DJ, producer and bandleader Louie Vega knows something about partnerships. His collaboration with fellow NYC producer Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez is one of near mythical status. That pairing has produced tireless dance floor bangers like "Deep Inside" and "The Ha Dance" (as Masters At Work) and "The Bounce" (as Kenlou), as well as the timeless musicality of their Nuyorican Soul project, which featured legends like Tito Puente, Roy Ayers and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
The pairing has seen Vega and Gonzalez rock four decks at clubs around the world. But Vega's also had plenty of experience as a solo DJ and frequent participant in various B2B sets at his weekly Wednesday night Roots NYC party that is still going after a jaw-dropping 12 years. "Man, I love playing with Moodymann," the New York hero enthuses about the annual appearance of the Detroit enigma, although he usually prefers the spontaneous B2Bs that happen when the time is right. "The B2Bs that are planned—you don't see that guy until that day—it's less natural."
Even Vega's stunning solo career is full of amazing musical alliances. His Grammy-nominated 2016 album, Louie Vega Starring...XXVIII, featured special guests on all 28 tracks, including Funkadelic, Soul Clap, Adeva and, most inspired, the combining of gospel groups 3 Winans Brothers and The Clark Sisters for the first time.
Meanwhile, Vega's defining sample, the Barbara Tucker belted "Deep inside!" gets lifted by Kanye West on "Fade." That track, with it's Larry Heard music bed is basically Yeezy trying to pull a Daft Punk "Stronger" with late-80s New York and Chicago house heads instead of 90s French robots. "Kanye has roots with house music, he's from Chicago," Vega says diplomatically.
All of which is to prove that, beyond a stellar musical talent, Louie Vega is a terrific communicator—something he readily displays on this episode of the Rave Curious Podcast.
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