Wednesday, April 27, 2005

do you want to jerk?

jerichojerk, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

when PHILIPS label realized a brand new generation of hipsters held the two avant-garde composers' MESSE POUR LE TEMPS PRESENT (mass for the present time) as the ultimate 70's french cult opus, a remix project was launched: METAMORPHOSE
A-league producers were invited to mess with the1967 original ballet (created by maurice béjart) score. among the likes of COLDCUT, FATBOY SLIM or WILLIAM ORBIT, a solid team of frenchies stood up: DIMITRI FROM PARIS, CHATEAU FLIGHT, THE MIGHTY BOP, KRISS THE FRENCH KISS (aka BOB SINCLAR) and LUDOVIC NAVARRE a.k.a ST GERMAIN. most of the guys concentrated on the 3 funkier cuts of the opus: PSYCHE ROCK, JERICHO JERK and TOO FORTICHE, except Dimitri who took on TEEN TONIC.
frankly, i never really got into all these remixes. the original album is a classic and the last thing i felt i needed was a fatboy "malpaso remix" or an "invisible mix" by william orbit.
but to me, st germain's track was another story. first time i heard it was in a club and i witnessed it building up very slowly from loose jazz jam to dancefloor mayhem. people were really getting down on it: everybody was chillin', drinking like they just don't care... next thing i know girls start shakin' that ass and guys are losin' it brett sinclair style (me included)! a few months later, i'm playing a stylish outdoor warm-up/open bar set where dancing is usually the very last thing trendy people are thinkin' about. for an hour, i'm stayin' alive with bossa nova and cal tjader jams scattered with jazzanova sounds. i feel like i'm in the Antonioni "La Notte" movie which is great, but just to a certain point...then i dropped the jericho jerk and let these keyboard licks spreading over as a dancing virus... it went on and on and grew kinda ibiza free for the rest of the night, thanks to the bombs bag i had packed, too (more of this selection to come)...

Monday, April 25, 2005

you could fly away

sense of danger, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

the always impeccable london lee at THE NUMBER ONE SONGS IN HEAVEN posted recently the original version of this absolute classic gem of a track, so you'd better go back to his cool writing to grab all info about CHARLES WEBSTER 's PRESENCE album and great featuring by ladysoul diva SHARA NELSON
to my knowledge, at least 4 different sets of 12" remixes were released thru pagan records : one by pepe braddock/furry phreaks (one of many webster's aliases), another one by attaboy/stephane mandrax, a third set feat. dave sears/future shock and a final delivery by le bustafunk/kings of tomorrow... frankly, all are pretty good, thanks to the track's potential but my fave's always been ATTABOY's. it's a quite simple effective mix but there's something about these drums, THAT bass hook, the synths, the way shara's voice sounds in the mix and the chorus girls whisper in my ear... and here i am, lost on the dancefloor again: it's moist, sensually funky and i wish that night never ends.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

best things in life are free

janet, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

AM:PM 1995
AM:PM 1995
in the mid-90's janet jackson was runnin' the charts thanks to hitmakers JAM & LEWIS. but to push it to the limits of dancefloor experience, A-list dj/remixers were needed on the boards. traditionally, it was a new york thing: every major player had a NYC club residency and competition ruled between them for saturday night fever supremacy.
for years, FRANKIE KNUCKLES, DAVID MORALES, DANNY TENAGLIA, MASTERS AT WORK, TODD TERRY, ROGER SANCHEZ, JUNIOR VASQUEZ used to share between them the soul/r'n'b/pop divas' megabucks pie.
since the golden days of the paradise garage, clubbing was mainly a gay thing and the sound was clearly on the vocal/garage tip. but clubs started to gather a different crowd and therefore needed new sounds and new faces. drafted by danny tenaglia, newcomers DEEP DISH entered the game and put washington DC on the club map, showing the way for a new generation of remixers with darker, technoid sounds that reached the younger heterosexual/gay-friendly audience.
by the end of the century, the DAFT PUNK revolution 909 and DJ craze phenomenon blew up the whole scene to absurdity.
both tracks here are pure 90's dancefloor classics. they were mixed for clubs so you probably won't get any of it on computer speakers or earplugs...but hey, think about friday night, dress up, put your patrick cox shoes on and rush to your favorite club!
roger sanchez claims its SALSOUL influences on his S-man version of janet and luther's duo but doesn't reach any VINCE MONTANA orchestral standards here... his mix keeps it pretty simple and effective but for a nasty clavinet that brings the house down and of course with such a cast, leaves it to the singers to bring it home...
the chocolate city remix is an early dd trademark reconstruction based on a simple hypnotic hook and a live sax that slowly build up until the drums finally kick in for maximum dancefloor effect.
both were issued on the AM:PM label as promo DJpacks so get lucky at your favorite used record stores.

Friday, April 15, 2005

let's get naked

naked, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

Naked Music 012, 2000
NAKED MUSIC is probably one of the few contemporary music labels that succesfully established its identity both musically and visually. but where other house imprints tended to keep it abstract and minimal with faceless software design patterns, label founders BRUNO IBARRA and MIGUEL MIGS brought back the tradition of the great sleeve cover genre, thanks to the talents of uberartmeister STUART PATTERSON.
a cool INTERVIEW with the guys will tell you everything you want to know about the label. i expected to be delivered instantly an exhaustive gallery of all them sexy covers but google just left me in the ropes instead. patterson seemed to have relocated from SF to barcelona where he set up his new studio COLOROLA. a place to check out ASAP.
since then, naked music's releases got the generic photo treatment which is a shame but makes the previous series even more desirable. since the downfall of house music sales globally and before record dealers stock the early naked babes in the vaults, you still have a chance to find these gorgeous releases in some dollar bin. to me, any naked12" is worth the greens, even full-price, not only for the art sleeve but because the quality of the music is very consistant on the deep soulful/jazzy tip.
one may object that the naked style layed the foundations of the lounge/coffeetable house music genre, the sexy good looks adding a wallpaper* quality to the listening experience...
i could agree with that but still will stand for it. if house is meant to be heard very loud on amazing sound systems and in sweaty nightclub atmosphere, naked music sounds great with early morning coffee or at the office, works perfectly for sleazy naps inspiration and eventually makes you dance, if that's what you're after.
one of my favorite releases is AQUANOTE's ONLY 12". both vocal mixes reach my inner feelings and became instant classics. don't expect to turn any dancefloor upside down with this one but let it grow on you. as lady kier said once : groove is in the heart...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

take me to the garden

kd, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

now people i'd like to tell you about the way we used to do it, at the paradise garage... everybody was freakin'... people from all over the world...
early spring reminds me that once i was younger... and that on friday nights, usually around 1 or 2 a.m, i kinda loved to lose myself on a dancefloor. how about that?
for a series of next posts, i'll share a selection of favorite house tracks from the late 90's/early 21st century. some were pretty big in the clubs, some weren't-and guaranteed you'll be kicked out the dj booth if you play them! others were just part of intimate trips but all have a specific echo in my heart, body and soul.
i won't follow any chronological path, so put yer dance boots on and find your way on this journey into sound.

fiat lux, 1998
in 1998, the so-called "french touch" phenomenon was ridiculously hyped out: all the majors that had previously overslept on the club scene now wanted their own house act, with dreams of daft punk grandeur. consequently emerging labels flourished like mushrooms in every parisian backstreet and basement, pushing homestudio dj's beats to feed the beast.
among them FIAT LUX chopped its teeth on numerous acts before hitting it big with SUPERFUNK's discohouse hit "lucky star" in 2000. meanwhile, french duo KARDEK layed this deep melancholic number as Bside of an otherwise club formatted 12" (fiatluxO8) that got lost on the dancefloor but this track remains as a delicate flower in the garden of my record bag

Yoshitoshi/Tribal america, 1994
DEEP DISH are another duo but based in washington, DC. early on they created their own label (deep dish records) and produced countless tracks under many differents names or monikers. though mostly renowned for their deep dark, tribal and almost technoid beats and dj sets, they sometimes indulged in very soulful compositions. CASSA DE X is one of the kind, building up slowly from amniotic ambient to hypnotic bliss.
since then, the grammy-award duo mutated into a flourishing business in DC, with three record labels and a DJ agency, remixing everybody that counts and your sister. i remember one semi deserted pre-olympics gig in '96 Atlanta, then a more relaxed set in Santa Monica a few months later where they played some drum and bass i hated... instead of my favorite dish.

Friday, April 08, 2005

you and the night and the music

new directions, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

well, just found this one online and can't resist to share it with you...
amazing band: jack dejohnette, eddie gomez, john abercrombie, lester bowie
beautiful smooth jazz recording on ecm, 1978. enjoy

update: that link's gone now... back soon with new music

Monday, April 04, 2005

swinging in the rain

repac, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

no format! universal jazz, 2004
thanks to everyone who showed support and left comments in the last post: it's good to feel this blog so alive and people caring for true inspired soul music. if meshell is playing live with her band anywhere close to you, do yerself a big favor and run to her show!
lately i had some amazing feedback from sam menter of the band CITIES OF FOAM:
he witnessed a cool 300 downloads of their single generated by our post!
it's very rewarding for me and i hope the record sales will follow...
today's post is about another very good album that emerged recently on these shores.
i must confess that because of early reviews that put me off at first, i slept on it for months instead of checking the music (here's one thing audioblogs and online music prevents us from now ). music mags unanimously celebrated NICOLAS REPAC's mix of electronics/samples with "swing jazz", an "imprudent marriage" that seemed scary as hell.
to me the formula began and better ended with mr.scruff's hit GET A MOVE ON. based on MOONDOG's "bird's lament", scruff's genius track was a very cool idea but generated on its wave monsters of 4th to the floor irritating cab calloway reprises.
though nicolas repac's credentials prevented us from such faux-pas, it took me some time to get curious again about his album (enjoy the cool cover art by swiss artist NOYAU, long-time collaborator of VIBRATIONS MAGAZINE), released thru the quite new and adventurous NO FORMAT! label (an unexpected experimental extension of universal jazz).
i'll leave it to your ears to decide but "swinging in the rain" will sure bring a smile to your face and feet, that billie holiday minimal groove reconstruction is a gem and the sensually haunting reverie of "la nuit mene une existence obscure" just goes to my head.
get the move on and BUY IT ONLINE