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Whatever Happened To The Soul?

Earlier this month Leftside Wobble shared an edit of Man Friday’s ‘Love Honey, Love Heartache’ on his SoundCloud. I left a comment highlighting the history of this track, which read as follows:

“Fascinating evolution with this track - inspired by a British release on the Tania label, '(Money) No Love' / 'Love Money' from 1980 (with a further version of 'Love Money' the following year as part of the Champagne EP 'Re-Mixture - The Best Of UK Jazz-Funk') by Funk Masters / TW Funkmasters. This was originally massive on the British Jazz-Funk scene, but was also picked up on import by NYC DJ's like Larry Levan, David Mancuso & François Kevorkian. It was undoubtedly a pivotal track in sparking the Dub experimentation that was subsequently the key feature of many remixes out of New York. A few years later it took off all over again in Chicago, whilst back in NY Levan paid tribute with 'Love Honey, Love Heartache' (which now Mr Wobble revives here a quarter of a century on). The guy behind 'Love Money' was London DJ Tony Williams - I interviewed him about the tracks legacy back in 2004, and he didn't have a clue about its cult classic status on both sides of the Atlantic - if anyone wants to find out more about the history behind it:” http://www.electrofunkroots.co.uk/interviews/tony_williams.html

It wasn’t until a few days later that I realised I’d completely forgotten to mention my own connection with the track via my edit of Sugardaddy's 'Love Honey', which would appear on Credit To The Edit Vol 2 in 2009. To complete the circle in a circle / wheel within a wheel (as he called it) Leftside Wobble left a comment saying that one of the prime motivating factors for him to refresh the original was because the inclusion of the Sugardaddy edit on C2theE2 had served to introduce that particular vocal sample to a younger audience. You can check out his edit here:
http://soundcloud.com/leftside-wobble/man-friday-love-honey-leftside

Here’s the section about the Sugardaddy edit from the album’s sleevenotes:

“Sugardaddy are Tom Findlay (from Groove Armada) and Tim Hutton. I originally met Tom and his GA partner, Andy Cato, at one of David Mancuso's London Loft Parties back in 2005, before the release of Credit To The Edit. He was working on the Sugardaddy project at the time and told me of his plans to issue their first single on Tirk. This turned out to be 'Love Honey', which came in three distinctive flavours (Electro, Funk and Acid), all highly playable for me, making it difficult to fix on my favourite. The track connects back to Man Friday's 'Love Honey, Love Heartache', a 1986 Larry Levan mix, which took its influence from the Funk Masters / TW Funkmasters and 'Love Money' from 1980 (original) / 1981 (Champagne version), a seminal UK recording that was big on the Jazz-Funk scene in the early 80's before making waves in the underground dance clubs of New York and Chicago (to round things off, 'Love Money' was inspired by the 1979 Reggae hit 'Money In My Pocket' by Dennis Brown).

Then, when Puma asked Tirk to contribute a track for their 5x12 vinyl boxed set, which was distributed as a limited edition at the Miami Music Conference in 2006, Sav asked me if I'd be up for editing 'Love Honey'. This presented the perfect opportunity for me to combine two of the mixes, the Electro and the Acid, providing myself with a version that would become a major track for me in the clubs and was, more recently, included in my Essential Mix. As a consequence, I ended up putting together my own versions of a handful of other Sugardaddy tracks from their vastly underrated album 'It's Good To Get High With The Wife', including 'State Of Play', 'Hypnotise' and 'Hate Love Passion', which all made it onto vinyl. This would lead on to my contribution to Groove Armada's 'Soundboy Rock' album. I'd also mash the Funk version of 'Love Honey' with 'Whatever Happened To The Soul?' a spoken word release from Detroit's DJ Bone, which I'd been introduced to when I visited Gerald (A Guy Called) in Berlin, but this remains unreleased to date (although it's popped up on a couple of my live mixes).”

It’s this unreleased version that’s finally available here. I’m not sure why I thought it was called ‘Whatever Happened To The Soul?” – it turns out the recording, issued on limited 7” (only 300 pressed), was actually called ‘Music’. I suppose that the line, ‘what happened to the soul?’ must have had particular resonance for me, and I fixed on this as the title (there was nothing written on the white label, it was just numbered), so this is what I’ve called it here. There’s also a spiritual undertone to this title - it has a dual meaning.

Gerald (who would sample it himself on the track ‘Just Soul’ from his 2010 album ‘Tronic Jazz’) is, of course, someone with whom I have Manchester connections prior to his ‘Voodoo Ray’ fame. He was a regular at Legend when I deejayed there in the early 80’s (although I didn’t know this until some years later), so, when he played me Bone’s impassioned monologue, he did this in the knowledge that, given my background as a DJ of the old school, a black music specialist, I’d fully appreciate the words spoken, and respect their sentiment. It’s only right to reproduce them here – take a bow DJ Bone:

“The music… It's all about the music…We used to listen to music… We used to love music… I remember when we used to love music…It was our escape… Our sanctuary…It was good times… It was soulful…It was funky…What happened to the music?...I remember when we used to dance… No lights, no fights, just soul…All soul…Surrounded by friends… Strangers were friends… We didn't care…It was all about the music…No worries, no troubles, no bills, no drugs… Just music…What happened to the music?… What happened to the soul?… Where's the soul?…True artform, bastardized… Reshaped, repackaged, watered down, sold out…What happen to the soul?… It sold out… Ha ha ha ha… The soul sold out!…But not the soul makers… Soul makers still here… We still here… We still here…We live for this shit… This is… This is our shit…This is what we feeeeel…It's how we work… It's an expression of why we act the way we do…It's not a gimmick, this ain't no hype…Bullshit ass… Poster child for some shit you didn't invent…Sucking the soul out of it...Watering it down… It's a shame…Are you funky with the machines? Or do the machines make you funky?...Who programs who?...Do the machines program you?...This is our life, this is our love, our passion…History… Ignored history… Ignored, insulted, disrespected…For fame… Short fame… And short money!…Hope it was worth it.”

Apart from the actual content, I really liked the lo-fi quality of the recording, like it was being spoken down a phone – like it was a message delivered from a distant time and place, something that becomes less audible the more we move into the future, which only adds to the atmosphere of loss. I instantly knew that I wanted to find the right track to set it to. I also knew that I didn’t want to just sample parts of it – it was far too urgent a poetic statement for me to use in anything less than its entirety.

Sugardaddy’s Funk mix of ‘Love Honey’ was exactly what I was after. Harking back to ‘Love Honey, Love Heartache’ and what came before, it echoed that sense of history that Bone pinpointed. Further to this the lines ‘didn’t I show you love, show you love, didn’t I give you love, give you love?’ and ‘is this what I get from you my love?’ took on a new context – it was as though they were expressing empathy with what Bone was saying, sharing his plea. The juxtaposition was perfect for me and, just a month on from Berlin, I played it on my New York debut, very much aware that I was making a direct reference back to what had been happening there in the 80’s when Larry Levan recorded ‘Love Honey, Love Heartache’ having been inspired by ‘Love Money’ earlier in the decade – a British DJ who was heavily influenced by NYC in the early 80’s plays a track by a British act, which took its cue from an NYC recording of the mid-80’s that was recorded by an NY DJ who was influenced by a British recording in the early 80’s . The karmic wheel of connectivity spins like a record.

Sugardaddy & DJ Bone 'Whatever Happened To The Soul?' (greg wilson mash-up) by gregwilson

The gig in New York was at APT in the Meatpacking District, just a walk away from King Street, the location of the Paradise Garage, where Larry Levan forged his legend. You can download the recording of the night as exclusive content from my SoundCloud page, but you need to be signed in first, otherwise you’ll get the dreaded ‘Oops!’ page:
http://soundcloud.com/gregwilson/first-time-in-nyc-apt-21-10-05

There were a number of NYC DJ’s in attendance that night, both present and past, including Barry Lederer, who’d once played a hugely significant role as Billboard’s Disco columnist back in the 70’s, taking over from the great Tom Moulton (Barry was also co-owner of Graebar, the company who installed the sound systems at venues including The Saint and 12 West). He’d planned to be accompanied by his friend Mel Cheren, a true pioneer of the Disco era, who owned the Paradise Garage as well as West End Records. Barry extended apologies for the no show from Mel, who wasn’t well, and we talked about hooking up during my next visit. However, it unfortunately wasn’t to be as Mel died in 2007, before my return. Just six months later Barry too was no longer with us. When I’d heard the sad news of his passing I played Jimmy Ruffin’s ‘Tell Me What You Want’ (1974) at my next gig – this was his favourite Disco record, and something I often used to slip in as a much loved oldie back when I started out in the mid-70’s.

I’d intended to press up ‘Whatever Happened To The Soul?’, along with all the other Sugardaddy mixes I did, as part of a trio of 12” releases for my short-lived label, B77, but I only got as far as the first, ‘Hypnotise / Hate Love Passion’, before the distributer, Goya,  went belly-up in 2007. As a result, the label was shelved after only two releases (the other release being ‘Amok’ by My Space Rocket Feat Nina Kraviz), but Leftside Wobble's Man Friday edit has proved to be the catalyst for this mash-up with a message to finally emerge, six years on from when it was first done.

Soul Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul

Soul Music Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_music

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2 Responses to Whatever Happened To The Soul?

  1. tern586 October 27, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    i had the pleasure of dj'in a couple of times with dj bone, in the early 2000's at "reverb" in newcastle...a truly great techno dj..3 decks on constant rotation...one of the truly talented, who makes you think "i may as well pack it all in"..also a very kind, humble and genuine human being...good to see him getting props greg...

  2. Paul Nahm October 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Thank you, Greg!

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