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DT727 – DJ Spen

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Few people have had the lasting impact on electronic music as DJ Spen, aka Sean Spencer.

US house icon DJ Spen began his illustrious career in the mid-’80s as a 13 year- old Baltimore hip-hop radio DJ, making beats with his group the Numark. The group was responsible for writing and recording ‘Girl You Know It’s True’, later covered by Milli Vanilli. DJ Spen later moved into the classic Chicago house sound, joining forces with The Basement Boys collective. Working with a group of talented vocalists and musicians, under the name Jasper Street Co., DJ Spen released his first solo production, ‘A Feelin’ on Basement Boys Records in 1995. This was the first in a lauded series of releases for the label that brought Spen commercial and dance floor success over the next decade, earning him international recognition as a house music pioneer.

In 2004, DJ Spen split from The Basement Boys, and eventually founded his new imprints Quantize Recordings and later, Unquantize. Collectively, both labels have notched up an impressive 600+ releases, featuring artists such as Crystal Waters, Ann Nesby, Louie Vega, David Morales, Barbara Tucker, Timmy Regisford, Thommy Davis, and so many more. As a remixer, he has put his own stamp on anthems from Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Everything But The Girl, Toni Braxton and more. As a DJ, Spen has been spinning across the globe, holding down a busy tour schedule for the past 30 years, bringing his magic to clubs and festivals, establishing his status as an eminent figure in dance music, both past and present.

Today, he joins on the podcast for the first time. Listen to it below, on Mixcloud or iTunes here.

Sum up this podcast in 10 words…
A fun and soulful mix to brighten anyone’s day

What’s your personal favourite track on it?
E2E4 which is one of my favourite all-time classic records. I have always been intrigued by how it was produced and how this guy from Germany made a 20-minute track out of basically 2 chord progressions. It’s one of the most interesting records I have ever heard.

What’s the special ingredient in this mix
This mix is a recipe that starts with beats, adds in a liberal amount of soul, along with some love and sprinkled with a little praise.

Tell us about your next EP?
My next release is ‘I Got The Love’, a project I co-produced with house music legend David Morales featuring vocalist Carla Prather. Carla is a very powerful vocalist and I think she has been long underestimated. Her vocals really shine in the song. It’s a real happy tune, which we really need at the moment. I’m really proud of the way it turned out.

What have you got coming up?
I have a full album coming out on February 12th called ‘Soulful Storm’ and I am really excited about that. It’s been over 5 years since I’ve done a full album.

And finally, do you have a special message for our readers?
I say this all the time and maybe it’s a bit cliché by now, but stay encouraged. So much going on in the world but music is a unifying force. I truly appreciate everyone who supports my music. Be on the lookout, a ‘Soulful Storm’ is coming! I am also working on a gospel house album for this year. It should be an exciting year musically and I hope my music brings joy to others.

Tracklist

  1. David Morales, DJ Spen & Carla Prather “I Got The Love’ Alternative Vocal Mix
  2. Mark Alston ‘Nothing Left’ DJ Spen & Micfreak Peak Precision Mix
  3. Susu Bobien ‘Love Sensation’ 45 Acapella
  4. Reelsoul ‘All That I Can Say (Lonnie’s Groove)’ DJ Spen & Reelsoul Original Mix
  5. Ralphie Rosario ‘Used to Hold Me’ Dj Spen & Reelsoul Hold Me Unda Remix
  6. Roland Clark ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Spen & Thommy’s Fugue in Baltimore mashup
  7. Neil Pierce ‘The Elephant March’
  8. Sebb Jr & Tasha LaRae ‘Never Be Alone’ Booker T Kings of Soul Brixton Re-edit
  9. Mark Pichiotti feat Kenyatta White ‘Love Is The Message’ DJ Spen remix
  10. Talking Heads ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Kenny Carpenter remix
  11. DJ Rae and Martin Badder ‘Change’ Dj Spen & Reelsoul dub
  12. Clarke Sisters ‘You Brought the Sunshine’ DJ Spen re-edit
  13. Brian Alexander Morgan ‘Hol On’ DJ Spen Hold it Down dub
  14. Beyonce ‘Alright’ David Harness remix
  15. Manuel Gottsching ‘E2E4’
  16. Yuichi Ionue feat Masmin ‘Before Dawn’ DJ Spen Bonus Beats
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Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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