Review: The ever outspoken Chicago house champ Glenn Underground teams up with Charles Matlock to deliver a heavily loaded message on "The Isms", making a strong statement about judgmental door policies to a typically funky backdrop of GU house styles. It's a sure fire party starter with a purpose, and it's backed by two remixes that expand on the original idea. Anthony Nicholson's "Sleazy Remix" works a more broken beat flavour underneath the track and a dreamy line in synths, while Lil Louis turns in a cheeky dub that throws in chops from his own "New Dance Beat" amongst other sources while sticking true to the original.
Review: Few house producers are quite as prolific as Glenn Underground. Since launching his career way back in 1992, the Windy City legend has released well over a century of 12" singles. Savior of Chicago is his sixth E.P this year alone, and begins with the snappy drum machine handclaps, psychedelic TB-303 lines and gently dreamy chords of peak-time thumper "Battery Acid". He pays tribute to old friend and fellow Chi-town legend Larry Heard on the deep, melodious and evocative "Mr Heard", before once again diving into Phuture territory with a rugged, wild and full-throttle Dub Edit of opener "Battery Acid". While he rarely fails to impress, Savior of Chicago is undoubtedly GU's most club-ready 12" for some time.
Review: Glenn Crocker seems to have rediscovered the simple, mind-altering pleasures of Roland's iconic TB-303 bass synthesizer. On another 12" out this week, 808 Sessions, the veteran Chicagoan wrapped wiggly acid lines around electro-influenced drums and his usual rich deep house musicality. Here, he's gone one step further, delivering a pair of twisted, intoxicating acid jams that look to Phuture for inspiration. A-side "Spank N Gallop" sets the tone, with Crocker supplementing a killer acid line with notably jazzy cymbal hits, drum machine tom-toms and occasional spacey chords. The deep space vibe is explored in greater detail on flipside "Peaceful Rage (Acid Revenge)", where intergalactic chords and bubbly electronics get equal billing with a psychedelic TB-303 riff.
Review: It may have taken the best part of six months, but Glenn Underground has finally delivered his first new music of 2020. The Chicago house legend is in fine form on "Shake That Body", a warm and jazzy chunk of deep house/disco fusion rich in tasty instrumentation and topped off by a fine female lead vocal courtesy of newcomer T.H.I.C.K. It's accompanied on the A-side by the superb "Dubbl" version, which sees Glenn Underground strip the track back to a killer dub disco groove before bringing back the keys, acoustic guitars, spacey synths and snippets of T.H.I.C.K's vocal. Over on the flip you'll find a seductive "Remix" that subtly moves the track closer to deep, soulful house territory.
Review: Chicago veterans Glenn Underground and Boo Williams are old studio buddies, having first collaborated on vinyl way back in 1995. For their latest hook-up, they've come up with a new joint alias: Guboo. As you'd expect from such experienced and high quality house producers, the three tracks on offer are top notch. They begin with a superb chunk of swinging disco-house, where spacey synth solos, rich chords and select spoken word snippets dance around a killer disco groove. After delivering a chunkier, vocal-free dub of the (track 2), they offer a deeper, more stripped-back interpretation on the flip, allowing greater space for the groove, disco strings and spacey synths to do their thing.
Now That I Got To Know You (instrumental dub) (8:22)
Review: The honeyed, effortlessly soulful vocals of Reggie Hall have been a feature of Chicago house since the late 1980s, when he appeared on a Dance Mania release by Victor Romeo. He's released plenty of music since then, though this hook-up with Glenn Underground - who produced the music - and fellow house veteran Byron Stingily (who provided backing vocals) is still his first outing for almost 12 years. The A-side full vocal version is simply superb, with Hall's superb, impassioned, gospel-inspired vocals riding a bouncy, Osunlade style groove, jazzy guitars, sustained church organ chords and all manner of intricate musical details. Glenn Underground dons the CVO alias to deliver a slightly tougher, more groove-driven B-side "Dub" that nevertheless includes plenty of sun-bright musical warmth.
Review: Amazingly, this is Chicago deep house don Glenn Underground's 15th album. Much has changed since he dropped his impeccable debut, Atmosfear, in 1996, but he still retains the capability to make beguiling house music. While there's little evidence of the chunky, occasionally booming grooves with which he made his name, 12 July 1979 is as musically warm and beautifully intricate as you'd expect. With extensive use of jazz keys and delicious guitar, there are echoes of his slick Lounge Excursions set on Guidance Recordings, while disco-flecked cuts such as "For The Love of Money" and "Going Bananas (Gorilla Disco)" have just enough dancefloor chops. Best of all, though, is "Service", a hazy exercise in horn-laden deep house soul.
Review: Taken from his album July 12 1979, both "Go Bananas" and "CVO Soul" have been given authentic reboots to maximise their dancefloor impact. The former has enjoyed a simple extension, allowing the disco strings to sparkle, the pumping two-note bassline to pack a punch and the sharp horn blasts to really come to the fore. The latter undergoes a full reversion by Sonar Kollektiv's ISoul8 who's added jazzy drums and awe-inspiring key work that's delivered over intergalactic chords. Going bananas? It's a no brainer.
Review: Some 23 years after making his vinyl debut on Dance Mania, Glenn Underground continues to deliver high quality, musically expansive deep house. The prolific Chicagoan is at it again here, with three more chunks of soul-drenched goodness for the Strictly Jaz Unit label he founded around the turn of the millennium. The Afro-tinged opener "Sessions of the Soul" sounds like vintage Joe Clausell - all deep, tribal rhythms, loose percussion and enveloping chords - while "My Little Ebonie" laces African chanting, starry melodies and rich Rhodes chords over a loose, jazz-inspired broken house groove. Arguably best of all, though, is "Play Play Play", a sumptuous jazz-dance affair that sounds like a deep house tribute to Rotary Connection.
Star Gate (Star Gate Mystic Heard piano mix) (11:21)
Review: Glenn Underground's Strictly Jazz Unit remains one of Chicago's premier outlets for house, an institution like the man himself! The big guy comes through with the second instalment of the Black Resurrection series, starting with "Deep Within", a piano-led deep house swinger with intricate percussion work that leans onto an almost tribal bounce. Over on the flipside, there's a "Mystic Piano" mix of "Star Gate" and that means hypnotic melodies, bouncing basslines and a jazzy kinda feel.
I Am not In Love (I Jus Wanna Dance) (feat Consuela Ivy)
Memory Chant (Phaze I)
Funky Disco Fusion
Gotta Get High
Legacy Of The Know
Darlene (feat Consuela Ivy)
Tribe Fusion II Project (Mello Rhodes)
You Are Love (feat Consuela Ivy)
Review: Glenn Underground returns with his first album proper in some six years in a collaborative release between his own Strictly Jazz Unit imprint and the Circular Motion label. Whilst Glenn dropped a classic refix of Erykah Badu recently, his inclusion on Rick Wilhite's Vibes New & Rare compilation was let down slightly by some corny kung fu sampling. Underground Legacy Of The Know more than makes up for that with eleven tracks of vintage Glenn Underground productions. The opening jazzy leanings of "7th Trumpet" set the tone for what to expect with the sweeping piano melodies and searching pads that characterise the opening bars soon engulfed by a power sax! From here, Underground introduces vocalist Consuela Ivy on "I Am Not In Love (I Jus Wanna Dance)" one of three tracks featuring her soulfully deep delivery which fits the tight house leaning perfectly in each instance. What really impresses throughout is Underground's mastery of instruments, with the heavy Rhodes organs and string movements that pace out the vintage deep shimmer of the title track providing the album's most rewarding moments.
Review: With a title such as 808 Sessions, you'd expect this latest missive from reliable Chicago veteran Glenn Underground to be built around the weighty analogue beats of Roland's classic TR-808 drum machine. While that's the case, it's actually his use of TB-303 "acid" lines that catches the ear. They come to the forefront on A-side "Acid Jazz", where wiggly motifs, cascading melody lines and reverb-laden Rhodes chords ride a hybrid deep house/beatbox electro groove. It's superb, all told, though the stripped back "Acid Dubbb" B-side - a raw, TB-303 heavy interpretation of the A-side shorn of GU's usual deep house niceties - is arguably even better.
Review: Oh! It's Chicago's Glenn Underground with a new Strictly Jazz Unit scorcher! The man is a legend, both in stature and musical abilities, and "Jaz Love" is as Underground as you can possibly get thanks to that sweet groove, playful harmonics and sun-kissed hook. "Leaving Today" is every bit as soulful and filled with joy, a true-school house beauty with an instantly hummable rhythm, whereas "Jisco Jazz" goes for the nu-disco approach thanks to its circling bassline and fall-in-love melodies - a sublime reinterpretation of a disco classic!
Review: Given the success of his 20-year career in house music, you'd forgive Glenn Underground for the odd bout of self-indulgence. There's certainly the odd moment of jazz navel-gazing on Forgotten Art - his 13th full-length - but it's rather in keeping with the album's eclectic, soft-focus approach. The overall impression given is one of a veteran producer letting his hair down. Forgotten Art is packed full of slick, melody-driven deep house inspired by GU's early inspirations, from jazz-funk, boogie and disco to soul, samba and bossa. As a complete work, the results are impressive, with a high standard of musicality and emotional resonance taking precedence over cheap dancefloor thrills. The heads will love it.
Review: Having been in the business of delivering delicious deep house for over two decades, it's fair to say that we should know what to expect from Glenn Underground by now. His Black Resurrection series, which launched back in the Spring, has generally delivered a more spiritual take on his trademark sound. This third installment in the series maintains this approach, with "Sessions of The Soul" - all spacey, Herbie Hancock synthesizers, chiming melodies, twinkling Rhodes keys and warm, groovy rhythms - sounding like one of Phil Asher's classic Restless Soul productions. The gospel-tinged "My Little Ebonie" is a thrillingly positive chunk of vibraphone-laden broken beat, while the thrilling "Play, Play, Play" sounds like a killer, bruk-era jazz-funk hoe-down between Herbie Hancock, Tony Allen, Dego and Kaidi Tatham.
Review: Over the last few months, Chicago veteran Glenn Underground has been reissuing tracks originally featured on his deliciously jazzy, 2004 album Black Resurrection. With the exception of "Mental Black Resurrection" (featured on the Black Resurrection Part 1 12"), none have previously been released on wax. This fourth and (presumably) final part features two more deliciously deep, spiritual and percussive workouts. The A-side features a pleasingly loose, Nuyorican Soul style instrumental jam built around a wonderfully jazzy bassline and rich, twinkling keys. Flip for "Out Of Time", a breezily sweet and evocative vocal cut full of emotive vocals, Latin pianos and bouncy, nu-jazz era percussion.
Review: You can always count on Glenn Underground to tap into a rootsy feeling on his smooth, musical deep house, not least when it's on his Strictly Jazz Unit Muzic imprint. "7th Trumpet" matches mellow keys with psychedelic synth warblings, while the eponymous instruments freestyles over the top of a gently rolling beat. "Funky Disco Fusion" needs little explanation beyond the rather revealing title. "You Are Love" meanwhile gets reworked by Jose Carretas with an infectious boogie bass line, while CVO gets in the thick of the vocal layering on "I Am Not In Love", working a myriad of soulful croons into a heart warming brew.
Review: Ever-dependable hero of deep house since the good old days, Glenn Underground is back with fresh goodies for his Strictly Jazz Unit imprint, and if you liked what he's done before then there's no doubt you'll like this as well. "Shiloh (A King's Return)" is a steady roller, defined by the synth-sax freestyling over the top of a crisp beat and bluesy chord workout. "We, The Party (Let's Get Down)" is a more soaring affair, with some neat kinks in the drums and a sumptuous spread of Rhodes action all delivered in that quintessentially Blue Note GU flavour.
Review: Boo Williams may release far less music than he once did, but every 12" he releases retains the same high quality threshold that has long marked out the Chicagoan's work. This two-tracker is a brilliant example. Both tracks are ear pleasing, musically rich and dancefloor focused, offering a near perfect balance between club-ready grunt and emotion-rich tunefulness. A-side "Out of the Gate" sets the tone, with Williams' layering chiming melodies lines and dreamy chord progressions atop a near techno tempo, bass-heavy house groove. On the B-side, he pays tribute to long time pal and occasional studio buddy Glenn Underground via the tumbling synthesizer chords, bubby acid lines, melancholic flourishes and jacking drums of "Reckless Ending".
Review: When Glenn Underground re-launched the Strictly Jaz Unit label in 2008, Boo Williams was one of the first producers he tapped up for material. Although Williams contributed the debut release for the offshoot Strictly Jaz Unit Excursions imprint last year, Place of Safety surprisingly marks his first appearance on the main label since 2009. The title track is presented in two versions: the rich, warm and melodious original version, with its held Rhodes chords and rolling, Afro-influenced deep house drums, and the jazzier and breezier "Mix" interpretation (check the pleasingly meandering saxophone solos). Flip to the B-side and you'll find "Running To (Test Run Mix)", a tastefully jazzy fusion of broken beat and deep house that perfectly compliments Williams' A-side excursions.
Review: Chicago veteran Boo Williams made his first appearance on Glenn Underground's Strictly Jaz Unit Muzic label way back in 2008. Surprisingly, this is the prolific producer's first appearance on the imprint since 2009. "The Big Score" was worth waiting for. The track, nestled on the A-side, sees Williams lace a snaking saxophone line and "Inner City Blues" style pianos over a bongo-rich, densely layered deep house drums. It subtly builds throughout, with the thrilling sax solo increasing in intensity as the track progresses. On the flip, Glenn Underground offers his own 'Reprise' interpretation, ratcheting each of the elements up a notch and putting further emphasis on the piano parts.