Henrik Schwarz


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German producer/DJ Henrik Schwarz has never been secretive about his inspirations. During 2002 and 2003, when he was just beginning to strike out with his own material, he released a Marvin Gaye-sampling track titled "Marvin," a Jon Lucien-sampling track titled "Jon," and a rather audacious (and excellent) Moodymann ripoff titled "Chicago" -- which sampled a Roy Ayers song titled "Chicago." As evidenced by his first official DJ mix, he sees most of his interests as parts of one big whole, not unlike Kirk Degiorgio -- who views the early developments within techno as an extension of jazz -- or tastemaking BBC DJ Gilles Peterson. Schwarz leans just a little closer toward the left than either one of his peers, and he dips in and out of very specific niches as well as either one of them. Even if he cheats a little, by implementing the use of a drum machine to provide added (if not distasteful) thump to the likes of James Brown's "Since You've Been Gone," Doug Hammond's "Wake Up," and Marvin Gaye's "You're the Man," Schwarz impressively and thrillingly winds his way through the varied selections. Roughly 18 minutes separate D'Angelo's hotbox soul from Drexciya's subaquatic techno, while Moondog's oddball "Bird's Lament" leads directly into Double's even-more-oddball synth pop. The best feature of the disc is how it keeps its best sequence in reserve until the near-end. Luther Davis Group's "You Can Be a Star" rises from the rattling and clanging of Pharoah Sanders' "Summun Bukmun Umyun," rasping and flailing like one of the greatest low-budget roller-disco tracks ever made. The intensity level rises ever so slightly for "Get Around to It," a loose-limbed track that hangs on Arthur Russell's combination of naïve vocals and perverse lyrics, which melds into Womack & Womack's "Conscious of My Conscience" -- a whispered, practically psychedelic late-'80s soul nugget that holds the unique distinction of simultaneously exemplifying quiet storm and disco despite being made years after the passings of both eras.

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