First Listen: Oscar P & Robert Owens – Thank You (NY 2 Dtroit Mix) (Open Bar Music)
Catchy, groovy, fascinating, vibrant are the best words to describe what to expect on this rough jam by the likes of producer Oscar P. Serving as the ideal environment to Robert Owens‘s vocal performance. ‘Thank You’ explores the bittersweet feel of the various states we’re goin’ thru after a love relationship has turned into ashes.
The ascendance seems definitely House. The progressive construction looks inherited from Techno. Meanwhile, the rhythm pattern is Afroid. This telling a lot about Oscar P‘s versatility, I suppose.
One word: thank you!
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– Raised in Williamsburg, B’klyn, Oscar Poche has crafted a unique sound. Thus blending Afro-Latino and Deep House influences from NYC, Chicago, and Detroit. “Brooklyn is where I discovered myself through music, with thanks to older cats for guiding me back then. I didn’t try DJing or producing right away. I was a record collector first, and a dancer making my way trying to fit in.”
Oscar P runs two of the most respected underground House labels, Kolour Recordings and Open Bar Music. As a producer, he has appeared on labels like Strictly Rhythm, Tool Room, Ultra and Sony Music. Meanwhile his name is associated to the ones of
Mark Farina, Jamiroquai, Omar and Todd Terry in terms of remixes.
He was named the #8 best selling house Music artist of the year on Traxsource back in 2012. Two years later, he sat on the Best Selling Deep Afro House Artists list at #23. This alongside Black Coffee, Osunlade, and Atjazz. Then he landed at number thirteen in 2015.
Relocated from New York to San Diego, CA, Oscar is tackling the West Coast with fresh perspective. He is currently co-organizing West Coast Weekender. A three-day music conference that celebrates regional House Music and Drum & Bass and provides a new boost for the San Diego music scene. (source: Residentadvisor)
“I’ve always been into Gospel voices. Robert had a religious background, although his sound was an exception to the rule for me. It didn’t come instantly though. As a matter of fact, Robert is like a wild horse. Unless you put up margins for him, he never can sing the same line the same way twice. I had to constantly sort of reframe him…” (Frankie Knuckles)
Here we have a statement that pretty much speaks for itself. And this by no one else but the one remembered as the Godfather Of House. Quite evocative of the inner strength/voice which had led Robert Owens to deliver some of the most vibrant vocal performances one can think of. Among those very rare to have stood the test of time. Being to the Chicago (House) scene what Arnold Jarvis happened to be to its NYC alter ego. And more widely being to House what Omar has become to the contemporary groove. With thanks to their unique voices and an undeniable eclectism…
A quick look at Robert Owens‘ discography (on Discogs) says it all. Or almost, as chances are great they may not have listed his entire repertoire. What we can read though is an inventory of 5 albums and 100+ singles. And, in the meantime, the fact that he’s been collaborating with some of the most talented producers since the second half of the 80’s.
As you may guess, Robert Owens grew up singin’ in church before exploring the facets of DJing. Eventually meeting Larry Heard by the middle of the 80’s. This resulting in the twosome givin’ birth to Fingers Inc. along with Ronnie Wilson. And subsequently releasing ‘Another Side’ back in 1988 on Jack Trax. A mythic album featuring timeless jewels such as ‘Mystery Of Love’, ‘Bring Down The Walls’ and ‘Mystery Friend’ to name a few.
Owens eventually engaged the upper gear the year after. This when joinin’ forces with Frankie Knuckles and a then unknown Satoshi Tomiie on the seminal ‘Tears’ (FFRR). Then makin’ his debut on Fourth & Broadway in 1990 with the abyssal ‘Visions’ co-produced by Frankie Knuckles and David Morales. The latter crafting on his own this time the syncopated ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’ which got released the year after on RCA.
He contributed to the recording of Larry Heard (Mr. Fingers)’s ‘Introduction’ album in 1992 on MCA. That same year seeing the release of the insanely vibrant ‘Too Much For Me’ without his consent. Launching his Musical Directions imprint while relocating in London, he delivered ‘Ordinary People’ with remixes courtesy of Booker T two years later. Eventually sharin’ the bill the year after with Michael Watford on the Marshall Jefferson produced ‘Come Together’…
In 2000, he landed his voice on Photek‘s blowing ‘Mine To Give’ with remix work by the likes of David Morales. Eventually colloaborating with other junglists – London Elektricity – with whom he released ‘My Dreams’ and ‘Different Drum’.
With Quentin Harris, he did ‘Always’ and soon after he came along with Coldcut on the abyssal ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’. He contributed to Atjazz‘s syncopated ‘Love Someone’ in 2007. Then he teamed up with Ron Trent on ‘Movin’ On’ then ‘Deep Down’. Meanwhile 2007 saw him sharing the bill with Gene Hunt on ‘Twilite People’. Then 2010 with DJ Spen on the deeply heartfelt ‘A Greater Love’.
He contributed more recently to Ralf GUM‘s ‘Fly Free’ (2013). And he also joined US Nu-Disco gurus Soul Clap on ‘Misty’ the year after. Not to mention Kenny Dope with whom he shared the bill that same year on ‘Bricks Down’. Or Compost Allstars (Beanfield, Christian Prommer, Roland Appel and Michael Reinboth) on ‘Good Day’. This in addition to Martello‘s ‘In The Beginning There Was House’ and Oscar P‘s ‘Thank You’ which we both welcomed as our Single Of The Week at the time.