BREAKING: Publicist: Pop music superstar Prince has died at his home in suburban Minneapolis.— The Associated Press (@AP) 21 avril 2016
Prince, 57, was widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive musicians of his era: https://t.co/iiOU1RvcL8— The Associated Press (@AP) 21 avril 2016
The man they called the ‘the purple one‘ was a major influence for the pioneers of dance music.
For the younger readers, who perhaps can’t judge the musical legacy of the Minneapolis man, we recommend this article from Red Bull, “We All Wanna Be Prince: Exploring The Purple One’s Impact on Dance Music“.
Journalist and author Michaelangelo Matos, whom we mentioned a few days ago in relation to the mixtape that introduced Daft Punk to America, summarises the influence of Prince. He recalls the French group Apollonia (Shonky, Dyed Soundorom and Dan Ghenacia) who took their name from Apollonia Kotero, who plays the girlfriend of Prince in the film Purple Rain, and the first release of the label Hyperdub, ‘Sine of The Dub’, an imaginative reworking of ‘Sign o ‘the Times’, from 2006.
In the latest issue of Trax Magazine (#187), Egyptian Lover, one of the pioneers of the rap / electronic music scene of Los Angeles, describes how he was inspired by the Purple One. “I was such a fan of him. He made a song called ‘Soft and Wet’. In this song we have some rather sexy inspiration. Things get completely crazy and super steamy. When we did ‘Dial-A-Freak’ with Uncle Jamm’s Army, that was inspired by Prince. Just like ‘Yes, Yes, Yes’. Later, doing my solo projects, I developed the effect and somehow it became my trademark. I use breath as an extra instrument, so when I heard that Dr. Dre was doing the same, I went crazy and I said to him: ‘Man, that’s my style, this is what makes my sound. It’s not West Coast, this is Egyptian Lover.’ Dre replied: ‘Try to see things from another point of view. You, your thing, that’s Kraftwerk and Prince. You adore it. And when you get inspired by it, you are honoring them rather than stealing from them. This might also be the case for me regarding you. Think about it.“
Michaelangelo Matos also mentions the track by Felix Da Housecat, “We All Want To Be Prince”, the links between Prince and Detroit, including Electrifying Mojo, whose radio show was a major influence for Juan Atkins and Jeff Mills in the creation of techno (check out our history of Detroit techno, published in TRAX #175). In 1986, Prince called Mojo live, just to thank him for playing his songs before the others.
For the pioneers of Chicago house, Prince is also an idol. “Controversy” was a staple of Frankie Knuckles’ sets at Warehouse, whereas Ron Trent and Farley Jackmaster Funk played regularly “When Doves Cry”. All the more reason to go digging through the works of The Artist, without relying on streaming (Prince removed all of his work from the internet).