Friday, October 16, 2015

Spyder-D's Jazzy Break Dance Fusion

So in 1984, a jazz/ Caribbean/ Latin fusion kinda band headed by Matt Bianco released an instrumental called "Matt's Mood," which was a pretty big success for them. They've stuck together over the years and released sequel songs "We've Got the Mood (Matt's Mood '90)" and "Matt's Mood III" in 2004. Yeah, this kind of music doesn't interest me either. I think it sounds like what plays when you call your college and they put you on hold for fifteen minutes.  But it's got a catchy little riff in there I guess; and anyway the point is that it was a big enough record for a hip-hop crew to make a break-dance version of. The group is The Breakout Crew, The Breakout Krew, or The Breekout Krew. They've released records under all three spellings. And even though most pressings don't credit him, including my copy, the MC they got for it is none other than Spyder-D.

Frankly, I'm not even convinced The Breekout Krew is an actual crew. They're all basically produced and performed by one guy, Tony Carrasco, who's done a ton of dance record under his own name and others. I suspect, at its core, The Breekout Krew is just Tony plus whoever happens to be in the studio with him whenever he's in the mood to make a breaking record. I don't know; maybe somebody will cough up a glossy press photo of like four guys posing with different instruments and we'll know that's the official line-up; but I'll believe it when I see it. All their stuff has Carrasco's sound.

Of course, "Matt's Mood" also has Bianco's sound. If you've heard the original, this version is instantly recognizable. The same bassline and basic instrumentation... it's the same groove. This one just has bigger drums and hip-hop elements laid on top of it. Oh, and of course it has raps by Spyder-D.

I've seen some references to this song that imply Spyder's only on the Rap - O Version released in Germany. You can see why people would get that impression, because it's the only pressing that actually credits him on the label or cover, spelling his name Spider-D. So if you were going by discogs or something, you'd just see him on that version. But if you listen to the song, that's his very distinctive voice on all the more common versions. It's the exact same vocal track... In fact, the Rap - O Version doesn't sound any different than the US version. I think that was just what they called it to distinguish it from Bianco's original in Germany.

Anyway, Spyder-D sounds pretty great over this track (and for the record, he spells the crew's name with an "E-A-K"), and the chintzy instrumental sounds pretty decent as a slightly harder hip-hop dance track. It's kinda corny, maybe, and but it's actually pretty cool. Spyder's lyrics don't particularly help, he lets his delivery carry all the weight. But he always sounds great, especially on these early 80s style tracks, so it works. There's a little bit of singing on here, too; which is cool but by someone who is clearly not an accomplished singer. I actually think that might be Spyder, too; but maybe not [Confirmed by Spyder himself on twitter. He also posts a couple other fun facts about the song, so click here and here!].

There's a B-side, which is a pretty cool, more traditional break dance track called "Break, Break." It's basically an instrumental, with just a few sporadic vocoder lines. It's pretty funky and typical 80s break dance stuff, not based on any jazz fusion kinda stuff. Both songs also have Dub mixes, at least on the Next Plateau US pressing I've got. If you're in the mood for an upbeat, fun time that doesn't call for a lot of analytical brain power, throw this one on. It's pretty neat.

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