It’s early morning in 1983 at 99 Prince Street in New York’s Soho and dancers at David Mancuso’s house party the Loft are displaying some of their most balletic moves.
Baby powder is scattered on the floor to assist the swirling feet as Mancuso goes deep into his esoteric record collection. Ethereal, atmospheric tracks like Miroslav Vituous’ ‘New York City’ and Dexter Wansell’s ‘Life On Mars’ are bringing the spacey nuances out of the Klipschorn speakers cocooning the dancefloor. Into this heady mix is brought a mutant jazz-funk record that has the dancers under the sea of brightly coloured balloons losing themselves even more. Organic, hypnotic and with the psychedelic hue of many of Mancuso’s best discoveries, the record turns out to be a 12-inch on the Passion label from London called 'Rude Movements' by Sun Palace.
Alongside Atmosfear’s ‘Dancing In Outer Space’ and 52nd Street’s ‘Cool as Ice’ it was one of a number of UK tracks with a sound that attracted New York DJs like Larry Levan and Danny Krivit. ‘Rude Movements’ went on to achieve cult status with DJs across the globe. It has since been sampled by a number of producers, most notably Kenny Dope for the Bucketheads’ track “Whew’ and appeared on influential compilations like the Nuphonic Records collection The Loft in 1999.
The story of ‘Rude Movements’ goes back to 1981 when London based musicians Mike Collins (who had co-produced Brit Funk band Light of the World’s ‘Ride the Love Train’) and Keith O’Connell were experimenting with a Roland CR78 – the first programmable drum machine, a Fender Rhodes piano and Prophet 5 synthesiser.
The pair took their unusual instrumental into Utopia Studios with engineer Pete Walsh on the Neve mixing console. “The bills came to almost £4,000. At the time, this was an unprecedented budget to spend on what was basically a vehicle to allow two musicians to improvise over a programmed drumbeat with a rolling, repetitive, hypnotic Fender Rhodes part played ‘live’ throughout the 7 minutes or so of music,” recalls Mike Collins on his website. The track took its name from what O’Connell called the ‘Rude Notes’ created by the pitchbend wheel. This was just one of the studio effects that made the record sound so progressive. “Pete Walsh used all his studio engineer's tricks to interact with the improvised music - dropping snare beats into reverb to get a big splash of sound to punctuate the rhythm,” explains Collins.
The ‘Rude Movements’ 12-inch on Passion was backed by an alternative version called ‘Winning’. “This mix was actually a monitor mix run off quickly after an overdub session to add the harp and some extra Clavinet-like synthesiser lines using a PPG Wave synthesiser,” explains Collins. Now thanks to this compilation by BBE we can also hear the alternative takes of the track that until now have sat in Mike Collins’ archive. But perhaps even more interesting is the fact that these sessions also yielded unfinished music now completed by Collins and friends for this collection – from the raw jazz-funk of ‘I’m Going To Lie Down’ to the proto-house of ‘I Want You’ to the electro boogie of ‘Street Beat’. And ‘Rude Movements’ still sounds like the future more than 30 years on.