Monday, April 6, 2009

Masters At Work - The Tenth Anniversary Collection - Part Two (1996 - 2000)

The duo of "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez are the preeminent production/remix team in house music, their nom de plume Masters at Work standing behind dozens of the biggest club hits and remixes of their time. Effectively soundtracking the freewheeling American nightclub scene of the 1990s, Vega and Gonzalez blended their love of the disparate music coming from New York's underground clubs during the 1980s -- disco, the freewheeling garage scene, emerging house and hip-hop styles, Latin freestyle -- to enormously influence the mainstream dance sound as it coalesced during the following decade. Besides their productions, remixes and appearances as Masters at Work, Vega and/or Gonzalez are also involved in a good dozen other projects (including Nuyorican Soul, KenLou, the Bucketheads, and the Untouchables), many of which appear on the duo's own MAW Records label.

Both Vega and Gonzalez were born to parents living in New York (the Bronx and Brooklyn, respectively), though of Puerto Rican heritage. Consequently, both were early influenced by the Big Apple's fertile salsa scene during the '70s. (Vega's uncle is the renowned salsa vocalist Hector Lavoe, and his father played saxophone in Latin groups for over 30 years, while Gonzalez' father Hector Torres is also a salsa expert.) During the early '80s, both were noted DJs around New York, though Vega immersed himself in house and freestyle while Gonzalez entered the rap scene. (The separate interests came in handy later, as dance fan Vega concentrated on songwriting and groove-making while hip-hop head Gonzalez programmed beats and samples.) The pair were also working separately as producers, and Vega had already made a name for himself working on dozens of freestyle tracks and remixes by Nice & Smooth, Information Society and India. Gonzalez, working as a mobile DJ with a team calling themselves the Masters at Work, founded his own Dope Wax Records and worked on production for all of the major New York dance labels: Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Cutting and Big Beat. In 1987, he loaned out the name Masters at Work to Todd Terry for the 1987 single "Alright Alright" (a huge club hit), then Terry returned the favor one year later by introducing him to Vega.

After comparing notes, the pair decided that combining their wide range of influences could be an interesting experiment. They released their first Masters at Work single, the appropriately titled "Blood Vibes," on Cutting Records. Since Vega still had remixing contracts from his solo days, the pair decided to apply the MAW treatment first to Debbie Gibson's "One Step Ahead." The dance community was reasonably shocked to hear a disposable pop artist given a respectable, even exciting, dance sound.

House production teams rarely released albums of their own productions under their own name, but a Masters at Work LP appeared in 1993, on Cutting Records. The album mixed older singles with newer productions, and featured guest slots for vocalists like Jocelyn Brown and India (the latter of whom is also Vega's wife) plus producers like Todd Terry and Maurice Joshua. The reputation of Vega and Gonzalez grew soon and they received pleas from most of the major labels to contribute remixes, adding to their resume Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, Madonna, St. Etienne, George Benson, Brand New Heavies, Lisa Stansfield, Deee-Lite, Everything But the Girl, Chic, Soul II Soul, Neneh Cherry, Ce Ce Peniston and dozens more.

Though Masters at Work were still a relatively underground phenomenon in 1993, but the success of singles like "The Nervous Track" (as the Latin-vibed Nuyorican Soul), "Love and Happiness" (as River Ocean), "I Can't Get No Sleep" and "When You Touch Me" -- each with vocals by Vega's wife, India -- caused their associated label Strictly Rhythm to give them their own MAW Records subsidiary. The discofied Gonzalez side-project known as the Bucketheads reigned the dance charts during 1995-96 with two number one singles, "The Bomb (These Sounds Fall into My Mind)" and "Got Myself Together."

In early 1997, the MAW duo issued the most high-profile release of their career (at least in terms of the music establishment), a self-titled full-length as Nuyorican Soul. Recorded with input from a host of jazz and Latin past-masters (George Benson, Roy Ayers, Tito Puente, Charlie Sepulveda, Dave Valentin), the album spawned several club hits, including "Runaway" and "It's Alright, I Feel It." The following year, Masters at Work compiled some of their best productions for Masterworks: Essential KenLou House Mixes and MAW Records: The Compilation, Vol. 1. Two years later, BBE trumped both with the release of the four-disc box Tenth Anniversary Collection, Pt. 1 (1990-1995). [See Also: The Bucketheads, Nuyorican Soul]

SOURCE:
answers.com

CD#1
Tracklist:
1-01. Luther Vandross - Are You Using Me? (8:23)
Executive Producer - Luther Vandross
Producer - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega

1-02. MAW Presents India - To Be In Love (12:49)
Lead Vocals - India
Producer - MAW
Remix [Reconstructed By] - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega

1-03. Sunkids Featuring Chance - Rescue Me (7:59)
Producer - Deep Swing

Remix -
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
Vocals - Chance

1-04. Kele Le Roc - You Did It Good (8:21)
Producer - D'Influence
Remix - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
1-05. Incognito - Nights Over Eygpt (7:48)
Producer - Jean Paul "Bluey" Maunick, Simon Cotsworth
Remix - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
1-06. Tony Touch - I Wonder Why? (He's The Greatest DJ) (MAW Remix) (8:51)
Producer - Tony Touch
Remix -
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
1-07. Ultra Nate - Divine Love (9:01)
Producer, Mixed By - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
1-08. Kenny Lattimore - Days Like This (8:02)
Remix - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega

CD#1
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CD#2
Tracklist:

2-01. George Benson - The Ghetto / El Barrio (8:34)
Producer - Kenny Gonzalez, Louie Vega, Tommy Lipuma
2-02. Masters At Work - MAW Expensive (11:55)
Producer, Mixed By - Masters At Work
2-03. NuYorican Soul - Mind Fluid (6:37)
Executive Producer - Michael Weiss
Producer - Masters At Work

2-04. Roni Size/Reprazent - Watching Windows (Roni Size Meets Nuyorican Soul) (13:56)
Producer, Mixed By - Roni Size
Remix [Produced & Ricanstructed By] - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega

2-05. NuYorican Soul - You Can Do It Baby (7:04)
Producer - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
Guitar, Vocals - George Benson
2-06. Jerald Daemyon - Summer Madness (Moody Mix) (7:45)
Remix - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
2-07. Atmosfear - Dancing In Outer Space (8:04)
Remix - Masters At Work
2-08. Karen Ramirez - Troubled Girl (7:31)
Producer - Souled Out
Remix -
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega

CD#2
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CD#3
Tracklist:
3-01. NuYorican Soul - It's Alright I Feel It! (9:50)
Edited By - Albert Cabrera
Lead Vocals - Jocelyn Brown
Producer -
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
3-02. Kenlou 6 - Bangin' (7:44)
Producer - Masters At Work
3-03. Masters At Work Feat. Liliana - Brazilian Beat (Dope Mix) (11:14)
Keyboards - Louie Vega
Percussion - Luisito Quintero
Producer - Kenny Dope

3-04. Harddrive 2000 - Never Forget (When You Touch Me) (10:07)
Producer, Mixed By - Louie Vega
3-05. Monday Michru - Sunshine After The Rain (11:13)
Remix [Remixed & Reconstructed By] - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
3-06. Daft Punk - Around The World (7:44)
Remix - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
3-07. Eternal - What'cha Gonna Do (7:49)
Engineer [Mix] - Ben Garrison
Producer - Charles Farrar, Troy Taylor
Remix -
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
3-08. Rain A Lil Louis Painting - Give It Up (MAW Club Mix) (8:13)
Producer - Lil Louis
Remix - Masters At Work


CD#3 Part 1
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CD#3 Part 2
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CD#4
Tracklist:
4-01. Nu Colours - Desire (Masters At Work Dub 3 Mix) (5:37)
Engineer [Remix] - David Darlington, Steve Barkan
Remix - Masters At Work

4-02. Black Magic - Let It Go (9:15)
Producer, Mixed By - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
4-03. Cunnie Williams - Spirit (MAW Club Mix) (9:44)
Remix - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
4-04. Melanie B Feat. Missy Elliot - I Want You Back (MAW Remix) (8:24)
Featuring - Missy Elliot
Remix -
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
4-05. Incognito - Always There (Masters At Work Remix 96) (8:04)
Producer - Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick
Remix - Masters At Work

4-06. Ruffneck Feat Yavahn - Everybody Be Somebody (9:16)
Executive Producer - Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega
Producer - Derek A. Jenkins, Dwayne "Spen" Richardson, Stephen B. Wilson
4-07. Lood Feat. Donell Rush - Shout-N-Out (7:13)
Featuring - Donell Rush
Producer - Jon Ciafone, Lem Springsteen, Louie Vega

4-08. NuYorican Soul - Runaway (8:26)
Edited By - Albert Cabrera
Lead Vocals - India
Producer -
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, "Little" Louie Vega

CD#4
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7 comments:

MastrChief07 said...

Now this is one of the 'dopest' posts. Thanks benz! Looking forward to this. Daaaamn!

summonedknight said...

massive post benz, that is all that can be said while keeping it clean,lol

Rob said...

Yeah Benz, I have this and thought about uploading it a while back BUT then I remember that 15CD post I did for New Years and woke the hell up...LOL
I know it's time consuming, I constantly deal with it when burning the vinyl. A single sided 12 minute track could take up to one hour to clean thoroughly. I'm going to start working on a MAW vinyl now that you reminded me with this post.....If I remember correctly I think it's instrumentals of alot of their work....Great post, thanks for the time and effort.

deejay said...

Thanks so much to this great album

DJ Moontérry said...

plese pass...
THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION 1996-2000
beautiful classic

David Soto said...

Great Compilation, Password?

chocomouf said...

why would you post it and then give paasworded links...doesn't make sense to me...great body of work though