Rockin' You Eternally

Leon Ware, Children of Zeus, neo-Soul and old-school Jungle – a musical escape getting lost in samples.

Story of an unproductive yet pleasurable, soulful afternoon!

After listening to Children of Zeus’ phenomenal NTS radio shows, trying to find which would be the best one I could feature on this humble website (impossible task, they’re all amazing), I thought I’d just select my favorite track of theirs:

But then I came across THIS bad boy:

The intro bassline sounded so familiar that, intrigued, I dug up where the sample came from and went listening back to the original tune, “Rockin' you Eternally” by Leon Ware, from his 1981 namesake album (youtube link upstairs).

I found out that the song had been honored by several brilliant samples and covers, with this beauty, by the relatively little known, yet jamming with Roy Ayers, Acid Jazz formation 3d being the pinnacle:

While looking him up, I also discovered that Ware was a shadow force behind many 70’s soul & funk spearheads (check this fantastic and thoroughly researched article on Pitchfork for more history), among whom are none other than Quincy Jones (with the steamy Body Heat) and The Jackson 5 (with the classic I Wanna Be Where You Are); but most importantly for me, he was behind this gem of a soul track by the too-early gone Minnie Ripperton (also discussed in THIS Asymetrics article):

This gorgeous, kinky & erotic soul anthem, one of my all time favorites, brought back memories of more recent remarkable soul and hip-hop tracks that sampled it:

J Cole's Everybody Dies immediately came to mind, and while the hip-hop titan needs little introduction, I thought I'd mention New Zealand's Electric Wire Hustle, whose warm cutting-edge soul has been rocking my moody mornings since their first self-titled album and its electrifying track Chaser, also featuring this sensual take on the sample:

Both amazing tunes, using Minnie’s voice as an instrument, ominous yet smooth and integrating every beat like an unstoppable note…

Honorable mention also goes to this more recent banger by King Most - See if you can spot Minnie’s voice in the midst of mountains like De La Soul, James Brown, or Fela Kuti!

After this melodic trip, I realized that I still hadn't find out why the eternally rocking bassline sounded so familiar, and I had to dig up my old school jungle-head white label vinyls from the early 2000s to nail it: it was THIS obscure, promo-only record that first familiarized me with Ware's legendary anthem:

This classic (if a bit off the beaten path) jungle ruffage also features the head-ringing “The Champ” sample, popularized among the underground youth through KRS 1’s legendary “Rapture”.

There you have it folks, this is how that afternoon went - Enjoy the ride and keep digging!

Want more of that eternally rocking bassline? Check out the Playlist: