Quentin Harris - Timeless Re:collectionKing Street Records
Life has taken a rather different turn for the Detroit native musician, DJ and producer since stepping into the world of house since 2001. Original creations for labels Jellybean, Restricted Access, Shelter, Strictly Rhythm and NRK along with faultless club mixes of Donnie’s ‘Rocketship’ and ‘Cloud 9’ to ‘Let’s Be Young’ amongst others has catapulted him into the international house forum as a main player for sometime now. Considered a star of deeper, definitive raw-edged and sometimes evocative house remixes and productions - he’s the man with the know how in turning out dance floor gems when it comes to R & B too. Quentin’s prior schooling as a trumpeter session player for Aretha Franklin by the time he was 20, preceded by an apprenticeship in his own formed MC troupe Da Bio Chemist with the then unknown members of D12, Slum Village and Eminem, later rounded off by a relocation to New York, to handle work with his group The Masterminds; stints that lead to his venture to step into remix work. An India Irie remix proved to be the break for him that gave him a major promotion by default, an opportunity like no other. Thanks to Timmy Regisford, he then became the resident DJ with him at the renowned Club Shelter. Moving on, finding time in his rather pressing schedule, 2007 was the year Quentin felt to launch his own night ‘Kiss My Black A**’. According to him it is a vision declaring confidently “I feel music is something that brings people together”. All sorts of “club kids” venture through the doors - his own homosexual leanings attract the straight one’s too, costumes freaks and party go-getters alike. They’re there for the music and to have fun. Expressing that vibe on vinyl/CD, King Street Sounds who are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year decided to take advantage of his brassy attitude by enlisting Quentin’s musical talents to add his signature stamp to the label’s 17th instalment of MTV. A great move in the right direction for house music, this mix is truly too hot to handle. Non stop is the energy, as each track represents a chapter of a story book; your gripped from the start, taken to a climax and with an ending that any diva worth her lyrical weight in words would proudly ask ‘don’t you want some more?’ The resultant project is a gritty, soul combo that is typically indicative of underground house – some long gone. Altogether, its vibe rewound me to an era of the nineties house sounds that emanated from many a London club, Feel Real being a good example. Gospel stoked songs ‘Heal My Heart’ by Kerri Chandler or the organ derived ‘Show Me’ by Urban Soul are just of the two tracks expressing deliverance – good for those caught up in the seedy murky world that club land has at times become. To work your mind into overdrive the darker, sublime repetitive driving beats and patterned template of cuts like Muzzaik Productions’s ‘Reflex’, or the hypnotic techno rhythmical slap of ‘P 2 DA J’s by Dennis Ferrer becomes sweetly entwined with Johnny Dangerous’s poem ‘Only Yourself’. Thankfully, one’s mind is renewed afresh from any likely moodiness with Carol Sylvan’s ‘Closer’ classic – the fierce bounce and groovy Dub mix from Mood II Swing became a wow highlight for me. As is KC’s ‘Hallelujah’ nugget, in addition to modern anthem ‘Touched The Sky’ which beautifully work as one in a seamless mix. It’s an inviting prelude to the mind of his forthcoming UK licensing of his highly anticipated long player ‘No Politics’.
Marcia Carr, 03/08