Thursday, 2 April 2009

Blacksmith - Get Back To Love 1989

ffrr Records FX 111

Karl Alexis Atkins & Hugh Atkins together with Peter Carlyle Trotman formed the foundation of Blacksmith. They are essentially a production team from South London. Blacksmith mixes were in demand and invariably came in pairs, Brixton Bass and Upso mixes. They had an edge in the late 80's, early 90's, in the fact that their production style covered both downbeat R&B headnodders, and uptempo dancefloor mixes without entering into house music territory.

Trotman can be found on quite a few things outside the Blacksmith field. He plays bass on, among others, Zero 7's 'Simple Things' album and has even sung vocals for East West Connection. Karl 'Blacksmith' Atkins is the main man though, I suspect? For a short time only, they tried their hand in the 'Artist' category, releasing (to my knowledge at the time) two singles, for which they went all 4x4 deciding to move Blacksmith into the 'Dance' arena.

Get Back To Love done quite well because it featured on ffrr's Silver On Black sampler album. The album contained a Radio Edit which clocked in at around four minutes. It sounded good, uplifting house with lots of vocals, but the fade left you wanting more and so I went seeking the twelve inch.

The exciting thing about this 12" was the Blaze Remixes. Blaze, to me, were the MAW of the late 80's. I had flipped over If You Should Need A Friend and went through the roof to Can't Win For Losing. Then they provided the remixes of Mica's Great Impersonation. I had great expectations for this 12" but I was blandly disappointed. The Blaze Club Mix has the vocals and keyboards higher in the mix and some fluttering percussion has been added with a bucketful of flange. The Blaze Dub doubles up, nay, triples the amount of flange and leaves the vocals in which is effective but then it adds further insult by fading out at five and a half minutes.

All in all, the Blaze mixes are no better than the original. Had this not been Blaze I would not have been so critical but Kevin Hedge & Josh Milan are producers of high calibre and I came to the conclusion that they were short of time or couldn't be bothered. For that reason my vote goes on the Blacksmith Mix every time.

They followed it up with Hold You Back in 1990 which I have a horrible feeling has gone missing but I will have a look later.

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Blacksmith.rar Filesize: 40.47 MB


  1. Thank you Mickey for this post, very interesting info about Blacksmith. I prefer them as remixers than solo artist, and of course i prefer Soul or R&B more than House music.
    I'm not sure if they had two or more releases, i have another track that make me crazy and i never found on vinyl or CD, I'm not sure if i got it into any compilation of CDPool as promo.

    Kind regards

  2. Heavy tune inspiration of the True black israelites our war in spiritual.Karl big up heavy tune and blaze garage kings good msic will live forever classic tune.Big in clubs in Harare Zimbabwe


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