The KPM 1000 series, known for it’s unique green record sleeves, were recorded during the 1960s and 1970s and featured some of the best British session musicians of the era. Although the albums are a particularly British flavored funk, the series has a achieved a cult following for for producers and artists seeking smooth and super cool breakbeats – in fact, Jay-Z, Nelly and Gnarls Barkley have used KPM 1000 Series breakbeats for samples in some of their more famous material. Interestingly, one of the albums, imaginatively titled Bass Guitar and Percussion Vol. 1 and 2 featured bassist Herbie Flowers, best known for his work with the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, the Walker Brothers, Blue Mink and Lou Reed – Flowers is responsible for the great bass lines in Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” and Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Drummer Barry Morgan, completed the session that comprised the very rare album, which had the bass panned on side and the drums panned on the other side. And making the album a bit of an oddity, the tracks were usually about a minute long.
Producer and Tummy Touch Records founder Tim “Love” Lee and multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee, have teamed up on a rather interesting and unique musical project – they set out to faithfully bring the original Bass Guitar and Percussion Vol. 1 and 2 to their logical conclusion by extending the tracks with a series of overdubs that included missing drum parts, guitars played through fuzz effect pedals, spaced out, futuristic synths, Hammond organ, Rhodes organ, horns, vibes and other instruments.
The end result is what both Lee and Lee – uhmm both Lees? – have coined New York Trouble/Electric Progression. New York Trouble, which is Shawn Lee’s set was recorded in Lee’s London studio with Andy Ross on flute and saxophones, Dominic Glover on trumpet, and Pierre Duplan, half to the Kramford Look taking up engineering duties. Tim “Love” Lee added analog synths for his set, Electric Progression, which was recorded in his Brooklyn-based studio, All Bright Electric.
This brief 4 song sampler will give you a great taste of the buzzing intergalactic, cosmically glowing funk that’s on the album. Interestingly “Nightly Visits” kind of reminds me of the instrumentals on old Beastie Boys albums; “Hong Kong Hang” and “Manhattan Moon Rise” are probably the most otherworldly pieces you’ll hear. Just based on the samples, this album may be one of the more interesting collaborations recorded this year.