At Home With LWE: 16th September - Masters At Work Focus

Wed 16th Sep

There are artists whose impact reaches the local scene, some who transcend globally and a very rare select few whose influence is so immense it echoes through generations, forever reflected in the music that came after. With the first lineup announcement for The Haçienda’s debut at Tobacco Dock next Easter Good Friday consisting 5 names that easily fit the latter, in today’s At Home With blog we shine a special light on two undeniable pillars of electronic music, Master’s At Work: ‘Little’ Louie Vega and Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez.

Masters At Work - Ministry of Sound: The Sessions 5 Mix CD 1995

A path set in stone after hearing Larry Levan play at the legendary New York hotspot, Paradise Garage, Masters At Work began to make a name for themselves in the ‘80s with local house parties in Brooklyn. Drawing influences from disco, soul, funk, hip hop, reggae and Latin American folk in combination with house, they made New York feel like the centre of their sound.

By the mid ‘90s the pair had reached stratospheric levels, taking the ‘underground’ sound onto the radio and even topping the US charts with their 1993 hit “I Can't Get No Sleep” featuring India. Their 1995 mix CD for global powerhouse Ministry Of Sound encompasses perfectly the incredible energy the pair exude behind the decks.

The Classic Mix CD Series · 130 - Ministry of Sound - The Sessions 5 - Masters At Work - Disc 2 (1995)

Masters At Work - Dekmantel Festival 2017

There are few artists who have had such an impact on electronic music as Masters At Work and even fewer who have managed to stay at the top of their game across 4 decades. While the performances have become more selective, whenever the pair grace the bill of a festival or a rare club show, we are instantly reminded of their unparalleled ability to command the dancefloor and weave a journey that’s both joyous and spiritual. Their outing at Dekmantel in 2017 is easily among the best ever recorded.

dekmantel · Masters At Work at Dekmantel Festival 2017

St Etienne - Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Masters at Work Dub)

While house music may have started in Chicago, Louie Vega and Kenny Gonzalez quickly made it their own with an approach that fused elements of various genres and samples beyond the scope of dance music. Pioneering records such as The Ha Dance would go on to become cultural anthems while their infamous dubs became requested by pop megastars including Michael Jackson, Madonna and Donna Summer. This timeless remix of St Etienne’s Only Love Can Break Your Heart still hits like a ton of bricks today.

Nuyorican Soul - The Nervous Track

Nuyorican Soul was a project that started in 1993 after the pair visited Southport Weekender in England. Blown away by the dancers in the jazz room, the pair wanted to bring that energy and soul into dance music with a genre-defining fusion of jazz, latin and house, recorded exclusively with live musicians. The Nervous Track, released in 1993, was revolutionary in its cross appeal, bringing together audiences from hip hop to disco and drum and bass.

The Essential Masters At Work Tracks According To The DJs They Inspired

Having changed the blueprint of house music forever, the influence of Masters At Work is felt in every house producer and record that has followed suit. With more than 1000 tracks released under various monikers, picking one is no easy task. Vice caught up with the likes of Derrick Carter, Sonny Fodera and Detroit Swindle for the tracks that have inspired them the most.

Masters At Work - The BPM Festival Costa Rica 2020

In their last outing before the global lockdown, Masters At Work dazzled at The BPM Festival in Costa Rica. Streamed live by Beatport, the duo's dynamic, high octane set is a perfect taste of what to expect in their takeover of The Great Gallery at Tobacco Dock on 2nd April. Grab your dancing shoes and rewatch the legendary performance in all its glory.

Click here for tickets to FAC 51 The Haçienda At Tobacco Dock