Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dance Music: Apparently Nothin'

Young Disciples: Apparently Nothin’ [purchase]

Acid Jazz.  A dreadful name for a wonderful little movement.  Back in the early 1990s, inspired by the likes of Roy Ayers and Donald Byrd, British soul and hip-hop musicians began to weld organic and traditional soul and jazz instrumentation and arrangements to sampled loops and beats to create a truly funky hybrid of old and new.  While the new genre was somehow named after one particular label, it was Gilles Peterson's Talkin' Loud imprint that seemed, for a while at least, to be churning out future classics at a remarkable rate.

In amongst these classics was Road To Freedom, the first and only Young Disciples album.  Featuring the remarkable voice of Carleen Anderson, daughter of Bobby Byrd, the record's lead single was this lesson in the futility of war and hate.  A worthy lyric, to be sure, and one that is as important now as it was when this album was released two decades ago, but that's not what makes this record so remarkable.

The fact is that this song - and indeed this is true of the entire album upon which it features - is one of those rare records that transcend time and place: it could just as easily have been released today as is in any of the last six decades.  On top of that, as soon as that bassline kicks in you just can't help but move.  Perfect dance music, in other words.

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