This Beat Is Mine! (*) Jerome Sydenham & Dennis Ferrer – Jehlaz (Ibadan)
Being of an African/Latin descent, I’ve always got into the blends of different vibes. I was livin’ in the Big Apple back in the day, and my boyfriend got me into these things, eventually bringing me to a place called Dancetracks where he was shopping tunes. That’s how I got to this label (Ibadan) and this specific song that literally blew my mind. With its title (‘Jehlaz’) and lyrics that sounded kinda weird to me. Incorporating what I understood as being some French words although I have to admit I never got their meaning. With the whole over a kind of rhythm pattern to get you dancin’ all nite long. A thing where you could feel the piano part used a percussion like in Cuban traditional music. And I’m not talking about the flute, takin’ you to another level.
On my Gosh, when I remember this ‘Jehlaz’ thing, with its A side (‘Kò Kò’) also worth the listen if you’re into Afrobeat.
This Beat Is Mine! (*)
Once in a week (on Wednesdays), we leave you at the command of IDMW…
For this to happen, nothing’s more easy… What you’ve just got to do is drop us a line while using our contact form and let us know about your favorite piece of music (*), along with a review explaining what it suggests you and why people should dig it. And the best of it will be given a publication with your credit the week after.
With warm thanks to Atlantic City, NJ-based correspondent, Barbara Mendoza, for this week’s suggestion…
Gladly welcoming yours to be published next Wednesday. On your marks!
A native of the Bronx, NYC, Dennis Ferrer started venturing into Techno. This back in the mid-90’s as Morph along with Damon Wild. An experience that give birth to one album and a handful of singles. The end of the 90’s seeing him jumpin’ into Soulful and Afro vibes. Eventually launching Sfere Records with Kerri Chandler. But also comin’ to collaborate with Jerome Syndenham on his Ibadan label. This in addition to releasing his sole album to date on King Street, back in 2006. And eventually launching his own label by the likes of Objektivity by the end of that same year…
Ferrer also pretty much contributed to the recognition of the South African House scene Stateside. Eventually remixing ‘Mari Ye Phepha’ for Bongo Maffin on House Afrika Records back in 2002. But also flirting with Afrobeat. On his own with ‘Funu’ for French label Basic Recordings’ in 2001. Or along with Jerome Sydenham on ‘Kò Kò’ backed with ‘Jehlaz’ the same year.
The man pretty much marked the early 2000’s with an irresistible signature. Blending Gospel, Funk, Afro and Latin vibes. This resulting in top notched timeless productions and remixes. From ‘Wonderful People’ along with Anthony Flanagan. To ‘It’s A Beautiful Life’ and ‘Grateful’, respectively with Aaron Pearson and Kenny Bobien. Not to mention his numerous collaborations with the late K.T. Brooks. On ‘Colors’ from his ‘Soul Collectives vol. 3’ EP on Large Music. As on his ‘The World As I See It ‘ album. This on tracks such as ‘Change The World’. But also ‘Run Free’ which Sean McCabe remixed back in 2008 and ‘How Do I Let Go’, itself with rework courtesy of DJ Able and Matthew Bandy. An album which spanned extra goodies such as ‘Church Lady’ which Italian twosome Souldynamic reconstructed back in 2015. And, last but not least, ‘Touched The Sky’ featuring Mia Tuttavilla.
Enough to have Ferrer establishing himself among the most in-demand post-producers in the meantime. Thus comin’ up with firing reworks. From The Kick Affiliates feat. Priscilla Ordonez (‘Don’t Wanna Stop’) to Knu Je’ (‘Seeds Of Life’). This in addition to the rumblin’ Snowy McEwan‘s ‘Someone To Love’ which I eventually included on the vol. 2 of my ‘Ritmo Suave’ series of comps in 2001. Not to mention Stephanie Cooke (‘Rain’) or the explosive ‘Shelter Me’ by the likes of Chris Herbert Presents Asaph Womack.
Goin’ further way, I guess it’s fair to say Blaze and Barbara Tucker‘s ‘Most Precious Love’ owes quite a lot to its rework by the likes of DF as well. With the same applying to Fish Go Deep With Tracey K*‘s ‘The Cure And The Cause’. As to Nick Curly‘s ‘Between The Lines’.
2004 saw him exploring abstract Electro Deep territories along with Jerone Sydenham on the memorable ‘Sandcastles’. Then eventually goin’ further way the year after on ‘Son Of Raw’. A title which he would turn into a guise soon after on his Objektivity label.
There, he eventually helped The Martinez Brothers to get into recognition. Eventually welcomin’ French outfit Télépopmusik while remixing ‘Love Can Damage Your Health’. But also Norwegian singer Ane Brun with ‘Headphone Silence’ as remixed by Henrik Schwarz. And Berlin famous Jazzanova with ‘I Can See’ featuring Ben Westbeech brought into some unsuspected new dimension by Konstantin Sibold. Dennis adding extra stones to his edifice with the firing ‘Hey Hey’ back in 2009. This in addition to ‘The Red Room’ and ‘Maniac 3000’, then ‘Checkmate The King’ with Jerome Sydenham more recently.
Whatever he’s been doin’, whichever direction he’s been venturing into, Dennis Ferrer had always managed to come up with a proper ‘Sinfonia Della Notte’.
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