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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Whistle - s/t

Name: Whistle
Album: s/t
Style: Hip Hop, Rap, R&B
Similar Bands: DJ Jazzy Jeff, Full Force, ABC, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Run DMC, Fat Boys, Young MC
One-Word Review: Nonthreatening Story Rap
Based Out Of:  NYC
Label: Select Records, Champion Records
Whistle - Cover & Record
Whistle - Back & Record
Whistle (1986)
  1. Rest In Peace 5:01
  2. Damn Thing 3:12
  3. (Nothing Serious) Just Buggin' 5:02
  4. Chance for Our Love 3:58/
  5. Please Love Me 4:35
  6. Just For Fun 3:34
  7. We're Called Whistle 3:52
  8. Barbara's Bedroom 5:05
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
The Kangol Kid - Producer (UTFO, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam)
"Hitman" Howie Tee - Producer, Scratching
Questar Welsh - Engineer
Dee Dee Scott - Backing Vox
Herbie Powers Jr - Mastering
Larry Kazal - Jacket Design
Nancy Feldman - Jacket Design
Arthur Field - Photos
Jazz(y Jazz) - Lead Vox, Rhymes, Backing Vox (Group Home Productions)
Kool Doobie. Rhymes Backing Vox
DJ Silver Spinner - Scratches, Backing Vox

Unknown-ness: I never heard of these guys, but I'm guessing they were a borderline band between hip-hop/rap, and smoother New Edition style R&B. Not typically my genre, but I'm always game to check out solid 80's rap acts.

Album Review: These guys never had a big following, or went on to become famous names. K.D. tried to go out on his own at one point after 2 records as a solo artist to equal obscurity.

“Rest In Peace” starts with an off tempo kick drum and an electric guitar that almost sounds like industrial. The notes are samples, and there are a lot of synth “surprise emphasis” effects. The second verse through changes a little with scratching. It feels a little dated, but still bright and fresh, with Run DMC style rhyming and a solid rhythm that constantly moves forward.
“Damn Thing” Also starts with a rock-influenced sampling tempo, and a story-rap verse. The chorus is fun, ripping on some guy who never does a damn thing, with a secondary vocal calling out “What?” in a school yard call and response melody. Retroactively, this reminds me of Young MC. It ends a little flat.
“(Nothing Serious) Just Buggin'” was a solid single, reaching #17 & 18 on the US R&B & Dance charts, and #7 in the UK. My dollar bin purchase of the record came with the Just Buggin single with alt versions shoved in the jacket. The song introduces their name, and is a playful skipping tempo, and lots of samples and effects from the era. The chorus is the word Bug stretched and manipulated through a vocal emulator, reminds me a little of They Might Be Giants samples. Later on, the samples sound like they were used in the scratch collage of “Pump Up the Volume”
“Chance for Our Love” gets a little sentimental, with a slower, swaying beat, and high pitch synth. The vocals are harmonized and light. Apparently, this was a sign of what was to come for the group. The uttering of the word Girl is a little like the awards show skit from Mr. Show.

“Please Love Me” was a second single that charted at 91 in the UK, but did not chart in the US. This song begins more in line with many of the dance/radio hits from the mid 80’s. A comfortable beat, a cowbell and whistle, a hilly melody and some hand clap drum kit percussion. It is not bombastic or overly excitable, just a mid-range sweaty groove. It even dips into a little new wave territory with an synth organ.
“Just For Fun” was their third single, peaking at #61 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart. It gets back to hip hop, with a spoken intro and synchronized verse punctuation with emphasized one word rhymes. The MC’s take turns on the mic, introducing themselves, in an all but lost art today.
“We're Called Whistle” starts with some scratching, and sets the tone with a funky tempo and some sound effects (that Pump Up The Volumne effect). The lyrics are scratched and sampled vocals pieced together with other effects. No real vocals, this is an instrumental of sorts, considering the sampled vocals are not live.
“Barbara's Bedroom” was the final single, hitting #31 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart. It starts with come vocoder altered “I’s” setting up the melody. The vocals are straight forward Rn'B, and tell a sorta braggart story of being in “Barbara’s bedroom” The instrumentation is minimal, a little new wave synth at the early middle, and a synth drum beat. Layered, harmonized vocals make up the chorus, 

Stand Out Track: Damn Thing


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