Friday, November 7, 2008

Blame It On The Boogie Part 3

Months went by and the Virgo LP didn’t show up in my local vinyl emporiums. I was living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland and though some good US, UK and Italian imports would come through, the Virgo Four album didn’t materialize and I wasn’t flush enough with cash to do mail order from the UK. I figured if I waited it out, it would show up, being the tightwad Scotsman men that I am. The Techno 1 album I’d heard from my buddy Damian who made a timely trip to London in late summer of 89 and came back with some gems, including Model 500’s Interfearance EP on Metroplex. I liked Techno 1 a lot and I needed one for myself. Now I have a few, que shouts of "Sad bastard." Thank you!

Then one day months later — probably a wet, cold Saturday evening in January or February of 1990 while scurrying around Derry, Northern Ireland during a trip back home to the north — I stepped into Woolworth’s and while looking through their vinyl section and its sale items I found a mint Virgo Four LP for one pound sterling. Nice! I was delighted, and I still am. This is a great record, it continues with the cerebral house music that Larry Heard blueprinted with Mr. Fingers and the Amnesia album.

While the phrase deep house has been misappropriated and misunderstood — mostly by showboating new jacks who near sightedly associate all house with yuppies and jazziness — the Virgo Four and Amnesia records are the true essence of deep house, as is Baby Ford’s first LP. The sounds are still electronic and abstract however, the rough, yet endearing, corners of the early jack trax have been smoothed off, leaving a machine music that is at once robotic and utopian. This is the music that would lay the foundation for the visionary dance music that was beginning to come out of New York and New Jersey, garage as it was known. That music form fused the lush creations of the Chicago innovators with the canon of club classics that had been played by Tee Scott, Larry Levan and Bruce Forest.

To be continued


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