The Use of Vocals In Dance Music: An Interview with Thee FFF (Felix Da Housecat and Hoopalaï )

Thee FFF is the kind of musical project that was never purposely intended, the child of a fortuitous connection that turned into something more. On November 24, Montreal’s dynamic duo Hoopalaï (Francois Lebaron & Frédéric Laurier) join forces with Chicago’s legendary Felix Da Housecat for a second time under their fresh, new alias. The result is a two-track EP perfect for late-night slots, which comes out on Montreal-based imprint Victims Music Company. Entitled Contradiction, the two-tracker is just that: a blend of groovy Chicago House elements with obscure, minimal techno twists.

6AM had a chat with Thee FFF to find out more about the project and dig into their take on the use of vocals in dance music.

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Frankie Knuckles: The (Ware)House Legacy

By the time the ’80s had come, North Jefferson was perceived as a desolate industrial area west of Chicago. But at the corner of the city and in the heart of an area that had seemed to have been forgotten by God, one venue was able to re-ignite and convey the spirituality of an entire community and transform itself into its very own temple. We are talking about the mythical Warehouse, the club/warehouse that sat right at the center of a 3-level edifice on that dark and sweaty party of town, celebrating every Saturday night the most physical of collective rites: dance music.

Frankie Knuckles, the great master of ceremonies, DJ, and  storyteller would one day recount the many years spent behind the Warehouse console: “The amazing thing was, despite being full of people of the Midwest, kids with their feet on the ground grown in bread and cereal, the environment was full of feeling. For many who came, that was the church.” Yeah, the reference to religion is rather recurring – and let’s say it – often forced to dance music, but when it comes to something unique and unrepeatable built by Frankie Knuckles at the Warehouse, then it could really not be more fitting. In an old interview with Chicago’s WMAQ broadcaster, Knuckles was ready to remember the magic at the old club: “When you’re faced with three thousand people, you’re faced with three different personalities. And the amazing thing is when those three thousand become one. In church the same happens. When the priest starts, when the choir starts, at a precise moment, when things are coming to the apex, the entire room becomes one thing. And that’s the most amazing thing.”

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Premiere: Listen to Knu Jé’s “Vocoder So Sexy” (Quad lBB “Funk-Tribe Original Mix)

Chicago’s Sound Reflection Records welcomes Donnie Tempo under the alias of Knu Jé with a beautiful broken beat, soulful house track entitled “Vocoder So Sexy”.

Beautiful Guitar rhythms by Richard Patterson, Jr. with additional vocals by Dovie Cote. Track is inspired by Vinicius de Moraes & Norman Gimbel’s lyrics of “Girl From Ipanema”.

Knu’jé was first introduced on Jon Cutler’s label with track entitled “Seeds of Life” with a remix by Dennis Ferrer. Knu jé is an alias used by Harold Brandon who works under various names such as DJ Quad, Donnie Tempo and Club Ice.

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Premiere: Mikey V’s “The Jones” Oozes Straight Chicago House Vibes

Producer Mikey V returns to Apollo Music Group with a vengeance, following the Mixmag UK feature and rave reviews of his last collaboration single “Revolution” with Chicago’s The Outfit.

Mikey Velazquez is a DJ, Producer & Vocalist from Los Angeles, California who has been a staple on the West Coast underground house scene since 2006. Best known for throwing the infamous HAWT parties, 2013 finds him focused on production with releases on labels such as Classic Music Company, Cajual Records & Dufflebag Recordings.

Premiering “The Jones” today, Mikey V provides that Chicago House bump that Apollo is becoming widely known for. The EP package is completed by a set of fantastic and unique remixes by the one and only JT Donaldson. The EP comes out on August 3rd and is available for pre-order via Beatport.

Wasting no time, the original mix kicks off hard, with a crisp shuffled beat, quite reminiscent of the programming heard by Brett Johnson. Mikey adds the low end and quickly gets moving on the mic; “Pick your poison, pick your vice, gotta have it all the time” is the rhyme heard in 4/4 time on this cut. With heavy delays, space echoes, all the right pans and dark analog key stabs, this track hits in all the right places. One might also assume that we all have our vices, making this an easy theme to assimilate with.

Moving on to the remix tip, we have the infamous Texas ninja, JT Donaldson. JT has been taking fools to school in the studio since his early work with Spencer Kincy in 1996. Over the years, he’s also produced alongside Chris Nazuka, Lance DeSardi and Chris Penny to name a few. JT’s work has been featured on countless timeless labels of our time including Cajual, Vista, LowDown, Aesoteric, OM, Freerange and many more.

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Premiere: Listen to Torrfisk’s “PTSB” on Apollo Music Group

Fresh off the remix tip on Derrick Carter’s “Squaredancing In A Roundhouse,” Torrfisk steps in to slam you with his debut release with the Apollo Music Group, entitled The Remnant. It’s a new twist on the jack we’ve loved for years, and easily one of Apollo’s best releases yet.

The third joint on this release, “PTSB” is straight Chicago vs. Detroit, the perfect track to get every last pair of sneakers on the dance floor.

Connect with Apollo Music Group: Facebeook | SoundCloud

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Chicago’s Lollapalooza 2017 Lineup Features Zero House Music, Once Again

Lollapalooza’s 2017 lineup came out today and, surprise surprise, it contains zero house music acts.

Chicago’s role in the foundation of house music during the 1980s, and its subsequent influences on all other genres and sub-genres of electronic music since, is well known. A first descendent of disco, house music found its beginnings in Chicago, thanks to the iconic parties that featured the music of pioneers such as Frankie Knuckles, Leonard Remix RRoy, Chip E and of course Farley “Jackmaster” Funk. House music became popular in Chicago clubs in 1984, quickly spreading to other American cities such as Detroit, New York City, Baltimore, and Newark – all of which developed their own regional scenes. In the mid-to-late 1980s, house music became popular in Europe as well as major cities in South America, and Australia.

Yet, Chicago’s biggest music festival, Lollapalooza, fails year in and year out to feature any adequate amount of true house music, if any at all. Understandably several facets of rock music are represented en masse, as well as rap, hip-hop and pop and while the lineup does include some great Chicago artists, one of the city’s most recognized genres of music remains grossly underrepresented.

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Q&A and Global Vibe Radio Episode 047 feat. Golf Clap

We return to Global Vibe Radio with a live recording from Detroit duo Golf Clap.

The 47th installment of our podcast, which features global and local acts alike, was recorded live at Output Brooklyn in December of 2015. DJs, producers, founders of Country Club Disco and self-proclaimed after-party connoisseurs, Golf Clap have released on some of the most influential house labels in circulation, have a Boiler Room appearance under their belt and have graced the decks of some of the most celebrated nightclubs and festivals in the States.

Hugh Cleal and Bryan Jones discovered their love for house music in Chicago, later bringing it to Detroit where they now live. Thanks to their infectious and approachable personalities, hard work, talent and passion, Golf Clap have built a literal community of supporters throughout the country, as evidenced by the number of fans donning Club Country Disco merchandise everywhere they play.

We caught up with them last week ahead of shows at Spybar Chicago and Coda in Philadelphia.

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The Black Madonna Releases First Single On Her “We Still Believe” Label

We still believe TBM

Fresh off of a fantastic 2016, arguably her best career year yet, The Black Madonna has just released the first single on her newly launched We Still Believe imprint.

“He Is The Voice I Hear” is Marea Stamper’s first original production release since 2013, a ten-minute track that oozes disco from every pore. Created with her studio partner Ruper Murray, “He Is The Voice I Hear” includes live instrumentals from Davide Rossi and Christoforo LaBarbera.

Although sold out on vinyl already, the release is available digitally. Referring to the single, Stamper said, “‘He Is The Voice I Hear’ is my first all new work since ‘Lady Of Sorrows.’ It’s been a long journey from there to here. I’m so thrilled to continue the story and finally realize my dream of bringing together an ensemble of live musicians.”

Enjoy it below:

Connect with The Black Madonna: Resident Advisor | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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The Saunderson Brothers: The Detroit and Chicago Connection

saunderson brothers

Dantiez and Damarii Saunderson, known together as The Saunderson Brothers, have a heavy family tradition to uphold when it comes to electronic music. Sons of legendary techno creator and house elevator Kevin Saunderson, the brothers have been heavily influenced by their father’s legacy as well as that of their home city of Detroit and its profound musical heritage.

Last year the duo put on an impressive performance at Movement Festival’s Made In Detroit stage, a well deserved gig that came hot in the heels of releases on KMS Records and a selection of high-profile remixes including a hot one for MK (Marc Kinchen).

Tonight they are performing in Chicago at Debonair Social Club for Obscure002, an event series put on by collective of music enthusiasts that aim to disrupt the city’s status quo by bringing a unique flavor of nightlife to Chicago. I talked with them briefly about the influence of both Chicago House and Detroit Techno, as well as their relationship with Chicago where they lived in the past.

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Humble Beginnings with Chuck Daniels

Chuck Daniels - 2 (Black+White) - Credit Marie Staggat

Photo by Marie Staggat

Although Detroit is synonymous with techno, the Motor City has long held a deep connection with Chicago, the birthplace of house music. It is along the I-90 corridor that music has influenced some of the biggest artists to come out of both genres, with techno finding a home in the Windy City and house gaining respectful representation a four-hour drive due east in Detroit.


It is along this powerful connection that Chuck Daniels discovered himself as an artist. Despite deeply-seeded roots in Detroit, he found strong influence in the house sounds emanating from both Chicago and New York, rounding him into an artist able to select the ideal track from a vast palette of underground electronic sub-genres. Undoubtedly skilled, he went on to start his own “Sampled Detroit” imprint, a clear homage to the city he has continued to call home throughout his career. From promoting his own parties to guest appearances on support of high-caliber touring artists making their way through Detroit, Daniels’ own sets have elevated him to well-respected status among listeners and industry peers alike.


Thanks to long-standing and mutual appreciation, Daniels has enjoyed a working collaboration with Paxahau for several years now, and will be playing Movement for the fourth time this coming Memorial Day weekend with a prime-time late 5:45-7pm slot at the Opportunity Detroit stage. He is also scheduled to play alongside Danny Tenaglia at Populux for the Official Movement Pre-Party on Friday the 27th of May, and will be hosting his own Cosmic Disco Official After-Party on Saturday night. Hosted by his Sampled Detroit label, the latter will featured an impressive cast of guest artists including Kenny Glasgow, Daniel Bell, Doc Martin, Gene Farris, Andrés, as well as local up-and-coming artists such as Loren and Ryan Dahl. To conclude the weekend, he is also scheduled for a special back-to-back rooftop set with friend and fellow producer Oliver Dollar. You can find all party information on our Movement Party Guide.


We had the chance to sit down with Daniels to talk about his start in the scene and the road ahead. Check it out make sure to catch him in Detroit over Movement weekend!

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