Album features tracks from scene veterans and up-and-coming young talent alike
The end of the month will see the release of I Love NY, a 14-track compilation on Trax Records that's being released to raise funds for Youth Communications, a young people's charity based in Chicago which publishes the USA's longest-running teen newspaper, and offers arts, literacy and mentorship programmes to underprivileged urban kids in a bid to break the vicious cycle of poverty, drug use and gang culture.
The relationship between Trax Records, the world's first-ever house music record label, and New York City goes back a long way. Trax co-founder and current president Rachael Cain, AKA Screamin' Rachael, moved to the city in the late 80s and played a key role in bringing the sound of Chicago house music - which derived, of course, from the garage style that house godfather Frankie Knuckles' friend and mentor Larry Levan had pioneered a year or two earlier - to the Big Apple, which would result in NY becoming another key city on the house map.
But while the heritage may be long, there's nothing backwards-looking about the new comp, which has been curated by New York DJ and Trax artist Tyler Stone [pictured], and which features "a collection of bassy, bitchy New York house, from deep house to minimal tech". Artists involved range from veteran Village Voice journalist Michael Musto, who's documented the NY club scene on a weekly basis since 1984 and who makes his vinyl debut here with the Stone-produced I Got Ur Back, to current scene faves such as tech-house duo TradeCraft and Battle Hymn resident Michael Magnan.
Announcing the album, Rachael Cain said: "It's no secret that Chicago is having tremendous problems with teen gang warfare. Youth Communication has made a positive difference to so many of these kids, but now it's in crisis and needs funding to continue. Tyler suggested an album to help and so many of the great NYC DJs like Johnny Dynell who I've known for years stepped up to the plate! The focus of Youth Communication has always been about journalism, so Michael Musto as an artist on the album is perfect; a journalist whose song I Got Ur Back seems to sum up our mission. I hope the world sees the urgency for these kids and will buy the album. I want Chicago teens to realise that Youth Communications, Trax and our sister city NYC have Got Ur Back!"
I Love NY is out on Trax Records on 31 March
Pic: Jeff Eason