A Be With favourite (evident from the amount of soundclips we just had to feature) and another in demand KPM release featuring a dream cast. The majority of tracks across both sides are brilliantly composed by the great Keith Mansfield but with killer cameos from none other than Alan Hawkshaw and David Snell, this particular KPM is truly one for the heads.
The Big Business of Side A is all about Mansfield: heavy on the suspense and featuring the vital "Hot Property", an insistent groove sampled by Madlib to lace the ace “Long Awaited” by Lootpack (feat. Dilated Peoples). The ominous “Sleeping Giant 1”, a more fleshed out version of the equally-dazzling “Fatal Error”, evokes the lush orchestral magic of David Axelrod. Indeed, it conjures images of Diamond D falling over himself in the early-mid 90s to loop its intoxicatingly eerie soundscape. Complete with guitar fills that recall Paris, Texas-era Ry Cooder, this piece alone is worth the price of admission. The strident, horn- and flute-led "Tycoon" is an undoubted head-nodder whilst the dramatic "Power Complex" features stabbing horns and fantastic percussion. Other notable highlights include the breezy glide of “Whistle Stop Tour” and its sister groove, “Clean Air.”
Side B’s more expansive Wind Of Change features both Snell’s lone, incredible feature and Hawkshaw’s only contribution. Yet they ain’t no filler. Snell’s shuffling, melancholic "International Flight" sounds like a smooth Dorothy Ashby track elegantly tossed from the heavens whilst Hawkshaw’s evocative “Road And Rail” is about as luxurious and strung-out as the great man gets. A shimmering track featuring sentimental strings, melancholic horns, rolling piano and beautifully restrained bass, it may just be the highlight of this truly great set. And if Mansfield’s “Balance Of Power” doesn’t make you feel like king of the world then you must be playing it wrong. Oh, and did we mention “World In Action”?!
Originally produced exclusively for use by film and TV studios and never commercially released, library records have long been a goldmine for the collector and sampler alike. The music was created to evoke moods, situations and emotional responses and, at it’s best, it was truly extraordinary. Creative and futuristic, it is now regarded as some of most inventive music of its time.
Crafted by the some of the greatest musical minds of the late 20th century, these expert musicians and innovative composers revelled in the freedoms offered, paradoxically, by this most corporate of fields, indulging themselves in ways they couldn’t on records made for general release. The calibre of the musicians certainly raised the bar, too. Robin Phillips, who ran KPM in its heyday, wanted only the best. “You couldn’t do an album of the quality Robin demanded without the A-team,” as Brian Bennett recently recalled.