Chicago Dance Mixes, Then and Now
Gapers Block had a nice short post on The Hot Mix 5, the '80s Chicago radio DJs who got their own honorary street awhile back. It includes a link to Derrick Carter's Hot Lunch mix, a tribute to the Hot Mix 5 shows that he and so many other future DJs were inspired by; while Detroit had its own legendary house scene, Chicago was where it was most present on the air. After disco got bloated, and faced something of a homophobic backlash exemplified by Disco Demolition Night, Chicago and Detroit DJs took it back underground, stripped the sound down, and turned it back into the dance music it started as. "I decided to go on a disco & classics trip, which I think will work lovely if you want to listen to it while eating lunch at your desk, walking to get some grub, or just sitting on a bench and watching the rest of the world do its thing," writes Carter.
Well, the same thing happened again: Chicago house spread around the world as the foundation of dance music everywhere as Chicago moved over to hip-hop, as Michaelangelo Matos details in an excellent history of its resurgence. In short, Chicago house went underground again, got stripped down again, and re-emerged in a new iteration of its old style. Derrick Carter's mix led me down a mix rabbit hole, and I came across a mix by British electronic musician u-ziq on footwork and juke, which sounds just as mysterious as Chicago house must have back in the day. "It takes a while to reprogram your brain, but it's worth it," he writes. If not—warning, NSFW—it will probably be the foundation for something you'll like someday.