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:: Spotlight :: David Morales – Legend In The House

By: Tim McNamara

David Morales, the Grammy Award-winning remixer, is still at the top of his game twenty years after founding Def Mix. Speaking from his home in Brooklyn, New York, the dance music pioneer spoke at length of the new Def Mix Classics album, a 3CD retrospective of classic house remixes by Morales and fellow Def Mix founding members Frankie Knuckles, Satoshi Tomiie and Hector Romero, released in partnership with revered UK imprint Defected.

Featuring remixes of tracks by Jamiroquai, Simply Red, Toni Braxton, U2 and many more, Def Mix Classics is proving a popular release, managing to be commercially accessible without losing its underground appeal. Morales’ remix of Mariah Carey’s ‘Dreamlover’- work which led to that Grammy win in 1998 - is a good example and, as David explains, the compilation is a fitting reflection of house music at its peak in the early 1990s.

He says, “I think it [the Def Mix release] brings the experience from yesterday up to today and makes it fresher and relevant for the future.”

The multi-talent is as busy today as he was two decades ago, juggling a hectic touring schedule and social responsibility work with Youth AIDS Day with his work in the studio and the further development of Def Mix. As he reveals, 2008 will see a new artist album drop, his third following 2004’s critically-acclaimed ‘2 Worlds Collide’ release. He suggested, “My next single should be ready by March which will probably drop in conjunction with the new album.”

Over a career spanning more than twenty years, Morales has built a reputation as the man who defined the remix and, as he explains, its very definition has changed remarkably in recent years. “Let's not even call it remixing any more. In the beginning you remixed the original tracks, then it started changing. You added some things, but you still had the song. Then it came to the point where you just got rid of the original music. Now it’s come to a place where now you’re changing the music….in reality, you’re sort of becoming a co-writer.”

Having worked with some of music’s biggest names including Luther Vandross, Seal, Eric Clapton, Janet Jackson, Sasha, Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls, Morales exudes that same enthusiasm as he did when starting out and, perhaps surprisingly, doesn’t feel any pressure given his past successes. “I don’t feel any pressure because, first of all, I love what I do; I’m having fun. I still feel like I have something to offer. I love playing records, I love making records; I love it all.”

20 Years Of Def Mix Classicsis out now through Stomp/Defected.

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