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1997 music

Related: 1997 - music

Nuyorican Soul (1997) - Nuyorican Soul [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Speed garage

Yet another genre is created in the UK dance scene. A sound, best described as a blend of house mixed with drum'n'bass, hits the mainstream and "speed garage" is born.

Fela Kuti

A leaden cloud crept over Africa on August 2nd, 1997. Tears flowed from eyes in Nigeria, in Africa, and all over the world. Hearts became heavier. Many wished it hadn't happened. Some accepted it as part of a divine order. Anyone who was conscious of it at all recognized it as the end of an era. The battle hardened and seemingly invincible African music legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti was dead at 58 from heart failure related to AIDS. -- Carter Van Pelt

House and techno

  1. Blaze - My Beat
  2. Daft Punk - Musique
  3. Armand Van Helden - The Funk Phenomena
  4. Phoenix- Daft Punk
  5. Needin U- David Morales & The Face
  6. 'Spin Spin Sugar' by Sneaker Pimps
  7. Alexander Hope - Never Can Get Away
  8. Mateo & Matos - Home
  9. Roy Davis Jr feat. Peven Everett - Watch Them Come
  10. Kerri Chandler - Ladbroke Groove
  11. Roy Davis Jr feat. Peven Everett - Gabriel
  12. Paul Johnson Club Land - Bless It
  13. Johnny Fiasco - Fixation
  14. Jordan Fields - Dancin' Revisited (The Beat Goes On)
  15. Blaze - Lovelee Dae
  16. Michael Procter - Fall Down
  17. Jay Williams - Testify
  18. Todd Terry – Something Going On
  19. Ballistic Brothers - Blacker (than thou)
  20. Montefiori Cocktail - Gypsy Woman
  21. Move Me [the Extended Sun Mix] - Mood II Swing


  1. Dreams of Freedom: Ambient Translations of Bob Marley in Dub (1997) - Bill Laswell [Amazon US]
    I remember ignoring this album when it was originally released because the thought of an ambient Marley record sounded lame. What a terrible mistake on my part! This CD just flattened me! There's a lot more going on than just a typical dub remix so some purists may not dig it, but if you appreciate ambient and good dub this is all you. I can't believe how well these songs work in this context (with the possible exception of No Woman No Cry; it's good but not great.) This is a sweet record to chill out to or to put on when you want the mood laid back. It sounds cool in the headphones but in a good system with big bass it really opens up. Bass players take heed: Aston "Family Man" Barrett will take you to school and in this dubbed out mix he's never been more up front. Listen and learn.
    I was concerned that this was just an excuse to use the Marley name but it was obviously done with the love and respect that the music and Marley's spirituality deserves. Praise to Bill Laswell for doing it right. Wish I'd caught on sooner, but better late than never. --dubaddicted for amazon.com

  2. Homework (1997) - Daft Punk [Amazon US]
    After rocking the suburbs with the infectious and persistent "Da Funk" (with its amusingly pointless Spike Jonze video), Gallic pranksters Daft Punk unleashed Homework, an album that combined everything good about house music with everything bad about French pop and changed the face of dance music in the process. The sound of production duo Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem is a raw and dirty collage of cheap drum machines (wired for maximum swing) welded to endless filtered loops and embellished with everything from guitars to talk-box vocals. The beats are lifted straight from the Chicago House textbook, but the simple bass lines and catchy hooks make a listenable pop song from what would normally be a stripped-down DJ tool. Uncompromising yet totally accessible. --Matthew Corwine [...]

  3. Joe Claussell's Spiritual Life Music [Amazon US]
    1. The Prayer (Acroostic Mix) - Jepthe Guillame 2. All Loved Out (Love Serenade Mix) - Ten City 3. Kanpe (Billys Organ Dub) - Jepthe Guillame 4. Nothings Changed (Vocal Mix) - Ten City 5. Mixed Moods - Mateo & Matos 6. Lakou (A Vokal Mix) - Jepthe Guillame 7. Escravos De Jo - Robust Horns - Kerri Chandler/Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell 8. Stubborn Problems (Combination Mix) - Afrikan Jazz 9. Symbols Of Life - Lucho [...]

  4. Moondog - Sax for a Pack [Amazon US]
    The first new music from Moondog, nee Louis Hardin, in more than 20 years, Sax Pax for A Sax is probably the best introduction to the work of this eccentric former street musician. A joyous outburst, Sax Pax touches on influences ranging from Miles Davis' groundbreaking "Birth of the Cool," sessions ("Dog Trot"), medieval motets ("Tout Suite No. 1 in F Major"), and bebop's harmonic innovations ("Bird's Lament" and "Present for the Prez"). There's even a male chorus showing up occasionally, sounding like they stepped out of a Busby Berkely musical as they jauntily sing the praises of Paris, New York, and London. But the music's precise counterpoint and buoyant inventiveness could only be Moondog; listen and be enthralled. --Steven Mirkin [This is where Mr Scruff sampled "Move On" from] [...]

  5. Innovator - Derrick May [Amazon US]
    Thanks to legendary singles like "Strings of Life" and "Nude Photo," Derrick May is universally regarded as the definitive techno producer; by hijacking the rhythmic sensibilities of house and adding the intelligence of European electronica and the spirit of Motown, he single-handedly defined and articulated the sound of Detroit. But despite (or perhaps because of) his status as a "legend," nary a bleep had emerged from his studio since 1990 before the release of Innovator, a collection of his past work. This double CD contains the aforementioned "Strings" and "Nude Photo" singles as well as other classics like "It Is What It Is," "Salsa Life," and "The Beginning," all of which have been available only in vinyl form on May's own Transmat label. Until he reemerges from a self-imposed musical hiatus, your course in the spirit of Detroit begins and ends here. --Matthew Corwine [...].

  6. Arkology - Lee Scratch Perry [3 CD, Amazon US]
    The nearly four hours of astounding music encoded on these three discs merely scratch the surface of the highly personal sonic universe created by this legendarily eccentric, yet ridiculously prolific, dub-reggae producer. It's still the best source of entry into Lee "Scratch" Perry's world, though, a place defined by homemade avant-garde production techniques applied to the wittiest, angriest, sexiest, and most soulful reggae tunes ever written. Perry was born in 1936, and his career spans the history of Jamaican music. These 52 tracks, however, derive mainly from the late 1970s, when he was at the height of his considerable powers and recording hits like Max Romeo's "War in a Babylon" and Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves" for Island. Helpfully annotated, with a healthy handful of unreleased tracks, Arkology is a beginner's banquet of tracks that sound increasingly deep, daring, and downright frightening as the depth of Perry's talent is plumbed. --Richard Gehr [...]

  7. Nuyorican Soul [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Little Louis Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, the New York DJs/producers otherwise known as Masters At Work have consistently ignored musical rules when creating their genre-busting music. Nowhere is that refusal more apparent than on their 1997 Nuyorican Soul project. The aim was to explore New York's rich musical heritage by fusing quality jazz, latin, Salsoul disco, funk and hip-hop together. The result was a typically melody-soaked, sublime but burly MAW-style atomic jam, perfect for both dance floor and lounge. Supported by a cross-generational cast of musicians including vibraphonist Roy Ayers, vocalist Jocelyn Brown, New York salsa queen India and Philly hip-hop producer Jazzy Jeff among others, the pair joyously straddled the house/retro divide. Not only was this a ground-breaking album but Vega and Gonzalez successfully resurrected the credible careers of those who had become known as schmaltzy easy-listening fodder: their version of Rotary Connection's "I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun" fused swirling keys with only the best wonky disco ingredients. Sweetly sung by Jocelyn Brown (who previously was under-used as an archetypal shrieking diva), this is a five-minute slice of pure joy that doesn't fail to move. They masterfully reconstructed the glory days of legendary guitarist/singer George Benson with his contribution to the glorious "You Can Do It (Baby)". Elsewhere they provided Roy Ayers with his best material in aeons with "Sweet Tears" and gave us a real taste of real Nuyorican latin-jazz with the great pianist Eddie Palmeiri on " Taita Caneme" and "Habriendo El Dominante". Nuyorican Soulis an unpredictable, inventive, wonderful, landmark album. --Na'solo So' Fahed for Amazon.co.uk [...]

  8. Silent Introduction - Kenny Dixon Jr [Amazon US]
    This piece of electronic soul is a true masterpiece of music in any way, shape or form. Moody Man is actually Kenny Dixon Jr, one of the 'new school' of techno producers, and A Silent Introduction is his first full length album as an artist. The cover has a weird photograph of Kenny himself, looking like some sort of Afro-John Lennon(!), this bloke has grooves which could easily cause you to dislocate yr lower vertebrae. With its tempo sitting in warm confines of the 4/4 house beat, Moody Man makes a sound that is as pure and smooth as a blow job on a Sunday morning - concepts that would tickle the willies of you. The 2nd track on the CD - "I Can't Kick This Feeling When It Hits" - takes a sample from Chic, slaps down a deep-deep kick & beat, and washes down the concoction with a sonic wash that wouldn't sound too far off the 'ecstasy' sound of Spacemen 3/Spiritualised. By the time the perfect rhythm has peaked, you haven't realized that you've gotten of yr arse and you're dancing, even if it is like a grooveless spastic. There are tracks on the CD, that I know, many listeners will say "gee that sounds gay" - the dippy jazz of "The Third Track" or even "M Traxx" and "Music People" - but for dance pop, they still work better than anything by Armand Van Helden. Before you can say "but I thought he was...," you will have your mind fucked and twisted by the minimal squash of "Oceans," the filtered fuck of 'In loving memory' and the concrete ugliness of "Dem Young Sconies." For you 'purists' - which most of you Mojo motherfuckers are - slap your willy around to the mod-Gospel of "Answer Machine" or the jazz-fusion of "Sunday Morning" Listen to this fucken' CD, which is already two years vintage, and you will get some idea of where dance music will be heading for at least the next 8 years, give or take. -- Aaron Goldberg, Nov 1999 for Perfect Sound Forever

  9. Liquid Liquid - Liquid Liquid [Amazon US]
    Most of the groundbreaking no-wave funk released in the early 1980s on the 99 label is in limbo, but Grand Royal has seen fit to reissue three Liquid Liquid EPs plus live tracks. Who were Liquid Liquid? A bunch of white art-school types, whose "Cavern" formed the basis for "White Lines"--the following lawsuit sank both 99 and Sugarhill Records. This EP is as much Steve Reich as James Brown as Fela Kuti and sums ups most of New York City's musical obsessions of the period. Minimalist bass, trance-like vibes and occasional melodica and you're left wondering why anyone would choose to listen to acid-jazz, when we have godhead such as this. --D. Strauss [...]

  10. Serge Gainsbourg - Couleur Café [Amazon US]
    Contains most of the material of "Percussions", with liner notes in French
    Serge Gainsbourg put his extraordinary talent to merging Euro-Pop music with Latin and African rhythms on this album, and comes up with the most hip & happening lounge music you'll find. I gave my Esquivel away because after getting hooked on this, it just fell short. Couleur Cafe never fails to make everyone feel like having a party and transports one to an easy state of mind. At first listen, I smiled and laughed. At the second listen, I was chilling out in my own space and at the third, I realized Serge is an extremely sensitive, deeply philosophical man who can extract the very elements of an eclectic range of styles that, when combined, lightly uplift the soul. -- Jumpy1 for Amazon

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