BY JOEY PANGILINAN
I make a big deal out of French house a lot because it is what opened the flood gates to my adoration of dance music. I didn’t listen to a whole lot of DJ Mehdi as I do a lot of other DJs, but there was nothing that he put out that I didn’t like. He was one of the best, and represented the very best in hip-hop and dance music.
Coming into the office on the morning of September 13th, I was set to start piecing together what eventually became my review of SebastiAn’s recent show in San Francisco at Mezzanine. I was so excited to write about SebastiAn, French house, Ed Banger Records and their influence on local San Fran label Our House Records; all of it with a very sunny disposition. But as soon as I sat down and got comfortable, I saw RIP DJ MEHDI as a trending topic on Twitter. My heart sank. Cruel fate had taken a very integral part of a section of music that I hold so absolutely close to my heart.
Dance music has infiltrated mainstream pop music so much over just the last two to three years. Some of it has not been my cup of tea, and the rest is, well, not very good.
DJ Mehdi was a dance and hip-hop producer/DJ of Tunisian descent, and he was better than just a solid, producer, DJ and music-maker. He belonged to the very influential Parisian dance label, Ed Banger Records, whose stable included, among others, Justice, Mr. Oizo, SebastiAn and Uffie – all led by label-head Busy P. I’ve always been able to count on the Ed Rec Crew to put out some quality dance music, and DJ Mehdi had a lot to do with it.
Take a look at some tweets from his peers in dance music as well as hip-hop. This is just a small sampling of a pretty endless list.
It is a monumental loss for such a tight knit music community. Even if you don’t listen to dance music, looking through the Twitter updates of his closest friends and contemporaries is a lesson in empathy.
Mehdi, you will be missed.
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