It All Began In The East, Then Two Worlds Became One
A New Horizon
Joy's A Blessing
Miracles In Rishikesh
A Dance To Gratitude
Review: Jephte Guillaume and Joaquin "Joe" Clausell have been releasing collaborative singles and EPs as Mental Remedy for the best part of 17 years. Even so, A Journey To Noi is the New York duo's first full-length excursion. In their own words, the album is a soundtrack that "tells the story of an artist who travels to a foreign land and finds her true calling" with guidance from "melody, rhythm, dance and friendships". The soundtrack aspect is arguably key, as there's certainly something cinematic about the duo's fusion of global instrumentation, sweeping orchestration, deep space electronic ambient and, as you'd expect from a Clausell project, musically expansive spiritual house and jazz-dance workouts. Perhaps what's most impressive, though, is the sheer magnitude of the pair's collective musical vision.
Review: For anyone with even the smallest interest in gospel music and its relationship with black American dance music, Joaquin 'Joe' Clausell's "Praise" series of mix CDs should be essential listening. Volume six, subtitled "A Prayer For Peace, Love & Wisdom", is every bit as inspired as its predecessor, with Clausell moving between traditional choral gospel music, gospel soul, and soul-jazz, deep house and disco (including Crown Heights Affair's incredible "Say A Prayer") featuring suitably righteous lyrics. To tie the whole thing together, Clausell has also included a number of inspirational and thought-provoking spoken word samples taken from recordings of preachers and black community leaders. It's a brilliant touch.
Review: Tribal, physical, psychedelic: Joe Claussell's Bolla project is one of his finest creative accomplishments for many fans, and his album Afrikan Basement: Makussa is the gift that keeps on giving. Having previously leaked limited 12"s, Joe's label Sacred Rhythm does it again with another super-limited, one-sided press. Hooky, insistent and far-out for the full 10 minutes, this is shaman material right here. Do not sleep.
The Singing Fools - "Love Is A Beautiful Thing" (5:36)
El Coco - "Afrodesia/Cocaine" (Rhythm version part 1) (7:12)
Review: More from Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's ongoing "special" overdubs and edits series, in which he offers up tastily tooled-up and subtly reworked gems from his personal stash of reworks. On side A you'll find his fine version of The Singing Fools' "Love Is A Beautiful Thing", a mid-tempo turn-of-the-80s Canadian disco jam that chugs, rises and falls all in the right place. Over on side B he delivers a stomping, house-style fusion of two killer cuts from the El Coco catalogue: "Afrodesia" and "Coco Kane". Claussell has some fun dubbing out key passages - the familiar string section in particular - over a sweaty beat. As far as we can tell there's no vocal, but that's no bad thing.
Elegua (feat Jose Cochise Claussell Of Rebel Tumbao) (3:45)
Makussa PT Three (Afrikan Basement extended demo mix) (9:13)
Diyi Mayo (live Jam extended mix) (9:32)
Afrofunkjazz (extended demo mix) (8:31)
Review: Joaquin 'Joe' Clausell's latest round of spiritual and percussive dancefloor workouts were apparently "randomly selected" from the vaults of DJ tools and work-in-progress tracks tucked away under the floorboards at Sacred Rhythm HQ. Naturally there's nothing genuinely "half-finished" here, just a quartet of cuts worthy of your attention. He begins with "Elegua", a West African style workout that boasts call-and-response group vocals and a loose, languid tribal rhythm track, before moving towards heavy Afro-house territory via the deep, dark analogue bass, machine beats and densely layered percussion of "Makussa PT Three". Over on side B, "Di Mayo" layers sharp, spacey synths and lashings of special effects to a dubbed-out Afro-house rhythm, while the gloriously colourful "Afrofunkjazz" lives up to its title.
Crowns Of Glory - "Lord, Look At Your People" (Joaquin Joe Claussell mix) (5:48)
Keith Barrow - "A World Of Lonely People" (Joaquin Joe Claussell mix) (7:37)
Review: If the rich history of US gospel soul, funk and disco gets your juices flowing, you need this new 12" from Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell in your life. As with many of the storied producer's edit-focused 12" singles, it has been pressed in limited quantities and should therefore be grabbed before all the copies disappear. On the A-side he offers up a tidy, dancefloor-focused tweak of Crowns of Glory's hard-to-find 1976 gospel soul cut "Lord, Look At Your People", brilliantly teasing out the intro before unleashing the song in all its inspiring righteousness. Over on the flip Clausell turns his attention to the Clavinet-heavy, Blaxploitation-era gospel disco anthem that is Keith Barrow's equally as inspired 1977 gem "A World Of Lonely People".
A Dance For Gratitude (Joaquin's Congo Arts Drum version)
It All Began In The East (The Cosmic Arts Meditational mix)
Review: Two years ago, Joaquin "Joe" Clausell donned his occasional Mental Remedy alias and offered up "A Journey To Noi", a decidedly spiritual album that mixed Japanese instrumentation with his usual ambient and deep house sounds. On this 12", Clausell offers up some heady new interpretations that - like much of his work over the last decade - are built around the percussive power of African rhythms. The opening "Sacred Rhythm Version" of "It All Began In The East" is particularly potent, with Clausell cloaking a warm, organic and percussive Afro-house beat in distinctive Japanese Koto melodies and jazzy piano flourishes. We'd also recommend the formidably heavy, drum-laden rework of "Dance For Gratitude", whose Latin American bassline and simmering synth-strings are almost as addictive as the weighty groove they sit upon.
Review: Joe Claussell's Sacred Rhythm label is a vessel for him to explore the deep rooted culture behind his most prominent output in the house world. Travelling far and wide into African musical tradition, Claussell and select like-minded souls often present their most profound work through this outlet, and so it goes on this enchanting collection of rhythm studies, folk spirituals and works in progress. It's a compelling insight into the working practices of a musical master, a meaningful journey into the origins of so much modern music, and an inventive new expression all in one, scattered out like a sketchbook we're privileged to take a peep at.
Review: Joaquin "Joe" Clausell launched the "Xperiments" series back in 2016 with a box set containing two single-sided flexi-discs and a seven-inch single, all of which contained some pretty spaced-out sounds. Four years on he's decided to offer-up a new instalment in the avant-garde project: a single-sided seven-inch presented in a special hand-made sleeve by artist Akemi Shimada. Interestingly, the featured track, "Discombobulated Wing", is far more club-ready than its predecessors, with Clausell layering krautrock-esque treated guitars and Tangerine Dream style analogue synthesizer parts atop a low-slung, restless bass guitar line and sparse house drums.
Put Your Spirit Up (Joaquin Joe Claussell edit & Overdub)
Other Souls & Things - "Mundo De Agua" (The Psychdelic Transfusion remix)
Afrikan Basement - "Sangre"
ITU High (interlude)
The Brooklyn Heat & Soul Band - "Come & Fly With Me" (Joaquin Improvisational remix mix)
Review: The undisputed master of spiritual house music Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell presents Cosmicdelic Afrika: a collection of demos that the New York City based visionary is currently working on in the studio. The idea for the compilation was inspired by the concept of his event Share: the upcoming Share Afrika will see Claussell digging through his archives and bringing out compositions exploring Afrika, African Diaspora, dub and more. Beginning with the deeply magical and meditative vibe of "African Drug" (Joaquin's Drugged Out Sketch mix) by Bob Holroyd, the soulful and uplifting deepness of "Emarofo Tech" (Joaquin's Demo Sketch Mix) by Mampo or Cosmic Ritual's "Abraxas" (Joaquin demo Sketch mix) which is classic Claussell - reminiscent of work on his seminal Language album from the turn of the millennium.
African Drug (Joaquin Joe Claussell Hallucination version) (8:19)
Review: Long before the rise in interest in African music, British electronica producer Bob Holyroyd was making tracks rich in traditional instrumentation. "African Drug" is, undoubtedly, the most famous of these. Originally released as a single in 1994, the intensely melodious, Steve Reich-esque work has been remixed numerous times over the years. This latest edition arrives on Joaquin "Joe" Clausell's Sacred Rhythm label, with profits going to charities that work to save Africa's endangered Rhino. The A-side contains a freshly mixed and re-mastered version of Holroyd's brilliant original - which brilliantly increases in intensity with the addition of tribal drums two thirds of the way through - with a more percussive, pleasingly hallucinogenic Clausell remix on the flip. In a word: essential.
Review: Joe Claussell's Sacred Rhythm Music is back to present new music under his alias The Bayara Citizens. Elektrik Afrika is his second full length of the project, where he pursues yet more of his idiosyncratic style of 'spiritual life music'. By fusing acoustic and electronic together as one, the project represents evolution - producing its own genetics and speaking an individual dialect of rhythm and sound. Traces can be heard in "Zainabu" (Spirit Dancer) which fuses electronic harmonizing on the skins of traditional folkloric rhythms, or the soul power of "Mofo Congoietric" (Joaquin's Sacred Rhythm version), through to the tunnelling and hypnotic power of "Bambara" (The Tribes Of Distortion dub) and the truly life-affirming "Diamonds" (It's Time To Let Our People Go).