Lately I’ve been reading The Record Players, the newest book by Frank Brewster and Bill Broughton of Last Night a DJ Saved My Life fame. I’m knee deep in the origins of Chicago House, the world of folks like Ron Hardy, Frankie Knuckles, and Farley Jackmaster Funk. Most folks credit part of the house sound originating with the Hot Mix 5, five prominent radio DJs (including Farley) who made italo disco‘s synthy arpeggiated grooves a staple of Chicagoans musical diet in the mid 80s.
In Flagranti, longtime purveyors of kitsch and sleaze, have decided to pay homage to that moment when italo morphed into house in one of their newest video singles, Gridlock. From early house, it pulls in the relentless looping percussion and a thunderous four on the floor pulse. From italo comes a tropical LinnDrum assault that’ll get your blood pumping for hot sticky weather. They wrap things up nicely with a dope sample from Hot Mix 5’s Ralphi Rosario calling out to the radio world, and a quirky little video of an artist drawing a Chicago cityscape (EDIT: YDHT2S experts assert this is probably Wesley Willis, even radder). Consider it a history lesson and a dance lesson all in one.
You can pick up a copy of the single at Juno (it’s an exclusive there) along with all of their excellent new singles, like this week’s selection, Physical Maturity, which is more than a little NSFW, but totally banging on the breakbeat rhythms.
/// Brian Blackout