Welcome to the 17th interview in our series, ‘Stories About Records’ where we ask our members and some of our favourite Djs about their most cherished 45.
This is not about perceived or discogs monetary value but personal value that is tied up in memories, stories, love, loss, life, family and a passion for this particular 7″ vinyl record.
We want to know what the record is, what it sounds like and why it is so important to you.
If you’re interested in being apart of this series drop us an email or sign up for our Newsletter to be informed when these wonderful stories drop.
Now to the interview and it’s great to present AEON 7 from France.
Firstly, tell us about yourself as a Dj and Collector of 45s, how long have you been playing and collecting, why 45s, what was the first 45 you were given and also the first 45 you bought? Do you still have them?
Firstly, thank you to Mr Lob for the invite…
My name is Stéphane AKA Aeon Seven, I’m from Rouen, France, and I’ve been DJing since 1997.
Music and skateboarding form the pattern of my teenage years, with Jason Lee, Matt Hensley, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys and Sonic Youth as a backdrop.
Part of an ephemeral punk rock band as a guitarist and crate digger well ahead of time, I gained my musical culture by collecting vinyl records.
The turning point came with the discovery of Dj Shadow and Dj Q-bert in the mid 90s.
From this time, I went deeper into hip hop culture, bought a mixer, a second turntable, exploited the collected records and became a DJ.
I’ll then go back to the hip hop sources which brings me to funk and drum breaks!
The first 45 I’ve been given was probably a fairy tale when I was a kid in the mid 70s.
I’ve recently got them back from my parents house to give them to my young son.
The first serious original 45 I bought was The Soul Seven « Mr Chicken – – – -» on Soultex (1969).
I got it at a record fair at « Espace Champerret » in Paris in 2000, from a UK seller, 150£ in Mint Condition!
The first time I spent so much money on a 45, but it was worth it, it’s a double-sider heavy funk in mint condition, you didn’t see that kind of 45 in France, you know!?
Of course I still own it 20 years later.
By the way, I used it in a track of mine called « Lesson#7 » released on 12inch in 2005.
I could answer the same reasons that most good DJs think about them.
They are pretty easy to carry when travelling, a short track pushes you to change tracks more often which makes your set more dynamic, rare and good tracks are on 45, so when you get the chance to have and play them, that makes your Dj set more unique than the average DJ.
I would also add one thing, that is very important to me, the fact that you got one track per side (mostly) makes them easier to classify (BPM and Key written on sleeve) which is very handy to prepare and execute your DJ set.
Perfect for quick manipulation and faster to switch on the decks than 12inches or LPs.
What is your most cherished 45? Why is it so important to you? What is it’s story (label, year, artist, musicians), where did it come from? Is the B-Side any good?
All of my collection is cherished, I’m the type of guy who prefers quality to quantity.
I often downsize my collection from records I don’t play or think aren’t necessary to keep.
I prefer to sell them to make another collector happy!
But ok, if I had to choose one 45 I’m very glad to own and more important, glad to play and share to the people, it would be THE LEADERS « it’s a Rat Race » on Superstar (1971).
The Vocal version is great, maybe even more the significance of the text rather than the vocals themselves (Except the backing vocals at 1:48).
Denouncing the futile pursuit of celebrity is something that fit me well, and more than ever relevant 50 years later.
It could be also transposed to endless pursuit to get records, but it’s another story 🙂
I must admit, as I’m an instrumental head, that the instrumental B side fulfilled my dreams and is definitely my favorite side.
Hard hitting drums with that crazy groove, minor chords guitar gimmick, dark reverved horns with hypnotic flute, resulting in an esoteric mood, magic!
Each time I listen to it, the horn introduction puts me in a second state, like a signal meaning « please attention, there’s a storm coming! » and then the beat drops, and boom!
There are scratch sentences that come in mind at the same time…So bewitching.
I’ve first heard it in 2000, thanks to Nicolas Magneron’s funk compilation ‘Can You Feel The Funk’ (Soul Patrol Records).
At that moment, I started looking for it on ebay (freshly new member at this time). It was obvious I would not find it in a flea market in Normandy, or maybe, who knows haha!
I finally found it in an ebay auction 3 years later in 2003, and won it for about 200$ in NM condition, from a US seller, can’t remember which state he was from, maybe Arkansas.
Some may imagine the feeling when the package showed up in the mail box!
Probably not as intense as if I would have found it in a flea market for 1$, but quite enough for me who is located in France!
This 45 has been recorded by The Leaders at the legendary True Soul Studios in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Written by Donell Edwards and engineered by Lee Anthony, owner of True Soul Studios.
It is the solitary release of Superstar label owned by Donell Edwards.
1000 copies were pressed.
You can find more information on the booklet included in the great True Soul Compilation boxset made by Egon (Now Again 2011).
Not surprisingly, Edwards never received the national distribution that he was hoping for, and a great tune fell through the music industry’s floorboards – Eothen AlapattIt’s a RAT RACE !
Aeon Seven, June 2021
Find Aeon 7 on Bandcamp: https://aeonseven.bandcamp.com/
AEON 7 Website