Biography Circa 1999
Joe Claussell has a passion and he wants to share it with you. A modern-day renaissance man, this New York City-based remixer, retailer, producer and global DJ is also a business-man. One who approaches all his projects with sincerity and honesty. Qualities he infuses into everything he touches. In his latest role as owner of Spiritual Life Music, he intends to guide the world to a new way of looking at and listening to world music.
Joaquin Claussell was raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Born into a vibrant community and a large musical family, he quickly learned the positive effect music had on his life. When disco and "underground" dance music were proliferating in the city's most infamous late-night 80's clubs, Joe was absorbing that energy but had yet to consider making music a profession. An artisan woodworker by trade, it wasn't until late 1989 that he started playing publicly. Motivated out of love for music and with no pay, he turned Friday nights at Dance Tracks into weekly jam sessions - playing and selling records to the biggest underground DJs and fans in the city. Before long, Joe joined the store full-time and helped Dance Tracks develop a reputation for stocking the deepest and most spiritual music available.
In 1993, Dance Tracks' original owner Stan Hatzakis, decided to close and sell the store. Joe found a partner and as one of the principal owners, re-opened Dance Tracks after a brief hiatus. Coinciding with the success of parties like Club Shelter and Underground Network, Joe's eclectic knowledge of music and skilled buying helped the store thrive; growing into an internationally known retail mecca. Recognizing the lack of soulful dance music in the market and as a complement to the successful retail operation, Joe created Spiritual Life Music in early 1996. With his own independent music label, Joe moved into doing remixes and scored a hit with Spiritual Life's first release, "Nothing Changes" by Ten City. Other projects followed including "Lost + Found" by D-Note and work with noted Brazilian artists Cesaria Evoria, ("Sangue De Beirona") and Clara Moreno (daughter of well-respected Brazilian vocalist and songwriter, Joyce). For Ms Moreno's recent release"Banana," Joe showcased his percussion and keyboard skills and in collaboration with Jephte Guillaume, produced this exotic single that has been licensed to Avex Japan and Warp Records in London.
Whether making a remix or producing an entire track, Joe is most concerned with taking what's best about about an artist and "making music around it." His unique production style is influenced by musicians across all the genres including: Stevie Wonder, Santana, Led Zeppellin, Steppenwolf, Jorge Ben, Sade, Stanley Jordan, King Sunny Ade and Osibisa. In the studio, his multi-cultural style seamlessly blends such varied elements as African Brazilian rhythms, jazz rifts, rock guitar along with live instrumentation to create an interesting fusion of danceable world music. This has led to several successful projects including the 12" singles "Lakou-a," "The Prayer" and the hot buzz track"Ibo Lele."
After joining DJs Francois K and Danny Krivit, Joe became a part of the most influential underground party of the late 90's, Body & Soul. Here, Claussell's delicious mix of music, energetic playing and cross-over effects, have earned him a global following and regular DJ guest spots in Japan, Italy, Germany and France. Unlike most deejays who merely play records, Joe stands out for his innate ability to broadcast his passion from the first to the last person on the floor - contributing much to the kinetic sexual energy that sets Vinyl on fire every Sunday. Not content to be a commercial hit-maker and pander to the mainstream, Joe wants to be known for "creating and playing deeply personal, spiritual music." Music that conveys the same happiness and joy that he derives from its creation.
No longer involved with Dance Tracks and as the sole owner of Spiritual Life Records, Mr Claussell welcomes the new millennium and is poised to reinvent himself again. First as owner of one of music's most influential and prolific labels, then as a successful multi-faceted producer who will ultimately score soundtracks. His upcoming projects include: Spiritual Life Music: Volume II; the Restless Natives EP from his brother, Jose Claussell (front percussionist for multi-Grammy award winning artist, Eddie Palmieri) and several new 12" singles, EPs and remix projects. The new generation of music masters starts here and Joe is one to watch in the years to come.