2009-09-20

Early Mashing-up

Simon Napier-Bell, in Black Vinyl, White Powder:
"The club only lasted a couple of years, but during that time its resident DJ invented a new form of dance music. He was Francis Grasso. Writer Albert Goldman claimed that, 'Grasso invented the technique used by every DJ ever since of holding the record he was about to play at the precise point he wanted it to start playing, while a felt mat underneath it revolved on the turntable. Then letting it go, to make a seamless connecting point between two pieces of music.'"
"Grasso's other specialty was to play two tracks at the same time mixing the raunchy heavy drums of British rock music with the soaring voices of American soul. Led Zeppelin's thumping solid drum breaks would throb like an amphetamined heartbeat under the delicate vocals of Gladys Knight or Aretha Franklin. According to Albert Goldman, Francis Grasso didn't just play records, 'he reinvented them out of their composite parts,' the top end vocals and the bottom end rhythm. His method of mixing the different parts of different records to make altogether new music was 15 years ahead of its time."
Emphasis mine.

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