Illustration: Hawk Krall

For many of us—the freaks and the music nerds and the reckless, shimmering club kids with hours to burn—house music offers a place of escape. House music is home. It was born here in the early ’80s, the faster-paced successor to disco, with its drum machine rhythms, 4/4 beats time, and synthesized basslines. DJ Frankie Knuckles pioneered the genre at the now-defunct West Loop club the Warehouse, and both its birth and its survival are the musical manifestation of our divided city. House represents one part of Chicago (largely black, largely gay) biting back against the other and winning.