Marshall Jefferson – Open Our Eyes (Marshall’s Elevated Dub)
Everyone in the underground scene has come across Marshall Jefferson’s ‘Move Your Body‘ before. The anthem, a definitive Trax Records release lead by Curtis McClain’s vocals, embodies the free spirit of 1980s Chicago House scene. At times, referred to as the Godfather of House Music, Jefferson unquestionably was pioneer heavily involved with the nurturing of its early progress. Being a friend and collaborator of Frankie Knuckles, and the producer behind DJ Pierre’s groundbreaking ‘Acid Tracks‘ EP project are just some of the extracts from his CV. His 1988 release on the New York label Big Beat Records ‘Open Your Eyes’ offers a more gossamer take on production.
The track is an exhibition of a polished Jefferson drum programming, with the producer noted to have been an enthusiast of the Roland TB-303 back in the 80s. The profuse bass line used sounds very similar to Mr Fingers’ (aka one of the father’s of Deep House Larry Heard) 1985 release ‘Mystery of Love‘ that has more recently been sampled by Kanye West in his track ‘Fade‘ featuring Post Malone. The innocuous, yet poignant lyrics repeat ‘Open Our Eyes, Give Us The Light‘. The Elevated Dub offers a crunch that is more club-ready for a a crowd that have gathered for a shared communion of dance.
More commonly for the producers hailing from USA, there is a heritage of a spiritual legacy that is often reflected in the vocals of their tracks. Take Joe Smooth’s ‘Promised Land‘, Underground Ministries’ ‘I Shall Not Be Moved‘ or Terrence Parker’s ‘Nothing Will Separate Me From the Love of God‘ for example. The Spiritual Mix of the original tells more of a narrative, the vocalist calling for the raising of the hands in an almost Moses-like prophetic nature. The sanctified nature of the track guarantees one thing for sure – it would a sacred experience to witness a DJ play this track on the dancefloor. ‘Open Our Eyes’ is a track for the most dedicated disciples of House music.