Thursday, January 10, 2008

Henrik Schwarz

Germany's Henrik Schwarz has long been a favourite of mine ever since I bought his superb Supravision EP in 2002. The standout cut for me on the EP is without question 'Marvin' a dope slow-burning atmospheric take on Marvin Gaye's 'I Want You'. Henrik has always worn his influences on his sleeve as the majority of his records are reliant on reinterpreting the sample material by cutting them up, looping them and locking into a groove that has as much for the head as they do for the feet of which a great example is the chugger - Chicago, which samples Roy Ayers track of the same name. Played at the right time it'll take the roof off and when Roy's unmistakable dulcet tones come through the speakers the venues tend to go radio rental.

In 2005 Sunday Music released the very limited Henrik Schwarz Live CD, which featured tracks like 'Leave My Head Alone Brain', which was huge with the likes of Gilles Peterson when it was released later that year, the Jon Lucien sampling 'Jon', his Cymande 'Anthracite' sampling, 'You Rock, We Rock, I Rock', which featured on his !K7 mix and the superb 'Walk Music'. It was a hint at things to come and firmly placed Henrik's name on the map coupled with his remixes of The Visitors (which I can't recommend highly enough), Alton Miller, Coldcut, I:Cube, Mari Boine, Camille and Alex Smoke that have firmly written his name in big black marker into the annals of house music.

I've been trying for years to tie him down to an interview for Basic Soul without much luck but here is an interview that he did for Resident Advisor.

In 2006 he released the much lauded DJ Kicks mix for !K7 which was heralded as being the mix of the year by all and sundry. It takes in records by Drexciya, Pharoah Sanders, Moondog, Double, D'Angelo, Cymande, Amampondo, Womack & Womack, Arthur Russell, Marvin Gaye, Rhythm & Sound and my personal favourite Doug Hammond. It is a labour of love on which every tune is sliced and diced in Ableton and reinterpreted for dancefloors with style and charm, and it is in my opinion one of the great mix CDs of all time. Seek it out if you haven't already.

As an added bonus here is his remix of James Brown's 'It's A Man's World', which I think only got a limited release, so I have no qualms with putting it up here for all of you to enjoy.

Here is a brief video of a concert that he did with IG Culture and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble for a project that I think was called The Deeper Soul Arkestra. I'm not even sure if anything came of it is all truth but I know that Josh Deep was very excited about it 2 or 3 years ago. I think this video was initially a part of a segment from a Slices DVD.

Here is a video interview done with him to promote his DJ Kicks album on !K7.

...and here is playing at the Electric Souls gig from a few years ago. None of the music is his and he's only in it for a second but any excuse to show the backing singers from D'Nell, eh? Adam 'Snake Hips' H makes an appearance as well.

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