Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Foul Play - Finest Illusion

Foul Play - Finest Illusion (Section 5, 1993)

After writing about Alex Reece remixing a track by a Detroit legend the other day I was reminded of this tune's use of a sample from a classic Detroit record. Foul Play at this point were the trio of Steve Bradshaw, John Morrow and Steve Gurley and after releasing the Volume 1 and 2 EPs on their own Oblivion label they attracted the attention of Moving Shadow, who first put out 'Finest Illusion' on their Section 5 subsidiary.

The title of the track is actually a composite of its two main sample sources - 'The Finest' by the S.O.S. Band (also the source for MF DOOM's 'The Finest') and 'Illusion (M. I. Mix)' by R-Tyme (AKA Derrick May with Darryl Wynn). Opening with scratching and reverbed stop-start drums the track then introduces a synth melody that samples the stabs from the beginning of 'Illusion' alongside a rough Amen break. After some joyous fast paced synth stabs it then brings in a substantial section of chipmunked vocals from 'The Finest' including the chorus: "After all that we've been through / Time won't change the way I feel about you / Out of all the loves before / You're the finest I'll ever know (Finest I ever)". A euphoric track at a time when the music was generally getting darker, it was the cheesy vocals that led to the track being swiftly withdrawn from sale. It reappeared later that year on Moving Shadow in 'Legal Mix' form, stripped of the vocals except for a few brief snippets. While still a great track it's not a patch on the anthemic original.

Sadly the 'Legal Mix' is the only one I have on vinyl (again thanks to Moving Shadow's 10th anniversary reissue series) and the original will set you back a small fortune. Interestingly though, I recently acquired the Kenny Ken mixed The History Of Hardcore album, a joint release between Moving Shadow and Suburban Base chronicling both label's output from '91 to '95, and it actually uses the "illegal" mix. That put a smile on my face!

Check the track out below in this mix by DJ Rap at a 1993 Helter Skelter event:

DJ Rap - Helter Skelter, 3rd December 1993 by Michael Davies on Mixcloud

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