In club culture, folks like myself are known as “House-Heads.” We are the people who love a specific genre of music. Rooted in a hybrid sound of 70’s and early 80’s dance music known as HOUSE. With a foundation built on, disco, soul, latin and euro. The original term “house music” comes from the legendary Warehouse club that existed here in Chicago in the late 70’s and 80’s. Home to the God Father of house music Frankie Knuckles, this is a fact I don’t think many will dispute…
Like the Warehouse, Club 151 West, Paradise Garage and currently my personal favorite twirl pits Santos in NYC and Queen at Smart Bar in Chicago. My personal choices of booty busting dens for dirty hoofing have always leaned towards the low down, dark no muss no fuss variety of establishments. As far as larger venues, you will find me positioned in the furthest corners of the dance floor, safe from messy bar traffic. Generally with enough room to gyrate my hips, shuffle my feet and spin. Otherwise let my internal “Siri” guide me towards the crossroads of subwoofer and base. Generally within vicinity of Hump, Sweat and Stench Streets. My ears tend crave authentic vocals, generally void of todays full blown auto-tuned standards of pop. A flat or even off key organic note adds audio texture and realness when buffered against my naked ear. And Yes! please give me heavy base in my face, I want to feel the hair on the back of my spine vibrate.
Rich orchestrations, tribal, and classic disco masterpieces are my divine mucilage that holds my soul together. Masterpieces, so rich in texture and saturated with authentic instruments, intertwined with synth sounds and authentic luxe vocals are welcomed guests from heaven. This is the magic vibration that reconnects me to the human experience, rejuvenating my core outside to in. Lyrics of love, good times, hard times, nostalgia, fantasy, or good old shacking up tracks flip my switch. I am always a sucker for a low down sentimental “baby you done did me wrong, now I’m gonna do right by me” type of a number.
There are far to many wax classics that never exit my roster. Some sounds that are guaranteed to pump my groove muscle are. Weekend by Phreek produced by the legendary Patrick Adams. Go head now, serve me that sweet Philly Sound any time anywhere. Bring on the Horns, bring on the strings and I love me some live percussion on the dance floor. Full blown productions such as The Michael Theodore Orchestras High on Mad Mountain get me soaking wet! This is my kind of sound extravaganza. And I could write a thesis on Tantras MA-CUM-BA, dang I get so lost in these audio adventures, at times you may think I’m never coming back-lol.
The flip side of my deep groove penetration are those mad tripped out synth sounds of the Euro Royals. Such as Cerrone, Moroder, along with many others. If you have never treated your ears to a dip into fantasy tech pool of Donna Summers legendary I Feel Love. Twisted up by Giorgio Moroder and Patrick Cowley, do yourself a favor and take a sensory swim. (special thanks to Jim B-wink) This is not your average “remix” and I personally feel there will never be a need for it to be reworked ever again. A sweet ass mind warp awaits you, put on your spacephones and enjoy the lift off. I find something rewarding in most selections of sound, always a quality to be extracted and appreciated. But then again I find this to be true with much of my pleasures and endeavors in this life.
The meat of this writing is all about is the spiritual experience that one may encounter, or at least that one being me. While paying his or her respects at their local late night house of worship. This may take place alone, between two or even in a group. Certain terms are common, such as “calling down the spirits” or “trancing.” This is the moment when you are caught between multiple states of consciousness. A dance floor covered in sawdust, walls slippery and wet, body’s drenched in sweat, beats pulsing, and body’s humping. This is a completely connecting communal experience. You or at least I are entering a meditative state, where the dancer becomes lost in their internal santuary. The spirits start to simmer, you can feel them begin to rise. Churning then moving upward from within your chest. You are lost and completely grounded simultaneously, time no longer exist. Now you are going deep-soon you are caught in a cavern of sound, yet sensitive to your surroundings. The heat, rhythm and the frenzy enraptures you. This is trance, a possession of all things good.
For House-Heads this is our church, we come to these party’s and clubs as part of our spiritual nourishment. A non denominational space of worship. Our sermon is served on wax, presented by our rotating ministers behind the wheels of steel. We arrive and allow the spirit to move us. We exit often greeted with a sunrise with bandanas and waistbands soaking wet. We have no need for a walk of shame for we are one. We may not always know each others names, but the faces, eyes and smiles always signify family. With each event, no matter the city there is a global camaraderie. I for one am grateful for this international beat tribe-peace love music to all!
(Disco-claimer) Like anything one may argue the particulars when it comes to the history of a movement. Timelines, clubs, DJ’s, legends and other origins of this particular social movement. I am not the God Granny of house so please do your own research. This is only my perspective and speaking as Chicago/New York child of the club scene this is my own POV and nothing more – Besos!
Love and Light as Always
The Empowered Runt – lil Big R