2018 Jan 06     
2 Bit Thugs

There are no great surprises going on here, but fans of the classic Chicago sound will be more than satisfied

Chicago house originator Mike Dunn recently released his first album in 27 years. We spoke to him about the story behind the album back in December: the question now is, was the album worth the wait? Let's see...

The album opens with three cuts - Acid Rush, Body Muzik and Coal Mine - that hark all the way back to the acid house era, where Dunn first made his name. There's really nothing going on here that we haven't heard before, admittedly. But if a 20-year-old producer today captured that authentic Chi-town vibe so perfectly, they'd be hailed as some kind of genius - so why shouldn't one of the founding fathers be allowed to do the same thing?

DJ Beat That Shhh, up next, marks the first appearance on the album of the hip-house vox that used to be Dunn's stock-in-trade, while the vocal itself - "Turn it up, turn it up, let's take it back to the 90s" pretty much sets out the track's stall from the get-go! Have It 4 U Babe, which follows, is a slightly more contemporary-sounding houser, Let's Go! sees us back in deep bubblin' acid territory, and Modulation has a more rave-y, Detroit-y kinda feel.

Pressing on, Move It, Work It combines acid and hip-house tropes, The Frontier (9-1-1) has something of an early 00s tribal vibe, The Wake-Up Call (feat Dee Jay Alicia) comes on like a more modern take on the classic Dunn sound and then the album closes with You R (feat JR Jordan) which, with its acid bassline, soulful male vocal and pianos, is almost like Old Skool 101.

So back to that original question: was it worth the wait? On a personal level, this reviewer would immediately answer in the affirmative - but then I'm a sucker for old school Chicago sounds. Those whose house tastes were formed in later eras may find what's here a little too retro for comfort... but hey, what do they know?

Words: Russell Deeks

Release date: Out now



Review Score: 8




Tags: Mike Dunn, Blackball Muzik, MD X-Spress, acid house, hip-house, hip house, Chicago