An interview series where we ask our favourite local DJs about the 5 records in their collection that have their own story to tell…
Marcel Vogel belonged to many cities before settling in Amsterdam in 2010 where he started the fantastic Lumberjacks in Hell record label.
With a degree in audio engineering, he’s also put his hand to edits, remixes, production, lyrics, parties and travelled the world as a DJ. His remixes include works for Phenomenal Handclap Band, Hot Chip, Hans Nieswandt , Seven Davis JR and his edits have found their way onto Razor n Tape, Moton records as well as his own label.
On top of all that Marcel held an 8+ year residency at Red Light Radio until it dissolved in 2020.
Rare Essence – Disco Fever (1978)
Terrence Parker might be the first DJ I’d heard play Disco in his sets. He’d ALWAYS play Billie Jean by Michael Jackson and do his routines, he’d play Anita Ward – Ring My Bell, maybe Peg by Steely Dan or Street Player by Chicago and rip them apart with his crazy routines.
My friend Booming B. used to adore TP and his enthusiasm often spread to the people around him. He basically hyped up loads of promoters to get on the train and book TP, and because of his deep love for Terrence Parker I’ve got to see him many memorable times.
Even once when he could perform at Cafe Europa in Bielefeld and the party had to be relocated to another much smaller and more intimate venue and they lit candles around the DJ booth but the wax dripped into one of the turntables, and TP had to DJ with only one turntable while they were fixing the other, scraping out all the wax.
So I guess I’ve got to hear TP play a few times and I suppose when you are young you think every party you’ll play will be your big breakthrough. So Booming B. arranged for all of us to play in Konstanz. Terrence Parker and Booming on the main floor and myself and Nasty Andrew on the second floor. The flyer was shaped like a record and had TP’s iconic headphone on it (for those who don’t know he uses a telephone to DJ) and the party was called: Detroit is calling.
During dinner I must have told him how much Theo Parrish means to me and I remember he told me several stories about my idol but he also told me that Theo’s favourite Disco record was Rare Essence – Disco Fever. I think this was about 2002 and the only way I could get hold of this was via a Discogs like page called Gemm. I think it was that. And I am sure I fucked up the format too and ended up with a 7″ on that first try. An excruciating experience, especially if you are low on cash. I don’t think I have that 7″ anymore but I know I have 3 12″s of it which one isn’t even mine. I think Rare Essence is mostly known for DC Go Go music but Disco Fever is a massive Disco classic that has been edited millions of times and still sounds as crazy as when I first heard it being cut up by Terrence Parker.
Shadow – Let’s Get It Together (1984)
Its funny how certain tunes suddenly bubble into peoples consciousness and how certain tunes suddenly become omnipresent in a certain scene. I am never quite sure if its because only the five DJ’s I am into at the moment actually play it – or is it really happening everywhere at once? Often you don’t realize what kind of bubble you are in. Obviously Spotify and Soundcloud allow loads of people to have access to the rarest music.
I got hold of a 7″ of Shadow – Lets Get It Together maybe in 2012 or even before that through Josh Goldmann in Las Vegas. A really crazy record digger and seller who sorted me out with the most magnificent music. Records that still make me smile today. And I think a year later I’ve heard Young Marco open his set with this on a boat in Croatia and then it might have taken another year or so for the reissue to come out.
I guess it’s not a crazy story if you write it out like this and it’s hard to transmit the feeling that I am trying to get at but maybe if I describe it a bit more. I’ve been to Las Vegas twice in my life and it certainly is a planet on it’s own. I found some really good records in the dollar bins there such as Carolyne Crawford – Coming On Strong. The sticker said 50 bucks but when I asked the dude behind the counter he started laughing and said: No, that’s a dollar of course. Happy days.
I knew Josh since the early 2000’s from the message boards of Million Dollar Disco and Bring The Heat but we had never met. When we came to the states , I’d tried to meet a few people and when we came to Las Vegas it was great to meet the legendary Josh Goldmann. His crib was in the suburbs, I don’t know if it qualifies as a gated community. Its very different than what I am used to in Europe. Also if you’ve never been to Las Vegas, it’s of course a proper mindfuck. Hanging out with Josh is great but with a lot of American record dealers, DJ’s and nerds they are just on a totally different level. By lets say a lightyear.
Oliver Cheatham – Get Down Saturday Night (1983)
I am not gonna front, my generation definitely started with the classics.
Nowadays it might be different. If your education is shazaming Antal, Hunee and Rahaan you might have never heard of this gem. But when I started going out in the mid 90’s there were only a few clubs or Discotheques to choose from and very little resources to draw from.
I like Hip Hop, RnB and Disco Classics. This might have been one of my favourites by far. In my home town there weren’t any second hand record stores, only CD’s. So I might have known some classic jams but it was really hard to figure out names, let alone where to find them.
I think a few house records sampled this and I kinda bought all of them. Only once I moved to Frankfurt I started to have access to all kind of records, current and classics and it was at a shop called City Beat that still might be around where I eventually found a crisp copy of this. Needless to say I still feel ripped off by the owner for charging 15 bucks for this.
Convertion – Let’s Do It (1980)
A lot of my early education on Disco and Funk I got from Theo Parrish mix CD’s. They were Gospel to me. I envy everybody who just grows up with that type of music and it becomes your DNA and for me it was just like drugs. I used to have a portable CD player and listen to a couple of his mixes all the time. That came with a lot of frustration trying to figure out the artists and song titles.
Every city has a certain vibe and you I’ll find a certain type of artist and music . In some cities you’ll dig through the same boring, common records over and over and over again, while other cities provide you with all the magic you ever cared for. One of the tracks on one of these mixes was Convertion – Let’s Do It. I mean some of those blends were so burned into my brain that I couldn’t imagine hearing those tracks in any other way… like Pam Todd flowing into Ashford And Simpson. It would just be blasphemy not to have them follow each other.
So without Shazam, how do you find the music? In the case of Convertion I stumbled upon a bootleg of it at Hardwax in Berlin and I was ecstatic beyond believe. I was so happy to find it after years of being absolutely clueless. And yet it took quite some time after that to learn about Logg and Leroy Burgess and Patrick Adams and how few people were responsible for all my favourite records. Its almost a lifetime of learning required to piece it all together.
Peven Everett – Put Your back Into It (2007)
This is easily my favourite house record ever from my favourite House artist ever. I have no collection when I picked up my first copy of this but I found another one for only 5 Swiss Francs at some point and gave it to a friend who liked the tune as well.
Only a while later I found out that the record was selling for almost 100 Euro on Discogs. And a few years after that I met Brian Reaves from Unified who told me the reason for that – there had only been 250 copies in existence. Mind blown!