XLR8R - logo


DJ Funk: Pump It, Work It

Before ghetto tech and Lil' Jon and juke, there was ghetto house. Originating on the predominately black Westside and Southside of Chicago, the music jacked house, added even lower 808s and 909s to it, then commanded the dancefloor to "Pump it," "Work it" and other, dirtier things. DJ Funk (born Charles Chambers) has been at the center of this maelstrom since day one, releasing for Dance Mania and his own Funk Records imprint. Read more » 

Chocolate Industries: Kindred Rhythm

IDM kids think of Chocolate Industries as one of glitch-hop's first homes, indie hip-hop heads rate it for bridging the styles between Warp and Def Jux and crate diggers know it as the label that recently reissued McNeal & Niles' 1979 pearl, Thrust. But ask CI founder Seven for the parameters of his label and he'll come up one buzz phrase short. "I think at one point people were able to link what was on the label aesthetically," he says. "But for me now, I guess it's all linked by emotion."


Sonotheque: A Club That Can Boast

It doesn’t take long to realize that Joe Bryl is a seasoned veteran of the Chicago music scene. Having divvied up the last 25 years working with many of Chicago’s premier night spots, he now has a new home at Sonotheque, a Chicago lounge that boasts line-ups as diverse as Lady Sovereign, Marcus Intalex and DJ Spinna in the same weekend.


Groove Distribution: Vinyl Crew

How do obscure underground 12" singles–red-hot mash-ups from London, broken bossanova from Rome, drum & bass from Stockholm–find their way onto the shelves of your local record emporium? There's a good chance they come from Chicago's Groove Distribution, fine purveyor of "music with soul and music that falls through the cracks," as founder and president Dirk van den Heuvel puts it.


Rik Shaw: A Dragon DJ That Can Party

Many people have tried to steal the Deadly Dragon Sound System name, and a few have succeeded. But DJ Rik Shaw wants to set the record straight.

Rik Shaw, born Richard Warfield Smith, founded the DJ collective and dub night, Deadly Dragon Sound System, in 1993. Smith and four "compatriots"--John Herndon, Bundy K. Brown and Casey Rice of Tortoise, as well as a DJ by the name of Jeremy Freeman--hosted the weekly event at a shopworn Chicago venue called the Empty Bottle, playing a unique blend of reggae classics, dancehall hits, jungle and hip-hop.


Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player