Friday, October 30, 2009

Frankie Knuckles live mix from WBMX Chicago 1986

This is a mix by Frankie Knuckles mixing live on the Chicago radio station WBMX on a saturday in 1986. Frankie Knuckles was one of the seminal djs who helped build house music. But when you see this tape titled "deep house" you may think of what you know as deep house today. This is actually a mix of excellent mid 80s soul-disco and jackin' and acid-ish house (which is probably what you would expect from this era). I love listening to these mixes to see the development from really good hard disco into house - it is this crux which has long term been one of my favorite sounds. What's also exciting is that while there are a few other Frankie Knuckles live mixes from this time in the internet it looks like this one is not available.

This tape is part of a collection of excellent live mixes from amazing djs like Jeff Mills, Ron Hardy, DJ Sneak and others that were lent to be my Chris Low, an excellent dj in his own right from back in the day (and no, not the Pet Shop Boys dude). His biog is here. Here you can check out his Edinburgh party Benetti & Low. I am very excited/grattitudinous for this donation and you will get to hear lots of great stuff in the next few weeks that is so far not widely avaiable. You can read more about Chris hear and catch up on one of his regular dj gigs.

Tracklisting info - this mix starts off in the middle of Future Brain - Den Harrow, then cuts into a lengthened version of Baby I'm Scared of You by Womack & Womack, which is really the high point of this mix. I had forgotten that the second half of the track has this great driving break with kind of a breakbeat and the male/female vocals going back and forth. The original track is only like 5 minute long but here Frankie plays it out more than 8 minutes and it's also sped up which makes it sound much better. Then it breaks into We Got The Funk by Positive Force and then into an early house track I don't recognize. B side has First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder and some other excellent early jackin house stuff.

The thing that strikes me as I listened to this is that it really feels like the djs were playing in a groove where the crowd was meant to just dance and dance and dance in ecstasy to a track for a hours on end. Whereas most of the dj sets I see these days are either really hard or really catchy/ironic. There's no long term groove. Even when it's disco, it's italo which is less groovey. Someone's got to bring that back in a space that's cool. We need you Paradise Garage. Maybe it's going on at Horse Meat Disco - I gotta get down there.

Baby I'm Scared of You ripped from mix with radio announcer (direct download)
Buy on itunes.

Side A

Side B 


manos said...

Hey, You are absolutely right! I have not found a place in London that plays this groovy disco beat, not even a retro disco place. Congratulations for the excellent selection of tracks by the way.
I sometimes go to horse meat disco, I think it could be groovier and more disco-like! LCD soundsystem played there once and they were fantastic! A place in Dalston where I have been once is a night called Hot Boy Dancing Spot (it is also a group on facebook) where the music was excellent, really beat-groovy-disco without being retro. Please let me know if you know any other similar clubs/nights. All the best and continue good blogging!

tom said...

Seconded on the groove. I rarely find a club where you just have thrilling house music to lose yourself on the dancefloor for hours to. This is not a nostalgia thing, just hopefully hammering a further nail in the coffin of ADD blog-house laptop mixes and bringing back proper DJs.

It doesn't help that most people are booked because they've produced a hot track, rather than actually having worked as a DJ, supplanting unsung killer DJs like Seb Chew and Frank Tope.

Great tapes as always, thanks.

Anonymous said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Zim-Zimma! Frankie no drop Beenie or Bounty Killa?! Man tel dem...

el jeffe said...

love these things you put up!!
great great stuff!!
the new post armando one is indeed intense :)
talking about places and people that play for the dancefloor...
the VOICES crew do really great parties..
great blog!

Anonymous said...

"...then into an early house track I don't recognize"
House People "Godfather Of House"

Regards, Guy.

BristolPirates said...

Excellent, I've been meaning to dig up some more WBMX stuff off the net for a while now, and I've been hunting down some live Larry Levan and Ron Hardy sets too, there is quite a bit out there if you know where to look ;)

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