My love letter to Jill Peterson

This love letter does not come out of nowhere. Jill Peterson will play Black Stage at Couleur Café on Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 8 PM. Giles, if you’ve read this before you take the podium, give a nod.

Love has its own rules, and they don’t take any kind of ratio into account right away. This realization comes again every time we fall in love, but as we throw ourselves into something we don’t actually know the ins and outs of, the core of that feeling actually dares to transcend us. This love—platonic or physical, imaginative or tangible, miraculous or destructive, intoxicating or penetrating—manifests so strangely that nothing can stop or contradict it for the person who feels it. Although we often go to great lengths to ignore them or brush them aside for fear of revealing our feelings at a time when they are constantly being questioned, love can work wonders. It can evoke feelings and evoke emotions.

Jill Peterson, if you don’t mind, I’ll call you by your first name from now on and leave other formalities behind as well – because even though we don’t seem to know each other, I know you. You are what we call the great man of this world. For many, you are and will remain a person with many sides. A man whose name we have already come across in all the festivals has brought about the different styles of music in this world. Your name will be recognized, farewell or because we want to see it at any cost. Your Wikipedia page – like the time we have in this life to discover your musical genius – is too short. I hope this letter will be a reference for all souls who do not know you. And I hope that you will continue to serve as a reference for all souls who do not know you, when there is no living soul left in this world and only the virtual space of the Internet will remain.

You have never been the same. In Caen, your hometown, the music is well celebrated, but the sounds don’t quite match the picture you’re showing. Far from the penitent polemic rapper and young idol who transformed Orelsan, and even further than ex-blues man Patrick Verbeke (may God have mercy on him), you’ve dug your own hole to escape the Calvadosian bubble as fast as you can. The bubble that would have prevented you from discovering everything you made us discover. I’m sure about that. Just to be clear: I have nothing against Caen, I like to drink Calvados and I really like Xavier Gravelin.

Your father was Swiss German and your mother French, so the taste of mixing has always been in your blood. I myself am of a mixed race, of a different kind, and have found in you nothing but a symbol of hope for all cultures which, through their many differences, have united in an ocean of possibilities. Losing yourself, you could have chosen a pop-rock career as Stéphane Eicher, who shares the same background and mother tongue. But you targeted internationally, and it turns out to be a good decision to cross the canal to find yourself there. She settled in south London between the late 1970s and early 1980s. The world was torn apart during this period by the rising tensions in the Middle East and the ongoing Cold War. The English capital was as torn apart as the rest of the world, but different. The British music scene fought off Thatcher’s austerity in its own way, mourning the death of punk and celebrating the birth of a new wave. Many political and social changes were made, and with this shift came innovation. And that’s when she appeared, when the game needed this man – with all his talents – most.

Acid Jazz has successfully blended jazz, funk and soul, but also disco and hip-hop. This black music was open to a group of white producers who knew exactly how to perfect this music, without taking it over.

And as it should be, you gave your musical speech on a pirated radio station in London. On Radio Invicta, I’ve played all the music that has struggled to find its way into the British broadcast scene, including – as the “Soul over London” tagline suggests – soul, but also jazz and funk. By participating as a DJ, you have already presented a different point of view, or rather a different listening experience. But all good (illegal) things come to an end, so you had to turn to something more institutional to break free from the old genres and empower an entire generation of hip guys and girls. I wasn’t even born yet, and I didn’t even fantasize in my dad’s brains, yet I think my parents were already doing crazy things while listening to these kinds of radio stations: My dad might have sipped his first knuckle on the way home. Radio, my mom might have been experiencing something stronger at a post party.

By the late ’80s, having captured London’s madness at its best, you could be heard on BBC London’s popular Mad On Jazz music programmes. Before that, I came up with yet another display of musical diversity, with new ways to go from one drum to the next—a genre that would later be called acid jazz. This style successfully blends jazz, funk and soul, as well as disco and hip-hop. This black music was open to a group of white producers who knew exactly how to perfect this music, without taking it over. Not everyone is given to be a pioneer of the movement.

Actually it is very funny. Anything that mixes classic style and acid distortion you can put it on, I’ve always been associated with somewhat crazy bands. So when I saw you, I found it hard to see you as a code analyst. Under the guise of a perfect son-in-law, somewhere halfway between British and French culture, she managed to hide this delicious acidity from us. It’s as if André Rieu has actually hidden techno rave groups under his bones and made the biggest warehouses in the Netherlands dance to ecstasy. Do you understand? Don’t expect it. Plus, you’ve cherished acid jazz. So much so that the label she co-founded with Eddie Beller – another London music fanatic – was called “Acid Jazz Records”. And then there was Talkin’ Loud, your child. Together or alone, you have made your subculture a global success. On your labels we find names like A Man Called Adam, Femi Kuti (Son of Vila) and Listen by Urban Species with MC Solaar. I remember that last song as if it was yesterday. I learned about it in the English class at school. I was the only one who heard about MC Solaar and the urban types and your awesomeness, so I acted like it was the last lecture I ever gave. I acted as if my life depended on it. It was necessary to have a file Criticize Trace with many letters to honor. I have been able to incorporate music in many forms and ways.

But your biggest discovery is and still is the artist with the hat and horns. Although I wasn’t a part of this world at the time, I have very detailed memories of the blow this world received when I sent Jamiroquai’s talent to it. Since childhood I dreamed of their music, I dreamed of their videos, I dreamed of the groove that seemed to make everything possible in a world where everything seemed so broken. But you made me feel all right, in the midst of all the gloom. That all that was then complicated and heavy, will become simple and light. That’s kind of the magic of acid jazz, I think: getting your head out of the sand by listening to a mix of disco and funk with instruments that no ordinary musician would pick up – like the didgerido, for example, one of the first instruments my parents used. ever gave me.

The interesting thing about your career is that you are on top today just as you were yesterday and tomorrow. You’ve pushed WorldWide FM to the top: a web radio that delivers, as the name suggests, the best tunes in the world with over 400,000 people from London, New York, Mumbai, Seoul, Johannesburg, Kyoto, Berlin, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Paris, Rio, Detroit, Tokyo, Istanbul, Chicago and of course Brussels. It goes far beyond the real world, because in GTA V you can also tune in to the WorldWide FM radio station and listen to your own voice.

When it comes to GTA, I belong somewhat, and I think this is the best soundtrack the saga has ever known. In fact, I guess we could say you’ve stripped Tuff Gong, the legendary GTA IV radio. And to surpass Bob Marley and the Wailers in my estimation, you should be able to do a lot more.

As if all this weren’t enough, you can also completely destroy the stages of the biggest festivals. Furthermore: you built your own in Sete, one of my favorite cities in the south of France. The city of George Brassens, but gradually it owes you too, as it is now home to the World Festival. But you also played at London’s Lovebox, at Coachella in 2006 and for more than ten years I was a curator on the stage at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival. In addition, I created a Foundation for Musicians in Difficulty and was awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire), 5th class of the Order of the British Empire. Who can sit with you at the table and say they do better?

Today your name is associated with artists like Björk, Mr Scruff, Roots Manuva, Floating Points, Nuyorican Soul and The Roots – artists who have been on my mp3 player for years and will be on for a long time to come. Serious platform Resident Advisor honors your work as follows: “The ‘dots’ generation not only connects artists, producers, and styles, but also colors the spaces between them. Peterson gives legitimacy to Max Roach’s album as much as Jig’s Sid 12” and also understands the connections between the two. He’s a DJ who feels as comfortable with Roland Kirk as he is with Jazzanova.” Fit and deserved words I could not have chosen better.

Actually, I think it’s very funny. Our life paths were quite similar, although they never intersect. Since I was a kid, I’ve been walking your path – whether it’s on groups, festivals, or video games. Or on days like today, as I write this article in my room under the ceiling in Saint-Gilles. The further I went, the more convinced I became that somehow it makes sense today to write articles on music, take part in radio programs, get training as a DJ and play with the idea of ​​\u200b\u200bcreating an alternative eclectic club. to target. Perhaps this is all the result of the passion you instilled in us.

As I sit here at my desk writing, I wonder if this love is really nothing more than admiration. Perhaps it is the desire to be more like you, or at least to be able to share a passion for this art with each other. A poem, a love letter, a fan mail or a simple letter will be mine forever all over the world Keep a musical crush.

Jill Peterson will play on the Black Stage at Couleur Café on Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 8pm.

Also follow VICE Belgium on Instagram.

Leave a Comment