Recommended Album: Can You Jack? Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1985-95

Can You Jack? Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1985-95

Can You Jack? Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1985-95

Me spinning some records in Musica Musica. (Photo - J.Booton)

Spinning some records at Musica Musica. (Photo – J.Booton)

Earlier this Summer I was traveling around Italy taking in the beautiful art, vistas, food, and of course – the record stores. When I found myself in Perugia I stumbled into a great store called Musica Musica which had a killer selection of House, Italo-Disco, R&B, and Soul.

I purchased some gems there, and after speaking to the owner in broken Italian she encouraged me to get behind the decks where I spun records for quite awhile, a true highlight of my trip. One of the records I bought at Musica Musica was a re-press of Can You Jack? Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1985-95.

I missed out on the heyday of house and electronic in the late 90’s as I was going through a punk & rock phase (still am actually…), but have since gained friends who’ve helped turn me on to those scenes. Can You Jack? goes back to the origins of House, Acid, and DJ Electronic Music – specifically to Chicago, which is basically the Mississippi Delta for House.

What I love so much about this compilation is that it not only showcases the originators of the format, but also provides a booklet with a vivid history surrounding the origins of House, which for me, was beyond fascinating and valuable. If Steve Dahl’s Disco Demolition Night night announced the end of Disco, it also marked the beginnings of House. Afterwards dance music became the music of lepers, but certain DJ’s in Chicago took experimental and left-field music from acts such as Kraftwerk, added some drum machines to their decks, and invented the new format of Acid and House. Pretty damn punk rock if ask me, especially when dancing in clubs was so frowned upon, especially in Chicago.

That’s why I recommend Can You Jack? so highly, not only does it still sound contemporary (which shows you how ahead of the curve those DJ’s were) but it serves as a history lesson. Electronic music, which has become so popular in 2013, is only that way because current acts are standing on the shoulders of Giants. A favorite off mine is Tyree’s “Acid Crash” which is featured below – and it still sounds weird, experimental, hard, and foreboding after all these years – and all was done without the aid of a computer. Pretty damn impressive indeed.

You can buy Can You Jack? Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1985-95 via Soul Jazz Records.

Recommended If You Like: House, Electronic, Acid, DJ Pierre, Phuture

D. Hixon

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