Most Wanted! Hercules And Love Affair – Blind (Frankie Knuckles Vocal) (DFA/Mute)
Thankfully, one can be blind and fully appreciate music. When not make some like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles or Raúl Midón. Although no need to have lost the sight to be blind, as vibrantly depicted on this self narrative gem.
As a matter of fact , we just become blind from the moment we’re in the position that doesn’t allow us (anymore) to feel the things the supposedly right way. Either because, we don’t have the necessary maturity. Either because we’re not in a right position for a reason or another. Or last but not least because we’ve withdrawn into our own self.
“To see you now, to hear you now I can look outside myself. And I must examine my breath and look inside because I feel blind…” As many words bringin’ back to the ones of Mantronix‘s ‘Take Your Time’ for instance. And what a magnetic vocal performance we have by the likes of Britain native singer Antony Hegarty of the Antony & The Johnson‘s fame. With Frankie Knuckles once again crafting a masterpiece remixwise. Thus resulting in a bunch of subtle reminders. From Ce Ce Rogers‘ ‘Someday’. To Talk Talk‘s ‘It’s My Life’. This with a bit of Yazoo‘s ‘Don’t Go’. Not to mention something of Mateo & Matos‘ ‘Mixed Moods’. The whole most likely makin’ of ‘Blind’ the biggest classic by the likes of this US band formed by DJ Andy Butler along with a rotating cast of musicians and singers.
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– A native of Denver, CO, Andrew Butler grew up in an environment which he described as “a violent household without any role models”. Feeling Gay inside from as far as he could remember, he developed his own universe. Feeling like a real interest in the Greek mythology, hence the name of his band. But also getting into music while learning piano then playing classics. This before jumpin’ into Dance Music after he heard a record by the likes of Yahoo. With DJing following soon after…
Butler relocated to the Big Aplle by the end of the 90’s to attend Sarah Lawrence College. Back then, he befriended Anohni who was then singing under her civil name (Antony Hegarty) and convinced her to perform a song he had written. The latter being nothing but ‘Blind’.
A few years and demos which he’d been working on after, he approached Anohni who’d won the Mercury Prize for her work with Antony & The Johnsons. And both of them agreed to release it. This under the name of Hercules And Love Affair because it reflected his interest in Greco-Roman mythology. Meanwhile mentioning Hercules and his love affair with Hylas.
DFA Records agreed to release ‘Blind’ which first saw the light in the United Kingdom to some critical acclaim in March 2007. With Frankie Knuckles eventually givin’ it a remix.Thus givin’ Butler the will to establish his venture as a continuing musical project. And eventually come up with a rotating cast of singers and musicians.
Thought to be a one hit wonder at the time by DFA founder Tim Goldsworthy, Hercule And Love Affair have nevertheless released a total of 5 albums including a Live in 2008. With their latest LP – ‘Omnion’ – back in 2017 on Mr Intl/Skint/BMG.
Among their definitive highlights, the 2012 released ‘Crave’ which saw them teamin’ up with Deetron (Music Man). Then the cinematic ‘I Try To Talk To You’ featuring John Grant which received the remixing treatment of both Seth Troxler and Morgan Geist two years later…
– A quick typing – ‘Frankie Knuckles’ – in the search box of our site should give you a certain idea of his legacy. And, by that, of the consideration we have for him. Standing among the most prolific but first and foremost talented producers/remixers of his generation. With his name firmly associated to a signature – the Def Mix Sound – and an alter ego – David Morales. Themselves synonyms with some of the most brilliant episodes in the maturation of the contemporary groove.
A native New Yorker, Frankie Knuckles arrived right on time to witness the early stages of the nightclubbing and its music – Disco – in the Big Apple. Eventually hangin’ out with his friend, Larry Levan, before comin’ to play Disco, Soul and R&B jams at The Continental Baths and The Gallery.
Knuckles relocated to Chicago, IL by the second half of the 70’s. This after a friend of his by the likes of Robert Williams had opened a space that was to become The Warehouse. Eventually inviting him to play on a regular basis. There, he came with a blend of everything, from Disco classics to European electronic fueled sounds and Rock. The whole setting up the foundations as what was to become House Music by the middle of the 80’s. This along with the use of drum machines and samplers.
Knuckles made his thing in Chicago, eventually collaborating with Jamie Principle. But he also happened to join forces with David Morales and For The Record DJ Pool founder Judy Weinstein under the Def Mix Productions banner to help manage remix requests and handle artist business affairs.
All in all, on his own or along with either David Morales or Eric Kupper, Frankie Knuckles has remixed and produced over 600 releases. With the list of those he happened to rework the music of givin’ a better idea of the impact he generated. And this way above the strict spheres of House Music. Beginning with blasts from the past such as My Mine‘s ‘Hypnotic Tango’ which he came to rework. But also Jago‘s quite sought after ‘I’m Going To Go’. Then Double Exposure‘s ‘My Love Is Free’ and Diana Ross (‘Love Hangover’). Eventually bringin’ fragments of his universe on Swing Out Sister‘s ‘Notgonnachange’. The latter being an example of the demand he generated in the UK. From Tongue’N’Cheek‘s ‘Tomorrow’ to L.A. Mix‘s ‘Live Together’ and D*Note (‘D*Votion 99’). Not to mention Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘Change’ or Loose Ends‘ ‘Hangin’ On A String’).
Of course, Frankie Knuckles made some noise in the House scene. Responsible for seminal tracks such as ‘Tears’ along with Satoshi Tomiie and Robert Owens. But also ‘And I Loved You’ featuring the same Tomiie and Arnold Jarvis. Both of them on FFRR. And how to not think of the burning ‘One Man’ by the likes of Chanelle back in 1989? Or Lil Louis feat. ChinahBlac‘s ‘Fable’??? With the same applying to Hercules & Love Affair‘s ‘Blind’. Then Sybil‘s ‘Let’s Yourself Go’. With the list to be incomplete without a mention to the Director’s Cut signature which he put together along with long time friend Eric Kupper.
And, just like David Morales, he also created serious bridges with R&B names. Beginning with Michael Jackson (‘Rock With You’). But also Chaka Khan (‘Ain’t Nobody’) and David Peaston (‘We’re All In This Together’). This in addition to The Gap Band (‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’) and Chanté Moore (‘This Time’). Then Toni Braxton (‘Un-Break My Heart’) and Womack & Womack (‘MPB’). Not to mention En Vogue‘s ‘You Don’t Have To Worry’ or Will Downing‘s ‘A Love Supreme’…
Meanwhile, under his own banner, Knuckles also made quite an impression. Delivering his debut-album – ‘Beyond The Mix’ – back in 1991. And in the meantime one of his biggest classics ever by the likes of ‘The Whistle Song’. Eventually sharing the bill four years later with Jersey songstress Adeva on the ‘ Welcome To The Real World’ album. With his final album – ‘A New Reality’ – seeing the light back in 2004.
Frankie Knuckles sadly died on March 31, 2014 in Chicago, IL, of complications from diabetes. He was 59…