Friday May 18th
(In House Records, X-Mix Productions, NYC)
Todd the Godâ€™, they called him. In the late 80s, Todd Terry was New York house music. Arguably he invented it, certainly he defined it.
New York position as the worldâ€™s clubbing and dance music capital was under threat in the mid-eighties. The soulful disco records that were the staple diet of the NY club scene seemed pedestrian in comparison to the other-worldly sounds coming out of Chicago and Detroit, sounds that the world outside America had needed no second invitation to take to their hearts.
Enter stage left from Brooklyn one Todd Terry, a young kid steeped in hip hop attitude, but with an ear finely attuned to the cityâ€™s other dominant urban sound, Latin... and Chicago house music. Terryâ€™s formula was simple. He mashed the whole lot together. The sampler was the must-have gizmo for the new generation of bedroom producers, and Tee put his through its paces with missionary zeal.
1988 was a classic tale of â€˜right time, right placeâ€™ for the young producer. The soundtrack to the acid house revolution came in equal parts from Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, and proto-UK and euro house. The undisputed king, however, was New Yorkâ€™s Todd Terry. His incredible 1988 output included a trio of tracks which reworked recent New York classics from different ends of the clubbing spectrum: as Todd Terry Project he updated the nouveau disco of Class Actionâ€™s â€˜Weekendâ€™ and mashed Dinosaur Lâ€™s quirky leftfielder â€˜Go Bangâ€™ into the sampladelic
stormer â€˜Bango (to the Batmobileâ€™), whilst b-boy block party favourite â€˜The Mexicanâ€™ by Babe Ruth formed the basis of Orange Lemonâ€™s â€˜Dreams of Santa Annaâ€™.
Amazingly, he topped them all with a further three stone cold anthems; Jungle Brothersâ€™ mighty â€˜Iâ€™ll House Youâ€™, Black Riotâ€™s hypnotic â€˜A Day in the Lifeâ€™ and, biggest of all, Royal Houseâ€™s â€˜Can You Partyâ€™, in many ways the defining record of the summer of 1988. Its trademark wailing sirens and dancefloor call to arms of â€œcan you feel it!â€ (sampled from a live recording by the Jacksons) caused mayhem whenever it was dropped.
As the 90s kicked in, it was Strictly Rhythm that was to take full advantage of New Yorkâ€™s centre stage position. Todd played a key role in Strictlyâ€™s evolution. Through the early days of â€™90-â€˜91, he recorded as Tech Nine, Static and The Youngbloods and djâ€™d regularly at Strictly parties, not just in the States but also Europe, often alongside a hot newcomer like Roger Sanchez. A few years later it was commonplace for a label to be built around a core of dj producers who represented it on the road. Strictly, with Terry to the fore, was in the vanguard of that trend.
This being Todd Terry, he couldnâ€™t help but leave an indelible mark on Strictly Rhythmâ€™s catalogue. By far his biggest tune for the label was â€˜Can U Feel Itâ€™ by CLS. A routine hip houser in its A side mix, the real treat lay on the B side, wherein lurked the mighty â€˜In House Dubâ€™, a cut that found favour with djs of almost every house sub-genre you care to mention (or indeed invent).
The mid-90s saw Terryâ€™s rep reach new levels. His simple but brilliantly effective revamp of Everything But The Girlâ€™s haunting â€˜Missingâ€™ became a massive international hit, single-handedly revived the duoâ€™s then flagging career, and made Terry the superstar remixer (Bjork, Garbage, George Michael, Jamiroquai, the Cardigans). Meanwhile, a deal with major label Mercury saw Todd working with vocalists such as Martha Wash and Jocelyn Brown, scoring crossover hits with â€˜Keep On Jumpinâ€™ and â€˜Somethingâ€™s Goinâ€™ Onâ€™.
Terryâ€™s career as producer, remixer and dj continues unabated to this day, but any analysis of Todd Terry centres around 1988 and all that. He took Chicagoâ€™s baby, gave it a New York upbringing, and sent it to finishing school in Europe.
$12 before midnight
$15 after midnight
$7 before midnight with Smart Bar Tweet or valid student ID
21 & Over
Doors: 10 PM / Show: 10 PM