MUSIC: ALL HAIL PRINCE LANGUAGE
Prince Language, or Josh Taylor to his friends, (and no doubt his mother) is one of the hottest, most sought after DJ’s and producers in NYC. Originally hailing from Chicago, Prince Language moved to NY in 1999 and began putting on some of the sweatiest most fondly remembered dance parties the city has seen.
Known for his eclectic and diverse disco-heavy, house, electro sets, Prince Language is formidable behind the decks, and seamlessly douses party-goers in super sexy, non-stop aural pleasure.
As a great friend of GrandLife, we were thrilled to hear about a brand new release from the dance music maestro, almost 2 years in the making.
In 2010, independent Hip Hop record label, Stones Throw Records released an anthology of released and unreleased tracks by Canadian musician and composer, Bruce Haack, a pioneer of electronic music.
Now, in 2012, an 8-track LP of Haack remixes has been released on vinyl as well as for digital download.
Titled, Bruce Haack Remixes which features the talented handiwork of Prince Language as well as other brilliant reworkings from producers, Samiyam, PB Wolf, The Stepkids, Jonwayne, Vex Ruffin, Jonti, this is an album not to be missed.
GrandLife chatted with Prince language about the release.
GL: How did you first come across Bruce Haack?
PL: I first discovered him years ago when a friend played me one of his earlier, more experimental electronic records, either Electric Lucifer or Haackula. It definitely blew my mind. He was a pioneer in so many ways as a musician and engineer, and as a result his music was so unique compared to a lot of early synthesizer music.
GL: Why did you remix that particular song?
PL: Peanut Butter Wolf, who runs Stones Throw, asked me to work on a mix of Party Machine when I was hanging out with him at their office in LA a few years ago. They were preparing a retrospective compilation of Bruce Haack’s music, and wanted some additional remixes to go with it. I had heard of the track before but had never actually listened to it – it’s quite a rare record. After he played it for me I had to say yes – it really grabbed me straight away. It’s such an odd combination of two things that Wolf and I both love – weird, raw electronic music and early hip-hop. And it was “produced” with Russell Simmons, which is almost unbelievable. He probably wrote the lyrics, which come off sounding like a robotic take on the Tom Tom Club. This was a time – the early 80s – when there was still no rule book for hip-hop, and people were just making it up as they went along. There’s just so much to love about the song.
GL: How would you describe your usual style, and approach to reworking a song?
PL: It varies, but it always starts with figuring out what the heart of a song is, and what, if I anything, I’d like to change about it. In this case, I loved the original version, but the song was not very DJ-friendly in its arrangement and length. With an edit like this where I don’t have access to the separated tracks, or stems as they’re called, as opposed to a full-on remix where I do, it really becomes about a creative arrangement of the song that is respectful of the best parts of the song and lets them breathe, and also makes the track easier to mix in a DJ’s set.
GL: What’s your favorite remix or reanimation (your own) to date?
PL: I think it would have to be my remix of LCD Soundsystem’s “45:33 Part 1″. The original is one of my favorite LCD songs, and although I was pretty intimidated by that, I was really happy with what I was able to add to the track, giving a sort of updated boogie feeling. I still play it out all the time and it goes over great, and I don’t imagine I’ll ever tire of it either. That’s the ultimate test I think. And it has glockenspiel!
GL: Describe the feeling of having this release finally available on vinyl!
PL: It’s the best. Especially because I turned it in a year and a half ago! I’m from the pre-computer generation of DJs, and for me a record is not truly a finished release until it is, well, a record. It’s such a bummer when a release is digital-only – it’s so ephemeral, and ultimately disposable. And records sound better, of course.
GL: What will you do to celebrate?
PL: Slap it on the turntable and get busy.
GL: Tell me your top 5 songs of the moment.