Thursday, May 24, 2007

You bring light in

You're the sun and the sky and the blue that runs through it

If there is one name that can be associated with the start of house music as we know it, then that would be Frankie Knuckles. Born in South Bronx, New York in 1955, Frankie grew up listening to the jazz music his sister used to play. In school, he studied costume design and commercial art, but that wouldn't be the career path that he would follow. Instead, in 1971, he was offered a job by (the late) legendary DJ Tee Scott who was the resident DJ at Better Days, a club in New York. and every monday and tuesday night, Frankie got to take control of the dance floor from the DJ booth. Having been a long time childhood friend of the also legendary DJ Larry Levan, they first worked together back in 1972 at a club called "The Gallery" in upstate new york. A year later, Frankie joined Larry as the alternate DJ at "Continental Baths". When Larry Left in 1974 to open his own club, the prototype for "Paradise Garage", well Frankie took over as the head DJ at Continental Baths until its end in 1976.

In 1976, while Larry was involved in setting up "the Garage", he was approached by a group of investors and asked to become the resident DJ of a new club they were opening up in Chicago. Larry didn't want to leave, and since "the Baths" had just shut down, Frankie was asked to make the move to Chicago and become the resident DJ of the legendary club "The Warehouse". You have to remember that back then they were only calling it house music in Chicago, the word used to denote something that was "cool, hip, fresh, or bad". And the Warehouse was the place to be for many years. Designed to hold only about 600 people, but on any given night, nearly 2000 people would cram themselves into this 3 story factory building to hear the magic of Frankie Knuckles. The crowd was mostly gay and nearly all black, but one thing that bound this group of people together was their love for house music.

Frankie continued to reel in the masses for years until the Warehouse finally closed in 1982 at which time Frankie opened up his own club just a few miles up the road called "The Power Plant". By this time, house music was in full swing in Chicago so it was deemed to be the birthplace of a genre of music that continues to draw the masses on a regular basis. The whole genre of house music can be traced back to Frankie Knuckles and his influence on the city.....hence the term "house music".

Years later, Frankie would take to production in the studio and churn out such classics as "The Whistle Song" which even today can be heard by many a DJ. He has remixed songs by Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, and even Michael Jackson. In fact, his remixography contains more than 200 tracks, so many that even Frankie cannot even remember them all. In 1997, he was the first DJ turned producer to receive a Grammy Award for his mixing skills. He has released several compilations and makes guest DJ appearances at clubs across the world. He is highly respected by his peers and the music industry.

If you are in town this weekend, make sure you go hear Frankie, as he is part of Liquified's lineup at WetBar on Saturday night. It should be a very interesting and mixed crowd, which means it will be people there to hear some really great music.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

shooters, shooters, guys git ur shooters.....

it's no secret that i spent a lot of time at backstreet. we all did. we are all guilty trashing the place, and frequently on any given weekend night saying "oh, i won't be going to backstreet tonight, that's for sure" (only to walk in later that evening/early morning and run into the very same people that you said this to). the truth is, you knew what you were going to get at backstreet, it was consistent. much like the heretic is/was today. and now with the gay atlanta nightlife as lame as it is, we find ourselves longing to have this dive of a club back.

i have had my eye on a zip up jacket with the above slogan on the front. i should have purchased it when backstreet closed several years ago, and they sold off everything in the place. recently, i saw Juan, the oddly hot and very friendly server at Quattro wearing this very same jacket. knowing that he used to work there, i have dropped several hints to him over the last few months about my desire to have my own. and he has promised to look in his closet for a jacket or shirt for me. then i remembered that a girl i work with is a roommate of the Vara's daughter. turns out it wasn't very hard. the Vara's love to hear that people loved the gay institution known as backstreet. so this week, i scored a t shirt, some magnets, and my very own piece of the dance floor. RIP backstreet.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Carry Me Away

Chris Lake has to be one of the hardest working DJs in the world. The 24 year old Scottish DJ, producer, and remixer has made a big name for himself in the UK house scene. In fact, he has accomplished more in the last few years than many DJs will in a lifetime.
Born wayyyy back in 1982 (geez) in Norwich (UK), Chris was raised for the first twelve years of his life in a small village before moving to Scotland where he is currently based. But it was during his time at the Mintlaw Academy where he was first introduced "to all this keyboard stuff" by a friend and was immediately hooked. After dropping some cash on a keyboard, they were soon creating their own tunes.
But it wasn't until 1999 when Chris was introduced to "Underground Music", that of the UK house scene and he was hooked again. He spent several months landing guest spots at various clubs in Scotland, and then just six months later, he was offered a residency at Passion in Aberdeen. For the next two years, Chris concentrated on his DJ'ing, unleashing driving and energetic house music to the masses that would come to hear him at Passion.
In 2001, he once again returned to the studio to start producing and remixing. He created a cheeky little bootleg of Danny Tenaglia's track "Elements of Der Shieber", and somehow it found its way into the hands of Seb Fontaine who dropped it on his Radio 1 show four weeks running. It even made the live broadcast from Radio 1's Ibiza opening party that very year.
His next production was called "Phatter Planet" which was a re-rub of Leftfield's "Phat Planet". The success of this track has been amazing, receiving the props and respect from some of the biggest progressive house DJs in the world such as Tiesto, Timo Maas, and even Desyn Masiello.
For the last several years, his name has become synonymous with quality house music. His monster Track "Changes" took the country and world by storm, and was even named by Pete Tong as the essential new tune in December of 2005. He has even formed his very own record label called Rising music. Not bad for a guy who hasn't even made it to 25.
This week, Chris returns with a track that I have been anxiously waiting for. The track, called "Carry me Away", features the vocals of Emma Hewitt, is nothing short of beautiful. It really reminds me of something by Reflekt, or even the track released earlier this year by Atrium - called "In love with you". It builds and builds with a nice bass line and piano riff only to be complemented by Emma's gorgeous vocal. pure class. Check it on Chris's website.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Buzzin' Fly Vol 4

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Ben Watt, house DJ and former member of the group Everything but the Girl, returns with the fourth installment of his very popular CD compilations called Buzzin' Fly. Set to be released on his very own record label, Buzzin' Fly Records, this time Ben moves away from his signature house sound. I was able to get my hands on a promotional copy, and I was a bit disappointed. And probably because I was expecting something along the lines of the first in this series or even the Lazy Dog CDs. Though it does warrant a further, more detailed listen.
Apparently, the Buzzin' Fly is moving a away from its house origins,and dabbling in deep techno, electro, and even progressive house music. I noticed upon first listen that there are very few if any vocals on the CD, and the first few songs are very techy and bleepy. along the lines of tiefschwarz, which I have found some of their work interesting, but again not what one would expect to hear on a ben watt CD. In addition, the CD comes bookended by spoken word extracts from his long running Out-spoken project.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Paul Van Dyk - Another Way

in honor of the #1 DJ in the world coming to the Tabernacle in Atlanta tomorrow night, I wanted to post a video taken from his 2003 album Titled "Paul Van Dyk: Global". I found the CD in the back of one of my cabinets while cleaning on Sunday, and I forgot how good this mix really is. It brings me back to the Winter Music Conferfence of 2003....And since NO ONE has expressed any interest in going to hear this beautiful man tomorrow night, i guess I will settle for something recorded.....

tonight should be fun though. I am spinning atop the rooftop bar of the Glenn Hotel downtown for the Assistant's cocktail party for the Coca-Cola company. This life sure is hard....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

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tell me why

my weekend was fairly quiet, as i as on call saturday and sunday. but upon leaving the gym on friday evening, i was offered a last minute ticket to Chastain to hear Corinne Bailey Rae and John Legend. Naturally, I was very excited as they are both very talented artists that I would like to know more about. you see, my interest in music is much deeper and developed than some 4 x 4 beat.... and the company pictured above could not have been better.

we jumped into Thomas's Denali and headed down in style, only to find that the traffic was terrible. it must have taken us nearly an hour to travel 2 miles up to the Blue parking lot. so we uncorked a bottle of wine and put the gwen stefani dvd in and relaxed. it was like a super mom mobile, those yukons....

unfortunately, we arrived at our table just as Corinne was finishing her last song, which was a big disappointment to me. John Legend came on and was phemonemal. He put on a fantastic show, we dined on chips and dips and some really tasty red wine, and the weather turned out to be perfect, despite the "predictions" of rain in the forecast.

on sunday, i finally took the time to set up my external hard drive, a christmas gift from my parents nearly 6 months ago. my library of music has become so large that my hard drive was full, even to the point that it was slowing down. and didn't even have enough room to defragment.... it turned out to be a very easy task, and soon i had expunged nearly 30 gigs of music and transferred it all over to my new 160 gig external hard drive.

and as i got in bed sunday night, i was thinking about some of the anger and disappointment that I have been holding in over the past few months about a certain someone in my life. and it has bothered me to no end. my friends know that i am someone who is pretty forgiving, and i just finally came to a realization that all things aside, life is way to short to hold grudges. and with that, just like my hard drive on my computer, i forgave that person and erased all bitterness and anger out of my life. and lemme tell ya, i feel much better because of it
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Saturday, May 05, 2007

dj john thompson - halloween 2006

here is a live mix recorded at a halloween party i spun back in october.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spin - out & about

I thought i would provide the tracklisting from the promo cd we gave to the first 50 people at Sunday's event. If you didn't make it early enough to receive one, you can stream this mix below.

Spin - out & about 2007
dj john thompson

1.miguel migs - mesmerized (alix alvarez sole channel vox mix)
2.carl kennedy - ride the storm
3.samantha james - rise (eric kupper remix)
4.hott 22 feat angie zee - just friends (hott 22 remix)
5.freemasons - nothing but a heartache
6.booty luv - shine (moto blanco club mix)
7.supafly - moving too fast (northwest remix)
8.goldbumpers - change (extended vocal club mix)
9.noir pres the soul flava - hot (club mix)
10.rockefeller vs alibi - sexual healing (freemasons vocal mix)
11.beyonce & shakira - beautiful liar (freemasons club vox mix)
12.sophie ellis bextor - catch you (moto blanco club mix)

It might just be good for you

If you are a fan of the group Way Out West, then you may be familiar with Jody Wisternoff. As part of this ubiquitous progressive house act know for such tracks as "Stealth" and "Mind Circus", the 26 year old european DJ, remixer, and producer has definitely made a name for himself in the last few years. His production work is nothing short of perfect, having released several tracks in 2006 that progressive house DJs all over the world are rocking at the moment. This includes "Cold Drink, Hot Girl" as well as "Nostalgia", released just a few months ago. Both of the aforementioned track are available for digital download at Beatport. Each month, Jody releases a new house mix titled "Way out There", usually on Proton Radio. They contain a collection of released and upcoming house tracks that are sure to be big in the coming months. On April 26th, Jody released his newest Way Out There mix in two parts, containing new tracks such as "Armed" by Pryda (Eric Prydz alias), and legendary vocalist Billie Ray Martin called "Undisco Me".

But what really caught my attention is the first track on Part 2 by a group called Relation. The song titled "Your Tiny Mind" as remixed by Lifelike is stunning. It sort of reminds me of something by Tiga or the Killers, with a male vocal over an uplifting synthesized and melodic harmony. It is by far the classic sound of Lifelike, better know for his remix of "Discopolis" early last year. Check out a clip of "your tiny mind" below. Enjoy!