Message In The Music The Ashley Beedle Re-Edits (2CD + 1DVD Compilation) To Be Released Through Harmless Records
Harmless Records are to release Message In The Music. Courtesy of Ashley Beedle, it is a metamorphic album of classics-turned-dance anthems with funk, soul and rock’n’roll-infused breakbeats.
Though undone, re-stitched and produced extensively, Beedle and musical partner Dennis Morris make it seem effortless. There is undiluted adrenaline traveling through the dance rhythm structures, which test the bounds of music. The listener is left with new perceptions of songs they thought they knew. It is beautiful and stylishly, “very now”; basically, with extra parts played and produced by the pair, the songs sound undoubtedly different, although the timelessness of the original works remains very much intact.
As noted previously, this 3-disc (2 CD+1 DVD) collection fearlessly tackles a range of styles including blue eyed soul via Ace’s ‘You’re All That I Need’, ‘Radio Man’ by Bill Withers and a raunchy cover of ‘Gimme Shelter’ by Ruth Copeland – all of which are in CD1 alone. This disc also features Family’s funk rock single, ‘Burlesque’ and ‘Touch Sensitive’ by The Fall in addition to rare rhythmic dance classics with stellar percussive dynamics, coming from none other than Cymande, Los Africanos, New York Port Authority, Panama, and the 8th Day.
CD2 is a soul/funk/rare-groove playground including disco essential ‘I’m a Love Bug’ (Donna McGhee) and the cross-generational classic ‘All About The Paper’ by Gene Chandler. The disc also enters the over-the-moon mindset of The Three Pieces, through their song ‘I Need You Girl’, which sits comfortably among other unforgettable tracks, including Kylie Auldist’s ‘In A Week, In A Day’, ‘Keep Holding On’ by The Gap Band, Heaven and Hell Orchestra’s ‘Whacha Gonna Do’ (popularized in 2013, as a result of its 12” Record Store Day release), and of course, boogie classic of the 80’s, ‘Keeping Secrets’, by Switch.
With Beedle and Ian Dewhirst (Harmles Records) initiating the project in November of 2009, the album has taken a considerably long time to develop. Ever the perfectionists, the two subjected the album to heavy experimentation before reaching a product they felt was ready for public ears.
This 3-disc compilation, which includes songs that had not previously been released in CD format, is a reflection of Beedle’s diverse musical tastes in that it is truly an out-of-the-box examination of music in its various forms. Quintessentially Ashley Beedle, the DJ has left his trademark sound on the aforementioned pieces of music. And with prior records Yardism 1 & 2 becoming DJ Magazine’s Record of the Week, his high success rate is expected to transfer onto the forthcoming album release as well.
Harmless further treats fans with an extensive Beedle interview regarding the creation of Message In The Music, analyses of each track, studio work, and his rise to the top of the music ladder. There is also a 20-page booklet with exclusive pictures, alongside sleeve notes contributed by Ben Murphy.
Keeping in line with – and perhaps reinforcing – the naturalness of the record, issues locating masters, and struggles regarding deals and ownership rights forced numerous changes in the track listing – a seemingly strenuous series of events with positive organic results, to match Beedle’s organic vision. Though it has taken a hefty 4 years, Harmless is very proud to present Message In The Music, which is set to stun crowds, in all the right ways.
The track listing is as follows:
1. Burlesque – Family Family (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 5.33
2. You’re All That I Need – Ace Minder Music (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 5.13
3. I Name This Ship Survival – Cado Belle Minder Music (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 5.13
4. Gimme Shelter – Ruth Copeland HDH (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit 9.25
5. Touch Sensitive – The Fall Minder Music (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 4.19
6. Long Train Runnin’ – Panama EMI (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 6.22
7. Hangin’ On – Brainstorm Tabu (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 4.16
8. Rainbow – New York Port Authority HDH (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 6.09
9. Do It – Los Africanos Acid Jazz (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 6.45
10. Cheeba – The 8th Day HDH (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 6.02
11. Railroad Man – Bill Withers Sony (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 10.21
12. For Baby Ooh – Cymande Alaska (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 5.58
13. Guess I’m Gonna Cry – New York Port Authority HDH (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 3.44
1. Journey To The Light – Brainstorm Tabu Ashley Beedle Re-Edit 7.24
2. Don’t Leave Me – Holland-Dozier HDH (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 7.11
3. All About The Paper – Gene Chandler Chi-Sound (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 6.34
4. I’m A Love Bug – Donna McGhee Minder Music (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 5.57
5. I Need You Girl – The Three Pieces Ace/Fantasy (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 8.32
6. Keeping Secrets – Switch Minder Music (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 4.42
7. Keep Holding On – The Gap Band Minder Music (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 5.28
8. In A Week, In A Day – Kyle Auldist True Thoughts (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 6.31
9. Soul Sleeper – Astra Nova Orchestra Alaska (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 5.51
10. Woman Of The Ghetto – Doris Duke Sam (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 9.19
11. Whatcha Gonna Do – Heaven N’ Hell Philly Groove (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) 9.54
Ashley Beedle – A Biography
As a DJ, label owner, producer, re-editor and remixer, Ashley Beedle is quite simply, an integral part of the dance music cannon, working with the who’s who and moving hips since the 1980s. And he is such an enigma that he is not confined by genre; his work has transcended above the plains of punk rock, the 70’s hard rock, soul, reggae and hip-hop; his musical output, with its original grooves, deliver intensity, passion and euphoria.
Primarily a disco, funk and house master, Beedle rose to fame as he produced some of the dance world’s defining works, i.e. ‘Give Me Back Your Love’ (when he was part of Boyz In Shock in 1988) and ‘New Jersey Deep’ along with Black Science Orchestra. Moving on, the DJ dabbled in DnB – specifically, ‘I’ll Fly Away’ with Ballistic Brothers. His production repertoire further represents his experimentation with techno; as one half of Disco Evangelists, he produced ‘De Niro’ with David Holmes, a Hollywood film soundtracker. Beedle is also responsible for working on ‘Rastaman’, a proto-dubstep track by Jamayka Boys, which is testimony to his appreciation for all kinds of music, and his bold interpretations of cross-genre works. In fact, his DJ sets were – and continue to be – a rich and eclectic blend of influences, enjoyed by people all over the world.
Beedle’s notoriety increased ten-fold as he was part of X-Press 2, a house group accountable for EDM classics such as, ‘Music X-Press’ and ‘London X-Press’. He then went on to work with David Byrne of Talking Heads, and together, they dominated the charts – occupying the US’s no. 1 spot for dance music and the no. 2 spot in the UK national charts, with their song ‘Lazy’.
He has worked in producing sound equipment; for example, he adopted the pseudonym Black Jazz Chronicles, for the creation of Afrobeat electronics, before moving onto Warbox (dance/hip-hop soundsystems), working with Mavis, for country-soul engineering Candi Staton for gospel and Kurt Wagner, in folk production. An entire album was created with reggae artist Horace Andy, for Strut’s ‘Inspiration Information’ series, and he worked with Filthy Duke’s Mark Ralph in krautrock, while under the noniker “Ralph und Beedle”.
Beedle’s compilation efforts, which include the jazzy sounds of Freddie Hubbard, the efforts of hip-hop’s Son of Bazerk, Willie Hutch (soul artist) and Will Powers (disco musician), have reached large audiences, gaining vast acclaim.
For the first time, Beedle is using his own moniker to deliver the pounding series of house EPs entitled Yardism, on Toddla T’s Girls Music imprint. Drawing from funky garage sounds, the UK’s sub-injected house movement and soundsystem bass, he has created a unique sonic immersion which gives his sets an unwavering, unidentifiable, but very attractive energy.
He is to corroborate with Zed Bias on the upcoming instalment of Yardism, plus DJ Cosmo (Loft/Classic Album Sunday) and house DJs Yam Who? are to help remix NYC punk/funk artists, The Rapture.
Beedle has, inarguably, mastered the art of remixing and re-editing; in the early 90’s, he and DJ Harvey re-edited the disco version of ‘Voices Inside My Head’ by The Police and in 2003, scored a smash hit in the form of ‘Are You Ready for Love?’ which was Elton John’s No.1 Philadelphia soul tribute. Setting up a number of labels of his own, he also worked under various names including Afrikanz on Marz, Heavy Disco Revue, and Yambee (along with Yam Who?), to put out the finest funk, disco, Balearic and house re-edits. His youngest label, Modern Artifacts, has been up and running since 2010, with dance interpretations of Kate Bush and Curtis Mayfield, as well as the incredibly renowned re-lick of the late Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘New York Is Killing Me (Ashley Beedle’s Space Blues Rework)’.
Ashley Beedle was never one to shy away from a great track; he conquered the greatest from the “untouchable artists” at the top of their respective genres in fact. He dubbed Damian Marley’s dance hit ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ into the original vocal ride of Bob Marley & the Wailers’ evergreen ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ remix, to which the Marleys gave two thumbs up. There was also a Jamaican release through Tuff Gong. Beedle, inspired by The Stones’ ‘Rain Fall Down’ is responsible for the rare and official remix of the song, which Rolling Stones aficionados also approved of. He is well known for his reworking of ‘Always’ by Bent and ‘Weak Become Heroes’ by The Streets, but Beedle made his first big statement with the official remix of ‘Roses in the Hospital’ by Manic Street Preachers.
Taking on dubplate fashion, every Beedle show is a new experience with sets designed specifically for that event. Cuts are tweaked for the set being played and will likely not be repeated the same way the next time. Actually, rather than serve as mere DJ sets, they are sonic production exhibitions which draw stampedes to dance floors.
Beedle even produces for other musicians such as Gabrielle, Shara Nelson, and – most recently – Jose Feliciano, who is a famous Latin guitarist known for his covers of ‘Golden Lady’ and ‘California Dreaming’.
And of course, Ashley Beedle continues to DJ all over the UK, filling up clubs and leaving the music world hungry for his forthcoming album, to be released under his own name. Indeed, Beedle runs the show, and everyone is waiting to see what comes next.