Nu Grooves: New York House and Techno 1983-1996

Calm yourself people! No, this was not mixed by a machine. It was mixed by I, the god-like Woebot. Live on the twelve-tens. No edits. Bo bo bo! Absolutely stunning mix skills in effect. The final part of my massive all-conquering epic House and Techno Roots trilogy and displaying almost scarily perfect taste, education and acumen.Oh my gosh... Bit shorter than the other two mixes at 1 hr 40 mins - a mere 35 tracks - but it felt right.

The sonic argument here is that, in real terms, in genres spawned and ideas conceived, New York was the true sonic innovator of the golden era of dance music (1984-96). New York gave us House (the epicentre moved from Chicago quite quickly), Rave (Beltram, Landlord), Trance (Revelation - first trance track IMHO), Ambient House (the likes of Sound Waves), Jazz House (Burrell), and Dub Techno - Dubstep, even! (Bobby Konders).

We start with a slice of Electro-Garage, Cuba Gooding's "Happiness" already pre-echoing the UK's innovations, take in Todd's "Weekend" remix (Disco still very close) and then we're off! Special mention must go to Code 6's "Third Aura" - Beltram's finest moment. No "Energy Flash" in the same way the Detroit mix had no "Strings Of Life" and the Chicago mix skipped "Acid Trax".


Cuba Gooding - Happiness Is Just Around The Bend
The Todd Terry Project - Weekend
Lenny D and Tommy Musto - Everything Bamboo
Masters At Work - Alright Alright
The Break Boys - And The Break Goes On
Ray Love - The Delusion
Flowmasters - House The Crowd (Dub The Crowd)
Landlord - I Like It (Blow Out Dub)
Fallout - The Morning After
DMS - And The Beat Goes On
Royal Orchestra Ltd - Get Down
Bas Noir - I'm Glad You Came To Me (Dub Mix)
Sound Waves - I wanna Feel The Music
33 1/3 Queen - Searchin'
CLS - Can You Feel It (In House Dub)
N.Y. House'n'Authority - Apt 2A
Metro - Angel Of Mercy
Aphrodisiac - Song of The Siren (Black Sea Mix)
Project 86 - Total Recall (Original Mix)
Rydims - Rydim #2 Version
Code 6 - C.O.D.E.S.
Project 86 - Legends
Revelation - First Power
4 Most Poets - Reasons To Be Dismal
Beltram - Reflex
Lost Entity - On The Verge
Code 6 - Third Aura
Major Problems - Overdose
Gypsymen - Bounce
Nu Yorican Soul - The Nervous Track
Aly-Us - Follow Me
South Street Player - (Who?) Keeps Changing Your Mind (The Night Mix)
Kenlou - The Bounce
Mood II Swing - I See You Dancing
Todd Edwards - Fly Away


Chicago House Music 1986-1994

On to part two of my monumental trilogy of mixes dedicated to the US roots of House and Techno! The artwork above, which I have always loved, turned out on closer investigation to be by an old friend of mine Suzy Godson who is now the deliciously controversial sex columnist for The Times.


Detroit produced an army of shaolin monks toiling away to finely hone masterpieces of neurotic electro. Chicago's approach could haven't been more different. Disco, not electro, was always the template and rather than working away in cloistered obscurity Chicago producers seemed under an invisible pressure to commit their ideas to tape as quickly as possible before someone else had the same idea. Often, as is perfectly illustrated by the trio of "Video Crash", "Video Clash" and Magic Feet" producers pretty much released the same track.

This closely-fought squabble for near-identical intellectual capital is hilariously highlighted in the story of JM Silk and Farley "Jackmaster" Funk's very names. Silk announced one afternoon to his friend Farley that he intended to call himself "Jackmaster". Farley thought this was too great an idea to let his friend keep and went around the neighborhood that evening announcing that henceforth he was to be known as Farley "Jackmaster" Funk. The next day the furious and chastened Silk had to contract his choice to "JM".

Tracks always seem as though they are mixed live, the hurry extending to pressing the discs themselves which often suffer from legendarily bad pressings. To criticise this is to fail to grasp the breathless urgency which gives this music its astonishing raw energy. Originality isn't the cherished concept it is in Detroit so the brilliant inventiveness of the music is a testament to the genius of its creators.

Recorded live on the 1210s the mix is, again, arranged chronologically. It moves from the early Jacking sound, to Vocal House to Acid. Acid is most definitely still in the air. There's the splendid pHarmerz "20 Acid Clonk Greats" release and as recently yesterday FACT posted a playlist of TB-303 tunes an instrument with which shows up in the strangest places. DJing Acid requires nuff chops because, unlike Techno with which you can be "neat and discrete" and chop into a new track, Acid is intended to be layered. The long segue is essential to get those 303s chattering in sync and to produce the rich, multiplied harmonics.

After Acid there's a palate-refreshing sequence of Hip-House before a touch of, I guess, proto Ambient House (by the likes of Virgo) before a stretch of the hard Jacking post-acid sound whose most notable protagonist must be the godlike Steve Poindexter and found its home on the peerless Muzique label. Towards the end of the mix Cajmere and his Clubhouse and Relief stables predominate. By this stage there is the sense that Chicago's distinct local identity is beginning to be subsumed into New York's. This is exemplified by Pierre's move to that city and his Wild Pitch mixes on that city's Strictly Rhythm label.

Word must go out to my illustrious ancestor Sir Herbert Ingram who perished with his young son on Lake Michigan in 1860. My aunt, the family historian, contradicts this Wikipedia entry and tells me that Herbert had joined all the passengers on one side of the steamer so as to have a view of Chicago and that this action caused the boat to capsize and for them to be drowned in the freezing waters.


Jamie Principle - Your Love (Original Mix)
Fingers Inc - Can You Feel It (Martin Luther King Mix)
Fingers Inc - Waterfalls
Adonis - No Way Back
Robert Owens - Bring Down The Walls
CJ & Master - Dub Love
Jungle Wonz - Time Marches On (Straight Up Mix)
Fingers Inc - Music Take Me Up
Jungle Wonz - The Jungle
Blakk Society - Just Another Lonely Day
Da Possee (feat Martell) - Searchin' Hard (House Mix)
Joe Smooth - Promised Land
Ralphi Rosario (feat Xavier Gold) - You Used To Hold Me (Micky 'Mixin' Oliver Mix)
Pierre's Fantasy Club - Dream Girl (Ralphi Rosario Mix)
Adonis - Reck This Joint
Hot Hanas Hula - Hot Hands
Armando - 151 (Orig. Mix)
Armando - 151 (Hot Mix 5 Mix)
Farley "Jackmaster" Funk - The Acid Life
Armando - Confusion Mix ("Land Of Confusion")
K Alexei - Vertigo
Steve Poindexter - Maniac
Bam Bam - Where's Your Child?
DJ Pierre - Box Energy
LNR - Kream (Till The Cows Come Home Mix)
Phuture Phantasy Club - Slam
Da Possee - In The Heat Of The Night (Vocal Version)
K Alexei - All For Lee Sah
The "Chicago Bad Boy" (feat Gershon Jackson) - House Music All Night Long (New York Club Mix)
The DJ Fast Eddie - YoYo Get Funky
Tyree - Video Crash (Crash Instrumental)
Lil Louis - The Original Video Clash (Often Imitated Never Duplicated)
The MD Connection - Magic Feet (Orig.)
William S - I'll Never Let You Go (Instrumental Mix)
Virgo - In A Vision
Da Possee - It's My Life (Aluh Mix)
Ron Trent - The Afterlife
Terry Hunter - Back 2 House (The House Mix)
Mike Dearborn - 1991 (A New Age)
Steve Poindexter - Body Heat (1991)
Steve Poindexter - Mental Problems
Ricky Smith - Crazy Drums
LNR - Work It To The Bone
Neal Howard - To Be Or Not To Be (Mayday Mix)
Cajmere - Mind Gamez
Cajmere - I'm A Dreamer
DJ Rush - Jack N Da Box
Steve Poindexter - Entercourse Of The New Age
Jungle Wonz - Bird In A Gilded Cage (Club Mix)
Green Velvet - Flash (Green Velvet Mix)
Robert Armani - Circus Bells (Armando's Mix)
Phuture - Rise From Your Grave (Wild Pitch Mix)
Chez N Trent - Untitled