Music...A Reason To Celebrate



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“I am an immense soup of different sounds; I was fed music in my
mother’s womb, it’s part of who I am.”

So goes the philosophy of Joaquin Claussell, one of New York’s finest
and most private DJs, producers and remixers. Embracing a plurality
of sounds, ‘Music… A Reason to Celebrate’ is the sonic representation of
Joe’s theories of variety and diversity, theories that defy the trends that
keep the machinery of the music industry going. Joe has made a career of
creating success according to his own definitions, a success that has
more to do with spreading a gospel of music as a spiritual lifestyle than
dollars in the bank.

Despite an upbringing on a diet of a plurality of musical sounds, Joe’s
initial involvement in the music industry went no further than hanging
out in a record store on his way home from work. This store was called
Dance Tracks. When he took over the store in 1993, it was to become the
first vehicle through which he disseminated his vision of experiencing life
through music. Carefully creating a chilled and homely environment
within which to check out the latest jams, Joe levelled the hierarchy
between DJ and customer, producer and punter.

This formula was to become the template for record stores the world over.
By ’95 the harder sound that was proliferating clubland meant that the
music that was the lifeblood of the store was becoming harder and harder
to find. Time spent watching and learning from the people who came
through the doors of the store gave Joe the knowledge necessary to
quietly contribute to the scene himself. Spiritual Life Music was born, with
releases such as Jepthe Guillaume’s
delicately beautiful ‘Lakou-a’ redefining house music of the time. This was
organic, acoustic, percussive, with roots in an Afro-Latin diasporic
musical heritage.

This determination to share the music that ran through his veins led to
Joe’s involvement in a new label, Ibadan, a spate of remixes for the likes
of Ten City, and, eventually the release of his own work in Escravos de Jo,
an enduring dance floor classic, and the Language LP.

Joe has never just stopped at his desire to share his acoustic vision with
the world. Involvement in projects such as the Loft and Paradise Garage
series, for which he lovingly selected each track (and accepted no
money), allowed him to bring the seminal tracks that inspired him to a
public hungry for something different.

However, it is not the music produced with his guidance that sums up the
mission statement behind this compilation, but Joe’s involvement with
New York’s weekly Body & Soul parties. Standing alongside Francois K
and Danny Krivitt, this is the club where Joe’s career as a DJ began, and
where the infinite variety of his musical imagination finds form. A haven
from the backbiting and artifice of the industry, Body & Soul is where
natural energy rules, a locale devoid of negatives, a place where only the
music matters.

Recreating some of this open-ended ness is something Joe wanted from
‘Music A Reason to Celebrate’. Listen carefully – this is a voyage of sounds
where, from rock to jazz, funk to psychedelia, genres do not so much
clash as converse. It’s an expression of the multifarious conversations
that take place between Joe and his 80,000 records. Don’t expect this to
be Body & Soul. It’s a rendition of the music that moves Joe and what an
unexpected, exhilarating
adventure it is.


Many in the world take music as a source of amusement, a pastime; to
many music is an art, and a musician an entertainer. Yet no one has lived
in this world, has thought and felt, who has not considered music as the
most sacred
art of all arts. For that fact is that, what the art of painting cannot clearly
suggest, poetry explains in words, but that, which even a poet finds
difficult to express in poetry, is expressed in music. By this I do not only
say that music is superior to painting and poetry: in fact music excels
religion, for music raises the soul of man even higher than the so-called
external form of religion. But it must not be understood that music can
take the place of religion, for every soul is not necessarily tuned to that
pitch where music can really benefit from music, nor is every music so
high that it will exalt a person who hears it more than religion will do.
However, for those who follow the path of the inner cult, music is most
essential for their spiritual development. The reason is that the soul who
is seeking for truth is in search of the formless god.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

I started to write my own feelings down of what music means to me, but
then I thought why not use a quote from someone that for one could
express his
thoughts similar to what I’m thinking far better than I could ever write it
myself, but also because I have a great deal of admiration and respect for
his views on Life, and Music. What I will add is that, for me, music is my
religion, why?, because throughout my existence on this planet I’ve
witnessed the Magical effects that music has on our world. How more
than religion , I
see the Power music has in bringing us all together. where would we be
without music?. I couldn’t imagine my life without it.

I would like to take this opportunity to give thanks.

I must first give thanks to the Creator, for creating rhythm, because from
rhythm came music, and after came the Universe. To My Mother Dora
Claussell, Momi, thank you because naturally, from your deep love for
music you taught me how important Music is to me and our world. I Love
You. To my brothers and
sisters: Joaquin “Jackie” Claussell from who I got the world and soul
music from, thank you for letting me in your room and letting me jam your
records. I Love You. To Larry Claussell from who I got the rock and world
music from. I Love You! To Mario Claussell and Manuel Claussell from
who I got the top 40’s from. I Love You both. To Jose Cochise Claussell
for becoming the maestro that you are in the latin music world. Thank you
for always sharing your music with me. I Love You. To the rest of my family
who music has had the same effect on as me. Lynda Claussell, Benny
Claussell, Gloria Claussell, Zully Claussell. I Love You all with all of my

To all of the artist on this Compilation. Thank you for your timeless

April 2002 Natasha Billing

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