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RIP Frankie Knuckles.
March 31, 2014 9:14 PM   Subscribe

Ever wonder where the "House" in "House Music" comes from? In 1977, a young DJ named Frankie Knuckles started DJing at a club called the Warehouse in Chicago, bringing the new style of continuously mixing dance records with him, and perfecting it, just as cheap electronic drum machines enabled anyone to put together a dance record in their basement. All the people whose minds were being blown by the new music went to the local record stores to demand "Warehouse Music", and the world of music was changed forever. Frankie Knuckles died today, leaving a legacy that started in the '70s and carries on to the Grammy-winning success of acts like Daft Punk today.
posted by empath (73 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite

 
Truly a sad day.
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posted by brokeaspoke at 9:16 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by oceanjesse at 9:17 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by Iridic at 9:17 PM on March 31, 2014


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He just had an old mix featured on the XLR8R podcast, in case folks are interested in hearing more of the sound.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:17 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wait, what? Knuckles died today? Wow.

An era has ended. Although the torch has been passed many times (and many times again), news of this has me feeling oddly empty tonight.

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posted by hippybear at 9:19 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


FUCK
posted by hellojed at 9:21 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by Sys Rq at 9:21 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:22 PM on March 31, 2014


Frankie Knuckles - Your Love
posted by hellojed at 9:23 PM on March 31, 2014


Frankie Knuckles didn't actually produce Your Love, he released it on his record label.
posted by empath at 9:25 PM on March 31, 2014


. . . .
posted by spiderskull at 9:26 PM on March 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


He was in the documentary Continental, about the Continental Baths in New York, where he worked as a DJ.

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posted by rtha at 9:27 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


There will be some drunken booty shaking this weekend in remembrance
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posted by Arbac at 9:31 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by suprenant at 9:32 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by last night a dj saved my life at 9:46 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


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posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:46 PM on March 31, 2014


I'm withholding my . until this is confirmed on April 2.

Sure, a bunch of reputable sites are reporting this already. I just don't want to believe.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:47 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:56 PM on March 31, 2014


I just started reading the chapter on House music in this book tonight which talks at great length about Frankie, what a weird coincidence. He'll be missed for sure.
posted by inthe80s at 9:58 PM on March 31, 2014




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posted by robbyrobs at 10:04 PM on March 31, 2014


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I expect a few MeFiSwap mixes will pay tribute...
posted by mykescipark at 10:05 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by raihan_ at 10:05 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've been privileged enough to see Frankie DJ at Smart Bar a number of times over the last 5 or 6 years. I also got to be in the small crowd for a Q&A session that was basically just him and Joe Shanahan chatting like old friends. I chickened out of saying hello to him, but he was funny and warm.

I was a little concerned when he was too sick to play the birthday party thrown for him at Smart Bar this year. He was in the green room though, and the sold out club sang happy birthday to him through the floor. That was a seriously emotional night, and I'd hoped he'd been doing better since it seemed like he was still touring. Then this.

When I first heard, I assumed it was a sick April Fool's joke started a few hours too early. But Paul Johnson and some other old house dudes were posting about it on social media, and then finally 5 Magazine's confirmation (their site's a bit slammed right now, and PJ and others wouldn't joke about this)... I still kind of have trouble believing it.

Some of the most important and memorable nights out I've ever had were to see him DJ, never mind the huge shadow he casts over dance music. There's a particular kind of vibe when you put him in that little 400 person room in Chicago that I suspect you can't quite have anywhere else. I'm sad I won't have another one of those special nights with him on the decks that I can't stop thinking about for weeks after.

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posted by sparkletone at 10:20 PM on March 31, 2014 [12 favorites]


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posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 10:21 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by drinkyclown at 10:22 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by bongo_x at 10:24 PM on March 31, 2014




I discovered house in 1990 at 14 when I directed and produced (and wrote and filmed) a piece for a high school channel on CTV in Christchurch on the burgeoning dance music scene there.

Sonia Dutton, beloved daughter of Denis presented it.

So many positive memories since that day.

Love and light.

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posted by Samuel Farrow at 10:52 PM on March 31, 2014


.(tss).(tss).(tss)...(tss)

:(
posted by schyler523 at 11:20 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


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posted by KMB at 11:48 PM on March 31, 2014


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posted by Mister Bijou at 12:40 AM on April 1, 2014


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posted by drowsy at 12:48 AM on April 1, 2014


This feels closer to me than any other musician's passing.

Thanks, Frankie.

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posted by flaterik at 1:20 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


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I listened to a house mix for the first time in a while because Jon Oliver put together a mix of tracks from 2013, good to hear there is still quality house music being made!
posted by asok at 1:30 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


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I know what I'll be listening to today.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:04 AM on April 1, 2014


Finally escaping The Pressure. RIP Frankie.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:47 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


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posted by acb at 3:49 AM on April 1, 2014


Oh no! I've been on SoundCloud getting my hip house back.

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posted by stormpooper at 4:40 AM on April 1, 2014


One of my favorite house tracks is Frankie Knuckles' Whistle Song. Just such a pleasant groove.
posted by Kattullus at 4:55 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


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posted by sourwookie at 5:08 AM on April 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


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posted by runehog at 5:34 AM on April 1, 2014


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posted by mkb at 5:34 AM on April 1, 2014


Rock with you (Frankie Knuckles Mix)
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posted by DigDoug at 5:39 AM on April 1, 2014


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I have to admit I don't know if I've ever really heard his music though I knew the name and slight history from Frankie Bones talking about "House... meaning 'Warehouse'" in that thick NY accent of his in the Documentary Modulations. IIRC, the House producer/DJ they were showing in that segment for house music was Larry Heard. I'll be checking out this thread for the tunes later.
posted by symbioid at 6:41 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the tip about that Modulations doc, symbioid. I know what I'll be watching tonight.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:02 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Chrissy Murderbot on Chicago House. With a mix.
posted by timsteil at 7:05 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Gridface has MP3 conversions and playlists of Knuckles mixes from Deephousepage.

Rolling Stone's obituary.
posted by mkb at 7:18 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


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posted by chunking express at 7:20 AM on April 1, 2014


Did Rolling Stones just say "Electronic Dance Music" culture? At least they didn't say EDM. Ugh.
posted by symbioid at 7:31 AM on April 1, 2014


I realized that I don't really think about Frankie Knuckles that often but if I ranked people based on number of mintutes of joy they were directly or indirectly responsible for, he'd have to be pretty high on the list.

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posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:33 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]




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posted by Thorzdad at 8:38 AM on April 1, 2014


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posted by playeren at 12:08 PM on April 1, 2014


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posted by mumimor at 1:17 PM on April 1, 2014


Thanks, Frankie, for the beautiful gift of house music that changed my life from the mid-90s. I'm bumping your Boiler Room set from last year right now. I can't even articulate the phenomenal gift your music has been. The beats are less funky today than they've ever been. Your impact was cataclysmic. Rest in peace, sir. And thank you.
posted by phoebus at 1:36 PM on April 1, 2014


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posted by gen at 2:27 PM on April 1, 2014


I was so sad to have to break this news to my former raver DJ boyfriend. Our house is currently being shaken by those infectious grooves.

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posted by mynameisluka at 2:42 PM on April 1, 2014




You know, sometimes the best things that happen to you are totally out of your control.

I don't know what I did to deserve to find and grow up in the 90's midwest rave scene. I'm not even sure how many people outside that scene know who Frankie Knuckles is. And if anything bad happens to Paul Johnson, I will probably fall apart. That guy owned my ass with his 2am set in a roller rink on the South Side of Chicago over 15 years ago, and it's like it happened last night.

I'm so grateful to have been part of that. What a heart-felt loss.
posted by phaedon at 3:07 PM on April 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


symbioid, if it makes you feel any better, I used both of those as blanket terms for the sort of music one dances until dawn to [because.. it's not techno. that's a thing. not all dance music is boots and cats. what else am I going to call it? electronica?] before EDM was a mystifyingly named genre of terribleness.

Now i guess I just don't talk about it.
posted by flaterik at 3:31 PM on April 1, 2014


My friend wrote something really sweet about that birthday party I mentioned upthread.
posted by sparkletone at 5:17 PM on April 1, 2014


I don't know what I did to deserve to find and grow up in the 90's midwest rave scene. I'm not even sure how many people outside that scene know who Frankie Knuckles is. And if anything bad happens to Paul Johnson, I will probably fall apart.

We definitely knew about those guys in dc in the late 90s.
posted by empath at 5:28 PM on April 1, 2014


Co-signed on all this and Paul Johnson too. I literally said last night, "does every house legend have to die before 60? WTF!!!" Too many, y'all.

fuck the last 12 months-ish.

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posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:39 PM on April 1, 2014


I'm so grateful to have been part of that. What a heart-felt loss.

Agreed. Medusa's on Sheffield was my home away from home from '85-'87, when Knuckles frequently guested in the DJ booth. Here, his sets were very much a celebration of three emerging styles: his frontline work on the deep house scene (often debuting early, in-progress mixes of now-classic tracks), underground British imports (Yello, Data, Liaisons Dangereuses, DAF, etc), and early Chicago industrial--his sets blended it all in an euphoric celebration of newness, and I'm honored to have witnessed his work firsthand. The Whistle Song is on repeat tonight.
posted by prinado at 10:54 PM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


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posted by b1tr0t at 12:48 AM on April 2, 2014


My life wouldn't have been the same without his music and what his influence created. Gone too soon.

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posted by batmonkey at 2:36 AM on April 2, 2014


Rolling Stone looks at his legacy.
posted by empath at 3:02 AM on April 2, 2014






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posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:25 PM on April 2, 2014


From Jacob Arnold at Resident Advisor: Frankie Knuckles: Waiting On My Angel
posted by Going To Maine at 3:47 PM on April 7, 2014




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