The After Dark Mixtape

August 20, 2017

 

I originally intended to drop this one in the run up to the Wax Poetics After Dark party at Le Pigalle in Paris, but, sometimes shit happens and sometimes flower pots fall on laptops and mixtapes get lost.

In my opinion it’s never too late for good music to circulate though, so, am excited to now present to you the After Dark mixtape : a taster of what you can expect to boogie to at a Wax Poetics party.

Enjoy!

Artwork by Leon Nockolds

Tracklist:

Blue Magic “See Through”

Andre Forget Me Not “After Midnight (B-Side Version)”

Brass Construction “Physical Attraction”

Lillo Thomas “Sexy Girl”

Stetsasonic “Speaking Of A Girl Named Suzy”

Bobby Nunn “She’s Just A Groupie”

Jimmy Spicer “The Bubble Bunch”

Busta Rhymes “Do the Bus a Bus”

Ultramagnetic MC’s “Give The Drummer Some”

Del The Funky Homosapien “Dr. Bombay”

George Clinton “Do Fries Go With That Shake”

Mecca and the Soul Brother Mixtape

August 14, 2017

 

I remember falling in love so hard when I bought Mecca and the Soul Brother (shout out Rockaboom in Leicester, U.K.!) back when I was a teenager just like it was yesterday. Pete Rock’s production in tandem with CL Smooth’s rap style was perfection: the drums, the rolling rhyme flows, those sublime teasing interludes…  Everything sounded so rich and smooth and cool, and every song on the album is stellar.

Following their 1991 EP All Souled OutMecca and the Soul Brother was released June 9th, 1992. Featuring classic singles “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” “Straighten It Out,” and “Lots of Lovin,” the album is considered by many to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic LP, the homie Chris Read has whipped up yet another fine mixtape for Wax Poetics x WhoSampled featuring album tracks, alternative versions, remixes, and original sample material from the likes of the Ohio Players, 9th Creation, James Brown, and more…

Enjoy!

Artwork : Leon Nockolds

Track list:

1. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Straighten It Out’ (Remix Instrumental)
2. Chris Read – Theme #3 (Scratchapella)
3. Sister Nancy – ‘Bam Bam’ (sampled in ‘The Basement’)
4. Pete Rock & CL Smooth feat Heavy D, Deda, Grap Luva and Rob-O – ‘The Basement’
5. Ohio Players – ‘What’s Going On’ (sampled in ‘Lots of Lovin’)
6. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Lots of Lovin’
7. Les McCann – ‘North Carolina’ [Loop] (sampled in ‘Lots of Lovin’)
8. Dave Wintour & Pat Whitmore – ‘Where Do I Go?’ (sampled in ‘Can’t Front on Me’)
9. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Can’t Front On Me’
10. Biz Markie – ‘Just A Friend’ [Extract] (sampled in Can’t Front On Me’)
11. Mountain – ‘Long Red’ [Loop] (sampled in ‘Return of the Mecca’)
12. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Return of the Mecca’
13. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Ghettos of the Mind’
14. The Coasters – ‘Down Home Girl’ (sampled in ‘Skinz’)
15. Pete Rock & CL Smooth feat Grand Puba – ‘Skinz’
16. 9th Creation – ‘Bubble Gum’ (sampled in ‘Soul Brother #1)
17. The J.B’s – ‘The Grunt’ [Loop] (sampled in ‘Soul Brother #1)
18. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Soul Brother #1
19. James Brown – ‘Funky President’ (sampled in ‘Anger in the Nation’)
20. Sly & The Family Stone – ‘Sing A Simple Song’ [Loop] (sampled in ‘Anger in the Nation’)
21. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Anger in the Nation’
22. O’Donel Levy – ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ (Sampled in ‘Mecca & The Soul Brother’)
23. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Mecca & The Soul Brother’
24. Heavy D & The Boyz – ‘Gyrlz, They Love Me’ [Extract] (Sampled in ‘Mecca & The Soul Brother’)
25. Mountain – ‘Long Red’ [Loop] (Sampled in ‘Mecca & The Soul Brother (Wig Out Mix)’)
26. ESG – ‘UFO’ [Loop] (Sampled in ‘Mecca & The Soul Brother (Wig Out Mix)’)
27. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Mecca & The Soul Brother (Wig Out Mix)
28. James Brown – ‘Blues & Pants’ [Loop] (sampled in ‘If It Ain’t Rough, It Ain’t Right’)
29. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘If It Ain’t Rough It Ain’t Right’
30. Stetsasonic – ‘Go Stetsa I’ [Loop] (sampled in If It Ain’t Rough, It Ain’t Right’)
31. Freddie McCoy – ‘Gimmie Some’ (sampled in ‘For Pete’s Sake’)
32. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘For Pete’s Sake’
33. Biz Markie – ‘The Do Do’ [Extract] (sampled in ‘For Pete’s Sake’)
34. EPMD – ‘It’s My Thing’ [Extract] (sampled in ‘For Pete’s Sake’)
35. Ernie Hines – ‘Our Generation’ (sampled in ‘Straighten It Out’)
36. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Straighten It Out’
37. Lou Donaldson – ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ [Loop] (sampled in ‘On and On’)
38. Jimmy Mc Griff – ‘The Bird’ (sampled in ‘On and On’)
39. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘On and On’
40. Brand Nubian – ‘Step to the Rear’ [Extract] (sampled in ‘On and On’)
41. Eddy Senay – ‘Cameo’ (sampled in ‘Act Like You Know’)
42. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Act Like You Know’
43. Tom Scott and The California Dreamers – ‘Today’ (sampled in ‘T.R.O.Y’)
44. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘T.R.O.Y’
45. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘T.R.O.Y (Remix Instrumental)’
46. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘T.R.O.Y (The Vibes Mix)’
47. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘It’s Like That’
48. Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth – ‘Strictly for the Ladies’ [Extract] (sampled in ‘It’s Like That’)
49. Georgie Fame – ‘Music Talk’ [Loop] (sampled in ‘Wig Out’)
50. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘Wig Out’
51. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘The Creator’ [Loop] (sampled in ‘Wig Out’)
52.Eddie Bo – ‘From This Day On’ (Sampled in ‘The Creator’)
53. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘The Creator’
54. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘The Creator (Slide to the Side Mix)‘
55. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – ‘The Creator (Surfboard Mix)’

Record Rundown with Nanna.B

August 11, 2017

20642029_1537864729570097_2015939992_o

 

I first met Nanna.B at the old Delicious Vinyl shop on Sunset Boulevard back in 2013, chatting boys and L.A. with our other homegirl Denisse (a.k.a. Girl Is Tough). Now years later, and after many West Coast parties, late night tarot sessions, and deep conversations, I am proud to count Nanna as one of my closest female friends.

With the release of her recent EP Golden, Nanna’s star is certainly on the ascent, and deservedly so. I asked her to pull 10 records that have been influential to her as an artist for Wax Poetics. Peep the feature below, originally posted on the Wax Po site here.

*

DCF-NannaB-Golden_Image1

We love Nanna.B : the striking Scandi babe who pens such beautiful yet relatable songs, and has been steadily collaborating with some of L.A.s finest musicians right now. Over a fresh beat from the likes of Mndsgn or Anderson Paak, her honeyed voice effortlessly links up spiritual concepts with modern day afflictions.

On last year’s self-produced “Where Is the $$$?” for instance, quips about the pressure to build a substantial pension and the refrain “God send me a dollar sign” root the song’s wider theme of karmic principles, intention and result, into modern society and everyday existence. And of the Anderson Paak-produced track “Golden,” featuring Odd Future’s Hodgy, Nanna describes it as “a reminder to all the women out there, including myself, to protect their power, their womb, their gold. You’re divine, be aware who you share your energy and body with but also allow yourself to open up when you do meet that king that sees you. Navigating that is the main theme of this song. There’s layers to this song really, but let’s just say that this guy I recently rejected hit me back with a “you must think the pussy is golden or something” text, so as of now this song is for him.”

 

Nanna.B’s ability as a songwriter to touch on lofty ideas while maintaining a sense of humour, honesty, and humility in her expression is itself golden, with the power to stir up untapped wisdom within her listeners. I feel like if I had daughter one day I might leave a Nanna.B record outside her bedroom door.

Hailing from Aarhus in Denmark, Nanna grew up surrounded by her craft. Attending a school that specialised in music, with an emphasis on West African music, samba, and funk, she began to sing and play both keys and percussion at the tender age of 6. She started creating her own music too at an early age, “writing little songs when I was around 7 about ducks and shit.” But her songwriting “for real” began when she was 16: “I would get melody ideas and then find the chords on the Rhodes for it. [That’s] still one of my processes.”

Nanna is now based in L.A., after first visiting and connecting with like-minded artists back in 2013. “The only person I knew out here was Teebs who I had met in Copenhagen on tour. I had contacted Shafiq Husayn and he invited me to the studio and later into his band [Dove Society.] That’s pretty much how I met everyone.” Finding appreciation for her work and her musical tribe as it were on the West Coast, she adds: “the family here is still growing.”

Last month saw the release of her EP Golden – an ode to the changing shades and seasons of love. She explains: “It’s inspired by different relationships but could pretty much describe one from the meeting and establishment of common grounds on “Golden” to the all-consuming passion on “Apocalyptic Love,” the ‘now I need my space and I got shit to do’ vibes on “Steady Line,” to the call for universal love energy on “Antidote.””

We asked Nanna to select 10 records that have played a role in her journal thus far to find out more about her musical inspirations and influences …

*

D’Angelo  

Brown Sugar 

(EMI) 1995

I first heard this album on a school bus when I was maybe 12 and I instantly fell in love. I had never heard anyone that sounded like that and D’s voice just mesmerized me. His smooth silky voice over those grooves, the way he arranges and stacks his harmonies, the space he allows in between his crooning, all of those things inspire me to this day. Throughout high school I was pretty depressed and I used to wake up to Voodoo and fall asleep to Bjork’s Vespertine as my medicine.

 

Prince  

Love Symbol

(Paisley Park/Warner Bros.) 1992

I grew up listening to a lot of Prince. It’s hard for me to pick one album, but this was on repeat through some very defining years and some of my favorites of his are on there, like “The Morning Papers.” He touches so many genres on here and his melodies and lyrics are always inspiring, and him and New Power Generation just sounds amazing.

 

Joni Mitchell

Hejira

(Asylum) 1976

I was late on Joni, but when I finally got on it, it was like opening a door into a strangely familiar world. To me Joni is the personification of free flow and when I listen to it I feel like she’s leading me down paths of imagination with her stories. It’s always a very visual experience for me. Hejira speaks to my restless nature and my search and growth as a woman and artist, and is my favorite of hers. Her lyrical universe, her chords, those blue notes she hits and her ways of using her voice are a constant inspiration to me as a artist and a human being. Joni makes me more brave.

 

Lauryn Hill

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

(Ruffhouse/Columbia) 1998

Growing up in Denmark I couldn’t really reflect myself in the female artists that were being exposed to me through the mainstream media like Britney Spears and the Spice Girls, it was fun but I wasn’t feeling it. So when I found Lauryn, and also Erykah and India and Bjork, I found the role models I was in need of, and they became my therapists, my healers. The vulnerability and strength and honesty they shared through their artistry inspired me and really gave me a home when I was in that awkward space in life where you go from being a girl to a woman and you got all these emotions you don’t know what the fuck to do with. This album in particular showed me how powerful being a woman is.

 

Donny Hathaway   

Live

(Atlantic) 1972

I remember hearing this in a car after gospel rehearsals and it gave me chills, still does to this day. I had to go get it and was completely absorbed in it for days, just glued to my speakers. The way the band grooves, the way he sings live, oh my god! It’s just so brilliant and it touches me deeply every time I listen. Gives me a warm sensation of love and hope and his version of “Jealous Guy” is one of the best things that happened in the history of mankind. He’s always amazing but I don’t feel him with the same intensity and presence on his studio recordings.

 

Stevie Wonder 

Fulfillingness’ First Finale

(Tamla) 1974

This was the first Stevie Winder album I ever owned and my piano teacher Maria got it for me. She would teach me a lot of Stevie songs and generally at my school he was the most loved and played. I think “Please Don’t Go” was one of the first tunes I could play. From the first to the last song, this album is just so good, and “Creepin’” and “Bird Of Beauty” are some of my favourite songs. His musicality and genius continuously inspires me. He’s in my DNA. Doesn’t hurt that the Jackson 5, Deniece Williams and Minnie Riperton are on backing vocals here.

 

Bjork 

Vespertine

(One Little Indian) 2001

This sonic landscape is so intimate, raw and hauntingly beautiful that it still brings me to tears. One of my best friends introduced me to this album when it came out and it’s been with me ever since. It feels like a brush of a feather, a mother’s lullaby, an iced lake about to crack and that prickling sensation in your every cell when you’re in love. It sounds ancient and comforting to me and I think that’s why I used to listen to it as I would fall asleep, as it brought me peace and release. The use of field recordings, the celestial strings and harps and the vocal layerings are so divine.

 

Andre 3000  

The Love Below 

(LaFace/Arista) 2003

To me this is one of the best albums of all times! It just feels so free and playful and honest, like a necessary explosion of creativity. It inspires me to let go when I hear an artist really digging deep and letting it all out without limitations. Heart expression without fear. Listening to it feels like entering his world and vision and it’s a strange and beautiful and colorful trip through all his different styles and experiments. Timeless really.

 

Snoop Doggy Dogg  

Doggystyle 

(Death Row/Interscope) 1993

My first hip-hop love was this album and Snoop. I was super young so my English was still very new and understanding the codes of LBC slang was a challenge, but didn’t stop me from rapping along in my broken language. “Gz & Hustlas” was the hardest thing I had ever heard and I remember we used to jam it on the piano in between classes, that bass line! Wasn’t ’til years later that I heard “Haboglabotribin’” and made that connection, but I grew up with funk so G-funk naturally just felt good, Bernie Worrell’s synth lines making it feel like home, and the combination of Dre’s beats and Snoop’s flow (and voice) and Ricky Harris’ hilarious interludes had me hooked. This album allowed for me to connect with my more savage side and it gave me a sense of confidence that I hadn’t felt before. My parents weren’t particularly crazy about me walking around saying fuck and bitch and me putting Snoop’s face on the outside of my door, but they let me do my thing. “Ain’t No Fun” is one the most misogynist songs in the world, but it’s so hard to not sing along to that shit.

 

Sly and the Family Stone  

There’s a Riot Goin’ On

(Epic) 1971

This is another one of those albums where I feel like you get to step into the world of the artist, an uncompromisable one, and it’s painful, it’s beautiful, it’s haunting, and it’s honest and raw. This is just one of the best sounding records ever made, I mean just listen to “Family Affair”! The way Sly layered everything and mixed it just sends me into a psychedelic underwater space every time I listen. I feel it’s a deeply personal and political album, and I vibe with the more introvert sound he’s exploring on this project.

 

Nanna’s next EP LAPIS will be dropping later this month, and in the meantime you can listen to Golden here and buy it here.

How To Make Him Fall In Love On A First Date

July 21, 2017

image2

*

Last month me and my good friend/creative partner Melissa made a short film titled How To Make Him Fall In Love On A First Date for the Girl Gaze x New View film contest. In the film we poke fun at the dating advice for women found online, and hope to portray how easy it is to internalise the messages and cliches we absorb from the media, despite on some level ‘knowing’ better as smart modern women …

*

Check it out below!

*

Wax Poetics After Dark

June 26, 2017

Party Poster

 

Super psyched to announce the first Wax Poetics After Dark in Paris this Friday!

We’ve teamed up with Le Pigalle and have the homies Chris Read and Leroy Nockolds coming over from London to spin only the finest of records with yours truly. On the night we will be celebrating the artists that grace the pages of the magazine, so you can expect plenty of quality hip-hop, funk, soul, boogie, disco, and more…

Come party!

Facebook Event

Vintage Shopping in Paris

March 13, 2017

I recently put together a list of my favourite vintage shops in Paris for a friend, and figured it could make a useful blog post for anyone else looking to find some sweet second hand threads in gay Paree. Being on the border of Montmartre and Pigalle means I am spoilt for choice when it comes to cool and quality options.

There’s something so much more romantic and inspiring about vintage finds, whether clothing or interiors or records. Evoking another time or place. Another version of you. Perhaps a past or parallel life.

Here are my 5 favourite neighbourhood spots:

*

Chine Machine

100 Rue des Martyrs, 75018

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Troc en Stock

6 Rue Clauzel, 75009

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Mamie Blue

69 Rue de Rochechouart, 75009

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Chezel

59 Rue Condorcet, 75009

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Celia Darling

5 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

San Francisco July 2016

March 6, 2017

I tend to always bookend any trips to California with quality time in San Francisco, and the last time I visited the States was no exception. Back in July I was lucky enough to enjoy just over a week in the Bay before flying home to London, getting to see my family and friends and explore the city, as well as hustle a little…

I’ve written before about my love of Amtrak; the beatnik side of me just adores the opportunity for reflection and observation. There’s something remarkably soothing about the trip up to SF from LA, full of epic views and curious characters.

*Roadside Views*

IMG_7498

IMG_7499

*Champagne on the Train. Amtrak in style*

amtrak

One of the biggest highlights of my last days in SF was getting to meet local legend Dan the Automator and interview him for Wax Poetics at the top of Dolores Park. It was my first time meeting Dan, and such an honour. My buddy Z came through with some very impressive recording equipment, and shooting by the Park’s ‘Gay Beach’ corner allowed an epic panorama of San Francisco as our backdrop. The wind was definitely working against us, which with my mane was a challenge for sure! But, it was so cool to hear Dan’s stories and insights, and I’m super happy with how the final video came out – shout out to the homie DJ Matman for the dope edit! After the shoot we got pizza and drinks at local favourite Pizzeria Delfina – so delicious and definitely worth a visit.

*Behind the scenes*

sf161

DanGrainy2Dan Grainy

Watch the interview below!

*Me and Dan*

dan

*The iconic and inspiring Women’s Building in the Mission*

sf

*My cousin’s very cute birthday cake*

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

*Prince Paul spinning 45s at The Uptown in Oakland*

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Another highlight of my final sojourn in SF was catching Hieroglyphics play Stern Grove. Dan the Automator was DJing before, and managed to sneak me backstage so that I was able to hang with him and Hiero there. I enjoyed drinking copious amounts of high-grade sake, riding around on milk-float-esque carts, and meeting Del the Funkee Homosapien and Davey D for the first time.  Afterwards we got ice-cream and hit a dive bar for a pool tournament in the Sunset District. Very cool memories.

*Beautiful NorCal trees at Stern Grove. Such a cool hidden spot I had never been to before.*

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

I couldn’t wait to hit up the newly reopened SFMoMA, I always love to spend a few hours there when in town. Such a treat. The Miranda July & Harrell Fletcher Learning to Love You More room was my favourite part this time.

*Reflections at the MoMA*

moma

*Embarcadero at night on 4th July*

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

*Leaving Cali Bluez. Nothing quite like rounding off a long trip by gazing out at the runway, sipping on a glass of wine and reflecting on the time gone by.*

bye

*Living life in the window seat. Always.*

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

February in Paris

February 28, 2017

My round up of sights and sounds from the past month in Paris.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

*^A pretty private street I found tucked away behind the Eiffel Tower^*

Music

Everything I’ve heard from the 79.5 so far has been perfection, so I’m very much looking forward to their full album Predictions due out later this year on Big Crown Records. “Boy Don’t Be Afraid” dropped around Valentines and is a delightfully sweet Springtime love song. Reminds me a little of Luscious Jackson, and as a former flute-player I dig the flute riffs.

79.5 – “Boy Don’t Be Afraid”

 

I re-discovered Aussie band Pond earlier this month after sitting next to them at one of my favourite local spots Les Ptits Gros. They also have their album The Weather coming out later this year in May on Marathon Artists, which I look forward to hearing too!

Pond – “Sweep Me Off My Feet”

I’ve been listening to My Bloody Valentine’s 2013 album MBV a lot recently, suits my hazy incense-burning morning vibes perfectly:

Also revisiting Sonic Youth’s classic Daydream Nation:

I caught two great live shows this month – the first being Fantastic Negrito (hot off the heels of winning a grammy) playing at La Maroquinerie, and then seeing the man Alex Cameron (such a dude!) play at Point Éphémère on the canal.

Eating & Drinking

Living right by ‘SoPi’ (South Pigalle) I really am spoilt for nice places to eat and drink. At a friend’s recommendation I recently sampled Terre et Sel on the Rue Condorcet – such delicious wine and food! I cannot now recommend it myself enough. Yummy red wine and burrata below:

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

As mentioned above, one of my very favourite local spots Les Ptits Gros is a true gem – the food is great and the happy hour is splendid. Here is me and my homie Mekael (a dope photographer who visited this month from Los Angeles) enjoying the €5 champagne:

IMG_8780

IMG_8784

Another delicious place to eat outside of Pigalle is Nanashi – Parisian Bento – I’ve visited and rate both the restaurants in the 3rd and 10th arrondissements. And for cafe vibes there is the delightful cafe/flower shop Peonies in the 10th arrondissement. My buddies after lots of caffeine and chat outside Peonies:

IMG_8688

For partying I’ve had some fun nights out at Le Fou on Rue du Sentier (a very good Old Fashioned), and Le Pigalle Country Club, in (you guessed it!) Pigalle! Getting ready action shot:

IMG_8533

*Birthday babe Jennette in Le Sans Souci*

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

*View at dusk from the Sacre Coeur*

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Los Angeles June 2016

February 26, 2017

After visiting NYC in June last year, I bopped back to the West Coast and enjoyed a couple of weeks hustling and catching up with friends in LA. Here are some photos from that time .. Enjoy!

*After staying at Shutters on the Beach back in 2014, having lunch with Michael Sheehy there has become somewhat of a tradition.*

shutters

*I just love it out by Santa Monica and Venice. Whenever the skies are grey I think of Neil Young’s classic On The Beach.*

*I stayed for a week up in the Hollywood Hills and got to enjoy this glorious view each morning*

IMG_7612

*Breakfast on the deck*

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

*Hanging out at Christian Audigier’s dreamy ranch in Topanga*

IMG_7703

IMG_7704

IMG_7653

IMG_7663

IMG_7636

IMG_7633 (1)

*Delicious Vinyl HQ on Sunset Boulevard*

IMG_7765

*Me & J-Lockett*

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

*Me & Fat-Leezy*

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Soul Clap in Paris

February 18, 2017

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Back in October I had the pleasure of kicking it with the Soul Clap guys, Eli and Charles, in Paris on the day of the release of their self-titled album Soul Clap. We chopped it up about the album’s recording sessions down at George Clinton’s studio in Florida, favourite French records and artists like Daft Punk and Air, and personal music memories that influenced their creative direction. The interview was conducted at the Hotel Amour in Pigalle (one of my favourite local spots), in the comfort of the most pimped out hotel room I’ve ever set foot in – the entire ceiling was covered in motorised disco balls (see the picture above)!

Check out the full Wax Poetics feature with the video for their single “Synthesiser Girlfriend” here.

I had a great time chatting to Eli and Charles, such nice dudes. Afterwards we rolled to their show at Nuit Fauves, a neat club on the River Seine, and my buddy DJ/producer Jamurai from London happened to be in Paris and came through. All round good vibes and memories!

Peep the interview below…

*

 

Tell me about the recording sessions for Soul Clap. What was the atmosphere like?

Eli (a.k.a. Elyte): The original recording session was down there [at George Clinton’s studio] in Tallahassee, Florida.  We went down there not expecting anything, at the very least we would get to see the vaults of all the tapes of a lot of the P-Funk stuff, and just maybe we could meet George Clinton. So we just went in there and got loose and started jamming the two of us, and getting to know the musicians down there. Then all of a sudden George showed up and said “bust the studio,” and we just carried on working on music. We got the hang out with him there and played him a bunch of stuff.

Charles: Obviously leading up to that P-Funk had been a big influence for us. We played him a piece of music we had already worked on using Ableton that was little samples of Funkadelic songs, lots and lots of samples. His ears really perked up then because he could hear the original ideas re-contextualised. I think that showed him that we weren’t just a couple of chumps [both laugh]; that we knew the music.

 

Do you feel like you learned a lot working with him? If so was there anything in particular? 

C: We learned a tremendous amount working with George Clinton. Just the inspiration and confidence of having a titan like him say “hey, that’s cool what you guys are doing.” And I noticed being around him that he really responds well to people who are confident in themselves and have their own thing going on. I think that’s a beautiful thing to put forward.

E: Also the way he works in the studio was almost like how a producer works on a computer. You see how the recording process used to be, having to pull all these musicians together to play the parts that were in his head and guiding it to become a piece of music. It’s much easier now where you can do all those parts separately, but that’s still how he thinks. He teaches each person what he’s hearing and then records, so that was really a learning process seeing how he works.

 

I interviewed Shock G 3 years ago, and he described it like there was before working with George, and after working with George, that his life was better after. I’m just curious if that’s a common experience? [All laugh]

C: I think Shock G said it right. I can totally understand that. It’s like there was an unknown, but now there’s an experience and a known, and we’re carrying it forward. So that’s a beautiful thing, and why the album is so magical. You get a sense that we’ve accomplished what we set out to try to create musically. That’s why this is a self-titled album. In many ways a new beginning I think.

E: All those years finally paid off.

 

Do you find you go through phases where you get a little obsessed with certain types of music or certain artists?

E: Definitely. I would say right now, hip-hop is finally exciting again. It’s been super exciting for me, starting with Kendrick’s album [To Pimp A Butterfly]. Plus that whole explosion of exciting jazz and funk coming from L.A.. Kaytranada, he’s working with this guy Mick Jenkins, then Chance the Rapper is doing all this exciting stuff too. It feels like hip-hop is in an exciting musical place again. The first time since I was a kid, which is so cool.

C: I’ve been listening to a wide variety of things, but I guess artists that jump out are Little Dragon, Death Grips, and we saw Herbie Hancock in concert a few weeks ago.

E: We’ve been listening to all the Herbie Hancock we can.

 

Do you ever notice a difference in the different cities you play, in that the crowd has a different feel? Or does it tend to be a similar vibe at most of your parties? 

E: I think our parties bring an eclectic crowd to them because we play a range of music, but we’re based in dance music and house music. There’s a big difference from the U.S. to Europe, and the the U.K. to Europe is another thing. We’ve been touring for 6 or 7 years, so you really get to know a country. We always try to bring a general funkiness to the equation, which I don’t think necessarily always happens at a lot of these dance clubs. So that brings us a universal family of freaks.

C: I like that [both laugh].

 

Being that we’re here in Paris, do you have any favourite French records, producers, or artists?

C: We’re Serge Gainsbourg fans.

E: Daft Punk, obviously. Homework is one of the best albums ever. Charlotte Gainsbourg too had some really awesome stuff. I recently found out Tony Allen played on a couple of her albums, which is amazing. I think he lives here now, so he’s done a lot of work with French musicians including Charlotte Gainsbourg. Also gotta shout out Air, so good, and I.Q., one of our favourite house producers.

C: Breakbot too.

E: Phil Weeks. Another great house producer from here.

C: Just going back to Daft Punk, all the amazing French stuff, that really left an impact on us as disco house ravers in the nineties.

 

Did you ever listen to an African disco guy from the seventies called Jo Bisso? He did a lot of stuff here in Paris. The record label was Disques Espérance. A friend gave me a record of his and I’m trying to find out more about him. It’s very cool, definitely worth checking out. 

C: Sounds really familiar.

E: You know what deserves a shout out is this compilation series called Source Lab, which was actually one of the first house CDs I ever bought. I had been into acid jazz and kind of stumbled upon it, and it was just really dope french house, trip-hop, and acid jazz. The house music jumped out at me.

C: How did we forget? Dimitri from Paris!

E: Oh the best!

C: Duh.

E: Definitely the king of the edits.

 

Do you remember what the first records that you bought were?

E: My dad’s really into jazz so I started going with him to a place called Stereo Jack’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I’m from. I started buying stuff that I was into, that was when I got really into John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders. But soon after that I found hip-hop and started buying hip-hop records, then house and jungle.

C: First record that I owned? Jeez that’s a tough question. It was probably digging in a used record shop, but I can’t really remember. I do remember it was drum & bass and jungle that pulled me in the electronic direction. I was listening to LTJ Bukem and Goldie in my headphones in high school and going to the record store. A guy named Francis Englehardt, who many people probably know from Dope Jams in New York, I remember he gave me a bunch of Ganga Kru records, so like DJ Hype and DJ Zinc. Those were some of the first records I clearly remember. Plus walking into Satellite Records. That’s sort of before I even realised I was into house music.

E: I actually really clearly remember going to a record fair, when I realised I wanted to buy records, and bought a record by a group called Krush – I thought it was DJ Krush – but it was actually some electro stuff…

C: Was it breakdance music?

E: Yeah [grinning]. And I didn’t really get it at the time, but I still have the record. I will always keep that one. [laughs]

 

It’s funny when you talk about DJ Hype and all the drum & bass – it takes me back – you know how when you are a teenager and music just makes you feel really cool? I went through a break-beat / drum & bass phase. [all laugh]

C: Yes! Still does today. There were a couple of kids in high-school that were older than me that were definitely junglists, I just remember them outside smoking cigarettes with big caffeine pants on. I was like “what’s going on? These guys are cool as hell!”

 

That inspired you?

C: Yeah. In America we had jungle sky, liquid sky, and DJ Soul Slinger. That was really cool music, to this day still, This Is Jungle Sky, Volume 2.

 

That’s cool. I find it can be hit and miss when you go back and return to music, sometimes it really was as good as you thought it was, and sometimes it’s not. So it’s nice when you can say: “this really was quality.”

C: Yeah. That stuff was the most futuristic, forward-thinking music.

 

Anything else you want to say about your new record?

C: Should probably mention crewlove.us – our collaborative crew website. We have a subscription based service where people can go and get all of the music, there are lots of perks there for members.

E: Crew love is true love.

All rights reserved © Alice Price-Styles · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie