Musicians, Programmers and Engineers

Sun Palace

Rude Movements - Album artworkWay back in the summer of 1981, two musicians got together to make a record. Mike Collins played guitar and had just bought a Roland CR78 - the first programmable drum machine. Keith O'Connell played the Fender Rhodes piano and the Prophet 5 synthesizer.

Collins and O'Connell decided to record a quirky instrumental called "Rude Movements". So they hired Utopia Studios with Pete Walsh engineering and went to work using the big Neve mixing console to ‘beef up’ the sound of the CR78 drum machine. A top session musician, Fiona Hibbert, played harp on some mixes.

The bills came to almost £4,000. At the time, this was an unprecedented budget to spend on what was basically a vehicle to allow two musicians to improvise over a programmed drumbeat with a rolling, repetitive, hypnotic Fender Rhodes part played ‘live’ throughout the 7 minutes or so of music. But this, of course, is exactly why this record has proven to be so unique and timeless in nature.

Originally titled "Rude Movements" by "Rude Note", this title referred to the bluesy ‘bent’ notes played on the guitar and on the synthesizer using its pitchbend wheel which Keith called ‘rude notes’.

Listen to "Rude Movements"

Sun Palace ‘Winning’ 12” sleeveThe single was released around the end of 1983 by Passion Records. Passion renamed the ‘band’ as "Sun Palace" and chose a rough mix that had been re-titled as "Winning" at one stage during the recording sessions as the A-side.

Listen to "Winning"

This mix was actually a monitor mix run off quickly after an overdub session to add the harp and some extra Clavinet-like synthesizer lines using a PPG Wave synthesizer.

Sun Palace ‘Winning’ disc labelThe original "Rude Movements" mix was much more representative of the sound that we wanted to produce - with Pete Walsh using all his studio engineer's tricks to interact with the improvised music - dropping snare beats into reverb to get a big splash of sound to punctuate the rhythm, for example.

Nigel Wright, the owner of the Passion label, who was also the keyboard player/founder of Shakatak who made several successful albums in the early 1980's, decided to remix "Winning" around 1987. He added a piano solo which was quite jazzy and very much in keeping with the mood of the music, but then ruined the recording by adding the sounds of a man and a woman moaning and groaning as though they were having sex!

Listen to "Winning X-Mix"

Sun Palace X-MixIn 1998, Mr. Bongo record shop in Soho was asked to supply a large order of the single on vinyl to Japan and contacted Passion who re-pressed the record so that they could fulfil the order. I was amazed to learn that a new generation of fans were interested to buy the record over in Japan.

Compilation Releases

Back To Basics album coverPassion included "Rude Movements" on their Jazz Moods Volume 1 compilation album. I think it is easy to hear just how different this record is when you compare it with the rest of the music released on Passion.

The Masters At Work remix team then gave "Rude Movements" one of the highest accolades I could have wished for when Kenny Gonzalez listed this first on his selection of favourite tracks that have provided him with musical inspiration on their ‘stop and listen 5’ compilation.

Masters at Work ‘stop and listen 5’ album coverOther DJs/Remixers have felt equally strongly about ‘Rude Movements’, leading to its inclusion on other prestigious compilations by Ralph Lawson and Chris Brann.

According to Fat City Records, "Ralph Lawson is best known for his long residency at one of the North of England’s finest musical institutions, ‘Back To Basics’ in Leeds. For a few years now he has also been releasing his own distinctive brand of funky electronic deep house on the 20:20 Vision label along with friends like Huggy and Carl Finlow. Well, it was about time we got him to dig through his crates and here he brings us the second volume of our Stars On 33 series, Ralph Lawson album covershowing us some of his influences and proving an unorthodox mix, using live drum breaks from Grand Central artist Dubble D to move seamlessly between live funk and disco tracks into the 4:4 house grooves. The mix starts with some classics - you must have heard the massive Larry Young track in one form or another, the Loft Classic Rude Movements..."This Stars on 33 CD was released in 2003.

Chris Brann classed Sun Palace as one of his major ‘Inspirations’ alongside Alice Coltrane, Roy Ayers, George Duke, Marvin Gaye, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gwen Guthrie, Teena Marie and Chick Corea/Gary Burton! Chris Brann's ‘Inspirations’ compilation album is available from KarmaGiraffe Records, Tel: +44 (0) 207 284 4484, in Camden, London.

In Berlin, âme (a.k.a. Kristian Beyer & Frank Wiedemann), recording artists on Sonar Kollektiv Records, list their favourite classics as:

Stevie Wonder "Fulfillingness' First Finale"
Manuel Göttsching "E2-E4"
Miles Davis "In A Silent Way"
Alice Coltrane "Journey to Satchinanda"
John Coltrane "A Love Supreme"
Jackie Mittoo "Lebenswerk"
Weather Report "Mr. Gone"
Sun Palace "Rude Movements"
Prince "Sign 'o' the Times"
Rhythm is Rhythm "Strings of Life"

...again placing "Rude Movements" in company with some of my all-time favourite tracks.

Then I started getting emails from a couple of DJs in New York who were fans of the music.

Julien Jabre album coverWill Reeno emailed me to say: "Was in my usual DJ record store yesterday: I came across another copy of Rude Movements on a double 12" put out by Julien Jabre called "The Disco-Tech of Julien Jabre". Sure enough, when I checked via Google, top French DJ/Remixer Julien Jabre was listed as having a CD with this name and a selection taken from the CD on a pair of 12" vinyl discs. Sun Palace was in prestigious company yet again - alongside Herbie Hancock and George Duke this time. The dual Vinyl discs were released on (19 May 2003) and the CD was released on (26 April 2004) on the Yellow label.

DJ/’Straight No Chaser’ Columnist Tyler Askew emailed me to let me know that he and DJ Karl Injex had named a club in New York "Rude Movements" - see the rude movements New York website.

The Loft, Volume 1 album coverTyler also told me that Rude Movements had been included on another extremely prestigious compilation CD presented by David Mancuso whose club, The Loft, influenced all the top DJs and Remixers in the USA including Francois Kevorkian, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan among others: David Mancuso Presents The Loft, Volume 1.

David MancusoSince 1970, David Mancuso has been the DJ at the legendary New York private party known as ‘The Loft’.

As Tim Lawrence explains in New York’s Village Voice, 2004: "Mancuso's subsequent influence on the dance underground is hard to overestimate. The Tenth Floor, the Gallery, 12 West, Reade Street, the Warehouse, and the Paradise Garage were modeled on his private-party template. Club kids such as Nicky Siano, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries, and David Morales fell under his aural spell before they proceeded to embark on their own turntablist adventures. Even fellow DJs treated Mancuso's venue like a place of worship."

"Mancuso broke unconventional records like "Girl You Need a Change of Mind" and "Soul Makossa," yet he was always more of a party engineer than a DJ. He put together the best sound system in New York, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on audiophile technology. He treated his dancers to a sumptuous buffet of energy-enhancing food and fruit punch. He decorated his post-industrial living spaces in the style of a make-believe children's party. And he defended his house party setup as if his life depended on it, defeating the Department of Consumer Affairs in a precedent-setting battle over his right to party without a cabaret license."

The Loft interiorThe list of Loft Classics compiled by DJ Cosmo and David Mancuso, which was released on CD in 1999, has Sun Palace "Rude Movements" at No.3, following Dexter Wansel’s "Life On Mars" at No.2 and with Manu Dibango’s ‘Soul Makossa’ at No.1 - confirming yet again that "Rude Movements" is held in the very highest esteem by true music-lovers around the planet!

"Rude Movements" was released on a CD in 2001 by "Chairman Mao and Citizen Kane": This legendary 1999 Mix tape from the great "Chairman Mao and Citizen Kane" is one of the best 'breaks' mixes you will ever hear. Here's what's on the CD: Intro Number One Subway Baby Baby Come On Your Mind Soul Man Gold Coast Nite People Mongoose Music (I Like It) Sing A Simple Song Stepping Out (Stepping Up) Marvin's Groove Step Out Sweet Maryline Brother On The Run Wasted Ain't No Love Lost Ain't It Good Feeling Good Love The Feeling Dancer Soul On Your Side Get No Loving Tonight Feeling Good London Town I'm Out Of Your Life Looking Up To You Rude Movements When I'm With You Make It Last Forever.

Apparently, "Rude Movements" was included on a compilation album released in 1998 called "Smokedown:2 - Further Travels Into The Leftfield", and I have ordered a second-hand copy of this from Amazon.

I have also heard that "Rude Movements" was included on a compilation album called "Loft Classics Vol. 1", but I have not been able to track down any more details about this so far.

Looking to the Future

The multi-track analogue tapes of all the old Sun Palace recordings have now been transferred to Pro Tools, so I am considering creating various re-mixes.

And there are various recordings that were never completed for one reason or other at the time that could be regarded as Sun Palace material and finished off in my Pro Tools HD-equipped studio...Watch this space!

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© Mike Collins 2007