They’re turning over all of the archives and the vaults and a surprising number of Frankie Knuckles‘ unreleased tracks are falling out.
The first inkling that there were lost and previously unheard Frankie Knuckles remixes of Electribe 101’s “Heading For The Night” first surfaced in 2014, shortly after Frankie’s death when Electribe 101 vocalist Billie Ray Martin posted them on her Soundcloud page, with the following note:
“In honour of the beautiful work Frankie did for us, and for me, this set shows his soulfulness so well. To me the basslines are killer. I was never keen on my vocal performance but hey… you learn as you go along. I don’t think these were ever released, so hopefully you’ll enjoy these. Thanks Frankie Knuckles.”
Electribe 101 themselves are a fascinating story — worth 90 minutes in the dark for a documentary treatment. Formed from an ad placed in Melody Maker in 1988 (“Soul rebel seeks musicians — genius only”), Electribe 101 released one major label album on Mercury/PolyGram, 1990’s Electribal Memories, which spawned a pair of US Dance chart hits and a slot touring with Depeche Mode. Among the remixers were Larry Heard (“Tell Me When The Fever Ended”), David Morales (“You’re Walking”) and Frankie Knuckles (“Talking With Myself”).
Frankie was “smitten” with “Heading For The Night,” Billie Ray Martin says. “He enjoyed mixing it so much that he did six mixes, each one brilliant and soulful in its own way.”
Unfortunately, they were never released and whether it played a factor or not, Electribe 101 split in early 1992 after Mercury/PolyGram refused to release their second album. Almost EVERYTHING with Electribe 101 seems to be shrouded in mystery: that second album, Electronic Soul, is supposedly rattling around in the same vault and will follow on the FK mixes later this year.
As a down payment: this, four mixes from the vault from Frankie Knuckles, giving “Heading For The Night” something of a loving rubdown. The Classic Club Mix is one of the the soulful house side — like Frankie and Billie alone on a stage together:
Electribe 101’s “Heading For The Night: The Frankie Knuckles Mixes” is out in July on 12″ vinyl from Electribal Records.
Electribe 101: “Heading For The Night: The Frankie Knuckles Mixes” Tracklisting:
A1. Electribe 101: “Heading For The Night” (Frankie Knuckles Night Over Europe)
A2. Electribe 101: “Heading For The Night” (Frankie Knuckles Heading For Maddness)
B1. Electribe 101: “Heading For The Night” (Frankie Knuckles Classic club mix)
B2. Electribe 101: “Heading For The Night” (Frankie Knuckles Pianopella)
Artist: Electribe 101
Title: “Heading For The Night” (Frankie Knuckles Classic club mix)
Label: Electribal Records
CAT: TRIBE 1
Release Date: 12″ Vinyl (July 9 2021)