That so many of the pioneers of a relatively young genre like Chicago house are passing away should add a sense of urgency to our work — to get the story right, or at least their story right, while there is still a chance to do so.

It should also fill us with outrage that some of the most brilliant artists that lived on this planet and in our time spent their last years scrambling for cash for medical expenses and worrying about paying Verizon while confined to their sickbeds. That Deejay Deeon was able to produce anything of consequence in the last five years amid these circumstances is beyond belief. I can’t imagine going through the anxiety over keeping a roof over my loved ones’ heads and enduring the medical procedures themselves and being able to shut that out and make tracks that bang like that. Who did what is not obvious to the listener on a co-production but on his solo tracks and remixes you can still hear the low end king dictating his terms with that signature thin’n’tight Deejay Deeon bounce.

RAWFILA is a talented Japanese producer and one I’m glad to have learned about recently. The label Tracking The Dopegeek has showcased a number of pioneers of the real sound of Chicago house since it launched in 2021, often alongside RAWFILA’s original tracks that show a clear affinity and an aficionado’s fidelity to the aesthetic of what a vanishing generation referred to simply as “Chicago tracks.” One of those “sometimes” is on “Chain Pulse Pt 3,” a track that revels in that stoned, disconnected and raw aesthetic.

The original is fire, and Deeon remixed “Chain Pulse Pt 3” three times on this release. The first remix dismantles RAWFILA’s original, teasing a nursery rhyme-like melody before drowning it out in a battery of drum machine patterns and a fiery pyrotechnic assault. At 4:58, this remix is the longest and the most mental. It’s tempting but probably wrong to try to read much into it, but the scrambled optics and an arrangement that feels like Deeon was working by instinct and touch rather than a rigid formula, going with what feels right and finding a complex order in disorder. It is at least what I like to imagine was happening here.

“Chain Pulse Pt 3” was put up as a free/name your price download on Bandcamp shortly after the legend left this sinister world for a better one, which is a great way to make a tribute to a great man.

⚪️ Chain Pulse Part 3 Tracklisting

RAWFILA: Chain Pulse Part 3 (Deejay Deeon Remixes) (Tracking the Dopegeek / Digital)
1. Chain Pulse pt.3 (05:48)
2. Chain Pulse pt.3 (DJ Deeon Remix 1) (04:58)
3. Chain Pulse pt.3 (DJ Deeon Remix 2) (03:59)
4. Chain Pulse pt.3 (DJ Deeon Remix 3) (03:59)
5. Chain Pulse pt.3 (Steve Poindexter & DJ Seven Chicago Remix) (05:49)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement

This record was submitted as a promo.

⚪️ Previous Coverage

⚪️   “Get Up!” A Tribute to DJ Deeon (2023)
⚪️   The Love for DJ Deeon (2022)
⚪️   Why we love and why we support DJ Deeon (2020)
⚪️   Acid Intensity from Rawfila, Jana Rush & Robert Armani (2023)
⚪️   Deejay Deeon: The 5 Magazine Interview (2013)
⚪️   The Day Dance Mania Took Over Boiler Room Chicago (2014)


5 Mag Issue 209
Out September 2023

SOUNDS OF THE UNDERGROUND: This was originally published in 5 Mag Issue #209 featuring Alinka, Laseech, Being, Marco Lenzi, the sordid story of the Goldman Sachs CEO’s DJ career and more. Help keep our vibe alive by becoming a member for $2/month and get every issue in your inbox right away!

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