Tennerz: Basil – Are You House (Vox) (Future Vision Records)
Let me ask you first: are you house? And if so, how do you explain House Music has never managed to become a major genre? Like say… Hip-Hop?!? As a matter of fact, I even remember some of its pureveyors eventually tellin’ me as to House Music had never meant / nor had the will to be anything else but… underground! As many people I guess I wanted to ask at times: “Are you House?” And as many reactions which, to me, had more of some attitudes. Even though that’s not quite exciting at the end…
‘Are You House?’ I never happened to wonder. Simply because House Music came to me as a continuation of both R&B and Disco. With the latter themselves being a continuation of Soul, itself being the contination of Rhythm and Blues. Besides, countless are those who happened to naturally jump from Disco to House. With this being pretty much the case regarding Basil (Thomas), as most of those who happened to be living in the Big Apple at the time.
‘Are You House’ is nothing else but a one of a kind House Music monologue track. Itself takin’ on where Roland Clark‘s ‘I Get Deep’ then Mr V featuring Miss Patty & Alix Alvarez‘s ‘Deep (House Music)’ left before. The whole featuring NYC-based DJ/producer Basil (Thomas) responsible for the narration along with Ron Trent in charge of the beat…
Magnetism being the first word coming to mind regarding this collaboration set to become a part of the history of the genre!
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Hailing from Haiti, Basil Thomas, recognized by the names of DJ Basil, Basil Hardhaus, Basil Hardhouse or Basil, first appeared as a security staffer at The Paradise Garage. Hired then at Nell’s as a bouncer, he would get his big break as a DJ in 1988-89. This while spinnin’ there and at The Choice and eventually sharing a residency with his idol. In other words, the iconic Larry Levan of The Paradise Garage.
The first traces one can find of Basil musicwise bring us back to the beginning of the nineties. Thus sharing the dities with Ronald Burrell on the seminal ‘City Streets’ for Frank and Karen Mendez‘s legendary Nu Groove label. This in addition to ‘Make Me Dance’ which he recorded with Ronald and Rheji Burrell. Thus paying a tribute to all the NYC cats in the House back then.
The end of the nineties seeing him delivering extra manifestos such as ‘All True (African)’, ‘Getaway’ and the evergreen ‘Time To Be Free’. This in addition to remixes of ‘City Streets’ for the King Street Sounds label. As many pieces of music that would be the subject of countless reworks along with time.
Strangely enough, Basil seems like havin’ taken his distance from recording during the first decade of the new millennium. Eventually resurfacing in 2015 along with Ron Trent on ‘Are You House’. Then as Brutha Basil the year after. This while jammin’ with Brutha Louie (Louie Vega) on ‘Freedom Of Dance (It’s The Beat)’. But also with Taçlan Görgün on ‘Frankie’s Heaven’ as remixed by Ali Coleman. Then Mark Francis on ‘City Streets 25′ in 2017. And more recently (in 2018) when joinin’ Antonio Deep Scarano & Andrea Curato on ‘This Is What We Do (Underground)’.