Introducing… Fly By Night + R. Burrell Talks


Back in the day when vinyl was rife amongst the electronic music world, you literally couldn't move without tripping over a mailer full of records through your letterbox. What a privileged position that was. These days it's private MP3 this and WAV that… so when a piece of vinyl drops through the R$N offices you're inclined to sit up, take notice and put it on. Yes, we can be bribed! 

Fly By Night as a label tries to do more than just release music, instead adding things like tote bags, limited colour pressings and boutique artwork to make sure every package is extra special. This next red, vinyl only EP is from the vaults of 90s house producer, Rheji Burrell, one half of the ubiquitous Burrell Brothers.

For a period in the late 80s and early 90s, the New York studios of twins Rheji and Rhano Burrell were releasing deep, rich and textured house music that touched on gospel influences and laid the foundations for the famous NYC sound we know today. Released on the label they helped co-found, Nu Groove, as well as working under their own names the brothers had countless aliases including New York House’n Authority, Tech Trax Inc and Utopia Project, with each one exploring some of the most accomplished house music of all time. Famously the label only lasted four years, but in that time it released an absolute wealth of material that still gets mined by real diggers to this day. More recently the ever studious revivalists at Rush Hour have introduced the brothers to a whole new generation.

Taken from Rheji’s tape archive, the two tracks offered up are typical warm and full-blooded house affairs that bang with a real human heart. Jazz chords, kinetic kicks and tons of raw drums.

We had a quick fire chat with Rheji about the release…

Please introduce yourself; who are you, where are you from and what do you do?

My name is Rheji Burrell, one half of the world famous Burrell Brothers. My twin brother Rhano and I are Musicians, Songwriters, Artists, Producers and everything else you need to be in order to have a 30+ year career and sell millions of records in the process.

What was the first instrument you picked up and started learning?

My mother's Pots and Pans.

Who/what has had the greatest influence on your music?

Everybody. I've learned something from every piece of music, every sound I hear. Then and now. Everything is a melody to me.

What animal would your sound be? Why?

More than one animal. We're more like a zoo or a wild life preserve.

Tell us about the release you've recorded for Fly By Night.

I'm just glad that FBN thought that our classics were worthy of releasing to their audience. I love all my records the same… You guys would've never heard them if I didn't.

Where did you have the best night of your life?

I'm married with children now… No comment.

Who are the people you get most excited about sharing a bill with?

My brother Rhano

What's the best record you've ever heard?

UnAnswerable. But the best sounds I hear are my families voices!

From label head Lorenzo: Lil' Louis will soon release his forthcoming DVD 'House Of That Chicago Built' about the first House record ever made. As a house legend yourself, what would be your choice?

My answer is complicated because house music was being formulated before it was named. So I'm sure there were people making house music but didn't call it that ( example "Jacking"). With that being said, I think the first "House Music" record made and released on purpose is Marshall Jefferson – "Move Your Body" …. That record was the standard for many years of what a House Music Record had to be built like.


R. Burrell's Lost Nu Groove Tapes is out now on Fly By Night.

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