Karol XVII & MB Valence aka Parasoul, Soul Tunes, Labtop and more...
a group of DJ's and producers from Poland who have been cooperating together since 1994. It was then that Karol Samocki and Marek Bigajski, who had been friends for several years, decided not only to work as DJ's, but also make and produce music tunes.
The beginnning was very tough for them though, because Poland belonged to those countries which did not develop in terms of music production. At those times there were hardly any people who could give them hints regarding elementary questions on necessary equipment, therefore it had taken them quite a while before they started making tracks. Most of the time they spent on preparing tunes for other artists as well as they changed the names of their projects very frequently. The music market in Poland lacked independent labels, so they had to count on the big companies called 'Majors'. However, the big ones were not too open to release new trends in music.
The problem of the foreign language was also unsolvable. The record companies stated that in order to get to the Poles, tunes have to be made in Polish. The time was flying, the world was developing and they were hardly making any progress. They were too weak to compete with foreign producers and simultaneously too modern to make a success on the market. They would not quit trying though.
After some time Slawek Loboda joined the 'squad'. Being a professionally trained musician and an English teacher, he could fit in the group easily. Since that time they have stuck together. In 1998 they got in touch with a German manager who had their vinyl released at House Nation. That recording charted the DDC TOP 200 at 93 place as a new entry. From a musical perspective, that was not something they could pride themselves in, but it was just a beginning. Not too many Polish artists managed to release their productions outside Poland. They were bound by a contract with the German manager, which restricted them on the one hand, but they were able to create tracks for foreign record companies on the other. At that time they made remixes for Ron Williams, Harold Feltermeyer, Suzy Wong or Jocelyn Brown as well as they put out records through German record companies.
Some time later they started cooperating with Voodoo Vinyl from Amsterdam and established their private minilabel called Loco Records. They went to New York to roll a video of their single 'Feedback' for their project of Karol XVII, which was screened by Viva and MTV. Their tunes were very often aired by the famous Polish radio station 'Radiostacja'. They were involved in remix-making processes for Polish artists and helped to record albums.
After signing the contract in 2004 with Peppermint Jam Records-the record company established by the very Mousse T., their three vinyls appeared on the market: "Karol XVII-Funk This Beat" with a remix by Alex aka Martin Harmony "Karol XVII-Let's Get Together" with MB Valence's remixes and an EP by Soul Tunes composed of two tracks: "Gotta Keep That Feeling" and "It's All About House Music", which included a remix by Bionik Phunk also known as Sugar Caine. In the beginning of 2005 another track by Karol XVII's another release was put out in March through ProgCity Deep Records. The track is called "Get Up" and is composed of three versions: original, a remix by WaWa and MB Valence. On May 17th two other records with remixes by Karol XVII and MB Valence are being released. They're originally made by Mateo & Matos from New York: Afro Vibes Pt I with MB Valence's remix of "Hey Zulu", and Afro Vibes Pt II with "Akara" - remixed by Karol XVII. In June their remixes of Ralf Gum's "Ordinary Girl" appeared on the market and in July one of their own projects was put out on the vinyl - Karol XVII "Rhythmobilizer", which contained remixes by Alius, Labtop & MB Valence. At the beginning of August they released a combined EP called Polish Connection E.P. with the fo llowing tracks: Soul Tunes - I Like You (Martin Harmony remix), MB Valence - Fall In Love [With The Music] and Karol XVII - Keep Movin'.
In the first half of September they made a remix for Steve Edwards's latest track "Thru The Night", who cooperated with Cassius ("Sound Of Violence"), Axwell ("Watch The Sunrise"), and Bob Sinclar ("World, Hold On") among others. After its release by an English record label DTPM, there was another contract they signed with an American Look At You Records, which resulted in putting out Karol XVII and MB Valence's "Drum In Peace" record, having 4 different mixes made by Mafia Mike and Martin Harmony among others. Their next E.P. called MB Valence - Secretive E.P. was released by an English 23 East Deep Recordings with 2 mixes of the original track as well as the remixes of: "Deep Love" from Martin Harmony and "Warm Inside" from Mafia Mike & Dominique. Another E.P. released by Aenaria Recordings titled Karol XVII & MB Valence Present Friends E.P. included 2 recordings: Parasoul - A Better Place (karol XVII mix) and Martin Harmony - Better Days (mb valence's dark & deep remix). Karol XVII and MB Valence appeared in a compilation called "Influences", which is one of the popular Bargrooves series with their remix of Ralf Gum's "Ordinary Girl". Their tracks were also present in such compilations as "House Top 100 vol. 4" or "My Girlfriend Is Out Of Town" mixed by Jamie Lewis. They took part in recording of "Beach Soccer Makes Me Crazy" - a single played at the Beach Soccer World Championships.
They finished working on their brand new project with participation of a female vocalist Paige Dedeaux. Her contribution resulted in making a single having different versions of the track called "Don't Forget" remixed by Martin Harmony or Scibi among others. Soon after that, a Dutch record company Clean Cut Records, being 99 Carat Recordings' sublabel, released another vinyl with the track of "The Real Funky Sound", which appeared with the name of Parasoul. Being producers, they were releasing more and more tracks as well as getting to know more and more people and at the same time they were gaining experience by promoting their own projects under different names.
As DJ's, Karol XVII and MB Valence have performed with Grant Nelson, Copyright, Seamus Haji, The Beginnerz, Matteo Esse, Shik Stylko or M.O.D. At that time, their private label Loco Records began selling licences worldwide. They have got constant airtime at English SSRadio, American Chicago House Radio, German Radio 42, but also at Polish radios such as Radio Stylo and Radiostacja. At the beginning of 2007 they signed another contract with Look At You for the track called "Calabar", and they also produced a remix to "High Energy" - a single featuring Soraya Vivian.
They started cooperation with Miguel Migs to make remixes for one of the tracks taken from Miguel's new album "Those Things" called "Let Me Be". They took part in recording a music material for Kid Massive ("Te Quiero") and Juan Sunshine who goes under the name of MoD ("Body Language"). They also released their remixes for Martin Harmony's "The Essence" by means of their own label as well as their "Light The Sun" compilation made from tracks produced by Polish artists and a single "Is It House Yet" whose mixes appeared in compilations by Realbasic and Raisani Records.
Moreover, they put out three other recordings: "I Believe" - a single supported by such house artists as Tony Humphries, CJ Mackintosh, DJ Meme, Born To Funk, 4Luv, C&M Productions, Miguel Migs or Brian Tappert; "Feedback" - an older track with new remixes included in many radio playlists; "Revolution 303" - a single containing 9 remixes produced by Kid Massive, Lincoln Six Echo, In Deep We Trust and Mafia Mike among others.
The second half of 2008 was guite abundant in terms of remixes as they did a lot of them for such figures as Shik Stylko ("Claritty" - released by an American label of Witty Tunes), Scibi feat. Robina ("Love Come Down" - released by Loopfreaks Records from Denmark), Quarrel (a track named „Silvan"), and Oscar P („Crispified"). Following the success of „I Believe" (licence for the single purchased by German Milk & Sugar,Swiss Universal Music, Spanish Extremly House Music and Essential Records, Polish Exotic Refreshment, but also an independent label of Discogalaxy distributed by Call-a-Records), another production by Karol XVII & MB Valence entitled „Who I Am" was released. The title obtained a lot of praise from many house DJs. Here are a few opinions: C&M Productions (truehouse.net): The original mix works veeeeeerrrrry goooood for me.....goes in my set this weekend...playplayplay..., Mike Haddad (wittytunes.com): Amazing Release! Instant classics. I absolutely luv the Deep Mix and Parasoul Instrumental. I will be playing these for a long time...., Ernesto Altés (ibizasonica.com): Really love it!!!!! My favourites are. Original Mix & MB Valance's Dark & Deep Remix & Petersky Remix. Full suport in my radio station, Blacksoul (Blacksoul Music / TL:Records): Great release again!! Original rocks and MB Valences Dark & Deep is my favourite!!! Gonna play it in my next weeks radioshow :-), Bogdan Taran (Essential/Capital FM): I feel the serious work behind this production! I like MB Valence and Parasoul remixex very much". Soon after that, their EP called „Deep, Deeper, Deepest EP" was released which contained three different tracks: „Deep Beginning", „Deeper Forest", and „Go Deepest". The EP had positive feedback and got supported by such artists as Kid Massive, Make Haddad, Cristian Paduraru, Richard Earnshaw (Spiritchaser), Bamo (Spiritchaser), Bogdan Taran, Robert Owens, Hernandez Sousa, Sebastian Davidson, Jose Gonzalo, Ryan Loader, Oscar P, DJ Dealer, Dave Storm, Acos CoolKAs, James Teej, Graham Sahara, Estroe, Agent Greg, Sergi Ribas, Jon Pierse (Da Wiseguy), or Keith Thompson. In the meantime, they got airtime on DFR Radio, Full House Radio, Motion Fm and Radio1 Rodos. They started working on their fresh project called „Real Addiction" in cooperation with Dave Storm.