This page is dedicated to my favorite music producers, artists and creative entities, who continue to push the envelope of creativity in their lives. They are a true inspiration and i hope to shed light on their accomplishments and share in their quest.
Revolutions begin in Detroit. Almost exactly a hundred years ago, the first Model T rolled off Ford’s production line in Highland Park, forever changing the way cars were manufactured. Ford’s main innovation,the production line, was eventually adopted across the rest of the world, paving the way for mass consumerism as a way of life and gaining international recognition for Detroit as the automotive capital of the world. Step forward to the early eighties and Detroit birthed another mechanical revolution, this time ushering in the era of electronic dance music.
In 1985 Juan Atkins (aka Model 500) released the first record on his label Metroplex, ‘No UFO’s’ and started the clock for Year Zero of the dance music movement. Like Ford’s Model T, the impact of these new machine rhythms was global, hitting especially hard in Europe, where dance music subsequently developed into a mass cultural phenomenon. Since then, Juan Atkins has built what stands as perhaps the most influential body of work in the field of dance music. Characterized by his ability to make machines speak, to give them soul, his style of production has inspired a legion of admirers and can still be heard on dance floors across the globe as well as in Radiohead’s avant garde rock and the futuristic RnB of Timberland and The Neptunes. The common strands linking these all lead back to Atkins pioneering productions such as ‘Clear’, ‘Starlight’, Technicolor’ and ‘Jazz Is The Teacher’. In 2007 Atkins partnered up with Mike Banks from Underground Resistance to form a Model 500 band. It wasn’t the first time they had played together as Model 500 but this time Atkins added Detroit DJ/producer DJ Skurge to the mix along with longtime associate and established funk and techno producer Mark Taylor.
As the “new” Model 500, they began performing as a band, debuting at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and not too long later, performing at festivals in Europe and Japan. Taking the band concept farther, the quartet has begun work on an untitled full length release.
Awakening in Amsterdam featuring JUAN ATKINS}
Grammy Award nominated DJ/Producer Todd Terry has been engulfed in dance music since he first started listening to European dance music records while growing up in Brooklyn. Already devoted to turntables, he heard something different in those tracks, and he “went for the difference. I never got a break in New York, but England happened right away, so I catered to them.” In any event, the Todd Terry sound was born. By 1988, Todd Terry hit big in England and Europe, and his notoriety was making its way back to the U.S. In addition to DJ appearances, Todd was cutting his classic underground tracks A Day In The Life, Weekend, and Can You Party, released under monikers such as the Todd Terry Project, House Of Gypsies, and Royal House, all considered essential and ground breaking.
In the mid 90’s, the Ministry of Sound’s eponymous UK label released A Day In The Life, a collection of Todd Terry tracks that had been causing dance floor panic. That then led the way to a deal with Mercury Records allowing him to set up a context in which to work with his favorite singers and performers. The first release, Keep On Jumpin’ on featured a vocal workout from super-divas Martha Wash and Jocelyn Brown, together for the first time ever. The song became a top 10 UK crossover pop hit and worldwide smash. Todd followed with the anthem ‘Somethin Going On’, a top 5 UK crossover pop hit. All the while, Todd continued to break new ground as a Producer/Remixer. From SNAP to Annie Lennox to George Michael to Bjork, Todd’s mixes bridge the ground between club cool and commercial accessibility. In 1995, his remix for Everything But The Girl’s Missing became a worldwide smash, giving the British duo their first ever hit.
INK/Distinctive Records 2005 release The Todd Terry Trilogy: Past, Present & Future on 3 x CD & 10 x 12″ vinyl has inspired Todd fans both old and new with over 30 Todd classics and 10 new Todd songs. Ministry of Sound has licensed Philippe B Vs. Todd Terry ‘Can You Feel It (Can You Party)’ for a major 2006 release, a new version of the Todd classic Royal House ‘Can You Party’. Todd Terry All Stars feat. Kenny Dope, DJ Sneak, Terry Hunter, & Tara McDonald’s ‘Get Down’ will be released in 2007 on Strictly Rhythm. This red hot single is the first proper original release on the re-launched legendary label. ‘Strictly Todd Terry’ compilation mixed by Todd Terry will be released in 2007 on Strictly Rhythm. Todd’s mix follows installments by Masters at Work and Tiefschwarz in this newly launched series. Todd is one of the world’s most celebrated figures in dance music. With almost two decades of dance floor domination under Todd’s belt the quality of his productions goes from strength to strength. Welcome to the church of house music presided over by Todd the God.
50 minute live video dj mix of TODD TERRY at Electrocity in Poland}
One of techno’s underground heroes, Function, real name Dave Sumner, has been DJing and making music for over 15 years. Hailing from New York, he was seduced by techno music when Jeff Mills held a residency (as well as his own first) at the Limelight in the early 90s. Dave started to produce music and from the mid-90s onwards, put out music on Damon Wild’s Synewave and his own Infrastructure imprint. Together with Karl O’Connor aka Regis he worked as Portion Reform, putting out uncompromising music on Downwards and becoming the only non-Birmingham producer to release on the label. More recently, Dave moved to Berlin and, still working with O’Connor, set up the acclaimed Sandwell District imprint. Sandwell District is, without doubt, THE underground Techno label of the moment. With support from all quarters (they count Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Len Faki and the Berghain crew, Laurent Garnier, Miss Kitten, Jeff Mills, Sleeparchive, Speedy J, Troy Pierce, among their many devotees) they have not just blurred the boundaries of techno, but have dissolved them and re-built it in their own unique image… Function and Regis need little introduction, as stalwarts of the hugely influential Downwards Label they have been breaking down and re-arranging the D.N.A of conventional dance music for over a decade. Sandwell District however is very much it’s own animal and although it shares many of it’s ideals and energy with the iconic Downwards, it is very much a label of the here and now. As Beatportal recently put it, “Influential British techno label Downwards are causing waves with their new imprint Sandwell District, as is Marcel Dettmann, Shed and Sleeparchive, who have all picked up where Downwards left techno in the late 1990s.” With Function already scoring 2 massive hits this year, with his “ISOLATION AND ANTICIPATION EP’S ” and Regis causing major waves on the underground as his alter ego KALON, it seems as if in the past 12 months, Sandwell District can do no wrong.
Going from strength to strength with every release, so far this year both Function’s mighty ‘Isolation’ and the Kalon and Function Mixes of Silent Servant’s ‘Violencia’ earned DJ Mag Techno Record of the Month, Function’s ‘Anticipation’ held the #1 Bestselling Techno Record position for 6 weeks on Juno, in June the label earned Resident Advisor’s prestigous, Label of the Month, and currently the Kalon and Function mixes of Silent Servant are getting major airplay and DJ Support. And now with mixes from Marcel Dettmann and Troy Pierce in the pipeline for the next sandwell 12″s, as well as Function remixing Miss Kitten, Heartthrob (Minus) and the Richie Hawtin, Joey Beltram and Mundo Muzique +8 classic, Final Exposure ‘Vortex’, 2009 is already promising to be another major year for SANDWELL DISTRICT. As you would expect, Function and Regis’s approach to live/dj work is forward thinking and challenges convention. Digital and Analogue equipment is combined to create the maximum creative environment for both ARTISTS to feed off each other during a set.
Sandwell District LIVE featuring FUNCTION+REGIS at Interface 26
Ralph “Uncle Ralph” McDaniels is a hip-hop culture pioneer, entrepreneur, and visionary who created Video Music Box, the first music video show focused exclusively to an urban market—broadcast on public television. Widely recognized by the music industry as the original tastemaker of the streets. McDaniels became more commonly known as Uncle Ralph in 1995 when Kool DJ Red Alert started calling him that on his radio show. McDaniels is an on-air personality at New Yorks Hot 97 and is one of the executive producers of The Bridge, which he also hosts. McDaniels influence in hip-hop culture stems from the astounding success of his 20-year hip-hop music show and spans over 25 years through the millions of viewers, fans, and consumers who have supported him throughout his endeavors in radio, television, and the fashion industry.
In 1995, Billboard magazine had recognized and awarded VMB as the Best Local R&B/Hip-hop Regional Show. Additionally, VMB was also notably voted as the Top-10 Greatest Hip Hop TV Moments by VH1 in 2003. By 2005, over 192,000 households per week were regularly viewing VMB. McDaniels had shined a light on an undertapped urban audience and literally answered their outcries against mainstream media’s disregard of its favorite artists with VMB. In 1985, McDaniels became the first to broadcast a hip-hop tour, Fresh Fest, on VMB, which featured many of today’s hip-hop icons such as Run D.M.C., LL Cool J, Whodini, and many others. It was also through the broadcast of VMB that McDaniels was able to successfully register over 10,000 voters, which earned McDaniels tremendous respect and accolades in throughout the City of New York. The success of Video Music Box became just one brick in the foundation that McDaniels would lay in hip-hop culture.
It was not long after VMB started that McDaniels began to grow tired of the substandard quality of some of the videos that he aired. Believing he could do a better job of producing videos for some of these emerging artists, McDaniels partnered with childhood friend Lionel C. Martin (The Vid Kid) and co-founded Classic Concepts Productions, a film- and video-production company that produced over 300 music videos, commercials, films, and documentaries between 1987 and 1997. Most notably, Classic Concepts was instrumental in producing videos for such greats as Public Enemy, the Notorious B.I.G, Big Daddy Kane, Nas and Wu-Tang Clan—with McDaniels producing and Martin directing these clips. The Lifers Group at Rahway State Prison, which aired on VMB, and was nominated for an Emmy in 1990. McDaniels hip-hop street credibility later led him to be approached by producers of the groundbreaking film Juice, starring Tupac Shakur, where he was asked to serve as a consultant to the film and was given the job of associate producer. McDaniels jumped at the opportunity to contribute his talents and connections to this urban film classic and additionally assisted the film’s writer, Ernest Dickerson, in re-writing the script. When film production began for Who’s the Man? starring Ed Lover and Doctor Dré, McDaniels was again called upon—this time to work in front of the camera, playing himself in the supporting cast. We now feature Ralph’s Video Mix Live show! Your favorite classic hip hop and dance videos mixed live by New York’s guru of urban culture.
Video Biography on RALPH and his mark on hip hop}
Gant Garrard (pronounced Jerrod) was introduced to mixing in the early 80’s by his older brother and learned how to count beats and blend records at the young age of 5 with Disco, New York Garage, Electronic, Hip Hop and Chicago House music. At age 10 he was ready to share his talent with the world and began mixing on a college radio station in Chicago [WKKC 89.3 FM] where he mixed from 1989 through 1997. At age 15 in 1995, Gant produced his first EP for Dance Mania called “Its About Time” which spawned the Chicago Underground smash 3 Blind Mice which was built around the theme music from The Three Stooges television show. He became known in Chicago as the Youngest Professional DJ and is attributed to being one of the main key innovators of Ghetto Juke House. At age 18 he began to travel, playing both the Rave and club circuits in the U.S. as well as in Europe. In 1998-99 Gant was playing in Paris at Le Queen and Gibus as well as in Geneve, Switzerland at the Lake Parade prepared him for his Summer 2000 residency in Ibiza, Spain at El Divino alongside Paul Johnson and DJ Skip. You Gotta Get Up was a huge success on Dust Traxx Chicago that was even reissued with Paul Johnson remixes and continues to be repressed due to relentless demand.
Gant has recently teamed with 2004 grammy award winning producer Maurice Joshua to work on remix production for Beyonce, Destiny’s Child and other major artists as well as submitting Juke House remixes to major labels hoping the A&R’s will give Gant a chance to exploit this long awaited underground Chicago sound that has been around since 1992. As of December 2005, Gant is the first DJ/producer to have a Chicago Juke house remix for an major artist on a major label with his remix for Beyonce’s “Check On It” feat. Slim Thug on Columbia/Sony Records. For the past couple of years multi-talented Gant has silently leaked his hip hop producing skills to the rap industry. Now with 17 years of being a DJ, 12 years of producing tracks and releasing production on labels like Columbia, Riviera, Dust Traxx, Treehouse, Bunchlox and Dance Mania, his career has become more prolific with each passing year. Gant has the experience to move crowds all over the world with his House, Ghetto Juke, old school & Hip-Hop sound and will move any crowd he is given the chance to.
GANT MAN at Social Club in Paris}
Arnold Steiner aka AS1 has been a major part of music history since 1996 living in New York as a Graphic Designer. He created designs for Planet Mu, Schematic, Rawkus, Breakbeat Science, Fuel, Laboratory Instinct and many more. He has also worked with other numerous record labels and musicians throughout the world like Phoenecia, Otto Von Schirach, Venetian Snares, Mos Def, Company Flow, Brazilian Girls and many more. Arnold has created a world class body of graphic arts and created video’s that have been featured in almost every film festival around the world.
Since 2004 AS1 has returned to his home town Miami to focus on music production and the launch of his own Electro label “Transient Force”. AS1 has now created 8 solo albums and multiple appearances on compilations on other labels such as Monotone, Solar One Music and Interstellar records. His label features artists such as Aux 88, Luke Eargoggle, Alek Stark, UHU, The Exaltics, Stingray313, alpha 606, Gosub and many more.
From The Above original music and video by AS1}
DJ, Producer+Artist Kimyon Huggins created The Muvment, a New York based music, art, and event production company responsible for dance events with an edge and eclectic twist. Including the Tru Skul, Pockit Rockit and most recently, Return of the Jaxx series, all of Kimyon’s events are known for their resistance to the predictable club scene and their undergound presentation. Kimyon has collaborated with Juan Atkins on the 2009 release “Work For Money” and has a release coming soon on Detroit’s legendary Metroplex imprint, and released “Runnin Faster”, a collaboration with Danish phenom Naja Rosa on Todd Terry’s InHouse Records fall 2010.
In the past few years Brooklyn-based artist Kimyon Huggins has also turned his attention increasingly towards painting. Huggins has sought to translate the ‘pure expression’ of his music into visual art through androgynous, primitive figuration, inspired both by the anonymous silhouettes of techno dance club-goers as well as Buddhist imagery that emphasizes the universal nature of the human spirit. His more recent work has displayed a greater commitment to layering and contrasts of color in which he combines oil and acrylic with less traditional modes such as spray-paint. His paintings, and that of frequent collaborators Ross Brodar and Joseph Conrad-Ferm, serve as a counter-point to the institutional fetish with conceptual art’s self-referential, nihilistic cynicism. Instead, Huggins comments, “We seek constant progression through art,music, and technology.”
KIMYON & NADJA ROSE . “Runnin Faster” on Todd Terry’s InHouse label}