To celebrate the release of Kev Beadle’s latest compilation for BBE Records you are invited to join him with DJ Harv and Nick Hosier playing some quality jazz goodness on one of the best sound systems in London. Admission is FREE, so get there early……..
Created by music industry legend, MMO Music Group CEO and true godfather of karaoke (but that’s another story) Irv Kratka, alongside producer Eric Kriss, Inner City Records was founded in 1976. During its decade or so in existence, the label put together a formidable catalogue of jazz music and was voted Record Label Of The Year in 1979 by the International Jazz Critics Poll. As well as ‘classic jazz’, the label also gave a platform to more avant-garde material and dabbled in the emerging ‘jazz fusion’ sounds of the day.
Inner City boasted a particularly fervent fan-base in London, where many of its releases found a home within the sweaty underground dance clubs of Soho and Convent Garden back in the early 80s. Fittingly enough, London DJ and tastemaker Kev Beadle is the man chosen to put together this very special compilation of the imprint’s finest moments.
Soundclips and tracklisting:
For more booking information on this artist contact Angel Mel www.ammpromotions.co.uk
This is the tale of the ‘Synthesizer’ kid, who dreamed that one he would spread his love of electronic dance music to the far corners of the earth. The kid worked hard, hidden away in his studio mastering his craft. Today we know of him as Opolopo, the Producer & Remixer Extraordinaire and Turntable Dynamo.
With a name that means ‘Plenty’, in Yoruba, Opolopo has much to smile about. He has a string of dance floor smashes under his belt including his track featuring Shea Soul – Be Enough, Choklate – The Tea, the now infamous remix for Gregory Porter 1960 what? and recent a track featuring 1990s soul singer Lisa Stanfield for her Picket Fence, not to mention the Sacha Williamson heavy weight slammer ‘Blame’.
The time has come for Opolopo to stand and be counted as one the most prolific producers around.
The 4 X 4 not only a classic house beat – it forms the foundation of the interview 8 questions only.
1. Tell me one thing about yourself that most people do not know?
I can beatbox with my teeth.
2. Do you remember the first tracks you heard that turned you on to a life of making music?
I’ve always been into “making music” for as long as I can remember. I have no formal training but as a kid I was always messing around on the piano, coming up with simple riffs and melodies. The big thing for me though, that really sucked me in, was the discovery of electronic music. One of my earliest musical memories is hearing the synth-pop tune Popcorn on the radio when I was 3 or 4. The track featured the Moog synthesizer and I remember being fascinated by how it sounded and how it was different from anything else on the radio. But the biggest moment was probably hearing Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene during a relaxation exercise in gym class in the late seventies. It sounded so alien and mystical. It was all synthesizers and drum machines. Synthesizer was kind of a dirty word back then -“you don’t have to know how to play, just how to press a button”. But I didn’t care. I loved the sound. So I went and bought Jarre’s The Concerts in China album, and it was listening to that album that made me go -“One day I’ll have the synths and machines and I’ll be making electronic music.”
3. I first became aware of your music, after hearing your now infamous remix of Gregory Porter’s 1960 what. How did you keep your feet on the ground after creating such a dance floor anthem?
I’ve told the story many times but it was just a simple edit/tweak I did for myself so I could play it in a clubby context. Then Gregory’s label heard of it and the rest is history. I only added the minimal elements I felt it needed for the dancefloor: a synth bassline, kick, hats and a bit of percussion. The success of the “remix” lies in the power of the original. All I did was to present the track to a new audience.
4. Peter you had the unique opportunity to go on tour with your keyboardist father, what did you learn about music that you may not have learned otherwise?
Yeah, I was just a kid tagging along every now and then with my dad, who played keys in a cover band. We went playing on a cruise ship or supporting some big show artists at hotels. Don’t think I learned so much about music itself. It was more of getting a, not always so glamorous, glimpse of musicians and artists lives in the spot light as well as backstage. I loved the experience but it didn’t really make me want to become a musician. I was more interested in production and the music making process than being on stage.
5. The ‘Opolopo production sound is distinctive, what do you think makes your sound and style so different that other producers?
It’s just about musical and sonic taste I think. I have certain things that I like and I kind of now how to get there. The rest is just tools to get the job done.
My musical journey growing up, as a listener and fan of music, goes from electronic through fusion and jazz, through funk, soul and boogie. I think all those elements are present in one way or another in my productions. I guess that gives me a certain sound.
6. If you had the choice between DJing in a world class music arena full of music lovers or writing and producing a double platinum selling record, which would you chose and why?
Haha, well there’s not much money in selling records anymore so financially I should go for the full music arena. But then again, my arena style fist pumping is a bit rusty so I’d still go for the platinum record.
But seriously, as much as I love DJ:ing, my first and biggest love will always be producing and making music. There’s something about locking yourself up in a studio, creating and controlling your own musical universe, that’s hard to beat.
7. You are the master of the remix. The last album you did was ‘Voltage Controlled Feelings’, released on Tokyo Dawn records back in 2010. Do you have plans to produce another album and can you tell me more about your future plans?
I co-wrote and produced vocalist Amalia’s debut album, Art Slave, for TDR in 2011. So there kind of was one more after VCF. 😉
But I’m releasing a spanking new full length album for Z Records later this year. A mix of boogie, funk and house. It’s been in the making for quite some time but I’m very excited to finally unleash it upon the world.
Other than that there’s a bunch of new remixes coming up.
8. If you have a mission in life what is it? How will you know once you’ve achieved it?
When it comes to music my only mission is to never compromise with the quality of my work. Sure, in retrospect some things might not have worked so well or turned out differently than I thought while making it. But I always try and put in the same amount of work and dedication no matter what the project is. I’ve always thought that if you set your bar high enough all the time, people will eventually catch on. I’ve always wanted to let the music speak for itself. If you keep doing that and have the stamina and are stubborn and foolish enough – you might succeed.
So being able to make a living doing music is in a sense a result of achieving my mission.
Thank you Opolopo for sharing your passions and ambitions with us. For more from Opolopo please follow the links below:
Danny Krivit ‘And the Beat goes on..
In the early 1970’s Richard Nixon was president; the world shook with violence from the Vietnam War and Middle Eastern strains. It saw the beginning of electronic video games, Cool DJ Herc introduced sound systems to Cedar Parks in the Bronx and later on the world.
This is the era where we start our story, although this is not a story in the conventional sense, it is an interview about the life of a man, who has made a massive contribution to the music scene. Who has been instrumental along with his peers in keeping a much loved music scene alive and kicking for just over 40 years.
Join us as we board our time machine and enjoy a whistle stop tour through the ever changing faces of music. First stop we go back, way back, back in the day.
It is said that it takes a whole tribe to raise a child. Who where the inspirational members of your tribe and how did they influence you?
Greenwich Village in the 60’s was a hugely rich source of influences,
where I would run into people like; Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, and play hand ball with my friend Nile Rogers. I got my first white label promo records from my neighbor-the vice president of Polydor, who later introduced me to James Brown. Going to the Filmore East… weekly! Where I saw Santana’s first performance, & countless others. I watched Soul Train religiously. Listened to AM radio station WWRL “The Gary Bird Experience” & later FM station WBLS & Frankie Crocker.
Can you recall some of your most cherished pieces of vinyl in those early year’s, do you still have them in your collection?
The White label promo’s of Lyn Collins “Think” & James Brown “Get On The Good Foot”… which James Brown gave me himself.
One of my 1st 12” singles I got in the mail, was “Family Tree” by Family Tree, not enough space to mention all the other titles in between.
Is it true that you got to meet the late Great James Brown when you were younger? How did this meeting come about and what was your lasting impression after meeting him?
•He was already my idol, when the Sex Machine album came out; I saw that show @ Madison Sq. Garden, Bootsy Collins was playing Bass. Meeting him only galvanized feelings towards him.
At what point did your passion for collecting music start to take over, and direct you into DJing world? What else was happening in this period of your life?
As a kid I was already a chronic collector, comic books & a slew of other things, collecting records started early & came naturally. When I started Djing @ my father’s club “The Ninth Circle” I was only 14, too young to get into most other clubs. I remember going to places like the Original Lime Lite on 7th Ave, where David Rodríguez played. Me & my friends could not get in, so we would have our own party on the sidewalk, where we could still hear the music clearly, even the mixes. Because I couldn’t get into many clubs I would live for concerts, places like the Beacon on Broadway & 74th St, where a typical show would be; Bohannon, Betty Wright, The Stylistics, & Mandril… all in one show!
As we move forward and settle on those early club years at the ‘9th Circle’, ‘One’s’, and the now legendary joint ‘The Loft’. We look back on what was emerging, as the touch paper was lit and would become the start of something explosive.
Your father owned a club named the ‘9th Circle’, which some might say had a peculiar name. The 9th Circle referred to Dante’s Alighieri depiction of his journey through hell. From dark origins, to the name of a well known Jazz club. Is there a story behind how the club became to be called 9th Circle?
According to Dante’s Inferno, hell was divided up into 9 circles, & the Ninth Circle was reserved for the worst sinners. The cynical anti establishment bohemian atmosphere of the early 60’s helped to make that title seem more cool than dark.
Through out the period of the mid to late 1970s there appeared to be an explosion of colour, music and mood. The conditions were conducive for a real meeting of the minds. Who were your contemporaries around this time? Did you have any idea that you were changing the course of the music history?
At the time I never thought I was changing anything more than the next record & having a good time. Regarding the NY club scene, When I began in 1971 I knew people like David Mancusso, Francis Grasso, Michael Cappello had already made their mark, I would fit more in the 2nd wave with people like Nicky Siano, David Rodríguez, Steve Deaquisto,Bobby DJ Gutadaro, Barry Lederer, T Scott… there were much more, but you get the idea.
David Mancuso, and The Loft, meant a good many things to a lot of different people. What did this revolutionary coupling mean to you and why?
I always think of David as the base of the tree that everything sprang from. There were others before him, but they usually just did their job… they weren’t changing or affecting much. The loft was David’s house, & just an extension of him, and totally unique.
And the beat goes go…as we move forward from soul, funk, disco; watch them blend and evolve. A new movement, ‘House’ music is born and now starts the next chapter.
Cruising along, we take in the sights and sounds of the 1990s and beyond.
Danny you appear to be the Pied Piper of the generations. Calling forth all music lovers together, in the search for the everlasting beat. In the mid 1990s you team up with the purveyors of the dance floor ‘Body and Soul’, featuring Joe Claussell and Francois Kevorkian. How did you come to join Body & Soul, which would later become the holy trinity of the dance scene?
Early 70’s to mid 90’s… nice Rumpelstiltskin jump.
I had known Francois since the mid 70’s; we had always shared an extreme love for music. Before Body & Soul started, Francois would call me & say ‘I wish there was a club like this or that’, & we would go down a list of what we thought a good club should focus on… & how there just wasn’t anywhere like that at the moment. Clubs & DJ were increasingly focused on $ 1st. He called me one day in July 96’ & said, ‘I’m playing at this club Vinyl today, this could be a little like what we talked about, just music we like to play, on a good sound system, for some friends & people who feel the same way, no $, just for the fun of it’. I said “I’m there”. The 1st one was only 30 or 40 people… but it felt great & we couldn’t wait to do it again, soon we asked Joe to join us, with the 3 of us it felt great. We were never looking for success, this was for fun, but nobody seemed to be doing that at the time, & it started to catch on fast.
Did you anticipate that Body and Soul would become successful on an international scale: in Japan and United Kingdom? How would you describe the similarities and the differences between the world wide members of Body and Soul family?
I knew it was perfect for Japan, but not surprised it caught on other places too. There are a lot of great music lovers out there when we travel. However playing at home for people you grew up with & experienced the music mostly the way you did is hard to compare to.
You are renowned for captivating audiences with your re edits of classic, soul, funk and disco tunes. As a Producer, Mixer and Editor in your own right, how did you first become interested in the technical side? What was the first re edit you made and how was it received on the dance floor?
The 1st edit I did was called ‘Feelin James’, a medley around James Brown’s Funky drummer.
•Since it was more in a hip hop vain, I was limited to who I could really bring it to, I brought it to Freddy Baston, Mark Kamins, & Mantronix @ Danceatieria, & Tony Smith @ Funhouse. It seemed to have gone over big with everyone.
Danny you are in the unique position of having a panoramic view of the evolution of the underground dance music scene. When you consider your past experiences as a DJ, Producer and Promoter, what if any are the significant changes you have noticed? Do you feel that the essence of those earlier parties still carries through at events you perform at today?
I feel very fortunate to be part of many great parties. Some of the big changes I’ve really noticed. Everyone’s extreme loss of their leisure time. An evaporated music industry and its support system.
Technology rules supreme. Cell Phones and digital music. I used to often get goose bumps from a special piece of music… I’ve never gotten goose bumps from digital music.
The music community was shocked recently with the passing of one of ‘House music’s, founding fathers Frankie Knuckles. There was a huge up swell of emotion at his passing. On reflection what did the work of Frankie Knuckles mean to you?
Frankie was a class act, when he played something; it seemed to take on classic feel, not classic old, but classic strong.
Danny, you appear to have dedicated your life to spreading the gospel of music; from champion of the Turntables, Vinyl Junkie Extraordinaire, and Maestro of Productions for Re Edits, Mixes. When you look back, can you describe the most poignant highlights of your career so far?
I’m not much for touting my own achievements; it just feels great to be doing something I love so much for so long and to also have people appreciate it.
How did you continue to show love, and sustain your interest and energy in to lifestyle that has been with you all your adult life?
This is where out journey thank you sharing your unique experience with me. Until next time Keep On Jumping!
Well this is it folks the moment you & I have all been waiting for.
Martin Atjazz could very well be one of the hardest working producers around, certainly one of the most prolific, he has an ever increasing following of dedicated music heads, a sound that is so unmistakable there is no other quite like him. He’s a cheeky chappy and we love him. Without further a do, ladies & gentlemen I present to you Martin Iveson aka Atjazz!
Q.Martin you are on the verge of having your second album release of the year. Where does your creative force come from?
A.No Idea, I think I’m a touch bonkers, I need a rest though, Already had two albums released ‘SPW 10’ & ‘More Than A Remix’ and with ‘The Gift The Curse’ now here it’s all a bit above my head, I’m just knuckling down to get it all done, Loving what I do.
Q. There appears to be a special relationship emerging between British and South African artists, producers and DJs why do you think this is? And what if any, impact does this have on the current music scene?
A.I think we get on with our Brothers and Sisters in SA very well, we get each other on an energy level, SA has a booming music scene and I think that has a lot to do with it. They love international acts popping on their stages and I feel we’re the same here, we never sniff at a Black Coffee concert and I think our mutual respect for each others countries and ways has allowed to be far away friends.
Q. You have collaborated with the likes of Omar, Jazzanova and more recently with Julian Gomes. How does working with different artists influence your sound and creativity?
A. Well I don’t really collaborate much, I’ve worked closely with Charles Webster in the past and I’m sure we’ll do that again but I usually work alone and work on remixes and production rather than being sat in a room with someone for weeks on end so I’m not really sure I get that influenced by others, I think boundaries break down allowing work to flow but I feel in this industry, we have to keep a sharp solo sound in order to be that little bit different.
Q.What is the inspiration behind the album title, The Gift the Curse?
A. It’s a basic contradiction of life and when we are served a gift in life it’s almost quickly followed by a curse and this is on going. This album is really an expression of our work without trying to be part of something, we’ve done this for us and we hope that people get it on their own level. It’s a very personal album in that we really just wrote music and did our very nest not to think out it and just let things flow.
Q.You need to thank my girl Karen the Grifter for this next question. She asks ‘If you could produce a track with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
A. Marvin Gay or Jay Kay! I’ll leave that to your imagination.
Q. Martin 2013 appears to be have another productive year for you, what are your plans for the months ahead?
A. Albums, album, albums. I need to get back to me this year in regards to producing as everything in 2013 was either remixes or collaborations, I need some time on my own to get some music out of me. The label is cutting back a bit and only releasing specific projects that are headed towards album releases, I want my artist friends to get their noise heard in full effect rather than in bits and pieces.
Q.The Atjazz Record label hosts a range of talented artists and producers: DJ Tipz, Peacey. Is there anybody in particular you are championing at the moment? Who would you recommend we look for?
A. I think all my fellow ARCo. team are incredible and different, they’re all singing their own song and none of them sound alike. Peacey, Trueself & Si Tew are all in the process of finishing albums but there is yet another South Africa chap to look out for in the shape of ‘Thee Gobbs’ who’s album is ready to drop.
Thank you so much for taking part of my interview. I can feel The Gift the Cure (The Gift The Curse) blowing up in listener’s ears, bedrooms and dance floors all over the world.
“Like…. Whatever!” X (Martin you are a very naughty fella).