Apollo are delighted to welcome Steve Legget & Mark Hand to the fold with their lush new single ‘If You Cannot Try’ featuring the dulcet vocals of Greg Blackman. Originally released as an uplifting bumping house track on Ramrock Records Blackman sent the stems of the release to longtime collaborator Steve Legget for a rework. Legget tore the original to pieces, deconstructing it into a much more ambiguous form. ”I’ve never been a fan of a chorus in a song,” Legget muses. "I like songs that are not direct that leave room for your imagination - Mark and I ended up building a new song around the texture of the original.”
Hand and Legget met in the early 90s at the Northern College of Art in Middlesbrough, and have collaborated at various times in the intervening years, through a shared love of Detroit techno, experimental electronic music, jazz and funk. Their creative process involves sending audio files back and forth - “The release was written in collaboration over the internet Greg in Colchester, Mark in Hartlepool, and me in St Albans."
Hand added spaced out textures and riffs from his collection of vintage Fender Rhodes and classic synths - taking the track into sunny space funk realms that comes on like a lost release from joe Claussell’s Spiritual Life label or Basic Channel jamming with Herbie Hancock.
Using their new version as the seed - Hand decided to try his own ’Teesside Techno’ version - "I wanted to give the track more of a 'machine funk' vibe with my rework” he explains. “I generally like to work by jamming with hardware - the bass line is generated by triggering the arp on my Juno 6..using triggers from a TR606 kick drum and hats replaced by a TR909.. the result being more of a jackin' electronic funk mutation!"
This continuing game of musical pass the parcel has indeed born some juicy fruit - as Legget summarises "Our version started as a rework, but then Mark's is a rework of the rework, its all very meta!"
Published: 27th February 2020