Articles tagged with acid house

April 6

Armando Gallup was a famous Chicago party promoter, DJ, A+R for Felix da Housecat‘s Radikal Fear record label and foremost, an early acid innovator.  Sadly, he passed away from Leukemia at 26 at the height of his powers.  In his short time on the planet, he recorded a slew of influential dance tracks.  Perhaps best known for bouncy lysergic work outs like Land of Confusion, 151, and Downfall, Armando was not afraid to twiddle some knobs and let his 303 run wild.  

Recorded when he was just 18, Don’t Take It is, by contrast, a slow burn.  It’s repetitive in a way that defined early Chicago House.  15 full seconds of kick drum lead off the track.  No high hats, no snare, no nuthin’.  Then the 303 line comes in, dropping five short simple rhythmic bass notes over the kick drum.  Next, Sharvette Cole’s vocal enters.  It’s raw, unselfconscious and in your face.  Legend, and internet rumor has it that the vocals were laid down in one take in a hotel room bathroom.  The effect is claustrophobic, hypnotic and startlingly fresh.  Around 2 mins, we finally get high hats.

As the track continues, the acid line bubbles up in the best way.  The filter takes about 6 minutes to fully open.  The squelchy bass lead creeps from innocuous to acerbic and then finally to straight up gnarly.  At five minutes in the 303 gets absolutely drenched in flanger and delay.  It’s dubby, trippy and no doubt sounded like something from outer space to the kids down on Milwaukee Avenue back in 1988.  Don’t Take It goes up the back staircase, tip-toes down the hall, crawls across your bedroom floor, slips under the covers, grabs you and then doesn’t let go.  

-Dope Werewolf

March 14

I’m here in Austin, TX for SxSW, so it seemed like a good idea to write about something related, since I am here. After one day of music, the highlight has been Austin’s own Bodytronix.

For the most part, Bodytronix does not seem to release recordings of their music, other than in a live form. You see them live, or listen to a recording of a performance, or you never hear them at all. There are two guys in the band, but the amount of electronics on stage dwarfs them. The mass of cords alone could probably be a stand in band member, as I documented here last night.

The music is whirling vortex of acid house, odd samples, 80’s low-budget horror soundtrack sounds, blaring vocoders and early Detroit-era techno sounds. The crowd here in Austin, young types who look like they’d be more interested in dancing to Siouxsie Sioux or Crass, immediately began to gyrate as the set started, and within minutes a full-on dance party was going on below the stage. It would careen between ebb and flow as the songs devolved into cacophonies of squelches and reformed into a massive, thrumming beast of acid sounds.

Here’s a 50 minute live set of theirs, which you can also download. It will take some time to get into the meat of it, it’s not for everyone, and it’s nothing like seeing them live. I recommend you all heed my advice and if they play a live show in your town, make an effort to catch them.

// Brian Blackout