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Give Peas A Chance


Give Peas A Chance


Crippled Dick Hot Wax!

various artists CD

Give Peas A ChanceWe have enjoyed Crippled Dick Hot Wax! in the past when they have dug into the vaults for such nuggets as Popshopping (with commercial jingles from the 60s and 70s) and Beat at Cinecitta (Italian soundtrack from the same time period), and here we get to enjoy them as they dig into the vast library music vaults (De Wolfe, Selected Sound, KPM, etc.). Library music - which was once reserved for the stealthy dj can now be enjoyed in a much more vast way, thanks to compilations like Give Peas a Chance.

This compilation moves along at such a fine clip, that it'll make you dizzy. Library music was originally intended to blend into the background and enhance the scene as it progressed - so what better type of music to un-earth, in order to enhance our modern day listening experience? Brash, big band scores, fuzz guitars, funky blaxploitation inspired rhythms - this combines it all under one umbrella. I don't know if it is just me, or what, but I particularly liked the way this compilation was programmed, the tracks blend so well so that even when a song is 45 seconds long, like in the case of track 2 Panier a Crabes by André Ceccarelli (who was in the Paris Jazz Quintet), I really was loving it. Track 3 Gateway to Crime by Paul Kuhn has a hyper-blaxploitation sound which couples a funky lowdown sound similar to what James Brown was doing with his soundtrack work, and a pre-disco vibe. Troubleshooter, Vol. 2 and Name of the Game are two tracks by Alan Hawkshaw, who did the Groupie Girl soundtrack (trashy movie; great soundtrack) and has worked with Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, and Olivia Newton-John and you don't get much cooler than that. Troubleshooter, Vol. 2 is a guitar driven theme and the horns get plenty busy but the guitars keep things rocking while Name of the Game was done along with Brian Bennett is a funky-ass track which wouldn't be out of place on a Herbie Hancock album (circa 1973). One thing that I really liked about this cd is the fact that it doesn't stay put in the 1960s/1970s but roams into the 1980s and more. This works magic on the all too short (a minute and a half) Mobil Unit by George Fenton and Ken Freeman - we get to hear Ken Freeman and his pioneering electronic music (he built the Freeman String Machine in the early 70s which was featured on albums by Pink Floyd, etc.) do an incredible electro workout which would not have been out of place on the We Still Kill The Old Way compilation on Clone Records.

The only time I felt this compilation took a sidestep was by including two tracks by Freddy Gigele which both indeed have a modern edge to them, but not really a modern sound which fits this compilation. One of the tracks is just over a minute long though and feels like an outro to the disc, while the other one does have a cinematic guitar in it. That and the fact that the liner notes didn't delve into the history behind any of the tunes was my only problems. But that really is a very small part of this compilation. I found myself transported back to those days glued to the tv set watching the Six Million Dollar Man; or later listening to jazz greats as they paid the bills in the 1970s (guys like Ernie Watts, Richard "Groove" Holmes, and Bud Shank - to name a few who were making do, doing just this kind of music in the 1970s) - sounds inspired by those guys and more are all here.


--Patrick, March 18, 2003