Lost but not least! Imagination – Instinctual (David Morales Mix) (RCA)
From the very first note, you can feel you’re in front of something special. If not ‘Instinctual’, in an environment quite different in terms of arrangements. Of course, this is still Imagination lyrically speakin’. But there’s like an impression of floating around. From the lazy beat to the fascinating rounded bassline. Not to mention some stellar keys courtesy of a then very young Josh Milan who was to evolve under the Blaze banner soon after. All in all creating like a deep and rough syncopation. With Arthur Baker in charge of the production. And last but not least David Morales delivering the remix.
Hard to rate this ‘Instinctual’ thing as Deep House unless on a lazy tip. If not some slightly boosted R&B/Soul. Just the way the latter did along with Frankie Knuckles on Miles Jaye‘s ‘Heaven’. Or, to a different extend, what Tony Humpries did on The O’Jays‘ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’.
As a matter of fact, I’d be tempted to think there’s something of Freddie Jackson‘s ‘Crazy For Me’ on ‘Instinctual’. Unless the opposite…
– Singer/keyboardist Leee John came to meet guitarist/bassist Ashley Ingram when he was working as a backing singer for The Delfonics. They formed a songwriting partnership, briefly evolving under the banner of Fizz. They met drummer Jamaica-born Errol Kennedy while auditioning for another transient band named Midnight Express. The latter being a member of TFB (later known as Central Line) before co-founding Midnight Express.
The threesome formed Imagination in early 1981. They teamed up with producers Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, creating a unique sound which won them a huge following during the early 80’s.
‘Body Talk’, their debut-single, opened a consistant string of classics. From ‘Flashback’ to ‘Just An Illusion’. But also ‘Music & Lights’ or ‘Burning Out’ among others. As many hits which established them among the most successful acts in the UK back then.
Like many British acts at the time, they tried to reach the US market with a more Americanized approach. Taken from their 1987 released ‘Closer’ album which marked their debut on RCA, they teamed up with NYC-based producer Arthur Baker. ‘Instinctual’ eventually receiving the Housey remix treatment by the likes of Def Mix famous David Morales with Josh Milan on keyboards.
By the end of that year, Kennedy left the band. John Kept forward with new members, Nat Augustin and Peter Royer, and recorded a last album, ‘The Fascination Of The Physical’, in 1990. The band split 2 years after.
John went to acting, and eventually re-surfaced as a singer in the reality television show, ‘Reborn In The USA’. Meanwhile Ingram enjoyed success as a songwriter for Des’ree.
– A quick typing – ‘David Morales’ – in the search box of our site should give you a certain idea of his legacy. And, by that, of the consideration we have for him. Standing among the most prolific but first and foremost talented producers/remixers of his generation. With his name firmly associated to a signature – the Def Mix Sound – and an alter ego – Frankie Knuckles. Themselves synonyms with some of the most brilliant episodes in the maturation of the contemporary groove.
A native New Yorker of Puerto Rican ancestry, David Morales grew up during Dance Music’s most influential era. Thus, unsurprisingly frequenting its legendary clubs such as The Loft and The Paradise Garage.
As a result, it wasn’t long before he started his own nightclub – the Ozone Layer – in Brooklyn, by the beginning of the 80’s. His residency which lasted until 1986 eventually leading him to spin at The Paradise Garage in 1983. The 80’s seeing him DJing later at Newark, NJ’s famous The Zanzibar. With the latter standing as the craddle of the famous Jersey Sound also known as Garage. But also joining forces with Frankie Knuckles and For The Record DJ Pool founder Judy Weinstein under the Def Mix Productions banner to help manage remix requests and handle artist business affairs.
All in all, on his own or along with Frankie Knuckles, David Morales has remixed and produced over 500 releases. With the list of those he happened to rework the music of givin’ a better idea of the impact he generated. And this way above the strict spheres of House Music. Eventually bringin’ fragments of his universe on ‘Mine To Give’ by the likes of British Junglist Photek along with Robert Owens. But also working along Brit-Soul / Acid Jazz activists. From James Taylor Quartet feat. Noel McCoy‘s ‘I Love The Life’. To the Brand New Heavies‘ ‘Never Stop’, Loose Ends‘ ‘Love’s Got Me’ and Imagination‘s ‘Instinctual’. Not to mention Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘8.3.1.’. And how to not think of Alison Limerick‘s ‘Where Love Lives’ or Incognito‘s ‘Always There’ among others?!?
Of course, David Morales made some noise in the House scene. Responsible for seminal tracks such as ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’, ‘Finally’ and ‘My Piece Of Heaven’, respectively for Robert Owens, CeCe Peniston and Ten City. This in addition to Ce Ce Rogers‘ ‘All Join Hands’, Inner City‘s ‘Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin” and Richard Rogers‘ ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’. If not Doug Lazy‘s ‘H.O.U.S.E.’.
But, just like Frankie Knuckles, he also created serious bridges with R&B names. Beginning with Mariah Carey (‘Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)’) with whom he established a long term working relationship. But also Luther Vandross (‘The Rush’) and Alexander O’Neal (‘What Is This Thing Called Love’). This in addition to Miles Jaye (‘Heaven’) and Whitney Houston (‘Love Will Save The Day’).
Meanwhile, under his own banner, Morales also made quite an impression. Beginning with his debut-album and single of the likes – ‘The Program’ – as David Morales & The Bad Yard Club back in 1993. But also ‘Needin’ U’ as The Face, five years later. And how to not remember ‘Golden Era’ along with Róisín Murphy? A cut which stood among the essential tracks of the year 2012… Or, more recently, ‘Lovin” as The Face feat. Kym Mazelle. And ‘There Must Be Love’ as fronted by Janice Robinson. This with remix courtesy of Nigel Lowis, which we welcomed as our Single Of The Week back then…