RIP Frankie Knuckles (1955-2014) – The Godfather.
When I initiated this post the legendary DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles had passed away. Since then DJ Rashad (1979-2104), a pioneer of the Chicago Footwork scene has also tragically died.
While much of the mainstream tributes have emphasised the influence of house on popular dance music globally, its the Chicago roots of the music that also need be remembered. Ghetto, Booty to Juke and Footwork have been the sound culture of the marginalised, racialised and economic underground for many generations of a city in crisis. From its very beginnings house music has been a phatic utopia in conditions of urban decay and breakdown. Like Techno in Detroit Chicago House is about cultural survival and black social life against all the odds.
This excellent documentary is a fitting tribute to the music, the city and its innovators: