Lately, after dropping off of the funk music map to answer a higher-higher calling, Steve Arrington has been revisiting his younger self, twenty plus years more mature. In his 20s he was a part of the '70s funk group Slave before branching off on his own. He had many hit singles in both capacities that would go on to be sampled by the top players in hip-hop (just check the credits on tracks by A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, N.W.A, etc). This isn't to say he isn't focused on his present self, having worked with Dâm-Funk for Stones Throw recently. It's very much a conversation -- one that the Tummy Touch label is helping to facilitate.
Tummy Touch have put together a platform to release Steve Arrington's single “Without Your Love", as part of their upcoming collection Way Out 80 - 84. The song was started in 1982, but was put in the can and never finished or released. This year it was pulled out of the abyss and finally finished and mixed down. A sweet dub companion from Tim "Love” Lee is included which those graduated from the nu school of disco should flip out over. Also featured is another of Steve's tracks remixed by Opolopo (Tokyo Dawn / Local Talk) with modern 'umph,' done up totally '80s style.
"Without Your Love" lets listeners know right from the start that Steve's still "got that vibe" and is "keeping it funky," picking up right where he left off. Lyrically, there's no doubt it's an uplifting tune and musically it's as heavy with funk as ever. A bass guitar rattles off with smooth licks on top and there's plenty of hand percussion adding to the lively feel of the groove. There's an instrumental included for those with alternative motives.
Further adding to the choices, Tim "Love" Lee provides a dub sure to dovetail booties right for the dance floor. His version is everything anybody would ever want in a dub, extending it out spaciously into ten glorious minutes. It's not tough to imagine the field day a veteran DJ would have teasing it out with hands glued to the isolators. The plentiful and ever diverse Opolopo introduces a remix of “Nobody Else But You", another Steve Arrington gem. The vocals are the party favorite, delivered enthusiastically and sure to inspire a crowd to sing along, while Opolopo's production will bring out the best in step-then-clap boogie moves. In true G-funk fashion, the synths sound burnt out, squealing as they spin up a cloud of smoke. The sliding bass is rubbery as hell and the rhythmic guitar struts its stuff over top.
Tensnake - “Funky EP … I like the ’Nobody Else But You’ Opolopo Remix.”
Peter Kruder (Kruder & Dorfmeister) - “Great to hear Steve Arrington’s voice again … cool versions by the gents on the controls.”
Robbie Hardkiss - “I love Opolopo’s remix!”
Kraak & Smaak - “Cool … I love the dope Dub version of 'Without Your Love'.”
Chris Todd (Crazy P / Hot Toddy) - “Just pure quality! It's Steve Arrington ... say no more.”
X-Press 2 - “Ace … love it!”
Alex From Tokyo (Tokyo Black Star) - "All tracks are ace! This is such a great project."
PBR Streetgang - “Yes, the Opolopo remix is great stuff!”
Sleazy McQueen - “Amazing additions right here!”
Nacho Marco (Loudeast) - “Opolopo’s remix of ‘Nobody Else But You’ is superb!”
Chateau Flight (Versatile Records) - “I love Steve Arrington … the Dub bersion is insane!”
Ulysses (Neurotic Drum Band) - “I'm torn between the Dub and the Opolopo remix for a favorite. I'm a sucker for the dub, but the remix feels so right.”
Evan Iff (Large / Dirt Crew) - “Opolopo’s remix is friggin’ great!”
Jarle Bråthen (Full Pupp) - “Great stuff … full support from Norway!”
Jamie Topham (CDPool) - “Despite the fact that Mr. Steve Arrington is one of my musical heroes, Tummy Touch have definitely pulled out an absolute nugget of a release here!”
Quincy Jointz (Timewarp Music Radio Show, Germany) - “Very nice one ...12" mix of ‘Without Your Love’ is my choice.”
Simon Hodge (BBC 6 Music) - “Funky in just the right way!”