Monday Retrospect : DJ Die – Autumn
Summer is officially over: yesterday was the September Equinox, when day and night are almost exactly equal. In the Northern Hemisphere that means we’re now into autumn so it’s an ideal time to take a look at DJ Die’s ‘Autumn’. The track was one of the highlights of the humongous Planet V compilation, released as an eight-piece (!) vinyl boxset and on double CD in 1999. It appeared on the same plate as Adam F’s ‘Brand New Funk’ which I’ve always thought was a nice touch as that track has more of a spring feel to it.
It opens with an acoustic guitar loop sampled from the beginning of Positive Force’s ‘Tell Me What You See’. Positive Force were a funk and soul group who formed during the late seventies in Pennsylvania and were signed to Sugar Hill Records, releasing their self-titled debut album in 1980. Although not successful commerically in their own right, they did provide the “party atmosphere” in the background of The Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’. On ‘Autumn’ the guitar loop has a faded, nostalgic quality to it and combined with the “Soul”/”Yeah, Yeah” vocals and the whooping, it has the effect of bringing back warm summer memories.
Die crafts a minimal, stepper’s track around the guitar and vocals which takes its time to unfold. It uses the ‘Sing A Simple Song’ break layered with the ‘It’s A New Day’ break with initially just the merest hint of a bassline. However after the mid-track breakdown a nasty crunchy bassline is introduced, vaguely reminiscent of the sound made when you walk over the dead leaves that have fallen to the ground. The bassline has an even greater impact thanks to its late appearance and despite ‘Autumn’ being remixed by Peshay, Dillinja and Commix, the original remains my favourite because of its devastating simplicity. The track is also included on the essential Retrospect Volume 1 compilation which you can purchase digitally directly from the V Records store.