Aural History


Before his special guest appearance at Doorly & Friends on 7th February, we take a look back at Cajmere's career.

Before his special guest appearance at Doorly & Friends on 7th February, we take a look back at Cajmere's career

Curtis Alan Jones has been making beats for 24 years and has become one of the most well-known DJs and producers in the scene. Starting out under his Cajmere alias, he made a name for producing driving Chicago house, before going on to experiment with a darker sound and live performances as Green Velvet. Before his headline slot at Doorly & Friends, we decided to remind ourselves of the great music Curtis has produced.

Cajmere - "Coffee Pot (It's Time For The Percolator)"

After leaving a masters program in Chemical Engineering at Berkeley, Curtis moved home to Chicago and began creating music. He released his first EP, Underground Goodies, on his own Cajual Records imprint. A year later, he has his first big hit with "Coffee Pot (It's Time For The Percolator)". This went on to be a cult dancefloor hit and still regularly gets an airing on house nights around the world.

Cajmere Feat. Dajae - "Brighter Days"

After the success of "Coffee Pot", he teamed up with Chicago vocalist, and regular collaborator, Dajae, on the mellower, "Brighter Days". This entered the Billboard Hot Dance Music / Club Play Chart at No.2.

Green Velvet - "Preacherman"

Without doubt Curtis's biggest banger, "Preacherman", was his first big release under his new, Green Velvet alias. Green Velvet had a darker, almost rockier feel, and he adopted a neon-haired electro punk aesthetic. "Preacherman" called so because it samples a sermon by the Reverend Clarence LaVaughan Franklin - the father of Aretha Franklin. 

Green Velvet - "Answering Machine"

The next track from Green Velvet was the darkly funny "Answering Machine" which featured a host of messages left on Curtis's answering machine, including an ex girlfriend breaking off an engagement, an eviction notice and a horoscope from 'The Psychic Network'.

Green Velvet - "Flash"

"Answering Machine" was followed with 1995's "Flash", which went on to become a No.1 US Dance hit.

Green Velvet - "La La Land"

In 2001, Jones released his second Green Velvet, the much darker sounding, Whatever. The lead single from the album, "La La Land" was designed as a wake-up call for clubbers to the dangers of pill-taking, but went on to become something of a drug anthem and one of Curtis's most popular songs.  

Green Velvet - "Genedefekt"

Another track from Whatever to take on the subject of drug use. Genedefekt is one of the harder tracks on the album. By this time, Green Velvet's live show had become more similar to a rock band than a DJ performance, and featured Curtis on keytar with two other musicians on synths.

Green Velvet - "Shake And Pop"

After releasing a third album, Walk In Love. Curtis went quiet on the music scene for a number of years, before returning to an announcement that he had become a born-again Christian after overdosing on a cocktail of Magic Mushrooms, Cannabis and GHB. His first release since the announcement, "Shake And Pop" was a departure from his darker material and a return to a straighter house sound.

Basement Jaxx - "Fly Life" (Cajmere "Green Velvet" Mix)

Curtis has remixed a number of artists over the year, including Madonna, Felix Da Housecat and Tiga, but this remix of Basement Jaxx's 1997 hit "Fly Life" is one of our favourites.

Doorly & Cajmere Feat. Dajae - "The Way"

Last year saw the return of Cajmere and a significant amount of studio time with close friend Doorly. "The Way" was the first of these collaborations to be released and saw Curtis reuniting with vocalist Dajae.

Cajmere will be headlining Doorly & Friends on Saturday 7th February.

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21 Jan 2015