The House that Jack built
February 21, 2011 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Pump Up The Volume - The History Of House Music was a three part documentary (1 Time To Jack, 2 Can You Feel It, 3 From Hardcore To Handbag) first shown in the UK in 2001, telling of House’s origins in the Chicago underground, it’s crossing over the Atlantic and evolving into illegal Acid raves before entering into the mainstream in Britain. (Some NSFW language)

There was also a soundtrack album for the series, 'History of House', with the following:

Your Love - Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle
Spring Rain - Bebu Silvetti
Is It Love You’re After - Rose Royce
Let No Man Put Asunder - First Choice
On And On - Jesse Saunders
No Way Back - Adonis
Can U Feel It? - Mr Fingers
Move Your Body - Marshall Jefferson
Love Can’t Turn Around - Farley “Jackmaster” Funk feat Darryl Pandy
Music Is The Key - JM Silk
It's Alright - Sterling Void
Promised Land - Joe Smooth
Theme From S’Express - S’Express
Big Fun - Inner City
That’s The Way Love Is - Ten City
Someday - Ce Ce Rogers
Voodoo Ray - A Guy Called Gerald
W.F.L (Think About The Future Mix) - Happy Mondays
Everything Starts With An E - Ezee Posse
The Sun Rising - Beloved
Chime - Orbital
Little Fluffy Clouds - The Orb
Energy Flash - Joey Beltram
On A Ragga Tip - SL2
Don’t You Want Me - Felix
Open Up - Leftfield
Inner City Life - Goldie Presents Metalheadz
Professional Widow (Armand’s Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix) - Tori Amos
9PM (Till I Come) - ATB
posted by fearfulsymmetry (46 comments total) 87 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh hell yes.
posted by LMGM at 1:20 PM on February 21, 2011


This just gave me a surge of happiness.
posted by Shebear at 1:25 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awesome.

And for juvenile giggles, turn on closed captions:
"in the underground clubs of chicago houses
one of the biggest musical phenomenon sexual
criminals"

Real words:
"from the underground clubs of chicago, house has grown
into the biggest musical phenomenon since rock
and roll"
posted by filthy light thief at 1:54 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This just gave me a surge of happiness.

I thought "flashbacks" were just a myth.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:54 PM on February 21, 2011


Gonna chime in here with a few other classics.

Adonis - No Way Back (instrumental)
Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It (the one in the FPP is broken)
A Guy Called Gerald - Blow Your House Down
Steve Hurley - Jack Your Body
House Master Boyz - House Nation

I found all these listening to old WJLB mixes one of my friend's dads recorded in 1990/91 or so.
posted by ofthestrait at 2:02 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh. Is anyone else noticing that the play-in-Metafilter button is broken? I can click through but not preview.
posted by ofthestrait at 2:06 PM on February 21, 2011


This has been running on and off on one of the channels that shows such things... Sundance, or Documentary Channel, or IFC (before it turned evil) or something... I've seen it more than a couple of times. It's pretty excellent. It's nice to know it's online for viewing. Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 2:11 PM on February 21, 2011


Any discussion on this topic should reference Energy Flash by Simon Reynolds which I read in one 72-hour long sitting, with the CD on repeat, when it appeared in the late nineties. Thanks for this post.
posted by eeeeeez at 2:18 PM on February 21, 2011


Simon Reynolds has a number of good music blogs with crazy amounts of information and nostalgia (Energy Flash, Blissblog, Bring The Noise, The Sex Revolts, and more). Energy Flash was re-packaged as Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture in the US, which Reynolds has re-worked, and it'll be re-released in late 2011 on Soft Skull Press. II swear I'm not a shill, just a fan of his writing.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:44 PM on February 21, 2011


Oh my god, they even have Larry Sherman from Trax Records, talking about his recycled vinyl! I remember reading an old comment on Discogs from djfrankiebones (yes, oldskool techno DJ Frankie Bones) talking about Trax records recycling vinyl, turning out new records with bits of old paper labels in the vinyl. I couldn't find the comment in the archives, though.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:03 PM on February 21, 2011


Stakker Humanoid
posted by exogenous at 3:25 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wonder what an update would look like from the last ten years?

Have to look at, to name just a few...

The rise of Berlin (and Cologne - Kompakt)
Dubstep/grime/uk funky etc.
The whole blog house thing

...and of course the effect of technology on the scene - as with any music documentary looking at the last ten years.
posted by treblekicker at 3:28 PM on February 21, 2011


"On Top Of The Pops last week, you said - Anyone got any underlay? What was that about?"

"It was a rug reference"

GEEZER!
posted by Devonian at 3:35 PM on February 21, 2011


I was given a copy of this when it came out by none other than Chip E. By chance I had hooked up with him to do some design work. But I was also a local/aspiring DJ and house aficionado, so I was like a little fan girl when I got to play his old records in his home studio! Anyways, like most BBC music docs, this series is highly recommended.

At that time Chip E. was also putting together his own documentary to pay homage to a lot of the first generation Chicago house guys who never got the attention that he felt they deserved: The Unusual Suspects. Compared to the BBC work, Chip's project was undoubtedly less comprehensive (it was completely self-produced), but always nice to see the underdogs getting some of the respect they deserve.
posted by p3t3 at 3:43 PM on February 21, 2011


Anyways, like most BBC music docs,

cough Channel 4 cough

Stakker Humanoid

Which reminds me... Hitman and Her
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:52 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


<3
posted by empath at 4:13 PM on February 21, 2011


Eponysterical
posted by cthuljew at 4:19 PM on February 21, 2011


May as well throw up some of my own faves, which I pulled up after watching the doc again over the weekend

M.A.R.S. - Pump Up The Volume
D-Mob - We Call It Acieed
Bomb The Bass - Beat Dis
Black Box - Ride on Time
Utah Saints - Something Good
Kicks Like A Mule - The Bouncer
Altern 8 - Activ 8
The Prodigy - Charly
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:20 PM on February 21, 2011


Also, Van She's remix of "Something Good" and the video for it are some of the greatest accomplishments in the world of music ever.
posted by cthuljew at 4:24 PM on February 21, 2011


Can I have this thread on repeat?
posted by Mike Mongo at 4:26 PM on February 21, 2011


Wonder what an update would look like from the last ten years?

Well, from my perspective as someone who got into the scene in the summer of 1999, would be the rise of the flood of high quality ecstasy into the US starting in 1999, the ascendence of trance, Twilo and the rise of the Superstar DJs and Super Clubs, the indie-dance reaction to it, the death of rave, and the surprising mutation of the hardcore genres into dubstep.

In the summer of 1999, all I knew about dance music was terrible 'club remixes' of pop songs. I thought of dance music as 'disco'. I knew about prodigy, but i experienced them as a kind of hip-hop or rock music, not as dance music. DJs were radio djs, or the guys at clubs that gave shoutouts to people on their birthday.

The club in DC that I went to was a dirty warehouse rave, 3 stories high, and the DJ booth upstairs was wide open, cuddle puddles everywhere, etc, there was a perfunctory search at the front door, but 5 minutes after walking in, you could find e from 30 different people, and by 2am, the entire club was on ecstasy. I didn't know who any of the DJs were, and I didn't care. Every once in a while, I'd get a mix tape handed to me, but it didn't occur to me that these DJs were people I should care about as artists, and the idea of them touring around the country seemed bizarre to me.

That changed for me when I saw Paul Van Dyk the first time -- I had never hard of him before, but there were people walking around the club wearing home-made "PVD IS GOD" t-shirts. This was in the middle of his and Sasha and Digweed's twilo residencies and while they weren't famous, there was definitely a vibe in the club that night that I'd never felt before. It was the first time that I'd heard a crowd chanting a DJs name (PVD PVD PVD), and start cheering as soon as he took the decks. And it was the first time I'd heard trance, too. By 3 am, I didn't know what was going on anymore, I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven a hundred times over. It was (and remains) the best night of my life.

From then on I was hooked on trance, and because of napster, audiogalaxy, etc, recorded Essential Mixes started filtering over to the US -- Oakenfold's Tranceport mix became a touchstone for a generation of ravers, and lots of us went out and bought every 'trance' compilation we could find. I bought turntables and learned how to mix, as did pretty much all of my friends.

At the same time, I started getting involved with the people running big weekly in town, flyering for them, running their message boards. When the club built a new state of the art DJ booth downstairs, they added a 'back stage', and I had regular access to it and met all the DJs they were bringing in-- Oakenfold, DJ Dan, Pete Tong, Carl Cox, etc.. Most of them were really nice, down to earth guys.

As the club sold out week after week, the DJs started demanding more and more money. What had been done on a handshake agreement was now getting handled by pricey agents, and guys that had been playing for $1000 plus travel costs were now demanding thousands of dollars.

At the same time, the DJ Mag top 100 list started dominating discussions of parties and promoters would book DJs exclusively based on how well they placed on the list, driving up the price of guys like oakenfold upwards of $50,000 for one night.

New, fancier clubs started opening up, and seeing the amount of people that 'rave djs' were bringing in, but wary of the poor reputation that went along with 'raves', booked the same DJs, but instituted dress codes and cracked down on drug selling and dealing, and driving up the costs of booking 'big name' djs more and more. They also added VIP tables and bottle service which brought elitism to a scene that had been built around a more egalitarian, diverse vibe.

By 2004 or so, the scene was completely creatively bankrupt. Non-risk-taking "Progressive" DJs were dominating the DJ Mag charts, Tiesto was playing the opening ceremonies of the olympics and party line-ups, parties became about status and money instead of just hanging our with your friends and having a good time and the clubs emptied out. Rave was dead as a doornail.

--

I guess someone else can cover the rise of dubstep and indie dance, this is all too depressing for me, lol..
posted by empath at 4:49 PM on February 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


empath, I always had a bit of a different take on it. At least in the US anyway.

The rave scene was primarily populated (initially) by high-school and college students. High school students were always a captive audience, as they are left out of any formal adult entertainment scene (bars/clubs) save for concerts and festivals, both of which were run by... adults.

The raves were a kind of by teenagers and college students, for teenagers and college students kind-of affair. If you were a youth at the time, you can either pay out the a** to go somewhere you can't drink that closes at two or go to fairy play land run by someone who understands what you are after, socialising, good music, and a bit of space to be yourself.

The rave scene went strong until the body politic of it grew up, went to college and opened super clubs in Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas. At that point, everyone had a bit more money, could do drugs in a nice place in the centre of town, and not drive to a field in BFE.

That generation has now grown up and had kids, thus not so much of a mainstream super-scene anymore.

And it could be said that house music really was a revolution of technology in music making that helped break the back of the record and concert businesses. That's been broken and now electronic music exists all the time everywhere, thus there's not a need for it to be a subculture witnessed by mass gatherings of the faithful, rather it exists everywhere.

I don't think the scene is creatively bankrupt at all, however the innovation has diffused from a narrow sliver of society into infinite other areas. Soundtracks, video arrangements, etc.

It's funny how often in revolutionary movements, the revolutionaries themselves enjoy the days of the out-group experience -- the underground social engagement -- to the experience of have that movement foment and become mainstream. Once it goes mainstream, it diffuses, thus everyone gets a smaller piece of it, rather than a comparatively few people being completely immersed and involved.

And I don't say this from the arm chair. I was involved in Moontribe parties and seeing Digweed in San Francisco warehouses all the way through the Spundae/Giant scenes in SF/LA, to Las Vegas starring Paul Oakenfold. And I agree, the scene is nowhere near what it was then. But then again, you only ever heard house music in niche locations where as now it's literally everywhere.
posted by nickrussell at 5:41 PM on February 21, 2011


So, the march of technology being what it is, all modern drum synths have an 808 patch that's indistinguishable from the real thing, is that right?
posted by jfuller at 5:46 PM on February 21, 2011


The rave scene went strong until the body politic of it grew up, went to college and opened super clubs in Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas. At that point, everyone had a bit more money, could do drugs in a nice place in the centre of town, and not drive to a field in BFE.

That generation has now grown up and had kids, thus not so much of a mainstream super-scene anymore.


Well, okay, but there were new high school and college kids. They just didn't go to raves.
posted by empath at 5:46 PM on February 21, 2011


True, however the group that followed were children of sixties parents who were a bit more relaxed and open than the parents of a decade previous. Further, the current crop of kids had technology to begin with -- especially the internet -- that started breaking down barriers much earlier.

I mean, that's a huge theme of all of this right? breaking barriers down. From the racial barriers to sexual barriers to every other barrier. It's no surprise that ravers adopted pacifiers and day-glow shit and candy accessories. It was a period of reliving a carefree childhood that had accidentally been stolen from them by helicopter parents who thought that a scheduled activity each day and advanced math in pre-school was necessary to get ahead.

It's all intimately tied in with globalisation and changing American cultural trends. A good friend wrote a fascinating book she never could get published basically looking at the rave culture from the "why" perspective. All the way through what all the nuances meant and the subsequent result.
posted by nickrussell at 5:57 PM on February 21, 2011


I grew up in the US the same time period as empath, but my first rave was my first year of college. The directions were the "underground" sort of thing, with directions available at the last minute via a phone number, except the end location was a local Veterans' Hall, not some warehouse. I had a blast, but I got tired around 2am and that was that. I love the music, but never got really involved with the DJ culture, in the underground raves or in the commercial clubs.

I thought I missed the peak of the rave culture, but my little sister (who is ten years younger than me) started going to raves in the mountains when she was in her teens. Another generation of ravers are still heading to the hills to experience raves for the first time.

It was after she first tried ecstasy at a rave that she said "I understand why you like electronic music." I informed her that I liked the music for the music, no drugs necessary. She didn't believe me for a while.

Dubstep and indie dance seem to be a less commercial form of dance music, a new underground. Well, they were underground, for a while. But I think there's a vibrant spectrum, from the ridiculous Superstar DJs to the local club kids with turntables who spin at little parties. The inclusive mega-clubs are mostly dead, it seems, though there might be some mountain parties or raves in abandoned buildings that are epic but lack the superstar egos (and pay).
posted by filthy light thief at 6:01 PM on February 21, 2011


I must say, one of my favourite on-going traditions of electronic music is the fact that drum and bass in all its forms has been the next big thing for about fifteen years.
posted by nickrussell at 6:06 PM on February 21, 2011


The inclusive mega-clubs are mostly dead, it seems, though there might be some mountain parties or raves in abandoned buildings that are epic but lack the superstar egos (and pay).

One of my good friends, after spending a couple years helping to promote one of the shitty SuperClubs is throwing huge undergrounds now in DC (well, huge by DC standards -- map points and everything -- including breaking into an abandoned Best Buy right underneath the mixing bowl in Springfield and having one there). He's got a huge mailing list and regularly sells out parties weeks in advance. And it's all like 18 and 19 year old kids.
posted by empath at 6:08 PM on February 21, 2011


Well if we're talking about trance, here are a couple of my, uhm, gateway drugs from 1992. Lucky enough to have heard them both first in Goa, no less.

The Age of Love - The Age of Love - Jam and Spoon Watch Out For Stella Remix

A bit more housey:

Bassheads - Is There Anybody Out There - Extended Mix

There is terrific music still being made. I still like Sasha and he is still pushing out some great mixes, many of them available online. But there are many other great artists. Here's some recent things in a fairly funky minimalist trancey vein:

Nhar - Afterburner
Nhar - Mithril
Antonio - Nuh
posted by carter at 6:11 PM on February 21, 2011


I came here to say that this is almost certainly a double of an empath post, but that is clearly not the case or he is too polite to say so.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:17 PM on February 21, 2011


I linked it as a bonus in a kraftwerk thread a few years ago.
posted by empath at 8:25 PM on February 21, 2011


Nice post. I interviewed a bunch of Chicago house artists:

http://www.gridface.com/features/chicago_house/

As much as the UK explosion helped pump money to a couple of label heads (i.e. Sherman), it effectively destroyed the Chicago underground scene, especially once Ecstasy was banned and anti-rave laws shut down after-hours parties. Plus producers were at the whim of London's fickle taste, which soon turned to faster Detroit-inspired beats. Once European artists picked up on the sound, American imports were no longer needed.
posted by hyperizer at 8:54 PM on February 21, 2011


Oops, fixed link here. Believe it or not, the "warehouse" was originally a frat party.

Don't believe anything Simon Reynolds says about Chicago in Energy Flash/Generation Ecstasy. Notice how he didn't interview any Chicago guys for the book and it completely lacks citations/footnotes of any kind.
posted by hyperizer at 9:06 PM on February 21, 2011


thank you. gonna go dance to frankie knuckles this sat. i hope/trust he brings it.
posted by nikoniko at 9:20 PM on February 21, 2011


You cannot cite Black Box Right on TIme cos stey stole Lolleta Holleways record and did not give her credit and got some skinny girl to mime all over her.
posted by dprs75 at 5:23 AM on February 22, 2011


Empath, I for one will not tolerate antitiëstism!
posted by joeclark at 5:46 AM on February 22, 2011


I think its wonderful how we've transitioned from an underground rave scene to a widespread acceptance and enjoyment of electronic music! And there is still so much good, funky, dirty, underground music out there to be found. I do lament the loss of many underground-style venues. I wish there was a place in my city where I could go to listen to soul-shaking music without having to deal with cover, tight jeans, and $10 drinks!
posted by worldli at 7:48 AM on February 22, 2011


I linked it as a bonus in a kraftwerk thread a few years ago.

Ah, I did do a search... obviously not a very good one...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:24 AM on February 22, 2011


nickrussell: I must say, one of my favourite on-going traditions of electronic music is the fact that drum and bass in all its forms has been the next big thing for about fifteen years.

Hah! Listening to a 2009 John B podcast mix, he said he was the only DnB DJ to be on the DJ Mag top 100 DJs, and John B doesn't stick to DnB, as seen by his electro DnB or Trance 'n' Bass mixCD.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:04 PM on February 22, 2011


Empath, I for one will not tolerate antitiëstism!

i used to be a huge tiesto fan... met him 3 times, opened for him, etc... But he was emblematic of a trend that i think was destructive to 'the scene'...
posted by empath at 1:07 PM on February 22, 2011


Sys Rq: I thought "flashbacks" were just a myth.

No, definitely not.
posted by Lleyam at 2:31 PM on February 22, 2011


And I'm looking forward to a week on Friday, a proper old school party with the big smiling faces in a run-down warehouse, somewhere in the east-end of London. Magical.
posted by Lleyam at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2011


I thought "flashbacks" were just a myth.

No, definitely not.


I've flashedback (flashbacked?) exactly once. Standing in an elementary school reading lab full of first graders. I knew immediately what was happening, and excused myself to go to the basically unused adult male restroom to gather myself. I sat in the stall for about 15 minutes while the tiles and the walls wavered around me, and once things stabilized, I went back to work looking for chewing gum to help get the stale aluminum foil taste out of my mouth.

They are not myths. But they aren't nearly the "holy shit, the world is ending, I will kill myself now" events which the propagandists would have you believe. If you're Experienced, you know exactly what's happening from moment one.
posted by hippybear at 4:02 PM on February 22, 2011


This was in the middle of his and Sasha and Digweed's twilo residencies and while they weren't famous, there was definitely a vibe in the club that night that I'd never felt before.

Wut? Dude, I was travelling 100 miles each way to see Sasha ten years before in Shelleys in Stoke and he was famous then. He was a Global Superstar by the time he was playing Twilo.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:53 PM on February 22, 2011


Wut? Dude, I was travelling 100 miles each way to see Sasha ten years before in Shelleys in Stoke and he was famous then. He was a Global Superstar by the time he was playing Twilo.

Not in the US.
posted by empath at 10:25 PM on February 22, 2011


Okay, last thread I'm posting this in-my new progressive house/techno/trance mix:

Dreamscape
posted by empath at 9:38 AM on February 23, 2011


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