In the early 1990s, there was a strong underground rave culture thriving in Toronto and with it came certain records, both locally and via imp0rts, that became seminal classics in the scene and helped define the vibe of the Toronto house sound. With a new wave of new DJs embracing the developing sounds of Toronto’s house scene, one of those records was “Magic Feet” – The MD Connection.
Back then, there was only one club in the city where you could go and hear good quality electronic music and actually want to stay until the very end of the night. Now known as the world-renowned Guvernment Entertainment Complex, in the early nineties it was simply called R.P.M. and served for many years as Toronto’s answer to legendary clubs like Chicago’s Warehouse and New York’s The Loft in terms of breaking new music and creating hits Toronto house-heads could call their own.
“Magic Feet” had a certain attitude that made it stand out against the other jackin’ house tunes of the time. A prime example of what could be done with basic gear and a good idea, the track is not much more than some Roland 808 and 909 drums, a single note acid line repeated throughout the track and a crushing, balls-to-the wall kick that came in twice on the last bar. Originally released as part of the “Tracks That Move Ya” album released by veteran house producer Mike Dunn under his MD Connection pseudonym, “Magic Feet” got regular rotation from nightclub and radio legend Chris Sheppard at his weekly shows at RPM and on his groundbreaking Pirate Radio show which dominated the weekend airwaves in Toronto during this period. Here’s an excellent interview with the man himself from the New Music:
Given Shep’s knack for knowing a good tune when he heard one, Toronto DJs would flock to Play De Record on the weekends to grab the tracks they heard him spin the night before and copies of “Magic Feet” were in constant demand, whether legally or on white label. The repetitive one-note acid line would play an important part in another classic Toronto house anthem with Sheppard himself having a hand in the production(more on that to come). The tune, interestingly enough, gained something of a reputation outside of the clubs in Toronto and could regularly be heard at high school dances and formals around the city (especially if you were at one of the ones I played at back then). It was included on the second installment of Chris Sheppard’s acclaimed “Techno Trip” series which at the time was one of the few releases to feature a proper CD version of the track.
It’s difficult to explain exactly why this tune did so well; it’s a hard, heavy, nasty piece of early techno, to be exact, but whenever I’ve played it, people usually get the idea that it’s time to just lose it for a few minutes and kick up their feet to this battle-tested party weapon. It’s simple, and it works. What more could you ask for?