Here’s a bit of a sneak attack. Mint Royale showed up in the late 90’s with a kind of off brand Fatboy Slim Vibe.
They made a number one hit of my beloved Terrorvision with the most un-Terrorvision sounding remix of Tequila (It Makes Me Happy). Then they gifted the world On The Ropes a jukebox style dance album featuring the genius titled From Rusholme With Love (featuring John Mayer). The perennial summertime classic Don’t Falter (featuring Lauren Laverne) and the gonzoid Diagonal Girl (featuring that robot from Short Circuit falling down a long steep hill).
They had me at Lauren Laverne to be honest but the record proved to be a treasure trove of warm dance music with wit and good humour all over it’s big break beats and pop hooks. So I took to caning the record in my DJ box in the months approaching the Millennium.
I didn’t know the US release came with an extra track until well into the Y2K debugging period. It was after Skynet burned the roof of the world and we went underground during the dial-up wars. Tangled in Curly phone wires and wiping floppy discs in Tab Clear to rinse them of Flying Toasters, it was a simpler time but we were happy.
That extra track is sequenced as track 3 on the US version of On The Ropes (I often wonder if it’s there just to make up for the waste of such a good pun on From Rusholme With Love on an audience who may have no idea where Rusholme is) and is an absolute gem.
“Here comes my boys, Plug 3 and 2, my names Plug 1, I’m here to do the job that you expect of me that ties the rap to open eyes daily, to know how, supervision, the incision of a song that cut a smile across your face for life, sometimes the body needs to feel stressed to appreciate the joy.”
Show Me (featuring Posdnuos) is from a period when everything every member of De La Soul touched turned to pure pop gold. The sort of energetic Enya chanting and the Daisy Age rapping meld so well together over a biscuit tin drum roll and some steel chimes it’s a grin inducing pleasure park to wander around.
“Move the heart to every blood type through the guards in every blood fight, after war, pass peace pipe, ask forgiveness, cease rights. Y’all down with that?”
This was around the time De La were putting out the AOI albums (Art Official Intelligence) and the Hip Hop community was paying their respects with guest verses and lending beats. The era seemed so optimistic.
You know what? I am down with that!