Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's Just Begun (Larry Levan Remix)  

All the B-Boy's will know the origins of this one, but less known is that in 1983 Larry Levan made a remix of this Jimmy Castor Bunch dance battle classic. I picked up a clean copy for a few euros when I was traveling through Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago on the classic dutch Ramshorn re-release label. I love Ramshorn, it was so well curated, whoever picked out the tracks that that label re-pressed during the 80's for the european market deserves a blog entry all to themselves, if only I knew who that person was.

I heard some funk purist say that Levan should never have touched this, but thats just aging B-Boy crazy talk as a result of brain damage incurred from too many failed headspins. Levan's version hits hardest.

Posted by Black Shag | 17 comments

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17 comments: to “ It's Just Begun (Larry Levan Remix)

  • August 23, 2009 at 1:15 AM  

    I've the Salsoul one
    Am I a DJ ? Never
    I think you've friends that have it too

  • August 23, 2009 at 4:25 AM  

    Whoa! That illustration is awesome!
    And Levan always ++

  • August 23, 2009 at 10:50 AM  

    From a disco standpoint this version might be nice, but from a funk and bboy perspective this version sucks, all the energy the original version had is gone, or a different energy.

  • August 23, 2009 at 11:10 AM  

    I see what your saying, but thats the point of a good remix I guess, to give the source material a new energy. You have to think that in 1983 the original would have been ten years old, thats an awkward age, it would have been old enough to sound dated on the club dancefloor but too young to be a retro classic (I'm hypothosising, I wasn't partying in 1983). Levan gave it new life and made it contemporary for the time, and that being said he still kept the key breaks untouched. Plus its still slightly more to my taste ragardless, if it weren't I would have set up a deep funk blog.

  • August 23, 2009 at 11:56 AM  

    Sorry to hijack this post but I thought it was appropriate. My group 'The Simonsound' released a version of It's Just Begun on 7" earlier this year. Its a 'switched on' Moog version that shoots the original into space aboard a spaceship full of synths.

    Go to to hear it!

    We've also got our new single, which is a cover of Tour de France called 'Tour de Mars' coming out very soon.


  • August 23, 2009 at 2:07 PM  

    sorry nothing can touch the original, even though i like this version!

  • August 24, 2009 at 2:04 AM  

    Levan was a king amongst disco brothers.

    He broke mainline when no one would sign it.

    His remix of Central Line's walking into sunshine is one of my favourite tunes

  • August 24, 2009 at 7:16 PM  

    I still prefer the original, but Larry certainly provided a nice alternative for the dancefloors with his reinterpretation. Nice post!

  • August 25, 2009 at 4:38 PM  

    hmm,this mix definately doesnt hit the 'hardest'...b boys old or young would pick the og version over this anyday..thats a fact!

    if anything this version is an interesting oddity.thanks for sharing as ive not heard it before.

    at least its not as bad as jellybean's 'the mexican'!

  • August 25, 2009 at 5:46 PM  

    I obviously made a mistake calling out B-Boys. I know better for next time.

  • August 26, 2009 at 2:16 PM  

    I have to agree with the B-boys, not one of Levan's best, and like his mix of David Joseph, it's just not as good as the original.

  • August 28, 2009 at 7:03 PM  

    Jimmy Castor went back into the studio - re laid down the vocal for a good reason. The synth is hitting hard. The beat and baseline drop with a cool swing. The backing vocalists pierce through with a tone that gets the whole room moving. THIS VERSION KICKS THE SHIT OUT OF THE ORIGINAL!!!! I was there - well aware of the funk sound of the original. There are so many tunes like that. It is a b-boy classic sure but you need to loosen up your shoulders and see beyond that chicken funk sound. No disrespect to the original funk sound but there is so much shit out there sounding like that. I played this version the other night and b boys and all were saying "what the f@ck is that!!???". Thanks Black Shag for posting a classic. And yes - I have the 12" on Salsoul (only cos I heard you play it in London at the Star) - thanks

  • August 29, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

    Thanks Vinny, you expressed it way better than I did. I feel vindicated.

  • September 5, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

    haha..chicken funk sound?..'its just begun' is not mere chicken funk but i digress.

    im a massive electro funk/p funk fan and this version is...ok.

  • September 6, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

    Of all my years growin up listening to Larry Levan's mixes ..this is one rare gem that truly describes his work. Its different and no way close to the original E-Boogie sound. The rhythm is similar to the track "Galaxy" from WAR. If you appreciate and understand LL's style of music then you'll like this one. Awesome post and thanks for sharing Beat Electric!

  • September 7, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

    I love the original b-boy classic, but having spun both out at parties, I can tell you one thing, the emphasis is on BOYS. These uprock dance battle jams get the male backpacker crowd dancing around in little circles, getting excited, throwing gestures to the percussion heavy breaks that have become like hip-hop jazz standards, and thats great, but thats not what I'm about if I go out. I get the breaks and deep funk scene, I come from there, but there is too much nerdy male posturing. More girls dance to the Levan version, which in my book makes it a better asset in my bag, because it simply makes for a better time for everyone at the spot. As for what you listen to on your headphones at home, thats just a matter of taste.

  • January 21, 2010 at 3:00 AM  

    So you picked this one in Amsterdam... I go there in 10 days, do you have some advice for a nice party in Amsterdam(funk)?
    Please mail me if you do: