Where It All Began: Karizma Reissues The Power

Stone cold classic, sold out vinyl and the first digital release of Atjazz's floor dub.

1999: We partied, we feared Y2K would change the world but had no real understanding of the keg of dynamite we had been standing on all along. “Gentrification” was a word that mostly sociologists and urban planners knew. Barely trained professionals were being compensated way beyond their paygrade for learning how to write href=http:// on a CRT with 200mhz of power behind it.

It wasn’t all bad, not at all, though the music of ’99 to about ’02 has often taken a backseat during the recent ’90s revival. There were some good goddamn records made at the turn of the millennium – maybe the last made with a certain model of a functional music industry in mind. In this strange way of looking at things, that means Karizma’s “The Power” is as good a candidate as any for the last record of the old system, the old world – the last record of the last millennium.

You could do much worse: “The Power” has lost none of its bossy authority in the intervening years. This first repress from the original released by Black Vinyl in 1999 captures Karizma at his raw and unadulterated best. Better yet: as he confessed to Will Sumsuch in a 5 Mag interview two years ago, this (and most of Karizma’s material at the time) was made with equipment borrowed from friends because he couldn’t afford any himself. “Actually,” he said, “‘The Power,’ the beats for Mary J Blige’s ‘Beautiful Remix’ and ‘E.B.W.T.R.T.W.’ were all done in one weekend. I knew I had to get the most out of that weekend ’cause who knows when I’m going to get to have the ASR-10 again?”

This too is a problem that a new millennium of producers raised on plug-ins and waveforms might never have. In any event, the mother of invention smiled upon the world when Karizma took whatever he could scrape together to make this track. Alongside “The Power,” the vinyl also features “The Sea,” “K II S” and Atjazz’s Floor Dub of “The Power” released digitally for the first time.

Karizma: The Power EP (R2 Records)

1. Karizma: The Power (08:34)
2. Karizma: The Sea (06:33)
3. Karizma: K II S (07:30)
4. Karizma: The Power (Atjazz Floor Dub) – [Digital Exclusive] (06:27)


5 Magazine Issue 156First published in 5 Magazine #156 featuring House Music around the world with Virginia, Xio, Nordic Trax, Mad Recordings & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music for only $1 per issue!