John Acquaviva at "Live on the decks 3". Chicago, 02-26-2000.

     This post comes from the Definitive man himself, John Acquaviva. His involvement in dance music dates back to the early 80's when he would spin at local clubs and had been DJ'ing at least a decade before founding one of the world's best known techno labels Plus 8 Records with fellow music lover Richie Hawtin back in 1989. That's when his international DJ career really began to take flight. He was also one of the first artists in the early 2000's to spearhead the use of Final Scratch, a computer program used for DJ'ing digital audio files. Seeing that DJ's would also need a place to get audio files for the new meadium, he had a part in the creation of The largest online mp3 music download site that specializes in dance music. In 1993 he and Plus 8 partner Hawtin and friend Karl Kowalski launched Definitive Recordings. The focus was more on quality House and Tech-House which released tons of classics such as "House Music for all" by Blunted Dummies. The label went silent at the end of the 1990's but relaunched in 2005 as an digital label and has been going strong ever since with steady releases by Acquaviva and new partner in crime Olivier Giacomotto. Johns had a long history of performances here in Chicago and around the Mid-West beginning with raves in the early 90's then moving over to the club circuit with stops all over the city and was one of a handful of international DJ'S to hold residency at the iconic Smartbar in Chicago during the early 2000's.

    This show was held at the infamous Harvey expo center / Photon located in the south suburbs of Chicago which held countless parties over the years. As you can see from the flyer above, this event was jam packed with talent but to many the highlight of this night was John Acquaviva and Richie Hawtin playing back to back when they headlined in their own room.  After dinner in the city, John and a group of about 10 of us made our way from Chicago down to the venue. As we arrived, the line was already a few hundred people long and growing. After finding a parking spot and making our way in, we headed  to their room and DJ booth through what seamed like thousands for people spread across three rooms. After The Datman setup his equipment and Acquaviva took to the decks the room rally stated to fill up. As the night progressed we had heard from people around the booth that party goers still waiting to get in started to rush an open side door to the space and were sneaking by security to get in to the event. In all the confusion, a security guard saw The Datmans recording equipment in the booth and since they were not informed of it before hand, got thrown out the event with a few other people from around the DJ booth. In trying to clear up the mishap, he walked up an hour later and told us what had happened and that he had to sneak back in himself because security didn't believe his story.


    This set was originally posted here back in 2009 as a two part mix taken from two Cd's but after the original site it was hosted on went under, I went back and re-transferred the complete tapes and re-did the whole post. John starts this classic set with his trademark soulful disco and vocal house tracks then builds up to more of an driving edge before he hands over the night to Hawtin. John has always had the talent of making classic or disco tracks work no matter what the crowd and looking at the photo from this night above the post, you can tell the room and night went off! From what I can tell by searching around on-line, this set has never been released before so we're glad to be able to post it up again on our site for you all to enjoy now. John's one of an handful of artists that we have recorded on a regular basis over the years that was always open to what we did and would reach out to us before he came to town about recording the nights for him. This set was recorded about a year after we first started recording John and is a great snap shot of his style back then and from what you can tell from this mix, knows how to build a set and get the crowd going. It might be hard to hear but on some of the low parts or build up on certain tracks you can hear the crowd in the recording especially on the last track in the set.

     If you haven't already, Click on this Live Sets Chicago link or our tab at the top right corner of the blog to keep up with what we have treading on our Facebook page. Get links to other DJ mixes, view classic and current party flyers and event links for shows we are supporting or recording. And of course check out John Acquaviva's personal site links where highlighted for more info on what he's got coming up, tour dates and be sure to support what he does. After all, If it were not for the artists, none of these posts would have been possible. 

Hope this finds you all well.


(Special thanks to Mike Rosley for the use of the crowd pic from the night)


  1. Thanks for this!!! Part 1 is simply awesome!

  2. @ Adam, John has always been a great DJ and down to earth guy. This night he had the crowd rocking. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Can someone plz reupload this, megaupload has beedn seized by the government.

  4. Working on getting the links back up as soon as we can! Check our mix cloud page for sets. Thanks!

  5. I was there - by far best show I've been too. Was about 10K people there. Was no cueing line - just a doors with security so all the people were trying to get in, in a non organized way. Lots of fights broke out in the line and people started rushing the guards and barging there way in. Got very intense for a bit. Other than that - the sets were amazing, especially Hawtin