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Props To My Hero

Back in the day, when I was just coming out of high school, I was turned on to a new DJ that I’d never heard of, out of Chicago. Growing up in L.A. during the 90’s, I was knee deep in gangster rap culture. It was kind of obnoxious to me. I just wasn’t into it. I was a counter-culture kid. So, I got into the underground jungle scene, and of course, the LA-warehouse house music scene. The house music sound in LA was cool. I remember marathon sets from Steve Loria, Doc Martin, and Jason Blakemore getting me going.

But, as I started DJ’ing more, and found access to other house music DJs in the world, that Chicago sound REALLY got me going. It was fun getting down to the LA DJs, but the people that had me motivated to play more, and dance more, were people like Mark Farina, Derrek Carter, and DJ Sneak. Those guys were my heroes, until…

The first time I heard DJ Heather, my approach to DJ’ing changed forever! Those other guys I mentioned were great in their own right. They had access to all of the new great music. They were essentially the guys who took that Chicago house music sound to the rest of the world as Chicago House ambassadors during that timeframe. Heather was different. Someone had slid me a mixtape from a show she did. I’d never heard someone play so aggressive. She played so relentless! The tracks she played were fire, but the way she played them made you keep dancing – even if you were already tired. The first time I saw here live was at a Melodic party in downtown. Her energy was so infectious, but she was so smooth in how she brought that energy. Her energy wasn’t a gimmick like you see with a lot of DJ’s, especially now. She had a type of swag, that I just hadn’t seen from anyone else. I wanted to play like that!

When I got into college and started playing at all the house clubs and raves, I really tried to model Mark Farina, and DJ Heather. At the end of the day though, I felt like my pocket, was that DJ Heather style: aggressive in the mix; energy throughout; smooth swag; funky and chunky beats. I used to have a note above my turntables at home, a lot like the sign football players tap coming out of the locker room before games, that said: Play funky, like Heather. It gave me a goal. It gave me inspiration.

Last month when we were talking about why types of sets to play for the upcoming Soundcloud Sessions DJ sets, I figured I’d play some more mellow jazzy house music like we’ve been playing on the Mixshow and such. Good stuff for background music. Then, Traxsource posted a cool video from back in the day, of DJ Heather being interviewed at a club, and some footage of her playing live. Seeing that clip took me back. It got me fired up. I realized that, somehow with all these DJ sets I’ve done for Bread & Beats over the years, I haven’t done one yet, in the style that got me so excited about house music to begin with. I hadn’t done a DJ Heather-style set. So, enough is enough! No more background music! After watching that Traxsource clip, I was motivated to hit the decks hard, and play some relentlessly-funky tunes. I called this mix, “Dance Records,” because the thing I loved about DJ Heather’s sets, is that, you HAD to dance! Listening to her music used to give me neck cramps because of all the head-bobbin’ she’d have me doing. So, here’s a set in that style, as my way of giving props to her for inspiring me over the years.

Here’s to simple dance records…

You can listen to the mix in the DJ Section of our website, or right here...

Dance Records Mixed by b.Side Album Cover House Music DJ Set

#housemusic #deephouse #chicagohouse #funkyhouse #jackinhouse #djmusic #djmix #dancemusic #dancerecords #djheather #myhero #inspiration #respect

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