Jesse Saunders interview

Tell us about the idea behind your new album: Old Skool New Skool (Vol 2) and how you went about choosing which tracks to use?

The Old Skool New Skool compilation series are intended to bridge the gap between that old sound that started it all, and the new sound which incorporates new tools and sounds while supporting the foundation.  The tracks I choose always have an old school “feel” while contributing something new.

You are credited with producing/ releasing the first House record: On And On back in 1984.  What were the instruments used that defined that unique Chicago sound – was European music as important as American to you in forming the House sound?

The Electric Disco sound of Europe was very influential in forming my idea of the House Music sound. Songs like “Feel The Drive” by Doctor’s Cat were imbedded in my soul in the early 1908s.  The instruments used to create OP & ON were a Roland TR-808, Korg Poly 61 synthesizer and Roland TB-303.

What/who inspired you to begin Dj’ing and what were those early clubs like?

My brother Wayne Williams (currently VP of A&R at Sony Music) taught me how to DJ. I never had aspirations to be one prior to that. Sure, I had been making tapes from all the hottest records and blasting them on my Boom Box to everyone that would listen…and of course I edited songs to make “Disco Versions” that would emphasize the dynamic parts, but I never dreamed of being in front of thousands of people being the catalyst for their dance experience. But once I did, and I found I could make the crowd react to whatever I did, I was hooked!

How would you compare music/clubs now with back then – what are the positive/ negative changes that you have seen?

The NEGATIVE change is that people don’t go out to dance anymore, they go out to see who can pay the most for a Bottle.  The whole idea of Bottle service has ruined the club experience.  Clubs were created for dancing, not drinking.  The best clubs don’t even have alcohol; i.e. The Warehouse! I can’t find any positive changes in clubs in today’s culture.
The only place that still carries on the tradition of dancing your ass off all night long are EDM festivals such as my Annual Chosen Few House Music Reunion ( event that my brother Wayne, and our original DJ Crew produce in Chicago. It’s the the biggest PURE HOUSE MUSIC event in the world. We had over 50,000 House-Heads from all over the world in attendance.  We featured Frankie Knuckles and Ten City, as well as, myself, Terry Hunter, Alan King, Tony & Andre Hatchet (original Chosen Few members) and Wayne Williams, our founder. We also got massive live stream and TV coverage around the world.  Next year we will be even bigger and better.  I’m also planning a sister event in Las Vegas for September 2012!

More info: Stay tuned…

What can we expect from Jesse Saunders in 2012?

My Global House Show is celebrating 15 years as a Radio Show and to celebrate I will be doing the Global House Tour beginning in February 2012.

For more info:
My label Broken Records ( will continue to grow and support the Pure House Music Movement, and up and coming Producers and Artists to carry on the tradition of the world’s 1st House Music label, Jes Say Records!
My Music & Arts Society non-profit is expanding and teaching kids in the After-School programs the Artistic and Technical sides of being a DJ/Artist. We have just inked a deal with the National Urban League to teach their entrepreneurial programs in the arts in-conjunction with Wells Fargo who is financing it. This is by far the most rewarding of everything (…

listen/ buy ‘Old Skool New Skool (Vol 2)’




Late Night Tales
(Late Night Tales)

I liked MGMT’s last album, Congratulations. The care-free, breezy melodies reminded me of fun times in the seventies and naming one song after Brian Eno also has to be a definite plus. You could say this 10th anniversary selection for Late Night Tales (one of the best compilations around by far) continues the theme by focusing on what influenced that same album. You get everything from melancholy to sheer intensity or to put that in band terms you get Suicide, Velvet Underground and Durutti Column, along with a range of equally pivotal artists and songs. You also get an exclusive version by MGMT of Bauhaus, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and if you can handle the sorrow Dave Bixby’s late sixties, and somewhat self-explanatory ode, Drug Song. Don’t know about saving the best for last but always pays to pay attention to Paul Morely as he reads from the self-penned, Lost For Words it somehow feels strangely fitting. 9.

released 3 Oct 2011



Miguel Migs
‘Outside The Skyline’
Om Records/ Salted Music

You know you must be onto something when you listen to the first track on an album twice in a row. So here’s hoping that one of my favourite producers – star of Naked Music- lives up to expectations. And just looking at the credits you see the names Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Bebel Gilberto and with the exquisite Lisa Shaw amongst many other notables prospects are obviously good. But then you just know this is going to be excellent, don’t you. From the down tempo Funk to up-tempo House – and by that I mean quality – this his third studio album never fails but to deliver a wealth of inspiration. You’ll love all the reference points and influences which come together under Migs’s school of exceptional production. Freddie McGregor even makes a welcome appearance on, They Don’t Know and just about every style worthwhile is represented with Georg Levin’s soulful tones finishing in heavenly fashion. 9

released 20 Spt 2011



‘Staying In’
Lazy Days

Is staying in the new going out? Couldn’t care less about the answer to that one, give us music like this and we’re happy. There’s no easy way to tell you this, but main track Staying In is f**king excellent. It touches neatly upon the classic House cut-up technique which when it works it works just like this. Explosive, joyous, uplifting are words to go…Second track, Life Live is a typically deep Shur-I-Kan production though eminently danceable whereas One Ten eases down the tempo into a luscious piano-led journey back to the nineties. Nice. 9

released Beatport 20 Sept 2011. everywhere else 4 Oct.



‘Schwung Ep’
Deep Edition Recordings

Amsterdam producer Maurits Verwoerd makes his second appearance on the label with this striking set of three tracks. Ad Rem kicks off in blistering fashion with an up-tempo foray into Tech related House that keeps the genre moving forward. An inventive production for sure this twists off-kilter keys against thumping beats and works a treat. Schwung, follows with a deep sub-based groove which again throws up aural surprises on its way, while Warmloper picks up the pace with open hats and warm pads until the chords progress onto the payoff. 8

release Beatport 3 Oct 2011. everywhere else from 17 Oct.


Reviews: 11

Crazy P
When We On
2020 Vision

It feels good to be alive. That’s how this album makes you feel. New single, Open For Service states the intention with breezily accessible disco being the order of play. But not one to sit still Crazy P transport you through a series of changes that incorporate all thats been good in dance music from the past number of decades. Two things are patently apparent: 1) the playing is par excellence 2) Danielle Moore’s vocals are hot – listen to The Unbearable Lightness Of Being for lessons in soul. This leads neatly onto the fact that this album is about impressive songs and emotive music, and that’s a good place to be at in 2011. Plenty of other tracks of note too, love the Womack (I think) sampling Heartbreaker and Eruption which so obviously epic it hurts. As they used to say back then, a touch of class. 9

album released Sept. 19


Roots Panorama
‘Threee EP’
Versatile Records


Roots Panorama aka Deetron and Ripperton must love living life on the edge if this vibrant clash of noise is something to go by. You will need to listen really intently to the Deetron mix of Three otherwise you might lose yourself in the midst of fierce techno rhythms and a killer House bassline, with an array of insistant electronic sound filling in the spaces between. And just to make the point again, a Beeetz version follows – you get the need for the three eee’s now. The Ripperton mix then destroys the template to get deeper with yet more devastating bass and this time classic piano which come together in a priceless, uplifting moment. 8

released Sept. 26


Reviews: 10

Timo Garcia
303 Lovers

Always exciting to hear from Timo Garcia and as this is delivered by 303 Lovers you can guess just what means! Based loosely around Sly Dunbar talking about the switch from analog to digital drum programming in Jamaica this splices the dividing line between melody and rhythm together perfectly. After lulling you into a false sense of security with its bass throbbing rhythm section warm yet off-set stabs are added to heighten the sense of occasion on the original version. The Kingston Mix then steps it up a gear, while DZeta N’ Basile provide a stunning remix by twisting the elements over a feverish House groove. 8

Available Beatport 16 Sept 11


‘Like Valley of Paradise / Star Lazer’

Heard this again one morning, as its just reappeared, and have to say it still sounds exceptional this afternoon. You may already be familiar with their excellent series of re-edits such as Talking Heads ‘This must be the place’ however this is the first single to be lifted from the imminent album – and if this is anything to go by, well you know the cliché by now. Stirring strings, mellow Rhodes and hallowed vocals elevate this to somewhere far beyond and I really can’t recommend it highly enough – certainly if you’re of a Balearic disposition. Meanwhile, Star Lazer sparkles spectacularly with euro-disco flair: think Koto and Cerrone and you’ll be in the right location. 9



Reviews: 9

Tom Flynn
‘Argentina EP’
Circus Recordings

The bad news is, its September. The good, well play this. Argentina spells carnival in bold letters as the title track displays Latino flair in abundance. Repeated guitar chords, crowd sounds and a big thumping drum beat. It’s that simple and yet that effective.  The intriguing Tiger Square, then pins together a selection of off-kilter ideas which really shouldn’t work together but somehow do, pitching a selection of cut-up voices and bizarre organ notes against a feast of punchy percussion. The sun is still shinning, really it is. 8