Kool And The Gang* ‎– N. T.





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August 22, 2007
edited over 11 years ago
referencing N. T., 7", DE 544
Sometime ago, I realized that I have heard once on a very expert friend's house an early production of Kool & The Gang called "N.T." It was a hot-shot quality-Funk from 1971 produced by Gene Redd with all the ingredients to be fully-dancefloor, heavy weight, way before Kool & The Gang became top-mainstream with hits such as "Ladie's Night" and "Celebrate".

Then, I finally found "N.T." by myself and brought it to another friend of mine, a breakbeat specialist named Davi Rodrigues that was shocked by the level of its rhythmic ensemble, from the awesome combination between the horns and the bass to the drums which called almost instantly his attention - somehow, he felt he had heard that before (not before "N.T." was made of course, but a tune he may have heard from another place where "N.T."'s breaks were sampled). It didn't take long and this friend of mine, Davi Killa, realized that it was Kevin Saunderson's tune as Inner City - an old school Hardcore Techno called "United (Reese Hardcore Mix)" (1992) that he had heard before.
This version of "United" was the one that had the "N.T." breaks - Kevin Saunderson, the author, which was by the way one of the Techno Pioneers, took out the breaks sample from a certain compass of the "N.T." orginal, clear & crystal). Amazing as it must seem, Kevin put the same line of breaks from "N.T." on another of his music: his remix for 'Cameo - Money', made on the same year of "United" (1992).
The funniest part is that, on the original tune by Kool & The Gang, just one compass before the "N.T." break, there was a quick part with those beats and weird vocals on the back spelling something like "Owwwwyaa'!" (from the quote "Blaaah! Ooowwyaa!... Oohh that's funky, oohhh thats funky momma!") that was sampled by Information Society on "Think" in 1990, written by Paul Robb and produced by Fred Maher.

According to Mark Archer, part of the Altern 8 Hardcore duo from the early nineties, "N.T." was indeed a standard. "I've sampled it from breakbeat compilations LPs - that have been taken from tracks that have used it - which means the tracks from these Breakbeat LPs weren't the 'original breaks', but sampled ones. So, the person who made the breakbeat LPs may have sampled it from a tune that had already sampled it from the original, but added equalization and percussion. And so the Breaks change, sound different", he says, even if the essence of the original breaks remains the same.

On this subject, Mark Archer himself gives us a clue of what use he made of it: "If you listen to Underground (8 Till L- 8 Mix)' on Altern 8's 'Everybody (Remix)' 12 inch...", he suggests. Altern 8's "Underground (8 Till L- 8 Mix)" has exactly the "Oowwyaa!" part of "N.T.'s" breaks (used by Information Society on "Think").

That's what we call an outstanding revelation: a hot Funk from the seventies being a reference for Synth Pop, Techno and Hardcore from about two decades later. That's why we all have to learn with the Breakbeat classics.