Back in the day, Trax Records, the original Chicago House label, gave birth to an entire industry. Now, the label’s co-founder, Vince Lawrence, together with his Slang Music Group, is feeding that industry with the release of ‘Chicago Fire’, an anthology of Acidised (ironically) loops, breaks, beats and construction sets.
Comprising a boxed set of five CDs, each covers a different dance sub genre.
First up is ‘Old School’, which, as you might guess is about as old school Chicago House as you can get….jack jack jackie mason…I mean your body… Like its brothers, it’s divided into five sections, the first of which contains a variety of pre made drum loops, the second of which contains licks and phrases played on electric bass, electric guitar and keyboards, the third of which contains one shots i.e. individual drums and SFX hits, the fourth of which contains ‘themes’, which are construction sets consisting of whole mixes of between 4 and 16 bars plus each of their constituent tracks and the fifth of which contains vocal phrases…wooo yeah…
Next up is ‘Deep House’…which, quite simply, is! Third up is ‘Progressive’, which offers the least drum loops, but the most themes…a massive 73 in fact, some of which, with names like “Back to Saturn,” and “Eating Brain,” are definitely a little out there…progressive even…and all of which are good solid dancefloor stuff. Fourth up is Drum ‘N’ Bass and despite the fact that this CD was produced stateside, it delivers, with Roni Size and Grooverideresque drum loops, earth shattering bass and ambient pads.
The one anomaly in this anthology is the fifth CD, ‘Electro’. As the architect of the 80s revival and with two fingers in the apple pie that is UK Electro, I think I can say with some authority that something has got lost in translation here, because nothing on this disc, which is the most bizarre mish mash of Latino and heavy metal vibes, comes anywhere close to resembling anything anyone in this country (where it’s distributed by SCV) would call ‘Electro’. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it, or that you couldn’t find a use for it, just that electro it ain’t. But when you stop to consider what you’re getting in the rest of this package, frankly who cares.
From the quality of the programming right through to the quality of the packaging, ‘Chicago Fire’ is a premium product. If you can’t put a tune together with it…in minutes…give up now!
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