soulful roots of Chicago
house dug deep into the artistic mind-set of Andrew Emil, who channeled
their influences into sound, art and audio experimentation. The accomplished
result melds the smooth vibe of neo-jazz with the funkier influences of
recent venture, Four Play Music, is an attempt to expand his musical reach
through a self-helmed record label. Four Play marks a home base for his own
work— alongside several artists from Chicago and
his native Kansas City,
who he features on the imprint’s latest compilation, Andrew Emil Presents Four Play Music.
live style on the decks translates well into the mixed sampler, which includes
variations of sultrier, soulful house and funkier, tech-influenced tracks. Kansas City’s Pat Nice
teams up with J-Rod on the infectious thump of “Rockument,” along with the
soulful, dub number “CTF (Nick Santillian Dub).” Emil’s own highlights include
the chaotic funkiness of “Professional,” which showcases the artist’s diverse
range of craft, from early to peak-hour. On the more accessible tip, Lake
Street Project’s feature cut, “Forever,” has the teeth to break out as a
dance-driven club anthem. But it’s Emil’s original tracks that emerge as the
most forward-thinking cuts on the album.
artist’s own forward-thinking mind-set led him to a career as a sound engineer.
A concert-trained percussionist since age 11, Emil earned a chair in his native
Kansas City Symphony and moved to Chicago in the late-’90s to attend ColumbiaCollege.
His passion for all forms of art—both audio and visual—led Emil and his brother
Erik Christian to host gallery events that integrated sound, graphics and
graffiti. Today, Emil’s sound reflects the eclectic elements of jazz and soul.
notes on this deep, funky experiment in sound.
Emil joins residents Kris Kleinbeck and Lukewarm for WiscoJazz
Fridays on Friday, May 9, at Highbury (2322 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.). Music 10 p.m.
to 2 a.m. No cover.
it back: When
DJ/producer Brett Johnson shot onto the underground house scene with the
likes of producers J.T. Donaldson and Lance De Sardi in 2003, he unknowingly
helped to launch the first of what would become the new-school house movement.
Based in Dallas
at the time, Johnson paved the way for a large new-school scene, where tracks
manipulated quirky arrangements of funky samples and sounds.
then, Johnson has moved on to launch his own label, Aesoteric, out of Seattle, which showcases
much of the same chunkier brand of house. With releases on Derrick Carter’s
Classic Recordings and DJ Sneak’s Magnetic label, Johnson continues to prove
his relevance on the new-school house scene by blending deep grooves with tech
technical skills on the decks prove equally relevant. On Friday, May 16, he
Frank Solano (Kolour) for The Step Up at Three (722 N. Milwaukee St.). Music 10 p.m. to 2
a.m. Cover charge: Free before 11 p.m., $5 after.