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Gene Farris

Related: house music - Chicago

Early 1996, a club in Meinz near Frankfurt, a Vauxhall-Arches-style catacomb carved into the concrete foundations of a bridge over the big river (whose name I forget). That's where I fell in love with house again, after a long period of thinking it the lightweight option c.f. jungle. Accompanied by Force Inc/Mille Plateaux boss and lager connoisseur Achim Szepanski, I'd came to check out a set by Chicago DJ Gene Farris of Relief/Casual/Force Inc reknown. Helped by copious alcohol intake and a contact high from the killer vibe in that murky crowded cavern, a revelation began to unfold: just how much fantastic music I'd missed out on through being such a monomaniacal junglist patriot, and the extent to which house had a rebirth of creativity in the mid-Nineties after a long null lull of tribal tedium and handbag hackwork. Farris played so much great stuff--from early filter-house/disco cut-up stuff to Relief-style nu-acid to stuff so techy, tracky and abstrakkk it was essentially what we'd today call micro-house. But if a single song can be said to have opened my ears it was when Farris dropped "Flash" by Green Velvet. When those double-time snares kicked in, it was one of those whatdafuck?!?!?!?! see-the-light moments. -- Simon Reynolds

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