“I started to DJ at roughly thirteen or fourteen years old, putting us back to about 1987. After a knee injury in a skateboard accident (I wiped out) in 1987, I found myself sitting at home, bored, and with little interests other than skateboarding and music. With skateboarding out of the picture, I could only gather to mess around with the turntables that sat in the room my brothers and I all shared. I remember thinking that being a DJ was a hobby that wasn’t either illegal, or dangerous, and that it would be fun to DJ my own music as opposed to my brother’s music. I walked down to Gramaphone Records, which was about 10 blocks away, and bought one record. I had no idea what was about to happen.
Needless to say, it became an addiction. At 14 I had the goal of one crate. My brother had already collected ten crates, and I was determined. I found myself at Gramaphone and Wax Trax picking up current day gems with my lunch money. It became one record a day. I am grateful to have Grown up in the Chicago record scene, because it provided a medium to apply my curious mind as a young musician.
Musicianship has always been something I’ve loved, or that is, I’ve been truly in love with instrumentation since the violin at age 7. Instrumentation, in fact, has never left my life. Today, my instrument is the bass guitar, because it is the instrument that I am most skilled at playing.
Although, I studied a total of ten years in college, only three and a half of those years were in music. Just out of high school in 1992, I studied at Columbia College in Chicago with the intention of getting a Bachelors in music, bass guitar studies. I usually don’t consider the year and a half that I studied at Columbia for two main reasons: first, I was just out of high school and, in my opinion, very uneducated about, even, the mere etiquette of college life (at the time Chicago educational facilities had been considered the worst circuit in the United States); and second, looking back I did not believe in Columbia’s teaching philosophies.
I transfered to the City Colleges of Chicago in 1994. It was then that I met two good teachers that taught based on two concepts: First, if you jump in, you’ll probably learn to swim; and second, if you try hard, you’ll probably swim well. Michael Holian, the dean of music at the time, informed me after my first couple of classes that I would be playing contra-bass (Upright Bass) in the college orchestra. Those were my favorite days as a student.
I took a break from all music application from 1997 through 2004. Circa 2004 and 2005, I entered Law School, and as well began to DJ on the turntables that I had never sold (They were then almost 20 years old). As I studied an array of subjects and pursued several degees before my full return to music (this includes a B.A. in International Studies at DePaul University), I found myself one day in 2006, headed to class to get the rest of my M.A. in Writing at DePaul, and yet, unable to get out of my car. I remember reaching for the latch several times, but ultimately deeming that I did not believe in the teaching philosophy of Depaul’s M.A. in Writing program. So, I started the car again, and went home. It was that day that I began to build my studio, Beautiful Granville Studios.”
Deep inside, I know well that I am only at the beginning of my career.”
“Teddy Pendergrass started singing gospel music in Philadelphia churches, becoming an ordained minister at ten years old. While attending public school, he sang in the citywide McIntyre Elementary School Choir and in the All-City Stetson Junior High School Choir. A self-taught drummer, Pendergrass had a teen pop vocal group when he was 15. By his late teens, Pendergrass was a drummer for local vocal group the Cadillacs.
In the late ’60s, the Cadillacs merged with another more established group, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. In 1970, when the Blue Notes broke up, Melvin, now aware of Pendergrass’ vocal prowess, asked him to take the lead singer spot. It’s no secret that Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff wanted Marvin Junior of the Dells for their Philadelphia International Records roster. Since the Dells were signed to Chess, they were unavailable. When the gruff’n’ready vocals of Pendergrass came their way, they eagerly signed the group. Beginning with “I Miss You,” a steady stream of hit singles flowed from the collaboration of Pendergrass and Gamble & Huff: “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” “The Love I Lost,” “Bad Luck,” “Wake Up Everybody” (number one R&B for two weeks in 1976), and two gold albums, To Be True and Wake Up Everybody.
Unfortunately, the more success the group had, the more friction developed between Melvin and Pendergrass. Despite the revised billing of the group, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Theodore Pendergrass, Pendergrass felt that he wasn’t getting enough recognition. Around 1976, Pendergrass left Melvin’s Blue Notes and formed his own Blue Notes, featuring Teddy Pendergrass. Briefly, there was some confusion as to which Blue Notes were which. The resolution came when Pendergrass disbanded his Blue Notes in favor of a solo career and Melvin’s group signed a recording contract with Source Records, distributed through ABC Records, scoring a hit with “I Want to Be Your Lover.”
Pendergrass signed a new contract with Philadelphia International Records in late 1976/early 1977. He burst back on the scene with Teddy Pendergrass, a platinum solo debut that included the top-notch singles “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” “You Can’t Hide from Yourself,” and “The More I Get the More I Want.” Around this time, Pendergrass began to institute his infamous “Ladies Only” concerts. His next three albums went gold or platinum: Life Is a Song Worth Singing (1978), Teddy (1979), and Teddy Live (Coast to Coast). The hit single “Close the Door” was used in the film Soup for One, where Pendergrass had a small role.
The singer received several Grammy nominations during 1977 and 1978, -Billboard’s 1977 Pop Album New Artist Award, an American Music Award for best R&B performer of 1978, and awards from -Ebony magazine and the NAACP. He was also in consideration for the lead in the movie biopic The Otis Redding Story. The ’70s ended, but Pendergrass kept racking up the hits. TP, his fifth solo album, went platinum in the summer of 1980 off the singles “Turn Off the Lights,” “Come Go with Me,” “Shout and Scream,” “It’s You I Love,” and “Can’t We Try.” It’s Time for Love gave Pendergrass another gold album in summer 1981, which included the hit singles “Love TKO” and “I Can’t Live Without Your Love.”
A 1982 car accident left Pendergrass paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair-bound. After almost a year of physical therapy and counseling, Pendergrass returned to the recording scene, signing a contract with Elektra/Asylum in 1983. His ninth solo album and Elektra/Asylum debut, Love Language went gold the spring of 1984. Philadelphia International issued two albums of unreleased tracks, This One’s for You (1982) and Heaven Only Knows (1983). Other albums included Workin’ It Back (1985), Joy (1988, whose title track went to number one R&B for two weeks), and Little More Magic (1993). The latter half of the ’90s found Pendergrass recording for the Surefire/Wind Up label. Truly Blessed, the name of an 1991 Elektra album, is also the title of the autobiography Pendergrass co-authored with Patricia Romanowski. Apart from an appearance at a 2007 ceremony held in his honor, Pendergrass spent his later years away from the spotlight. He had difficulty recovering from colon cancer surgery and passed away on January 13, 2010.”
“The Delfonics were one of the first groups to sing in the sleek, soulful style that became popularized (thanks to producer Thom Bell) as the “Philadelphia sound.” A vocal trio made up of brothers William and Wilbert Hart and high school friend Randy Cain, the Delfonics roots go back to doo wop singing at school dances in the early ’60s. They were well-known in the Philly area for their supple, airtight harmonies talent that brought them to the attention of record producers, eventually landing them a contract with Cameo-Parkway. While their early records brought them little if any notice, it did bring them to the attention of producer/arranger Thom Bell who signed the band to his soon-to-be influential soul label Philly Groove. Right from the start this was a perfect match as the band released the classic “La La Means I Love You” in 1968, a song that began a string of hits lasting into the mid-’70s.
The sound that Bell created for the Delfonics was the antithesis of the soul sound that came from Stax in Memphis and Muscle Shoals in Alabama. He sandpapered away the grit, lightened up on the backbeat, brought in string sections, and created a smooth, airy sound. Critics enamored of the soul singing of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding accused Bell and his groups of creating aural wallpaper, but the reality was that Bell and the Delfonics were setting the stage for a different kind of groove where subtlety and nuance reigned.
The hits slowed for the Delfonics in the mid-’70s, and in 1971 Randy Cain quit the band and was replaced by Major Harris. A few more minor hits followed but Harris left the band for a solo career in 1975, effectively finishing the Delfonics. In the late ’90s, the group played a significant musical role in Quentin Tarantino’s film Jackie Brown. Tarantino, a borderline obsessive fan of ’70s pop culture, used “La La Means I Love You,” and their best single, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” as a way of underscoring the relationship between actors Pam Grier and Robert Forster. In the film, Forster’s character is so struck by the music (and Grier), he goes out and buys the Delfonics Greatest Hits cassette the following day. Something I’d recommend you do too.”
“The primary alias of Nottingham, England native Matt Cutler, Lone debuted in 2007 with a CD-R, Everything Is Changing Colour. A series of 2008 and 2009 releases — Lemurian (Dealmaker), Cluster Dreams (Dealmaker), Ecstasy & Friends (Werk Discs), and Joyreel (Werk Discs) — positioned Cutler’s project as something of a midpoint between admitted inspirations Madlib and Boards of Canada, as the producer combined abstract hip-hop beats with wistful, dreamlike textures and melodies. While some tracks — or sections of some tracks — had dancefloor appeal, Cutler flipped a switch in 2010. The A-sides “Pineapple Crush” (Magic Wire) and “Once in a While” (Werk Discs), along with the full-length Emerald Fantasy Tracks (Magic Wire), retained the evocative feel of his earlier work while incorporating his affinity for early-’90s hardcore, house, and rave. The deeply indebted yet unique sound carried through the six-track Echolocations EP (R&S), then took a bit of a goofball turn on “All Those Weird Things,” both of which were released in 2011. “Crystal Gardens 1991” previewed Galaxy Garden, a 2012 album for R&S. Cutler has produced a handful of singles with Andy Hemsley as Kids in Tracksuits, and has released an album as Kona Triangle.”
“With an eclectic arsenal of samples and an ear for international sounds, Onra (born Arnaud Bernard) is a beatmaker based out of Paris, France. Reminiscent of crate-diggers like Madlib and DJ Shadow, Onra peppers his beats with exotic sounds from Vietnam and India, giving his sound an international flair. The French producer released his debut album, Tribute, in 2006 on Bo Bun Records, then followed up the next year with the critically acclaimed Chinoiseries, which was released on both Favorite Recordings (LP) and Bo Bun (CD). Continuing to stay productive, Onra released 1.0.8 in 2009 on Bo Bun before switching to All City Records in 2010 for the release of Long Distance. In 2011, the beatmaker released Chinoiseries, Vol. 2.”
Delano Smith’s debut LP ‘An Odyssey’ is simply amazing.
“Born in Chicago and raised on Detroit’s West side, Delano Smith represents one of the last of a rare group of Detroit’s first house DJs. Perhaps it was the juvenile absorption of the sights and sounds around him during his first 5 years in the Windy City coupled with his experience during the new DJ craze of his high school years in Detroit that influenced Delano the most or maybe it is simply that enigmatic link between music people in Chicago and Detroit, known to insiders as the I94 Connection. Regardless of the reason for his natural ear for the deep and groovy, Delano can lay claim to a legacy that most Detroit jocks cannot. When performing outside of his native city, Delano’s unique sets highlight the fact that his skills were forged in an era before the rigid lines of house and techno genres appeared.
His attention to programming sets that are kinetic, emotional and educational are met with a delivery of the highest class. Having been one of the original young guns personally mentored by Motown’s 1st DJ, Ken Collier, he displays skills entirely unique to this group. Having cut his teeth in a time when an aspiring DJ had to live off his wits to make the cut, his dynamic skill set has made him the real Detroit head’s secret favorite. Smith’s extended hiatus later in his DJ years was ended spectacularly when the Detroit Beatdown project again highlighted his talent. Teamed with Mike ‘Agent X’ Clark and Norm Talley, the crew began to spread the word of Detroit to fresh audiences, in demand globally and touching down at renowned clubs such as London’s Fabric en route.
On the production front, Delano stands head and shoulders above the rest in crafting alluring, forward thinking and highly danceable grooves. His productions on Third Ear, Sushitech and Still Music have taken up crate spaces with jocks looking to add the perfect blend of soul and energy to their sets. With his own imprint Mixmode debuting in 2003, it continues to release selectively soulful dance floor gems. Both behind the decks and in the studio, Delano’s genre boundary defying vision of working a floor is a direct link to the beginnings of the DJ in Detroit, maintaining his integrity today, his hunger shows little sign of abating.”
“A Greek band of the late ’60s and early ’70s, Aphrodite’s Child scored only one European hit, “Rain and Tears.” Though it was a big one, the group became little more than a trivia answer after keyboardist Vangelis Papathanassiou dropped his surname and hit number one with the theme to Chariots of Fire in 1981. Aphrodite’s Child also included drummer Lucas Sideras and vocalist Demis Roussos, who enjoyed some solo success himself as a pop vocalist. The band formed in Greece in the mid-’60s, and the title track from the second album was a hit throughout Europe. The 1971 album 666 was generally agreed to be the best, but it proved to be the last, though the single “Break” was also a hit in Europe.”
“Whether making music between all the zeros and ones, circuitry and cards, with analogue gear or digital possibilities becomes a valuable art or just a service, is defined through distinctive character. Peter Kremeier alias Losoul is a member of a unique guild of producers that always has been blessed with its very own sound signature. In the course of his musical socialisation, Losoul came across a kaleidoscope of different styles: Techno- and House blueprints, Funk and Soul of the seventies, prehistorical Hip Hop and of course a bit of Jazz for the mind. At first, he appeared under the guise Don Disco that he used in the early and blessed nineties as a part of the Superbleep-DJ-Team while exploring the tension between emotive sounds and automatic rhythms over and above at their club night at the – nomen est omen - Basement and other places in the Frankfurt-area back when things were fresh as morning dew. This suited him as well as his later nom de la guerre Losoul. Established as a trademark for his port of registry Playhouse - Frankfurt’s then youthful, now legendary label for electronic music with class. Fuelled with his unparalleled ability to abstract the basics of dance music, tracks out of his forge blaze as typical Losoul grooves. Already one of his first and most famous pieces “Open Door” impressively exercises his practice of marathon jams that never go stale. But Losoul can also adjust to different techniques. For instance, when he respelled the words electronic pop music by means of a new alphabet in conjunction with the singer Malte, delivered his multi-layered as well as fascinating albums: “Belong” and “Getting Even”. Ever since and in the meantime, he played live (with or without Malte), carried his record bag through the clubs of this world (always on the knife’s edge between Techno and House or places like Panorama Bar and Robert-Johnson) and created remixes for the likes of Freaks, Blaze, Khan, Alter Ego, Jay Haze, International Pony, Lawrence or Ark and on labels as renowned as Classic, Kalk Pets, Moon Harbour, Circus Company, Logistic and Telegraph. And most of all, the producer Losoul consistently pushes these majestically and stoical marching 12-inches as well as delicate album cuts which smuggle themselves equally into one’s musical memory.”
“Stacy Lattisaw (born November 25, 1966) is an AmericanR&B, dance, and gospel singer. Since the 1990s, she has exclusively sung gospel music, as a callback to her Christian roots.
When she was a teenager in the early 1980s, Lattisaw had a string of Top 40 R&B hits, with several songs — “Let Me Be Your Angel,” “Jump to the Beat”, “Love on a Two-Way Street” and “Miracles” — crossing over to the pop mainstream. Lattisawrecorded her first album for Cotillion Records at the age of 12 in 1979, under the direction of record producerVan McCoy. However it was not until she affiliated with Narada Michael Walden, a former drummer with the Mahavishnu Orchestra who was just beginning a career as a producer, that she became a star. Under Walden’s direction, she had five hit albums between 1981 and 1986. She also opened for the JacksonsTriumph Tour in 1981. From Lattisaw’s 1982 album “Sneakin’ Out”, Mariah Carey used a sample of the song “Attack Of The Name Game” (R&B #14) for her 1999 track “Heartbreaker”.
Lattisaw continued recording into the late 1980s, signing to Motown in 1986. She scored her only #1 R&B hit with frequent duet partner Johnny Gill entitled “Where Do We Go from Here” in 1989. While the success was great, she grew increasingly disenchanted with the record industry. By the early 1990s, she decided to retire from the music industry and concentrate on raising her family. In addition, her official website states that she is now working on a gospel CD. In 2010, Lattisaw’s music career was chronicled on the TV One (US TV network) docu-series “Unsung (TV series)”, in which she also appeared.”
“Ken Laszlo (born as Gianni Laszlo Coraini, 1954) is an Italo Disco singer who became famous in the 1980s.
Ken was interested in music at a young age and his career began in 1980 when he played and sang in discos and clubs. His first hit in Europe was the single Hey Hey Guy in 1984. His songs Tonight and Don’t Cry are also well known.
Many of Ken’s songs appear under his own name and many others, under pseudonyms such as Ric Fellini, DJ NRG, Ricky Maltese.”