In celebration of our Versus campaign we count down the ten most influential names in house music, these are the Masters of House
Who else did more for House music than the late, great, Frankie Knuckles? It was his residencies at Chicago club, The Warehouse, which popularized the term 'House Music'. From the very inception of house music right up until his tragic death earlier this year, Frankie never stopped playing and producing music, bringing his own masterclasses in house to all corners of the globe. He's responsible for too many tracks to mention here, but alongside the iconic "Baby Wants To Ride", "Tears" and "The Whistle Song" he also produced one of our office favourites - "Your Love".
One of the originators of that iconic house sound and responsible for many of house music's most iconic anthems. From "Something Goin' On" to "Keep on Jumpin'" in 2007 he formed the dance music version of supergroup Cream by bringing together himself, Kenny Dope, DJ Sneak and Terry Hunter to form Todd Terry's All Stars. Despite being in the dance music game for approaching thirty years, he still keeps up a tour schedule that would put many younger DJs to shame.
Masters at Work
Formed when the aforementioned Todd Terry gave the name to Kenny 'Dope' Gonzales and 'Little' Louis Vega in 1990. The remix and production have duo churned out an eye watering amount of material over the course of their 25 years. They're probably most famous for working with talented female vocalist India on a number of their stand out tracks, but are also notable for bringing Latin rhythms into house production. Along with "Work" and "I Can't Get No Sleep", "To Be In Love" was their most successful collaboration with India. Above is the original - and best - version, which clocks in at an impressive ten minutes.
No list of iconic music acts would be complete without a mention of the French robots. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter have shaped electronic music, perhaps more than any other act. In the late Nineties, they came out with what would go on to become known as acid house, before diversifying into a more poppy 'French House' sound with second album Discovery. Since then they've pulled off one of dance music's first stadium rock tours, laying the foundation for EDM in the process, scored a Disney film and reinvented Disco with last year's Random Access Memories. Devout fans will tell you that every Daft Punk track is a classic, but I went for the above, as it reminds me of dancing with girls in school discos.
Starting in 1992 Sanchez was one of the first of a second wave of New York DJs (including David Morales and Danny Tenaglia) that crossed the Atlantic to make waves in Europe. A true Ibiza figurehead, Sanchez has held a residency on the White Isle every summer since 2000. Among his many achievements he's won a Grammy, produced for people as diverse as The Police, Madonna and Diani Ross, hosts a weekly radio show that attracts 15 million listeners, and back in 2001 he got the above track, all the way to the No.1 spot on the UK Singles Chart.
In the early days of house music, while the genre found most popularity in the UK, most producers and DJs hailed from the US. Fatboy Slim was one of the first internationally successful homegrown house heroes, and he remains a key figure to this day. Norman Cook adopted his Fatboy moniker in 1996, just as the UK was primed for a succession of big name homegrown producers. The titles of Cook's hits are instantly recognisable to anyone around in the mid 90s to late noughties: "Right Here, Right Now", "Praise You", "You've Come Along Way Baby", "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat" and "Rockerfella Skank". All classics in their own right, but of course I had to choose "Weapon of Choice", simply because I've never passed up an opportunity to watch Christopher Walken break dancing, and I never will.
Armand Van Helden
The Bostonian was an early proponent of speed garage, but it is for his straight New York House style of dance music, that he is more widely known. Along with remixing everyone from Janet Jackson and Puff Daddy to Britney Spears and the Rolling Stones, his own productions, including the above, have often topped the UK Singles Chart. After a successful solo career he helped usher in the modern resurgence in dance music when he teamed up with A-Trak to form Duck Sauce in 2009. "aNYway" and "Barbra Streisand" followed, along with a No.1 collaboration with Dizzee Rascal - the at the time omnipresent - "Bonkers".
Before one of his used towels was sold on eBay for £10,000, Marc Kinchen was best known for being the production talent behind Will Smith and Pitbull (ew). However a number of his earlier solo releases, including "Always" and "Burning" had found notoriety among dedicated house heads. After Ministry of Sound brought MK on board to remix Storm Queen's "Look Right Through" into a No.1 hit, it not only put MK firmly back in the dance spotlight, but helped usher in the new era of Deep House that has swept Britain and beyond.
Known for years as a 'producer's producer' the Duke finally came to the attention of the wider music community in 2013 when "Need U (100%)" was released by Ministry of Sound and went on to top the UK Singles Chart. Follow up singles "I Got U" and "Won't Look Back" further cemented his reputation as a key figurehead in the house revival movement in the UK.
Once and for all, it's pronounced: Ter-er-yay. The Norwegian DJ has been making a name for himself with a number of reasonably high profile remixes since the mid-noughties. But it wasn't until 2013 when his breakout track "Inspector Norse" took over dancefloors, house parties and airwaves across the globe. The track became so popular that by this point it is almost synonymous with both "summer" and "banger". At the tail end of 2013 Mixmag declared "Inspector Norse" their 'Track of the Year', and with his first full length It's Album Time, receiving universal praise this year, nobody will be surprised if he bags 'Album of the Year' in 2014.
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Check back over the coming weeks for more exclusive Ministry of Sound Versus articles and mixes.
28 Oct 2014