"House Music Legacy Session" Boiler Room Chicago.

     This post took longer than expected but I still wanted to share my experience from this great night because I felt some of the reviews I saw making the rounds left out some details that I think needed to be included. It was hard not to get excited when the word got out about the back to back events that were taking place on the 25th and 26th of February in Chicago. Video streaming site the "Boiler Room" along with Mid-West veteran production crew "House Preservation Society" put together what many have said to be the most anticipated and what Wednesdays event went on to be the most watched live stream the site has done to date. The buzz surrounding these two shows were not only due to the fact that Boiler Room was finally doing a proper dance music stream here but also because of who was billed to play at both of these nights. The first stream held on Tuesday (Which I didn't attend) was an "Dance Maina" records label night with some of it's heavy hitters manning the decks such as Robert Armani, Jammin Gerald, DJ Gant-man and DJ Deeon.

     As much of a buzz as that event created before, during and after, it all lead up to Wednesday's "House music legacy" stream that had fans waiting by their digital devises for the live feed to begin. That night featured acid house creators "Phuture" reunited with original members "DJ Pierre"" and Earl "DJ Spank Spank" Smith and newest member "Lothario Lee" performing live. The excitement behind this set was due to the fact that Pierre and Spanky would be reunited and at the controls of those little silver boxes that put them at the head of the pack and had countless people emulate their sound for years to come. There was some talk during the stream and when the video went online that this was not the first time the duo had performed together in 20 years as some had stated. As the story goes, Pierre had moved to New York in the early 1990's to pursue a brief stink as A&R at Strictly Rhythm records and started working on productions for other artists when his solo career began to blossom. Things began to drift apart with being in the group with Smith and the duo stopped producing all together as Phuture in 1992. Pierre still supported the group and signed a few releases while working at Strictly when Smith continued on as Phuture under a few different plays on the name and with different members over the years but never again with Pierre. The most recent being "PHuture 303" with Rio. That duo had performed live last year at Chicago's Metro venue and as "Phuture"with Pierre at Paris's Rex club. But this will truly be the first time that Pierre and Smith would be performing as Phuture in Chicago with a whole new live show in almost 25 years. As an added bonus, vocalist and original Pierre's "Phantasy club" singer "J.R. Jordan" also performed with the group getting the crowd going singing a version of his and other Chicago great Felix The Housecats classic track "Fantasy girl" who was also produced by Pierre back in 1987. Phuture also had support from fellow Chicago talent Angel Alanis who was seen off to the right of the trio during their set. Angel had helped the trio work on sync'ing all their equipment together and with their live show.


     As far as the rest of the line up went, I heard a few people say that it was all DJ's you could catch playing in Chicago at one time or another but to me it was the perfect mix of style, skill and diversity to have at an event like this to really show what Chicago artists are all about and what some out there may been missing out on. You had Strictly Jazz Unit member and Cajual recordings artist "Glenn Underground" who many have said had the best set of the night. Multi talented and production king with over 200 E.P's under his belt "Paul Johnson". Detroit hero now living in Chicago of Inner city and solo artist fame and one of the founding fathers of Techno "Kevin Saunderson" who went back to back with his son "Dantiez Saunderson" who's now following in his footsteps. And Ron Hardy protege Mr. "Gene Hunt" who started off the night and had the vibe going from the time they opened the doors. As a added bonus and surprise, "Roy Davis Jr". who was a last minute add to the lineup performed and closed out the night and also had back to back Boiler Room streams with a set the floowing week in London.

Roy Davis J.r

Glenn Underground

Paul Johnson

Kevin Saunderson

Gene Hunt

     I was fortunate enough to have been able to come down to the venue before the night started and saw first hand how these live video streams worked and got to met with a few of the artists before they opened the doors. I arrived at "Primary night Club" in Chicago's Gold coast neighborhood around 4pm and preceded to walk in not knowing what to expect. This was the first time I had been to Primary for an event and I must say I was impressed with the lay out and general feel of the club. The crew from Boiler Room were still running cables, setting up cameras and getting things together as well were the staff of the club. Walking around and talking to people already in attendance, there was just as much excitement from those setting up as there was from those who were waiting online to watch And from those who got emails about making the RSVP list to get in. A rep from Roland was also there handing off the new AIRA line of production gear for Phuture to use during their set and taking pictures. This was the first time the group were getting their hands on the equipment and using them so they were getting a crash corse on some of the features. So some of what they did towards the end of their live set was totally live and on the fly.

    When the doors finally opened, it was an family reunion of sorts with many Chicago artists and contributors to the music scene and friends of the artists making their way around the club. Some of those in attendance that I saw were DJ Hyperactive, DJ Skull, Boo Williams, Robert Armani, Mark Almaria, Bucky Fargo, DJ Metal X, Rees Urban, DJ Gant-Man and Tim Baker to name a few. I also had the honor of meeting Robert Williams for the first time. Williams, Owned the legendary Warehouse in Chicago where he introduced The Godfather of house, the late "Frankie Knuckles" to Chicago and where some say the term "House music"originated from. And the Music Box where "Ron Hardy" took the art to a whole new level. Also in attendance was Cajual recording artist, vocalist and DJ Rousoull who was MC'ing the night along with one of "House Preservation Society's" founding members Davey Dave who also had mic duties on Tuesday's stream.  I also heard that they interviewed the artists for a documentary of sorts. Getting the story's behind the music and history from those who were there and involved. I believe these sessions will become available sometime later on their website and no doubt will get as many views as the streams. When they do I'll make sure to add them here and share them with you.

     As from what many of you who tuned in live that night saw unfold and for those who will hear on these audio streams, It was a night to remember and I feel sparked a fire that will burn for a long time to come both here in Chicago and around the world. It's rumored that the Boiler Room crew are in talks to do a regular stream from here in the future and I hope they do. If the comments, audience feedback and excitement from these two streams alone are anything to go by, they might have struck gold with the talent that us in the windy city already know are worth more than their weight in it.

     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 all of these artists personal sites links above their sets and where marked in "parentheses" throughout the post for more info on what they got coming up, tour dates and be sure to support what they do. After all, If it were not for the artists, None of these posts would have been possible. 

Hope this finds you all well.


Roy Davis Jr. Live from "Red No. 5" Chicago, 04-05-2002.

Roy Davis Jr. warming up the crowd.
   Originally from California before moving to Chicago, Roy was turned on to house music by greats DJ Pierre, Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Marshall Jefferson and Lil' Louis. He then took that love and started DJ'ing while still in his early teens. Later on he began producing as he calls it "Soul Electronica". A blend of Garage, Disco, R&B, House, Soul, Hip Hop and Electronic music. Things really got moving in 1993 when he was asked to do A&R for Strictly Rhythm while still in college. Roy has released many great singles and albums during his vast career both as a solo artist and as a member of a group on label's such as Soul electric, Defected, Strictly Rhythm, Ubiquity, XL, Peacefrog, DJAX, and his own Redcat Records. Some of his stand out group productions were 1992's "Rise from your grave" with "PHuture" along side Earl "Spanky" Smith. 1996's "Times Fade" with "PHuture the next Generation" along side Chicago's DJ Skull and 1999's "Watch them come" while part of "Men from the Nile" with Jay Juniel. As far as collaborations go, You can't forget 1996's timeless "Gabriel" with Peven Everett laying down both the vocals and trumpet on the track. Many have credited "Gabriel" with kick starting the UK Garage scene when it came out and still holds it own to this day. Roy has also had Billboard chart success with hits for Eric Benet / Faith Evens, Mary J. Blidge, Seal, Patty LaBelle, Terry Dexter, Christina Milian and Morcheeba to name a few. With a steady stream of his own and production work for other artists and steady gigs all over the world, It's safe to say we will be seeing and hearing from Roy for a long time to come.

Crowd at Red No.5
     This set took place during the time I was recording audio for the Club and DJ TV show I was a part of here in Chicago. The guys from the show would call me up and have me come down to where they were filming and record the sets. This night they filmed and interviewed Roy for an episode that I think aired after it got finished but as far as I can tell it's not up anywhere online. Going off of who ever was talking on the mic during the night, this was an event called "Silly Rabbit 5" on a Friday night. The place was rammed packed with people (as you can tell from the photo's) and the vibe was very heavy and music was, well you can tell from the recording great! At one point during Roy's set a women in the packed DJ booth got on the mic and started singing along with Roy and Peven's  classic "Gabriel". As it turns out, Some one left the mic on during his set and on certain parts of the mix you hear the crowd yelling (mostly me. Ha!) and cheering in the background, especially towards the end of the night when he was really bringing it. The crowd noise isn't enough to take away from the recording but it does adds some character to it.

     If you haven't already, Click on our Facebook "Like" tab at the top right corner of the blog to keep up with what we have going on. 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 this (Roy Davis Jr.) link for more info on what he's got coming up and support what he does! After all, If it were not for the artists, None of these posts would be possible. 

Hope this finds you all well. Cheers!

Gus Audio.

© Live Sets Chicago. 2014.