Tag Archives: Nile Rodgers

David Bowie – Let’s Dance (1983)

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Okay then, unless you are a die-hard Police fan, or you prefer one of Bowie’s other trinity of singles off Let’s Dance, this is the best pop sound from 1983. It seemingly emerged from nowhere with its unique sound. Stevie Ray Vaughan played lead guitar; David Bowie sang through new teeth; Rodgers produced with a slightly off time signature; and everyone bought the record. Have a great weekend.

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Al Jarreau – Moonlighting (1987)

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al-jarreau

It’s a buttery start to the week for I’ve just learned that Al Jarreau died yesterday. His canon of work that so seamlessly bridged pop, jazz funk and R&B, is largely lost on me; mainly because it so seamlessly bridged pop, jazz funk and R&B. However, after much of his most celebrated recordings has passed, he wrote and recorded this Nile Rodgers-produced tune for a TV series that left an indelible feelgood mark on my memory. R.I.P.

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Todd Terje – Delorean Dynamite (2014)

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todd-terje-2014

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer. Norwegian DJ Terje Olsen took his stage moniker from a legendary house producer Todd Terry. In ‘Delorean Dynamite’ he takes his cue from an earlier influence. He mixes the sound of an 1970s ARP synth with Nile Rodgers-like guitar riff to create an electronic disco odyssey.

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Crown Heights Affair – Dreaming A Dream (1975)

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Crown Heights Affair

A year before Nile Rodgers would form Chic with bassist Bernard Edwards and make disco’s choppy guitar his own, New York-funk/disco ensemble Crown Heights Affair released ‘Dreaming A Dream’ on De-Lite Records. Like new label-mates Kool & The Gang, this would ultimately would lead to a string of commercial funk hits, but not before they pressed this disco classic.

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The Notorious B.I.G. – Mo Money Mo Problems (1997)

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The Notorious B.I.G.

‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ was a single off Biggie Smalls’ Life After Death. While his role on this posthumous single was understandably limited, the big man’s inimitable flow is there amongst the circus. But the real reason I feature the song is just to acknowledge one of THE classic guitar chops from Nile Rodgers, and to do so without having to actually post its source material – Diana Ross’s ‘I’m Coming Out’.

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Tantra – The Hills Of Katmandu (1979)

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Tantra

First off, not all of ‘The Hills of Katmandu’ is on the money. But when you have 16 minute plus of an Italodisco workout, there is a lot to choose from. ‘The Hills…’ was produced by Celso Valli, one of the original exponents of Italodisco. This Jürgen Koppers mix starts with an infectious club rhythm, plenty of bongo and chanting echoes. During the many twists and turns, there’s some dodgy pungi snake-charming sounds, but hey ho. It’s worth the journey for some of the finest choppy guitar rhythms combined with whistle keyboards at around the halfway mark. Fans of Nile Rodgers’ influence on Daft Punk will enjoy.

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Daft Punk – Get Lucky (2013)

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Daft Punk again

Speaking of Gallic cool, what a few months it’s been for Daft Punk?! In February, ‘One More Time’ was officially recognised as the best dance track ever (well by enough house-music-loving readers of Mixmag anyway) and then in the last few days they finally release ‘Get Lucky’. The highly anticipated album Random Access Memory certainly has its herald. A choppy guitar riff from the Nile Rodgers (yes Nile Rodgers), the falsetto of Pharrell Williams and unmistakable sound of the robots’ Roland Vocoder. It’s a perfectly engineered dancefloor groove – let’s hope the rest of the album lives up to just a little of the heightened expectations.

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Chic – Good Times (1979)

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Where do I start with this track and the album it came from? Nile Rodgers and co had already exploded onto the scene with their first two albums Chic and C’est Chic, but with 1979’s Risque and its ‘Good Times’, they rose above the disco sound to do something standout… the metronomic rhythms, stabbing violins, the barbed irony of “You silly fool, you can’t change your fate” and that riff/snare break. It would become the backing track to a new genre: hip hop. Listen to the craft and have a great weekend.

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