Tennerz: Robert Clivillés – Set Me Free (Louie Vega Vs. C&C Music Factory Mix Feat. Kimberly Davis) (Hysteria)
The Summer Break is now behind, with September marking the return to activities to a big majority of us on this Northern Hemisphere of the globe. And what a return for Robert Clivillés! An early House activist whom you might remember of as one half of C+C Music Factory along with the late David Cole.
‘Set Me Free’ most likely belongs to that category of jams set to put the floors into a trance. So let’s set up the presentation before goin’ any further. And this, beginning with its parental links which are quite numerous, as a matter of fact. Speakin’ of its rhythm line, it most likely has something of Masters At Work. Which is quite natural knowing Louie Vega is (also) on board. But ‘Set Me Free’ also reminds of earlier cuts such as Candido‘s ‘Jingo’ or T-Connection‘s ‘Do What You Wanna Do’. Then, there’s the intoxicating organ part, itself bringin’ us back to K-Scope‘s ‘Latin Blues Pt. 1. And how could it ever be different knowing Eric Kupper is in charge of the keys? Meanwhile the vocal performance courtesy of Kimberly Davis sounds like an unlikely response to Sounds Of Blackness‘ ‘The Pressure’.
All in all, ‘Set Me Free’ is just what it says. Most likely destined to bring Robert Clivillés back to the forefront. Don’t you think?
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Robert Clivillés… A name that should still ring a bell for many of you. And more precisely as one of the 2 C’s of C+C Music Factory along with the late David Cole. Two guys who most likely pioneered the era of production pairs in the history of House Music. This along with David Morales and Frankie Knuckles. And of course, Louie Vega and Kenny Dope. Meanwhile turning themselves into an impressive hit machine in the second half of the 80’s.
A New York City native of a Puerto-Rican descent, Robert Manuel Clivillés met David Bryon Cole in 1985. Back then, the latter was working as a DJ at the Better Days club. The twosome became friends and soon after started working together, eventually releasing ‘Do It Properly!’ 2 years after. A track which they put out as 2 Puerto Ricans (Clivillés and David Morales), A Blackman (David Cole) And A Dominican (Chep Nuñez). With a follow-up – ‘Scandalous’ – seeing the light in 1989.
From then, the 2 C’s would release an impressive string of gems under various guises. From simply Clivillés & Cole to The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M.. Not to mention The 28th Crew among others. This in addition to countless remixes for luminaries such as Natalie Cole (‘Pink Cadillac’) and Freddie Jackson (‘Crazy For Me’). But also Aretha Franklin And Whitney Houston (‘It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be’) to name but a very few.
Robert Clivillés and David Cole would nevertheless score their biggest success under the C+C Music Factory banner though. From the firing ‘Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)’ to ‘Things That Make You Go Hmmmm’. In addition to ‘Just A Touch Of Love’ and ‘Do You Get Funky’. If not the underrated ‘Share That Beat Of Love’.
Everything went brutally to an end after the passing of David Cole on Jan. 24, 1995 at the age of 32. With the news of his death getting to me when on my way back home from Cannes’ MIDEM. I soon after heard he died from complications of spinal meningitis brought on by AIDS.
Robert Clivillés eventually reformed C+C Music Factory back in 2010 with Eric Kupper. They released two singles since then. Beginning with ‘Music 4 The Soul’ back in 2014 and ‘Set Me Free’ featuring Kimberly Davis in 2017 with remixing work featuring Louie Vega.
– A quick look at the credits of Eric Kupper on his Discogs page gives a significant view of his contribution in the maturation of contemporary music. Meanwhile explaining the regular mentions of him on these shores.
A songwriter, arranger, musician, producer and DJ, he came to reccognition by the second half of the 80’s. Playing keyboards along with David Morales and Frankie Knuckles and eventually becoming a member of the Def Mix crew. His name is associated with some of the biggest classics in the history of House Music. From Frankie Knuckles presents Satoshi Tomiie featuring Robert Owens‘ ‘Tears’ which he co-produced. To Satoshi Tomiie featuring Arnold Jarvis‘s ‘And I Loved You’. But also L.A. Mix‘s ‘Love Together’. Then Inner City‘s ‘Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin’. Not to mention Robert Owens‘ ‘Visions’, Ce Ce Peniston‘s ‘Finally’ and Alexander O’ Neal‘s ‘What Is This Thing Called Love’ to name a few…
Although he came to leave Def Mix to focus on his own activities and launch his label (Hysteria) in the mid-90’s, he always maintained contact with Knuckles. Eventually setting up the famous Director’s Cut Mix signature with him in the years after. And also contributing to his famous classic ‘The Whistle Song’. Meanwhile, one could also remember the vibrant ‘Missing You’ by Artful & Ridney featuring Terri Walker. A track which he was supposed to remix with Knuckles and finally reworked on his own as a tribute to him.
Kupper has released 3 albums under the Eric Kupper presents K-Scope guise. Remember ‘Latin Blues Pt. 1’??? Meanwhile the most recent, ‘Electrikiss’ saw the light in January 2009 after a ten year hiatus. He also came to reform C+C Music Factory with Robert Clivillés back in 2010. The twosome releasing ‘Music 4 The Soul’ back in 2014, then ‘Set Me Free’ featuring Kimberly Davis in 2017.