Kashif’s debut album for Arista Records, the eponymous Kashif, was released in 1983. Pretty much produced, performed, and arranged entirely by the man himself, it’s influence on post disco and dance music is immediately clear - from the syncopated handclaps to the synth basslines. Kashif’s success was a huge hit for Arista, who released a flurry of albums in the following years that replicated the Kashif sound.
As disco suffered a spectacular decline in commercial sales in the late 70s, artists still interested in the genre started to benefit from an increased freedom of expression and experimentation that an unpopular sound allowed them. Kashif was one of the first to set disco within a very structured, almost 4x4 rhythmic drum pattern, effectively paving the way for the first mainstream house records to appear in the late 80s. Whilst Kashif is a great record, a lot of successive Arista output doesn’t make the grade. Below are 3 cuts that hold up the Kashif sound.
Lillo Thomas - Trust Me
Kenny G - Do Me Right (click the link to watch on Youtube)
Howard Johnson - Keepin’ Love New
The first track also came out in 1983 and is performed by one of Kashif’s backing singers. Although Kashif had little to do with this record, the crisp snare on the 2nd and 4th and the bassline are very reminiscent of the man’s signature sound. The second track came out on Kenny G’s second record, G Force, which was also released by Arista in ‘83. Kashif did play keyboards on a couple of tracks (including a sax reprisal of Help Yourself To My Love from Kashif), and executively produced the album. The third track is a Kashif production and came out the the year before his debut album… but is a stone cold JAM, and Howard’s terrible ad-libbing in the video is unmissable.
Check more 3 tracks here.