I just got back from an adventure, starring several house music legends, my good friend Chachi and one of the best sound systems in the Midwest.
Last summer at Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville, I met Miles Maeda, known as a house music luminary in the early ’90s. He played right after me at Forecastle, and although we didn’t get to talk as much as I would have liked to, I found him to be a very interesting guy. He travels the globe not just laying down the deep house beats he is known for, but also teaching yoga, giving workshops and one-on-one training. He does this work as part of a nonprofit organization called Ouvre that works with students, creative people and professionals, giving and receiving valuable tools and technologies that build upon love, harmony and beauty between all beings.
Over the past few months we’ve talked about meeting again. He asked me to perform with him in his former hometown of Chicago at Smart Bar, which has been regarded as one of the breeding grounds of house music since it opened its doors over 25 years ago. Miles just recently celebrated 10 years of being a resident at Smart Bar, which has a Funktion One sound system, regarded as one of the best in the world.
Chachi and I enjoyed the weekend, thanks to the hospitality of Miles and the folks we met along the way. One of my favorite people was Derrick Carter, also a well-known house music pioneer from Chicago. He’s quite a funny character and best known for the his unique “Boompty” House take on Chicago House. His mother coined the “boompty” name for his techy Chicago house when she told him to sing “instead of making that boompty boomp shit.” “Boompty” House is Happy, upbeat and silly at times, just like his personality. He also happens to have several adorable children (read: puppies) that he likes to spoil when he’s not in the studio laying down beats. Derrick is also known for his house label Classic Recordings, which, according to master plan, has released exactly 100 releases over the last 10 years.
The visit was inspiring to me as a DJ and as a promoter. There is a true sense in the air in Chicago and in Indy that electronic music is coming back in style. What better thing for culture than happy, upbeat people enjoying “the dance”?