Whitney Houston RIP
When famous people die, especially in music, there’s that rare period of time where everyone is too overcome with grief to hold grudges against them musically. Not tearful wrecks, but genuinely open to celebrating someone’s life more than they were when they were alive. It normally lasts a week. Ask anyone in Glastonbury during the festival in 2009 and they will remember the way Michael Jackson’s death was remembered; likewise with Amy Winehouse dying being honoured by the Innervisions crew closing their season stealing set at We Love… Space last summer with ‘Tears dry on their own‘. You don’t drop 83bpm soul and expect it to make sense on the most famous dancefloor of Ibiza, but mourning does funny things to people, and the reaction from all accounts was understandably euphoric.
From a personal perspective I’ve been djing around the death of a lot of voices from our generation in the past few years; I can remember the cheer when I played Nate Dogg in May last year and, pathetic as it may sound to a lot of people, I was geuninely moved. I actually found out about Michael Jackson ten minutes before a set that fateful Thursday evening, and was this weekend inundated at Bumper with loads of Whitney requests as the news broke about her death. I’m not particularly precious about the kind of music I play sometimes but there is no way I’d ever play ‘I wanna dance with somebody’ outside of a well paid wedding, but Saturday I burned a disc on the sly and did as the bating hordes wanted; getting a great reaction. And you know the same group of people will hate the same song a week later (they actually didn’t think much of it when I drunkenly played it again that evening; ooops).
But me djing in a bar in Liverpool is a far cry from making this kind of moment work at Panoramabar in Berlin, especially utilising the vocal for a simply stunning backdrop with Kraftwerk. This is what the Facebook page celebrating arguably the most influential club in the world claimed had happened during the late hours of Sunday morning, with Mano le Tough really capturing a moment. Whitney had an amazing voice, there’s no doubt about that, but her music was by no means as universally popular with underground dance music fans as it may have been with millions across the world. But, if there’s one slither of positivity to be drawn from what is increasingly looking like a very tragic and avoidable death, it’s the magic her music and the timing of others can provide. Sometimes as DJs you get the chance to really capture the moment of someone’s memory, and it sounds like Mano managed this effortlessly at the weekend. She’ll be missed, not least by the most discerning dancefloor on the planet.
And now Moodymanc has delivered this cracker of an edit of ‘Not right but it’s okay’ as well. Great stuff.