In this edition of H'education we're going right back to the beginning. Post shoulder pads, pre Hardcore, late '80s House music. Jazz & The Brothers Grimm's 'Casanova'.
Sampling Coffee's 1980 disco hit of the same name, 'Casanova' is a frantic collage of samples, scratches, bleeps, bass and rap. Fronted by Paul Owen's hip house rap musings, David Santos as engineer operating the sampler and desk while Floyd Dyce's fingers danced on the keys Jazz & The Brothers Grimm make up some of the would be players of the next few years. Dyce himself went on to have success in Hardcore and Jungle as D-M-S and The House Crew. 'Casanova' has been covered and re-versioned several times and it is probably worth noting that the original single was by Ruby Andrews in 1967. Bizarrely I can't see any record of this online and it's only through my own minor obsession with Soul music of the late '60s that I'm aware of the fact.
Released on Phil Fearon's Production House label 'Casenova' was one of many early trail blazers that would lead into what became known as Hardcore. Released in 1989 the 'Passion Hero' version is probably not the best known. That accolade is probably reserved for 'The Raising Hell Mix' Which got heavily rotated by Mickey Finn back at clubs like Amnesia House and events like Fantazia on the cusp between the '80s and '90s. Dyce as Baby D even revisited the track in a Jungle reincarnation in 1994..
The mix has a beautiful choppy quality to it where the "it's all over Casanova" chorus sample is gently placed atop of the beat.The Juno 106 stabs typical of the era and the accented rap from before when UK rappers and MCs had found a home grown identity.This is the lead up through House that led into Hardcore. I've been looking for a good excuse to feature a Production House record as part of this feature for a while, so it makes sense to start at the beginning of the journey. As previously mentioned the label was launched by Phil Fearon in 1987 who was and still is a member of the Soul band Galaxy. Could he have known at the time that he had created what would go on to be one of the most important Hardcore labels launching the careers of Acen and Baby D? As the label's tag line says, "our rooms have rhythm".
If you like this kind of thing there are plenty of early Production House releases that fall within the same kind of sound: D-M-S' 'A Brand New World', Baby D's 'Day Dreaming', Dice's 'Never Knew About Love' and The Brothers Grimm's 'No Use Crying Now'. All of which are Floyd Dyce under different monikers.