Back in 1985, the track "Oh Sheila" (from Ready for the World's Jheri-curl-soaked self-titled debut) was the fucking jam. Whether I heard it at a party, at a dance, or in my bedroom, I gave it my full attention, and to this day that track still captivates me as much as it did when I first heard it. It would seem pretty unimaginable, then, for any remix version to move me like the original; most attempts just come off as shameless attention-grabs. But I have to give it up for San Francisco's DJ Rasoul--his "Oh Sheila" remix, "Oh Baby" (Soulfood), beautifully brings the song into the new millennium with minimal vocals and a stompy, modern deep tech-house treatment, making me dance with the vigor I had when I was 13. With one song, Rasoul effectively paid his respects to Ready for the World and gained headway as a serious producer.

Originally from the Ivory Coast in West Africa, Guy Nado (AKA DJ Rasoul) moved with his family to Oakland in 1975. In the '80s, Nado attended college in Atlanta, where he started fooling around with cheap samplers, making hiphop beats; he has since pursued an education in ungrounded house production. "When I first heard house, I guess I was really blessed to hear the good stuff like [Fingers Inc.'s] 'Can You Feel It' and... Logic's 'The Warning,' and all the stuff that came out on DJ International and Trax," he says. By 1994, his new career was well under way. He started making productions for Strictly Rhythm Records and Fresh Squeezed under the alias Dreadman, working along with the Third Floor Productions crew (which included DJ Buck, Brendan McCarthy, DJ EFX, and DJ Digit). After spending a few years in London playing clubs like Ministry of Sound, Back II Basics, and Hard Times, he returned to San Francisco, releasing tracks on the Large Music label and putting together the successful four-volume Soul Searching series. (Sound Deluxe: Volume 1 is his most recent Large release, and it sees Rasoul mixing tracks from top-notch producers like Natural Rhythm and Fries and Bridges, as well as his own tracks.) Nado also began putting out releases and mixes on his own Soulfood label.

The at-times-elusive Rasoul rarely grants interviews or photo ops, instead choosing to speak through his productions and live DJ performances--which means that if all works out well, we should be in for a rare treat having him here in Seattle. NICOLAE WHITE

DJ Rasoul w/Jon Lemmon and Phillip Eno, Sat March 29 at Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm-2 am, 21+, $10.

nicolae@thestranger.com

Support The Stranger

Sponsored
DocFest Kicks Off The Return of SIFF Cinema | Sep 30-Oct 7
A celebration of all films documentary—with in person and virtual screenings, plus filmmaker Q&As.