Groove of the Day/Deee-Lite/”Groove Is in the Heart”

Which classic ’90s flow still has the ability to funk you up all night long and is just all wrapped up in liscious? That would certainly be NYC based psychedelic dance group Deee-Lite’s retro floor filler, “Groove Is in the Heart.” 

Consisting of Supa DJs Dmitry, Towa Tei and funkdafied and fabulous lead diva Lady Miss Kier, Deee-Lite first came together in the late ’80s and instantly created big beat buzz on the NYC underground club scene, thanks to their one-of-a-kind life ready flair and Ms. Lady’s undeniable sass, which instantly made her an icon among all the queens, honey. A title she certainly still owns today. 

Once “Groove Is in the Heart” was served to floors around the world in 1990, the groovy group took over the Billboard charts taking the number four position on the Hot 100 and making it–as well as the rest of us–their dance floor bitch. But the real truth in what makes this jam so incomparable (besides Bootsy Collins giving us straight up life on bass) is just how many classic samples are laced throughout.  

On the esteemed list of timeless tunes sampled on “Groove” is Bel-Sha-Zaar with Tommy Genapopoluis and the Grecian Knights, “Introduction,” which gets the party started right from the top by letting us know “we’e going to dance…and have some fun.” There’s also record scratch maestro Herbie Hancock’s “Bring Down the Birds” stopping by, and is that the dearly beloved Eva Gabor lending her lungs from the Green Acres theme song? Yas, it is, you dancing kween, you.

We also must show our dance music love to A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip who spits it out with his mic checked and ready on the gasoline induced middle breakdown, which gives “Groove Is in the Heart” the perfect blend of every single kind of music flavor you could ever ask for in a track. Even a quarter-of-a-century later (pass the Botox, now), Deee-Lite’s romp sounds just as funky fresh and so clean as it did back when Casey Kasam was showing it love on his American Top 40 radio show. Sigh…those were certainly the daze, weren’t they? 

Music time certainly flies, kids, but it’s grooves like Deee-Lite’s effortless thunder that make it stand still for a little bit longer and simply takes us there. And if you’re a music lover who understands just where there is, you know just what the f#$k Im talking about when it comes to “Groove is in the Heart.”

Now, dance…bitch, because Lady Miss Kier and her Deee-Lite crew are waiting for you on the dance floor…of life. Go. 

Philly Mixtape is getting soooo big and you wants you to be a part of it like Ms. Katy Perry, so check these out. 

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Music Tea w/DJ Robert Drake

If there’s one entertainer in the entire tri-state area who knows more about ’80s music than your mother, your brother, your grandma and your third cousin twice removed put together, that esteemed honor would go to iconic Philly DJ Robert Drake.

Whether he’s testing your ’80s music knowledge, musically chatting it up as host and producer on WXPN, snatching up Peabody Awards, spinnin’ those cuts at his sexy Sex Dwarf soirees, there’s nothing that Mr. Drake can’t accomplish, and it’s more than abundantly clear in his three (!!) decade spanning entertainment career in Philly. 

In fact, those undeniable skills will be put to the music test when he takes opening DJ reigns for The Go-Go’s as part of their farewell tour, which makes its fabulous way to The Fillmore tonight for a show that will be just as much fun as it will be (yet another) legendary live music moment for Philly this summer. 

However, those that are either familiar with Drake’s work or are friends with him on social media (he’s got quite a few of them, kids), they know he’s got the confidence, the craft, and of course, that music collection to back it all up. 

Before Robert opens up…for his music life…for Ms. Belinda and her gaggle of Go-Go’s at The Fillmore tonight, he was gracious to take a little time out of his f#$king bonkers schedule to take a seat at Philly Mixtape’s music tea table, breaking all sorts of mugs about the city’s red-hot live music scene (seriously..we’re like, on fire right now), the summer songs he simply can’t live without and exactly what he personally does to get ready for a gig….especially this one. 

If you haven’t snatched those tickets up yet for tonight’s show (you really should), go right here, right now. 

And for much, much more local entertainment truth on Mr. Robert Drake, go right… for his official website and groove on. 

Kicking our spillage off, shout out for me five summer singles that are absolutely rockin’ your DJ world right now…Well, as one who lives squarely in RetroWorld, my summer singles are ones that celebrate the season–“The Girl From Ipanema” & “Summer of Love” by The B-52’s,Sunset People by Donna Summer,”Cruel Summer” by Bananarama and “Walkin’ On Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves.

How do you personally prepare yourself for a gig (besides making sure you have every damn piece of equipment!), especially one of The Go-Go’s caliber?  Spinning the Rock of the 80s is what I enjoy most – whether it’s on the radio [Land Of The Lost, WXPN] at my monthly 80s dance party Sex Dwarf–celebrating our 13th Anniversary this Friday--or at a concert gig, the main difference for these events is to stay a bit broader than I do at my monthly gig or on air. The concert-goers want to hear the hits!

What does opening for The Go-Gos mean to you personally in your standout career? I’ve been lucky to have shared the bill with some of my favorite artists: The B-52’s, Gang Of Four, Psychedelic Furs, OMD, Berlin, so adding The Go-Go’s to the list is a great addition, but also a full circle as I first saw [them] way back in the summer of 1980, deep in the bowels of North Kensington section of Philly at a punk club called The Starlite Ballroom – they opened for X.

Any favorite concerts you’ve attended this year? One of my favorite concerts this year was watching the legendary soul artist Mavis Staples perform at our annual XPoNential Music Festival last month. She performed one song – Freedom Highway – a song written by her father Pops Staples for the March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. What a powerful, and empowering musical moment for everyone there!

Speaking of live shows, Philly has certainly been continuing in making strides in their live music A-game, but, of course, there’s always room for improvement. What is one thing you would like to see more–or maybe less–of to keep the movement nice and steady? Actually – if you got me a year ago, I’d say a balance of venue sizes and pop-up performance locations. But Philly has met that bar and surpassed it. Right now is the Renaissance Era of live music in Philadelphia … there are venues of all shapes and sizes along with free music performed outdoors in all the various corners of the community. Add to that the outdoor festivals which have matured into fun events for all – I really think we’re where we should be right now – Philly Rocks!

One last sip, what are some words of advice you would give to someone who picked up their very first pair of headphones right this very second? Before you do anything – make sure they are plugged into a quality record player – and then grab yourself some vintage, pristine albums and enjoy the bass, the mid-range and the ride! Don’t limit yourself to an Mp3 universe – you’re missing so much if you do!


Jam of the Evening/Michelle Williams/”We Break the Dawn”/Karmatronic Rewerk

While the original mix of Ms. Michelle Williams’ post-Destiny’s Child ’08 solo trek, “We Break the Dawn” (written by Solange!) was a bit of a snooze fest and failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 (can girlfriend ever live?), overseas beat maestros Karmatronic came along and created a classically killer club rewerk that takes the mid-tempo R&B flavored original to the deepest levels of the dance music sea. 

Lavishly loaded with those vocals, sexy synths and a blazing beat that only Karmatronic knows how to cook up (their take on Bey’s “Diva,” yas, dancing queen, no shade, Michelle), the remix topped dance charts across the globe and our girl finally…won one. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen the memes and the Buzzfeed articles, and it’s clear that Michelle Williams (yes…that Not the Michelle) has been trademarked for being an underdog for much (okay, all) of her career, but her still on fire Karmatronic club remix proves that when you put that trademark to a ferocious beat, anything is possible, my music friends. 

Now, let’s dance. It’s really just that simple. Ready?