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I’ve got that feeling all up in me. One that has been inspired by a wholly unbelievable experience at a gathering of like-minded souls at the Southport Weekender. It happened last weekend and I, as well as my friends who accompanied, cannot get over it. I almost feel as though I can’t put into words what I feel but it’s a feeling of awareness, of self-awareness, of waking up to the plans of which I envisioned at the beginning of this self-proposed change. One of growing up and of focus and of achieving all that I want to while I’m still young and free and able.

The festival. I completely underestimated the effect it would have on me and the absolute grandness of what it would turn out to be. It was like a utopia, a congress of souls that all for a short period of time converged to unify as one. The music was like nothing I had ever heard at a festival before and the spirit of the place was alive and buzzing, depicted through every smile and every random burst of unified dance move. The funny thing about this is that even though I make bold statements about how amazing it was and how beautiful the atmosphere was, one thing I can’t escape from is the fact that it was held in Pontins. Yes, Pontins. This drab, grey, institutional British family getaway destination was the host of the complete opposite of what it stands for. That aside, the music was incredible and I’ve never been to an event that hosted music that I’ve always been interested in, soulful house, jazzy beats, afro house, Latin beats, strong percussion, divaesque vocal house and good old plain soul.

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Strange, death’s effect on people. I know that’s quite an obvious and throwaway statement to make, possibly even insensitive, but right now I’m referring specifically to someone who died and of whom I never met. This legend who has quite an unnerving effect on me is Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of house music”. He died a week ago and I feel as though I’m mourning him. The music world was in shock as at age of 59 he unexpectedly died in his sleep. After some research, it seems he has had complications with Type 2 Diabetes and previously had problems with bone infections, even having to amputate his foot because of his gruelling work schedule – something of which I would never have known that time I was at Ushuaia Club in Ibiza, amongst other ravers in their highly glamorous outfits as we all danced side by side to his soulful Defected set in the comforting humidity beneath the sparkling stars.

Although he has remixed hundreds of famous tracks for the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and some of the more underground stuff, this track below was the defining point of his timeless career, entitled ‘Your Love’. It’s one of those tracks that everybody knows, whether through the reinterpretation made world famous via Candi Staton’s “You’ve Got The Love” or through his own 1980’s version. It’s one of those era-defining tracks that will live on forever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLE1YE_oFQ

As I’ve been travelling to work, the commercial radio stations that don’t usually complement my journey have, to the pleasure of my soul, been paying tribute to Frankie and each time they have I’ve felt a real sense of loss. It was a strange feeling, and as I was feeling it I acknowledged that it was strange – my face became confused and my expression turned to a wide smile, those expressions changed in quick, bipolar succession. At one point, as I sat on the back seat of the lower deck of the bus, I looked at the people sitting in their seats, oblivious to these waves of contrasting emotions going on inside of me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=644UU55eyzk

See, he’s accompanied my journey through music and my journey through music is essentially my journey through life. He’s held my hand through the hard times, the good times, the slow times, the bus journeys and so on. Even if it wasn’t his particular track I was listening to, what I was listening to would have in some way stemmed from his and a few others’ ground breaking visionary ways. Music has been an integral part to what I feel, to the events that have taken place in my life. Music, more specifically house music – the term of which was coined by the legend himself as he played in the nightclub The Warehouse, has documented my life up to now and although my vision of what’s out there has over time widened, it is house music, real deep house music, that has been my friend to talk to when I’ve felt alone or segregated or weird or unhappy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXatWr1JJ5c

So.. to you Frankie Knuckles, I salute, one love, thank you and rest in peace my friend.

https://soundcloud.com/hacienda-records/hacienda-nye-at-the-albert

BBC Article = http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26832310
LOVE Greg Wilson’s blog, his amazing tribute = http://www.gregwilson.co.uk/2014/04/frankie-knuckles/comment-page-1/

I know it’s alright here
But follow your heart dear
I know your dreams are clear
Don’t you know we all fear
Don’t be afraid of who you want to be
Remember I’m here
So maybe you should take the first step
And the rest will follow

I know you feel good here
In a space of your own
But time should make you realise
there’s more than this
Remove the label that you were assigned
Forget the limits that they taught you

So maybe you should take the first step
And the rest will follow..