It's been over three decades since the birth of house music, and Chicago house pioneer Derrick Carter has been there for the long haul.
The legendary DJ-producer cut his teeth spinning in the Windy City's seminal scene, which he still calls home. So who better to ask why Chicago was destined to be the birthplace of house? "I could venture as many guesses as you have time to listen to. But that won't make it the truth," he says "I think that Chicago people have a real 'get down' aspect of their character, which makes them want to do some amazing shit."
And yet Derrick Carter's musical career goes back to a time when the music still didn't have a generic label slapped on by today's electronic dance music. "We were listening to 'house music' before we even knew that's what it was," he reminisces. "Disco is house music. R&B is house music. Funk and soul are house music. We used to call that music 'deep house.' Not this moody-sounding, pseudo-spiritual songs singing about unity fluff. It was 'deep house' because you had to go deep, reaching back to the music of your roots."
Carter has recently announced the relaunch of his legendary but infamously short-lived Classic Music imprint with co-founder Luke Solomon. "We've just decided to explode again because the legacy of Classic is huge! We were working with Matthew Herbert, Gemini, Dave Taylor, Jesse Rose, Iz & Diz, Greenskeepers, Brett Johnson, Rekid, Pezzner, Tiefschwarz, Isolee, Freeform Five, Nail, DJ Sneak, Blaze. I mean how many other labels have that kind of heavy duty stable to draw on?"
Add his new compilation mix for the prestigious Fabric series to the eagerly awaited label relaunch and Carter has plenty to celebrate. So he will while headlining his own Winter Music Conference party at the Shelborne Beach Resort's Shine on March 10. Miami's house lovers can expect nothing short of a dazzling time. But it comes with a few conditions from Mr. Carter: "Just bring some good old dancing shoes, a dap rag, have a drank, and get to grooving. No wallflowers allowed or tolerated. I mean, why bother at that point?"
Derrick Carter with Terry Hunter and Jon Cowan. Thursday, March 10. Shine at the Shelborne, 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at 10 p.m. and admission costs $20. Call 305-341-1455 or visit shelborne.com.