Podcast 297: Masters at Work
- Words: Shawn Reynaldo
All month long, XLR8R has been celebrating its 20th anniversary with a special series of podcasts from a select crew of musical luminaries, all of who cast a long shadow over the past two decades of electronic music. With that in mind, we've enlisted legendary NYC outfit Masters at Work to close out the series, as it's hard to name an act that's had a greater impact during the last 20 years. Even better, the veteran duo of "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez has elected to keep things old-school on the mix, mining its extensive remix discography in particular. That said, this is anything but a "greatest hits" exercise, as MAW has pulled out some truly choice selections that keen-eyed DJs will undoubtedly begin hunting down after hearing the tunes in action. Over the course of 40-plus minutes, Vega and Gonzalez essentially do what they do best, tying together swinging, percussion-heavy house cuts with a healthy splash of soul to keep things interesting. In an era when the MAW aesthetic is being widely aped by up-and-coming producers, it's telling that these vintage cuts still sound so fresh.
Following a long hiatus, Vega and Gonzalez have slowly started working together again over the past year or so; the duo just gave a lecture and performed at Red Bull Music Academy in New York, and has a handful of shows on the horizon over the summer, including an appearance on the main stage at the UK's Eastern Electrics festival on Sunday, August 4. After hearing this mix, it's safe to say that seeing Masters at Work, well, at work is probably not a bad idea.
01 Brand New Heavies "Close to You (Masters at Work Dub)" (FFRR)
02 Kenlou "Odyssey" (MAW)
03 Freestyle Orchestra "Party On"
04 Simply Red "Thrill Me (Masters at Work Mix)" (EastWest)
05 Martha Wash "Carry On (Masters at Work Dub)" (RCA)
06 Lood "A Perfect Day"
07 Mondo Grosso "Souffle H (Louie Vega Remix)" (Nite Grooves)
08 Barbara Tucker "I Get Lifted (The Bar Dub)" (Strictly Rhythm)
09 Trey Lorenz "Photograph of Mary (Masters at Work Dub)" (Epic)
10 Pasadenas "Round and Round (Masters at Work Mix)" (Solor)
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