't visited the city for a long time after having spent three great years at university there and it was strange going back and seeing how the place has changed. One thing that was particularly poignant for me, especially as it was Record Store Day, was the absence of 5HQ Records, the shop that used to be owned by Formation head DJ SS which sadly closed down in 2007. I spent many a happy hour in 5HQ listening to the latest releases and browsing the racks and it is there that I purchased some of my most treasured 12"s including 'The Lighter', 'Cookin Up Yah Brain (Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era Remix)' and this one.

I'm particularly lucky to have this record as it was never officially released and only test pressings and promos exist - the catalogue number FORM12070 was later assigned to Mental Power's 'Twister / This Song'. This was probably due to sample clearance issues as it uses a significant portion of Caron Wheeler's vocals from Soul II Soul's 'Keep On Movin'. I believe it was originally produced in 1995 but these test pressings weren't made until 1997. As I didn't start university until a few years later they must have had some leftover stock upstairs at 5HQ as I seem to remember there being a few copies of it for sale and I don't think it was particularly expensive. There are two mixes of the track on the 12" and the SS Roll Out Mix is by far my favourite (you can check the other mix here).

In a beatless intro with slightly woozy synthetic strings and piano SS samples the following lines:

"It's our time, time today / The right time is here to stay / Stay in my life, my life always / Yellow is the colour of sunrays / I hide myself from no one / I know the time will surely come / When you'll be in my life, my life always / Yellow is the colour of sunrays / Keep on..."

As the vocals reach their conclusion a drum roll brings in a typically fat, waddling SS bassline over Cold Sweat drums. Small segments of vocals are sprinkled throughout including "This way" and "Keep on" as the track gradually builds, adding the Hot Pants break and later a low in the mix Amen. It is a tastefully done remix that treats the original with respect while still sounding like a signature DJ SS production and it's a shame it never got a full release. It seemed especially appropriate to write about today considering how my trip had reminded me of the way things change and that there will always be places you'll never be able to return to - as the opening line of the Soul II Soul original goes: "Keep on moving, don't stop like the hands of time...".

You can hear DJ SS play this version as well as another mix of the track in his set from the One In The Jungle show on the 26th April 1996 below. Head over to the One In The Jungle website where it is available to download until 20th May 2013. Stay tuned for more on 5HQ tomorrow.

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