‘Don’t mess with the classics,’ some say — and within certain corners of the jazz, funk and balearic worlds, there are few classics considered more unmessable than SunPalace’s ‘Rude Movements.’ Originally released in the early ’80s on Passion Records, the graceful tune was a favorite of David Mancuso and other right-thinking DJs of the time, and for good reason: With its loping skeletal groove, spiraling synth leads and supremely cosmic feel, it’s a timeless tune that feels as though it was handed down from heaven above. (In truth, it was the handiwork of Mike Collins and Keith O’Connell, working with a Roland CR78 drum machine, guitar, Fender Rhodes and Prophet 5.) It’s eight minutes of near-perfection as it is, but BBE — which, as it happens, had rereleased ‘Rude Movements’ a few years back — has dared to step in and give the song a touch-up. The label, via its Alim imprint, has assembled a dream team of remixers to aid in the effort, with Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzales and Kenny ‘Moodymann’ Dixon Jr each contributing a rerub to a new 7” release.
Kenny Dope has a bit of history with ‘Rude Movements,’ as his Bucketheads tune ‘Whew’ employs one of its squiggly synthy bits as a tension-building exclamation point. Here on his Dancefloor Powder remix, he makes fuller use of the song, but strips it down a bit, pushes a juiced-up version of its bassline to the fore, and drapes the whole thing over a jazzy, Afro-Latin-tinged breakbeat for a mix that would likely be huge on jazz-funk-friendly dance floors, if such places existed at the moment. Moodymann’s mix also jacks up the bassline, but retains the original’s smooth midtempo feel, while adding to the smoky-late-night-jam-session feel via bonus flute and sax solos. Neither of these versions really reinvent ‘Rude Movements.’ There wouldn’t be much point, as the tune is already the Platonic ideal of grooviness; instead, both remixes offer respectful variations on a theme, and very good respectful variations at that. SunPalace’s Collins, who had apparently personally selected both Gonzalez and Moodymann to work their magic on ‘Rude Movements,’ sadly passed away before the finished product saw the light of day. One imagines he would have heartily approved.
'Rude Movements’ (Moodymann / Kenny Dope remixes) is available through BBE (order here)