John Morales

Bronx native John Morales, a pioneering mixing artist worthy of Dance Music Hall of Fame induction, became involved with music just prior to his teens, when he took a part-time position at a record store. At his father’s bar, he occasionally spun the records he earned and developed his DJ’ing skills, which led to formal gigs at major Manhattan disco clubs like the Limelight and Studio 54. Not satisfied with the three- to four-minute length of most singles, he constructed his own medleys and edits, some of which were pressed in very small numbers on the Sunshine Sound label. He forged an alliance with producers Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael, mixing Universal Robot Band’s “Dance and Shake Your Tambourine” and Musique’s “In the Bush,” though he was not formally credited until he worked on Inner Life’s “(I’m Caught Up) In a One Night Love Affair.”

As Morales continued to work closely with Adams and Carmichael, he provided mixtapes for Frankie Crocker’s program on WBLS. It was there he met Sergio Munzibai, a music director and fellow DJ. The two struck up a working relationship that was sustained for hundreds of mixes, many of which were listed on sleeves as “M&M Mix,” through the late ’80s. Among the most significant tracks the duo re-designed for maximum club impact: the Fantastic Aleems’ “Get Down Friday Night,” Class Action’s “Weekend,” Lime’s “Angel Eyes,” Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F,” Jocelyn Brown’s “Somebody Else’s Guy,” El DeBarge’s “You Wear It Well,” and Club Nouveau’s “Why You Treat Me So Bad.”

After several years away from studio work — a period that included a stint working for audio software and hardware manufacturer Steinberg — Morales mixed the “Love Man” sessions for Hip-O’s expanded reissue of Marvin Gaye’s In Our Lifetime. During the next several years, he put together a trio of two-disc M&M anthologies — released in 2009, 2011, and 2013, for the BBE label. Several selections were previously unreleased versions from Morales’ extensive private stock, while others were newly made. He continued to mix, including fresh versions of tracks that appeared on CD reissues of Margie Joseph’s Knockout! and T.S. Monk’s Human. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi

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