Syl Johnson – Is it because I’m Black ( David August Live)

Sitting in the midst of David August wonderful improvised Berlin ‘Boiler Room’ set in 2014, is this absolute rocket of an adaptation of Syl Johnson. Music purists would argue that the original can’t be touched, that it’s a catastrophe, a musical crime etc.. I cannot disagree more. This jam from August was done live and was never even released. The beauty of modern internet is that most sets are recorded, thus we are treated to finding every tune we hear live from a rip from a YouTube fan.


August settled nicely alongside ‘Nicolas Jaar’ at the top end of chilled experimental house music since he burst on the boiler room scene, like Jaar he steered onto other projects since to ‘find his roots’, as he puts it. I took in a WHP Manchester gig two years ago headlined by Jaar and was bitterly disappointed by his new ultra bizarre routine. We head to David August tomorrow night in Paradiso, Amsterdam in the hope that he maintains performing classics like this tune and doesn’t simply make rhythmless noisescapes like Jaar did two years ago. I’m definitely too harsh with my Nicolas Jaar comparison here, but we will see tomorrow night.


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