I’m in such a house mood today (well, everyday.) But today, for some particular reason, I’m really amped up. Perhaps because I found out about House Dance International 2013 taking place May 24th-26th in NYC and now that I’m back on the East Coast, I plan on going; no excuse not to. I love house, house dancing, and the vibrant community.
In the spirit of house music and the community, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite classic house tracks that you really should know, appreciate, and pass along to other house junkies. Those who grew up in the early days of house will probably know most of these classics; for some it will be an introduction to the classics.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy this time machine of classic house. Got any favorites to add to the list?
Oh, and there are so many classics. So I will be sharing some every Monday. And on Twitter be sure to join the movement #HOUSENATION
This song never gets old. Love the video too!
First heard this song when I was 15 and used to sing it to myself walking down the halls of school.
Tribal vibes! A few DJs have played this song and I’ve gone crazy on the dancefloor. Tribalism!
If you’re a house junkie and you don’t know who Barbara Tucker is, then you should really slap yourself in the face. Not just a typically old movie slap, but a 1970s back-hand pimp slap. Seriously, Barbara Tucker is a legend when it comes to providing vocals for classic house, and she is one of the Queen’s of house, well in my opinion.
Her most well-known hit is “Most Precious Love” and if you haven’t watched the Willie Ninja tribute featuring that song, then you should check it out on YouTube. But she also did a lot of other classics, including my favorites, “Beautiful People” and “Stop Playing With My Mind.”
So let’s get down to business, I’m talking about ’96 Bulls remix of Barbara Tucker’s classic hit “Stop Playing With My Mind.” The remix was released on Strictly Rhythm Vol. 9 and the remix not only pays homage to the classic, but gives it a nice fresh house edit.
Check out the mix below, as well as the original by the lovely Barbara Tucker.
Man! You ever just have one of those tracks that speaks to you on all levels? I’m talking about the type of track that whenever you heart it, you just get lost in the song and forget about reality. Nothing matters except for the beats and the adrenaline rush creeping into your veins.
Well, a track that has always done that to me is the timeless 1987 Ralphi Rosario & Xaviera Gold track “You Used To Hold Me.” That track is such a powerful dosage of classic Chicago house, and the lyrics are filled with so much sass! I especially love the section of the song around the 3 minute marker when the vocalist starts dissing this other female and begins talking about how nobody can satisfy her man but her…he’s hers, all hers.
The track will always remain one of my favorites and of course, a highlight in the career of Chicago DJ Ralphi Rosario. But in the tradition of what makes music awesome, we have been served up with a new remix.
Yesterday while listening to an SS Radio UK podcast, I heard the new remix of the classic Ralphi Rosario track “You Used To Hold Me.” The remix comes from Spiritchaser and it was recently released on Cha Cha Boom! Recordings.
A few remixes were released, including the Stephan Grondin remix & the Alain Jackinksy remix. But by far, the Spiritchaser Vocal Mix happens to the best. It’s a superb fusion of soul, bass, and sexy vocals that made the original such a hot sound.
Peep the remix Spiritchaser remix below and if you’d like, download it (it’s not free) from Traxsource.
I will forever and always be a house junkie, and sometimes I do wish I had a time machine so I could go back to the days of the classic house scene. There is just something so titillating about the composition of the classic tracks, that you can’t help but to get up and dance. If a classic house track is on, and you’re not dancing…then yes, there must be something wrong with you!
I’m just messing with you. Not everybody loves to get up and dance, but listening to Skwerl’s classic infused track “You Need to Dance” is more than enough ammunition needed to get the party started. The song, which is driven by these soulful vocals and this pulsating bass, inspires you to get up, get lost in the music, and just dance, dance, and dance!!!
I love the purity of house, especially the classic tracks, so it’s nice to see that Skwerl knows how to put out a track that truly captures that disco essence and classic vibe of the music you can always expect to hear from the German label, International Deejay Gigolos Records.
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com
So a few weeks ago I was talking to this guy (dating I suppose, but I decided to stay single) and we had a conversation about music. He was one of those people that was born & raised in Maryland right outside of D.C., so he apparently didn’t know too much about music outside of the usual hip-hop, gogo, and Baltimore club. Not to say that everyone that stays in one spot their entire life lacks musical diversity, but he was clearly unaware & ignorant to my passion; love for house music.
House music is my life. Seriously, I am madly in love with house music and have been for over a decade now (and I’m only 20.) So when I meet people and they ask me what type of music I listen to, I’m usually excited to tell them about house music. But when they respond with such ignorance like that guy did, and say “Oh, you listen to that Baltimore club shit. You know that shit, techno shit,” I got super offended. Number one, I can’t stand when people repeatedly use “shit” to describe everything. Eww, shut up. Secondly, the absurdity of him saying that house music is Baltimore club, and that is basically techno, really pissed me off. Baltimore club isn’t techno & it’s not “shit.” And yes, Baltimore club has some elements of house, but it’s a unique genre of music that is in a class of its own.
I don’t really blame people for not being aware of house music or understanding it, especially with so much dance music being produced in the mainstream music scene. I mean think about it, it seems every rapper or singer is stepping away from their genre and trying to make a hit dance track. So I don’t really blame people for being oblivious to house & the history of house, but I do blame them for their rapid ignorance when I begin trying to explain it. They just don’t get it, and explaining the history of house (which I studied when I first fell in love with house) is something that I’d rather show them than tell them. Which at a certain point involves grabbing my Macbook and going to YouTube to sit down and watch the entire documentary Pump Up The Volume: History of House.
I’m not quite sure why in the past two years of having this blog & writing so much about house music, I never posted the documentary. I’ve watched it twice a few years ago, and I love how it gives you an in-depth history of house. It features some great interviews from Paul Okenfold, Carl Cox, Pete Tong, Goldie, The Shamen, Leftfield, Underworld, Youth, Tony Wilson, and Armin van Helden . In the midst of the interviews you also get to see the the evolution of house, as well as other genres in the electronic dance music category and how they are all interrelated; one genre usually inspires another, so forth & so forth.
I highly recommend watching this entire film, especially if you’re a house music junkie. But for those of who you who don’t understand house or not quite sure why people love it, then watch the documentary. It’s a great documentary that sheds light on the history of house, why people love house, and even the social constructs that makeup house; social awareness & acceptance of all races, sexual orientations, and ages are some defining aspects of house. It’s a music of universal acceptance, which is why I love house so much.
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com
Strictly Rhythm is a legendary New York record label that is known for pioneering some of the best house music in the world. This record label has been around since 1989 and has pumped out fierce classics that will make you “jack your body.” Almost every major essential house artist has put out an album, a mix, or a track that was affiliated with Strictly Rhythm. Erick Morillo, Todd Terry, Louie Vega, Kenny Dope, Armand Van Helden, DJ Pierre, Roger Sanchez, Josh Wink, Ultra Naté and Barbara Tucker have all been loyal house members under the Strictly Rhythm label since the early 90s.
Newer artists such as Quentin Harris, Bingo-Players, Chocolate Puma, Osunlade, Bob Sinclar, Dirty South, and Dennis Ferrer have gotten on board with the classic label to produce legendary house tracks. The songs that this label pump out are more than just summer dance anthems, they are songs that become a staple n any house head’s life.
Strictly Rhythm has become an international label, with offices in New York, London, Berlin, and Rome. Not only does this classic label have main Strictly Rhythm label, but they have 20 labels under the Strictly Rhythm Music Group which works with major artists worldwide. People always ask me if there are major house music labels or if it’s just an underground scene. Well my answer is, house is far from being an underground genre, it’s internationally known! Even if you don’t hear it at your local clubs, then your hitting the wrong spots. In the midst of the all the commercial popular music, there are those venue owners dedicated to providing a place for house lovers to feel free…which is why I love the Paradox in Baltimore, especially on the nights of Deep Sugar Party.
If your a house fan or you want to know more about this music called “house”, then be sure to check out the classics and new material from Strictly Rhythm. It’s essential to understand the classic house music in order to have a greater appreciate for new material. Study the music you love and you can have a greater appreciation for it.
Circle Children- Zulu
Logic- The Warning
Aly Us- Follow Me
Erick Morillo-Dancing(A ‘Little’- ‘More’ Dub)
Barbara Tucker- Beautiful People
Ultra Nate- Free (You can catch her live usually at Deep Sugar every month. Ultra Nate is awesome and such a nice person!)
Armand Van Helden- Witch Docktor
Sultans of Swing(Armand Van Helden)- Dance Together (Party Mix)
Bingo Players vs Chocolate Puma- Touch Me
Tall, short, skinny, big, black, brown, white, gay, straight, transgender, old, and young is what house is about. In a follow up to my introductory article, Deep Sugar: A Main Ingredient, I had the pleasure last night of attending the Paradox in Baltimore for the first time. I grew up in Baltimore County, Owings Mills/Pikesville to be exact, but I never really spent much time going out to clubs and I wasn’t old enough to get in the Dox. My brother on the other hand, had been going out to the Dox since he was 16 and brought forth such energy.
Watching him dance is an amazing experience. When he hears a house song that touches his spirit, he goes into his own zone and people form a circle around him. I love it! He grew up dancing in the clubs and took everything he learned and applied it to his professional career as a choreographer. When he goes dancing, he isn’t trying to battle people and people aren’t battling him. It’s all about the music and last night was all about the House that built jack. For those of you not accustomed to the “Dictionary of House”, jack is that feeling you get when the music is good and it moves your body. So you “jack your body”. It’s this uncontrollable and undeniable feeling that overwhelms your body and sends you into ecstasy.
Last night was an amazing night filled with non stop “jack your body”. It took us an hour drive to get to Baltimore, but we left around 10:30pm and got there about 11:50pm. Normally we don’t go out dancing so early, but we needed to get that $10 deal before midnight instead of paying $15 after midnight. Money is tight nowadays, but the house makes you forget all the bills. It wasn’t crowded at all when we walked in the Dox, yet we didn’t care. Jamile,Angie,Sam( my white brother), and I immediately took our spot in front of the dj booth and started dancing. It was impossible to ignore the deep sugar sounds of the pure house vibrating throughout the room. As it got a little more crowded (maybe ten people or so) Lisa Moody and Ultra Nate gave me a shout out. “Jasmine McGee is in the House!” It felt so cool, even though it wasn’t crowded, but to hear my name shouted out, I felt so special!
So of course we walked up to the deejay booth and met Ultra Nate and Lisa Moody. It was such an amazing experience. While most people want to meet Halle Berry, Tyra, Oprah, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Kanye, etc, I’ve always wanted to meet an influential person in the house scene. So meeting the legendary international dance sensation Ultra Nate and dj extraordinaire Lisa Moody was an experience of a lifetime to me. I have a lot of people on my house list to meet, including Crystal Waters, Dennis Ferrer, Osunlade, Kerri Chandler, Frankie Knuckles, and Barbara Tucker, but last night was definitely one of the best nights I’ve had dancing so far.
I honestly can’t tell you much about everything that happened last night, because I was so lost in the music and dancing all night. I remember this gay guy grabbed a trash can and was humping the life out of it, but it was okay because sometimes house makes you do off the wall things. It’s all about the music, it didn’t matter. I remember seeing some awesome vogueing and dancing from a cool guy named Jonathan B Knox. I’m not sure exactly what he does, maybe he’s a promoter of DeepSugar or something of that sort, but I do know he is friends with Ultra Nate and Lisa Moody, and he has such a vibrant spirit about him. House music is a music of love. I felt so much love last night dancing with my friends and family and hearing Lisa and Ultra Nate tell me how beautiful it was that someone as young as myself loves house and knows the history…man that touched my heart.
While everyone in middle school, hs, and college were busy knowing all the latest hip-hop and r&b songs, I was busy becoming a house dictionary. I would find songs, write them down, memorize the artists, and store them away in my brain. But there is so much house out there I don’t know about yet I’m progressively learning every day. I owe a lot of my passion for house to my brother Jamile. If it wasn’t for him giving this green Cd he burned with tracks from Cajmere on it, a cd which I still own and its about 6 years old, then I would have never been exposed to the classics of house.
The reason I love house so much is because it was always my own world I could escape into. One guys treat me like crap, when school stresses me out, when females end our friendships over petty drama, and when I’m left standing alone… I know that I’ve got the Lord by my side and house. In the words of house legend Carl Cox, “House is a Feeling. If you feel nothing, it isn’t house.” Deep Sugar and the resident djs Ultra Nate, Jerome Hicks, Lisa Moody, Thommy Davis, and Dj Soulgiver bring that statement to life. The residents at Deep Sugar know how to play a track and mix it into another track that moves parts of your body you never thought of moving. House will have you wailing your hands in the air and screaming a deep “yes”. What can I say? That is what house music is all about! So don’t be afraid to let the music entice you and make you “jack your body”.
Deep Sugar is becoming one of my favorite events in the Baltimore Night Club scene. It’s my monthly dose of house. If they had Deep Sugar more than once a month, I’d probably die from all the dancing. Deep Sugar…it’s that serious!
Shout out to Lisa Moody, Ultra Nate, Thommy Davis, Jerome Hicks, and Jonathan B Knox. You guys are truly what Deep Sugar is about and I hope to continue being that young house junkie that passes this knowledge and love onto those within my generation one by one.
Have a great week ahead everyone and remember “house is a feeling. if you feel nothing, it isn’t house.”
Jack Your Body by Steve “Silk” Hurley