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-to-find 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’ and “Landscape.” 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.
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- 1 That's What Friends Are For 3:01 Madeline Bell & Alan Parker Buy
- 2 Unlimited Love 2:09 Alan Parker Buy
- 3 Funky Express (re-edit) 3:15 Duncan Lamont Buy
- 4 Assault Course 4:29 Johnny Pearson Buy
- 5 Samba Street 3:04 Barry Morgan & Ray Cooper Buy
- 6 Second Cut (re-edit) 2:27 James Clarke Buy
- 7 Swamp Fever 2:10 John Cameron Buy
- 8 Reggae Train 2:31 William Farley & Dennis Bovell Buy
- 9 Incidental Backcloth No. 3 2:59 Keith Mansfield Buy
- 10 Cross Talk 3:23 Francis Coppieters Buy