The Organic Grooves of Acid Jazz Records


The Organic Grooves of Acid Jazz Records

That this label is the namesake of the acid-jazz movement which sprouted in the late-80s from a vibrant London club scene, says a great deal about their impact. Eddie Piller and Gilles Peterson started the Acid Jazz record label in 1987. Their iconic blend of jazz, UK street soul, funk, reggae, 60s Mod, and Latin has since paved the way for other trailblazing labels like Mo’ Wax and Talkin’ Loud. With new records by Nimbus Sextet and Soul Revivers, Acid Jazz director Dean Rudland highlights some of their finest deep cuts for sampling.




June 1, 2022

What does sampling mean to you personally?

Personally, sampling has been an integral part of my musical life. From writing a column about the latest breaks being used on hip-hop records for Hip Hop Connection in 1990 to Acid Jazz founder Eddie Pillar and I compiling the Blue Break Beats compilation in 1992 to help clear some of the biggest samples of the 2000s for the original artists. For me, [sampling] comes down to artists I love having their names brought to a new generation. And those same artists making some money from their work when maybe they hadn't before.

It's my friend Bobby Marin's joy when we finally got his name added to the songwriting credits for Christina Aguilera's “Ain't No Other Man' and the cheque changing his life. So was having the production credit for such a big hit, of course.

Songs on Nimbus Sextet’s new release are described as “Roy Hargrove / Soulquarians style brass arrangements” & “reminiscent of Idris Muhammed. A surefire jazz-dance staple in the making.” That sounds like what a producer’s dreams are made of… Can you please illustrate their potential for sampling with a few songs as available on Tracklib?

Nimbus Sextet are gloriously funky but with a jazzy twist As such, they are perfect to put in your Akai MPC2000—as I say this, I realize I may be a bit out of date on the technology!

The Herbie Hancock-influenced “Trap Door” is off-the-scale funky and would be great as either a hip-hop loop or the basis of a disco house groove.

However, there is beauty to “Lily White” and "Klara" that could take someone's track in another direction altogether.

brand new heavies

How does the new music by Soul Revivers relate to the origins of Acid Jazz Records? Also when compared to their 1998 record, ‘Shining?’

Reggae has always been a part of what we do. The music was a part of the London club scene which Acid Jazz emerged from. Nick and David who are the Soul Revivers are very much a part of that. The same goes for newly recorded reggae. We have a deep catalog from Jamaican producer Jah Thomas, whose productions include incredible works with the likes of Early B and King Tubby as well as Super Cats’ Dance Inna New York as sampled by Nas on “The Don.”

The list of features on Soul Revivers' music is very impressive. Including Studio One stalwarts like Ken Boothe and Ernest Ranglin. How important is it to the label to bring people together for Acid Jazz?

All music on Acid Jazz is an act of collaboration and down the years we have worked with many great artists including Gil Scott-Heron, Gang Starr, Paul Weller, Kenny Burke, and Terry Callier.

soul revivers on the grove

Since the label was formed in 1987, how has the art of sampling changed or impacted the course of the label?

Acid Jazz was intrinsically linked with that world of classic hip-hop. We hung out with the likes of Gang Starr and were DJing with the same records that they were sampling—as well as discovering what they were sampling and playing that in our DJ sets. Our bands were influencing what those acts were hearing, and the Brand New Heavies created new breaks for bands like Arrested Development to sample as well as collaborating with many of the leading lights on Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol. 1.

“In the early days, none of us were really aware of sample laws. That allowed a lot of freedom of choice. I think that Tracklib can help to recreate that feeling.”

—Dean Rudland (Director of Acid Jazz)

Why have you now decided to add music from Acid Jazz’s catalog to Tracklib?

I love the idea of opening our catalog out to more and more people. We spent a lot of time making beautiful recordings and we feel that allowing other producers to use those sounds is a great idea.

How do you think Tracklib can change the way people sample?

In the early days of working as producers of music, none of us were really aware of sample laws. That allowed a lot of freedom of choice. I think that Tracklib can help to recreate that feeling.

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