DJ Chart: John Barera & Will Martin
The Boston-based roomies drop their first album on Steffi's Dolly label this month. Here they offer one of the most eclectic DJ Charts we've had the pleasure of coming across
Pharoah Sanders - Love is Everywhere [Impulse]
This is one in a large list of spiritual, soulful jazz songs that we are both really into. Sanders sounds like he's singing from across the room and the arrangement feels unscripted. The whole thing has this live feeling, everything is so in the moment. It's a beautiful song. That whole feeling of making music in the moment is what drives us.
Eddie Russ - I Want to Be Somebody [Monument]
This song must have one of the greatest keyboard solos ever played and it's a total ripper all around. When the vocals come back in and that synth stabs through everything, it's this kind of hands in the air moment. It makes the tune work really well on the right dance floor. This is a great example of a track that's informed by jazz, but at the end of the day is a banging dance tune.
Eddie Kendricks – People...Hold On [Motown]
It's hard to pin down exactly what makes this song so great. It's a well made tune, but there's something that pushes this one over the edge. The way it's mixed is wild, with crazy panning and these super hot vocals that make everything really psychedelic, especially in a nice pair of headphones. And Eddie's voice, as always, is beautiful and sincere.
Ron & Chez D – A1) Untitled [KMS]
For us, the Ron Trent and Chez Damier collaborations are the pinnacle of what house can be. This track is definitely one of their best. Rocking baselines, killer vocals, super danceable, soulful, and with a ton of raw emotion. It's a track that works in the car, your headphones, the club, just a perfect example of why we make house music in the first place.
XDB – Umega [Story]
This is a tune that we've started to play pretty often in the club recently, there is an undeniable groove to this track. It's so effective and uses so little. One of the best things about this track is how the main lead is modulated, it's super fucking funky and the stab that comes in works so well with the bass. Each element is perfect; when each element is perfect you can keep a track simple and it will rock.
Los Hermanos – Birth of 3000 [Los Hermanos]
Huge Detroit bomb. This is the pinnacle of soulful Detroit techno. Just a driving, beautiful piece of music. This track has everything: funk, soul, techno, jazz... all of the stuff we're really into. The chord progression and the strings are amazing – and those hats! That hat sound has definitely been something we've tried to achieve on more than a few of our tunes.
David Bowie – Oh! You Pretty Things [RCA]
This is a perfect song, so much so that it's hard to even talk about it. The timing, the arrangement, the chord progression, it's songwriting at it's very best. We really admire David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust and Hunky Dory were albums we were falling in love with at a young age. In terms of our music heroes the Bowie element is there, big time.
Dego & The 2000Black Family – Find a Way [Neroli]
When we heard this record last year we couldn't believe it had just come out. It's a Stevie Wonder style funk track, a seven minute jam that holds your attention until the end. The musicians are completely on point on this one – it's so tight. Just a perfectly done uplifting funky party jam that ticks all the right boxes for us.
J Dilla – Workinonit [Stones Throw]
Here, Dilla does in three minutes from a hospital bed what most people can't do on an entire studio album. On this track he collects many far flung sound elements that somehow work perfectly together. His influence is so far reaching, pretty much everyone who has a sampler and good taste has bit him at some point. He was the kind of guy who kept his head down and kept working, we admire that and try to do the same.
Stargaze – You Can't Have It [TNT Unlimited]
We both really, really love killer funky vocal jams and boogie funk tracks. We love Rene & Angela, Patrice Rushen, Skyy, Gwen McCrae and other artists behind hard hitting party bombs from the 70s and 80s. We love this sound because with these tracks, a lot of the time, they use some dope synths and always live instruments. This is the kind of killer tune that can kick a party into overdrive, especially when it's unexpected.