“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to remain silent.”
~ Victor Hugo
Between DJing, recording, and playing music, much of my life is devoted to audio. Which means when I need a mini-vacation I have to look outside the boombox. Here’s my current fix:
DJ WesLee presents...
The KCRW Top 5
- January 3, 2017 Hang On In There
This incredible trio of sisters are 1970’s, B-Side royalty, in the Funk/Soul universe. “Hang On In There” is hot and fast and fun all around, and should be near-mandatory listening for that late night funk party. You might also recognize the vocal harmony’s from another famous recording the sisters appeared on: Norman Greenbaum’s rock classic “Spirit In The Sky”. Check that one out here.No Strings (Remixed by RAC)
The Remix Artist Collective, now known simply as RAC, started off as a varied group of DJs & Producers, but slowly their numbers dwindled until only one member of the project remained. André Allen Anjos kept the faith and is now among the most respected and sought after Producers in the industry, having earned his first Grammy nomination last year. This remix of “No Strings” (originally by Mayer Hawthorne) is a perfect example of his ability to re-invent the personality of a song while leaving its soul lovingly in tact. (And if you haven’t heard the Mayer Hawthorne original, take a listen here.)O Telefone Tocou Novamente
Embarrassingly I started off not knowing that Jorge Ben was Brazilian, assuming the vocals gliding over this incredible collage of styles were articulating words in Spanish. I should have known better, and now I do. Jorge Ben was my introduction into the soulful and sweet world of Brazilian music and I still stumble over a new gem by him every now and then. And for the record, this guy has livened up many a tipsy dinner party at my house.The Mack
Nevada, Fetty Wap & Mark Morrison
Oh the sweet, saccharine, saliva inducing sugar rush that is “The Mack” by Nevada. I have to say I love the novelty of this one, but I almost left it off my list because it bears every hallmark of a song doomed to be overplayed to death. I just hope it didn’t die before you personally had a chance to break a late-night-sweat to it on a dance floor. C’est La Vie.C.R.E.A.M.
El Michels Affair
Aside from being the epitome of cool, there is an interesting story behind the iconic piano riff from this song (which is the most gangster “jazz” track in the known universe). Basically I assumed the story went something like this: in 1995 Wu-Tang Sampled C.R.E.A.M. by El Michels Affair, isolating and rapping over the lazy, punchy, piano riff. But what actually happened was this: In 1995 Wu-Tang sampled a laconic piano line from The Carmel’s 1967 song “As Long As I’ve Got You”, and layered their vocals over it to record what we all know and love today as Wu-Tang’s C.R.E.A.M.. Then in 2005, Raekwon began touring with the El Michaels Affair, who in return, recorded and released their own punchy jazz instrumental version of CREAM which, of course, features their take on the original piano riff. Wow, that took longer than I thought. And I feel like a nerd.You can hear all three songs below:“As Long As I’ve Got You” by The Carmels (1967)
“C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu-Tang (1995)
“C.R.E.A.M.” by El Michels (2005)