Dance Mania helped reshape the sonic landscape in the 1980s and 90s. To honor that, on January 24 Strut records will be archiving the influential Chicago label with a two-disc retrospective compilation called Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997.
Dance Mania took off with Ray Barney in 1985 and quickly became a reliable source for early house and acid, including releases from Duane and Co., Hercules, and Li’l Louis, among many others. The label’s reputation for uncompromising innovation made them a force to be reckoned with as “House Nation” by Housemaster Boyz went on to be an international hit. Dance Mania was on the cutting edge once again with the release of Traxmen & Eric Martin’s “Hit if From the Back.”
“Hit it From the Back” helped define the Ghetto House sound; raw, stripped-down four-on-the-floor rhythms with 808/909 beats and lyrics explicit enough to make even a seasoned pornographer blush. The sound flourished and paved the way for the later Chicago juke and footwork scenes as well as leaving an impression on Daft Punk. Check out “Teachers” from Discovery. They name drop like half the dudes listed below.
Now that Barney (with some help from Parris Mitchell) has the label operating again, this collection from Strut follows the evolution of the label from its inception through basically the end of its “original” run. The album will feature rare photos, label history, and artist interviews from DJ Chrissy Murderbot.
Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997 tracklist:
01. Hercules - 7 Ways (Club)
02. Victor Romeo feat. Leatrice Brown - Love Will Find a Way (Club)
03. The House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy of House - House Nation
04. Duane & Co - J.B. Traxx
05. Vincent Floyd - I Dream You
06. Da Posse feat. Martell - Searchin’ Hard
07. Club Style - Crazy Wild
08. Jammin’ the House Gerald - Black Women (Club)
09. Tyree - Nuthin’ Wrong
10. Strong Souls - Twinkles
11. 3.2.6 - Falling (Armando’s House mix)
12. Rhythm II Rhythm - A Touch of Jazz (Lifestyles of the Rich mix)
01. DJ Funk - House the Groove
02. Paul Johnson - Feel My M.F. Bass
03. DJ Funk - The Original Video Clash: Video Clash II (Street mix)
04. Parris Mitchell Project (feat. Wax Master) - Ghetto Shout Out!!
05. DJ Deeon - Da Bomb
06. Houz’ Mon - Fear the World
07. Vincent Floyd - I’m So Deep
08. Tim Harper - Toxic Waste (Club mix)
09. Robert Armani - Ambulance
10. DJ Deeon - House-O-Matic
11. Traxmen & Eric Martin - Hit It from the Back
12. Top Cat - Work Out