Cajmere caused a stir a year ago with the release of the “Shake and Pop” remixes on Relief. Among the edits by DJ Sneak, Dealer and Mark Grant was a pair of remixes by Gant Garrard who, like Cajmere/Green Velvet or Lil John/Lil John Coleman’s use of separate identities for different musical styles, uses the moniker “Gant-Man” on his Juke Music releases. It wasn’t the first but was definitely the most prominent show of interest by a high level House Music label in Juke.
A year later, Cajmere’s done it again. This time, it’s Relief’s elder sister label, Cajual, and their latest release “Walk” by Green Velvet featuring Russoul. Two of the five mixes are straight-up Juke, and once again the remixer is Gant Garrard. The importance of a brand like Cajual not only standing behind Juke but actually pushing it shouldn’t be shrugged off as a gimmick, a trend or a hustle. While several Hiphop artists and producers like Twista have recognized Juke as a new evolution of urban music, some in House Music have treated it like a redheaded stepchild.
Check that. “Juke is House Music’s special child,” Gant says. He should know. Gant made his first House record at the age of 15, toured the world with Paul Johnson when he was in his teens, and is still banging House as well as Juke today. “I caught the tail end of what I call the real House Music Generation, but I helped create the Juke Generation.” His remixes of “Walk” are positively addictive. The smooth, R&B-styled vocal of Russoul rolls with Gant’s beats. The result is like hearing Prince brought back to the streets.
Gant is also launching Bang Tha Box Recordingz, specializing in both Juke and House Music strictly from Chicago. It’s his first record label, and it looks like he’s ready to come out of the box swinging. Among the forthcoming releases are from Gant and Rashad. Also be on the lookout for his remix of The Funk Monkeys featuring Harrison Crump’s “Remember the Times” on Nine Records.