Groove With No Fear
ATMOSFEAR emerged from the ‘Brit‐Funk’ scene along with Light of the World, Incognito, Freeez, Linx, Hi-Tension, Level 42, Central Line, Shakatak and others . . . The timeless 1979 debut single ‘Dancing in Outer Space’, a certified jazz-funk classic from this legendary UK band, sits at the pinnacle of the 1980s underground dance scene. It went on to become a massive global influence. In the USA, the track had huge support from the New York club scene. Venues such as the mythic ‘Studio 54’, ‘Paradise Garage’, and ‘The Loft’ by the likes of Larry Levan and David Mancuso. An instantly recognisable anthem, ‘Dancing in Outer Space’ is just as fresh today as it was when it was first released.
There’s no doubting its influence around the world. The song has been remixed many times by superstar DJ/producers such as Masters at Work (Louie Vega and Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzales), Francois K, and Dimitri from Paris. UK DJ, Joey Negro cites it as one of his favourite tracks. BBC DJ Pete Tong also credits the band as an important influence on the UK dance scene and awarded Atmosfear his club track of the year for their Latin jazz funk classic ‘Extract’. Co‐founder, principal writer and original bassist Lester ‘LB’ Batchelor was recently invited onto Gilles Peterson’s BBC Radio 6 show to celebrate En Trance on Gilles’s National Album Day.
The 1980 follow up, double ‘A’ sided single “Motivation” / “Extract” helped the band secure a major recording deal with MCA Records which led to the release of their debut album “En Trance” in 1982.
“Motivation” is also considered a massive dance floor tune and was covered by The Bucketheads a.k.a. Kenny Dope in 1995 under the title “I Wanna Know”.
‘LB’ leads his evolutionary band to recreate the excitement and intrigue of Atmosfear’s own brand of intergalactic British Jazz Funk with a completely new recording entitled ‘DIOS:2020’.
This is an extensive experimental re‐work of their iconic seminal-track ‘Dancing in Outer Space’. Pushing their musical envelope with fearless Jazz licks and Funk power with a kaleidoscope of electronic soundscapes that exemplifies their style of Space Funk, while also lending their voice to the environmental challenges that lay ahead for humanity. This new track marks ATMOSFEAR’s re-birth, ‘LB’ says . . . “The launch of DIOS:2020 is not meant to supersede Dancing in Outer Space.
“However it marks a momentous period in my life, to not only honour my original composition, but also to offer fans a new interpretation that is of this millennium. It aims to capture the energy of every band member during our live performances”. “This is how I feel Right Now” The new recording features the talents of ‘LB’ – Bass, Space Bass and Vocoder, Francesco Mendolia
(Incognito) – Drums, Orphy ‘Vibes’ Robinson MBE – Xylosynth, Antonello Filaccio – Keyboards, Dee Byrne – Sax, Kenny Barry – Guitar, Shelley ‘Deeizm’ Debenham – Lead vocals (Rap) and opens up an exciting new chapter to ATMOSFEAR’s musical legacy.
Joey Negro Top 10
Dave Lee (aka Joey Negro)
Dave Lee (aka Joey Negro) grew up on disco, soul and funk in the 70s and 80s but was making house records under various guises in the 90s including Jakatta with which he scored 3 Top 40 hits. His love affair with disco has continued though and with that, the UK's version of underground disco, Brit Funk. Brit Funk is perhaps one of the UK’s most under-appreciated genres. Emerging in the late 70’s and taking influences from jazz, funk, reggae and pop, by the early 80s it had spread all over the UK. Chart-topping mainstream bands like Wham!, Spandau Ballet and Haircut 100 tapped into the style and sound to help launch their careers, whilst Linx, Level 42, Light of The World, The Cool Notes and Hi Tension were all Brit Funk acts who troubled the UK top 40 with their own singles.
ATMOSFEAR ‘Dancing in Outer Space’
Joey Negro: "You can’t talk about Brit Funk without mentioning this song and Atmosfear generally. They were the mainstay act of Andy Soika's Elite label that released many of the most popular Brit Funk cuts by the likes of Level 42, Powerline and Touch. Though Atmosfear put out a few vocal tracks later into the 80s they were mainly an instrumental group with a slight reggae dubwise tinge to the bass and general sonics. DIOS is full of catchy riffs: the bassline, the guitars and then the lead synth all blend on top of each other perfectly. It came close to being a pop hit when re-released by MCA but stalled just outside the top 40. It must have sold loads across the various re-issues."
Dave compiled the first Brit Funk compilation back in 2010 but over the last 8 years has come across enough obscure long forgotten gems to justify a second instalment. And it comes with Gilles Peterson's blessing: “I thought I had it all when it came to Brit Funk and beyond but then again I hadn't been round Joey Negro's had I. A crucial selection from a world that inspired a whole generation of DJs and bands.”
To mark the release Joey Negro gives us his 10 best Brit Funk tracks.
Brit-Funk Brilliance - B&S
ATMOSFEAR creates music that makes people dance. Our music embraces all genres especially groove, and always contains elements of juicy Jazz Funk with a little Latin and Reggae vibes.
It all started in 1979 with a group of friends with ambitions of becoming musicians with a naive audacity and passion for creating original dance music. That innocent mindset and fearless pursuit resulted in the revered classic tracks - ‘Dancing in Outer Space’, ‘Motivation’, ‘Invasion’, ‘Extract’ and ‘Xtra Special’ to name a few.
In 2019, the legendary band continues it cosmic journey under co-founder Lester J Batchelor, expanding on the concept of groove with no FEAR!
The new tracks are still initiated and created by Batchelor, supported by the ATMOSFEAR funk family collective which includes long term keyboardist Peter Hinds (BFA, Light of the World, Incognito), joined by new Brit Funk brother and Jazz master Mr Orphy 'Vibes' Robinson MBE.
Through them, the ATMOSFEAR DNA lives on, striving to make authentic music with positive energy and wicked vibes that’s always just a little different.