Hammock House - Africa Caribe - Produced & Mixed by Joaquin "Joe" Claussell - out on Fania Records
Hammock House - Africa Caribe - Produced & Mixed by Joaquin "Joe" Claussell
(2xCD) Fania Records, 2011-05-17
Produced and mixed by the legendary Joaquin "Joe" Claussell, Hammock House 'Africa Caribe' is more than just remixes of Fania's back catalog. It's a stunning two-disc album with each track approached and assembled differently, each on its own terms. The first disc features nine classic Fania tunes from Lou Perez, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto and more all re-worked with the Joe Claussell touch. The second disc is a live continuous mix by Claussell, but not like your average DJ mixing one track into another Joe's states his goal for the mix-CD was to create an epic journey that begins in the Motherland (Africa) and moves to New York. The project is a perfect marriage between old and new, a fresh take on classic sounds from the Fania archives. Joe says of the project, "I wanted to do a futuristic mix where stories are being created with soundscapes and tapestries, and segues work as introductions to each story. I wanted to create bridges through different rhythms, so I worked with my brother Jose, as well as other percussionists and musicians in the studio, to create parts that flow between. I mixed it live with four CD players, effects, and reel-to-reel, then took it into the studio and tightened up some of the levels through editing. I wanted to mix it live so you get more of a human feel from it, to stay true to the texture of this music. And I really wanted it to reflect on the process of working on this whole project. Looking back, I'm honored and grateful to get to work on such historical music - and music I grew up with."
Hammock House - Africa Caribe - Produced & Mixed by Joaquin "Joe" Claussell (2xCD) Fania Records, 2011-05-17
Disc Two: The Singles by Hammock House
Tracklisting CD1 - The Mix :
01. Ray Barretto - Exodus (Ray's Manos Duras Intro)
02. Mental Remedy - Vamos A La Loma
03. Mental Remedy - Over The Horizon Sound Scape
04. Celia Cruz - Changó (Studio Cross Talk)
05. Celia Cruz - Changó (Sacred Rhythm Mix)
06. Celia Cruz - Changó (Rhythms)
07. Lou Pérez - African Fantasy (Sacred Rhythm Version)
08. Eddie Palmieri - Highest Good (Studio Voice Talk Intro)
09. Eddie Palmieri - Highest Good (Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's Traditional Remix Edit)
10. Eddie Palmieri - Eddie's Piano (Ending with Cosmic Effects)
11. Jaidene "Jai" Veda - Undeniable Love (Cosmic Arts Dub)
12. Mongo Santamaría - Mambo Mongo (Sacred Rhythm Version)
13. Mongo Santamaría - Mambo Mongo (Studio Talk)
14. Eddie Palmieri - Lucumí (Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's Traditional Remix Edit)
15. Various - Studio Talk (Three Track Overdub 16)
16. Various - Studio Talk (Three Track Overdub 17)
17. Various - Studio Talk (Three Track Overdub 18)
18. Various - Studio Talk (Silence Please)
19. Various - Studio Talk (Asking for Silence)
20. Various - Studio Talk (The Tapes Are Now Rolling)
21. Willie Colón/Rubén Blades - Siembra (Sacred Rhythm Remix Edit)
22. Willie Colón/Rubén Blades - Siembra (Horn Delay Effect)
23. Mongo Santamaría - Funk Down (Sacred Rhythm Version)
24. Eddie Palmieri - Yoruba Chant/Mi Congo Te Llama (False Start Sound Effect)
25. Eddie Palmieri - Yoruba Chant/Mi Congo Te Llama
26. Eddie Palmieri - Yoruba Chant/Mi Congo Te Llama (Studio Talk–Count Off)
27. Eddie Palmieri - Yoruba Chant/Mi Conga Te Llama Medley
28. Mongo Santamaría - O Mi Shangó (Sacred Rhythm Version)
29. Ismael Miranda - Me Voy Ahora (Sacred Rhythm Alternate Version)
30. Joaquin "Joe" Claussell - Rumba De Nueva York Outro
Tracklisting CD2 - The Singles :
01. Lou Pérez - African Fantasy (Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's Sacred Rhythm Mix)
02. Jaidene "Jai" Veda - Undeniable Love (Cosmic Arts Version)
03. Mongo Santamaría - Mambo Mongo (Sacred Rhythm Version) | Download MP3
04. Celia Cruz - Changó (Cosmic Arts Version)
05. Eddie Palmieri - Lucumí (Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's Traditional Remix)
06. Ray Barretto - Exodus (Bolla And Cochise Claussell's Tribute Version)
07. Mongo Santamaría - O Mi Shangó (The Sacred Rhythm Version)
08. Eddie Palmieri - Mi Congo Te Llama (Sacred Rhythm Dance Version)
09. Ismael Miranda - Me Voy Ahora (Sacred Rhythm Dance Version)
Press Release :
FANIA TAPS CLAUSSELL WITH RECORDING TAPES TO THEIR BACK CATALOG. THE RESULT IS A STUNNING TWO-DISC ALBUM; THE FIRST IS A LIVE CONTINUES MIX, WHILE THE SECOND FEATURES FRESH RE-WORKINGS OF CLASSIC FANIA TRACKS
Fania Records announced today the release of a deluxe 2-disc set entitled, Hammock House 'Africa Caribe' produced and mixed by the legendary Joaquin "Joe" Claussell, with a worldwide release date of May 17, 2011. The project is a perfect marriage between old and new, a fresh take on classic sounds from the Fania archives. Late last year, Fania Records hand delivered the original multi-tracks (recording tapes) in a battered cardboard box to Joe Claussell's NYC studio. Inside was a round metal reel wrapped with many feet of rolled magnetic tape, and a crumbling "Track Report" sheet from some matter-of-fact day in the 1970s. As Joe ecstatically explained, "When the carrier came to my place with all these boxes, I had an Indiana Jones moment, like when he opens the treasure chest and the glow of gold light shines up on his face. It was miraculous that they were still around, and the history of this stuff is just amazing."
Michael Rucker, chief marketing officer of Codigo Group came up with the original idea of Hammock House and knew that Joe Claussell was the right person for the job. Joe grew up Puerto Rican in New York - or more precisely Nuyorican, with all the simmering, sweltering swirl of identity that comes to pass for a kid growing up with nine brothers and sisters in roiling, toiling Brooklyn. DJ/producer/label- head Joe Claussell is perhaps the most influential and in-demand figure on the New York dance scene since Masters At Work. Responsible for some of the best deep and soulful house NYC has heard, Claussell's Sunday night Body & Soul DJ gig is one of the most legendary house parties of the '90s. Former owner of the landmark record store Dance Tracks, and long associated with the house labels Spiritual Life and Ibadan, they all reflect his deep love for and his eclectic and multicultural taste in dance music. Much of the global dance movement can be traced back to Claussell's highly percussive style that incorporates Latin, African, Brazilian and other world rhythms with elements of jazz, rock, disco, and live instrumentation.
What you hear on Hammock House are more than mere remixes. Each track was approached and assembled differently, each on its own terms. As Joe says, "Some songs were edited, some were time- stretched...many parts were re-recorded...some new parts were recorded on top." Furthermore Joe elaborates, "I would listen to these songs and think what am I going to do to that?! A lot of them sounded perfect as they were. But the mentality of the '60s and '70s, when it came to music, people were just creating as artists - from the soul, from the heart. They took a lot of the technical stuff for granted. They were making music, not thinking about different mixes or anybody touching their art in the future. So I tried to keep the integrity of what's there. Fania is very sacred to the Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage, so it was important that it get taken in by the right hands."
The first disc is a live continuous mix by Claussell, but not like your average DJ mixing one track into another Joe's states his goal for the mix-CD was to create an epic journey that begins in the Motherland (Africa) to moves to New York. "I wanted to do a futuristic mix, where stories are being created with soundscapes and tapestries, and segues work as introductions to each story. I wanted to create bridges through different rhythms, so I worked with my brother Jose, as well as other percussionists and musicians in the studio, to create parts that flow between. I mixed it live with four CD players, effects, and reel-to-reel, then took it into the studio and tightened up some of the levels through editing. I wanted to mix it live so you get more of a human feel from it, to stay true to the texture of this music. And I really wanted it to reflect on the process of working on this whole project. Looking back, I'm honored and grateful to get to work on such historical music - and music I grew up with." Never has the past sounded so present. The second disc features nine classic Fania tunes from Lou Perez, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto and more all re-worked with the Joe Claussell touch (Full track by track notes are on a separate page).
Today Fania is home to more than 200 of the top artists' catalogs in Tropical music.
These artists mixed a cornucopia of styles that transcended the boundaries of traditional Latin music and set the path for the genres of Latin Big Band, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Boogaloo, Salsa and Latin R&B. They include Beny Moré, Sonora Matancera, Orquesta Aragón, Celia Cruz, La Lupe, Tito Rodrguez, Ray Barretto, Cortijo, Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, Johnny Pacheco, Joe Cuba, Larry Harlow and Ruben Blades to mention a few. The more than 4,000 albums from the 1940s through the 1980s have been carefully documented, archived and placed in a special media storage facility for original recorded media.
In addition, Fania has been remastering and reissuing these treasures in digital format, original remastered cds, box sets and vinyl. For more information please visit www.fania.com.
Africa Caribe - African Fantasy (Joaquin Joe Claussell Remix)
A glimpse of Joaquin Joe Claussell - The Short Bio :
Joe "Joaquin" Claussell was born in Brooklyn to a large and diverse Puerto Rican family with deep musical roots. Throughout his life, music was Joe's shelter, family, food, comfort, escape and love. His first exposure to DJing was in his own neighborhood at block association events. He hit the club and began collecting vinyl at the age of 15 and his passion for music and dance led him from Disco Inferno to CBGBs, the alternative Mudd Club, the more mainstream Underground, and the legendary Paradise Garage.
While living in the East Village in the early 90s, he found and fell in love with the chill but stereo-technologically impressive record store Dance Tracks. He formed a friendship with the owner, which became the foundation of his musical career. Joe became the store's DJ and called weekly parties that drew a diverse and increasingly devoted crowd of music lovers. Under the suggestion of the owner he began producing: and did his first remix "Over" and his produced first track "Awade," which became an instant classic. Over time he learned the music business and eventually took over the store.
In 1996 Joe launched his independent eclectic world house label "Spiritual Life Music" from the back of Dance Tracks, and around the same time over saw the birth of "Ibadan Records" with friend and executive producer Jerome Sydenham. The labels' productions are fluid - with organic African, Brazilian, Latin and Middle Eastern Rhythms crossing over into Disco, Jazz, House, and Electronic music. He is intricately involved in every aspect of the production process: the music, writing, selection or creation of the visual art, and graphic design. Under his labels he has nourished and produced fledgling artists. His first release was "Nothing's Changed" by Ten City, followed by works from Jephté Guillaume, Mateo & Matos, Slam Mode, and Three Generations Walking. His own first full- length album was "Language." Great artists and record labels have sought him out for collaboration and remixes of works by Femi Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Beth Orton, Steward Mathewman (Sade), Cassandra Wilson, Diana Ross, and Manuel Göttschin to name a few. His remixes have revived classics such as Hector Lavoe's Classic "Alejate;" Cesoria Evora's "Sangue De Beirona." Featured on TV programs such as "Sex In The City" Joe's remix of "Nina Simone's "Feeling Good;" was single handedly responsible for the rebirth of the song, as well as the spawning of countless remakes.
Also in 1996, Joe Claussell joined Francois K and Danny Krivit to play for the legendary "Body & Soul" Sunday afternoon dance party. For 6 years, music and dance lovers from NYC and around the world came every week religiously to experience the totally unique musical journey of Classic, World, Soul, Disco, Funk, and House. The tracks are brought to an infinitely higher level by the synergy of each DJ's unique of live performance artistry and the incredible creative and conscious crowd.
For the last decade to present, Joe has been constantly playing music all over the world, remixing, producing, and branching out into other genres of the art world. While in New York He began the Sacred Rhythm Party, designed to bring House and live musicians together in an intimate environment. Soon to come will be his first Internet radio show titled " an invitation to openness" a show based on the freedom of listening to what ever speaks to him at that moment, as opposed to being at the mercy of the listening audience.
Joe contemplates humanity and its trends from a distant but touched perspective. He personally strives for spiritual and creative freedom, and encourages loved ones to tap into their own unique resources to build a society where art and individuality is nourished and celebrated. For people who want a deep introspective music journey to the soul - Joe's shows are a rare and coveted opportunity. His ability to connect with people who share his passion for the rhythms of life through a higher universal language, which keeps people intrigued into staying tuned while listening, dancing and evolving to his unique philosophy and deep rhythms.
At present, Joe is involved in a host of different projects, but one can be rest assured that whether it's his involvement in "Trembling Sensing Space" with theater director "Lidy Six." Or his "Hammock House Africa Caribe" remix and production project for Fania/Codigo music, that not only is his heart and soul engraved in it, but each will communicate a unique language of their own - rhythms and ideas that can only come from someone who travels with as many sides of creativity as he has - all interesting enough to convert the unconverted, as well as continuing to keep those who thought they knew him on their toes and intrigued.
HAMMOCK HOUSE - "AFRICA CARIBE" - TRACK NOTES AS TOLD BY JOAQUIN "JOE" CLAUSSELL
1 - Lou Perez, "African Fantasy"
I didn't know this track before I started on this project, but I immediately liked the idea in the title of an "African fantasy." The point of this remix was to give listeners the sense that they were entering a jungle, where a whole new world opens up. Historically, all of this music originated in Africa and then, through the movement of the slave trade, found itself in different parts of the world. It was important to me to establish the root of it. I used a lot of natural forest, jungle, and animal sounds to give it a sense of walking in. Then a flute comes in, and then it goes heavy into percussion and piano - like at a tribal gathering. What I kept from the original multi-track was the flute, some of the percussion. Everything else I reproduced: the jungle sounds, more percussion... The story begins in Africa and then crosses into the new world.
2 - Jai Veda, "Undeniable Love"
This song is actually not from the old archive. I produced it from scratch. My reason for suggesting we use it was to give this project a legitimate sense of today, of something new and something now that fits into the idea of "hammock house." I was working with Jai Veda before I started working on this project, and this is a song that spoke to me at the time I started, because it has a sort of Latin groove that complements the rest. It was just a demo then; it originally had more of a hip-hop rhythm, so I called in my brother Jose to help me revamp it into a more Latin-flavored rhythm, with the end result being a two-part story traveling from one into the other. Jai freaked out when I told her she was going to be on this.
3 - Mongo Santamaria, "Mambo Mongo"
I absolutely love this song. I used to jam to the original of this all the time back in the day, but not many people know about it. So I thought, if this project is about a DJ exposing certain lost or undiscovered music to the world, then I have to use this. It was such a great production originally that it really needed nothing. But from my original attempt to beef up the groove, I added more percussion and new Rhodes electric-piano lines to compliment the original Rhodes chords. The new hand-drums are my brother playing alongside the original parts by Santamaria, who was a great percussionist from Cuba. Because this was recorded in the late '60s, a lot of original parts like that were buried in the mix, I guess because they were produced more for home listening.
4 - Celia Cruz, "Chango TK"
Celia Cruz is considered the goddess of Latin/Afro-Cuban music. As a kid, I remember how everybody really looked up to her. The vibe that surrounded her was really profound. My mother loved her. This is a song sung in Yoruba - religious African music. The original is very minimal: just some 6/8-groove percussion with Celia singing/chanting over it. I just tried to give it a more modern edge, by adding a bass line and more percussion, both produced by my brother, and some sound effects layered and weaved throughout with bells, whistles,
and African kaba. Then I brought in a piano player, Bennett Paster, who jammed for a while, having a rhythmic call-and-response conversation with the music and really complementing the melody. He's a monster!
5 - Eddie Palmieri, "Lucumi Macumba Voodoo"
Eddie Palmieri... what can you even do to his music? Everything was already there, so I decided to do a more traditional remix for this, kind of like they did in the '70s, where remixers would manipulate the existing tracks from the multi-tracks and rearrange parts that were already there. I added some percussion,
but there was already a lot of percussion there, and Palmieri had such great musicians playing for him. Aside from that, he's one of the few Latin artists who used lots of delay and reverb, so I tried to give the whole thing a dub feel. The guitars are echoing, the horns are echoing. There's a lot of reverb, to give it more space and what I like to call freakiness.
6 - Ray Barretto, "Exodus"
Most of this song was newly created, and again my brother Jose had a lot to do with it. Ray Barretto was such a special musician in my family life, as well as in the Latin music world. I'm not crazy about this song in particular, unless it's Bob Marley's version, but there was something about this that made me pick it. I wanted to make this a tribute to Ray, so I created a whole new intro. Everything up until the actual "Exodus" chords was created new as a tribute. I wanted people to feel the love and appreciation we all have for this man, so that's why it has such a cosmic, spiritual intro. That's the awakening, and then it goes into a Yoruba chant, saying "thank you." One of the people singing is Liliana Santamaria, who is Mongo Santamaria's daughter. I could have just taken the "Exodus" part and added a kick, a hi-hat, and some keyboards, and housed it up. But both my brother and I tried to make this something that more people could appreciate - and that Ray himself would be happy with.
7 - Mongo Santamaria, "O Mi Shango"
This was actually the last track we worked on for this project. Back in the old days, when I first started doing remixes, I got this track from the original CD and did an edit of it. I really loved it, so I just wanted to extend it, and I remember saying then, "Man, I really wish I could get the multi-track for this and do something with it." I didn't realize this was in the Fania catalog when we started on Hammock House. Then, near the end, it came up on my iPod one day on a flight to Japan and I thought, "Hmmm, maybe this is available!" So I called and asked, it turned out it was there, and I flipped out. For this version, I took the song from a Latin groove and gave it more of an Afrobeat feel. We got some horn players involved. And it feels kind of house-y with that four-on-the-floor beat.
8 - Eddie Palmieri, "Yoruba Chant"
The only part of this song that I kept was the beginning. It went into some ballroom-dancing part that I couldn't do anything with, so we re-did the rest. I came to it as a track that was on the multi-track reel of another song I had asked for, and I heard the chant part of it and thought, "Oh, I can do something with this." With all the rest of the craziness and all the African stuff going on elsewhere, I thought, "OK, we've got to have a dance track here." In the end we ended with a new tune with a Caribbean kind of feel.
9 - Ismael Miranda, "Me Voy Ahora"
I stumbled upon this track while doing research and listening to all the reissued Fania CDs at the beginning of the project. I heard it in the car, driving down Prospect Park West on my way to get an oil change one afternoon, and I just fell in love with it. It was on a compilation of ballads, and he's singing about how he's leaving his woman. The emotion of it - it's obvious he did this song for a reason. It really blew me away. The whole production of it was already beautiful, so I wondered what I could do to take it to a different level. The strings were in there already, but you couldn't hear them the same way in the original. So I created a second part to the composition that begins around the 3:00 mark. Using only the original strings, I created what I like to think of as a signature Joe Claussell production, just from us trying to do something new. It's a perfect ending.