Co-written by Nicolas Bamberski (

The Chicago scene seems to be in some amount of disarray right now, with the main factions being hardcore(US) (which is very tight with the milwaukee hardcore scene), house, and a small but growing jungle/hardcore(UK) faction. The vibe at Chicago events is variable, ranging from wonderful to nonexistent, or downright weird.

Chicago has been called the birthplace of house, and has a long history of underground house parties. (In fact, people use the word "underground" to mean deep, deep house around here...) Promoters associated with House: C+/Nadisco, Seth Love, Urban Underground...

If house is your thing, be sure to check out some of the smaller parties. The best way to find one (besides word of mouth) is to look for flyers (at Gramaphone or Untitled (near Gramaphone)) that are simple, monochrome and cheaply-made (usually on yellow, red, orange, or pink paper). Look for such dj names as lego, diz, frique, derrick carter, etc... or ask one of the djs at Gramaphone. Very often, the address is directly on the flyer. Wicker Park has a lot of those parties (Paulina, Milwaukee av. ...) but those lofts are usually used only 4-5 times, until they get too busted.

In addition to having a mature house scene, Chicago has the largest hardcore/jungle scene in the midwest. The promoters associated with hardcore/jungle have formed a single production company called jungle ting. it is comprised of ripe, the bad girls, chicago hardcore authority (cha), junga vibe tribe and the dub shack. Right now, Chicago is probably the only city in America where you can go to a proper event and hope to hear a number of hardcore and jungle djs, all playing different styles. It is only a matter of time before Chicago reaches the stature of, say, a Toronto.

Recommended DJs

Traxx: [Sho]: I've only heard this guy once, but he completely blew me away. Listening to him was like listening to a history lesson on the evolution of house from its roots in disco. His technique is incredible.

Derrick Carter (house)
Spencer Kincey (house)
Efex (hardcore/hard acid)
Hyperactive (hardcore/acid house)
Phantom 45 (hardcore(UK))

Other Good DJs

House: Lego, Diz, Mark Grant, Frique, Whyteout, Mystic Bill
Stuff (from ambient to tribal via disco): Miles Maeda, Josh Werner, Tom Pazen
AcidJazz: G-Most, Mark Grant, Jesse De La Pena (and Liquid Soul)
Hardcore(US): Fierce
Hardcore(UK): JJ Jellybean, RP Smack, Snuggles and up and comer Slurp

Info Lines

Reactor: 312.604.1833, 708.216.9758
Ripe (for jungle info): 312.509.6453
ATP: 312.853.2098

Record Stores

[Nicolas]: For house and acid-jazz and dance on vinyl, Gramaphone Records is definitely the choice, and some of the DJs working there are nice (others deserve death). it's at 2663 North Clark. I like it, some don't, go figure. [Sho]: Well, I'm not too impressed with Gramaphone these days, but that's because I don't buy house. I'll dance to it, but I won't buy it. Not only does Gramaphone refuse to stock techno, they have a snotty attitude about it.

Phantom 45 works at Hot Jams and hyperactive works at Hip House. These are the only 2 stores in Chicago that get hardcore/jungle 12"s. Because the records are expensive at these places, many people get records from outside sources.

Gramaphone Ltd -- 2663 N Clark: 312.472.3383
Hip House: 312.581.JAMS
Hot Jams: ???.???.????


[Nicolas]: The RedDog is the only club I like in the city, mainly because of its loft architecture, loud sound and great DJs (every good DJs of chicago spins at the RedDog every now and then). It's too crowded on weekends though, but who wants to be above-ground on weekends anyway huh?

Foxies / tuesday (DJ Spencer Kinsey)
Red Dog / wednesday (DJ Diz)
Shelter -- 564 W Fulton / thu-sat (DJs Tom E & John Curley underground/groove house)
Crobar -- N kingsbury near W North / thu-sat (DJs Psycho Bitch & Terry Bristol techno/house)

Radio Stations

WNUR 89.3FM some evenings ?
WLUW 88.7FM Sun afternoon

Last Updated 7/14/94