Words like “legendary” get throw about a lot until we become desensitized to them. But the influence of Dutch techno label Djax-Up-Beats was incalculable.
Djax was among the leading European labels to identify and nourish the second generation of Chicago electronic music producers in the early 1990s, cemented in a legendary rave when damn near the entire roster played in Chicago with Mike Dearborn, DJ Skull and others.
What this means is that a retrospective is long overdue, and Dekmantel has the cachet to get this quality music in front of the right people again. Djax-Re-Up Vol 1 is a double LP featuring an intoxicating blast of Djax history, including Felix Da Housecat, K’Alexi and Glenn Underground.
The eight tracks spread across four sides of vinyl is a fair representation of Saskia Slegers aka Miss Djax’s musical legacy, or at least her label’s part of it. She was among the first to recognize something new coming out the city in the early 1990s, and made tactical alliances with people like Armando Gallop to inject a sense of what Chicago was doing into Europe and what European producers like Hardfloor were doing back into Chicago.
The best part of it is this: unlike many other labels of the era (or labels of our own), Djax didn’t just cop their sound and leave the people who made it on the outside looking in. There truly was an alliance between Chicago and the Netherlands, and unlike people who use the emotive word “Chicago” in an exercise of electronic music branding, everyone benefited from this one.
Various: Djax-Re-Up Volume 1 / Dekmantel
A1. Ismistik – “Flow Charts” (5:03)
A2. Glenn Underground – “101 Dolmations” (6:18)
B1. Felix Da Housecat – “Freakadelica” (4:46)
B2. Planet Gong – “Humid Empire” (6:47)
C1. Terrace – “916 Buena Avenue” (Influenza mix) (6:24)
C2. Hexagone – “Float Baby” (5:25)
D1. Random XS – “Give Your Body” (12:45)
D2. K’Alexi Shelby – “Sex-N-R 001” (vocal mixx) (4:05)