Lost but not least! (*) Blaze – My Beat (Swag’s Spiritual Mix) (True)
This Beat is Blaze‘s, but it’s also definitely mine since the very first time I’ve heard it!
A huge fan of these guys, I hardly understand why Slip’N’Slide didn’t manage to give a single release to this mix. A mix which, to me, is most likely the best version ever given to this song. Turned into an infectious African-influenced groove (flirting with Afrobeat) and enlightened by a powerful female spoken word performance.
‘My Beat’ might as well be to be the best ever remix courtesy of Chris Duckenfield and Richard Brown, aka Swag. Two guys who also made theselves a reputation with their reworks for Ian Pooley, Moloko and Björk among others…
The ‘damage’ would be repaired though some 10 years after – in 2011 – with its inclusion on the digitally released ‘Slip n Slide Remixes vol. 1’ compilation…
Formed by the mid-80’s, Blaze progressively made themselves the depository of a unique sound. Eventually being to House Music what New Jack Swing happened to be to R&B. In other words, from a blend of Gospel, Jazz, Afro, Latin and Funk influences.
Initially a threesome with Chris Herbert who left by the beginning of the 90’s, Kevin Hedge and Josh Milan have crafted some of the most vibrant pieces of music one might think of. From the early Phase II‘s ‘Reachin’ to the anthemic ‘Lovelee Day’. From the soothing ‘Wishing You Were Here’ to the infectious ‘Funky People ‘ featuring Cassio Ware. And the list goes on, not to mention their memorable collaborations with Louie Vega.
They released a total of 5 albums in a 15 years period of time. They are also responsible for the UDAUFL album. A concept album which featured a myriad of luminaries with the aim to collect funds to fight against AIDS.
Blaze came to an end in the second half of the 2000’s. With Milan running his own Honeycomb label from then. And Hedge sharing the duties behind the decks with Louie Vega at the weekly Roots party at NYC Cielo.