Jerome Derradji + Still Music present Let’s Dance Records – Mike Macharello & Duane Thamm Jr. Chicago 1983-85. The origin of house music, at least in a commercial sense, is generally associated with young African American producers from Chicago’s South Side, but one of the first Chicago house music labels was started by a young, white, gay DJ from the far west suburbs. The Let’s Dance story will take you back to the beginnings of Mike Macherello and Duane Thamm Jr. when Chicago’s house music was in its infancy. Back then, after starting as young roller disco Dj in the late seventies, Mike Macherello gradually made its way to the best radio station in 1981 – WBMX – and started a movement that still ripples through the city today. Let’s Dance’s founder, Mike Macharello, was a DJ who bridged diverse music scenes, from rock clubs to discos. The Let’s Dance record label helped establish Chicago’s dance music industry between 1983 and 1985, before becoming Play House Records (which will be reissued by Still Music in an upcoming set). Macharello’s pal, DJ Duane Thamm Jr., also from the ‘burbs, became the label’s main producer and one of house music’s most important studio engineers and producers. Mike and Duane went on to release a few legendary singles for Let’s Dance that are still to this day considered to be the earliest House music records coming from Chicago.The 12’ pack includes faithful reissues of Selenia’s ‘Single Girl’, Duane Thamm Jr. ‘Jump Trax’, the insane Knight Action ‘R-Trax/D-Rail’ 12’s along with a 5 tracks 12′ compilation and an accompanying poster insert including rare pictures and artifacts with the story of the label.
Jerome Derradji is gaining something of a reputation as one of Chicago’s premier house archivists, having previously released compilations celebrating some of the Windy City’s most influential – but previously overlooked – labels. Here he’s teamed up with KStarke Records boss Kevin Starke to deliver a two-track set largely made up of material found on tapes that were once traded between Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy and other legendary Chicago DJs. Confusingly much of the material credited to Jackmaster Hater is of unknown origin, while there plenty of other unearthed gems with little or no information. Thankfully, the material – largely mid-to-late ’80s jack and early acid, with a sprinkling of deep house and Italo-influenced fare – is uniformly excellent, making it a “must buy” for anyone with a passion for early house music.
After three fruitful years of existence and daily careful surveillance of the electronic music scene, I’ve decided, for the first time, to draw a line and make a review of the year that is just closing.
I will make the review in two parts, the first is dedicated to our followers and their choices from this years. So, I will make a list with the most successful post on my blog, the releases that gathered the most likes and clicks in 2012 for our visitors. The second part of the review, will include my own picks and I will present some of my favorite albums of different genders. Also I will make a review of the best parties and acts I’ve attended this year.
Through the years, Basic Soul Unit has established a solid following for his quality melodic techno. “Motional Response” is a work of art. A finely crafted suite of ten tracks where elaborate techno rhythms battle with intricate synth harmonies to create a genre defining full length. Throughout this album, 303s, 909s and 808s are a constant nod to Basic Soul Unit’s Detroit and Chicago influences without ever compromising his melodic vision in techno and house. The album is including “Breath” , Basic Soul Unit’s first track with a vocalist along with a remix from label owner Jerome Derradji (with Gerald Mitchel – on strings).
Stunning triple disc compilation and includes numerous unreleased tracks and beyond hard to find house tracks made in Chicago in the early to late Eighties from the catalogues of Mitchbal Records and Chicago Connection Records. 3CD boxset includes an exclusive mix by Jerome Derradji, and a 28 page booklet documenting the story of Mitchbal and Chicago Connection Records.
For anyone with an interest in the history of house music, this excellent compilation from Jerome Derradji’s Still Music imprint should be essential listening. It focuses on the output of two long forgotten Chicago labels, Mitchbal and Chicago Connection Records, during the early to mid 1980s, when electro, new wave and boogie were morphing into house. As such, 122 BPM offers a mix of rare, largely overlooked cuts that bristle with analogue dancefloor intent. There’s proto-jack in the shape of Jeanette Thomas’s “Shake Your Body” and Z Factor’s “I Am The DJ”, dubbed-out Chi-town proto house from Mitchbal and Larry Williams, and some terrific bodypoppin’ electro from McGhee.
Jerome Derradji, owner of Still Music and Stilove4music, teams up with disco champion Rahaan for the first volume of Concrete Reservations. They sound like disco edits combined with original production, but the A side in particular is a smoking boogie jam that rolls out into some acid. Rough, rugged, and raw house and disco are what this is all about.