Before R&B sampling euro-dance got out of fuggin' control, before it was even considered popular, there was Monifah's “Touch It” single ('98), which descreetly sampled the Danish duo Laid Back. The source material, “White Horse”, was an underground euro-dance track that achieved crossover success on the American pop charts in 1983, arguably during the height of cocaine glamour. Alas, it was the 80s and American pop charts were much like the process of ingesting cocaine; anything of substance was quickly ingested, and then dispersed just as fast out the other end.
Laid Back never got a chance to become the Danish Duran Duran, possibly because they were discouraged from touring the U.S. for fear of a nationwide freak out when all the cokeheads discovered the Danish boys weren't black (this was back when Billboard was super racisty with their chart titles and Laid Back was in the top 5 of Hot Black Singles), and allowed “White Horse” to become a benchmark for 80s electro – never once threatening to sue when it was sampled.
Time heals and we collectively recognize Laid Back as “not black”. Brother Music unearthed some original 1981 recordings and is releasing it under the title Cosyland. These are the experiments that led Laid Back to craft “White Horse”, but were left on the cutting room floor after their label deemed them too “different” – idiots! The 5-songs were transfered from their original analogue format to digital and given the light treatment of vocals, bass and drumbeats to the final mix.
Laid Back's Cosyland is out May 22 on Brother Music.