In preparation for the launch of his incredibly successful and influential Subliminal Records label, internationally renowned DJ and producer Erick Morillo made sure he had all of his bases covered. Having achieved his first success through a plethora of releases on the legendary Strictly Rhythm label, Morillo knew firsthand what was needed to establish Subliminal as a leader in top quality house music.
“It’s All Good” remains high on the list of the very best tracks to come out of the Subliminal camp and that should come as no surprise given the producers behind it. The second release from Da Mob (after 1997’s “Fun“ which also served as the label’s debut release) is a soulful, funky vocal house number with a nice jazzy feel and the incredible vocals of legendary R&B and dance music singer Jocelyn Brown. The 2×12″ release features a dub courtesy of The Dronez, but the real gems in this package come courtesy of the gorgeous remixes from acclaimed house producers Full Intention.
Michael Gray & Jon Pearn take the original and turn it into an uplifting piano-house anthem with more than pinch of gospel influence and their signature pumping drums and percussion. The result is a track every house-head dreams about; one minute you’re dancing in a group hug with all your friends and moments later you’re lost in your own world but still completely locked into the same groove as everyone else around you. Well worth tracking down if you don’t already have it, this one can still deliver in any prime-time house set just as well as it does as a late-night classic.
Legendary house producer Robbie Rivera‘s legacy stems largely from his status as one of the biggest contributors to the tribal-house genre. The Puerto Rican-born DJ’s signature dark, dirty, underground tribal rhythms with heavy doses of Latin and progressive influences have rocked dancefloors around the world since the mid-90s with hits including “Bang“, “Feel This 2001” and “The Hum Melody“.
Rivera’s 2000 release “Funk-A-Tron” on the equally legendary Subliminal label is a brilliant departure from his usual sound as he serves up a slab of slithering, nasty electro house chock full of needle-sharp synth lines and a bubbling bass groove underneath. Any Subliminal release at the time was worth listening to, and after about 30 seconds my decision to grab this one was complete. The track became huge in the clubs and raves and I dropped this one so often that one of the hip-hop DJs I worked with back then went out and bought himself a copy simply because I smashed it week after week.
The original mix has held up well, but for me the Crazee Remix on the flip has always been my go-to. The track would be resurrected and re-released in 2003 as “Funk-A-Faction” thanks to some new mixes courtesy of electro DJ/Producer Benny Benassi. With lots of mixes to choose from, this remains a crowd-pleaser to this day and can kick the energy of your audience up to 11 in no time.
When it comes to sampling vintage material to make house music, some songs a simply a no-brainer. Such is the case with this sublime cut from Chicago producer Cesar Hernandez a.k.a. CZR who cheekily turned a classic funk groove into 1996’s dancefloor destroyer “Chicago Southside”.
If you’re familiar with Gene Chandler‘s 1979 disco hit “When You’re #1″, then you should know from hearing the lyric “On the south side of Chicago, how they boogie…..” that this one was just waiting to be turned into a house music anthem. CZR grabs his disco shears and incorporates several sections of Chandler’s tune thus creating an anthem that gives nod to his native Chicago and simply encourages everybody in the venue to hit the floor and get their collective groove on. First appearing on CZR’s 1996 EP “Another Level“, “Southside” would later see remixes courtesy of fellow legends Paul Johnson and Rick Garcia together with a re-rub from CZR himself. CZR would go on to release tracks on a plethora of labels including the legendary Subliminal Records and continues to produce and DJ to this day.
This one definitely best suits a proper house crowd, an audience that knows their history and who will appreciate the simple genius of this great record. If you’re feeling bold, toss this one on during a late-night house set and watch the dancefloor erupt!