The distinctive synth sound that kicks off DJ Funk’s “Original Video Clash: Vlideo Clash II” should be immediately familiar to fans of classic house music. They’ve been sampled, mixed, and remixed countless times. DJ Funk’s 1995 version is build from Lil’ Louis’ 1988 track “The Original Video Clash” (also released on Dance Mania) though a debate over Louis’ involvement in the original production continues to be fought on blogs and YouTube comment sections. We’re happy just to dance to Funk’s faster, bass’d up take on a true Chicago house classic.
Coming 2014, we have a very special release on the way for lovers of quality original Chicago house music as we team up with the legendary Dance Mania Records for their first ever full label compilation, dropping on January 27th, 2014. Dance Mania has wielded its influence heavily across dance music since its first breakthrough club smash in ’86, Duane & Co’s ‘J.B. Traxx’, offering a raw, DJ-led alternative to the Chicago powerhouses of Trax and DJ International. Founder Ray Barney astutely released classic after classic during the early years – ‘7 Ways’ by Hercules (Marshall Jefferson), ‘House Nation’ by Housemaster Boyz (Farley Jackmaster Funk) and Li’l Louis’ debut recordings all helping to cement Dance Mania’s credentials.
Throughout its long history, the label never pandered to commercial pressures and the lure of the “hit”, focusing purely on the dance floor and the DJ. As styles changed and Chicago clubs like The Factory held sway during the ’90s, Dance Mania became a key player, unleashing uncompromising anthems like Robert Armani’s ‘Ambulance’ and ushering in ghetto house with Traxmen and Eric Martin’s ‘Hit It From The Back,’ as BPMs became faster and lyrics became ever more X-rated. A new wave of producers including DJ Deeon, DJ Funk, Slugo and Paul Johnson all appeared on Dance Mania, recording prolifically and honing the new ghetto style, stripped back and raw.
The label’s influence continues today. Daft Punk famously name-check a series of Dance Mania producers on their ‘Teachers’ track, featured on the album Homework and you can hear the label’s DNA through contemporary sounds as varied as Diplo, L.I.E.S., Brazil’s baile funk movement and Chicago’s modern day footwork producers like Nate and Rashad.
Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997 is released on 2xCD, 3xLP and digital download, and features a full history of the label by DJ Chrissy Murderbot, artist interviews, rare photos and track notes.
1. Hercules – 7 Ways (Club) 6.48
2. Victor Romeo featuring Leatrice Brown – Love Will Find A Way (Club) 4.44
3. The House Master Boyz And The Rude Boy Of House – House Nation
4. Duane & Co – J.B. Traxx 3.42
5. Vincent Floyd – I Dream You 5.25
6. Da Posse featuring Martell – Searchin’ Hard
7. Club Style – Crazy Wild
8. Jammin’ The House Gerald – Black Women (Club) 3.30
9. Tyree – Nuthin’ Wrong 5.56
10. Strong Souls – Twinkles 5.38
11. 3.2.6 – Falling (Armando’s House mix) 6.30
12. Rhythm II Rhythm – A Touch Of Jazz (Lifestyles Of The Rich mix)
1. DJ Funk – House the Groove 4.50
2. Paul Johnson – Feel My M.F. Bass 4.32
3. DJ Funk – The Original Video Clash: Video Clash II (Street mix) 4.47
4. Parris Mitchell Project feat. Wax Master – Ghetto Shout Out!! 6.41
5. DJ Deeon – Da Bomb 5.19
6. Houz’ Mon – Fear The World 4.40
7. Vincent Floyd – I’m So Deep 7.02
8. Tim Harper – Toxic Waste (Club mix)
9. Robert Armani – Ambulance
10. DJ Deeon – House-O-Matic 4.04
11. Traxmen & Eric Martin – Hit It From The Back
12. Top Cat – Work Out