Legendary Chicago House Music Label Trax Records Celebrates 25 years with brand new Musical Collection and DVD Documentary
Trax is the Motown of house music and original home of legends including Adonis, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Mr. Fingers, Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Ralphi Rosario, and Screamin’ Rachael
Trax Records: The 25th Anniversary Collection
October 18, 2011
Two-disc package Includes
The Trax Records 25th Anniversary Album + The House That Trax Built DVD Documentary
Before there were jet-setting superstar DJs, multi-day dance festivals, Ableton Live, laptops and CDs, there was Trax Records. Before there was trance, techno, drum n’ bass, dubstep and every other dance music sub genre you can think of, there was pure house music and the label that started it all was Trax Records.
To celebrate 25 years in the business, on October 18, Trax Records will release a special two-disc collection showcasing some of the label’s more underground and avant-garde tracks and a future full of promise. In addition to a musical collection, the package includes a special DVD documentary entitled The House That Trax Built, which tells the story of Trax Records and explores the relationship (and growth) between house music, the city of Chicago, and the international music community and fans.
One of house music’s pivotal moments can be traced to the year 1977, when legendary DJ Larry Levan was preparing to open The Paradise Garage in New York City, a club that would go on to be one of the most influential of all time. Busy with details for the Garage, Levan had turned down an offer he received to open a new club in Chicago. He suggested to his friend Frankie Knuckles that he take the offer and move to Chicago to become resident DJ of The Warehouse. Knuckles’ style of DJing wasn’t about merely playing records consecutively; he brought New York’s beat mixing style to Chicago for the first time and made older soul tracks danceable by adding percussion into the mix from a separate turntable. Some say that the term “house music” was coined at the Warehouse to describe the unique style of music that Frankie Knuckles played at the club. And so it was written… house music was born in Chicago.
As house music grew in popularity and young artists started producing tracks, there was a need for a label to cater to this new and exciting sound. Enter Trax Records. Launched in December 1984 by Larry Sherman with Rachael Cain (a.k.a Screamin’ Rachael), Jesse Saunders, and Vince Lawrence, when they convinced Sherman to press their vinyl records on credit, and quickly returned with stacks of cash. Sherman was flabbergasted; he knew these kids were onto something.
Chicago’s Trax Records is the mother of all house music labels. It was on Trax that the first house and acid house records were pressed and it was the influence of these very records that changed the course of music history. Since its inception Trax Records has released over 2,000 titles (and counting), and first put iconic names such as Frankie Knuckles; Marshall Jefferson; Mr. Fingers; Farley “Jackmaster” Funk; Adonis; Ralphie Rosario and Screamin’ Rachael on the map. The label has also released tracks from a who’s who of the industry including DJ Rush, Armando, Joey Beltram, Ron Hardy, Robert Owens, Maurice Joshua, Fast Eddie and many more.
Trax’s President and lifeblood is Rachael Cain, under her guidance the label continues to churn out exciting releases from the originators, and the next generation of house music producers. This collection functions both as a document of the past but also as a celebration of Trax’s very exciting future. It’s great fun to discover just how much the music has changed over the years while staying true to the originating house roots. Album curator and designer Jorge Cruz unearthed great cuts that had never previously been exposed. The recent success of Virgo (who’s “Do You Know Who You Are?” which is also included on this CD) is a testament to the treasure trove of gems yet to be heard by the public. There is also a remix of Ralphi Rosario’s “You Used To Hold Me”. The stunning group of tracks is capped by a killer duet between George Clinton & Screamin’ Rachael on “Our House Is Funkdafied.” The accompanying DVD documentary The House That Trax Built offers a glimpse into what life was like in Chicago when The Warehouse was at its peak and when Trax launched the business of house music. It’s a candid look into kids coming together, making music, pressing records and having the times of their lives.
In 2011, with the resurgence of the hip-house sound, Screamin’ Rachael who first coined the term with her mentor Afrika Bambaataa, and the Trax crew have reclaimed their title. Hip-Hop royalty including legendary talent scout and manager John Monopoly has brought artist Malik Yusef, who happens to be on Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D Music, aboard to remake “Time Marches On”. With eyes set on the future Rachel Cain is working with emerging artists DJ Fade, MFTD feat DJ Swank & vocalist Alyze, Professor Kliq & Ramova, and Tomiko Dixon, granddaughter of Blues legend Willie Dixon, which are all leading up to Screamin’ Rachael’s retrospective album. With the help of Jorge Cruz, Trax is set to also release two upcoming singles with the Top Billin’ family. Including “The Flow” by Nic Sarno and also a single by Herra Nennis, “Freaks”. One of the most ambitious projects on the Trax plate is the pre-production of the first ever house music feature film also titled “The House That Trax Built”. “We are extremely excited to be making this film independently in Chicago, with a local cast and crew” says Rachael. “Our intent is to finally take the house movement to a new level by exposing the lifestyle and producing the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ of the genre’s generation”. The screenplay has already been written by Screamin’ Rachael and all names have been changed to protect the guilty!
“Our place in history can be summed up by saying that we changed pop music forever and set the whole world dancing. Now the sound is everywhere, and it’s been assimilated into the beat that moves this generation. It’s important that we remember our roots, after all literally and figuratively, a house must have a strong foundation to last, and we will go on forever.” – Rachel Cain, August 2011
1. Chuck Roberts – “In the Beginning”
2. Two Of A Kind – “Happiness”
3. Jamie Principle & Frankie Knuckles – “It’s A Cold World”
4. Mr. Lee – “I Can’t Forget”
5. Jungle Wonz – “Time Marches On”
6. Housemaster Boyz – “Trax You Lost”
7. Virgo – “Do You Know Who You Are?”
8. Hula – “Hot Hands”
9. Hercules – “Lost In The Groove”
10. DJ Rush – “Help”
11. Ralphi Rosario – “You Used to Hold Me 2011”
vocal by Screamin’ Rachael, Remix by DJ Gem
12. George Clinton & Screamin’ Rachael – “Our House Is Funkatified”
13. ‘Hip That House’ featuring Bloodties