October 11, 2005

Album Review

Counterpoint's Disco Juice compilations (later combined by Landspeed as Super Disco) and disciple-like support from most major disco/house DJs born before 1970 have ensured that Patrick Adams and Peter Brown have maintained their status as cult superheroes. Adams surfaced in the mainstream with Musique's "In the Bush," worked as an engineer on several Eric B. & Rakim albums, and put in extensive time with larger labels like Salsoul and Prelude, and Brown can lay claim to the production on some of Spoonie Gee's earliest releases. But the two also operated a series of Harlem-based labels, often organized for the sake of convenience under the P&P umbrella, that released a plentiful number of rap and disco singles. Many of them stand as Adams' and Brown's most imaginative, inspiring, and flat-out wild works, involving their input as songwriters, arrangers, producers, musicians, talent spotters, and businessmen. Few DJs could summarize the best of the duo's labels as well as Masters at Work's Kenny Dope, who provides an unsurprisingly educated and skillful mixed set on the first disc of this package. Starting with a handful of early rap tracks, Kenny Dope's tour allows a couple minutes for most of the selections, with a little added emphasis on the P&P basics -- Clyde Alexander's "Gotta Get Your Love," Cloud One's "Disco Juice" and "Atmosphere Strut" -- and a nearly full, nine-minute airing of Lanier's constantly unfolding "25 Hours." The unmixed second disc, billed as a rarities and re-edits affair, features four tracks that haven't before appeared on CD; most of the others can also be found on the Disco Juice comps. Out of the previously rare-vinyl-only tracks, Wayne Ford's 13-minute "Dance to the Beat Freakout" sticks out most, resembling a loose, extended mix of Atmosphear's "Dancing in Outer Space." Marta Acuna's "Dance, Dance, Dance," another rarity, is also worth singling out for Adams' sweeping Moog runs. While never made with a recording budget on the level of the Chic Organization, these songs are as musical and intricately arranged as anything produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, and even when it's apparent that the singers and musicians don't possess slick professionalism (or when the pressings don't provide the cleanest of sounds), the spirit, feeling, and bliss-injecting qualities are more-than-fair trade-offs. P&P's elegant grit remains powerful enough to withstand any disco demolition, especially Dope's trademark detonations that assist the track transitions on disc one.
Andy Kellman, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Fly Guy Rap
  2. Death Rap
  3. Willie Rap
  4. African Rock
  5. Ain't It Time
  6. Dance Freak
  7. Feel the Spirit
  8. Feel the Spirit [Kenny Dope Scratch Breakdown]
  9. Get Down Baby
  10. Magic Carpet
  11. Gotta Get Your Love [Kenny Dope Edit]
  12. Gotta Get Your Love
  13. New York Is Moving
  14. It Ain't No Big Thing
  15. Game of Life
  16. Trick Tee Rap
  17. Family Rap
  18. Patty Duke
  19. Roller Rink Funk
  20. The Groove I'm In
  21. 25 Hours
  22. Disco Juice
  23. Out of Work
  24. Opportunity
  25. Atmosphere Strut
  26. Dust to Dust
  27. Ain't No Time
  28. Dance Freak
  29. Feel the Spirit [Re-Work]
  30. It's So Good to Know
  31. Game of Life [Re-Edit]
  32. The Groove I'm In
  33. It Ain't No Big Thing [Re-Edit]
  34. Shout at the Disco
  35. Dance, Dance, Dance
  36. African Rock
  37. Dance to the Beat Freakout
  38. Roller Rink Funk
  39. Got to Get Your Love [Special Kenny Dope Edit]