With the outstanding success of the two first …mixing compilations from JAZZANOVA (SK033CD/LP) and Âme (SK96CD/LP), Sonar Kollektiv had to find another artist again that could bring something special to the series, so as to keep it really innovative. And they found the right one in the person of DENNIS Mc FARLANE a.k.a DEGO of 4HERO. With his partner MARK CLAIR a.k.a. MARC MAC they massively changed the face of 90s music and made a huge contribution to dance culture. They are regarded as the pioneers on jungle and drum n’ bass with their first album In Rough Territory released in 1991 on their own Reinforced label and they never stopped working and innovating ever since. In more than 20 years they released no less than 6 albums and set up 5 different labels : Reinforced, Raw Canvas, 2000 Black, Omniverse and Twisted Funk.
They have been crowned several times for such a long-standing passion for music. Their album Parallel Universe released in 1995 on Reinforced was labelled NME album of the year and their album 2 Pages on GILES PETERSON’s Talkin’ Loud was nominated for a Mercury Prize Award and won them a MOBO award in 2001. They recently released Play With The Changes on their own Raw Canvas label, which received a critical acclaim in UK. 4HERO are real world musicians. Rather than integrate, they interrogate the music history and are able to mix past, present and future. They were the most suited artists to bring something new to the series and Sonar Kollektiv is happy to let DEGO teach us a lesson of Black Music history for the third installment of the …mixing compilation series.
Things start off on a very funky note with BOOTSY COLLINS, who certainly knows what funk means more than anyone else. Indeed he played earlier on in his career in JAMES BROWN’s band! The tune Fat Cat, taken from his solo album Ultra Wave is some serious piece of funk and a great starter for a compilation that you will take you in the most refined corners of our contemporary music landscape. The beat goes on loud with the quality hip-hop of DABRYE, who is no other than the amazing TADD MULLINIX from Detroit. The man, who spans easily over music genres under many different aliases such as JAMES T. COTTON for Ghostly International and Spectral Sound and SK-1, is an artist you cannot put in a box and his tune Game Over is a hip-hop gem fused with wicked electronica. This trip to Detroit carries on with Over the Breaks taken from J. DILLA’s legendary album The Shining, which is the perfect bridge between broken beat and dub, with a dirty bassline and moody layers of synths. Afterwards DEGO takes us back in time with the electronic music of composer and inventor RAYMOND SCOTT regarded as a major influence for musicians such as ROBERT MOOG, Warp Records’ APHEX TWIN and BOARDS OF CANADA and suddenly breaks this childish atmosphere with High Noon of TWO SISTERS, which is a nice slice of disco-funk released on Carrere in 1983 and made of analogue drum beats and keyboard sounds. In order to keep your feet and mind dancing, DEGO follows things up nicely with the soulful and funky voice of FACE on the groovy break beats of Act Like All Is Right that he produced and arranged himself. For the second part of his lesson DEGO changes the mood again and breaks into some serious roots-reggae territory with the music of Jamaican dub mixer SCIENTIST a.k.a HOPETON BROWN and the dub sound of the emblematic reggae band THE SKATALITES. Blood on his lips of SCIENTIST is a slow instrumental tune with a fat drum bass beat giving the pace, choppy guitar riffs and some nice guiro sounds in a pure roots-reggae style. For Roots Dub THE SKATALITES made great use of different kinds of echoes on trumpet and flute melodies and on guitar riffs, so as to get this special sound, which influences every reggae, dub and broken beat artist ever since. And once again DEGO skip to a different music style and makes us discover the wonderful voices of PATRICE RUSHEN, who released on Elektra Records in the eighties, and of GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW, who released Olesi : Fragments of an Earth on Stone Throw in 2006, respectively with the very funky Message In The Music and the lovely and soulful Blackman. The „soul music meets electronica“ style of ROY HARGROVE on On The One completes this musical description of modern Soul. Finally to do things right till the end, Hip-Hop will be the last stop of this great music travel with the calm and dubby jam of LITTLE BROTHER called Nighttime Maneuvers released 2002 on his debut album The Listening and with Make Doe of Detroit producer WAAJEED, a brand-new and very scratching anthem that just been released last July on Fat City.
From new to old DEGO teaches us that Black music constantly innovates without forgetting its roots. The history of Black music is living and always in the making and there’s nothing better than this compilation to prove it.
“what a wonderful world that all this diverse tackle can co-exist on the same CD with such natural flow”
DMC Update –