Chicago, Day 3


Studio day. We left the house around noon once we collected ourselves. I wasn’t feeling that creative to be honest but you show up no matter what and see if it comes. And it did. The space is in a five story building, alley entrance, most of which is rented out by other musicians and artists, walking the halls I chatted with a few people working in their spaces. My boys rental in on the top floor. Before we got there I was anticipating a sweat lodge from what I was hearing. Old building in the winter no windows where we were working. I was calling it the “keywest” studio. It was fine though. The other producer that works in the space has been producing and DJ’n for decades, well respected with his own imprint (label) under his belt along with gigs regularly around the world. I wasn’t nervous really, I respect the dude though so I wanted to bring something, anything. We worked for five hours, producing three tracks – house, techno, back to house. I played gear I’ve never heard of, lots of it, sang on two of the tunes, raw improvs, they were both on point and kept in the songs. Just getting over a cold my voice had a rasp to it which gave it warmth and edge. All three of us were weaving in and out of playing, directing the board, what worked or didn’t. I was the guest of the day so I got to really let loose and their support was unconditional. We talked a lot of shit too. Tons of knee slapping burns that were soft enough not to bruise. I love the North, it’s where I’m from. It’s speed and dialects are so fast and loud. Took me a few moments but I got some good shots in, but lots of love spreading between the homeboy chatter.

We had a lot of time to kill after that five hours. The club we would end the night at was 3-4 miles from the studio. My friend and I decided to walk the city. Stopping into a few spots to say hello to friends of his – bar owners, cafe owners, their people, others. We shares spirits and talked more shit. Had some grub at this new Greek spot my pal does nights throughout the year. Hung out with the owner, young cat into hip hop and house, big time. Met his wife, super nice and personable folx. From here we decided to keep walking to the club. It would be about 45 minutes. The weather was quite mild, wind chill brisk but giving vitality. We needed the pick me up.

The club was an extension of another bar I had DJ two summers ago. Super plush, curated to the max and packed. We got there right before my friends were going on. Over in the new club the DJ booth was up a level above the main floor. Behind the decks, a plush sofa, two big modern chairs, and two small round tables. Low lit candle lighting, small lights lining the back of the couch. That was ours for the night. More friends came – musicians, students, artists. The booth was made for 5-7 people comfortably, we had a steady 10 rotating throughout the night. We had three waitresses bringing drinks non stop, a few small plates to pass around. The boys were bumping deep house, classic house, and a few acid tracks – solid per usual. It was a laid back evening, just enough to catch up with people and hear good tunes. They were done around 2am.

We headed back home to play more music. By the time I went to sleep it was daytime. It had been awhile since we tagged vinyl so we did that for 3 hrs. Non stop laughs and goofing around, listening to old classics, and mixing quite good.

Woke up three hours after I went to bed. Not so good.

We are off on another adventure this evening. The original crew all in town. A reunion of sorts before our usual reunion in Detroit for movement weekend. Tonight is for techno at a place quite historic, smart they say. But we don’t leave for it until late. Yeah, I’m taking another hot shower after my 2nd nap.

Im feeling pretty raw. The last year has been mentally taxing to say the least. But this weekend is about being safe with the family I helped create. Not for the past, but now, and beyond.

My close friends are all here. Time to go!





Thank You Jay Schimpf!

We explored a resident photographer series, which featured different posts called Behind The Lens. I would like to thank Jay Schimpf for her hard work and interesting pieces over the last year. We look to explore new resident photographers down the line, for now, we will turn our focus to music, leaving the rest to ponder until it feels right again. Thanks again Jay!


Nationally exhibiting sculptor and photographer Jessica Schimpf graduated in 2010 with her B.F.A. Degree from The Maryland Institute College of Art. Jessica is a recipient of MICA’s departmental grants, scholarships and academic achievment awards. At MICA she studied the art of metal fabrication and traditional lost wax casting in the school’s metal foundry. After graduation she started working with hand blown glass and opened her first business called Mantra Glass (CEO, co-owner and Glass Designer).

Jessica is an exhibiting artist that shows her work through public installations, gallery exhibitions and private collections across the U.S. She has worked at The Sculpture Foundation, where she and her team fabricated “The Seven Year Itch” (monumental sculpture of Marilyn Monroe for the city of Chicago), and “American Gothic” (sculpture for the city of Rome). She has also worked for Oxman Studios to create a monumental bronze sculpture “Dignity” for a horse farm in Kentucky, and  “Encore” a stainless steel monumental sculpture (for the city of Washington, DC). Several large public installation projects of her personal work include North Bennington Art Park, VT., Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center Reisterstown, MD., and Salem Art Works Salem., NY.

Press notorioty includes The New York Times, Landscape Architecture Magazine, and MICA Juxtapositions.

Jessica’s work spanses several different mediums and forms. Her current work investigates the ephemeral qualities of living plants, organic matter, and the reproduction of organic materials drawn on paper. Her work offers a glimpse into the fleeting, dissapearing beauty of organic matter and energy that can be captured in the natural world.  Her work stems from her childhood explorations where her home was surrounded by a large community of people, farms and hundreds of acres of protected land participating in The Farmland Preservation of Central New Jersey.

Jessica’s interest in preserving unique natural forms also stems from her studies on the impact of society on the landscape. To learn more about Jessica, have a look at her website and some of the amazing work she is currently doing.