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Jephté Guillaume

Related: Joe Claussell - New York music

Afro house: A form of house developed in Brooklyn, New York which reflects the cultural heritage of Africa and the African Diaspora. Incorporates deep percussive elements, chants, and organic African instruments and voices. Artists include Osunlade, Jephte Guillaume, Ian Friday, Antonio Ocasio and DJ Sabine.

It [The Prayer] was just one of those summer records. As soon as you heard the tendrils of Jephté Guillaume deep house spiritual "The Prayer", seeping out of a speaker you knew you´d be in for a treat. Acoustic guitars, sounds of an eternal rain, soft latin percussion and after two minutes a huge b-line hits and Jephte´s sonorous voice soon clears the sky as you move to the rhythms.

The former bass player with New York Acid-Jazz act Abstract Truth, has gone solo. He´s one of NYC premiere players and has performed with A Tribe Called Quest, Mary J. Blige and Groove Theory.

Jephté Guillaume is recording "Haitian street voodoo music" for the hip New York label Spiritual Life Music. The Haitian born New Yorker has released three tracks "The Prayer", "Kanpé" and "Lakou" on the Spiritual Life Music label.

"Lakou", the first single, means a place of worship. According to Jephté Guillaume "The Prayer" just means; be grateful for life. He says that people like to hear it on the dance floor because they can feel what he is saying rather than understand the words. This, he claims, is down to the intricate rhythms and the beats culled from a childhood listening to street music in Haiti. Jephté Guillaume brings Haitian musical traditions into American musical traditions and the two styles merges into new dimensions of dance music.

Jephté Guillaume three awesome singles are now collected on a Spiritual Life Music compilation released through Nuphonic, together with two Ten City remixes, and some rare tracks with artists I didn´t know of before. On this excellent release with beautiful music it´s easy to see how house music can be the next logical step in soulful black music. Once every now and then a label comes along that helps to redefine a genre. Spiritual Life Music is without doubt one of these. Jephté Guillaume is on the cutting edge of a new brand of globally-charged deep house music.

The music on this compilation, collected by Spiritual Life Musics label head man, Joe Claussell, is a brand new genre of acoustic deep house. It probably sounds like no other music you ever heard before. You´ll be surrounded by soft percussion, tender strings, singers and deep b-lines. The congas, strings and voices makes me think of early 1970´s Curtis Mayfield albums like "Curtis" and "Back to The World". But make no mistake, this is not retro funk, there is a hard edge beat, rather than Mayfields groove. Clausells vision of dance music makes it difficult to label the music on Spiritual Life Music as house, dance music or anything else. It´s just good music. And it´s awesome!!

Something on this page is copyright Mark Hurley [01/97]


  1. VARIOUS - Spiritual Life Music -- Label Compilation [2 CD, Amazon US]
    An incredibly rich selection of tracks -- 20 tunes on 2CDs, pulled together from the globally-conscious catalog of the Spiritual Life label! Spiritual Life know no boundaries -- as their artists bring together a world of influences and instruments, filtering them through the cultural hodgepodge of the current New York scene, into a sound that is beyond compare! The set features some of the best singles on the label over the past 5 years or so.
  2. Jephté Guillaume - Voyage of Dreams[Amazon US]

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