DANNY KRIVIT-EDITS BY MR K-VOLUME 2: MUSIC OF THE EARTH.
DANNY KRIVIT-EDITS BY MR K-VOLUME 2: MUSIC OF THE EARTH.
Nowadays, it seems it’s not enough for a DJ to have impeccable music taste and be technically brilliant, but they’ve also get to be an “artist,” capable of remixing and reediting tracks. These are now tools that every DJ should have in their arsenal. This is just the latest change in a DJ’s life, and is a long way from when a DJ spun vinyl on a pair of Technics 1200s. Now things are very different, digital DJ-ing must be mastered by a DJ, who previously, had just got used to CD decks. So from the beloved Technics 1200s and 1210s, came the Pioneer CDJ200 CD decks, which are quickly being replaced by digital software like Traktor and Serato Scratch. As if that isn’t complicating matters enough, DJs are expected to be able to either remix or reedit tracks. Reedits are more common that remixes for the average DJ, which means mastering various software packages, which can range from Cool Edit Pro right up to Ableton Live, Pro Tools and Logic. All this means that not only must a DJ be technically brilliant, have impeccable taste in music and be able to work digital controllers and software, as well as software for reediting music. One DJ that can do all this and more is Danny Krivit. Danny’s not only made a career out DJ-ing worldwide, but is also a talented remixer and re-editor. His reedits feature during his DJ sets, and also on two volumes of Edits By Mr K on the Strut label. I’ve chosen to review the second volume in the series, Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth, released in September 2010 on Strut. On this compilation are ten of Danny’s reedits, with reedits of tracks by The Philadelphia All-Stars, The Fatback Band, Patrick Rushden, Soul Searchers and Chairmen of the Board. However, before I tell you about the music on Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth, I’ll tell you about Danny career re-editing tracks.
Danny Krivit first reedited tracks as far back as 1982, long before the software packages that are used nowadays. Instead, he’d have to rely on cutting up reel-to-reel tape and patiently, splicing it back together. This was time consuming, laborious work. Like many DJs of that time, these reedits were for using during their sets, not designed for being released commercially. However, Danny was approached by a record company who wanted to release some of these reedits. When these were released on TD Records, Danny decided to use the pseudonym Mr K for the release of the reedits. Two of the tracks were The Chi-Lites’ My First Mistake and the Philly classic from the Philadelphia All Stars’ Let’s Clean Up the Ghetto. Little did Danny know prior to their release, that very soon, these reedits would attain legendary status. Thankfully, the near twelve minute version of Philadelphia All Stars’ Let’s Clean Up the Ghetto is one of the tracks on Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth. However, reedits would play a big part in Danny’s DJ career.
After this, Danny found himself DJ-ing at New York’s Roxy indoor roller skating arena and it was there that Danny decided to try mash-ups. Here, he’d reedit a track and combine two tracks that worked well. This would later influence hip hop DJs and went down well at venues like the legendary Paradise Garage and Roxy. Like his earlier reedits, Danny chose to reedit and mash-up hidden gems and forgotten classics, exposing them to a new, appreciative and much wider audience. Since then, Danny has gone on to reedit numerous tracks, during his long and successful career as a DJ. Some of these reedits can be found on Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth, where the music is a combination of well known tracks and hidden gems, edited with Danny’s subtle editing skills. This is what sets Danny’s reedits apart from other re-editors. His edits are subtle, staying true to the original track and edited with an ear and view to what works on a dance-floor. So having told you briefly how Danny Krivit’s career as a re-editor started, I’ll now pick my favorite tracks from Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth.
My first choice from Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth, is Patrice Rushen’s Music of The Earth, from her 1978 album Patrice on Elektra. Co-written by Angela Rushen, it’s an example of how Patrice’s music was changing in 1978. Her music had gone from jazz fusion to a much moderne, funky sound with a great vocal. The introduction has been changed by Danny, with a stunning, searing wah-wah guitar solo weaving its way across the arrangement. It’s joined by pounding drums and hissing hi-hats. Quickly, the arrangement bursts into life, a proliferation of percussion joining the mix, with shakers to the fore. Then on the signal of the drums, things move up a gear. A slice of the funkiest music reveals itself, with keyboards, joining the rhythm section, guitars and percussion. When Patrice’s vocal enters, it’s gentle and beautiful, accompanied by cascading strings. Blazing horns reveal themselves as the track has at last revealed its subtleties and hidden charms. From fusion, to funk, Patrice Rushen reveals her talents during a track that combines drama, subtlety with funk and soul, all seamlessly reedited by Danny Krivit, Mr K.
When you listen to Midnight Movers’ Follow the Wind, you might find yourself wondering that the guitar licks sound familiar. That is indeed the case, with Skip Pitts also responsible for the inimitable guitar sound on Isaac Hayes’ masterpiece Shaft. It’s not just Skip whose a music veteran, the rest of the band have played with such luminaries as Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett and The Isley Brothers. Here, Skip lays down some more of his trademark guitar licks. They’re fast and furious, with the emphasis on funk. His guitar joins constant, pounding drums, punchy, rasping horns and punchy vocals, that drift in and out of the track. Throughout the track, there’s no let up in the tempo of 122 beats per minute, while there’s very little space left in the arrangement. Instead, the arrangement is driven along by a fast, funky rhythm section, blazing horns and of course, Skip’s sizzling guitar playing. The end result is six minutes of funk drenched music, from a group of veteran of soul music.
One of the tracks that made Danny’s name as a re-editor was Philadelphia All Stars’ classic Let’s Clean Up the Ghetto, written about the time the garbage workers in New York were on strike. Released in 1977, on Philadelphia International Records, the track was produced by Gamble and Huff and arranged by Dexter Wansel. Six of Philadelphia International’s biggest names sung the vocal, including Lou Rawls. Here, the part of the vocal is edited out, with parts of the instrumental version added. This results in a near ten minute masterpiece. When the track opens, the introduction is dark and repetitive, with M.F.S.B. combining with Don Renaldo’s strings and horns. Quickly, the arrangement has grown, with a contrasting sound offered by the horns and percussion. With the introduction lengthened, you’re able to revel in the track’s drama, and enjoy hearing M.F.S.B. do what they do best. With just the rhythm repeated, percussion and horns add variety. It takes just over four minutes before the vocal enters, with Danny building up the anticipation. His decision to remove parts of the vocal works, with the lyrics not suiting the dance-floor. However, it could be argued that part of the song’s impact and message is lost. Regardless of this, Danny’s reedit is stunning, done with subtlety and with a view to how the song would work on the dance-floor. Of all the reedits on Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth, this is the best, a real classic.
The Fatback Band started their career working with Patrick Adams at Perception Records. By 1975, they were signed to Polydor Records, where they’d release the single (Do The) Spanish Hustle. Opening with a dynamic rhythm section, percussion and keyboards, the track is a combination of funk jazz and Latin music. Braying horns join the arrangement, while a myriad of keyboards, percussion and the rhythm section help drive the track along. After two minutes, the track just glides along effortlessly, sweeping you away with its catchy, infectious and soulful, disco sound. Later, when the vocal enters, it has a equally joyful, uplifting sound. It’s enveloped by percussion, flourishes of keyboards, rasping horns and the rhythm section. By now you realize just how well this track would work on a dance-floor. Even now, the track would work perfectly in any DJ’s set, with the track blessed with a contemporary, timeless sound.
The last track I’ve chosen from Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth, is quite different in sound and tempo. Whereas the previous track was 122 beats per minute, a similar tempo to most tracks on the compilation, Chairman of the Board’s Life & Death is a mid-tempo track, only 96 beats per minute. The track was originally recorded by Sly Stone for his Abaco Dream project, Taken from Chairman of the Board’s Skin I’m In album, the track is quite different from much of their music. As the track opens, it’s an intriguing combination of percussion and drums you hear, before later, searing, sizzling guitars and keyboards join the track. Together, they take the track on a funky musical journey, with a dark, dramatic sound. When the vocal enters, it’s a powerful, dramatic delivery, while the arrangement takes a rocky sound. Although the track, the track has a real hard edge sound to it, almost unrecognisable from their better known tracks, it has a compelling sound that draws you in, making you wonder what will happen next. Play this to anyone who loves Chairman of the Board’s more popular music, and they’ll never believe it’s the same group.
Overall, Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth features a variety of remixes from Danny. Each of his edits are done with skill and subtlety, with a view to how they’ll work on the dance-floor. In doing so, he’s approached each track from both a DJ and dancer’s perspective. That’s why each of these reedits works so well. Although I’ve only mentioned five of the ten tracks, there’s much more to Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth than these five tracks. With track’s from Blue Moderne, Milton Hamilton, Rare Pleasure and the Soul Searchers, this is a treasure trove of tracks, from one of the most talented DJs and re-editors. With a wealth of experience as both a DJ and re-editor, Danny Krivit is someone any aspiring DJ should look up to. He possesses all the attributes of a successful, twenty-first century DJ, as comfortable DJ-ing as he is reediting and remixing tracks. These reediting skills are demonstrated to the full on the ten tracks that make up Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth. Standout Tracks:Patrice Rushen Music of The Earth, Midnight Movers Follow the Wind, Philadelphia All Stars Let’s Clean Up the Ghetto and The Fatback Band (Do The) Spanish Hustle.
DANNY KRIVIT-EDITS BY MR K-VOLUME 2: MUSIC OF THE EARTH.
- Posted in: Disco ♦ Funk ♦ Jazz Funk ♦ Philadelphia Soul ♦ Soul
- Tagged: Chairmen of the Board, Danny Krivit, Danny Krivit-Edits By Mr K-Volume 2: Music of the Earth, Midnight Movers Follow the Wind, Patrice Rushen Music of The Earth, Philadelphia All Stars Let’s Clean Up the Ghetto, Strut, The Fatback Band (Do The) Spanish Hustle