Bite Harder - De Wolfe Music to Launch A Series of Commercial Releases from its Library
De Wolfe Music to Launch Series of Commercial Releases
London – 07th October 2007: The world’s largest independent production music library, de Wolfe Music, is set to release its first commercial album. De Wolfe will re-issue some of the finest tracks from the depths of its back-catalogue as a series of collectable compilations. The albums will each be themed and will group sought-after film cues and production music into similar respective genres and styles.
The series will begin with the release of Bite Harder on the 29th October 2007, cat. number DWCR001. The album collects some rare slices of the finest ‘70s production music breakbeats, loungecore, funk and psychedelic rock, featuring the finest musicians of the era: Herbie Flowers, Barry Morgan, Johnny Hawksworth, The Electric Banana and Ronnie Verrell all make an appearance.
Many of the tracks on Bite Harder have been sampled by major artists such as Beyonce (Nick Ingman’s Down Home), High And Mighty (Simon Haseley’s Hammerhead) and Kool G Rap (Roger Jackson’s Flashpoint). The album is essentially a sequel to the highly sought after Bite Hard album, which consisted of licensed de Wolfe tracks and was released by B.B.E. Records in 1998. It will also receive a highly limited release on vinyl.
The catalogues of film music libraries have long proven a treasure trove of unearthed breaks and rare gems for collectors and compilers such as Jonny Trunk, the B-Music collective (Andy Votel, Cherrystones) and David Holmes, who have all unearthed forgotten masterpieces from the soundtrack catalogues of long-established production music companies.
De Wolfe’s music library is the longest running and most important such film music resource in the world, having soundtracked the likes of Dr.Who, George A Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead (and latterly its more recent homage Shaun Of The Dead), countless cult grindhouse films and a whole plethora of first generation soft core adult movies including Emmanuelle. Nowadays de Wolfe tracks can be heard on TV shows Fonejacker, Fifth Gear and Wife Swap as well as commercials for brands like Chrysler, Lucozade and Adidas.
SLEEVE NOTES AND INFORMATION ABOUT INDIVIDUAL TRACKS
BITE HARDER ‘Music De Wolfe Studio Sampler’ – Sleeve Notes
1. THE ELECTRIC BANANA – STREET GIRL (INSTRUMENTAL)
2. LUDOVIC DECOSNE & PIERRE DAUBRESSE – GLOAMING
3. THE LEMONDIPS – WHO’S GONNA BUY (INSTRUMENTAL)
4. NICK INGMAN – DOWN HOME
5. BARRY STOLLER – FUNKY SPIDER
6. ALAN PARKER – CRATER
7. PETER RENO – SILVER THRUST
8. SIMON HASELEY – PRECINCT
9. KEITH PAPWORTH – HAIR RAISER
10. REG TILSLEY – WARLOCK
11. JOHNNY HAWKSWORTH – SANDY BEACH
12. JACK TROMBEY – UNDERLAY NO3
13. SIMON PARK – MOTIVES 1
14. PIERRE ARVAY – SKYWAY
15. PETER RENO – RENEGADE
16. SIMON PARK – OOZE
17. JOHN SAUNDERS - MYRIAD
In 2007, artists are queuing up to sample the wealth of music that lies within the de Wolfe catalogue. Lilly Allen, The Gorillaz, Kool G Rap and The Deadly Avenger have all found the library’s beats irresistible food for their samplers. We hope that you do too. It’s been nearly ten years since the release of the now legendary and long since deleted ‘Bite Hard’ album – one of the first important library comps to hit the streets, and one that was pillaged by the likes of Jay-Z (Simon Park’s ‘Hogan’s Thing’), High & Mighty (Mcdonald/Rae’s ‘Nightmoves’), and Ja Rule (‘Hogan’s Thing’ again!). The entire LP even ended up on a documentary about cult 70s racing driver James Hunt! Not much has changed since 1998, apart from the fact that there are now hundreds of ‘Breaks & Beats’ comps available (most of them bootlegs) on the market and producers/djs are still desperate to get their ‘dusty’ fingers on as many samples as possible on their never ending quest for the perfect beat.
In fact, this cd would probably never have existed if it wasn’t for the obsessive crate diggers and library music lunatics that cajoled us here at Music de Wolfe headquarters to once again trawl through the bulging racks of LPs to seek out another batch of bullets for your sampler/turntables, and this time we decided to include a more leftfield selection – Heavy psych-rock, folk-soul, Afro-rock and electronic prog, as well as the more traditional hard orchestral funk are all elements featured on this album which we hope will give you another glimpse into our rich and diverse back catalogue. We promise you won’t have to wait another ten years before volume 3 is released!
De Wolfe Music is without a doubt the most important independent production music label which was founded in 1909 by Dutch born Mayer de Wolfe, who provided scores for films such as American moving picture pioneer DW Griffith’s The Dishonoured Medal (1914), Kenean Buel’s She (1917), and Roy Boulting’s 1947 political drama Fame is the Spur (the first soundtrack written by R.A.F. bomber and original ‘Dambuster’ John Wooldridge). Their recordings, which soon enjoyed far reaching international distribution were originally recorded on 35mm open-track film, then later pressed on 78rpm discs, followed by 10” (c.1960), and finally 12” 33rpm pressings for their vast catalogue. De Wolfe LPs also contain some of the most experimental and intriguing cover designs, which were initially produced by Ralph Webster, then in the 1970s by award winning Canadian artist Nick Bantock.
The de Wolfe library included themes and backgrounds covering every conceivable music style, and with fast growing popularity in the industry, the company soon expanded their catalogue, first in the mid 1930s when they acquired the Hudson library which leaned more towards avant garde sounds, as well as Sylvester (originally song sheet publishers) whose LPs were occasionally sub-licensed from French company Music Pour L’Image and contained a fine Jazz repertoire, not forgetting the Timings label (part of Paris based In Editions) whose musicians of note included Stephan Grappelli and Pierre Arvay, and ending with the Rouge imprint in 1973. Instantly Recognisable cues such as ‘The Gallery’ from cult 60s art programme Vision On, Dr. Who mood music, Sweeney dramatics, Monty Pythons Flying Circus (& The Holy Grail/Time Bandits/Meaning of Life/Jabberwocky), Emmanuelle, George Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead and Van Der Valk are all part of the de Wolfe cannon of work.
More obscure scores are lurking in thousands of kung fu movies (most of the Shaw Brothers 70s/early 80s catalogue/Joseph Lai’s cut n’ paste IFD masterpieces and Bruce Lee alike epics of trash such as Goodbye Bruce Lee – His Last Game of Death!), Tony Tenser’s Tigon Horror films (Witchfinder General/Haunted House of Horror/Curse of the Crimson Altar/Blood Beast Terror), and some of the finest British sex comedies - Zeta One, Eskimo Nell, Adventures of a Taxi Driver, the early Electric Blue videos and a plethora of Mary Millington soft-core classics
Some of the most distinguished and reputable musicians/composers are to be found playing amongst the grooves of De Wolfe albums, most notably Alan Hawkshaw, Alan Parker, Nick Ingman, Jimmy Page, Basil Kirchin, Hampton Hawes, Johnny Hawksworth, Stanley Myers, Stephan Grappelli, Karl Jenkins (Soft Machine/Adiemus), Reg Tilsley, Stanley Black, Roger Webb, Barbara Moore, John Altman, Frederic Talgorn and Alex Heffess to name just a few.
In the coming year expect to see more exclusive re-issues and compilations on this new label. Secret music that will be available to the general public for the first time ever. A retrospective of Shaw Brothers soundtracks, The lost BBC cues from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Folk-Horror flick Witchfinder General and more.
P.S. This is an Official Compilation of de Wolfe tracks – Please think before spending your hard earned money on illegal bootleg albums that profit from the music of others. We all know who they are!!
DETAILED TRACK LISTING
The Electric Banana – Street Girl Instrumental (Up-tempo Pop Blues)
As a supplemental income source in the late 1960s and even into the 1970s, Kentonian R&B punks The Pretty Things recorded anonymously for de Wolfe. Consequently, their music can be heard in some unlikely places, including some soft porn titles and horror flicks like Michael Armstrong's The Haunted House of Horror and Norman Wisdom’s cult favorite What’s Good For the Goose. These discs were credited to the fictitious group Electric Banana, and were never intended for official release. The group released five library albums during an eleven year period and ‘Street Girl’(which originally was recorded with vocals from Wally Waller), is taken from the More Electric Banana LP dating from early 68 when the Pretties had transformed into full psychedelic mode and is one of the finest examples of their heavy brand of hard funky freakbeat.
Ludovic Decosne & Pierre Daubresse – Gloaming (Funky Rock Style With Flutes)
Little is known about either composer of this unbelievably hypnotic and drum-heavy instrumental lifted from the 1972 LP ‘Little Bossa’ apart from the fact that I believe Mr. Decosne is an alias for French Illustrateur and music supervisor Pierre Poinsot and Mr. Daubresse currently writes for ‘Jazz Classique’ magazine. Regardless of that, it’s unquestionably a jam!
The Lemon Dips – Who’s Gonna Buy Instrumental (Sexy Rhythmic Pop)
Composed by Peter Reno and Johnny Hawksworth, this is the title cut from an album of the same name released in 1969 featuring six vocal tracks (with their corresponding instrumental versions on the flipside) of Mod infused British psych. Think The Creation vs. The Animals. As for the musicians themselves, names remain a mystery, and the band was most probably a ‘pick-up group’ – Regular session musicians in bands looking for extra work. Probably the most famous de Wolfe rock session player of the 1960s was ex-Yardbird and Led Zeppelin guitar guru Jimmy Page, who played alongside maverick progressive jazz orchestrator Basil Kirchin on the much sought after 10” release ‘The Wild One’.
Nick Ingman – Down Home (Mid-Tempo Unusual Sounds, Dramatic)
During the 1970s, this was one of the few projects that cult conductor/arranger Ingman worked on for de Wolfe project and it is definitely one of his most memorable. From the killer 1973 ‘Big Beat’ LP, which also includes ‘Trip Wire’ that we included on the original ‘Bite Hard’, comes ‘Down Home’, a dirty low-slung moog heavy funk bomb that is pure hip hop. As on his rare as hen’s teeth Polydor album ‘The Gentle Rain’ under the alias of ‘Moody’ from the same year, Nick Ingman was most likely on synthesizer and clarinet duties while Alan Hawkshaw (aka ‘The Hawk’) played piano. When listening to cutting edge music such as this it’s no wonder that in the last few years artists such as Radiohead and Morcheeba have sought the studio services of this music master.
Barry Stoller – Funky Spider (Earthy Novelty)
Performed by the pick-up group Meatball (a vehicle for ‘Match of the Day’ Composer Barry Stoller) from the 1971 LP ‘Atomic Butterfly’, the track ‘Funky Spider’ with it’s tough break beat intro is a brassy rock belter that wouldn’t sound out of place as the background score to a groovy club scene from an early 70s British teen movie. Perhaps it was!
Alan Parker – Crater (Pounding, Dramatic)
Ex-Blue Mink/Congregation guitarist Parker was one of the hardest working men of the library circuit, providing considerable material for rival labels ‘Kpm’ and ‘Themes International’. He only recorded a handful of 1970s discs for de Wolfe, the most notable being ‘Hot Ice’ (the 1974 LP that features the classic title track we included on ‘Bite Hard’ and sees the composer lay down his electric guitar in favour of an acoustic model). On this occasion we have chosen the other standout cut ‘Crater’ which is subtle folk-funk with beautiful flute solos and features the classic rhythm section of bassist Herbie Flowers and drummer Barry Morgan.
Peter Reno – Silver Thrust (Fast, Purposeful, Persistent)
Peter Reno (who also worked with the Electric Banana) was actually the alias of writer/composer Cliff Twemlow. ‘Silver Thrust’ taken from the 1972 ‘Great Day’ LP is a lightening-speed flute, Hammond and wah-wah workout with driving afro-style percussion that sounds almost identical to Johnny Harris’s ‘Stepping Stones’ from the 1970 ‘Fragment of Fear’ soundtrack. Not a bad thing at all.
Simon Haseley – Precinct (Funky, Dramatic, Driving T.V. Cop Style)
This is none other than regular De Wolfe composer Simon Park, famous frontman for the catchy ‘Van Der Valk’ theme, and this time the gritty crime track ‘Precinct’, from the heavyweight 1972 ‘Hogan, The Hawk, and Dirty John Crown’ LP which was featured as the opening tune to the Thames Television murder-mystery quiz series ‘Whodunit’ hosted by Jon Pertwee. Very Sweeney-esque in mood with a great growling flute solo and killer strings.
Keith Papworth – Hair Raiser (Forceful Deliberate Beat Intro Into Faster Racy Theme)
Here’s one for the B-Boys. After hearing that ‘Hard Hitter’ (the devastating title track from the 1975 self titled LP that we opened ‘Bite Hard’ with) had achieved cult status with certain crews of breakers around the globe who were using the track in their battles, we felt obliged to include this percussive nugget in our long awaited sequel. Regular DW Writer/Pianist Keith Papworth delivers a mean and dirty track that strips the music down to a sleazy drum and bass jam which erupts half-way into breakneck speed punk-funk. The man responsible for the beats was probably the great Ronnie Verrell, who provided the sound for the Muppets’s legendary drummer Animal!
Reg Tilsley –Warlock (Furtive, Building To Pounding Aggressive Theme)
As sampled by rapper Cam’Ron on ‘The Roc’ it only goes to show the importance of the de Wolfe catalogue as being prime raw material for hip hop producers. Penned by one of the great composer/arranger’s Reg Tilsley, on vol. 10 of his ‘Tilsley Orchestral’ series, ‘Warlock’ starts life as an eerie head nodding rhythm track complete with ghostly strings before evolving into a gorgeous orchestral groove with tight brass and flute work.
Johnny Hawksworth – Sandy Beach (Pleasant, Romantic)
Exotic steel-band funk anyone? This little corker from the late 60s is a great musical hybrid and just the sort of oddity that ended up on a library only release. From the obscure ‘Caribbean Sounds’ LP and written by Johnny Hawksworth (The man behind the themes to such unforgettable sitcoms such as ‘George & Mildred’ and ‘Man About The House’), the track ‘Sandy Beach’ with it’s tough steel drum break, sounds more like Dr. Dre than de Wolfe. Whoever described this as ‘Pleasant, Romantic’ needs a new set of ears!
Jack Trombey – Underlay No. 3 (Beaty, Neutral)
Short, but very sweet, ‘Underlay No. 3’ is a hip stripped down jazz-pop shuffler from 1971 and was sampled by British R&B singer Rhianna on her 2003 cut ‘Word Love’. Loaded with breaks, catchy piano and harp riffs, the LP this track originates from includes at least three secret Monroeville Mall musak cues from George A. Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’.
Simon Haseley – Hammerhead (Driving, Heavy, Mid-Tempo, Double-Tempo Ending)
Recently used as the theme to the BBC’s coverage of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and another bullet from the 1972 ‘Great Day’ album, ‘Hammerhead’ is probably most famous for being the sample in Ric-A-Che’s 2004 album cut ‘Thang Thangs’ AND High & Mighty’s ‘Dirty Decibels’ (Homefield Advantage LP 1999). Simon Park pulls out all the stops on the original production and the result is an expansive majestic treat with downtempo beats and big swirling strings making it the perfect hip hop tool.
Simon Park – Motives 1 (Dramatic Intro Into Heavy Beaty Busy Piece)
Mr. Park once again, this time sounding uncannily like Italian soundtrack giants ‘Goblin’ on this 1976 synth heavy prog jam. Blink and you would literally believe this was messrs Simonetti and Co. laying down the hard electronic fusion. Taken from the ‘Sun High’ LP, ‘Motives 1’ was yet another track utilized by Romero in one of the numerous versions of DOTD that exist.
Roger Jackson – Flashpoint (Heavy Bass Riff With Electronic Effects)
80s library music has never been particularly in vogue but the more risqué producers always had an open mind, and the year a track was recorded became irrelevant as long as the samples were fresh and untapped. Original Juice Crew rapper ‘Kool G Rap’s ‘Legendary Street Team’ (Rawkus 2001) which also showcases the rhyming skills of fellow New Yorker M.O.P., is a perfect example of innovative production. The track ‘Flashpoint’ from the 1983 LP of the same name just emanates hip hop sensibilities with it’s rugged down-tempo rhythm, futuristic electro whip cracks and repetitive keyboard riffs – The original is currently achieving high prices on Ebay, as more producers realise that there is a wealth of dope samples to be pillaged from a previously ignored era.
Pierre Arvay – Skyway (Neutral, Mid-Tempo, Beaty)
French ‘Music Concrete’ composer extraordinaire Pierre Arvay released a string of LPs on de Wolfe and sister label Hudson during the 60s and 70s, most notably his long running ‘Illustrations’ series that included cues used by everyone from the Shaw Brothers to the BBC. ‘Skyway’ is one of his later pieces that was issued on the elusive French ‘Timings’ label in 1976, and is great spacey synthesizer Euro-funk that emits a mysterious soft-focus ambiance in it’s wake.
17. Peter Reno/Vecchio – Renegade (Medium Slow, Semi-Dramatic)
In the early 1970s there was a brief trend for Afro-Rock music, no doubt fueled by the international success of artists like Osibisa and Manu Dibango, whose taut voodoo rhythms charmed a generation of hipsters with a penchant for the occult. Library pioneers de Wolfe decided early on to dabble with the devil, and in 1971 released the monumental LP simply titled ‘Afro Rock’, performed by fictitious group Vecchio - none other than our good friend Peter Reno and other regular session pals. The session is in a similar vein to the other famous British Afro Funkers ‘Cymande’ and contains a slew of pounding jungle beats, the standout being ‘Renegade’, a five minute escapade into tropical jazz featuring explosive saxophone and organ workouts while the drummer keeps the groove slow and low.
Simon Park – Ooze (Slow, Sensuous, Mysterious, Heavy)
Our final selection from Simon Park and a monster of a tune, ‘Ooze’, taken from the 1976 ‘Stretch’ LP is pure underwater funk – Dense wah-wah clavinets and synth bass tones wash over the listener, while the steady beat of the kick-drum bumps and grinds along in a slow-motion stupor.
John Saunders – Myriad (Eerie, Spacey Into Hard Mid-Tempo)
A serious new discovery from the man behind the awesome ‘Manta ray’ which we included on the original ‘Bite Hard’. The track ‘Myriad’ that was issued on the 1976 ‘Dream Kingdom’ album, sounds like a more cinematic version of Kraut-Rock, as it slowly bleeds into your brain with synthetic stealth until finally succumbing to the filthy electric guitar and drums, sounding very much like the greasy theme to the British zombie-biker flick ‘Psychomania’.
Compiled by Joel Martin & Warren de Wolfe
thanks to Cliff Twemlow's son for pointing out that Peter Reno real name was Cliff Twemlow not the one originally stated