In the dance music world, when producers lay vocals over house music tracks, sometimes you get that one gem that appears out of nowhere, offering up a new and innovative way to hear an important vocal delivery from a legendary figure through a medium usually associated with a carefree attitude. But house music producers have a way of saying things without ever picking up a microphone or making a speech themselves.
Tonight, I was browsing around a really cool vinyl site, VinylSearch.com, which offers up an incredible collection of classic house tracks that I didn’t think were ever possible to find on vinyl. As I scanned through page after page of pre-90’s house gems, I thought I’d dig deeper and do a few searches using Acquisition, a P2P client exclusively for the Mac.
I searched for a number of tracks that I’d seen on VinylSearch, hoping to add a few gems to my collection, like Electribe 101’s “Talking With Myself” or Praxis feat. Kathy Brown’s, “Turn Me Out” and Chicago hip-house legend Fast Eddie’s, “Acid Thunder.”
After a while of punching in tracks by name, I resorted to searching broadly by the category house classics, typing the term into the search string. The program returned a result I thought I’d never ever come across online. One of the most important pieces of vinyl in my collection appeared on my screen as an .mp3!
In the early 90’s, I was on one of my weekly record shopping jaunts at Carol Mitro’s Vinyl Connection record store on Huntington Avenue in Boston’s Copley Square. Carol carried all the latest imports and would usually reserve things for me that she though I might play.
On that day, she had, if I recall correctly, only two copies of an white-labeled (promotional copy only) import remix of the classic house track, “Can You Feel It” by legendary house music producer, Larry Heard, who is known in DJ circles by his alter-ego, Fingers, Inc. On the B-side, second track, was a version of “Can You Feel It” with Martin Luther King’s powerful and extremely important “I Have A Dream” speech overlayed on top of it.
For me, growing up in a racially divided Boston, hearing that speech laid over a house track was like going to church and getting the sermon of a lifetime. I keep that piece of vinyl in my collection and and am always moved when I play it for myself or for a crowd, as it combines two unique times in history in a way that breathes a different life into both when merged together.
Seeing as I didn’t do anything special on MLK day this past Monday (I did take in a lot of media on the day and remembered how important of a man he was then and now in relation to where we are today), I thought I’d do MLK right by posting the track here as a contribution to his memory and beliefs, to let you download it to hear the speech in the context of how the someone thought to combine one of the most important house music tracks of all time with one of the most important speeches in American, if not world history.
I hope you enjoy it.
You can click on the Play icon, and the MP3 will play through a small Flash application. Or, PC users, Right-click the link and Save As to download to the folder of your choice. Mac users, click and hold on the link and Save As to the folder of your choice.
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