Mike Dunn – History Lessons

Mike Dunn’s career could span across a literature novel. Originally starting his DJ career at block parties back in his home town, Englewood, Dunn has progressed throughout the times and has represented the characteristic Chicago sound, for global audiences.

With releases such as the seductive ‘Phreaky MF’ and the re-released groover ‘God Made Me Phunky’, Dunn has always been a solidified imprint in the house music scene, since the creation back in the late ‘70s.

2017 sees the icon celebrate 30 years of house music since his first release ‘Dance You Mutha’ back in 1987. With this grand achievement, the Chicagoan has presented us with his first LP since the ‘90s.

The album is exactly what can be expected from such a pioneer. 14 tracks fully injected with pumping Chicago soul and body moving, analogue bass lines.

With such an established knowledge and career, we kindly asked Mike Dunn if he could send us across some of the tracks which have impacted his long and expanding musical journey, supplying us with a selection of records from the likes of Marshall Jefferson, Roni Griffith and many more.

1. Loose Joints – Is It All Over My Face (Female Vocal)

When I first heard this song I was a young teenager over at my friends house Todd Campbell and his older brother John used to have this song playing it seems. I used to say to myself this woman sounds like either she’s drunk or on drugs (lol),  but the more I heard it, the more it grew on me. I found myself singing it & loving it. I found out later that it was a mix from Frankie Knuckles live at The Warehouse (206 S Jefferson),  how ironic huh!

2. Klein & M.B.O. – MBO Theme

Back before house music in high school, we were known as punk rock & preppie kids, because of the way we dressed. Bleached jeans (before you could buy them that way), cut up jeans, riding boots, lips piercings, etc.

Two of my favourite DJs as a teenage were, Leonard “Remix” Rroy & Farley “Funkin’” Keith (known now as Jackmaster Funk). Leonard would play this at The Rink Zone & Farley at The Playground & it would drive me crazy because of the Bassline, Guitar & Drums, later as I came into my own as a producer I found out why…. Roland TR-808!

3. Skate Bros – Walk The Night

This tune I feel in love with the first time I heard it at a party. It was like some kool phunky azz rock shhh! That was hard & Danceable.

4. Jamie Principle – Your Love

I put the title & artist as Jamie Principle only because before it went to press and was only on reel-to reel, cassette tape (bad bootleg copies) & before the introduction made by Jose Gomez of Jamie & Frankie this is what it was. Taking it to Trax records Larry Sherman thought it would make a bigger impact to the masses by making it a Frankie Knuckles song. The original J.P. demo version will always be my favorite one. Rest in music heaven Frankie, I love you!

5. Liaisons Dangereuses – Los Niños Del Parque

Again another one of those preppie Playground Bangers! If you were there you knew what time it was when this tune came on….. Git out the fuckin’ way!!! (lol) Plus it was the second Spanish sentence I leaned to speak from a German (lol) “The Children In Park” Kraftwerk – Numbers was the first. Then later came scheißen (lol)

6. Visual – The Music Got Me

When I decided a DJ is what I wanted to be, this was one of the first records that I bought & you had to have doubles (2 copies) because of Farley on WBMX blending it with Mix your own stars track 117 (clap, clap, clap – ba, ba ,boom) which was actually 119, everybody called it 117 for reason I don’t know (lol)

7. Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body (The House Music Anthem)

What can you say about this tune that hasn’t been said already…. Well my story is simple. After Marshall recorded this song in the studio, he brought it to Tyree Cooper, Hugo H and I to play at a southside club. We were spinning at The Sheba (known now as Mr. G’s). It was in its raw demo stage with only the hook on it.

I put it on immediately and the place went crazy. I put on a beat track and played it again and then again. Hugo & I dubbed the track to a cassette immediately, on a blue cassette, and to this day we still can’t locate it. After that, Marshall headed down to the Muzic Box to let Ron Hardy play it. So even though Ron was the first to break it, we were the first to play it. #housemusichistorylesson

8. Mirage Feat. Chip E – It’s House

The long house music debate, what was the first house music record ever made? Some have lost friends over this discussion (lol) All I can add to it is, this is the first house music record that gave mention that it was HOUSE, so for me this is it! The Jack Trax EP before it was re-released on DJ International Records. The Orange Label Baby!!!

9. Ten City – Suspicious

My favorite house music group of all time! I was extremely fortunate to be there doing the process of making of this album. Ten City wasn’t the first choice to name the group. It was actually “Intensity”, as you can tell how it got broken down Tensity… Ten City.

All my brothers, Byron Stingily, Byron Burke, Herb Lawson & The hidden forth member Marshall Jefferson (Producer/Songwriter). These were some of the best of times through my house music journey. The lyrical content, B’s silky tone & MJ’s production on this tune made this my favorite from the album. Roland JX-8P

10. Roni Griffith – Spys

This was another one of those playground bangers, reasons being that this was the days of dance groups in Chicago’s early pre house music days. You had to belong to a dance crew or you were just a regular party goer. Spy Guys were the big dance group at the playground at the time. I use to idolise Jackie Graves (President), I wanted to be a spy sooooo bad! (lol)

They would walk in all black, leather strap boots, long jackets & gloves, waaaaaay before Neo (The Matrix). Anybody that truly knows me, knows that I was a BIG Bobby O (Orlando) fan, From the Flirts, Divine & Roni Griffith.

True story: Hugo & I use to go record shopping every Sunday almost, we would buy a super transfer (In Chicago, that was a public transportation ticket fare you could use for the entire day and ride anywhere). We went to this record store in Evanston, IL to crate dig. When we got there and started looking, they had nothing, I was slamming records inside the bins saying to H, they don’t even have no Bobby O. Hugo was crying laughing at me…. Great Memories!

Bonus Track: Nuyorican Soul – It’s Alright, I Feel It (MAW 12” Mix)

This is my go to listen tune when I’m having a ruff day or being hated on or just want to know that no matter what may come my way that the POWER OF THE LORD & GROOVE will make sure It’s alright, I feel it! Ms. Jocelyn Brown vocals…. WHEW! powerful. MAW aka KenLou aka Nuyorican Soul aka Kenny Dope & Louie Vega, other than Marshall Jefferson two of my favorite house music producers of all time…. PERIOD!

Mike Dunn’s My House From All Angles is out December 1. More info here. 

Mike Dunn headlines Kamio on November 18 as part of Feelings: 30 Years of MD – Mike Dunn. More info and tickets available here.

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