YOU DON'T KNOW KENNY DOPE?! YOU BETTER READ UP: Breakbeats, hip-hop, house, jazz, and Latin music are the building blocks for the recordings of DJ, remixer, and producer Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez. While he scored with "Salsa House" and "The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)," produced under the alias Bucketheads, Gonzalez made his greatest impression with Masters at Work, a production team that he shares with Little Louie Vega. Their first album featured the vocals of Jocelyn Brown, Vega's wife India, and Todd Terry, who recorded several late-'80s singles under the Masters at Work name, while their subsequent work has incorporated a diverse range of influences. Nuyorican Soul featured guest appearances by George Benson, Roy Ayers, Tito Puente, and Dave Valentin. Ayers also performed on Masters at Work's 2002 album Our Time Is Coming.
Born to Puerto Rican parents in the Sunset Park district of Brooklyn, NY, Gonzalez began his musical career as a buyer for a local record shop, WNR Music. Together with Mike Delgado, he organized neighborhood parties under the Masters at Work pseudonym. When the parties acquired a reputation for violence, Gonzalez and Masters at Work moved to the recording studio. Using a drum machine borrowed from a friend, Todd Terry, Gonzalez began recording breaks and beats for DJs, releasing several underground hits on his own independent label, Dope Wax, before branching out to produce tracks for Strictly Rhythm, Cutting, Nervous, and Big Beat. Although he reached his commercial peak as a soloist with "The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)," in 1995, Gonzalez became disillusioned after being sued for his use of a sample from Chicago's "Street Player." He ended up paying more than 30,000 dollars for the blunder.
Gonzalez has continued to build on his reputation. While he recorded several impressive solo tracks for the Tu Chicks, Freeze, and TNT labels, he revealed himself as a master remixer, working with such artists as BeBe Winans, Patti Austin, Jody Watley, and the Afro Celt Sound System, and a producer of albums by George Benson and Shirley Bassey. Tracks from Masters at Work's diverse projects were compiled and released on Masterworks: Essential KenLou House Mixes and MAW Records: The Compilation, Vol. 1. In 2006 Azuli Records honored the producer by having him choose and mix some of his favorite songs for their Choice: A Collection of Classics series. ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide
GET FAMILIAR WITH L-VIS 1990: L-Vis 1990 is an electro-bass producer based in London, England, whose style draws from U.K. styles such as drum'n'bass and grime as well as U.S. styles such as Chicago house and Baltimore club. Born James Connolly and originally hailing from Brighton, England, he began DJing as a teenager and later began making beats of his own. He made his commercial recording debut in 2008 with an eponymous four-track EP on the label Très Cool. The following year he released several more EPs, including United Groove on Mad Decent, Compass/Zahonda on Sound Pellegrino, and the Bok Bok split release Night Slugs on Dress 2 Sweat. In addition, he made a name for himself as a first-rate remixer. Some of his best-known remixes from this period include Gucci Vump's "Sha! Shtil!," Passion Pit's "Little Secrets," Crystal Fighters' "Xtatic Truth," Frankmusik's "3 Little Words," and Filthy Dukes' "Tupacrobotclubrock." His productions appeared on several mix albums, most notably Freq Nasty's FabricLive 42 (2008) and Buraka Som Sistema's FabricLive 49 (2009). His own Neon Dreams album appeared in late 2011, and his label Night Slugs hosted releases from Jam City, Kingdom, and Egyptrixx. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi