Legendary R&B Songwriter Leon Ware Dead at 77

Leon_Ware dead

Detroit native Leon Ware, one of the great soul and R&B songwriters of our time, died yesterday at the age of 77. In 2009, he was treated for prostate cancer. Ware’s family has yet to release details surrounding his passing.

Ware’s prolific career began in 1967 when he co-wrote The Isley Brothers’ “Got to Have You Back.” He went on to collaborate with Ike & Tina Turner and Arthur “T-Boy” Ross, younger brother of Diana Ross. One of the songs they wrote was ‘I Wanna Be Where You Are’ recorded by Michael Jackson for his album, Got To Be There. He also lent his low-key production touch to Marvin Gaye’s groundbreaking I Want You released in 1976.

Among his vast array of credits Ware went on to write for Quincy Jones, Teena Marie, Jeffrey Osborne, Loose Ends, James Ingram, Melissa Manchester, Krystol, Bobby Womack and Lulu. He helped produce singer Maxwell‘s seminal debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, in 1996. Ware also released 11 solo albums.

Santigold Selling Brooklyn House for $1.95 Million


If you thought that baller homes were only the relegated to EDMers like Paul Oakenfold, Avicii and Calvin Harris, well, think again.

Multi-faceted singer-songwriter and one-time Big Shot cover star Santigold has put her Bed Stuy, Brooklyn home up for sale for a cool $1.95 million. Eesh, the thought of the property tax bill alone puts us in a cold sweat.

Known for early hits like “Creator” and “L.E.S. Artistes” to recent efforts such as “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” and “Who Be Lovin’ Me” off 2016’s 99¢ album, the Philadelphia native’s abode eschews the douchiness of the aforementioned DJs’ homes and exudes the swagger she build her music career on.

The house is a legal two-bedroom renovated as a single home. It boasts a mahogany staircase, original window shutters, stained glass, moldings, and five working fireplaces.

From Brownstoner:

The kitchen (not pictured) is on the garden level along with the drawing/dining room; it leads out to a garden with a flagstone patio.

The parlor floor holds the living room and a rear bedroom; above is a large front bedroom (not pictured), a small second bedroom, and a dressing room with enough built-in cabinetry to meet a pop star’s demands, painted in turquoise.

There’s central air conditioning, and a closeted washer/dryer on the parlor level.

Any takers?

santigold house for sale

santigold house bed stuy

Clyde Stubblefield, the ‘Funky Drummer,’ Dies at 73


Clyde Stubblefield, a session drummer best known for his work with James Brown, passed away on Saturday at the age of 73. According to Stubblefield’s wife, Jody Hannon, the drummer died of kidney failure at a Madison, Wis., hospital. He had been suffering from kidney disease for 10 years, and had been hospitalized for a few days.

Stubblefield was behind the drums on classic James Brown songs “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud),” “I Got The Feelin’” and “Funky Drummer.”

The grooves he laid down were influential and groundbreaking. They were later discovered by a legion of artists in the ’80s — including Run DMC, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, L.L. Cool J, George Michael, Sinead O’Connor, Boogie Down Productions —who sampled his funky beats and made Stubblefield .one of the most sampled drummers in history.

Unfortunately, Brown didn’t share royalties with Stubblefield. During the 1990s and 2000s, he released solo albums of his own — Revenge of the Funky Drummer” and The Original Funky Drummer Breakbeat Album. In 2011, the DVD release of the documentary Copyright Criminals featured a collection of new Stubblefield performances designed for easy sampling.

In 2000, Stubblefield was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which he survived. In the process, he racked up roughly $90,000 in medical bills. After Prince’s death in 2016, he revealed that the Purple One, who he had never met, privately paid his medical expenses, as a gift for his influence.

Roots drummer Questlove eulogized Stubblefield on Instagram, calling him “The Funky Funkiest Drummer Of All Time.”

Goldie Returns with ‘The Journey Man’ Double LP


Metalheadz label head Goldie has announced the release of a double album, The Journey Man, on June 16. The news arrives after Goldie dropped his new single “I Adore You” (listen below) yesterday.

The new effort is divided into two parts and features 16 brand-new tracks written and produced by the man himself.

For the album Goldie collaborated with singer-songwriter Natalie Duncan, who was discovered when chosen in the three-part BBC series Goldie’s Band By Royal Appointment and later contributed the vocals for Goldie’s 2012 single “Freedom,” as well as Terri Walker, Tyler Lee Daly, Natalie Williams, José James and Naomi Pryor. Goldie’s wife, Mika Wassenaar Price, also guests on the LP.

Obligatory press release gush from Goldie: “I often look at music not so much as a producer but like a director. You’re drawing together engineers, performers and arrangers to create something special, something magical. It’s like alchemy. The notes, the music, the lyrics, they’re all in my head and each element has to be communicated and brought to life to create the finished track. I’m always inspired by great movie directors – people like Stanley Kubrick and PT Anderson – and, if you think about it, it’s quite a similar approach. They start off with a vision and then they use that vision to deploy the actors and the cameramen and the editors in order to create the finished film.”

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Electric Skychurch’s James Lumb Remembers Dennis Barton of Skylab2000

Dennis Barton Skylab 2000

Electronic music has lost another visionary. Dennis Barton, co-founder of LA-based electronic music outfit Skylab2000, died on Saturday at the age of 54. The cause of death has not yet been revealed. Barton co-founded his outfit with Stuart Breidenstein in 1994, later adding singer Alissa Kueker. In 1996 he went solo.

Skylab2000 was a dominant presence in the West Coast rave scene in the ’90s, releasing music on Moonshine, Koch, Journeys by DJ, Phatt Phunk, 3am Records, Brainiak, City of Angels, Genesis Project, Metronix, Starblocks, and Starshagger. Barton became a staple on the U.S. rave circuit,  performing live all over the U.S. and internationally. He also remixed high-profile artists including Paul Oakenfold. More recently, he focused on his work as an electrical engineer specializing in commercial LED lighting, micro controllers and audio products.

“Dennis was one of the the hardest-working people I’ve ever encountered in the scene,” James Lumb of Electric Skychurch tells Big Shot. “He was a gentle, warm person that made fantastic electronic music. I admired his live performances — a big live synth sound, with an energetic bite and driving melodies. His shows were never the same twice, and his studio work was influenced by his live experience — it made his records stand out. I’ll miss the way he connected people, inconspicuously and without a lot of fanfare, year after year. His heart was always in the right place.”

Lumb, whose group ran in similar circles, frequently shared bills with Burton. “We played together often in LA, and I also ran into him a lot at social events. We intersected at NAMM over the years as well. The last time we played together was for Pasquale at Q-Topia in Hollywood in the early ’00s.

“I remember speaking with him onstage in a panel discussion at UC Irvine, and while the other panelists had little to say, Dennis and I told rave stories and got a lot of great laughs from the audience. He was funny!”

Special Request FABRICLIVE 91 Out in March

FABRICLIVE91 Special Request

Electronic music journeyman Paul Woolford, who has produced timeless tracks for labels including Hotflush and Planet E, has mixed the upcoming FABRICLIVE 91 under his Special Request alias. Three years ago Woolford released Special Request’s glorious Soul Music full-length on Houndstooth using solely vintage hardware. Set for release on March 24, the 30-track FABRICLIVE 91 features cuts by DJ Stingray, Claro Intelecto, Dexter and Cristian Vogel in addition to exclusive Special Request tracks.

Obligatory press release gush from Wolford: “This mix is about heightened emotions and making them as contrasting and intense as they can be – I wanted to create something lush that slowly moves into the realm of the unhinged. There were no moments of doubt, which is rare with studio mixes. Usually there is some trepidation and soul-searching, but I felt no pressure this time. Beyond the tracks themselves, the overarching idea was that it needed to hold the power of suggestion. So you hear the textures collide and the sensations unlock like valves. For the most part it was recorded and mixed by hand, vinyl & files, so you can feel the traction from time to time. There’s some editing on occasion, only where it absolutely demanded it. I wanted it to feel as live as it could be, with all the momentary tension that entails.”

Tracklisting for FABRICLIVE 91

  1. Aleksi Perälä – UK74R1619170 [AP Musik]
  2. Special Request – Telepathic Dog [Houndstooth]
  3. Caustic Window – Cordialatron [Rephlex]
  4. DJ Stingray – Solitude [Unknown To The Unknown]
  5. Plastician – The Lift [Terrorhythm]
  6. Special Request – Psychic Vampires [Houndstooth]
  7. Claro Intelecto – Peace Of Mind [Ai]
  8. Polygon Window – Audax Powder [Warp]
  9. Abul Mogard – Desires Are Reminiscences By Now [Ecstatic]
  10. Dexter – No More [Klakson]
  11. 214 – Frostbite [Frustrated Funk]
  12. Alden Tyrell – Obsession Btz [Clone]
  13. Stanislav Tolkachev – See You Tomorrow [Mord]
  14. Special Request – Redrum (Thrash Mix) [Houndstooth]
  15. Stefan Vincent – Aquilae [Dynamic Reflection]
  16. Special Request – The True Knot [Houndstooth]
  17. Cristian Vogel – Atomic Layers [Sub Rosa]
  18. Shapednoise Feat. Justin K Broadrick – Enlightenment [Type]
  19. Dillinja – Deadly Deep Subs (Remix) [2015 Remaster] [Razors Edge]
  20. Forest Drive West – Turtle Break [Rupture]
  21. Special Request – Replicant [Houndstooth]
  22. Rood Project – Thunder [Whitehouse]
  23. Special Request – Stairfoot Lane Bunker [Houndstooth]
  24. DJ Trace & Nico – Monkeys (DJ Future & Eric Electric VIP) [117]
  25. Keith Fullerton Whitman – Stereo Music For Serge Modular Part Two [Kranky]
  26. Nolige – Adrenaline (2016 Edit) [Foundation X]
  27. ASC – (Event #4) [Samurai Red Seal]
  28. Mika Vaino – Omertà [raster-noton]
  29. Carl Craig – Technoloambient (Max Dub) [Planet E]
  30. Abul Mogard – Desires Are Reminiscences By Now [Ecstatic]