Following the very first exclusive selection prepared by Jolie Chérie's Etienne de Champfleury a few weeks ago, it is now time for the second chapter of my Perfect Party Playlist thread. I am flattered and ecstatically happy to share with you another vibrant top 10, this time kindly chosen by one of my favourite vocalists in this part of the galaxy - Shaun J. Wright.
Hercules & Love Affair's former collaborator and vocalist during their "Blue Songs" era last year, Shaun Wright is the secret weapon of the underground dance scene, the velvet voice of house, the flamboyant voguer, London College of Fashion graduate and "a banjee child who loves to twirl and dip" as he states on his Twitter. Based on his first solo effort the 2011 ultra-dark and sensual take on deep-house "Forevermore" and the upcoming instantly anthemic collaboration with Kiddy Smile "In The End", one can only expect more fabulous sounds coming from this exceptionally talented singer. Shaun's placed somewhere between Donny Hathaway's voice and Sylvester's charisma in my music books.
MOST VIBRANT MOMENTS:
EPHEMERAL NATURE (ASVOFF Winner - Grand Prix for Best Film) from Gsus Lopez on Vimeo.
PERFECT PARTY PLAYLIST by Shaun J. Wright
1. Masters At Work "The Ha Dance (Pumpin' Dub)" - This song had such an influence on the ballroom scene and vogue femme performance of the early 90’s that it is still used in its original form, sampled and remixed many times over today. What I find most interesting is that this song may be one of the least well known and celebrated songs from the internationally respected dance act MAW yet prevails as one of the quintessential tunes of ballroom culture, which in turn, influences dance music and culture globally.
2. Basement Jaxx – "Fly Life (Xtra Mix)" – Another ballroom favorite with great cross-genre appeal and that I believe has the power to ignite any dancefloor. I just played it at the end of my set in NYC a few weeks ago and the energy it stirred was palpable. I’ve never actually heard anything like it before or since.
3. Donna Summer – "I Feel Love" – Soaring, ethereal vocals. Check. Swirling, pulsating instrumentation. Check. Genre-defining. Check. I don’t think the magic of this tune and its ability to change how we envisioned dance music both in the underground and mainstream can be emphasized.
4. INXS – "I Need You Tonight" – This song was my introduction to rock and roll since it wasn’t the preferred music of my upbringing and I’ve been obsessed with this tune ever since. Perfection.
5. M.I.A. – "Fire, Fire" – M.I.A has created a seriously impressive body of work and I think she is one of this era’s defining artists in terms of creativity, culture and politics. I think we’ll only fully appreciate her uniqueness in retrospect.
6. Prince – "Erotic City" – Funk, new-wave, pop rock, experimental and explicit simultaneously. Genius!
7. Deee-Lite – "River of Freedom" – For me, Lady Kier is the blueprint for modern dance music stars. The voice, the look, the unadulterated, fearless coolness and most importantly, the conscious messages. I would hope to create such wonderful, inspiring songs. “River of Freedom” is one of my favorites by Deee-Lite and that’s a hard discography to select a favorite from.
8. Sylvester – "Down, Down, Down" – What can I say about Sylvester besides that he is the Queen and that we are all lucky to have experienced his genius. This is one of his underappreciated disco tunes that I love but I actually prefer his ballads to his dance tunes. His voice is brilliant and expressive and it’s in the subtleties of the ballads that you can really hear the nuances of his voice.
9. Depeche Mode – "Master and Servant" – Classic, dark and clever. They can move a dancefloor and make you think and feel very deeply at the same time. Plus David Gahan’s voice is haunting in the best kind of way.
10. Gossip – "Standing In The Way of Control" – I was at Erol Alkan’s party at The End in London when this tune destroyed the floor and I’ve been a Gossip fan ever since.