The reinvigorated label 'debuts' today with a new version of 'Promised Land'
Love Can't Turn Around, Jack Your Body, Promised Land, Move Your Body, Acid Thunder, It's Alright… the list of first-generation Chicago house classics that were released on the DJ International label goes on and on. And today, the legendary label gets a reboot, with a new recording of Joe Smooth's classic Promised Land by original vocalist Anthony Thomas marking the beginning of a new era for the label.
Putting out countless 12-inches from the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Sterling Void, Fast Eddie, Steve 'Silk' Hurley, Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk, Fingers Inc, Tyree Cooper, JM Silk and Chip E, DJ International was one of two labels that led the original house music charge back in the mid-to-late 80s – the other being, of course, arch-rivals Trax Records. They also worked with London Records on the seminal House Sound Of Chicago albums that did so much to popularise house music in the UK during the genre's earliest days – indeed, there's even a street (Honorary DJ International Way) named after them in Chicago, in recognition of their work championing the city's artists worldwide.
But while the label has never entirely gone away, releases since the mid-90s have been sporadic to say the least – a handful of singles over the years, a clutch of compilations around the 2009/10 mark and that's about it. Now, though, we're told the label will be getting properly back in the release swing. The label is now owned by Universal Music Group, but original founder Rocky Jones is still running the show, and the new recording of Promised Land will, we're assured, be the first of many new releases from the DJ International camp. Stay tuned!
Tags: DJ International, house music, Chicago, Rocky Jones, Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Sterling Void, Fast Eddie, Steve 'Silk' Hurley, Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk, Fingers Inc, Tyree Cooper, JM Silk, Chip E, Trax Records, London Records, Anthony Thomas