Bang the Box! The Lost Story of AKA Dance Music, Chicago 1987-88

Bang the Box! cover

Kill Yourself Dancing: The Story of Sunset Records Inc. Chicago 1985-89 was released this week, but I have another treat in store. I also wrote liner notes for a compilation of singles and unreleased material from Matt Warren’s label, AKA Dance Music. Warren, already an established DJ and producer at Sunset Records, was inspired to change his musical style one fateful night:

It’s 1986. “I’m going to set the scene for you,” Matt Warren begins. “We’re driving down the street, having a hard time finding [the Power Plant], because it’s in an old factory. All of the sudden, we hear music through the car windows…. We pull up right in front. It’s all busy—there’s people waiting to get in. We’re going to try to find a parking space, but I could hear the music coming through the window. And what did I hear? I heard this thing which I had never heard before. And it’s going, ‘Time to jack, time to jack, ti-ti-ti-time to jack.’ And I’m like, Whoa, what is that?”

Warren’s label released a number of classic cuts, ranging from trippy acid house to lyrical songs to raw percussion tracks. Additionally, he and Miguel Garcia produced dozens of recordings which were never released, though they were played in clubs like AKA Dance Club, Club Flamingo, and Limelight. Check out my comprehensive liner notes for the full story, drawn from interviews with Matt Warren, Mario Diaz, and studio musician Dane Roewade.

The compilation is out October 15 on Jerome Derradji’s Still Music. Resident Advisor has the double CD tracklist.

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