THE STANDARD: You're from Detroit, but lived in New Zealand for 14 years before moving back to New York last year. Could you pick three tracks that embody those three steps in your life and career: Detroit, Wellington (New Zealand), and New York?
Detroit, Michigan. Model 500 Future (Metroplex, 1985)
RECLOOSE: M-001, Juan Atkins first 12” release on his new Metroplex imprint, marked a defining point in Detroit’s musical mechanization. No UFOs stood as a techno blueprint for much of what would follow, but the B-Side Future was a veritable funk bomb, layering Detroit’s electro sound with bouncy synths, Juan’s trademark robot-oratory, and sinister P-Funk vibes. George Clinton surely approved of this one.
Wellington, New Zealand. Lord Echo Thinking of You (Economy, 2010)
While there's no shortage of talent in New Zealand’s capital city, this is “the Wellington sound” at its best, commandeered by the mighty Lord Echo (aka Mike Fabulous). Mike’s impeccable re-creation of the Sister Sledge classic quickly became a homegrown anthem and is still rocked religiously at beaches and BBQs around Aotearoa. (For a local release check out the Bastard Jazz label).
New York, New York. Crown Heights Affair Dreaming a Dream (De-Lite, 1975)
This Brooklyn feel-good classic is from one of my favorite disco big bands. Deep drum/guitar groove, Price Is Right synths, and one of the best vocal breaks of all time. Sure, it needs an edit…check out The Dynamic Duo’s flip on "In the Pocket" or Kon’s version of Larry & The Exciters’ cover for continued satisfaction.
Your career started in 1997 in Detroit when you met legendary producer Carl Craig. What is your all time favorite track by Carl?
So many Carl jams to pick from, but this represents what I dug about Carl in his earlier days - sampling was a staple of his repertoire and he used it to devastating effect. This one routinely gets the crowd wild, somehow sounding like Inner City meets Dr. Dre.
Urban Culture The Wonders Of Wishing (For You) (Eclipse, 1993)