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Emanuela De Luca presents her bag of goodies 

It is a great pleasure to present Emanuela de Luca to you. The first Dj I actively followed as a teenager! At the time she was resident DJ at the legendary „Zentrum Zoo“ in Tübingen, Germany. She later started to book the Jazzanova DJs that I am representing as a booker for over 20 years. I hooked up with her last fall in Paris during the MAMA music convention and told her about the fact that I was her fan for almost 30 years ago. Recently I booked for a night in Berlin. She is such a great DJ and music-connoisseur.  Here are her story and a track selection. Daniel W. Best

Emanuela’s DJ activity started rather accidentally at the end of the 80s. Originally from Rome, she worked as bar-keeper in the legendary “Zentrum Zoo Club“ after having moved to southern Germany. One night, the club was stuffed with people impatiently waiting to dance as the resident DJ hadn’t shown up, the club owner handed her a glass of Schnaps and some headphones and prompted her to take over the DJ booth.

In those days, clubs still bought their own records and stored them in huge shelves behind the mixing desk so without any introduction in how to use a mixer, not really understanding the necessity of a headphone and being too busy in trying to put the needle in the right place on the records, she started in this inglorious and unforgettable way to spin records in front of an audience. The party turned out to be a tremendous success.

That night, she discovered her passion to share music. For her being a DJ is not a final objective, but a means to party, to share music and feelings: a way to give back to the word “party“ in its original meaning since the latin roots of party is “partire” which means to share. Miles away from nowadays inter-continental DJ circuit she prefers to party and to share the music in intimate clubs.

Her musical taste and her intricate way of mixing records are without a doubt affected by the 80s and early 90s when categories were of much less importance. Whether dubby disco beats, latin rhythms, p-funk guitars or heavy bass tracks, Emanuela always strived for a soulful and jazzy style and by constant experimentation and constantly trying out new things she created her own dance music sound.

In February 1995, Emanuela De Luca teamed up with Marc Bohlmann to start a club night called “bag of goodies“. For more than 10 years, every Monday night the two of them stepped down into the dim vault of a medieval basement called „Jazz Keller” to realize their dream of a weekly residency. Carefully complemented with international DJs and musicians and local artists „bag of goodies“ quickly turned into a renowned and well-respected club night being praised as the hottest Monday club south of Bar Rhumba.

Over the last decades, Emanuela worked also as a music journalist for German music magazine „ouk” and shared a music column in the local newspaper. She was also involved in different “noise and experimental music“ projects with musicians and visual artists following the John Cage’s approach.

Today she is living in Paris and from time to time sharing the wheels of steel with locals colleagues in several clubs of the town. She provides monthly DJ mixes for the New Morning Radio and still keeps alive her “Bag of Goodies” night with Marc.

However, Emanuela herself would rather sum up all of this in a short and succinct way: “My long lasting passion is music and to share it whenever I can or wherever I am. It is not important, who I am or what I was or what I am doing. My mixes and my sets will speak about my inspirations, my way to dance, to move, to think and to speak. My story. Just discover them and enjoy the music!”

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It is really a hard task to select 10 songs/tracks, which should from one hand musically represent you and from the other one, be a sort of milestone in your continuous musical development. There are many more than 10, just from a statistical point of view due to my age and some are also changing over time because I am always looking for new sounds in actual productions as well in the past ones. The “club” as an institution has been my “living room” since the mid of the 80s. I am maybe not the freshest between us, but I am quite grateful and happy to have had the chance to experience this relatively new way to get together and share good times, mostly dancing with strangers, quite from the beginning on a dancefloor or behind the wheels of steel or at the counter from all sides 😉 … and “I Wouldn’t Change A Thing ” just to mention Coke Escovado with one of my favourite songs !

I start with culture club, just to make clear that I can love pop and songs! They should have tons of soul and a smart (love) message. I could as well start my list with the divine Curtis Mayfield, Style Council, Teddy Pendergrass or Wham, but the first time I heard Culture Club I was skating on the dancefloor of the “much more” in Rome at the beginning of the 80s. This song sounds still sweet to me and I love so much the moment when the church bells are coming …

 

Culture Club – Time (Clock Of The Heart)

Eins … Zwei … Drei … I discovered this track for the first time in Germany. This sound was miles away from the sound I used to listen at that time in Italy. It was funky, punky and dark, but not too much. For me a seminal track, that I used to play a lot during my first sets

Liaisons Dangereuses – Los Ninos de la Parque

End of the 80s, during a special event, dedicated to the London Club music scene, I had the opportunity to share the booth with the legendary Norman Jay. He played that song, making me dancing like crazy and happy for a while! Every time when I need some lightness in my life I listen to this song. Music works better than every pill 😉

Kinsman Dazz – Love Design

I heard it for the very first time with large speakers on the beach in Italy when I was a teenager in ’75, and I was totally confused since I was thinking that the recorded voices and screams were real, coming from the persons in the sea.  However, I am quite sure that during that summer this track definitively transformed me, from little girl to a pimple-faced teen … maybe it was just a coincidence, but this track is pure sexual energy! Handle it with care 😉

I am sure that the next tracks will always stay for “bag of goodies”. From the start of our, of Marc Bohlmann and me, Mondays session these were “our” anthems. Both were played always completely until the end of the record! No other tracks could better represent the kind of music and the atmosphere we used to have during our club nights. Magic music, magic moments!

Love Unlimited Orchestra – Midnight Groove

Ivan “Boogaloo Joe” Jones – “Sweetback”

Street Corner Symphony – Street Corner Symphony

Oumou Sangare Ah Ndiya

Jürgen Eberhart, maybe my first music mentor and later Depot owner, in the 90s one of the best house clubs in Germany, was introducing me to the wonderful Oumou Sangare in the early 90s. A couple of years later during one of my sets, I surprised the dancers in the right moment with this song … everybody was floating. I will keep forever this moment in my mind

Sun Ra – That’s How I Feel

Sun Ra has to be on this list, though I am not frequently travelling with him and his music. The few times I do it are something very special. I am feeling so grateful because in 91 I had the chance to see him life on the small stage of Zentrum Zoo, the club where I was working … nuff said!

Needs – So Many Things

Since clubs like Depot have been in the 90s my “living room”, I could not complete such a list without including House. In my memory and in my legs are tons of house tracks from Frankie Knuckles, over Moodyman, MAW, Mike Huckaby to Kerri Chandler, just to name few of the heroes who let move my body and touched my soul. I will never forget the nights spent on the dancefloor being “one” with everybody and the music. I selected Needs, not only by chance because I was taking casually this record from my shelf, but also because I really like it! To me a classic.

The same applies to drum’n’bass and this Big Bud track, one of the first in my D’n’B collection. Still fresh and with much soul!

 

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Daniel W. Best – „Working in Music“ a personal discography  Part 1.

 

Midnight Star – Freak-a-zoid

During my childhood I attended elementary school in Washington D.C. , we took the typical big yellow bus to school every morning.  It was on that bus that I listened to music with head-phones and a Sony Walk-Man.  One of the songs I heard (around 1982), was Midnight Stars hit „Freak-a-zoid“ –  I was immediately hooked.  Shortly thereafter Break-Dancing invaded our school yard.  Here is a link to a Live-performance of the aforementioned song.  What a show!!

Donny Hathaway „The Ghetto“ Live

I remember spinning the entire Live LP in my student dormroom in Frankfurt (Oder)/ Germany circa 1992.  I was the ONLY dude with a record-player, everyone else was investing into “compact-disc technology“.  As a result, I was able to purchase an assortment of rare East-German, and Polish vinyl from other students (ie. Novi Singers, etc.).  If they had known what future value of those records would be, they might not have sold them to me. Donny Hathaways live version „The Ghetto“ hit me hard, I loved to spin it out.  Some years later Masters at Work covered the song with George Benson, giving it more of a House flavor.  It proved to be the perfect track to play if you needed to take a bathroom break during your dj –set.

Jazzanova – Fedime’s Flight

Through my older brother Christoph Best, who had a record store in Munich „Best Records“ (of course), I met Jürgen von Knoblauch one of the founding members of the Berlin based music-production/Dj crew Jazzanova.  I started to hang around them at their resident night at Berlins legendary ninties club „Delicious Dougnuts“  It was also during this time that I received Dj tutoledge from Alex Barck, another Jazzanova member at the „AKBA Lounge“ in Berlin. I started to involve myself in Jazzanovas international DJ bookings, (via fax, and telephone), as well as their music-label Sonar Kollektiv.  This track was created by Jazzanova producers Stefan Leisering, and Axel Reinemer along with Jürgen von Knoblauch.  Jürgen has an amazing collection of records, which includes various Brazilian Artists.

Jerzy Milian  – Wśród pampasów

I released a Polish Jazz compilation on the label Jazzanova-Compost Records (JCR), a joint venture with the highly respected Michael Reinboth from Munich. I did a great deal of research, and consequently travelled to the Polskia Nagrania Studios in Warzaw together with Claas Brieler (also of Jazzanova). We had tracks that we licensed pulled from reel-to-reel tapes unto DAT-tapes during our visit.  This resulted in two vinyl albums of Polish Jazz – „Go Right“ (with various artists), and the other songs from the Polish vocal ensemble „Novi Singers“.  Not only did I manage to get copies of the original 1960 – 1970 album-covers, but I received them directly from the photographer himself. The following track was featured as an opener for one of the compilations, It was taken from the album „Choreographic Sketches“later the Jazzanova Live band (founded in 2009), covered the track during performances at different Polish Jazz festivals.  One of those performances was in honor of the living legend „Jerzy Milian“, a master Vibraphonist.

Lightning Head „Me and Me Princess“ (Best Seven/ Sonar Kollekitv)

Sonar kollektiv created quite a few sub-labels as an experiment. It wasn’t really a good idea but, I was able to put out quite a few releases under the moniker „Best Seven“ Records –  it actually went down pretty well.  The name of course was derived from the  7 Inch format and the first artist released was „Glyn Bush“ of Rockers Hifi fame.  During that same period I was heavily involved in the Ragga/Dance-Hall scene in Berlin. I was running a weekly club-night calles „Escobar“ with a few friends at the Pfefferbank in Berlin-Mitte later at other venie incl. WMF. Originally Barney Millah (the resident dj) and a Belgian Bar-Keeper Remy Deschamps started it as a bar event in the Mid-90ies at a club calles Boogalo (now Kitkat). In those days we had people coming from a the different scenes in Berlin HipHop, Techno, Drum & Bass, etc. The club version of this event is still running until this day now at Bohannon Club, Berlin still with legendary DJ Barney Millah.

DJ Fitchie & Joe Dukie  – Midnight Marauders (Best Seven/ Sonar Kollektiv – The Drop)

In the late 90s, and early 2000s, I was promoting and producing regular resident DJ nights of the Jazzanova DJs called „Kaleidoskop“ at the legendary WMF club in Berlin. One oft the artists we booked was Recloose who had just moved from Detroit to the wonderful city of Wellington, NZ,  and was an artist on Carl Craigs imprint Planet E. Knowing that I was into Reggae influenced stuff, he gave me a most impressionable record by two artists from New Zealand, DJ Fitchie  & Joe Dukie.  I immediately signed the track for my imprint Best Seven.  And well the rest is history they went on to become one of New Zealands most famous acts Fat Freddys Drop.

Torch of Freedom – Re:Jazz  feat. Joy Denalane (Frost & Wagner Remix) (Infracom)

During my university studies I got involved in writing for a music fanzine calles „Tribes of the Undaground“.  It was founded by my friends Jan Hagenkötter, and Namé Vaughn (R.I.P).  They also ran the independant record label Infracom based in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. They released all kinds of groove related music which included early German Hiphop and Triphop acts – Shantel, Slop Shop,  and Phoneheads (who launched their careers on Infracom).  As an in-house project, they created the Re:Jazz together with musician and producer Matthias Vogt.  On their first album they had a bossa nova cover of the track „Torch of Freedom“  by the German singer Joy Denalane  (written by Cleveland Watkiss).  When I heard it I thought….“this would be even better as a Reggae version“. I asked Berlin based producer Oliver Frost to remix it,  which he did, thus the track was featured on my „Best Seven Selections“ compilation (Best Seven/Sonar Kollektiv Records).

Romanthony  – Wanderer (Dixon Edit)

In the beginning year of 2000 I ran DJ Dixon’s resident club night  called „Inner City“ at the Weekend Club in Berlin (Now House of  Weekend). Dixon had started the sub-label Innervisions as a part of the Sonar Kollektiv label (run by Jazzanova), and needed a club-night to reflect his label A&R work. One day he found a best of Balance label compilation at my office on CD, I had just brought it back from a trip to Amsterdam via Rush Hour record store.  He said „I think I might make an edit for tonite“ –  and this track was the result.  He later pressed it on limited vinyl for his Philiomena label.

Now Dixon has  a Berghain residency and his label Innervisions records became independant of the mother-label Sonar Kollektiv.

Cat Rat  – Freedom  (Jay Haze Remix) (Best Seven/Sonar Kollektiv)

Jay haze was our office neighbor at the Sonar Kollektiv/ Best Works agency office. He did this amazing Dub-House remix for the Berliner reggae act „Cat Rat feat Yah Meek“. It was featured on his Fabric  mix. Still loving it.

Andre Lodemann  „Where are you now?“ (Best Works Records)

During my student years (around 1992-1998), at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, I met through Norman Nodge a law student who became resident Dj at the world renound club Berghain.  It was through him I was introduced to DJ Andre Lodemann.  We stayed in contact over  the years and helped him start his career.  His first release was on Mike Grants label Mood N Grooves, Detroit.  Together with Andre, I later founded the imprint Best Works Records. The link below is the blue print for all his future output. I like to call it „dramatic music storytelling“.

Jazzanova „I Human“  (G.I.Disco Remix)  (Sonar Kollektiv)

I met Berlin native Kalle Kuts back in the days I was running a Reggae – Dancehall/ HipHop night  called „Reggae im Moskau“ together with DJ Alex Gallus at the legendary Cafe Moskau, Berlin. Kalle would be playing the second floor sometimes with me. We both discovered that we both had a love for 80s soul and funk Jams.  Some years later at the Winter Music Conference, (we both by chance both attended), we decided to create the project „G.I.Disco“. The first thing we did was establish a regular dj night, then created a compilation on BBE records.  One thing led to another, and we co-curated an exhibit on the influence of the U.S. Army on German pop culture in Germany at the Allied Museum in Berlin.  The exhibit included a leather-jacket from Elvis Presley, and also the gold-record for of the disco-hit „Fly Robin Fly“ by the German outfit „Silver Convention“.   Kalle Kuts created this remix for this Jazzanova release on Sonar Kollektiv Records.

Sierra Sam / Suburban Knight

My booking company  Best Works was situated in the Sonar Kollektiv office in the Wolliner strasse  (Prenzlauer Berg/ Berln), at that time quite a few known acts / labels/ producers resided there – Märtini Brös, Tobi Neumann, Tiefschwarz, R.O.T./ Noah, Jay Haze,etc. to name a few.  One of them was Sierra Sam (an artist in his own right), who was Jay Haze’s label Contexterrior label-manager.  He and I stayed in contact after eveyone was forced to move do to the conversion of the our offices into expenive lofts. He is a amazing analog-synth geek. This track he produced to together with Detroit legend Suburban Knight in the 90s. I reissued it on my blog-label Best’s Friends.