MIX SERIES-1

MEOKO presents UP UNTIL NOW: A new Mix Series, where we ask an artist to provide a mix of early tracks that have inspired them, from their childhood to now. The music does not have to be electronic, nor serious, but as long as it is enlightening to the artist’s musical muses. MEOKO is proud to present Brothers’ Vibe for our first ever episode. 

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Tony and two young ladies in the mid eighties 

New Jersey local Tony Rodriguez, better known by his stage name Brothers’ Vibe, is a DJ, producer and label owner from Puerto Rican descent. Born in the mid 60s, and having already bought decks at the age of 11, today Tony is more than an established DJ, producer and a label owner of 5 record labels. He is a respected pioneer in the electronic dance music scene, with a remarkably loyal following behind him.

Just one year after he bought his own set up, Tony was already performing as a DJ in several small clubs. When he reached the age of 14, he managed his first gig at one of the bigger clubs in the city, playing disco and funk tunes. Still in his teens, he started working in a record store where he became friends with other icons of house music such as Jellybean Benitez, Tony Humphries and Larry Levan. You can definitely say he had a promising start at a young age.

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Eventually he decided to kick-off with Brothers’ Vibe in 1994. With this name he tried to include everyone who was down with his typical sound. He stated that ‘we are all brothers’ and ‘the vibe belongs to all of us’. Under this name he became known because of his outstanding productions. Many of his releases evolved into enduring classics ranging from his beloved tribal and latin sounds to deep and dark techno. After a recent two year break he returned to his studio, which he claims, is looking more organized than ever. The primary hardware he uses is Reason, but he also reverted to his old loves: the Kawaii K3 and the Moog. Fans must be excited for his final come back of upcoming gigs and productions.

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Usually releasing music on one of his imprints depending on its musical genre, it is no surprise that he chose this path to share his first original production after his two year pause. Black OPs #1 EP on his deep house BV Black, released last September, marks the beginning of an exciting month and year as Tony returns fresh with a slew of excellent productions, choosing two releases per label and starting on some new projects. Of course, he continues to manage his labels, which have been in existence for more than a decade. Labels include;

 

SOM Underground – Disco House/Soul/House

MixxRecords – House/Deep/Tribal

BV Black – Deep House

Jersey Underground – Tribal/Soul

 

He completes the pieces of his family of labels with a new, “straight up Techno” label, titled Toad Red, which he describes as “really hot techno”.  

Not solely a producer, Brothers’ Vibe appeared on numerous vertiginous events, clubs and festivals all over the world. He has performed all over Europe, USA and Asia. During his European tour, he even appeared on the mouth-watering line up for ЯETURN at Hoppetosse together with phenomenal artists such as Zip and Onur Özer. He recently said he still hasn’t had enough of spinning tracks around the world.

This American artist breathes music. With so many years on his account he homes a back catalogue of classics, labels, gigs, talent and experience that all young and starting DJs can only dream of. The dance music community can only hope that he will continue to pursue his musical life for many, many years to come. 

 

THE UP UNTIL NOW PODCAST with BROTHERS’ VIBE

 Listen  here

Up Until Now Artist Mix Yellow

  

What His Soundtrack Means… 

 

Tony gives us a run down of the records he picked out of his 60,000 strong collection, which dates from the early seventies, sets itself firmly in the nineties and ends at 2008. Although the podcast avoids a linear time frame, all the tracks do follow a holistic and creative concept. What stands out the most is that each and every track carries that soulful sound, be it rock’s Rolling Stones or even B-boy’s Herbie Hancock

 

 

Besides sharing a certain “style”, each record holds a particular significance for Tony’s musical life, while also representing some of the most “pioneering” artists of that time. For example, Tony includes Mr. Fingers’ “groundbreaking” ‘Washing Machine‘ (1998), due to its novel, synthetic sounds. It was these sounds that gave rise to Mr. Fingers’ status as a pioneer of house music. Another familiar name on the track list is Carl Craig and his ‘Sandstorms‘, of which Tony claims is “another pioneer in terms of Detroit and techno” who creates “minimalistic arrangements of mind-blowing productions”. He explains that although ‘Sandstorms’ does not echo the aesthetic of Craig’s earlier classics (it was released in 2004), “you hear this [track] in everything”. Another innovator is of course, David Essex and his ‘Rock On’ production, which is an early seventies electronic evolution inspired by the psychedelic landscape of the sixties. Tony explains the experiments in this electronic record, or rather, “the panning, the synth sounds we use today”. 

 

 

Focusing on musical eras too, Tony includes Zanza Records’ “Dirty Talk” by Klein MBO and Il Discotto Productions’ ‘Feel The Drive’ by Doctor’s Cat, which both represent tunes of the late seventies and early eighties italo-disco era. Around this same time in 1983, we see another groundbreaking party record, Malcolm McLaren‘s “Buffalo Gals”, which includes the famous vocal; “all that scratching is making me itch!” We move on from scratching to actual nineties Hip Hop, which according to Tony, “had the most substance”. “Cohesive” and “real” tracks in his own podcast include Main Source‘s “Looking At The Front Door”, released on DJ Pierre’s Wild Pitch Records, which “represented the next level of modern hip hop, however still maintaining the fundamentals of the warm sound” and Orange Krush‘s “Action”, which is “another hip hop electronic classic with vocals”. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3aRrokORjY

 

Of course there are tracks that are on there just because they belong to Tony’s personal favourites, such as latin and afro jazz sounds, which have clearly inspired his own style of productions. When asked about Motown’s “Portuguese Love”, Tony responded, “I just love Teena Marie. Here you can see the root of soul. Samba and Jazz… Amazing arrangement. One of my favourites”. One track that does deserve particular mention for its elusive but amusing title is “Humpty Dumpty” by an unknown artist. Tony explains: 

 

“This record I got in a compilation of mp3 downloads. I just love the whole latin, afro jazz arrangement. With the whole Humpty Dumpty thing, I found it amusing, but it sounds amazing. It seems like a big jam, a free jam. Have to find out who did it”. 

 

Tony comes full circle with Stevie Wonder‘s “Black Man”. Even though he prefers to avoid sending explicit political messages via his music, ‘Black Man’ represents “a political statement of how we live today”, while also giving an insight into his childhood: “As a latin kid, growing up you kind of felt out of place”. 

 

Tony describes his podcast as “a phenomenal arrangement of ideas and sound”. A collection of soul, jazz, hip hop, latin, and of course, disco and house music, this podcast has the Brothers’ Vibe stamp all over it. 

 

Track List: 

 

Stevie Wonder “Pastime Paradise” [Motown Records]

The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” [Decca Records]

Rotary Connection “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun” [Chess Records]

Mr Fingers “Washing Machine” [Trax Records]

Klein MBO “Dirty Talk” [Zanza Records]

Roy Davis Jr. “Michael (Love From San Francisco Live Dub)” [Nuphonic]

Conjunto Classico “Teresita” [Lo Mejor Records]

Malcolm McLaren “Buffalo Gals” [Island Records]

Main Source “Looking At The Front Door” [Wild Pitch Records]

Liaisons Dangereuses “Los Niños Del Parque” [Roadrunner Records] 

Doctors Cat “Feel The Drive” [Il Discotto Productions]

Carl Craig “Sandstorms” [Planet E]

David Essex “Rock On” [CBS]

Teena Marie “Portuguese Love” [Motown Records]

Michael Jackson “I Can’t Help It” [Epic Records]

Orange Krush “Action” [Prep Street Records]

Herbie Hancock “Rock It” [Columbia Records]

Toto feat Cheryl Lynn “Georgy Porgy” [Columbia Records]

Unknown Artist “Humpty Dumpty” [Unknown Label]

Eddie Palmieri “Mi Congo Te Llama (Remixed by Joaquin Joe Claussell)” [Sacred Rhythm US]

Stevie Wonder “Black Man” [Motown Records]

 

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