KPM library records reimagined by Shawn Lee and Tim Love Lee for Tummy Touch Records
"Light Stakeout Pt 2"
Library records are jewels that the keenest collectors search out. KPM is one such repository of recordings that has over 30,000 tracks in its vaults. These tracks are used throughout various media including radio, TV, and film. Self-proclaimed library music junkies Shawn Lee and Tim Love Lee sought out a couple of specific 1970s KPM 1000 series LPs that featured Herbie Flowers (bass) and Barry Morgan (drums) with hopes of filling them out with their own musical ideas.
That process involved not only extending the tracks but also adding in various other instruments to create full-fledged songs. On New York Trouble/Electric Progression (out April 15), that idea becomes realized on twenty tracks that are short but complete thoughts utilizing Flowers and Morgan’s pieces alongside fuzz guitars, synthesizers, organ, horns, and more. Both Shawn Lee and Tim Love Lee are well versed in KPM’s history. Throughout the years they have followed the works of Giampiero Boneschi, Stefano Torossi, Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, and Nick Ingman.
The album itself is divided in half. The first half showcases Shawn Lee’s New York Trouble, recorded in London with players such as Andy Ross and Dominic Glover adding their talents. “It’s really cool to have become part of the ‘Green Sleeve’ legacy,” Shawn Lee tells Wax Poetics. “I had always wanted to ‘complete’ these two albums.” Additionally, his intention with this project was to make something that sounded like a lost KPM classic.
While “Light Stakeout (Part 1)” appears on the album, a second rendition of it appropriately entitled “Light Stakeout Pt. 2,” is available on a 500-piece limited-edition 7-inch. Wax Poetics has an exclusive premiere of Part 2. Although the two recordings are very similar, the second part has a dirtier feel to it, especially in the opening sequence. The bass thumps slightly harder, and an echo on percussion portends of lurking trouble.
The second half of the album is by Tim Love Lee, who recorded Electric Progression in New York. His work sounds like the Heliocentrics one minute (“Bionic Bossa”) and whimsical other times (“Better than Boogie”). It’s this kind of schizophrenia that fosters a library of music. Both Lees execute upon the concept well enough to have New York Trouble/Electric Progression become a part of the fray. Tim Love Lee had a lot of fun completing a library album and trying to make it sound as authentic to the time as possible, he noted, especially since he got to cut his work with copies of the original master tapes.
True to library records, the back of the album has remarks to the side of each track. For instance, Tim Love Lee’s “Hong Kong Hang” is described as “Oriental theme with synthesized strings and Clavinet,” helpful to the listener but also to a prospective music scout looking to fill in a soundtrack for a segment of media. You almost wish more albums would be this descriptive up front when blind buying an unfamiliar release.
Perhaps the footnote on the back cover below New York Trouble describes this Tummy Touch disc best: “Punchy driving soul for both serious and lighthearted contemporary drama.”
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