Saturday, 8 May 2010

SoulNRnB's Great Producers SEVEN: David Frank

"The founding father of Electronic R&B"

Thats David Frank, one half of way before their time group THE SYSTEM (Together with Mic Murphy whose influence and contribution should not be underestimated).

The keyboardist found work playing in bands around New York, affording him the opportunity to invest in the emerging MIDI music technology. He bought an Oberheim OBXa keyboard synthesizer, sequencer, and drum machine. Oberheim later released a three-piece MIDI (synthesizer, sequencer, and drum machine) combination called "The System".

David got a break when Atlantic Records soul/funk band Kleer enlisted him as their tour keyboardist. The band's road manager, Mic Murphy, asked Frank to play on some sessions he was recording with friends which led to a track called "It's Passion" in which a pre-stardom Madonna was slated to do the vocals, but because of creative differences, she bowed out, Thank the lord! Murphy re-vamped the lyrics and melody and the two went into the studio, recorded the song in one day, and stayed up all night mixing the record. Soon after, Murphy called to tell Frank that the duo had a record deal; in two days, Murphy came up with the name the System, and within three weeks, "It's Passion" was receiving massive radio airplay in New York.

For me, the rest is Soul History. I hadn't heared anything like this before that could remotely be called soulful. David worked soon after with the likes of Chaka Khan (Whose Prince written Eternity features in this mix), Jeff Lorber, Scritti Politti, Angela Bofill and more. To this day, David still produces, but to me, he and Mic will always be The System, and David one of my great producer picks, writer of some of the greatest 2 part synth baselines, and founding father of Electronic R&B!!!
SoulNRnB's Great Producers SEVEN : David Frank
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