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What Is The Whitfield Effect and What Is The Inspiration Behind The Disco Feel of "Pump"?

Updated: Apr 26, 2020

"Pump (The Whitfield Effect)" is a track taken from It's About Time, Part II. In this post, Paul explains how Norman Whitfield influenced modern dance music and what we can expect from the official music video.

About The Music

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of remixing The Temptations hit “Ball of Confusion” which I did with writing and producing partner Dave Harris. Having received a copy of the original multitrack tape from Motown, opening each of the faders on the mixing desk was a special moment.

For anybody that has never heard of Norman Whitfield, he was a producer & arranger who worked for the record company Tamla Motown and responsible for many of their classic records, especially those for The Temptations e.g. “BOC” and “Papa was a Rolling Stone”.

Whitfield’s approach was different to others because he saw that it was possible to extend the concept of popular music beyond a 3-minute format hit. He created tracks that were long and filled with dynamics. They were good songs but it was the production and arrangements that made these records so special because they were groundbreaking. He had stumbled upon something which was revolutionary and would later become the template for modern dance music. It’s not an exaggeration to say there’s an element of the Whitfield effect in every conceivable genre of club music.

About The Video

Over Xmas 2019 I began messing around with videos again. This was something that I hadn’t done for a while.

Somewhere during the early 80’s when I was performing with Re-Flex, MTV arrived and became a game-changer. When we first toured the United States, I could not believe how many people already knew who we were just from exposure on MTV. Personally, I never liked any video we ever made and if you are remotely interested in this subject there are references within the online Re-Flex virtual book “Re-Fuse, the stage of history” and can be found here.

A while ago, I thought about doing a dance video that didn’t involve making a fool of myself and the breakthrough came when I realised that I didn’t have to be in it. I have felt for a while that a hybrid form of disco was about to make a return. Disco is Back!

You can buy the full album on CD here.

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