Wax Runoff: Mood II Swing [MF-02]
If you’ve been keeping a close eye on the dance music circuit you’ll undoubtedly have caught wind of the 2016 return of Mood II Swing. The duo, comprised by John Ciafone & Lem Springsteen, is responsible for seminal underground house and garage hits earning them the favor of DJs since the early ‘90s. With the bubbling excitement of their upcoming set at Smartbar, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase a classic record from my collection – Mood II Swing’s Move Me.
Opening up with the title of this release, “Move Me” is a stripped-down stomper of a track. With a straight forward kick and hat pattern, subtle, rolling bassline and classic dub sounding stabs this one keeps it as deep as they come. What really stands out about this track, however, is the vocal sample. Lifting portions of a spoken word record by Barbara Ann Teer, Mood II Swing inserts themselves into a conversation about dance as a means of overcoming depression.
The follow up track, and my pick of this release, is the alternate mix of “Move Me”. Where the original is chunky and deep, the alternate mix is bass heavy and has more of a UK garage flare. Sampling a funky bassline from Booker T & The MG’s “Melting Pot”, the music fits the tone of Teer’s spoken word which is again sampled in this mix.
On the opposite side of the record is “Call Me”, a bright and dancey garage house track. Where the vocal can get a bit cheesy at times, the classic house bass is what stands out most and makes this cut so special. Lastly, the record closes with “Function”, a repetitive boogie-turned-house track that commands you to “let your body move”. The addition of the keys at the halfway mark would make this cut fit perfectly into any ’80s sounding DJ set.
Originally released in 1995 on Music For Your Ears, this one saw a repress in 2014 that you can still get your hands on through Discogs for under $10. With four quality, inspirational tracks that can fit almost anywhere in a set, I highly recommend picking up this feel-good classic.
Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway, of Chicago, is the label manager for Yoruba Records. He has spent the last 10 years developing his sound by digging deep in the bins wherever records are sold.