Three Beats: Absolutely no twinklecore at the Swerp Records showcase | Three Beats | Chicago Reader

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Three Beats: Absolutely no twinklecore at the Swerp Records showcase

Plus: Cajmere and his Cajual label on a new British comp, and the Neon Marshmallow Festival tries getting small

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DANCE: Cajmere and his Cajual label on a new British comp

On October 30 British label Strut released the double CD Only 4U: The Sound of Cajmere & Cajual Records 1992-2012, which surveys the catalog of the label owned and operated by Chicago house and techno great Curtis A. Jones (aka Cajmere, aka Green Velvet). The span of years in the title is a bit misleading, since 17 of the 22 tracks date from the first five years of Cajual's existence—its creative heyday—and the rest are scattered across the aughts.

Cajual and its offshoot Relief released records by many Chicago dance-music luminaries—including Glenn Underground, DJ Sneak, and Johnny Fiasco—but the selections on Only 4U zero in on the stripped-down, repetitive sound that Cajmere perfected early on, epitomized by his infectious 1992 classic "Percolator" and its follow-up, "Brighter Days," which introduced the label's in-house diva, Dajae. Via e-mail Jones told me, "It's a real good feeling for me to see how much I've contributed to the house scene. I'd like to think I've helped out a lot of people with my music, as well as with the music of others I put out." On Sun 11/18 he'll DJ a party at Green Dolphin Street celebrating the anthology's release.

Peter Margasak

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