Classics: Matthew Bandy feat. Josh Milan – Wish (Frankie Feliciano Ricanstruction Vocal Mix) (Foliage Records)
Whatever happened to German label Foliage Records? A stable which, for about 6 years (from 2008 until 2014), would establish itself among the purveyors of finest House gems. Synonymous with goodies such as David Harness feat. Roland Clarke‘s ‘The Deejay Is An Allien’. But also Black Coffee feat. Soulstar‘s ‘You Rock My World’. Not to mention Bucie‘s ‘Fade’ to name a few. With Matthew Bandy feat. Josh Milan‘s ‘Wish’ makin’ no exception…
With most of the current production standing by its lack of substance, ‘Wish’ brings us back at a time when lyrical content had to say its word in the makin’ of (DaNce) Music. Meanwhile makin’ the demonstration as to how Josh Milan (formerly of Blaze) is not only the vibrant singer we know. But also a songwriter with indepth and delicacy.
If I had known… But you never know in advance, Do you? “I wish I didn’t love you so much”. With the result being, as one might expect, a reel wound turning itself into a bittersweet situation. Reminding gems such as the classic Rose Royce‘s ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ or its cover version by the likes of The Basement Boys. If not Zakes Bantwini‘s ‘Wasting My Time’ among others.
“I wish I wouldn’t miss your sweet touch. Wish I could do without you…” Sayin’ it all. “I wish you understood just how much I love you…” But that’s the way life goes at times. With Frankie Feliciano, in charge of the remix duties, comin’ up with the right elements to bring the song to the upper level. Spicin’ up the whole with stellar keys over an African-influenced rhythm part.
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– Matthew Bandy grew up inbetween the sounds coming out of the nearby Motor City and the many 45’s from his parents’ record collection. As many bits n bobs which became a determining factor in defining his musical approach today. Bandy‘s communion with House Music has now brought him to international recognition. Remaining true to his musicality, he has interwoven passion and originality through his creative ambitions. From DJing to producing, promotions, and operating a record label.
In the early 90’s Bandy jumped on the Dance music wagon through the Midwest rave scene. A melting pot of sounds encompassing Techno, Hip Hop, Disco and House. From then, he travelled to parties around the country which developed his musical influences around the country.
In 2000 Bandy created the live act, Deep House Souldiers. This was a creative partnership with Joel Hopper, now producer for Nappy Roots. Then the year after he formed Limestone Recordings and moved to Denver, CO. Meanwhile Deep House Souldiers went on to release ‘This Is Why We Dance’ on Matthew’s label back in 2003. A cut which eventually found extra exposure on Ben Watt‘s “Buzzin’ Fly Vol. 1” compilation. US magazine Urb featuring his label in their ‘Next 100’ the year after.
Since then, he has released a wide range of music on labels such as Soulheaven, Papa Recordings, Foliage Records, Seasons, and Tribe. As well as worked with the likes of Josh Milan, Chez Damier, Dave Lee, and Reel People. Not to mention Jay Tripwire and the late Diane Charlemagne to name a few.
Now living in London, Matthew is living proof that no matter where one resides, originality and dedication are more important than ones locale.
One thing one may notice is the way he carefully chooses the themes he expresses. And in the meantime the ones he comes to collaborate with. How to not remember the heartfelt ‘Love Each Other’ along with Yukihiro Fukutomi? The blowing ‘From Now On’ with Namy. The bittersweet ‘I Wish’ along with Matthew Bandy for instance. Or the stellar ‘Beautiful’ with N’Dinga Gaba and Jaidene Veda???
In addition to this, let’s not forget his long term collaboration with Louie Vega that would (also) give birth to countless gems. From ‘Elements Of Life’ to ‘Brand New Day’. But also ‘Love Is On The Way’ and ‘Sunshine’ along with Raúl Midón. Then ‘Love Remains The Same’ with Luisito Quintero in 2007 on Vega Records. Or ‘Children Of The World’ to name but a very few. ‘The World Is A Family’ being the last component of their common repertoire to date…
– Coming from a background rich in music and culture, it is no wonder that Frankie Feliciano has become one of the House Music community’s most respected denizens. Living in Brooklyn, Frankie grew up in home filled with music. His grandfather was a musician in Puerto Rico. And his father regularly played and sang in bands in New York.
As an adolescent in the early 80’s, he got exposed to the vibrant Hip-Hop culture that was exploding all over New York City. He then soon convinced his parents to buy him some DJ gear. That would be the genesis of Frankie‘s DJ career… A 14 year old, cutting, scratching and mimicking what he heard at block parties and on underground Hip-Hop radio shows.
Frankie got soon after into House Music through his older cousins who were regulars at The Paradise Garage. Meanwhile, his first club-going experience was at Hearthrobs’s, whose resident was a then relatively unknown ‘Little’ Louie Vega. As Frankie continued to develop as a DJ, he took his inspiration from giants such as Shep Pettibone, Tony Humphries and Timmy Regisford.
After a brief stint working in promotions at Strictly Rhythm Records in 1990, he moved into DJing and producing full time. His first serious paid gig being at none other than the Ministry Of Sound in London.
Frankie is a superb DJ, who built himself a reputation for his brilliant programming and technical skills. He is an amazing producer whose works have garnered him acclaim for years. He’s produced gems as ‘Don’t Ever Give Up’, ‘The Real Thing’, ‘Hindsight’ and ‘Invitation”. And delivered top class remixes of anthems. From Kenny Bobien (‘Father’) to DJ Gregory (‘Elle’) and Ernest Saint Laurent (‘We Are One’). To Jon Cutler & Eman (‘It’s Yours’), MAW feat. Lynae (‘Life Is But A Dream’) and Reel People feat. Darien (‘Sure’). But also Matthew Bandy & Josh Milan (‘Wish’) and DeepCitySoul feat. Darryl D’Bonneau (‘Peace’). Not to mention The Real feat. Tony Momrelle (‘Time’) or Jonny Montana Dawn & Williams (‘New Me’). And, more recently, Kyle ‘Small’ Smith feat Krystal Dixon‘s ‘Innocent Kind’.
Besides, Frankie also appeared on a myriad of cameo guises. Venturing into Jazz/House territories as Gigolo Supreme with cuts such as ‘After The Storm’, ‘City Life’ and ‘Gigolo’s Anthem’. But also teamin’ up with Carol Sylvan on ‘Keep Reaching’ as Halo. Or with Kenny Bobien with ‘My Joy’ as Nulife.
Frankie crossed borders and reached new heights as an innovator in a now full digital world. He has been one of the first to embrace mp3’s as a viable medium for Dance Music.
Foliage Records have recently announced their return. This with the release of The Layabouts feat. Imaani‘s ‘Stay’ / ‘Shine’ on Aug. 18, 2017. Therefore putting an end to a 3 years + hiatus.