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July 31, 2020

CHICAGO (the city of) HOUSE

Chicago House

#MusicInTheAir Podcast hosted Black Velveteen from Chicago in the past week.

Chris Offutt aka Black Velveteen sees his musical production influenced by the many artists with whom he came into contact, in his own house: they were of the caliber of Aretha Franklin, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder and James Taylor.

But it is certainly also Chicago, its city, to influence her on a musical level.
Because Chicago is the city twhere the House Music was born,
one of the genres of the “EDM” – Electronic Dance Music – which also brings together
techno, trance, hardcore and acid.

Hence the nickname “Chicago House” 

One name above all can be traced back to House music: Frankie Knuckles, universally considered officially the godfather, marked his birth in 1977, at the console of the famous disco “The Warehouse” in Chicago, also called “The House“, which gave the name.

The historical period was dominated by disco music, and here instead The Warehouse made the difference by offering disco albums and funky soul. But it is in 1979 that the disco says goodbye to the scenes in a decisive way: the audience was tired and it was finally ready for the House.

Frankie Knuckles owes everything: birth, experimentation by mixing classic discs with a European electronic sound new wave, use of synthesizers and drum machines for new goals of sound. The legend tells that it was because he played until morning, and the records were not enough: he began to re-edit them. An example imitated by many: on discs, mixed more musical styles such as Italo disco, hip hop and electro funk, and enriched with the use of drum machines, effects and electronic instruments for each person’s own personal imprint. 

And it is a success that he brings with him later moving to New York, his hometown: so, he takes it to the Big Apple and from here, all over the world until today. The original house of the 80s is known as “Chicago House“.

The list of the main artists is not short, from Steve “Silk” Hurley and Vince Lawrence, passing through Marshall Jefferson, Derrick Carter, Jamie Principle, Ralphi Rosario.

But also DJ Colette, DJ Funk, DJ Pierre and DJ Sneak, Felix from Housecat, Paul Johnson. Names that made history like Lil ‘Louis are still in great demand all over the world. 

And it is an official label above all to be traced back to House Music: Traxx Records (1985) co-founded by Larry Sherman and Jesse Saunders, which has released many classics including Adonis No Way Back“, Jamie Principle and Frankie KnucklesYour Love“, “Can You Feel It” by Larry Heard, and “The House Music Anthem (Move Your Body)” by Marshall Jefferson, all made thanks to samplers and the first models of synthesizers and drum machines of the Roland house

"Chicago (the city of) House" by Monica Codegoni Bessi

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