Today’s “Tune Of The Day” is a guest post by regular reader Daniel Norman who picks out an slept-on track by an underrated producer in Fokus’ “Jazzed Out”.
A great record from a golden era. Despite the 12” containing one of Simon Bassline Smith’s finest deep jungle moments and also a quality Pete Parsons remix, the standout track on DJX032 (promo only) for me, and my nomination for TOTD, is Jazzed Out by Fokus.
Fokus was an artist (often working with master soundman Pete Parsons) who put out a few tunes back in the heady days of 1994-1995, mainly on Deejay and Lucky Spin. Fokus didn’t have a copious number of releases but the ones he put out were always quality from start to finish.
Listening back now, he definitely had a style of his own, toughened drums with intricate but rolling edits, musical melodies that caught your brain and smooth atmospherics and pads that typified Deejay and Lucky Spin. The amens at the start of his career were quickly replaced by rolling expansive breaks engineered to really hit hard as in this tune here.
He also had a good understanding of using space in a tune. Not silence like a Dillinja drop but space to breathe. Jazzed Out is a perfect example of this and is utterly absorbing. The rhodes section in the middle is just pure slinky goodness. It has an element of suspense whilst retaining something that’s ever so slightly sinister and moody. It’s being noticed more and more, but with the recent emphasis on production, it’s rare these days to hear tunes this funky and musical. Plus it still sounds so fresh and crisp it scores twice…
Considering it was played by Bukem and had a release, I’m surprised Jazzed Out wasn’t made more widely available but unfortunately it just got issued on promo and slept on (oddly in 1996 too – long after his other records). Doubt many people own this (17 according to Discogs) and it’s rarely for sale.
I looked out for this track for about 15 years after hearing it on the first Bukem Promised Land album (which would also be my Album of the Day) and never managed to find it on vinyl (well, not for less than £40!). Still, I noticed recently it was also on the Promised Land 3 album and picked that up instead for far less notes and additional good tunes.