A7 Edits Volume 2
A7 Edits is back with its second installment from JD Twitch. Following in the fashion of the first record by Stefano Ritteri, Volume 2 offers two edits alongside their sought after original counterparts from Africa Seven favourites' M'Bamina and Tala AM. JD Twitch, or Keith McIvor, is one half of Optimo (espacio), a DJ duo that used to run legendary nights under the same name at the Sub Club in Glasgow. JD Twitch is one of those DJs where you expect the un-expected, where the "term eclectic doesn't really go far enough to describe the far-reaching limits of the JD Twitch pallet". As a producer he has mainly been accountable for a large array of dancefloor based edits across a number of styles. He is also runs a number of labels such as Optimo Music, Optimo Traxx and Autonomous Africa to name a few.
The A-side sees JD Twitch take on M'Bamina's 1982 "Kilowi-Kilowi", from the group's third album "Reflexion". M'Bamina, meaning lightning, formed in 1972 when the band stumbled across the tools and equipment they needed to play in Italy. A few years later they had released their first album, and subsequently embarked on a European tour. Their most notable appearance was in 1977 when they opened for James Brown at a concert in Paris. Twitch takes this already dance-friendly number and stretches it out, producing an a laidback disco groover with added effects for good measure. A delightful organ line pops us near the beginning, reappearing throughout the edit, often taking turns for center stage with the vocals or the horns, whilst the funky bass keeps the pace and style throughout. Following Twitch's version is the original which starts with a rather trippy, meow infused intro before slipping into the type of groove that M'Bamina became known for.
On the B-Side Tala AM is first up re-edited in classic Optimo eclecticism. "Arabica" was the lead track on Tala Andre Marie's 1978 album on Fiesta records. This was the Cameroonian's 5th studio album in a number of years and was already well on his way to cementing himself as part of the Cameroonian hot shots of his time. JD Twitch goes large with his version, amping up the already powerful original into overdrive with heavy drums, plenty of reverb and some trippy Frankie-goes to Hollywood-esque effects glittering over the top. It's not what you expect, but exactly what you wouldn't expect from a man like Twitch, and definitely works on the floor. The B-side closes with the original version, more disco but all the same power behind it.