Another one of the current production teams (a la Yam Who?) who prefer to let their musical output get all of the attention whilst maintaining almost total individual anonymity, The Popular People's Front first came to my attention (being a total Monty Python tragic didn't hurt...) via their 2005 "Back 2 Back" release, the third on their self-titled label, and from that moment on they have fallen solidly into the "buy on sight" category for me.
Faithfully maintaining a vinyl-only philosophy and emphasis of quality over quantity from day one, PPF's early releases quickly became highly sought-after collectibles, especially given the extremely low numbers of each release being pressed, helped along by amazing word-of-mouth support amongst the nu-disco fraternity, flamed by their high production values and somewhat esoteric choice of source material.
Right from the start The PPF showed a wide range of influence and musical tastes with funk, soul and disco sitting comfortably with deeper tech, acid and some broken beat flavours, all the while offering something for punters of different persuasions. Their pair of "Sample Pleasures" releases in late 2005 / early 2006 kept the momentum on a solid upswing, also seeing their first collaboration with partner in crime Leo Zero. Personal favourites of these releases include their amazing edit of Carly Simon's "Why" (released as "Why Can't I Stop" on SP1), "Work For Love" (also on SP1), and "Do It" and "Wanna Be" (both on SP2), and by the time "A Collage Education" came out in 2007 things had really heated up with The PPF being constantly name-dropped in mixes and on blogs all over the place.
A pair of releases appropriately titled "Limited Series 1 & 2" (both selling out within days of release) along with 2007's "A Collage Education" only served to fan the flames, with another Leo Zero collaboration ("Can't Turn Back" on "A.C.E.") worth a special mention, but it was 2009's "Love EP' which saw things go somewhat mental for the boys. Both "My Baby Stays Out All Night" and "Church Love" (another cracker LZ collaboration) were massive and, backed by a more than solid B-side, the release was amazingly well received, in high-rotation and heavily sought after by all in the know.
If pressed into comparisons I would have to say that The PPF's ability to sound so organic within the confines of a re-edit reminds me of early Danny Krivit / Mr K releases but with the less obvious source material mentioned at the top and a wider sonic range. This is certainly reinforced by the new release "Dirty", this time on an offshoot of their label which they are calling PPF Special Ops (I presume for non-PPF releases that take their fancy). This new release by newcomer Rufdug AKA Some Freak offers four extremely diverse varieties on a theme and again should keep all punters extremely happy.
The Rufdug original is a percussive tribal monster with a hypnotically evil riff throughout, somewhat reminiscent of Matthew Dear, slowly building to a frenetic crescendo which should result in total carnage on any dance floor.
Leo Zero again chimes in with a gritty tech bomb remix, slowing down the original's pace whilst if anything intensifying the result due to the chuggier pace.
The Unabombers step up to the plate and bring things back to a more traditional nu-disco feel (my personal favourite of the 4) as we've come to expect from these guys. Fans of Jacques Renault and Holy Ghost! will find this to their liking. The original riff is still there but a bit further back in the mix for a smoother, less "in your face" ride all around.
Rounding things off is an ace Dub remix done by The PPF lads themselves which would definitely resonate with fans of The Revenge / 6th Borough Project and the like. A slightly cosmic jam more house than dub, it's a superb finish to an outstanding release.
"Dirty" will not only solidify The Popular People's Front's rep with those already on board, but should also garner attention from the tech and electro crowds.
Amazing stuff lads, looking forward to the next one already!!
Have a listen to the Unabombers remix:
'Dirty' is out in all good record shops on the 27th of July.