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Looking Good: Mod Club Classics, LP (£14.19)
"Oh hell! This is this year's touch of self indulgence", Dean Rudland compiler of many a dancefloor friendly compilation, both here and at previous places of fitful employment such as Blue Note and Acid Jazz, is trying to explain his latest BGP release. The title Looking Good: Mod Club Classics you would think explains it all, but as this is very close to his heart he's babbling on like a 15 year old school girl with a Westlife poster. "Modernism was the thing that got me started, with clubbing and records and clothes and, when I was going to clubs such as Sneakers in the 80s, the sort of records played there were the initial push that sent me down the path that has led me to where I am today." It's at this point we pour a bucket of (cold) water over his head. But still he doesn't stop: "midnight blue mohair suits from Powell and Co, loafers from Bass Weejun and incredibly funky R&B and soul records, a touch of jazz and latin, it's all incredibly evocative. But more importantly it's the foundation for UK club culture for the last 40 years. On Looking Good we've tried to create the atmosphere of a great smokey basement mod club with a DJ playing the finest 60s soul and R&B. It's a reprersentation, not meant to be accurate, but its something I wanted to do."
At this stage a dart in the arm sedates him and we're sure he will be better by next month. However he has a point. Nattily dressed in a sharp sleeve Looking Good would be good enough to buy even if it didn't contain a selection of the finest R'n'B and soul club classics known to man. We're not sure that any of these records would pass as obscure - you'd recognise them immediately unless they pulled up their collars and donned some shades and and moustache. But man are they tasty. From the opening blast of Sugar Pie DeSanto's Let's Do The Whoopie through to after hours chill out of George Stone's Hole In The Wall, we are definitely at the sort of party that would take place in a smoke-filled basement night club, that only opened late. The crowd would be sharp, slick and angular - clearly no fools or lager louts here. Other delights fill the release which is sequenced as it might be played by a club DJ bringing the floor through acts such as Roger Collins, Ike and Tina and Mary Love, onto the bluesier edges of Little Sonny and Junior Wells and on into the smoother sounds of B.B. and Mose Allison.
So on reflection maybe Mr Rudland isn't really mad...but just in case we'll keep him quiet and taking the medication for a little while yet.
by Aaron Slowly.