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by Don Crispy

David Morales

"I just go with my feelings-it has to make me feel warm."

One of the founding fathers of New York house, David Morales makes a rare appearance in Tokyo for two nights of spiritual beats at the stalwart club Yellow in Nishi Azabu. The first night celebrates the tenth anniversary of King Street Sounds, for whom Morales has just dropped Mix the Vibe, while the second will offer a "Past-Present-Future" house set.

Born in 1961 in Brooklyn to Puerto Rican immigrants, Morales clawed his way to the top of clubland from humble beginnings. He dropped out of school at 14 and worked a day job as a cook while DJing nights at seminal clubs like Paradise Garage. Hooking up with early DJ management outfit For the Record, Morales gradually built a reputation as one of New York's hottest DJs.

Joining forces with Frankie Knuckles to form the remix team Def Mix, Morales was one of a few visionaries to take '70s disco to a new level, which came to be known as house. Many of the trademarks of today's dance music, such as vocal breaks and piano and strings riffs, were pioneered by Morales and Knuckles in the late '70s and early '80s.

In the '90s Morales became known, even more than a club DJ, as remixer to the stars. He dropped dance remixes for, among others, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Jamiroquai and Michael Jackson. While only occasionally issuing material under his own name, he did score a clubland hit with the 1994 single "In de Ghetto."

In a brief email interview, Morales told Metropolis that he sees house music as "very healthy" at the moment. He has a new record coming out on Definity Records with DJ Pierre called Make It Hot, and a remix due of Bobby D'Ambrosio's next single, "Optimistic." He currently has a residency at New York's Discotheque, and is slotted for a residency at the legendary Pacha in Ibiza this summer.

Despite his prodigious reputation, Morales doesn't consider himself a DJ. On his website he comments, "When I say I don't consider myself a DJ, I don't mean I'm no longer playing out. I play records because I love to and I want to share my love of music with others. I don't do the DJing for money... I do [it] because...I like to create a trip for people, a voyage. I never know what I'm doing, so it's like a voyage for me too. I'll start here and end up there and wow…!"

Meanwhile, on the local front, DJs Ken Hidaka, Yukalicious and the Mighty Beezer along with special guest DJ Raphael of veteran club jazz unit UFO, are launching a new night of "serious dub, funk and grooves" this Saturday. Three Aces and a Queen takes place at French lounge/DJ bar Le Faubourg in Aoyama, and at ¥1,000, says Beezer, it's the best bargain in town.

David Morales@Yellow, 6/5, 10pm, ¥3500; 6/7, 10pm, ¥4,000. Tel: 3746-2368.
www.club-yellow.com

Three Aces and a Queen@Le Faubourg, 5/31, midnight, ¥1,000. Tel: 5467-3636

Credit: Yellow