Chicagoans don’t need an excuse to talk about house music, but when the biggest pop star in the world drops a record indebted to house, you can expect more than just a conversation. Beyoncé’s Renaissance has effectively evangelized for this Chicago-born sound since the album came out in July, not least because she shaped it […]
Tag: Trax Records
Reunited dance group Ten City help make the Chicago House Music Festival a don’t-miss event
Ten City’s fifth album, 2021’s Judgement (Ultra), was a long time in the making—and not just because the crucial Chicago house group’s previous album, That Was Then, This Is Now, came out 27 years earlier. The origins of Judgement arguably go even further back than 1986, when Ten City producer Marshall Jefferson issued the foundational […]
Archive dive: On house music
Between Drake’s sleepy Honestly, Nevermind and Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul,” a lot of people have something to say about house music lately. (And while I can’t say I have thoroughly read every discourse posting, I’ve seen almost no instances of anyone mentioning the fact that several music sites reported rumors of Beyoncé working with house […]
Catholic school house
In November 2021, news broke that filled the Chicago house-music community with pride. Hometown house legends Ten City were nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronica Album for Judgement, their first full-length studio recording since 1994. Many Chicago fans remembered that around the time of the group’s formation in the mid-1980s, their producer, house pioneer […]
Remembering Benji Espinoza, champion of Chicago house music
Benji Espinoza’s work for Quantum Distributors and the D.J. International label helped boost house into its exalted place in the global pop pantheon.
Vince Lawrence’s greatest moment in Chicago music history
House-music pioneer Vince Lawrence remembers the huge scene-defining parties he helped throw as a teenager.
Life was just a party: Prince’s 1999 and Chicago house music
Prince could hardly have avoided influencing Chicago house, whose earliest, most ardent fans were queer Black and Brown kids.
Plugging into Chicago’s forgotten house venues
A tour and oral history of the long-gone spaces that birthed one of the foundational sounds in modern pop
A tour of FeelTrip’s brand-new record store, No Requests
The multimedia collective has a record label, a dance night, an apparel line—and now a brick-and-mortar shop.
Marcus Mixx has lost his home, but he still has house
Marcus Mixx’s early records fetch hundreds of dollars apiece from a cult of collectors, but he just wants a space of his own to make his new tracks.
Cowboy poetry, the decline of the critic, Lil Wayne’s boring prison memoir, and more: the week in music writing
The Reader collects some of the best and brightest bits from the past week’s music writing.
How Merle’s 2000 EP became a cult house hit
Chicago dance label Stripped & Chewed reissue the underground record from house veteran Merwyn Sanders this month.
How the USA fell for EDM, chapter one
In these excerpts from his lively and meticulous new book, The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, longtime Reader contributor Michaelangelo Matos chronicles the three-decade ascent of EDM.
Decades later, Steve Poindexter’s raw house 12-inch Street Fighter is finally released
Recorded in the 90s with Johnny Key and Track Master Scott, Street Fighter showcases the raw underground Chicago sound in fine form.
The return of Dance Mania Records
Dance Mania Records helped birth ghetto house, juke, and footwork music—now it’s back to court the EDM crowd.