Tuxedo is the collaborative project of Mayer Hawthorne, one of this era’s shamefully unheralded vocalists and Jake One, a Grammy nominated artist and producer. The collaboration can trace its origins back to 2006 when the duo started to exchange mixtapes which revealed that Jake One and Hawthorne shared a mutual appreciation of all things funk and soul. And as a result, the duo quickly worked on and released three singles while both were working on separate solo projects — and those singles wound up turning into Tuxedo’s self-titled debut album, which Stones Throw Records released earlier this year.
Album single “The Right Time” is comprised of layers of layers of wobbling synths, Nile Rodgers-like guitar chords, sinuous bass paired with Hawthorne’s sensual cooing and an infectious hook to craft a funky synth-based R&B song that sounds as though it were released in 1983; or in other words, it’s the sort of song you’d do a little two step at the club.
John Morales is a DJ and remixer, who got his start in the 1970s, and was instrumental in pioneering the use of editing to create dance floor remixes of records in the 80s — out of necessity. As Morales explained in press notes ““I needed to get more out of the records I was spinning, so I started making medleys and remixes because the records in those days were too short, the 3 minute range.”
Working in the days of physically manipulating analog tape, Morales describes his process by explaining that “I started to do my edits using the pause button on a TEAC cassette deck, [then] purchased a Sony reel-to-reel. It was hard work,with long hours of editing and putting all the little pieces of tape together to make something creative happen.”
In 1982 Morales started collaborating with Sergio Munzibai, and worked on a number of dance-orientated releases under the moniker M&M and the duo released a number of dance-floor ready remixes on a number of beloved and highly popular songs including DeBarge‘s “Rhythm of the Night,” Jocelyn Brown‘s “Somebody Else’s Guy,” Harold Faltermeyer‘s “Axel F” (best known as the theme song for Beverly Hills Cop), Miami Sound Machine‘s “Dr. Beat,” The Temptations “Treat Her Like A Lady” and hundreds more in a period that saw the duo dominate the Billboard Dance, R&B and Hot 100 pop charts. Sadly Munzibai died in 1991; however, Morales continued with solo production work with the likes of Debbie Gibson, Brenda K. Starr, Denise Lopez, The Thompson Twins, The Blow Monkeys, Five Star and Art Of Noise — and Morales has continued M&M with a remix of Tuxedo’s “Right Time” which lengthens the song’s groove, adds a little bit more percussion, subtly changes the pitch of the synths and adds a handclap led section while retaining everything else with the song, to turn it into an extended 7 minute club banger.