[— lt’s a Jazz
Mother Earth and Corduroy, the Acid Jazz empire’s latest funky foot-soldiers, are on the march. Only a conversational pit-stop with Joe Lampard can halt their progress . . .
Two bands of soulful funksters. two recent record releases and two gigs coming your way. courtesy of
the Acid Jazz empire — a name synonymous with some of the best artists to come out of the
funk/jazz/soul end of the record industry over the last
few years. Eddie Pillar. the head of Acid Jazz. has been at the helm since the start (co-founder Gilles Peterson left for Phonogram‘s Talkin Loud) and has succeeded in ﬁrmly establishing them as one of Britain‘s best independent labels.
In an age of one-hit-wonders and too many live acts being nothing more than a DAT machine fronted by puppets, the label has opted for bands who are as
‘Our father was ajazz musician. so from an early
good live as they are on record. As is the intent of the iagc We were inﬂuenced by DUkC Ellinglom COW“
label‘s new hopefuls Corduroy.
‘On our last LP.’ says keyboard player Scott Addison. ‘we wanted to walk into the studio. sit down. record the songs and walk out. no special effects. no mucking about and very few vocals apart from a few backing vocals.‘
The group have been together forjust over a year now. ‘We originally formed for a one-off Christmas party gig. where we went down a storm. The next week we literally walked into Acid Jazz with a two bob video we‘d made round at me dad‘s. spoke to Eddie and he said. “Great. start recording in two days time!“
Thus was born their debut LP Dadmanr‘ur a brilliant mix of 60s and 70s grooves with a 90s feel to it. conjuring up scenes of high-speed car chases. double agents and Soho clubs.
With their new singlejust out. ‘Something In My Eye‘. they are taking a different slant and have introduced sultry vocalist Sherine on the title track. a slice of pure Latin/jazz brilliance.
gBasie. Quincy Jones. Ramsey Lewis. you know we lwere like brought up on that whole jazz thing and ionce you've been brought up on it. it‘s just so difficult to get it out of your bloodstream.‘
Since forming. they‘ve slogged through a steady succession of gigs. playing the ‘Amsterdamned Weekender‘ last year. touring with fellow label-mates The Sandals and Mother Earth on the ‘Funky Nation [Tour‘. and following that by headlining a sell-out 2national tour in January. At the moment they are currently winding their way up through the country (again) on the ‘2001 Miles of Corduroy‘ tour. taking in twenty nights in just over a month. They are also preparing for a short stint around Japan in June. touring again with Mother Earth. Then back to the studio to ﬁnish their second LP. due for release in October.
‘For the new LP.‘ Addison enthuses. ‘l‘m trying to concentrate much more on piano sounds. you know . . . like acoustic and electric piano.‘
Meanwhile. label-mates and soul-brothers Mother
Earth are already hard at work in the studio. recording their second LP. ‘Our first LP was more of a sampled album.‘ reckons Matt Deighton. the band‘s guitarist. ‘with lots of musicians coming in the studio and laying down different tracks. We weren‘t particularly a group as such. until we played the Acid Jazz Christmas party back in ‘91. We sort of looked around at each other and thought. this must be the group. Since then we‘ve been playing live and have started to record live in the studio for our new LP.‘ Like others on the Acid Jazz label. the good groove/good gigs ethos holds sway.
Or as the lyrics to Mother Earth‘s ‘Look To The Light' (from their debut Stoned Woman album) have it: ‘With all its sham and drudgery. it is still a beautiful world. strive to be happy.‘ Despite what advertisers would have you believe. happiness is not a mild cigar called Hamlet. but a highly innovative record label named Acid Jazz.
Corduroy and Mother [forth play The A rr‘hes. (I/(Lsgrm' on Sun 23 and The Venue. lidinburgh on Mon 24.
The Iceman Grooveth
They are not ‘any old crap techno-rave wankers.’ They have “much more of a rock, indie mentality.’ They like Killing Joke and Kraftwerk, Faith lio More and llew Order. They have toured with The Shanen, Therapy? and llawkwind.
And they have a name that, kind of, encapsulates the seemingly contradictory ties that bind them together. They are Eskimos & Egypt, they are from Manchester, and they have just released what might be their sixth single for One little Indian.
‘It’s taken us a while to get the balance between the band influences of the real instruments and songs, along with what we like from the dance music,‘ admits king-hell guitarist and Metallica fan Mark. ‘And we’re still trying to marry the two
really.’ Consequently their debut album, ‘Perfect Disease’, recorded over a year ago, has been left for half- dead by Eskimos & Egypt’s continually evolving sound. Fifty per cent will survive to see release in September, but the other half is being buffed and buffeted as we speak, pulling in the techno-metal might of current single ‘llli:llSA’ - a scarring account of the gun-law that increasingly rules drug- blighted inner-city patches like Manchester’s llulme, Moss Side and Cheetham llill.
‘We still fall between the two stools of the indie rock and the dance side,’ Mark says of Eskimos & Egypt’s , happin schizophrenic tendencies. ‘But 1 at first it caused us so many problems . - we were too dancey for the indie kids and too rocky for the DJs who worked in the clubs. It took us a long time to break that barrier down. Butl think eventually people are seeing it . . .’ (Craig McLean)
Eskimos & Egypt play Edinburgh, The Venue on Tue 25 and Glasgow, The
' Cathouse on Wed 26.
The List 2| May—3 June 1903 59