Where to start with Frankie Knuckles` The Whistle Song. Upon its release in 1991 it was rinsed to the point that I couldn’t bear to be bopping in the same room, but with Frankie`s sad untimely passing the track took on a whole new level of significance, and meaning, and consequently I don’t think I`ll ever tire of hearing it. Forever a frozen fragment of (fairly) innocent happiness, despite whatever else might be occurring. Of course Frankie didn’t pen the tune, but he was the person who “broke” it, by playing the cassette and then the reel-to-reel. Without Frankie it might have never made it to vinyl. When its author, Eric Kupper, reissued his “Sound Factory Re-rub” last year, for some reason I took to pitching it down, spinning it at 110 bpm. It`s not that it sounded better that way, just different, like a kind of wistful reprise. So personally I’m not surprised that someone has created a proper “chill out” version – only wondering why it didn’t happen sooner. Flower Records` Reggae Disco Rockers` cover is set to be one of the sunset smash hits of the summer.
I`m a sucker for the OG mix, and to be honest, contemporary ska-inflected Japanese reggae sometimes tends to be a tad too saccharine for an old sour puss like me. But I’ve fallen for the combination of acoustic guitar, and flute – naturally – vamping in and around that famous hook, while an organ solo adds a little Jackie Mittoo doing What’s Going On. For the flip label founder and head, Eitetsu Takamiya, gives the track one of his trademark sublime Silent Dream shakes, delivering a beatless dub, and very effectively giving each element, and subsequently you, more room to breathe.
Reggae Disco Rockers` cover of The Whistle Song is available directly from Flower Records.