Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Dig Deep with K'Alexi Shelby (K Klassik / Transmat / DJ International) 151112
On this week’s show we are truly honored to bring you legendary Chicago house and techno producer / DJ K Alexi Shelby, better known as K'Alexi aka El Chocalata, in the mix for 1 hour.
One of The founding fathers of house music since the late 80’s, K Alexi is a time served pioneer of the true house sound with a DJ and a phenomenal production career spanning over 20 years.
At the age of 12 Mr.K' Alexi Shelby developed friendships with Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy whilst attending seminal venues like The Warehouse and The Music Box in the mid 1980s. It’s here that he took inspiration from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Curtis Mayfield and David Huff. Influences that continue in his music to this day.
K’s early tracks helped lay down what is now the trademark Chicago house sound; a solid kick drum, rumbling dark bass, smooth strings, incredible percussion and poetic spoken word.
In 1987 he released Essence Of A Dream under the guise of Risque III, a track that firmly established the name of Mr.K' Alexi Shelby amongst the most prominent of all house producers at the time and still sounds fresh today.
The B Side features Risqué Madness which was inspired by Kikrokos - Life Is A Jungle on Polydor Records from the ‘Jungle DJ And Dirty Kate’ LP released in 1978; a track that Ron Hardy re-edited on his reel to reel.
In 1988 K'Alexi released More Than Just A Dance under the alias of Risqué Rhythm Team. It's the Backyard mix that passes the Dig Deep test, a deep solid string laden house cut with a great bassline that's in the same field as Larry Heard.
1989 saw the release of the jaw dropping acid killer All For Lee-Sah which came out on Transmat under the name K. Alexi Shelby. Definitely one of the standout tracks for me, and a recent sharing led up and coming UK based producer and DJ Cottam to say "that's right up my strasse, kinda stuff I'm buying and playing now".
Another underground techno classic Club MCM - Its Me followed in 1991. A track that has been a frequent selection for compilations ever since. Definitely one for Larry Heard fans, this has a lovely piano line and a little dose of acid over those deep authentic house grooves.
In the same year Mind Control Music – M.C.M also came out on Rhythm Beat Records. Jacking to the max, this is the sound I imagine when people describe the dark sweaty atmosphere in the Music Box.
1992 saw the release of Club MCM & Marshall Jefferson – Message 2 Ron. A more soulful house cut that strides from Chicago house to Detroit techno and may well be dedicated to the late Ron Hardy who passed away the same year.
In 1993 K.Kool's Trick Tracks was released on Trax Records. An EP full of disco edits that probably wouldn’t have sounded out of place in the Music Box when Ron Hardy was behind the decks.
Over the last 2 decades+ K’Alexi Shelby has collaborated with the likes of Derrick May, Larry Heard, Robert Owens, Mike Dunn, Marshall Jefferson, Gene Hunt, Paul Johnson, Mark Grant, Felix da Housecat, Dave Angel to name just a few and his tracks have been featured on compilations by Laurent Garnier to DJ Hell.
Meanwhile his remix highlights have appeared on Kenny Dope’s Dopewax label (2006), Glen Underground’s Indians & Bagpips (2006) and Ron Trent’s Altered State (2010) and he continues his work with the 5Kings collective and his TecSoul moniker.
Jump to May 2012 and K Alexi proves he still has what it takes with tracks such as 'Something About You' on his Don't Cha Want It LP on the DJ International (High Fashion) label alongside a slew of other releases.
Check his back catalogue on Discogs and his new releases at Juno Records | K Alexi Shelby releases - Junodownload.com | Mr K Alexi releases - Junodownload.com.
As well as being a legendary producer, K' Alexi Shelby is a formidable DJ. It's his DJ skills that led to us to want broadcast this mix and his hot sets has seen him playing many gigs across the globe. K’s on tour throughout November and part of December in Berlin , Stockholm, Hamburg and Barcelona, with UK dates awaiting confirmation.
When DMC said to him You’re often cited as one of the Godfathers of Chicago House, how does that feel? K replied “It's odd to be a part of something so big, yet I also love being part of something that can't be taken away. I did it; I was there, now it’s time to do more." Read the full interview here.
To sum up by saying this guy is prolific would be an understatement… Trainspotters, tapers, house veterans and techno terrorists be ready! Big up as always to DJ Izrail head of the Dig Deep Chicago family for the hook up.
Ben Sun featuring Slow Hands - Love Hotel (Delusions Of Granduer)
Jamie L - In The Berg (Cottam remix) (Paper Recordings)
Tom Trago - Being With You (Linkwood remix) (Rush Hour)
Spanky - Acid Bass (Neville Watson Edit) (DJ Classic Mastercuts)
Frankie Knuckles - You Can't Hide From Yourself (Chip E's House Remix) (Portrait)
Thelma Houston - If You Feel It (RCA)
DJ Rahaan - Use Your Imagination (Kat)
Hudson People - Power To The Hour (K.O.B and E.L.D re-edit) (Arison)
6th Borough Project - Planets (Jiscomusic)
Mini-Mix DJ: Mr. K' Alexi Shelby aka El Chocalata - K Klassik & TecSoul Deep mix 3
Shella E & Prince - Luv Bizarre (K'Alexi Shelby ReWork)
Cameo - Shake Yo Edit (K'Alexi Shelby ReWork)
Brass Construction - Got Myself 2gether (K'Alexi ReWork)
Parlet - Pleasure Principle (K'Alexi Shelby ReWork)
First Choice - Dr. Luv (K'Alexi Shelby ReWork)
Loleatta Holloway - Luv Sensation (K'Alexi Shelby ReWork)
Change - Chicago Lovers Holiday (K'Alexi Shelby ReWork)
K'Alexi Shelby - MaMa's Love
Blaze - Elements Of Life (K'Alexi Shelby ReWork)
Louie Vega - Con Migo (K'Alexi Shelby ReWork)
Check the full mix on Soundcloud and follow the links below for a lot more music.
Live Show: Thursday 15th November 2012
Listen online here or tune to 103.2fm
With so many releases to his name, believe me when I say this is just the tip of the mountain!