PLACE : Anywhere, be it a festival or a basement club.
TIME : Anytime, be it sunset or maybe the middle of the night.
As a disc jockey, I like to enjoy music together with the audience. And as a resident of Salon Des Amateurs within Düsseldorf, I always try to play music that will sits between liberation and training. I want to provide a chance for you to find out unique music without forgetting the objective of the gathering: to find relief within dance and to celebrate the wonder associated with music.
one Mandingo, “ Mandingo” (Columbia 1973)
This track by the pseudo-exotic jazz-funk group Mandingo (which was actually a project by easy-listening conductor Geoff Love) works excellent as an intro. It might be too epic and pathetic for some events, but in the right moment it conveys an ideal vibe with its tease, thrill plus release. I come from a jazz-funk background, and the first records I purchased were jazz and funk LPs and soundtracks, so this track describes my musical background.
I like to play an intro track whenever I start a fixed, either to open a dance flooring up or after someone else provides played. I do this no matter whether I’ m playing warmup, peak time or 10 AM at a never-ending Berlin party. This draws attention from the audience, and in the best situation, you can directly connect with them. Later on, I can start to play music in my personal tempo and direction, no matter what music was played before.
2 . Eddie Harris, “ It’ s War” (Atlantic 1974)
This monitor by jazz-funk legend Eddie Harris combines a lot of my favorite things in music. It starts off with a hard-to-identify vintage rhythm machine accompanied by free additional percussion. Although the rhythm device follows a straight pattern, the whole feeling at the beginning is totally free. It reminds me of Sun Ra sessions from the late ’ seventies or some of the early Cluster classes. The tribal character of the track intensifies with solo toms drumming over the evolving rhythm machine pattern. Male chants come up. And then, abruptly, the drum set starts to react to the machine. It becomes straight and starts a rather slow but intense dance rhythm. A weird trumpet-like audio starts singing and leads to the real start of the dance: a bassline appears, and it’ s shortly accompanied by a rhythm guitar that makes for the perfect tribal and spiritual beginning.
The tempo in the end of “ It’ t War” is straight, and the song even has some disco-ish elements in it, however it still feels loose and free because of the improvised percussion and words. With the next track, I’ lmost all try to transfer from stomping dance to a more accessible electronic dance rhythm.
3. Puma & The Dolphin, “ Fossils” (Forthcoming?? )
This track, which will emerge soon on a compilation by Brussels-based DJ SoFa, was produced by The puma corporation & The Dolphin. It combines very ’ 80s-sounding rhythm machine drums with vocal samples, road sounds and a pulsating drive. The combination of weirdly pitched male vocal samples and cheap synth melodies makes this track unique and amazing, and the pulsating rhythm keeps it going.
The rhythm in “ Fossils” is usually kind of straight and rarely uses hits on the 16th notes, therefore mixing the funky electronic trommel shuffle of the incoming track, ” Whirr”, can add a lot of funk and drive. This leads easily directly into more tribal weirdo vibes for that dance floor.
4. Frank Youngwerth, “ Whirr” (Viola Da Gamba 1992/Dekmantel Selectors 2017)
My good friend and musical collaborator Young Marco place me onto this track, that is now also featured on his Dekmantel Selectors Compilation. It has an extreme lo-fi home recording vibe to it. Additionally, it has some really shuffle-heavy electronic drum programming and dreamy arpeggiated synth sounds. The static but tribe drum groove makes it run actually hypnotic until a big, rhythmic synthesizer freakout suddenly gives the track a new intensity and psychedelia.
After two very electronic tracks, I feel the urge to go back in order to something more organic again. “ Radio Africa” by Tullio De Piscopo might be produced electronically as well, but the disco vibe with electric guitars, horns and the intense vocals provides it a very live and organic feel. With this, I’ m endeavoring to bring a loose and emotional feeling to the dance floor that will teases at possible emotional times that might lie ahead.
5. Tullio De Piscopo, “ Radio Africa (DJ Armin Schmelz Edit)” (Unofficial, unreleased edit)
Tullio sobre Piscopo is a legend in the Italian music scene. He originally originated from the jazz fusion scene plus always supported other bands as being a studio drummer. He released the Balearic classic “ Stop Bajon”, which is a timeless party-starter. This track tries to connect to the success of “ Quit Bajon”, but here he provides in a wonderful combination of studio electronic devices, live instruments and African appear elements. This edit by our dear friend, the incredibly varied DJ Armin Schmelz, extends the particular tribal moments and deletes some of the cheesier parts.
Read more Played Out columns here. Jan Schulte’ s Tropical Drums Of Deutschland compilation is out this spring. Find more information about our Telekom Electronic Beats Clubnight at Essen’ s Goethebunker with Mr. Connections on April 16 here.
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