Jadell – Gentleman of Leisure
|Jadell||Gentleman of Leisure||Ultimate Dilemma|
A small amount of background is necessary in order to explain how I came across this record. I grew up in a small market town on the Surrey/Hampshire border where record shops were few and far between, and “clubs” tended to be places where drunk people went for a quick fight after the pub.
Consequently, I don’t have anything like the pedigree of the other contributors here when it comes to regular attendance at respected nights or formative days spent in record shops. For me, new music discovery was all about the mixtape, and mainly ones with handwritten labels. So I was pretty excited when I saw this free B-Boy 2000 mix on the front of Ministry Magazine in a local petrol station in 2000. This would have been shortly after moving home after University in Birmingham. I was familiar with Touche as one half of production duo The Wiseguys, and already had The Antidote on vinyl at the time, but as much as I loved that album, much of it had, in my view, strayed into predictable territory, with samples repeated endlessly as a chorus, as was the way with a lot of big beat and breakbeat stuff kicking around at that time. I was always more interested to hear what guys like this would play in a DJ set, freed from the limitations of their own production techniques, and in my view providing a more accurate picture of their ear for music.
The Touche mix became a regular, on-repeat in my first post-university car, a 1989 Golf GTI Mark 2 in silver which to this day remains my favourite car of all time. Although frustratingly short, the mix had a number of tunes on it which demanded to be played extremely loudly through the 6×9 Infiniti speakers in the back of the Golf. “Mother Otherness” by Jadell appears at track two of the CD, dropped in after a busy, sample-heavy Bronx Dogs track and offering a slice of more minimal, organic-sounding breaks. The track has this distinctive vintage feel to it due to a regal sounding horn section and a rolling baseline which gives you the distinct impression of going downhill and to me, is a great set up tune for what’s to follow. It is only played for 2 mins on the mix before giving way to another Jadell track, “Can you hear me” which has an upbeat, b-boy party vibe to it, and then dropping into an uncredited remix of Space Raiders, [I need the] Disco Doktor which has a kick drum-heavy beat and a feel-good baseline which would make the windows shake. Along with an exclusive mix of B-Boy ’84 by The Wiseguys themselves which appears at track 6 of the mix, these four tunes are the standout tracks of this 8 track mix, and very probably all lost records.
Needless to say, I looked for all these records on vinyl at the time, although without the range of resources available on the internet now. I found “Mother Otherness” and “Can you hear me” by Jadell on this album called Gentleman of Leisure and ordered it immediately. I can’t remember exactly how long had elapsed, but I know I only found it sometime after the Touche mix was released, like maybe a year later. Given it seemed like an album you had to be looking for to find, it’s no real surprise to find it’s not on Spotify now. Sadly both tunes were on the same piece of vinyl in the 2 disk album which meant I was unable to emulate the mix by Touche, but Interestingly “Can you hear me” appears to have been omitted completely from the CD release of the album so I’m glad I got the vinyl because for my money (and Touche’s) it’s one of the more dancefloor rockin tunes on the LP. Overall the album has a nice mixture of up and down tempo funky stuff and even a bit of electro, which wasn’t really what I was after at the time but I’m noticing now on replaying the album.
Digging this record out of my collection now, the sleeve is extremely well-thumbed as it was a regular in my bag as well as being one I’d put on to listen to. I love the album artwork, which is simple and obviously quite cheap but manages to portray a kind of light-hearted vintage cool vibe which you could argue is also present in the music itself. Strangely, I’m only now getting around to listening to Jadell’s follow up album “How do I do” released a year later which and has made it onto Spotify, but it seems to show a clear development in the artist’s production technique. I was always surprised Jadell wasn’t better known and so sad to say, I think this qualifies as a lost record.
Author: Alex Lovell