Rating: I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed when I found out that Skeewiff‘s Greatest Wiffs wasn’t actually documenting one and a half decades of flatulence at Skee Mansions. It was a disappointment rapidly mitigated however by the discovery that what Greatest Wiffs was actually documenting was one and a half decades of their best party breaks remixes and covers. And you’d expect nothing else from an outfit that pretty much launched their career under the moniker Shaft with a pre-Skeewiff remix (a ‘pre-wiff’, if you will) of Perez Prado’s fifties mambo Sway which was itself a cover of Luis Demetrios’s Spanish version Quien Sera. The titanic success of this badboy (UK number 2 in ’99) enabled Alex Rizzo and Elliot Ireland to set up Jalapeno Records (and subsequently their Pedigree Cuts imprint) and pretty much swan around like Hugh Heffner making music or sweet love according to their whims from that time till this. Or something. Luckily for us, they’ve made quite a lot of music.
It is from this vast back catalogue that they’ve selected sixteen of the finest from the last fifteen years and it’s every bit the mighty melting point of sixties’ library music, soul, latin, funk and psychedelia, blues, breakbeats, and – er – country and western influences you’d expect. Soul queens Shirley Ellis and Dusty Springfield get covered as does soul-bossa boss Quincy Jones himself and there’s a collaboration with The Mohawk’s Alan Hawkshaw. The highlights are many (as you’d expect from an album of highlights) but there’s a block of four particularly great ‘wiffs’ in the latter half of the album that are guaranteed to blow the whole joint up: a pumped up, loved-up breaks-fuelled cover of Dusty’s Love Power, recent electro-blues bump Brutha Noah, hammond/ country breakbeat collision Delta Dawn and a frankly inspired Man Of Constant Sorrow remix. Skeewiff’s Greatest Wiffs then – nothing stinkin’ up the dancefloor here. Talking of stinkin’ though – I still think there’s a market for the whole flatulence project thingy…Players below and don’t forget to collect your free-wiff from MB’s exclusive premiere of Skeewiff’s rework of Eddie Russ’s Lope Song.
(Out 16 December (2 December (Juno exclusive) Jalapeno Records)