I have absolutely no idea who the electric piano player is, but by Jiminy he, or she, has made my day today.
Once so modern, Criminal Element Orchestra Go Around is now an interesting relic from days of yore; today’s cutting edge is tomorrow’s bronze axe head*. I was sent this double 12″ promo pack back in August ’96 and I really liked it then and now.
The ‘2 Way Deep Mix’ by X-Press 2** is my favourite as it foregrounds all the jazzy (criminal) elements and really lets the piano dude strut his stuff. This is very much a dance track but I love the fact that with a bit of paring back here and there it would almost stand as straight jazzer. And that electric pianoing ….
Criminal Element Orchestra was a product of the dance guru that is Arthur Baker, Boston native and London restaurateur. A man with more cool dance remixes to his name than I’ve had hot dinners^. A man who ghosted effortlessly working between early hip-hop, all manner of 80’s pop classics, New Order, Bob Dylan and a host of other stuff between, before popping up in our nation’s fair capital.
There is a clue as to who the piano player is as Go Around is credited to Baker, Daryl Hall, Sara Allen and Merv De Peyer, the latter being a distinguished pianist^^ and remixer. Who knows, the track may all be built on a single hall & Oates sample that I just don’t know enough of their stuff to pick up on? but it doesn’t affect my enjoyment any.
The ‘Arthur Baker 12″ Mix’ is much more percussive and clubby, which is fine but in a living room context, I will definitely stick with the X-Press 2 Mix every time. Ditto the ‘Gusto’s Move The Party Mix’ which has not aged well, I am afraid and is too kinetic for an elderly gent such as myself to listen to in the evening while reading some improving literature in his front parlour. Unless said elderly gentleman was totally off his cake, stripped to the waist, tie around his forehead and bangin’ on one^*.
I have never heard Go Around anywhere other than in my own house, which may well be more redolent of my social life than whether it was appreciated at the time. Fourth & Broadway were a dance imprint of Island Records and I really liked their promo sleeves which had a close-up picture of tarmac and a drain cover on them – that’s how easy it is to keep me happy.
Well that and some awesome electric piano playing.
*as no-one ever said, ever, before now.
**remembered chiefly these days for their monumentally brilliant David Byrne collaboration Lazy, but always dependable remixers and nifty music makers in their own right.
^Spoiler Alert: that’s a big, big lot of them.
^^1537 topically he played with Miles Davis.
^*I get that terminology from half-remembered articles, one has never been off one’s cake, ever.