Mates’ Crates: Phreek – Weekend

Mates’ Crates, a series headed up by our friend Andrei Sandu, dives into the tales behind records and digs deeper into our connections to music. This time it’s party time, it’s party time tonight with Phreek’s “Weekend”.  

Label: Atlantic | Year: 1978 | Discogs: Patrick Adams Presents Phreek – Weekend / Have A Good Day (Remix)

This time last week, I was carrying Klipschorn speakers around Hackney’s Rose Lipman Building  to set up for Lucky Cloud, the London descendant of David Mancuso’s seminal New York Loft parties. Through its ties to Larry Levan, Arthur Russell and others, it felt right to write about Phreek’s “Weekend”.

Phreek was formed as a studio project in the late seventies by legendary disco producer Patrick Adams. Best known for his work with Salsoul, Prelude and P&P records, he spent his childhood singing in choirs before learning to write music for the trumpet and guitar.

After initially honing his skills by dissecting the structure and arrangement of songs he heard on the radio, Adams has credits 32 gold and platinum records, so the list of his collaborators and projects is as illustrious as you’d expect. Mary Clark, Venus DodsonInner LifeCloud One, The Universal Robot BandMusique, Candi Staton,  Eddie KendricksLoleatta HollowayThe Main Ingredient (featuring actor Cuba Gooding Jr.’s dad), and Sister Sledge to mention a few.

As A&R for Perception Records, Adams discovered Harlem trio Black Ivory and his longtime collaborator Leroy Burgess (coincidentally related to the Bell family of Kool and the Gang). Adams formed Phreek with Burgess, vocalist Christine Wiltshire and others in the late 1970s.

After playing “Weekend” regularly at the Paradise Garage,  Larry Levan was asked by Sleeping Bag Records co-owner Will Socolov to make a new (and consequently more successful) version with the studio group Class Action.

Just as Levan was introduced to New York’s underground dance music scene by David Mancuso, Socolov met Sleeping Bag’s co-founder (visionary virtuoso Arthur Russell) on the dancefloor at Mancuso’s Loft. So on the 20th anniversary of the London Loft and the first anniversary of Patrick Adams’ passing, how better to celebrate their legacy this “Weekend”?