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Un.Chained Rhythums Pt. I
After a decade-long hiatus from releasing a full-length, Joaquin "Joe" Claussell has burst back into the cosmic consciousness with the release of his much-anticipated and aptly titled album, Un.chained Rhythums, released as two separate longplaying CDs. Claussell has long been one of New York City's most legendary and busiest dance figures, thanks to his work in all areas of the house community: as a highly respected DJ, producer, remixer, label head (Spiritual Life Music and Ibadan), and record shop owner (Dance Tracks). Spiritual Life has released tracks from a host of New York nu-house teams and his Sunday club night Body & Soul recreated the vibes fostered at the birth of modern dance music -- David Mancuso's Loft Sessions during the early '70s. In his productions, he's often mirrored an eclectic mix of styles, dropping in plenty of acoustic instruments and rich percussion patterns. Like Kevorkian, Claussell is a veteran of the disco era, an enthusiastic participator at DJ sessions from near-legendary figures like Mancuso and Larry Levan. Claussell's production career began with the single "Stubborn Problems" by Timmy Regisford, and Spiritual Life soon became the home for releases embracing all forms of groove music from the past few decades, as comfortable working through Caribbean folk and salsa rhythms as well as deep house. Tight releases by two of New York's best producers (Slam Mode and Blaze) increased the label's visibility during the mid-'90s, and Claussell moved into production with great singles by Jephte Guillaume during 1997. He also formed a second label, Ibadan, and released his first proper single, the 1997 Brazilian house workout Escravos de Joe. His first full-length, Mix The Vibe, was released on NiteGrooves in 1999, followed later that year by his proper debut, Language. Part one of this release starts off as an esoteric dance album, quickly transforming itself into a flawless fusion of subtle environmental soundscapes and perfectly sculpted grooves. Claussell masterfully weaves the diametrically-opposed world of the club with the harmonious flow of nature. He is "...a messenger, here to deliver the communications of the Creator, to spread the word of Harmony through music," breathing new life into an age-old equation that has never been stronger or more relevant.