ACID-MYSTERONS INVADE THE JACKIN’ ZONE: CHICAGO ACID AND EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE 1986-93.

ACID-MYSTERONS INVADE THE JACKIN’ ZONE: CHICAGO ACID AND EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE 1986-93.

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost thirty years since the birth of house music in Chicago for future generations of producers. Time has gone quickly, and things were very different. Back then, the technology producers enjoy nowadays was much more lo-fi. There were no igital audio workstations like Logic, Ablteton Live and Reason. For early pioneers of house music like Jesse Saunders, Jamie Principle, Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Mr. Fingers and Phuture, their musical weapon of choice was the unmistakable sound of the squelchy Roland TB-303 bass synth. That sound nostalgic and unique sound features on many of the twenty-two tracks on Soul Jazz Records’ new compilation Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93. However, Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 is no ordinary compilation.

As I’ve said, Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 is no ordinary compilation. Quite the opposite. Instead,  it’s a luxurious double-album, from Soul Jazz Records housed in substantial box. It reminds me of another Soul Jazz Records compilation Soul Jazz Records Presents Voguing and The House Ballroom Scene 1976-1996. Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 has a similar quality. Within the box, are the two discs plus a couple of bonus items. There’s a a limited edition set of postcards and a graphic novel by Paolo Parish, entitled Mysterons Invade The Jackin’ Zone, which is set in Chicago in 1986. However, limited edition sets of postcards and graphic novels are just a bonus, what really matters is the music on Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93, which I’ll tell you about.

DISC ONE.

On Disc One of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93, there are eleven tracks. This includes contributions from Acid Wash, Armando, Mr. Fingers, J.M. Silk and The Children. These eleven tracks cover the dawn of house music in the mid-eighties, right through to the second wave of house producers. For anyone interested in the history of house music, this will give them an insight into the development of the genre. They’ll be able to chart the roots of what proved to be an important and influential musical genre. After all, house music has provided the soundtrack to dance-floors for nearly thirty years. Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 will also act as an introduction into some of pioneers of house music. Like any musical genre, house music shouldn’t forget its pioneers and innovators, many of whom feature on Disc One of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93.

My first choice from Disc One of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 is Risque Rhythm Team’s The Jacking Zone. Risque Rhythm were a trio consisting of Keith Alexi Shelby, Lee Haggard and Mitchbal. They released their debut E.P, Risque Rhythm in 1986, on Chicago Connection Records. Written by Lee Haggard and Mitchbal, who produced the E.P. with Mr Lee, this track epitomizes the Chicago House sound circa 1986. For house fans of a certain vintage, this will bring back good memories.

Armando Gallop was one of the real pioneers of the Chicago House scene. His career started in 1987 when he released Land Of Confusion. Four years later in 1991, as house music began to evolve, Armando released the 151(The Remixes) E.P. on Djax-Up-Beats. 151 (The Remixes) featured new tracks like 151 and classics like Land Of Confusion and 100% Of Dissin’ You. These track demonstrate just why Armando, who died aged twenty-six, is remembered as a true pioneer of Chicago House.

Another pioneer of Chicago House is Mr. Fingers. He was one of the founding fathers of Chicago House and was there, when what would become one of the most important musical genres in the past sixty years was born. Larry Heard, or as most people know him as, Mr. Fingers, wrote and produced numerous Chicago House classics. This includes Can You Feel It, which he released in 1986 on Trax Records alongside another classic, Washing Machine. For me, Can You Feel It is the best track on Disc One of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93. It’s worthy of being called a classic.

Back when the early Chicago House scene was first developing, Steve “Silk” Hurley was one of the DJs who pioneered the nascent sound. Between 1983 and 1984, Steve concentrated on his DJ-ing career. Then in 1985, his production career began. Indeed, it began with a bang, when as J.M. Silk, he released Music Is The Key (Basement Key) on D.J. International Records. It has a hypnotic sound that could only have been released between 1985 and 1986. Having said that, it’s another vintage house classic.

For my final choice from Disc One of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 isThe Children’s Freedom (Factory Mix). The Children, who comprised Vinny Divine, Jamie Christopher and Demetrius, released just two singles, Freedom and Work The Box. Freedom was released in 1987 on D.J. International Records. It was produced and mixed by The Children and Adonis. Of the two singles The Children released, Freedom is the best. One listen will demonstrate just why.

From the opening bars of Acid Wash’s Hallucinate, right through to the closing notes of Mr. Fingers’ Ecstasy, Disc One of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 features quality house music. There’s contributions from pioneers of house like Armando Mr. Finger and J.M. Silk, plus a sprinkling of lesser known tracks, including The Children and I Believe. Given that not every track released during the period this compilation covers, the compiler has managed to avoid any major musical mishaps of faux pas. After all, some early house music didn’t age well. Like a lot of music produced during the eighties, it has a synthetic sound. Thankfully, most of Disc One of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 has aged well. Indeed, some of the music I’d refer to as timeless classics. That’s high praise indeed. However, we’re only midway through Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93. Will the quality continue on Disc Two of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93? That’s what I’ll tell you.

DISC TWO.

Just like Disc One, Disc Two of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 features eleven tracks. Another similarity is some of the artists on Disc Two. There’s further contributions from Acid Wash and Mr. Fingers. Then there’s tracks from two other legends of Chicago House, Virgo and Adonis. As if this isn’t enough, Disc Two of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 there’s music from Devotion, Housemaster Boyz, Cool McCool, Rocky Jones and Bizzy B. The result is a compelling collection of house music, which I’ll tell you about.

Devotion’s Strength Of Bass is my first choice from Disc Two of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93. This was a track from Devotion’s 1989 E.P. House Doog, which was their only release. It was released on FACE Records and written by Warren Garbutt and Wellington Grinage. His vocals feature on Strength Of Bass, which I’d describe as a hidden gem of an this old school house track.

When it comes to pioneers of Chicago House, Marshall Jefferson was their at the dawn of a new musical era. Using a variety of aliases, including Virgo, he released numerous singles, E.P.s and albums. Many of them were groundbreaking and innovative, which influenced a new generation of producers. This includes Go Wild Rythm Trax No. 3, from the album Go Wild Rhythm Trax, released on Other SIde Records. This demonstrates that regardless of what alias Marshall Jefferson was using, he was one of the legendary figures in house music.

The Housemaster Boyz and The Rude Boy Of House released their debut single House Nation in 1986. It was released on Dance Mania Records, and featured beats by The Rude Boy and keyboards by Sweet D. Together, they play their part in a track that defines what Chicago House sounded like during that time.

It doesn’t take more than a few bars of Rocky Jones’ The Choice Of A New Generation before you’re transported back to 1987. Thunderous drums and a squelchy Roland TB-303 bass synth is all it takes. Released on D.J. International Records, The Choice Of A New Generation was the only release by Rocky Jones. He wasn’t just a producer, he was also the owner of the influential and innovative D.J. International Records. Like the music his label released, The Choice Of A New Generation an innovative and imaginative release, that’s stood the test of time. The compilers of deserve credit for including this track.

I think it’s fitting that my final choice from Disc Two of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 is a track from a pioneer of Chicago House…Mr. Fingers. The Juice is a track from Mr. Fingers’ debut album Amnesia. It was released in 1989 on the Jack Trax label, and was the first of four albums Mr. Fingers released. Just like Washing Machine and Can You Feel It, Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93, this track demonstrates just why, Larry Heard, aka Mr. Fingers is one the true pioneers of Chicago House.

With its combination of classic tracks and hidden gems, Disc Two of Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 continued where Disc One left off. There’s no drop in quality, with the music akin to a nostalgic walk down memory lane for survivors of the early days of Chicago House. How can there be with music from Adonis, Mr. Fingers, The Housemaster Boyz, Acid Wash and a glittering gems from Devotion and Rocky Jones. Listening to the music on Disc Two, it’s hard to believe some of the tracks are almost thirty years old. They’ve aged well and have a timeless sound. Maybe that’s why they’re the perfect introduction to the birth of a new musical era.

For newcomers to Chicago House, it’s much more than an introduction to the music. It’s an introduction to some of the pioneers of Chicago House. Without the technology and software producers take for granted, pioneers like Mr. Fingers, Virgo, Adonis and J.M. Silk. These are the people who were there at the dawn of a musical revolution. SInce then, house music has continued to evolve, with numerous sub-genres have been born. That’s ensured that house music neither becomes stale nor complacent. Born out of disco and boogie, house music has become one of the most important musical genres in the history of music. It’s enjoyed a longevity that few people would’ve forecast. Mind you with several generations of musical innovators breathing new life and energy into house music, then that longevity isn’t a surprise. As house music approaches its thirtieth birthday, then Acid-Mysteron Invade The Jackin’ Zone: Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-93 is an important reminder of house music’s roots. Standout Tracks: Mr. Fingers Can You Feel It, J.M. Silk Music Is The Key (Basement Key), Devotion Strength Of Bass and Virgo Go Wild Rythm Trax No. 3.

ACID-MYSTERONS INVADE THE JACKIN’ ZONE: CHICAGO ACID AND EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE 1986-93.

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