Inspiration for Lift Off: The Mohawks

Tim den Heijer

British Hammond hero Alan Hawkshaw, the man behind The Mohawks, is one of our favorites. We love his funky library music on the legendary KPM label: tunes like Move Move Move and Beat Me Till I’m Blue. But nothing beats The Champ, a track so funky it’s been sampled over 100 times by anyone from Salt n Pepa to DJ Shadow. The Champ is actually an instrumental version of Lowell Fulsom’s Tramp, though The Mohawks’ version is probably based on the version by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas. Fun fact: Joe Tex’s Papa Was Too, a much-sampled monster break itself, was written as an answer-song to Tramp. So that’s a lot of funk growing from one root! Anyway, do check out The Mohawks’ album if you haven’t yet. The original was released on Pama, a label we know primarily for some great early reggae. We recently saw an original vinyl pressing in an Amsterdam store for 78 Euros! But luckily, there are affordable reissues and it’s even on Spotify if you like your funk streaming. So let’s hear it: Champ! tududuh-tuduhduh-tududududuh!


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