January 2011

From Belgium with love – The Uphigh Collective

The UpHigh Collective

I’m always amazed how music travels from the place it was created, outward to the rest of the world. Something made in Beligium ends up in Brooklyn, and it spreads out everywhere inbetween.

Of course now with the internet that’s possible instantly, but at the same time, so much gets lost in the sauce online, not to mention our hard drives. There’s something to say for the old skool hand to hand transaction of music..

Last December, I venutured out into a snowy Amsterdam to one of the cities finest vinyl shops, Rush Hour Records. There, I was fortunate enough to get passed a ’45 from the Uphigh Collective (On-Point records) via my man Cris working in the shop.

This “Blend” single that I held was truly something special. DELV!S‘ vocals were sublime, honest and packed with SOUL! The production was niiiice, airing on the bottom end (just the way I like it).

The tune is addictive, I haven’t stopped listening to it since I got it and will be doing my best to break it in the states and along my travels. Have a listen, from Belgium with love…

*order it here

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The Dynamics Sound

The Dynamics

There’s a group from Lyon, France that’s making big noise and has been for some time now.

I first got hip to the Dynamics via their cover of  Cymande’sBrother’s on the Slide“. I hold the original close to my heart, so for them to tip the hat towards it and make it their own via the lush roots number they cooked up, was something special.

That was back in 2007 and I haven’t stopped bumping their debut LP, “Version Excursions” since.

A true testament of good music is when it can stand the test of time and the Dynamics music has yet to leave my sets and probably won’t be leaving any time soon. Their rootsy remakes of Soul, Jazz and Rock covers are incredibly tasteful and flavored just right! Head’s turn whenever I drop their cover of Curtis Mayfield’sMove on Up“, while necks break in the spot when their version of The White Stripe’sSeven Nation Army” rattles speakers.

Check them out today, your ears will thank you.

The Dynamics – “Brother’s on the Slide”

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Feel What I’m Feelin’- Jazz (in the Color Purple) Mix

DJ Center - Feel What I'm Feelin'

This is an oldie but a goodie- I cut this Jazz session back in 2005. It appeared as disc 2 on the double CD release, “Feel What I’m Feelin’“.

Long out of print, this mix has traveled to places and spaces as far and wide as Tokyo, Japan and London, England. For weeks it ran in its entirety on ScannerFM, 100.5 in Barcelona and it has received praise from some of the great artists that it pays homage to- Gary Bartz and Junior Mance, respectively.

For me, it was about the music- how much it spoke without saying a word. The blues roots, the spiritual jazz tributes and the clear connections to the modern day architects of sampling- it was all in there. It was a mix highlighting the genius and beauty of the artists and tunes you hear, yet weaving and blending them altogether as I would any of my DJ sets.

To date, I’m not aware of any other mixes with the same approach or feel and for me, this project was both a blessing and labor or love.

Hope it leaves you feelin’ as good as it left me when I put it together.

DJ Center – Feel What I’m Feelin’ (Download)

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* for track listing, click here (scroll down to CD-2)

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The importance of Vinyl in 2011

Center Bumps

Not a day goes by when I don’t hear someone talking or writing about how no one knows what is going on with the music industry. The future of music and how we will access it remains a question mark. These are some bugged times indeed.

The thing that is for sure is that most DJs (myself included) are now spinning in clubs with their laptops or aren’t carrying the amount of records they once were (I’ve witnessed most selectors in Europe being happy to rock off of CDs on a nice pair of CDJs).

In the ’90s, the “Save the Vinyl” movement was created and it’s logo (two hands holding a piece of wax) was found on the back of many albums during that era. There was a unity amongst vinyl supporters, we would not let the format die. And we were successful. I once heard from some record label friends that DJs were the ones keeping new releases from being printed strictly on CD during that era.

The question of the existence of wax remains today.

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