Aural History

Masters At Work

Ministry of Sound takes you on a journey through the tracks that shaped one of house music's most famous duos.

Ahead of their first performance as a duo at Ministry of Sound since 2008, we take you on a journey through the tracks that shaped one of house music's most famous duos

Masters at Work is the house-garage production and remix team of 'Little' Louie Vega and Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez. They first worked together under the MAW moniker - which had been given to them by mutual friend Todd Terry - in 1990. 

The two native New Yorkers have amassed an overwhelming body of work in their time; including hundreds of original productions, remixes and side projects that have redefined club culture.

Vega and Gonzalez defiantly mix everything they can find – house, hip-hop, funk, disco, latin, African and jazz, all into one universal groove. So come with us now as we revisit the tracks that made the Masters At Work.

Masters At Work - "Blood Vibes"

Released on Cutting Records in 1991 as a double A side with "The Ha Dance", this laidback, Caribbean jam sounds pretty far removed from the more 4/4 house sound their later records would be associated with, but the signature production values and firm focus on groove are already present.

Masters At Work Feat. India - "I Can't Get No Sleep"

The first in a long line of collaborations featuring vocalist India. This would prove one of MAW's most successful partnerships and would produce other dancefloor classics "When You Touch Me" and "To Be In Love".

Masters At Work Feat. India - "To Be In Love"

Later cut down to a more radio-friendly five minutes, the original "To Be In Love" is an epic ten minute thirty second journey that showcases not just the duo's expertise in crafting vibes on a dancefloor buy also India's impressive vocal range. The breakdown around the six minute mark is one of the longest and most impressive in all of the dance music back catalogue. Any DJ with the chops to play this in it's entirety is worthy of respect.

Aaliyah - "More Than A Woman" (Masters At Work Dub 1)

In 2001 the reigning queen of R'n'B tragically passed away and as a tribute a number of music's best and brightest remixed and covered her original material. This dancefloor-focused MAW remix of her biggest song, "More Than A Woman" (which was originally produced by MAW) is both a tribute to one of the best female vocalists in living memory and a demonstration of the duo's considerable remixing skill.

Masters At Work - "Work"

It's nearly impossible to throw on 2001's Soca-influenced "Work," featuring Puppah Nas-T and vocals by Denise and casually bob your head – this is a full-body experience!

St. Etienne - "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" (Masters At Work Dub)

Master at Work are also known for their remixes, often adding a bass line and some minimal keys. However other times, their remixes are total re-imaginations of the songs, as was the case with Saint Etienne's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart".

Masters At Work will be headlining the finale of the Defected 15 tour at Ministry of Sound on Saturday 9th August.

22 Jul 2014