9 January 2017, No. 228, Brooklyn Express, ‘Back in Time’

Ah ah baby, it’s all right. What you say to that? The first minute and a half of Brooklyn Express’s “Back in Time” at No. 228 is okay, but skip ahead to the break at 1:35 or so. Despite the break’s understated feel, the soft falsetto vocals set against big stabs and cavernous claps make it start to feel memorable. That memorable impression is probably due to the stabs and claps occurring more frequently, which increase in frequency also signals the close of the break and our entry into a section defined by a wobbly piano line.

The piano after the break has a rolling feel to it, and what I guess must have been a little wow in the tape makes it feel clumsy, like stumbling down a spiral staircase. I have the LP version of the tune from the Best of Disco Demands compilation, and it’s possible (though barely) that the compilers introduced the error.

If I see the original LP, I’ll grab it, and that’ll be a lucky feat because unless Discogs is simply incomplete (sometimes the case), the self-titled Brooklyn Express LP wasn’t pressed in the US. This seems unlikely to me, but if it’s true, it adds a nice level of irony to the band name and album title, like if the UK Subs had been from New Jersey. Makes sense that the LP was pressed in Yugoslavia, Spain, and Italy, as the band was the project of a Yugoslav producer named Began Cekic. US copies of a “Back in Time” 12 inch are available, and those are more appealing to me; they stretch the song out to 13:45 and list a “mixed by” credit from Tee Scott of No. 216 fame.

Clap your hands. Stomp your feet. In the jungle, bruh.

Apparently in the jungle the other stuff you do is you burn it up, you don’t stop, you keep it going, and you lift the bassline from Cymande’s “Bra,” bruh. This bass appropriation in the last two minutes makes me wonder if the horn line I disregard in the intro also has a source somewhere outside the Cekic canon, especially likely since Brooklyn Express’s output includes a lot of covers.

All original or not, the breaks in “Back in Time” make it well worth checking out.