Guest Interview/OTAM Mix 02: San Proper – ‘May B’s Watcha Need’

July 29, 2008

Before I leave for a welcome 3-week break in sunny Italy, I thought I’d leave you with this treat: a one-on-one with a very dedicated & talented individual, + good friend, San Proper.
Besides getting busy as a DJ and party organizer, he’s building up his unique catalogue of distorted disco-funk and boogie through labels such as Rush Hour and Perlon.

When did you start getting into dj-ing & eventually producing?
I was born in ’77 to a nice tune.
But seriously….playing dj-sets started in ’92, I guess, but I’ve been playing and enjoying music as long as I can remember. I started playing guitar at the age of 10, but I was falling in love, listening to Sam Cooke and Lou Reed years before I wanted to play an instrument.
Anyway, I started writing and recording tracks with a Teac four-track, my guitars, a keyboard for steady basslines and an Atari for drums. Just documenting songs which eventually were supposed to be played by a live-band. This slightly got out of hand as I started to produce more studio-work with the first versions of Cubase and a couple of funked up soundcards, distorting that typical midi-sound and experimenting with harddisc-recording of audio. After a while I purchased my first sampler; an Akai S-20 and later an EMU which, but when I learned more about Akai’s MPC-sound through a couple of my friends, I got to know a lot more about the connection of producing digitally and keeping that analogue, ‘live’-sound.

Who are your favorite producers & dj’s?
The producers who inspire me most these days are people whom I’ve worked with on music these last years. Especially Tom Trago, Melon & Steven de Peven- three really good djs, with each a signifying style and an outstanding pure approach towards producing.
Apart from all the legendary recordings and brilliant producers I treasure in my collection of musical history, Theo Parrish has been one of my favorite djs as well as one my favorite producers in the last decade. The man knows what it’s about- playing such memorable rarities and innovating tracks, taking chances, breaking rules and representing with mind-mending Soul-music even if it sounds like Techno.

One of the things we have in common is our love for the visionary works & sets of Theo Parrish. There’s a debate going on on the net about this recent interview he did, where he expresses his believes on the ‘stealing and exploiting’ of black (dance)music. Can you give me your view on that?
I honestly don’t care about debates on the internet about this kind of stuff, but I agree on the issue of preserving black music with grace and respect, for it’s been exploited more than enough by white people in the last 80 years, don’t you think?
What is theft ? What is inspiration? What about disco-edits where no one takes credit at all?
Are you contributing something special? Respect your elders, especially when it comes to music…

Which productions/collaborations do you have planned for us in the near fututre?
I’m working on the next five twelves of Proper’s A’dam Family Series for Rushhour records. I’m busy with a remix for Catwash. I’m working on a lot of productions solo, for various labels.
Perhaps more for Perlon, more for Rushhour and other labels which are interested in my work. I’m also ready to drop a new label, Hooked Records with Tom Trago, with whom i’m working on a special project which we want to present live this winter. The label will reflect this but will also sound like a genre we like to call ‘Dirty $ Edits’.

Any plans on parties we should know about?
Well, Tom and me, we’re doing a new monthly thing at Canvas in extend of the above, entitled ‘Le Pop’.
I’m still doing ‘The Black Disco Bust‘ at the Sugar factory once every two months since 2000, a clubnight to preserve the underground sound of Disco classics and rarities. The last three editions featured artists like Alton Miller, Kalabrese and Trus’ me.
I’ve got a residency once every two months at Tape in Berlin, a fresh, new innovating club with a great attitude and a good soundsystem. Be sure to come over if you’re in town the 19th of september for a memorable backtoback-set of Saint Proper & Je Davu.
The parties and events you should know about are updated frequently at Myspace.

And finally, can you tell us a litlle bit about the mix you did for us?
A little bit?… I’ll try to keep it brief.
One hour of music maybe isn’t enough to give a good idea what I sound like, for it’s variety what keeps me alive, but if you hunt down more sets on the net, whether it’s Techno, Disco, House or any other mood, you’ll probably experience that it’s all sincerely ‘Proper’.

No tracklist for this one, but San was good enough to share this about the tracks contained within:
instrumentals by Missy Dee, edits by Linkwood, skate-jams by Plantlife, classics by Moxie, hits by LTD, breaks by Gainsbourg and covers by Rockets with Floyd The Androyd.

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OTAM Mix 02: San Proper – ‘May B’s Watcha Need’


Toot Toot Hey Peep Peep

July 25, 2008

My previous post containing a Youtube film in which DJ Rahaan drove his crowd into a frenzy playing this crucial 1980 disco edit by Mach, has made me want to fanaticly track down the tune for some time now. My good friend, partner in many entertainment industry crimes, and DJ-extraordinaire, Ramchez, was good enough to rip and share this priceless infectious rhythm from his impressive collection. Considered to be the first house record from Chicago, this track was built with loops from the following tracks:
Munich Machine – ‘Get On The Funk Train’, Playback – ‘Space Invaders’, Lipps Inc. – ‘Funky Town’, Donna Summer – ‘Bad Girls’.

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Mach – ‘On And On’

Wallpaper-peeling Saxophone Funk

July 23, 2008

Joe Houston is a snake-charming saxman, who’s formula was always simple and savagely direct — he’d honk and wail as hard as he could, from any conceivable position: on his knees, lying on his back, walking the bar, etc.
The next track was taken from the very rare 1978 album ‘Kicking Back’ which showcases herculean examples of single-minded sax blasting.

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Joe Houston – ‘Kicking Back’

Elegant Shimmerings

July 20, 2008

Here’s a laidback sunday treat, in which jazz-funk guitarist Eddie Fisher unfurls a series of hypnotic, silken guitar grooves that employ space and atmosphere to remarkable effect. This is the tightest, most controlled playing of his career.
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Eddie Fisher – ‘The Third Cup’

Digging For That Perfect Beat

July 20, 2008

After more intense ploughing through dusty cases, I came across 3 vinyl pieces of must-have jackin’ early nineties Chicago-style house jams. Fingerlicking stuff, which will surely find a way back into my next DJ sets prrrretty soon. Enjoy…

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DJ Sneak – ‘Fierce! (Queen’s Anthem)’

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Chez N Trent – ‘The Choice’

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Buzzin Cuzzins Feat Romanthony – ‘Let Me Show You Love (Sensory Dub)’

Wandering Glory Days

July 18, 2008

Whilst my fingers where gathering dust running through my old vinyl collection, I came across this 1993 release by New Jersey’s prince of house music, Anthony Moore aka Romanthony. There’s no denying the real emotional density of this low-fidelity cult anthem. An extroverted floorpiece.

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Romanthony – ‘The Wanderer (Journeyman Thump)’

Indian Freakazoid Moments

July 17, 2008

Classicly trained Asha Puthli’s second 1978 album, The Devil Is Loose, is a masterpiece of snakey, spaced-out soul and pre-mainstream disco, first brought to my attention through the brilliant compilations by DJ/Producer Soulman a couple of years ago.
One of the more enduring pieces of disco-soul withstanding the test of time. She’s a stylist at the very least, and, at most, a campy genius.

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Ashti Puthli – ‘Space Talk’