Monday, January 3, 2011

The Music Box (mixed by DJ Rasul) [Free Download]


 Here's a VERY special treat from DJ Rasul. I'll let him explain.

Hip hop and house music are joined at the hip in more ways than one.  As glitzy 1970s clubs, New York’s Studio 54 and Chicago’s Eddie Dugan’s Bistro, segregated their crowds and prevented the scores of Black, Latina/o, and gay youth from gaining entry, disco was being creatively reclaimed by DJs Larry Levan & Kool DJ Herc (New York) and the Chosen Few (Chicago) elsewhere.  Also in the 70s underground disco scene, audio engineer Tim Moulton would develop the 12” vinyl and DJ Francis Grasso would develop blending (beat matching), two staples that remain even until today with both Hip Hop and...

House music.  New York high school aged youth gravitated towards a new music form called Hip Hop that began using disco instrumentals as the background for vocals while college aged youth and older migrated to converted abandoned buildings to hear “non-commercial” disco (Paradise Garage). 

Leaving New York for Chicago (late 70s and early 80s), Frankie Knuckles (a friend and opener for Larry Levan) would combine all of these elements to create a party music called House music, named after the Warehouse club (a converted warehouse in downtown Chicago).  Ron Hardy, a returning Chicago native from Los Angeles, would launch the opening of the Music Box after Frankie Knuckles left the Warehouse to open a new club called the Power Plant.  While older crowds began to flock to the Power Plant, younger crowds adopted the Music Box as their own.  It was the Music Box, that Rasul first heard House music in 1984 as a youth in Chicago and it was Ron Hardy that would become one his first instructors in DJing soon after.  This House music combined b-sides of popular disco songs (First Choice, Patrick Adams, Loleatta Holloway) with R&B (Sergio Mendes, Stevie Wonder, Womack & Womack), European Electro-Punk (Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, Electra), and emerging new tracks (Jesse Saunders, Chip E., Larry Heard) with a hint of gospel (vocals from sermons: Martin Luther King, Jr.).

It was this sound that attracted Derrick May (Detroit’s Techno founder), Nathan “DJ Pierre” Jones (acid house DJ that influenced the development of Trance), DJ Alfredo (early Ibiza DJ who ushered in Dance music), and eventually others (David Lee aka Joey Negro, Daft Punk, Armand Van Helden, & Green Velvet aka Cajmere).  It was this sound that influenced many other residents and transplants of Chicago to pick up DJing and producing such as Lil Louis, Farley Keith, Pharris Thomas, Ron Trent, Andre Hatchett, Terry Hunter, and Gene Hunt. It was this sound that influenced others to begin DJing (Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, DJ Collette,  & DJ Heather) via record stores in Chicago (Loop Records, Import Records, Mr. Peabody’s, Grammaphone, and Dr. Wax).  It is this sound that is still maintained by DJs and clubs in Chicago: Jesse De La Pena, The Shrine, DJ Shaun T., the Funky Buddha Lounge, and Paul Johnson. It is this original sound that is respectfully captured in this mix of old (Lil Louis , Jamie Principle, & Ron Trent) and new tracks (Moodymann, Afefe Iku, & Osunlade) by Rasul for people to hear an unfamiliar sound from a very familiar music form. It is this sound that the Music Box mixtape is dedicated to Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy.

- Rasul

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