Friday, 21 June 2013

Adam F - Brand New Funk


Adam F - Brand New Funk (V Recordings, 1998)

The immortal opening lines of Spoonie Gee's 'Spoonin' Rap' have been paraphrased or sampled on many occasions but probably the first person to reuse them was Spoonie himself on 1980's The Sequence collaboration 'Monster Jam'. That track then appeared on 'The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel', with "You say" being repeated several times to lead off the ground breaking live mix. Fast forward to the late nineties and Adam F sampled this opening on his epic blaxploitation redux 'Brand New Funk'.

Adam Fenton had a knack for producing big tunes with this one, 'Circles' and 'Metropolis' all being undisputed classics. It appeared on a limited edition sampler for the mammoth Planet V compilation and also led off the album. It has one of the longest intros of any drum & bass track (clocking in at close to four minutes) and features several samples alongside live instrumentation, a common feature of his work. Speaking to UKHH in 2005 the producer said:

"I have some samples, but I’m a very strong believer in incorporating live and electronic music together. I grew up on playing music live and so I like to incorporate the two together."

The track apparently took three months to put together and has a seventies jazz funk vibe to it. It opens with an explosive rush of sound and ominous strings before some vocodered wah wah guitar that appears to be saying "Brand New" comes in. Horns sampled from the beginning of 'They Call Me Mister Tibbs' by Quincy Jones lead into some exuberant horn stabs, shortly joined by impatient drums which drive the track forward. The extended beatless section that follows uses an off key piano hit from the beginning of 'Bitches Brew' by Miles Davis before a portentous fanfare interpolated from Bob James' 'Night On Bald Mountain' (an artist he also sampled on 'Circles') and the "You say" vocals introduce the track's central funky guitar lick which unfolds as the drums come back in for an almighty release of a drop. The track was on dubplate for ages before coming out and got absolutely caned by all the scene's top DJs, sounding like nothing else around at the time.

Adam F had used some of the samples on this track before such as the piano hit from 'Bitches Brew' which appeared on a few tracks from his Colours LP. He would also go on to reuse those over-the-top chords for his M.O.P. collaboration 'Stand Clear'. You can download 'Brand New Funk' directly from the label here where you can also find a remix from DJ Suv who gives the track a Bristolian twist. Jumpin' Jack Frost was famed for using two copies of the tune slightly out of sync with one another and you can check that routine out below:


Discogs link

2 comments:

  1. Still got my original blue covered 12" promo, as well as a vinyl copy of V Forever. Strong memories of first hearing it at my local DnB store, as well as Bryan G playing it out around the time of its release. I love that off key Bitches Brew sample, which as you mention, features on 'Intro' from the Colors album. Excellent write up as always. Thanks for all your great posts!

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    1. Just had time to check my collection and ridiculously I've got three copies of this tune on vinyl - the two you mention plus a US Ultra Records sampler for Planet V which also has a different DJ Suv Remix to the blue covered 12" promo: http://www.discogs.com/Various-Planet-V/release/180183

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