For many of us who were coming of age in the 90’s in New York City, places like Sound Factory, Twilo, and Arena provided us a venue for exposure to underground, deep house music. DJs in venues like this were GODS and they gave us an experience we returned to week after week.
It goes without saying that technology, how we connect with each other, and how we’re exposed to and how we consume music have all changed over the last twenty or so years. Kinkster Mag was delighted to learn of the recent collaboration between renowned DJs/Producers Morabito (aka Susan Morabito) and David Ohana Aviance (Aviance Records) to rework the classic 90s house track “I’m a Bitch” feat. Johanna, transposing the authentic original vibe with their own rendition.
Their version titled “WHO YOU ARE feat. Johanna” will be available in 240 countries, 143 online digital stores around the globe including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Beatport, Traxsource, Junodownload, and Rhapsody. Exclusively available on Beatport through the worldwide release on February 26, 2016.
We had a chance to catch up with Morabito and David to get their thoughts on the state of house music, changes over the past twenty years, and insight into their recent collaboration.
How would you describe the state of house music today and how has it changed from a time like the days of Sound Factory?
David: In the 90s, many songs/club mixes made it to the top of the charts as a result of exposure by various DJs who played them week after week. These days, some tracks may become well known even before they reach the clubs due to social media, marketing and digital downloads. This has an impact on exposure so it seems we hear more mainstream dance tracks and less deep underground club music like the days of the Sound Factory era.
Morabito: I agree with what David has mentioned but like everything else over the past twenty-plus years, music has evolved. There are so so many different categories and subcategories of house music that it’s changed the landscape. Music is cheaper, and easier to both get and make than ever before. There are more DJs and producers now, so you have more people contributing to the industry.
Long gone are the days of vinyl. As producers and remixers, what has been lost or gained from new technologies when it comes to producing and delivering music?
David: From my experience of using both analogue equipment and digital software, I feel that there is mostly gain. The access to music of all genres is much more at hand on the web, and the tools to produce and manipulate music are more available, and less costly.
The disadvantage is that the access is immediate, and with some who don’t take the time to gain the necessary skills, you may end up with a lower-quality music that lacks either sound quality, production skills and style, and still gets marketed and ends up on the web and elsewhere. So, with the development of hardware controllers you have the best from both worlds.
Morabito: I’m in sync with David’s answer completely. I’ll add that when it comes to delivering music, what has been gained by technology is the ability to manipulate music easily on the fly.
I think what’s been lost is the decrease in the music industry’s revenue in various ways, especially with so many options to obtain music for free. Technology has also opened up doors to more individuals who don’t understand the art of delivering music, which under minds the art.
However, it’s digital technologies that have additionally opened the doors to people with potential talent who possibly couldn’t afford to do it otherwise.
Morabito, what have been some of the rewards and challenges of shifting from the role of DJ to that of producer and remixer?
Morabito: The reward of producing and remixing a track is the process, creation, completion and reaction.
The challenge for me is juggling between music shopping and deciding on what I want to play out, and working on my own stuff. Music absorbs a high percentage of my time each week, but I can only listen to it for so many hours during the day before I get too close to it, and my judgment is skewed.
What was the inspiration for reworking a house song from the 90’s? How did the collaboration come about and what made you choose “I’m a Bitch” feat. Johanna?
David: Susan and I met a couple of years ago at a NYC Nightclub, and had an instant connection. We ran into each other again, and another chat led to the discussion of collaborating together.
What elements of the new track “Who You Are” will be reminiscent of the 90’s track?
David: The vocal sample, “Who you are” was used in a Sound Factory classic track that I really liked and has stayed with me all these years. When Susan and I decided to collaborate, the thought of working on this together came alive, and the magic began to happen. Johanna’s song “I’m a Bitch” was usually treated as a bitch track but I think that the deeper meaning of the song is in the lyrics “You don’t know who you are? You gotta free yourself, lose yourself, be yourself!” Johanna heard our new rendition and loved it!
Morabito, David Ohana Aviance – Who You Are Feat Johanna – Original Mix
Morabito, David Ohana Aviance – Who You Are Feat Johanna – Who’s The Dub Short
Morabito, David Ohana Aviance – Who You Are Feat Johanna – The Clockworks Mix