Lumberjacks in Hell is the Amsterdam based label ran by German DJ and producer Marcel Vogel. Releasing everything from rare groove and disco to Chicago house, you might be familiar with their recent single ‘Work It Out‘, the gospel-influenced potential stomper of the year from Baltimore producer Karizma that also saw Marcel take lead on the B-side.
Now welcoming back Chicago house legend Rahaan, whose well-over-a-decade-long career has seen him release on Stripped & Chewed, Dessert Island Discs, Derrick Carter’s label Classic and his own imprint Street Edits, he reunites with Marcel’s imprint for three-tracker Grapes.
Heavily influential in the disco and soulful US house scene, Grapes sees Rahaan’s signature Chicago grooves stripped back to their core, exploring the space within his music and welcoming in raw acid components.
In celebration of its release, we speak with both Marcel and Rahaan about the record, their friendship history and some of the the sounds that have inspired the EP, check below.
Marcel Vogel on meeting Rahaan:
“I used to regularly visit two boutique message boards for the Disco lovers called Million Dollar Disco and Bring The Heat, the latter of which Rahaan was co-running with Sean Sounds. I first discovered his incredible DJ sets through Bring The Heat’s website and then I eventually managed to see him play live at a gig with Sadar Bahar in London, at this point I was nothing more than a passionate party goer, and saw him from the perspective of a fan.
Me and Rahaan have a mutual friend in Zernell who eventually hooked us up with an introduction, and when Rahaan was in Amsterdam we started to hang out. With me and Rahaan it’s always the same… we don’t talk until we talk, and Rahaan would rarely approach me first, but eventually in 2012 he did a release with Sean Sounds on Lumberjacks in Hell.
After Rahaan’s first release there was always a plan to do a follow up. When we were on the same DJ bill, I kept hearing him play these energetic tools that always got a great crowd response. Proper no prisoners bare drum tracks in a Chicago tradition, so when I found out they were both unsigned and Rahaan’s own music, I instantly asked if I could sign them for an EP on Lumberjack in.
And here we are with his solo EP and second release on my label…”
“I was really excited when Marcel Vogel asked me to sign the tracks to Lumberjack in Hell, as I’d been playing them for ages.
Originally I made them because I wanted to do some very basic old school acid tracks with a solid bumping groove and exposed percussion, as I always liked those track since I was a teenager and wanted to recreate that style which always worked on the dancefloor.
The tracks were made using a Roland Integra 7 rack synth for the core, as I like the synths’ rich sound, and I left it quite raw with minimal effects processing so it lost none of its original thickness. In my teens I was a big fan of TRAX records and I wanted to recapture that timeless sound.
With the help of Marcel, I’ve picked out a selection of tracks that inspired me when working on the tracks for this release.”
1. Acid trax – By Future
2. Sleazy D – I ve Lost Control
3. Ekstacy Club – Jesus loves the Acid
4. Syclops – Jump Bugs
5. Mr Lee – I can’t forget
6. Virgo – Free Yourself
Grapes is out now on Lumberjacks In Hell. Order it here.