Thursday, December 30, 2010
A jazz record in the truest sense of that word, Tribe Rebirth, will see the quartet of Phil Ranelin, Wendell Harrison, Marcus Belgrave and Doug Hammond recreating tunes from their past as well as a number of new compositions. The group, which first assembled in the '70s, and issued a slew of LPs that have grown in stature over the years among jazz aficionados, was put back in contact in 2007 when Craig asked Wendell Harrison to be a part of a gig he was putting together in Paris.
Craig had previously worked with Belgrave on his Detroit Experiment record, and covered Tribe's "Space Odyssey," but it was his talks with the saxophonist that helped bring the group back together. Craig says that the record, which will see the light of day on Community Projects, is "less experimental than Innerzone Orchestra and more cohesive than Detroit Experiment."
Monday, December 27, 2010
Let’s just pause for one second; now, think about all that music that has so
enriched your life down the years. All of it, without fault, and regardless of any
strict genre definitions, is soul music. If it flicks a switch deep inside you, speaks to you, comforts you and makes you feel good about yourself, then that, my friend, is soul music. German DJ and producer Henrik Schwarz understands this musical truth more than most.A long-time aficionado of those musical forms that are commonly rooted in some appreciation of this sonic legacy - funk, house, disco, jazz, techno, and yes, the dictionary definition of soul (James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Motown etc, etc) - his adventures into hi-fi are testament to such a fact.And nowhere is this more readily apparent than on Schwarz’s latest venture: a much-deserved foray into that Holy Grail of DJ mix albums, !K7’s acclaimed DJ Kicks series. Across 23 tracks, Schwarz enthusiastically takes us on a musical journey that without wanting to get too chin-strokery about it, manages to entertain, enthral and educate all at once. And that he achieves this without losing sight of the style and sophistication that are the hallmarks of his unique DJ sets and his much praised productions and remixes is only added grist to his musical mill.
Schwarz’s background is jazz: free-flowing, improvisational and inspirational jazz,
the likes of which set the pre-rock’n’roll years alight. And it’s this mindset that
initially informs his well-chosen mix. Rather than go for the latest bunch of tunes that are burning a hole on dancefloors across the globe, Henrik has paid homage to the music that he has loved down the years. Consequently, Moondog’s jazz classic ‘Bird’s Lament’ sets the scene for the journey we are about to undertake.When this segues into Double’s blissful slice of Balearica, ‘Woman Of The World’, it’s clear that we are in the hands of a rare talent. For Henrik Schwarz is a DJ who utilises all the tools of the modern sound sculptor - his usual sets are comprised of him jamming live via his trusty laptop - with a reverence for what has gone before. It’s no wonder that Gilles Peterson is such a fan of his productions ‘Supravision’, ‘Chicago’, ‘Jon’ (which is featured here) and ‘Leave My Head Alone Brain’, nor that his music is lapped up by Manchester’s hugely influential Electric Chair coterie.
Henrik himself admits that he didn’t want to think too much about his mix, rather he
let the music dictate what direction he went in.”I just selected the tracks and then
played them,” he admits. “It was more about the feeling of the mix, creating those
emotions and combining extremes.”Such a case comes when he mixes the minimal techno of Robert Hood’s ‘The Core’ with an African field recording.
It’s about creating layers and textures and in doing so it gives his mix a depth that is truly awe-inspiring.But this isn’t all about intellectual grandstanding. Good times are audible at every turn: James Brown encourages us to get on the good foot with his dancefloor shimmy, ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, and the psychedelic free jazz of Schwarz’s own ‘Jon’ is both vibrant and hypnotic.Elsewhere, the stirring strut of Jae Mason’s ‘Let It Out’ and the irresistible Afro-beat of Cymande’s ‘Anthracite’ both compel you to fish out those dancing trousers. Undoubtedly though, the blue touchpaper is well and truly lit by Schwarz’s ‘Imagination Limitation’, a track written especially for this mix. Placed next to Detroit legends Drexciya’s ‘Black Sea’ - all crisp and muscular Motor City futurism - it ticks Schwarz’s techno fetish with aplomb. Other dancefloor delights come courtesy of avant-garde nut job Arthur Russell’s trippy cosmic disco ‘Get Around To It’. Being a mix of untold seams, the funk flavours at the business end speak of Schwarz’s cerebral qualities. Womack & Womack’s ‘Conscious Of My Conscience’, Rhythm & Sound and Sugar Minott’s ‘Let Jah Love Come’, Doug Hammond’s ‘Wake Up Brothers’ and the incomparable Marvin Gaye’s ‘You’re The Man’ are all moving and literate pleas for a better world.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Former international aid worker turns international DJ. It’s a story that’s been told many times before. But no one tells it quite like New York City native Greg Oreck.
After turning his life towards music 8 years ago, Greg quickly began making a name for himself with his no holds barred DJ sets that moved asses across New York and around the globe. Greg has welcomed the millennium in New Zealand with an epic 8 hour set, held court as the official DJ of Amsterdam’s prestigious Cannabis Cup and he’s shown most European countries just how far you can take a party and still survive to tell the tale.
Some say it’s his wide musical background that sets him apart. Others say it’s his natural penchant for danger, picked up while working both in deepest Africa and the South Bronx ghettos. Probably it’s a little bit of both.
But either way, he certainly knows how to throw a party.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Daniel Scholz, Matthias Tanzmann
Gamat 3000 are Daniel Scholz and Matthias Tanzmann. For a few years they produced various electronic tracks, published under different synonyms. In Daniel's early days he got a lot of publicity for his remix for the Swiss pop duo Yello.
Gamat 3000 have been publishing sweet, deep and sensible house music and electronic tracks on the German record labels Freude Am Tanzen, Dessous Rec., Lo-Fi Stereo and FM Recordings. "Feeling Love" on Freude Am Tanzen got a real club hit and was licensed for various compilations like "Für Dich" on Kompakt (by Tobias Thomas). Don't forget the two electronic tracks on C-Rock's "Stereography" - Sampler (Lo-Fi) and the two erotic deep house tracks on Steve Bug's "Erotic Moments In House" - Compilation (Dessous).
Friday, December 3, 2010
Compared often to the works of Maurizio or the Basic Channel releases, the humble composers Rod Modell and Mike Schommer offer a unique blend of dubby beats, crisp static, synthetic analog grooves, and of course... lots of deep chords!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Larry Heard (born 1960) is a musician widely known for the Chicago house music he produced in the mid-1980s and continues to produce today. He was a member of the influential group Fingers, Inc. and has recorded solo under various names, most notably Mr. Fingers.
His smooth production style with soulful vocals and long instrumental passages that de-emphasized percussion spearheaded the subgenre known as deep house. One of his first releases was a collaboration with singer Robert Owens, released under the group name "Fingers Inc." The song "Mystery of Love" instantly became a classic hit, rising to #10 on the Billboard Dance charts.
Although he has created much music and his career is ongoing, his mid-1980s tracks are considered classics in the house and nu-soul genres.
He has mentored other successful artists, most notably Son Dexter, whose label Alleviated Records has released some of Heard's music.
Much of Heard's music is released and re-released under different names, including Fingers, Inc., Mr. Fingers, Loosefingers, Larry Heard, and Robert Owens (the vocalist on those tracks).
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Real name: Pawas Gupta
Born and raised to a classical musician in India, early on, Pawas seemed destined for a career in music. Having started out playing the ‘tabla’ (Indian drums) alongside his father in concerts, Pawas’ musical prowess was evident for the connoisseurs of music. Soon enough he spread his wings and evolved in his domain, in teaching himself to play numerous other instruments including percussion, bass guitar and keyboards.
Following close on his father’s heels, Pawas eventually chose to pursue a career in electronic music, his new found love. At 17, he began DJing in his native, India. Pawas’ move to Europe in 2004, elevated him to another level of success and so has his music evolved with time.
Having gained both recognition and acclaim as a talented DJ around central Europe, production was the obvious next step. With the instant success of his ‘Katang’ in early 07, Pawas’ own production in collaboration with his best friend, and fellow dance heavyweight Daso, has seen this adopted German cause quite a stir in the global music scene.
Having releases with labels such as Spectral Sound, Flash, Squonk and Night Drive music, topped with smash hits such as ‘Bummelzug’, ‘Det’ and ‘Piano Rain’, a legion of the world's top DJs and producers have all joined the Pawas fan club. The list includes none other than Dubfire, John Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo, Marc Romboy, Luciano, Jimpster, Satoshie Tomiie and more.
Pawas’ deep, Detroit influence, in his style of house and techno has now become a much in demand recipe within the dance music circuit. His DJ gigs in the likes of Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Dubai, Sweden and well of course throughout Germany, over the last year are only a humble testimony of his talent and his ever growing passion for music ….