SOUL MEKANIK: EIGHTY:ONEBrothers Danny Spencer and Kelvin Andrews have acid house running through their veins.
Danny started producing records in 1987 and had his debut single in 1988 with his acid house classic 'Ride the Rhythm' under the name of This Ain't Chicago. By 1990 he was on 'Top of The Pops' and the cover of 'Smash Hits' in his legendary incarnation of Candy Flip with a cover of the Beatles' 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
Kelvin meanwhile, had become a DJ and one of the original 'Golden' resident. Over the past 17 years Kelvin has amassed a unique collection of the most experimental funk from the last fifty years, and yet, is always searching out his next vinyl hit. Kelvin is a true believer in his music. It touches your soul and moves you on the dancefloor.
Together, under the pseudonym of the illustrious 'Sure is Pure', they remixed for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Sister Sledge, The Doobie Brothers, Lulu and Dave Stewart in the early 90s. They have also found chart success with Blueboy's 'Remember me', on their own Pharm label. They have written a critically acclaimed album 'No Illicit Dancing' as Sound 5, and co-wrote 'Rock DJ' with Robbie Williams, for which they received an Ivor Novello nomination.
15 years on, Danny and Kelvin have started afresh as Soul Mekanik. Disillusioned with the corporate hijacking of dance music they have reverted to their acid house values and are setting the musical agenda yet again. After just nine releases on Rip Records they have been accredited with helping to forge a new house sound.
They signed an album deal with Rip Records for their first album, entitled '81'. "We just arrived at this concept", explains Danny. "We thought wouldn't it be good if we could go back to 1981 armed with the technology from now, and then place it in that context."
"Everything was in the melting pot then," suggests Kelvin. "Punk, disco, early electro and hip hop: it felt like music was progressing, there was an energy."
Thankfully, '81' isn't some overblown, pompous prog concept riddled with delusions of grandeur. The idea was no more than the album's skeleton, a structure on which to build.
And boy does it work. Located somewhere between the expressive pop of Mylo, the edge of Black Strobe, the production savvy of Richard X, the then and nowness of Tom Tom Club and the sheer accessibility of Royksopp, '81' is charming leftfield house at its very best.
Check out the artist's website:
1. 81 Intro
2. Never Touch That Switch
4. Wanna Get Wet
5. High On Hope Street
8. Go Upstairs
9. Basement City
10. Elektrik Elefant
11. Robots 3
12. Take Me Home