QUANTIC spinning as part of Good Thing with JOHN KONG and General Eclectic at Lava Lounge (507 College), tonight (Thursday, November 21). $6 before 11 pm, $8 after. 416-966-5282.
Fed up with the exorbitant prices dealers are demanding for rare funk singles, DJ Will Holland, aka Quantic, came up with a creative solution in the form of the Quantic Soul Orchestra.
Instead of giving away his cash to shady vinyl vendors or blowing it on eBay, he decided to sink it into recording funk tracks of his own that he could spin exclusively.
The thrifty 22-year-old Brighton-based operator, with two impressively diverse funk-fusion discs under the Quantic handle for the fast-rising Tru Thoughts label, figures he's actually saving money in the process.
"It seemed to me that if you wanted to be sure the records you played in clubs were so rare that no other DJ had them," reasons Holland over the phone from his Brighton pad, "the best thing to do would be to record the tracks yourself.
"I couldn't understand why someone would pay $4,000 for a 7-inch when for $2,000 you could book time in a good studio with vintage analog equipment, hire some great musicians and make a similar-sounding record of your own and have the only copy!"
Easier said than done? Not for Holland, who simply rang up a few musician friends with whom he used to play in teen punk bands and got his sister Lucy to dust off the saxophone she played in school. In very short order, the Tru Thoughts label issued the bangin' Super 8 single by the Quantic Soul Orchestra.
"It was done mostly on my cell phone. I just called up a drummer I knew, went to his house and recorded the drums in his garage, then called some other mates over to my place and put on the bass and guitar parts.
"My sister Lucy could play the saxophone, but she told me she didn't know anything about funk, so I just sang her the parts and she played 'em. I want to have my dad on the next record, but I'm having some difficulty figuring out where his banjo bit would fit in."
Evidently, the sessions for the Quantic Soul Orchestra's forthcoming Stampede debut -- Holland will be previewing it tonight (Thursday, November 21) at Lava Lounge -- were just as fun and free-wheeling. There's already a pre-release buzz on the album's key track, a funked-up cover of 4hero's Hold It Down, which Holland insists was thrown together as a lark.
"Often I'll do a track during the week just so I'll have something new to spin at the club here on the weekend. It was a Friday night and Alice (Bah Samba singer Alice Russell) happened to be in the studio when we were fooling around with the 4hero tune.
"When she started singing the words 'Hold it down' over top, it fit so perfectly that we all started laughing -- you can actually hear us in the background. The next night, I dropped it in my set and people went mad. The label boss was shouting, 'What is that? We need to put this out!' So, naturally, that's on the new album, which should be out in February.
"Since we got it cleared with the publishers, presumably the 4hero people have heard it and didn't object, but they haven't said anything to me about it.
"Hopefully, they take our cover to mean that the song is an established classic. At least I hope they consider our version a compliment rather than an insult."