Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Mask - One People

Mask - One People (Dope Dragon, 1996)

Wattstax was a music festival put on by the Stax label on August 20th 1972 to mark the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots and was the subject of a documentary by Mel Stuart released the following year. It was seen as an Afro-American Woodstock with artists who performed including Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas and Kim Weston. Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson's powerful introductory speech has been sampled by several artists including Primal Scream on 'Come Together' and Roni Size on this tune under his Mask guise which opens with the following line:

"All of us are one people, singin' our music, poppin' our finger and doin' our thing, let's give ourselves a great round of applause"

The full speech was included on The Living Word: Wattstax 2 LP (Spotify link) but Roni may have sampled this segment from MC Duke's 'I'm Riffin' where it appears clean at the beginning, which is probably where The Prodigy got it from for their remix of Art Of Noise's 'Instruments Of Darkness'. 'One People' features a few different breaks, with the intro using drums from Dennis Coffey's 'Ride Sally Ride' before adding the Sandy break and some jazzy keys. The drop brings in the Amen along with a bright ascending bassline while the Action break comes in later on for a typically tearing Dope Dragon tune.

You can hear the track in this Dope Dragon heavy set from Bryan Gee at Pure X's Pre-Christmas Bash on 16th December 1995:

Discogs link

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