Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Us Plus One - Murder Me - 1996

12" - 1996 - Swirl World Recordings 

Back in 1996 with this 12" released by the group Us Plus One from Brownsville, Brooklyn. The group was composed of two members named Popcorn a.k.a Flip Flop Popcorn and Show a.k.a Quick Da Barbarian.

This 12" is composed of only one single 'Murder Me' with its Instrumental and Acappella. It was their third release on the New York based label 'Swirl World Recordings'. I've asked Pete Marriott who produced the single to give me more details about this wax. Here is the story : 

Pete Marriott : "How I ended up producing that record was as a favor to Swirl World Records owners Gordon Ancis (Guitarist of the legendary New York rock band Agnostic Front) and Laz Pena (Bassist of the nu metal band Ill Nino).

 I just signed on to record a EP for Swirl World and US Plus One were my labelmates. 

During one of our meetings at their office which was actually the office of R&R Freelance where both Gordon and Laz worked at, they played me two other records they released for US Plus One and one of them was 'Dear Jenny' which was dedicated to Jenny Soto the girlfriend of Us Plus One member Popcorn. 

Jenny Soto was murdered by serial killer Joel Rifkind. It was some deep and painful shit and I believe she was also the Cousin of Show the other member of the group.

They were from Brownsville, Brooklyn and I was from East Flatbush, Brooklyn so being that they were from Brooklyn and I felt empathy from that Dear Jenny record I also thought these guys could become a street version of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, so I agreed to work with them, went home and whipped up the beat with my Ensoniq ASR-10. 

A few days later we tracked the beat at Kingston Studio with Laz playing the bass, Gordon playing the Guitar and John Adams of the band Status Quo playing the Mark 2 Rhodes. Then we let Us Plus One hear the track and write to it.

For the first vocal session we went to Funky Slice studios and Show and Pop got into a heated argument over their deliveries which led to them going out into the stairwell to shoot a fair one. 

The owner of Funky Slice Samito Yo naturally was not happy about that so they got banned from the studio.

So then we went to another Studio in Starrett City, Brooklyn and the guys got into another heated argument which led to another brawl and not only did we get kicked out of the studio, but NYPD was called on us.

I obviously got pissed the fuck off and quit and later found out by another producer they worked with before me that these guys did that crazy shit all the time. 

Gordon and Laz felt the record could be a big hit and convinced me to finish the record and I obviously agreed but under the condition that I would mix the record as is. 

I was so stressed out by them and greatly embarrassed by their behavior that I simply didn't want to see those guys ever again. 

I just wanted this record to be over with because it was hurtful what they did, I was disappointed by them because they had the potential to be a great street group that could have made musical history, but they had issues beyond music.

Anyway, we took the multitracks of the record back to Funky Slice for the mix and it was done.
That record was one of my favorite beats and mixes, but was not one of my favorite experiences, but I was still an idealistic kid back then so it was a teaching moment for me.

We have a saying where I come from... It goes: Some motherfuckers just love to ice skate uphill. Us Plus One was an uphill skate..."

 Props to Pete Marriott 

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure they are from Bushwick, not Brownsville.