Welcome to a new feature here at thekeytothehouse. Being a Canadian-based blog, periodically we will be featuring posts on classic house tunes that were produced here in Canada and that laid the foundation for the amazing reputation the Canadian House Scene is enjoying around the globe. Check back regularly, subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter to make sure you get every episode!
That’s what someone said to me when they heard me play this one way back in the early days. And it was. Not too heavy, but it had a certain…uniqueness to it and it certainly opened Chris Sheppard’s BKS project to a lot of ears in Toronto, and across Canada.
BKS was a project created through Quality Music Canada and consisted of ambient composer Hennie Bekker, producer and owner of Abbeywood Trail studios (where the bulk of the project’s material was recorded) Greg Kavanagh, and Toronto dance radio legend Chris Sheppard. Taking the first letters of their last names, BKS was born.
The trio’s first singles, “Talkin’ Bout Love” and “Living in Ecstasy” were released in 1992 and were regularly featured on Sheppard’s weekly Pirate Radio broadcasts. The group also collaborated with Canadian hockey icon Don Cherry to record the much-ballyhooed “Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Techno”. Their debut album “For Those About To Rave….We Salute You” was released around this time.
1993 saw the release of their sophomore album “Dreamcatcher“. The album’s title track, a downright decent stomper in its own right, was well-received, but it was the B side of the 12” release that started gaining some serious attention. Featured on Sheppard’s first “Pirate Radio Sessions” CD mix compilation, and hammered relentlessly on his radio show, “I’m In Love With You” became a Toronto club staple and was widely praised the standout track from the album. Clocking in at just under 3:20, it got to the point quickly. The throbbing bass was always my favourite aspect of the track, together with the extremely sweet shaker line in the background. But there was something about the basic groove of the track and the one-note staccato acid sound that dropped in a couple of times that made me think, “Hey, I’ve heard something that sounds like this before. But what???”
As a matter of fact, I had heard the sounds before, but it wasn’t until several years later when I was talking with DJ Swet (Cory Bradshaw), Shep’s main DJ, that I found out what they had gotten up to. Swet had come into Kavanagh’s Abbeywood Trail studio to help out with the track. BKS had already decided to sample the drums from an already established hit, “Do You Know What I Mean?” – Fresh Tunes #1. During the recording, the group felt the track needed something extra. Bradshaw had brought his trusty AKAI sampler and nicked the acid line from “Magic Feet” – The M.D. Connection, another track being smashed by Sheppard in the clubs and on the radio. Hennie Bekker laid down two very funky little organ solos and vocalist Simone Denny, who would work extensively with the group on their third album, “Astroplane“, provided the simply, yet very catchy, vocal hook. Denny would also work with Sheppard on his post-BKS project, Love Inc.
It was stripped down, almost raw-sounding, but it worked the dancefloor nicely. I would often use it as a transition track because the arrangement at the end gave DJs a couple of different options. You could mix out of it if you wanted to keep the groove going, or you could use it to transition into a different tempo or style altogether. I still enjoy dropping this one, it always seems to bring back a lot of memories for those who used to party in the City of Love back in the day. As for BKS, their third album would be their last but “I’m In Love With You” gave them a key dose of credibility which allowed them to deliver their final disc to a bigger audience than ever before. I remember having about eight CD copies of this at one time due to the number of compilations it was licensed to. Now I only have two (I think), but I always make sure it’s in my arsenal.