In March 2004 I appeared at the Time Machine night in Nottingham, which was held at The Social. I was still very much finding my feet, having only started up again a few months beforehand, and this was one of my first handful of bookings following my comeback. It was a night run by Soul Mekanik (Kelvin Andrews and Danny Spencer), who, together with Daniel Donnachie, were the resident DJ’s.
Daniel put me up that night, and we sat up into the early hours listening to records, a few of which he was kind enough to record to CD for me. One of these was the instrumental of a PM Dawn track called ‘Gotta Be…Movin’ On Up’, which was built around the unmistakeable killer groove of ‘Just An Illusion’ by Imagination.
I can’t recall if it was a few weeks, or a few months later, but I remember driving to collect my son from Primary School listening to the CD that Daniel had done for me – I can see exactly where I was, approaching the traffic lights, about to turn right onto Queens Drive in Liverpool, where the school was, when in my minds ear I could hear Missy Elliot’s ‘Work It’ rap fitting hand in glove on top of that groove.
When I got back home I tried it out and, just as I’d envisaged, it was a perfect marriage, so I began to glue it all together. I utilized Jay-Z’s ‘Reasonable Doubt’ during the intro and the break, whilst slipping in Missy Elliot’s rap section from Tweet’s ‘Oops (Oh My)’ between the parts I’d used from ‘Work It’. A sprinkle of Sinnamon, and some suitably sensual sighs and moans further peppered up proceedings, whilst Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ puts in a brief cameo via the line ‘oh baby now let’s get down tonight’ and a few ‘ooohs’.
The resulting mash-up became something of a signature track for me, especially big with the girls, and was twice pressed on ‘DJ only’ 12” – in 2006, then again in 2008. I still get asked for it now, and played it most recently over in Croatia at the Garden Festival.
I originally listed the artist name as Dawn Elliot & Co, and it was later pressed on limited vinyl as Young Dog Alien (this is how it appears in the tracklisting of my Radio 1 Essential Mix from 2009), however, here I’ve settled on its most recognisable elements, Imagination & Missy Elliot.
I later put together a further version that features the vocal of ‘Just An Illusion’ before Missy’s rap kicks in. It was available here for a period last year – I’ll re-upload at some point.
Greg Wilson July 2011