In the early 1990s Cajual Records helped to define the second wave of Chicago House. Along with Derrick Carter and DJ Sneak, the stripped down tracks of label founder Curtis Alan Jones (a.k.a. Cajmere a.k.a. Green Velvet) ushered in the new blood of House music. Only 4 U offers up the first definitive retrospective of this seminal Chicago House producer and his label. The former chemical engineering student and long-time 80s video game obsessive left his masters program at UC Berkeley to pursue music back in Chicago. His first productions were done on little more than a "sixty-buck keyboard, a cheap four-track and a cheap drum machine." After forming his own label, Cajual, he unleashed the legendary "Coffee Pot" (later re-titled "Percolator" after its repeating vocal). And while that track's jacking grittiness made it an instant classic, it's Cajmere's work with vocalist Dajae that really defines the sound of Cajual. Their "Brighter Days" is an enduing classic that set the tone for future releases from the label. Vocalists like Terence FM and Walter Philips brought a soulful element to Cajemer's productions that made them anthems for the club. Although Jones has made his name DJing as Green Velvet in this century, Cajual continues to set the pulse of underground house. Recommended.
- music label: Strut 2012