When I mentioned to people that I wanted to do a tribute mix to Deep Sensation, I got a few quizzical looks. As I as slowly started naming a few tracks, there was a certain sense of recognition. “Oh yeah, I think I have a few of their records… but what else did they release so I could make a full mix out of it?”.
There are no secrets why the Scottish production team consisting of Paul Hunter and Colin Gate remains so anonymous. There is no official information online and no press available. No bio, no fancy press photos. The most I was able to find was a text put together by a promoter on a flyer in New Zealand in the 90s. We know that Paul was a Hip Hop guy and Colin an ex-Northern Soul DJ and that they came together through a mutual deep admiration for funk, soul & disco.
Active from 1995 to 2003, they used many monikers for the different styles of music they were producing, either together or under their many solo projects. Deep Sensation, Brother Of Soul, Second Crusade (Deep, Soulful and Disco House), Space Jam (80s boogie electro), Red Hook Project, Paul Hunter (Dancefloor Jazz, broken beat, Downtempo), Small World, Stunts and Blunts, Dual Tone, Poets Of Thoughts (Instrumental Hip Hop/Dub)…
Their music was so well crafted. They were using samples in such a musical way to create new songs, mixing and matching keys and tempos long before the days of Ableton. Their work was respectful of the original samples they used and by doing so, they created modern classics. While the press in the UK was all praise for them, it was the US labels that would embrace their music first. So much that the duo relocated to NYC for 4 years to work on music. A lot of their output was released through the now defunct Chicago label Guidance but also on Todd Terry’s Freeze label (who was responsible for the idea of their relocation), Deep Dish’s Yoshitoshi, Cajual and Junior Boy’s Own, as well as their own imprints (Red Hook, Deep Jazz, BOS, Disco Sensation, Defunkt…).
After months of research, I was finally able to track down one half of the duo, Colin Gate. I originally asked about licensing some of the music on the mix for an official release, offer they kindly declined. He originally accepted to answer a few questions for for this bit, but later declined because he couldn’t reach his partner Paul. He thought it would be best not to talk on his behalf. “We haven’t actually done any press since around ’95 (a conscious decision) and maybe he wants to keep it that way.” This short sentence spoke volume about what I already guessed. They were unknown for a reason. In a world where attention seems to be the greatest currency, I couldn’t have more respect for their decision to keep it that way. After all, what does matter is the work. I hope that through this mix, some of you will discover or rediscover the music of two talented producers who’s only goal was to make great music.
Frédéric Blais (Fred Everything)
1.Red Hook Project 1 “A3 (no title)” – [Guidance]
2.Paul Hunter “The Answer” – [Red Hook]
3.Red Hook Project 1 “Paul’s Pal” – [Guidance]
4.Deep Sensation “Harlem & 42nd (Take 3)” [Deep Jazz]
5.Red Hook Project 1 “Reflection” [Guidance]
6.Space Jam “Chill Time NYC” [Guidance]
7.Space Jam “Jam On The Beat” [Guidance]
8.Deep Sensation “Can’t Give You Up” [Guidance]
9.Brother Of Soul “Pop Digs The Be-Bop” [Guidance]
10.Space Jam “Stop” [Guidance]
11.Brother Of Soul “Eyes Of Love” [Guidance]
12.Disco Sensation “A Side” [Disco Sensation]
13.Disco Sensation “B Side” [Disco Sensation]
14.Brother Of Soul “Music” [Guidance]
15.Deep Sensation “Reelin’ with The Feelin’” [Yoshitoshi]
16.Deep Sensation “Get Up” [Guidance]
17.Mind Power “Can’t Forget You (Deep Sensation Remix) [Money Record$]
18.Brother Of Soul “Brother’s Theme” [BOS]
19.Niko Marks & City Boy Players feat. Eddie Fowlkes “Love, Love, Love (Philly Mix by Deep Sensation)” – [SSR/Crammed/City Boy Records]
20.Deep Sensation “Stay A While” – [Junior London]
21.Second Crusade “Love & Happiness (Hunter’s Dub)” – [Freeze]
22.Second Crusade “May The Funk Be With You (Soul Crusade Mix)” – [Freeze]
23.Deep Sensation feat.Althea McQueen “All In My Mind (96 Mix)” – [Guidance]