After storming international singles charts with the back-to-back pop house bangers Horny and Sexbomb, producer Mousse T. – aka Mustafa Gundogdu – had a choice to make. Follow up that global success immediately with more of the same. Or wait three years to release an album of downtempo funk, big band, reggae, and trip-hop – with an undercover policeman on bass, porno samples, and a Fine Young Cannibals cover version. Needless to say his distributers had hoped for the former, and he delivered the latter.
“After the success of Horny they wanted 13 more tracks just like that,” says Mousse. “I tried! But I never played them to anyone because I was really feeling ashamed. I said, ‘I can’t just keep copying myself, and just doing this... formula’.”
Instead, he rebuilt Horny and Sexbomb as ‘swing’ and ‘jazz’ versions, to form the start of a wild and wonderful artist album that represented him, his inspirations, and his record collection.
“I wanted people to know there was a little world behind Mousse T,” he says. “I wanted to move away from the whole house music and dancefloor thing, and just have a playground, basically. Which, for me, was the funk and soul music I loved.”
Ignoring all his commercial club house instincts, he broke out his vintage keyboards, assembled a crew of musicians and vocalists, and looped up any groovy samples he could find in his crates, or tucked away on 2” tapes from previous projects, and set to work.
“I had to go with my heart on this one,” says Mousse. “People were like, ‘Props on the success and everything with those singles, man. But in terms of coolness, this is gonna be the death of you!’.
“Those tracks were so pop and so Tom Jones, and all that, you know? So, instead of doing the same again, I decided to do the opposite and dig out samples, pull bits from old multi-tracks, get musicians and singers in, and make something new.
“It opened my view on things. It was like, ‘Wow! Whatever you feel… just go for it’. So, with this album, I did whatever I felt, and not what was expected.”
“This is a little intro with my friend Gilbert Cohen speaking. He also goes by DJ Gilb’R from Versatile Records.
“He sent me some remix stems for Venus [Sunshine People] by Cheek – remember that track? Anyway, he sent that on a DAT with his voice recorded at the start going [adopts a thick French accent], ‘Hey, Mousse T. This is Gilbert talking to you. Can you remix this...?’ And I just thought it was a great moment, so I wanted to use bits of that to open the album.
“I thought it was funny. It gave it that international feel with a twinkle in the eye, you know?”
“The singer on this is Emma Lanford, who sang on Horny. When it came time for this album, I contacted her again to do some more music. We wanted another modern love song. It was the first single off this album, too.
“It’s very sexual, but always with a touch of class, and a vintage feel to it. It’s very blues-y, with the three chords. It really made sense to add a really funky backbeat to it.
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE