Tue. Jul. 16, 2019

Tony Humphries: Magic Sessions!

“I’ve really thought about giving up in 1993/1994 when it got clear to me that radios didn’t give a damn about this kind of music. I was still havin’ my regular show, but I started feeling isolated, tired of being like a Don Quixote without any support. You get your energy from your surroundings, but what do you do whenever realizing you don’t have no more? I’ve given everything to this cause. Playing DAT’s and acetates in order to get new music to the knowledge of people, put up parties together and eventually boost a club at the agony…”

Tony HumphriesA matter of balance…
“In every compartment. Not from a track to another, but considering the things as a whole while playing a bit for everyone. This is not an easy thing to do. There would be those asking me to play classics and others who want to hear newies, when not things that get played on the radio! And whenever I’m pleasing some, the others dislike it, but that’s the law of entertaining…”

Your first contact with music…
“Nothing original I’m afraid. I’m an only son and when my mom was goin’ out to work, she would leave me alone in the house. I was about 5 and I would watch TV. Then, a bit later, I started listening to 7 inch from her collection. The Drifters and so on. They sort of became my companions. I then started goin’ out to buy records, and always more along with time…”

“The Loft was the blueprint for every thing that followed, and without it… there might have never been a Garage & so on. The same can be said of the Zanzibar. Both Tony Humphries and Larry Levan were children of the Loft…” (Danny Krivit)

Which got you the will to become a DJ…
“Exactly! Even though there were musicians in my family. Once you’ve experienced fronting the crowd, be you singer, musician or DJ, it’s like a drug that sticks to you until the end of your life. I can’t remember about my first time. It must have been some little party in Brooklyn. And when you see the reactions of the crowd to what you’re playing, you get like an incredible sensation of power deep inside. I’ve always loved this kind of situation. It’s you VS the crowd, and whenever you move it and get it into some emotional state, it’s an accomplishment…”

“There were a lot of great DJ’s around who would come and to watch the way Tony Humphries played at the Zanzibar. At that time it was amazing, in New York. It was all about the big clubs and the sound systems…” (Louie Vega)

Have you ever thought about quitting everything?
“Yeah! I’m thinking of that every day. I wouldn’t like giving the impression I’m declining, or having someone feeling compassion for me. I’ve really thought about giving up in 1993/1994 when it got clear to me that radios didn’t give a damn about this kind of music. Even though I was still havin’ my regular show, I started feeling isolated, tired of being like a Don Quixote without any support.

You get your energy from your surroundings, but what do you do whenever realizing you don’t have no more? I’ve given everything to this cause. Playing DAT’s and acetates in order to get new music to the knowledge of people, put up parties together and eventually boost a club at the agony…”

About destroying yourself?
“Naaah! Even though the years 91/92 have been the toughest for me, between the radio and my two 12 hour mix sets during the weekend at the Zanzibar and my remixing work the following Monday. This was too much. So I said to myself: business was already there before you, it will still be there after…”

Chosen few
Kiss 98.7 FM Mastermixes Vol. II (Prelude Records) – Shep Pettibone & Tony Humphries
Ministry of Sound (The Sessions Vol. 1) (Ministry Of Sound) – Tony Humphries
Mix The Vibe (King Street Sounds) – Tony Humphries
Club Nervous (First Five Years Of House Music) (Nervous) – Tony Humphries
Club Zanzibar Classics (Club Zanzibar Classics) – Tony Humphries
Club Zanzibar Classics Vol. 2 (Club Zanzibar Classics) – Tony Humphries
Club Zanzibar Classics Vol. 3 (Club Zanzibar Classics) – Tony Humphries
Sessions Twelve (The Magic Sessions) (Defected) – Little Louie Vega, Tony Humphries & Tedd Patterson
Southport Weekender Volume 4 (SuSu) – Tony Humphries & DJ Spen
Quantize Quintessentials (Quantize Recordings) – Tony Humphries & DJ Spen

Interviews – Tony Humphries

You might also like…
Larry Levan: Paradise Garage forever!
Masters At Work: House Masters!
Frankie Knuckles: And House Music was born!

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