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MY TRIBUTE TO DJ MEHDI FOR SEVEN SHADES OF BLACK

Vist Daniel Lee Harvey's Profile

MY TRIBUTE TO DJ MEHDI FOR SEVEN SHADES OF BLACK

DJ Mehdi pushed boundaries by twisting the unexpected. Alot of people are use to having electro and hip hop sold separately however both are in fact very similar when it comes to the flow of drum and synth patterns.
DJ Mehdi understood this and implemented both genres together and the outcome was a sound that was so fresh and innovative. During the early stage of his career, DJ Mehdi remixed acts such as Cassius, Koma and Joakim Lone Octet and composition soundtracks for French and international films.

This was the beginning of a passage and Busy P soon took DJ Mehdi under the battalions of the Ed Banger crew after acknowledging his passion for music and it showed within his infectious persona.

The two of them together hosted a party series at the legendary underground club Pulp. Over the period the nights continued for, DJ Mehdi grew more and more into the role of entertaining a crowd, his style fractured almost, something that sounded unique to new ears, he is an individual who doesn’t keep to a set playlist, even if it’s a slight incision, he will always try to make it different from other sets.

DJ Mehdi was asked by Busy P to create his own music for the label; with an already extensive background in the inner circles of hip hop, I knew from the start, it was going to be decent. I first heard the album Lucky Boy back in 2006, just a few months after its release. I was 13 years old and in high school and my number 1 downfall was digging for music. I always had a fascination with it and if I wasn’t working, I found the nearest computer to me and plugged in a pair of headphones and just sat there until it was time to leave.

I discovered the album during a search on YouTube and the drums in my ears melted away, it was the opening track that made me stick to the very end. The entire compilation is an evolution of his sound, take track 2 I am Somebody which features Chromeo.  You can hear the early funk influences, like Zapp & Roger & Rick James.  The song focuses upon the subject of gaining recognition and the way Dave 1 sings it overshadows the rhythm of the other instruments. It keeps in your head and for a song that has both funk and hip hop components is a difficult thing to do.
The variation also keeps things interesting, like Saharian Break and Love Bombing. Both have this streak of 80’s hip hop and then you have the melodic tones of Fafi on Lucky Boy. DJ Mehdi bought out another addition of this compilation Lucky Boy At Night in 2007 which features the track ‘‘Lucky Girl.’’ This has a whole new trait to it, the beat is raw and dirtier, Fafi vocal style changes also and it works well with the b-boy concept on the cover.

Following on from his full-length release; DJ Mehdi wraps up a prelude (Black, Black & Black) for the album (Red, Black & Blue) which features a mixture of reworks as well as a couple of unreleased treasures. It’s a sanctuary of artists, ranging from Sebastian Tellier, New Young Pony Club and Santigold. I like how DJ Mehdi keeps the originality of the songs either it be the riff, the vocal, anything that is key. He will lock it in as that is the fragment we remember in the track before it’s been remoulded.
He latterly paired up with British grandmaster Riton to form house group Carte Blanche. The two of them toured in the summer months of 2010, visiting all major capitals in Europe and North America with four turntables, one mixer and a Roland TR-909 for company. 

I think I can happily say this man made a huge and eclectic imprint on the music industry and it’s so sad for me to be speaking about him in the past tense when he had the likelihood to continue his craft for many years to come. He had an unbelievable gift and I can say whole-heartedly he was one of the best producers and djs to have ever existed in France and in the world. He had a capability to influence all who listened to his music and a character to match. I have looked up pictures, people responses to gigs and all they keep on exclaiming about is his smile. You’ll see djs today who hide themselves under alter egos and simulate barriers through the beats they create, but with DJ Mehdi, it’s all him.  He was music and still is music, it never grows old. He will always be remembered and for me, he is a role model and someone who carved a desire in me at the age of 16 to start mixing with the 1 and 2s myself. I am forever thankful for that.

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