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Chicago house is not at home

Chicago house music is undergoing a renaissance in London and Berlin, where fiftysomething Windy City DJs are headliners. So why isn't it a big deal here?

Photograph: Marc Sethi
Chicago house icon Lil Louis is a headliner on the main stage at the Ceremony Festival in London.

Just west of downtown Chicago in the shadow of the skyscraper formerly known as the Sears Tower sits a white and green brick building, a nondescript three-story box squeezed behind an Al’s Italian Beef. Walk in the door and you’ll find a law office specializing in defending the police. Crepe paper, tinsel and a disco ball are no longer dangling from the ceiling beams. Thirty eight years ago, there would have been. Thirty eight years ago, there would have been a bar serving fruit juice, not booze, so kids could hang out all night. Thirty eight years ago, there was no air conditioning, and dancers would crack open the windows to feel the breeze as they worked up their boogie sweats to throbbing disco tunes. Thirty eight years ago, this dance club dubbed US Studio first opened its doors at 206 South Jefferson Street. There was no sign on building, and the patrons took to calling the joint “the Warehouse,” later just “the House.” This is where house music was born.

“There should be a plaque there! People should be taken there,” says Terry Farley in his charming Cockney accent. “Fuckin’ hell, it’s something to be proud of!” Farley has a point. Chicago pays poor tribute to its house heritage.

Farley is a key player in the dissemination and survival of Chicago house music, one of the handful responsible for the rise of acid house in the U.K. In the late '80s, the Slough native published the house-centric Boy’s Own fanzine with his mate Andrew Weatherall, spun house records at Paul Oakenfold’s Future night in London's Heaven night club, threw outdoor parties with bouncy castles in the countryside, remixed Happy Mondays, and spun off the record label Junior Boy’s Own, which pressed breakthrough hits for Underworld and the Chemical Brothers. House music has been a part of British pop culture to some extent for more than a quarter century, but it is peaking again. Last month, the 55-year-old released Acid Thunder, a collection of essential old-school house cuts. Track one, disc one is a classic Chicago house track, E.S.P.’s “It’s You,” crafted in 1985 on eight track by South Side DJ Tommy “Thumbs” Adams. Farley was recently sitting at home watching television when he heard the song in an unlikely place—a television ad for Tesco, the United Kingdom's analog to Walmart.

“I’m watching some show and ‘It’s You’ started playing with a girl dancing around to that record,” Farley recalls with bemusement. Technically, the model twirling about was grooving to a cover of the song by Belgian duo FCL, whose limited 150-copy pressing of “It’s You” in 2013 started fetching £500 on discogs.com before London label Defected issued the track digitally earlier this year. “It’s that ingrained in British culture,” Farley says. “Music from 30 years ago is selling clothes to 18-year-old kids.”

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On a sunny day in late September in London’s Finsbury Park, there are several thousand of those kids filling up circus tents to hear this three-, four-decades old music from the Windy City. Empty nitrous oxide canisters and shriveled pink balloons litter the grass outside. The inaugural Ceremony Festival has booked several pioneers of house music. Forty- and fifty-something musicians Robert Owens, Roy Davis Jr., DJ Sneak, Kevin Saunderson and Lil Louis—all from the American Midwest—are sharing the stage with young British house acts like Route 94 and Kidnap Kid, who at 20 and 24 years old, respectively, are young enough to call them Dad.

The audience is even more diverse in race, gender, age and attire. This is not the case here in the States, where electronic music festival demographics skew towards college kids in tank tops. (Just take a look at the Spring Awakening crowd.) But in most other regards, a British festival is quite similar to those in America. At both you will find throwback NBA jerseys, an overcrowded VIP section with Ps who do not seem very I, pizza and french fries, abundant bored security, carnival attractions, watery lager, and that one girl wearing a spandex cheetah-print jumpsuit blowing bubbles in your face. That being said, a Chicagoan would be stunned to see the turnout for Lil Louis’ evening set on the main stage.

Lil Louis has played his hometown just twice in the last two years, once at a community arts center on the South Side and once at a small upscale salsa club with bottle service and a dress code (no gym shoes, all clothes must be well fitted). “I intentionally play once in a blue moon,” Louis explains. “I enjoy being missed.” In Chicago, the old school disc jockeys of his ilk are relegated to playing festival side stages, street fairs and niche dance clubs. Local house legend Derrick Carter holds down a weekly Sunday party, Queen!, in the 400-capacity Smart Bar, but the dance music scene is largely dominated by the bass drops and builds of commercial trance and EDM. “Most people have to die before they’re recognized,” Louis laments. Chicago house is cult in Chicago. It is the mainstream in Europe.

“If I were a twentysomething DJ living in Chicago, I’d move to Berlin!” Farley says. “People would be giving you gigs based on the fact you’re from Chicago.” The German capital is undeniably a global hotbed for house music with body jackin’ DJs flooding cool clubs like Panorama Bar (a former power plant), Tresor (a former bunker) and Stattbad (a former swimming pool). There’s a similar vibe at the Dance Tunnel in Dalston, London, a narrow space of exposed brick, steel and concrete with a slightly sloping floor tucked underneath a pizza parlor. A resident DJ at the Tunnel, Jason Spinks runs a tiny and smartly curated dance record shop, Kristina Records, just up the street. Vinyl releases from seminal Chicago house labels like Traxx, DJ International and Dance Mania mix with bleeding edge wax from London imprints such as Lobster Theremin and the Trilogy Tapes in the particle-board bins.

“I would say about four years ago the recent Chicago house resurgence started,” Spinks tells me. “I recall not that many years ago classic Dance Mania 12-inches were possible to get for a few pounds. Now you don’t see them around. Now there are labels dedicated to digging out lost music from that time. People are hungry for this music again.”

Indeed, the Ceremony tent is packed with hungry Lil Louis fans. Two kids wearing Chicago White Sox caps push against the stage barrier. Smoke cannons blast them. The crowd roars and waves its arms. Behind his CD decks, Lil Louis bobs and weaves, shakes his hips with a merengue rhythm, and strips off his form-fitting white t-shirt. Part of house music’s eternal youth might have to do Lil Louis Dorian-Gray-does-pilates physique. He began playing parties almost 40 years ago to the day, and the man hardly looks 35. A dog tag dangles between his chiseled pecs. An uncommon sense of civic pride washes over me as Louis plays a hot and hard disco number that repeats a sample of his own voice: “House music is from Chicago!” A girl with blue hair named Daisy leans in and tells me over the din, “This is timeless!”

Afterward, I ask Louis how this set compares to what I would have seen 30, 40 years ago. “Back then in Chicago, there was the same oneness you saw at Ceremony,” he says. He is quick to talk up his forthcoming album and documentary, The House That Chicago Built, and tell me of the young woman he brought to the festival, her first house gig. “By the third song, she was screaming like she was on fire.”

How did this happen? How is it that middle-aged men from Illinois, now obscure in their birthplace, are dancefloor gold in London? I pose the question to Freya Van Lessen, one of Ceremony’s promoters. “It started around 2012,” she explains. “Minimal house had just been a phase, and I think people wanted something more soulful.” Sure enough, the next morning I wake up in my hotel room and turn on the TV to find Duke Dumont’s U.K. number-one hit “I Got U,” a pitch-perfect homage to Chicago house, playing on the 4Music channel.

I ring up Dumont, the 32-year-old Londoner born Adam Dymant, as he waits in an airport after a gig in Ibiza, and he echoes that sentiment. “I love soul music. When you get dance music with that soulful vocal, I’m drawn to that,” Dumont says. “Chicago house has more of that than other dance music genres. Chicago house music was a way I could do soul music in a nightclub capacity.”

“There’s an absolute soul to the essence of Chicago house music, and it is the essence of Chicago,” Lil Louis says. “There’s an edge. Back in the blues days, there was an edge. There’s a culture in Chicago, and that culture pushes the edge.”

He doesn’t outright say it at first, but refers to the city’s segregation. In 1979, Bill Veeck, the peg-legged owner of the Chicago White Sox, ran the infamous Disco Demolition Night promotion during a game with the Detroit Tigers, wherein fans built a bonfire of disco records in the middle of the Comiskey Park field, an event that carried a distinct undertone of homophobia and racism. “We [Chicago house producers] definitely have this political uniqueness. There’s a lot of adversity to the city and a lot of challenges, especially when we were writing back in the day. We were pushing through things. That resistance is what creates that edge. That edge creates that soul.”

Detroit has long been capitalizing on its claim as the birthplace of techno. Since 2000, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, now called the Movement Electronic Music Festival, has lured millions of tourists and their dollars into the city. "I know heads that go to Detroit," Farley says. "I’m sure it brings in bucks that the city needs. They come back and are complimentary about Detroit. I'm not quite sure why Chicago doesn’t exploit that. It seems a bit strange, considering the American view on money. There’s big money to be made!"

Chicago turned blues music into a tourist industry. How many flock to our city to visit Buddy Guy's Legends or Blues Fest? Why do we not have Frankie Knuckle's Legends or a House Fest run by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events? Blues musicians, and perhaps blues fans, are a dying breed. Meanwhile, there is a teen in Germany crafting his first house track on a laptop.

Farley asks me when the next wave of Chicago house artists is coming. I hate to break it to him, but I tell him it's not. Lil Louis chalks this up to economics. "If I’m a brand new producer on the South Side of Chicago, and I’m looking at hip-hop and what it does, and EDM and what it does, versus house and what it does? I’m making hip-hop or EMD," he says. "Why am I going to follow the school teacher? The school teacher doesn’t make money. That’s why people follow the drug dealer. The drug dealer has better cars."

Comments

51 comments
Tony S

Poor tribute?

Have you actually STEPPED on South Jefferson Street where the Warehouse stood?  Because if you did, under that street sign you would have seen a brown street sign under it that says "Honorary, The Godfather Of House Music, Frankie Knuckles Way".  As a matter of fact, there are a couple of Honorary street signs in Chicago dedicated to house music (Farley Jackmaster Funk, Hot Mix 5, Chosen Few, DJ International, etc.).  Chicago is PROUD of their house music heritage! For the City of Chicago to go through co-naming streets for house music is an honor.

New York City hasn't done that to any of our DJ legends.  Still waiting on a Larry Levan Way to be co-named on King Street (in front of where the Paradise Garage nightclub stood).  A "Studio 54 Street" (in front of where that nightclub existed) would be nice too.

What a joke this article was......

Chucks

The scene in Chicago is dead a few hundred drunk 50 somethings going out several nights a week does not make a nightlife scene. Outside of that there is very little to offer especially in contrast to even a decade ago. The only reason Luis is in Europe is because Chicago doesn't put up with his crap. 

Carlos V

Someone should do their research about how the Chicago Dance and DJ Industry began and how it evolved into "Chicago House". Hate to tell you folks, but it began way before 1984! Let give credit to those pioneers that started the movement. If you need to be educated from someone that lived it and was influential before and after? Have your editor contact me.

Rodrick W

BEAUTIFUL COMMENTS ALL my House music community!!!  This is why I LOVE House music (the general, classic house genre)-it engenders and reinforces the best principles of humanity:  love, peace, unity, acceptance and freedom of expression.  Because of this, it is the ONLY popular genre of music that, at its core, can change an international culture for the better.  I  believe that's why it continues to be sub-cultural and won't sell out like EDM just to make money.  Calvin Harris has a song that has 569 MILLION views on vevo and the song is nothing to me. However, there are some points made here that have merit. I am producing a documentary on the Chosen Few entitled "The Woodstock of House," (check out our FB page :) that takes on these (and many other) issues and the mistaken perception of the House Music scene here in the Mecca of House Music.  That is what Chicago is during the July 4 weekend: a Mecca for Househeads that come from all over the WORLD to feel the power and love that only House music can bring.  Love, peace and blessings to you all!

Arlis B

I go out 4-5 nights a week to dance to house music. Could make that 7. House is alive in Chicago. New music is jacking too! The Chosen Few just celebrated their 25th Annual Picnic with tens of thousands of attendees. 

Jon I

Sorry, but I can link you to many new producers and DJs making HUGE tunes in Chicago right now that are out on lots of different labels and putting in tons of work.  It's not dead, you guys just don't know where to look.  Go do some research instead of being narrow minded.  House is, and always will be flourishing in this city.  You just don't go to the underground parties or support the underground producers that are still contributing.  Go to gramaphone and grab some records off the fucking wall and look at them before you talk shit about something you have literally not a single clue about.  #youainthouse

Andie G

@Jon I Can you send me some of these links you speak of? I am a student doing a research project on the future of the Chicago house music scene.

Chucks

@Reginald C Tons of young people I see. So much diversity. House is dead.

Danny G

The whole point of House music... Is that it's SUPPOSED to be difficult. Not easy. .. The sound came from an era where the gay community had to congregate in Warehouses just to have a place to be themselves. That wasn't an easy time. The soul comes from the challenge. Without the challenge, it would be weak.. If you think you can just come to Chicago and see a "House Music Event" you don't understand what House music is all about, you won't find it. You will find imitations, but not the real thing. The real thing does still exist, but they are NOT advertised online nor are the held in legal venues. It's underground, word-of-mouth, community stuff. Always has been and always will be. I personally have a list of them every weekend in multiple venues. If you don't know where to look, your just too much into commercial venues and that is NOT real House Music. It's pop.

Milo R

What this guy has to realize. THERE ARE NO JUICE BARS in Chicago that can expose the younger generation of kids to dance music. We have DJs in Chicago (even bedroom DJs) that can out play out perform headliners from NYC, or London respectively. Dance music fans tend to forget most of their DJ "heroes" were/are music producers first, DJ second. The ONLY reason many headline is because they get booked based on their music production, NOT their DJ work. Chicago has thousands of DJs who are DJs first, producers second. Unfortunately the world might not get a chance to see/hear real home grown Chicago DJs because we don't get the opportunity to be showcased on a bigger stage here at home. There's only a handful of places you can be seen spinning. Even then you have to know a venues "talent' director or be in a good old boy's network which is usually for suburbanites or transplant kids. Locally we do ok, nationally, internationally only a few are recognized. The dance music world should know there are many others that came after the older guys who started House music. I'm sorry to say many of the older guys have been so out of touch with music, they keep living off the old days. Not to disrespect our DJ elders but it's true. No change no progress while the rest of the world moved on. 

Irfan R

Is this supposed to be an insightful article ?? DO you really think mainstream Berlin understands real House Music ?? Is Peven Everett a star in Germany ? WTF !! In fact if I was to look at the wider social issue i'd say HOUSE MUSIC, having been in it for 30 years now, is just another commodity 'taken' by white western society and turned into their own, with their own faces, their own representations, seen through through their tinted glasses ! It's the same with Hip Hop & any other culture that can be commercialised. When House Music arrived in Manchester in 85, the underground black music scene jumped on it long b4 anybody else did in the UK but as it became mainstream most of those cats went to back to soul music. It's about opportunities and platforms and ultimately the wider mainstream who have the money & freedom to buy into culture and then recreate it through their own world. It's like Eminem & Eminem world, ultimately as it's the most populous form of a music culture it becomes the standard. It's the same with House Music. Imagine if the original south Side Chicago House Music crew had their own press/ journalists keeping their culture alive whilst explaining to TIME OUT where House Music fits in the wider context of the global dance scene in 2014 via 82? We would not get articles written like this.

Rodrick W

@Irfan R i.e. the Calvin Harris phenomenon. great comment sir!  As stated above, we are addressing this very insightful issue in our documentary "The Woodstock of House"



Mekia H

You are a terrible journalist. No research and misinformation.

Kevin W

You Need To Come To Chicago Do Research And Get The Real Story Before Publishing Articles Like This.. 

sweetdaddyCorde

I've been doing a underground dance event for the last 4 years @ SubT, Underground Wonder Bar, Danny's, the Shrine & has one of the hottest afterparties @Movement(Detroit)   .. Our parties are so underground no one seems to mention it here, let alone know about it.. but it doesn't mean we don't exist.

We are pushing what we think is deep underground music in this city and I don't mean a set of classics all night either. Once again,I'm getting tired of people misleading people about what's really going on here in Chicago, I feel that this is a serious situation that needs to be address.. Timeout needs to get their act together if they want people to take them seriously as a source of information,  for instances, take your mouse and roll it to the top of this page and highlight "Music & Nightlife" the only thing you see is COMEDY? You gonna write an article like this and don't have a proper medium(link) for the very thing you're writing about?? 

www.excursionschicago.com

sweetdaddyCorde

Sorry but I had to pull a "Leonard Remix Rroy" and let people know our contribution to this scene in Chicago.

JohnnyFontanaHD d

@sweetdaddyCorde fair enough but if it is so underground that nobody mentions it, that is a problem. We have to be reasonable here. The issue is everyone is going so deep into the depths of hell just to counter the commercialization of electronic music. There needs to be a balance but there isn't. I don't need to rely on social media to know where there is a party in 2016 whereas back in the day, you knew where the joints where. This concept of "it's there, you just have to look for it" is a serious disservice. You want likes and views but yet you want your club to be obscure and hidden..



Chucks

@sweetdaddyCorde apparently you weren't around when there were real clubs. SUB T? Underground Wonderbar? Nothing is underground about that. The Shrine is closed. Try again. 

BVAX

 "Why do we not have Frankie Knuckle's Legends or a House Fest run by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events?" Do you mean the Chosen Few picnic, Dance in the park downtown or the House Music Wed at 31st beach?? What are you talking about?? LOL

Danny G

@BVAX Riiiiight. ... This person is clueless as to what is going on in Chicago. They prob never leave their condo downtown. Real Chicago wouldn't be caught dead in the places they are looking.

Rodrick W

@BVAX To quote from Pinky and the Brain, "YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Tony T

since when does one person speak for the whole House music community??? So many old schoolers and up and comers that have kept house music going strong for YEARS!!! next time how about you speak to more than just one or two people about house music. There are so many within the Black, Latino, White & Asian community that kept House music going strong.

Scott D

I think Brent DiCrescenzo pays poor tribute to its house heritage. 

If I were a +40 writer living in Chicago, I’d move
Justin L

I would like to begin by asking the author of the article about their own experiences in Chicago's rich dance music history, and how connected to the music they truly are? And if this is an article stating that music is suffering at home from a lack of support from its community, then I have to say that the author did not spend the time to research the subject, and as a result of this lack of care, this content is severely discounted!


The idea of "Chicago House" had taken many new forms since the days of the Warehouse, Medusa's, The Music Box and WBMX, and these forms of sound are around us all the time. (For the record I am not going to front and say that I experienced The Warehouse or the Music Box, but Medusa's was just as important in the dialog of Chicago's dance music culture.)


So dear author, please take the time to speak to those that are working hard in the community if you want to make a comment about a subject that is held close to the hearts of many involved. I can promise you that many of those that are truly involved would welcome a thoughtful conversation on the histories and current happenings within our scene. 


And for the record, EDM has nothing to do with us. 

Viva acid house!

M Main

Key words I noticed in this article "money, exploited, capitalizing, tourist dollars, cars" the reason house music isn't "mainstream" is because it hasn't been exploited and commodified like EDM. That's not what house music is supposed to be about. It also states "The audience is even more diverse in race, gender, age and attire. This is not the case here in the States, where electronic music festival demographics skew towards college kids in tank tops. (Just take a look at the Spring Awakening crowd.)" Really? You really just went there? Have you ever been to a house music event in Chicago? House music was born in an underground loft, and that's where it is best enjoyed. Not at some over produced festival with kiddies taking selfies in neon tank tops. Give those kids time though, eventually they will tire of the epic drops and start exploring the deeper funkier sounds of the underground, where Chicago House is still king in this city and rightfully so.

Hakim M

How are you going to make a bold statement about the Chicago scene, with one person from Chicago? Lil Louis, and the reason why he has not played at a party recently here is because he has not released a record in several years, and the last project was a Fable with remixes from some Chicago peeps that was put out by Gramaphone Records.


This article is just offensive, kind of blatant disrespect for our Chicago scene where you seem to be the editor of the nightlife portion of Time Out-you talking to some London person about being from Chicago and living in Berlin. Just because you from Chicago does not get you gigs, you need to put out records and be good at playing music for the most part, why can I say that because I have experienced it and continue to experience it.


But to say that there are no new people making house music in Chicago is so naive, maybe ignorant. How can you be a journalist and not check out what is happening in the scene?


Way to disseminate misinformation...


Chucks

@Hakim M What Djs playing in Chicago are putting out any records worth pressing? 

Ike V

Jerome Derradji / Still Music

Noleian Reusse

Kevin Starke / KSTARKE RECORDS

Traxx / Nation

Svengalisghost


... apparently none of these guys were available for comment!


Still Music S

www.itstillmusic.com - Still Music. The label in Chicago supporting Chicago House and beyond. Check it Brent! You could have found a lot of material for your article that's somewhat missing the point unfortunately.

Paulina W

There is just so much wrong with this article, it reads like so much hot air.. all hype build for Lil Louis at the expense of our scene - which remains small for GOOD reason. We don't need to sell out to huge festivals where there are more people screaming and falling over each other then there are actually dancing. 

Ike V

Jamal Moss / Hieroglyphic Being

Ike V

...continued

Beau Wanzer

Traxx

Steve Mizek / LWE / Argot

Ike V

If a Chicago entertainment/nightlife publication is going to lament on how underrated House music is in it's own birthplace, shouldn't said publication do it's due diligence in actually doing some RESEARCH into what IS actually going on in the city? Here is a few key terms to plug into your preferred search engine (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc), should you feel compelled to continue to write about the current state Chicago House for Timeout CHICAGO:

Gramaphone Records

Smart Bar Chicago

Specter / Tetrode 

Hugo Ball

Chicago Skyway

Hakim Murphy / Machining Dreams

Chosen Few Picnic

Steven Tang / Emphasis

The Black Madonna

Michael Serafini

Oktave /Jeff Derringer

Innerspace Halflife

Ike Release (yours truly)


...many of whom have already played Panorama Bar and Dance Tunnel, which you mentioned, and are currently dutifully making the rounds keeping Chicago on the map!

TurntbleTherapy

I see your LinkedIn says that you read every word that goes into print Brent.  It's too bad no one is monitoring you.

If you think Chicago House Producers don't work in Chicago, you need to take a Time Out and Get Out to some events.  Chicago doesn't need a Chicago House Music Revival because it never left.

I believer Derrick C (several comments down) asked the right question: "Why is it that Chicago focused outlets like Time Out do not offer more column inches or spotlights on what's going on here with local music, artists, and labels, as opposed to making proclamations about what IS NOT happening?" 

Marea S

My final comment is that I don't think you can put a "but" after noting that Derrick Carter holds a popular weekly residency with the owner of Gramaphone and one of the hottest young producers in house (Garrett David) in a 400+ capacity Chicago underground dance music club that has been open for 30+ years, during all of which Frankie Knuckles was either a regular guest or resident. 


Those things matter and they tell you everything about what we continue to value here.


There is no international parallel to the myriad of blessings that we take as a given in Chicago. So many of those have been overlooked in this piece.



G D

Tragically under-informed.

Joshua S

my former room mate worked for Lil louis and he was a glorified bigot who prayed on shaming all of the other House founders for not being him, that said, i was introduced to his mother passing out flyers for the same documentary that my ex roomie had worked on

Marea S

Good thing someone got Duke Dumont to go on the record about the Chicago house scene.

Derrick C

DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THIS PIECE.  

There's so much wrong with this that it doesn't beg for a rebuttal, instead it begs for dismissal.

Someone is going to need to check a few more sources before writing the next piece (probably in 10-15 years).

So, here's a question, "Why is it that Chicago focused outlets like Time Out do not offer more column inches or spotlights on what's going on here with local music, artists, and labels, as opposed to making proclamations about what IS NOT happening?"  Shame.

BVAX

@Derrick C Truth! This person sounds like someone who didn't go to any events this summer and is living in a bubble. 

Steve M

Brent, for such a smart guy you've fallen down on the job here in a massive way. If you want to do a piece about the Chicago house music scene relative to other places, you need to START by interviewing people in Chicago. Or, failing that, at least spend some time in Smart Bar where house music is alive and well. It may never reach the scope of Europe's scene, which is different for dozens of reasons you don't address, but that doesn't mean it's non-existent and merely overshadowed by crappy trance. That's only the case if you don't pay attention, which it's clear you haven't. 

Marea S

Well, where to begin.


A piece about house in Chicago that bemoans the lack of a festival, but fails to mention Chosen Few, which is 50k people annually and strictly house... hmm. 


Also, where is juke/footwork? These belong to the house music family and they are vital and beloved here.


I could go on, but I'm not sure how to respond to Lil Louis being popular on the Euro festival circuit being some kind of indication regarding the status of house music in Chicago, when virtually no one actually working in modern house music (there are many) here in Chicago was interviewed for this piece. Were Hakim Murphy, Specter and Garrett David not available? You mention Derrick as if he is an aside, but he plays to great crowds here constantly, as well as touring. 


House music isn't made important by big mainstream festivals. It never has been. I welcome any honors anyone would bestow on Frankie and all out forefathers and mothers. But they are not in the past for us, nor is the thing they created. 


So I will just leave you with this picture of the thousands of people that swarmed Millennium Park to say goodbye to Frankie. 


dreamlogicc

There is still lots of great underground dance music in Chicago, It just usually gets ignored by media outlets in favor of populist r&b and EDM. 


But not all of us yearn to be drug dealers, Lil Louis ;)

Mark K

I'm going out tonight to Club LaVue on Chicago's south side and a Grammy award winning Dj will be spinning house music all nigh long. Along with one of my favorite Dj's in the chi. Dj Blendz. If you're up for sweating, bring your butt out to chicagp heights tonight.