Since late last year, each Fifth Friday in a month, I've deferred from the Groovy Gumbo norm with some instrumental hip-hop. First the incredible Pete Rock, then Scottish crew Jazz Spastiks and I had something equally tasty in mind for today but have pushed it to the back burner (aka next FFF) to feature this recent project instead ... and for several reasons.
First, as many of you know, FFF was met with an overall indifference from most and down right hostility from a small few. It was also met with gratitude by some for which I am grateful. Now you know, I'm not one to pander to the pestilent but that said, I am for bridges over barriers. So bearing that in mind, this particular project was erected with that ethos at its core. We (as in everybody) need to find more common ground. It exists and the bloody time is now. Hopefully this will be viewed as a step in that direction as the details of this collection unfold.
Secondly, between these tumultuous times and this relentless effort in re-archiving, re-vamping and re-upping my collections, I get a little stressed out from time to time, and nothing soothes my soul like making mixes! Compilations ~ can't stop, won't stop! Born out of some unknown necessity and continuously perpetuated by my obvious obsessive compulsion. I've been addicted to the process since I could walk and talk and one thing I treasure most about it, ties directly back to that "bridges over barriers" ethos. My compilations have been bringing people into my orbit and together in general for damn near 40 years. I love making mixes with specific people in mind; or for them outright! I love making mixes with specific but unlikely criteria. The more stipulations the better ~ it makes it challenging. Thus more rewarding when quality results are achieved. This particular soul soother (pun intended) of a collection may not be my magnum opus but given the number of specific stipulations and criteria imposed, it's among the upper echelons of my efforts for sure.
Thirdly, given the majority of music in this collection is mighty damn funky, I thought it'd make a fitting closer for our first month of funk ... For Pete's Sake, Dig These Crates!
Yep ... For Pete's Sake, Dig These Crates! is yet another "passion project" dedicated to my adoration of Pete Rock. It's also a stride towards that common ground shared by the hip-hop heads and ol' soulies alike! It's a collection of super groovy 60s/70s funk, soul and jazz cuts, lovingly featured within the classic works of Pete Rock & CL Smooth. Most of the material here was overtly sampled and as such, will be immediately recognized by the hip-hop heads and have ya's reeling back to the days of jeep beats, baggy jeans and Spike Lee joints in no time flat. The material itself is comprised of many familiar floor favorites and as such, should have the ol' soulies dusting off their old wool suits, polishing their hot steppers and cuttin' up rugs right there in their living room. I had a lot of fun amassing this collection. As someone who adores a lot of the source material as well as the music Pete Rock has created with it, there's a lot to love here from either perspective. It also serves as a look into the early influences of an artist I hold in high regard, and what it inspired him to do. Furthermore, it's always enjoyable to blend genre's for compilations, especially when it yields such positive results. With that said, it's a criteria that again reflects the pursuit of common ground. Two common threads binding the varied tracks of this collection are their shared use by one Pete Rock, but more importantly, their infectious grooves. It remains focused and consistent but also retains the diversity of its offerings and contains delightful surprises around every bend.
So with theme established, ethos embodied, material sourced (i.e. the basic criteria) the next challenge is arrangement and I gave my self some strict stipulations structurally speaking. It had to flow well (duh), it had to be well balanced in terms of audibility. It had to be largely driven by funky instrumentals but partitioned well with key elements of jazz and a number of vocal soulful senders, both of the southern and northern varieties. It had to be balanced release-wise and chronicled, as pertaining to Pete Rock's usage of the material. As such, tracks 1-3 were used for sampling on the All Souled Out EP , tracks 4-13 were used for sampling on the Mecca & The Soul Brother LP , tracks 14-22 were used for sampling on the Main Ingredient LP  and tracks 23-25 were sampled on further 'one-off' Pete Rock & CL Smooth collaborations [1998-2004]. The extensive criteria has been met and the accumulation makes for an eclectic collection of high caliber groovy goodness to say the least! I hope some of you enjoy this one even half as much as I enjoyed putting it together!
And finally, without any further ramblings ... For Pete's Sake Dig These Crates!
01. James Brown - 1970 - The Funky Drummer [Parts 1 + 2] (King 6290)
02. S.O.U.L. - 1971 - Burning Spear (MusicorLP MS 3195)
03. O'Donel Levy - 1973 - People Make The World Go Round (Groove Merchant LP GM 518)
04. The Coasters - 1967 - Down Home Girl (Date 2-1552)
05. Simtec & Wylie - 1971 - Bootleggin' [Parts 1 + 2] (Mister Chand CHL 40001)
06. Five Stairsteps & Cubie - 1968 - Don't Change Your Love (Curtom 1931)
07. Freddie McCoy - 1971 - Gimmie Some (Cobblestone LP CST 9004)
08. Ohio Players - 1972 - Player's Ball (Players Doin' Their Own Thing) (Westbound LP WB 2015)
09. Backyard Heavies - 1971 - Expo '83 (Scepter 12314)
10. The Three Degrees - 1970 - You're The Fool (Roulette 7088)
11. Tom Scott & The California Dreamers - 1967 - Today (ABC LP AS-9163)
12. The JB's - 1971 - The Grunt (King LP KS-1126)
13. Ernie Hines - 1972 - Our Generation (We Produce LP XPS-1902)
14. Rufus Thomas - 1971 - Do The Funky Penguin [Part 1] (Stax STA-0112)
15. Harvey Scales - 1969 - Sun Won't Come Out (Mercury 72937)
16. Oliver Sain - 1972 - On The Hill (A-Bet LP 404)
17. Roy Ayeres Ubiquity - 1976 - Searching (Polydor LP PD-1-6091)
18. The Ambassadors - 1969 - Ain't Got The Love (Of One Girl On My Mind) (Arctic LPS 1005)
19. Mel & Tim - 1969 - Groovy Situation (Bamboo LP BMS 8001)
20. Young-Holt Unlimited - 1973 - Bumping On Young Street (Atlantic LP SD 1634)
21. Deodato - 1973 - September 13 (CTI LP CTI- 6021-S1)
22. Detroit Emeralds - 1973 - You're Gettin' A Little Too Smart (Westbound 213)
23. The Vibrettes - 1973 - Humpty Dump [Parts 1 + 2] (Lujon 101)
24. The Emotions - 1972 - Blind Alley (Volt VOA-4077)
25. Jackson 5 - 1970 - 2-4-6-8 (Tamla Motown STMLP 11156)
**I've included an alternate tracklisting document in the zip, detailing the sample references.
**I made a jam pact 80min CD-R version for the car by omitting tracks 1, 2, 11 and 12 ;)