This April, Strut reissues one of the early releases from its catalogue in a brand new
Deluxe Edition. Music For Dancefloors is a varied journey through the archives of the
fabled and historic KPM Music Library.
The phenomenon of the music library is unique, involving brilliant but anonymous
composers and musicians creating short pieces of music to be made available for
background use in film, television, and radio. The music wasn’t intended to be enjoyed
in a home listening context, and in fact wasn’t available for commercial release at all,
but the sheer quality of the playing and compositions resulted in the music finding an
enthusiastic audience. Original promotional-only vinyl releases from KPM and other
libraries of the 1960s and 70s (generally from print run of only 1,000 copies each) can
now exchange hands for a small fortune.
During its heyday, many pieces recorded through KPM became perennial UK TV
themes – long-running programs like “Grandstand,” “Mastermind” and “ITV News At
Ten.” Tellingly, the KPM boss during this period, Robin Phillips, made a point of setting
the bar high, bringing in the UK’s most talented young composers, arrangers and
session players to the studios to ensure the highest quality music.
The quality has justifiably stood the test of time. In recent years, DJs and collectors
have coveted volumes of the anonymous green label KPM LPs as a source for hard-tofind
grooves and breaks, and KPM has become a well-mined source for hip-hop
producers and music connoisseurs – Jay-Z, DOOM, Madlib and Guilty Simpson,
Dangermouse and Action Bronson are among the many who have plundered KPM
grooves. A KPM piece (Kieth Mansfield’s “Funky Fanfare”) even graces the opening
of Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill.
Compiled by ex-Jazz Cafe booker and DJ Adrian Gibson and Strut’s Quinton Scott‚
Music For Dancefloors was originally created as a series of albums in the early 2000s
dedicated to mining the archives of the UK’s foremost music libraries. Volumes on
Chappell music and Bosworth would follow in 2001 and 2002. This first installment
mines the KPM reels for some of the most in-demand, funkiest and quirkiest pieces
from the library. Some have become classics in their own right: Alan Parker’s ”That’s
What Friends Are For” featuring Blue Mink’s Madeline Bell on vocals, Alan Hawkshaw’s
stomping hammond groove “Senior Thump” (a precursor to his work as The Mohawks),
and Keith Mansfield’s “Crash Course,” a driving jazz anthem. Elsewhere, the tracklist
is peppered with oddities like Klaus Weiss’ incidental downtempo mood “Morning 1 /
Morning 2” and Nascimbene’s “Witchdoctor,” a short tribal field recording.
This new edition features an exclusive bonus disc, which makes available for the first
time the debut gig by the KPM All-Stars, bringing together many of KPM’s greatest
composers for a unique night at London’s Jazz Cafe on 27th April 2000. A big band
comprising original and contemporary KPM library musicians and writers, including
Alan Hawkshaw, Keith Mansfield and James Clarke, perform the library’s best-loved
TV themes and cult dancefloor classics for the first time anywhere since the original
sessions. Within the set, Alan Hawkshaw plays the live debut of tracks from his album
The Champ by The Mohawks including the fabled title track, as well as “Senior Thump’
Music For Dancefloors: The KPM Music Library (Deluxe version) is released in three
formats: 2CD (original studio recordings and live concert), 2LP featuring the original
studio recordings and 2CD insert of the full CD content, and digital (original studio
recordings and live concert). The album features the original sleeve notes by Charles
Waring (Mojo magazine) alongside extra photos and memorabilia.
(added: 2013-02-12 10:50:10 )