Tue. Sep. 28, 2021

Opolopo & Diane Charlemagne – Round And Round

First Listen: Opolopo feat. Diane Charlemagne – Round And Round (Opolopo 4 To The Floor Mix) (Z Records)

If a regular to these shores then Opolopo‘s name should already sound familiar. Most likely synonymous with arrangements in ultra high definition. Meanwhile Diane Charlemagne is no new comer neither. Herself remembered for her collabs with artists such as Goldie, Satoshi Tomiie and Moby. Not to mention The Sunburst Band.
What we have here is another take of the recently released ‘Round And Round’ as a part of Opolopo‘s ‘Superconductor’ album. With the latter expanding its Funk feel with an infectious slapped bassline around a rhythm line arranged in a way somehow reminding of the great Marcus Miller. Meanwhile one could feel some connection with Mica Paris on the lady’s delivery…

Sadly enough, ‘Round And Round’ saw the light a few week’s before Charlemagne‘s passing.

Download from Traxsource.

– Lookin’ in the list of possible remixers for someone to give a contemporary (if not futuristic) feel to your music? Then chances are great you would find Opolopo on top of it along with others studio wizards such as Atjazz, Henrik Schwarz or Aki Bergen. This pretty much depending on the direction you want to give to your work, as a matter of fact.

Speakin’ of Hungary, Peter Major (Opolopo) hardly knows more than the fact it happened to be his native country. Her mom deciding to leave it during the communist period. This during a visit she made to his dad (himself a musician) who was touring in Sweden at the time. With the whole family changing nationality soon after.

Sweden being a country where Jazz has an undeniable meaning – with thanks to its prolific scene – no wonder how it got an echo on Opolopo‘s construction. As DJ, a remixer or an artist on his own rights.

Opolopo released his first album – ‘Omnifarious’ – back in 2003 on Australian label Collision Records. And he got commissioned to do his first remix two years later. This while retouching ‘Freeze The Cut’ for Comfort Fit feat. Blaktroniks on Japanese label Tokyo Dawn Records. From then, he has dropped 4 extra albums with his latest – ‘Superconductor’ – back in 2015 on Joey Negro‘s Z Records label. Meanwhile collaborating with luminaries such as Keni Burke (‘So Good’) and Paul Randolph (‘Sustain’). But also Taka Boom (‘Feels Good 2 Me’) and the late Diane Charlemagne (‘Round And Round’).

As a remixer, Opolopo made quite an impression with his rework of Mario Biondi & The High Five Quintet‘s ‘This Is What You Are’ back in 2007. But he most likely would get his breakthrough 5 years after with his Rerub’ of Gregory Porter‘s seminal ‘1960 What?’. This masterpiece bringin’ him on everyone’s lips lookin’ for the next sensation. Beginning with ours since we’ve relaunched IDMW back by the beginning of the Summer 2014. And most definitely standing among those we tend to champion the (re)works of.

His list of the likes is quite impressive with more than 100 quotes on Discogs to date and 350 on Traxsource. From Sandy Barber‘s ‘I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping (On My Own)’ to Ferry Ultra feat. Gwen McCrae‘s ‘Let Me Do My Thang’. But also Deep Tenor City‘s ‘Oba’ and Jarrod Lawson‘s ‘Sleepwalkers’. Not to mention Los Charly’s Orchestra‘s ‘All Around The World’ and Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘Picket Fence’in 2015. Then what about The Jacksons‘ ‘Everybody’ which he’d retouched the year before? Or Omar feat. Caron Wheeler‘s ‘Treat You’ the year after???

Opolopo regularly updating his list since. This with Rhemi feat. Cassius‘Beat Within’. Then, more recently Rapson‘s ‘Heat’ and Kenny Thomas‘Your Love’ among others. Not to mention Kelvin Sylvester & Natasha Watts‘Fly Away’

– An incredible vocal talent and some definitive writing skills have allowed Diane Charlemagne to embrace like very few countless forms of music. From R&B to Soul, Jazz, House and Drum & Bass.

The Manchester native first rose to fame back at the end of the 80’s along with R&B band 52nd Street. With ‘Tell Me (How It Feels)’ standing as their best jam ever.
Managed by the ex-wife of Tony Wilson (the Hacienda), she eventually collaborated with Howie B and Doobie (of the Soul II Soul fame).

She got her breakthrough under the form of the memorable ‘Inner City Life’ where she shared the duties with famous junglist Goldie. She would then follow with a couple of hits as the lead singer of Urban Cookie Collective. The end of the 90’s seeing her digging deeper into Dance Music territories along with Judge Jules. But also Mutiny UK, K-Klass and Satoshi Tomiie. Not to mention Moby whom she’d toured with.

She is also remembered for her collaborations with UK Disco Don Joey Negro. Remember ‘Prove That You’re Feelin Me’ among others. If not her contribution to ‘Must Be The Music’. And she also happened to jam along with Opolopo on ‘Round And Round’. A cut which sadly saw the light on Z Records a few weeks before her passing.

Diagnosed with kidney cancer the previous year, Charlemagne sadly died of the disease on Oct. 28 2015, at the age of 51…

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