Long before L.A. Reid became, well, L.A. Reid, he was one of the countless aspiring musicians to come out of Cincinnati, arguably one of the most talent-rich cities in America. Back then, he was a drummer and ended up claiming one of his first recordings with the band Pure Essence, lead by Steve Tucker. Short-lived (they only ever recorded two songs), Pure Essence still has made quite the splash when their “Wake Up” 7″ was “discovered” a couple years back and for quite a while, the single held down holy grail status, with only a literal handful in circulation.
Stonesthrow decided that this song – a masterful example of mid-70s funk with a modern soul touch – was worth reissuing and they went the extra distance, first by combining parts 1 and 2 into one single mix (my edit does the same thing but cuts it off much sooner). They also add the group’s other recording, “Third Rock” on the B-side, basically giving you the group’s entire output on a single 12″.
I don’t have much in my collection in this same vein but I can see why this style of funk has become so big amongst DJs – that bubbling bassline, Reid’s chattering drums, and (Tucker’s?) sweetly smooth vocals, plus that change-up towards the end of Part 1 where the song goes into that infectious chorus: perfection.
 I’d like to say I found this after spending 13 hours in a basement outside of Toledo but the truth is…I got it off eBay. Bless you, Buy-It-Now!