by DJ Total Eclipse
‘Music for...’ is one of two Opera House Spotify playlist series where we ask friends of the House to curate playlists based on a theme of their choice: music for a particular moment, place or feeling.
World champion turntablist DJ Total Eclipse (X-Ecutioners, AB Original, Funkoars) is a man of many talents, as comfortable throwing down a mind blowing routine in his guise as one of the world’s best turntablists as he is rocking a crowd of thousands in party mode. Total Eclipse brings his talents to the Opera House Studio soon in Nick Power’s Deejay x Dancer.
This ‘Music for...’ playlist samples his many influences as a producer and DJ, spanning soul, funk, jazz and pop. It paints a picture of a kid growing up in Brooklyn playing with his father’s vinyl collection, before becoming a world-renowned turntablist, famous for cutting up and sampling some of these very tracks.
▷ Prince - Sign O' The Times
Prince was one of the most phenomenal artists that ever lived. The way this song was composed with the electric feel of a synthesizer keyboard, Drum Machine and hypnotic guitar riff captures the experimentation in such a subliminal way. Socially conscious lyrics I abide by as my daily affirmation of character. A pure genius at his best. Mystic at its finest.
▷ Don Blackman - Holding You, Loving You
This song captured a journey in the essence of jazz meets funk n' soul. The textures of this song deliver a complex work of art with an introduction of the piano spearheading emotions under singer Don Blackman. Leading up to one of the most beautiful instrumental breaks I've ever heard in my life after his vocals from the first verse. Emotionally stunning.
▷ Diana Ross - Telephone
One of my favourite keyboard arrangements over the sultry Diana Ross' vocals influenced me to purchase a Nord Stage 3 synthesizer years later in an attempt to emulate the electric keyboard sounds displayed in this work of art.
▷ Ohio Players - Ecstasy
The Ohio Players song 'Ecstasy' has hypnotic imperfections throughout the song and sounds like magic. As one instrument speeds up the rest follow and progress perfectly in sync with vocal arrangements well executed. I've always envisioned this to be a fun studio recording session. One that was done in possibly one take.
▷ Barry White - It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me
The soundtrack of a party starter till this very day. One of the first songs that caught my ear's attention to become a DJ. The way people responded to this song when I was a kid. It gave me vast insight into what works on a dancefloor. The floor stomp in the drums inspired me while producing for the Deejay Dancer project.
▷ The Police - Voices Inside My Head
The Police were one of the most versatile rock bands ever. The drums, bass, vocals and guitar arrangements cultivate everything I love about producing music. I try to model my music with the same feeling. Never too complex but sit nicely in the pocket of rhythm.
▷ Tears For Fears - Shout
This masterpiece captures the essence of hip hop sonically even though it's considered synth-pop. It has the perfect ingredients to influence anyone who praised the hip hop genre when this song was created. "If it ain't broke, fix it" was a term used to mean if you sample greatness, your attempt is to produce it to sound even greater than its origin.
▷ The Isley Brothers - Footsteps in the Dark
One of the top five songs ever played in my household from an infant to adult. As a DJ, I remember purchasing one copy and using my dad's copy to extend the drum solo through scratching at the beginning of the song. Eventually, I would sample it as a producer to create another layer of music on top. Other hip hop producers like DJ Pooh recorded a classic hit called ‘Today Was A Good Day’ famously performed by Ice Cube. Making The Isley Brothers' ‘Footsteps in the Dark’ a forever classic.
▷ Dionne Warwick - You're Gonna Need Me
The strings in this produce such colourful moments on vinyl. The raw sound of recorded instruments and vocals gives a nice eeriness that producers like me try to dial in with plugin effects and recreate. This piece of greatness from Dionne Warwick was produced by Holland–Dozier–Holland of Motown music.
▷ Donald Byrd - Think Twice
Donald Byrd's ‘Think Twice’ is a total jazz masterpiece. I am heavily inspired by the drums, bass guitar and vocals. I could never listen to this song just once. Although Donald Byrd was a jazz musician, he influenced many artists from multiple genres including myself as a hip hop musician.
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