My sincere apologies for the lack of updates - I've been busy with work the last 1.5 months, but am expecting to get back to more regular postings shortly. Without further ado, Burning was MK's breakthrough track, the song that put him on the map (his later Nightcrawlers work just took him to the next level). Musically, Burning contains an unforgettable "off-key" bell patch which shapes a hypnotizing melody and provides the framework for Alana's haunting vocals. The track's impeccably timed bass bottoms underscore the excellent production and enhance the timeless essence of the tune. Always a floor-filler and frequently a favorite of big MK fans.
Detroit techno pioneers Derrick May and Darryl Wynn teamed up to form R-Tyme for a small handful of releases in the late 80s/early 90s. MK's mix of Use Me delivers a dubbed vocal over a devastating bassline. The track is complimented with strings, a nice organ groove, and space effects.
The B-52's? Yes, for reals. To best appreciate this MK gem, let's watch a live performance of the original song from an appearance on The Tonight Show in 1992:
So it's a decent pop/rock song and I like The B-52's, but not their most memorable track. However, I'm grateful the band or their label commissioned remixes, because it gave us a chance for Marc "MK" Kinchen to do his thing. It was on this track that MK first experimented with stuttering the last syllable of lines. This would become a common technique, but it was also the precursor to what would become his trademark M.O. - pulling single syllables from various places in the vocals and reordering them to create catchy melodies. Of course, the track that showcases this best is his über-classic remix of the Nightcrawlers' Push The Feeling On.
But back to this dub mix of Tell It Like It T-I-Is...Aside from the aforementioned vocals dubs, the track has an excellent deep house bassline and showcases the unique vocals of Kate Pierson. Check it out!
The Reese Project was created by Detroit Techno innovator Kevin Saunderson as a gospel-oriented variant of his commercially successful Inner City group. The Colour of Love was The Reese Project's only big hit, reaching the top of Billboard's dance chart in October 1992. With his Deep Dub Remix, Marc "MK" Kinchen parlays Rachel Kapp's vocal into an enjoyable deep house classic. As this blog progresses, we'll see this is but one of many dope MK tracks where the original vocals are deconstructed and spun into a club dub masterpiece.
Where to start with this one? So far, I've been selecting just my favorite mix for each post, but that won't work for this jam - there's too many good mixes that it would feel wrong showcasing just one. First, for those new to house music, Masters at Work (MAW) consists of the NY duo of Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez and "Little" Louie Vega. They've been mega producers and remixers forever and have compiled a discography longer than the Mississippi River. Sometimes their mixes are issued under the alias KenLou, a syllabic abbreviation of their first names. India, also known as La India, is a Nuyorican vocalist who became a teen star in the 80s with freestyle music and has since had a very accomplished career in salsa and house. She's put on some weight over the years, but in her day, she was slammin' hot. India has an amazing voice with impressive range - after Barbara Tucker, she's probably considered the best voice in house music. Anyway, this song features an infectious beat and an all-time great horn sample and layered drums that shift the intensity from a lounge to club vibe. Most noteworthy are India's soulful vocals - she really pours her heart into this song and compliments the varied flow with the versatility of her singing.
Here's the Ken/Lou 12" Mix which is like the radio version except longer:
This site profiles my favorite classic house tracks. Most selections are from the 80s and 90s with a strong - but not exclusive - deep house, progressive and old school Chicago influence. I could never fully warm up to acid house, overly ambient tracks, or anything that bumps >135bpm. Since many have asked, there's no single definition of classic house music, but Ishkur has an excellent guide to electronica music that can serve as a primer for anyone interested. I know some of the videos get pulled due to copyright issues - just search on YouTube since most stuff gets re-upped anyway.