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View Full Version : Influence of past djs, Ron Hardy vs Theo Parrish, and including african music in sets



DJ76
08-31-2004, 08:25 AM
I remember reading recently that Theo got some inspiration from Ron Hardy and that he was featuring a couple of track Hardy would champion back in his days. One dj cannot ignore the influence of djs of previous generations but one question has sparked in my mind recently, when did djs start playing african music and afro-beat in their sets? Listening to Hardy sets and other sets of the 70s and 80s (Levan of course), I can't remember whether I heard many afro-beat tracks, save for Manu Dibango's Soul Makossa. Was Fela Kuti big back in the 70s and 80s? Or is it a sound that was re-discovered towards the end of the 90s by "house" djs. If Theo was inspired by Hardy, he sure did develop his own sound, not only by producing his own stuff, making his own edits, but also by playing a wider variety of african music and jazz.

In the 90s, I don't remember too many djs playing afro-beat until I started hearing djs like Joe Claussell and Dj Spen , and later on Theo Parrish.

Some thoughts about this?

dcook
08-31-2004, 08:37 AM
yeah that and MAW working with african artists too

DJ76
08-31-2004, 08:44 AM
true, true, MAW Expensive, Tribute to Fela....
Of course, you also have Ron Trent and family in the 90s.

Any answer to the question I asked? I'm thinking mr. Mancuso was perhaps playing some african music at the loft back in the 70s.

[ August 31, 2004, 09:45 AM: Message edited by: DJ76 ]

richierich
08-31-2004, 08:47 AM
Sadar has been playing Fela, Osibissa etc; since the 90s.

dcook
08-31-2004, 08:47 AM
yup that was the next i was bout to mention....who knows maybe it was just natural progression...seeing that much house music are essentially heavy with percussion, and the "scene" sense of community and gathering, it was only natural to take a look at the more tribal ethnic beginings of music in general....

TAD
08-31-2004, 08:57 AM
larry played fela, hugh masakela, olatunji etc. he also played reggae, brazilian music, latin, jazz, gospel, ballads. he played it all. it wasn't only about soul makossa.

djmarbll
08-31-2004, 09:02 AM
I don't remember hearing too much afro-beat stuff at parties in the 80's. I think that's a phenomenon that caught on in the 90's. Plus most of the Fela collection has been re-issued to make the songs easier to obtain. Before that, it was almost impossible to get some Fela and the Africa 70 material on vinyl. Guys like Sadar and Theo Parrish, Anthony Nicholson, and Shannon Harris have caused an interest in Afro-beat, which had been overlooked for years on the dance scene in most places.

DJ76
08-31-2004, 09:33 AM
Interesting, thanks for the replies.

I remember several years ago, Spen had dropped "Zombie" while playing in Montreal, and it opened a whole spectrum of music for me. There's so much out there graemlins/thumbsup.gif

later Ron Trent had dropped by Uzibee's night and played an incredible set of african music, including "shakara oloje"

[ August 31, 2004, 10:34 AM: Message edited by: DJ76 ]

jurren
08-31-2004, 09:38 AM
afro-beat was part of what was played in the cosmic scene in italy early to mid 80's.

Shalewa
08-31-2004, 09:52 AM
If you look at the responses there is a regional divide... When I got to college and encountered Midwestern styling I LOVED the raw energy of a lot of what I heard and of the whole party experience, but I missed hearing the same wide range of musics that I had experienced at the Garage. It is worth noting that my mother was playing Osibisa and Fela and Masakela and Manu Dibango at home in the 1970s. If she was finding these records I gotta believe it was in no small measure due to having heard them when she went out dancing.

simon b
08-31-2004, 10:01 AM
Hey Alex, maybe Tony can confirm this, but I've heard from various sources, that our very own Robert Ouimet would play African records at the Limelight in the 1970's.

I think Afro-beat, became more trendy in Montreal around 1997 when all those comps started coming out, along with more producers (esp Joe Clausell) pushing it and DJs like jojoflores, Alan Vinet & Chris P doing nights/sets based around this sound.

TAD
08-31-2004, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by simon b:
Hey Alex, maybe Tony can confirm this, but I've heard from various sources, that our very own Robert Ouimet would play African records at the Limelight in the 1970's.

I think Afro-beat, became more trendy in Montreal around 1997 when all those comps started coming out, along with more producers (esp Joe Clausell) pushing it and DJs like jojoflores, Alan Vinet & Chris P doing nights/sets based around this sound. ok since we're talking about mtl, not to toot my own horn simon but i was playing african music, a lot of fela on the air since 91 when i started the show. it was always part of the repertoire & that's where dj's like pronovost heard it and started chasing after it.

robert may have played fela from time to time probably late when nobody was left or he would clear the floor with it when he was pissed off at the crowd but you gotta understand, lime light was a very trendy club that had a racist door policy, (we're talking from 1973-1980) a very strictly enforced racist door policy. the exclusion of blacks there sealed the fate of disco in this city reenforcing the gay stereotype associated with this music.

at the time blacks were going to rendezvous which was literally around the corner where funk, soul p funk, reggae & R&b and philly soul were being pklayed. later on dtrain, peech boys, vaugh mason & afrika bambaataa became staples there while the lime light has switched to new wave & punk.

i could get deeper into this but that's a whole other topic.

PraiseA
08-31-2004, 10:21 AM
FRANCIS GRASSO, late 60s NYC. He is the OG club DJ and he was rocking African records. DRUMS OF PASSION!!!

imported_Gman
08-31-2004, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by Shalewa:
If you look at the responses there is a regional divide... When I got to college and encountered Midwestern styling I LOVED the raw energy of a lot of what I heard and of the whole party experience, but I missed hearing the same wide range of musics that I had experienced at the Garage. It is worth noting that my mother was playing Osibisa and Fela and Masakela and Manu Dibango at home in the 1970s. If she was finding these records I gotta believe it was in no small measure due to having heard them when she went out dancing. Mariam Makeba (sp?), Osibisa, Masakela and Manu Dibango were just part of what we listened to growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 70's.

-G

DJ76
08-31-2004, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by Cosmic T:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by simon b:
Hey Alex, maybe Tony can confirm this, but I've heard from various sources, that our very own Robert Ouimet would play African records at the Limelight in the 1970's.

I think Afro-beat, became more trendy in Montreal around 1997 when all those comps started coming out, along with more producers (esp Joe Clausell) pushing it and DJs like jojoflores, Alan Vinet & Chris P doing nights/sets based around this sound. ok since we're talking about mtl, not to toot my own horn simon but i was playing african music, a lot of fela on the air since 91 when i started the show. it was always part of the repertoire & that's where dj's like pronovost heard it and started chasing after it.

robert may have played fela from time to time probably late when nobody was left or he would clear the floor with it when he was pissed off at the crowd but you gotta understand, lime light was a very trendy club that had a racist door policy, (we're talking from 1973-1980) a very strictly enforced racist door policy. the exclusion of blacks there sealed the fate of disco in this city reenforcing the gay stereotype associated with this music.

at the time blacks were going to rendezvous which was literally around the corner where funk, soul p funk, reggae & R&b and philly soul were being pklayed. later on dtrain, peech boys, vaugh mason & afrika bambaataa became staples there while the lime light has switched to new wave & punk.

i could get deeper into this but that's a whole other topic. </font>[/QUOTE]Thanks for the slice of history. Interesting indeed. My understanding of Ouimet at Limelight was also that he played lots of disco for a short period of time then switched to new wave and punk. So I could guess that african music didn't have much place in his repertoire.

DJ76
08-31-2004, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by Shalewa:
If you look at the responses there is a regional divide... When I got to college and encountered Midwestern styling I LOVED the raw energy of a lot of what I heard and of the whole party experience, but I missed hearing the same wide range of musics that I had experienced at the Garage. It is worth noting that my mother was playing Osibisa and Fela and Masakela and Manu Dibango at home in the 1970s. If she was finding these records I gotta believe it was in no small measure due to having heard them when she went out dancing. very true about the original divide, and jurren's remark's interesting too, that they were playing afro-beat in Italy in the 70s and 80s.

Re: your mother getting those records, I have a good friend who was really tuned onto african rhythms way before it "came back" into clubland... I believe he had been listening to radio shows though. Could it be she was turned onto it by the radio rather than clubs? Or perhaps she went to places where african music was played?

simon b
08-31-2004, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by Cosmic T:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by simon b:
Hey Alex, maybe Tony can confirm this, but I've heard from various sources, that our very own Robert Ouimet would play African records at the Limelight in the 1970's.

I think Afro-beat, became more trendy in Montreal around 1997 when all those comps started coming out, along with more producers (esp Joe Clausell) pushing it and DJs like jojoflores, Alan Vinet & Chris P doing nights/sets based around this sound. ok since we're talking about mtl, not to toot my own horn simon but i was playing african music, a lot of fela on the air since 91 when i started the show. it was always part of the repertoire & that's where dj's like pronovost heard it and started chasing after it.

robert may have played fela from time to time probably late when nobody was left or he would clear the floor with it when he was pissed off at the crowd but you gotta understand, lime light was a very trendy club that had a racist door policy, (we're talking from 1973-1980) a very strictly enforced racist door policy. the exclusion of blacks there sealed the fate of disco in this city reenforcing the gay stereotype associated with this music.

at the time blacks were going to rendezvous which was literally around the corner where funk, soul p funk, reggae & R&b and philly soul were being pklayed. later on dtrain, peech boys, vaugh mason & afrika bambaataa became staples there while the lime light has switched to new wave & punk.

i could get deeper into this but that's a whole other topic. </font>[/QUOTE]Awesome Tony, thank you. It's true I do seem to recall first hearing those sounds on your show, like I said it became "trendy" much later, but as always your were a pioneer, not a follower. Whenever you'd like to share more MTL history, please do!

Shalewa
08-31-2004, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by DJ76:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Shalewa:
If you look at the responses there is a regional divide... When I got to college and encountered Midwestern styling I LOVED the raw energy of a lot of what I heard and of the whole party experience, but I missed hearing the same wide range of musics that I had experienced at the Garage. It is worth noting that my mother was playing Osibisa and Fela and Masakela and Manu Dibango at home in the 1970s. If she was finding these records I gotta believe it was in no small measure due to having heard them when she went out dancing. very true about the original divide, and jurren's remark's interesting too, that they were playing afro-beat in Italy in the 70s and 80s.

Re: your mother getting those records, I have a good friend who was really tuned onto african rhythms way before it "came back" into clubland... I believe he had been listening to radio shows though. Could it be she was turned onto it by the radio rather than clubs? Or perhaps she went to places where african music was played? </font>[/QUOTE]Some of the exposure was probably a consequence of being a politically progressive grad-student in the early 1970s. Still, I am sure that the proto-Underground parties she danced at were, "places where african music was played," because she has told me so and I remember from our record hunts at second hand stores when I was growing up that hard to find Fela was always a keeper (she also took me to see Fela and Masakela and Makeba live).

Ron la Rock
08-31-2004, 12:54 PM
Good question
as far as NYC at least for me late 80s like 89-90 ish as WILD PARTYS got in full swing the end of
the Acid era almost and right as the Jazzier tracks and styles were still comin in I remember distinctly Djs like BOBBY KONDERS,BASIL, MANSKI began playin more reggea ish and afro stuff most Definitly FELA's "upside down" in thier sets more
(espec Bobby)
and believe there was no trend at that time 4 that kind of music
although the afrocenntric style/motif was starting in real heavy so do the math

never forget tracks like "CORO-CORO" wich stood out during the NJ/NYC/CHI sounds of late 80s
(loved that track) also "JOIN Hands" with that killer bongo & piano
so thte sound just evolved to take over NYC at leats 4 a while I think it spread from there
in a sense

Nege
08-31-2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by Gman:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Shalewa:
If you look at the responses there is a regional divide... When I got to college and encountered Midwestern styling I LOVED the raw energy of a lot of what I heard and of the whole party experience, but I missed hearing the same wide range of musics that I had experienced at the Garage. It is worth noting that my mother was playing Osibisa and Fela and Masakela and Manu Dibango at home in the 1970s. If she was finding these records I gotta believe it was in no small measure due to having heard them when she went out dancing. Mariam Makeba (sp?), Osibisa, Masakela and Manu Dibango were just part of what we listened to growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 70's.

-G </font>[/QUOTE]same here , especially having a west indian background it was a pretty common thing to hear that music when i was growing up,
even in the late 70s my dad used to listen to a lot of that "Discalypso" sound that came out on labels like ROKEL and MAKOSSA ( Bunny Mack's let me love you,Wagadu-Gu's Easy Dancing etc....)
oddly i never knew of fela way until after the fact,like late 90s.
but at home it was about Manu,Osibisa,Masekela and the odd artist that wasn't as popular.......

[ August 31, 2004, 08:59 PM: Message edited by: Nege ]