SET with KENNY DOPE + SHADED LIVE & CRISTOPH at Halcyon.
Friday, December 16th
GET ON THE FREE BEFORE 11PM GUEST LIST
For VIP tables call 415 996 9822
Or email VIP@halcyon-SF.com
Halcyon, 314 11th Street
21+ 10pm - 4am
KENNY DOPE BIOGRAPHY:
In an age of quick gratification and the instant attention switch, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez is a name respected for both quality and consistency. Over the last 25 years, the four time Grammy-nominated DJ and producer has been astounding audiences across the world with his fusions of house, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, funk & soul, reggae, alternative pop and broken beats. By releasing literally thousands of original tracks and hundreds of remixes, Kenny has earned a reputation as a living encyclopedia of beats as both a solo artist, and as one-half of the legendary house duo, Masters At Work.
At an early age, Kenny began absorbing the hip-hop beats being played at local house and block parties in Sunset Park, Brooklyn where he grew up. He began his musical career as a buyer for a local record shop called WNR Music Center, where he broadened his musical knowledge and found his love of “diggin” for records. To date, Kenny’s collection totals over 50,000 records.
In the late 80’s, Mike Delgado, a good friend and partner of Kenny’s, organized a series of parties under the alias Masters At Work which the two of them would play at. Brooklyn DJ/producer Todd Terry attended these parties, and soon after, Kenny would cut school to watch Todd work on beats and record with singers and rappers. The combination of working at the store, learning how records were produced, and being around creative people influenced Kenny to begin his own productions. He then met King Grand (Russell Cole) and the two formed a group called KAOS. In 1987, Kenny and Todd produced the group’s album titled Courts In Session, which was released the next year on Gregg Fore’s label Bad Boy Records.
Over time, Kenny had built up the Masters At Work brand from its party-origins, and in 1987 the club hits “Alright Alright” and “Dum Dum Cry” were released by Todd Terry under the Masters At Work name. In return for the releases, Todd introduced Kenny to “Little” Louie Vega, another talented young Bronx DJ. In 1990, Kenny and Louie officially began a creative partnership, appropriately dubbed Masters At Work (MAW), and their sound quickly became a force in the clubs. They were soon sought after by artists and labels, and eventually remixed everyone from Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross, to Madonna and Daft Punk. With Louie influenced by salsa, house and freestyle and Kenny by hip-hop and reggae, the two went on to become labeled by many as the most revolutionary house production team of the 90’s.
In 1993, Kenny and Louie collaborated on a project called Nuyorican Soul, which was named after their heritage (Puerto Rican), residence (New York City), and style of music (Soul). During a MAW gig at the Southport Weekender festival in England, Kenny was inspired by the dancers in the jazz room and had an idea for a syncopated beat style of music, which he dubbed the “broken beat” style. Nuyorican Soul released its first single “The Nervous Track” on Nervous Records shortly after, which became the first broken beat record ever released. In this time frame, not only did Kenny collaborate with Louie on MAW projects, he also produced and remixed tracks in the hip-hop and reggae scene. “Get Up (Clap Your Hands)” and “The Madd Racket” were huge club tracks, and he also produced the Unreleased Project which featured Shaggy on the Gunshot” track.
Kenny’s breakthrough as a solo artist came in 1995. One night, disheartened by the music that was being released throughout the business, Kenny went home and pulled out a series of classic records, and after three days he’d produced an entire album, The Bucketheads. This was a huge turning point for him, as one track on the album, “The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)” broke through the European pop charts and became his first major solo hit. Under different aliases, Kenny went on to release numerous projects on influential labels like Strictly Rhythm, Freeze, Nervous, Henry Street Records and TNT. Starting in 2000, and over the next decade, Kenny also went
on to create classic remixes for the likes of R. Kelly, Shirley Bassey, The Jackson 5, DJ Gregory, Aaliyah, Soul Fuzion, and Kanye West.
Alongside being a DJ and producer, Kenny also holds the title of record label owner. Frank Mendez of Nu Groove Records gave him his first label Dopewax, so that he’d have an outlet to release anything he wanted. Kenny kept the label going after Nu Groove closed its doors, and it’s been a consistent outlet of house music to this day. Initially, the releases were primarily raw, tracky, beat records produced by Kenny. He then started going into the vocal side of things, and even released remixes of Kanye West and Jill Scott tracks on the label. Demos started to come in, and now Dopewax is open to other artists & producers along with Kenny’s music.
Kenny has another label, Kay-Dee Records, which focuses on re-recording and releasing rare and classic music: everything from funk, soul & breaks, to gospel and movie soundtracks. It was initially born out of a challenge from Scottish DJ legend Keb Darge, who wanted to come up with a funk version of MAW’s “The Nervous Track”. Keb came back a short while later with “Nervous” by The New Mastersounds, which would be the first release on Kay-Dee. The idea for Kay-Dee then became to record new productions with classic recording techniques. Kenny sought out to find old masters and produce entirely new mixes of them. Not to remix, but to mix down the original and create new masters to give collectors and DJ’s a completely new version. Kay-Dee Records is a true haven for those with a passion for rare “real” music, and a deep love for vinyl.
Aside from his own artist projects, Kenny has been a producer for a slew of other artists. For nearly fifteen years, he has produced music for R&B singer Raheem De Vaughn. Kenny produced eleven tracks on Raheem’s 2011 album Love & War Masterpeace, which was Grammy-nominated for Best R&B Album Of The Year. Featured artists of those tracks include Ludacris, Wale, Damian Marley, Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton. Two of Kenny’s latest projects include producing rapper Rasheed Chappell’s Future Before Nostalgia album, and also putting together a 12-piece funk & soul band called The Fantastic Souls.
Throughout his career, Kenny admits there were times when he wasn’t inspired to create music because of what was dominating the new direction of sound. However, learning to listen without prejudice has allowed him to continue to discover new styles, artists and musicians, and keep his love for the music alive. Kenny stays inspired and motivated not by doing what he likes, but doing what he loves. This is what makes his music timeless. Look out for him on tour this summer in Ibiza and throughout the rest of the world, and for new upcoming releases on his Dopewax imprint.
SHADED LIVE BIOGRAPHY:
"I like that fine line between precision and raw emotion. That place in space that is new and fresh, yet finely tuned for your listening pleasure. When those two elements come together and click, magic happens in the music, and that is what I strive for. So keep you ear lobes lubed and your eyes peeled because its time to get SHADED and faded’’
Creating a completely unique and different style of music today, SHADED has a signature sound – a weaving combination of funky, psychedelic vibes and textures, making his sets something to remember. His sound is undeniable in character and is breathing new life into the techno house world.
Growing up in Newport Beach, California, he secluded himself in skating, surfing and music since a young age. His father, a musician and producer of classic rock, provided a pivotal role in creating his passion and drive for the raw and electric sound he loves to play today. Since 2006, his production style has constantly evolved whilst trying to stay true to his roots of groove laden, rock inspired minimal ‘’surf ‘’techno.
2012 was a big year for Skyler, it provided him the opportunity to develop and create his new solo career and moniker, SHADED. His previous success was as the duo SHDWPLAY, but his decision to go solo ultimately came from his desire for more creative and individual freedom.
As SHDWPLAY, the duo released four EPs on Dubfire's SCI+TEC Digital Audio Imprint, quickly becoming well-regarded staples in techno ranks around the world. Their unique sound, exemplified in cuts like ‘Time Drip’ and ‘Drug of Choice,’ were heard in DJ sets from Richie Hawtin to Dubfire himself, solidifying their presence in the electronic dance world and as official members of the SCI+TEC family.
This newfound recognition, coupled with the desire for creative individuality, prompted his decision to leave and to pursue his solo career. Since the creation of SHADED in 2012, he has been playing his LIVE sets worldwide from festivals in Mexico and Croatia to clubs in London, Berlin, and Brazil. From touring with the SCI + TEC family and playing along side Dubfire and Carlo Lio he has gained recognition throughout the industry as one of the top LIVE acts, exciting crowds with his brand of ‘’funkadelic’’ techno. Through touring with SCI + TEC, fans and admiration for his style of music have grown considerably, leading to increased demand for his solo performances.
On SCI + TEC he has had multiple EP’s in both the techno and minimal charts in 2012 and 2013 including the hit tracks ‘’Be My Binge’’, ‘’Love Bug’’ and ‘’This Is This’’. His musical output has gained much respect from industry heavy weights including Dubfire, Richie Hawtin, Joseph Capriati, Tiga, Slam and Sasha.
This year his major noted release on SCI +TEC was the EP ‘‘Dwell’’ that reached #1 on the Top 100 Minimal Release charts via Beatport. After the success of ‘’Dwell’’ he followed up with his most recent EP - ‘’SHE SHE’’, his debut release on Tiga’s Turbo Recordings in June 2014, solidifying his production versatility.
Well versed in exploring his own musical roots Cristoph isn't really a new producer—he's always been producing, even when nobody was listening.
Having now carved out a sound that is increasingly identifiable, the young producer avoids dance music's relentless march toward the new next thing by masterfully mediating through raw beats and textural trickery that gradually blurs the edges of genres; the focus on groove, mood and his typically intricate, hypnotic arrangements.
It’s a common notion that artists must either be tragically ahead of their time or blissfully oblivious to it. Cristoph is keenly aware of this distinction and the gravelly warmth of his beats have allowed the Newcastle born producer to take welcome strides through labels such as Noir, Suara and Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound to become one of the most reliable yet exciting acts in the scene - upending every preconceived notion about what he should do next or succumbing to any single trend or genre.
There's both agelessness and versatility to his studio output that gives his 4/4 house productions points of triangulation rather than direct references, or risk of evoking direct nostalgia. So once you get rid of any feeling that you might be listening to something reminiscent of another time— admittedly, a feeling fueled by the fact that the golden era of real house music in the UK is when he first cut his teeth as a DJ—it's confidently replaced by the impact of hearing a professional doing his thing on what seems like a continuously rising curve.
Through remixes of Kaiserdisco, Jobe and the major label reworking of Elbow, Cristoph has established a high quality of consistency - peripheral details of melodic color and vocals are often pleasantly overwhelmed by the abstract throb of his ever-percussive, multi-tiered groove making him a turn to remixer for the dancefloor where his music stands on its own robust physicality.
As a listener If you come looking for house in its most obvious form, this decision seems puzzling, but if you're prepared to forgive Cristoph's need to challenge expectations and genres and simply lose yourself in the groove, then its easy to discover his involving engaging talent. The inaugural edition of conceptual album series “8-track” that bears his name on Knee Deep In Sound may be set to confuse those still stuck in a world where house music and techno are separated by propped-up dividers but it will indeed only serve to showcase his strength as a producer.
Now no stranger to the international club circuit, festival scene and record crates of his peers, 2016 is set to be a significantly prosperous year for him with key signings in the form of 'Genesis' EP to Adam Beyer’s Truesoul and 'Divvina' to VIVa MUSiC. As a producer and DJ fixated on integrity, with influence equal part Windy and Motor city, Cristoph uses nostalgia like a slingshot, pulling back to the past as a means to shoot forth into the future.