In the words of Bill Brewster - DJ History
‘At the turn of the 1990s, there were few more successful New York house producers than Victor Simonelli. Under a dizzying array of aliases - Solution, NY’s Finest, Groove Committee, Critical Rhythm and Cloud 9 being amongst the better-known - the Brooklyn-born DJ / producer delivered a string of underground club hits during the city’s early ’90s house boom.’
Launching the first Behind The Groove collectors edition vinyl series is New York’s finest Victor Simonelli with ‘The Early Years Vol 1 & 2’ double Vinyl releases. Featuring seminal house tracks such as Cloud 9’s ‘Do You Want Me’, Solution’s ‘Feel So Right’, Instant Exposure’s ‘Wanna Be With You’ and rare mixes of Raiana Page and EZ-AL, this collection brings together classic and rare Victor Simonelli cuts that reflect the early raw energy and buzz of the New York House scene. With ‘Vol 2” scheduled to follow shortly after, this is the most comprehensive collection of rare Simonelli cuts that firmly establishes his esteemed role in 90s House Music as well as introducing new fans to his inimitable sound.
Victor Simonelli is one of the early kings of NYC sampling in house music. The real deal - Victor danced at the legendary David Mancuso’s Loft sessions and developed a serious appreciation for good music. He interned for Arthur Baker at his renown Shakedown Studios (where Arthur worked with the iconic Afrika Bambatta on the seminal dance floor ’Planet Rock’ track) and went on to release hugely influential releases on seminal NYC labels 4th Floor and Nu Groove. Victor’s music was championed by the hugely celebrated iconic house music DJ pioneers, Larry Levan and Tony Humphries at Paradise Garage & Zanzibar / WBLS / Kiss FM respectively.
Revered as a New York house heavyweight and prolific producer since the turn of the 1990s, Victor Simonelli grew up in Brooklyn, NYC, nurtured by a music loving family, with an avid record collecting father who also worked as a local party DJ. He took music lessons in piano, drums, guitar and bass, before discovering his first love, tuning into NY’s Radio Mix Shows on WBLS, WKTU and WRKS,98.7 Kiss FM) where he discovered the art of mixing and in his own words, ’I just simply got lost in the music’.
Graduating from NYC’s Centre For Media Arts, Victor got an internship in the legendary producer, Arthur Baker’s Shakedown Studios. Soon graduating to editing, mixing and then producing he worked for artists David Bowie, Quincy Jones, Debbie Harry, Sinead O’Connor and Talking Heads. Teaming up with fellow NYC producer Lenny Dee to become the Brooklyn Funk Essentials, they released records ‘Critical Rhythm’ and ‘Subliminal Aurra’ on 4th Floor before Victor went solo as Groove Committee releasing the classic ‘I Want You To Know’ on the legendary Nu Groove Records. Paradise Garage legend, Larry Levan broke ‘I Want You To Know’ rocking 2 copies on his last tour of Japan whilst King of NY House Music,Tony Humphries broke Victor’s new ‘Feels So Right’ across New York on his WBLS/Kiss FM Mastermix show and at his legendary Zanzibar club sessions. It was only a matter of time before Victor’s name became synonymous with quality House music ensuring a worldwide platform for his productions.
In the early 90s alongside his own productions, Victor Simonelli worked on high profile projects, including James Brown’s album, “Love Overdue” BeBe and CeCe Winans single featuring Mavis Staples “I’ll Take You There” and Quincy Jones’ “I’ll Be Good To You” featuring Chaka Khan and the legendary Ray Charles. Never straying too far from his clubland roots, Victor worked with Danny Tenaglia on his classic “The Harmonica Track”.
DJ gigs across the world started flooding in and Victor found himself recording for a dizzying array of labels including Tribal America, Sub-Urban, Bassline, King Street Sounds and Vibe, under a wide range of aliases. He also produced, wrote and remixed for artists such Nile Rodgers (Chic), Afrika Baambata, Hall & Oates, Frankie Knuckles, Kerri Chandler, Madonna and Michael Jackson. Famed for his own productions “It’s So Good” by Creative Force, “I Know A Place” as Sound Of One - the first release on Roger Sanchez One Records -, “Dirty Games” as well as the “Street Players Vol 1 EP”, Victor went on to set up Suburban Records with Tommy Musto and Bassline Records with two other partners. Notable releases on this label include “Do You Feel Me”, Connie Harvey’s gospel inspired, “Thank You Lord”, Urban Blues Project’s “Deliver Me”, Colonel Abrams “Not Gonna Let”, and Mone’s “Better Way”. Never ceasing to produce, DJ, run his own label and host radio shows like Groove Lift, Victor has worked with virtually every NYC producer and has nurtured a next generation talents including Angel Moraes, Jazz ‘N’ Groove, Urban Blues Project, Harlem Hustlers, Jay Jay and Julius Papp. Victor’s releases have also been used on M&S’s “Salsoul Nuggett” hit and Eddie Amador’s underground smash ‘House Music’.
In the late 90’s Victor launched his new Westside Productions, notable for the “Latin Impressions 1 & 2” releases, opened up a studio in Italy as he found himself increasingly working in Europe and now divides his time between New York and Italy. Suffice to say his unique sound of uplifting and spiritual music has kept him at the forefront of House Music and he is credited as one of its leading exponents with his string of classic releases and remixes.
A. N.Y's Finest - Do You Feel Me (Club Mix)
B1. Groove Committee - Dirty Games (Victor Simonelli Club Mix)
B2. Street Players Vol. 1 - Make It Thru The Night
C. Sound Of One - I Know A Place (118 BPM Mix)
D1. Inner Faith - I've Been Changed (Club Mix)
D2. International Connection - I Can't Help Myself (Previously Unreleased Instrumental Mix)