Jun 4, 2013

Stupefied: The Donald Johnson Playlist

This week's Stupefied Playlist comes courtesy of A Certain Ratio's drummer, Donald Johnson, these days perhaps known better as DJ Dojo. For some background, I'll defer to the head of our Factory Records History Department, Professor John Cooper of Cerysmatic Factory. Take it away John:

Donald Johnson (or DoJo) is best known for being the funky drummer in Manchester band, A Certain Ratio, having joined their drummerless incarnation in August 1979 just after the release of their first single for Factory Records, 'All Night Party' (FAC 5). However, according to Mick Middles's excellent book From Joy Division to New Order: The Factory Story, DoJo's connections to the Factory family go back even earlier than that as he played in a band which was briefly called Lady with Vini Reilly who would later become the mainstay of avant garde classicists, The Durutti Column (stand by for Vini's playlist in coming weeks).

There is also a strong family musical tradition with Donald's brothers, Derek and Barry (who began their careers in soul band Sweet Sensation alongside the late great Marcel King), also going on to play in various Factory bands including Quando Quango and 52nd Street.

Donald's prowess on drums is undisputed, but throughout his career he has demonstrated many strings to his bow. Indeed, a popular feature of many A Certain Ratio gigs is him playing bass on 'Knife Slits Water' . You may also remember his "Liza with a Z" rap on 'Don't Drop Bombs' by Liza Minelli from her Pet Shop Boys-produced comeback album Results.

And there's his excellent production skills, often with New Order's Bernard Sumner under the BeMusic/DoJo moniker, for a variety of Factory acts including Quando Quango, Marcel King, 52nd Street, Surprize, Section 25, The Royal Family and The Poor, Kevin Hewick and Shark Vegas. By the way, Surpize's In Movimento album will soon be reissued by Factory Benelux.

These days, in between occasional ACR gigs, Donald might pop up for some Uncut Funk at a Manchester venue near you.

Follow Donald on Twitter 
and follow hashtags #FunkUpFriday and #FunkAcademy
Follow Donald on Spotify
A Certain Ratio - official website

Big thanks to both Donald & John at Cerysmatic!

Donald Johnson, left, with A Certain Ratio, in this great old Factory Record PR photo

01. ISLEY BROTHERS ~ Listen To the Music
02. COMMODORES ~ Machine Gun
03. DON BLACKMON ~ Hearts Desire
04. KOOL & THE GANG ~ More Funky Stuff
05. THE TIME ~ 777-9311
06. ROGER TROUTMAN ~ More Bounce To the Ounce
07. PRINCE ~ I Wanna Be Your Lover
08. PRINCE ~ Musicology (Live on the Jay Leno Show)
09. PRINCE ~ Release It
10. EARTH WIND & FIRE ~ Let's Groove Tonight
11. CAMEO ~ Candy
12. MCFADDEN & WHITEHEAD ~ Ain't No Stopping Us Now
13. TRYONE BRONSON ~ The Smurf
14. EDDIE KENDRICK'S ~ Keep On Trucking
15. O'JAYS ~ For The Love of Money
16. GRACE JONES ~ Slave To the Rhythm
17. GEORGE DUKE ~ Funkin' For the Thrill
18. THE JACKSON SISTERS ~ I Believe In Miracles
19. BOOTSY COLLINS ~ Jungle Bass
20. TOM BROWNE ~ Funkin' For Jamaica


daisy said...

funny because he's a drummer, I listen to the drums in the song more than i normally would... love these playlists... keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Classe mon gars ....

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