The city that lives and breathes technology is not without a soul. Inspired by the rolling hills, scenic beauty, and uninhibited people of San Francisco, these are the artists that help give the city its distinctive sound.
Veteran house music DJ and producer, Julius Papp, has played a pivotal role in forging the vibrant dance music culture that exists in the Bay Area today. One of San Francisco's favorite DJs, he landed his first club gig in1987 and has been committed to the craft ever since. A prolific and well-loved dance music producer since 1994, Julius' name can be found on countless house and downtempo 12 inches, albums, and mix CDs. In 2003 he created his own label, NeoDisco Music (with vinyl distribution through Soulfuric Recordings), as an outlet to release his music while maintaining his distinctive creative vision. A resident of San Jose, California, Julius has held various club residencies in the Bay Area. Currently, he co-hosts the jam-packed Saturday monthly "Foundation" party with Miguel Migs and Jay-J Hernandez at San Francisco's legendary End Up. He's deejayed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, including world class venues such as "Pacha" in Ibiza and "Ministry of Sound" in London. He travels the air waves as well: his Thump Radio sets air two Saturdays a month on Alice 97.3FM, and he's had several guest spots on XM Satellite Radio.
Music is often referred to as a universal language, however there are many dialects and few musicians who are able to freely converse in more than one. Young producer, composer and musician, Karsh Kale (pronounced Kursh Kah-lay) is fluent in several. Fueled by the music of his Indian heritage, and the influences of rock, and the modern electronic music of his American upbringing, Karsh Kale has become the spokesperson for a truly international music. In Kale's 2001 debut, Realize, and his follow-up remix record in 2002 Redesign - Realize Remixed, we heard the birth of a single, distinctive voice that could speak many musical languages. Now, that musical voice has matured - and the result is his 2003 release, Liberation. Karsh Kale honed his music and producing skills in collaborations with Herbie Hancock, Sting, System of a Down's Serj Tankian, Moroccan master Hassan Hakmoun, Senegalese superstar Baaba Maal, and Ethiopian pop singer Gigi. He's a charter member of the super group Tabla Beat Science, playing and collaborating with Zakir Hussain, Ustad Sultan Khan and Bill Laswell. Kale taught himself to play the tabla, the tuned pair of hand drums used in Indian music, by listening to Zakir Hussain. Hussain, perhaps the most respected tabla player in the world, makes a guest appearance on Liberation. There are some real epics on Liberation. "Milan," dedicated to Kale's daughter whose Sanskrit name means "Meeting of Two Rivers," is a graceful and melodic gathering of bansuri (the Indian wood flute,) a masterful tabla performance by Zakir Hussain, bassist Bill Laswell's low-end, and the strings of the Madras Chamber Orchestra. As Kale complements this sensuous work with his technical prowess, the whole song echoes the form of the Indian dhun - a rhythmic, light-classical work usually based on popular or folk music.
Cheb i Sabbah was born in Algeria and moved to France in the '60s. He is one of the earliest practitioners of the art of deejaying and began spinning in Paris in 1964 where he first saw and met The Living Theatre, whose influence resonates in the drama and epic abandon of Shri Durga. It is hard to separate the myth from reality about Cheb i Sabbah's life in the '70s. He maintains a stoic silence about it. He makes no comments about his engagement by John and Yoko in the U.K. and the macrobiotic connection therein. Freaky performance art in body bags? Chebiji makes no elaboration. Although, we do know that he joined The Living Theatre in 1971 and later on, with Suzanne Thomas, started a theater troupe in San Francisco named Tribal Warning Theatre. In the late '80s and through the '90s dj Cheb i Sabbah was an icon of the DJ circuit in San Francisco and was involved in a breathtaking variety of musical collaborations and performances including Qawwali maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and jazz trumpeter Don Cherry. He produced an album called The Majoon Traveller, using DJ-cut-up techniques and making fast connections with Brion Gysin, Ira Cohen, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and Moroccan Jilala and Gnawa trance music for the Sub Rosa label. Since then, he has remixed Psychic TV, Paul Horn and Don Cherry. His diverse influences and spiritual curiosity resulted in Shri Durga, the debut album on Six Degrees Records and a mind-bending, panaromic Hindu-goth pièce de résistance.
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Clearly our most anticipated record release of the year, Ubiquity proudly presents Greyboy's first album in three years. Entitled "Soul Mosaic," this brand-new full-length was recorded 10 years after the release of "Freestylin'," the ground-breaking first Greyboy full-length album for Ubiquity (which to date has sold over 100,000 copies and is the cornerstone of our label). The tracks crafted into a fourth Greyboy album include groundbreaking territory for the Southern California based producer/DJ. For the first time he has recorded full vocal songs adding a new soulful dimension to his music. The trademark laid-back West Coast Greyboy beats remain central to "Soul Mosaic" but are now enhanced by collaborations that took place over the past two years. Vocalists like Bay Area underground favorite Bart Davenport formerly of The Kinetics and now a solo artist on Paris Caramel records sings on the two sold-out singles "To Know You is To love You" and "Genevieve", cover versions of a Stevie Wonder tune (originally recorded by Syreeta) and Cymande respectively. "Genevieve" was nominated as one of the songs of the year by Radio 1's Worldwide host Gilles Peterson.
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After a year spent recording (and sampling local wine) in locations ranging from their native Austria to Istanbul to London and beyond to the Mediterranean region of Tuscany, dZihan & Kamien (pronounced JEE-hahn and KAMien) have completed their most ambitious work to date. Gran Riserva is both an homage to the duo's musical heritage and a significant rethinking of what constitutes 'club' music. Abetted by an eclectic array of guest musicians, with their second album of original material dZihan & Kamien have taken a stylistic leap of the magnitude usually achieved by artists further advanced in their careers. Gran Riserva is evidence of a deeply felt connection to music in a profound manner not the mere outcome of a thrilling game played with electronics and effects units. dZihan & Kamien, trained musicians in their own right, are each the progeny of fathers who were career musicians in the '60's and '70s. The elder Messrs. dZihan & Kamien toured Europe and Asia Minor, playing military bases and concert halls. The album was conceived as a tribute to the two fathers, each of whom inspired his respective son's musical aspirations. Their presence is felt throughout; samples made from their earlier taped performances helped to generate the new album's eleven tracks. And, yes, dZihan Sr. and Kamien Sr. are the two nattily attired DJs depicted on Gran Riserva's cover. With a well-considered identity such as dZihan & Kamien's both fans' expectations and the tendency of critics to lump them in with their Viennese contemporaries such as Kruder & Dorfmeister are equally restrictive and unfair. Vlado dZihan addresses both concerns directly, saying "We didn't want to make just another typical nu jazz album, with a Latino bossa nova sound done by computers. This is too simple and you don't have to be musician to do that. We wanted to translate to today the jazz music played and lived at that time or by our fathers… Gran Riserva is about catching the vibe and the spirit of that time and translating it into 2002." Adds partner Mario Kamien, "Vlado and I were those kids who grew up being forced to have boring piano and guitar lessons. But I also discovered the magic of being in school bands and making heavy noise."
Karmacoda's organic, electronica has a sound distinctly their own, while spawning dark, emotional, and absolutely breathtaking music. Karmacoda render human issues through the electronic medium to create the perfect aural escape from our ultra-commercialized planet.
the gap between electronic Djs and conventional bands are San Francisco
ensemble Sutro, who have taken a dash of Portishead, a splash of The
Doors, a pinch of Stan Getz, and a shot of Prince to make an intoxicating
mix of 21st century music for lounging. When Ms. Stone, a renowned and
accomplished remix producer (Sting, Everything But the Girl) as well
as a talented vocalist, and Mr. Hinds, a former stalwart of New
At the forefront of dance music's deeper realm stands Miguel Migs personifying the chilled-out, soul-driven vibe of the Naked Music concept. Combining the best of both the electronic music world, with live instrumentation to create an organic-soulful sound to his original productions and remixes. Contrary to many of his club-o-centric DJ/producer peers, Miguel is unabashedly not always concerned with the potential dance floor appeal of his soulful, uplifting tracks. "It's music you can enjoy and listen to at home or in the club, not necessarily just to rock the dance floor at its peak," explains the Northern California native, who grew up with a true love of reggae, soul, classic rock, R&B, jazz, punk and hip-hop. A musician at heart, Miguel's professional career started at age 18 in Santa Cruz playing guitar and writing songs with his reggae band. After parting ways, Miguel then put his focus and creative energy into experimenting with the production of electronic music. Conveniently, Miguel was situated just two hours away from North American club-love mecca San Francisco, in whose arms he discovered an intense musical passion that he could express alone in a studio: the feeling of house, and electronic music. "I was instantly hooked on the sounds of deep, soulful house music from the first time I heard it in the early 90's", explains Migs. "It was a beautiful feeling I got from the music, a very positive inspiration". As a producer, Miguel perceives a strong connection between his house productions and reggae roots. Reflecting on his live musical background, he writes his own lyrics and plays his own instruments, be it guitar, bass, percussion or keyboard. As a DJ Miguel maintains the same elements to his sets, as to his productions. Combining a variety of influences and styles fused together. Funky, Deep, soulful, bumping house music. "I like to mix it up and keep it moving, taking the crowd on a very spontaneous journey into the realms of quality, deep house music depending on the mood in the room", says Migs. "But, whether it's vocal, tracky, dubby, moody, percussive, broken beat or whatever, it just has to be very soulful, and funky with emotional content." Miguel currently can be found regularly travelling the globe as one of the industries top-leading DJ's, as well as at home in the studio creating music, which is his main love and passion. "It's all about the balance between the traveling, studio and everything else in life", says Migs, "music has no limits or boundaries and I get inspired by everything around me!" ...Nuff said!
In 1996 DJ F left Florida with 1 turntable, 2 saxophones, a crate of Records and a Bachelor's of Music from the University of Miami. The last 8 years F has been busy building his studio, performing, producing, remixing, and most recently fronting his 5 piece electro-funk band Breakshop. Highlights of his performing career include dj'ing with Hybrid, Crystal Method, Deep Dish and Mark Farina, playing horn with Marques Wyatt, M3 and Rick Preston and opening up for legendary bands like Parliament/Funkadelic and Kool & the Gang. Together with his wife and vocalist Hilary they created the label, Breakshop Studios, in 2003. DJ F's full length debut Only One kicked the label off to a great start.This diverse work showcases his broad range of production styles from dark dancefloor breakbeats to lush jazzy grooves. The label's first12" single, Listen to the Fog (Chris Lum remix) b/w Gotta Get the Funk, is available now. Together with Revive the Soul we are proud to give you Destination Lounge: San Francisco, compiled and mixed by DJ F.
Unquestionably alive, the music of Soulstice echoes of the past while remaining transfixed on the possibilities of tomorrow. Soulstice is futuristic electronic soul. Consisting of aural innovators Andy Caldwell and Gabriel Rene on keyboards, deck master Mei-Lwun Yee on turntables and songbird Gina Rene on vocals, Soulstice have released a string of sought after house and d&b classics including "Tenderly" and "Lovely." Featuring remix work by Kevin Yost, Johnny Fiasco and Acetate these 12"s have brought Soulstice into clubs worldwide on the playlists of notable artists such as Rainer Truby, DJ Garth, Mark Farina and Q Burns Abstract Message. Stateside, their debut album Illusion has garnered huge radio support from Jason Bentley and Kevin Lincoln, making Soulstice one of KCRW's most requested artists. In 1989 Gabriel and Mei-Lwun were working on a hip-hop track in the Rene family studio. "The track was cool," says Gabriel, "but Mei-Lwun and I couldn't rap." They asked little sister Gina to give it a try, and the rest is history. It wasn't till some time later that Soulstice finally materialized after collaboration between Andy and Gabriel in 1995. "I knew the first time I worked on a track with Gabe that this was right. Making music with my brother was where I was supposed to be. The chemistry between all of us was so obvious and it was such a natural high whenever we'd get together." reflects Gina. Approaching production from a collaborative standpoint, Soulstice often developed many of the sounds and ideas they used from the freestyle sessions they originally became known for. Soulstice continued to refine their sound with emotive song writing and detailed arrangements. From playing to a few hundred people at 111 Minna St to playing sold out shows at the 1200 capacity historic Fillmore Theatre, SF, Soulstice have come a long way in their musical journey. "We live and breathe our music, everything comes from us. The song is king, it's all about the lyrics." says Andy. "Like a lyrical journal, I lay out my experiences and melodies to connect to the present in our music. I get the feeling that the whole band's lyrical ability to be so honest about the struggle of growing into adulthood really brings the listener in." describes Gina. The debut album "Illusion" is a true collective work of art. Five years in the making, Soulstice emerge as the driving force behind putting the music back into electronica. "Using the electronic medium does not mean that the music can't be organic," explains Andy, "there is more to electronic music than beats and samples." As an American band in a widely European genre of dance music, Soulstice are pioneering the stateside convergence in the sophistication of electronic music. "The creative process that drives Soulstice, now 5 years later, is more disciplinary. Songwriting is the main focus and we have input where it used to be me writing the majority of lyrics/melodies. It's exciting to open up the arena, for example, Mei-Lwun shares his poetic skills or I'd suggest a break beat." says Gina.
Kevin's dj career began in 1994 in his hometown of Charleston, SC, where he promoted events with friends as "groovers afterhours." After moving to Boston in 1997, house music became his focus. Kevin began producing tracks in 2000 and has recently teamed up with veteran Bay Area producer Rick Preston. Together they are working on a number of projects including a remix for Palmetto.
As a DJ, Jay-J has made a name for himself with superb mixing and an energizing deep house sound. In addition to SF residencies like Breath Deep and Kit Kat, he has held residencies in Seattle, Washington, and Canada. He was also a member of Billboard Magazine's Dance Panel, an official recognition of his hard work and commitment. As an accomplished producer, Jay-J has released music on many labels including Velocity Records (NYC), Dripping Wet (NYC), Paper Music (UK), Tilted (Seattle), and Sound of Music (New Jersey). In late 1997, he developed Moulton Studios where he serves a variety of clients, from labels to game developers to ad agencies.
Soulplanet Jazz Ensemble brews an intoxicating blend of music by fusing the rhythmic sounds of Latin Jazz with deep resonating percussive beats and funky basslines. Living the mantra of Jazz | House | Soul, Soulplanet Jazz Ensemble has found an audience among fans of all walks of life as they continue to spread the movement of their infectious grooves.
Latrice Barnett began singing professionally while living in France in 1996. Since returning to the US in 1997, she has proceeded to make her mark as one of the top talents to emerge out of San Francisco. Not only blessed with a uniquely sensual voice, Latrice has also proved her mettle as a prolific songwriter, setting her apart from other singers. Already with 2 successful albums under her belt with her band, Five Point Plan (and a third album on the way in May 2003), her talents as a lyricist are unquestionable. In late 2002 Latrice teamed up with Grammy-nominated producer Jay-J (Moulton Studios) and began writing a slew of songs that would later prove to be her greatest successes yet. From the sultry 'Without Love' (Transport Records) to the feisty anthem 'Keep On Rising' (Defected Records), her voice captures the listener - and her words keep you enthralled. Latrice has a broad musical background, beginning at age 10 with the alto saxophone. From there, she has studied many instruments, including clarinet, guitar, bass (electric), piano, flute, cello, and various African drums. Her interests lie in all types of music: "As a songwriter, I cannot limit myself to any one genre. I just write from the heart, and if my heart feels soulful, or pop, or country-western, or jazz, it is my duty to express it as honestly as I can."
Detroit-based producer, label boss, and globetrotting DJ, Kelli Hand, developed a musical foundation from age six when she began studying voice, piano, and bongos. In high school, she played the drums, inspired by Latin artists like Harry Belfonte and Tito Puente. After studying music theory in college, Kelli frequented the Paradise garage and started collecting the records that Larry Levan and Tim Regisford would play. In 1990, she was recruited to deejay by a new Detroit club called 'Zippers'. This same year, she released her first twelve inch, 'Think About It", and launched her record label, Acacia. Over the past decade, she has proliferated tracks for labels including Tresor (Berlin), Warp (UK), Distance (France), Reload (UK). She has introduced new artists like the Wampdue Kids, and has championed the equality of women in dance music.
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As a producer Lum has quietly produced more than 60 projects in the last 2 years. Fans of his music appreciate the ever-present funk that he brings to his craft. Tracks or songs, he manages to keep the dance floor aesthetic in tact. A peek into his discography reveals some the hottest underground cuts of the last few years. Records like "Big Tool" on Tango have been staples in the crates of today's biggest DJ's. On any given night his productions can be heard from the likes of DJ Dan, Mark Farina, Youssef, Lottie and Danny Rampling. Other titles such as his 2003 Grammy nominated remix of Jill Scott's "He Loves Me", are destined to be played for the next decade. In an age of hype, trend and purchased celebrity, Lum prides himself on being an artist with the ability to remain true to his roots while demonstrating commercial viability. Listen to his works and you will hear the influences that fuel his creativity. Funk, Afro-Latin, R&B and New Wave stylings give his work a unique place in an industry mired in mediocrity. In addition to his abilities as a producer, Lum is also a songwriter. As a producer, he understands what a good and honest song can do to people's souls. It is the marriage of these two components that will ensure Lum a consistent place in the minds of an ever-restless market.