This coming Saturday is the first Saturday of March and you know that that means we’re going to be celebrating another top choice champagne event at InterContinental Boston’s extra-classy drinking establishment, RumBa. This time it’s not just one champagne sponsor it’s THREE vintage bubblers, Louis Roederer (the makers of Cristal), Krug & the ultimate classic Dom Perignon and as always the super secret champagne room will be open to the public, there will be a bar made of ice, chocolate dipped fruit trees will be provided at midnight, we will be playing a choice selection of vintage 70’s and 80’s atmosfloor and downce music and our bubbly buddy VjeKash will be providing the visual stimulation. Last month’s P(errier)J(ouet) slumber party was as bubbly as it gets and if you’re wondering what it all sounds like our post on that is perfect example.
So the first time I heard “Walking Down The Street (The N Song)” (the song from the video below) was when Mr. Carroll himself dropped it poolside at last year’s WMC. After that, I basically obsessively searched for it for like 6 months and could not find it anywhere, so at some point late last year I gave up/forgot about it all together. Then boom, all of a sudden I noticed a Count & Sinden remix charted on these guys myspace page (which you can listen to on this blog) and was reminded of how psyched I had been when I heard first heard that signature line and couldn’t get it out of my head. A little interweb research later and bang, you’re looking at the official video.
But the story doesn’t end here (and you know that we would never just post a video on Soul Clap without at least a little context for it). More surprising to me than finding the track was who had charted it. J.O.T.S. make and play “electro” music (the international misnomer for hipster’s current dance party music of choice) and Ron Carroll has made his name in the world of soulful Chicago house music. In fact, RC is one of my favorite house vocalists and a solid producer and songwriter to boot. So before this track blows up (which it will, because it’s already been licensed to 3 labels (including international cheesy disco house rulers Hed Kandi and Sinden & The Count played their version on Essential Mix last month) I think it’s important to give all the kids a little history lesson, Soul Clap style.
Ron Carroll – My Prayer (H&F Underground Dub) [Af-Ryth-Mix Sounds 0001 – 1993]
This was the first release on Chicago’s Af-Ryth-Mix Sounds, which was one of many labels M&Ded by 90’s Chicago house stalwart Clubhouse Entertainment. Af-Ryth-Mix only had twelve release and all of them were at least partially produced or remixed by Hula (except ARM-0007) who was also one of the members of The Outhere Brothers of ’90s dance hit “Boom Boom Boom” fame. This particular record happens to be Ron Carroll’s first and with six mixes to choose from it covers a wide range of early ’90s house styles. From the Original Mix’s uplifting Gospel workout, to the NYC vibed King Street Mix (can’t figure out who did this, maybe something to do with the label of the same name), to Ron Trent‘s chopped up Detroit house sounding Hymn Mix and finally to this here dub version. H&F would be none other than Hula & K. Fingers, who along with future grammy winner Maurice Joshua and fellow Outhere Brother Martell formed acid house supergroup Da Posse in the late ’80s. The two also had a grip of house remixes for Jive from ’90-’94 and Fingers aka Craig Simpkins was a member of successful deep house team Blak Beat Niks. I know, I’ve been babbling, and call me a nerd, but all these connections are what make up the roots of the music we hear today.
Ron Carroll – Natural (RC Grooves Big Room Dub) [Music 101 005 – 2002]
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Let’s keep this one simple. This track is a weird stompy, drummy workout that RC produced, but didn’t do the vocals on. It’s def not his most famous work, but we hammered it when it was released and even put it on a mix. Another remix on the record is by the aforementioned Blak Beat Niks, but I don’t like that one as much.
Hardsoul ft. Ron Carroll – Back Together (Classic Main Mix) [Soulfuric 0021 – 2003]
This is one of my absolute favorite house tracks of the early ’00s and Dutch brother team Hardsoul are some of the best producers of this style So emotional, so powerful, so dancefloor. Before the soulful sound starting coming back this year, I would put this track on to pull me out of the dark place that techno can leave me sometimes. If you like this style of “funky” house and you have never heard of Soulfuric, do yourself a favor and go check there depth of dopeness over at Traxsource. Pure class.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we love techno, and lately techno has been loving us right back at our weekly residency at Phoenix Wednesdays. Cnyce’s live mix from the night on podcast Episode 25 should give you an idea of the new territories we’ve been charting over there. This week at Phx Wdnsds is extra special though, because we have a major guest DJ in celebration of the birthday of the night’s top techno dogfather, Senhor Pat Fontes. I’m talking about Adultnapper and if you don’t know about this NYC based, but internationally influential techno producer you can read our interview over at the Midweek Techno Blog, check the live mix below and come witness the insanity on Wednesday.
In other very important warm you up in the wintertime news, we are excited to announce SEVEN (that’s right, count ’em 7) Saturday dates for Dancing On The Charles’ Summer 2008 Lineup. If you’ve never heard about DOTC or somehow don’t remember what happened last summer you can get all the ’08 info here and relive ’07 here. See you on the river/dancefloor.
Adultnapper Live 8/26/08 DOWNLOAD
M.A.W. in Muzik Mag in 1997
Editor’s Note: this is the first post from our intern Chinua. He’s a big fan of French touch, but we’re trying to teach him all about the history of house and techno too. To start him on the right path we gave him an assignment to learn all about M.A.W. and tell you what he learned. So please give a warm Soul Clap blog welcome to our young gun, ChinChin.
In the late eighties, Carl Kenneth Gonzalez and Luis Fernando Vager, better known as Kenny “Dope” and “Little” Louie Vega, but best known as Masters At Work, first met through mutual friend Todd Terry after Vega took interest in GonzalezÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“A Touch of SalsaÃ¢â‚¬Â. The turn of the decade saw the start of a solid repertoire of dance-floor essentials under a number of monikers, starting with their single Ã¢â‚¬Å“Blood VibesÃ¢â‚¬Â. Masters At WorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s influences include latin, jazz, hip-hop, disco, soul, Larry Levan, David Mancuso, Red Alert, Chuck Chillout, Tony Humphries and even The ClashÃ¢â‚¬â€ in essence, the sounds of the eclectic New York City they knew.
Born in Brooklyn in 1970, Dope took to the emerging hip-hop sound, following radio DJs like Marley Marl, Teddy Ted and Awesome Two. As a teen he worked in a record store and DJ-ed on the side. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t long before Dope founded a DJ crew calledÃ¢â‚¬â€ you guessed itÃ¢â‚¬â€ Masters At Work, doing up block-parties left and right. Nor was it long before Gonzalez crossed paths with Todd Terry. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the deal: Terry borrowed the Masters At Work name for releasing tracks (Alright, Alright & Dum Dum Cry), and in exchange Dope got to play with TerryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s production equipment.
Whereas Kenny Dope provided Masters at work with the hip-hop style beats and disco grooves, Louie Vega brought in the latin and soul. Bronx-native Vega was born into a latin music-driven family (his uncle is Hector Lavoe), clearly setting the tone for his music career. VegaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s big sisters exposed the young teenager to clubland, and half a decade later he found himself spinning at the Studio 54, making and breaking latin freestyle records. By this time, Vega and Todd Terry were on vinyl-sharing terms, which explains how Vega hooked up with Dope.
The Cover Girls – Wishing On A Star (Magic Sessions Vocal Dub) [Epic – 1992]
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The Cover Girls, one of the first Latin freestyle acts to make it big on the charts in the early nineties, released their version of the much-covered “Wishing On A Star” in Ã¢â‚¬â„¢92. The single went on to place ninth on the Billboard Top 10, making it kind of a big deal back then. It was around this time that Masters At Work started churning out remixes of pop artists, converting radio music into minimal, dubby, dance floor beats.
Masters At Work – The Ha Dance (Ken/Lou Mixx) [Cutting Records – 1991]
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Cutting Records, which has fallen off in recent years, was once an integral part of the electro (that is, real electro), house and and freestyle scene in the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ80s and early Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ90s. They are responsible for putting out the electro classic, “Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)” by Hashim. Cutting Records also released many of Masters At WorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s early tracks, including their debut single, Blood Vibes, as well as their debut album, titled The Album. The Ha Dance (Ken/Lou Mixx) accompanied their Blood Vibes release, and includes a sample from this classic comedy. Can you find it?
Chris Cuevas – Hip Hop (Masters At Work Dub) [Atlantic – 1991]
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Who the heck is Chris Cuevas? I don’t know either, but the stripped down skippy beats and chopped up piano synths on this track embody the early M.A.W. sound to a t and helped lay the foundation for the whole Strictly Rhythm NYC thing and later the UK garage thing. So listen, understand, download, and play for dancefloor destruction, even today.
We finally did it. Last Thursday for the first time ever we performed a set that wasn’t on 2 decks. It wasn’t even both of us on 4 decks and 2 mixers. It was Elyte & Cnyce performing on 2 mixers, 1 laptop, 1 turntable, 1 tape deck, 1 Korg MS2000 synth and 1 Kozoh Vespa delay box. It included about 50% original material and the other 50% totally mixed and edited wierdness. It happened at Modulations (pics by Dave Day here) and we recorded the whole damn thing (we got video too that we’ll share when it’s edited). Witness the birth of Soul Clap LIVE! right here, right now on Episode 26 of the Adventures of Soul Clap.